"Like this, Robin?" Starfire moved her arms out and up over her head and then brought them down in a prayer position across her face, copying the motion that Robin had taught her. "Exactly," he assured her, almost laughing when her serene look of concentration dissolved into a rapturous smile at his praise. Star had approached him recently about learning some basic martial arts. She had very little experience with fighting hand-to-hand, and even less with fighting on the ground; she wished to be prepared for all types of battle. Robin had the idea of taking a canoe out on the lake nearby. He did this for two reasons: one, he wanted to show Star the importance of balance and control, and the canoe offered a good way to practice those things; two, he knew how easily he could be distracted by his work, and out here he could give Star his full attention. He watched her carefully as she repeated the motion again, her eyes closed and her jaw set in concentration.
"Good," he said, biting back his smile, because really there was nothing he should be smiling about. "Now, we stand up," he announced, noting how her little smile seemed to hide a great deal of nervousness at this proclamation. Demonstrating, he got himself into a catlike crouch on the seat at his end of the canoe, slowly rising until his knees had straightened and he stood upright, wobbling only slightly before gesturing for her to follow suit. Star looked at him incredulously, then began to float upwards, keeping her legs tucked under her so as not to disturb the boat. She began to lower herself to touch down gently on her seat, but Robin shook his head, chuckling. "No flying, Star. Sit back down; you have to do it the way I did." She looked a little flustered, but set her mouth in a determined line and lowered herself back to a sitting position. She crouched just as he had, glad that she had heeded his advice that morning and worn sweatpants instead of her miniskirt. She straightened gradually, keeping her legs very steady, and stood, facing Robin from the other side of the canoe.
Robin was impressed, but he tried not to show it. It was hard for him to be tough on Star- much harder than with the others- but he would have to if he wanted her to learn anything. "Good," he said, hoping that the smile that had escaped to his lips wasn't too affectionate. "Now, the same motion again...really extend it, but don't throw off your balance..." She closed her eyes again, lifting her arms out from her sides, all the way up, then down over her face, pressed together. Robin found himself gazing at her, mesmerized. The 9 o'clock sun was still close to the horizon, and shone directly behind Star as she perched on the edge of the boat. Her form was gently backlit, and her hair was glowing like a fiery halo. He noticed how her sweatpants clung to her slim hips and found himself wishing she had worn something over her purple sports bra. He realized that he had watched her perform the same motion 17 times before he shook his head slightly to clear it. "Legs," he instructed. "Just like I showed you back on land. Careful...right leg first..." Biting her lip, she repeated the arm motion one more time, but when she brought her hands down she lifted her right leg, turned it out, and rested her heel on her other knee, so that she was posed on her left leg. Her eyes shot open, and a look of triumph flashed through them as a dazzling smile lit her face. Robin wasn't sure what happened next, but something about the combination of her eyes looking straight at him and the silhouette of her body against the sun caused him to forget how to balance. Suddenly he found himself leaning sideways, further and further, until it was too late to correct his stance and he toppled over the side of the canoe, flailing his arms uselessly before hitting the water.
Starfire gasped, then giggled at the sight of him falling so ungracefully. When he surfaced she was laughing, still remaining perfectly steady in her yoga position, poised on the edge of the canoe. Robin gaped at her, and then started to smile as an idea occurred to him. He ducked his head under the water and disappeared from sight. Star stopped laughing. "Robin? Where are you? Robi—" She felt a frightening lurch as the canoe was overturned from underneath, and she finally fell.
When she surfaced, she was underneath upside-down canoe. She felt something tug at her leg, and was a bit scared until she saw Robin come up for air next to her. "Sorry," he said, looking anything but. "I couldn't resist." She tried to look angry but couldn't, and both laughed and splashed at each other playfully. When the laughter died, they both started to feel a bit uncomfortable. The blue canoe cast a slight blue glow, making the overturned boat seem like a private cavern. Robin watched Star's long hair float out around her and noticed the water beading on her skin, and suddenly it seemed like there wasn't enough air. She was breathing faster, looking at him with wide eyes. Doing what seemed like the only natural thing to do, he reached up, grabbed the bench built into the bottom of the canoe, and hauled himself in front of Star. Still holding on, he looped one arm tightly around her waist and pressed his mouth to hers. Starfire's eyes shot wide, but it only took her a second to close them and wrap her arms around Robin's neck. Both exhaled contentedly, realizing that they had been holding their breath. Robin pulled her closer and she relaxed against him, allowing him to hold both of them up with his other hand. After a long time they broke, breathing hard. Star was the first to speak.
"I...we...perhaps we should get back to my training," she said breathlessly. He nodded, unable to speak yet. They managed to right the canoe, and Star floated out of the water so that she could lift him and herself back in. She sat up straight and began the arm movements again, but he only let her finish one before grabbing her around the waist and tackling her to the floor of the canoe.
"That's enough training for today," he breathed, kissing her again.