So here it finally is… the final chapter.
Sorry it's taken so long, it's been a bit of a crazy time… also, it's kind of hard to think I won't be posting a chapter next week…
Without further adieu, reason number ten.
I hate you because...
1. Only you can make paperwork cool.
2. Only you can make dancing seem like a good option.
3. Only you would be a kickass superhero who can take on a guy ten times your size without flinching, and afraid of thunder.
4. Only you could turn something like training into… something else entirely.
5. Only you could make something like dancing in the rain seem like a good idea.
6. Only you can make me wonder.
7. Only you can make me completely forget about work, obligations, and planning.
8. Only you can make me do things that go against my better judgement/ things I do not want to do under any circumstances
9. You're the only one I dream about.
10. Only you can make me feel like an idiot.
They stumbled and blundered down the hallway, too wrapped up in one another to so much as take a breath, let alone detach their mouths from various body parts to look where they were going.
Maybe that's why next thing Robin knew, he had Starfire pressed against some wall—they needed the support.
He kissed her. He kissed her lips, he kissed the top of her shoulder, he kissed her arm, he kissed her where her shoulder met her neck, his hands moved of their own volition as if to memorize every detail of her body. Starfire giggled as she ran a hand through Robin's hair, "It was a very special evening, Richard," she said softly.
Robin raised an eyebrow, "Just special?" he murmured into her skin.
She giggled again, and he found two warm, soft hands on either side of his face, guiding him eye level, putting a (temporary) stop to his ministrations. Starfire smiled at him and then leaned in and gave him a quick kiss that took him by surprise. When he tried to snatch her for another, she danced out of the way, and came to stop a half a foot away from him, which if you asked Robin, was over eight inches too far away. "Lovely," she said with a teasing grin.
"Well," he said, turning around so now he was the one leaning against the wall, giving her a crooked smile and pulling her back to him by the waist (because eight inches were not so insurmountable after all), "It's not finished just yet," he goaded.
Starfire oohed appreciatively as Robin once again set off to his very important work. She returned his ardor for several minutes, speaking only when her lips were once again free as his own moved, yet again, from hers to thoroughly inspect other body parts, "Oh, you have something else planned for me?" she said, slightly more breathlessly than before.
"Of course," Robin said with a mock scoff, pausing in his studies to look her in the eye, "Star, it's our six month anniversary—that's a major landmark in any relationship," he said, not without a small amount of tenderness.
"And just what is it so special that you have planned for me inside my bedroom?" she asked playfully.
Robin grinned at her tone, he should have known she would have noticed exactly which room they were currently… leaning by, if that was the right term for it. Reluctantly he let go of her and took three steps so her doors would open. He took another step so he was just inside her bedroom, "Why don't you come in here and find out," he said with his eyebrow raised just so.
Starfire grinned in return, "I am rather fond of this game," she said stepping into her room and into Robin's arms with a light laugh.
Robin laughed as Starfire began her own attentions, which, he couldn't help but return. He was, after all, nothing if not a dedicated boyfriend.
Robin had no idea how many minutes passed before he found the back of his knees hitting the edge of Starfire's bed, and he certainly had no idea who was responsible for it—whether it was his body moving on autopilot, without any conscious thought from him, or Starfire's leading, or some combination of the two. As soon as he felt the contact, he stopped moving and laughed, because lately all he had felt like doing was laughing. His laughter grew louder once he saw Starfire's visible disappointment in his pausing.
"There'll be time for that later," he told her as he played with the ends of her hair fondly.
She sulked, "You mean to tell me that your statement was not a 'come hereabout?"
"Come hither," he corrected without thinking much about it, "And I didn't say I didn't want you to come hither, I'm only saying I have something else planned," he said, continuing to play with her hair.
Starfire raised her eyebrows and put her hands on her hips, although the effect was slightly ruined by the fact she had yet to slap Robin's hand away from her tresses, "And what might that be?"
Robin gave her an impish look and sat down at the end of his bed. He patted the spot next to him, "Sit down," he said, giving her the most devilish smirk he had in his arsenal, "Let's talk about it."
Starfire threw back her head and laughed earnestly. Robin smiled at the sound. Still bell-like, six months later.
"Come on," he said with a grin, as he shifted his weight back on his palms, "I don't bite."
She grinned, "You are very clever."
"Nah," he said nonchalantly, even as his eyes watching her movements with something that could only be described as hunger, "I'm just an amazing boyfriend."
"I will not disagree," she said as she came and sat by him, only a precious hair's width away.
He felt this was a time when actions might speak louder than words. Besides, he had never been too good with words about feelings to begin with. He shifted his weight again, putting his other hand on the other side of Starfire and leaned over to give her a lingering kiss. He pulled away after a few moments to look at her, "Star… you know… this whole time with you…" he said sincerely, finding his hand was making it to cup the side of her face, "It really has felt like a dream I just haven't woken up from—in the best possible way."
She grinned, "Am I the girl of whom you dream?" she asked teasingly in soft ones.
He ran a loving hand down the length of her face, "Yeah," he said without a hint of irony, "You really are my dream girl."
She leaned over to give him a kiss in return, which was over much to soon for Robin's taste. Before he could manage to feel much disappointment as she pulled away, she gave Robin what could only be described mischievous look as she threw her left leg over his legs. She sank down so they were eye level, so she hovered only an inch above him. It was the best kind of torture. "And, you, Boy Wonder, are the boy of my dreams," she said softly in return as she threaded her arms around his neck, she moved her lips there and murmured into the sensitive skin, "You are not the only one who remembers that night."
"Oh I'm not?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes," she whispered without a trace of humor and then leaned in to kiss him.
Robin smiled against her lips before twisting their bodies, in a move that surprised Starfire (but really shouldn't have), he had her on her back against the pillows, as he hovered above her. He looked down at her, softly stroking her hair, her face, her arm, whatever he could get his hands on, "You know," he mused, "I really can't believe it took me this long."
She grinned up at him, "Myself included," her look once more shifted to playful once more, "One might ask why you are still wasting time…"
Robin shook his head in mock disappointment, "You are so greedy," but his affectionate tone belied his words.
She pouted, "Is that what you would call me?"
"No," he murmured as he leaned down to kiss her, stopping when his lips were barely touching hers, "It's not the first word that comes to mind, dream girl," he muttered against her lips.
"So today's the big day, huh?" Raven asked as she poured herself a cup of tea.
"Huh?" Robin asked, startled out of his memories of the previous night as he turned to look at her.
"You know," Raven intoned, and waited several beats before adding in, what passed as an incredulous tone for Raven, "The six month anniversary?"
Robin looked bemused, but didn't even question what anniversary Raven was referring to, "How did you know it was mine and Starfire's six month anniversary?"
"Hello," Raven said dryly, pointing at her head, "Empath. I knew the second you two got together."
"Well, if that was the case," Robin said idly, as he flipped through a page of the newspaper he had out on the counter, but until now had not been paying much attention to, more focused on remembering much more pleasurable activities, "You would have known it was six months—last night," he paused to consider it, "Or early this morning."
Raven rolled her eyes before starting to say, "You're—"
But Robin was interrupted from finding out what it was exactly Raven thought he was (which he can't say he was too broken up about, he was in too good of a mood to have Raven make cutting remarks), as at that opportune time a certain alien princess flew into the room, quite literally, zoomed past Raven in a blur of red and purple, only to land on Robin's lap at the kitchen table. She threw her arms around his neck without much adieu.
Robin blinked down at surprise at the sudden girl in his arms, "Good morning," he said amusedly as he wrapped his arms tightly around her in response to what he considered to be such a lovely distraction from his current conversation.
"Good morning," Starfire said with a beatific smile, and leaned up to kiss him good morning.
Raven politely waited a few seconds before clearing her throat loudly.
Starfire eeped loudly in surprise, clapping a hand on her mouth and trying to rearrange herself in Robin's lap so she could both see the source of the noise and look as innocuous as possible, "Raven! I was not aware you—it is not usual for you to be up at this time," she said, turning red and obviously embarrassed, but not so embarrassed as to neglect to elbow Robin for not letting her alerting her to the presence of another Titan.
Robin continued to look amused at Starfire's discomfiture.
"Er… no. Sorry for… interrupting," Raven said awkwardly.
Starfire shot Raven a furtive glance, and reluctantly slid from Robin's lap and to the seat next to him, something Robin noted with disappointment, "Oh… friend Raven, I… this must be quite a shock for you."
Raven raised both eyebrows but refrained from making a sarcastic comment at Robin's warning look, "Uh… right… a big… shock."
"You know," Robin whispered to Starfire as he ran a hand through her hair, "We could just tell all the Titans."
"Nonsense," Starfire said, shaking her head, "We agreed upon eight months, eight months it shall be."
"Star…" Robin protested gently.
Starfire turned to Raven, ignoring Robin's objections, "I trust you will be discreet, friend?"
Raven held up three fingers, "Scout's honor," she drawled.
Starfire gave her a brilliant smile, and turned to Robin, "Well, I suppose if our friends are awakening… I best change," with one more glance at Raven, who immediately turned to bustle herself with fixing tea at the counter at Starfire's look, and once Starfire was sure Raven was quite involved in the process of making tea, she turned to Robin and gave him one last lingering kiss.
"I'll see you later," Robin said quietly to her.
Starfire smiled at that, and brought one hand to his face as if to say a quick goodbye, but quickly left without another word.
Once Starfire was safely through the Ops Doors, Raven turned to Robin, "OK, you do realize all the Titans know, right?"
Robin sighed, "Yes. But please—don't tell Starfire. This eight months thing is really important to her. It's not that she likes lying to you guys… but I think she kind of likes that it's just the two of us for now. Or that she wants to prove she can keep a secret… I'm not entirely sure, but I do know it matters a lot to her."
Raven shook her head, "Robin, I didn't mean just me, Cyborg, and Beast Boy. There's a betting pool that's going on, you know. With all the Titans—everyone from Kid Flash to Argent to Red Star has some sort of bet placed."
Robin's jaw dropped, "What? You guys are already betting on when we're going to break up?" he said, feeling his ire grow.
"Don't be stupid," Raven scoffed, "No one would waste their money on that. We're betting when you're going to get married."
Robin found himself suddenly succumbing to a choking fit, "What?!"
Raven smirked and patted him on the shoulder, "Rumor has it Cyborg will be your best man."
Robin put his head in his hands, this is not what he expected to wake up to this morning. He really should have just stayed in bed with Starfire like she had said he should have this morning, "Jesus," he moaned.
Raven shook her head, took her cup of tea, and turned to leave the room. She hesitated at the last minute at the door and turned back, "So… six months, huh?" she ventured.
"Yeah," Robin finding himself smiling as he said it. He hadn't had much of an occasion to yet… but it felt nicer than he would have expected to say it.
She continued to shake her head, "I'll never understand how you managed to pull that one off."
Robin smirked, "Why, with my effortless charm, obviously."
"You wish," Raven said with a snort and exited the room.
Six months and several hours ago…
"Robin!" Starfire gasped, starting out of bed, as she pulled her sheets more tightly around her, "What is it—why are you not sleeping?" she drops the sheets, "Did the cocoa not prove satisfactory?"
"What? No, this isn't about cocoa, Starfire," Robin said, as he paced around the foot of her bed.
"No?" She asked, blinking in surprise, she edged slightly down the bed so she was now sitting in the middle with her feet on the floor, and watched his pacing curiously, "Then why are you not currently slumbering?"
Robin shook his head, "I can't, Starfire."
"You are having trouble falling asleep?"
"No—well, yes, I just…" Robin sighed deeply, and pivoted to face Starfire, "I was back in my room, I was lying down in bed, and then I looked over at the cup of cocoa you made me, just sitting on my nightstand and I just knew."
"You knew what?" Starfire asked, sounding fairly confused—either because Robin had interrupted her mid-slumber or because Robin wasn't making any sense with his babbling. Or perhaps some combination of the two, Robin was much too tired to sort it all out now. He had much bigger things to focus on… like a certain confession he had come storming in here, intending to blurt out to a certain red-haired alien princess who had seemed to have taken permanent residence in his dreams as of late.
Robin opened and closed his mouth several times before he growled in frustration and continued to pace, deciding to try another tactic, "You know how I've been avoiding you?" he ventured.
"Yes…" Starfire said hesitantly, "But Robin, I am most confused. I thought you had said you wished to have this discussion later when—"
"No," Robin said, interrupting her, "Well yes, but then, then I saw the cocoa," he said meaningful.
"The cocoa?" she questioned, sounding surprised.
Robin shook his head and continued to pace, because pacing was better than standing still and just looking at her, especially when he knew what he had to say, "That's what I knew, when I looked at the cocoa that you had made me. I knew that I should just come here and we should… talk now because I'm going absolutely crazy and I've gone four days without more than two hours of sleep and I know I'm never going to get to sleep again, I'm never going to get any peace unless… unless I tell you…" he coughed, seeming to struggle with his words, "Unless I tell you what I… what I," he made a facial expression indicating some sort of pain, "fe—what I wanted to discuss with you. I… I just knew we should have our discussion now."
"Robin…" Starfire said softly, "You are my friend. My best friend. You may tell me anything. There is nothing you could say to make me think any less of you. Come now," she said patting the spot on the bed next to her, "Sit. Let us discuss."
Robin stared at the spot with a mix of longing and trepidation. He shook his head, "I… I don't think I better, Star."
"Robin, please. I do not bite," she said, looking at him in such a way, that, well, Robin did as she asked. He couldn't help himself. Maybe he never could, but now, with the sleep deprivation and the fact he hadn't seen Starfire in three days, and that her bed did just look so inviting… Well, he just walked over and plopped down on her bed, shoulders slumped next to her upright posture.
She reached a kind hand out to his shoulder, "Robin… please… tell me what bothers you so."
Robin let out a breath, and ran a hand through his hair. He looked over at Starfire, "Star… it's…" he groaned and put his hands in his head, "I can't do this."
"Cannot do what?" Starfire said as she put her hands on his back in a soothing manner, "Robin, please… I do not understand…" she entreated.
He did not lift his head from his hands as he spoke, afraid looking at her would make him lose all courage to say what he needed to, "I…Star, I usually always know what the right thing is to do in any situation. I'm not saying I always do it—I try, but, well, I'm not perfect. But… I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing here, Star. All I know is that… I can't… I can't go on like this."
"Robin… please…" she pleaded.
Robin couldn't take it anymore, her kind words, her comforting touch, the pleading—when really, of course, he should be the one pleading with her. He bolted up from the bed and started pacing again, "Star… I…" he brought both his hands up to his hair in frustration, "I… I think you're the most incredible person I've ever met. Really. You're the kindest, warmest, most wonderful person—I didn't know, before I met you, that someone as… amazing as you could exist."
Starfire watched Robin carefully, as if she was waiting for the other shoe to drop, or he was some kind of mirage, or maybe even a robot, "Robin… I thank you for this compliment. But I am afraid I do not understand…"
"I know… I know," he cut her off, and sighs deeply, "I'm trying, Star. I really am," he promised her. He stopped pacing and plopped down again on the bed, across from her, "You want to know why I've been avoiding you?"
"Very much so," she said earnestly.
"Because… well, because you're the reason I haven't been able to get to sleep for these last five days."
"Me?" she asked astounded, "What in X'hal's name have I done to prevent your sleeping?!"
Robin leaned towards her on the bed bed—a lean that put him much closer to her, now with only a few scant inches separate them. He brought a hand up to cup Starfire's face, and he found himself utterly at a loss for words. He didn't know how to explain it, "I've been dreaming about you. Every night," he found himself saying as Starfire watched him with wide eyes, "And I'm probably way out of line for saying anything—much less coming to your room this late after you've made me cocoa after I've been so horrible to you this whole time—but Star… I… I have feelings for you," he took a breath, "Deep feelings. I… I'm pretty sure… that I love you," he caressed her cheek softly, surprised that the words were coming this easily to him, that he was able to tell Starfire he loved her, when he had barely been able to admit it to himself for so long, "You don't have to say anything at all, but if… if it's alright with you, I think I'm going to kiss you now. And… well, you can fire a starbolt or toss me across the room if I'm crossing a line."
Starfire did not say anything, she just watched him with wide eyes. It was perhaps the longest moment of Robin's life. He waited a few seconds that seemed to be an eternity in case she did decide to fire a starbolt at him or toss him across the room, and when Starfire did nothing but stare up at him, he moved the hand that had been caressing her cheek to the back of her head and he leaned in to kiss her.
He doesn't think he'd ever be brave enough to do it if he wasn't half insane from the sleep deprivation. But, he does it.
And the thing is? When his lips come in contact with hers in what perhaps has been the buildup of years of anticipation and angst? It's totally true what they say. Sometimes, dreams don't even remotely live up to reality.
Robin pulls back after only a few seconds, and finds himself swallowing audibly. "You have no idea," he says in a raspy tone that he doesn't quite recognize, "How long I've been dreaming of doing that."
Starfire's eyes have gone from widened surprised to narrowed determination, and Robin is not entirely sure what to make of that. But he was hoping for something more along the lines of dreamy or love struck or happiness. He wasn't prepared for determination, and the only thing he can think is that maybe Starfire really is going to hurl him across the room.
Robin is ready to gracefully make his exit and hopefully excuse his entire behavior with sleep deprivation induced sleepwalking when suddenly, Starfire's left leg is swinging over his lap, and she is kneeling in front of him. If he couldn't feel the heat she was radiating, if it all didn't surpass his very imagination, then he would be convinced he had passed out somewhere from the kitchen to his room and was dreaming this, because no way could this be his reality. It just couldn't.
But he finds he can't keep thinking about what's a dream and what's reality when Starfire is running both her hands through his hair, and tilting his head up slightly, in what is quite possibly the most heavenly thing Robin has ever experienced in his life.
And then, she starts talking. And his heart drops as he notices her voice is huskier than he has ever heard it, and he almost forgets to pay attention to what she's saying, but he does, and boy, is he glad that he does.
In her husky tones, Starfire is still running her hands through his hair, and is giving him this look that is positively soul-searing as she says, "And you have no notion of how long I have been dreaming of doing this," and then, the most incredible thing of all happens: she lowers her mouth to his.
And wow, if it isn't like explosions and fireworks and red hot and toe curling and all those other things people always say kisses are supposed to be rolled into one. Robin doesn't know how he is able to even remotely keep it all together, but somehow, he does.
And then Starfire sinks down onto his lap, without breaking their kiss, in fact, if anything intensifying it, and what is a guy to do? Other than deepen the kiss—which is what Robin does.
He's only human, after all.
When she pulls away for a moment to gauge his own reaction, Robin can't do anything but look at her in amazement, "Star… what are you doing?" he says, finding his voice breaking, and finding he can't manage to care much about anything but trying to get Starfire to do that with her lips again. And maybe forever.
She rolls her eyes playfully, "I should think that would be obvious," she teases and she peppers the side of his face with tender kisses.
"Star… do you… are you… sure?" Robin manages to blurt out, which is quite hard with all the distracting kissing that is occurring around his neck region.
Starfire pulls back and regards him warily, "Robin… am I sure about what?" she inquires.
"About…" he gestures between the two of them, "This. Us." He isn't sure how he manages to string even two words together when his synapses are firing like this, and Starfire is still sitting on his lap and touching him like this. She's even playing with the hair on the back of his neck while he's talking, which is both the cruelest and loveliest thing she could ever do.
She raises an eyebrow, "Am I sure about kissing you?" she intones incredulously.
"Yes… and…" he shifts his eyes to floor, unable to look into her eyes as he makes this confession, "Maybe more." And even though it's only two words, it feels like the weight of the world.
A radiant grin appears on Starfire's face, "Dick Grayson, are you inquiring as to whether I wish to be your girlfriend? A female with whom you have a pleasant and special association, including the sharing of enjoyable recreation and occasionally the buying of bountiful floral arrangements?" she probes.
"That… and maybe a bit more," Robin looked down at his lap where Starfire currently had herself situated and then back up at Starfire, "I don't know. Would you say yes if I did?" he asks, unsure of himself.
Starfire puts both of her hands on his shoulders and gives him a look, "Do you think I am in the habit of kissing boys in my bedroom that I do not intend to date?" she asks.
"God, I hope not," Robin answered honestly.
Starfire laughs, and swoops down to give Robin another kiss. Whereas their previous kisses had been hot, searching and intense, this one seems… joyful, playful in comparison. Relieved. It takes him considerable amount of time to work up the will to pull away, by the time he finds his one hand tangled in Starfire's hair, which yes, is softer than it looks, especially when you have it by the fistful like Robin currently does, and the other on her lower back, touching the warm, soft skin there. He doesn't think he ever wants to let her go. He wants to memorize every moment of this string of moments, because he doesn't think he's ever experienced a more perfect time in his life.
"Star…" Robin says, pulling back after some time has passed (more than he had intended), "I really meant it when I said I loved you. Love you," he corrects, because he doesn't want to go past tense when he means present and future and maybe forever tense.
She gives him a scrutinizing stare for several moments, "Oh goodness," she says with an eye-roll as realization dawns, "Is that what all this talking is about? Do you wish for me to repeat the sentiment?"
"Only if it's true," Robin mumbles, unable to look her in the eye as he says it. He feels like he is bearing everything to her right now, and if she doesn't say it back… he thinks he might die from embarrassment. And something else too, that he suspiciously believes might be called 'heartbreak'.
"Dick Grayson, you are the biggest idiot I know," Starfire cries out, "Of course I love you!"
"Oh," Robin said, feeling his heart mending itself from the potential break and perhaps even growing. A huge smile spread across his face. He rubs his thumb in circles on her back, and this is without doubt, the single happiest most perfect moment of his life, and if he only remembers one thing for the rest of his life, he hopes it's this moment in this string of wonderful moments, "Good," he says instead, "I'm glad."
"As am I," she says returning his smile, "Now, might we continue with the kissing and save the discussing for a later date?"
Robin laughs and drags her lips back down to his.
And that's all folks.
… at least for now.
I have to admit, it's hard to stop thinking about this fic now that it's officially over, and I'm pretty happy with how I ended it… but I'm toying with the idea of writing a quasi-epilogue. It probably won't come till later, because right now I'm working on revamping "Princes and Frogs" (which is old and not that good right now, but will come back better than ever! Coming soon—to a computer screen near you!) but I've got this idea niggling at me and it won't quite go away…
But who knows what will happen when we all get a breather with Christmas coming up…
Anyway, thanks to all the people who took the time to both read and review. I really appreciate it. And I hope all you lovely people have enjoyed reading this half as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
And that's really all, folks.