Disclaimer: Teen Titans, mine? Ha, I laugh at the falseness of that statement!
Blast from the Past
Richard Grayson brought his jet black motorcycle to a screeching stop directly in front of his club of choice, the Killer Martini. It was a rather peculiar name, but Rick, as his friends called him, had a special attraction to the place. One, all the waitressess were always exceptionally pretty, and two, they served a killer martini. Rick liked a killer martini. He supposed he could have Alfred whip one up for him at Wayne Manor, which was now his—Bruce had died tragically a few years back, leaving his entire estate to his former sidekick. Rick had subsequently had to disband the Teen Titans, taking on the mantle of the chief executive officer of Wayne Enterprises.
Rick ran his gloved hands through his windblown hair, tilting his shades down a bit as he scoped out the crowds. Vaulting agilely off his sleek bike, he adjusted the collar of his leather jacket, making sure that it was sticking straight up. Rick Grayson was Gotham's James Dean and playboy extraordinaire. He smirked at a pair of girls standing outside the Killer Martini, and they fell into a fit of giggles, gleefully latching onto his offered arms, and in their movement, a "Help Wanted" sign was revealed in the window, which an employee of the place was just removing.
He led them into the club, the strobe lights flashing madly on the dance floor, the lights pleasantly dim and at the same time violently neon by the bar. Despite the relative darkness of the place, Rick hadn't removed his shades—he never took off the dark glasses, ever. No one saw his eyes. So his eyes were something of legend; if a girl saw Rick Grayson's eyes, she was certainly something more than a one-night stand. As it was, no girl had ever seen his eyes. Not since…Rick brushed the thoughts aside, leading his chosen companions onto the dance floor. One of them was a blond, but Rick had never had any special attachment to blonds, and he didn't quite understand the appeal. But the other was a redhead, and Rick rested his hands on her hips, swaying in time to her beat, pretending the auburn locks beneath his chin, tickling his neck, belonged to someone else. With the redhead pressed against his front and the blond glued to his back, Rick danced to the music, letting the blond slip off his jacket, letting the redhead unfasten the first few buttons of his dark blue striped shirt, rolling up his sleeves, losing himself in the heady intoxication of the music, of the girls.
It was hours later before Rick retired from the dance floor, one arm around each girl, leading them to one of the high circular tables, gallantly helping them into their chairs before he lounged between them, and they inched their chairs as close to him as physically possible. The blond was toying with his hair, curling the messy fluff around her fingers while the redhead leaned on his other shoulder, tracing the line of his collarbone. Rick raised one hand, calling out to a passing waitress just as the strobe light flashed.
"Hey, you," he yelled above the din. "Three martinis—extra dry."
The strobe light flashed again as she looked his way, and all she was was a flickering silhouette. "Coming right up," she yelled back.
Rick smirked to himself as the redhead's hand worked its way up his thigh and the blond's tongue licked the sweat from his neck. Perhaps a threesome tonight, he thought. He closed his eyes, letting them pleasure him, drifting from the world.
"Three extra-dry martinis," the waitress said, unloading the drinks from her tray to the table.
Rick opened his eyes, tilting his shades down the slightest bit so that he could see the girl. The strobe light flashed again, and then it was gone, blocked by a mass of dancers, and he could see her clearly. And he almost died of shock.
Gorgeous scarlet hair tumbled down her back in waves; slanting bangs swept across her jade eyes; she was tall and slender, dressed in the usual waitressing attire of the Killer Martini which consisted of a heinously short skirt, cropped, collared tanktop, fishnets, and really tall stiletto boots, all black. She had her tiny black apron slung low on her hips, where she presumably kept her tips. She leaned her weight on one long, shapely leg, balancing the tray with ridiculous ease, cocking her head to one side. But all Rick saw was the little brass nametag fastened to her tight top—KORI.
"Kori?" he blurted, forgetting the two sluts he had been entertaining. "Kori Anders?"
The girl raised one eyebrow, her heavily masscared lashes blinking. "We've met before?" she asked.
Rick gaped at her, watching her eyes move from blond to redhead to him again, unable to react to that.
"Look, are you gonna tip me or not? I've got a lot of work to do," Kori said shortly, twirling the tray on her silver-ringed finger like it was a basketball.
"Oh…right…" Rick stammered, pulling a crumpled twenty from his wallet and stuffing it in her extended hand. And since when had she learned how to talk so...normally? How much had changed--how much had she changed? Was she still...?
Kori raised her eyebrow again, apparently a little surprised at the amount, then shrugged and tucked it into her apron, moving on.
Rick watched her go, shellshocked.
When it became clear after a few hours that they were not going to get into the legendary Rick Grayson's pants, the blond and the redhead excused themselves and swiftly threw themselves at other potential men. Rick sat at the table, watching Kori clearing a table not too far away, gathering up the tips and stuffing them into her apron's pocket, stacking the glasses with almost natural ease on the tray, about to whisk the lot away to the kitchens when Rick hailed her.
"Hey…Kori. 'Nuther martini."
Kori glanced up and after a moment's hesitation, came over to him and collected his empty glass, sauntering away. She disappeared through the back doors but emerged a moment later, motioning the bartender for a martini, which he soon made and she plucked, slinging it onto her tray with almost careless ease, smacking it down in front of Rick.
"There you go, Mr. Sunglasses," she said and made to walk away, but he hailed her again.
"Hey, Kori…take a load off." He motioned to the vacant seat next to him.
"Oh, thanks for the offer, but no," she said, her voice dripping sarcasm. "I'm really not in the mood to get hit on at the moment."
"I'm not…no…I…I just wanted to talk with you," Rick attempted.
"Like I've never heard that one before," Kori rolled her beautiful jade eyes. "Sit with me, talk with me, have sex with me," she mimicked, turning away in disgust. "Get your sick kicks elsewhere, Mr. Sunglasses. I ain't playing your game."
"Wait…Starfire…" Rick blurted, desperate now.
Kori froze and then turned very slowly, her eyes wide, her mouth open in shock. Very quickly she was sitting next to him, her voice low. "How the hell did you know that?"
"Star…come on," Rick nearly begged, slipping his shades down his nose, giving her a glimpse of his ocean blue eyes, just as dark and just as deep.
Kori's eyes widened even more, and her mouth fell farther open, and she barely managed to say, "Robin? Is—can you—Robin?"
Rick smiled, relaxed again, comfortable again now that she was off-balance. "It's good to see you again, Star. What's it been? Four years?"
"Something like that," she whispered, clearly still in shock, and she shook her head slightly. "How—why are you—I never thought I'd—"
"A regular blast from the past, eh?" Rick chuckled, lounging back in his chair. He glanced down her slim frame, eyeing her apparel.
All of a sudden Kori seemed very embarrassed; flushing, she stood up, holding the tray in front of her like it was some sort of shield. "Oh, X'Hal, you shouldn't see me like this, Robin…" she muttered. "It's… just a job…my third, actually…"
Rick nearly choked on his martini, and he set it down quickly. "You have three jobs? And I'm a billionaire? Star, why didn't you ever—?"
"It would not be right," Kori said swiftly, flustered. "I—I get on fine, Robin. Really. Gotham is just a great deal more expensive than Jump City...I shall…er…adapt soon enough. Juggling, now. I'll be okay."
"Where else do you work?" Rick asked, concerned and curious.
"Er, first shift at Starbucks…the one off Seventeenth Avenue, on Twenty-ninth Street…"
"Somehow I can see you at Starbucks," Rick said with a grin, imagining her amongst all the caffeine.
"Oh, yes, I enjoy it a great deal," Kori said, easing back into the chair, setting the tray on the table. "And then I work the second shift at Club Neon…"
"What!" Rick erupted, catching the attention of several people in the bar. He lowered his voice, still incredulous. "Club Neon? Star, please tell my you're kidding!"
Kori kept her gaze downcast, fascinated with her fingers. "Waitressing, Robin…just like here. Not…"
Rick slumped back in his chair, blowing a sigh of relief. "Thank God you aren't messed up in that…" He ran his fingers through his hair, worried about the girl next to him.
"But hopefully I will get my…er…'big break' soon," Kori said swiftly. "There was a man in here a few nights back…he worked for a big company…and he gave me this," she drew a small business card from her apron's pocket.
Rick turned the card over and read it, looking up at her once he'd finished. "Modeling, Star?" a grin curled his lips. "Somehow I can see you being a very good model. I've got connections…"
"No, Robin," Kori interrupted him quickly. "I want to do this on my own…but thanks."
Rick nodded, though he was loathe to just let her be. "So…you live near here?"
"Kinda. A few blocks over, on Maxwell," Kori waved her hand in the approximate direction.
"Hey, y'all! Time's up! G'night and get out!" someone yelled from behind the counter.
"Oh…I have to get going…nice to see you, Robin," Kori said, rising gracefully to her feet.
"Wait…wanna ride? I got the R-cycle…" Rick said, not wanting her to walk home through the streets of Gotham dressed as she was. Who knows what would happen to her.
Kori smiled the dazzling smile she always had. "I'd love that."
Rick waited outside for her to finish up, and when she came out, he led her over to his motorcycle, throwing his leg over it, feeling her settle behind him, her arms encircling his waist. "Ready?" he asked her over his shoulder.
"Ready!" she replied, and he kicked the stand away, roaring obnoxiously out into the streets, hearing Kori laugh in his ear, her arms tightening their hold, her scarlet hair whipping behind her. He lost himself in the sensation of her being so close to him again, and he felt a completeness that he hadn't felt since… since the Titans had disbanded four years ago. And so it seemed all too soon to him that he pulled up at her apartment complex. She hopped off, and he barely managed to lead her to her door.
"Thanks for the ride, Robin," Kori chirped in her usual bubbly manner.
"Anytime, Star," he replied, feeling a little awkward. After all this time, he'd never told her…
"Goodnight, friend Robin," she said, reverting back to her old pattern of speech for a nostalgic moment.
"Goodnight, Star," Rick whispered. "Tell me when you make your 'big break', okay?"
Kori threw her arms around his neck and squeezed with all her strength, which was quite a bit. "I will."
Rick embraced her back, reveling in her body against his, breathing in her sweet scent, stroking the softness of her hair, absorbing the warmth of her body like he'd never get the chance again. "See you around, Star," he said into her hair.
"'Course you will," she smiled, and then he ducked in unexpectedly, kissing her gently on the cheek. When he pulled away, she looked surprised, and then she blushed, disappearing into the building, and all he could do was climb back on his R-cycle and drive away.