Hello Everyone and Happy New Year !
I hope you'll enjoy this Robin and Starfire mini-fic. It's in-Universe – which I've been asked to do more of; it's humor (at Robin's expense for the most part); and it's romance. I did start this story a few weeks ago but was delayed in posting. It isn't really a Christmas story, but the backdrop is Christmastime, specifically the Christmas after 'Things Change', ('Tokyo' having occurred between Seasons Four and Five, as was the writers'/producers' intentions).
This is only a three chapter mini-fic, and the writing is basically complete, and look for the chapters to go up rather quickly.
It's limited to a Robin and Starfire storyline, with a couple other characters making cameos over the communicator, plus a special scene that may just had to be added to add to the awkward. Although I'd thought there might be more, there is now a hard deadline, so for this story, that's it. Not to say there isn't a little bit of wiggle room... you never know when or if a plot bunny or other such mythical creature might attack in the dead of night (or emails from Australia).
Be Warned: So fluffy your teeth will itch.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans; but if I did, I would share them with said Mythical Creature from Australia.
The kitchen counters were covered with clear plastic shaker bottles filled with a wide variety of colored sugar crystals; the standard red and green for the season would just not be sufficient. There was one which had a perfect blend of cinnamon and sugar, and there were three, no, four types of jimmies. There were candy confetti shapes of all kinds, varying from brightly colored sequin dots to snowflakes to little toys to stars to... what were those, black bats? Well, yes, but those were left over from the sugar cookie cut-out creations from another holiday a couple months back. So why were they out on the counter? What possible other significance could they have?
Quite a bit actually, given that this kitchen was in Titans Tower, the home of five barely-still teenaged Superheroes whose leader just happened to be the protege of The Bat himself.
There were pastry tubes of colored icing which Starfire had painstakingly filled earlier and a three-tiered cooling rack for the cookies she was baking in the Titans' two ovens. She had set out not simply to bake sugar cookies this year, she was creating little masterpieces. Not only to impress, she was enjoying herself immensely.
She enjoyed all things domestic these days, something which had been reading about after the Google search: her desire to do the 'nesting'... Robin was a bird, would he be interested in the nesting too? It was one of those questions that she had a feeling might be inappropriate to ask him directly, and Google was good but it did not answer if Robin of 'Batman and...' fame was ready to nest. Oh if only Raven were home. Although she was fairly certain her best female friend would not wish to discuss this 'nesting'.
It was oddly pleasant sensation; neither the fanorbla fly nor Earth's butterflies held a candle to whatever the nesting denizens were that currently inhabited her stomachs – and loins. Oh they could stay. So warm, a heaviness, there was a thrumming and a pleasant rhythm there...
On that afternoon just days before Christmas, her baking was in full swing, the cookies in all stages of completion: there was raw dough still in the refrigerator, a rounded ball all floured and ready to be rolled out with a rolling pin, there were cookies cut out in a variety of holiday shapes on baking pans she was sprinkling sugar crystals on and finally there were the decorated ones which were in the oven, baking for what would be precisely six minutes forty-five seconds.
The timer dinged and Starfire turned her attention from the evergreen sprinkles on a unbaked Christmas tree cookie which laid on the tray before her to find her mitts and pull a batch out of the oven.
Confidently she said to herself, "Perfect even by Earth standards. Light brown at the edges, cooked through but not overly crisp throughout, as per Cyborg's instructions."
Star proceeded to remove the cookies from the tray carefully with an Earthen tool known as a spatula – rather than simply using her tongue – something Cyborg had reinforced firmly. Pleased with her work and satisfied that they were as perfect as the ones he had prepared as a demonstration, Starfire called her teammate.
"Joyous holiday greetings friend; please tell me, how was the car trip to Steel City?"
"Star! Great to hear from you! It was good, good. How's the happy homemaker?"
Starfire blushed. Cyborg chuckled. It was obvious to anyone who knew her – well, anyone with the exception of Robin that is – that Starfire hadn't wanted to go to Steel City with the other Titans if staying at the Tower meant being alone with a certain Boy Wonder, even if there was no guarantee that the masked superhero would even leave the evidence room for hours after the other Titans had left.
These days Robin would be more than happy that Starfire was there, once he emerged from said evidence room and noticed her. He somehow lacked a confidence at times around her. It baffled his teammates. If she didn't suffer from the same affliction it might baffle Starfire as well, but the thing she would do was always be sure to make time for him.
"I am... fine? Please, can you inspect this traditional decorated sugar cookie of Christmas and let me know if it looks the acceptable." She lifted it into view of the communicator.
"Looking good, looking good, Star. But you did fine with the cookies at Halloween and Thanksgiving, actually more than fine, they were great! So you don't hafta worry about the Christmas cookies-"
"But Christmas Cookies are special are they not?"
"Well, yeah of course they are Star, but it's nothing you can't handle."
"Thank you. And do not fear, I am saving plenty for you!"
"Well, that shouldn't be too hard, given it's only you and your boyfriend there."
Starfire giggled, and was glad that the days of Robin denying that she was his girlfriend at least were long gone.
It was well into the afternoon when Robin entered the common area. He looked around, noticing first the smell of cookies, then the lack of Titans, and, somewhat troubling, the missing GameStation.
Robin was suffering from a serious lack of sleep from pushing through the rest of his stacks and stacks of mission and crime notes, but he had done it: he had completed all his reports. It was no small task. They were off his desk, copies filed in his personal cabinet and into another secret archive (Goddamn Bru-, um, Batman), originals mailed to authorities, and finally copies mailed to secondary officials if need be. Aw, that was always the best part of the non-butt-kicking part of crime work... and now even that was finished.
All of it off his desk so he was ready to relax. As relaxed as his body would allow him, given his raging hormones, hormones whipped into a frenzy by holiday time with his sexy girlfriend.
There was something else about that day that he was supposed to remember... well, it would come to him soon enough. Time to act nonchalant, keep the hormones in check, celebrate the greatness that was he-who-now-had-a-cleared-off-desk, and to find his wonderful girlfriend and see if they could spend some quality alone time together. A date? That would be wonderful, but they were alone... so, hanging out? Fine. Other activities? Hmm, nah, maybe someday soon... not quite... that would not be on the table, no, no, not yet.
Tired, self-congratulatory, horn-doggy (yet self-denying) and wishing on his Star... all lead to a perfect, if not entirely amusing storm: this once but no longer 'junior' detective was a bit off his game.
Whether there was indeed trouble or not, it could certainly wait when he caught his first glimpse of Starfire is an costume made of a plush velvet green costume looking perfectly at home making cookies in the kitchen.
Did we mention raging hormones?
Oh yes, Starfire was as adorable and sexy (and his mind even lit onto the term and the very idea of 'doable' for a moment before he shook his head to clear away that dangerous thought and its image). Yes, Starfire was that and so much more. Her long red hair was tied up in a high pony tail and she was free of make up, reminding him of the fresh-faced teen he had fallen in love with all those years ago.
Some time had passed since they began dating, and in all that time they had been so busy with their duty and commitments and just plain growing up. Since Tokyo there was barely any respite after their first kiss before they were off again, first for a short tour with the Doom Patrol. The next mission took them all over the Globe and beyond to their greatest triumph, outwitting as well as outfighting the Brotherhood of Evil.
Summer was fading when they returned to Jump City, and Robin and Starfire weren't, but then again, they realized how little they knew each other beyond as best friends. Longing glances and shy kisses were only rarely replaced by much more. Not that they sought out more intimacy. Or rather, not that Robin did.
There were expectations from the other teammates that they were 'more' already. It was confusing and more than a bit stressful. There had been quite a bit of a throw down in the gym one fall day when Cyborg's and BB's innuendos had gotten to the point when Robin had had enough. Three bloody noses and numerous bruises later, things were settled. Luckily boys, now almost men, can work things out that way. There was still light teasing from the Changling and Cyborg, but the line was held at light teasing.
The core five Titans waxed poetic that 'things change', and spent mid-August through mid-October with time split between regaining their footing in the city they protected and spending time with the rest of the hero community. Not just with the Titan Network, but the 'grown ups' as well. Offers were made for some to join the Justice League – Cyborg was courted the strongest – but in the end, all had let their egos be stroked but decided that the Tower was their home and the Titans were their team and that Robin was their leader. At least for now. They had a good thing, the five of them.
Starfire in no way felt cheated by her relationship with Robin through this transition period. She was patient, content... and extremely patient. They had gotten to know each other as friends from her first days on Earth and that was how they continued over meals or on the roof. An occasional walk in the City Park or by the river. Discussions about science or literature or the other arts. They attended things which college aged people did such as lectures and panel discussions. Some of the things were more social but most were educational, academic pursuits.
It was the physical alone time they lacked. She knew she missed it, and she knew he did as well. The longing looks became even more meaningful, the reaction to touch, the change in breathing or the timbre of one's moan or sigh - those things, Starfire realized, were universal to both humans and Tamaraneans.
But it was her first relationship, and she wanted to be just like any other girl who was lucky enough to fall in love with her first crush. She knew exactly the length of time she and Robin had dated, keeping a Hello Kitty™ diary secretly stowed away under her circular bed; not that she needed to journal her thoughts or write down dates as her memory was entirely sound when it came to her life with Robin.
Yes, Starfire knew acutely it was twenty month since Tokyo. Were they even trying to be together? Was Robin? At least this weekend, they were alone in the Tower for four glorious days.
Concentrating on her baking, Starfire hadn't noticed Robin at first, but he noticed her, and when she turned his brain made note of an interesting fact: her apron seemed to cover more, ahem, ground than her outfit did. He was pondering just how low of a neckline it would have to be on that elf costume given that-
"Are you doing the sleepwalking?"
She giggled and lifted off, floating over to him. "You do not look fully the awake." She grasped his chin with a flour covered hand and playfully shook it.
Robin played possum, letting his eyes drift shut and open again, and with a smile, "Oh, Starfire, how did I get out here, the last thing I remember I was-"
"Resting your head on top of a crime file in your evidence room?"
"I was going to say keyboard in my evidence room, but yeah."
They shared a smile and Robin went to reach for her just as the buzzer went off. She darted away.
"I must not let the cookies burn!" She giggled as she glanced over her shoulder and gave him a smile.
Robin followed her and took in the state of the kitchen. Most of the cookies were now baked, either cooling on the racks, waiting to get some icing accents, or completed. There were already dozens of tins of cookies stacked and ready to go. Counters were cleaned off, wiped down, and the place was quite tidy.
"Starfire, this is... I mean I didn't know-"
She arched a brow, challenging him to say something about her cooking – or in this case her baking. "You of all people are well aware that I have improved in my Earthen culinary ventures."
He held up his hands in surrender and swallowed. "Honestly, that wasn't what I was going to say. It looks like you've gotten a lot done today and things look great."
She smiled, placed her hands on her hips and looked around. Her smile brightened further and she nodding in agreement, "I believe I do agree with you. I have been busy and the cookie baking process is quite involved; however, the mess it created has been contained and I am near the end of this venture."
Robin could only chuckle at her and give her a wink, taking in this side of his girlfriend and finding himself very thankful they had the time together. The weekend was looking quite promising.
She had forgotten the oven mitts this time when she pulled the cookie tray out of the oven and Robin winced, but a hot tray coming out of a 375 degrees F oven wasn't anything to a Tamaranean whose hands manufactured starbolts. "You know, it is actually much easier to get things such as this done without the assistance."
"From Beast Boy you mean."
"Even you can pose a distraction," she said with a sly smile, shooting him a quick sideways glance as she took the cookies off the tray with a spatula and then gingerly placing them onto a rack.
"Well in that case, I better leave you alone. Who am I to distract you now? Guess I'll just go and play some video games, but... wait, um... you wouldn't have any idea what happened to the GameStation now would you?"
"First of all Robin, I was doing the kidding about you having to leave me alone-"
"Well that's a relief."
"And secondly, while it would be amusing to watch you do the sputtering and fretting by telling you the GameStation was the stolen by the Red X from right under our noses," Starfire purposely paused to see if that got a rise out of Robin; the distinct squish-squeak of Robin fisting up in his green gloves told her that it did, "however, that is not the case. Beast Boy and Cyborg took it with them, do you not remember?"
"Took it with them? Oh, that's right the-"
They recited together what they had been hearing about for weeks, "The Midnight release of A Wicked Scary Christmas: The Video Game™, to coincide with the theatrical release of A Wicked Scary Christmas™ this weekend. You can't truly get in the Wicked Scary™ Holiday Spirit without them both."
"So you have decided to stay here the whole weekend, Star?" Robin arched an eyebrow, hoping she had. He hadn't been able to promise her that he'd finish up even by his self-imposed deadline Sunday, December 23rd. He'd tried by pulling near all-nighters, but now it was the afternoon of the 20st, that Thursday, and he was finished.
"Well now my dear Robin, that depends on you."
"On me?" Robin suddenly felt extremely anxious. What if there was a challenge or test involved? What if it involved eating Tamaranean food or some sort of battle skill challenge or ritual or something else. He'd have to rise to the occasion. Alone time with Starfire would be wonderful and worth whatever he had to go through to get some. Well probably not get some... they were no where near that stage. Gah. Oh, and what about that Red X comment. Now that must have been a test. Clever girl... but epic fail on his part, that he was certain.
Suddenly his throat became very dry.
Starfire deliberately remained on task, moving over to the sink with the now empty tray and began to run the water, keeping her back to him. He watched her. When Starfire made no mention of anything she wanted him to do, he took the situation into his two hands... because maybe what it depended on is that he did something, anything.
With an unfamiliar boldness that all of a sudden enveloped him, Robin moved up behind her and placed each of those hands on either side of her on the counter, effectively trapping her there.
He whispered in her ear. "What if I told you that I would love it if you stayed with me in the tower while the others are away this weekend?"
Starfire was barely able to contain the urge to lift off, feeling an almost overwhelming surge of delight. She knew Robin sensed it, so she mimicked an Earth woman's response and she decided to be a bit coy about about it. He did like banter, and she was improving.
"Is 'I would be extremely happy to hear that,' an appropriate response?"
"It's a start."
"Oh I do the seeing of how things are," she said, attempting to suppress a shiver.
Noting that Robin nuzzled her. Touch always got a response, but he knew it was a bit of a cheat, given how as a Tamaranean, Starfire thrived on it.
"Can I help you with those dishes?"
"That is most kind of you but I can handle it-"
"'Most kind', yes... I recall you saying that the people of Earth were 'strange but most kind' once. That was right after we got past that 'nice' was not the equivalent to 'weak'."
"Are you teasing me Robin?"
He chuckled as his tongue followed the bloom of color as she flushed up her neck, which only intensified the heat of her skin. Her eyes flashed wide, and then drifted shut. "I don't think of this as teasing."
She struggled to gain composure. "But are you sure it is the dishes you wish to do? Are there not other things to be attended to?" Were those questions laced with meaning? No, Star wouldn't... well, hell...
"What, like this?" He nipped her ear and she dropped the pan and the scrubber. "Now who's weak?"
"You are not playing the fair."
"Do you want me to play fair?"
"I wish to complete the task of cleaning the kitchen, and then you can resume what you are currently defining as the playing unfairly."
"I'm not willing for you to shoulder all the burden of cleaning."
"Robin it is no burden."
"Not if it's fun."
"Are we trading off pleasure for inefficiency? Should we not delay pleasure for as short of a time as possible by completing tasks quickly and thoroughly."
"Is this part of me being a distraction again? Or do I work too slow around the house." He barely paused for an answer. "Let me show you something you might enjoy."
"How 'bout this?" Robin leaned in, widening his stance and placing his chin on Starfire's shoulder. "I'll take this and this," he said, gently prying the tray and scrubber out of each of her hands, "and we can do this together."
"Together?" she squeaked.
"Help me balance the tray, help me scrub a bit harder."
Starfire's left hand went to a part of the cookie tray opposite from where Robin held it, anchoring it, and when she put her hand over his on the scrubbing sponge, he moved his off to add some dish soap to the back of her hand rather than the sponge itself, and then placed his hand back over hers.
The warm water, the prickles of the scrubber, the rough crumbs which were occasionally encountered, along with the slickness of the soap augmented by Robin's touch and his very presence was a lot of sensory input. Tamaraneans thrive on touch, interpret it on a more base level and Starfire was more than a bit woozy.
She shuttered and let out a soft purr, but in unison as they let go of the sponge, and Star reached for the water to turn it on to rinse the tray, a giggle bubbled up.
"What's so funny Star?" Robin's tone was husky as well as curious.
"This way of doing the dishes. I could become quite fond of it." She hummed as she thought aloud. "It is not the most efficient way, nor would it be ideal given the teasing that we would suffer if Beast Boy and Cyborg were here..."
"True," Robin agreed and nuzzled her a bit under her left ear this time, "but you have already done such a great job with the rest of the kitchen clean up, the guys aren't here, and I'm feeling rather domestic at the moment."
He stilled for a second at the implications of the word and then continued his train of thought. "Of course, domestic." He nuzzled her ear again. She purred – it was different from a shiver, shudder, suppressed moan or anything or combination of things. "You're okay with it, though right? This is nice. But not rutha, right?"
She made the noise again and her eyes glowed, as she leaned back to offer him her lips. There wasn't anything wrong with feeling domestic. Starfire in the kitchen, especially now that she cooked many foods acceptable to human palate was something to be appreciated.
Robin couldn't believe his own behavior or Starfire's. There had been a big breakthrough. As nice as it was, he still didn't want things to go too fast. He just wanted to enjoy. There was so much to look at, she was so beautiful and amazing. The kisses were so much hotter, why push past that? Or why not? Never hurts to take things slow. Four days, plenty of time for things to build slow... or not.
Starfire cleaning up the kitchen in a tiny elf dress was pretty amazing; even more so if he could get a chance to see what things were like under the apron. The faster the dishes were done, the sooner she'd lose the apron. He hadn't consciously gone with that as a strategy, but it was a good one...
His head was swimming when he leaned over to kiss her again. What was exactly coming over him? Was it Slade? He mentally slapped himself for that one, even he knew that this was normal behavior. Yup, even he wasn't that messed up.
He loved his girlfriend, they were finally alone. She stayed to be with him even if she wasn't sure if he had to work all weekend or not. All was right in the world...
They broke the kiss, and Starfire looked at him with so much love. "Richard, what shall we do next?"
"Ready to do the floor?"
"Wonderful! I shall get the Shimmer Floor Wax!"
To be continued...
Thank you for reading and reviews are always appreciated.
For those who don't know the iconic sketch:
Shimmer Floor Wax is courtesy Saturday Night Live - 'It's a Floor Wax and a Dessert Topping'