This was one of my favorite requests; almost as fun to write as "I Got the Blues."
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans, or Dawn of the Dead. Coolest zombie movie ever, next to Sean of the Dead.
"Hard day at work, dear?"
"The worst! Mr. Johnson is giving everyone extra hours."
"Well, if you stay on his good side, you might be in line for a promotion!"
Starfire watched contentedly as the television couple interacted. It hadn't taken her long to discover that the older T.V. shows were the ones she liked the best. They were usually in black and white, but she didn't mind. She loved how the characters were always clever and affectionate with each other. Star smiled as the T.V. wife took her husband's hat and coat and kissed him playfully on the cheek. Her smile faded into an expression of confusion when the woman walked behind the sofa he had sat down on and started to rub his shoulders.
"Beast Boy?" When he didn't answer her, Star looked over at him. He was in a trance; he had been staring intently at the case of his new Dawn of the Dead DVD, which he had bought that day with the intention of watching it. However, no one had the heart to remove Star from her favorite vintage sitcoms, so he had been simply gazing longingly at his new movie for an hour and a half.
Star tried again. "Beast Boy?"
He shook himself and tore his eyes away from the movie in his hands. "Yeah?"
"Why does that woman squeeze that man's shoulders? Does she expect to alter their shape?"
Beast Boy glanced at the television and smiled. "It's a backrub, Star. Haven't you seen one before?"
"No…what is its purpose?"
"It makes people feel better when their muscles are sore. What do you do for sore muscles on Tameran?"
Star tilted her head at him. "We do nothing. Soreness in the muscles is an effect of physical activity and exertion. It is a reminder of our vivacity and should be borne with pride."
"Tell that to Robin and Cy," Beast Boy snickered, as both boys staggered into the living room. The Titans had been commissioned to act as security for a temporary exhibit of very valuable art at the Jump City Museum. The job entailed standing watch in the cold for 18 hours, fighting off anyone who decided to try and steal a priceless painting. From the looks of it, a lot of people had tried.
"29 thieves," Robin groaned, holding his lower back and leaning heavily on the back of the sofa.
"29 and a half," corrected Cyborg with a grimace as he started toward his room. "Man, that kid was tough…"
"And people say no one in Jump City appreciates culture," Robin quipped. Cy and Beast Boy rolled their eyes, but Starfire giggled. Robin walked around the couch and gingerly sat down next to her, giving her a tired smile of appreciation. "Raven's taken over the watch tonight; Beast Boy, you and Star have the watch tomorrow."
"Marvelous!" said Star.
"Marvelous…" said Beast Boy, sounding exhausted already. He got up to help Cyborg, who was limping pitifully to his room.
Robin and Star were left in a heavy but companionable silence. She was sitting up, her arms straight at her sides, tilting her head in worry; he was twisting his torso back and forth and rotating his shoulders, working the stiffness out of his joints.
"Robin," Star said in a concerned whisper. She wasn't sure why she was whispering; something about being that huge room at nighttime by themselves created an intimate feeling. Robin groaned as his shoulder snapped into place, and Star flinched. "Does it hurt very much?"
"I'll live," he promised, trying to convince her with a brave smile. "Just a few sore muscles…" he breathed in sharply when he tried to move his neck. "Ok, a few extremely sore muscles."
"But I can help!" Star insisted, brightening. She vaulted backwards over the couch, and the next thing Robin knew, he felt warm hands close around his shoulders. She hesitated for a moment, and then started to squeeze them tentatively.
Robin's breath caught, and his body froze under her touch. She seemed to take this as consent, because she squeezed harder, rubbing her thumbs in little circles over the knots under her shoulder blades. She felt him let out his breath slowly, and his tightened muscles began to soften. He was going to stop her, but…she moved around to the back of his neck, and he slumped forward, dropping his head down to give her access. "Mmmmm…Star?"
"Yes?" She was grinning. She found that she was enjoying this. She gently worked a knot out of his neck, moving the tips of her fingers along the base of his head.
"What are you… aah… what are you doing?" She had finished with his neck and trailed her fingers down his spine, working gently up and down. She wasn't sure if she was doing it right, but she thought she heard Robin moan softly under his breath. Irritated with his heavy cape, she reached around his neck and unclasped it, folding it neatly beside him before continuing her work.
"I am helping you to feel better; now relax please," she said matter-of-factly.
Robin would have been completely relaxed – if it were anyone but Starfire massaging his back. He wondered if she knew how close she had gotten to him when she had leaned over him to remove the cape. For a moment, her smooth cheek had actually brushed his. He was trying not to think about it too much. "Sta – haar," he said, turning her name into a sigh as her hands slid back to his shoulders and down his arms. "You really don't have to…" He was starting to feel guilty; why should Starfire do something like this for him? She wasn't his – well, it didn't make sense.
"Stop struggling," she ordered officiously. That cut through his nervousness a little. Laughing, he summoned all his will power and broke from her grasp before reaching back to her. He found her hand and tugged her forward; she understood the signal and flew over the couch to sit by him.
"Star, you don't have to do things like that for me."
She looked disappointed. "You did not enjoy it?"
"Well, I…that's not the point. I feel like I'm taking advantage of you or something."
"But, Robin," she insisted, her eyes wide, imploring him to understand. "I am happy taking care of you. It is nice to know that you are no longer in pain, and that I was able to help." She laid a hand lightly on his face. "You so rarely let anyone care for you, Robin."
"Uh…" Robin meant to tell her 'thank you.' He meant to assure her that he appreciated her concern for him. He didn't do either of those things; instead, he took her hand, leaned toward her, and brushed his lips against hers in a soft, lingering kiss. He felt her gasp, and then sigh and stroke his cheek with the tips of her fingers as she leaned against the back of the couch. When he pulled back from her, her eyes were still half-closed. "Thank you," he told her, smiling sleepily.
"You're welcome," she said, still in a daze. He reached for the cape and covered them both, too tired and comfortable to think about moving to his room. He decided that he would graciously volunteer to take Beast Boy's place during Starfire's watch duties the next night. The thought made his smile widen as he drifted to sleep, still holding Star's hand.