She sat quietly, waiting for him to arrive. She had sought alternatives before, only moving him to hurt her friends. She could never fight, and so she waited.

It took only a few minutes for him to arrive, presumably finished 'questioning' his most recent victim. Still, he apologized for taking so long- he always apologized. She hated it.

"You are upset." His words were no question. She did not respond.


"There is no choice here for me," she said calmly, her sad eyes watching the floor.

"There is always a choice Starfire. You are free to leave."

"Do not say that! You know I am not!"

"If you will not leave them, then that is your choice. It remains yours to choose." He always spoke so calmly, not caring how his words hurt her. She turned her head quickly to hide the tears his words had caused, not trusting her voice enough to respond.

He sat quickly on the bed behind her, wrapping his arms gently around her. That was always what hurt worst, how gentle he was. It was always them he would injure when she upset him.

His sigh surprised her. "Please Starfire."

"What action are you wishing for me to complete?"

"Relaxing might be nice."

"I cannot. I am sorry."

He let out another sigh as he pulled her tighter. "You still dream of him?"

"He is my friend Slade, of course I dream of his safety."

A chuckle surprised her, he rarely laughed.

"I am glad I have caused you amusement," she stated regally, angered by what she assumed to be criticism. Surprisingly, he let out nothing but another sigh in response to this.

He moved away soon after, and she flinched, waiting for the inevitable tug backwards. She again felt tears, thinking of her friends, locked away, at his mercy. She could still remember when they had been captured. She remembered waking in an empty room, fighting to break free, the walls proving to great for her strength. She remembered him coming, remembered his offer. Years since then and she was still waiting, terrified for the day he wouldn't want her. For the day he would kill her friends.

He noticed her trembling as he gently pulled her back onto the bed, but he met no resistance. He wished she would, her fiery temper being a large part of what had attracted him in the first place. Her body of course had contributed significantly, but he had wanted more. Foolish of him, he should have realized.

"Look at me Starfire, I'm no worse than the wall."

"The wall would not be holding my friends had you not placed them within it!"

"I meant- never mind," he finished, leaning down to kiss her, pushing aside his frustration. Of course he was worse than the walls. Missing an eye, not that she ever saw the scars. He never took off his mask when there were people around who knew him for his crimes. Not fearing the disgust she would surely show if she saw his face, her eyes cast aside to avoid his repulsive appearance rather than to hide her tears for her friends. Perhaps she would even pity him. No, especially around her, he would never remove his mask.

He curled up against her, silently seeking comfort, though knowing she would provide none for him. Her friends would receive unlimited comfort from her, given an opportunity, but he was her enemy, always her enemy.

An hour later, or somewhere thereabouts, he was startled out of his thoughts by her speaking. "Do you not wish to violate me this night?"


"I shall go to the guest chambers."

He tightened his grip on her as she started to pull away. "No."

"Slade?" Confusion was clear on her face as she spoke.

"Just... sleep. Please. I'm tired."

"Of course."

It was long after midnight when he realized he had no chance of sleeping that night. It had been a worsening problem, his sleep, where he would be awake for hours on end, watching her.

He rolled to the edge of the bed, and climbed out, intending to get a snack before again attempting to sleep. Blueberries had always proven effective when he was younger. He didn't think he had any currently, but that was no barrier with the titans gone. He dressed quickly to go get some.

He flinched as he noticed Starfire waking at the noise he was causing.

"Hmm? Oh... I have been present sufficiently for this night?" she said sleepily. "I may go to the other room now if you are satisfied?"


"Please, Slade- why must I remain if you are not present?"

He could notice her hesitation as she asked it, scared he would take it as a reason to hurt her friends. A reputation he had built over years, not only with her, yet it hurt.

"No, Starfire, I will be returning later."


It was amazing how much disappointment could be contained in one syllable. He sat on the edge of the bed then, well aware it was likely the least comforting thing he could do, but unable to stop himself.

"I'm sorry, Starfire."

"For? Kidnapping my friends? Violating me? Attacking them? Threatening them? Killing innocents? What is it you have now decided you will apologize for Slade? What have you now decided you have done wrong? Kept me from those who could comfort me? Woken me? Bound me to your every whim? Forced me to spend each night with you regardless even of your desires? What do you now apologize for?" she responded vehemently, the anger and pain pressing inside her.

He left then, unable to voice his answer. That I can't be who you dream of. That I can't say I love you.