Disclaimer : Teen Titans are not mine, they belong to DC Comics and Warner Bros.
Broken Record moment: Aussie, spelling, slang, word usage is all different. Blarg.
Big fat warning: Messing with the boy wonder.
No plot, no plot, no plot, no plot no plot no plot no plot no plot no plot no plot.
You got me? Good.
Been doing drabbly things on tumblr as a writing exercise. This one was good enough to post here.
Robin didn't know why he thought giving them all communicators was a good idea. He was new in town, adamant he was going to work alone and away from... that man... and here he was, giving four other teenagers the means to contact him whenever they felt like it.
Except that they didn't. And Robin thought that was a good thing. A week passed, then two. He saw the Raven girl shadowing him a couple of times around the town and didn't think much of it. She was interesting, and she wasn't interfering with his work and it wasn't like he could stop her from finding him, what with her ability to sense things and all. He saw Cyborg and Beast Boy at the pizza parlour regularly. Sometimes they'd spot him as he made his way by and ask him to join, and sometimes he would.
It was kind of nice to have male friends roughly his own age to hang out with.
Just as it was kind of nice not to have to rely on anyone, or take orders or anything like that. Solo. Make it on his own. But he did miss having partner, someone always watching his back. Not that he was going to go back to Gotham. Not happening.
Robin didn't see Starfire though. Not that he was looking for her. At all. Even if the GPS locator on her communicator told him she was somewhere along the coastline outside the city, he wasn't going to go looking for her.
He supposed that was why it was such a surprise when she called him.
He clicked open his communicator. "Hello?"
"Greeting?" she blurted, somewhat frantic.
"Starfire?" he asked, taking in her dishevelled appearance. She was wet, dirty, looking tired and she seemed to be brandishing those energy balls of hers at something he couldn't see. "What's wrong?"
"Robin?" she asked, clarifying. "Is that you?"
Had she forgotten him that quickly? "Yes."
Her face was awash with relief. "Thank X'hal. Please, I require the assistance."
"There are these people and they have taken exception to my meal and they say I cannot be here and that it is the no hunting zone and I should leave but I have nowhere else to go and they wished to put metallic bracers on my wrists and they are saying things I do not understand and wish to make me their prisoner and I will not be made a prisoner!"
How did she manage to say all of that without taking a breath. His brain was still catching up with her words. "Huh?"
She dropped her eyes from whatever she was looking at to view him. "Please!" she implored. "I do not understand what is occurring!"
"I'll be right there," he found himself saying and revved the R-Cycle.
The scene when he arrived at the coast was not what he expected. It was a small beach, settled in between two large cliff faces. As he looked down from the cliff near the road he could see a small cave in the rocks, the remnants of a camp fire. Starfire stood on the beach, fiercely protecting a pile of fish from a bunch of cops hiding behind rocks and pointing guns at her and demanding she stand down.
Which, from what little Robin knew of her, she'd never do.
Without another thought, he leapt over the edge of the cliff, cast his grappling hook at the opposite side and swung down into the fray.
Starfire looked incredibly relieved when she saw him, although she didn't drop her arms or release those green energy balls. Robin had to turn his face away when he saw she was only dressed in her top and a pair of panties and not a swimsuit as he first thought.
"Robin?" one of the cops asked.
"What's going on?" he asked.
The cop who had spoken before answered. "She's poaching, camping illegally and acting in a malicious and threatening manner, we just wanted to take her in for questioning and she got violent."
With a start, Robin realised this had been where Starfire'd been living. That was why she hadn't just flown away from the cops. The viciousness on her face, she was trying to protect her territory. With that thought came the realisation he'd just left her up to her own devices, an alien on a new world with no clue how things worked and he'd just assumed she'd be okay. He was such an idiot. So much for being nice.
"She's also a bit simple," one of the cops muttered. "She doesn't understand the simplest of instructions."
Robin gave the man a cutting glance. "I'll deal with it," he said, turning back toward Starfire and fixing his eyes on her face and nowhere else. Definitely not downward.
"She needs to-"
He turned his head and drew upon all his Batman training. "I will deal with it. You may go."
They left, which was a relief. Robin waited patiently until the last of the police had trundled up the cliffface and back to their cars before he unclipped his cape and approached Starfire carefully.
She relaxed, lowering her arms which told him how much she trusted him. Kind of nice, when he thought about it. He was familiar and he'd helped her before.
"It's okay," he said, soothing and wrapped his cape around her shoulders to cover her up a little. It didn't really work, not with her being so tall, but he felt a little better. "It's over. They're gone."
"Why did they attempt to attack me?" she asked, bewildered. "I should have retaliated, but... they said 'police' and commanded that I do the 'stand down', which I do not know what that is, how does one 'stand down'?" she asked, tilting her head curiously. "I had thought their clothing was similar to those I saw after the Gordanians attack and... " She flopped down onto the sand. "I am so confused."
"I can see that," he said. He might have walked into a massacre, he realised. Starfire was powerful, after all. He'd seen the damage she could do, if she decided to kill someone...
"Perhaps I should not have stayed here," she whispered forlornly, looking at her pile of fish. "I thought that perhaps since our appearances were similar I could find a place, but I tried to go to the... supe-r-market," she scrunched up her face and sounded the word out slowly, then continued at great speed, "but everyone said I could not simply eat the food there and I must purchase everything and I did not understand this... the 'dinero' the man spoke of and then another man said they could give me some if I have him 'the head job' but he did not seem to appreciate when I patted him on the head so I do not think that is what a head job is but I cannot understand and everything is so strange and then they were yelling and I was hungry," she gestured the fish, "these are my kill and no one shall take that away and-"
Robin crouched down beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder, more than a little worried about what she was saying. "Stop. Take a breath."
Her lips were quivering and her eyes were filled with unshed tears but she stopped talking and took a deep breath. "My apologies," she said meekly. "I do not mean to be a burden, but no one else has shown the niceness and I did not know who else I could speak to."
He was quietly kicking himself. Letting her go out into the world without even basic knowledge of how things worked. Some people would definitely take advantage of her. "That's okay. I should have explained things better, made sure you had a place to go, instead of just assuming. Have you really been staying here?"
Starfire nodded and scooped her wet hair out of her eyes.
Robin was astounded. "With no hot water? Bathroom? Protection from the elements?"
"My people are most resilient and I am trained to survive in the wilderness," she said as if it were nothing. She reached for one of the fish and bit into it.
Starfire blinked at him, swallowing her mouthful. "Oh. My apologies," she said, holding her gnawed on fish out and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand. "Would you like one?"
Robin felt nauseous. "You're supposed to cook them first. And de-scale them. And clean them. And take the bones out."
She tilted her head. "Why? That is wasteful, the scales are most tasty."
"Because that's how things are done here."
She lowered her fish into her lap, her head dropping too. "Oh," she mumbled, dejected.
He was almost overcome by the need to protect her until she understood more about Earth. Plus, he told himself, he really didn't want someone to take advantage of her. "Okay. Grab your things. You're coming home with me."
She lifted her head. "I am?"
"I have a shower and clean clothes and proper food." He eyed the cave. "A proper bed to sleep in. I'll teach you about how things work on Earth."
She narrowed her eyes at him, her expression calculating. "And what do you wish for in return?" she asked. "I have learnt you humans do nothing for free."
"You trust me, don't you?" he asked, ignoring the slight barb in her voice. That must have been a tough lesson to learn.
Starfire nodded slowly. Not that she had much choice, really.
"We'll trade," Robin said. "Do you know what that is?"
She nodded again. "An exchange."
Robin smiled at her. "Yes. You can stay with me. I'll give you a place to sleep and food and I'll teach you about Earth. In return, you can help me fight crime."
Robin nodded. "You're strong. You can fly. Shoot those... star bolt things. You've been trained."
"What is this 'crime' of which you speak?" she asked, curious.
Robin frowned. "People doing the wrong thing, deliberately. Acting malicious. Hurting people. Stealing things."
Starfire furrowed her brow. "Then... conceivably... if this is... the no hunting zone, what I was doing... it was a crime?"
He ran his hand through his hair. "Sort of. There's a difference between not knowing and someone doing it deliberately, though."
"Was that why you attacked me?" she asked. "When I first arrived here? Because I was damaging things and I was committing the crime?"
She dropped her eyes to the ground and frowned as she worked through things. "Oh. I see. And you protect the innocent against people committing crimes?"
"That is noble."
"You'd make a good partner, as long as you can follow my lead." He rolled his eyes beneath the mask, realising who he sounded like then. "We made a good team against the Gordanians, I could use a powerhouse like you guarding my back."
"A powerhouse?" she asked. "That is a good thing, yes?"
He smiled. "It is." He extended his hand toward her. "So, deal?"
Starfire dropped her eyes to Robin's hand. "Um..."
"If you accept the deal, you take my hand and we'll shake. Gently," he added as he remembered her strength.
"Oh." Starfire smiled and placed her hand in his. "It is the deal."
No romance. Except maybe cutesy teenage flirting and inability to act on feeeeeelings. Lots of floundering, of course. It'll all be set before the Titans are formed, while Robin teaches Starfire about Earth and some of the alien things she does.
I will be taking prompts for this. Give me a word, I'll incorporate it in the short. Boy flounder like, but not, because I still do that with Kater (yes, she will update one day ^_^). Written in no more than a half an hour time space. The chapters will be short, posting once a day, I'm just doing it as an exercise before I settle in to write properly. Thought I'd share and this idea is too good not to explore.
But I'm not continuing unless I get a million reviews. You hear me? One million.