This is a one shot set within the Clueless universe, a pre-Titan story which show what I think happened between Go and Divide and Conquer. You don't have to have read that, but I do make references.
But as that story was Friendship/Family and had very little RobStar romance, I know all my regulars were hanging out for a little something-something more than friendship.
So this is for you.
It didn't quite end up being post-Tokyo, but it is post-first-kiss-in-Tokyo.
Starfire watched the fat rain droplets trickle down the window in the hotel room she shared with Raven. Resting her fingers against the cool pane, she traced the flow of the water with her index finger. It was always interesting how the water flowed on Earth. Rivers and trickles and gravity reliant. Waterfalls were beautiful, especially the refracted light called a rainbow when they sprouted from the spray. Lakes were serene, rivers were temperamental, rain made her happy, everything had an emotion attached to it.
Sighing, she peered out into the night sky, at the clouds covering the stars. She would have liked to have gone for a fly, the sky was so pretty when she'd seen it earlier, the flashing lights and sights of Tokyo. Of course, she was being chased by that ink drawn character before, concentrating more on fleeing, finding a place to hide and regrouping with her friends.
And finding Robin. It always came down to him.
Starfire sighed and rested her forehead against the window.
He'd kissed her today. Finally. Said that maybe he could be more to her. Maybe they both could be more. More than best friends. More than what they were.
And therein lay the problem.
She'd been wishing so much for him to be ready to kiss her, she'd given no thought to what came after.
She didn't know what to do now. What was going to change in their relationship. She liked it the way it was. She didn't know how to be a girlfriend. As much as she wished for more, when she got it, Starfire had no idea what to do with it.
She sighed again.
"Okay, third sigh, so many minutes and it doesn't sound like a happy, Starfire noise. How can you possibly be sad, today of all days?"
Starfire peered over her shoulder at Raven, who lounged on her bed reading a book. Her bare feet were crossed up in the air, her cape resting on the chair by the desk in the room. She idly plucked a crisp from the packet and popped it in her mouth then raised an eyebrow at Starfire.
Starfire sighed and lifted her legs so she could hug then to her chest. "I am... scared."
"Ahh." Raven nodded sagely. "You and Robin?"
"Aren't you pleased he kissed you?" Raven asked. "I was under the impression-"
"I am most pleased that he kissed me," Starfire replied, placing her fingertips against the window again and traced the water trails. "I simply... do not know what to do next."
"More kisses I imagine."
Turning her head to look at Raven, Starfire found herself excited. "Truly?"
Raven shrugged. "Don't see why not."
"Then you do not think he will regret it?"
"No." Raven smiled. "Robin definitely doesn't regret it."
"But it will change us," Starfire insisted. "As friends."
"Well, that's a given, Star."
Starfire sighed. "I do not know if I wish for us to change as friends."
"You've already changed as friends," Raven pointed out. "And don't you think this would be a good thing to talk to Robin about?"
Starfire dropped her chin until it rested on her knees. "He is avoiding me."
"He's working," Raven said, frowning at her. "There's a lot of paperwork with the Daizo debacle. He'd want to clear that up so he can talk to you without it worrying him. You know that."
Starfire nodded. "I am simply unsettled. It is different now."
"Was it nice?"
Starfire raised her head at the question.
Raven was looking at her curiously, with as much girlish enthusiasm as she could portray. "Is he a good kisser?"
Starfire beamed. "Oh yes! It was quite enjoyable."
"It's about time he kissed you."
Starfire giggled. "As Cyborg said."
Raven idly ate another crisp. "I'm pretty sure there are some Titans who think you're already dating, you're just being secretive about it."
That intrigued Starfire. "Really?"
"Someone has a running bet, I'm sure." Raven shrugged. "Beast Boy probably."
"You two have always been close. It was only a matter of time."
"But so are you and Robin," Starfire replied. "You are just as close as I am with him. Perhaps even closer."
"He doesn't have a crush on me. I'm comfortable, like a sister. But seriously, Star, you two have been caught up on each other since before we were Titans. Why did it take so long?"
"Wait, wait," Raven said, sitting up. "If we're doing girl talk, we may as well do it properly." She waved her hand. Her suitcase unzipped and she levitated her toiletries bag to her. "I have cherry red, cotton candy, peacock blue and apple green," she said, peering into the bag and pulling out passion purple for herself.
"Apple green," Starfire replied, floating from the love-seat to sit on the bed beside Raven.
"Of course," Raven said, passing her the nail polish. She levitated the tissue box across from the desk and sat up. "Okay. Prepared for talk. Go."
Starfire tapped the nail polish bottle against her palm to mix up the liquid inside. "There has always been something there. Right from the beginning. He was nice and funny and we shared his apartment. For a time, I thought we could be more."
"I know. Which is surprising he took so long to kiss you. What stopped you?"
Starfire sighed. "That is my fault." She uncapped the polish and slid the brush against the nozzle to the remove excess. "My parents died."
Raven paused. "I'm sorry."
She acknowledged that. "Thank you. When they died, as painful as that was, I was reminded that I was in line for the crown. No matter what I wanted or who I wanted, one day I would be called home. I could not hurt him like that."
Raven didn't say anything, but she didn't really need to.
"And he was being most odd too, it is... difficult to describe. There were times he seemed to enjoy my company and others I felt as though I was a burden and encroaching on his time."
"He was push pulling. Running from his feelings for you."
Starfire nodded thoughtfully. "I think we were doing the running from each other."
"So, you pulled back because of the crown and he pulled back because he's an idiot boy."
"And after you gave Galfore the crown?" Raven asked.
"I was free," Starfire breathed. "Oh, it was so uplifting. I was free to do what I liked, live how I wanted, love who I wanted."
"Only Robin, being a big idiot, didn't pick up on that?" Raven asked.
Starfire smiled to herself as she painted her toes. "Truthfully, I was not sure how to initiate becoming more to Robin. Earthen customs can be quite strange. I... also did not know if he wanted it."
Raven raised an eyebrow.
"He seemed most satisfied with being my friend," Starfire said. "But I found I could not hold back any more." She gave Raven a shy look. "I am uncertain if you noticed, but I have become much more affectionate with him in recent months."
"We noticed," Raven said dryly. "The hugs, the touches. You've been throwing yourself at him. And then he has to be a boy and proclaim you're not his girlfriend, even though you practically were."
Starfire sighed. "Yes." She grabbed a tissue from the box and passed it to Raven, who dabbed it on her toe to remove the polish from her skin. "But now... I am most unsettled. I do not know what comes next."
"Well, consider this, if you were worried about something and you weren't kissing Robin yet, what would you have done?"
Starfire pondered that for a moment. "I would ask him."
"So, why don't you do that now?"
"Because... it is... inappropriate."
Raven frowned at her. "Inappropriate? How?"
Starfire studied her toes. "Because in the past when either of us have a problem we needed to talk about, we ended up doing the sleeping together and-"
The television broke, several pictures fell off the wall behind them and the light bulb in the lamp exploded.
Starfire lifted her brush away from her toes so she wouldn't smear the polish. "Raven?"
"You've been having sex?" she asked, her voice dark and deep, like she was trying to control her rage.
"What? No!" Starfire exclaimed. "Communal sleeping!"
Raven relaxed. "Oh."
"It is a common occurrence on Tamaran," Starfire explained. "We often shared beds with family members or loved ones. I had to modify my patterns on Earth, but whenever I am feeling unsettled, he does not seem to mind if I fall asleep in his bed. We would talk for hours before slumber." Like her very first night in his apartment, when they'd talked all night together and fallen asleep on the couch and she'd woken in the morning to find him using her as a pillow.
Starfire nodded, lost in thought.
She only went to Robin when she was feeling particularly fragile. The first time in his bed had been the night she discovered her parents died. They were still sharing his apartment, her on the couch, while they waited for the Tower to be constructed. Green Lantern had brought her the news, then taken her home and Robin had just curled up in bed with her and held her the entire night.
She had thought at the time it would only be that once, but there were other instances where she and Robin had fallen asleep together. Like the night after her sister had been taken away by the sector police. She, not knowing what else to do, the need for comfortable and familiarity so great she couldn't ignore it, knocked on his door after lights out.
He'd answered with a bewildered look on his face. "Star?"
"Forgive me," she mumbled, shifting her weight from side to side awkwardly. "I..."
"Feeling unsettled?" he asked.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked.
"Please," she murmured in reply.
He stepped aside, gesturing her to enter, removing his mask after the door had closed behind her.
She told him everything about Blackfire then. Her life, their lives. Carefully omitting details, of course, but Starfire spoke of being overshadowed. She spoke of her sister's games and tricks, about how, in hindsight, she felt as though Blackfire was always leading up to betraying her like this. How it also didn't change how Starfire felt about her. She loved her sister, even with what she'd done. "Does that make me weak?" she asked.
Robin shifted his head on his pillow as he smiled at her. "No. It makes you stronger than her."
That was the first night they spent together after her parents died. And it certainly wasn't the last.
Like when Val-yor came.
They lay together, her head dangling over the foot of his bed and her feet up beside his head. He'd stared at her bare ankles and sometimes tickled her shins and they'd spent the night talking and Robin apologising.
Sometimes, he'd be the one to come to her.
After his stint as Slade's apprentice. He hadn't been able to talk to the others about what happened while he'd been under Slade's influence, even though both Beast Boy and Cyborg had all but demanded to know, he'd brushed them off as much as possible. He told them the important, case worthy details, but the gruelling training, the constant mind games, the overwhelming fear for his friends if he'd made even one wrong step, he'd left that out.
She knew because he came to her that night. Maskless in every sense of the word. Emotionally drained and compromised, he told her what he wouldn't tell the others. He hadn't been able to bring himself to touch her, hasn't been able to take the comfort she offered but he curled up by her side on her bed and she'd woken with him using her stomach as a pillow again.
Similarly, when Slade's mask had infected Robin with that hallucinogenic toxin, he'd come to her that night. Fingertips stroking at the arm he'd grabbed, it was the only touch they shared. He ignored his own wounds, his own body's need for rest and recuperation to apologise to her. She coaxed him into her bed and made him lie down, then stood guard over him the whole night.
When the world had ended and everything lost to stone, there had been that moment of indecision between them. Starfire knew. Robin knew. They'd looked into each other's eyes and known it could be the last time they every saw each other. And he still didn't kiss her.
But when the world was saved by Raven, they'd met in the hallway at night, once the partying had dimmed. They had each been going to the other's room, both feeling the need for familiarity and comfort. Sharing a timid smile, Robin had held out his hand, she had placed her in his and they'd shared a bed again and found solace.
Of course, there had been occasions where Starfire was fall asleep on Robin's bed after talking, or in his office, just for companionship, but on those nights, she would always wake in her own bed.
But now... she would lose that too. Robin was all about what was appropriate, what wasn't. What he may have allowed to pass when they were friends, he might never even consider as a boyfriend.
Starfire wasn't sure she wanted to lose that.
"Earth to Starfire?"
Starfire blinked, then smiled at Raven. "My apologies."
"Wandered off a bit there," Raven said and Starfire saw she'd already finished her toes and the nails of her left hand. She blew softly on her fingertips as she considered her friend.
"I was thinking," Starfire replied and finished painting her toes.
Raven glanced at the digital clock sitting on the drawer beside the beds. "Beast Boy said he wanted to hit the restaurant soon for dinner. Apparently, it's the last place in Tokyo that will serve Cyborg. You coming?"
Starfire considered as she extended her legs to admire her toes. "Perhaps I should seek Robin out."
"Or, you could ask him to dinner," Raven suggested as she finished painting her final hand and levitated her supplies back to the bench. "Do you want me to do your hands?"
Starfire extended them. "Please."
Starfire liked this time with Raven, as infrequent as it was for her to partake in particularly girly actions, when Raven was in the mood, she really allowed herself to participate.
There was a sharp rap on the door as Raven finished painting Starfire's nails. "Ya'll ready in there, girls?" Cyborg called through the door. "There's food to be eaten. Then dessert!"
"Haven't you eaten enough already?" Raven called, smiling and shaking her head. "I'm pretty sure all the 'all you can eat' restaurants are empty of food. Still got chefs chasing you?"
"Nope!" Cyborg added a couple of thumps for emphasis. "Get a move on."
Starfire checked her toes before she slipped her feet back into her boots. Raven levitated her boots and cape to her, and muttering about boys and their endless stomachs of doom, headed to the door. "Alright, we're here," she said, opening the door. "Lead on."
"Hi Raven!" Beast Boy pipped, bounding up to them. "Hey Star."
"Managed to escape your fangirls, have you?" Raven asked snidely.
"They're everywhere," he complained, tugging at his ears.
"Uh-huh," she replied as they all headed to the elevator.
"You're just jealous," he returned, hitting the button to call the elevator several times in succession.
"Must you?" Raven asked.
"Making sure it's coming, you can never tell with these things. This is the right button, right Star?"
"Yes," she replied.
"Funny if you were hitting the up button by mistake," Raven said. "Oh, wait, there's an arrow on it. Can't miss it."
"Hey!" Beast Boy complained. "You're being especially mean lately."
Raven pulled a face it him.
Cyborg smirked. "And next up on the couples train," he whispered to Starfire, who giggled. "So," he continued, nudging Starfire. "Congratulations are in order, huh?"
"I believe so."
Cyborg frowned at her. "Why the long face?"
"Do you know where Robin is?" Starfire asked.
She sighed. "Neither do I."
"I assumed he was taking care of the Daizo situation. You know how he likes to fiddle and make sure things are properly wrapped up before he celebrates. You don't want him thinkin' about work when he's with you, do you?"
"Well then, nothin' we can do but-" the elevator dinged and opened to reveal a startled Robin. "Speak of the devil," Cyborg finished, smirking. "Hey, man. How'd it all go?"
Robin placed his hand against the elevator door to keep it open while they all stepped in. "Good. The city wants to thank us tomorrow. Some sort of parade or media frenzy. First thing in the morning, so don't be up too late tonight."
Starfire stood in beside Raven, opposite Robin, with Cyborg and Beast Boy between them.
"Great," Raven muttered. "A parade."
Cyborg pointed to a button. "That's the right one, right Star? The restaurant?"
She nodded. Robin caught her eye for a moment and he gave her a hesitant smile.
"So, where are we going?" Robin asked.
"Food," Cyborg announced, jabbing his finger at the button. "All you can eat."
"Haven't you had enough?" Robin asked.
"Apparently not," Raven muttered. "But I hope you'll let us get some food too."
"Of course," Cyborg said. "You can have some rice."
"Rice. Oh joy."
"Just rice?" Beast Boy asked, then grinned. "You know, the Japanese are big on tofu-"
Cyborg automatically reached for their floor number. "Okay, need to find a steak house."
Robin smacked Cyborg's hand. "I'm hungry and tired. It's been a long day. Let's just eat."
"But, man, they have tofu."
"So you have the rice," Robin suggested, smirking.
"Deal with it," Robin said. "Or, you can just eat alone."
Beast Boy smirked and looked pleased. "Tofu, Cy. It's out to get you. You know, you've probably been eating it all day and not realising it."
"Well, if I have, it's probably because these dudes know how to cook and your cooking sucks."
"You've never tried my tofu," Beast Boy replied.
Robin rubbed his temples. "Could we not? It's been a really long, terrible day."
Starfire felt her stomachs ball into twisted knots at the implication while Cyborg shot her an anxious look. Raven curled her fingers around Starfire's wrist, even though she didn't look at her.
"None of us have had much sleep since we got here," Robin continued, unaware, "and we spent all of last night running from the police and today making statements. Can we please just eat without the fighting?"
"Dude," Beast Boy breathed, his eyes on Starfire. "Harsh."
Robin lifted his head. "Huh?"
The elevator dinged open, allowing Starfire to escape. Rapid footsteps away with Raven scurrying to follow. She swept her eyes over the signs in the hallway beyond the elevator and pointed with false cheer. "This way."
They followed her along to the restaurant, Starfire asking for a table for the five of them. The restaurant in the hotel had a real Japanese theme going, or perhaps not, since they were in Japan. Shiny wooden floor, crisp white and brown tones, even paper walls and doors. The square cushions perched on the floor could be knelt or sat on. It was indeed an all you can eat, as Starfire checked for Cyborg, with the bonus of the food being cooked in front of you.
Cyborg was very pleased at that. He announced he loved watching people cook for them.
The tables were all in a U shape around a sunken kitchenette where the chef cooked. Starfire picked her seat and sat down, Robin slipping in beside her immediately, stealing Raven's seat. She scowled at the back of his head before taking the seat beside Beast Boy.
"Hey," Robin said as he sat cross legged on the floor cushion.
"Greetings," she replied, her cheeks flushing.
"I didn't mean-"
Starfire nodded. She dropped her eyes and looked at her lap. "I know-"
"I was just-"
"What ya'll want to drink?" Cyborg called. "Starfire? Robin?"
Robin sighed as Starfire shifted her gaze to Cyborg. "Soda please."
"Green tea," Raven said.
Starfire didn't hear what Beast Boy ordered because Robin placed his hand on her wrist and leant in close. Her breath hitched, energy shooting up her arm. "We need to talk," he said.
His smile was nervous, his expression carefully hidden. "Let's just get through dinner, okay?"
Naturally, Starfire automatically assumed the worst. "Robin-"
Swallowing, he took her hand and intertwined their fingers, releasing it before she'd even been given a chance to hold his hand back as Cyborg called his name. "Whatcha want to drink, Robin?"
Robin's hands clamped down on his own knees. "Ahh. Soda's fine."
Robin's left hand, the hand closest to Starfire, didn't leave his knee for the entire dinner. Their knees did bump, their shoulders brushed, and for Starfire, it felt more than their usual accidental brushings. She seemed acutely aware of everything he did. How he talked. How he laughed. How he leant toward her without seeming like he was doing so, just so their shoulders could touch. How many times he looked at her and his expression would soften.
Something had changed in him too. She could see that. He seemed less tense. More relaxed and calm. Happier.
She wondered what he wanted to talk about. She wondered if there would, in fact, be any talking. Maybe, as Raven suggested, there would be more kissing.
She flushed and dropped her eyes to her bowl just thinking about that.
"Nope," Cyborg told Beast Boy. "I don't care if you think this is tofu. Clearly it isn't." He nodded to the chef and held out his bowl. "More non-tofu please."
"Dude, it's tofu. Whether or not you believe it."
"Star," Cyborg said, ignoring Beast Boy. "Have you tried their wasabi yet? You'll love that."
"Is it like mustard?" Starfire asked, curiously as she peered around Robin.
Robin chuckled. "No, definitely not like mustard."
Cyborg gestured the chef again, chewing and swallowing the massive mouthful of food he'd taken. "Can you get her some wasabi?"
The chef smirked and nodded, bowing a little and scurried around in his little sunken kitchenette to fetch whatever Cyborg asked for.
It arrived in a tiny little cup. Nothing terribly big at all. It was green and it smelt rather nice so Starfire did what she always did to things in cups. She drank it.
The chef exclaimed something Starfire didn't bother translating, every other Japanese person turning to look in her direction. Clearly they were waiting for something. Cyborg smirked at her. Beast Boy looked aghast. Raven took a mild sip from her tea and Robin gave her a curious look. "Well?"
Starfire licked her lips, then used her finger to sweep the remaining sauce from the cup. "Tart," she said and placed her finger in her mouth. "Sweet too. Most enjoyable." She held out her cup to the chef. "Please, may I have some more? Preferably in a larger size."
"Didn't it burn your mouth?" Beast Boy asked.
"No, was it supposed to?"
"Grass stain, she eats zorkaberries," Cyborg said. "And jalapenos dipped in ginger sauce. Wasabi has nothing on that."
"Do you guys remember the first time Star saw popcorn?" Robin asked.
"Something about the puff creatures of... some distant planet in a system far from ours," Cyborg said.
"And she blew up the microwave because the sound of them popping was similar to an attack," Raven mentioned.
"How was I to know?" Starfire asked. "It was truly disturbing."
"I still think showing her Jell-O was the best thing ever," Beast Boy mentioned. "And her thinking it was a weapon. Epic food fight there."
Starfire giggled. "You did look most humourous with it melted in your hair."
"I smelt delicious," Beast Boy replied. "It was awesome."
"I think it was Gramgram's fault anyway," Cyborg said. "Her and her novelty jell-o moulds."
"That's a possibility," Robin said.
"Instant ramen," Raven mentioned.
Robin, Beast Boy and Cyborg all had the same reaction, which was to copy Raven's dry words with a more exuberant tone. "Instant ramen!"
"Oh, man, that was incredible," Cyborg said.
"They went everywhere!" Beast Boy laughed. "I still think there's dried noodle stuck to the ceiling."
"It's not Starfire's fault," Robin said, even though he was grinning. "You did tell her they were carnivorous worm-snakes which feed on human skin."
Beast Boy chuckled. "Yeah. That was so cool. I never heard her shriek so loud."
Robin smirked, lifting his left hand from his knee for the first time to squeeze her leg. "Still, I think the best Starfireism is the domesticated-"
"Breast beast!" Cyborg and Beast Boy finished in chorus while Raven just snorted and looked amused.
"Oh, man, that's incredible," Beast Boy said. "Remember when we first took her to see a cow?"
"I remember when you turned into one," Cyborg said. "And then Starfire was all askin' where the milk came from."
Raven snickered. "And we had to explain bulls don't give milk."
Beast Boy blushed. "Yeah, I didn't think that one through."
"Thankfully," Starfire announced. "His kenorpherstocker was udderly different from the other domesticated breast beasts, um, udder."
They stared at her for a moment. "Dude, did she just make that pun?"
"Are my implants failin' me?" Cyborg asked, sticking his finger in his cybernetic ear.
Raven smiled. "Nice."
Robin grinned at her. "That's my girl."
She beamed proudly, especially pleased with the 'my girl' comment. "The 'cow' is a most delightful creature. I was most glad to finally meet them when we visited Gramgram's farm."
"Speakin' of Gramgram, she wants me to visit for a couple of days to help out. Grumpy's gotta go for a hip operation. Did any of ya'll want to come?"
Beast Boy immediately waved his arm around. "Memememememe!"
"I would love to journey there again, your Gramgram has the most delightful stories," Starfire said.
"And pumpkin pie," Raven added.
Robin nodded. "Guess we can all go help out for a couple of days."
"Great!" Cyborg exclaimed. "I'll tell her."
For dessert, Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven ate warabimochi, a jelly like confection dipped in a soy-bean flour, while Cyborg continued on the main course. The poor chef had to be replaced twice to keep up with Cyborg and his food fetish and eventually they all just left him there to continue eating. He waved at them jovially as they headed out of the restaurant, leaving him with the bill too.
The four of them stood in the elevator together. "Man, I am so full," Beast Boy said, leaning against the wall of the elevator. "So much good food."
"Yeah, that was nice," Robin said, nodding. "Good to relax a bit."
"Such a cool vacation."
"It's not a vacation."
Beast Boy looked at him and smirked. "And you did nothing yesterday that could be considered fun?"
Robin cast a glance at Starfire, but he was saved from answering by the ding of the elevator. Raven gave Starfire a smile as she swept past them all. "Night guys," she announced and stepped through the bedroom door she was sharing with Starfire.
Beast Boy took an extra long time to find his room key, and even longer to get it in the door. Starfire stood awkwardly beside Robin, wondering if she should just head into her room after Raven.
"Are you two just going to stand there?" Beast Boy asked, still fumbling.
"Yup," Robin replied.
"Kissy goodnight, huh?" he teased.
"Something like that."
Beast Boy's eyes grew wide, while Starfire flushed and looked at Robin in surprise. She never expected him to be so blatant about it. "Um... okay," Beast Boy said, finally getting the door open. "Night!"
"Good night, Beast Boy," Starfire replied.
Robin turned to Starfire the moment Beast Boy's door was closed. "Um... let's talk in my room."
She hesitated. "Is that appropriate?"
He paused, his key card in the lock of the door. "I don't see why it wouldn't be," he said. "We've been in each other's rooms heaps of times."
"Yes... but... it is... different."
Robin considered that. After a moment, he pulled his key card out and opened the door, holding it open with one hand. "It doesn't have to be. Would you be worried if we were on Tamaran?"
"No." She shifted her weight side from side. "I am only trying to adhere to the rules I learnt on Earth."
"I know." He looked concerned when she didn't move. "If you're uncomfortable, we can find somewhere else to talk. Coffee shop or something like that."
Starfire didn't want to go out anywhere. If he was comfortable, then so was she. She stepped past him and into his room. Robin closed the door behind him, putting the chain on. She raised her eyebrow at that.
"You know the others," Robin said, as he peeled off his mask, continuing to talk as he slipped it into his belt. "Plus, I'd like a little warning if they try to sneak in."
"Oh. Yes. Of course."
They stood facing each other in the little hallway at the entrance of Robin's room, the bathroom directly to the left of Starfire and the beds behind her.
"Sorry I disappeared," Robin said, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand.
"You were working."
"Well, yes, but... I should have told you where I was."
"Because... you... you're... um... we..." He shrugged helplessly.
"You have never informed me of your location in the past when you were working." As much as she would have liked to have known, he never usually told her unless he was going to be gone for a while. And then he would tell all of them, not just her.
"It's different now."
Starfire nodded. Turning, she walked into the room and sat on the far bed, the one with Robin's suitcase on it and his old, ink stained uniform sitting in a crumpled pile at the foot of. She shifted until her legs were in the gap between the two beds, so Robin could sit opposite her on the other bed.
He looked for a moment like he was going to sit beside her, but changed his mind at the last second. He leant forward, his elbows on his knees and the tips of his fingers pressed together. "Umm..."
"You wished to talk?"
"Yeah... I..." He dropped into silence, his blue eyes studying his hands.
She fiddled with her fingers.
He cleared his throat.
She picked at invisible lint on her skirt. Then traced the pattern of the quilt on the bed. She kept flicking her gaze to him, as she did so, his eyes would look away, then back at hers just as quickly. She followed the slight hum of the air-conditioner until she saw the vent in the wall, then stared at the picture hanging beside it.
Robin stared at his hands. The fingers of his right hand tugged at the fingers of his left until eventually he simply pulled off his gloves and dumped them on the bed beside him. Then tapped his fingers together.
Finally she sighed. "Robin?"
He echoed her sigh, straightening his back and ran a hand through his hair. "I don't know how to do this."
He gestured between them. "This."
He regarded her. "Well... how do you feel about... what happened?"
"You're not exactly floating around and giggling or anything," he continued. "I'm having a hard time gauging how you feel."
"... I feel scared."
"Scared?" he blurted, completely surprised. "But you said we had nothing to fear."
Tears pricked her eyes. "You are my best friend, Robin. I do not want things to change between us. But everything is different now and I do not know... how do we be more? How do we do that and not lose each other as a friend?"
"Did you think it was going to be easy?" Robin asked.
"I thought... it..."
"You know the great thing about us being best friends?"
She considered. "That we are best friends?"
He smiled. "All that really has to change is the physical intimacy."
"Kissing?" Starfire clarified, her voice squeaking a little.
His cheeks tinged red. "Yeah." He stretched out his hand across the gap and wove their fingers together. "I mean, I get that other things will change to, compromises and stuff, and I guess we'll have to talk about that as things come up. Like... I'm not really comfortable with... public displays and all. I'd rather not... um... in front of our friends."
"But we're still best friends. First and foremost. Just I get to kiss you now."
She smiled, then lost it. "Then why do I feel so different?"
He shrugged. "Nerves, I guess. We were so comfortable for so long just as friends. It's hard to change. But I imagine that will settle." He dropped his eyes to mutter, "I hope that will settle."
"But what about the things we could do as best friends we cannot do as a couple?"
Robin blinked. "Like what?"
Starfire decided to voice her biggest concern. "Communal sleeping."
He released her hand and wiped it against his leg. "Oh."
"It is inappropriate now, is it not?"
He stood, turning away. Hand on his hip and other hand buried in his hair. "Yeah. I guess it is."
Starfire leant forward and, using her elbow to brace her knees, she rested her forehead in her hands, her hair falling around her like a protective curtain.
"Why does it have to be?" Robin asked, his tone suggesting he really didn't want her to answer, he was simply talking to himself. "I mean, we've done that before and everything was okay. It's not like we were doing anything wrong."
He paced. "How many other teenagers do you think can live in a Tower for so long and not allow anything to happen? God, if we were normal teenagers, there'd be all sorts of nefarious activities going on behind closed doors. You and me, we're responsible. We've been responsible this whole time. It's not like we share a bed every night, just when we need it."
"You sound like you are trying to justify it. Like you are preparing an argument for Batman when he finds out."
She raised her head. "Why?"
Robin ceased pacing and looked at her. "Because it's something you need. It's part of who you are, who we are as friends. You've had to give up so much, you shouldn't have to give up something that makes you feel safe just because I want to kiss you every now and then."
"Every now and then?"
He smiled briefly. "You know what I mean. Just because we want to change our relationship, doesn't mean we have to give up what we already are."
She studied him. "It is not just me who it makes feels safe, is it?"
He couldn't look at her, not properly.
He walked to the window and folded his arms on his chest as he stared out it.
Starfire stood and walked until she reached his side, staring out into the rainy night sky. Keeping her eyes fixed out the window, she extended her hand sideways toward him, her fingers outstretched. She touched her pinky against his leg, curved it a little to catch the fabric, then moved away to hold her hand there and waited expectantly. After a long moment, he dropped his arm and took her hand.
"Chances are, Batman already knows."
Starfire nodded. Batman knew everything.
"If he has a problem with it now that we're together, he'll tell me. He's never been quiet about stuff like that before."
"And if he does not mention it?"
Robin shrugged. "Then either he doesn't want to have to deal with it, in that case he'll tell Alfred and I'll have to endure a sex talk, or he doesn't have a problem with it."
"Which is more likely?"
Robin snorted. "Sex talk with Alfred. Whatever happens, we don't need to stop."
"And you do not mind that it is not appropriate?"
Starfire allowed herself a small sigh of relief.
"It's us, Star. We're different than most. Do you really think just because I can kiss you now, I'll try something when we're alone together?"
"Yes. I absolutely think that."
Robin's hand jerked in hers and he snapped his head over to gape. "What? I would never-"
Giggling, she flicked her eyes down to their hands. "You are trying something now, are you not?"
He gave a relieved sort of chuckle. "That's not quite what I meant."
"Well, I would hope you would wish to kiss me when we are alone."
Robin developed a lopsided grin. "I see."
"I would hope for hugs too."
"I'll do my best."
"Good," she said, pleased. "Please get started."
Robin chuckled. "Demanding, aren't you?"
She gave him a sharp and cheeky nod. "Yes. Please commence with the kissing. I have waited long enough."
Instead of Robin kissing her, he frowned. "You have, haven't you. Why is that?"
"What is what?"
"We've been friends for years. Why are we together only now?"
Starfire turned her head to study the rain. "There were things keeping us from admitting how we felt about each other. Even to ourselves."
He frowned at her. "I suppose..."
She could just see his mind ticking over. "Does it matter?" she asked. "We are together now, yes?"
"Well, yeah, I just- I know why I was holding myself back, I just haven't figured out why you let me. If you'd just told me or mentioned something or possibly even just kissed me, we could have been together a long time ago-"
Starfire turned to face him. "Robin, are you truly going to continue wandering off on tangents when you have the opportunity for kisses?"
He paused and reddened. "You know, I didn't mean to," he mumbled as he turned toward her too. He stretched out his free hand to take hers. "I just... my brain engaged and I worked things out and then... I couldn't get the moment back. I was so stupid to pull away and-"
Starfire interrupted him before he got too far into his ranting version of an apology. "I know."
"I was so glad when you found me. I thought I could take it all back and then-"
"Beast Boy ruined that moment," Starfire finished.
Robin nodded. "Yeah. He did."
Starfire shifted a little closer. "He is not here now."
"No," Robin said, swallowing, his blue eyes locked on hers. "He's not."
A strange heat filled her belly. "It is just you and me."
"It is." His eyes darted down to her mouth and then back up to her eyes and he licked his own lips nervously. "Star, I..."
Her eyes drifted closed as she leant toward him. "Yes?"
He really didn't need to say anything. Just rise upward and press his lips against hers. She was so very happy that he did. He released one of her hands so he could cup her neck and pull her down toward him a little. She stooped but she didn't care. Little kisses, her lips trembled in response, her body tingly and alive with energy. Every awareness was focussed on him, everything was about where they touched. Where their lips met. Fingers entwined. The warmth of his hand on her neck, while hers rested against his hip. The teasing brushes of her chest against his, or their elbows bumping. Warm breath against her cheek as they learnt how to tilt their faces to keep their noses from bumping. Supple against pressure, parted lips, mingling breath.
Heat rose within her, flushing against her cheeks. She felt a little light headed, the world seemed to spin and he was the centre of the spiral.
Eyes still closed, he broke their kiss long enough to murmur, "You're so tall," as he tilted his head the other way, Starfire moving hers to correspond.
When their lips met again, it was better. Felt more natural. They moulded together, fit. His thumb stroked against the line of her jaw, leaving streaks of fire on her skin. It was slow and easy and so very nice.
There was a thump on the door. "Rob, man, my virgin alarm's all going off," Cyborg called through, his tone teasing and cheeky. "Star's in there, right?"
Robin dropped his face away from hers, his forehead brushing her cheek then he dropped his face into her shoulder. "Yeah. Go away."
"Don't make me come in there and break up the party."
"We're watching a movie!"
"I don't hear no movie!" Cyborg retorted.
"We muted the previews!"
"AHA!" Cyborg said. "I heard that! Starfire, get out here."
Robin stepped away from Starfire and extracted a small pen shaped object from his belt. "Sec," he mumbled and pointed it in the direction of the door. "Last warning, Cy," he called. "Go away."
Robin pressed the button on the pen. There was a brief ruckus from beyond his door, something large hitting the ground.
"Okay! Okay! I'm going! Have fun Star!"
Starfire regarded Robin. "What was that?"
"Something that messes with his hearing implants," Robin said, tucking the pen away. "He'll get the teasing out of his system. He's just being a brother. Hal's going to be worse."
Starfire nodded and giggled. "Hal is going to be terrible."
Robin swallowed, his eyes darting toward the television. "So. Um. Movie?"
Starfire raised an eyebrow. "To clarify, is this the Earthly tradition where the boy will invite a girl to watch a movie, but actual movie watching rarely occurs in favour of the making out?"
Robin looked taken aback. "Umm..."
"And I believe it usually occurs in a relaxed, lying down position, yes?"
"Ummmm... I've heard that too. Er-" He tugged on the collar of his cape. "I hadn't... I wasn't... that's not why I asked."
He was watching her closely. "Would that... be... something you'd want to try?"
Robin playfully narrowed his eyes. "'On Earth, I've heard kissing means more', she said. And yet she knows exactly what making out is."
Starfire pressed her lips together, a very picture of innocence. "I do not know what you mean."
"Sure you don't. I'm onto you."
"Would you have ever kissed me if I had not brought it up?"
Robin considered. "Probably. Maybe. One day... I guess?"
"You required the prompting."
"Fine. You got me. I did need a kick up the rear to do something." He frowned. "But... did you really have to kiss that guy to get my attention?"
"Lip contact is how we absorb languages," Starfire remarked. "We did need to know Japanese."
"And it worked, did it not?"
He pressed his lips into a line.
"Perhaps it was... devious of me to kiss him in front of you, but I truly wished for you to notice. If you were not going to kiss me, there might be every possibility I could kiss others. You cannot deny you thought about that."
His silence was unnerving, as was the blank look on his face.
"Are you angry?" Starfire asked, touching his arm.
"I think I'm suddenly realising what I'm getting myself into."
Starfire frowned. "What does that mean?"
"You're a lot sneakier than I realised when you want something. I'm going to have to be careful."
Starfire narrowed her eyes at him. "Why did you never ask me about the lip contact that occurred when we first met?"
"You must have been curious."
"Yeah. But... I... um... well, why didn't you mention it?"
"Because for me it was simply language transference. I did not realise that I had conducted a social blunder until I saw another couple kissing." She scuffled her toe against the floor. "And then... well, I could not mention it until I learnt about it."
"And when you learnt about it?"
"I was... mid discovery when my parents died. Then it did not matter any more."
Robin blinked. "It didn't matter?"
"Whatever feelings I had for you, I could not act on them. I had a duty to my people, I knew it was only a matter of time before I was called back to Tamaran. I could not... it would not have been fair."
Robin nodded in understanding. "Ahh, that explains it."
She clasped her hands together in front of her.
"Wow... then I'm really sorry I took so long."
"You are my best friend, Robin. That was always enough."
"Until recently," he noted. "When you have Galfore the crown... there were times after that you seemed like you were throwing yourself at me, trying to make me see that you were a girl as well as a friend."
"I was free to follow my heart but I was still unclear on certain human traditions. I thought my intention was adequately displayed until... well..."
"'She's not my girlfriend'," Robin muttered.
Starfire nodded and dropped her eyes.
He touched her lightly on the chin. "Can't say that any more, can I?"
She giggled. "No, you can not."
He shuffled and coughed. "Um. Movie, right?" He walked to the desk and picked up the in-house movie menu. "What did you want to watch?"
"Preferably something in which it does not matter if we see the end. That is custom, yes?"
Robin laughed and reached for the remote.
Starfire perched on the end of his bed to remove her boots while Robin organised a movie for them. She paused mid boot removal, watching as Robin kicked off his own boots while flicking through the movies, his free hand automatically reaching for the clasp of his cape.
He glanced over his shoulder at her as he pulled his cape off. "What's up?"
"Should we really be..." she gestured her boots, then his cape as it fluttered onto the spare bed.
Frowning, he looked down at her boots, then over at his cape.
"I know we always do that when we watch movies together and we are not located in the common room, but-"
"I'll make you a deal," Robin said.
She tilted her head inquiringly.
"Let's not do anything different from we would have done before. We both started because we were comfortable doing that. You don't have to question things like that, Star. Just do what feels right."
She beamed at him and finished taking off her boots.
Robin tossed his belt on the spare bed and belly flopped on the bed beside her. He took one of the pillows and thumped her in the back with it.
She giggled and caught the pillow before he could draw it back to thump her again.
"Have a pillow," he cheeked.
Starfire twisted so she was kneeling on the bed, raising her pillow over her head.
Robin lifted a finger as he rolled onto his back so he could protect himself. "Don't start something you can't finish," he warned.
"I am fairly certain," she said thumping the pillow down on his face. "I can finish this."
He lifted his knees to help protect himself as she whacked him again and again. He laughed beneath the barrage of pillow hits and chuckled her name.
"You should know you cannot win these," Starfire proclaimed, barely noticing their movie had begun to play behind her. "You never have before!"
"Yes," he said, then ducked behind his arms as she hit him again. "But this time-" another duck and he rolled onto his side, "-I have a-" she whacked him in the ribs and across his back, "-secret weapon!"
He moved then catching her wrist as she lifted her arm back up to hit him again. He yanked, rolling back at the same time and pulled her off balance. He lifted up just enough to catch her other arm then flopped her on the bed beside him, her legs sprawled over his. He grinned and stole a brief kiss before she could recover. "Gotcha."
She glared at him. "Cheater."
He just grinned cheekily. He propped his head up on his elbow, his other hand resting on her knee. "You can't blame me for one upping you for once." She glanced down at his hand on her leg and he removed it straight away. "Sorry, too personal?"
She shook her head. "Just different." She shifted, removing her legs from his, tucked her feet in between his shins and copied his position on the bed.
"Everything seems different lately," Robin said and tentatively placed his hand on her waist.
"But it is not a bad thing."
"No. It's not."
A blast of music from the television dragged their attention to it. Robin sighed and reached for a pillow. "I suppose we should-"
He looked back at her. "Yes?"
"You are still talking."
He stared at her for a second. "Is that going to be your go to phrase?"
"Would you prefer 'shut up and kiss me'?" she asked.
Robin laughed and obliged her.
The night was spent shifting the platonic barriers they had both developed over time into something different. Something more. Kisses and tentative touches, laughter and friendship, cuddles and smiles as they stared into each other's eyes and talked.
Starfire discovered she liked his noises. She liked the way he ran his fingertips up and down her arm when they took a break. She liked the glazed look in his eyes when he smiled at her. She liked the way his voice would get huskier the longer they kissed. She liked the way his grip would get a little harder as they progressed. She liked the way he pushed into her.
She liked his tongue. That had been a surprise, even though she'd read about that part of kissing, it had still surprised her. She liked his lips and the way they moved against hers. She liked the way hers would burn and swell and they would have to stop.
She liked his hands. Threading their fingers together, always moving, always roaming. Up to her shoulder to stroke her hair or touch her cheek, down to her hip to grasp her skirt. Along her side.
So many little things to learn and discover and Starfire enjoyed every moment of it.
As the sun rose in the morning, it was Raven who, warping through the chained door, discovered their communal ritual and Robin using Starfire's stomach as a pillow. It was Raven who snapped the picture she would later give to Starfire. And it was Raven who took great pleasure in coughing loudly to announce her presence and informing them if they didn't get up, they were going to miss the parade.
Ahh, romance, how I missed thee.
And no, you dirty minded people. There was no inappropriateness. Especially 'cause Starfire still blushes when he kisses her in the Go comics. Couldn't do too much. They're still just learning.
'kenorpherstocker' used with permission from Star of Airdire, and some of the dialogue when it was used is hers too.
And Skyler's 'Starfire vs instant food' request.
I couldn't resist one last domesticated breast beast reference.