Disclaimer: Pfffffttttttttt… No. I own nothing…. Yet. :3

Author's Note: … I'm pretty sure someone over in the anime fandoms is going to flip a table when they realize I'm neglecting my multi-chapter story for this, but… I kinda don't care as I'm pretty sure I needed this. ^^; I'm sorry, but when tumblr's robxstar announced that this was the start of RobXStar Week 2021, I kinda really wanted to participate this year. XD

I'm honestly in the middle of a move. My room's a mess. There's boxes everywhere and I just want the place clean. I've been going, going, going for the last two months and thus… I've been really, REALLY tired as of late. But maybe that's why I really wanted to write this. I wanted to have a getaway from it all. That's one of the beauties of fanfiction and I'll always love it for that…

I have a few more stories hopefully coming this week based off of each day's prompts. This one was 'Floral Arrangements', which I loved immediately. I ask some forgiveness though, as I couldn't help but draw from one of the art forms I've come to have a fondness for over the years (one which I'm sure somebody is going to say 'ha! Of course you would use that for this prompt' to). In any case, I hope you enjoy this fluffy little piece. I'll list definitions of translated words at the bottom, but for now, on with today's RobxStar story! (Takes place before "Trouble in Tokyo") ;)

-RxS-

Ikebana

The quick crack of the branch as the clippers in her hands snapped together made her wince. It reminded her of another loud crack. Opening her eyes and blinking, Starfire looked at her work. It… maybe it had been better off had she left the branch on? She groaned and brought her head down into the bases of her palms.

She wasn't very good at this.

This was supposed to be an exercise in patience and tolerance. But she found herself having very little tolerance not for the arrangement in front of her, but for herself.

It was about 'graceful lines' and 'minimalism' and 'hanakotoba' or 'flower words'. She'd watched dozens of videos and read articles about how to do this ancient art, but clearly there was no 'one-size fits all' method and the foriegn idea of the art form was strange to her. Less was more, unless it wasn't. It was about finding the "perfect stems" unless it wasn't and the imperfection instead was what made it perfect.

Starfire couldn't help but not like these contradictions as she felt like sulking into her hands. Why couldn't things be straight forward? That was the way she preferred it; she was not one for passive aggression. She just wanted directness….

But perhaps it was her own indirectness that frustrated her most and so she was taking it out on the poor flowers in front of her. Controlling her strength with them for some odd reason had proved difficult even when it wasn't all that hard in other circumstances. Yes, most definitely, she was more frustrated with herself and the floral pieces before her were her poor victims, which upset her more as she'd rather take out her anger out on a villain causing harm to others rather than something so defenseless.

Her eyes caught sight of the branch she had just cut off. It was unremarkable starting from the base up, until it clearly had a broken end near the top. That's why she had felt it had to go as there was no way it could be fixed…

Fixed.

She wondered how many times she had entered his room and not noticed. It must have also seemed unremarkable to her. Besides, she'd always been far more engrossed in being, well… with him. That was far more remarkable than anything else, should she be honest. Just his presence could make it difficult for her to not float off the ground even a little bit. But then… just like that little unremarkable branch… there was a crack, and a gasp…

She remembered the feeling of a tightness in her gut coming to her immediately, a kind of worry and fear… and his… non-chalantness, which she felt while honest, must have also been half feigned to ease her worry. Slowly, her mind drifted off back to what had happened that evening. Clippers in hand, she sighed and looked back up at her creation's base, the thing that had brought her to this point.

-RxS-

The enticing smell of barbeque chicken wafted in the air as Cyborg smiled down at his creation. On the couch, Beast Boy seemed to be pouting like a child, at times making noises loud enough for Cyborg to hear, though they were ignored. At least, they were ignored by Cyborg. Also on the couch was Raven, trying to be engrossed in a book, but the noises brought her out of it each time as to her, they were impossible to ignore.

While waiting for dinner to be finished, Starfire worked on a puzzle. She wasn't really one for solo games, but this one brought about such a pretty completion and end result with such a soothing process in getting to that point that she couldn't help but enjoy the small, tiny joys that came from putting each piece in its place. And at this moment, she was on her last one too.

With a sense of excitement, she picked up the final piece and looked at it before happily putting it down in the only place it could go. She clapped her hands together and floated up from the ground to get a better look at the finished product. Success!

Looking over it, she saw a beautiful illustration of flowers in full bloom. Roses, Tulips, Orchids, Peonies, Camellias, Hydrangeas, Irises and Forget-me-nots, all in a stunning array of colors.

"Oh! Glorious!" She exclaimed, more to herself than anyone else.

Oddly, Raven didn't seem to notice the elated cry of joy, though Beast Boy was at least a little distracted by the victorious words.

"You finished?" He asked.

"Yes! It was a grand endeavor," Starfire told him with a smile.

"Well… uh, that's good, I guess…" Beast Boy trailed off, not really sure what to say to that, his mind still stuck on what he was going to prepare last minute for his dinner as the smell of the sweet, slightly spiced sauce wafted in the air.

Starfire smelled it as well and happily floated over to Cyborg to get a stronger whiff of the tangy, warm scent, "It is almost finished?"

Cyborg smiled, "Yeah, we'll be ready to eat in like two minutes. Wanna give Robin a heads up?"

Starfire nodded and, doing a twirl in mid-air, flew off to the hallway that led towards their fearless leader's room. As she made her way down to Robin's room, she half wondered if Cyborg intentionally was always asking her to go get him, rather than Beast Boy or Raven. It wasn't that Robin was always in his room (or the gym, or the evidence room, or the lab, or the hospital wing or any other place he could be doing, well, the work). He did sometimes join them in the main room prior to dinner. But wherever he wasn't there waiting with the rest of them for food to be served (or perhaps making the food himself), Cyborg did consistently seem to volunteer her for the job of going to retrieve him if given the chance. Maybe… he knew?

Star closed her eyes tightly and let her feet land on the ground. She'd never said anything to Cyborg. Nor to Beast Boy or Raven. But… she'd known at least for a long while now that her heart… that it 'fluttered' whenever Robin was around, as romance novels would say. The air and everything surrounding her felt warmer, happier, and it was easier to fly with joy when he was around. He made her feel…

She reached his room and was pulled out of her thoughts.

Making two knocks on the door, she waited when she heard his voice, "Come in!"

Pressing a finger to the 'open' button, the door slid away into the wall to reveal her friend at his desk, a single lamp on in the dark room. It was often like this, mostly dark with a single spotlight on which directed his attention, always at his work. But then he'd look up at her, like he was now, and he'd smile. She loved seeing that smile.

"Hey Star, what's up?"

The corners of her lips pulled upwards into a smile as well. Her nerves leaving her, she floated over to him.

"Cyborg has nearly completed the B-B-Q chicken for our feast of tonight's dinner!" She told him happily, "It smells most delicious too!"

"Awesome!" Robin said, standing up and stretching, "Guess this is the dinner bell?"

Starfire nodded happily and replied, "If my voice is a bell, then yes!"

He laughed and Starfire felt a happy kind of blush coming to her face. Another new expression 'dinner bell'. She'd ask later where it came from. He stood up and they began to head towards the exit, her facing him as she floated a little ahead of him, her back to the door, "You were productive this evening?"

"Yeah, I got a lot done, still owe the city D.A. a few last files on Mumbo's latest robbery though."

Starfire rolled her eyes with a shrug. It would figure that would be the case, "He is quite the mischievous fellow. I must have dodged him at least twenty times that da-"

Immediately Starfire stopped, feeling a cool material against the skin of her back as it got pushed slightly at her touch. And it was just enough of a touch. Spinning around, she found her motions were too slow to catch the falling item even though, as if in slow motion, she watched it fall and then smash into the floor. She gasped as a loud crack rattled the room. Immediately, her flight ceased and she bent down to pick up what had been a kind of glass like ceramic bowl, now in pieces, with, to her bewilderment, dead leaves and branches scattered about as well.

"Oh, Robin, I… I am so sorry, I did not see…"

"It's okay, Star, don't worry about it," Robin said, bending down to help her, "I should have taken care of this awhile ago. Flowers have been dead for ages."

"Flowers?" Starfire asked, surprised. She never really saw any of Robin's 'decor' in his room, given how it was always dark when she came by to get him, but the idea that he would have flowers in his room seemed unusual regardless. Yet upon looking more closely, the things she had thought were leaves were indeed, petals.

"Yeah... or well, the stems I guess more so," He elaborated, "When I was younger and training to start crime fighting, I traveled to Japan for a few months. One of the things I learned out there was the art of Ikebana. It's not a martial art; it's the art of flower arrangement. But I was taught it as a way to temper impatience and practice calming my thoughts as I worked through things, while also bringing into myself a sense of sereneness and centeredness..."

"Ike...bana…" Starfire repeated.

Robin nodded, looking up at her, the weird little item still in her hand, "Yeah, it's a little different than the typical flower arrangement. Takes I think a little more time, but worth the effort..."

He shrugged, "Just a shame that I've been bad with keeping up with it."

Starfire nodded as they worked to pick up the pieces, Robin bringing a wastebasket over, when Star's eyes found a small, rather heavy item with a round flat bottom and pins coming out from the other side.

She picked it up slowly and looked at it, bringing it up to the light to get a better look, "Robin, what is this?"

Her friend smiled and carefully took the item in her hand, "It's a kenzan. You cut the stems you're going to use in the arrangement at an angle and then place them into the kenzan so they stand up on their own and don't really rely on the vase or container."

"Ah…" Starfire said, looking at the item in his hand, before he tossed it and it made a loud thud in the bin.

"You must think it's odd for me to have something like this," He said, looking at the ground, "But it's honestly rather satisfying once you finish an arrangement. It's not really my first choice when it comes to things to do, but, it's not too bad… mostly just kept this because Alfred wanted me to. I think he is just sentimental about it-"

"Why?" Starfire suddenly asked.

"Hm?" Robin answered, unsure what she was asking.

"I mean, why would I think it is odd? You said it is calming, yes? Why have you not practiced Ikebana for some time then? You are always in need of the calm it seems. It does not matter that it is a floral art," Starfire stated, clarifying.

While a little shocked by the statement, Robin found his shoulders relaxing a bit. It was one of the things she really loved about Starfire. She was so open, non-judgemental, and earnest in wanting to understand. He shrugged, "Dunno, guess just more important things on my mind… besides, if I want to see flowers, I can go out to the base of the tower to look at the garden you've grown. I like those far more anyway."

Starfire blinked and blushed at the comment while Robin dropped the last of the broken pieces in his hands and then hers into the nearby wastebasket. He stood up, even as Star's gaze kept on the basket, hiding the pink on her face.

"Don't worry about it," He said, extending a hand to her, "It's okay, really. Let's go get dinner."

Still a little flustered by his previous comment, Starfire found her nerves shoot up even a bit more when she glanced up at him. He was so wonderful… and she felt so... inadequate next to him… but the look on his face, the warm smile... it made everything feel all okay. And so even though she didn't need it, she nodded and took his hand before floating up again so they could make their way together to the main room. But even as Robin pressed the 'close' button on the door, Starfire's eyes caught sight of the little wastebasket before it was hidden by the sliding door.

It was then that the small little knot of guilt returned to her gut. Though Robin had said it was fine… if he really hadn't cared at all, he would have thrown the container and flowers away a long time ago, wouldn't he? Perhaps he was being honest and just didn't put much care into the craft anymore… though the words 'sereneness' and 'calm' seemed important. Maybe he kept it simply for the novelty or as a reminder… whatever the reason, she'd still broken it though and felt bad for ending its use in his life.

"Star?" He asked, "You coming?"

She looked up to him and saw Robin ahead of her. She nodded, flying forward and landing to walk next to him. Next to him. The best place. That's what she thought anyway. They kept talking, just about little things here and there. It made her feel warm and at peace inside… though her thoughts kept going back to the items in the wastebasket. She wished she could buck up the courage to tell him how much she liked spending time with him, talking with him, even just walking with him. Be direct. But it felt stupid and childish to do so and rather foolish considering she felt there was little reason for him to return the feelings, especially considering she had just broken his Ikebana container… Perhaps rather than words, for they felt too difficult to express, she could do something to express her feelings for him instead…

-RxS-

It had then hit her that Robin had said he liked her flowers at the base of the tower. If he liked her flowers, maybe she could… and so the idea was more. In the dead of night, she retrieved his wastebasket from the trash shoot room and collected the various pieces of the container along with the kenzan. Unless he was monitoring the trash shoot (which she was pretty sure he wasn't), he likely would never know…

With the broken pieces in front of her, she had opened the computer she rarely used to start looking for methods to repair the vase… or bowl… it resembled a bowl more than anything else. And then the word 'Ikebana'. If she was truly going to repair this, she should at least try to do this 'right'.

The container looked as though it had been handmade, so there was no way to replace different pieces if they were missing. So while superglue had been her initial thought, with one or two pieces fractured a bit too much to reach their counterparts, Starfire had found herself back to square one. Putting that conundrum aside, she instead went down the rabbit hole of Ikebana to get an idea of what she would be going for with this project, sometimes diving into other various Japanese arts to see if there was a continuous aesthetic she should try to maintain. At some point, she stumbled across the art of Kintsugi, another ancient craft of using gold and lacquer to fill in the cracks of broken ceramics. It gave her an idea.

It took a few weeks to find a place to supply her with the gold and it had taken most of her meager hidden savings to get it, but eventually, she got it. Sitting at her desk, she looked at the glittering substance in her hands. She still needed the lacquer to arrive and had to figure out a method to grind the gold down into a powder… she touched the tip of her pointer finger to the gold and heated it with her starbolt energy. Maybe that would dry it out and then she could make it into… She poked at it, but instead of being dry, it was actually malleable. She blinked.

Maybe… she didn't need the lacquer.

Using the heat from her starbolts to warm up the gold, carefully and piece by piece, she was able to restore the vase to its proper dimensions… It was certainly different, that was for sure, thought perhaps one could still call it pretty? She looked at it carefully, wondering if it would work, if it was good enough in its new state. She wasn't sure. While she thought the gold was beautiful, would Robin like it? It wasn't the same as it once was, but it could certainly now function properly again. And to be fair, it was the only way she felt it would function. So she settled. It could work, she thought.

A few days later, the Tamaraian went down to the tower's base to search for flowers with long stems. And while very beautiful, admittedly, she couldn't find many that she felt she could use. Though there were a few Irises that could possibly work. If she remembered correctly, humans considered them to be a symbol of heroism and a ward to keep evil at bay… if she could, she most certainly wanted to use those for Robin… though the stems seemed rather weak, which concerned her… It was at that time she found the Camellias, which reminded her of the numerous Chrysanthemums she often saw in Ikebana arrangements online. Those… those could work maybe… right?

Still, the plain kinds of stems were… not abundant on the island. So quietly taking her leave from the tower, she flew off into the city, going from florist to florist in search of stems. It wasn't until she got to Chinatown that she found, ironically, a little Japanese florist that had a number of stems in the floral arrangements in the window. They must have some…

Popping into the small shop, she peaked around, as the bell above the door rang and she heard someone inside yell "Irasshaimase!" She didn't know what it meant, but they seemed open, so she let herself inside and closed the door quietly. It was at that moment that she caught sight of the shopkeeper and a customer gawking at her, though the shopkeeper quickly shook her head and reoriented herself to helping her current client. It didn't bother Starfire though. She was used to it, particularly when she didn't bother to change into 'normal' earth clothes. Besides, she'd rather be looked at in curiosity rather than in scorn any day...

She could tell most of these bouquets and arrangements were similar to the ones she had seen online in terms of style, though their designs were all different and varied. While she felt she was most certainly in a place that would have what she needed, would they sell the stems to her alone?

"Omataseshimashita, Starfire-sama."

Starfire jumped to see the shopkeeper, wearing a mute peach toned robe-like garment by her now and tried to politely respond, "Uh… huh?"

"My apologies for the delay, Starfire-sama," The woman said to her, seeming to translate all but the end word behind her name, "How may I help you?"

She didn't feel much like reaching out to touch the woman to understand the word, so instead Starfire decided to simply inquire for clarification, "'Sama'?"

"Ah, you're unfamiliar. Most of our customers know it, it's an honorific suffix I use with all of my customers to indicate great respect," The lady explained.

"Oh…" Starfire said, trailing off. She didn't much feel she was owed 'great' respect. What made her any better than the woman in front of her after all? "You need not call me that. I am not uniquely special."

The woman looked her up and down and for a moment, Starfire worried she had disrespected or insulted the woman in some way, when a little smile came to the woman's face, which softened with a sweetness only an elderly woman might be able to convey.

"Very well then, Starfire-chan. How may I help you today?"

Feeling that this suffix seemed to be more friendly, Starfire smiled and nodded back to the lady with thanks.

"I… I am looking for stems. I… have a friend and I broke his Ikebana vase. I repaired it, but I would like to fill it with a design for when I return it whole again," Starfire explained.

"Ah, well, what have you already to work with?" The woman asked kindly.

"I… I will likely use Irises and Camellias… but I have no… shushi stems?" Starfire asked, trying to recall the various foriegn names she'd been reading.

The woman nodded, "I can see you have put a lot of thought into this... "

It was an observation that Starfire had not made of herself, but before she could mull it over, the lady walked to the back.

"In that case, how about a few Willow and Plum Blossoms? I normally do not sell them separately, kedo… I suspect your own arrangement will have far more meaning then one simply bought and transplanted…"

Starfire felt a heat come to her cheeks and looked at the ground, "Oh, I am not so certain of…"

"I will give them to you for twenty," The woman said, interrupting her with a tone of joy and Starfire found herself simply nodding back, a smile coming to her face, happy to have the option of buying the items.

"Hai, gambatte, Starfire-chan," The shopkeeper said to her as she opened the door to leave.

"Gam.. gamba…"

"Gambatte, Starfire-chan," The lady repeated, "'Good luck'!"

Starfire nodded in understanding, smiled at the lady and flew off back to Titans Tower. Once there, she plucked a few of the Irises and Camellias before sneaking back to her room with her supplies. Carefully, she laid them all out on her desk, the container in the center, along with the pruning shears she had and a small watering bloem. To her side, she also had a few pieces of newspaper and the kenzan. She'd read somewhere it could be also called a 'frog', but she didn't much think it resembled a frog at all. It looked more like a painful lego block but sharper in her opinion.

Now just to arrange the flowers…

It was at that point Starfire found herself hesitating. She… where to begin? Cautiously, she picked up the gardening shears before looking at the stems. What was it she was supposed to be looking for? A good 'shushi'? What was a good shushi? It was a stem, she knew that… she looked at her notes. The shushi in the very back was often two times the size of the length and height of the container combined and something that had beauty to it… Cut at an angle, then parallel to the stem…

Looking at her stems, Starfire's hand hovered over them before picking up a Willow branch. She snipped one of the stems and the end flew off and away, eliciting a slight squeak of surprise out of her as she brought her arms up to defend herself against the fauna being flung around by the blades of the sheers in her hand.

She blinked and looked at the end of her stem. Ok… so far so good. Now parallel… She snipped less than an inch in. Okay, that wasn't so bad. Now to put it- She looked at the container and shut her eyes in self-annoyance, realizing she'd forgotten the first step. Putting the kenzan in along with the water. Carefully placing a bit of newspaper under the kenzan to keep it in place, she placed it in the bottom of the vase. Should it be in the center, or off to the side? She didn't know. What was that word that she had often seen… 'wabi-sabi'? Perfection in imperfection? So, not center? Maybe? But some of the pictures had looked centered…

She chose to place it off center and poured fresh, clean water into the container to cover the prongs of the kenzan. Numerous sources online had told her this would extend the longevity of the flowers. Remembering there had been no water when she had initially broken the vase, not to mention how dried the remnants of the previous flowers had been, it really must have been awhile since Robin had bothered to use the vase properly…She then placed in the first shushi, forcing it in the back of the kenzan through the pins...

Again, not bad but… she slowly started to feel a worm of anxiety creep into her. Was she… doing this right? Slowly she started to feel a great sense of annoyance towards that word - 'wabi-sabi'. What did that even mean? Perfection in imperfection. It made no sense. Well, maybe in some ways, but she really didn't see how it worked well in Ikebana. She often found herself cutting some stems too short or too long for her liking. At least she had a lot, but knowing that didn't make her feel any more at ease. What if she used them all up?

Then there was the kyakushi or center point item of the piece, where the eye should go first… She picked a Camellia. This… this would work right? She placed it in when she remembered some of her notes. 'Angle, it goes in at an angle. Not straight up…. But keep the face up. Keep it happy...' She scolded herself, knowing that in Ikebana flowers facing down would likely indicate sadness, which she did not want. Rotating between kyakushi and shushi, the princess' hands worked hard to preserve the beauty of the flowers, though every time she sat back to look at her work, a sense of… disappointment overcame her. She thought this would be so pretty… but instead she felt she was missing something, that same air of beauty that she saw in arrangements online.

Certainly, those images online came from those with years of experience, but many articles said anyone could practice Ikebana, so why was she having such a hard time? 'Look at the flowers and try to see what they're saying.' What did that even mean? Kiss the flowers? In her desperation, it was worth a shot. She kissed one and waited, looking at it. Nothing. She sighed and dropped her head down low, letting out a groan of aggravation. Robin would not want whatever atrocity it was she was making. Perhaps it would have just been best to return the vase simply fixed, though even looking at that, it wasn't as it had been originally. Why bother with that even…

She picked up an Iris and looked at the blue petals. She twisted it around looking at every angle. What did this flower want to tell her? Behind the Iris in her hand, she spotted a Camellia and picked it up, placing the two next to one another. She enjoyed the springing-forth like nature of the Iris, as though it was rising to take flight. She smiled as a sigh of disappointment and frustration escaped her. She always… she always thought Robin would take flight one day. It sometimes still surprised her that he was one of the few…well, not few, but… that he was only human. On her favorite days with him, he radiated a joy, a kind of renewal to those around him. He was energetic and full of hope, enthusiasm… and it was clear that he loved everyone who was around him. It made her feel safe, wanted, at home. It was a soft kind of invisible embrace… similar to that of the Camellia…

Maybe it was about slowing down and thinking about how the flowers made her feel. Maybe that's how the masters of this art brought such beauty into the world.

She kept working at it. It couldn't be impossible. She could get it done right… couldn't she? Maybe changing the angle here, nudging a stem a bit there… At some point, she was so engrossed in her work that when the knocking at her door sounded, she didn't even notice.

"Starfire? Starfire?"

Just down a little more…

The door to her room opened and she gasped, standing up and hiding her work behind her.

"Starfire?" Robin asked, walking in, "Sorry, you okay? You didn't answer and I was worried…"

"Oh no, friend Robin, I am fine. It is nothing. What can I do for you?" the young alien asked, doing her best to hide her work. She hadn't even noticed the time. It must be…

"Dinner? Has friend Beast Boy finished our 'bananaza' as he called it? Is that why you have come, friend?" She asked quickly, still attempting to hide her work. It was by no means ready…

Robin eyed her strangely before looking at her desk which was full of leaves, twigs, petals, and cut stems.

"Uh… yeah… Star, what are you doing in here?" He asked.

Starfire winced a bit before sighing… the jig was up.

"I… I felt the guilt at breaking your Ikebana vase... " She said turning around to pick up the arrangement and bring it around for him to see, "I… I managed to fix the vase with uh.. Kin… kin…"

"Kintsugi!" Robin said, looking at it, "Star, it's, it's… oh my gosh, how did you… wow…. It looks better than before!"

Star blinked, surprised as he looked at the vase. Well at least he liked that part of her work… "I… I melted some gold in my hands. I do not believe that is normally how it is done, but it was the only way I could heat the metal and shape it so that… so that it fit together…"

A hand on her own startled her and she looked up to see him smiling at her, "Knowing you, it's the only way it should be done… Star, this is just... "

Robin felt rather speechless looking at the vase, when he began to take note of what was now in it. His eyes followed the shushi up, the kyakushi Camellia catching his eye, with the Plum Blossom branches and Irises accentuating the bright, light pink of the Camellias…

"I… I wanted to return it to you in all its splendor," Starfire stated slowly, "Though I do not think I have been able to capture the art of Ikebana well at al-"

"It's amazing," Robin said, interrupting her and slowly taking it from her hands, "This was your first time?"

The statement caught Starfire completely off guard, "Huh?"

"I-I gotta take a moment to properly appreciate this," He said, not waiting for an answer. Closing his eyes, Robin let out a quiet breath before opening them again and letting his masked eyes trail up and down the arrangement, before finally taking a little bow towards the floral design in front of him, "You're supposed to sit seiza style and do that, but hopefully what I did is alright with you."

"Oh! Oh no, please, it is not… I am not so sure it is worthy of that…" She said quickly, attempting to hide her embarrassment. He must only be doing this to be nice. She could have done so much more….

"What are you talking about? You made it, of course it deserves respect," He told her, "Thank you Star, this was really… really kind of you… You didn't have to do this. I didn't tell you this, but, Alfred made me keep this because I made it way back when. I didn't really mind when it broke because I wasn't particularly proud of it - I thought I could have done better. But seeing it like this... it looks better than it ever has before. It's just perfect, thank you."

This time, Starfire found herself without words. The expression of gratitude on Robin's face seemed to drain all of her English away… Her eyes landed on his lips. No, that… there was no excuse to do that again… was there?

"Let's take this to my room and go get dinner," Robin told her. Starfire nodded with a smile, her eyes meeting his… that feeling… that warmth. She loved it. So floating up, she and Robin made their way to his room.

"Do you know what our friend Beast Boy has made us for our evening feast tonight?" She asked, flying a bit ahead of him as he carried the floral arrangement.

"Salad, I think," Robin answered.

"Ah... " Starfire responded, thinking of the green, leafy meal set to greet them. Somehow, that didn't seem all that appetizing, "Do you think he has prepared the dishes of the side too?"

Robin laughed. That laugh. She loved that laugh, even as it ended and he responded, "I'm sure there are."

-RxS-

Definitions -

Ikebana - The Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement.

Hanakotoba - Literally "Flower Words"

Kenzan - a needle-point holder, also called a 'frog'. The kanji used literally means 'sword mountain'.

Kintsugi - a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by using lacquers mixed with gold to fill in cracks. Starfire skips using lacquer and simply goes on to use pure gold, which is clearly not typically the way it's done, though her method essentially means each crack she filled was filled with pure gold.

Irasshaimase - "Welcome (to our shop/our place)!" You will often it see it written in airports upon arrival in Japan and hear it said when you enter a store.

Omateseshimashita - "You have waited ('I apologize' is implied)."

-Sama - A suffix implying great respect. The shopkeeper knows Starfire's name from news, so she uses her name and adds 'Sama' here. But sometimes if a shopkeeper does not know a customer's name, they will use 'O-kyaku-sama', implying 'the customer is God' with the use of the suffix after 'okyaku' meaning 'customer'.

-Chan - Another suffix, one often used for young girls by friends or elders to youth. A 'cute' suffix.

Shushi - a part of an Ikebana floral arrangement, usually a tall stem with little to no floral pieces on it. Definition can change a bit depending the school of Ikebana or style of Ikebana arrangement. (Forgive me if the spelling is off compared to what you're used to for this and Kyakushi - I have seen it translated multiple ways for some reason...)

Kedo - Literally "though". Here the shopkeeper is mixing in her native tongue with her English.

Hai - Literally "Yes"

Gambatte - Conjugated form of "Gambarimasu". Most closely means "Do your best", "Have a fighting spirit", "Keep at it", that sort of feeling; the shopkeeper translated it to mean "Good luck", which is more akin to what we might use in the English language, though the true translation is closer to those phrases above.

Wabi-Sabi - an aesthetic sense in Japanese art centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Kyakushi - the center or focal point of an Ikebana arrangement; definition can change a bit depending the school of Ikebana or style of Ikebana arrangement.

Seiza - Traditional method of sitting in Japan in a kneeling position, sitting straight up.

A/N: Goshhhhhh it's been so long since I've written for these two and gahhhhh I love them. I love them so freakin' much… I know it's been awhile since I've specifically written for Teen Titans. I have by far and away never forgotten this series, though I'm sure some might have thought I have… I could never though. And these two are part of the reason why. I've tried over the years to think of what it is about them that I love so much and the thing is there's never one particular reason. I think as illustrated here, one of those reasons though is the simple warmth they seem to share while being together. It just fills my heart to see these two just being… complete by one another.

Some of this was also inspired by some of my own experiences living overseas. Not particularly the practice of Ikebana, but being thrown into something you're not all that familiar with. I thought that was appropriate because when I did live overseas, I feel like I gained so much more respect for Starfire. I've always loved her, but I just continue to be floored by her determination to keep going in the face of living in a place she's essentially a foreigner in. There were so many times where I second-guessed myself while living overseas and wondered if I could 'do this'. And in so many episodes of this show, when Starfire is the focus, they really do bring out that insecurity she has - which to me is comforting, because she always was able to get through those worries…

Regarding a few choices I made related to Robin, I choose Camellias as they often are associated with meanings such as passion, love, and deep desire, which I think describe, at least Dick Grayson's Robin very well (who I consider the Teen Titans' Robin to be under the mask). It also can be seen as a symbol of rejuvenation and the start of spring, also appropriate for our resident Boy Wonder. ;)

Finally, above I defined the word 'wabi-sabi', which I wanted to include because I feel that both Robin and Starfire to some degree, dislike 'imperfections' in themselves. They see those imperfections very clearly and I think they sometimes let those imperfections cast doubts over their capabilities (Robin's far more guilty of this normally, but I digress). And yet, I think for that reason, one of the beautiful things about their relationship, as friends or as true loves, is that they might see one another's imperfections, but they don't care about those so much. When they're together, it doesn't matter, because they have each other. Not only that, but their own imperfections seem less problematic I think. They become more manageable when they're together, which is encouraging. It allows for them to both have hope, which I love and it's why I wanted to include that concept of accepting imperfections with 'wabi-sabi'.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. My apologies for any grammatical errors. Like I said, in the midst of a move and very tired. I hope I was able to do them justice though. Really loved this prompt though, especially knowing Starfire does have a green thumb in the comics and I thought it was fun to take it in a slightly different direction than what we've seen her do before. Please review and tell me what you thought! I hope it made you smile, at least a little bit today. Take care all and like I said, I'll likely have a few more coming soon! Much love!

Later,

~Rena