Summary: Remus and Tonks have a fight and their first kiss. Takes place in Half Blood Prince, after the scene in the hospital wing.
(A/N: I don't know what it is, but these little one shots are just infectious. I can't help writing them. I don't really write intimate scenes, this is my first shot at it, so let me know what you think.)
Disclaimer: Not mine, not yours, get over it.
"I can't believe you did that," said Remus to Tonks. Tonks could tell that he was bordering on being furious, but fighting viciously to keep his emotions under control. "I cannot believe you did that."
"Why?" she asked incredulously. "Haven't I told you again and again that I would do anything to make you see that I love you?"
"But…You….you did….now everyone knows!" Remus stumbled over the words, and he felt, not for the first time around Nymphadora Tonks, like an awkward teenager.
"Everyone knew before," she said stiffly.
"Not even half the people in the room knew," said Remus. She had blurted it out like that, in front of all those people. Sure…maybe most of the adults in the room had known that Tonks had proclaimed her love for Remus…but certainly none of the kids, and Harry had been in the room at the time. Remus wasn't exactly sure what Harry being in the room at the time had to do with it, but somehow he just felt doubly uncomfortable about the whole thing because he had been.
"What does it matter who knew and who didn't?" she asked exasperatedly. She knew that she probably shouldn't have made a scene like that, especially so close after Dumbledore's death, at times she felt that it was so selfish of her.
"It matters a great deal," he said shortly.
"I don't see why it should."
"And that's one of the many reasons that we can't be together," he hadn't meant to sound that harsh.
"You're saying that I don't understand what goes on in your messed up head, and that's why we can't be together?" she demanded. She knew what he meant. She knew that he meant that he was a very private person, and that he liked the keep his life well…private. But right now she was sick of his reasons, sick of his excuses and just all in all sick of him. If he had been any other person, she would have walked out on him right then, but he wasn't. He was Remus Lupin, the man that she knew she would love no matter what. Damn him.
"Yes, maybe that is what I'm saying," said Remus, rising to her challenge. "You don't understand me, and I don't think I'll ever understand you and that is just not solid ground to build a relationship on."
"But I understand you more than you think," she shot back.
"Really?" he said coolly, his eyebrows shot upward. "You think so?"
"I know so."
"Then enlighten me."
"You're frightened," she said. "I'm not sure of what. Maybe you think that I don't really love you, and that as soon as you get close to me, I'll leave. Maybe you're afraid you'll hurt me, and that's the real reason behind your 'too dangerous' excuse. But I can see it in your eyes, you're scared. And I would have thought you were a braver man than to runaway from me."
They stood in silence for a minute, and Tonks appeared to have regretted what she said almost instantly, but before she could utter any kind of apology, Remus spoke.
"I don't think I'll hurt you. I know I'll hurt you."
"I don't care."
"Why should you care if I don't?"
"Because I've seen enough of all the people I love getting hurt. Dying. I'm sick of it. I couldn't face it if I hurt you."
"You won't hurt me."
"I will. You don't understand. I'm a werewolf."
"I already knew that, thank you. That's the excuse you've been hiding behind this whole time."
"I'm not hiding behind it. It's a legitimate excuse. If anything happens between us…"
"What?" she said sarcastically. "Will the sky come tumbling down? Will You-Know-Who become Ultimate Ruler of The Universe?"
He sighed and said, "You'd be an outcast."
"Well…that's OK. I'm kind of used to that."
"I don't mean that people will… talk about you behind your back or something," he searched for the right words. "I mean… people will turn you down for jobs just because of me. You might be asked to leave restaurants or shops. People won't giggle behind your back, they'll fear and hate you behind your back. Or even to your face."
"And I don't care about any of that as long as all those things happen with you at my side. Can't you see that you're hurting me more by doing what you're doing?"
That simple question hit him like a bullet, and he had no answer for it. Why did she care this much about him? What made her love him so deeply?
"What do you want me to say?" he asked her, almost begging for some way out of this conversation...this whole situation.
"I want you to say that you love me," she said. "And forget about all the other ridiculous stuff you just mentioned."
"I do. I do love you. That was never the problem," he said.
And Tonks was faced with the startling truth. All this time, she had thought that he was making excuses so that he didn't have to tell her that he didn't feel the same way about her as she did him. But there was nothing but truth and pain in his beautiful eyes. He loved her. He loved her. Suddenly, she felt like an enormous balloon had swelled inside her.
She hesitantly approached him, and when he didn't turn away, she took this as a good sign. As Remus saw her inching closer and closer, a wild thought ran through his head that he should kiss her, but he never got the chance. Because, leaning in and closing the space between them, she kissed him.
Tonks thought that it was the most wonderful first kiss she'd ever had with a man. Remus felt that he was in some sort of dream that he would soon awaken from, alone and bitterly disappointed. They finally broke apart, slightly awkwardly, and avoiding each other's gazes.
"Remus?" she asked hopefully.
"I…I just can't," he said.
"You are a stupid, stupid man, do you know that?" she wailed. She turned and tried to flee from the room, but tripped over a chair in the process. Remus went to help her up, but the mutinous look on her face stopped him.
"Don't you come near me, Remus Lupin," she warned. "You broke my heart. You stomped all over it. You can't come over here, pick me back up and be the perfect gentleman that I fell in love with."
"I'm sorry," he said softly.
Tonks felt that he really meant it, but she wasn't going to forgive that easy.
"I don't want you apologies," she said. "The fact is you kissed me, and no man gets away with that without at least buying me some dinner."
Remus couldn't believe it…she was asking him out to dinner in the middle of an argument. He suddenly felt a pang of sympathy towards Lily, who had to put up with all kinds of crazy pick up lines and date ultimatums from James. At least Tonks had never hung someone upside down from their ankle and refused to let them down if he didn't go out with her.
Then, completely out of the blue, Remus started to laugh. Maybe it was the thought of Tonks trying to hex Snape to get his attention, or just that the whole situation of him, a broken, poor, old werewolf, turning down Tonks, a very attractive and peppy young woman. Tonks wasn't sure if she ought to be insulted or not.
"Excuse me?" she said testily. "If you are laughing at me, I would like to know."
"Not even close," he said through his chuckling. "I'm laughing at me!"
"Well, Mr. Lupin, you certainly are something to laugh at," she said. It took Remus a minute to figure out that she didn't mean it as a jibe; rather that she was teasing him. At this realization, he laughed even harder.
"You are quite the silly man, as well," she said.
"And you are quite the silly witch," he said, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.
"Then we make a perfect match," she said, praying that she wasn't pushing her luck.
Remus did not disagree. Instead, he slipped his hand in hers and started to lead her to the door.
"Yes we do," he murmured to himself, then to her he said, "How about that dinner, then?"
She happily agreed and squeezed his hand slightly. She knew that the hardest part of this relationship wasn't going to be Remus finally admitting that he loved her, she knew that they would have to work through Remus' insecurities together, but that would be down the line somewhere. Because at that moment and all through the wonderful first date that followed after, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks were just beginning.