A/N: This was written for the Sugar Quill challenge to write Remus andTonk's discussion after the AMAZING hospital wing scene. I do lovereviews. A little too much. So much, you might find mesobbing in a hole in the ground, living out my life in misery if you don't review. Seriously. Even if it's a bad review! Please?
They sat in the Hogwarts staffroom, each one's eyes exploring the room, which they'd been in long enough to have seen every detail of many times over, looking for something new to focus on, looking for anything that wasn't the other. They'd manage to avoid eye contact for the past hour, sipping tea, looking through the Prophet, fooling with their cuticles. It was the longest they'd been in a room together in months, with the least amount of talking. She wanted to say something. As she sat there sideways on the red armchair, feet dangling over the edge, she thought of what she might say. She wracked her brain for some point, any point that she hadn't used over and over again, trying to persuade him to see things logically, through eyes that were not filled with self deprecation and loathing. She sighed, and shook her head. She was worn out. She had waited for a year for him to realize that the Muggles with the funny hair were right, all you really needed WAS love, that they could work out anything that came their way if they faced it together. She finally couldn't stand the silence anymore.
"Remus," she said, voice croaking slightly from lack of use. "I'm…I'm sorry I brought that up…in there…in front of everyone. I know I said I'd drop it. I know it embarrassed you. I'm sorry. I just…I saw Fleur with Bill…and it just, it wasn't fair Remus. I mean, when I see the way they look at each other, or the way that Molly and Arthur look at each other, I can't help but cling to the hope that maybe, one day, if you just stopped being so damn noble we could be looking at each other that way. Or at least, I could look at you that way and see more than the pitying shake of your head while you avoid even looking into my eyes. Fleur's a bit more high strung than I am-"
Remus who had been trying to cut in and stop her rant couldn't hold in a laugh at this understatement.
"Well, a lot more, and she doesn't care, and I know she wouldn't even if he was going to be a full werewolf. And he wouldn't stop her. So why are you trying to stop me from loving you? Remus, nothing is going to happen to me, and if it did-"
At this he inhaled sharply and tried to say something, before she continued, more loudly than before.
"If it did, you wouldn't be responsible in the slightest. I might be younger than you, but I'm old enough to take responsibility for my own actions. People have married werewolves even before the potion existed, and now that it does there's not even any-"
"Nymphadora, please. Stop trying to brush off every reason I give you as unimportant and trivial. There will always be a serious risk, no matter how careful-"
" A risk I'm willing to take! Who do you think you are, trying to decide my choices for me?" Tonks cried, throwing her hands in the air. Remus shook his head, sighing.
"I am making my own choice, Nymphadora, and it just happens to affect you. Why can't you just forget about me? Find someone who can actually take care of you and support you in a way I never could, no matter how badly I'd like to?"
"Remus, I'm well able to take care of and support myself, and you. I have more than enough money, and what I'm lacking is love. Really, that's a rather sexist view, don't you think, that the man has to support the woman? I honestly thought you were above that old-fashioned gender stuff," Dora said, a twinge of amusement in her voice, for she knew him well enough to know that such a comment would get to him.
"Tonks," he muttered, smiling at her slightly. "You know I'm not sexist. But I just wouldn't feel right knowing you were settling for someone who couldn't give you everything you deserve. "
"Remus, if I pretended to move on, and found someone else, someone who could maybe, if he tried, be half the man you are, that would be settling. I'd be living a lie, trying to pretend I could feel for someone else the way I do for you. If I could just wish what I'm feeling away, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Do you think I enjoy looking like a pathetic, desperate little girl every time I see you? Do you think it's FUN for me to tell you all the reasons I love everything about you only to have you turn away from me with that pitying look? Do you think it's a jolly walk in the park to try and touch you and be pushed away?"
Remus looked at her, pain in his grey eyes, and said, wearily, "Tonks…we can't…"
"WHY not, Remus? Listen Remus, I don't want a massive house, or a young man without a scar on his face who can shower me with materialistic garbage! I want you, the way you are, flaws and all. Really, the few you have are nothing in comparison to other people's. So you become a wolf once a month? I'd rather spend 29 days with a kind, smart, caring man who makes me feel like everything will be okay with one smile, than spend an 30 with some rich idiot who'll ask me to turn into his dream girl every night. What's one day a month?
"Whoever comes in second place won't even come close to you . Please, Remus. Just let me know there's a chance. Let me know that I haven't wasted this year, that I'm not going to have this hole in my heart forever."
He stared into her eyes, which looked back with such hope and pleading. He knew that he was the cause of her hurt, but the thought that her pain could be worse in years to come when she realized she had made a mistake because of her optimistic ideal that love was all she needed, put such doubt into his heart. The thought that she would take off one day after realizing that mistake, adding her name to the list of many he had lost in his life, put fear into it.
"Tonks, I know this is hurting you now, but-"
"Remus, do you love me?" She asked bluntly. "Do you? Just look at me, look into my eyes and tell me you don't and I'll walk away, I'll never force you into another one of these arguments. Tell me now, truthfully, that you don't love me, and I'm gone. "
He stared into her eyes, trying to speak the lie for her own sake. Her eyes, hopeful and vulnerable, resembling wounded fawn, bore into his, and with a power greater than any veritaserum, made it impossible to say what the logical part of his brain was screaming.
"It's going to be tough," he warned, giving in with a sigh. Her jaw dropped in disbelief, but she quickly composed herself.
"I'll be tougher."
"You might regret it."
"Voldemort might take up ballet."
"You could get hurt."
"I'm an auror, there's always that danger. A little more won't make a difference."
"You'll never have a big house."
"I like being cozy anyway."
"I'll be tired a lot."
"I have enough energy for the both of us."
"I'll come home injured."
"I've had plenty of daydreams of nursing your wounds."
"I…I've run out of warnings."
"I'm tired of talking anyway."
"Then…I suppose I should kiss you," he smiled, shyly.
"I'd have to hurt you if you didn't."
COME ON! REVIEW! TRELAWNY TELLS ME YOU'LL DIE BEFORE YOUR TIME IF YOU DONT! Hey, she's been right twice. Why not thrice?