Disclaimer: I do NOT own Teen Titans
"Attention passengers, the 11pm train to Mesco is now boarding. I repeat, the 11pm train to Mesco is now boarding. All passengers please make your way to the loading station now with your ticket. We would like to remind you that there are refreshments available in the Jump City gift shop, so head on over and pick up an ice cold soda or -" the kind voice droned on over the train station's intercom system as Starfire flipped her ticket to Mesco over and over in her hands. The smooth paper felt odd between her fingers, and she sighed, standing up and grabbing her bag.
As she waited in line to board the train, she idly scanned the faces of the people around her. There were mothers with small babies pressed against their chests, and middle aged men with suitcases under their arms. The smell of too many different colognes and perfumes mingled in the air, and Starfire wondered subconciously if any of the people around her were also running away.
"Ticket, please?" Asked a monotonous voice, and Starfire looked up to see an elderly man looking her up and down, a glint of longing sparking in his dark eyes. She shivered as she handed him her ticket, then climbed aboard the train, moving to a seat in the very back. She was completely and perfectly alone: exactly as she had wanted to be.
The truth was, Starfire didn't know where Mesco was, or what it was for that matter. She wanted desperately to go home, but the confusion and hurt she was feeling made it impossible for her to fly. And well, Jump City didn't exactly offer trains to Tamaran. So she had asked the kind woman who had been selling tickets to get her as far away from Jump City as possible. When the woman handed her a ticket for a train to Mesco: only 5 hours away, Starfire had sighed. It wasn't as far away as Tamaran, no. But it would have to do.
Starfire looked out of the train's window, and pressed her hand against it, imagining the looks on the Titan's faces when they awoke to find Starfire missing. Perhaps they would be relieved, she told herself. They would no longer have to deal with the alien girl who was more of a burden than a teammate.
"They do not need me," she whispered.
"What on Earth gave you that idea?" Came a deep, familiar voice, and Starfire cringed, seeing Robin's face reflected in the window. His mouth was set in a hard line, and he had his arms crossed over his chest. Robin had traded his normal attire in for a pair of black sweatpants with a red and yellow R on the side of his left leg, and a red V-neck. Starfire blushed as she realized that he had come chasing after her in his pajamas, clearly having had only enough time to slip on his mask before leaving the tower.
She herself was wearing nothing but purple and pink plaid shorts and a lavender shirt. Then again, she had dressed to run away, not to impress people. Especially not to impress Robin. She had been positive that she would never see him again.
"Friend Robin! What a surprise it is to see you on such a strange occasion! You, too, are taking a fresh breath of the air?" Starfire asked, slapping a fake smile on her face. She avoided his eyes at all costs, knowing all too well he would see through her facade and pick out the true feelings she was hiding.
"Mind if I sit next to you?" He asked, as if the two were complete strangers, rather than best friends. Starfire nodded, pulling her legs up into her own seat, and wrapping her arms around her knees. As Robin sat down, the train lurched forward and began speeding along the metal tracks. The dim lights of the train station were now replaced by the pitch black darkness of night. Even the moon seemed to be hiding tonight, the clouds covering its pale glow.
"So, Mesco, huh?" Robin asked, casting his eyes over to Starfire. He was trying to be understanding, he truly was. But part of him wanted to shake her until she promised to never run away again. If she could've only felt the way his heart had stopped when Cyborg reported that she was missing.
"It is a delightful place."
"Star, Mesco is 5 hours away from Jump City, and I'm pretty positive that you've never been there before. What's going on?"
"It is a long story." Starfire responded, resorting to the oldest excuse in the history of human beings. To hear the excuse tumble from her lips shocked Robin. Starfire had always been so open, so trusting. Especially around him.
"Well, its a long train ride, Star." Robin remarked, settling into his seat at an angle, so that his full attention was on the alien girl curled up into a ball beside him. She breathed deeply, her chest rising and falling with the action, as she searched her brain for a way to explain her feelings to Robin.
"I feel as if I do not belong on this planet." She finally admitted, the truth falling from her lips before she could stop it. The flawless, cinnamon skin that stretched across the planes of her face turned crimson, and Robin resisted the urge to force her to look at him.
"No, Robin," she interrupted, "please do not tell me that I do belong here, or that I am making a mistake. Either way, I will not believe you, and I cannot believe you. Because the Titans are better off without me. You are better off without me." She rushed, whispering the last sentence almost inaudibly. Robin gasped, and tilted her chin up so that her eyes met his, and she could feel them burning into her, even through his mask.
"Starfire, I can understand you feeling like you don't belong on Earth. But thinking that we're better off without you? The thought alone is utterly stupid."
"I am the stupid, Robin." Starfire said, and Robin groaned.
"No, Star. You have no idea how wrong you are. Think of everything you've done for the team. All the battles we would have lost had it not been for you. All the lessons you've taught each of us. You're one of us, Star. You may not belong on Earth, but you do belong with the Teen Titans."
"So are you commanding me to stay here?"
"Star, I'm not commanding you to do anything. If you want to leave, then leave. But don't say that it's because the team is better off without you. I want you to do what makes you happy. And if that means letting you go, then I will. I may be the leader of the Titans as a team, but this is a decision I can't make for you. As much as I want you to be happy with us, I can't change what you're feeling."
"So you are okay with letting me go?" She asked, surprised by the sense of dissapointment that began to rise within her. How could she have expected anything different? Of course Robin would be okay with letting her go.
"Star, I'll never be okay with letting you go. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not even years from now, when we're old and look like raisins," Robin said. He paused as Starfire let out an awkward laugh, "but if it's what makes you happy - me letting you go, I mean - then I have to accept it. If leaving us is what you think is right, then I have to let you act on your instincts."
"Robin, leaving you would never make me happy." Starfire whispered, and Robin stared into her emerald eyes. He sensed that the discussion had moved well past Starfire leaving the team. Somewhere, in the middle of their conversation, a more serious truth had come out; Starfire almost gasped at the realization. Robin had run after her. Not Beast Boy. Not Raven. Not Cyborg. Robin. He had come after her, and he had asked her to stay with the Titans. More than that, Robin had asked her to stay with him. She had been running away from him; only at that moment did she realize how stupid that had been.
The next few moments happened without either Titan thinking. Robin's mind, normally a labyrinth of planning and digesting situations, shut off completely, and the only thought that registered in his mind was the soft pressure of Starfire's lips against his own. The way she tasted of strawberries, and smelled of tropical flowers. Robin completely shut off his surroundings. The world around him stopped moving and became black. He was no longer aware of the rustling of restless passengers, or the quiet whir of the train moving along the tracks. The only thing he heard was his heart, it's slow, rhythmic pattern becoming an erratic mess as Starfire wrapped her arms around his neck, and opened her mouth to his probing tongue.
They seperated, only because the lack of oxygen was making Robin dizzy. Or perhaps it was simply the the alien girl herself who made him feel so intoxicated. Starfire peered up at him through her lashes, blinking slowly as the events caught up to her.
"Did we just?"
"Yeah." Robin responded breathlessly, leaning his forehead against hers, kissing the tip of her nose, then moving so that his lips rested centimeters away from hers. When they opened their mouths to talk, both were cut off by their lips brushing against each other. Eventually, Robin leaned away, only to have Starfire grip the back of his neck tightly, as if allowing him to lean away would cause the moment to end altogether. He groaned softly as she tangled her fingers in his hair.
"Starfire." He whispered, grabbing her hand from his neck and twining their fingers together. The action of kissing her had fully registered in his mind now, and as he realized their surroundings, he felt the sudden urge to sit far away from her. PDA was definitely not Robin's thing. But being there with Starfire felt completely right. As if the universe itsself could not seperate the two.
"Robin, I do not wish to leave anymore," Starfire whispered, and Robin smiled, instictively leaning back towards her, "I wish to stay here, with the Teen Titans. I wish to stay here with you."