A/N: A fluffy one-shot, inspired by nycgrl's Rest Assured. It tells the tale of Lupin's first night at Tonks' appartment. Read it, it's good! This fic is about Tonks' first stay in Lupin's appartment and is pants in comparison, but it's an idea that wouldn't go away. Reviews are welcome, even criticism (if it's constructive.)
Summary: Remus knew that he could spend the rest of his life waking up to those toothpaste kisses, hearing her sing in the shower, and wearing those ridiculous slippers. He knew he could put up with her need for disorder. He knew because he loved her. And that meant everything, to her and to him.
Disclaimer: Jo's not mine.
She was singing. It was six thirty, in the morning…and Tonks was singing. Not one of her droning 'pop' songs, as he had expected. It was in fact a 70's Rock song he vaguely recalled. Nevertheless, at half past six in the morning, he could have done without it.
Remus rolled slowly onto his back, stretching fully in his bed. His back cracked at the movement and he gave a little groan. Though it pained him to do so, Remus had to admit that the stretching felt good, and he extended his limbs, making himself into a star-shape, (as he had done many a time as a little boy) purely because he could. True, Tonks had told him that she preferred the left side of her bed and Remus, as the uncomfortable guest, had complied in taking the right. But at Remus' own apartment, it seemed Tonks didn't like the left hand side of his bed at all…No, Nymphadora Tonks preferred the centre.
And so, Remus had spent an incredibly long night clinging to both his mattress and his sanity, hoping that morning would arrive some time soon. The grouchy man had finally fallen asleep sometime just before five, only to be awoken by the young woman's squawking an hour and a half later.
Remus gave a growl of frustration and pinned one of his cushions to his head, in a vain attempt to block out any sound whatsoever. Remus was, by no means, a light sleeper. In fact, he had been rather put out when Tonks had requested that he remove the batteries from every Muggle timepiece in his flat, simply because their soft, comforting rhythm was keeping her awake. Lupin had obeyed with a clenched jaw and curt smile.
Suddenly the singing stopped, as did the beating of the shower water. Remus frowned under his pillow, and gently prised it from his tousled head. Had he gone deaf? The squeak from the bathroom door told him otherwise, and he quickly dropped the pillow back in place, feigning sleep. Perhaps she would think he had passed away peacefully in his brief slumber, (which wouldn't be unlikely for an 'old' man such as himself), and leave him alone to sleep, for the rest of the morning at least.
Unfortunately, Tonks wasn't fooled, and Lupin heard a light giggle from the bathroom door.
"What are you doing?" he heard her enquire.
"Sleeping," he croaked bluntly from under the pillow. Tonks shuffled in her fluffy cream slippers, across to her 'side' of the bed, where she plopped herself down heavily.
"Your water's cold." No response. "Remus? Did you hear me? I said your water's cold…Remus!"
Yes, he heard her, but of course he didn't care. He simply grunted an incoherent response, hoping that she would take the hint and let it drop. She did.
Tonks pulled on her socks with gusto, and Remus hoped that she couldn't hear his frustrated huffs. Slippers back on, Tonks rose and began to bustle around the room again. Remus flinched, out of sight. The young witch had only broken one glass since arriving the evening before. It was only a matter of time before something else had the same sorry fate…and there it was!
Remus sat up immediately, his cushionfalling from his face,and fixed his eyes on the blushing witch in the corner.
"What was that?" he demanded.
"Nothing," she replied quickly, kicking the remnants of Lupin's clock under the dresser. When he continued to glare at her, she confessed.
"I was trying to put the battery back into your clock and it slipped. My hands are still kinda damp." Tonks gave a sheepish grin and shrugged in her typical 'what can ya do?' way. Remus took a deep breath.
"I'll fix it later," was all he said. Tonks cowered.
"You're mad, aren't you? I'm sorry. Don't be mad. Pleeeease."
"I'm not mad!" Remus snapped, and then saw the hurt spread across the face. Immediately he regretted it, and some of the ice around his cold, tired heart melted away.
"Come here," he said gently, and she did so, kicking off the fluffy slippers as she landed in a heap on the bed. He took her pale face in his hands and kissed her softly on the nose.
"I'm not mad Dora, it's just a clock. I'm just tired, that's all. I didn't sleep very well last night."
"Because of me?" Tonks sounded crestfallen.
"Erm…no sweetheart, of course not," Lupin lied, planting another kiss on her forehead this time. "You ready for work?"
"Almost," she replied chirpily. "Still have to floss."
Remus resisted the temptation to cringe, and the over-exaggerated smile remained. It was beginning to ache his face.
"Well…I don't want to see that, in all honesty. How about I go make you a cup of tea?"
Tonks nodded eagerly at this. Remus shrugged on his robe with relief and made his way to the kitchen. He filled the kettle with a weary sigh and placed it onto the hob. The kitchen was cold, and Remus suppressed a shudder as he lowered himself into a rickety chair. He wiggled his toes, wishing he had thought to put some socks on. As if on cue, Remus felt something soft come into contact with his back. He turned slowly to see Tonks in the doorway, a fluffy slipper in hand, while the other one lay by his chair. Before he could respond, the other slipper flew in his direction, narrowly missing him and landing on the table instead.
Remus had to laugh, as Tonks' eyes sparkled gleefully. The wizard held the pair of fluffy cream slippers in his hands thoughtfully, and surprised even himself when he put them on. He heard Tonks giggle behind him, and felt her arms snake around his waste.
"They suit you," she mumbled into his neck, before kissing it softly. Remus chuckled slightly, and brought her around to sit in his lap.
They held each other silently, hearing the kettle bubble softly in the small kitchen. Tonks breathed in deeply, and then spoke in a very serious tone.
"You aren't enjoying this, are you."
Lupin blinked at her blunt statement.
"This. Us. It's such a…kafuffle to you."
He smiled slightly at her choice of word.
"I'm finding it hard to adjust, that's all."
Tonks bit her lip in concern.
"Is it me?"
"No, no…it's me." Partly true, Remus reasoned. He had spent many years alone, all of them relatively lonely but comfortable nonetheless. It was just…unfortunate, that the woman he had chosen to conduct his first serious relationship with was just so…Tonks.
Could he do this? Could he put up with the slipper wearing, clock bashing, morning singing, over-zealous flossing, pink haired young woman? Remus didn't think he could.
"I guess I'm just stuck in my ways. I'm too old fashioned. Merlin, I'm too old!"
"You aren't that old, Remus," Tonks snorted insistently.
"Nymphadora, my neighbour asked me last night if my daughter had come to stay."
"Oh," came the quiet response. "What did you say?"
"No, of course!" Remus replied in frustration. He was losing his patience, she could tell. Remus stared at this young woman before him. Her brow was crinkled in confusion. He was so tired, so tired of having this same argument over and over again.
"Nymphadora–" he began, but was cut off by a wail.
"You're breaking up with me aren't you?" she cried. "Oh God, I'm unbearable to live with! My mother was right…I'm going to live alone with too many cats and resent the company of men over a broken heart." She slammed her head down aggressively onto the kitchen table. Remus jumped, and pulled her up by her shoulders in concern. Tonks rubbed at her head, but seemed unfazed, as if it were a regular occurrence.
"Why am I so hard to love?" she asked sadly. Remus felt a wave of guilt hit him, like a cold bucket of water. That was one way of waking up.
"You are the easiest person to love, Nymphadora," he told her quietly. "It's just…I'm doubting our compatibility."
An uncomfortable silence fell between them, and the kettle began to whistle, causing the couple to jump. Tonks rose instantly from Remus' knee, and crossed over to the stove, removing it from the heat. Once done, she did not turn back to him.
"You know, you talk in your sleep," she said. Remus blinked at her back.
"Yes," she gave a light laugh and turned to face him, resting her back against the sideboard. "In fact, you're sometimes more open and honest with me when you're sleeping than when you're awake."
Remus felt his cheeks warm at this, wondering what he could have possibly said subconsciously.
"It wakes me up," Tonks continued, "but I don't really mind. I like it when you talk to me." She paused. "I guess it's a comfort knowing that there's someone beside you who knows what you're going through. I love knowing that, when I wake in the morning, you're still gonna be there. And I love that I can talk to you about stuff…like all the shit that's happening out there, because I know that where we are right now, we are safe. Once I leave through this door for work, that's a different story…but here, with you…this is home.
"And I'm sorry if I annoy you. I'm sorry for the singing, and the broken clock, and the bed-hogging, and the fact that I spilt my coffee on your Ancient Subterranean Arithmancy book–"
"Sumerian," he corrected, and Tonks tinkled a laugh.
"Whatever," she grinned as she crossed over to him once more. Crouching down to his level, she took both of his hands in her own.
"What I'm trying to say is that if I die tomorrow, hell if I die today, then I would like to be comforted in my last moments by the thought that I would have spent the rest of my life with you…if I had not been brutally murdered…or run over by a taxi," she added. Remus pulled her close to him and kissed her lightly on her soft lips, tasting the remainder of her toothpaste.
"Don't joke about things like that," he muttered, his lips still close to hers. He felt her smile.
"I'm realistic…I really should look both ways before I cross."
She silenced him with another kiss. It was gentle, and passionate, and at that moment Remus knew that he could spend the rest of his life waking up to those toothpaste kisses, hearing her sing in the shower, and wearing those ridiculous slippers. He knew he could put up with her need for disorder. He knew because he loved her. And that meant everything; to her and to him.
Remus felt himself falling back to sleep in her arms, and he struggled to open his eyes as Tonks pulled away from him.
"I know what you meant," she said softly, before rising to her full height. "I'm gonna be late for work," she announced, though she didn't really sound that concerned. "I should get going." She stole one more quick kiss before grabbing her cloak from the back of the door.
"You be careful," Lupin warned and Tonks grinned.
"Always. I have reason to." She took a deep breath and opened the door. "Go back to bed sweetheart…Oh, and you can keep the slippers, you look so fetching in them," she teased.
"What about you?"
"Well, I do have another pair in pink. It's your choice Lupin. I'll let you have a think on it." And with that, she blew a quick kiss and closed the door behind her.
Remus shuffled back to bed and climbed in, letting his slippers hang from the foot of his bed. No not his bed, their bed. They would be the couple, with the matching fluffy slippers. He would make her tea, and she would spill it. He would buy a digital clock, which would not click. Her purple toothbrush would take pride of place on his bathroom windowsill. And maybe, just maybe, he would wake her tomorrow morning with a song.
A/N: Any comments?