Chapter 6

Dusk was falling over the decrepit Jump City. Starfire sat on the roof of the fraudulent Titans Tower, having returned from her day with Cyborg empty handed. She clasped her knees to her chest and rested her chin on them. The prospect that she might have to stay in this alternate world was nagging at her consciousness, but she pushed it away. She would get home, she would see her friends again, she would see Robin again, she couldn't doubt it.

And yet she did.

Starfire hugged herself closer. She felt like crying, she couldn't stay here. And what was her counterpart doing in her place? What if she was hurting her friends? Or what if her friends liked that Starfire more than her? She remembered the first time Blackfire had come to Earth. All her friends had liked her sister almost immediately, even Raven. But then Robin had come to her, and convinced her to stay by explaining just what she meant to them, to him. Starfire felt that familiar warmth inside her from the memory, which just made her sadder.

The door behind her opened, and Starfire quickly looked behind her to see who it was. She sighed as she saw it was Robin, so like the man that held her heart, and yet so different.

"Oh, hey Starfire," he said when he saw her. "Er, if you'd rather be alone, I can-"

"You may stay." she said sadly. She heard him walk across the tarp to sit next to her after a slight hesitation. They sat in silence for a moment, looking out at the distant sun sinking below the horizon.

"Something troubling you?" said Robin, looking over at her.

"I am worried I shall never see my friends again." she said.

"Don't worry, we will find a way to get you home." She wasn't convinced, but Starfire was touched that he would try to comfort her. "If it helps," continued Robin, "I'm sure Robin misses you too."

Starfire looked up at him in surprise, "What makes you say that?" she said. He laughed,

"I've see the way you two act around each other. It doesn't take a genius to see that you two like each other."

"Robin likes me only as a friend." Starfire said sullenly.

"Are you telling me you honestly haven't notice how protective and shy and jealous he gets when you're concerned?" Starfire remained silent as she realised she couldn't deny it.

"It's beyond me why you guys don't hook up, me and Starfire did, and we're doing great."

"Robin does not have time for a girlfriend." Starfire told him, and herself.

"Is that what you think? Look, all you gotta do is get him alone, get nice and close" Robin wiggled his shoulders and scooted closer to emphasise his point, making Starfire laugh, and look away. "touch him a little, doesn't matter where, and he'll snap like a twig, I guarantee it."

Starfire laughed again and looked back at the man beside her. This Robin was so much more carefree than the one she knew. He was looking at her with an easy grin, telling her he was glad he had successfully cheered her up. She was suddenly aware just how close they were, and she blushed. Slowly he began to lean towards her, and she reflexively leant back a little, but still their lips met.

Starfire's brain was on overdrive. She was trying to come up with what to do next, while still trying to convince herself this wasn't happening. Vaguely she remembered the romantic films she'd seen, where all the women would close their eyes and tilt their heads when they were being kissed, so that's what she did. Unfortunately, this made her more aware of Robin. Suddenly her brain blanked, with one thought prominent like a flash of lightning in a storm-blackened sky.

This wasn't her Robin.

This was a different Robin, and he was kissing her, which you're only supposed to do with people you have feelings for. And if you have feelings for someone else, you're definitely not supposed to do it.

Starfire jerked away, "Stop!" she cried, her voice still portraying her initial shock. Robin quickly looked away, and sighed. He put his head in his hands and said,

"Oh God, Starfire I'm sorry. I just… I really miss Star, my Star. I've had a crap day, meeting with everything that's wrong with this city, and usually Starfire's here and she helps me cope with it all. But she's not here, and I don't know if she ever will be again. And I just wanted to… forget, everything, if only for a moment. But what am I saying? There's no excuse…" He sighed again and looked back at her, "Starfire, can you forgive me?" he said, obviously embarrassed. Starfire nodded,

"I forgive you" she said slowly. He grinned at her,

"Thanks, oh and if you could, don't tell Robin, or he'd really kick my ass."

Starfire was about to agree, when the door behind them opened.

"Robin! We found him." said Cyborg. Robin leapt up and Starfire followed.

Downstairs, Raven and Beastboy kept a firm hold on the Warp Starfire recognised as the one from her dimension. He was looking distinctly peeved and was grumbling softly to himself, but Starfire felt she could laugh when she saw him.

"Where was he?" asked Robin.

"He was trying to fence these." answered Beastboy, holding up one of the cases from the museum. "Except no-one would believe they were real since they're still in the museum here."

"Well great, and since it's him, we don't have to build a new device, we can just use his." said Robin, smiling at Starfire.

"Why should I help you?" spat Warp. Raven sighed and said,

"Think about it, what good what it do you not to? And if you help, we won't beat you up before we throw you in jail."

"You wouldn't, you're the good ones, remember?" he replied.

"But we're not." said Cyborg, cracking his knuckles threateningly. Warp looked away from him with a snarl, which they took as a yes. With a prod in the back from Raven, he begrudgingly opened the portal.

The shimmering veil appeared before them. They saw Cyborg wander into the kitchen on the other side, and stop dead as he saw them. He rushed back out the door and a moment later ran back in, this time accompanied by all the other Titans. The resident Robin, the one who had kissed Starfire, ran through into the other dimension and grabbed his Starfire in a powerful embrace. He swung her around and she wrapped her legs around his waist and kissed him. The two Ravens passed each other as they crossed over, the blue Raven dragging an uncooperative Warp. Starfire floated through slowly, suddenly shy.

Once they had all settled down a bit, the Robins turned to each other.

"It's been a pleasure." said the dark Robin, extending his hand with a joking tone and a grin. Robin smiled and shook it. Then the other Robin wrapped his arm around his Starfire's waist and walked back through the portal, Rubbing his nose against as they exchanged gentle murmurings. Just as they were going to close the portal, the cases from the museums came flying through to land at Raven's feet. She looked up startled, and saw the other Beastboy grinning mischievously at her through the portal. Then the portal shrunk into nothingness.

It suddenly seemed very quiet. Starfire was looking at her feet, she was glad to be back, but for some reason she felt… unfinished. Before she could explore this feeling further, she felt a presence behind her, and turned to see Robin standing behind her.

"It's good to have you back, Star." he said, sheepishly. Starfire had a sudden urge to throw her arms around his neck, and she would have had it been anyone else, but she refrained, and settled for smiling and saying,

"It's good to be back, I missed you… all" Starfire blushed as she spoke. That was weird, why couldn't I tell him I missed him? she thought. Robin looked like he was about to say something, but they were distracted by Beastboy and Raven. They were just finishing tieing Warp up, and were standing side by side, when Beastboy looked away for a minute, and Raven kissed him quickly on the cheek. He jumped and stared openly at her, but she was already looking away, paying unnecessary attention to her knots.

"Don't say anything." she said darkly. Beastboy's face split into a huge grin,

"I wasn't going to." he said, gently taking her hand. She glanced back at him and he gave her a quick peck on the lips. Her eyes widened in shock then narrowed in a snarl, but Beastboy just laughed and went back to tieing Warp up.

"Oh please" Warp muttered, earning him a kick from the happy couple.

Hours later, once Warp had been turned in and all the goods had been returned to the museum, Starfire wandered the corridors nervously. She was debating with herself whether or not she should take the alternate Robin's advice.

What harm can it do? If he likes me, it'll work, and if he doesn't, it'll help him see me as a girl instead of just a friend... Okay, Starfire, be brave.

Taking a deep breath to steel her nerves, she continued down the hall to Robin's room. She knocked on the door and took another breath, trying to make herself at least look normal. When the door opened and her eyes fell on Robin's strong form, her mind emptied.

"Oh, hey Starfire" he said innocently, "What's up?"

Uh-oh, Starfire realised she hadn't thought of a reason for her to be there.

"Er, can I come in?" she asked hopefully. He looked a bit puzzled, but stepped back,

"Sure" he said, motioning her inside. She walked in quietly, keeping her eyes averted. Unfortunately, being in his room just made things worse. His scent was everywhere, calming and reassuring, yet distinctly male. It gave her goosebumps. She let out a shuddering breath.

"Is something wrong?" said Robin's voice behind her.

"No, nothing is wrong" she replied. She turned to face him and considered her plan of action. She would need to get close to him, close enough to touch. She looked around the room, hoping to see something that might help her. She tried to remember the last time she was close enough to touch him.

The kitchen.

Her eyes fell on a file sitting on the nearby desk. Perfect. She picked it up,

"Are you going to write a report on this? The other dimension, and everything?" she said it perfectly normally, but she cocked her hips and kept eye contact. Robin held her gaze for a moment, but ultimately looked away. It made Starfire a little unsure.

"I suppose so." Robin replied. Starfire took a few inconspicuous (she hoped) steps towards him.

"I'd better give this back to you then." This time she backed her movements up with her voice, making it huskier and softer. She was closer than she needed to be to give the file back, so Robin looked up at her, only to be met with two sparkling emerald eyes, which silenced him completely. He moved to take the folder from her, but she dropped accidently-on purpose. And just as she'd expected, he bent down to get it, and so did she. Her hand brushed his as they both reached for it, and his hand jerked back as if he'd been electrocuted. Starfire picked the file up and stood, pretending to lose her balance bringing them even closer together. Starfire smiled at him,

"I'll just leave this here." she said, laying the file on the desk, leaning unnecessarily close to him to do so. There couldn't have been more than a couple of inches between them.

Meanwhile, Robin's brain was fighting his body for control, and losing. Having Starfire this near, and in his bedroom was wreaking havoc with his self-control. What was she doing? Did she know what affect this was having on him? He wanted to think she did, and was doing it on purpose, but his brain kept interfeering. Damn brain. All he wanted to do was take her in his arms and kiss her till she couldn't see straight.

Starfire was getting worried, why hadn't anything happened yet? Was she doing something wrong? Maybe she just get out while she still could… Surely if Robin liked her, he wouldn't be able to resist this much physical contact. He must not like me…she thought sadly. And with that thought in mind, she stepped back from Robin, said goodnight, and was about to leave when his hand shot out and caught her wrist. She looked up at him, and he silently moved forward.

Starfire froze, leaving the next step completely up to him. But when he brought his face closer to hers, until there was less than an inch between them, she tilted her head obligingly. He captured her lips in a soft, but passionate kiss, and she did her best to mirror him. He took this as encouragement and his free hand went to the back of her neck, holding her while he deepened the kiss.

Wow, thought Starfire, I can see why they enjoy this so much. Robin's thoughts were somewhat less coherent.

Eventually, they broke apart and stared into each others eyes for a moment.

"I missed you, Starfire"

"I missed you too, Robin"