Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans or anything by Carrie Underwood.
"Sometimes life leads you down a different road, when you're holding on to someone that you gotta let go.
Someday you'll see the reason why. Sometimes there's good in goodbye." ~ Carrie Underwood, Good in Goodbye
"You were just going to leave without saying goodbye?" His masked eyes squinted in the moonlight as he choked back a sob, his stare would have seemed cold and harsh to anyone who didn't know him. He had seen his girlfriend stand on that very roof thousands of times, but had only seen her ready to flee without saying goodbye once before. He had been able to stop her then... Rescue her, actually, but that was besides the point. She had stayed then. Now, he couldn't be certain he'd be able to sway her differently.
"Robin, I-" Her shoulders sagged defeatedly.
"What's going on, Star?"
A light breeze danced across the tower as an ominous silence transpired between them. Starfire practiced taking deep breaths as the seconds turned into minutes.
Finally, she spoke, "My life... My life has taken a divergent course from the Titans... I... I apologize, Robin, but I can no longer remain on Earth?"
His mind was racing but he couldn't figure out what could have happened to make her come to this conclusion. The team was amiable with each other and whenever anyone fought they were always able to work it out. "Why?" He stepped forward, "Is there nothing we can help you with, as Titans, as a team?"
"I have to return to Tamaran," she turned away from him so he couldn't see her silent tears cascading down her flushed cheeks.
"Starfire," Robin protested, "we've come with you to Tamaran before-"
"No, Robin. I cannot allow you... My visit will not be a short one..." She exhaled, hugging herself tightly, "If I do not return, it will not be until several years from now. I am sorry."
"There's nothing we can do?" Robin asked again, fists clenched out of worry, fear, and frustration.
Starfire turned back around, her long red hair flowing in the wind. She beamed at the Boy Wonder, who wasn't much of a boy anymore but possibly more of a wonder, at least to Starfire. His heart nearly stopped when she looked at him and he gulped as her shimmering emerald eyes practically ripped him to shreds.
"I believe you could assist me with a few things."
Robin recognized an evil glint in her eyes and didn't think he was going to get the one thing he insisted upon. He also knew that there was no way she would give him what he wanted by staying. Regardless, he didn't protest, "What can I do for you?"
Starfire walked toward him and embraced him in a long, sweet hug, "First, do not do the looking for me."
Robin bit back a growl as he returned the hug. He was reluctant to at first but forced himself to spit out, "Check."
"Next," Starfire continued, satisfied with his answer, "do not do the obsessive, overworking, Robin-being-mean-to-Robin."
"But, Starfire, I-"
"Sh." she began rubbing soothing circles on his back. They were still wrapped up in one another, "Robin, I love you. I want you to live a long and happy life, even if it means that I cannot be a part of it."
Robin buried his face into her shoulder and mumbled, "Star, what are you trying to-"
"My third and final request," Starfire interrupted with a bittersweet smile, "is that you will not wait for me... If you find somebody who you develop the feelings for then, give love a chance with her as you were kind enough to do so with me." She pulled away and kissed the masked hero on his warm forehead.
Robin sniffed, fighting the tears that were threatening to fall behind his mask. "But Starfire, I-"
"Robin," Starfire interrupted once more, not able to say his name enough times. She placed a hand on his right shoulder and squeezed it. Her green eyes looked over him with genial love and understanding held tightly within them. "I love you so very much, and I thank you for the friendship you have given me on Earth." Her eyes swelled with tears once more, "I have to let go now, Robin. I... I have been doing the holding on for far too long." She turned away from him, "Please, give the others my love."
She was about to take off when he stopped her, "Wait, Star!"
Her left foot fell back to the roof once more, then her right. "Yes, Robin?" She hoped he would tell her that he loved her as well, but those words didn't come out of his mouth.
Starfire's face contorted in confusion, as Raven had told her that word was a vulgar one after Beastboy had let his potty mouth run loose one evening. "Ex-cuse me?"
"Well, possibly Richard," the man corrcted himself. Then, recognizing her confusion, he explained more clearly, "If you come back to Earth and you want to find me, I might go by either Dick or Richard Grayson."
Kory quickly flew over to him, dropping a kiss on his cheek. Robin grabbed her by the waist, pulling his mask off in the process, "And my eyes will look like this."
Kory gasped as she stared into his deep, crystal blue eyes and studied them carefully for several seconds. Then she nodded, attempting to pull away, but before she could get anywhere, he tugged her back and crashed his lips against hers.
When they pulled away, he opened his mouth, "I..." He had intending to tell her that he loved her, but those words wouldn't come out. "I hope the best for you, Kory."
For the umpteenth time, tears slid out of Starfire's eyes. She waved at her teammate as her feet left the roof, their roof, once more. "Goodbye, Robin!"
As she glided out of Earth's stratosphere, she filled her mind with thoughts of Grand Ruler Galfore and her brother, Prince Ryand'r. Silently, she prayed that she had made the right decision.
Seven years later...
Kory Anders stared, wide-eyed at the city that lay before her. A lot could change in seven Earth years, apparently, and that was transparent with the thousands of skyscrapers that replaced the buildings she was accustomed to.
She was wearing a purple tee with a light jean jacket over it, along with jean pants and purple flats. They were the only clothes she brought with her to Tamaran, with hope that she could one day return to the Titans.
Galfore had passed away several months after she returned to Tamaran. The search for her brother, if he were still alive, was ongoing when his spirit left his body. Kory was named temporary Grand Ruler of Tamaran as the search progressed. After six years of searching the universe, they discovered him. Kory stayed on Tamaran for an extra year, to get to know her brother again and ensure that he was right for Tamaran.
When she left, he pleeded with her to stay, convinced that he needed her assistance with ruling their home planet.
Kory had given him a soft smile and a sweet hug, "My heart and my life is on Earth, little brother. It is time for me to return to my home, my real home."
When she broke the hug, she rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "There is no doubt in my mind that you are ready, little brother. Be courageous and do what is right in your heart."
Now, her eyes were surveying the large city before her, stomach growling as she hadn't eaten since moonset on Tamaran. Her eyes rested on the pizza-shaped restaurant and her heart soared, delighted that the building still remained. Before she rushed to it, remembering that she shouldn't fly to it, she searched her pocket for money and found a twenty.
As she sat down on the rooftop of the building, she held the menu to her face. She was about to wave a waiter over when she heard a familiar voice.
"And this is where I would eat lunch with Aunt Rachel, Uncle Garfield and Uncle Victor sometimes, Valerie."
"And Miss Kory!" The toddler sang sweetly.
Kory's head snapped in their direction, her heart melting at what she saw. A man with short, jet-black hair stood with a young girl on his shoulders. She had light red hair and eyes that matched her father's perfectly.
The man laughed jovially, "That's right, princess, and Miss Kory."
The girl squirmed from her position and he reached up and pulled her down, holding her in his arms. He sat her down in a seat and took the one next to her when he felt a pair of eyes watching him. He turned and as he did, Kory hid her face behind the menu again.
I only know one person with hair that red...
"Excuse me, miss?" Richard questioned, tapping the girl on the shoulder.
Kory felt her cheeks heat up as she turned to face him, "Yes...?"
Richard blinked, now knowing for sure. He picked up Valerie and invited himself in the seat next to her. "Kory Anders?"
"Richard Grayson." Kory retorted, smiling.
The little girl watched as the grown ups gawked at one another, looking back and forth between them.
"It looks like time has been sweet to you," Kory whispered, nodding at the little girl. "She has your eyes... Please, who is her mother? I would love to meet her-"
Richard sighed, patting his little girl's head softly. "Her mother passed away in childbirth."
"Oh!" Kory gasped, not being able to help but embrace him in a hug, "I am so sorry, Richard. I had no idea-"
"How is Galfore?" Richard interrupted, not wanting to focus on that part of his past. He had been in Jump City on a business trip, and decided to take his daughter with him so he could show her where he used to live. He had told her stories about it countless of times and thought it would be nice to show her.
Kory's eyes looked more saddened than they did when he mentioned his wife had passed away. "He died a few months after I arrived."
Richard apologized, "But what brings you back to Ear-Jump City?"
"We found my brother about a year ago," Kory explained, calling the waiter. "I got here early this morning. I was just ready to come back home."
"Where are you staying?" Richard inquired after the three gave the man an order for a cheese pizza with mustard on the side.
"I was hoping I could stay in Titan's Tower," Kory shrugged, smiling at the red-head who hid her face behind her menu, peeking at Kory every few seconds.
Before Richard could muster a response the waiter came back to them, "I'm sorry for not asking earlier, but would the three of you like to be put on the family special? It's about half the price and-"
"Oh, we're not a family." Kory interrupted with a grin.
The waiter arched a brow, noting the similarities between the two adults and the toddler. "Right, well, I'll put you down for it anyway." He walked away, scribbling on his notepad.
"Just let it go, Star." Richard chuckled, grasping her hand and giving it a squeeze. "I missed you."
"I missed you as well."
As they ate their meal, Starfire looked between father and daughter, studying the two of them carefully. He cut her pizza into small bits for her tiny mouth and every once and awhile would stop eating to poke her in the side. She giggled, absolutely delighted, and then continued eating her food, yelling, "Stop it, Daddy, I'm trying to eat!"
She knew that she had made the right decision for Tamaran when she left Earth. Looking at her ex-boyfriend now, she knew she had made the right decision concerning him as well. He was happy, genuinely happy. She did not know if he was still fighting crime, or where he was living. She did know one thing: she was glad that he stopped her to say goodbye.
"Richard?" Kory said as she wiped mustard from her lips with a napkin.
Kory eyed Richard's daughter, who beamed at her. "Thank you for listening to me."
A/N: And we're finished! Well, I think so anyway. I think it's a good ending here. Y'all can either make up your own minds about what happens next or convince me to write another chapter about it. We'll see.