Characters/Pairing: Remus/Tonks, past Remus/Sirius
Summary: "I can be whoever you want me to be."
The first time, he lets her be herself. He's too shy to ask for what he really wants, and she can tell that he isn't satisfied by the experience. They're lying in bed, bodies intertwined, the soft glow of a crescent moon shining through the window.
'Remus,' she whispers, her delicate fingers brushing across his stubble. 'What's wrong?' He finds it intriguing that her clumsiness seems dulled when they do this. They've never had any nasty accidents in the bedroom.
'Nothing,' he says, though he knows the words do little to quell her fears. He loves her, he really does. How is he supposed to tell her what's really bothering him? She isn't convinced, and gives him that typical Tonks glare that's supposed to tell him that she's mildly irritated, but she loves him anyway.
And that the problem.
How is he supposed to explain where his heart lies?
He doesn't have to.
She may be a bit strange, a bit out there – like he was – but for all that, she's still an Auror. She's still trained to see things that other people might not see.
It's not her eyes he stares into when she says, 'I can be whoever you want me to be.' And for a moment, he's almost fooled. She has the colour right, but no amount of magic can recreate that twinkle. That twinkle is lost forever, beyond the veil. And he never had the chance to really see what it was really like. And that's what's bothering him.
She morphs into him, and it's a fairly accurate likeness of what he was like before Azkaban. The full, laughing face. None of the gauntness that had defined him after twelve years of hell. But it isn't the same, because even though he's her first-cousin once removed, she's only really seen pictures of him from that time.
He leans in anyway, his hands raking through that long, dark hair, and it's not quite what he imagined, but it's close. She's had some experience mimicking mannerisms; she takes charge, just like he would. She has that same casual arrogance that he had. The things that Remus never fully had the chance to appreciate.
Fate took care of that.
Her hands run down his bare chest, only they're not her hands. He used to fantasise about these hands. About the things they could do. He closes his eyes, and it's almost as though he's a young man again. A young man whose life hasn't been torn apart by war, by death, by betrayal. Almost, but not quite. The fingers stroke his length, and he feels like howling.
All those full moons, all that time spent together. Even as a dog, there was no mistaking that wild hair, that casual strut. That's something she can't even pretend to give him. It's all a lie.
But, he thinks, staring into fake eyes, that it might be a lie he could learn to live with.