Alright peeps, this is more of a oneshot than a true drabble, lucky you guys! Sadly though it's the last one. Just a note before you read this one: warnings for grumpy Robin ahead. I know a lot of people prefer a fluffier version of him, and I get a lot of flack for portraying him as less than. I promise you though, it always works out in the end. Also, this one contains a little BB/Star if you squint, because no lie if I weren't such utterly hopeless Rob/Star trash those two kids would be adorable.
There was that tone, the lilting one where her inflection went up on the "bin" meaning she had a question that required explanation on his part. The hesitance in her voice meant her question wasn't of the normal variety. He repressed a sigh and mentally braced himself.
He was sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking his coffee and reading the morning paper. He glanced at the clock. Literally couldn't make it twenty minutes into his day.
"What is it, Star?" he asked nonchalantly, not taking his eyes off the article in front of him.
"I have a question," she said, tapping her index fingers together and looking timid.
"Shoot," Robin said, turning his page.
"Last night I learned of a game you might wish to play, but I was not told how to play it, and I was to ask you how."
"A game?" Robin raised an eyebrow at that one, taking a sip of coffee.
"Yes. It is called the "Seven Minutes in Heaven?"
Robin promptly choked on the previous sip.
"Oh! You have swallowed the coffee down the incorrect pipe?" Starfire fretted, patting him on the back while Robin heaved in a coughing fit.
"Who told you about this game?" he rasped, a hand pounding on his chest. "Wait, let me guess: he's five foot six, green, and his name is Beast Boy."
"You would be correct," Starfire said. "He said you have been wanting to play it for awhile?"
Robin leaned forward and put his head in his hands. "Starfire, you know Beast Boy likes to mess with you. And me," he muttered. "He's playing another prank. Just forget about it."
Starfire furrowed her brows. "It is the prank?"
"Yep. A stupid prank."
"So it is not a real game?"
Robin hesitated. He didn't want to lie, but his mind was screaming disengage! Do not get into this discussion! FEELINGS!
"It's a real game, but it's…hard to explain."
Starfire did an adorable head tilt. "It is too hard?"
That's what she said. Damn it, pull yourself together man!
"No, it's this complicated… thing. That I can't discuss here." Robin's face was bright red.
Starfire could sense his embarrassment. "You seem uncomfortable."
He shrugged, turning back to his now tepid coffee, hunching over it and praying she would just drop the whole thing. One normal day, all he was asking for was one normal day!
"You are certain you cannot explain this game to me?"
"Nope, it's an Earth thing, you wouldn't understand."
She bristled, placing both hands on her hips. "You are saying I am too stupid to understand?"
"No, no!" he exclaimed, hands out in a placating gesture. "You're super smart Star, it's just something an alien wouldn't get."
"What's not to get about kissing in a closet for seven minutes?"
Starfire squeaked and Robin's mouth gaped open, spinning around wildly to address the voice from the couch.
"Were you there the whole time?"
"Well thanks for your helpful input," he said sarcastically.
"Kissing?" Starfire said strangely.
Robin sucked in a breath.
"You have wanted to play this kissing game?"
"No! I said Beast Boy was playing a prank!"
Instantly Starfire's face changed and Robin knew he had made a huge mistake.
"You have not wanted to play this with me."
"I… well, uh…"
Starfire raised her hand to cut off Robin's stuttering. "No, I understand, you did not wish to tell me what this game entailed because you were uncomfortable. Please, I am sorry Beast Boy played the prank on us."
She flew out of the room so fast a green trail was left in her wake.
Raven snorted. "Mr. Smoooth."
"You were a lot of help," Robin said scathingly.
Raven flipped the page of her book. "You're kind of an idiot."
"Really not helping."
"You should go after her," she said pointedly.
"She'll be fine."
"Your definition of fine, maybe. In reality she'll cry in her room for about twenty minutes, then she'll come over and talk to me about it for another thirty at least, where I reassure her everything will work out and that Boy Blunder, that's you by the way, just needs to get his head screwed on straight. That placates her enough so she'll continue acting normal but kinda weird around you and you never notice. Yeah, that sure sounds 'fine' to me."
"…what are you even talking about?"
"Exactly. You're oblivious. You'll keep telling yourself that what you feel for her is just a stupid little crush even though it's so much more than that, and no one's going to get hurt if you hide your true feelings and keep lying to everyone, including yourself."
"Raven," Robin said sharply. "You know you're not supposed to read us. Especially me. I thought you promised to stay out of my head."
"I haven't been in your head or reading you. But thank you for confirming my suspicions."
Robin clenched his fist.
"Here's an idea: man up, grow a pair of balls, and go talk to her. Take her into a closet and kiss her for seven minutes."
"Mind your own damn business, Raven."
"She makes it my business when I constantly have to do damage control after you. I'm tired of sweeping her under the rug. Take care of this."
"This is all Beast Boy's fault," Robin growled. "How about I go find him and beat some sense into him instead."
"No, this is Beast Boy also tired of seeing Starfire disappointed. This is his way of helping both of you. Either go find Starfire, or I swear I'll port you into her room," Raven threatened.
"You wouldn't dare," Robin challenged.
Raven sat up, her hand glowing. "Watch me."
Robin's leg twitched, but he refused to back up a step. "I'd order you to run so many laps around the Tower-"
"Robin?" Starfire sat up hastily on her bed, rubbing at her face and turning away in an effort to conceal herself with a telltale sniffle. "How did you get in here?"
"Raven," he snarled, marching for the door. "Sorry Starfire, I didn't mean to barge in on you- wait, are you crying?"
"No, I am not," she said, voice too high pitched and wobbly to be believable.
"I'm sorry Beast Boy played a prank on you. He hurt your feelings and I'll make him apologize," Robin said.
"It was not Beast Boy who hurt my feelings," Starfire said softly.
Robin paused, sensing the turn in conversation with a feeling of dread.
"Starfire, you know you're my best friend…"
"Yes, friend," she said bitterly.
"There is nothing wrong with that," he insisted.
"No, you are right, there is nothing wrong with that," she said flippantly.
Robin studied her. "I don't really know what you want me to say."
"Then say nothing," she snapped. "You are good at that."
Robin felt himself losing control and the panic setting in. "I'm sorry, Starfire. I can't talk about this."
She sighed. "No, of course not. You never do."
He was stiff and awkward, looking like he was ready to flee.
Starfire held back a sob and covered her mouth. "Please, this is… something you cannot help me with. You can go if you want."
"Are you sure?"
Robin was reluctant, but feeling majorly relieved in the same motion.
"I'm sorry, Starfire," he breathed out heavily and crossed to her door. The guilt threatened to eat him alive as she sat huddled up on her bed, but his old fail safe ways kicked in and he left, leaning against her door and cringing when he heard her in tears.
When he reached the end of the hallway Beast Boy was waiting for him with an expectant look and a huge grin on his face.
"Duuuude! You just came out of her room! So, how'd it go?" He wiggled his eyebrows and nudged Robin's shoulder. "I bet you went longer than seven minutes!"
"Nothing happened Beast Boy, and next time I'd appreciate it if you minded your own business," Robin said, brushing past him.
"What? Dude, you didn't jump on that opportunity? What is your problem man, I was just trying to do you a favor."
"Well stop!" Robin said, whirling around on him angrily. "Just stop! All of you with your jokes and your innuendos, it's none of your business!"
"It's so obvious you're carrying a torch, why don't you do something about it instead of sitting there sighing like a lovesick puppy all day?"
"I'm not carrying a torch for Starfire, so just drop it."
Beast Boy looked shocked. "Really? You're going to look me in the face and tell me you're not into Starfire?"
"Yep," Robin said.
"You're so full of bullshit, dude."
"No, you need to stop meddling."
Beast Boy smirked. "So, honest to God, you're not into Starfire."
"That's what I said."
"For real, huh? She's smokin' hot, I'd hit that if she'd go for it."
Robin gave Beast Boy a death glare. "Don't talk about her like that."
"That make you mad, bro?"
"You sound like an idiot, stop talking like that. What's gotten into you?"
"If you're saying you have no claim on her and she's on the free market, I might take a shot."
"You've got to be joking."
"I'm not if you're not."
If Beast Boy weren't putting up such a good bravado he would've shook in his shoes at the look Robin was currently giving him. It was the look reserved for hardened criminals and the mention of Batman.
"Stay away from Starfire."
"Why? If you're not going to date her-"
"I said stay away from her, Beast Boy!"
Beast Boy put his hands up in a surrendering gesture. "Dude, okay. I just wanted to make sure."
Robin stalked away, his mood sour. "Tell everyone to leave me alone; I'll be training."
Robin didn't emerge until dinnertime, freshly changed and showered after working out.
Starfire was curled up and moping on the couch. Raven looked really annoyed and Beast Boy and Cyborg were chatting suspiciously in the kitchen.
"Want to watch a movie guys?" Beast Boy said, bounding over.
"Sure?" Robin said with a shrug. He was about to sit down next to Starfire when she got up with a slight snort of derision and headed to the kitchen to fill a plate with pizza and grab a soda. Robin followed her with a sense of trepidation. The cold shoulder was her go-to move when she was angry at him. He figured it had to do with their earlier conversation he copped out of, and he couldn't look her in the eye as he grabbed some dinner for himself. She didn't wait for him and flew back to her spot on the couch.
"Let's watch Rush Hour, I was telling Starfire about this one and she wanted to see it," Beast Boy said, digging in their movie cabinet.
Robin narrowed his eyes. Since when did Beast Boy and Starfire discuss movies?
"Oh, yes! It sounds most hilarious," Starfire said, perking up. Beast Boy popped in the movie as Robin approached with his own plate of pizza. Both boys went to sit down on the couch, and just as Robin was intending to sit next to Starfire Beast Boy suavely slid in, bumping his and her thighs together and placing his arm over the back of the couch.
If Robin had Superman's heat vision he would've singed Beast Boy to ashes. As it was, Beast Boy gave him a challenging look and nodded to the seat next to Cyborg. Robin set his jaw and was about to yell at Beast Boy to move, but everyone else was looking at him and he snatched up his food and plopped down next to Cyborg in a huff.
"Everything all right?" Cyborg asked.
"Peachy," Robin spat.
Beast Boy and Starfire shared a tiny high five.
Halfway through the movie Robin got up to leave in a storm cloud. Beast Boy and Starfire kept whispering and giggling to each other while watching Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's exploits on the screen. Beast Boy flirted and tickled her and at one point while Starfire was laughing she placed her hand on Beast Boy's thigh. Robin couldn't take it any longer. He stomped back to the training room and stayed there, pounding the heavy bag mercilessly.
The two peeked through the gym's door, listening to Robin vent his frustrations out on the poor training equipment.
"Dude, he hasn't spent the whole day training since the Slade days," Beast Boy said. "We've totally got him!"
Starfire frowned. "I do not know if I like this. He is very upset," she fretted, wringing her hands.
"No, no this is good. We just have to kick it up a notch and he'll break, I promise."
"I do not want to break him," Starfire said. "I merely wanted him to be honest with me."
"And he will be, once he realizes what he's losing."
"That is sweet of you to say, Beast Boy," Starfire said shyly.
"Aw, hey Star. You're like a sister to me, and if he's such a bone head he can't see what a great girl you are, well then he doesn't deserve you."
Starfire pecked Beast Boy on the cheek and he blushed.
"Now let's go plan our date," he said, tooth poking up over his grin.
The next day Beast Boy and Starfire waited all day for the right opportunity. Robin seemed to be avoiding them however, and it wasn't until their three o'clock mandatory training that they even saw him.
The five Titans gathered in the gym. Starfire purposely wore her cutest workout clothes, tight black capri yoga pants with a wide purple waist band and a tiny pink sports bra. She pulled her hair up into a ponytail that swung tantalizingly when she walked. Robin's eyes were glued to her when she sauntered in, but he turned away when she smiled at him. Beast Boy grinned and winked at her. It was show time.
Each of the Titans scattered and began their own routines. Raven and Starfire started on the treadmills, Cyborg lifting weights, Beast Boy and Robin practicing on the heavy bags.
Beast Boy soon lost interest and wandered over to the girls, choosing a treadmill next to Starfire. None of this escaped Robin's attention as he gazed at them through the cover of his mask.
Starfire had earbuds in, listening to music, but she took them out and draped them over her shoulders to chat with Beast Boy.
"So, how many miles have you done?" he asked.
"I am at two and a quarter," Starfire said. She was swinging her hips, running with a sashay intentionally to draw in some wandering eyes. Those yoga pants were like a second skin and she knew how to move her body.
"Sweet, you're doing awesome!" Beast Boy said.
"You're doing awesome," Robin mocked in a high-pitched singsong voice under his breath. He socked the bag as hard as he could.
"I thank you, Beast Boy," Starfire chirped.
"Hey, I was wondering, if you're not doing anything tonight, wanna catch a movie?" he asked casually.
Starfire brightened. "Oh! I would love-"
"Okay! Training is done early today," Robin called, snapping up his sweat towel and exiting to the showers.
"But we just started," Cyborg said, confused.
"Don't care," he barked, not even looking back.
The remaining Titans watched him go.
"Hey, you two know what you're doing, right?" Cyborg said, concerned.
"Of course we do, we've got it all planned, Cy," Beast Boy said.
"You can't push him though; he's as stubborn as they come."
"He's a douche canoe for waiting this long," Beast Boy argued. "If no one ever gives him a push he'll never do it."
"Maybe he's just waiting for the right time?" Cyborg suggested.
"If she waits for him to decide when the time is right she'll be waiting forever."
Starfire looked close to tears, which made all of them feel bad.
"He will figure it out eventually, Starfire," Raven said softly, intending to give her some hope.
Cyborg gave up. "Hey, all right, I'll defer to you, B. Just be careful, the kid isn't the greatest with this kind of stuff and I think you might be expecting too much out of him."
"He'll come around, I promise."
That night Starfire put on skinny jeans, a tight pink crop top, a pair of jeweled sandals, and wore a yellow headband in her hair. Beast Boy dressed in dark wash jeans and a short sleeve white button up shirt with a graphic logo on the breast pocket. Raven and Cyborg saw them off to their date, but Robin was once again nowhere to be found.
"You're taking the B-Ped, right?"
"And you'll be home by midnight?"
"Uh, whenever we get back dude, it's not a big deal."
"Oh yes it is, Tower curfew-"
"Cy, seriously. We're eighteen, we don't need a curfew you weirdo."
"I'm just saying, treat her like a lady and be a gentleman-"
Beast Boy leaned in. "First of all, this is a fake date, remember? And second," he said, a little louder, "what makes you think I would ever treat Starfire like anything less than a lady?"
"All right, you kids have a good time now," Cyborg said, wiping a mock tear away from his eye. He ushered them into the elevator. "And no makin' out in the back of the movie theater!"
"Cy!" Beast Boy exclaimed, aghast, as the doors closed.
"Rae?" Cyborg asked once the two were gone.
She closed her eyes. "He's still in the Tower. But he's extremely angry."
"Honestly serves the dude right. You don't just lead on a girl like Starfire. He's lucky it's Beast Boy teaching him this lesson and not some other guy who genuinely would be going after her."
"I'm staying out of this whole mess. I said my piece to him and that's all I can do."
"I can respect that. I just feel bad for Star. She's Tamaranian, she wears her heart on her sleeve and she doesn't know how to censor her emotions. Girl fell for him hard, and it's rough watching her day in and day out."
"You think it's rough for you," Raven said dryly. "Try being the only other female in the Tower. Apparently I'm the only one she can talk to about it."
"Rae, you know him right? I mean, we can all see it, but… he's not going to break Starfire's heart, is he?" Cyborg said apprehensively.
"I will say this. Robin has it as bad for Starfire as she does for him. As far as I can tell he's afraid of being vulnerable and has commitment issues. Not the classic 'I don't want to be tied down with any one person' kind of commitment, but opening himself up to someone at all. She's the closest anyone's ever gotten."
"He's gotta be one lonely dude."
"I can't believe he's managed to hold off this long."
"Neither can I, honestly. He's so attracted to her it's hard to be in the same room with both of them."
Cyborg snorted. "Who wouldn't be attracted to her."
Raven shrugged. "She's a beautiful girl, inside and out."
"So…" Cyborg said slyly. "How do you feel about Beast Boy taking her out then?"
Raven instantly seemed to close in on herself.
"I don't know what you mean by that and I won't respond to it."
"Okay, okay," Cyborg said. "It's just, the three of us spend a lot of time together and I see things. Things like you playing videogames with him, and maybe not pulling his underwear up over his head when you give him a wedgie. Or sharing some of your tea."
"Beast Boy is not into Starfire in that way. And even if he was, it's none of my business."
"Cool, cool. I was just wondering."
Raven rolled her eyes while Cyborg grinned.
"Oh! Look, Robin's heading out," he said, holding up the surveillance video on his arm for the two of them to see.
"He's going extremely fast," Raven said, worried.
"Ooooh, and he took his Harley," Cyborg snickered. "Plain clothes too. Wonder if he's planning on doing any stalking?"
"I think that's rather obvious."
"It's gonna be a dramafest up in here once they all get back. Well, wanna help me change the T-Car's oil while we wait?
"Hey Star, look," Beast Boy said, indicating the review mirror.
"What? I do not- oh. Is that Robin?" she squinted, speaking into Beast Boy's ear.
"Yep. It's a little harder to recognize him with the helmet, but it's him all right. That's totally his undercover bike."
She grinned. "He is following us."
"He sure is. I knew he would."
"I do not understand why he has let all of this go so far. Why did he not just come and talk to me?" Starfire said woefully.
"Cause he's an idiot. Something will give him a wakeup call, and I'm not sure what it's going to be, but when it happens he'll finally come around."
"I hope it will be tonight. I cannot take much more of this," she said sadly as they pulled up to the movie theater. They took off their helmets and Starfire shook out her hair, combing her fingers through it to calm some of the windswept look.
They purchased tickets to a sappy looking romantic comedy and wandered in.
"Let's sit toward the front so Robin feels like he can sneak in behind us," Beast Boy said. He put his arm around the back of Starfire's chair so he could peek behind them easier, and sure enough once more people had filled the theater Robin appeared in the very last row.
"He's back there. Dude's wearing sunglasses at night, who does he think he is, Corey Hart?" Beast Boy snorted. Starfire put her head in her hands.
"This is the most ridiculous thing," she moaned.
"Hey, it's all gonna work out," he said, his arm leaving the back of the chair and hugging her shoulders.
He could almost feel Robin's resentment wash over the theater. Maybe Raven's powers were rubbing off on him. Either way, Beast Boy was confident they'd get a confession out of Robin tonight. In fact, he was curious if Robin would even last the whole movie.
Turned out Robin could last the whole movie. Even when the two shared a tub of popcorn and whispered to each other about the dumb plotline for the entire duration.
"Do you think he will approach us?" Starfire said to Beast Boy, gripping his arm as they stood and waited to filter out of the theater with all the other patrons.
"No, I don't think he wants us to know he's here. We're going to have to think of something else."
They stopped for ice cream, noting that Robin had parked in a nearby parking lot, watching covertly with his concealing helmet on. They sat at a picnic table, chatting and licking their cones. Starfire dripped some on her chin and Beast Boy wiped it off with a laugh.
Robin's posture looked like a brooding hot mess out of the corner of their eyes, but he still refrained from showing himself.
"Dude's got willpower, I'll give him that," Beast Boy said, scratching his head. "Well, it's eleven. I guess it's getting late, we should probably go, huh?"
"Yes, I suppose," Starfire said reluctantly. Going home meant facing disappointment.
She hopped on the B-Ped behind Beast Boy and put her arms around his waist, wishing fervently that it could be Robin she was holding onto. She couldn't deny that he looked handsome in his jeans and black leather jacket, and the fact he had followed her all night had to be a good sign, didn't it? Still, Beast Boy was her good friend and he had been very kind to take her on a date, so she tried to push those thoughts out of her mind.
When they reached the cave tunnels that ran underneath the water to the Tower, Beast Boy stopped just outside the secret hangar door and hopped off the bike. Starfire looked at him with confusion.
"We're gonna try one more thing," he said. "And if this doesn't work, nothing will."
"Oh?" Starfire said.
"Pretend to kiss me."
Her stomach did a flip-flop. "What?"
"Just pretend. Not actually kiss," he said, wrinkling his nose. "But we need to make it look believable to him."
"I am not sure about this," Starfire said. "Is this not going too far?"
"Probably. But I think it's gonna take a shock to his system."
"It's up to you. But if you're in, we're gonna have to do it fast. He's watching again."
"From what angle?"
"To your right."
Starfire gathered up her courage and pulled the front of Beast Boy's shirt. She turned her back to Robin so he couldn't see their faces and hid the rest with her hair. From behind it was quite convincing.
This time they heard the motorcycle rev up and peel off.
"Oh dear," Starfire fretted. "Have we ruined everything?"
"No, you'll be fine; I'm the one who's gonna get a beating," Beast Boy deflated.
"Where do you think he went?"
"Probably to the second entrance."
"Should we go home then?" Starfire worried her bottom lip.
"Yeah, let's get this over with."
Beast Boy pulled into the garage and sure enough Robin's bike was parked in its usual spot like it had never left.
The two were subdued as they came in, wondering where Robin could be. Once upstairs, no one was in the living room or kitchen.
"Odd, I thought at least Cyborg would be here, waiting to lecture us about how late it is," Beast Boy said.
Starfire emitted a dejected sigh. "Well, it seems this night was a waste."
"Hey, thanks," Beast Boy said flatly.
"Oh! I am most sorry, I did not mean that your company was not enjoyable," she said hastily. "You are a wonderful friend to do all this for me. I am most sorry it did not work out the way we had intended."
"It's okay, Star. At least we tried," he said with a smile.
"Yes, and I thank you. Please, have the good night and pleasant schlorvaks."
They hugged and headed toward their separate halls.
Beast Boy had just turned the corner to his hallway when he was roughly slammed against the wall by his shoulders.
"Oh, hey Robin, I was wondering when you'd show up."
"I thought I told you to stay away from her," he growled menacingly.
Beast Boy grinned, which infuriated Robin even more.
"Why? Like I said, you're not dating her."
"And neither are you."
"We are both single people and can date whomever we want. Is this not a fact?"
"Stop throwing this in my face," Robin snarled.
"What does it matter to you dude?! You said you didn't have any interest in her and she's fair game!"
"I never said she was fair game. I said stay away from her, and you did the exact opposite!"
"Oh, so you're not going to date her, but no one else can either?"
"That's not what I'm saying."
"Yeah, it kind of is. You're so lucky it was me taking her out and not some other guy who would actually put the moves on her."
"You did put the moves on her! You kissed her!"
"And how would you know whether I kissed her or not? Were you following us?"
Robin removed his vice like grip from Beast Boy's shoulders and paced around in the hallway, not having a good answer to that. Beast Boy rotated his arms, trying to relieve the pain from Robin's hands.
"I saw on the security cameras."
"If you had truly witnessed that interaction on the security cameras, you would've seen that we didn't kiss at all."
"That's a lie! I saw you kiss her."
"No dude, what you saw was an attempt to rile you up and it totally worked."
"Starfire and I planned a fake date so you would realize what you're missing out on. We knew you were following us the whole time. We counted on it, in fact."
"You planned a fake date just to screw with me?"
"Not to screw with you, more like get you to open your eyes."
Robin's mouth gaped open. "I'm so unbelievably pissed right now. You're lucky I'm refraining from introducing my fist to your face."
"Be pissed all you want, but you only have yourself to blame. Starfire is an amazing girl and it's ridiculous she has to sit there and pine over you every single day and you do nothing about it! She's sitting in her room heartbroken over you right now. It's a shame, and I decided I'd help her out a little instead of just watching you step right over her all the time. How can you ignore her?! It boggles my mind that you're not making out with her in her room right now! The hottest girl on the planet wants you and you're too stupid to see it!"
Robin raked his fingers through his hair, unable to come back at Beast Boy. "You don't understand…"
"No, you don't understand. You're hurting her. At least go talk to her man, put her out of her misery. Stop leading her on if you're not gonna do anything about it. At least give her the option to move on."
Those words twisted like a knife way more than witnessing the non-kiss.
"Not that it matters, because I'm sure you don't really want my opinion, but if I were you? I'd show her how to play Seven Minutes in Heaven."
"Why did you ever tell her about that game?" Robin asked weakly.
"I didn't tell her about it, exactly. She heard it referenced on a tv show and asked me what it was. I told her you've wanted to play it for a long time and you could explain it to her."
"Everything is so screwed up right now."
"Yeah, but you can fix it. She's in her room. Go talk to her. I don't care what you say, just let her know how you feel, whether that's making out or letting her down easy. She deserves that much; you owe it to her."
Robin's anger had died down in a dull rush and he looked lost.
"Does that sound like a plan? Dude? Get yourself together and think really hard about what you want to say to her, and then take the plunge. Okay? Go along to Star's room now," Beast Boy said, pushing him down the hall.
He shook his head as he watched Robin leave in a confused mess.
"And he's the one calling the shots around here," Beast Boy muttered, shaking his head with his hands on his hips. After Robin was gone he sniffed the air, turning to look behind him.
Raven peeked out from the opposite hallway.
"I thought I smelled the distinct scent of librarian and mystic tea shop."
Raven narrowed her eyes. "Is that really what I smell like?"
"I'm kidding, you smell like rain."
"It's your shampoo."
"Oh. That was really sweet, what you did."
Beast Boy shrugged. "I didn't do it for him, mostly. Starfire's too nice to be hung up on him like that. I hate seeing her sad."
"We all do. If he could just get his head out of his ass and stop using it as a hat, it would be a nice change around here."
Beast Boy laughed. "That was the most accurate thing you've said all day."
"I like Robin, but sometimes he can be a little short-sighted."
"I would call it sheltered. Or emotionally stunted."
Raven raised her eyebrows. "Those were some big boy terms there. Where'd you hear those?"
"Hey, I listen… and… read things. That aren't the back of a cereal box," Beast Boy defended himself.
"Well color me impressed," Raven said.
"Really?" Beast Boy said, smiling with that tooth poking up over his grin.
"Yeah. You might actually manage to get Robin to do something we've all tried and failed to get him to do. He's as stubborn as a mule. I thought Starfire was the only one who could make him cave but when it comes to matters like this, she couldn't crack him either, because he was too scared of his feelings for her."
"All it took was a little challenging of his territory and he fell like dominos," Beast Boy said, cracking his knuckles.
"Sometimes you boys are ridiculous. Why does it always have to be a pissing contest."
"Cause that's how we do with the testosterone," Beast Boy said. "A little help from the animal kingdom was all we needed to solve this case. Good job, Velma."
"Well Robin and Starfire are obviously Daphne and Fred, and I'm Scooby, so that leaves Cyborg as the scrawny white stoner guy."
Raven snorted. "The characterization couldn't be closer."
"Robin's so gonna be glad I meddled. Wanna go listen outside their door?"
"Fine. I just want to know if my hard work is gonna pay off."
"You'll know tomorrow if they can't keep their hands off each other."
Beast Boy frowned. "Uh oh, what have I done?"
"Saved me a lot of headaches and girl talk."
"Star will be happy, that's worth it, right? We can tell them to get a room, right?"
"Azar I hope so."
Starfire was sprawled out on her bed, too jittery and upset to sleep. She had changed into pajama shorts and a tank top.
Tears sporadically leaked down her cheeks when she thought about how the night went. It was encouraging to see Robin had followed them, but he still had done nothing to stop the date or admit his feelings to her. Tomorrow was going to be so awkward when she saw him, if she even saw him at all. He had been doing a pretty good job avoiding her lately.
She turned onto her side, hair falling over her face and sticking to her wet cheeks as she stared at the twinkling night sky out her window. He sent so many mixed signals, confusing enough for a human and completely debilitating for an alien. How was she supposed to know what to do?
The thought of him rejecting her made her chest physically ache. She supposed if everything came to a head and he told her they could never be together, she'd have to leave and do some serious soul searching. Going home to Tamaran would mean facing the music. She'd be expected to take back her crown and forced to marry some prince she would never love. Contemplating such a bleak future made her feel ten times worse, like her whole being was made of glass and one word would make her shatter. A bitterness crept into her throat over the ridiculous predicament she had let happen; her happiness and future depended solely on his reciprocation.
When she crash landed here she never had any intention of staying. Once the Gordanians had been taken care of she was planning on escaping to the Centauri Moons, not hanging around playing superhero. She certainly never expected to fall in love.
How did her entire life become so entangled with one human boy?
A faint knock on her door startled her and she clamped her hands over her mouth to keep from shrieking. She clutched her chest and sat up.
"Hey, Star? You awake?"
Her heart started pounding immediately and nervous tingles skittered down her spine.
"Yes," she said, frantically wiping at her face and pulling her hair back. She glanced in the mirror, frowning at her messy appearance.
"Can I come in? We need to talk."
Her fingers felt numb and prickly. The infamous "we need to talk." Wasn't that always a bad thing? Was he going to tell her they could never be together?
She held her breath as she opened the door for him. She let him pass, then stepped around him to sit on her bed. She gripped her arms tightly, heart in her throat as she waited for him to gather himself. He was quiet, reflective, and back in the precious control he needed so much.
"Seven minutes in Heaven is a game that's usually played at house parties. Two people go into a closet or other enclosed space and make out for seven minutes, or at least until the rest of the people let them out. The object of the game is to get into the closet with someone you have a crush on."
Starfire looked confused. "Why would Beast Boy say you wanted to play this game if you did not? Also, we do not have very many parties, I hardly see how this is practical."
"Beast Boy was trying to play Cupid."
"Why would Beast Boy want to be a little baby that oversees the Day of Valentines?"
"Ah, well Cupid is an ancient mythological god who shoots people with his bow and arrow to make them fall in love."
"Love?" Starfire squeaked.
"When someone is "playing cupid" they're attempting to be a matchmaker, get two people together. It's another expression."
"Oh," she exhaled.
"I'm just explaining the game and what Beast Boy was trying to do."
"I'm sure you do, since you were in on most of it."
Starfire looked guilty.
"We did not actually kiss," she said hastily. "It was his idea and I should not have followed through with it."
"Probably wasn't the best idea."
Tears sprang to her eyes. "No, it was not. I am most sorry. I feel like I have ruined everything."
"You haven't ruined everything."
She looked up at him, mouth open.
"I'm sorry about the way I've been handling our friendship. I feel like I've let my personal issues cloud our relationship and that hasn't been fair to you."
She felt her heart shattering. Why was he acting so stern? Why did it sound like he was taking away the one thing she wanted most in the world?
"I should not have pressured you. I should not have gone on the date with Beast Boy, I should not-"
"It's okay. What's done is done, you can't go back. We can only move forward."
"Yes, well," Starfire said, unable to suppress the real tears. She wiped them away as they trickled down. "I am most sorry about all this. If you wish to have the space, I will honor your request."
"Who said anything about needing space?"
"You have been avoiding me, I figured you would need time."
"I was avoiding Beast Boy because I was so unbelievably pissed at him, not you."
"Why were you angry at him?"
"Because I figured he was messing with me, but there was a slight part of me that was worried he was actually hitting on you."
"He did not. His sole motivation was to make you jealous."
"Well it worked."
Starfire's breath hitched at this admission. She was so caught up she couldn't speak.
"Not what you were expecting to hear, was it?"
"No," she breathed. "Your actions indicated you were jealous, but normally you would never admit it."
"He opened my eyes. We've always been our safe little group in the Tower and we don't interact with the public on close terms very often. I never had to worry about anyone stealing you away. I could sit back and tell myself everything was fine. We could be best friends and nothing had to change."
Starfire watched his face intently, but even as the words she had been waiting to hear came from his mouth he was so careful to be devoid of any expression.
"Then Beast Boy pulled his little prank and told me he was going to take a shot at you. I was so angry I couldn't believe he would dare. Everyone always speculated we were together, even though we weren't, but the rumor that you were my girl was enough to keep other guys away. It worked for me and I didn't have to worry. Until Beast Boy made me worry."
"He knew exactly what to do to get a rise out of you," Starfire said. "I was not sure, but he was."
"Yeah, well that little punk's message was received loud and clear."
Starfire smiled just a little. "So what does this mean for us?"
Robin sighed. "This is the part where I screw it all up."
The smiled dropped off Starfire's face. "What?"
"You're better at this stuff than I am, Star."
"That is not an excuse. I do not see what is so difficult about just saying what you feel?"
"That's the thing, I don't… do that."
"Can you not try?"
"You don't get it, I always weasel my way out of these things; I always have an escape route. I over analyze everything. To be honest, I'm not even sure why you'd want to take a shot at this."
"You are silly," Starfire said.
"I'm silly?" Robin said incredulously.
"Yes!" she laughed. "We have known each other for two years, and you do not understand why I am tired of waiting or why I would risk my heart for you."
"So that's being silly?"
"It is being incredibly dense of you."
"Well fine, you say how you feel then."
"Oh, no, I will not until you do," she said, shaking her head. "You are trying to take the easy way out. If I admit my feelings, you can just agree and you will never have to risk yourself."
"So you never want this conversation to happen then, is what you're saying."
He raised his eyebrows. She rarely called him that.
The smile was gone, all trace of lightness gone. She was serious.
"Do you trust me with your life?"
He shifted his weight. "Of course."
"Do you believe that I would always do everything in my power to keep you safe? To watch your back, to watch over you?"
"Then why would I take such little care of your heart?"
He breathed out, weighed his options. "You wouldn't."
"No, I would not," she agreed. "And, I know that you would do all the same things for me. You already do in your actions, you just refuse to put them into words."
He pulled on his collar. "It just got real up in here, didn't it."
"If you trust me so much, why can you not open up to me?"
"It's just one of those things, Star."
"I do not understand. Explain, please."
"I came with a lot of baggage from Gotham. The way I lived… I had to play everything close to the chest. If my secrets got out people would start dropping like flies. People I love. It's instinctual; it's not something I can turn off. I don't talk about stuff. Especially the deep stuff. I don't let emotions rule me, that's the biggest weakness you can have. If you can't accept that, I'm not sure where to go from here."
"Oh Robin, I think you misunderstand me. I am not trying to change who you are, I am only attempting to help you achieve the breakthrough. You say you do not let your emotions rule you, but the absence of emotions is just as debilitating. You have much pain and loneliness in your life, do you think you are not deserving of happiness?"
"Well I mean, of course I want to be happy…"
"Then let me make you happy." She became meek for a vulnerable moment. "It is I who can make you happy, yes?"
He knew what she was trying to do. He stared for a moment before a smile tugged at the corner of his lips. "Yes."
She returned the smile. "Is that your admission?"
"I guess so."
"Keep going. It was not that hard, was it?"
"You're operating on the assumption that I close myself off to everyone, never share anything about myself to anyone, not even you."
"You do put out that vibe, yes."
"You already know more about me than anyone else. I've told you things that I've never told another living soul."
"Really?" Starfire said, placing a hand over her heart.
"Yes. All the Titans know who I am, but no one else has seen my eyes except you. You know you're special to me, you always have been."
"I have always had the feelings for you, ever since the day you released me from my bonds."
"There is a secret I have not told you. When I initiated the language transfer, I chose to kiss you. Though it is generally the most efficient, it is not the only way a language transfer can be done. I wanted to kiss you, because you had freed me and I thought you were cute."
Robin laughed. "I was under the impression that kissing wasn't a thing on Tamaran due to language transfers?"
"Oh no, kissing is most definitely a thing," Starfire said, eyes glinting brightly.
He paused for a moment, processing this information in his head. "I always thought that first 'kiss' didn't count because of the language thing. But now you're telling me it was a kiss?"
"So we've already had our first kiss."
"Here I've been these past few years, wondering and worrying about how this all was going to happen, and avoiding it all, and you're telling me we've already gotten past that?"
"This is blowing my mind."
"Do you feel safe now? Can you please stop evading and doing the side tracking? Do you like me or not?" Starfire demanded playfully.
"Yes, I like you," Robin said. "Have from the moment you kicked that car at my head."
She giggled, jumping up from the bed and throwing her arms around him. He hugged her back tightly, trying to regain his balance.
"Robin?" she whispered in his ear.
"Do you wish to get your crush into the closet for the seven minutes of Heaven?"
The look he gave her made her stomach drop into her toes and a pleasant tingle take its place.
They didn't make it into the closet.
Well that's all I have folks! Until next time :) Thanks for sticking with me after all this!