But neither did he want anyone else to infringe and so he kept silent vigil, for an hour on this day every year.
It was rare that he turned anyone away. Most of the people who came to this cemetery had someone else to mourn and didn't roam near her.
But it had happened once or twice. And he made sure she never knew of it.
This year was different, though. This year, he sensed something settling over them like a mourning cloak. It was as if a shadow was following her and maybe it was following him, too. Maybe it was following them all, but she was the one he noticed.
So for the first time in all the years he had been guarding her, he ventured from the gates, stood in the shadow cast by the old mausoleums, close enough to see the tears flow down her perfect skin, trickling down the curve of her cheek, in the hollow next to her nose. She sat with her legs curled to the side, her fingers stretched out to trace the name of her child, carved into the cold marble. Her head was bowed and he changed his mind. This was her time of grief and he was not going to interrupt, no matter what selfish instinct took hold of him. He stepped further back into the shadows when she spoke.
He paused, not knowing whether to reveal himself or slip away.
"Garth, please come out. I know you're here and I need you." Her eyes never opened, her head never moved, but she needed him and he could never deny her that.
"Donna." He stepped forward, into the sunlight, and approached her little corner of the world. He sat on the grass next to her and swept her hair behind her ear. "I'm sorry."
"I know," she answered, laying her head in the curve of his shoulder.
He held her as her shoulders shook and her tears dampened his sweater.
"He'd be four this year," Donna finally said.
"Yes," Garth said, because there was nothing else to say.
"The...the worst part is," she said, articulating her words deliberately, "it was nearly over anyway. Me and Terry. And I still miss him."
"Yes," said Garth, rubbing her back absently as he thought of Tula and of Dolphin and Cerdian.
Donna sighed and straightened, looking at Garth with huge, dark, red-rimmed eyes.
"But you're still here. You and Dick and Roy and Wally. You're all still here."
"We are," Garth assured her. "All of us. And we'll be here for you forever."
Donna raised her hand to his cheek and rolled up onto her knees. "Be careful, Garth," she begged. "It's not safe down there."
Garth froze as her words sent a cold chill through his body. "I have to go," Donna," he said quietly, laying his hand over hers. "Atlantis is my home. I need to find Arthur. I…owe it to them."
Donna closed her eyes and turned her face away.
"Promise me, Garth," she said so quietly even his sensitive hearing could barely catch the words. "Promise me, we'll always be together?"
"Titans together," he swore to her. "Forever."