The Hormone Thing

A Teen Titan One-Shot

By Loki

[Restroom Corridor, Titan Tower]

"Yo Rob! When you gonna get outta the damn shower?!"

A muffled, water-garbled voice replied, "Gimme a few more minutes!"

"You said that a few minutes ago! I just need to get my towel and brush--can't you at least open the door? It's not like I ain't seen what you have, damn it," the large half-man, half-machine creature added in reply to some unintelligible, but decidedly indignant remark made by the young man inside. Beside Cyborg was Beast-boy, who looked up at him quizzically with a towel and bar of soap in hand.

"What do you need a brush for, anyway? You don't have any hair!"

One red eye glowed ominously, while the human one glared daggers at the little man. "It's to clean out my hard-to-reach circuits, you little monkey!"

The green young man shrieked indignantly, sounding very much like an angered monkey. "Robin, can I please use the shower--you've been in there since this morning!"

"What's going on out here?" Demanded an angry Raven, stepping into the corridor from the Main Room. Her violet eyes held rage and annoyance within their glittering depths, her emotionless face belying her inner feelings. "I can't even meditate right with you guys yelling like that." She crossed her arms, black energy crackling like velvet thunder all around her. Beast-boy's soap flew out of the green teen's hand and crashed through a window in the distance as a result of Raven's irritation.

"Robin's been in the shower since this morning--and he won't get out!" Replied the changeling by way of explanation. Beast-boy seemed to turn red, his own aggravation rising in response to Raven's anger. His glare was in vain, however, when the cloaked-female stared him down, her eyes taking on an ebony hue for a split second.

"Two bathrooms in this big ass tower--who the Hell came up with the blueprints for this place?!" Cyborg wanted to know. Beast-boy nodded in agreement.

Neither seemed to understand why the huge Titan Tower only contained two restrooms--one for the males, one for the females. At the moment, the only bathroom for the men was occupied by their brilliant leader, who had, for some reason, deemed it necessary to bathe himself from dawn till dusk. No one knew why since they hadn't gotten the least bit dirty--no crime-fighting--so why Robin decided to deprive every male within the Titan Headquarters from using the lavatory was a complete enigma. No one could coax him out, and every time they tried, he'd reply, "Gimme a few more minutes!" Cyborg was at his wits' end and B.B. seemed likely to turn into a rhino and plow down the door if he wasn't allowed in soon.

Oblivious to the tension running high in the corridor, emerald-eyed Starfire hovered into the room with an uncharacteristic frown on her pretty face, one hand clutching her opposite elbow in her trademark pose of sadness and rejection. Immediately, the two males pushed aside their own dilemma and turned to her, concerned as to why the normally jubilant Tamaranian girl seemed so miserable--on a Saturday evening, no less.

"What's up, Star?" Said Cyborg in a voice far different from the one he'd used with Robin.

Big green eyes looked up at him, her frown deepening. The sight of them seemed to make her lip tremble, waves of depression and despair coming off of her in waves so tangible, Raven could feel herself drowning in them. For a moment, Raven was shocked, never having known Starfire to be so . . . dark and miserable. "Nothing is up, Cyborg. In fact, everything seems to be quite down." Her voice was silky and soft. She looked close to tears.

Beast-boy put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Why? What happened?"

The redhead sniffled. "This morning, I asked Robin if he would like to partake in the mating ritual with me--'sex' I believe you Earth-people call it--but he said nothing and ran away from me." She was oblivious to Beast-boy's hand falling away limply. "And now, he is avoiding me."

Simultaneously, three jaws crashed to the ground in complete and utter shock, three pairs of eyes bulging incredibly. Somewhere far off, a dish crashed to ground, signifying that Terra had also heard, and had dropped the plate of whatever food she'd been about to eat. For long moments, they did nothing but stare at the Tamaranian girl in disbelief, who looked back at them with eyes glazed over with confusion. They could hear the water running harder than before within the bathroom.

Cyborg was the first to speak. "Y-y-you asked Robin to . . . t-to . . ."

"Partake in the mating ritual?!" Raven's voice seemed less composed than before.

Starfire nodded, still rubbing her elbow. "Yes, I did. I am nearing my hormonal cycle."

"Huh?" Beast-boy managed to finally snap out of it. "What does that mean?"

"When a Tamaranian female reaches her seventeenth revolution," Starfire explained patiently. "There will be a time during that revolution when she will go into a hormonal cycle, during which she must seek out a lifemate." Her eyes fell to the floor, shame and sadness welling within them.

"And you chose Robin?" Understanding warmed Raven's voice. There was even the ghost of a smile on her pale lips. In a rare show of affection, the dark Titan walked forward and squeezed the redhead's shoulder. Green eyes glittered with warmth. "C'mon, we'll talk about it in your room if you want," said Raven, and Starfire smiled gratefully, gladly letting Raven lead her away from the still disbelieving males. Not two seconds later, Terra came bounding after them, declaring that she, too, will talk "Girl Talk" with them--even though it was very well known that none of them knew how to talk "Girl Talk".

Eyes still dazed, Beast-boy turned to Cyborg, who was scratching his head. "I think we found out why Robin's been in the bathroom for so long; cold shower."

--[Teen Titans]--

[Starfire's Room, Titan Tower]

"Have you and Robin been going out without our knowing?" Terra's blonde mane had been pulled back into a low ponytail, so there was nothing to hide the excited glint within her gleaming blue eyes. "Is that why you picked Robin for your lifemate?" She picked up a random stuffed animal from Starfire's extensive collection and started playing with its long, fluffy white tail. Starfire, who sat beside the blonde, clutched the stuffed bear tighter, rubbing her cheek against the soft pink fabric.

"If it is the courtship that you speak of, the answer would be no; in fact, I do not believe Robin and I have ever done anything more than hug."

Terra accidentally pulled out a tuft of artificial hair from the stuffed cat she held. Raven sat Indian-style in midair, hovering before them calmly, her face the epitome of emotionless. "Then why did you ask Robin to be your lifemate if you've never even. . ." The spellcaster trailed off, seemingly unsure of herself. After a deep breath, her violet eyes met the Tamaranian's, both stern and searching. "Starfire, what happens if you don't mate?"

"I will never be able to bear children," the redhead said quietly. The pink bear she held--which seemed oddly familiar to Raven for some reason--was pressed tighter to her chest, as if it helped her cling to sanity and life.

A pause. "It doesn't make sense," the spellcaster said, breaking the silence.

"If my body does not acknowledge that there is a strong, capable male in my life, it will not create the proper cells and hormones that I will need for my birthing cycle," she explained, staring at the floor with watery eyes. Her voice was barely a whisper when she spoke next. "If I do not have a mate by the end of this cycle, I will not have a birthing cycle."

"Sheesh, talk about pressure," Terra commented. "You don't even have a choice in the matter?"

"Not if I want children, no." She paused before confessing the truth. "And I do want children. I would love to have a little child to hold when it rains." In a voice choked with unshed tears, she went on, as if unaware of the two girls sitting near her. "I would love to have a little girl with whose hair I can brush and can make dresses for; or a little boy who I can scold when he gets into mischief, and give advice to when he has problems with females."

"Starfire. . ." Terra sounded as if she didn't know what to say.

"Does Robin want to have children with you?" Raven asked, her features visibly softer, but her voice unyielding.

Starfire shook her head, covering her face with the bear. "No, he does not." Her mane of hair hid anything that could have revealed her emotions.

"But why did you pick Robin?" Terra wanted to know, missing the look Raven sent her.

"Because I care for him," Starfire answered hesitantly, her voice muffled by the bear. "I do not know if my definition of love is the same as yours, but, if it is, then I love Robin very much."

"Are you sure it's not just friendship?" Again, Terra probed further.

Starfire shook her head in the negative. "It is not friendship, Terra." She looked up, revealing the tears that had escaped and now flowed freely down her sun-kissed cheeks. "I love you all, but what I feel for Robin is beyond friendship. I-I. . ." She forced herself to continue. "I wanted him as my lifemate. I have for a very long time, but did not know if he would accept me." She looked away again, her hair covering her features. "I have received my answer, it seems."

The silence that reigned within the femininely-decorated room was tense and sad. Terra looked as if she wanted to crawl into a hole and die. It was as Raven observed the Tamaranian and herself for some sort of comfort that she remembered where the bear came from. Her half-lidded violet eyes narrowed for a moment, memories and thoughts swimming quickly through her mind. After precious moments of silence, the answers came to her at last, and she got an idea. She hovered closer to the silently crying girl and said, "Robin got you that bear, didn't he?" At her meek nod, Raven continued. "I remember him getting it for you; two years ago for your birthday." Raven stood on her own two feet, coming to a halt before Starfire. "I remember him going through all that trouble, looking for the perfect bear."

Raven looked to the blonde who sat beside Starfire, sending her a message through her eyes alone. Terra, understanding, took up the narrative. "He dragged all of us through shopping malls and stores, never convinced that what he'd decided on was good enough. He kept waking us up in the middle of the night to go shopping and, when it wasn't shopping, it was planning the party." Terra stayed silent for a moment, letting Starfire sniffle.

"Really?" She asked, hope and disbelief etched within that single word. Her grip on the bear seemed to intensify.

Both Raven and Terra nodded the affirmative. "I can still remember Raven knocking Robin into a wall just so he could calm him down and get some sleep," said Terra chuckling.

"I know he cares for me as a friend," Starfire said before Terra could continue. "But Robin is the only male I have ever wanted anything more with." She looked up at Terra. "He would have gone through that for anyone of us because he is our friend and leader--but he cannot care for me more than that; of that I am certain, for he has proven it."

"That's just the thing," Raven interjected. "He would have gone through Hell and back if it made you happy. Yeah, he goes through a lot to make sure that the holidays--and our birthdays--are special for all of us, but I've never seen him act with us the way he does around you."

"What?" While she looked like she wanted to believe, Raven knew her doubt was heavy.

Placing cold hands on her strong shoulders, Raven looked her in the eyes. "Remember, Starfire. Think about all the times you've had together."

While unsure, Starfire nodded, looking deep within the farthest recesses of her mind.

"No one will ever take your place, Star," said the masked young man after the ordeal with Starfire's dark sister, Blackfire. Hair fluttering in the wind, the two teenagers shared a bright smile, the warmth from the setting sun sending tendrils of happiness and some unnamed emotion through them both. It wasn't until the stars twinkled and the Moon glowed with her ethereal radiance that the two came down from the roof, a bond between them having been forged that no one or thing could ever break. . .

"I guess one more dance couldn't hurt," he said, his smile slow and easy. After having watched him on his date with Kitten, Starfire wanted nothing more than to hold him. She eagerly took his outstretched hand, knowing that her smile was wide and toothy. As he skillfully led her across the dance floor--his grace and agility in combat having found another outlet--she melted against him, her heart hammering painfully in her chest. "Robin," she said. "Next time, let me simply dispose of a female before she tries to force you into something like this once more." She found herself smiling at his throaty laugh, thinking that everything had been worth it, just to be in his arms like this. . .

"Robin, no!" Her cries seemed to fall on deaf ears as the young man known as Red X fought them. Yet, he hesitated, looking at her sadly through the mask. She wanted to run to him, to tell him that everything would be alright; she knew she could not. "Robin. . ." Her heart broke, seeing him like this. 'I will save you, Robin,' she thought, watching as he ran off, far away from them. . .

"Happy Birthday, Star," said the masked Titan, smiling at the look of surprise of the Tamaranian girl's face. She hadn't been expecting a present from him; not after he'd gone through so much for her already--the theater, the carnival, the skating rink. It turned out to be a beautiful little pink bear with her name imprinted on the belly. Without a second thought, she glomped him, sending them both crashing ingloriously to the ground in a tumbling mass of laughs and smiles. It was the best birthday of her life. . .

"I had a bad dream," she said weakly, sounding pathetically like a child. She stood before him, clutching the bear he'd given her as she pleaded him silently to let her spend the night with him. She was a little surprised when he said okay--the others had spurned her--and she snuggled up against him, drifting off instantly into a peaceful, dreamless sleep. . .

"But I do not understand," she said. After the long silence, her voice seemed uncharacteristically loud. "If he cares for me in a manner other than friendship, why did he run away from me when I asked him to participate in the mating ritual with me?" She looked at both girls as if they held all the answers. Confusion shone heavily within her eyes.

Terra decided to voice the advice she knew Raven would have given. "You're gonna have to ask him that; whenever he gets out of the shower, that is."

--[Teen Titans]--

[Main Room, Titan Tower]

"I still don't get it."

Freshly bathed with cooled temperaments, the three males of Titan Tower lounged in the Main Recreation Area, taking up as much space on the large black couch as they possibly could with their limited body capacity. Cyborg sat spread-eagle, his large frame easily taking up more than half of the cushioned seat. Beast-boy's limbs were spread about in all different directions, his body belying his alert mind and probing eyes. Robin, poor confused young man that he was at the moment, lay on his stomach with his face buried within the fluffy cushion of the armrest. If it weren't for the rise-and-fall of breath intake, one would think him dead.

"I do," declared Cyborg languidly. While his smile was teasing, his eye said something else. "Star asked Rob to have sex with her and Rob freaked out. Question is: why?"

Robin muttered something into the mattress that none of them understood. Cyborg leaned forward and gripped the back of the young man's shirt. Surprisingly, Robin simply hung there, not struggling; not fighting in anyway with his arms limp and his head bowed.

"Wanna repeat that?"

"It wasn't right." The voice was quiet, but far from muffled. It was as if he was defeated.

"Why not?" Beast-boy pitched in. "It's not like you don't like Star."

"Of course I like Star," he said unnecessarily. "She's our friend."

Beast-boy smacked his face with his hand, exasperated. "No, I mean like like her. Like, really like her."

Robin said nothing, didn't even move his head. Cyborg, tired of Robin acting like a rag doll, sat him on the couch between him and Beast-boy, observing him intently. Robin's shoulders slouched immediately, his elbows seeking support on his knees. His head dropped, bowed as if in great thought. It was after a long, soul-searching silence that the masked Titan spoke, his words low but clear. "It wouldn't have been right, for me to be her lifemate." A small sigh of sadness escaped him. "There are so many complications and consequences; Slade could use her against me--or me against her--and I can't bear the thought of getting her hurt."

"Star can take care of herself, Robin," Beast-boy said with a chuckle. "Remember when she got her eye-laser thingy?"

Cyborg smiled. "Yeah, she's one tough cookie. In fact, all of the girls are--it's kind of scary, once you think about it. I mean . . . the girls are kind of powerful . . . I mean very powerful. . ." The smile melted, replaced by an expression of comical fear. "You know . . . I think the ones we have to worry about is ourselves. What if Star suddenly goes into P.M.S? I mean, Terra does and look how she is. And what if Raven--okay, never mind, scary thought." Cyborg's eyes looked huge. Robin, upon seeing this, smiled a little.

His smile, however, vanished, his face solemn. "But it's not just that. I-I. . ." His cheeks flushed a brilliant crimson, and Cyborg thought he knew why.

"You never had sex before, have you?"

Robin glared. "Actually, yes, I have," he said, to both Beast-boy's and Cyborg's surprise. "What I'm worried about is . . . guys, what if she got pregnant? What if she has to go back to her planet? What if--god-forbid--I'm not here? What if she finds someone else and I still . . . I still. . ."

"Love her?" Beast-boy supplied over his obvious inability to finish the question.

Robin fell quiet and said nothing, glaring at the floor. "Why me?" He asked the carpet angrily. "Superheroes aren't supposed to fall in love--it's too dangerous. So why me? Why Starfire? Why now?" His voice rose with every syllable. Unable to contain his emotions, he stood and stomped away from the others, stopping only when Cyborg called out to him,

"You can't help who you love, Rob. It ain't your fault--it ain't her fault. It just . . . is."

Robin did nothing to acknowledge Cyborg's wise statement. He marched out of the room, fists clenched by his sides with his cape billowing out behind him in his fury. Beast-boy sighed. "He's lucky," he told Cyborg, who raised an eyebrow. "If the girl I loved asked me to 'join' in a mating ritual, I'd jump at the chance."

Cyborg gave him a dry expression. "Then I'm glad Terra isn't from Tamaran," he said, getting up to fetch him something to eat, leaving a sputtering and blushing Beast-boy in his wake.

--[Teen Titans]--

[Rooftop, Titan Tower]

"You can't help who you love. . ."

'If it were up to me, I'd have never fallen in love,' he thought angrily. 'It can only hurt you in the end. Love makes you vulnerable—weak. As a protector of this city, I can't let that happen . . . and I can't let her do that either.' Within the space of a second, his anger seemed to have disappeared, a calm sadness having replaced it. His masked eyes looked down over the ledge, one leg dangling limply while the other was perched on the edge. His elbow was propped up on his knee, the other one used as a leaning post.

He inhaled deeply when a strong gust of wind blew through his raven hair, ruffling it. It became uncharacteristically messy but he couldn't summon up the effort to fix it, and so it stayed that way; untidy, disheveled, un-Robin-like--exactly how he felt at that moment. The sight of the calm, tranquil ocean did nothing to soothe his rampaging mind. Cyborg's words ran circles through his brain, taking up every thought.

What was love anyway? 'An interesting combination of lust, affection, and respect,' he told himself, but knew there was more to it. He thought of the breathlessness that came with the fluttery stomach, as if thousands of butterflies had inhabited his abdomen. He thought of the heart-twisting pain in his chest whenever he thought of her in danger, or upset in anyway; then he remembered the overwhelming urge to do anything to ensure that she remain smiling. The joy of hearing her laughter . . . the emptiness when she wasn't there . . . the warmth of her touch. . .

He inhaled the fresh night air once more.

'Can you fall in love at seventeen?' Was it even possible? Remembering her, walking up to him in nothing but a bathrobe and asking him to be hers and hers alone, sent a sharp but sweet shiver down his spine. He could have had her right there and then but chose not to. He refused to use her in that way for momentary satisfaction--or for the sake of some meager "cycle" she was going through. No, he would not have her like that--ever. 'I sound like one of Terra's cheesy romance novels,' he thought self-derisively, smiling dryly at his own expense.

"The others told me I would find you here."

Startled, he felt his heart quicken, the blood roaring in his ears. He hadn't even heard the door close. 'How long was she standing there?' Desperately groping for something to say, he explained his reasons for coming onto the roof. "I needed to get away from everyone for a little while." 'You, especially,' he thought somewhat guiltily.

"I see," she said quietly. He hated how she sounded so hurt and he wished he could take back what he said, but could not. An ache arose in his throat, one he could not remember having before. It saddened him, how easily he could hurt her. "I will leave you to your thoughts, if you so wish." He heard her walking away and tried desperately to call her back, but his mouth would not listen, his chest tightening painfully.

Yet, it seemed fate was working in his favor. "The door will not open," she said, almost in an apologetic tone. "I did not lock it, but. . ."

"Raven," he said to himself, hiding a smile. 'I'll have to thank her later.'

"But why would Raven--" She cut herself off, realizing what he meant. "If . . . if my presence disturbs you, I will go."

"No!" He said, perhaps more loudly than he meant to. "No, please, I. . ." He cleared his throat, forcing himself to continue. "I wouldn't mind some company now." Immediately, he was glad he managed to speak, for the look of hope in her eyes seemed worth it. He watched her hesitantly walk towards him, sitting beside him--and yet a good distance away from him--on the ledge that overlooked the tranquil waters and glittering city. The moonlight shone brightly on her crimson hair, the soft breeze fluttering through the glittering strands. He wanted to--he stopped himself.

"I am sorry about earlier, Robin. I. . ." She clutched her hands together tightly. "I misjudged."

Little did Robin know how much those words pained her. Inside, Starfire thought about all that Raven and Terra had told her--only to be dissuaded by Starfire's own memories. True, Robin had shown he cared, but she remembered the look on his face when she'd asked him to be her lifemate. She remembered how he ran.

'But I want children,' she thought sadly. 'I want his children. Someday in the future, I would like to be a mother. I would like to have a child with our features and, come night, I want to go to bed and sleep beside him in his warmth.' She did not care if it was selfish and greedy; it was what her heart desired. Ever since she was a mere child, she'd always wanted a family of her own--hoped to have one as happy and as content as hers had been. Now, of course, she knew there were complications, but. . .

"Star, I--"

She did not give him the chance to make excuses. "Why can you not be my lifemate? Is it that I am not . . . acceptable enough for you?" She blurted. She wanted the truth, and X'Hal, she'd get it.

She watched his face turn a light pink. "It's complicated, Starfire."

She glared. "I am not stupid. Just because I do not understand your Earth ways all the time, does not mean I am incapable of understanding entirely. If you give me the chance to, I can understand."

"No! I never meant to imply that you were stupid, Star! I'd never think that you were stupid—ever." The way he said that made her heart leap with forbidden hope. She sincerely hoped he truly meant that. "It's just that I'm having a hard time understanding it myself."

The normally shy but open Tamaranian inched a little closer to him, her voice considerably softer than before. For the first time ever, Robin could not understand the emotion he heard in her words. "Then perhaps you can tell me what you are thinking, and then we can figure it out; together." She felt bolder by the second, courage and passion raging in her like never before. All because of Robin; he brought out these emotions within her, he made her feel alive.

Not once had they made eye contact during the entire conversation, but when Robin looked up he felt a bolt of lightning slither down his spine. "Star, I--"

Emboldened further by the smoldering fire within her, Starfire leaned towards him and captured his lips with her own, cutting off whatever statement he'd been about to say. Whatever space had been between them disappeared as she pushed against him, leaning heavily on his chest. She felt him fight to remain sitting upright, both of his arms supporting him with both of his heels on the cement, surrounding Starfire on either side. She feared he would push her away and so she pressed her lips more firmly against his in an attempt to counteract her fear, unsure of how to proceed but knowing she wanted him right there with her like this.

It seemed an eternity before she realized he would not kiss her back and she felt tears prickle her eyes. Defeated, she moved back ever so slightly but found that she could not.

His arms had caged her in.

Her heart swelled when she felt him respond, shivers of delight dancing down her spine. Every thought that had bombarded her mind vanished into thin air. She thought of nothing but how wonderful he felt, how his warmth sheltered her from the chilly night air. When he sought entry to the inner cavern of her mouth, she eagerly opened up to him, reveling in the taste of him, her nostrils flaring with the delicious scent of him. "Robin," she moaned involuntarily, her hands tangled within the depths of his thick, silky hair.

As if snapping out of a trance, Robin's eyes opened wide. He backed away from her--which, admittedly, was not that far due to the fact that he was sitting with her atop of him--panting in the aftermath of their kiss. Her eyes looked glassy and dazed, her lips swollen and moist; it took ever ounce of control he possessed not to ravish her thoroughly. 'Oh boy, I have got to get a grip,' he thought, struggling to control his ragged breath. Before she could overwhelm him with her touch, he gripped her wrists with his gloved hands, keeping her a safe distance from him so that he could speak properly.

"Starfire, we can't," he told her, knowing very well she understood what they could not "do".

Her breathing was just as uncontrolled as his had been. "Why not?" Her eyes seemed incredibly wide, the silver light from the night sky playing all sorts of shapes within the emerald depths. "Do you not even feel the tiniest bit of attraction to me?"

"You know the answer to that Star," he replied, his voice huskier than he remembered it being.

"Then why can you not--"

"What if you got pregnant, Star?" He blurted. "What if one day I'm not there and Slade gets his hands on you and uses you against me? What if he tries to use me against you? What if you get hurt because of me? I'll make you weak, Star, and I can't let you do that to yourself! What if your judgment gets clouded and--"

"It is my decision, Robin!" She cried, her voice louder than his. "I chose you as my lifemate; you and only you! Nothing else matters, Robin! Nothing!"

"But it does!" He tried to control his volume, but at this point, control was just a hazy dream. "Everything matters! Slade, the H.I.V.E, Raven, Beast-boy, Cyborg, Terra, this city; everything matters! We couldn't raise a child during these times." Desperately, he tried to reason with her, but she was already shaking her head.

"The hormonal cycle is not for birthing!" Her loud declaration echoed in the vast horizon of night, effectively silencing Robin. While his hands remained clamped onto her wrists, they loosened considerably in his shock. Even his breathing seemed to have completely stopped. She took the opportunity to free herself from his grip and sat back on her haunches, rubbing her elbow absently. Since the silence was so thick, she decided to explain further. "The hormonal cycle is merely a Tamaranian body's way of knowing whether or not it is necessary to create the hormones and cells needed for the birthing cycle. That is why I must find a mate; if I do not, I will never be able to have children when the time comes, and even then, the cells will only react to that one male alone."

She took a deep breath before saying, "Robin, can you not see that I care for you--greatly?"

Robin, meanwhile, raged the fiercest inner war he'd ever encountered within his mind. On the one had, the "child" factor was eliminated for the moment, but the others still remained. On the other hand, his body screamed at him to take her up on her offer, the blood still thrumming in his veins. 'I've never been so torn,' he realized; even Slade had never confounded him so. 'Do I want to have kids with her in the future? Do I want to be a lifemate? Can I really do that?' "Are you sure you want me as your lifemate, Star? I mean, there are so many others and you never know; once we defeat Slade, anything is poss--"

Again, Starfire interrupted him before he could continue rambling. Her lips moved against his own, this time refusing to be pushed away. 'If that was what worried him, he should have simply spoken to me sooner,' she thought with a smile, loving how she molded perfectly against him, how he responded almost automatically; loving him. Her fingers traced the already-familiar path to his hair, caressing his scalp as they combed through the ebony strands of hair. She held back a squeal when she felt his nails gently claw against her bare back; she hadn't known he'd taken off his gloves.

She smiled against his mouth, knowing he'd accepted her.

Without the slightest effort it seemed, Robin scooped up the giggly redhead, heading for the door that would lead them down to the bedroom levels. Starfire remembered the lock and easily blasted away the entire door, uncaring that they'd have to go and purchase a new one in the future and never separating her lips from Robin's.

Unfortunately, Starfire somehow managed to unbalance Robin's footing, tripping the poor humanoid and sending them both tumbling down the long, winding staircase. Their hides were tough enough that they could take it without much pain or injury and, when they finally stopped, they found themselves breathless with laughter; Robin with one foot caught in a railing, hanging upside down and Starfire laying spread-eagle on the floor. Starfire was still giggling when Robin disentangled himself and grabbed her, hefting her over his shoulder and walking down the corridor as if nothing had happened.

"I think the others were planning on this," Robin commented softly, noting the dark and barren Recreation room.

"I think we should thank them when they return," said Starfire, still as giggly and bubbly as ever.

"Agreed." Even though it was dark, Robin knew his way around and easily navigated the dark hallways to his room. When they got there, however, Starfire had one last favor to ask of him before he completed his role as lifemate.

"My mask?" He asked, at a loss for words.

"Please? I have never seen your eyes; I so greatly want to now."

He hesitated. Her eyes pleaded with him, begging him as if he were bestowing a treat upon her. 'Why must she always pull the Puppy Face?' Sighing, he carefully felt around the edges, wincing with the adhesive stuck stubbornly to his skin; it had been a long time since he'd taken off his mask. When he did, the air tickled the skin around his eyes. His eyes blinked of their own accord, trying to adapt to the air.

Starfire smiled wide, touching his face gently. 'He has the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen.' He caught the hand that caressed his cheek with his own, pulling her towards him, gazing at her, for once, with his naked eyes. Wordlessly, the entered his room, the door closing soundly behind them.

The lock clicked into place.

--[Teen Titans]--

[Titan Tower--Afternoon]

A green young man yawned as he walked through the door leading into the Titan Tower Recreation room. He rubbed the remaining shred of sleep from his tired eyes, stretching luxuriously before scratching his back and falling ingloriously over the couch. With a strangled yelp, he climbed onto the black cushions, gripping the remote and changing channels idly on the large television screen. Some ten feet away, the giant Cyborg grabbed some water from the refrigerator and gulped down heavily, draining the entire gallon within only a few seconds. The dark and silent Raven stood before the large windows and hovered in midair with her legs crossed, meditating. Terra jumped onto the sofa and joined Beast-boy in channel surfing.

"You think they got over it?" Cyborg wanted to know, tossing the empty gallon in the trash.

"They better have; that hotel room cost me half of my savings account," complained the still-drowsy Terra.

Beast-boy agreed. "If they didn't do anything yet, I'm gonna--"

"Greetings and Salutations my beloved friends! How fare all of you on this glorious Sunday afternoon?"

Even Raven stopped meditating. As one, the four Titans lounging in the room turned to find the only resident redhead in the doorway with the most radiant smile they'd ever seen on her face. Her usually immaculate mane of hair was wild and uncombed, her skin flushed through her ever-present tan. Her eyes gleamed like stars. Instead of her purple two-piece and matching boots, she wore a long white shirt that looked oddly familiar, her feet bare.

"I think that answers your question, Cyborg," commented Raven, a rare smirk flitting across her features before turning her back on them to resume her daily meditation.

"If you are talking about the mating ritual," chirped Starfire. "Then yes, it is done. I thank you all for vacating the Tower; it was very good planning from all of you. Unfortunately, Robin does not absorb energy from the sun as I do, and so he is still slumbering. May I join you all for breakfast?"

"Breakfast?! It's three o'clock in the afternoon!" Terra exclaimed, her hand covering Beast-boy's mouth before he exploded with laughter. Cyborg shook his head, handing Starfire a bowl of something she must have made the day before. It was gone within the blink of an eye.

"Really?" Starfire looked shocked, licking her lips even as her stomach rumbled loudly. "I did not think we stayed up for so long. . ." She shrugged. "Shall I make something?"

"No!" All of them cried at once, fear replacing their mirth.

She pouted. "I was going to suggest I make spaghetti--Robin taught me the recipe last week."

"I'll pass," Beast-boy said.

"If it's only spaghetti, then g'head," said Cyborg, smiling at her.

Smiling brightly, Starfire leapt into the air, twirling around and performing several loop-de-loops. For the next few weeks, she'd be in this state of euphoria, dancing and flying happily in the air like a lovesick fool; but she was a happy lovesick fool, and it would show on Robin's face the next time they'd see him.

From then on, nothing could ever make Starfire frown. And that was how it should always be.


[Author's Note]

The theories mentioned in this story (The "hormonal cycle" and such) are of my imagination and are just an excuse to crank up the heat in Starfire's and Robin's relationship (or lack thereof). It takes place in the future when the Titans are roughly seventeen to eighteen years of age (in the cartoon, they are closer to fourteen), so--dare I say it?—SEX is more acceptable generally (no matter if people twelve and up are having sex in real life, no one wants to read about thirteen or fourteen year olds getting it on, now do you?).

Yes, one or two of Star's flashbacks are changed and/or fake. It's a fanfic; sue me. :P

Terra being there. . . In reality, if it really were a few years down the line, Terra would not be there because of the whole "turning into stone" thing. But since she was enjoyable/laughable during the short period she was with us, I stuck her in there. Not because of the B.B./Terra thing (I'm not sure who B.B. should be with), but for old time's sake. Yes, they were OoC. I could not help that. I did my best, but it screwed up anyway; hey, it's hard writing romance, damn it! Oh, and no lemon, sorry! Personally, it would have ruined it.

Lastly, if you could, reviews would be appreciated. Constructive Criticism is very much appreciated as well, and Flames are always welcome; I need to test out my new water gun anyway. :D

Many thanks and I hope you all enjoy your Summer Vacation!