Author's Note: The italics are a flashback. They can be seen as a prologue to the events in this one shot as well. If you are pressed for time, you don't have to read it, and you will still understand the one shot. Basically the prologue explains how Starfire first tried fondue.
The serene sky was clear, no mist, no rain. A musical quartet played a soft, sweet melody. Four young couples twirled on the dance floor, leaning on one another, swaying their hips to the music. An elegant candle burned, illuminating the dazzling alien. Robin put one hand on the white tablecloth, staring at her, drinking in the sight of her every move. As she shifted ever so slightly, so would her delicate golden dress. Her auburn hair decorating her delicate features made her look almost ethereal. She took a slow sip from her crystal glass.
"I thank you again, Robin, for showing me this place." Starfire smiled, and took a sip from her crystal glass. She was having an equally hard time trying to not stare at the boy wonder. He was wearing a simple, crisp tux that only enhanced, never detracted, from his good looks.
"You're welcome. Once I realized I had never shown you what fondue was, I had to show you this place," he replied. It was a little known fact that Robin loved fondue. When he realized that Starfire had never tried fondue, he immediately made reservations at his favorite restaurant. The restaurant was only the best in town, receiving a bevy of accolades. Of course, that wasn't the only reason the two of them were sharing his beloved dish. Robin was craving some time alone with her, far away from the team, even though they were dear to his heart like his family. Starfire observed the long forks, picked one up, and used her other hand to feel the ridges.
"Do we stick this into that?" Starfire pointed across the table at the plate of mini croutons. Robin grinned, as he took her fork. He then stabbed it into a piece of bread, as Starfire watched him closely. She remembered exactly how she had twirled around in joy when Robin invited her to the restaurant. It wasn't exactly a date, but it was close enough.
"Yes, now you dip it into the pot of cheese," he explained, placing the bread into the steaming pot. Robin twirled it around making sure it was covered with a hearty coating of cheese. He blew on it softly before handing the fork to her, as he did not want Starfire to burn her tongue. Starfire took a careful nibble. Immediately she smiled, and finished up her piece.
"It is most delicious," she exclaimed, setting her fork down. The rest of the evening had been a blur of joy and utter bliss. It was then that Starfire decided that fondue too, was her favorite food.
Grey, light smoke was pouring out of the kitchen. Robin lifted his eyes from the newspaper he was reading to go to investigate. He stopped short at the door. Starfire wore a little apron that said "Dinner is ready, when the smoke alarm goes off." Robin chuckled softly to himself. He highly doubted she knew what it meant. That was not the reason he was waiting at the doorway though. Amidst the brightly colored pots and pans, Starfire was floating and singing softly as she stirred a white pot. A water kettle was cooking next to it on the stove. The refrigerator door was left unopened, when Starfire flew up to it, and yanked out a bar of chocolate. She then floated back up to the pot never once ceasing her singing. Her gleaming, garnet hair was in disarray, but it only made her more radiant. Robin concluded that was the reason he was standing at the door.
"Robin," she exclaimed suddenly, dropping a wooden spoon onto the floor with a loud clang. Robin winced immediately, feeling guilty, almost as he had been caught spying on her. Well, he wasn't exactly spying on her, he had been investigatingabout the smoke as well.
"I didn't mean to scare you," he smiled apologetically. "What are you doing? Making lunch?" Starfire nodded, yanking Robin by the arm to show him her culinary creation. In the white pot, a sea of brown chocolate was liquefied. He realized that she was making chocolate fondue. He turned around to face the oven, and noticed tiny biscuits and pieces of bread inside. Robin shook his head amazed. Whoever said Starfire couldn't cook was sadly misinformed. It was at that moment that Starfire produced a bottle of mustard and a jar of mint frosting.
"Umm, Star, the chocolate fondue looks great! Why don't you put the mustard and mint frosting on separately," he suggested innocently. "The chocolate already tastes quite strong." He used a metal fork to dip it in and stuck it in his mouth, relishing the sweet taste. "The mustard and mint frosting will compete with the flavor of the chocolate." Robin spoke like an expert, as well as being careful not to hurt the Tamaranian girl's feelings. Then again, he was the one who usually did the cooking in the tower.
"You are correct," Starfire agreed, amazed. Robin let out a sigh of relief. Then a wide brimmed smile spread across his face. Cyborg was away, keeping good relations with their partners, Titans East. Beastboy and Raven were at a comic book convention. The green changeling had been the one who was desperate to go, and somehow he had managed to get Raven to accompany. He was almost positive that Beastboy had bribed her with the promise that he wouldn't talk for one single day. All in all, that meant that Starfire and he had the tower all to themselves.
Cautiously, Starfire opened the oven, also sneaking a quick look at the gorgeous boy wonder. She had thanked him profusely before, but she never felt she could thank him enough for bringing her to the fondue restaurant. By no means was it the only nice thing he did for her, but it was one of the latest. Ever since she had crashed to earth, Robin had been the one to be there for her. It was through his lips that she grasped the language, and with his help that she learned the strange, new customs. He was her best friend, but she wanted so much more. With one quick movement, Starfire stuck on a purple glove, and pulled out the tray, careful not to burn herself or drop anything in the process.
"That smells delicious," Robin commented, making Starfire's cheeks turn a tinted cherry hue.
"I thank you, Robin," she replied, brushing a stray strand of her rose colored hair out of the way. Robin picked up the white pot, while Starfire carried the tray. They left the kitchen a mess with smears on the excess dishes. The table was already set. Simple opal colored plates and shiny silver forks were placed orderly on the table. Robin had already set the table after breakfast. It was a thing he did. After each meal, he would reset the table, making it ready for the next one. Careful not to spill anything, he released the pot. Starfire set hers down next to it, and simultaneously they pulled out chairs and sat down at the round table.
"You must go first! I want you to try it," Starfire insisted, her forest green eyes brimmed with excitement. Not being able to resist her cries, Robin stabbed a biscuit and lowered it into the chocolate fondue. Starfire's eyes never left Robin's. He took a small bite because the chocolate was still very hot.
"It tastes great, Starfire," he praised, as he finished off the bite. "This tastes just as good as the restaurant's." While the fondue was excellent, it was also partially due to the fact that Starfire was the one that made it, and that alone made Robin adore it. Starfire beamed at his response. The boy wonder took another piece and chewed it thoughtfully. She giggled, but took a piece for herself. After only ten minutes half the pot was gone.
"Robin, you have some chocolate on the corner of your lips," she exclaimed, taking her hand and gently wiping it away. Robin froze at the contact. He understood that Starfire probably didn't mean anything by it, but he certainly enjoyed the feeling of her hands brushing close to his lips. Starfire withdrew her hand, uneasy with the tension that seemed to fall on them. Eager to break the silence, Robin took another piece and dipped it into the chocolate. This time he did not stick it directly into his mouth. Instead, he placed his plate out in front of him, and used the fork as a paintbrush. He etched in a smiley face.
"Look Star," he lifted up his plate to show her. Only Starfire brought out this absurd side to him. Starfire laughed out loud, making her own "paintbrush" as well. She swirled her fork around, dripping chocolate, and creating a star. Starfire then used her fingers to wipe of the chocolate from her plate, and lick it off. Robin did the same with his. When he had a blank slate, Robin prepared his fork in the same way, but this time he drew a flower, while Starfire did a sun. They both laughed at their silliness. It was rare that they had a time to be so carefree. Usually they were bustling from one place to the next, keeping the city crime free. They barely even had any time for themselves, and when they did, they were often too tired to enjoy it. Instead of drawing another picture, Robin wrote in Hello. Starfire replied by writing in Hi. They then moved on to have a conversation using their forks and plates.
"How are you today?" Robin painted.
"Most glorious, and you?" Starfire replied.
"Fine, thank you," he added. Robin paused again to lick off his plate. For fun, he wrote in, Robin. Starfire responded by writing in, Starfire. This time they wrote each other's names down. Both of them stared down each other, prompting the other to start off the next round. Since Robin sat still, his eyes unmoving, Starfire took it upon herself. Not really thinking it through, she wrote Starfire Loves, but then she stopped. Robin stared at her plate bewildered, then a pang of jealousy shot through his heart. She was probably going to write in someone like Aqualad. He growled quietly. Noticing the change in his demeanor, Starfire shrunk back a bit. 'Maybe Robin did not want to know. Maybe he did not love her as she loved him,' she fretted, her eyes starting to fill with clear tears. Hastily she brushed them off. This did not go unnoticed by Robin. 'Maybe she did love him, and was upset because he looked as if he was angry,' Robin concluded. Sure, he was being optimistic, which was again not something he did extremely often, but perhaps because he was drunk on fondue, he was willing to take the chance of his heart being smashed into a million tiny pieces.
"Go on. Finish the sentence," he prodded in a whisper. Shaking, Starfire took the fork again and wrote in the one that made her life whole, Robin. Exhaling the breath he had been holding, Robin wrote a little message of his own. Robin loves Starfire.
Starfire gasped, and once again the clear tears arrived again, this time out of happiness. She flew across the table to him, and wrapped her arms around him in a hug.
"Starfire, do you really mean it?" he asked, relaxing in her embrace, stroking her silky hair. She nuzzled him further.
"Yes, I do," she replied. Without a moment of hesitation, she lifted her head up to meet his and their lips connected to each other. For several seconds, their lips caressed one another, never stopping. When they finally broke apart to breathe, their lips felt as if they were burning on fire. Starfire brought a hand up to his cheek, and wiped away a smear of chocolate, making Robin smile warmly. The instant she was done, he grabbed her again, recapturing her lips with his own.