A.N. Hi! Sorry I've been AWOL. Personal reasons. Anyway, this is a one-shot that sprang to my mind, and I decided to write it down. I don't know why all these sad ideas are coming. I will still be updating FAEFF, but I've been getting these ideas for one-shots and i would really like to put them up. Sorry, please bear with me. I hope you like it! Please review! Flames welcome.
How many times had I found myself in my room in such a state? How many times had this happened? Twenty, fifty, seventy? I do not know, all I know is that it had become increasingly common. This had become a daily routine of sorts. You may ask what problem a beautiful, super powered, famous alieness could possibly have. A very normal one; boy trouble. Well, of sorts. Let me begin from a little earlier.
It has been common knowledge to both citizens as well as the Titan network that I had feelings for Robin, no, 'Nightwing' as he preferred to be called now. It was a fact for the Titans, just the way the grass is green or that Beast Boy could be a bit of an 'idiot' at times. What they were unaware of was the extent of my feelings. Being a Tamaranean, I experience eternal love. I do not fall in love easily, but if I do love someone, I love them with all I am, and I shall love them till the day I die. This is why Tamaraneans do not marry much and why there is nothing such as 'dating' on Tamaran. Needless to say, I shall be Robin's till the day I die. I say Robin, because I loved Robin with all my heart. He was my best friend. But, slowly he changed a bit and after the shift to Nightwing, I wondered if I even knew him anymore. And I do not believe Nightwing knows me.
During his last few weeks as Robin, he changed. Almost every other night, he was out at the 'clubs' or the 'bars'. He would return at ungodly hours in the night, sometimes just before dawn. Sometimes, when I woke up extra early, I would go for a short morning flight. It was quiet and peaceful, and it helped me recharge a lot quicker. It was then that I sometimes saw him. Clothes all rumpled, hair ruffled instead of in its spikes, slight wobble in his step, and due to my Tamaranean senses, I could pick up a myriad of faint perfumes. On some days, I could pick up the unmistakable scent of liquor. Also, he became a ruthless leader. Our training times seemed to take up the entire day, missions and meals took up the rest. Fun, of any sorts, seemed to have disappeared.
He stopped speaking to the others. Gradually, a time came when he started ignoring me. He remained locked up in his room, only coming out for missions. And woes betide any villain than disturbed him at a wrong time. Thrice, Control Freak was lucky to be detained alive. Mumbo Jumbo was still healing from a broken arm. Killer Moth, he was in a body cast and Kitten had a broken jaw. Robin became more and more distant. He stopped coming to the roof to watch the sunrise, which had been a sort of daily ritual for the two of us.
Then suddenly, one morning he said he was going to Gotham. He left Cyborg in charge of the team. When he returned, it was not Robin who came back. He had made the shift to Nightwing. I was happy that Robin had finally achieved what he wanted. He had his own identity, forever distinguished from the Dark Knight. But it saddened me as well. Nightwing, he had also been mine. It was I who had told Robin about him, and watched him as he excitedly prepared stuff and asked for suggestions and whatnot. I had hoped to be a part of his transition. I had not expected that he would go to Gotham, and return as Nightwing.
One thing that happened during this time was that Beast Boy and Raven grew close. They would have started the 'going out' if it were not for Nightwing's rule that teammates should never be involved with each other. He said we should not be involved with anyone. We were heroes and did not have time for such activities. At that time, I kept my mouth shut about his daily routine at nights, which I only knew because of my morning flights. Later that day, I went to speak to him, hoping to knock some sense into him. Not that I knew he would listen to me, but I had to do it for the sake of two of my closet friends. I found him in the corridor. I softly asked him if everything was alright. "Yes it is. Why?"
"I just wanted to speak to you about Beast Boy and Raven. Nightwing, I think it is wrong of you to impose such conditions on them. Every other Titan is going out with somebody. It is only right that Beast Boy and Raven get a chance too. And, there is nothing wrong in them wanting to enjoy life, if you can do the same each night."
Nightwing did something totally unexpected. He gripped my shoulder, and pushed me hard against the side of the corridor. His expression was one of anger, hatred and something I could not comprehend. He hissed, "What I do with my nights is none of your concerns, Princess. They are heroes and teammates who have a lot more stuff to do than dating. And don't think I don't understand what this is all about. You just want me to allow them to date, so you can start dating someone as well, whore. I know you well enough. You're as cunning, devious and sly as Blackfire when you want something. You use every underhand means you have to get it. I suggest you go back and use your pretty face on someone else, because it sure as hell doesn't work on me. "
With that, he marched off. I slowly collapsed to the ground. I walked to my room and locked it from the inside, before climbing on to my bed. I was softly sobbing, as I never thought Nightwing could do such a thing to me. I did not realize when sleep overcame me. The next morning I woke up late. It was almost afternoon. I was making my way to the common room when, as I got near, I heard voices. I heard Raven meditating, and Cyborg talking on the phone to Bumblebee of Titans East. I could make out a girl's voice, but I thought it might be the TV. Beast Boy and Nightwing were talking. "Dude, have you seen Star? She's not usually this late."
"Why would I know where she is?"
"Shouldn't you like, go check on her? I'm sure Ashley here won't mind if you extricate yourself for a couple of minutes."
"Darling, don't go. Why don't we continue what we were doing?" Wait, she was real? Who was she and what was she doing here? She couldn't be… No, nonononono.
"Sure, babe. BB, if you're so interested, why don't you go check on her yourself?"
"Dude!" Beast Boy sounded incredulous. As if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Are you mad? You're the only person who has access to Star's room! We may be her close friends, but she trusts no one more than you."
"The code's '2103'."
I gasped. How could he do this? I trusted him with a secret, and he spoke it out loud for the world to hear?
"Dude… Not cool. Do you even realize what that means?"
"Of course, I know that date! It's my …" He trailed off. "It's just a random sequence of numbers. Codes don't mean anything."
"Nightwing, that code means a lot to her. It's why she uses it."
"Why do I care what she does or uses?"
"Duh, because she's your best friend?"
The door opened and I was about to float inside when I saw Nightwing, with his arm around a girl's waist. He walked up to Beast Boy and threw him across the room, who would've hit the wall if a black band of energy hadn't caught him.
Nightwing spat, "Starfire means nothing to me."
Five words were enough to rip apart my heart. Though I was hurt, shattered even, but I couldn't be weak. I put on my warrior persona. I walked inside and went to Beast Boy. "Beast Boy, are you alright? I hope you aren't hurt."
"Thanks Star. I'm fine. But, what about you?" He asked with a doubtful look. His eyes were full of care for me.
"Why would I be not fine?" I smiled at him.
Then, I went to Nightwing and his friend. I ignored him for the time being and turned to his lady friend. "Hello, I am Starfire. It is glorious to meet you. May I know your name, friend?"
"One, it's Ashley. Two, I don't associate with skanks like you who steal others' boyfriends."
There was a deathly silence in the room. I think I felt someone clench next to me. "It is okay. I am sorry and shall not do the bothering of you."
I turned to acknowledge my best friend, or so I thought, with a curt nod. Just a slight, almost regal, tilt of my head
"Nightwing. I shall be in my room if you need me. Though, any of you could punch in the code and walk in anyway."
I turned around and walked off. Silently, I signalled to Raven, who understood that I wished to be left alone. Even as I stepped out of the door, I hoped to hear that voice, to feel that hand upon my arm, anything to stop me, to show me that it was all not true. I knew only one person who was oblivious to Raven's subtle signals when it came to me. The only one who'd actually ignore them and come to me without second thoughts about the consequences. Nothing happened. No one came. My heart sank further.
I walked to my room, and locked it from the inside. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. And here I am now. But, this time I did not cry. I shuffle through my cupboard, looking for something. Finally, I find it. I blow the dust off the cover of the old leather-bound book. I never thought I would have to read it again, but I must. Every Tamaranean has a copy of it, in case the unthinkable happens. This has happened to me. We still have a choice, but I'd rather go through with this than put my friends through the pain.
I lie back on my bed and begin reading. I must know what the procedure is, and exactly how to go through with it. As I read, I realize that it will be different for me. Since the Psions changed me, since they gave me starbolts. The other Tamaraneans do not have them, only a few develop eyebeams. I think back to Blackfire's words to me.
"Kori, stay on earth if you wish to. But remember, that they are not Tamaranean. They do not experience emotions the way you do. They may not understand. You know how important emotions are for a warrior, especially a Tamaranean one. Go wherever you want, but guard yourself, sister dear."
It is only now that I realize how right she was. Already, I have begun to feel the effects of my choice. It was a dangerous thing to do. I did it nevertheless, because she said, I have always been too trusting of people. But, now, I have never been clearer about what I must do. I have few choices, out of which I must pick one. And I have already made my choice. I sat at my desk, pulled out a piece of paper, and began to write.
As I finished, I folded it neatly and then stepped into the hallway. Checking that the coast was clear, I walked into Nightwing's room. I walked to his bed. I lifted my hand, and placed a kiss on the note I held. I put it carefully on his pillow, and walked out. Right on cue, the alarm blared out. I flipped open my communicator and saw that Plasmus, Overload and Cinderblock had merged once again, and were attacking the east side of the city.
"Yo! Starfire! You coming in the T-Car?" Cyborg came up to me, on his way to the garage.
"No, Cyborg. I shall fly there. I believe it will be quicker."
Cyborg nodded and rushed off. I summoned the happiest memory I could, which was a formidable task indeed. I hovered, testing my flight. Then, I took off at full speed for the troublemakers.
I was the first to reach them. I was not in a good mood, and I wished to get this over with. I unleashed a volley of starbolts, ripping open the round around them, to try to detain them. It wasn't working. They were unusually aggressive today. I threw a few bars and rocks at them, but it wasn't helping. By then, the others had reached and they began their own efforts to deal with the villains. Cyborg was blasting his sonic cannon; Beast Boy had changed into a mammoth and was charging it, while Raven hurled energy discs and other things at it. Nightwing let loose on it his birdarangs and other gadgets. But, all our efforts were futile, because it would just regenerate.
After half an hour of these efforts, I figured out that there was no point in stalling in any longer. "Raven! I need you to distract it for a few seconds!"
She immediately complied, hurling a huge block of concrete at it. It was all the time I needed. I drew upon all my energy, and began creating a huge starbolt in my hands. I let it grow, feeding upon my energy. Soon, it grew so big that I could barely hold it. I would have to fly with it and ram it into the monster. The sphere was crackling with energy. The tips of my hair were alight with my energy, which surrounded my body like a second skin. I turned for a moment, to find all four of them staring at me. I linked eyes with each of them for a moment. Cyborg. Beast Boy. Raven. "I'm sorry." I mouthed to her.
Then, finally, I made eye contact with Nightwing. I was shaking, both with the strain of the starbolt, and with emotions. I could only manage one word, my eyes filling with unshed tears. "Goodbye."
Then, I flew forwards at the monster, and rammed myself into it, destroying it with my starbolt. There was a flash of my own green energy, and then I spotted something vaguely black and deep blue. I smiled before everything went dark and a searing heat overcame my body and then, felt nothing.
I was staring up at her. What the heck did she think she was doing? There was no way she could control that huge ball of raw energy. This wasn't like her, to be reckless. Something was gnawing at the back of mind, telling me she wasn't being reckless; she knew exactly what she was doing. I could see her trembling. I searched her eyes, hoping they would betray her intentions. But, I found a stoic screen. Then, for a moment, her eyes found mine. Why were they welling up with tears? I had no answer. I thought I knew her the best of all; I was her best friend after all! She confided in me, trusted me. Or did she?
For a second, her screen slipped. I read her eyes. Courage, strength, strain, fury… sorrow? Confusion…What the heck? Regret? Passion? And… love? Nah… Couldn't be. Then, in a flash of realization, I understood what she was about to do, as one word left her perfect lips.
She turned and flew towards the monster, hitting it with her starbolt. She was right in the centre of it. I shot my grappling hook, hoping to pull her out. I leaped towards her, but I was thrown back by the sheer power of her starbolt. I could see her, in the middle of it. Her head was straight. Confident. Poised. She smiled, and was surrounded by her white-hot power. There was a flash, and then nothing. Plasmus, Cinderblock and Overload had been blasted apart and knocked unconscious. And Starfire, my Star, was gone. Nothing remained of her. She had unleashed her complete energy, dealt with the monster, once and for all, and to prevent damage, turned her energy on herself.
I could not deal with it then and there. "Titans, stay here until the cops get here. Once these three are properly detained, you can come back. I have to go back now to deal with some stuff." Without waiting for an answer, I mounted my N-Cycle and shot off towards the Tower. Upon entry, i was ambushed. "Oh baby! Are you okay? I'm sure you dealt with those bad people well. I knew you shouldn't have kept that freak alien girl on your team. That energy blast of hers could have killed you all; I could see it all the way from here! At least I care for you, you know that don't you, baby?" I was only half listening to her rants. She was really boring. In fact, I was just looking for a reason to get rid of her. She gave me that reason when she insulted Star.
"I'm sorry; what?"
"You heard me. Get out. Go away. Get lost. Shoo. I don't want you here. I never did want you. So, do us all a favour and get your snobby, irritating, whiny, pathetic, bitchy ass out of Titans Tower, or I'll have to personally throw you out. And I mean it."
Her mouth was hanging open, as if she couldn't believe it. I sighed. I had been nice. Not anymore. I put on a Bat-glare and immediately, she scurried from the room, and within seconds, from the Tower. Now, I was finally alone to wallow. I went to my room, and to my cupboard. I took out an album from the very back. I was flipping through it, and was staring at each and every page, drinking it in. From every page, Starfire smiled up at me. Star in her uniform, Star in that wedding gown, Star in her Tamaranean armour, Star on the beach, Star in the park, Star on the roof, Star turning somersaults in the air, Star flying, silhouetted against the moon- Star, Star, and Star. I fell back onto my bed with the album still in my hands. I pulled out a photo from the very back. It was one of me and Starfire. We both were smiling up at the camera, with my arms around her, and her leaning into me. We were happy, in a way I hadn't seen her for a long time.
I leaned my head back, on my pillow, still clutching the album and the photo. I heard something crackle, and I turned to find a sheet of paper on my pillow. I picked it up, and was immediately assailed by a heavenly scent- Starfire. I recognized her stationery, and this was definitely her faint perfume. I breathed it in, perfectly content to be experiencing my Star for a few moments more. But, what in the name of Tamaran was this doing on my pillow? I unfolded it, pressing it out neatly. My breath caught. It was her handwriting. I knew it anywhere, anytime. Starfire's anything, I knew it. That's how much she mattered to me, whatever other people believed. I wasn't known as the master of darkness and secrets for nothing.
I ran my fingers over the paper, touching her writing. I was assuring myself that some time ago, it was my Star's warm fingers that had moved across this sheet. Her fingers, which had crafted these words for me. I hadn't read it yet, I was too scared to. But now, she was gone, and it was one of the worst things I could do to not read her last thoughts for the Titans; for me. With shaking hands, I lifted the sheet and began reading.
If you are reading this letter, then I am grateful to you for sparing me a thought and reading this. You must be aware of my actions, and I hope you will forgive me. Please understand that it was the only path left for me.
You are my best friend. You will always be, no matter whether you consider me your best friend or not. You are the person who introduced me to Earth, and have been my greatest reason for staying. The Titans were an important part to me, but you; you were an essential part of me. My Boy Wonder.
You have always been one to know me inside out, at a single glance. It is something I have always loved about you. You have known all aspects of me. If I had a secret, you have known it. You know me the best. But there is something you have never known. I am sorry that I hid it from you, but it might have been for the best.
When I came to Earth, I learnt the English language from you through lip contact. I know now that it was a social blunder, so please forgive me. But, I confess that not a single day has gone by that I don't think of that. I remember that I had been unable to ground myself easily for quite some time that day. Every second that I have ever spent with you, is permanently branded into my memory. Every sunrise I watched with you, every battle we have fought together, every villain we have taken down, every pizza we have shared, every movie we have watched together, every training session, everything we have ever done together. I remember it all. I could never forget you. Thank you for each and every memory.
But lately, you changed, and I understand. You are growing up, and need your own space. I respect that, because I felt the same during my transformation. You did it for me and I have tried to do the same for you. You had your own transformation, from Robin to Nightwing. I have always expected it. What I did not expect was that I would lose my best friend. Slowly, you drifted away from me. You became distant. I was Robin's best friend; now, I am just one of Nightwing's colleagues. I am happy that you found someone to be with. If she makes you happy, I support you, whatever you do. I wish you the best of luck with her.
As a Tamaranean, some aspects of me are different from a normal human. I feel emotions more strongly than humans do. My powers depend on my emotions. I depend on my emotions. My emotions and feelings are an important part of me. Without them, I am not Starfire. This is why I need to take care of my emotions at all times. If my emotional state is unbalanced or upset, I could very well lose control of my powers.
I am very good at keeping control of them. Since coming to earth, I have never been better at keeping control on them. But, I may have made a huge mistake. I let one emotion control me. I was blinded by the one thing I had to protect myself from most. Love. I fell in love with Robin, now Nightwing. But, as I said, I do not think Nightwing knows me.
Nightwing, I never told you this, but there is another thing about me being Tamaranean. Tamaraneans experience eternal love. When I truly fall in love with someone, I love them with everything that I am, and I shall love them till the day I die. Nightwing, I love you. You are my only love, and shall always be. I gave myself to you, and I shall be yours forever, even if you couldn't be mine. And I shall always be happy with whoever you spend your life with.
But, there is something that is not okay with me. I was content being merely your friend. When you hurled me against the wall and called me the not so nice names, I was hurt, but I managed it. When you yelled my code out for the world to hear, betraying my trust, I was extremely hurt, but I still lived through it. But when you said that I meant nothing to you, the contempt and hate in your voice finally broke me. If it is true, then I believe my course of actions was the correct thing to do for everyone.
You see, I can't fall out of love with you. Ever. A Tamaranean with a broken heart is useless, and can even turn dangerous. At this point, my choices were limited.
I could stay on the team, with my unstable emotions and result in someone getting seriously hurt. Or I could lock my emotions away forever and let my warrior side take over, which could again, result in someone getting seriously hurt. Or, I could take a third path, the most rarely taken one. Instead of letting my unstable emotions or lethal warrior take over, I could turn my energy on myself. This wouldn't hurt anybody and I would cease being a threat.
I have made my choice, and I pick the third path. I could never live with having hurt any one of my friends. And I do not wish anyone to remember me as a feral warrior, thirsty for blood or as an emotional wreck.
My years with you were the best part of my entire life. I am sorry that I could not say goodbye to the other Titans. I ask you to do it for me, as a small favour. I hope I have not asked too much of you. Thank you. Please forgive me, but, I must do this.
Forever and always yours,
As I finished reading this, my cheeks were wet with streams of tears. Starfire- Koriand'r's last message to me had completely shaken me. She had been in love with me this whole time? And like the idiot I was, I threw it all away for nothing. All this time, I could have told her what I really felt, but no. I just had to follow Batman's stupid 'no relationships with a teammate' rule. What's more, I just had to be a total dick and pick up a random bitch. Why, I have no idea. Partying, drinking and clubbing until all hours of the morning. Pushing my team away; pushing Starfire away. My bestest friend, my one true love, and I pushed her away. Heck, I basically murdered her.
My parents died, and as others always tried to convince me, I couldn't have done anything about it. But, Starfire? I basically pushed her beyond breaking point. I took her for granted, tortured her, and finally I as good as killed her. And yet, she was so forgiving, so understanding. She was asking me to forgive her for her actions. She told me each and every one of her secrets, and I trusted her with virtually none of mine. Neither of us deserved the other. I didn't deserve someone so good, so pure, so Starfire-y as her. She didn't deserve someone as dark, as dangerous, as bad-tempered, as shallow, as selfish as me.
I looked out of the window, the sun was about to set. I made my way to the roof. I sat down at my usual spot, where I would sit next to Star. I watched the sun dip below the horizon, tears still streaming from my eyes. I looked up at the sky, focusing on one point in particular. Tamaran. Star had pointed it out to me on occasion. I looked carefully at the constellation next to it. Starfire said that when a valiant warrior of Tamaran died, their star appeared in that constellation. I smiled up at the skies. I was still holding the letter, clutching it for dear life. Locking my eyes on the new star in the constellation, that shone the brightest of them all, I softly breathed, "I love you too, Starfire."