A/N: Written at the request of RyokoJesse, this is a one-shot for Robin/Starfire fans. I hatched this idea in the middle of History class, due to boredom and momentary creative sparks. Anyways. The first excerpt that you will hear Robin say is from "More Taste Berries for Teens," called Nice Guy Out There but I changed it to "girl" for story puropses. The second one, Change of Heart, is written by me. And the third one is from the same book, called You Are My Star. I made them shorter than they are for your convenience. Do read and review!
Starfire walked around the tower as the storm raged on outside, rain pounding the windows and thunder making the floor shake as a flash of lighting made her jump. In her hand she held a small book, gripping it tightly as her fear of thunderstorms increased with each passing moment. Where was he?
Perhaps he is sleeping, she thought to herself. The rest of the Titans were safe in their beds, dreaming the storm away. But she couldn't sleep, and in her inability to slip into dreams she began to read a book that had been on one of the shelves in the study; a book which the title of greatly puzzled her naïve mind.
"Robin?" she called out, walking over to his room and knocking gently. Surprisingly, she did not receive a reply from within. Robin was always in his room at this time of night… She knocked again, this time slightly harder, and called his name.
Still no answer. Dejected, Starfire decided to get something to eat, something that would help her ease her nerves. Ironically, as she walked into the kitchen, she could see a lone figure sitting on the floor of the living room, his body supported by his hands as he watched the storm raging outside.
"Robin!" squealed Starfire, her hands dropping the mustard she had been preparing to drink, uncaring as it hit the floor with a soft squelch. The Boy Wonder turned his body around to face the kitchen, looking confused as he searched the darkness in the tower for the source of the voice… He recognized it, however.
"Starfire?" he asked, kneeling on the floor. "What are you doing up?"
"I could not sleep," she told him, walking over to the couch and sitting on it, putting the book down next to her. "Why are you not within your room?"
"I couldn't sleep either… Storms usually keep me up," he said, getting up from the floor and coming to sit next to her on the soft couch. "When I was a kid, I used to sneak into my parents' room during a storm and they'd read to me so I could fall asleep… But since they died, they keep me up."
His face grew saddened as he talked about his childhood. Starfire knew, of course, that Robin's parents had died in a trapeze accident years ago, but she had never heard him speak of them much before. One of the words he said, however, stirred her mind.
"Yes! Reading! That is why I must speak with you!" she told him, picking up the book. "I was told by friend Beast Boy that reading brings the sleepy-ness to him, so I attempted it, but… Robin, I am very confused."
"Confused? Can you read in English? 'Cause that's an English book, Star," he told her, taking the book in his hands and looking at her.
"Yes, I am able to read in your language, Robin, but it is the title which confuses me!" she exclaimed, her finger pointing at the cover. "I did not realize that there was a soup of chicken that must be fed to the soul!"
Robin looked at the cover.
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
It took all of Robin's willpower not to laugh, but he couldn't help but to smile broadly, shaking his head at her adorable naïveté.
"And I have looked inside! I cannot find the recipe!" she cried, putting her face in her hands out of frustration. This time, Robin couldn't suppress his laughter and a chuckle slipped out of his mouth as he put a hand under her chin and brought her face up to look at him.
"It's not supposed to have a recipe, Star," he told her simply, preparing himself once more to enlighten her about the 'strange ways of his planet,' as she once put it.
"But then why must I read about a soup of the chicken for my soul? I did not even know that souls feed!" she said, her hands going to her chest to rest on her heart. "Mine must be very hungry!"
"No, let me explain," he said, leaning back against the couch. "Chicken Soup is a book that has a bunch of short stories in it. You know, stories about love, friendship, all that stuff. It's supposed to give you the 'warm-fuzzies,' as some people say."
"Warm fuzzies?" she inquired, tilting her head in puzzlement.
"It means it's supposed to make you feel happy and warm inside. It's like—I can't explain it," he said, running a hand through his hair. "It's sort of like when you get butterflies in your stomach."
"Butterflies? Inside of my stomach?" she said, horrified at the thought of insects flying around inside her.
"No! Not real butterflies, Star!" she said, laughing. "I can't really explain it. Okay, let's just read one and you'll see what I mean."
Robin opened the book and looked at the index. "Okay, what topic do you want to read about first? Friendship? Love? Embarrassing momen—"
"Friendship! I would like to hear about the friendships of the soup of chicken!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands together eagerly.
"Uhm, they're about the friendships of other people, not of soup…"
"Then, why in Glorfgark is it titled 'Chicken Soup'?" she asked, aggravated.
"Well, when you drink soup, you feel all warm inside… and that's like the warm-fuzzies, I guess," he told her. This thing about warm fuzzies and butterflies was becoming complicated to explain, not to mention, he was not the kind of person to ever say such things as 'warm-fuzzies.' But he could think of no other common expression other than 'butterflies,' and that had confused her as well.
"I wish to experience these fuzzies you speak of!" she said, ecstatic. "Let us read about love!"
Robin gulped slightly as her hand had found his, holding it tenderly.
Robin turned to the index, searching the titles for a story that seemed suitable to read to her. She watched eagerly as he flipped through the pages, his eyes landing on one of the titles.
"Let's see this one. It's called Nice Girl—Out There"
Looking at the page, he began to read.
"You come into my life, accepting me for who I am, liking everything about me, cheering me up when I'm feeling down, giving me courage to go the distance," he began, swallowing hard as he realized just how accurately the poem was describing his feelings for Starfire. He glanced at her and continued to read. "Helping me when I need it, becoming my faith in love. You're a nice girl out there… Somewhere. One day we shall find each other. Until you come into my life, you remain… a dream…"
Robin turned to look at Starfire. She was gazing at him, looking mildly confused.
"I do not understand… He is talking about a dream girl?"
"Well, he's talking about a girl that—uhm—makes him feel good about himself," he said, his heart-rate increasing slightly. "A girl that m-makes him get the fuzzies we were talking about earlier…"
Starfire's face lit up.
"Oh! Then it was delightful!" she said, sitting up straight and clasping her hands together. "Will you read another one to me?"
"Sure… Let's see… Okay, this one is called Change of Heart," he said, searching the pages for the story he had seen in the index. "He was the one thing in my life that made everything right. When I was with James, he always made me feel special, made my heart flutter with the love I felt inside at the very sight of him… But it was over before I had a chance to prepare myself for what he did."
Robin gulped. This one might make her cry…
"Star, I don't think we should read this one. It sounds sad, and—"
"Please, do not discontinue," she told him softly, bringing her knees to her chest and resting her chin on them. Robin sighed and continued reading.
"I had always known that he and Rebecca were close friends… I just never knew how close. Ironically, it was on the day that he told me he loved me that I saw him kissing her inside an empty classroom, repeating the same words he said to me only moments before to her. Something inside me died that day… all because he had a change of heart…"
To his left, he heard Starfire sniffle gently.
"Do men really do that?" she asked him, staring off into the distance.
"Some do… yeah…" he replied, wishing it wasn't so stereotypical for men to cheat on their lovers.
"Would you?" she asked him quietly. He looked at her, putting a hand on her cheek so that she would turn to him.
He brushed away a fallen tear with his thumb.
"Robin," she started, scooting closer to him so that her body leaned against his. "That did not give me any warm-fuzzies…"
"Yeah, me neither," he said, shifting so that she could lean against him further and gulping as his heart raced. Her head rested on his shoulder as she cuddled up against him. "I'm gonna find a happier one, okay?"
She nodded in agreement. Robin quickly flipped back to the index, scanning the page for something worthy, his mind having a hard time focusing as he breathed in her scent. Stumbling across a poem that could not have been more perfect, he read to her.
"I gazed out on life's darkened sky, one bright and shining star to spy. That star was you—a ray of light to guide me through the darkest night. Your love it shines, your love it glows, my heart it yearns, my heart it knows. I wished for you, my shining star, wished for your love from afar. All those magic wishes have come true, with your love for me and mine for you. I guess all they say of falling stars is so, on my wish we fell in love, I know…"
Robin sighed and shut the book, his hand instinctively going to her hair to play with the tresses of red silk, smoothing it out against her back. It took him a while to realize that she was gazing intently at him, her eyes searching his face.
"How does one know when they are in love?" she asked him, gazing at her hands nervously. "I think I have experienced this feeling, but I am not certain."
"Well," he started, expressing what he felt for her in a subtle explanation. "You just wanna be with that person… When you're in love, you wanna hold them—kiss them—make them happy… When you see them sad, it makes you sad… When they're with someone else, it makes you jealous…"
Robin suddenly had a flashback of when he'd first found out she was getting married.
"Their smile makes you smile… When they touch you, you get giddy…"
Her arm wrapped around his waist, pulling him closer.
"And w-when they k-kiss you…"
His heart was in his throat.
"Your world disappears… and it only exists for that moment…"
Starfire seemed to be very interested in the fingers on her hands, for she was fiddling with them frantically, giving off a nervous energy as she opened her mouth to speak. When no sound came out, she closed it again, trying a few more times before she actually strung a sentence together.
"So, if one feels these things for another person, should I—I mean—I mean should they tell them?"
Robin could hardly hear himself think over the sound of his heart. He was sure that she could hear it, with her head resting on his chest as it was.
"And how do I—uhm—how does someone tell them? I once read a story, back on Tamaran, about a man who kissed a woman and she knew he loved her…"
It was only then that he came to realize just how close their faces were. The young Tamaranian had nothing more to say or do but to look up at him. It was as though some sort of force had locked their eyes together, neither of them able to look away, and Robin couldn't control himself this time. There was nothing he could have done to stop from inclining his head slightly to the right, brushing his lips against hers. Starfire sighed against them, moving her face upwards shyly as Robin's lips teased hers gently before going in for the kiss.
And just as he'd predicted, his world disappeared.
Starfire's free hand had reached up and found the back of his neck, pressing her lips against his with a sense of passionate urgency as he deepened the kiss. An almost inaudible groan escaped the back of his throat as his lips caught her bottom one in between them, her hand that had once been around his waist gripping his shirt collar. His arms found mobility, one of them splayed across her back and the other playing with the locks of fiery red that were now being disheveled. Running her hands through his messy black hair, her mouth parted slightly as she felt herself falling back down on the couch, the book that had brought on the confession forgotten on the floor. His heart felt as though it were about to explode, his body pressed against hers as she ran her hands along his back, sending chills up and down his spine before they broke for air.
Both of them were breathing heavily as he watched her mouth, now pink and swollen from the kissing, curve into a smile. Robin couldn't help but follow suit as his face broke out into a shy, almost shamed grin, and he tucked a strand of hair that had gone askew behind her ear.
"Yeah?" he asked her, pressing his forehead to hers and smiling again.
"I do believe I have just experienced the warm-fuzzies."