Well, this is kind of cool, in my opinion. Someone at the RS Shrine asked for a fic in which Rob and Star are stuck in a hotel room together. This is what came out.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE no more reviews telling me I should write other couples. I don't feel like writing other couples yet. Don't badger me.
And now, let the fluff commence.
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans or New Orleans.
The Only One
"Raven, come on. You're being unreasonable."
Hearing nothing in return but stubborn silence, Robin sighed exasperatedly and sagged against the hotel room door. The others were a few feet off, looking at him expectantly; he just shook his head, indicating defeat. He should have known that they wouldn't be able to take a vacation without something like this happening.
Raven, who had been sneaking bites of Beast Boy's potato chips during the long car ride to New Orleans, had begun to inexplicably feel ill somewhere between the 400th and 500th mile. It wasn't so inexplicable anymore after Beast Boy informed her that the chips had expired seven months earlier. Apparently, Beast Boy had some sort of animalistic power behind his metabolism that Raven lacked.
In any case, Raven was now violently sick. This was bad for her on two levels: she was horribly embarrassed about her haggard and weakened appearance, and more importantly, was having a very difficult time controlling her powers in her state.
The other Titans, standing by the door to the hotel room she would allow no one else to enter, heard a mighty retch from within, accompanied by the sound of a television exploding. Robin winced, mentally calculating the cost of the damage she was likely to inflict on the room that night.
The problem was not Raven's illness – though that had proved to be an ordeal in itself. The problem was that Robin had only reserved three rooms: one for the girls, one for Beast Boy and Cyborg, and one for himself. Now, Raven was claiming the girls' room as her own, and not without reason; Starfire certainly wouldn't be safe in a room with abundant germs and continuously exploding appliances. However, this presented a problem: where was Starfire supposed to sleep?
Every other room in the hotel was booked; and so, Robin was stuck trying to reason with a very ill and very irritable half-demon.
"Come on, Raven. We can make this work. We can build a protective wall around her, or something. You can't just take the room. I know you hate being around people when you're sick, but you're just going to have to…"
He trailed off as the door opened wide enough for a single, menacing eye to appear, glaring at him through the crack.
"Go. Away. Now," she ordered in a weak but imposing monotone, the single eye narrowing with each word. Robin didn't back down from the door… until a barrage of miniature shampoo bottles encased in black energy shot toward the crack in the door, straight for his head. He hastily pulled the door shut again, rolling his eyes at the satisfied chuckle he heard on the other side.
"Where is Starfire going to sleep, then?" Robin yelled, frustrated with the whole situation.
"Outside," suggested Raven from inside the room. "It's warm out. She does it at home all the time."
"But this is New Orleans, not Jump City! It's dangerous to be out by yourself at night!"
"Not for a super hero, Robin," she pointed out.
She was right, of course. Robin wondered why the fact that Star had formidable super powers hadn't even occurred to him. He must have also forgotten that she was standing just a few paces behind him, because when she placed a hand on his shoulder he jumped in surprise.
"Robin, do not be concerned." Rather than looking like someone who'd just been rendered homeless for the night, Star looked as if Christmas had come early. She smiled brightly at him, and her eyes shone with excitement. "Raven is quite correct. I am accustomed to sleeping outdoors; I often fall asleep on the roof of the Tower while I am watching the stars."
He knew that, of course. He always made sure he knew exactly where Star was before he allowed himself to go to sleep, and whenever she wasn't in her room, she was likely slumbering on the roof. He would usually bring her a pillow, and a blanket if it was chilly. He wondered why she'd never woken up and wanted to know who had covered her and placed a pillow under her head during the night.
"It should be me. You take the room," he offered, knowing even as he said it that she would refuse.
"I will enjoy experiencing the nighttime in this new city," she argued gently, a dreamy look of anticipation settling over her features.. Ever since they'd arrived, Robin could tell she was entranced with all the lights and colors, and the warm, sultry air of New Orleans.
"Ok," Robin said, smiling back at her, though he still felt like arguing the matter. She beamed and gave his shoulder a squeeze, and he nearly sighed at the pressure. But the sigh caught in his throat as she withdrew her hand, her fingers brushing accidentally along his chin. Thankfully, she seemed entirely unaware of his reactions as she knelt across the hall, trying to reorganize the contents of her duffle bag (which Raven had thrown from the room earlier). Everything had been resolved, then; Beast Boy and Cyborg had retreated to their room, and could be heard arguing over which of the seventy cable channels to start with. Star picked up her bag, prepared to go. Robin had another ridiculous surge of anxiety.
"Look, Star…" How could he make sure she was safe if she going to be so far away? Then, it came to him: "Why don't you sleep on one of the chaises by the pool? It's right outside my window."
She cocked her head. "So?"
Robin wanted to knock himself in the head with his bo-staff for being so over-protective; but, knowing he would never be able to sleep otherwise, he tried to continue. "I want you within sight… in case… in case we get an important call!" he finished triumphantly. He'd found his excuse.
Her eyes widened in comprehension. "Of course!" she said, nodding.
Opening the door to his room, Robin led her in and across to the window. He opened it and helped her to fit her duffle bag through it, watching as she flew down to the pool eight stories below. She settled on a poolside chair, waving cheerily up at him. He laughed and waved back, admiring the way the warm breeze was blowing her hair about her face. She was safe, comfortable, and within sight – so he was happy. Closing the window but leaving the curtains open, he fell onto one of the beds and went to sleep.
Robin was lost in a wonderful dream. He was lying on something soft and fluffy, which appeared to be a cloud. Sure enough, when he leaned over the edge, he could see the faint outline of Jump City far below.
Suddenly, a whirl of motion caught his eye. A blur of red, purple, and orange shot up from the cloud just next to him, stopping mid-twirl and hovering in the air. She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, bathed in a beam of pure sunlight, her orange-tan skin glowing in an unearthly way. Bits of cloud were caught in her long, auburn hair, which shone like strands of satin as it draped over her delicate shoulders. She floated to him suddenly, pushing him down and leaning over his chest. She shook the clouds out of her hair and giggled, her green eyes sparkling mischievously.
"Robin," she whispered, leaning down further. Her hair brushed against the side of his neck, sending thrilling shivers through his body.
"Starfire," he sighed, closing his eyes as she stroked his cheek. He wanted this moment to last for the rest of his life, and he tried to ignore the annoying tapping sound he kept hearing in the distance.
"Robin," she said again, her lips inches from his. "Robin…"
Robin awoke with a start at the sound of Starfire's frantic shout – the real Starfire, who was currently hovering just outside his window, becoming increasingly soaked by the torrential rain that had begun to fall.
'That explains the tapping sound,'he thought, watching dazedly as fat raindrops the size of quarters pelted the glass. He shook his head to clear the delirious fog the dream had created and ran to the window. He swung it open, jumping out of the way as she shoved in her bag and tumbled ungracefully after it. She whirled around and closed the window, her eyes wide as she turned to face him.
Robin had several reactions at once. First, he felt sorry for Star, who was soaked to the skin and looking chilled. Then, he started to notice the difference that a lot of water made to the fabric of her uniform. He trained his eyes on her face, trying to avoid thinking along those lines, and met with adorably wide green eyes, half-hidden by the long bangs that now hung straight in front of them. He had an irrepressible urge to brush the bangs out of her face, and found himself reaching out before he realized what he was doing. He froze for an instant, and then snapped his arm back to his side.
"Are you alright?" he asked, mostly to distract her from his strange behavior.
She nodded, her expression still a little bemused. "I enjoy the rain, but that… that was like… 'mega-rain,'" she said breathlessly, borrowing the word, no doubt, from Beast Boy's video games and comic books. It broke Robin's reverie, and he struggled to suppress his laughter for a moment before gently taking her arm and leading her to the bathroom.
"You've gotta put something else on," he pointed out, trying not to blush as he said it. "Did you bring anything warmer than that?"
She shook her head. "I have nothing longer than this," she said, plucking at her short skirt. It hiked up a little in the process, and he gulped.
"Well, uh… I brought some sweatpants. Why don't you put these on," he suggested, grabbing a black pair of athletic pants from his suitcase. "We'll figure something out as soon as you've got something drier on, ok?"
"Thank you, Robin," she said gratefully, taking his pants and one of her tops toward the bathroom. Then she stopped, dropped the clothes, turned and threw her arms around him. "You are a wonderful and caring friend," she told him in his ear.
And he didn't even mind that she was soaking his uniform.
"Ok, your turn!" Robin announced, leaning back on the pillows that he had propped against the headboard.
Starfire was sitting cross-legged on the other bed, in a dry purple midriff top and Robin's pants (which only reached the middle of her calves). She rested her hands on her ankles and tilted her head, deep in thought.
"Oh! I know!" she cried, bouncing up and down a few times for emphasis. "I am the only one I have ever met who treats mustard as a beverage!"
Robin laughed. "Yeah, you're the only one I've ever met like that, too." He thought for a moment. "Let's see… I'm the only one I know who… can only eat odd numbers of things."
She looked confused. "What do you mean?"
"Like, when I'm eating crackers. I can eat one cracker, or three, or five, but not two or four. You see?"
"Yes…" She raised an eyebrow at him. "But… why?"
"Because odd numbers are symmetrical," he replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. She giggled, and he smiled contentedly, reveling in the sound of her laughter. This was the first time in a while that he'd had her to himself. "What else have you got?" he asked her, challenging her playfully.
"Well… I am the only person I know who… feels pity for spiders."
"Star, I'm telling you, that wolf spider in Raven's room didn't feel a thing when she smashed it with the Complete Works of Robert Frost," he explained through his laughter. "He's… in a better place now…" Star gave up on being affronted and joined in laughing, tears of mirth streaming down her cheeks.
"Now you," she said between giggles, flipping to her stomach and resting her chin in her hands.
He thought for a moment. "I'm the only one I know who… worries about you."
She sat up, regarding him with curiosity. "About me? Why should you worry about me?"
Robin flushed, looking down at his hands nervously. "I shouldn't… everyone else knows you can take care of yourself."
Star looked almost indignant. "But you do not think I am a capable component of the team?"
'This isn't going well,' thought Robin. "No, Star, that's not what I meant… I just have this overwhelming need to protect you… all of you," he amended hastily. "I know I'm the one without powers, but I forget how powerful you are sometimes and… but it's not that I don't respect you—"
He was silenced suddenly by a small hand lain over his own. He hadn't noticed her moving to sit beside him.
"I worry about you as well," she said, smiling softly. "It is merely part of caring a great deal for someone, is it not?"
He looked from her face down to her hand, and back again. "Yeah," he agreed. Starfire didn't realize how close to a confession that agreement was; Robin rarely admitted anything remotely connected to feelings.
Still watching her face, he grinned as she scrunched up her eyes and yawned cutely.
She nodded, smiling sleepily. "May I sleep here, please? It has stopped raining, but I believe my former bed will be too wet to sleep on comfortably."
"No problem," he assured her, getting up and pulling the blankets back on the other bed. After she climbed in, he began to arrange the covers around her. She gave a bewildered laugh.
"What are you doing, Robin?"
He looked up from the foot of the bed, where he was pushing the blankets under the mattress on all sides. "Tucking you in," he said, smiling sheepishly. "My mom used to do it… helped me sleep, somehow…"
"Oh." Satisfied, she settled back on her pillow. "So, your mother would simply tighten the bedcovers around your person?"
"Yeah, basically. And then she would sort of stroke my hair, like this," he explained, moving back up to the head of the bed and demonstrating. He ran his fingers lightly over the top of her head in a temporary moment of recklessness. She sighed and closed her eyes.
"Mmmm… was there anything else?"
"Yeah… she would, uh… kiss me on the forehead."
She smiled slightly. "Alright."
Robin swallowed, kneeling next to the bed and leaning over her. He bent slowly, screwed up his courage, and pressed his lips softly to her temple. He felt her shift slightly, and thought he heard another sigh.
"And then," he continued, "she would say 'Goodnight,' and, uh… 'I love you.'"
"I love you, too," said Starfire sleepily.
It was several seconds before she realized what she'd said. Her eyes snapped open and she sat up, backing away as far as she could; which wasn't far, as the headboard was in the way. "I was… sleep-talking?" she suggested hopefully, unable to meet his eyes.
Had she been looking at him, she would have seen him appear shocked, confused, and finally, happy – the happiest he had been in a long time. She would have seen him rise from the floor and sit beside her. She would have seen him tilt his head and lean toward her, supporting himself on his arms. And she would have seen his lips curve into a smile just before they pressed against hers.
Starfire had always been a quick learner. So, it only took her three seconds to overcome her shock and begin kissing him back. He would have laughed at the near-ferocity with which she responded to him, had he not been distracted by the nerves in his body seeming to catch fire at the touch of her lips. Her hands ran up his arms, around his neck, and then up into his hair, where they clenched reflexively as the kiss deepened. Robin held her to him gently, clasping a forearm around her waist and raising a hand to the back of her neck. He felt full, complete; overflowing with sensation and brimming with pure contentment.
With some difficulty, Robin pulled away, resting his forehead against hers. He laughed, not really knowing why, and so did she, though she looked a little disoriented.
"Time for bed," he said reluctantly, chuckling as she whined a little in protest. "We'll have time to… talk, tomorrow," he promised, guessing from her slightly wicked grin that she meant to do something else with him tomorrow, as well. The thought sent happy shivers down his spine as he got her settled back in her bed. Then he turned off the light; but before going back to his own bed, he leaned over her again and looked at her.
"Sleep-talking?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. She grinned.
"Perhaps… I meant it," she admitted shyly, flushing and lowering her eyes.
Robin wasn't great with emotion, and he could hardly articulate what he felt at that moment. So, he placed his lips next to her ear and whispered, "Well… me too, then."
And, judging from Starfire's smile, it was more than enough for her.