Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of the Teen Titans or any other previously copyrighted materials.
Luminous emerald eyes cut coolly through the night sky, narrowed in concentration as she sliced her way across the bay, skimming the surface of the water so that it leapt up hurriedly and parted before her. She was silent as she flew her way over the inky waters and her fingers were curled into tight, unforgiving fists. Haloing each hand was a radiant orb of light mirroring the jade fire flashing in her eyes. Crimson hair trailed behind her, creating a flaming streak that unfurled behind her like some exotic path of burning silk.
She rapidly approached the suspension bridge, unflinching as the sounds of late night traffic roared to her ears. Her figure seemed suspended in time for a brief moment as she fluidly moved herself in such a manner that she was at once still flying straight ahead and in that same instant suddenly spiraling upwards from a ninety degree curve. It was inhuman, because there was no continuity from her path ahead to her abrupt veer up, and yet the flow of her movement was equally uninterrupted as she changed paths in much less than a blink of the eye.
Perhaps it was an uncalled for display of alien prowess on her part, her intentions on providing such a show were really quite unknown, but still she spiraled upward with the confidence of one who has a very set goal, and shot well up past the height of the great and soaring supports of the bridge. She continued her flight up until she was a single, burning green star in the sky, and then slowed her assent. Her flow of movement dwindled and finally ceased until she was hanging, suspended on invisible strings from heaven, in the same streamline position she had held during flight.
She remained in that position for a long moment, seeming to contemplate whether she ought to return to earth or keep plowing upward to join whatever ethereal beings awaited her on the other side of the atmosphere. Her own people, perhaps. Her amber cheeks were flushed from the cold air that had slithered intently over her skin as she had flown, and her lips slowly curled into a faint smile. An exhale, her eyes closing as she did so, and then she moved her arms so that she was positioned like a diver. The starbolts extinguished, her fingers uncurled and reached upward, and then her body flowed into an arc which carried her down and back towards the bridge.
She fell, controlled and easily so that is was more of a dive than a fall, and spiraled her way back down to the bridge, her aim now fairly clear: a single figure standing at the side of the bridge and leaning on the guard rails casually. Seconds later the display was over and she had landed by the other, her observer, and was smiling fully.
She tilted her head to the side, the pulsing eyes of emerald now dimming to a warmly glowing set of wide jade pools staring with unabashed interest at all in her field of vision. "Hello, Robin," she stated, as if to imply that her show of aerial grace had been nothing out of the ordinary. Her companion straightened his form, taking his weight off of the guard rail. A few cars bolted by a few feet away and kept him from speaking until they had roared off into the distance.
"Hi, Starfire," he replied; simple but sufficient to earn a wider grin from the Tamaranian. "Nice show up there," he commented, gesturing upwards towards where she had been in the sky. She laughed quietly; Robin was not one to lavish praise on anything he felt had not been done for some higher and more "functional" reason.
"I am glad you enjoyed it," she retorted, and he lifted an eyebrow high over his mask.
"Can I ask what it was for?" he inquired, folding his arms over in that nonchalant way which told any onlookers he was quite comfortable in his position. Not at all unlike a tom cat, lazing about under a tree with that look in his eye stating he was aware he was the boss, and therefore perfectly comfortable with being slothful. Starfire sniffed; she wasn't any more impressed with his show of suave airs than he was of her elaborate flight.
"Is it unlawful for a girl to show off, once in a while?" she replied, rocking onto one hip. Robin seemed to weigh the question, rolling it over in his mind a few times before answering. It was, of course, just as much for show as her comment had been. It was a game, he had decided, which the two of them were beginning to play much more often. One would win the attention of the other, and then things went from there. Sly denials and tosses of wit came into the arena, and then at some point one of them would be unable to continue on straight-faced and end the game for the moment.
It had become customary that Starfire be the one to give in first and submit to an attack of girlish laughter, but there had been a scant few occasions when it was the collected Boy Wonder himself that would find an uncalled for smirk sneaking out onto his features at an inopportune time. He rarely had issues with uncontrollable laughter, though.
Robin had been aware that Starfire was intelligent, but had still found himself pleasantly surprised to learn she was capable of a cat and mouse game. He had thought her too rooted in her pleasantry to participate in jesting of any kind… until these recent days.
None the less, both were undeniably pleased with the development of their on-going game.
"I guess it's alright, once in a while," he complied. Starfire flashed a grin. "Why are you out here at this time of the evening, though?" he asked. She had not won anything yet.
"I could ask the same." She sang back. A legitimate point.
"True, but there is a difference… in that I have an answer rather than a retort," he responded. For a brief moment, the princess seemed to slip in her hold on the 'competition.' He saw it, but said nothing because, within a split second, her eyes were dancing again.
"Really? I would love to know… there is, after all, a difference between an answer and an excuse. I suspect your answer is, in all actuality, really the latter of the two." She mused, a flicker of amusement in her fiery green eyes. Robin about smirked at the comment, but refrained and resorted to a mock scowl.
"An excuse? An excuse for what?" he sniffed. Starfire giggled softly. She looked off, out over the waters of the bay, and it seemed to him that she was abruptly uninterested in the game. He was disappointed, if only for a moment. Robin eyed her carefully, as she leaned against the guardrails and pursed her lips with her jade eyes distant and whimsically enraptured with some invisible scene unrolling before her.
The evening's breeze teased through her long locks and tugged the scarlet strands out to flutter like a stream of scarlet behind her. Finally, she spoke again and he was sure that the game had ended.
"I missed you, Robin," she breathed quietly. Her eyes were trained on him with sudden intensity. Robin realized it was not the time to contemplate her quick end of the game. He tilted his head to the side, ebony locks rustling.
"Starfire… what are you…?" he blinked, confused by her swift change of direction in conversation.
"That is… when we were fighting the Brotherhood of Evil… those times we all had to split ways… I missed you," she murmured, brows knitting. "I am sorry, this really has no relevance now, and truly we are all safe and together again. This should make everything fine. I am being silly, am I not?" she blurted suddenly. Robin smiled softly.
"No… it's alright, Starfire. I missed you too," he said quietly. She sighed and gave him a tiny grin. Perhaps she was reassured that she was not alone in her feelings, if only a little. Either way, it pleased her… and it pleased him as well. She scuffed the toe of her boot against the pavement.
"I came out to see you," she said slowly. Robin nodded; he knew.
"I came out to wait for you," he replied. She smiled slowly.
"Is that so?" she hummed. He nodded.
"So… it was an excuse, rather than an answer…" she murmured absently to herself. He snorted and folded his arms. So she had not totally forgotten about the game…
"Call it what you'd like," he muttered. She chuckled and shook her head.
"Alright, I shall." She chirped. He grunted in reply. She blinked her large eyes, regarding him lazily. "Why… why do we pretend?" she asked finally. He frowned.
"Pretend?" he asked. She nodded, quite sure that she was correct. "Pretend what?" he prodded further. Starfire scowled at him.
He knew. She knew he knew. He was just—just pretending, like she said. She was positive. So, she told him as much. "You know what I speak of, Robin… you are pretending now, in fact," she insisted. Robin gave a low laugh.
"You mean… pretend… as in, pretend we aren't in love?" he asked. She hesitated then, surprised he would say it so bluntly, and then nodded meekly. A blush crept up to her cheeks.
"I suppose so, if you want to put it that way," she peeped. He folded his arms.
"Alright, I will," he said. She opened her lips to speak, stopped, tried again, and then stopped… again. He watched her process the information, working her mind around the idea that, after all this time, he could be prodded into speaking the truth so easily. Finally, she gave him a tentative glance.
"You are… not… doing the 'joking' are you?" she murmured guardedly. He shook his head, invited her into his arms, and she accepted… just as cautiously as she had spoken, though. He almost laughed, opted to hold her instead, and she seemed to agree with his choice.
"I suppose we're not pretending now, are we?" he asked, amused. She shook her head.
"No, I suppose… not…" she mumbled. He kissed her forehead lightly.
"I like not pretending," she commented. He made a sound of agreement and stared blankly out over the bay waters as cars rumbled by behind them.
He liked not pretending too. She'd captivated his heart… and letting her know was good. He grinned idly. Captivated… that was what she'd done.
And this, he decided, was the only reason she'd won the game… this time.
Author's Note: Um, not my best... but I felt like... describing something. So that's why the begining is the way it is. This is supposed to take place a few weeks after "Things Change" or something. Speaking of which, from the way they wrote that episode, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up getting a new season in the summer or something, after all. I'm hoping they're just being forced to take a break or something... I'll be a little depressed if TT never comes back. But there's always the movie, and of course Chasing Mirrors will be posted in the coming weeks... until it's at a "postable" point, though, I hope you all can deal with a stray one-shot here or there. Just know that if I'm gone for a little while I have by no means left I just want to work on my novel and my three stories in progress for a little before I post anything big. Anyhow, I hope you all enjoyed this... at least a little. .
Love, Princess Starfire of Tamaran