Ok, I admit, this story is a month late. I wrote it for the shrine right before Halloween. But, a lot of people liked it, and so do I, so I decided to post it anyway. Hope you don't mind Oh, sorry it's been so long. My computer was down for a while.
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans. But, if all goes according to plan, I will soon own a small island off the coast of Alaska. There, my conquest of humanity will take root…evil laughter.
'You idiot,' thought Robin. 'Honestly, think about it: is it really that hard? Starfire, would you like to go on the Ferris Wheel with me? See? See how easy that is? One little sentence; you can do it, man, you can do it…'
"Starfire, would you…uh…"
"Yes, Robin?" She was next to him on the carousel, riding the unicorn; he had selected the black horse beside it. Watching Starfire made him remember how much fun the carousel was when he was a child; she held the unicorn tightly around its plastic neck, leaning back slightly. Her long auburn hair fluttered behind her, glinting in the colorful carnival lights, and she periodically threw her head back and laughed out of pure joy. Starfire was a rarity: she was almost childlike in her unadulterated enthusiasm for everything and in her obvious innocence, but she had a certain intelligence that most people didn't recognize. She was one of the few people Robin had ever known who seemed to understand him; who he was, and why he did what he did. She knew him completely, he was sure of it; and he knew her. Under her beauty, there was only more beauty; every new layer outshone the last. His heart swelled almost painfully in his chest when her laughing green eyes met his. "Robin? What is it?"
"Um…nothing, I guess." He swore inwardly at his own cowardice. Star looked a little confused, but didn't press the matter. The carousel slowed, and with a little groan of disappointment Starfire disembarked, taking Robin's hand casually and flying straight off the ride to where the others were standing. Beast Boy was morphing continuously to impress the crowd of children that had gathered around them. He wouldn't just become different animals, though; he would morph, and then attempted to break dance – which he couldn't even really do in human form. Just then, he was a hippo. Raven was smirking slightly; Cyborg was tapping his foot impatiently.
"Alright, now that Robin and Star have finished with the kiddie rides—" Star blushed; only Robin had agreed to go on the 'lame' rides with her, as she had insisted on experiencing everything at the carnival. "—we can do…the haunted house!" Cyborg finished dramatically. Raven brightened a bit, and Hippo-Beast Boy nodded emphatically while trying to do a 4-legged split (it wasn't working out very well). He reverted to his neutral form and jumped around excitedly.
"I LOVE the haunted house! You can't have Halloween without a haunted house!" He and Cyborg high-fived while Raven rolled her eyes.
"I like to make the props move when kids go by," she admitted, smiling a tiny, slightly evil smile. "They never know what hit them…"
Robin was a little worried. Star wasn't a fan of anything scary; he knew she didn't get any sleep for a week the time they'd rented Texas Chainsaw Massacre…to that day, whenever she heard a lawn mower starting she would reflexively blast a starbolt and cower on the floor. He expressed this concern to Beast Boy, as subtly as he could, by gesturing meaningfully toward Starfire, who was warily eyeing the man in the zombie costume who guarded the entrance to the haunted house.
Beast Boy picked up on the gesture and waved it aside. "It's not scary at all," he said, directing the comment to Starfire in particular. "It's just a lot of fun, right Cy?"
"Right, fun, whatever…" Cyborg was slowly inching toward the entrance. Robin gave up, certain that Beast Boy was right and that Starfire would be just fine. She looked confident enough. However, when they walked through the entrance and were enveloped by darkness, her soft hand somehow found its way into his.
"One, two, Freddy's comin' for you…three, four, better shut the door…"
"Oh, I do not know who this 'Freddy' is, but I am instinctively certain that I do not want to meet him," Star whispered, her voice trembling slightly as they walked past the girl who was singing creepily. Star had not let go of Robin's hand, a fact that simultaneously worried and thrilled him. He squeezed it gently as he felt her getting tense with fear. Beast Boy had lied, and Robin would kill him for it later. This haunted house was indeed scary.
They entered a hallway, lined with seemingly ordinary, ornately-framed portraits. Robin felt Star relax as she loosened her grip on his hand, but he know better than to let his guard down. Having had experience with haunted houses, he knew that large portraits along a dark hall were never a good sign.
He was right. A figure in one of the 'paintings,' who until that moment had held perfectly still, lunged forward with a strangled cry, his hand outstretched and trembling. Star screamed, squeezing Robin's hand and pulling herself closer to his side. The actor was made up to resemble a ghost, and his pale face and sunken eyes, not quite visible from the painting, were now in plain view. He moaned convincingly, and Starfire's body shook against Robin's. The actor noticed her fear, and with an evil leer he reached towards her in particular, lightly brushing his hand through the ends of her hair. In a flash Robin was in front of her, and the actor was yowling in pain and grasping his hand after being rapped rather hard in the knuckles with a bo-staff. Robin glared at him, his arm around Star protectively. "Play nice," he warned the actor. "You're not supposed to touch her; you know that."
The actor, knowing that Robin was right and miffed that his fun had been spoiled, sneered at him. "Don't like people touching your things, boy?" It took a second for Robin to get his meaning, and when he did he blushed deeply, trying to camouflage his embarrassment with his anger by yelling that he would be seeing the man's employer about his rule-breaking harassment of carnival guests. He stormed off, steering Star into the next room where the others were waiting for them.
"Can you believe that guy?" Robin was still fuming. "I mean, not only to touch Star like that, which he knows is against haunted house rules, but to imply that I was just – that Star and I – where would he have even gotten that idea?"
"Well, Robin, it could have been the fact that you drew a weapon to protect her from an actor, and possibly the fact that you're still holding onto her for dear life," Raven deadpanned. Robin looked down, where Star was pressed against his chest, his arms around her shoulders protectively. She saw him looking at her and seemed to wake up from her daze, leaping out of his arms as he backed away from her, confusion written all over his face. Raven was the only one who saw this exchange, of course, as Cyborg and Beast Boy had already moved on in their impatience. She shrugged, not really caring either way that neither one had figured it out yet; if an abusive carnival employee could see it, it was only a matter of time before those two idiots did. She turned away from her denial-wrought friends and casually wiggled one of the fake skeletons along the wall, causing a group of teenagers walking by to shriek and run like crazy. Chuckling darkly, Raven continued into the next room, followed by the red-faced Robin and Starfire.
They had gone through most of the house already; Beast Boy said the portrait hall was near the end. Starfire was relieved, as she now lacked her primary source of comfort in that horrible place: the warmth of Robin's hand. She clamped her fists at her sides, trying to resist the urge to grab it again. She settled for walking close by him; his presence, more than anyone else's, made her feel safe and protected.
Then she heard it – the piercing, echoing sound that had kept her awake at night for a week: the unmistakable sound of a chainsaw. Robin was immediately on the alert and grabbed her hand, embarrassment momentarily forgotten. Starfire had frozen. She had not even screamed. Her face was terrifyingly pale, and her hand became stiff and rather cold. Her eyes, dulled by shock, were locked wide open, fixed on the masked chainsaw-wielding figure in front of them. Robin took hold of Star's hand and ran, dragging her out through the final exit. Her feet moved automatically, and she followed him easily enough. The actor with the chainsaw, of course, showed no mercy, and was following close behind them until they had reached the crisp air and bright lights again.
"Star? Star, say something, please! Are you ok now? Can you hear me? Come on, sweetheart, blink or something for me, will you?" The others' eyes widened at Robin's use of the endearment, but he didn't seem to notice. Suddenly, the dull shock in Star's eyes was replaced by the brilliant sparkle of tears. They began to fall silently down her face, and Robin noted with relief that the color was returning to her cheeks. He pulled her into a tight hug, stroking her hair soothingly and glaring at Beast Boy over her shoulder. "Shhh…" he whispered, rocking her gently. "It's ok, Star, you're ok, we're all fine…that man, he wasn't like the man in the movie. I don't even think there was a chain on that saw…it just made the noise, just to scare people."
She pulled back and looked at him with wide eyes. "It worked," she said, trying to smile but instead bursting into tears again. "Oh, I cannot help seeing those people dying, over and over…and the blood…it was just a movie, and just actors, I am not stupid, but…Robin, I hate chainsaws…" Her face pleaded with him to understand. He did; he knew that Starfire wasn't stupid, but fear didn't have to be rational. He held her face in his hands gently, smoothing away her tears with his thumbs and trying in vain to calm the wild fear still in her eyes. He wanted only to make her forget the sound of the chainsaw, and his anxious mind could only come up with one way to do that. Moving his hands around to the back of her head, he drew her mouth swiftly to his.
He felt her body go rigid with shock, and immediately regretted his decision. Just as he was preparing to pull away, however, he felt her tension dissolve as she relaxed and pressed closer to him, making a small contented sound in her throat. His hands moved down around her waist, and hers moved up his arms and around his neck. Robin's mind went cloudy, and he was aware only of Starfire, and of the wonderful, fluttering, aching warmth in his chest. He wondered vaguely whether she had forgotten about the chainsaw yet; he thought so, since he himself was having a hard time even remembering his name. They broke and hugged each other tightly, trying to calm their heartbeats. The other Titans, for once, didn't seem to have anything to say: Cy and Beast Boy were looking catatonic with shock, their eyes bulging and their mouths hanging open. Even Raven was considerably surprised, and unable to contribute her usual sarcasm.
"Wow," Robin muttered into Starfire's hair, his heart still racing. Intense. "That was a little scary."
"The haunted house?" asked Star absently, a bit out of breath.
Robin laughed. "Yeah, that too," he agreed, unable to resist lightly kissing her again. "Happy Halloween, Star."