Disclaimer: I don't own the Titans. They belong to DC and Warner Bros.
Broken record moment: Aussie, spelling, slang, word usage is all different.
Big fat warnings: Angst. Candid sex and activities mentioned in passing.
Robin's the good boy.
Works hard. Goes to bed on time. Does his homework. Exercises and eats well. Catches the criminals. Plays games with Beast Boy and Cyborg. Enjoys chess and philosophy with Raven. Teaches Starfire about Earth and tries to be a good friend to her, despite that one moment of weakness in Tokyo.
Dick Grayson is the bad egg.
Partying until all hours of the night. Pickup after pickup. Drugs and alcohol and spending money like it was going out of fashion. He's Bruce Wayne's ward after all.
In essence, it's Robin's fault Dick acts out, even if they're one and the same.
Stupid rules and misguided attempt to keep her safe, Robin was still kicking himself over that. Always play the hero, play the part, and be the good boy. No time for relationships, no time for anything more than friendship.
"It was a mistake." Yeah. Lame.
What was worse was when she bought it. She sat demurely on her bed and nodded, her head down. She didn't cry. She didn't beg or plead or try to make him change his mind. Just tilted her head at him and said, "Yes, Robin."
What was worse, she seemed to forget about it. Didn't mention anything, ever again. Even when Cyborg questioned her, she tilted her head at him and asked, "What kiss? Cyborg, Robin and I are just friends, surely you are mistaken."
It hurt. It hurt so bad. More than he thought it would. That he was simply… forgettable.
Dick Grayson came out to play pretty damn quick after that. Sure, Robin had called it off, but for her to act like it never existed in the first place…
Perhaps it was some sort of Tamaranian defensive mechanism, but every time Robin questioned, she'd tilt her head and act all confused and say, "Robin, you said so yourself, there is nothing between us except friendship."
He'd made a mistake when he'd let her go and he'd only just realised it. The longing was so strong but she'd not let him try again. Nothing changed between them, no matter how hard he pushed or tried to make her see that he really did want more, wanted to try again, wanted her, she couldn't see. He tried for months before he gave up and admitted to himself he lost his chance.
When he turned eighteen, it was the first time he hit the town in his civilian ego. Hit the clubs with an ID faked by the Titan computer. Got completely wasted and lost his virginity to some girl in a back alley. She'd been hot, lovely long red hair, long legs, sparkling green eyes.
Nothing like Starfire in personality, only in looks, and that hadn't mattered in the slightest. He was interested only in releasing that pent up emotion, controlling the desire he felt for Starfire.
It worked. For a while.
Starfire at eighteen was breathtaking. So beautiful and happy and carefree. She loved life, loved her friends, floated everywhere, always happy and content. Her outfit changed the day she turned eighteen, turned skimpier, sexier, so much more skin showing, every man's dream. Shorter boots. A bikini kind of thing rather than shirt and skirt… The sex dreams Robin had about her left him aching and masturbating more than he thought was possible.
Even when Robin came home reeking of sex and alcohol and other women, Starfire greeted him happily as though he'd never gone.
Cyborg disapproved of his antics and his girls and liaisons, but as long as Robin wasn't bringing them home, he wouldn't stop him. Beast Boy wanted his own fake ID. Raven rolled her eyes and called him an idiot.
Starfire's personality changed… it became more innocent. Almost… vacant… She didn't care what went on around her. She didn't seem to care about the people she helped anymore. There were times where Robin wasn't even sure she could tell him and Beast Boy apart, except for the fact that Beast Boy was green.
Robin hated to see her like this, but every time he broached the subject, she just smiled fondly at him, patted his head like some addlebrained pet and said there was nothing to be concerned about. Her lack of regard for his quite obvious feelings for her now was noticeable by the others.
"We know why you go out every Saturday," Raven said, one day.
Robin shrugged his shoulders.
"Frankly… I don't blame you."
That'd been a surprise.
"It must be hard to be so in love with a girl that barely acknowledges your existence."
Robin sighed. "At least I know how she felt… before Tokyo."
Raven nodded and chewed her lip. "Have you noticed her eyes are changing?"
Robin raised his eyebrow. "No?"
"She's losing her pupils."
Robin scratched his head. "Maybe… this is some sort of Tamaranian transformation?"
"Has she said anything to you?"
"None of the other Tamaranians had eyes like that," Raven noted.
"Have you tried talking to Galfore?"
Raven nodded and looked away. "He was tight lipped about it when I broached the subject. Starfire got mad at me… Did you know the ends of her hair can burn when she's mad?"
Robin's eyes grew wide. "No."
"I'm worried," Raven said, actually appearing worried for once.
They tried, all four of them, to talk to Starfire, to reach out to her, but she seemed confused by their concern. Surely she was doing her job and saving people, was her personal life not her own? Was she breaking any Earthen laws? Were people not allowed to change as they grew older?
For a moment, it seemed like Starfire had wanted to explain, but then it was gone, lost among the alien. She made no attempt to fit in to Earth. More and more alien by the day, the way she acted, the way she talked, her brutality shining in battle. All Tamaranian warrior.
She'd vanish for days at a time, no mention of where she was going or who she was with, and Robin knew she was with someone. She had to be. She was too sensual to hold back. Robin knew… because he walked in on her and Speedy. Her naked back, her hips shifting and moving as she ravaged someone that was not Robin. Then her and Aqualad. Then…
Robin didn't know Starfire anymore.
And then Dick met Anna.
Saucy seductress, laughing and smiling and bright. Red hair, green eyes too, taller than he was. Long legs. Every bit of her was fun. She loved life, shared it with the people around her. Dick found her dancing in a club one Saturday on his usual troll. Not dancing with anyone, just on the floor, moving to the music, letting it flow from her into the people around her. Guys crowded around her like honeybees, tongues lolling from their mouths like panting dogs, but she didn't dance for them.
Ass gyrating and arms above her head, she didn't care what others thought of her. She only listened to the music. She turned down every offer of a partner.
Dick watched her that night, standing by the bar with only a single beer in his hand, slowly drinking that, song after song while Anna danced. He didn't approach her, watched all the other get turned down and wondered why he was drawn to this one over all the others.
Finally, he placed his beer on the bar and left.
Dick thrust his hands into his pockets, turned up his collar and headed out into the night.
Dick stopped. Turned. "Hey."
She smiled at him. "I'm Anna."
He inclined his head. "Dick."
Anna followed. Out of all the guys in the bar, she'd followed him.
"I saw you watching me," she said.
Dick smiled. "I like the way you dance. There's freedom in it."
"The music speaks to me," Anna said, then smiled. "Want to come back to my place for coffee?"
It was more than coffee, of course. Much, much more.
Beautiful and sexy, she rose above him, cradled him, sheathed him better than all the other girls combined. There was laughter in sex. Enjoyment. Tantalisation. Things he'd never thought to try before. When they were done with their liaison, she was the first of them that he hadn't wanted to leave straight away. Wanted to stay snuggled in bed and cuddled up and wake up together in the morning.
Dick found companionship in Anna, something he'd never expected.
It became a game.
Every Saturday, Anna would be in a different club, dancing a difference dance. Sometimes he'd dance with her, hands stroking her body, pelvis pressed against her gyrating ass, kissing her neck and sexing her up in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by strangers. Sometimes he'd watch her dance with others, making love with her eyes from across the room. Sometimes they'd leave separately, with other partners, but the majority of the time they'd leave together and make love until the sun rose in the morning.
Occasionally they'd spend Sunday together, strolling the streets holding hands.
They didn't really talk, didn't really integrate themselves into each other's lives, but Dick was fairly certain he could, if he wanted to. She was dropping all the right hints. She knew he worked in law enforcement. He knew she was a teacher. Sometimes he'd call her up during the week, just to talk to her. Sometimes she'd call him.
Dick was, for lack of a better phrase, happy. Content. Looking forward to life.
He liked Anna. Maybe even loved her.
Starfire… on the other hand.
Something was wrong with her. Very wrong.
She'd vanish more, away more, returning only when the Titans communicator went off, and even then when she arrived, she barely recognised anyone. She was vicious and brutal and destroyed things without care. It took longer than it should have for her to follow orders, recognise danger or realise there was someone in trouble that needed saving.
She missed training sessions and meetings and psychological analysis sessions. She was no longer dependable or trust worthy.
And sometimes, she'd be standing in the middle of the common room and Robin could just see, she didn't know how she'd gotten there. She refused any and all help. She didn't call any of the Titans by name anymore. She wasn't… present.
When she killed someone, it was the last straw.
Robin was absolutely livid.
He took her elbow and dragged her back to his office locking the door. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" he yelled, hands balled into fists, veins jutting out in his neck.
Starfire tilted her head, staring at him with wide eyed, pupil less innocence. "What did I do?"
"What did—Starfire, you killed someone. Killed them. Cold blood, you tore his fucking head off."
"He was attempting to harm those people."
He was so angry with her. "We capture! Detain! We're heroes! We don't kill people!"
"Perhaps we should," she replied. "Then they would stop hurting others."
"It's not up to us to be judge, jury and executioner—"
"Your anger bores me," she said, mildly.
Robin took a step back. "What?"
"We did a good thing today. We rescued those in trouble. I do not see why you should be so concerned over it. Perhaps you would like to release some energy with sex?"
Robin swallowed. "Sex?"
"With me," she said, smiling. "I do not seem to recall ever sharing scents with you—"
"No," Robin replied, frowning. "Starfire, that's not right."
"I am free to do what I want, when I want," she replied.
"Yeah. You are. I'm not disputing that. What I want to know is do you even remember how many men you've had sex with? Do you remember their names?"
"Do you?" she asked, curious.
"Yes," Robin replied.
"Human triviality and sentiment."
"I don't want you, Starfire," he said, shredding the last flame he had for the woman in front of him.
Her face didn't even change expression, it never did anymore. "You are lying."
"I wanted the you who used to care. I wanted the you who used to smile and laugh and spend time with me. I wanted the girl who saw everything as beautiful and wonderful and didn't kill people. That's not you anymore. Starfire… you're out of the Titans. Pack your gear and go."
Surprise. An actual reaction. "What?"
It was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do, but it had to be done. "You're not welcome here anymore."
Anger. She shone, her hair burned, her eyes glowed bright. "Not welcome? This is my home, where am I to go?"
"This hasn't been your home for years, Starfire. You're barely here. Your personal life is your own business, but when it starts to impede on Titan jurisdiction I have to intervene. You don't listen. You don't protect. You aren't trustworthy. I don't know you anymore."
There was a flicker of something in her eyes. Some buried emotion, pain, remorse, a flare of the old Starfire and Robin felt himself soften. "Starfire, I don't know what's wrong with you," he said. "We can't help if we don't know. Have you even looked at yourself lately?"
She swallowed. Blinked her eyes a couple of times. "What?"
"Your appearance has changed. You don't even have pupils anymore. Your hair burns when you're angry. Do you even remember my name?"
A flicker. A shadow. After a long moment, she murmured, "Robin."
He sighed. "I'm going to call Galfore."
It broke his heart. He crossed to her, wrapped his arms around her, the first hug they'd shared in years.
The expression on her face was odd, confused, but she accepted his show of affection.
He stepped back, placed his hand on her cheek. "Why don't you go back to your room? Get some sleep. Things'll be better in the morning."
She nodded, looking lost and confused and vacant again, almost as though she'd already forgotten everything he'd just said. "Yes. Sleep… sleep will be good."
Robin escorted her himself, locking down her room, making sure she couldn't leave.
Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy were waiting for him in the common room. He looked at them, nearly in tears, and said, "It's not Starfire anymore."
Galfore was mournful when they spoke on the phone, accepting everything Robin said with a grave expression.
"Do you know what's wrong with her?" Beast Boy asked.
Galfore inclined his head. "Yes. I cannot say more."
"Can you fix her?"
Galfore looked torn. "I do not know. I shall arrange for her extraction as quickly as possible. Please… keep her detained until I arrive."
Cyborg was mournful. Beast Boy didn't understand. Raven cried.
Robin just felt numb. He'd lost her years ago, not now. Never now. The woman sleeping wasn't his Star anymore.
She'd never been his Star.
He trundled back to his room, needing to be alone, not wanting to sleep. He swallowed a couple of times, picked up the phone and called Anna.
"Hello?" she said after a couple of rings.
"I know it's late, but can I see you?"
"Dick? Is something wrong?"
"I lost a friend today," he said.
"Oh, Dick," she breathed. "Of course."
Dick was there within ten minutes, Anna sweeping him up into her arms, holding him close. He buried his face into her shoulder and let himself feel.
There was no shame in being emotional. He'd loved Starfire once. There was no sense in not admitting how deep she'd clawed her way into his heart and if he was ever going to move one, he knew he needed to talk about it.
Anna held him for a while, then made Dick sit at the table, made them both a coffee and sat opposite him. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Dick nodded. "There are things about me you don't know."
Anna smiled and picked up her necklace to fiddle with the pearl pendant at the end. "Of course there are, like there are things about me you don't know. Talk, you'll feel better."
Dick took a deep breath. "There was… this girl… once… when I was younger. She loved life. She was so happy and carefree and loving. She made the world a brighter place. And… for some stupid reason… she chose me to… well… I don't know if she ever loved me, but there was something more there. Something more than friendship, but I turned her down. I… kissed her once then claimed it was a mistake and I should never have done it."
"Was it a mistake?" Anna asked.
"No. It wasn't. I was young and stupid but it wasn't a mistake. But I couldn't take it back."
"Did you tell her?"
"I tried. But… she'd… forgotten."
"She didn't remember that we'd kissed. Then… she stopped remembering a lot of other things."
"Sounds like something was wrong with her."
Dick sighed. "That's what we thought. But she wouldn't accept any help. Kept insisting that things were fine and we were worried about nothing."
"Things… changed… she used to love spending time with us, but we barely saw her. She'd bring so many men back to… the dorm… some of them were my friends. It was like she was flaunting them."
"And how many girls did you ever take back?"
"None. Not ever. Not back there."
Anna raised an eyebrow, but she didn't say anything.
"Not to say that I'm not… yeah, okay, there have been a few girls. But… then I met you and things, they shifted for me. I really like you, Anna."
"I like you too," she replied and smiled.
Dick swallowed and dropped his eyes. "She changed. She's not the girl I used to know. She barely remembers anyone's name. Barely remembers to do her job and today… she's… done something really bad. And now she has to leave. She can't stay here anymore, she has to go home."
Anna went white. "Home?"
"You can't send her home," Anna blurted.
"She has to," Dick replied, wallowing. He dropped his head into his hands and cradled it. "The call's already been made. Her guardian is on his way to pick her up." He sighed. "I don't want her to go, but she's not the same as what she was. There's nothing left of that girl anymore."
Dick's communicator beeped and he pulled it out, looking at the message under the table, keeping it from Anna's view. It was from Cyborg and it simply read, 'She's gone'.
Dick surged to his feet, while Anna looked at him, startled. "I'm sorry," he said, kissing her cheek. "I gotta go."
"I'll call you—"
Anna was following him to the door. "Dick, wait—"
"I really need to go, sorry about dumping that on you—"
Dick paused, gripping the doorframe as he looked back over his shoulder at Anna.
She was in tears, both hands clasping her necklace. "There is no cure. None. You'll never get her back. She can't give herself to you, even if she wanted to. There's no cure. She lost herself, forgot a piece and it's not ever coming back. But she loved you so much, she gave… she could give you me. Just a little bit of sanity."
So many tears and shaking hands. "I'm not real, Dick. I'm the part of Starfire that was human, that wanted to be human. I'm the part that loved you so much, that broke so hard when you said it was a mistake. I'm the part she forgot."
Dick's hand dropped to his sides. Anna… Kori-an-d'r… he never saw it before, never knew why he was drawn so hard to her. "But—"
"It was the only way she could cope. Lock me up and never set me free again. She forgot. But… I found a way to be free, little snippets of time. Snatches of moments where I could be with you, the way you wanted me to be. I can't stay free, she has to come back. She owns the body. I'm the forgotten." She closed her eyes for a minute. "But you told. You told on us. Now we have to go."
Dick's heart pounded. "What?"
"A Tamaranian princess, devoid of emotion? They dream of it. They wish it. You have given it to them. The wars they can win, the battles they can fight, the space they can take with a warrior that is not burdened by sentiment, by honour and courage? Why do you think they let her go when she gave Galfore Grand Ruler? They knew… someday… this would happen. There has not ever been Princess who has not given away her heart to an offworlder that has not become the Mok'tyr. The soulless one."
"I just wanted to love you," she wept. "She could do what she liked, just as long as I could have you, just for a while."
Dick took at step toward her, held one hand out. "I didn't mean—"
She gave him a watery smile. "I know." Tears streaked down her face. "You did love me, didn't you? Just for a little while?"
Dick nodded. "More than anything."
She trembled against his hand. "I can't stay," she whispered, closing her eyes. "She knows. She'll come soon and then I'll be forgotten again. For good, this time. We'll go home and be the warrior and I'll never be free."
"Anna, no," Dick breathed and clutched at her. "Please, stay. Can't you stay instead?"
"Too emotional," Anna murmured. "The more I feel, the faster she takes control. I'm sorry, Dick. I never meant to do this. I just wanted to love you."
Dick cupped her chin, in tears himself, tilted her head up. "I love you, Anna. I can hide you, keep you safe, keep you mine. You don't have to go."
More tears now. "They'd be stolen moments of someone else's life," she whispered. "But thank you." She kissed him. It was bittersweet, a goodbye, he could tell she was struggling to stay. If he'd known, he could have lived with Starfire's ways forever as long as there was Anna.
"I'm glad I got the time," she murmured against his lips. "I'm glad we had the chance. Goodbye, Dick."
"You can't stop this," Anna whispered. "Don't try. Get her as far from you as you can and live your life. For me."
Anna blinked, her eyes vacant. "Yes? Who are you?"
Dick dropped his arms, took a step back. "No one."
Anna tilted her head, then looked down at herself and sighed. "Not again," she murmured and removed her necklace, dropping it on the ground. The hologram shifted and Starfire tilted her head. "You. Boy. Where am I?"
Dick stooped down and picked up the necklace, putting it carefully into his pocket.
"I know your scent," Starfire said, curious.
Dick nodded. "Yes."
She frowned, regarding him and he saw the flicker in her eyes he knew was Anna, so he smiled. "I can take you home," he said and held out his hand.
Starfire took it, no qualms at all.
Some dialogue is straight out of Red Hood and the Outlaws.
I thought about making this into a complete story. Draw out the Anna angle, lay on the ansgt and then break all your hearts, but that'd be bad for me, I'm neck deep in novel stuff, need to concentrate on that. So have a synapsis of something that could've been a novel.
SPOILERS AND KRY RANTING:
DC, I hate you. So very, very much right now.
Starfire, the sexy Tamaranian, open about her sexuality, who chooses her own liaisons and has sex with whoever she pleases. Sure. Bring it on. Props to her.
Starfire the memory of a goldfish? Who can't even remember any of her past, including her time with the Titans and Dick. AND In her own words, some of the time she doesn't even know which one is Jason and which one is Roy. (Here's a hint, honey, one of them has black hair, one of them has red). Interchangeable sex buddies!
The author better be taking us someplace fucking awesome where we will bow down in awe for the one that fooled us all, because if this is true, I'm not reading anymore. I'm going with trauma induced short term memory damage. Or a mind control mole on her face. Yes. It's the mole's fault.
Please tell me she'll get over it. I'm fine if she doesn't have a relationship with Dick. But don't tell people their relationship happened, don't give us hope that they didn't retcon it away then show us its she just FORGOT about it! GAH!
Cartoon Starfire, may you forever shine brightly.