Robin and Cyborg hovered about the scene, noting the several huge craters in the park.
"It looks like one heck of a fight," Cyborg commented.
Robin remained silent as his eyes scanned over the craters. It didn't take him another second to recognize these craters were the aftermath of a starbolt. He knew that Starfire never had a hard time landing a starbolt on her enemies. She was always dead-on-sight, unless they were moving at the speed of light. The many craters told him her enemy was someone fast. The amount of craters also told him that the villain who had attacked her must have also had the ability to fly. That was another flaw Starfire had difficulty with during training.
Silently, the masked hero continued walking and observing the craters.
"Yo, Rob! You oughtta see this!" Cyborg hollered.
Robin appeared beside Cyborg within seconds. His eyes widened at the body imprinted on the ground before them.
"Definitely Starfire's body," Cyborg said quietly.
"She can't be--"
"She's not, Rob," Cyborg interrupted. He gestured to the hole settled on what Starfire's chest should be. "No blood. Whatever that thing was, it didn't kill her."
Robin released a breath that he didn't know he held. "Well, whatever that thing was, it's fast, has the ability to fly, and strong," Robin commented.
"Yeah," Cyborg replied mechanically. "But that doesn't tell us anything about Star's whereabouts."
Robin's stomach instantly dropped. His body weighed like tons. It's as if the world was pushing down on him. Robin had tried to keep his cool up to now, but Cyborg's reminder was breaking his mask. With no sight of Starfire within the vicinity, he couldn't help but grow worried. Every second without finding her increased the building panic inside of him.
Robin didn't notice his stiff body until Cyborg planted his mechanical arm on his shoulders.
"I'm sure she's alright," Cyborg comforted, "maybe B found her."
"If he did, he should've told us by now," Robin replied nonchalantly. He tried to brush off his panic state, but it only worsened. But what if Cyborg was right? What if he did find her? That would explain why they didn't find the changeling in the park.
Robin pulled out his communicator and called for Beast Boy. The changeling didn't answer. He tried once more, but still no reply. Robin's heart accelerated. What if he got hurt too? His pessimistic thoughts bombarded him with horrible scenarios of his teammates.
"Chill, Rob. Try calling Rae," Cyborg suggested when he noticed Robin's grip tighten around the communicator.
Robin took Cyborg's suggestion and called for Raven's communicator. The screen was full of static, but by the second ring, her face appeared.
"Raven is Beast Boy with you?" the leader asked. Cyborg stood behind him and watched their conversation.
Raven nodded. "He's asleep. Rough day," she sighed.
"Starfire is she--"
"Medical bay and resting."
Robin bit his lip, afraid to ask about her condition, but he also wanted to know that she was okay and safe. "H-how was she?"
Raven's eyes flickered away from the screen, glancing at a different angle. Starfire, Robin thought.
"Robin, you have to promise me that you will control yourself," the empath started.
"Raven. How is she?" Robin asked in a demanding tone.
"She's fine now," Raven replied.
"How bad was she when she came in?" Robin asked.
"Really bad, but don't worry anymore. She's perfectly safe now."
"When did Beast Boy come back and why didn't he tell us?" he growled.
"Robin you can't be mad at Beast Boy," Raven defended, "he had gone hysterical when he brought her in. She was in a really bad state."
"We're on our way back," Robin responded impatiently. He closed the communicator and tucked it in one of the compartments of his belt before running off to his motorcycle and headed straight to the tower. He couldn't handle being away from her anymore.
Cyborg sighed. Same old worried Robin. He also made his way to his car and followed after the rapid leader.
Raven closed the communicator and returned to watching over Starfire. Beast Boy had retired to his room to rest off the stressful day. Raven had insisted to watch on Starfire just in case there were any more signs of danger inflicting on her. So far, everything was fine.
After taking another run through Starfire's monitor and making sure she was perfectly safe, Raven closed the infirmary doors to leave the princess to rest. Just as she stepped out, she was greeted by the clacking noise of steel toed shoes. It wasn't long before she met Robin.
His breathing was rigid, body exhausted, and his face was a combination of worry and fatigue. His emotions were haywire. Worry, self-loathing, angry, etc. Robin appeared completely unstable physically and emotionally.
"This is why I told you to control yourself," Raven monotoned, "your emotions are at war with one another."
Robin cracked a grin despite his overwhelming emotions.
"Of course you can't help it, boy blunder," she responded.
Robin brushed the comment off. "How is she?" he asked in between breaths.
"Sleeping. She should be fine by tomorrow," Raven replied. She put one hand on the boy wonder's shoulder. "Don't overwork yourself. She's here and safe. Now relax," she advised.
Raven dropped her hand and continued her way to her chambers. Along the way she passed by Cyborg who sped walked the rest of the way towards Robin.
"She's okay. You can get some rest," Robin reported.
Cyborg nodded. "Hey, Rob."
"You needa take your own advice," he smirked.
Robin chuckled softly. "Will do."
The boy wondered turned towards the door and entered the medical bay. Just as the door closed behind him, his smile fell. He made his way to one of the chairs and quietly brought it beside Starfire. He sat down and took her left hand in his and softly stroked it.
"I'm sorry, Starfire," he apologized. "I should have been there when you needed me." He brought his right hand to her red hair and gently stroked it. After a few moments, he traced it down to her heart shaped face. His finger traced the outlines of her eyes followed by caressing her cheeks. Then he brushed his thumb over her cupid-bow lips. He was hypnotized by just staring at its soft, red appearance. He was curious as to how it felt against his own. With this in thought, Robin bent over and leaned into her. Just as he was about a couple centimeters away, he stopped.
What are you doing? he asked himself. You're taking advantage of her.
I almost lost her. There's now way I'm leaving her again, another part of him argued back.
What happened to the no attachment rule?
Well that's just Batman. He can do what he wants.
You'll only endanger her more.
Robin focused on Starfire's peaceful, closed eyes then down to her lips.
Look where she is now! It doesn't matter anymore. I love her.
Robin's disciplined mind didn't reply. He took this sign to continue. His bottom lip brushed against hers, but he stopped once more. He immediately pulled back and sat himself back on his chair. His lips felt as if they were shocked by electricity. Even as he placed his face on his hands, he could still feel the tingling sensation from the contact.
Raven was right, he had to control himself. He couldn't kiss her in this state, especially when he is taking advantage of the situation.
Instead, Robin took her left hand once more and held it in his left. He laid his right arm on the small space of her bed and laid his head on top of it. The boy wonder took one final glance at the sleeping girl before losing himself into unconsciousness.
"Princess Koriand'r shall be Tamaran's second grand ruler."
"You make us very proud
"Take care of your siblings, they are all you have left."
"You must do what is right, in your heart."
"Tamaran has a new grand ruler
"Banished? Where am I suppose to live?"
"All hail Emperor Galfore
"Help us, Princess Koriand'r!"
Starfire's eyes fluttered open as a small ray peeked through the blinds. Her body felt so painful, especially her neck. It was as if it was on fire. The tingling, hot sensation continued send pain signals into her head, but she ignored it for the moment.
She looked about the room and noticed that she was inside the medical bay. On her left, she heard a soft snore from a spiky haired boy. Starfire smiled softly as she took in Robin's sleeping form.
She wracked her brain, searching for a reason as to why she was inside the sick bay until she remembered her dream. Help us, Princess Koriand'r!
Her sister! Blackfire had brought ruins into Tamaran and only she could set it right.
Starfire checked the clock and it read 4:15 am. Ir was perfect for her to escape while everyone was still asleep. She stealthily slid her hand away form Robin's grasp and floated off her blankets, being extremely careful as to not wake up her best friend.
She was pulled back by the beeping monitor of her heart rate when she was a couple feet away from the ceiling. She carefully floated towards the heart monitor and turned off the machine followed by removing the wires hooked on her body. When she had finished, she walked over to the window and quietly opened the windows, small enough to allow her to fly out to Tamaran.
Before she went out, she walked to the sleeping form of her leader and carefully wrapped the blanket on his shoulder.
"Thank you, Robin. For everything," she whispered softly. She stroked his hair and leaned forward to press her lips on his forehead. Robin mumbled in his sleep.
"I shall return shortly," she replied. In truth, Starfire wasn't sure if she was ever going to return at all.
Robin sighed with her answer and continued to rest. Starfire smiled at him one last time before flying out.
It was time her sister and she finished this.
Within an hour, Starfire saw Tamaran emerge within eye range. It was practically normal except for a black fluff ball in one particle areathe area where the tower once stood.
With no more time to waste, Starfire quickly sped off to her kingdom. There were still some fires that remained ablaze, dancing with the wind. It appeared to wave at her, as if welcoming her back to the dreaded palace. The tower was damaged pretty badlymore than half of each building was either burned to the ground or left with fist-sized holes.
Starfire landed on her balcony, the same room where she had dressed in her wedding dress months before. She barged through the doors and headed straight to the throne room. There, she spotted Blackfire in her sloth-like glory. Her back rested on one of the armrest while her head hung back. Her legs were on the other side, dangling idly.
"Have I not told you before?" Starfire spat with rage. Blackfire's eyes fluttered open and met her sister's eyes. "That you are not best for Tamaran?"
"Oh, sister dear, you don't know when to stop, do you?" Blackfire retorted.
Starfire glared at her sister, "Have you not seen what you have done to our beloved kingdom, our people? You must stop this at once, Komand'r!"
"This is their punishment for shunning me. They didn't have any faith in me, sister. No matter how much I tried it was never good enough! Now they believe me! Now they see how truly powerful I am!" Blackfire boomed. "The throne is rightfully mine."
"It does not, anymore. Your actions have proven how the kingdom should not belong to you!"
Blackfire sat on her seat, crouching into an offensive attack. "You dare to challenge your sister?"
"Of course." Starfire blasted herself off the ground by using her starbolts like a rocket booster. Blackfire had done the same move and met her sister with a purple starbolt to the face. Starfire flipped twice before coming back with a barrage of starbolts. Blackfire dodged the attack and zoomed closer to Starfire. She grabbed her neck tightly and threw her to the ground.
"You can't have the throne! You are weaker than me!" Blackfire yelled.
"Not anymore!" Starfire fired a laser of starbolt from her eyes. Blackfire was blasted to the roof followed by collapsing to the ground, landing parallel to her younger sister. Their heads touched, while their bodies were outstretched as if they were creating snow angels.
With labored breaths, Starfire said, "I did not wish for this to happen."
"Yeah, right. Like I'm suppose to believe that," Blackfire shot back in between breaths.
"I had always admired you, sister. I had always wanted to be like you. I never asked to become the second grand ruler, but they just gave it to me."
Blackfire continued to listen to her sister.
"I wanted to have the bond with you. But you had always pushed me away. Mother had always told us to take care of each other because we are the only family left. Indeed, she was correct. Ryand'r is gone and you are all I have left. I deeply care about you sister. Please, let us stop this," Starfire begged.
Blackfire was silent. She remained to stare at the roof with idling eyes.
"Please sister," Starfire begged. She rolled to her side and looked at her with pleading eyes.
"I thought I had told you before," Blackfire stated. She met her sister's eyes. "I don't have a family anymore."
Starfire closed her eyes sadly and swallowed a shaky breath.
"Then I have no choice
" Starfire's eyes lit up when she opened them. She stood on her feet at lightning speed and flew up into the air. Blackfire rolled over to her side and also got on her feet, hands lit with purple starbolts.
Starfire surrounded herself with her neon green starbolt and focused her power with one shot. Within seconds, she released the shot at her sister's feet. Blackfire who thought that the starbolt was aiming at her, had used her starbolts to protect her. She was thrown back by the attack and hit the wall behind her. Before her sister could recover, Starfire fired a barrage of starbolts at her sister.
She waited for the smoke to clear before firing another round. Her sister did not move. Starfire powered down her starbolt and fell on her knees, followed by her upper body. She lied beside her sister, both unconscious from overexertion.
Starfire opened her eyes and was greeted by the annoying humming lights of the medical bay.
What has happened to my home? Was it all a dream? she thought.
Starfire sat up on her bed, a hand held her aching head. She felt a layer of gauze wrapped around her head. Her neck guard was also replaced by gauze wraps. Her throat felt dry, as if she never drank in ages.
"You're awake," a familiar masculine voice greeted from the door. Starfire turned her head slightly, only to wince from the pain. "You shouldn't move your head. You were in pretty bad shape when we picked you up from Tamaran," Robin explained.
"What has happened to Blackfire?" Starfire gasped.
"Gone for good."
"N-no!" Robin explained. "I mean she's gone from Tamaran for good. She's being held in some galactic prison."
"So it had not been a dream?" she asked.
Robin nodded. "When Beast Boy found you in the [park, you were in a pretty rough shape. Cyborg and I couldn't find you and Beast Boy didn't tell us he found you until later that evening. I knew that whoever attacked you was fast, able to fly, and powerful. It didn't take long to realize that it was your sister. The burns she left on your body confirmed that."
Starfire rubbed her neck gently. "She was hoping I would be dead," she said quietly.
Robin's eyes narrowed. "Galfore managed to escape his prison and contacted us. He said you were passed out on the ground with Blackfire. We came as fast as we could," Robin gripped his hands on the bed sheets.
Starfire stared at his hands longingly.
"You just came back worse than you did before. Iwe
were scared you were gone," Robin said quietly.
"I am sorry," Starfire apologized. Her eyes overflowed with tears. Robin pulled her into a soft embrace.
"Don't ever do that again, Star... you're all I have left."
"Robin, we still have our friends," Starfire sniffled.
"No, Star. I mean, you're very important to me. I know we still have our friend but if you're gone, I don't think I can keep myself together anymore."
Starfire hugged him tighter, her eyes shimmered as more tears went down her face.
Robin pulled out of the hug, but still held her body close to his. "After my parents, I couldn't open myself anymore. I was left alone in solitude. I thought I couldn't be happy anymore, until I met you. Starfire, you bring back this, this sidethis life I never knew I could ever get back. I guess what I'm trying to say is
" He stared at her lips then back to her eyes and back.
" his face inched closer. "
" his voice grew softer. "
you." He pressed his lips to hers. Starfire closed her eyes as she swam in this blissful moment. The kiss was sweet and gentle, their lips softly brushing one another. Robin pulled back to regain breath before diving back into another kiss. This one was more urgent, needy, and passionate. The electricity flowed through each other's lips and intensified the kiss. Robin began to caress her face while Starfire ran her fingers in his hair. Both Robin and Starfire's heart rate sped up as the kiss heated up a notch. The nagging pain from her Starfire's neck had pulled them to a stop.
"Sorry," Robin apologized sheepishly, "I didn't mean to get carried away."
"It is alright," Starfire smiled, "I had enjoyed it.
"So this means
"I love you as well, Robin," Starfire finished. She leaned forward and Robin met her lips with a quick peck. He was aware of her injuries this time. Instead he held Starfire's cheek and caressed it.
"Will we always be together?" she wondered.
"Us?" he blushed.
"And our friends."
"Of course, Star," Robin answered, "We're a family and we'll always stick together."
Starfire smiled at his response and squeezed his hand.
"Yes. We are a family," she agreed approvingly. The only ones I have left.