A/N: My apologies for the delay in posting the conclusion. Christmas has been a little hectic, and I needed to finish a piece for the MetamorFicMoon Fic Advent before I got around to the revisions on this one. (Alerts aren't working again; I've begun posting the Christmas fic, which is called "The Hopes and Fears of All the Years.")
The stretching and pulling sensations of Apparition didn't end when Tonks' feet settled wobbly on the hardwood floor of her flat. Remus continued to hold her body against his in a tight embrace, as he bent and kissed her deeply.
Tonks responded immediately to his insistent lips and tongue, opening to him, but did not merely yield. This time, she felt his kiss -- to her very core -- and she kissed him back with everything he gave.
His long-fingered hands splayed, one firmly in the small of her back, the other skirting up above the dragonhide dress to her exposed shoulders; Tonks held his face, roughened by his slight growth of beard, and scratched her fingernails lightly over his scalp as she pushed his hair back from his face, weaving her fingers into the soft strands. He made a low sound, and Tonks smiled against his lips as pleasure swelled warmly, deep within her. It went so far beyond physical pleasure, to know that she was the source of his. She was capable, now he'd pulled her from her introverted despair, of soothing his troubles, of meeting his needs.
She gasped as, quite suddenly, the warmth of his mouth was focused on the hollow of her throat. Her fingers burrowed deeper into his hair as it tickled her cheek. She hoped to Merlin he knew she was ready for what he'd started on the sofa before dinner. Where was the sofa? If she could just pull him toward it...
Through the heated haze, Tonks was vaguely aware of her legs taking backward steps as Remus pressed into her, moving forward. He was steering her somewhere -- to the sofa, Tonks guessed, but she really couldn't be sure of anything except his lips opening and closing over her neck...the tip of his tongue above the top of her dress, tasting the valley of her breasts...his hands trailing down her back, down the curves of her hips, palms opening to cup her bottom...Until the backs of her knees connected with what could only be the edge of her bed, padded by the fluffy duvet spilling over the end.
Arms snaking under Remus', she laughed on his shoulder, breath making the fine, light hairs at his nape rise, as she realised he'd Apparated them directly to the bedroom; her laughter ceased as it occurred to her that he'd left the bed unmade today. That was a new one for Remus. Whatever had disturbed him today had happened early.
"Remus...?" she started to inquire, but then his hands tightened under her thighs, and she was wrapping her legs around his as he lifted her up onto the lumpy mattress, springs groaning, driving housekeeping to the farthest reaches of her mind.
Remus remained standing between her knees. One of his lovely hands rested on her thigh -- for balance, she supposed, as he reached back with the other to unlace his shoes and peel off his socks; or maybe not for balance, she quite happily debated, as his fingertips seemed to be revelling in skating over the green dragonhide that fitted her like a skin. When he moved his hand away to take off his jumper Tonks, regardless of her boots, swung her legs onto the bed and shifted to lie back against the pillows.
"You really do like this dress," she said, giggling as he tossed his jumper carelessly on the floor with his shoes, eyes roving appreciatively over her, darkening, all the while.
"I like the dress on you." The bed screeched again as he crawled onto the end, touching her ankle and sliding his hand upward over her boot-encased calf. "And the boots, as well."
"I like your lips on me more," said Tonks.
"Hm..." Remus trailed his hand up over her knee and thigh as he stretched out on his side next to her. "I think I might, too."
Hooking one leg over her thighs, his bare foot rubbed along the inside of her calf as he pressed warm kisses to her bare shoulder, progressing over her collarbone and lingering in the sensitive dip just beneath.
It wasn't easy to think, much less to put those half-baked thoughts into words when he was kissing her like that, and sliding his hand over her breasts. Getting his shirt unbuttoned seemed like the most important matter at hand; somehow, as Tonks fumbled with the top closure, she managed to say, "I'll have to get an outfit like this for your Christmas present."
She expected to hear a sound of approval, but instead Remus lifted his head -- her skin went cold where his mouth had been -- and looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "I'm not entirely sure what to do with this new information about your cross-dressing kink."
"I meant for me to wear around you!" Tonks yanked her pillow from under her head and whacked him with it. A few feathers shot out, swirled in the air for a moment as though suspended, and then fluttered into Remus' hair like snowflakes. "I don't have a cross-dressing kink!"
Shaking his head, Remus prised the pillow from her hands, and dropped it over the edge of the bed.
"I need that!" Tonks pulled a pout.
Remus sat up; Tonks bit her lip at the brush of his thighs over her as he situated his legs to straddle her waist.
"Admit it, Nymphadora," he said huskily, leaning over her to slide the other pillow under her head. "You secretly fancy me in a green dragonhide mini-dress."
The sight of Remus dressed up in Walburga Black's clothes had been hilarious, in a slightly disturbing way; the imagined sight Remus dressed up in Tonks' outfit was simply a disturbing image. Tonks forced herself not to shudder and, working her way down Remus' line of buttons, she said seriously, "I think you secretly fancy wearing a green dragonhide mini-dress. But don't worry. You're the only trannie who's ever turned me on."
"Trannie!" Remus had just wriggled one arm out of his shirt, but now it hung from one shoulder as he looked up with rounded eyes.
"Snape in drag wouldn't do a thing for me."
His eyes went even wider, and Tonks felt her own do the same. She would be the one to bring up the worst topic for pillow talk in the history of foreplay.
"That's a relief," said Remus, "though hardly a compliment to look sexier in a dress than Severus." He slipped his arm out of he other sleeve and, not seeming to care that his shirt became tangled with the sheets, he leant over her again. "But trannie?"
Remus' fingers traced the top edge of her dress, then he stretched his long, slim frame over hers to press more lingering kisses to her cleavage. A hot flush raced over her from the places his lips touched, and her pounding heart had lodged in her throat. Floating along in the light-headed sensations, even though they hadn't really got started yet, Tonks slid her hands over his smooth chest.
"I assure you, Nymphadora," Remus murmured, "the only dress I'm interested in is this one, and those thoughts are entirely driven by testosterone."
Tonks raked her hands through Remus' hair and tried to bring her breathing under control. When she managed to, she asked, "Green dragonhide's your kink, then?"
"Mmm…We ought to do up the entire bedroom in it…"
Remus' deep chuckle vibrated against her, and Tonks loved the feel of it, as well as the prickle of his stubble against her skin as he moved upward to nuzzle her cheek.
"You'd better get this dress off of me," she whispered, "before it turns back to my un-sexy old jeans and t-shirt."
Peering up through his fringe, Remus met her eyes, and the desire in them as his hands cupped her breasts made her wish to Merlin he would vanish the dress immediately. But his fingers stroked the dragonhide almost reluctantly.
"I'd leave it on for you," Tonks said, "but I don't think it allows for proper…manoeuvring. And then there's that spell wearing off thing again. Though if you're really into me in clingy green, I could always morph my skin this colour."
Always crap at sexy talk, Tonks expected Remus to laugh. But he didn't. Something very much like relief washed over his features.
"You're feeling back to normal again?" he asked.
"You're completely mental if you think green skin's in any way normal," Tonks teased, though she couldn't believe she wasn't literally bursting with joy at the thought that she could make her skin green if she wanted, and Remus would be okay with that. "I think I still need a bit of help getting my hair to go pink."
A lopsided grin on his face, Remus rolled off her and shimmied backward toward the end of the bed. He lifted one of her legs and, eyes on hers, slowly lowered the zipper of the boot. "I'm correct to assume that help involves getting you naked?"
He bent and kissed the back of her knee as he pulled off the shoe, and Tonks squirmed and murmured something unintelligible -- but which Remus apparently was fluent in. When he'd removed the other boot, he kissed his way up her legs, lingering on the insides of her thighs as he pushed up the hem of the dress.
"Maybe you ought to open a shop called Remus' Romantic Rendezvous after all," said Tonks as she turned onto her side to give him access to the zipper on the side of her dress.
Getting out of the skin-tight dress proved a bit of a challenge and required almost as much creative manoeuvring as sex did. In the process of Tonks squirming about, trying to get the thing down over her hips, Remus became momentarily useless. Complicating matters was his inability not to touch and kiss her breasts. Ironically, he recovered his senses when Tonks sat up and reached to unfasten his belt. In an instant his trousers lay crumpled on the floor with their other clothes, and his grin was wide as he eagerly pulled the duvet up over their heads and settled himself over her once more. Tonks wrapped her legs over his thighs, tingling all over as every inch of her skin made contact his. He was so warm…
This was how making love with Remus was supposed to be. Outside there might be desolation and desperation and war, but here, ensconced in their little blanket-covered world, was laughter, pleasure…joy. Everything else melted away. There was only him, rocking down into her, and her, arching up around him: giving...receiving.
At the urging of his hands, she tilted her hips upward and wrapped her legs around his waist, thighs pressing tighter on either side of him as her heels in the small of his back brought him deeper. Remus shuddered, and murmured Nymphadora again and again, in the most satisfied whispers and half-groans as his arms slipped underneath her, hugging her to him.
Emotion welled up in Tonks and caught in her chest; moisture pricked in her eyes, and her stomach muscles quivered. For a moment she clung to Remus, hands splayed on his back, unsure whether she was going to cry or laugh.
Suddenly she was looking into Remus' open blue eyes as he pushed up on his palms. "Aren't you going to tell me…" His eyelids fluttered shut, and he bit his lip. "…not to call you Nymphadora?"
She laughed, and slid her hands upward, over his shoulders, down to his lean, taut arms, quivering as he held his weight off of her.
"Obviously I need to do something different," Tonks puffed, "if you've…Oh Merlin…still got the presence of mind to pronounce it properly."
Eyes sparkling, Remus lowered himself again, lips just brushing hers as he whispered, "Nym--"
The rest was an unintelligible grunt as she pressed her mouth and hips fiercely against his, prompting him onward.
She could give what he needed, after all.
She'd found it in him.
"Remus," she whispered.
His face was buried in the curve of her neck, kissing her collarbone. She nudged his temple with her chin. She wanted to see his face, to see reflected in his expression that she'd made up for her earlier lack of enthusiasm, that he was confident he'd brought her out of her dark moon.
"Look at me, Remus."
He lifted his head, opened his eyes. Blue, hazy, lost in her. She felt what she saw in him. Yet somehow at the brink where she should have been swept away by the intense physical experience, she found herself focusing her concentration intently on bubblegum pink.
Remus' mouth fell open as his gaze cleared and lit, and Tonks felt his heart pounding against her chest.
She'd done it.
Her head fell back, and her eyes closed as rapture overtook her in a shudder.
They remained together for a long time as the waves of sensation ebbed, neither capable of much other than breathing heavily. Tonks didn't mind, loving the feel of lying like this beneath him, hipbones meeting; hearts palpitating uncontrollably against one another; flushed, slightly sticky skin pressed together; his ragged breath tickling her ear as his chin prickled the curve of her neck.
Gradually they regained their faculties, and Remus hefted himself off of her. He lingered, hovering, for just a moment, and they quietly, almost reverently, regarded their joined bodies before they finally rolled apart. Even then they didn't get up, but lay facing each other on their sides, legs tangled, hands caressing, kissing lazily, whispering sigh-like I love yous.
"Pink," was the first word Remus managed to say in his normal, slightly rasping, voice. With a look of wonder on his face, he slid his fingers into her hair, letting the strands twine around them. "I always thought it was your happy colour. But maybe it's your satisfied colour?"
"It is my happy colour." Tonks summoned her pillow from the floor and adjusted the duvet that had slipped off of them at some point in their activities. "My Remus-makes-me-happy colour."
"Hm. I suppose I could make cross-dressing a regular routine, if it's essential to your Metamorphosing health."
Laughing, Tonks wrapped her arms around Remus' waist and snuggled against his rumbling chest. "Dangerous proposition, Mr. Lupin."
He chuckled, but abruptly stopped. He pulled back in her embrace, and his fingers touched her chin and drew her up to meet his serious gaze. "You know I'd do anything in my power to see you happy, don't you?"
It was a touching thing to say, and Tonks felt Remus' unselfish love all the way to her bones.
At the same time, it chilled her.
She shoved away the frightening feeling as a lingering ribbon of the depressing day she'd had, and hugged Remus tightly again. "Believe it or not, Weasleys' Wheezes don't have that much power over my morphing."
"What did it, then?" Remus' lips brushed her hair. Levity returned to his voice as he added, "Besides the mind-blowing sex, of course."
"You," Tonks said. "When I look at you I see a wizard who's fought and lost, but kept hold of himself. You give me hope. You're still happy, and you make me so very happy."
Remus inhaled sharply, and his arms slackened around her. He rolled onto his back, and his fingers raked through his own hair. "Please don't say that."
Tonks' heart thudded slowly, then stopped. Her blood ran cold; she felt the biting sensation of it in the tips of her fingers and toes. The previous moment's fear pummelled her.
Trembling, she sat up, clutching the sheet around herself. Remus' face was ghastly, lined.
"Why?" she whispered.
Remus' gaze was locked on the ceiling. "You can't depend on me."
"That's ridiculous. Of course I--"
She reached for him, but her hand hovered inches away as he said, "I've got to go away."
He looked at her with frightened eyes. Haunted eyes.
Not Remus, no…
He swallowed hard, then rasped, "Dumbledore's sending me underground. To live among the werewolves." Turning away, he whispered, "Feral werewolves."
In the mirror that hung opposite the bed, Tonks watched her hair turn mousy brown.
As always, your feedback is much appreciated.