The siren of the ambulance, the white sheets, the blood. Starfire held her head in her hands, sitting in a very uncomfortable chair in a very plain room. She hasn't looked up from her hands for… a very long time. Not that she really could. She hasn't slept in three days.
And he just lie there, still and silent. He could breath, and that was good. Raven had put him into a deep sleep to aid his healing process, and to prevent his "whining", as Raven had said. Starfire never thought this would happen, not in Jump. Perhaps in Gotham. Oh X'hal, the stories she's hear about Gotham. How a young boy could grow up to fight crime in such a city is beyond her. At least on Tamaran, they do not have guns.
Her heart would not stop pounding. She swears in all this time, she still hasn't faced the truth. They say he will be okay, but there's a part of her that believes they are lying to her to make it easier. But nothing would make it easier if he were to leave her.
Raven has been healing him bit by bit. She heard her telling the others that it may take a few months to get Robin's shoulder back to where it was before the gunshot. Raven wouldn't have wanted her to know that. It would only upset her more. But she'd much rather have Robin alive and complaining about how he can't work rather than a statue like he is now.
Starfire looks up at her boyfriend, lying on the small bed. Yesterday they were allowed to bring him to the Tower. She didn't quite understand. Wouldn't he be better off in the hospital? What if there were to be complications. Raven said he is well enough to be home, and he will be waking up soon. But she still doesn't feel right about it.
Sure, Raven is studying medicine. It also helps that she's a healer, but she can only do so much. She loves her friends for trying to make her feel better, but nothing seems good enough. All she wants is for him to wake up.
She watches the soft rise and fall of his chest. He was wearing a hospital gown. If she were feeling up to it, she would laugh. Robin would not like the gown. But then she would tell him it looked the hot, and he would get this adorable blush. She sighs, thinking about what they could be saying to each other right now. She never even got to tell him that she loved him.
It was in that moment when he went down, the sound of the gun ringing out to her ears, that she knew. Her heart surged, jumping out of her chest. As she looked down at the unconscious boy, she felt it. The feeling swam through her veins and coursed through her body. She loved him. And she needed him to know.
"I am sorry I was not there," she says to him, though ultimately to herself. A tear drips down her cheek. She was flying, ushering the hostages out of the bank. She had just stepped away from him when she heard the gun shot, and turned just in time to watch him fall. She fell from the sky, no longer feeling the joy to fly, her fear crippling her. She rode in that ambulance with him, the siren blocking out all sound around her. All she could hear was her thumping heartbeat.
She places her hand over his, being sure to grab the arm that does not have the I.V. She wanted to be in the room with Robin for everything, but the I.V. was almost too much. She does not like needles. She runs her fingers over the back of his hand, drawing little circles that morph into hearts.
"I love you," she whispers oh so quietly. Another tear falls. She has never been so scared in her life. She would have taken a thousand bullets to prevent that one from hitting him. A sob chokes out from her chest. X'hal, how she misses him. She lays her head down on his thigh, still drawing hearts on his hand. She wishes she could sleep, but even if she could give in to the slumber, she would be plagued by nightmares. Ones that would make her live through the death of her boyfriend. She could not handle that.
"Star…" Her body stiffens, refraining from movement so she doesn't make a sound. Did she really hear that? Slowly, she lifts her head to look up at the sleeping boy. His eyes are half lidded and his lips slightly parted. A soft moan escapes his lips. She lunges forward, placing her hands on his face.
"Robin?" she asks, her voice just barely over a whisper. "Oh Robin, do the waking up now please." She runs her finger tips over his pale cheeks. Suddenly, his eyes flash open, causing her to gasp. Tears fall from her eyes at an uncontrollable rate as she babbles things that she can't even understand.
"Star…fire," he wheezes.
"Praise X'hal, oh Robin I have missed you." She places kisses all over his face, letting her tears drip down onto him. She feels light pressure on her shoulder and realizes that it is Robin's hand.
"I missed you too," he says, lightly chuckling. She settles back down on her seat, but holds Robin's hand tightly in hers.
"Robin?" asks Raven's voice. She must have sensed his awakening. Starfire looks back at her, smiling broadly. Raven rushed over to Robin's bedside, soon followed by Cyborg and Beast Boy.
"Yo, man! Look who's finally decided to join us," teases Cyborg as he moves to stand beside Starfire. He places a hand on her shoulder, looking down at her with a brotherly smile.
"I was starting to think that Raven'd killed ya," says Beast Boy. His words are followed by a short yelp. Starfire looks up to see a red-eyed Raven and Beast Boy rubbing at his ribs.
Raven brings a glass of water to Robin's lips as he sips gratefully. He leans back against his pillow, taking a deep breath. Suddenly, he laughs.
"You're all staring at me," he says.
"Well your little dress is just so pretty," teases Cyborg. Robin snorts.
"Shut up. God, can I get back to my room now?"
"It's really late. I think you can deal with one more night in the hospital wing," says Raven. Starfire sighs, wishing to get him out of this dismal area of the Tower. Robin looks up at her.
"Star, what's the matter?" At the soft tone of his voice, more tears begin to fall. He reaches up to stroke her cheek. "Why are you crying?"
"Well dude, you were shot!" exclaims Beast Boy. Starfire sniffles, mouthing the words "it is okay" before taking his hand back in hers.
"That I do remember," says Robin. "But what happened after?"
"You fell unconscious, and then you were taken to the hospital," says Raven, pulling another chair up to the other side of his bed.
"And how long have I been asleep?" asks Robin as his uses the remote control to move his bed into a more upright position.
"What!? Just for a shoulder wound?"
"I put you into somewhat of an induced coma as I healed you. I didn't want your stubbornness to interfere with your healing."
"Raven, I'm not an idiot."
"Man, you would've been your grumpy, spiky-headed self these past three days and you know it. If we would've tried to keep you in this bed, you would've fought us," Cyborg interjects.
"I- You know- Ughh," says Robin, giving in.
"It was for your own good and you know it," says Raven. "And don't worry; you didn't miss much action in the city these past few days. One battle with Cinderblock and that was it."
"Well the sooner I can get back to work the better."
"About that…" Raven rubs the back of her neck. "Your shoulder is going to take a little while to get back to normal."
"What do you mean normal?"
"Well with the way that you… conduct yourself, what with the flipping around and everything, it's going to be a bit more difficult to repair the damage and get you back to your normal physical condition. So I'm going to have to say no to the gymnastic rings for a little while."
"How long will it take?"
"I've planned out two months of physical therapy with some of the therapists from the hospital. Added with my healing, that should be enough."
"Two months?!" Raven and Starfire cringed as he raised his voice. They knew that this would not go over well with him. The other two boys just looked away, trying to ignore the conversation.
"It will be just fine," says Starfire soothingly. Robin looks over at her, and then takes a deep, calming breath.
"Alright, when do we start?" Cyborg and Beast Boy jerk their heads to Robin, not believing that he is giving in to this. Raven widens her eyes, but quickly composes herself, clearing her throat.
"I'll give you two more days before I let you become obsessed with getting back out there."
"Will I still be able to patrol with you guys?" Raven narrows his eyes at him.
"Now even I know that's not a good idea," says Beast Boy. Robin groans in distress.
"I promise I'll be good," pleads Robin.
"We'll see," says Raven, getting up from her chair. She signals for the boys to follow her as she heads for the door.
"Raven, why wait two more days?" asks Robin. Starfire looks over to meet eyes with Raven who gives her a sympathetic look.
"You're all hers for right now," she replies, giving a small smile before she waves her goodbye. Beast Boy gives a cheesy salute and Cyborg grins broadly as they exit the hospital wing. Starfire's heart swells in thanks for her friends and this time that she gets to share with Robin.
"She seems concerned with you," says Robin, running his fingers in little circles around her palm. She looks down, watching his movements as she replies.
"You are the one that we should be concerned with."
"Star, it's okay."
"It is not okay," she says, feeling the emotion bubble up in her stomach once again. "I was so worried about you."
"I'm going to be fine. I'll be back to normal in no time." She feels him shift in his bed to move closer to her. "Starfire, you're crying so much tonight." His hand reaches up to wipe a tear.
"Of course I am, you kreb'nar," she says, somewhat recoiling from his touch. Why is he acting like everything is perfect? I thought I would lose you."
"You… you thought I was going to die?" Starfire nods. When Robin chokes out a laugh, her eyes widen. "It was a shoulder wound. Our friend is a healer."
"You think I am being silly?"
"No, it's just… It wasn't fatal; they must have told you that."
"They tried, but I thought that maybe they were lying. That they did not want me to know the truth."
"Now that's silly," says Robin with a teasing smile. "C'mere." He wraps his arms around her back and pulls her onto the bed with him. She settles into his side, resting her head on his good shoulder. "Our friends know better than to lie to you. If I were actually-" he gulps "-dying, they wouldn't have hid that from you. You have to trust them."
"When it comes to you, I do not believe that I think clearly." She sniffles quietly, but it doesn't go unnoticed.
"Hey," he says, tightening his arm around her. "Just take a deep breath." She obeys, taking in a shaky breath. He chuckles and kisses the top of her head.
"Robin, I did not like this at all."
"I know," he croons, stroking her back.
"No, you do not know. You have not felt what I have." She clutches around his waist, burying her face in his chest. She mumbles some incoherent words.
"What was that?" asks Robin.
"I have felt what it's like to lose you!" she snaps, lifting her face to meet Robin's masked eyes. His mouth drops open in surprise at her out lash. "I watched you fall after the shot of the gun. You would not open your eyes. They took you away from me, and I had to fight to ride in the ambulance with you." She feels her body begin to shake.
"Oh Star…" He pulls her back down to him, tucking her head in the crook of his neck as she cries into him. He holds one hand against her face and presses his lips against her forehead. "Shhh. I'm here. And you won't ever have to feel that again."
"Do you-" hiccup"-promise?"
"Yes. I promise. You'll have me forever." Her body stiffened. She raises her head, hiccups still escaping her mouth.
"Forever?" she asks. She watches as his cheeks turn pink.
"Well, uh," he clears his throat. "You'll have me as long as you want me." She smiles, lifting her hand to touch the blush of his cheeks.
"Then I do hope you will not be getting sick of me." He returns her smile before she settles back down on him. The two remain silent as thoughts run through their heads. Starfire could never deny her love for Robin. But if someone were to ask her, she would avoid the subject. She does not want to be the first one to say it. After all her years on earth, watching movies and readin magazines, the customs seem to illustrate that men must say it first. She will wait patiently, but on this inside her heart will yearn for those three words.
"Starfire?" Her heart leaps.
"Yes Robin?" she replies.
"I think I dreamt of you," he says. Her eyebrows furrow.
"What do you mean?"
"When I was asleep for those few days. I remember seeing blurry images of you, like reenacting some of our dates, or battles, or training sessions. Except every dream would end the same way, with-" A gasp escapes his mouth.
"End with what?"
"Nothing, I uhh, forgot. I was just thinking out loud," he dismisses.
"Okay," she says skeptically.
"Anyway," he continues, "even when I was asleep, I was with you. It was kind of amazing."
"On Tamaran, it is believed that when a husband or wife passes, they visit one last time in their mate's dream. It is called the ruuptak. Widows have told stories of these dreams, the last conversation they had with the deceased. It was said that some husbands or wives would admit to unfaithfulness. But when a Tamaranean dies, and we burn their body for X'hal, all is forgiven. Unless you commit the most terrible of crimes."
"I hope you never have one of those dreams."
"It is possible that I will, or that I will be the object of someone else's. Otherwise, it would mean that I never married."
"Oh. Well. Never mind then." Starfire adjusts her weight so she can lean up on her elbow, looking up at Robin.
"Do you wish to be married someday?" As soon as the words left her mouth, she gasped, slapping her hand over her lips. Her wide eyes watched for his reaction, but he just seemed shocked by hers. "I am sorry. I do not believe that came out right."
"It's okay," he breathes, chuckling a bit. "I understood what you meant." When he remained quiet for a bit, she let it go, letting her eyes wander around the room. She listened to the steady sound of his breath, feeling herself being drawn towards sleep. She almost didn't hear it when he spoke.
"What?" she asks, shaking her head to regain focus.
"I said yes." She stares at him with blank eyes. "I wanna get married someday," he clarifies.
"Oh," she says, feeling her cheeks grow warm. She wishes that sentence would have included her in it. That he thought of a future for them.
"You do too?" he asks shyly. She nods, giggling. "What?" He gives her a defensive glare.
"You are cute when you are shy."
"Hey, I'm not shy."
"Oh I do apologize, boy of wonders." She giggles again. Finally he lets go, letting out a raspy laugh, followed by a long yawn.
"You are tired," she states. "I shall leave you to sleep." She begins to push up from the bed, but he grabs her back down by her neck plate.
"No!" he exclaims, but composes himself and clears his throat. "I mean, uhh, you can stay. If you want."
"Do you mean… sleep here?" She points down at the bed. He gulps.
"Well yeah, but I mean, you don't have to. I just… want to be with you." She smiles, placing a kiss on his cheek.
"Okay," she says, as she reaches down to pull the blanket up over both of them. She settles back down onto his chest, tracing her fingers around on the hospital gown.
"God, I can't wait to change," he groans.
"What if I told you I liked the gown?" she says, a cheeky tone present in her voice.
"Do you?" he asks. She shrugs.
"Perhaps I think it makes you look… sexy." She holds her breath, listening to his response.
"Uhhhh, really?" She releases the laugh she's been choking back. "That's not funny."
"Robin, it is not unattractive, it is just not my favorite thing."
"Huh. Well what is your favorite?" She considers his question, thinking back to everything he's ever worn. He very rarely participates in wearing civilian clothes.
"I like when you wear the color blue," she says. "It suits you." He laughs, because she doesn't realize just how right she is. "What is so funny?"
"Nothing. I'll tell you later," he says. Her eyebrows furrow, confused, but she lets it go for now. She yawns, moving down further to lay comfortably in his side.
"Alright, it's time for you to go to sleep." She makes a sound in agreement, figuring that they can spend more time together in the morning. Well, it technically is morning. It's going on 2 A.M.
"Goodnight," he says, kissing her head.
"Pleasant shlorvaks," she murmurs.
Starfire knew she was awake, but she kept her eyes closed. She wasn't ready to get up yet. She took in a deep breath, breathing in his scent. Just as she was beginning to fall back asleep, she sensed that someone was watching her. She blinked her eyes open, looking into the dark room. It wasn't even morning yet. She leaned her head up a bit so as not to wake Robin and peered into the room.
"Whatcha doin'?" At the sound of his voice in her ear, her heart stopped.
"Eep!" She looked up at him to see him smiling at her. "Robin, you scared me."
"What were you looking around for?"
"I could feel someone watching me," she says, glancing back into the room once again. A digital clock caught her eye, the glowing numbers telling her it was only 5 A.M.
"Err- Sorry, that was me." He laughs sheepishly.
"Oh. Why are you not sleeping?"
"I was. But I woke up a little bit ago and…" He shrugs.
"Do you feel pain? Should I go and get Raven?" She begins to sit up, but he pulls her back.
"No, I'm alright. I was just thinking."
"I see. Is there much on your mind?" He nods. "Would you like to talk?" Before she can stop it, she yawns.
"No, go back to sleep. I'm sorry that I woke you."
"I will go to sleep if you do as well. You need rest."
"Star, I've been sleeping for three days." She frowns, and he turns up one corner of her mouth with his finger. "Go to sleep." He leans his face towards her to kiss her. She could tell it was meant to be a little goodnight peck, but that was the first time they've kissed in days.
His lips were soft against hers, acting carefully and kindly. She groaned quietly, asking for more. It was pleasant, but it wasn't enough. He got the hint. They pressed firmer against hers, taking her lower lip between his teeth lightly. She coaxed him into opening his mouth, deepening the kiss.
Reaching upward, she toyed with the collar of the hospital gown, holding him firmly to her. He sighed, resting a hand on her upper back, tracing his fingers over the skin her tank top left exposed. Her hands slowly traveled to his face, pressing against the strong line of his jaw, feeling the stubble that accumulated over the past few days under her soft palm.
His hand slipped from her shoulder blades, over her ribcage, then down to her side. He caressed her hip, the tank top riding up, and when she didn't protest, he wandered down, cupping her backside. She had her hands fisted in his hair, her elbow resting on his good shoulder as she twisted her body towards him, her chest pressing against his, always getting a little closer. Before they knew it, she was straddling him.
"Okay, ummm, let's stop."
"I am sorry," she says, reeling back. "You do not wish to. Or I hurt you. We can sleep now. "
"Starfire no, it's not that. I'm fine. And God, trust me I want to continue. But there are some things that I don't want to leave unsaid." He took in a deep breath. "I could have died. He could have aimed that gun a little lower and that might've been enough." She shuttered, not wanting to think about it. "And I was thinking… There are things that I need to tell you," He swallowed. "Starfire, I…" He started, but never finished the sentence. She placed her hand on his cheek in encouragement; he couldn't see her, but he could sense her soft smile.
"Yes Robin?" she asks softly.
"I-I don't even know how to start. You… you are so important to me. So much more than you'd think. It's always been this way, since the day we first met. I knew you were special. And first off, I have to apologize. For all the times I've sent you away when I was working, or asked you to leave me alone."
"Oh Robin, you do not need to apologize. I understand that you are busy sometimes-"
"Star, please… let me talk?" He laughs nervously. "Well, I never actually want that. I just get frustrated sometimes and I'll take it out on anyone. Without you around me, I feel this emptiness. And every time I see you, I feel lighter." He cleared his throat, taking a little while to speak again, but she waited patiently. "I was looking at you while you slept, thinking how sweet you are, kind, funny, and absolutely beautiful. And how lucky I am to have you in my life." She felt a tightening in her heart, tears welling in her eyes. It is always so hard for Robin to be sentimental, and she knows something must have happened for him to speak this way. "I wouldn't want to die without you knowing this." He reached down for her hand. "Can you make some light for us? I need to see you." She obliged, making a small watt starbolt in her hand. When the light hit his face, she gasped.
He was looking at her. The thing that was so strange was this boy had eyes. He did not look upon her with a black and white mask, but with a perfectly flawless face. His soft eyes were a glorious blue, showing a degree of calmness, reminding her of the sea. She tried to speak, but her mouth made some sort of choking sound.
"Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran…" Her eyes widened at his use of her full name. He knew exactly who she was, but he had never tried to tell her about him. But now he looks at her with these human eyes, and she has hope. "I love you." Relief floods through her at the realization that he feels the same way.
"Wait," he says. "My name is Richard John Grayson." She smiles from ear to ear, brushing her fingers against his cheeks, focusing in on his eyes.
"Richard," she clarifies. "I love you, too."
"I'm ready for you to know who I am. All of me." He gave her another kiss, but much to her dislike, pulled away soon after. "But we can sleep for another few hours."
"You are doing the leaving me hanging here," she jokes.
"We have forever, Starfire."
"Forever and ever?" He smiles, his eyes twinkling.
"You can count on it."
Thank you for reading! I really just felt like writing this to illustrate why Starfire was upset when she remembered Robin getting shot when talking with Raven in "A New Beginning". If you haven't read that story, I recommend you do! It's almost over, so catch up while you can before I start the sequel.
Reviews please! :)