Diclaimer: Blah, blah, blah, don't own any recognizable characters, or the Potter-verse, or any AU version of the Potter-verse or anything else, I'm poor and sad.
Author's Notes: I never thought myself a very Angsty writer, and then, I wrote this. Do not expect anything happy from it at all. Unless you are a weird masochist, and then perhaps, pain makes you happy. Only I'm not, so I'm sad. I think I need to go write another fluffy dialogue to wash all of this sadness down.
Just Say You Love Me
"Don't say you're sorry, Remus." Tonks says, her voice shaking, and her eyes tearing, despite her previous decision not to cry. "Just say…just say…"
They look at each other, though they don't quite connect, and they both know what she wants him to say, and so she lets the sentence fall off, cold and awkward.
"I can't." He says, his hoarse voice even more tired than usual. He looks sick, has since her cousin died. It's grief, she knows. Now he is the last…what were they called? The last marauder. Even knowing, the pain he is in, she can't help but feel…angry. Don't they all have pain? Doesn't everyone grieve?
"No, what?" He says, eyes on the floor.
"It isn't that you can't. It's that you won't."
He shakes his head "Nymphadora. I can't love you. I can't."
A flash of hurt sparkles in her eyes, and there are two pink spots on her cheeks. It would have matched her hair, but she has reverted back to mousy brown again. It hurts worse when he refuses love out loud like that. She sits on the bed, and it creaks dejectedly beneath her slim weight.
"You can't." Her voice sounds dead.
"Werewolves mate for life, Dora." He says, and sinks down beside her, his face, falling into his hands.
She stands, indignant.
"I'm bloody sick of that argument, Remus." Her nostrils flare, and she turns, to face him. "I know you're a werewolf. I know! I don't care, I don't care. I just want you, Remus. I love you. You already have my life."
"No." He says, and now he is angry too. "No, Dora. Don't say that."
"It's too late." She replies, quieter now. "I've given it to you. I want to give it to you."
"I can't take it."
"No! You won't take it. You won't."
"I CAN'T." He pushes her back to the bed, and he is standing, near growling, his eyes half closed. "Werewolves mate for life, Dora." He, gives a shuddering sigh, and then he is back in control. "You don't understand. Werewolves mate for life."
"But, I am GIVING it-"
"I want it Dora. I want to take it. I want to be with you. It would be…it would be easier. But I don't love you. I don't love you."
"I can't. I would, if I could, but I can't."
"Remus, I don't understand. If you want it…" Her voice trails as she realizes that he is pulling of his shirt, and his chest is suddenly exposed to her, she can see the veins and the tiny scars, old and new, that criss-cross the pale expanse of skin. She is still sitting on the bed, and cannot see his face, and even though it is Remus, gentle, careful Remus, for a moment she is scared, but then he looks down, and his eyes are serene but sad.
"I'm sorry." He mouths. He sits down next to her, and grabs her hand, she doesn't understand, and he presses her hand to a spot, several centimeters below his collarbone. She doesn't understand. But then she feels it, a half-moon scar, unlike all of the others, it is unnaturally warm and smooth and…she looks at it. It is a bite mark. Tonks doesn't understand. It isn't a werewolf bite; it looks like something else…a human? Or a dog maybe…but why would that be there? She is running her hands across the scar, slow, gentle careful movements, and his head is tilted up, eyes closed, and he is exposing his throat to her, and then, suddenly, before she has time to think, she presses her lips against him.
"Sirius" He half moans, half whispers. But then his eyes jolt open, and he jumps back, and he is across the room, his face haggard and wild. "No." His lips form the words but no sound comes out.
"He marked me there. At the end of seventh year, he convinced me to let him. I love him. He loved me."
And then she understands.
"Sirius. Werewolves mate for life." She says "You can't love me."
"I can't." He agrees, "I tried. But when you touch me, when I touch you. I'm not thinking about you. I'm thinking about him. You don't deserve that, and it hurts me." He pauses, and looks up, as though searching the crumbling watermarked ceiling for a fair answer.
"You are beautiful, and good, Tonks. And someday you will be so happy. But not with me." It does not slip her attention that he has called her Tonks. Which she would prefer…but not from Remus, who makes her ridiculous name something special. He pauses, and swallows. "I wanted to love you. Sirius would have wanted me to. He told me, he said he wanted me to be happy."
She looks at him, and she wishes she could be mad, or pity him, or pity herself, but instead she understands and she is sad.
"I can't be happy though. Not without Sirius. I can't." He is talking to himself, more than her.
They say nothing, outside in the hallway, a light flicks on, Mrs. Black gives an annoyed screech, and Hermione's groggy voice mumbles something to the crazed portrait. Remus stands slowly, turning away, and pulls his shirt back over his head in one long, tired movement. He opens the bedroom door to leave, and when he has got one foot out in the dim hallway, something occurs to her.
"That's why you're sick?" Suddenly she is worried. "You'll die, without him? Won't you? It's a miracle you've lived this long."
"I was needed…for the war. It kept me alive." His eyes are dull, filled with numb pain, and she realizes that he accepted his death long ago. "I'm sorry, Tonks" He says again, his voice wavering.
"I'm sorry, too." She whispers.
End notes: I think I need a hug.