Author's Note - Another show joins my fanfiction lineup. Yus indeed, I feel guilty by posting another fanfic. But this one is one-shot, so this guilt isn't too bad. Anyway, t'is short Robin/Starfire fluff, just like everyone seems to be doing now. Is this pairing original? No. Do I care? Also no. End of story. o0;; If I got anything in this story wrong or inaccurate or OOC, please tell me so I can fix it. I haven't watched every single episode yet.
Robin navigated his way around the tower, a difficult task to accomplish in the dark. Cyborg and Raven were elsewhere, with Beast Boy, who had declared it another 'movie night'. They were probably still watching the latest installment of that really scary series he liked. Robin had managed to get out of it by claiming to have 'a huge headache'. It was nearing the peak of lame excuses and he knew it.
He nearly hit the metal tip of his shoe on a corner of the wall as he walked along. He wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings; his thoughts were elsewhere. Where was she? He'd been looking for her all night. She was the only one he truly felt comfortable talking with at the time. After a long day of crime-fighting, her kind disposition and sincerity were always welcomed.
He spied the slightest light, glowing from another room up ahead. Was it her? He quickened his pace so that he may reach that room faster. After a few seconds, Robin turned the corner. There she was.
She was sitting comfortably on the couch, a book in hand. Robin had never seen her read before. He wasn't totally sure that she could. But she looked so completely involved in what she was doing. A lantern on the desk beside her gave her skin an unearthly golden glow, and cast her shadow against the far wall.
"Hey, Star." He greeted, his voice hardly above a whisper. He felt almost guilty for breaking her concentration, she looked so peaceful and serene and it seemed like a sin to disturb her.
Starfire glanced up from her book and smiled warmly at him. In her lively jade eyes sparked the same genuine innocence that always seemed to emanate from her; the hardships of the outside world ceased to exist in her presence. Robin's initial uneasiness melted away in her eyes; it was so difficult to feel unwelcome when her voice was so sweet and pure. "Hello, Robin!"
It was such a casual phrase, such an everyday occurrence, but somehow those words kindled within him more happiness and unspoken emotion than anything else he'd experienced all day. After nine hours of tracking down villains, breaking up crime rids and suffering through another of Beast Boy's favorite DVDs, quiet moments spent with his friends were the times he lived for.
"I didn't know you liked to read." He observed casually, after many failed attempts to find his voice.
"Oh, yes! This story is wonderful! It is about a beautiful girl here on Earth who is hiding from a witch. This witch is a very evil woman. I am hoping she is not victorious! That is why I must keep reading."
Something in Robin's mind clicked. "You mean like a fairy tale?"
"Fairy tale?" Starfire didn't seem to make the connection. "There are no 'fairy tales' in this story. I am not even quite sure what a 'fairy tale' is."
Robin searched for a way to explain it. He wasn't completely sure how he was going to do so without confusing her. Starfire was still relatively new to Earth and she wasn't yet familiar with many terms. "Well… it's a story… usually about a girl. Yeah, most of them are about princesses."
"A princess? That is what they are calling the girl in this book!" Starfire exclaimed. "Is this 'princess' some form of social order?"
"Pretty much. It's a kind of royalty. A long time ago, they were the daughters of rich and powerful rulers."
"Ah. I understand!" Starfire nodded with enthusiasm, obviously satisfied with their progress. "What are they now?"
"You said that princesses were the daughters of rulers long ago." She pointed out. "What are they now?"
"Oh, they aren't around anymore… I meant that they only existed during ancient times." Robin noticed the strange look on Starfire's face, unable to trace from what emotion it originated.
"All right." Her soft smile never faltered, but the imaginative glint in her eye was gone. "I apologize. There is much about Earth I have yet to learn." She glanced down at her book. Those words on the pages, which had once ensnared her in a mythical story, suddenly no longer told such a wondrous tale. What she had once thought were beautiful manipulations of speech had been reduced to nothing but ink print. Such a shame, she thought, that none of those amazing princesses are not around today. Suddenly, a horrible thought ran through her mind, and the instantaneous flow of adrenaline worked its magic through her veins.
"Robin, these fairy tales… do they all include evil witches? Do those horrible witches still exist, Robin? Should we be prepared to fight them?!"
"No, no, Star, don't worry!" He tried to calm her down again. She looked almost ready to pounce on him. "They're stories. Made-up stories. Witches never existed."
With a relieved sigh, Starfire settled back down again. "That is wonderful to hear." She picked up the book and took up where she left off, trying to absorb herself in that story again.
Robin watched her face carefully, desperately praying he hadn't crushed her spirit. Sometimes, explaining things to Starfire felt like trying to convince a small child that magic didn't exist. It seemed so immoral.
A sudden gale of wind seemed to pass through the area. To Robin, it was just a breeze running through his wily hair, but his female counterpart shivered visibly, a result of her exposed arms and knees. He imagined it must be devilishly cold for her, she was even starting to run her hands down her own arms for warmth. It was definitely a golden opportunity to rush to her aid.
The boy rose to his feet and ran to fetch a blanket. It was hard to remember just where everything was, though. He wasn't quite sure he remembered exactly where the blankets were stored. He checked a cabinet above a sink, a basket beside the garbage disposal, a drawer behind the laundry chute. He still turned up dry.
"Robin!" Starfire called, sounding distressed.
Robin glanced upwards. He had been previously ransacking a nearby closet, still looking for the blankets. He peered his head out the door so that he could see her once more.
"Is something wrong, Star?"
He rose to his feet and rejoined her on the couch.
Starfire cradled the book within her arms, staring at the words with confusion as if they were suddenly written in a different language. "Robin, I… This story, it… You told me that those horrible witches don't exist. In this story, the witch uses magic. The witch can fly. She can shapeshift, and use her powers to levitate objects! I know that the five of us are not considered normal, and… I can't help thinking…" Robin gazed at her expectantly, waiting for her to finish.
"…Am I a witch, like in this story? Will I become hideous and evil, and treat others unkindly for my own amusement?"
Robin stared at her in disbelief.
"…And Raven? Is she a witch, too?" Starfire continued, her hands clenched together, the fingers entwined. She looked genuinely frightened. Who knew she could take a simple story so seriously?
"That's crazy, Starfire! You're…" He suddenly found it difficult to swallow. How much should he say? "…You're the most gentle person I know. You're not a witch. And even if you were, you'd be nothing like the witch in the story you're reading. They're not all so mean and nasty… or old and hideous, either. It just means they can use magic."
"I thought you said witches did not exist…?"
Robin sighed, exasperated. "They don't. The point is, you're pure-hearted, like the rest of us. We've all teamed together to try and save innocents from the kind of evil you're reading about. You're a wonderful person Starfire and don't you ever forget it." He prayed she wouldn't pull away as he laid a hand on her shoulder. She didn't. Instead, she glanced over at him, a grateful look in her sweet green eyes.
"Thank you, Robin. I apologize if… I may have overreacted. You are correct. It is just a story."
Robin smiled at her, glad that she finally understood. "Everything's fine now, Star. How about I find you a blanket? It's getting kind of cold in here, huh?"
Starfire nodded feebly, a bit of red hinting at her face. Robin was a little surprised. Hold on… is she blushing? "That would be wonderful, Robin, but I wouldn't want to cause you more trouble…"
"Really, it's fine. The only problem I'm going to have is actually finding where it is the blankets end up. Raven sometimes uses them during her meditations. I'm not sure where she puts them afterwards..."
Robin arose from his seat and ran across the hall, towards a few more of the storage closets. Starfire watched him leave with mixed feelings, eagerly awaiting his return. As soon as he was out of sight, however, she decided it'd just be best to catch up on her reading until he came back.
She started to read once more, the words beginning to enchant her just as they had before. She felt herself being swept into the story, every sentence coming to life in her head, depicting each vivid, colorful scene. The enticed little alien girl began to read aloud, as it helped her visualize the story even better.
"…And after a while, they recalled what the witch had said - Aurora would sleep for all of eternity unless awakened by true love's first kiss…" Starfire giggled a little, but not in an overly girlish way. She was just amazed by how very strange the story was becoming. "That does not seem logical. And who is this 'kiss' they keep speaking of?" She commented to herself. "Many things on this planet do not make much sense..."
A sudden, startled yelp brought her out of her thoughts. A loud crash quickly ensued. Starfire hurriedly floated off of the coach in panic, and ran over to the origin of the crash. Her friend had stumbled over something in the dark.
"Robin! Are you all right?" Starfire crouched down beside him, watching him expectantly. He sat up after a few short seconds, embarrassed but otherwise fine. He assured her that the latter was true.
"Fine… just fine." He picked himself off the ground, unharmed. There was another plus to having superpowers: People who had them could take a lot more banging before being brought down. "I guess Beast Boy left his things out again." The green one had always had an annoying habit of doing just that. "I knew no good would come from him leaving a bowling ball lying around. And just why does he keep a bowling ball around here, anyway?!"
Starfire raised a brow. "Bowling ball…?" She was confused, not knowing what it meant to bowl, but she shook it off after a few seconds. "...Robin, I believe I am finished reading for tonight. It has become very late. I have blankets in my room that I may use now." She tucked the book under her arm. "How much longer are you planning on staying up?"
"As long as I need to. I should probably monitor how many DVDs Beast Boy decides to make the others watch." The thought made him chuckle. "I don't want them up all night unless there's trouble somewhere in the city."
"That seems reasonable. Well, goodnight, Robin."
The girl slowly lifted up off the ground, her shoes inches from the tile floor as she levitated in midair. Still with her arm draped around the book, she drifted to her room in silence.
Shielded from the outside air by the comfort of her soft sheets and warm blankets, Star continued to read, using the slight green glow of her eyes for luminescence. She promised herself she wouldn't stay up too long, but she only desired to read for a little while yet. The book in her clutches wasn't too lengthy, nor the words very small, but she was still relatively new to the whole "book" concept and she read a smidgeon slower than the average person. Half an hour ticked by, but she didn't notice; the tale had her in its clutches and she had few greater desires than to stay where she was and finish the story.
"Now the witch has become a dragon!" She mused aloud, in authentic bewilderment. "She is beginning to sound more like Beast Boy." It was an amusing thought, but nonetheless it seemed wrong to compare one of her trusted teammates to the horrible monster in the story.
The prince battled the dragon, sword and shield in hand, a handful of fairies at his side. It was all he could do to hold the creature back; let alone slay it. The dragon fought ruthlessly, and each clash of its jaws veered closer than the last.
Three thumps in quick succession sounded out of nowhere, bringing Starfire back to reality. Someone was knocking on her door.
"Oh…" She buried the book further into the sheets, and the green light from her eyes came to an abrupt end. Should it be someone coming to check on her, she didn't want them to know that she'd been reading so long. "Come in!"
The door was gently propped open, and in walked Robin. He seemed strangely relaxed, at peace. Whenever the rest of his team usually saw him, he was tense or uptight about something or another. This Robin that had just walked in Starfire's door had an unusual, foreign smile at the corners of his lips. He sat at the foot of her bed, watching her face carefully. There was a definite guilty flush on her cheeks that he was able to see.
"So, did you get to the end?" He asked, slyly.
He knew. Starfire pulled the book out from its safe haven under the covers, smiling sheepishly. "Not yet. I have only a few more pages left to read. The witch appears to have some form of shape-shifting ability. She has become a dragon. Her and the 'prince' are dueling. I believe a prince is the son of a ruler, given what a princess is?"
"Right." He sat upon his knees, looking over her shoulder. "Do you like the book?"
"Yes, very much. Many crazy things happen here on Earth. I know that this story is not completely true, but I imagine some of it is." She looked up at him. "Why have you come, Robin? I imagine my book was not your sole interest."
"Oh, uh…" He cleared his throat, a little nervous. "Beast Boy and Cyborg were hunting me down. They wanted to make me watch another one of those horror movies that they like so much. I figured they'd never find me in here."
"You've come seeking refuge?"
"Yeah - would I bother you?"
"You would never bother me, Robin. Though I do not fully understand why you fear our friends tracking you down."
She began to read again, though she was unable to entirely focus when he was so close to her. He remained silent after the last bit was said, staring down at the floor without moving a muscle, save for the restless fidgeting of his masked eyes. The minutes seemed to drag on for hours. He glanced around her room, briefly. It was mostly empty and vacant, very tidy, yet it said so much about her through what was there. It was clear from the way she designed that she was either abstract or just not from this world. There were so many things he had yet to learn about her own species; she was doing all she could to adjust to what was happening on Earth. To the naked eye, she seemed so human.
Fifteen minutes had surpassed. Starfire turned the last page. It was almost completely blank. Towards the middle of the page, in large, bold, and very fancy typeface, were written two simple words: The end.
"That story was incredible, Robin!" She cried in exuberance, forgetting for a moment that her friend claimed to be in hiding. "Oh… Sorry."
"So, I take it that you enjoyed it." Robin took a glance at the cover. It was, as he had guessed, a written version of a Disney-princess movie.
"Oh, yes, so very much! There is but one thing I do not understand."
He raised a curious brow. "What was that?"
Starfire took a deep breath. "At the very end, the prince bit the sleeping princess on the mouth! I believe they called it a 'kiss'. That was a horrible thing to do to her."
Her company stared at her for a long second. He had forgotten about the ending - with someone so foreign, it was easily misinterpret-able. Hoo boy… how to explain this. "It's not a bite. It's more like… a…"
Starfire growled suddenly. "That ugly monster, Kitten, she tried to bite you in such a fashion as well, did she not? I saw! I understand this 'bite' is an expression of affection?"
"…Uh… right." At least she knew that much. "But it doesn't involve a lot of pain like the way you're describing… Unless of course, that Kitten is involved." They shared a much-needed laugh. It helped break up the tension. "It… it's supposed to be a pleasurable experience." He wasn't sure how to word it, but what he finally ended up saying dissatisfied him.
"Oh… I see." She sat there for a moment, deep in thought. No further words passed through her lips.
"ROBIN! ATTENTION, ROBIN!"
A loud, booming voice suddenly blasted over the intercom. The eyes of both titans enlarged to the size of dinnerplates as fingers hurriedly scrambled for ears.
"We know you're in this tower somewhere!" Beast Boy's voice blared. "This special edition director's cut of Horrible Slimy Things from the Fiery Underworld won't wait for anyone! Come without a fight and we won't have to find you and drag you here ourselves!"
Robin blinked. They really had been looking for him. The excuse he'd used to visit Starfire actually hadn't been a total lie.
Still, talk about a way to ruin a moment.
Starfire slumped further into her bed, eyes boring down into her book with such intensity that Robin was afraid she might accidentally fire one of her laser eye-beams. She was obviously disappointed. He figured he looked the site as well.
"We can talk more tomorrow, Star." Robin assured her. "No use trying to hide from Beast Boy. He has access to a dog's nose, after all. He'd find me eventually." He shifted around on the bed, preparing to rise to his feet.
"Wait a minute… Robin?"
She began to fidget a little, edging ever closer to him with obvious uncertainty. He watched her curiously. "Yeah, Star?"
"Hold on a moment. I would like… I would like to…" She pulled back for a moment, as if suddenly unsure. "Uh… well, I…"
He looked at her expectantly. He knew what he wanted her to do. He had vague suspicions forming near the back of his head… but his common sense denied it.
There was complete and total silence.
Quickly, suddenly, in one single moment and without much warning at all, she gave him a brief, awkward kiss near the corner of his mouth.
Robin stared at her for a moment, his head starting to spin. Had that really just happened? He figured it so. She suddenly looked frightened and remorseful, almost panicky. She recoiled almost immediately after this event had occurred.
"I am sorry, Robin! I was just… I do not know what I was thinking. I guess I was just curious." She began to babble senselessly, staring down at her bedcovers in shame.
The boy wasn't sure how to react at that point. In all the battles he'd fought and hardships he'd suffered, he'd never been quite as speechless. For almost ten seconds, he could say nothing.
Words began to fail him once more. Instead of a spoken response, he pulled her into a warm embrace, and it seemed to settle her nerves.
"Then… I am forgiven?" She squeaked.
He didn't bother answering. He had to admit, her innocence was adorable. With the added valor of many years' crime-fighting (and the otherworldly influence of the moment), he gently brought her lips to his once again. She was astonished at first - it showed through her shocked little jump when it all happened - but after a few seconds, she mysteriously calmed down again, her fidgety movements put to ease. She returned the gesture by natural instinct, amazed by just how pleasurable the feeling really was.
Neither of them had any idea how long it had lasted until they pulled away. Starfire tensed again, bewildered, unable to make eye contact. Robin simply sat back on the bed, breathing deeply, reflecting which disbelief over what had just happened.
Silence reigned once more, but no words needed to be said.
Footsteps were heard approaching…
"ROBIN!" It was Beast Boy's voice, no doubt, and he was standing outside Starfire's door. "I'm not sure what it is you're doing in there, but you're GOING to watch the movie with us just like you promised last week!"
Robin had no memory of such a promise. He had probably made it in a rush, when his attention was focused on something else. Starfire gazed at him questioningly. The expression on his face could only be described as a mixture of amusement and pure, unadulterated frustration.
After a long moment's thought, he gave an exasperated sigh, and rose to his feet.
"Robin? These horrible, slimy things from the fiery underworld of which Beast Boy speaks? They sound interesting. May I accompany you?"
"Oh… sure. I mean, if you don't mind watching another of Beast Boy's horror flicks…"
"Not at all. I enjoy most of them."
"Really?" It seemed like he was the only person who didn't. "All right. Come on!"
Starfire left the book on her bedcovers as she followed Robin out the door.