Starfire stood at the edge of the Tower's main room, currently dark save for the light from the Gamestation game Robin was playing. Everyone else had long since gone to sleep, but the Boy Wonder's competitive streak had kept him playing "Grand Kineticar" long after his friends had retired in an effort to beat their high scores. In short, for the first time that evening, the two of them were alone.
Gathering her nerve, Starfire floated quietly into the main room, coming to land just behind the couch. "Robin?"
"Hey Starfire," Robin said absently, his attention still on the game as he veered his hovercar around a sharp turn. "What are you still doing up?"
"There is something I wish to ask of you," Starfire answer, trying not to fidget. "Perhaps after you crash your vehicle, I may do so?"
"What are you talking about? I'm not going to – " Robin paused as the screen suddenly lit up a brilliant orange, his hovercar flying into fragments. " …crash." Sighing and tossing his controller onto the table as the menu came up, turning to regard his friend with a sheepish smile. "So what's up?"
Starfire took a seat beside him, taking a long breath as she asked herself for the hundredth time if she really wanted to do this.
For the hundredth time, the answer was 'yes.'
"I wish to have the sex with you."
Robin fell off the couch with a THUD. Starfire regarded him curiously as he scrambled up to his feet, uncertain of whether that was a positive response or not.
"Starfire – " Robin spluttered.
Robin paused at her puzzled expression – then sighed and forced himself to calm down. "What made you ask something like that?"
"Because it is something I wish to do." Starfire cocked her head. "Do you not wish to have the sex with me?"
"No – I mean NO, it's not that I don't exactly, I just – " He drew up short, and again forced himself to calm down, wondering how exactly the Tamaranian girl managed to sound so sanguine about all of it.. "Starfire, I don't think you know what you're asking. Sex is – "
"Is the physical act of bonding between two people," Starfire finished. "Mostly for the purpose of reproduction, but also for pleasure."
"Well yes, that's the definition for it, but it's more than that! It's – "
"When two people who share an emotional closeness wish to accompany it with physical intimacy?" Starfire smiled a little at Robin's startled expression, and explained, "Raven has told me in great detail what it means for humans to have the sex."
"How would Raven know something like that?" Robin muttered, rubbing behind his head.
"I believe she and Beast Boy have been having the sex for several weeks now," Starfire observed, blinking a bit. Then yelped, her hands flying to her mouth. "Oh no! Raven said she did not wish anyone else to know! Please do not tell her I said so!"
"Don't worry," Robin promised, going a little flat-eyed. "That's one conversation I won't be bringing up. Ever." Clearing his throat, he tried to return to the subject at-hand. "Look, Starfire… sex is… it's just not that simple. Two people just can't – you know, do it! You need – "
"A degree of trust, or at the very least a physical attraction? Raven has explained this to me as well." Starfire blinked at him, as if wondering why he was still so nervous… then bit her lip softly. "You do not find me physically attractive, then… ?"
Robin blinked, quickly moving to sit on the couch beside her, reaching for her hands. "Star, that's not it at all. I think you're gorgeous."
The smile she gave him in return was so brilliant, Robin felt his heart almost literally skip a beat. He had to force himself to listen to what she was saying next, as her timid expression returned. "Then… you do not trust me?"
"I trust you with my life," Robin said simply. "But how can you say you trust me? You don't even know my name! You don't even know – " Breaking off, and gesturing up to his mask instead.
"I do not need to know your face to know that I trust you with my life as well," Starfire said softly; now it was her turn to catch his hand, closing gentle fingers over the frustrated gesture. "And I already know what to call you. You are my dear friend – that is the only name for you that matters to me."
She could see he was still hesitating. She cocked her head, trying to think of what else could possibly be wrong – then she remembered something else Raven had mentioned. "Then you are – into the guys?"
" . . . "
"Such things are not uncommon on my world either," Starfire continued quickly, wanting to reassure him. "I am not offended, and I do not believe you will need to worry what the others will think! In fact, Raven has suspected for quite some time that you and Cyborg were – "
"O-kaaaaaay, getting off-topic here!" Robin said quickly. I need to have a little talk with Raven later… "Look, it's not that either, Star! It's just – there are other things to consider as well – "
"If you mean the chance of impregnation, then you do not need to worry. I have already compared your DNA with mine, from the Tower's medical records," Starfire added, anticipating his next question. "It is not possible for a human and a Tamaranian to conceive a new life unless deliberate measures are taken – I would not ask you to undergo them with me until we are both ready for a family."
Robin was getting a little flustered by her ready answers. "Even so, there's – "
"I am aware that among humans, there are dangers with this form of contact. I have examined the medical records very carefully, and have found no signs of… contamination." Robin didn't think it was possible for someone to blush over such a clinical term, but there was no mistaking the deeper gold hue in her cheeks. "There is nothing in either of our bodies that would harm the other."
"You sure have thought this through," Robin remarked, trying to lighten the tension a bit.
"Yes Robin," Starfire said quietly, her gaze never leaving his. "I have thought this through very carefully, and for a very long time. I wanted to be certain that this was something I truly desired. Thinking about it for so long, I have come to realize that it was." He had forgotten that she was still holding his gloved hand in both of hers; now she raised it to her cheek, nestling it there as she tilted her head shyly to his touch, her eyes lidding softly.
Even though he couldn't bring himself to pull his hand away, he couldn't meet her gaze. He had to make it clear to her just why he couldn't just do this – why it wasn't that simple. Why it couldn't possiblybe that simple… could it? "Star, I… look, it all makes sense, and it sounds like you've thought of everything," he said gamely, wincing at how shallow he was sure he sounded. "But humans just aren't that simple. They – I – I don't know if I can just do this and not care about anything else. What about our friendship? What about -- ?"
"I do not know the future, Robin," Starfire said quietly. "Those are questions I do not have answers for. I cannot say how I will feel tomorrow, or the next day, or what may happen to us regardless of what I feel." Her hand came up now, coming to rest softly against his cheek. "All I can promise you is what I feel in this moment. More than anything else in this world, or in any other one… I wish to share this with you. There is no question of it in my mind, or my heart."
Robin looked at her for a long, silent moment, the room totally still save for their the sounds of their breaths, soft and timid. Then his fingers closed over the hand still clasping his, his other hand coming up to his cheek as he took both. Smiling quietly and nodding towards the door as he rose to his feet – but stopping as she shook her head, tugging him back and nodding upwards instead.
" …the roof?"
"Mm-hm." She smiled softly, her body lifting to the air as she floated back towards the bay window, hands still clasped with Robin's as he followed after…