All These Years

Prologue

There was something about the way he crossed the bedroom that made Tonks want to crawl up inside of him and stay there for eternity. Even in the low light, she could see the taunt muscles in his arms and the scarred skin of his back and torso, and instead of repulsing her, as he was so afraid they would, they enticed her, beckoning her to come towards them, to touch them, to feel them, to trace them until she'd memorized every last line. She loved every inch of him and knew he loved every inch of her, just by the way he kissed her hello. A man couldn't kiss a woman like he kissed her and not belong to her completely, body and soul.

They'd been together for five months; five beautiful months that were littered with dark moments neither of them could control. They found solace in each other when their friends and family fell, one by one, until there were so few left that they no longer had the choice to fight. They had to win.

It was the night after that final battle that made her fall in love with him all over again. Their bodies were bruised and beaten, fatigued by battle, but still they made love, gentle and sweet with overtones of joy that couldn't be expressed by mere words alone. They were free; Voldemort was dead, and Harry…against all odds, Harry had survived.

"I don't think I've ever loved you as much as I do right now," Tonks whispered against his warm skin as she nuzzled his neck. Her legs were wrapped around his waist as he hardened inside of her, neither having the heart to separate after he came inside of her only minutes earlier.

"I don't think I've ever loved anyone as much as I love you," he replied in kind. His hands kneaded her breasts and she arched her back, mewing softly at the sensations.

This was the moment, she decided. If he wasn't going to do it, even after all that'd happened — she would. Tonks knew she'd never love anyone like this again, no matter what, and to her, there was simply no question about it.

Nibbling on his earlobe, she left a trail of kisses across his jaw until she reached his lips. Giving him a sweet kiss, she opened her eyes, thrilled to see that his own were closed.

"Remus," she murmured, her lips still brushing up against his. Her fingers traced the scars she'd memorized as her hips moved against his, making love to him a second time that night. "Marry me."

His eyes flew open, and instead of the smile she expected to see, she saw tears forming, shining against his brown irises. Confused, she tilted her head away so she could talk to him properly, but he caught her lips in a bruising kiss before she could say a word. In one movement he flipped them over, and all she could do was lay there and feel her climax build as he thrust inside of her. Every bit of pain he was feeling, she could feel, and it scared her to think that a question she'd thought so inevitable had induced such a reaction inside of him.

Still, as she came, he released his seed inside of her, their cries mixing to form one incomprehensible sound. Once they were both finished, he slipped out of her and lay down beside her, his hand still on her breast. He was silent, and therefore so was she, too afraid to press the matter. If he didn't say yes tonight, she was certain that eventually he would. All it'd take was a little time.

She fell asleep easily, exhausted from the day and night. When she awoke, he was gone, having left a cold hollow in the mattress and the pillow behind. She thought nothing of it, as there must've been things she couldn't even imagine to take care of in the wake of Voldemort's death. But when he still didn't show the next day, or the next, or the next, she slowly realized what had happened. He was gone, and he wasn't coming back.

Three weeks later, she discovered she was pregnant. For the next nine months, she cried herself to sleep every night, until she had a daughter to cry for her.