Snow fell over Jump city as the holiday season was underway. Christmas Eve was two days away and the local mall was a war zones full of people trying to snatch up the last of the hottest toys and gadgets for their families in the stores. Stepping outside one would only have to take in one breath to smell the scents of christmas: cinnamon, nutmeg, and burnt turkey. Yes, holiday spirit seemed to be alive everywhere. . .
"Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an-"
"If you want to live to see Christmas morning, I suggest you stop right now," Robin said from the kitchen table, flipping through the morning paper, to Cyborg and Beastboy who were singing the stupid and annoying song they had heard from a couple of little kids the other day.
"Dude, c'mon. Anyway I thought you were supposed to be jolly," Beastboy quipped.
Robin shot him a look that would have made Slade whimper in fear. He was referring to the "red death suit," otherwise known a padded Santa suit that Robin was wearing. The mayor of Jump City had given the Teen Titans the special assignment of being "Santa and his Helpers" at the Jump City mall, after the previous Santa broke his leg in a skiing accident the other day. At first the Titans were hesitant, but the Mayor reasurred them that they would be getting paid, plus tips.
Raven decided she was going to work the cashier's counter since she didn't want to deal with the 'snot-nosed mutants from hell', and Beastboy was going to be a Rudolph the red-nosed (green) reindeer. Cyborg was going to be Santa, but Beastboy asked him what would happen if one of the little kids peed on his leg and it got into his circutry, and he backed out, deciding to be the elf who takes pictures. Which left Robin to be jolly ol' good Saint Nick. And though he let on he didn't like the idea, he was actually okay with it, since it was a package deal.
"Dude, where's Starfire? We're going to be late!" Beastboy said.
"Yo Star! Hurry up!" Cyborg called out, "Chicks" he grumbled.
"Greetings friends, on this most joyus day!" Starfire called as she stepped into the foyer. Everyone's eyes went wide and their mouths dropped to the floor. Starfire, or Mrs. Claus, was wearing a sparkly red tube top and matching mini, both with white trim, black thigh high boots, and a Santa hat.
"How do I look?" she asked twirling about.
"Star! You're smokin'!" Cyborg said apperciatvely.
Starfire blinked at him, "But, friend Cyborg, I do not appear to be hot or on fire," she said searching her body for the aformentioned flame.
"Believe me, you are," Beastboy said.
Robin just stared at her. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Maybe Santa is rewarding me for being really good this year. . . his subconcious thought. He blushed a little, then looked away.
"If you're all done staring, can we just go now?" Raven called, impatient, from the front door, "I don't want to be in this ridiclous elf outfit any longer than I have to be."
Raven's elf costume consisted of a pair of red and white striped tights, a green puffy shirt and skirt, and the ugliest pair of elf shoes you have ever seen. It also didn't help that it came with an equally ugly, jingly, pointy hat.
Beast boy and Cyborg followed Raven out the door, while Starfire floated down next to Robin.
"Friend Robin, is my oufit acceptable to fit 'Mrs. Claus' " Starfire asked Robin.
"Um, yes, it is. You look good," Robin said grabbing his fake beard and his own Santa hat.
Stafire blushed a little and walked out to the T-car. Robin let out a sigh of relief. He knew he sounded vauge, but if he had said anymore, he would have let his most well-gaurded secret slip. He locked the door and met the other titans at the car.
"Now let's get holly and jolly, y'all!" Cyborg said as he blasted christmas music from the stereo of his baby.
The titans pulled up to the mall, as swarms of people came in and out. It took them fourty-five minutes to find a parking spot, on the second to the top level. Everyone got out and went inside of the mall, which turned out to be a very bad idea. It took them at least twenty-five minutes just to walk from the third level to the first level, and at least seven times of Cyborg trying to calm Raven down when she started chanting "Azarath Metrion Zinthos" at the passer byers who were getting on her nerves.
Finally they reached the spot they were supposed to be at. A red throne-like chair was set up on a platform under a white, glittery archway. Above it on a ledge was a snow machine was tossing out the fake snow over it. Animatronic elves in sparkly costumes were littered around the scene, named "Santa's Village." The mayor of Jump city was there talking to another man. The Mayor had orangey-yellow slicked back hair, and a fake, plastic looking tan to match. He smiled at the titans when he saw them, which blinded them with its whitness. He came over to them.
"Titans! Look at you! You look great!" he said happily, "Cyborg, the camera equippment is right here. The film is loaded and everything. Raven, you will be ringing up the customers over there at the counter. My goodness, you look so cute in that elf outfit!" he squealed with hearts in his eyes.
Raven's eyes flashed dagerously, and Cyborg scooted her away before there was any problems.
"Let's see. Now, Beastboy, you are going to be a green rudolph, here's your red nose, and kids are going to ride you for $3.00! Isn't it wonderful?" The mayor said dreamily.
"Um, sure," Beastboy said. He looked back at Starfire and Robin and mouthed "Weirdo," before putting on the nose, and turning into the reindeer. He went up to the awaiting kids and started playing with them.
"Starfire, don't you look so cute! Now, you are to greet the children and bring them to Santa, okay?" The mayor asked.
"I most positivly will!" Starfire said, and went to the line of kids by Beastboy.
"Great. Robin, now you are Santa Claus! You are the reason these little angels are here. To see you! You have to be on your most holliest and jolliest good behavior mister! Now, give me a hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho!" The mayor said, blinding Robin with his white toothed smile.
Robin felt more like telling the mayor his mascara was running just to see if that would make him go away, but it was christmas.
"Ho Ho. . .Ho?" Robin said uneasy, feeling like the biggest loser ever to walk the planet.
"Robin, Robin, Robin," the mayor tsked, "That was . . .okay, but let's try projecting a little more, hmm? " he said cheerily.
Robin gritted his teeth, this guy was really decending down on his Chrismas list, "Ho, Ho, Ho," he said, giving it his all.
"My gosh, that was perfect! Oh Robin, you slay me!" The mayor squealed, "Now, come on, put on your hat, the kids can't wait to see you!" The mayor said in a singsong voice.
Robin fixed his beard, put on his hat grudgingly, and followed the mayor to the santa seat. Kids were already lined up to see "Santa" for a good twenty feet.
Oh well, at least we're getting paid for this Robin thought. He sucked up his pride and walked onto the platform.
"Ho Ho Ho! Merry christmas!" Robin said jovially to the sea of children.
As soon as the kids saw him, they started yelling happily. Raven rubbed her temples and took three asprins.
Starfire brought the first kid up to see "Santa."
"Santa, this is Billy," she said, as Billy sat on his knee.
"Hello Billy, how are you?" Robin said to the little boy, trying his best to sound Santaclausy.
"I'm fine," Billy said.
"What can Santa give you for Christmas, Billy?" He asked.
"Can I have a fire truck?" Billy asked, "Or a lego set?"
Robin looked at Billy's parents, who gave him a thumbs up at their son's request.
"Of course you can," Santa Robin said.
"Thanks Santa!" Billy cried. His little eyes filled up with adoration of this Santa, who looked very young under his beard.
"Your Welcome," Robin said.
"Smile!" Cyborg said, and took the picture of Robin and Billy, "Now, why don't you go and ride the green rudolph!" He suggested, smiling devishly.
"Why is he green?" Billy asked curiously.
"Because he's moldy," Raven said from the counter.
Beast boy shot her a dirty look and shook his antlers at her. The only problem with this was it made the kids happy. They all jumped on him, burying him in the undertow of seven year olds.
"Hey Titans, what's shakin?" a familiar voice called, walking up from behind the sea of kids.
Everyone looked up and saw Speedy there, grinning. He was wearing a pair of baggy, faded blue jeans, a red and yellow track jacket, and a red scarf. He was carrying a couple of packages from the various stores the mall had to offer.
"Speedy, what's up my man?" Cyborg said, greeting the teen superhero.
"Well, I was shopping, but now, I'm asking myself why on earth you're dressed up like Santa and his helpers?" he said, chuckling.
"A service to the community," Robin said to Speedy, also mentally reminding himself of the same question.
"Hey Raven," Speedy said, turning to the empath. She blushed. He took in her costume, raised an eyebrow, and smirked, "Nice outfit."
.02 seconds later her eyes were black, and a crackling wave of energy was felt by all.
"Um, right, so I'll see you all later, bye!" Speedy said, dashing off before he was killed by the animatronic elf that was surrounded by black energy, and getting ready to fly off it's hinges.
"Alright, Who's next?" Santa Robin said, looking towards the still growing line of children
"Thanks Santa!" The little girl said, jumping off Robin's lap, and jumping on Beastboy's back.
"Well, that's the last one," Cyborg said, setting the camera down.
Robin sighed. He hated to admit it, but that was a long two days. He was wiped out. He got off his chair and went through the employee's only door with Cyborg. Starfire and Raven were there, enjoying more milk and cookies left out for them by the mayor. Robin took off his beard and hat.
"Dude, I hope we get sweet paychecks! Those little kids kept pulling at my antleers and fur. That hurt!"Beastboy said walking in and rubbing his back.
"Our payment has flavorings? Are they edible?" Starfire asked Cyborg.
"No Star, he means we hope our 'payments' are a lot," Cyborg explained, "And they better be! I still need to get a few things,"
"Your not the only one," Raven said from the box she was sitting on.
"Oh Titans!" The mayor called out, opening the door. The titans cringed at the sound of his voice, "Here are your paychecks, thank you oh so very much! You quintet were so popular this year, do you think you would be able to do this next year?" He asked, his eyes shining with anticipation of the next 365 days.
"Uuuhhh. . . ." They said collectivly, then rushed over grabbed their paychecks and left.
"We'll get back to you on that!" Beast Boy called as they ran away.
An hour later, Robin was walking fast down a snow-driven sidewalk. He was wearing a pair of baggy jeans and a red shirt. He had finished shopping for three of the Teen Titans a week ago, and was now on his way to pick up the last present on his list. He had found it three days ago, and had put it on hold until he got his paycheck and went to the bank. It was perfect. an he hoped the recipiant would like it as well. It was a figurine of human Ariel and Prince Eric from Disney's "The Little Mermaid". It was Starfire's favorite Disney movie, because Ariel becoming human and trying to get used to human customs reminded her of herself when she had first come to earth. Robin blushed as he remebered when he first saw the figurine, and it reminded him of Starfire and himself. He brought it to the cashiers desk.
"Is this for someone special?" The saleswoman asked knowingly as she rang him up.
"Um, it's for a friend. She loves this movie," Robin explained, as he fought down another blush that had started to creep up on his cheeks.
"I see," she said, smiling. She put it in a box, and wrapped it in pale purple wrapping paper, tied it with a lavender sash, and added a flower to the top.
"I hope she likes it," the saleslady said, giving robin the package.
Me too, Robin thought, "Thanks," he said to the lady and left.
He felt good as he left the store. He looked down at the package, and blushed as he thought of the recipiant.
Starfire. She was perfect to him. He loved everything about her. Her fiery red hair, her jade green eyes, Her quizzical innocence, her beauty. She had been with the teen titans for a little bit more than a year now, though to Robin it felt like forever. He remembered last Christmas, Starfire's first Christmas. She had only been on Earth for a month, and was so new to it's concepts and traditions. She had tried to bake cookies for the "obese man in red who breaks into houses and leaves gifts for children," more commonly known as Santa Claus, but didn't know how to use the oven and had left them baking for half an hour, almost causing a five-alarm fire. She felt so bad, but Robin reassured her it wasn't her fault. He rembered how her tear-stained face had lit up when he told her that. Luckily, Robin smiled to himself, she got store bought cookies for Santa this year.
He was so deep in his thoughts of his Tameranian princess, that when he finally looked up, he realized he had gone four blocks in the wrong direction from Titans Tower. He turned around to start back to the tower and came face to face with Johnny Rancid.
"Bird boy," Johnny said smiling.
"Johnny, out of prison so soon, are you?" Robin asked the bad guy.
"Yeah, they let me out for good behavior, and because of the holiday season," Johnny said moving closer.
"Oh nice of them. Looking foward to going back?" Robin asked him putting Starfire's gift down, his hand inching closer to his utility belt that he wore just incase of a situation just like this.
"Oh, you see, I'm not going back kid," Johnny said notcholantly, "Because I'm going to finish you off once and for all!" he said lunging at Robin.
Robin was faster, and dashed out of the way. He got out his bo staff and rammed it in Johnny's stomach. Johnny recovered, and sent a kick that connected with the side of Robin's face. Robin was knocked against some apple crates on a nearby wall.
"How do you like them apples, bird boy?" Johnny said advancing on Robin.
All of a sudded three apples came whizzing out of the demolition hitting Johnny in the face, and then exploding as well.
Robin stood from the crates, "An apple a day may keep the doctor away Johnny, but not a Teen Titan," he said.
He ran up to Johnny, and threw two explosive disks at him. The blinded him, and Robin started hand to hand combat, hitting Johnny with every puch, the last one sent him sailing to the ground, and next to Starfire's gift. He coughed, and then turned his eyes to it, and smiled.
"Hey, Bird boy, nice package. Who's it for? Your girlfriend?" Johnny questioned maliously, picking it up and standing.
Robin narrowed his eyes, "Put it down Johnny," he said angrily.
"Why should I? You didn't say please," Johnny said playfully, "What is it?" He said, shaking it slightly.
"I'm telling you for the last time, Johnny, Put it down," Robin said, his blood level rising.
"Sure thing kid," Johnny said, throwing the package into the air.
Robin's eyes widened, and he lunged for it. It seemed to go in slow motion, and Robin watched in horror as he saw his hand an inch away from it before he heard the sickening thud and shattering of porcilan. He felt the as though all the wind had been knocked out of his stomach. He couldn't think. The only thing running through his mind was the fact that Starfire's present was destroyed. Why? Why did this have to happen, then he turned his eyes on Johnny.
"You," Robin said scathingly. The look on his face alone made Johnny back up nervously.
"Sorry kid, but you did say to put it dow-" Johnny began before being hit square in the face with a bo staff.
"Hiiyaa!" Robin cried, hitting him again and again. His anger had made him five times stronger, and he just kept hitting Johnny until the bad guy was out cold. He tied him to a lightpole and called the police to pick him up.
He turned his attention to the wrecked present on the floor. He picked it up, and turned it over in his hand. A million different broken pieces could be heard inside, making the pit in Robin's stomach worse. He looked down the street and noticed that the stores were already closed for the night. He picked up the package and trudged home. He went to his room, and got out a bottle of glue. He opened the package and looked inside, but it was hopeless. He threw the bottle against the wall. Why did this have to happen? And on Christmas Eve no less! None of the stores would be open until the day after Christmas. He felt so bad. He looked at his clock, 12:39 a.m. He sighed. There was nothing he could do. He got into bed. He would just have to face Starfire tomorrow morning without a present.
"Dude, wake up, it's christmas!" Beastboy said, pounding on Robin's bedroom door, waking him from his troubled sleep.
Robin stood up groggily, and looked at his clock. It read 8:14 a.m. It was Christmas morning, and he would have to face the music. He got up and walked out into the living room in his black sweats and red tank. Everyone was gathered around the tree, waiting for their leader to make his apperance.
"Finally! Me and Cyborg were up at six!" Beastboy said, crossing his arms at Robin. He was wearing a pair of flannel pants and a sleep shirt that read 'Party Animal'.
"So you found out that there was a morning period before eleven?" Raven asked, sipping a cup of herbal tea. She was wearing black sleep seperates.
"Good morning friend Robin!" Starfire said as he sat down next to Cyborg. She was wearing a dark purple ribbed tank and lavender sleep pants dotted with stars.
"Morning " Robin said, not looking at her.
"Okay, who goes first?" Cyborg said.
"Oh, me me me!" Beastboy said running over and grabbing one from Cyborg. He ripped off the wrapper in one second flat and saw that it was a new video game.
"Sweet! Thanks Cy!" Beast boy said.
Raven picked up one from Starfire and unwrapped it. It was a blank journal with a raven on front.
"Thank you, Starfire," Raven said.
"I welcome you, friend," Starfire said smiling.
Cyborg was next, who got a dvd from Beastboy, "Wicked Scary Part:2."
"Awesome, thanks BB," Cyborg said.
Robin picked one up from Raven, though he felt like he shouldn't get anything. It was a gift certificate from Sun Coast.
"Thanks Raven, I know what to use it on," He said.
And the morning went on like that. Beastboy had all of his presents unwrapped and opened in two minutes. He got a cd player from Starfire, a dvd of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," from Raven, and a gift certificate to Sam Goody from Robin. Cyborg got a Battery pack from Starfire, a computer video game from Raven, and a CD from Robin. Raven got a gift certificate to her favorite coffee shop from Cyborg, a pair of headphones that drowned out all noise from when she meditated from Robin, and a whoopie cushion from Beast Boy.
"A whoopie cushion. I'm the most happiest girl in the world," she said dryly.
"Knew you would be," Beast boy said.
Robin got a tub of hair gel from Cyborg, and a CD from Beastboy. Next was Starfire's gift. He opened it to reveal a scrapbook filled with pictures of the Teen Titans since she had joined the team.
"Thank you Star, it's wonderful," Robin said. Now he felt worse then before.
A blush crept up on her cheeks, "I welcome you, Robin," she said.
Starfire had been saving all of her gifts to open at once. She got a cookbook from Beastboy ("so she can stop making all that weird alien crap," he whispered to Cyborg), A makeup kit from Cyborg, and a DVD of "The Little Mermaid" from Raven.
"My favorite movie from the creator of the talking mouse with no shirt!" Starfire exclaimed.
She looked at her gifts. One from every titan, except Robin. She looked under the tree to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything. There was nothing. She turned towards Robin. Oh no, here it comes he thought.
"Robin, I -" She started, but was cut off by a knock on the front door.
"Merry Christmas Titans!" Speedy said, as Beastboy let him in, christmas packages in tow.
"Speedster! What's up!" Beastboy said.
Speedy came and handed Christmas presents to everyone. A couple of shirts for Beast boy, a new set of Birdarangs for Robin, a gamestation game for Cyborg, and a CD for Starfire. He gave Raven hers seperately. She opened it to reveal a beautiful raven necklace. She blushed, making him blush.
"Thank you Speedy, I love it," She said, giving him a rare smile and a hug.
His eyes bulged for a second, but he hugged her back, his blush growing, "I'm glad," he said, rubbing the back of his head, and chuckling nervously.
Starfire smiled as she watched Raven and Speedy. They were so cute together. Raven deserved someone like him, and Speedy seemed to really like her. Thinking of them made her think of Robin, and she looked down at her gifts, and then remembered what happened before Speedy got there. She looked under the tree again. Still nothing. She looked up to find Robin, but he had dissapeared.
"Friend Cyborg, have you seen Robin?" She asked.
Cyborg looked up from his pile of gifts, "No, last time I saw him, he was sitting right here. Hey, where did Speedy and Raven go?" he asked, "They were just here."
"They went to talk . . .alone. . .outside," Beastboy said, wriggling his eyebrows.
Starfire smiled, then got up. She walked around the tower, but Robin wasn't anywhere she could find. She floated up to the roof, and found him sitting there, looking out into the water.
"Robin?" She said, coming closer.
"Look, I know why your here, Star. You didn't get a gift from me, and I'm sorry. I got you one and then it broke. And there is nothing I can do about it until tomorrow," he said, not looking at her, "I'm sorry," he mumbled.
"It is true Robin, I was suprised not to get a gift from you," Starfire said sitting down next to him, "But truly, it is 'no big deal'. But, now I have knowledge that you did get purchase one for me, so I am happy," Starfire said.
"Yeah, I know, but I still feel bad. Is there anyway I can make it up to you?" he said, turning his eyes on her.
She paused and looked out into the waves. A smile crossed her lips.
"Robin, there is something that I wish for you to give me for Christmas," Starfire said.
"Anything, you name it. What do you want?" Robin asked.
She closed her eyes and sucked in a breath, "All I want for Christmas. . . is you," Starfire said looking into his eyes.
Robin looked at her. Did he just hear her right? No, It must have been a mistake. It had to have been, just his mind playing tricks on him.
"W- what?" he asked.
"I -I love you, Robin," Starfire said. She looked out into the bay again, her face crimson, and started playing with the hem of her skirt, " I have had this feeling of love for you for a long time, but I did not know how to express myself. But the earth holiday of gifts and burnt poultry seemed right," she said.
Robin's mind was reeling. She what? Why? How? He couldn't believe it. He was stunned.
It was quiet for a couple of minutes, and she snuck a peek at him.
"Robi-" She started, before her lips were covered by Robin's. Her eyes went wide, but then she closed them, surrendering herself to the sensation. He put his hand to her face and kissed her more deeply, more passionate. He stroked her hair as pulled her closer to him. They parted, a blush patch across each of their faces.
Robin looked into her eyes, " You can have me. I love you, too, Starfire."
Starfire grinned and giggled. She hugged him again, giving him another kiss, "This is the best day of gift giving and burnt poultry I have ever witnessed." She said.
"Me too," Robin said, a goofy grin on his face.
The two of them stayed on the roof, exploring their feelings for eachother, letting the magic of the season take a hold of them.