Why are you watching that pan so intently?" Robin jerked awake
from his half-asleep state to find that Starfire was peering at him
worriedly across the stove. He had woken up at 5:00 that morning so
that he could make his favorite breakfast, banana pancakes, without
interference. With all the arguing that went on in the morning plus
Beast Boy's adherence to tufu, he rarely ever got to eat them
anymore; he had planned for this morning to be a treat for himself,
but he kept falling asleep standing up behind the stove.
"Mornin', Star," he mumbled sleepily. "I'm trying to make pancakes for breakfast, but I keep falling asleep...what're you doing up?"
"I always awaken at 5:00 to watch the sun come up," she explained, sounding way too cheerful to have gotten up so early.
been up all this time?" Robin asked incredulously. She nodded
brightly. "You should have come down earlier...I could have used
your help." He pointed at the charred remenants of his 5th
attempt at making his pancakes.
Star giggled and took the pan, washing off the burnt batter in the sink behind him. "Might you require my assistance now?" she asked as she replaced the clean pan, looking hopeful. "I am wide awake, and could revive you every once in a while so that you do not destroy any more of your 'cakes.' Will that be helpful?" He laughed lightly. "Sure, Star, that'll be helpful. How about you try making some? I've mixed 2 bowls already and I'm getting pretty sick of it." To anyone else it would have sounded like Robin was trying to pawn the work off on Starfire, but he knew better. He saw how much she loved trying new things, and asking her to make the next batch was his way of giving her a treat. Just as he had anticipated, her eyes lit up and she jumped up and down a few times. "Really? I would love to, Robin!" He smiled, feeling more awake now that she was here, and handed her the bowl.
"First, you need flour..." He talked her through all the dry ingredients, making sure she got the measurements right while still allowing her to do it all herself. Robin leaned back against the counter, watching her. She narrowed her eyes in concentration when she cracked the eggs, and scratched her head adorably when she was trying to figure out how to mash the bananas without spilling the mixture. He suppressed a laugh when he saw that she had gotten some batter in her hair, and a little on her face as well. Star was the only one who could make him want to stand there making pancakes with her for hours; she was the only one who could make him smile whenever she quirked a tiny eyebrow or wrinkled her nose; she was the only one who could make him feel so vibrantly alive, even at 6:00 in the morning. He was so lost in staring at her that he almost didn't hear her talking to him.
"Robin? ROBIN? It is completed! What is next?" She stood in front of him, holding the bowl out proudly as if for his inspection. He took it from her, and without thinking he reached out a brushed some of the flour off her smooth cheek, smiling fondly and letting his fingertips linger on her skin. Suddenly he realized what he was doing and almost dropped the bowl. He quickly withdrew his hand from Star's slightly confused face and turned his back to her, taking a deep breath. Woah, he thought. I have to watch myself. I'm not thinking clearly around her; it's too early for thinking clearly. He turned back around, determined not to let her know what was wrong.
"Now we pour it onto the pan," he said, hearing his voice come out a bit gruffer than usual. He cleared his throat and tried again. "I've heated and greased the pan, so now you want to very carefully pour the batter into small circles. Do you understand?"
"Yes..." She looked a bit uncertain. "Robin?"
"Yeah?" Oh God, she isn't going to ask about what just happened, is she?
"Must I make 'cakes' shaped like circles? That seems rather redundant and uninventive to me." He chuckled. Starfire just wouldn't be Starfire if she did things normally. "Star, you can pour them into whatever shapes you want." She brightened and grabbed the bowl, beginning her task. He stood directly behind her, ready to intercept in case she was in danger of burning her hands on the stove or dropping the bowl. It was just cooking, but he always felt a need to be protective of Star (especially since the ironing incident last month...he had never forgiven himself for that...) He watched over her shoulder as she meticulously poured two circles, allowing them to merge, and then connected them at the bottom with a point to form...a heart. She admired her handiwork for a moment before moving on to the next one, when she somehow managed to pour five equal points of a perfect star. She giggled and clapped her hands in delight at her success, and Robin could only gaze stupidly at the perfect shapes cooking in the pan. She turned to face him. "Robin, look, I have done it, I..." She trailed off, thrown off by how close he was. They were almost nose-to-nose, and their knees touched slightly. "How did I do?" she asked, whispering for some reason.
"Brilliantly. Best pancakes I've ever seen," he told her seriously, wondering why he couldn't look away, or back up from her. His two favorite smells, banana pancakes and Starfire, were mingling together and making him a little dizzy. He reached out and pulled an eggshell out of her hair, lingering to brush her bangs off her forehead. He realized their faces were growing closer. Trying desperately to cling to sanity, he looked back at the two pancakes she had made. "Can I have the star?" he asked, blushing as soon as it came out of his mouth. She was centimeters from his face now, and he grasped the counter behind her for support. "Yes, you can," she whispered. And then one--or both--of them closed the distance between their faces, falling into a kiss. Star leaned back against the counter, and Robin's hands moved onto her back. She grasped his face, and he smiled against her lips when he felt that she was getting pancake batter all over him. Both sighed heavily, feeling the morning's tension dissolve into bliss. On the stove next to them, the sixth batch of banana pancakes burned to a crisp.