Disclaimer: I don't own the Titans. They belong to DC and Warner Bros.
Broken record moment: Aussie, spelling, slang, word usage is all different.
Shh... I'm not really here. -ninjapost-
This used to be a drabble for Boy Flounder but I liked it so much I fleshed it out a little more.
There's a secret place in the Tower.
Well… okay, it's not so secret, it's hard to hide an Olympic sized pool. But there is a secret panel below the floors up the deep end of the pool that harbours the aforementioned secret.
Only Robin has the code, because he'd rather be dead than caught doing this. But every once in a while, the urge comes over him.
It's a secret.
Mainly because of the tight, aerodynamic shorts he has to wear when he does this. And the fact that he's maskless. And mostly naked. And there's two guys in the Tower that would undoubtedly tease him to pieces if they saw him do this.
With a few simple codes into the console beside the door, a diving tower emerges from the floor, pushes its way up toward the roof. Cyborg always complained about the waste of space here, why the massive roof was here, but Robin kept the secret.
He pads quietly along the side of the pool, leaving his towel down the bottom and climbs the ladder.
There's freedom in the fall. In the jump and dive, in the twists and turns through the air. His mother's voice talks to him, she was a diver, one of the best before his father caught her eye and convinced her to fly rather than fall.
Splash and bubbles and sinking below, stroke and rise to the surface and kick out to pad up the stairs only to fall again.
Of course, the Tower is full of secrets.
There's another secret here.
A secret, hidden up in the crisscrossing support beams of the roof. Positioned just so one Tamaranian girl could lie along the length of a beam and see down into the pool. Sort of an angled view, kind of behind but that didn't really matter since he did both front and back facing dives. Close enough that she had a magnificent view, but not too close that she'd be spotted. She lies along that beam and watches him for however long he deems to dive.
She watches the way his body twists in the air, the way his muscles work to flip him, the way his wet hair flops against his eyes. She waits for those bubbles burst against the surface moments before he thrust himself upward, gulping in a breath and slicks back his hair before he strokes to the edge of the pool to rise again.
She gazes as he carefully positions himself for the dive, whether it was to rise up on his toes and hurl himself over the edge, or carefully go into a handstand and fall.
She'll watch those flexing muscles and brilliant blue eyes and sigh at the freedom she sees as he falls. Freedom she never gets to see any other time, freedom that he never gets to share except in these scant moments where he can't know she's watching. She'll rest her cheek on the cold metal of the pole and drape herself there and just watch.
Her eyes linger over his form, at the scattered scars and the shape of his back, to the lines of his ribs and how well those diving shorts conceal… very little. Second skin comes to mind.
Sometimes, she wonders if he knows she's there. Sometimes, she wonders what'd happen if she told him whenever he disappeared to do this, she followed, just to watch the freedom she sees in him. Sometimes she'll wonder all sorts of things as he dives, but she'll never tell him.
Sometimes, he wonders if she realises he's doing all this for her. The flips and turns and flexes, just so she'd sigh and her echo would whisper at him. Sometimes he wonders if she'd join in if he invited her. He'll imagine the flips and twists he can teach her, imagine the line of her body as it's pointed toward the water and disappears below the surface.
But it's a secret they don't share. Because neither of them wants to give up the dive.
There are times he wishes most fervently that they could be together. A couple. But they can't. Team dynamics, heroes first, mission before the person. Age old sensibilities drummed into his brain, don't date a teammate, work romances compromise everything. She's reliant of emotions, what happens if he does something to make them fail and she gets hurt? Damn his analytical brain, why can't it just turn off and let him be? So many reasons why not to. Only one reason why.
There are times she wishes he'd blur those lines. But she understands. She's happy as his friend, his best friend, his companion and teammate and maybe someday there might be more, and she'll hold out hope, but until then, she understands.
He's thankful and annoyed she does.
She hopes he'll work out what he wants.
He thinks it'd be nice if she just made up his mind for him, he knows he'd never refuse her if she pushed.
She doesn't know how.
They dance around each other while the feeling, the bond they share grows stronger, but neither of them can act.
She often hides a diving magazine inside a Gossip Girl magazine, her feet flat as she curls up on the sofa, the magazine carefully balanced on her knees. She studies in the hope to learn more. Maybe she'll be able to tell the next time she sneaks away to watch him dive, whether or not it's a 'back one-and-a-half somersaults, tuck'. Or maybe something simple, like the difference between a pike and a tuck… although she is fairly certain a pike is not a weapon or a fish.
He stands behind her, stealthy and secretive and smiles to himself as he notes what she hides on her lap, thinking no one sees. Secretly pleased she is taking such an interest and hiding the want to share.
Sometimes, in her oh-so-subtle ways, she'll flick through the channels aimlessly after her favourite show, The World of Fungus, is complete. And if, perchance, she happens to find a diving competition on a sports channel, a rare find, she'll pause and watch with tilted head, comparing the graceful movements to the dives she has seen.
If he's around when she finds a show like that, he'll sit beside her and take the time to explain just a little. Just long enough to impart a few truths about the dive and answer her ever growing questions before the ribbing and jeering from their teammates because it's a delicate sport forces him to leave.
She'll watch him go and gaze sadly at the television and wishes he could admit he dives.
She finds it odd he is quite vocal about his circus past, sharing the trapeze and challenging their friends to try it. He'll laugh as Beast Boy falls. He'll tease Cyborg because he is too 'clunky' to curl up into a ball. And yet, the dive is not ever discussed. It's hidden away, never shown off, a secret she keeps.
There is a new criminal afoot and he is angry. Angry at himself, because he cannot discover who or what they are after. Angry because people are getting hurt and he can't figure it out. Angry at his friends, because he's working so hard and he feels like they're not supporting him. Angry at her, because she is doing her very best to make sure he eats and sleeps correctly, and all he sees in an interruption, lost time when he could be working.
She is upset. He yelled at her and she was only trying to help. She is distressed he cannot see he is not alone in this, that there are others willing to help, if only he'd ask. The burden is not only on him. They all work together. Cyborg has been running every diagnostic he can on the crime scanner. Raven is searching psychically. Beast Boy has been tracking down every single scent present at the last crime scene. And she is doing her very best to help, the only way she really can in this case. Keeping their leader sane. Her friends admit her task in the hardest. They do not envy her.
And he yelled at her. Called her a time sink, said she was demanding too much and she should just leave him alone.
It hurts. Both of them. More than they are willing to admit.
She left him alone. And he hates that he made her cry. He hates that he's standing outside her door, listening to the muffled sobs and seeing the red eyes she hides and know he did that. He hates that he's distracted now and he can't concentrate on anything else but her. He hates that he can't take those words back, how they're out there now and he can't redeem himself.
He doesn't know how to fix it.
She doesn't know if she wants it fixed this time. There is only so much pushing that can be done, before the gravity that binds them together is not strong enough to make her return.
He is at a loss. She has been ignoring him for a week now and he hates it. It's bad. It's nasty. It's horrible and he made it this way and he hates himself. He's tried to apologise but she won't even look at him. She doesn't hear. And their friends are siding with her. Not that he blames them, of course. It's his fault. He shouldn't have yelled. Shouldn't have blamed her. The criminal is not caught, and he can't catch them until he makes things right. He is unfocused and upset and angry at himself and needs her.
She can't do this anymore. She can't.
He thinks, he hopes, there's only one way she'll talk to him. He hopes she'll come, even if she's mad, he hopes she'll be unable to resist the lure. The diving tower has been unused for a while, but he hopes.
He pads softly across the tiled floor, leaving his towel at the base and subtly glances at her spot. She is not there. But that's okay, he hasn't started yet.
He does a few warm up dives, simple ones. Twisting and turning and plunging into the cool water in perfect position.
She arrives some time during his warm up, stealthily flying through the vents to take her position on the beam. She is upset, hurt, but she loves to watch his moments of freedom. She can't miss this, she wants to remember why she was drawn to him in the first place.
He is aware of her arrival the moment she takes her position and his heart swells in response. Maybe he can make this right. He starts to push himself, harder dives, bigger twists and somersaults. Push his own limits. Force the dive. Excel. Show off, dance for her, share this piece of freedom. Just for her.
It makes her sad. How can he be so free when he thinks he can't be seen? How can he be so magnificent when he's alone and can't share this with her? Why can't he open up, blur the lines, admit there is something more? Why does he have to be so damn perfect?
He wonders if it's working. He hopes she'll talk to him. The dives are hard and he is out of breath, but he pushes himself. Can't she see he does this for her? Every twist, every turn, it's all designed to take her breath away. To give her something he can't vocalise. To show her… something… he's not entirely sure what.
Her cheeks are wet. There is something different in his dive today. Something poignant. An illustration, something she cannot have. He is… flaunting, perhaps. Flaunting his body and his skill, and while she does not mind that he does, his body is very nice to look at after all, it does reinforce the knowledge that she cannot have him. He does not want her, not like she wants him. It is a hard truth to swallow, the bitter pill, and she does not like the way it burdens her stomach, heavy.
Aware she is crying, he cannot fathom why. What's he done wrong?
He stops diving and simply stands on the edge of the tower, looking down at the water, hearing the muffled sniffles he knows he's not supposed to hear. He can't not answer her call. Has to break the silence, break the secret. What is he to say? How can he make this right?
She is confused. He's never just stood there before. His stance is defeated, his shoulders down, his head dropped. He was doing so well, his dives were magnificent, what has caused him to stop?
He turns his head, looks straight at her cleverly concealed and apparently not so secret hiding spot and extends his hand to her and calls her name.
The metal of the beam she rests on crunches beneath her fingers as she is startled. She hesitates, trapped, but he simply smiles and waits and she is drawn to him. Floating across that small distance between them, she lands on the tower near the ladder.
He waits, his hand still extended toward her, smiling and hoping she'll come to him.
She is bewildered, but his hand is like a siren song. She must answer. It takes little effort to walk the distance between them and place her hand in his. His fingers curl around hers as he drops their hands down, pulls her closer.
He turns toward her as she reaches him. His other hand comes up to brush her cheek, to wipe away the tears. When they are gone, he reaches for her other hand and cradles it in his own.
They watch one another. Sapphire to emerald. No words are spoken, the nuances are in the eyes.
She is confused and rightly so. His smile is so tender and sweet, she has never seen him smile like that before. It changes his face, everything is lit up and his eyes, they shine in ways she had not dreamt they would. His hand, which is cold and wet, squeezes hers. Unsure, she waits.
He can see her confusion and is okay with it. He knows she's waiting. It's only right he should be the one to make the move. He is, after all, the one who pushed her away.
It is surprisingly easy to tug her toward him, to direct her hands to his back while he takes her hips. Her eyes widen a fraction as he leans toward her but he doesn't care. He's blurring the lines.
Easy to capture her lips. So very easy and why didn't he do this years ago? He lifts a hand to cup her cheek, moving in closer.
She doesn't care that he's wet and he's cold from the pool. She doesn't care he tastes and smells of chlorine and it burns her tongue a little. All she cares is how his mouth is pressed to hers, how their lips move together and taste and how she can do nothing but feel how incredible he is.
His remaining hand releases hers and he reaches up, palm cupping her shoulder while the hand previously on her cheek winds in her hair. She's kissing him back, learning and feeling and he has run out of cares, no more thoughts churning through his brain, just one. Just her.
The kiss shifts, becoming more, leaving her gasping each time he allows her reprieve. He is not much better, haggard panting as he dives back for more. Pent up emotions are released, all at once, one spectacular moment when secrets are all gone. She is all cooey, little murmurs under her breath, her hands on his chest, her fingers stoking, and somehow his hands have found their way to her hips, pulling them so her belt buckle is pressed against his stomach.
Finally, he breaks away and stands there, taking in deep breaths and smiling in pleasure at how glazed her eyes are. There's a blush against her cheek, whether it is from fluster or embarrassment, he doesn't care. He just thinks she is beautiful.
First come the stammered apologies, how he is very sorry, how he shouldn't have yelled. He was wrong to treat her like that and he hopes she can forgive him.
She smiles and nods and replies that she knows and already has.
Next come the promises, how he won't do it again, how he'll try to remember there's more to life, there's more to them. He wants to be more and he's very sorry it took him so long to realise it.
She knows that too.
Then comes the question they've both been waiting for. Would she like to learn? Can he share this part of himself with her?
Her smile lights up her face and she bounces on her toes in excitement.
He gifts her with a lopsided smile and coyly mentions she needs a one piece suit, because if she wears those bikinis that he's nonetheless fond of, she'll find them floating away. Not that he's opposed to that.
She whacks his chest, smiling and blushing and says she'll be right back.
He can't resist taking another kiss before she flies off. She's back, just as fast, dressed in a one piece swimsuit that matches the colour of her uniform, her hair neatly braided and he's entranced by her beauty.
He takes her hands, teaches her how to stand on the edge of the tower and raises her arms above her head. It's an excuse to touch her, to run his palms against her arms and down to her hips and place kisses against her neck, just because he can.
He stands beside her, liking how her arms raised above her head like they are, pushes her chest out and talks her through the first dive. They're just going to fall together, aim for the water and practice the landing.
Together, they lean forward and plummet off the tower, curving gracefully toward the water and take the plunge. He finds her hand below the surface of the water and they stroke toward the surface. She comes up giggling, breathless with excitement and exhilarated. They swim toward the edge and she goes to get out, but he can't resist pulling her back into the water and pressing her up against the tiled wall to kiss her.
The dive will come later, but for now, they learn about each other.
Present tense, how I loathe thee…
Good exercise though.
Anyway, I'd like to address your attention to a competition Grayson theMechanicalFanboypart has issued for Rob/Star first kiss scenarios. I'm so pimping it, there is a severe lack of Rob/Star stories around lately, we need to increase the number!
It's a good chance to get either myself or Star of Airdrie to write that fic you've always wanted to see us do!
Please do enter, even if it's just to have a go.
Kryalla Orchid and Star of Airdrie's
Robin and Starfire's First Kiss Writing Contest
A challenge to all you writers, readers, fanficers, fellow meepers and Gretchen fanboys out there.
Recently, and mostly due to the overwhelming horror of the new Red Hood and the Outlaws, Kryalla Orchid went hunting for good first kiss Rob/Star one-shots to refuel her romance engine. After devouring her supply of Julesfire (all bow down) and her favourites list, she was at a loss.
She had to write her own and poor Kry was so sad. Then, the spouse of my creator, the wonderful Star of Airdrie suggested perhaps there should be a competition to promote more Rob/Star first kiss oneshots!
I was chosen to host this meepfantastic competition!
A Competition for the best first kiss Rob/Star one-shot scenario.
The winners will receive a one shot of their own, any couple they like, any setting they like, to be written by either Kryalla Orchid or Star of Airdrie, winners choice of course.
They can be in any genre, horror, angst, humour, romance, drama. If I get a lot of submissions, I will most likely pick a winner for each genre.
If you'd like to enter, let me know and don't worry. You have until October 30th to enter the competition and post. You can submit up to three entries and the submissions need to be one-shots of at least 500 words. Extra points for spooky Halloween kisses! Results should be up by November 7th.
Each entrant will also get a review by Kryalla Orchid and Star of Airdrie, as well as placed in a community (which I will create).
I judge based on emotional impact, not grammar/spelling. I have no favourites (except if Gretchen enters). If you get in early and present me with a draft and ask for advice, I'll be quite happy to offer Kryalla Orchid and Star of Airdrie's services.
So get out there and have a go. Just have fun and write.