A/N: A brief oneshot about the annoyance of obnoxious people. I always thought Starfire's naïveté could get very obnoxious very quickly, no matter how patient you are. Dedicated to Joan, who's incessent interrogations of me inspired this fic. Props to Vinnie the geek, who betaed and came up with the title, and all the people who have reviewed my other oneshots! You guys are the best!
Everyone's at least heard of Scooby Doo, right? It's a pretty old and popular cartoon, so I hope so... Also, please review! I'd love to hear what you think!
"Hello, friend Robin!"
Robin turned from looking at the TV from his spot on the couch to see Starfire standing behind him, looking down at him.
"Hey, Star," Robin greeted her.
"What is it that you are doing?" she asked curiously.
"Watching Scooby Doo," Robin responded, turning back to refocus on the television.
"Oh," Starfire said simply. Then, "May I join you?"
"Sure," Robin said, internally sighing, but moving over on the couch to make room for the Tamaranian all the same. Starfire happily plopped down on her end.
Robin glanced over at her briefly, before turning back to resume watching as the gang piled into the Mystery Machine and drove off.
"Who are they?" Starfire asked curiously.
"Mystery Inc." Robin said, watching. "It's a bunch of kids who go around solving mysteries and stuff."
"If they are naught but children, how is it that they are permitted to drive a vehicle?" Starfire asked, puzzled.
"'Kids' is a figure of speech, Star," Robin explained. "They're actually around our age, so they can drive."
"Oh," Starfire said. She watched the TV briefly, before turning back to Robin. "What are the names of these 'kids'?"
"The one driving the van in called Freddy," Robin rattled off. "The girl in the purple is Daphne, and the girl with the glasses is Velma. The other guy in the green is called Shaggy, and the dog is Scooby Doo."
"How is that the Scooby dog can speak?" Starfire asked, mystified. "And would not the Scooby dog fall ill from eating such liberal amounts of human food?"
"I don't know, Star," Robin said, holding back an exasperated sigh. "To be funny, I guess. It is a cartoon, so it's not really meant to be taken seriously."
Starfire nodded. Robin turned back to the TV to see the mystery gang all fall out of the van into a heap in the mud. He chuckled, along with the laugh track.
Starfire jumped. "What is that strange unearthly laughing?" Starfire asked, surprised and slightly put out. "Where is it coming from? No one is laughing on the screen of the TV."
"It's called a laugh track, Star," Robin explained patiently, resisting the urge to roll his eyes at her naïveté. "They play a tape of people laughing whenever something funny happens."
"Why do they do such a thing?" Starfire asked. "Is the joke not funny enough for genuine people to enjoy it?"
"I don't know why they do it, Star," Robin said, annoyed at her incessant questioning. "Probably just to let you know there's a joke or something." Robin determinedly turned back to watch as the gang found a ghost hiding in a closet, hoping Starfire would get the hint that he didn't want to talk anymore.
"If the joke is truly amusing, would not the audience understand it, thus rendering the 'laugh track' useless?" Starfire asked, cocking her head, looking at him innocently.
"I don't know, Star! I don't know everything!" Robin exclaimed, his frustration creeping into his voice. "Try to figure it out on your own! I don't analyze cartoons!"
"Shh," Starfire shushed. "I cannot hear the amusing dialogue when you are speaking."
Robin sat back, inwardly fuming at Starfire's hypocritical statement. Gritting his teeth, Robin tried to calm himself down.
Relax, Robin mentally instructed himself, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. Release your tension. Let it flow out of you as you exhale and find your center. Raven's voice echoed through his mind, guiding him in relaxation as Raven herself had many times before.
A small smile formed on his face at the thought of his girlfriend, Raven. He would have never predicted being paired with the dark mystic, but they worked well together. She had gained masterful control of her emotions over the years, to the point where she could nearly smile and laugh as often as anyone else. She was currently out on patrol, however,scanning the city, just to make sure everything was in order.
Robin glanced at the clock. 3:50. Raven should be coming home in ten minutes or so.
"Are you thinking about Raven?"
Robin turned to see Starfire looking at him sharply, her tone slightly accusatory.
"Yes," Robin said simply.
Starfire fell back against the back of the couch, scowling, her arms crossed defiantly.
Does she think that just because I'm letting her watch TV with me that I should give her my complete attention? Robin wondered incredulously. He glanced over at the irate girl. Apparently so.
"What is that?" Starfire asked, her question bringing his focus back to the present and to her.
"That's a ghost, Star," Robin said patiently.
"What is this 'ghost' of which you speak?" Starfire asked, perplexed.
"A ghost is a dead person's spirit that's trapped on earth," Robin explained, refraining from rolling his eyes. "It haunts things, hanging around earth instead of going on to the afterlife."
"If these 'kids' are trying to catch this 'ghost', why do they keep running away from it?" Starfire asked.
Robin shrugged apathetically. "I guess because they're still scared of it, even though they want to catch it."
"How do they plan to capture the forlorn spirit if 'ghosts' are insubstantial beings?" Starfire persisted.
"I don't know!" Robin said sharply, his patience rapidly waning once more. "Probably because it's just a guy in a sheet! I don't know! It's a cartoon, Star! It doesn't have to make sense!"
Starfire fell silent for a moment, before asking tentatively, "Does the Freddy like Daphne?"
Robin slumped back against the couch. "Yes," he said, relieved that she had switched over to simpler questions. "Freddy likes Daphne."
"Does the Daphne like Freddy?" Starfire asked.
"Yes," Robin said once again. "Daphne likes Freddy."
"Then why is the Freddy 'flirting' with the nurse lady when Daphne is right there?" Starfire asked, her tone soft, looking over at Robin, her gaze timid. Robin looked at her, and caught the pained look in her eyes.
She has herself invested in my answer, Robin realized. Freddy and Daphne are just like how we were, in a way.
"Freddy's been showing he likes Daphne for a long time now," Robin said gently, using the same parallel structure as Starfire. "But Daphne's given him very little indication that she likes him back. Freddy's not going to wait around forever. He's trying to move on."
"But why did not the Freddy do the 'asking out' to Daphne?" Starfire asked desperately. "Surely Daphne would have said 'yes'."
"Freddy doesn't know that, and rejection's a painful price to pay," Robin said gently. "After flirting and showing he cared for so long, and no hint of interest from Daphne, he moved on."
"But why?" Starfire asked, pained, abandoning hiding her true questions behind the cartoon characters. "Why did you not wait for me? Why?"
"I wasn't going to wait around forever, Star," Robin said softly, looking into her big green eyes, which were brimming with tears. "I was trying to help you get used to Earth, flirting with you, taking you to the fair,but you were off experiencing the world, flirting with Beast Boy, Cyborg, Aqualad, Speedy, or anyone else you were even slightly interested in. I knew you were attracted to me, but I didn't know anything else."
Starfire sniffed, and a single tear trailed down from her eye. Robin gently reached up and wiped it away.
"I wasn't going to put my life on hold on the slim chance that you mightlike me back one day," Robin continued, his tone gentle and understanding. "I had no idea that you would develop such strong feelings for me later. I didn't know anything. So I moved on, and I found love elsewhere."
"You love her?" Starfire asked, her expression miserable, unshed tears shining in her eyes. "You love Raven?"
"Yes," Robin admitted quietly. "I love her. I may be absolutely insane for doing so, but yes, I love her."
"I have lost you," Starfire said brokenly, tears trickling silently down her face. "I have lost you forever."
"You never really had me," Robin said softly, gently brushing her tears from her cheeks. Starfire took a deep shuddering breath, before breaking down into noisy sobs.
Robin pulled her into his arms, holding her close as she cried into his chest. Her broken sobs echoed throughout the room, drowning out the cartoon, in which they had finally captured the crook.
Robin pulled her to him, holding her tightly as she cried against him, knowing she just needed the reassurance that someone was there for her. Tears streamed from her eyes, making his uniform slightly damp, though neither of them particularly cared.
Robin held her as she cried, just being there for her, understanding, while she let all her emotional torment out.
After a while, she started to calm down. Her breathing became more even and measured, and her cried quieted. Finally, she pulled back, and looked at Robin with her wide, wet eyes.
"Thank you," she said quietly, looking down, slightly ashamed for losing her composure and breaking down in front of him.
"It's okay," Robin said, smiling gently. "What else are friends for?"
Starfire faltered. "Friends?" she asked tentatively.
"Friends," Robin reiterated.
"Nothing more?" Starfire asked, though she already knew the answer.
"I care about you, Starfire, but just not in that way," Robin reaffirmed.
Starfire smiled sadly. "You are sure?" she asked.
"I'm sure," Robin said. "You're like a little sister to me, Star. Even if we had gotten together, I don't think we'd have done well. We're probably better off as friends." Starfire smiled, seeing his point.
"What am I to do now?" Starfire asked. "I do not think that it is customary to perform the ritual of The Mass Killing of Unrequited Love on Earth…"
Robin sweatdropped. "Uh, we don't do that here, Star," Robin said. "Don't kill anyone."
"What am I to do, then?" Starfire asked, curious.
"Move on," Robin said simply. "Flirt with someone else you're attracted to. Indicate your interest. Don't dwell on something that's simply not there."
"Okay," Starfire said happily. "When will I get a chance to begin this process of 'moving on'?"
Robin smiled. She seemed a lot happier now. He opened his mouth to speak, when the front door opened, revealing an unexpected figure.
"Hey Robin. Hey Starfire. What's shaking?"
"Now would be a good time," Robin whispered to Starfire, in answer of her question.
"Speedy!" Starfire said happily, bouncing up off the couch and rushing to greet the heroic archer.
"I hope no one minds that I brought a friend home," a dry voice remarked from the doorway. "Though, judging from the reaction, I doubt I need to worry."
"Welcome home, Raven," Robin said, smiling, getting up off the sofa to go greet her and Speedy.
"I was only gone for an hour," Raven said, rolling her eyes, but smiling slightly, as Robin and Speedy shook hands.
"Robin," Speedy said, smiling. "Good to see you again."
"Likewise," Robin said, grinning.
"Anything happen while I was gone?" Raven asked.
"Nope. Beast Boy and Cyborg are still over at the Police Chief's helping him get ready for his annual pool party," Robin said. "I'm not exactly sure when they're going to be back."
"Did even you do anything besides watch that Scooby Doo marathon?" Raven teased, noticing the cartoon that was still on the TV. Robin flushed slightly.
"Oh, did you guys get invited to that pool party?" Speedy asked.
"Yes!" Starfire said brightly. "Did the Titans East get invitations to the party of the pool as well?"
"Yeah," Speedy said. "Aqualad asked. The Chief invited us because we helped to keep the city crime free, just like the police. He probably invited you for the same reason."
"I am most excited!" Starfire said enthusiastically. "I have never been to a party of the pool before!"
Speedy flashed her a smile. "You'll love it. There are barbecues, and games, and swimming… It's great. Everyone's just in a really happy and cheerful mood."
"I have never been swimming before," Starfire admitted. "I recently went to the mall of shopping and purchased a suit of swimming to swim in." She paused, then, deciding to go for it,smiled at Speedy flirtatiously. "Would you mind coming up to my room, friend Speedy? I wish to have your opinion on how I look in this 'bikini' before I wear it to the party of the pool next week."
"I'd love to, Starfire," he said, taking her hand and pressing it to his lips with a flirtatious smile. Starfire blushed prettily, before seizing his hand and zooming off to her room, Speedy in tow.
Robin laughed as they rushed off. "You always know just what to do, don't you?" Robin teased Raven, as he settled back down on the sofa, patting beside him, inviting her to sit with him.
"Of course," Raven smiled slightly. She flew over and settled down on the sofa, reclining against Robin. "I could feel Starfire's distress and your annoyance all the way from the strip district with my empathy. Is everything okay?"
"It is now," Robin said, smiling down at her, gently running his hand through her soft hair. "Starfire was just upset at not having found that someone special yet."
"You mean Starfire confronted you about you not liking her that way anymore?" Raven translated.
Robin laughed. "Yeah, that too," he admitted.
"Starfire needs to learn patience," Raven remarked. "Not everything comes quickly in life, and love rarely does."
"No kidding," Robin said. "I've waited over fifteen years of my life for you."
Raven smiled up at him, complimented. "Patience certainly pays off, though, in the end."
"Are you sure about that?" Robin teased. Raven grinned.
"I'm pretty sure," she remarked casually. "You'll have to ask Starfire after she falls in love. Assuming, of course, that she finally learns patience."
"She's not the only one who needs to learn patience," Robin groaned. "She was driving me insane earlier with all her questions about Scooby Doo."
Raven glanced at the TV, and turned back to Robin.
"What's not to understand?" she asked blankly. "It's a cartoon. It's not that complex of a concept."
"Oh, I don't know," Robin said, wracking his mind, trying to recall the Tamaranian's questions. "Just stuff that didn't really have answers. Like why they keep running from the ghost when they're trying to catch it."
Raven laughed. Robin smiled. She looked beautiful when she laughed. Unable to resist, he leaned down and pressed a tender kiss to her forehead. Raven smiled up at him.
"Why do they keep running from the ghost when they're trying to catch it, anyway?" Robin teased. "After all, you do know everything."
"Robin," Raven said, shaking her head, her amusement evident in her voice. "If they didn't, the show wouldn't last a full half-hour."
Robin laughed at her logical explanation, and Raven smiled.
"Do you always have an answer for everything?" he asked, smiling.
"I might," Raven smirked, looking up at him. "You'll just have to wait and see."
"I'm not very patient, remember?" Robin reminded her. "I don't like to wait."
"Get used to it," Raven retorted, smiling. "You'll have to wait for a lot of things in life."
Robin smiled down at the girl in his arms, who smiled up at him.
"I want to kiss you," Robin declared. "Do I have to wait and be patient for that too?"
"Hardly," Raven laughed.
"Are you sure?" Robin said, faking concern. "Maybe I should wait until you feel like kissing me."
"Robin," Raven said, sitting up on his lap, and smiling a seductive smile, "I always want to kiss you."
"Well then…" Robin said, before pressing his lips heatedly to hers.
As Raven moaned slightly and fiercely pulled Robin closer, her tongue eagerly invading his mouth, deepening the kiss, Robin internally grinned. After years of waiting, he was kissing a beautiful girl who loved him; and whom he loved back.
Oh, yeah. Patience definitely paid off.
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((smiles)) :) So, what did you think? Let me know! Please, review!