I awoke with a strange sense of alarm, a heaviness weighed upon my chest, a clouded fear of sorts. Confusion fogged my mind as I attempted to sift through my thoughts.
I drowsily propped myself on an elbow while attempting to clear the sleep from my eyes.
A blinding flash of light danced against the back of my eyelids as they shot open in response. An atrocious blast of sound rattled the tower, causing a familiar sense of alarm to surge throughout my body. I jerked my sheets overhead and squeezed my eyes shut as the horrific past I had once endured flickered against the back of my eyelids with each quake. The detonations and the sound of the machinery that once pumped energy into my body etched itself into my memory. Another explosion sent aches throughout my body, a secondary reminder of such unbearable pain many years ago.
I peeled my eyes open and ascended out of my bed with haste. I knew I could not escape my past; it seems it will always do the haunting. I had been a fool to assume otherwise.
My soles grazed over the rough carpet in a petty attempt at escaping my fears. I cradled my stomach as nausea shook within it with each step.
Without the warmth of my blankets, the cold nipped at my tanned skin whilst the earthly braid I had inquired to Raven about, swung against the small of my back.
Light flickered against the walls of my room as I laid a hand on the touch panel to depart.
I wandered into the empty hallway, my feet planting firm against the titanium beneath them. Another roar of thunder shook throughout the tower.
In my desperation to escape my memories, my eyes fell upon Robin’s room, which was a mere few feet from mine. I suppose my subconscious acknowledged him as the closest to come to my aid, or as the only friend who would demonstrate patience towards my naive fears.
I was never acquainted with such storms on Tamaran. We annually had the showers of meteors and rainfall, but not accompanied by such boisterousness. Back in Tamaran, I had yet to experience such humiliation and torture, so panic was the least of my thoughts then. Such sounds had not yet had an effect on me; they were nonexistent at the time.
I neared Robin’s door with hesitation. Such an action would be known as the barging in. My hand hovered over his panel as another blast shook the tower. I yearned to squeal; instead I slammed my hand firmly upon his touch panel. His door granted me access as I advanced inside. I steadied my pace as my footsteps softly padded against the cold metal beneath my feet. Even with the storm’s blasts still nearby, I felt protected in the presence of our fearless leader. It seemed his closeness always brought me such ease.
Robin’s room was a simple one, consisting of the essentials, a dresser, closet and a bed. His room did not possess much excitement, yet I found it quite serene. It mirrored Robin perfectly when he was not falling victim to his crime obsession. A light ache throbbed in my stomach at the countless memories that skated through my mind.
Throughout all of our triumphs as heroes, there always comes a point when Robin conceals himself from us. I have spent countless nights trying to decipher his intentions in such actions. Ultimately, I am always lead back to my original conclusion.—Robin is in a competition with himself and his former mentor, Batman.
The thought of the Gotham hero sent goosebumbs across my skin. While I honor his dedication and detective skills, I do not commend the hold he still has over Robin. My friends and I used to witness Batman’s reprimanding towards Robin, but lately, Robin has been keeping their video communications to himself. The intention behind their privacy lead down many roads, and I had grown tired of trying to follow him down them.
My eyes wandered to the corner of his room where he retained his desk, along with tacked paper clippings of various criminals: Slade Wilson, Mad Mod, Plasmus, Brother Blood, and a character I did not recognize. I squinted against the darkness as I quietly crept across his room for a closer glimpse of the particular figure.
The unrecognizable convict appeared to have dark hair, and discolored skin of a white pigment. He wore a smile, yet his smile was not one of a friendly nature, but one that brought goosebumps to rise upon my skin. He truly appeared malicious and contemptuous of any crime he had committed.
My troubled thoughts resurfaced as the rain’s speed quickened in momentum against the tower roof. I quietly turned towards Robin’s bed. He laid soundless and uncovered, his body exposed to the uncomforting temperatures of the Tower. The hero was shirtless; I could see the muscles of his arms and chest twitching beneath the wrath of his chilled room.
I could not ignore the warming unease that fluttered throughout my body at the sight of Robin’s muscular build. Usually such things shamed him. He refused to let anyone see him in such a manner, I never understood his discomfort; such appearances were common among my people.
I brought myself nearer to his side as I tiptoed closer to him. The comforter that laid beneath him was wrinkled and thrashed. He had been tossing and turning for some time. I bit my lip nervously at the thought of disturbing him. Perhaps I could lay a blanket upon him and return to my room. Thunder sounded outside at the thought. I wrapped my arms around myself and looked away from him in shame. How could I partake in such intrusions?
Within seconds, Robin pulled himself up on his bed, the muscles in his arms tense, as tense as they appear in battle. I caught the silhouette of the young man behind the mask, the young man that I did not know. I longed to advance closer, but I gently lifted myself into the air and floated out from his view. My past fears dissipating as new ones surfaced.
As I closed in against the wall behind me, I noted my hands were clasped over my mouth. I grew a pain in my stomach as it dawned on me just how much trouble I could be in if I were caught. My fears worsened as I noticed my attire. It was not presentable to be seen in night garments. My tank top exposed my lower midriff while I had on a pair of the ‘short shorts,’ as Beast Boy had called them. I shivered in disgust at the thought of Robin discovering me in such a way. Tamaranians do not find such attire unsuitable, but the people of Earth tend to frown upon such bodily exposure.
Robin held himself up using on arm as he ran his other hand through his tousled spikes. His hand lingered on his forehead, a usual habit used when Robin was troubled.
“How long have you been there?”
I let out a muffled squeal, as he refrained from looking in my direction. I studied him; he must have known of my presence long before he arose, perhaps he had never been asleep to begin with.
He slid off his bed and strode towards me. A heat spread over my face as I recognized he was aware of my company. I descended to the ground as my arms enfolded around me, a petty attempt to conceal my appearance.
“I apologize,” I started, my voice cracking, “I should not have partaken in the ‘barging in.’ I-” I let my words come to a stop as a monstrous crash of lightning caused me to squeal. I usually keep my eyes peeled for the lighting, a warning before the thunder, but there had been no such warning this time.
Robin was at my side within seconds, “Star?” He asked, the lightning flashing, only to reveal his masked eyes. I felt my eyes widen at the sight, within the short time span, he had found time to apply his mask.
He lightly touched my shoulder, his fingertips soft against my skin, a soothing gesture. He looked around the room, his eyes hitting every dark corner in an effort to ensure I was alone.
A warmth washed over me as I glanced at Robin’s bare chest. Usually, whenever I caught Robin late in the night, he wore a white tank top and flannel pajama bottoms. Although, it seemed he did not always find comfort with the shirt on during the night. I was quite surprised he had not discovered his lack of clothing.
“Oh, Robin, if it is our friends you are seeking they are still asleep.” I whispered. His muscles visibly relaxing beneath his skin at the conclusion, his eyes that once searched the room now focusing on me.
“Is the storm bothering you?” He questioned, his touch leaving my shoulder in response.
My eyes found the ground as I walked passed him to take a seat on the end of his bed. “Yes.” I muttered sheepishly.
He remained soundless, his soft footsteps nearing me, while the bed shifted under his weight as he joined me.
“Star, it’s okay.” He soothed, drawing my attention to him.
“My fears are that of a child.” I stated, while keeping my eyes from searching his masked one.
“You’re not childish, Star. Sometimes things scare us. It nothing you, me or anyone has control over.”
His words sounded familiar, possibly a phrase Raven had said formerly. Nevertheless, his words were comforting. I appreciated his attempts to console me, I always do. Robin had an undying tolerance with me that I would never comprehend.
The heat of his gaze raked over me, inspecting every inch of me, detecting any body language that may unveil my emotions. Robin is always keen on noticing out of place details in a being. Needless to say, my fellow comrades refer to me as a poor liar. I did not wish to be a good at such a thing, yet, I suppose it grew useful in certain situations.
“Star, are you sure it’s just the weather that’s bothering you?”
A weak smile spread across my lips, he knew me all too well. I wonder what bodily action gave me away. It seems I always try hiding when what’s bothersome to me is so visible on the outside. I did not wish to weigh him down with my history, such past occurrences are meaningless now.
I nodded my head and forced a slight smile as more lightning flashed against the walls and a lighter clash of thunder sounded. I pulled my shoulders up and turned my face from his, truly embarrassed. Heroes do not cower at harmless weather.
The feel of his stare lingered on me before he turned his head towards the window. “You know, I used to be afraid too.” He began, a small smile spreading against his lips.
“You?” I questioned, my eyes widening with disbelief, “But Robin, hardly anything frightens you.” I told him with sincerity.
He chuckled nervously, “We grow out of our fears with time, but you know, I look at storms in a different perspective then I once used to. There is a beauty in them, you just have to discover it.”
The mattress shifted from beneath me as Robin stood up and held a hand out towards me, “How about I show you.” His features were soft, he genuinely wanted to accompany me in overcoming such fears.
I took his hand as he gently pulled me to my feet. “Thank you, Robin. I truly appreciate your acts of kindness.” I thanked, my eyes quickly glancing at his muscular torso before moving towards his face.
“It’s no problem, Star.” He reassured me, his voice talking on a distant edge as his eyes retraced my gaze.
I mentally flinched as he turned away from me. He crossed the room towards his desk, retrieving a white tee shirt from off the back of his chair. He pulled it over himself as he faced me, his features taking on a harder appearance then they had previously. He was beginning to shut me out. The moment Robin is reminded of his openness, he tries rejecting it.
“Are you certain you are in agreement to show me such a lesson? I do not wish to trouble you.” I reinforced, my arms wrapping around myself as I remembered my attire. Perhaps his previous studying was due to my lack of clothing. I shuttered, ashamed.
His eyebrows widened, “Of course, Star.” His face softened as he noted his hard demeanor.
Perhaps it would be easier to fight the memories. Although, with noises so crisp and similar to those that haunt my dreams, I wished to do anything but.
“Hey,” Robin muttered, his fingertips grazing my elbow, “you’re cold.”
My people have a high tolerance for temperature, as our bodies contain a higher temperature than that of humans. Tamaranians only become chilled in rare situations. Night of mares and terrifying situations cause a drop in our temperature. I did not realize I was so affected by a simple storm, a useless memory.
I snapped out of my thoughts as Robin fumbled around with various items amongst his closet. In my preoccupied state I had not noticed Robin’s touch had left me.
He carried a small bundle towards me. With each step I began to recognize the material. He placed a black, fleece blanket over my shoulders, the touch of its soft fabric sent shivers down my spine, while the scent of the blanket tied knots in my stomach. Its fragrance masked my own, and smelt of Robin’s woodsy scent. I drew the blanket around me as I cuddled beneath it. The blanket barely skimmed my knees, but I did not mind it. It was better than being without.
"Starfire, something’s wrong, you’re never cold. You’re not telling me something."
His voice drew me out of myself, its stern tone slightly alarming me. I was no longer conversing with Robin, I was answering to my leader, and he expected answers.
I could not bring myself to look at him, to tell him. Burrowing in self pity is pathetic. I did not wish for him to think of me in such a helpless manner. I pulled the blanket around me as excuses fluttered throughout my mind. “It seems I am lacking my courage tonight.” I spoke while stealing a quick glance at him, confusion tracing his features. “I apologize.”
My leader’s eyebrows raised, “There’s nothing to be sorry for, Star.”
It was silent among us for minutes. Perhaps he was awaiting an explanation. Nevertheless, there was a tension fogging amongst us. I could feel it in the air around us. He is bothered by my silence on the matter, he assumes I am keeping information from him. Yet, I was not going to fill the silence between us with empty, meaningless lies.
Robin’s eyes found mine as he waved me on to follow him. He opened his door unto the dark hallway as we trailed passed each of our friends rooms, as well as the Ops center and the training room.
My heart sank as we neared the stairs. The stairs lead to the rooftop, and the rooftop was amongst the center of the atrocious weather. Did Robin suppose throwing me amongst my fears would better the situation? I feared the answers to my thoughts. A flash ignited the sky as Robin opened the door to the rainy rooftop. Another explosion of thunder was to follow. I squeezed my eyes shut and reached my hand out towards Robin as the thunder raged against my memories.
Robin’s hand grabbed on to mine as my knees wobbled beneath me. The dull pain of my memories awakened as the veins in my body burned. “I gotcha,” he muttered, the heat of his voice sending tingles across my skin. I opened my eyes as the pain released my body from its wrath.
The rain was heavy, it’s weight bringing upon a peaceful sound as it met the concrete below it.
Robin walked in front of me, his back turned towards the tower edge while he faced me. His hand pulled me along in slow, steady steps. The rain seeped into his hair and slipped down his skin as he stepped beneath the downpour.
"It’s not so bad once you see it for what it is," he called out, his voice dulled by the rain.
I tightened the blanket around me with my free hand as my other hand tightened around his.
The rain began drenching his body, while his spiked, ebony locks began to collapse under the weight of the water soaking them.
His eyes landed on mine as he backed out further into the rain, pulling me out a few more steps.
I closed my eyes and focused on my center. Raven had shown me such techniques during our meditating sessions. I dropped the blanket from around me as it landed on the titanium beneath my feet. Robin gave me a smile as I joined him beneath the pouring rain.
The rain was not as cold as I had expected, it had a warmth to it. Each droplet seemed more refreshing than the last. A smile spread across my lips, although, I do not fear the rain, but the blasts that accompany it.
Robin kept walking me out as we grew further and further from the exit. A ball of anxiety formed in my stomach at the thought of the atrocious burst I was seconds away from witnessing head on.
The rain seeped into my clothes as they clung to my body. A heat flushed my face at the thought of Robin’s appearance once we were to head back indoors.
I pulled my head up towards the starless sky, its color reminded me of a dark, empty hallway, particularly the tower after participating in the watching of the scary movies.
I let my gaze land on Robin as an unease rocked my stomach. He wore a reassuring smile upon his face as we reached the edge of the Tower. He let go of my hand as we stood looking into the empty abyss of Jump City.
Light flashed around the city, and for the few seconds that the light lit the city, I saw everything in its wake.
I took a deep breath as I awaited the shaking of the Earth. I kept my hands to my sides, my final attempt at proving my worthiness to Robin. I longed to cling to him; let him cradle me as I hid from reality. Yet, I stood my ground and kept my eyes open.
The thunder crashed around us, yet something about it did not alarm me. My eyes widened as I looked towards Robin.
"You okay?" He asked gently as beads of water streamed down his face. His eyebrows raised with concern.
"Actually, I did not feel the fright." I gasped, my feet slighting lifting off the concrete beneath me as joy swelled within my chest.
Robin’s worry dissipated, “You faced your fear, there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore.” His eyes wandered out to the dark, unseeing city. He seemed to speak from experience, I was curious, but knew my place in such curiosity.
I did not think it was facing my fears that relieved me. The weather was not really my fear, the association of the similar sounds were. Watching the source of such sound and being able to put a piece of information with that sound is what relieved me. My past is my fear, I should think it be everyone’s.
I nodded in response to Robin’s conclusion, even though it was not the case in mine. Nevertheless, he is most wise, even though he denies such praise.
"Shall we?" Robin cut in, his head nodding to the entrance to the tower. I gave him a nod and a soft smile as we trudged through the rain back towards the tower.
We entered the Tower soaked. Water droplets descended from the end of my braid and garments as they wet the floor beneath them. Robin shook his head in an attempt to remove some of the water. His damp hair spiked up almost instantly with the weight loss. My hair sent shivers upon me as it grazed the bare small of my back. It would not take long for me to dry off, my temperature was already evaporating the beads of water upon my legs.
Robin glanced at the supply closet near him as he advanced towards it. He held two white towels in his arms as he shut the door. He tossed one towards me and I clutched it to myself.
Robin ran the towel through his hair and down his arms before slinging it over his shoulder.
I hung myself over as my hair soared over me. I too, ran the towel through mine while squeezing water from the braid of hair. I laid it over my shoulders, keeping my hair from dripping water onto me.
Robin walked beside me as we silently trailed the hallways. There was silence as we passed our friend’s rooms. We approached our rooms and I began to feel an unease. What am I to do with myself now? I slowed my pace as Robin took the lead, perhaps he was eagerly ready for sleep’s presence. The tee shirt he wore clung to his body, redefining his muscular frame once more. His hair slowly dripped water from the ends that drizzled down the back of his neck and onto his tee shirt.
Robin slowed his pace as he reached his room. Maybe I too was not the only one feeling the confusion.
I took towards my room as I turned to face him. He had done the same as I, his eyes wandering over me as mine did to him.
The heat of his gaze traveled along my body, I noted how my attire clung to me, and suddenly I did not mind the idea of retiring to my room.
"Thank you, Robin. I truly appreciate your time, and I am sorry I disturbed your slumber," I whispered.
"It’s no problem, Starfire. I’m happy to help, besides, I needed that." He said while ranking a hand through his damp locks somewhat nervously.
"Then I suppose this is our departing," I stated, my arms wrapping around myself, the tone of my voice strained.
I did not wish to depart, but keeping Robin up at such a late hour was not a wish of mine. My fear of storms may have subsided, but I still felt hesitant about being alone with my thoughts.
He let out a quiet chuckle, “Good night, Star. I’ll see you in the morning.”
"And good biddings to you too, sleep well." I whispered back.
He opened his door and stepped inside. I remained still, yet I forced my hand upon the panel as I feared he would catch my hesitation. If he were to notice, I would only face more interrogating.
The door opened as my room greeted me. I stole a glance behind me as Robin was about to shut his door.
"Star?" His voice called, causing my heart to lurch and my movements to freeze. He must have seen my lack of interest in returning to my room.
I turned towards him, my eyebrows raising in alarm and slight worry.
"If you ever need anything, you know where to find me. No matter how late it is, I’ll always answer."
Anxiety flared in my chest, he must be referring to drop in temperature earlier. He hoped now I would come out with the hidden details. I wished to protest, tell him it was nothing, merely my emotions, which was not a complete lie. Yet, I played at innocence and pretended it was merely a comforting statement from a dear friend.
I nodded and gave him a convincing smile. It was filled with more happiness then I could manage to feel, but he did not seem to question it. Yet, even though it did not seem, somehow I knew he was.
I closed the door behind me and leaned against it. Robin’s door closed just seconds after mine. I longed to know his thoughts on tonight’s events, although, I knew I would never know. Robin’s introverted personality keeps me amongst the dark in most occurrences.
"X’hal" I sighed as I pushed myself off the steel door.
I grabbed at the towel around my neck and tossed it in the nearby hamper. My laundry basket was certainly filling, I would have to look into washing my garments tomorrow.
I slung my damp braided hair over my shoulder as I pulled out the pony of tail from my hair. I gently shook the braid out as my stringy hair towered upon my shoulders and down along my back.
I wandered to my unkept bed, the bedding disorderly from my previous fears. I climbed beneath its covers and pulled them over me. The warmth and familiarity was soothing, while the rain just outside my window was a peaceful. I found the lids of my eyes heavy as my thoughts began to slow and the day’s events began to slip away from my memory’s grasp.
RobStar, requested by anonymous-an ongoing fanfic~