Another one shot to keep you all happy until the next update of 'No Escape' :) Aren't I so nice?
I will be using this space to advertise. Thisisentertaining and I have been working on a collaboration piece called 'Scared'. Here's the summary:
"An old 'friend' of Robin's has stopped into Jump City to play with the teen heroes. But there's a reason they call him Scarecrow. Will the teens be able to stop him? Especially when two of them are seeing the world around them fall apart? Slight RobXStar."
Of course I may be semi-biased, but it's a really good story that needs love! It's on going, so make sure to watch for it! *Coughgoherecough* /s/8905981/1/
And now for the challenge: There are 31 bird puns, can you find them all?
Mumbo stood in the middle of a large room. He was a criminal, yes, but that did not mean he was the bravest man in the world. He gripped the edge of his top hat and wiggled his massive blue nose.
A spotlight turned on above him, and he couldn't see anything else in the room.
"Mr. Mumbo. Thank you for coming. I'm sure it was an inconvenience."
"Are you the one who bailed me out?"
"Yes, smart one aren't you? Do you know why I called you here?"
"You have a need for my expertise?" He asked nervously.
"I heard you have previously turned the Teen Titans into animals."
"I have, but with all of them in such forms is hard to control. If you want me to get them, you're going to have to get them in a contained environment."
"Patience. My target is one titan in particular. And with a more...permanent solution."
"What did you have in mind?"
Slade stepped out of the shadows. "Do you enjoy puns?"
Mumbo got a slight mischievous grin.
Later that evening, the Titan Alert sounded in a tower in the bay. Five teens sprang into action. Two in a car, two in the air, and one leading on a motorcycle.
The alert was for a break in at the NaturalHistoryMuseum.
"Man, what does that dumb magician want with smelly old artifacts anyway?" Cyborg complained.
Robin's voice came through the communicator. "I know it's a little odd, but he's probably planning on selling the stuff on the black market."
"I dislike fighting in the holding of ancient artifacts, I am always afraid of breaking something."
"Raven's got ya covered Star, just aim carefully. Here we go."
The R-Cycle came to a screeching halt as Robin vaulted from his seat and sprinted to the door, quickly followed by the girls.
He kicked open the door. "Alright Mumbo, time for the show-..." The room was empty; all the exhibits were in their place. "...stopper."
"We didn't miss him did we?"
"Are you sure this is the right place, Rob?"
"I'm sure this is where the alert was coming from..." He pulled his communicator from his belt.
"ALAKAZAM!" Suddenly a rope with multi-colored handkerchiefs shot out of the darkness and wrapped tightly around his body.
"What the-?!" He was pulled into the middle of the room where a giant hand came out with a magic wand.
"Presto-change-o!" The wand tipped and Robin was dosed in sparkly powder.
He coughed a few times before he cut through the ropes with a birdarang. "Is that-" hack "-all you got?!" He sprung to his feet and jumped back to his team.
"Yes sir!" The magician called, not even coming into view. "And now for my disappearing act! ABRACADABRA!" Another puff of smoke, and all was silent.
"Let's go team! He couldn't-" hack"-have gone-" hack hack "-too far!"
"Fine!" He choked. "Come on."
A half an hour, and a fruitless search later, they turned up empty handed.
"Man, he got away. And he didn't even leave any clues besides that powder that he marinated Robin with."
The young leader was still coughing.
"Dude, you sound awful."
"I don't feel so great either. Cyborg, get a sample of that powder. Let's go home."
Back at the tower, Cyborg ran some tests on his sample. Raven had brewed some hot tea for Robin, and he had finally stopped coughing. But now he couldn't stop humming.
"Man I don't know what to tell you, I found chalk, powdered sugar, turmeric, glitter, crushed antacids, baking powder...it's all harmless household dust. I don't know what he was trying to do."
"Maybe he just wanted to make me look like Edward Cullen."
"Who?" Starfire asked.
"Pop culture reference. He's a fictional vampire that sparkles."
"Dude! Can you stop with the humming?! It's driving me bonkers!"
"I can't help it! I have a song stuck in my head. Would you prefer I whistle? Or I could sing out loud. I have an amazing tenor."
"Humming is fine."
"Please, what is a whistle? And I do not mean the evil metal device used to scare people at sporting events."
"It's a way we can make music. Just pucker your lips and blow." He demonstrated a whistle of a short little tune.
"Dude! You just spoke robin!"
"Um..." The team looked at his strangely.
"Like the bird! That's how they tell other robins that, 'hey, there's food here!'"
"Really..." He whistled again, in a bunch of intricate notes.
"Now you're just mocking me."
"Anyways!" Cyborg interrupted. "Whatever Mumbo was planning, it didn't work."
"He's losing his touch."
"He's getting senile."
"I feel peckish." Robin declared.
"Well then make yourself something to eat! I'm not your mama."
"I wasn't asking you, sheesh. Just making a statement." He got up and went to the kitchen. He was hungry, but for what? 'Berries and Bread' he thought to himself. He took out the bread and jam, slathered a decent helping onto it and took a seat back down on the couch.
"That is all you are eating?"
"Yeah, I'm hungry but not starving."
The other titans went about and made their own dinners, finally settling down for movie night.
Robin slipped off his boots and tucked his legs in. His arms wrapping around his legs under his knees.
"Dude, that can't be comfortable."
"Well, it is. So neh."
"Robin, you have been acting most particular this evening. Are you positive there is nothing wrong?"
"Oh, I'm sure there are plenty things wrong with me. But nothing more then usual, no."
After the movie, they collectively decided to go to bed. Robin was exhausted for once, and decided not to stay up all night working on pointless drabble. As soon as the door to his room closed, he froze. He felt something knotting up inside his stomach.
"I hope that Jam didn't have something in it." He growled through the pain. He kicked off his shoes, and removed his cape, gloves and belt. "Ughh...I need some Tums or something..." He walked into his bathroom and went to open his medicine cabinet, only to stop and stare at his reflection in the mirror. Little bumps formed all over his face. He removed his mask and looked closer. "I'm going to kill myself if that's all acne."
Suddenly, he felt his body starting to cover with the little bumps. "Shoot, this must be an allergic reaction to that powder!" But that theory was quickly negated when the bumps burst and thick brown hairs began to grow. His under arms felt like the fibers were thicker and longer. His face was starting to become covered.
"No..." He stared in horror as his fingers grew long and flat. He felt the arch in his feet grow as his toes spread apart. The skin of his legs grew tough.
His body trembled and feathers floated down to the ground.
"What's happening to me?!" He managed to shout before his face started reshaping. His lips were becoming hard and long, his nose dissolving into his top lip. His pectoral muscle grew exponentially, ripping his shirt while the rest of his body shrunk. He closed his eyes as he heard a ripping sound followed by a flourish of feathers.
It was all over. The teen sat on the floor, unwilling to open his eyes. He did though, and reached his brown wings out in front of him, dismally staring at the long brown feathers. "I can't believe it. He turned me into a Robin! Of all the low down tricks..." Of course, this all came out as twittering.
"Robin? Are you the 'okay'? I heard you shout, and I was worried." Starfire called from the hall.
The little leader panicked and managed to flutter about and finally hide behind the toilet.
A moment later, after he didn't answer, she came in his room. "Robin? Are you not present?"
His little aviary heart palpitated in his chest.
"That is most odd. I could have sworn I heard his shout come from his room." She said to herself. "Oh well..."
He heard the safe sound of his door swishing shut. He gave a little sigh and wormed out of his hiding spot. Using his new found flight, he flapped a little to get off the ground and then fluttered to land on his counter top. He looked at himself miserably in the mirror. It was him alright. His eyes were bright sky blue, and the arch of the eye and the supercilia wrapped around his eye to give the illusion of a mask. The jet black tuffs on the crown of his head had a little bit of a spike to them. The white and black stripes starting on his chin ran down into his maroon chest. He had to admit; at least he had good colorings. But what was he going to do? He couldn't just hide in his room. The team needed him. There was no help if he didn't seek it out. He gave another sigh. There was nothing to do about it now, it was late and everyone was asleep or getting ready for bed. He was exhausted anyway.
He hopped down from his perch and glided to his bed. He loved the feeling of flight, he really did. But the ability to do it on his own was odd. And that would be something he'd have to get used to.
He hopped over to his pillow and wormed his way in between the sheets. Who said a bird couldn't sleep the same way as a human could? Obviously a lot of people, because that was not comfortable. He hopped up on his pillow and tucked his feet under himself, fluttered his wings a little and folded his head down, resting his beak on his chest.
Throughout the night, his dreams mixed and twisted. It started with him chasing Slade, both in their human forms and slowly turned into Robin being chased by a hawk with two tone feathers on its face. It was a nightmare; his only defense was to fly faster. No weapons, he couldn't even punch or kick. It was a scary thought.
When he woke up, he blinked his round eyes open and puffed up his plumes.
"Hello tiny Robin." He heard Starfire whisper.
He whipped his head around and met her bright green eyes. He let out a scared chirp and scuttled from his nest.
"Oh, wait! I did not mean to frighten you!"
He ignored her and flew out of his room. He weaved through the halls and zipped passed a startled Beast Boy.
"Dude! Bird loose in the tower!"
Cyborg opened the door to the common room. "Whatcha say B?" Robin flew passed the robot. "Whoa! Never mind!"
Starfire zoomed fast, hot on his tail.
Raven closed her book in the common room and watched as Starfire and a green falcon chased a frantic robin around the room.
The leader was completely in his 'flight' state of mind. He evaded claws and Tamaranian hands and practiced his flight. In a moment of clarity, he remembered the panels in the ceiling and the crevasses between them. He turned his flight path and slipped into a crack, a ledge-like pocket with an opening at only one edge. He hopped all the way to the back and tried to calm his frantic heart.
"Robin, it is alright." Starfire cooed, holding out her hand.
Beast Boy shifted from the falcon to a spider monkey, which was small enough to get back to him.
Robin cowered as the green primate came toward to him. He let out a sharp chirp and then pecked at his teammate. Robin was helpless at two clammy hands clamped down on top of him. He released a series of swears that came out as frightened twitters.
The monkey handed the bird to Starfire and then morphed to land on the floor. The gentle alien held the avian in her hands, hushing him. "It is alright, we are your friends."
"So are you going to let him go outside?" Cyborg asked.
"Dude! Maybe we could keep him as a pet! I could talk to him!"
"NO!" She squeaked, pulling Robin to her chest. "It is Robin!"
"Yeah, we can see it's a robin. But those are the most abundant birds..." Raven said.
"After the red-winged blackbird." Beast Boy clarified.
"He's not just a robin, he's THE Robin!"
"Wait, our Robin?"
"Yes! I found him asleep on Robin's pillow this morning. I think this is why he was acting so particular last night."
"So that's what Mumbo did..."
"See Robin, it is alright. We are going to help you." She felt him calm down as he tucked his head and closed his eyes. She set him down on the counter where he hopped a little.
"So...our leader is a bird. What do we do?"
He twittered and gestured to Beast Boy.
"I think he wants to talk to you."
"Oh, yeah, that'd probably help." He morphed into a bird and sat on the counter next to their leader. After a few minutes of chirps and visual signs, he morphed back. "He said he wants us to kick Mumbo's ass for doing this. And then we break his wand so Robin can knock him out and personally escort him to jail."
"That's one angry bird."
"Oh, and he's hungry."
Starfire headed to the fridge and took out the blackberries they had and set them on the counter where the leader tore into them.
"So where do we start? Robin usually was the one who did the search on criminals."
"Well, he probably still wants to help look for him." A tweet confirmed what they were thinking.
Robin glided over to a stack of newspapers. He perused them a moment and then glided over to the computer bank. Using his talons and beak he typed away. The team crowded around the screen and watched in awe. Within minutes, Robin found the hide out for the old magician. Ironically, a warehouse for a magic shop located in town.
"As obvious as that is, that's really impressive." Raven droned.
Robin gestured to the city.
"Aw man! Can't it wait until after breakfast?!" Cyborg cried.
Robin lowered his tail and head and gave an avian sigh.
Starfire happily scooped him up. "Oh Robin! I cannot stand it! You are simply too adorable in this form!" She gave him a kiss on the head.
He fluffed up in embarrassment.
Beast Boy grinned. "Aw! How tweet!"
After Cyborg got his breakfast, the team piled into the T-car and took off into the city.
"Dude, since you can't talk, can I deliver the punny one liner?"
"Don't you anyways?" Raven rolled her eyes.
Robin flicked his tail, a gesture that meant 'sure'.
Beast Boy pumped his fist.
The teens arrived and came up with a battle plan. Robin flew to a nearby window and peered inside. Sure enough, Mumbo was inside sitting on a giant stuffed rabbit counting a crap load of cash. He waited and the other titans ran in and busted down the door.
"We don't have a plan, but we're winging it!"
"Seriously?" Cyborg droned. "That's all you could come up with?"
"It's all I could come up with on the fly!"
"Ah, I've been expecting you kids! Wait! One...two...three...four...where's the fifth? The helpless one!"
"You know very well why he's not here!" Cyborg hissed.
"I don't have any clue what you're talking about!" He chortled.
"Titans! Get 'im!" Cyborg shouted.
Robin watched from the window, really wanting to get in on the action. Even without him, the team was still in sync, which made him proud that they could still work without a member.
The warehouse was rather dark and all he could see of the fight were green spheres and a blue streak eliminating playing cards and doves. He could hear shouts and roars of animals. It was slightly terrifying; he didn't realize that their fights sounded like this. Then everything went still. He could here Starfire shouting something, but he couldn't tell what.
Suddenly, he was swept off his feet and everything was black. He chirped in fear.
"Oh hush, little birdie. Don't want your friends finding you."
He shrieked, his tiny voice straining from the effort. He fluttered, trying to shake the bag out of his captures hands. The thief held tight.
Inside the ware house, the titans had snatched Mumbo's wand and snapped it in half. They looked at the door, waiting for him, but nothing happened.
The withered old man left behind from the magic laughed. "It's going to take more then that to break it."
Suddenly they heard an echo of mournful chirps followed by laughter.
"What was that?"
"Robin..." Starfire zipped out of the warehouse and looked around. He was no where in sight. She flew back in. "What have you done with him?!" She shouted.
"Nothing! I did nothing with him!"
"You lie!" She raced forward, grabbed his collar, and hoisted him into the air. "What have you done with Robin?!"
"I told you! Nothing!"
Raven stepped forward, her hand raised menacing. "Either you tell us willingly what happened, or I will go inside your mind and find out. And I will do much more while I'm there. It's up to you."
"Okay okay! Like I said, I personally didn't do anything! Yes, I turned him into a robin, but Slade was the one who hired me to do it! I surmise he's the one who took him!"
The titans looked at each other in fear.
"Any idea what he's going to do with him?"
"He didn't say. He just told me my part...I'm sorry."
"Don't think an apology is getting you out of this. You're going back to jail."
"I figured as much."
"Come on team, let's drop of the clown and start looking for the maniac."
Robin was shoved into a bird cage. His surroundings were dark and he couldn't tell where he was.
"Well, now this is a good look for you, my fine feathered friend." He heard a familiar voice speak. An orange and black mask shone in the light. "Hello again Robin."
For a moment, he wondered if he could play dumb. He hopped around his cage. Twittered a little and pecked at the paper on the bottom.
"Playing dumb, hmm? Can't say I blame you. You're in the most dangerous position in the world, you know."
He froze and looked up at Slade. He released a weak chirp.
"That's what I thought. Now, you're probably wondering why I brought you here. It's simple really. I'm tired of you. You and your little friends. I know that without one, the rest will follow. They're deeply worried about you, you see? And it's going to effect how they perform. And I surmise they won't be in tip top form."
Robin's tail flared.
"I wish you could speak. That was always my favorite part about our little exchanges. Your anger. You have quite a bit of it now don't you?"
He snapped his tail up.
"I'll get to the point. I'm going to kill you. And yes, I had Mumbo turn you into a bird so you couldn't defend yourself. I like seeing you squirm." He smirked behind his mask.
Robin jumped up on the bars. "You twisted son of a-" All Slade heard was 'chirp chirp twitter tweet.'
He laughed. "My my, this is just too fun. First and most importantly, I'm going to show you what I'm going to do." Slade moved into the shadows and emerged with an identical cage, and a similar bird, duller coloring. It was a female robin, and she was staying very quiet. "I found this one in the park, asleep alone in a nest. Isn't that wonderful?"
The other bird chirped, "Where am I? What's going on?"
Robin swallowed. He really didn't want to be able to hear her. "It's going to be fine." He chirped in reply, lying outright.
Slade opened up the cage and firmly gasped the robin, pulling her out and looping fishing line tightly around her tiny feet. He let go and Robin heard cranking. The robin was slowly pulled down to the table.
"Now let's see..." One by one, he yanked feather after feather out. The robin flapped around and screeched. He took a fistful of down feathers from her breast and she rolled around, trying to get away.
Robin hid his face behind his wings, unable to watch. He swore she almost sounded human now that he could understand her, not that he could do anything about it.
"Please! Stop! It hurts!" She squawked. Then she went silent.
Robin opened his eyes and solemnly stared at his fate. The female robin lay on her back. Her flesh was bloody and what feathers were left were ruffled and clumped. Her beak was crooked and her feet curled into loose fists. She was dead.
He knew that birds were fragile; he just hoped that he could put up with more then the average bird. Still, it was frightening. He was used to being abused, but being plucked? That would be painful.
"Did you hear that high squeal she gave at the end? I suppose that's what you'll sound like in the end."
Robin huffed, his chest puffed out.
"And trust me, I went easy on this one. I'm looking forward to this." He set a tray down on the table. All different tools sat on it. Pliers, tweezers, knives and probes, a lighter, and some other devices he couldn't discern.
"I'll be back. Now, don't go anywhere." A deep chuckled echoed as he disappeared into the shadows. Fear gripped the poor boy as he squatted in the cage. Slade had finally lost it; there was no hope for escape.
Starfire was pacing back and forth in the common room in anxiety. Beast Boy was equally scared for his friend, knowing good and well how fragile birds were. They feared for him specifically because of Slade's obsession and his want to thoroughly destroy Robin's life. Cyborg sat at the computer, doing a scan of the city for suspicious activity. He was nervous too. He knew Robin could handle himself in every other situation, but with this new form, he doubted his leader would survive. Raven sat calmly. The emotions of the others bounced off of her as she mediated. It was dangerous to let her worry get to her, so she tried her best to ignore it.
None of them would admit it, but they were always scared for him. He may have trained with Batman, but without his gadgets, he was nothing. Sometimes they forgot how human he was. He acted like he was invincible, but he was the weakest of them all.
Suddenly, a police message was coming through the intercom. "JCPD to TitansTower, reports have come in on a suspicious character in the park late last night. Description: dressed in all black, mask covering his face. Black and orange in colour."
"We're on it." Cyborg replied.
The other Titans were already on their feet and raring to go. "Okay team, let's get our leader back."
A few minutes later, the team was in the park. It was mid-fall, and the trees were bursting with colors.
"So," Raven raised an eyebrow. "What are we looking for?"
"Anything interesting. If someone reported him, he must have been here for a long time, doing something odd. Of course, it has to be the only part of the city without surveillance cameras..."
"Dude! Not at all! There are more eyes here then you would think!" He shifted into a bird and flew up into the trees. The team watched him as he hopped around and twittered with other birds. A few moments later, he landed back on the ground as a human. A robin perched on his finger.
"He says that Slade was here last night and he took one of the robins that nests in this tree. He said he'll lead us to the place she was taken."
"Well, alright! I'm finally starting to see the benefits of having a changeling on the team!"
Beast Boy gave him a look. He shifted back into a robin and flew with the other one. Starfire followed closely behind as Cyborg and Raven rode in the T-car.
Soon they arrived at what seemed to be a normal office building. It was closed though. Beast Boy and the robin flew to the back. There was a staircase that went down to a rusted old door. The bird landed on the railing.
"Now this seems like Slade's style." Cyborg commented.
The bird flicked its tail and flew away.
"Mind opening it, Star?" Cyborg gestured to the door.
Her hands lit up. "With pleasure."
The door blew open in a loud bang and the teens stalked into the dark room.
"Slade!" Starfire shouted. "Where is Robin?!"
A laugh echoed through the room. "How is it that you kids always seem to find me? I thought I did a good job hiding this time. Guess not."
The titans didn't like the way his voice sounded. It was eerie...evil.
A light clanked on, and Slade stood on a raised platform. "Never the less, I was expecting you."
Starfire's eyes glowed. "You will return Robin to us, or I shall personally make sure you lead a miserable life as a cripple!" She hissed.
"My my! So Robin's gifted his anger to you, how very wonderful. Here's your damn bird." He kicked a bird cage that sat in the dark over to them.
It came to a stop at Star's feet. "Robin!" She shrieked, tearing the cage open. But as she removed the bird, tears pricked at her eyes. She held the cold body in her hands. "This poor creature is not our Robin." She concluded, staring at her frozen brown eyes.
"Clever." Slade smirked. "Now, the games begin. I have hidden your friend in the city somewhere. Through a series of clues and hints, you may be able to find him."
"What's the catch?" Raven growled.
"Of course, there's always a catch." He pulled a remote out from behind him. "Robin is wearing a brace around his neck, this little remote controls it. You have one hour to find him before I activate it. The collar sends an electric shock through his system at 160 volts. That's enough to cause ventricular fibrillation. With each passing minute, he will sustain more and more brain damage and after five, he will die from cardiac arrest. Don't bother attacking me for the remote, there's a timer set anyways. This is just in case you try something funny."
"That's a cheep trick, I suspect fowl play." Beast Boy smirked.
His eyes narrowed. "Here's your first clue: you trust me, but I'm not safe. I hold everything, but have no hands. I can tell you something, but can't speak. Your time starts now." The lights went out.
The team raced outside. "Okay, so...riddle."
"What about the library?" Star suggested.
"What's not safe about the library?"
"The bank." Raven answered.
"The bank!" They echoed. The titans were on their way.
Alone. Robin was alone. He sat in a cage much too small. The water Slade left was brown. The paper that lined the cage was warped, damped, and covered with black mold. Slade was at least kind enough to leave food for the boy, if only if it wasn't just grubs, worms, and rotten berries. Didn't matter though, he couldn't eat. He huddled himself away from the surging bars. His beak was broken, chipped in fact. He was plucked almost completely clean. His skin ached from the inflicted burns, the scathing wounds. One eye was shut, the bruised skin swollen around it. One leg was firmly tucked up into his body, the toes crooked and healing incorrectly. The brace around his neck tingled with pulsating energy.
He was dejected. Hurt. Broken. Scared. He felt like the small little child he once was when his parents died. Tears dripped from his eyes. He wanted to go home.
Starfire held up the card she found outside the doctor's office. "I hold comfort and companionship, but I am dark and alone. I am expected to be alive and loud, but I am dead silent. Irony is the key, where else would a bird be?"
"The old pet store, down on 5th avenue." Raven concluded.
"You've got to be kidding me! That's all the way across town! And we've got...shoot, ten minutes."
"I shall go." Starfire determined. She immediately took off into the sky.
"Let's go!" Cyborg shouted.
Starfire finally allowed the tears that had begun to form in her eyes to fall. She couldn't afford to be weak around the team, but she needed to let off some tension. She flew as swiftly as she could, looking every direction for the store. Truth be told, she wasn't sure where the place was. But an abandoned pet store on 5th shouldn't be hard to find.
She found the avenue and raced down it, looking carefully. If only it hadn't been the length of half the city. She skipped the first couple blocks, noticing the high class stores that lined the streets. It was down farther. She burst into high gear, her heart racing with her. She had to find him.
There. The windows of buildings were boarded. Graffiti decorated the faded walls. Gangsters and homeless people chatted in the streets. The south side.
Starfire slowed down and looked among the windows.
"Hey! It's one of the titans!"
Starfire absently waved. "Do any of you know where I may find an old pet shop?"
"Yeah." A beard man spoke up. "Two blocks down, what's it to you?"
"I am looking for something."
"Well, if it's an animal, that place long closed down. It's locked and boarded shut."
"I thank you." She called back.
Sure enough, two blocks down there was a small, dingy building with a faded 'Pet Co.' sign above it. Starfire pulled back the boards and stepped through the broken window.
"Robin! Are you here?!" She shouted.
A meager and pathetic tweet was the reply. She hovered to the back room where a rusty cage sat in the corner, in the dark. She rushed to him. The poor thing was shaking.
"Robin..." She breathed as she looked at him.
He wheezed, his pale blue eye focusing on her.
"I shall have you out of there momentarily." She gripped the bars of the cage only to be shocked. Her hair frizzed a little. "Ouch!" She shook her hands. "Let us try that again." She coated her hands with bolts and pried the bars apart.
He chirped at her success.
"Come on." She held out her hand, but she was too late. Time was up.
He shrieked as voltage ran through his small body. He flapped and flailed his wings as his remaining feathers stood on end. His song was painful, mournful, and Starfire had to bite back tears.
She grasped him firmly and pulled him out. He wriggled in pain, trying to get free.
"I cannot get it off if you do not hold still!" She shouted, feeling the voltage.
He shrieked louder, stretching out his neck. She took the shot and broke the band with her eye beams. He lowered his wings and gave a small sigh. She ran her fingers over his neck, over the wounds. She brought him up to her and kissed his neck. He crooned and nudged his head against her chin.
He settled, closed his eyes, and fell limp in her hands.
Just then, the other titans came into the room.
"Oh good! You got him!"
"Not exactly in time...the collar went off as I was getting him out..." She looked dismally at her hands.
Raven came over and raised her hand over his tiny form, scanning his vitals. "He's injured very badly, but he'll live. I suggest we go home."
The team agreed and left the abandoned store quickly.
In the car, Starfire gingerly tucked his wings into his sides and smoothed his ruffled feathers. He blinked up at her, not moving his body.
She smiled and brought him up to her face. "You are safe now." She softly pet his head. "We will be taking you home to get medical attention. Please, rest."
He was happy to oblige. He tucked his head into his battered chest and closed his eyes. He formed a small ball in her hands.
She wouldn't leave him alone. Cyborg and Raven did what they could in the medical wing, but Starfire wouldn't leave his side. Beast Boy had shifted and tried talking to him, but Robin's replies were incoherent. It seemed that their leader was fading fast.
"I believe he's taking a tern for the worse, he needs tweetment."
"Beast Boy, not now."
"We need to talk to Mumbo and have him change Robin back." Cyborg concluded.
"How? We broke his wand!" Beast Boy whined.
"There has to be a counter spell." Raven mused. "Starfire, carry him. We're going down to the prison."
"I told you, I can't do anything!" Mumbo shouted. Some of the guards tensed.
Starfire held the broken avian out. "Please Mr. Mumbo...he needs help."
"The spell has been set too long! It's permanent!"
"It cannot be..." Starfire brought Robin to her cheek and pouted. Robin was still asleep.
"Please don't do that." The old man pleaded. He snapped his fingers. "There may be one thing yet that works. I don't know for sure...but it's worth a shot..."
"What?!" They all asked excited.
"True love's kiss."
Starfire blushed. "What?"
"You know, like in every Disney movie."
"You're not serious..." Raven droned.
"Quite! But like I said, I don't know if it will work...but it's all I've got. Sorry."
Dejected, the team left the prison.
"This shouldn't be too hard!" Beast Boy smirked.
"I would believe so!" Starfire cried. "We do not even know who Robin loves! Or if he even loves anyone!"
Cyborg slammed on the brakes. "Crazy alien say what?!"
Raven spun around and looked at her, and even Beast Boy stared in shock.
"Please don't tell me you're really this dense." Raven glared.
Starfire ignored the insult. "I do not understand what you are talking about."
"Dude! Robin's, like totally hot for you!"
She evaluated her friend. "He does not feel any warmer the usual..."
Beast Boy slapped his head. "I mean, he's crazy about you! Mad!"
Starfire was concerned. "Did I do something wrong?"
"For crying out loud!" Raven pinched the bridge of her nose. "Robin is in love with you. Really in love."
She looked to the sleeping bundle in her hands, blushing. "I..." She swallowed.
"It's you're call, Star." Cyborg claimed. "Kiss him or lose him."
"Can I wait until we get home?" She asked hopefully.
The other teens smiled.
Robin was set on a pillow in the medical wing. The other teammates left Starfire alone with him. She had taken his mask from his room, and was staring at him, playing with the fabric.
He slept soundly. Every once in a while, he would shudder or coo. Starfire feared that he had been lost to the bird form, and he really was permanently a robin. Or maybe the team was wrong, and he really didn't love her, so that when she did kiss him, nothing would happen.
She swallowed thickly a placed a hand on his back. "If you can hear me...forgive me for what I am about to do." She leaned forward and touched her lips to his beak, gently, but longer then a few seconds. Then she pulled away.
At first, she thought it hadn't worked. Then he craned his neck a little and stretched his wings. She watched in amazement as his form grew in size. His feathers shrunk back into his skin and his beak split back into his nose and mouth. His legs grew long and his knees reversed directions. His wings stretched out towards her and she took one of his hands. Fingers slowly emerged from the foliage.
He laid curled in a fetal position. Starfire stared at her very human (and very naked) friend. It worked. She laid him out properly on the bed and covered him with the blanket.
"Mmm...S-Star?" He whispered as he blinked up at her.
She bit her lip. His eyes were just too gorgeous. They stared at her intensely. Feeling bold, she leaned in and gave him a peck on the cheek.
"H-here..." She whispered and placed the mask over his orbs. Her hands drifted to the sides of his face. "You are still in need of medical attention. I shall call for Raven and Cyborg."
He reached up and cupped her hand. "How did I...?"
"Hush." She pulled her hand away. "Do not fret about it. We shall talk later."
As promised, she left the room to get Raven and Cyborg, but didn't return with them. Beast Boy went, wanting to see how his friend was faring. But Starfire didn't want to go back. He would ask what she did to reverse his transformation, and she wasn't ready to tell him. She instructed the others to stay quiet about it too, trusting that they would.
She sat on the floor outside the room, her head in her hands. Her emotions were flying every which way. He loved her. That had to be true or else the so called 'spell' wouldn't have been broken. But...wouldn't he be angry? She kissed him, and if he had cared about her and saw having a relationship as meaningful, he would have kissed her earlier. It wasn't like she hid her feelings well. There had to be something in the way, some reason he didn't want to be with her. Sad as it may have been, it hurt. It hurt that he didn't want her, and it hurt that he couldn't have her. This whole situation had proved that she was over protective of him. Was that it? Was he so fine tuned by the 'Batman' that he couldn't stand someone looking out for him? Maybe. Maybe he would be angry with her because she kissed without permission. That wouldn't have been fair. Maybe the whole thing was inappropriate, she overstepped her bounds. Well, that was a sure thing. She saw him naked after all. She would offer him the chance to ignore and forget. Meaning that she would forget that he loved her, if he ignored the kiss. Maybe it would work...She hoped it would. She didn't want to lose her best friend.
"Star?" Cyborg asked, stepping out of the room. "He wants to talk to you."
"Tell him I'm not here."
"Star...come on. It's Robin." He nudged her with his foot and winked at her.
She sighed and rubbed her tired eyes. She went into the room and Cyborg shut the door behind her. She stood nervously at the door.
"Come here Star." He smiled softly. He sat up in the bed; his chest and neck were wrapped with bandages. He had a cold compress pressed to his swollen eye. He beckoned her and she sat at the edge of the bed. Something she had noticed was that he was much kinder when he was injured. More gentle and tender. He slipped an arm around her waist.
"I've gone through a bit of emotional stress. If you would be so kind...I'd like you to keep me company."
She swallowed and nodded.
"Come closer." He whispered.
Starfire shifted so that her legs were on the bed and so she was right next to him. Her heart was pounding in her chest. He wrapped his other arm around her front and leaned his head on her shoulder. A content sigh escaped his lips.
"So...how did I change back?"
Shoot. "Um...the spell just sort of wore off."
"I don't believe that for a second." He smirked.
"Well...maybe it is best if you did not know...yes?" She asked hopefully.
"Maybe...but I still would really like to know."
She gulped. "It is not all that interesting. Troublesome, really. Needless information!"
"Starfire..." He looked at her. She 'eep'ed. "You know you're my dearest friend."
She avoided his gaze. "And for that I am very grateful, as you are my best friend as well."
He slipped his finger under her chin and forced her to look at him. "Star."
She gulped again. The hand on her back felt heavy as she felt sweat starting to emerge from her pores. "Robin?" She squeaked.
He came closer; his warm breath fanned her face. It was happening; he was going to kiss her! Shakily, she reached out and rested her hands on his shoulders. She leaned in. They were so close, only centimeters from having their lips touch. Their noses touched and Starfire's eyes drooped. Just as they were about to connect, he spoke.
"You kissed me, didn't you?"
Starfire swore her heart stopped. She looked up hesitantly to see him frowning. He was angry about it. She swallowed to keep her composure.
"Yes," she whispered. "I did. I am sorry, I just...I knew it was the only way to fix this and I...I will forget the whole thing, I swear! Just...please do not be angry with me!"
Tears leaked through as she rose from the bed.
He shot out and grabbed her wrist. "Stay."
She obediently sat, small whimpering coming from her lips.
"I am very angry." He confirmed, still holding her arm. She shut her eyes. "I'm angry that I did not get to partake in our first kiss."
Her eyes shot open and she turned around. He smiled cheekily at her, maskless.
Her heart rocketed as a smile crept upon her own face.
"Yep. And now only one thing can fix it." He yanked the arm that he had gripped and she toppled on the mattress next to him. He leaned over.
"Do I need to say it?"
"I love you."
She knew it was true, but hearing him say it put it into a whole new perspective. She fumbled and stuttered with her words, forgetting her English in her nervousness. He smirked and scooped her up into his arms before kissing her.
Starfire forgot the world around her. Her thoughts were a jumble. All she deciphered was the soft black hair her fingers were running through, the taught muscles her hand was press against, the scent of a rich spice tickling her nose, the taste of fine wine on her lips, and the sound of contentment.
He pulled away and looked at her with a flushed faced. She then realized that she had just kissed Robin. The Robin. And he had said that he loved her, and she was so nervous she couldn't reply.
"Too love I you." She blurted, practically turning purple.
He laughed and kissed her nose. "Sometimes you can be so adorable."
"Only sometimes?" She smirked, slightly recovering.
"Yeah, other times you're beautiful and other's you're straight up sexy." He paused and then paled at his confession. "Uh, in a good way of course."
She just stared at him, still not believing this was real. "May I have another?"
"What? A kiss?"
"Well, yeah...I guess so." He grinned. He leaned forward to take her again, but the door swung open.
"When the loon hits the sky, like a big pizza pie, that's a blue jay!" Beast Boy sang as he waltzed in the room.
The two teens detached from each other hastily.
"Beast Boy, do you mind?!"
"I just wanted to share my puns with you guys!" He beamed.
Cyborg stood at the door. "Come on, moss head; leave the two love birds alone."
"Aww man! You're no fun!"
"You heard the man! Shoo!" Robin waved his hand at the boy.
Beast Boy grumbled as he sauntered out of the room.
"Alright you two!" Cyborg said, hands on his waist. "No tongues! I didn't baby proof this tower!" He turned to leave. "And put some pants on, for crying out loud!" The door slammed shut.
Robin sat with his head in his hands.
"Robin," Starfire sat up. "I believe you have had a long day. I shall retrieve your pajamas."
"But...you didn't get your second kiss..." He frowned.
"I believe that 'you owe me' then." She winked and left.
The next day, Robin sat cross legged on the edge of the building. He was in black sweatpants and a red beater. He was still bandaged, a crutch lay on the ground behind him and his foot was wrapped tightly. He looked wistfully out to the sunset.
The sound of the door creaking caught his attention.
"I never thought too much about flying." He spoke without turning around. "I get a sense of it when I fight. Either using a grappling hook or when I'm lifted into the air. But this...this was different. The feeling of fight by my own abilities was something I could never fathom. I just wish I could have a chance to really fly. Out there…" He smirked.
Two hands clutched his sides, slowly lifting him from the edge.
"I believe I can help." Starfire whispered behind him. She heaved and threw him up into the air.
He yelped in excitement. She raced to catch him. Each toss threw him higher and higher. His clothes were damp with moisture from the clouds. He flipped and spun and shouted and laughed. He was in heaven, he could do this forever.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. His feet touched the roof, carefully because of his cast.
"Wow Star, that was amazing! I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard!"
She pulled him into a tight embrace. "I am so glad that I could make you happy!"
His arms came to rest on her shoulders. "More then happy really."
"Do I get a kiss then?" She cheeked.
"You don't even need to ask."
After a moment of romance on the roof, the two teens made their way to the common room. For once, things were peaceful. Beast Boy lay on the floor reading a comic book. Raven sat on the couch, reading. Cyborg was typing away at the computer.
"Hey, Cy! Whatcha up to?" Robin asked as Star helped him to the couch.
"Looking for Slade. You didn't get to beat Mumbo up, so at least you can take care of him."
"Hey!" Beast Boy laughed. "You Audubon his arms so he doesn't get away!"
"So we can make him sing like a canary?"
"Give it a rest!"
"You mean, give it a nest! Owl bet you're getting pretty sick and tired of these puns."
"It can be hard to swallow." Cyborg grinned.
"Good grebe," Raven peered over her book, "sparrow us the pain."
"Ha! Look at Raven robin the spotlight!"
"Geese Rae! Not cool!"
Robin smirked, "yeah Rae, you broke the cardinal rule of puns."
"Dude, you all is raven loon-atics."
"Toucan play at this game! It'll be a finch! My cousin Ross and I are pros at this!" Cyborg smirked.
"Albatross could come up with a better pun." Raven droned.
"Ah! You grout me!"
"Don't you hate it wren that happens?"
"I don't give a flock!"
The team laughed jovially as Starfire looked dismally, not understanding the jokes. "Never before have I felt so ostrich-ized."
The teens looked at the alien and then lost it.