Day by day I helped her remember. I would feed her plentiful amounts of mustard which she still loved, as well as told her tons of stories from our previous battles as a team. I told her of myself, even the things that she had never known in the first place, just so I could become closer to her.
The others helped immensely.
Cyborg discussed light travel with her, as well as how everything worked in the tower in case she had happened to forget. Beast Boy told her millions of jokes-although I wasn't sure how that would help-and she laughed at some. It was a useless thing to do in my opinion. At least that's what I believed until she told him that some of his jokes seemed like she'd heard them before.
When Starfire wasn't spending time with me, she was spending time with Raven in her room. The two girls had grown much closer ever since Raven had travelled inside her mind to save her life-not to mention mine. At one point, I think I even heard Raven talking to Star about visiting the "mall of shopping" and painting toenails. Starfire was more than pleased about that.
The two of us spent a lot of time on the roof of the tower. We mostly just talked and laughed about things she remembered, and I answered some questions she had. And believe me, she had many. One day I asked her if she remembered a special place in the city that she used to go to but she shook her head no. Truthfully, I had wanted to visit the place myself, but I don't think I could have without her. Too many bad memories, especially considering that what was once my parents' memorial was now in utter destruction.
Now and then we got calls for trouble, but it was never anything too serious. Even if Starfire didn't know the villain we were fighting most of the time, she realized the situation we were in and fought with her usual strength and stamina. She hadn't recognized any of the villains we had faced until we ran into Red X again. Wow, we hadn't seen him in a while. After we had fought him-he got away as always-Star asked me if I was in the Red X suit. She must have been really confused. Maybe she thought I was a hologram or something. Either way, she knew at one point that that really was me.
When I talked to her about villains and battles, I avoided Slade. I don't exactly know why. I think it was probably for my own selfish reasons. The truth was I really just wasn't ready to relive any of what I had gone through in the past three years I had known the madman. Also, if Starfire didn't remember him, maybe it would be because she would rather not relive her traumatic experiences involving Slade, and if that was the case, I wouldn't blame her.
I did mention Trogaar, once though. That was a big mistake. She went all Warrior Princess on me, and I had spent the next thirty minutes trying to calm her down. When she had settled, she reluctantly explained-well, re-explained, but I didn't stop her, no matter how much I wanted to-what Trogaar's kind had done to her people, as well as her as an individual.
I didn't mention that he was still out there and probably on Earth. She wasn't ready for that. However I was ready for him. If I ever saw his scaly, green, face again, he would regret it.
She loved to talk about her brother. Loved to. She didn't talk about Blackfire nearly as much, but it was pretty obvious to guess why. Still even when her older sister was brought up she always said nice things about her, even though I suspected that most of them weren't even true.
Starfire knew that her parents had died. She knew mine had too. Then she wanted to initiate "the hug" and the request was granted. Other than that though, our touches were platonic.
I had reminded her that she had learned language because of me…well because of my lips anyway. As Cyborg said, "At least they're good for something." I ignored that comment.
Other than that little detail though, she seemed to know that we were really close. Closer than she could ever be to any of the others, and she said she liked it that way. It was…nice.
Nice. Now that was the word that had started it all. She told me again how her planet didn't have that word. I responded with "Well, things are different here." I watched in satisfaction as she blushed at that, like she had all that time ago.
I kept things positive in my mind by telling myself that I had dealt with her losing her memory before, when we were trapped in Mod's school of torture. However things were much different then. She was under a spell, and now…I didn't even know what to call this.
Like before, I tried to jog her memory with quotes I had said to her. She laughed at me most of the time, calling me silly and strange. I laughed along with her sometimes, but other times I became annoyed. Not with her, but with myself. Because according to me, if she didn't remember, it was because I wasn't trying hard enough.
Her questions never threw me, at least not until she asked if we were married.
"I only question this because of the golden band on my finger," she explained, holding up the ring I had given her for Christmas, with a curious expression on her face.
I blushed. "Well actually it was just a present, for the uh, 'earthly holiday of Christmas.' But no, we're not married."
"Oh, I see," she said, not looking like she understood at all. She held the ring closely to her face, inspecting every little thing about it. "Oh!" she exclaimed in excitement. "It bears my name? How does it know my name?"
Laughing, I turned her face towards mine. "It's an engraving. I asked the person who made the ring to write your name in the metal. See?" I ran my finger over the fancy scrawl. "Koriand'r."
Her face grew pink. "I thank you," she told me sincerely. "Not just for the ring, but for everything you have taught me…or….retaught me," she gave a small smile.
My gaze softened. "I'd do anything for you, I hope you know that."
She nodded, her eyes glowing with warmth and something else. "Yes, I suppose the feeling is mutual." She looked at her ring for a moment longer before dropping her hand to her side. We watched the sky as it slowly grew from dark to light, promising the new day. Although most couples preferred the sunset, it was always the other way around with Starfire. I had asked her about it one time, and she had explained that she like the idea of a promise. A promise of a new day.
"Starfire?" I asked after a while of comfortable silence.
"Mm-hmm?" she asked, still watching the sky.
"Dos the name…Slade sound familiar at all?"
She turned to face me. Her eyes lit up with some sort of emotion that I couldn't quite decipher. Was it fear? Anger? Despair? I couldn't tell because as quickly as it had crossed her eyes, it was gone.
I nodded, not really sure what I was expecting her to say. Maybe if a showed her a picture, or a video, or even his mask…
But not yet, there would be time for that later.
As the sun started to peak over the horizon, she allowed me to cuddle her. She rested her head on my shoulder, and I rested my own head on the top of hers. We just sat there, she watching, while I was praying. Praying to whatever God existed in this world. Praying my thanks, my gratitude, for her, and her life which was so close to just perishing along with my parents'.
I would always protect her, always be by her side to catch her when she falls. At first I thought it was because I didn't want her to suffer the same fate as my parents had, but now I realize it was for a different reason.
When my parents had died, I didn't think that I would ever get over it. I would need a great stroke of luck, a miracle…But I guess in actuality I didn't. I just needed a friend, a piece of hope.
Turns out I've had it this whole time.