Hi, guys! Happy to see you all again. As usual, this is a RobStar fic. Actually, I'm not really sure if this will remain a RobStar fic for long. Love triangles and all that. If you don't like fluff- which, if you have read my stuff before, you probably do- you might not want to do this. There is a lot of fluff, both because I wanted it and because the plot calls for it. The plot calls for some buildup, so don't get too antsy. Enjoy, guys.
Disclaimer: Teens Titans is owned by Warner Brothers and DC.
Starfire let out a deep sigh of contentment before flopping onto her back on her circular bed. She lay for a minute with her shins hanging off the bed, hair splayed out around her in what was probably an unattractive way. She stretched her arms above her head, her fingertips reaching for her pillows, which were just out of reach.
"What's wrong?" Robin asked, mistaking her happy sigh for an uneasy or unhappy one. He flipped on the lights and the room was swathed in the warm pink colors of Starfire's duvet and rug.
She stretched her shoulders before propping herself up on her elbows. "Nothing!" she chirped, a smile tugging at her mouth. "I am just so joyous. I cannot contain it."
He sat on the bed next to her and for a second, his proximity making every blood cell rushing around her body tingle with electricity. It made her smile even wider. She hoped she didn't look stupid, smiling at nothing.
Robin didn't answer her. He just sat there, examining her face in a way that made her blush a little, so she hurried to continue talking. "Less than one week ago, Trigon was sitting on a throne that used to be our beloved Tower. The Earth had been reduced to rubble. And now everything is so perfect. Especially-" She almost bit her tongue to force herself to stop talking.
"Especially what?" Robin encouraged, sinking down to lean on one elbow.
Starfire gulped. Her mouth suddenly seemed to have too much saliva in it. "Especially us," she said, her voice coming out soft and vulnerable.
Robin rolled until he was on his stomach, closing the distance between them, his left leg brushing her right. He leaned down, bracing himself on his elbow, and kissed her softly.
She twisted the fingers of her right hand in the comforter as though she needed to hold on to something for fear of floating away. She brought her left hand up to the nape of his neck, burying her fingers in his hair. He slid his left hand down to her waist. They stayed that way for a few seconds before he broke the kiss.
He skimmed his hand up her arm before resting it on her cheek and caressed it with his thumb. "I agree," he murmured.
In the days since Trigon's defeat, things had been quiet. Robin was almost hysterical with the certainty that Slade was going to attack directly after the Titans returned to the Tower. Only Starfire knew that he saw Slade's skeletal face under his mask.
He was up late in the research room that night. She closed her eyes, letting the memory wash over her as she enjoyed their proximity.
Starfire had been pacing in the hallway, wringing her hands nervously. It was well after midnight, and she'd actually gone to bed and woken up because of a bad dream. She knew that if Robin was still up, he'd be in the research room, and the little crack of light that shone under the door and was trying futilely to light up the hallway told her she was right.
She knocked on the door and entered when she didn't hear an answer. Robin was standing under the light of a lamp, which was shining in a yellow beam that cut so precisely through the air that it lit only a small array of newspaper splayed out on the table in front of him. It did nothing to make the room as a whole feel less dark.
"Robin?" she called timidly.
He jumped. She'd never seen him jump at anything before, and it was disconcerting. She felt almost embarrassed that she'd caused him to do it.
He whirled around to face her, shouting, "Don't sneak up on me like that!"
She flinched. His face softened and he was immediately regretful. He gripped the table behind him to calm himself down. "Is everything okay?"
"Robin, you must go to bed." She tried to tell him forcefully so that he'd listen, but her voice came out weak and almost frightened.
He seemed to be trying to control his voice. His face was set in a determined and stony expression. "I will. I just want to finish this."
She almost walked away then. She imagined doing it, just leaving and curling up under the covers and listening to Silkie's contented rumbling sounds. He'd pretty much asked her to do as much.
But she thought of him here, alone, in the dark, exhausted. And in the morning, he would only be sleepless and edgy. She stepped closer to the table to read over his shoulder. "In that case, I would like to keep you company."
He frowned at her. "I don't know how much longer I'm going to be up."
"That does not bother me, Robin. What are you looking for?" She moved to stand next to him, but he blocked her path.
"Nothing," he said tightly.
She narrowed her eyes at him and pushed him out of the way. Her eyes fell on the barely-illuminated newspapers that were scattered around the table like a flimsy tablecloth. All of them had that familiar mask with its dual colors split down the middle, the flared eye. Or that five letter name that she hated so much.
"Slade?" she breathed, dread filling her stomach. "You are already-?" she cut herself off. She didn't want to insult Robin. He was acting so defensive already.
"It's not what you think," he said quickly.
She stared at him. What she thought was that he was being obsessive and that he would turn angry and start lying. And shut her out. "Robin, Slade helped us."
"I know, but don't you think that there must have been something in it for him?" he demanded, like he was trying to teach a little kid their three-times tables.
Yes, she did think that there was something in it for him: a world free of Trigon's rule. She didn't answer.
"There's nothing wrong with taking a preemptive strike." He sounded desperate. He wanted her to understand.
"There is when you turn into a… into a…" she stammered, trying to find the right words. "A stranger," she finished softly.
"Starfire." He said her name like a plea, only she didn't know what he was asking for. She had a vivid image of facing him in midair off the rooftop of Wayne Enterprises, Jump City. He was holding out a weapon that was fastened to his arm. In one moment he was holding it out at her, nearly point-blank. And then his look faltered, and he looked like his heart was breaking. And he said her name. 'Starfire, no-'
She heard the same kind of desperation in his voice now.
"There's more going on than you know," he told her, his voice sounding as though it was coming from a throat that was too-dry and scratched up.
"Then tell me, Robin," she urged, matching his tone.
His eyes widened and he shook his head at her.
She sat stubbornly at a stool across from Robin's laptop. He looked up at her, giving her a look that said 'Please don't do this.'
She crossed her leg over her knee and shuffled into a more comfortable position, as if to say, 'Watch me.'
For the next hour or so, Starfire concentrated on staying awake. This was extremely difficult, since Robin refused to say anything else and the room was so dark and the rhythm of the clock on the wall and the rustling of newspapers were like lullabies.
Robin kept glancing up at her when he thought she wouldn't notice, frowning deeply. She could only guess that she was distracting him.
When he woke her up, she was first aware of the dark, and then she was aware that she was sitting on a stool. Embarrassingly, she'd folded her hands together on the table and used and used them as a pillow. She didn't remember drifting off, and she didn't even know what time it was, as it was too dark to read the clock.
"Star," he whispered, shaking her shoulder gently.
She was so startled she turned to him with glowing eyes. As he was illuminated by the green glow, she saw that he looked almost smug. She frowned. He must have thought of it as payback for scaring him earlier.
"You fell asleep," he explained needlessly, smiling.
"Did you accomplish what you wished?" she asked. Her voice sounded groggy, adding to her embarrassment.
He clenched his jaw. He opened his mouth to answer her, drew in a breath, and let it out through pursed lips. Then he blurted out, "You know, there are reasons I do this." He said it quickly, like he was trying to get it out before he could convince himself not to. Now that he had, he looked kind of like he regretted it.
"What are they?" Starfire asked, trying to stifle a yawn.
He clenched his jaw again. He leaned on the table next to her, and Starfire had the alarming feeling that she'd opened a secret chest that didn't look that big, only to realize that it was much deeper than she originally thought.
Starfire narrowed her eyes at him. She charged a starbolt in her hand and held it between them for more light to better read his facial expressions. "But we just saw him-"
"I know. It was some kind of… magic." He paused. She didn't have to comment on the incredulity of the statement. "I swear. I saw his face. I mean, not his face. A skeleton of his face. It was Trigon. He was keeping Slade alive."
"Then he would be dead now, would he not?" she asked, trying to make sense of what she could.
"He was trying to restore his life; his body. That's why he helped me get to Raven. I have to find out what he's up to now. We need to find him. Does he have powers now? Is he dangerous to Raven? I even asked to be alerted of any unidentifiable bodies or objects that the police find for a while." Robin paused. "I can't let anything happen to my team."
"You cannot run yourself into the ground this way, Robin. We worry about you. I worry about you."
It was an innocent admission, something he should have known already, but something about it made his face soften. "I'm okay," he mumbled, looking down at the ground.
She refused to let him make her feel too awkward to continue their conversation. "You stay here all night, you are angry and shut off during the day, you refuse to do the hanging out; all because you spend all of your energy and too much of your time holed up in this room like you are the criminal." Her voice had been getting more and more emotional and she was struggling to maintain control.
Robin looked at her with the wide eyed, nervous look that most members of the male gender assume when a girl gets close to tears. "I don't think-"
"You do not think that you are that bad, but you are. You are so distant and sometimes I am afraid that something dark- something much darker than the corners of this depressing room- is waiting to lure you in and swallow you whole, and you will be lost to me forever. Do you not remember how the spores from Slade's mask nearly killed you?" Although her voice was now wavering with emotion and was now so loud that she realized belatedly that she should keep her volume down, her face was strong and her eyes were free of any tears.
Robin just looked at her after her outburst. She had shocked him, and he was exhausted, and the mention of the gas seemed to rattle him even further. He looked up at her slowly, unsurely, and muttered, "I need help."
She stared at him. She was so surprised that her starbolt flickered out and she hastily relit it. "Excuse me?"
He flicked his gaze back to the ground. He stepped a little bit closer to her so that he could speak in a lower voice and she would still hear him. "I- I get sucked in. I don't know what it is about Slade. I guess… he's like the opposite of everything I stand for. Batman took me and saved me. And Slade… he tried to take me in and corrupt me. And he tried to hurt you guys. Starfire, I couldn't live with myself if someone got away with hurting you. Especially if it was because of me."
She realized that at some point, they had crossed a line that somehow, a while ago, they both silently agreed not to cross. She crossed it first. Without realizing it, she told him that she didn't want to lose him. She'd said 'me' instead of 'we'. She wasn't talking about the whole team; she was talking about him and her. He reciprocated just then. He didn't want her to get hurt. Suddenly her pulse kicked up and it was going so fast she could feel it in her stomach and hear it swishing around her head.
He was looking at her again. His gaze was unwavering and soft and worried. He shuffled a little bit closer. He was resting his hand on the seat of the stool, which Starfire didn't quite fill up. "I don't want to worry you. But I can't ignore this work. I just need someone to help me balance it."
"I can help you," she said quickly. It was like they were reading scripts from a play that she rehearsed so much that her response was automatic. She was glad, because otherwise she would have stood there stupidly, trying to think of something to say when all that she could think about was Robin and how close he was to her.
Then he tugged on her wrist, pulling her off the chair, and said, "I know." And he kissed her.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, her starbolt going out as she clenched her fingers into a fist.
"Star!" Robin called, pulling her out of her recent memories.
She snapped her head in his direction. He was sitting up at the edge of her bed, holding dark blue cloth in his hand. She hoisted herself into a sitting position and put her palm down on her duvet.
"What? Sorry. I was…" she let her voice trail off.
"Daydreaming," he finished. With a grin, he added "About me."
She smiled back, not giving away that that was precisely what she was doing. "What is that saying? 'The meek will inherit the Earth'?"
"Where'd you hear that? I thought you scorned Earthly religion and ancient beliefs?"
Starfire shrugged. "Yes. But it is interesting."
Robin shrugged. "What is this?" he asked, holding up the blue cloth again. "It's not pink, purple, or green, so I know it's not yours."
"That is one of Raven's old cloaks. I have been trying to turn it into a bed for Silkie with my limited skills of sewing. I keep beginning it and getting interrupted halfway through."
Robin dropped it back on the floor. "I didn't recognize it without the hood. How's Raven doing lately, anyway?"
Since Trigon's attack, Raven hadn't come out of her room, not even to eat. The rest of the Titans were worried about her, but the day before she'd called Starfire to her room to ask her to buy yards and yards of white fabric. When Starfire asked her what she was up to, Raven only told her that she was 're-finding her identity.'
She told Robin all this already, but he was worried. "She appears to be well, but I only spoke to her briefly yesterday."
"She's not eating or anything," Robin argued.
"She is fasting to concentrate her energies," Starfire explained. Okay, Raven hadn't actually told her that personally. When they meditated together, however, Raven sometimes mentioned fasting. Starfire could only guess that she was doing that now. "She has been through so much, Robin. She is not foolish. If she had need for us, she would call us."
He shrugged. "I guess you're right."
Starfire shuffled close to him. And wrapped her arms around him. "I am. Trust me."
Robin leaned back until he was lying with his back on the bed, bringing Starfire down with him. "I do," he murmured, brushing his fingers over her face.
She tugged him closer and pecked him on the mouth. "I love you." She felt heat flood her face as the words rolled off her tongue. They'd only started really dating a few days ago, but they both knew the feelings had been there for a while. It didn't feel rushed, like some people might think it would after dating for such a short time.
Robin crushed her to him, knotting his fingers in her hair as he kissed her. When he stopped, she felt breathless, even though the kiss wasn't that long. "I love you, too." He kissed her forehead "But I have to go."
She pouted at him. "Already?"
He rolled over so that they were both lying on their sides facing each other. "Yeah. I have to turn on the security alarm in the ops room."
She sighed. They'd agreed that they wouldn't sleep together in the same bed, at least not yet. They were already taking things so fast. There was no need to rush things even more. But right now, she wished they hadn't. "Stay," she said, looking up at him through her eyelashes.
He sighed. "Star. I can't. I mean… we probably shouldn't. Unless…"
She smiled at him. She found it cute when he was flustered. "It is okay. Go."
He sat up and peered down at her. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, Robin. I will see you tomorrow. Good night," she said with finality.
He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "Good night, Starfire."
She waited until the door closed to give out another happy sigh and curl up in her covers, emotionally sated.
I didn't really plan to start off on a flashback. But it just happened. I know that I keep doing this thing where they don't sleep in each other's rooms. I don't know how realistic that even is. I just figure that it took them so long to get together that they wouldn't all of a sudden take their relationship really quickly. Plus, I also usually end up doing this other thing where in some overly fluffy scene they decide to sleep in the same room. Soooo… write what you know? So yeah, I retconned Tokyo and season 5. Oops? Tell me what you think so far! Here's a little teaser for the next chapter, while I'm at it.
"I'm gonna regret this, but… you can come in. You don't have to stand in the doorway like that."
Beast Boy gaped at her. She had never ever ever invited anyone in her room aside from Starfire to meditate. Gingerly he took a step in. The doors whooshed closed behind him.
Raven braced herself for the comment on her creepy décor, or a cheesy joke about the two of them being in her bedroom together. But it didn't come.