telefilm: peter rumancek

Le nuove storie sono in alto.

Genere: Introspettivo, Erotico.
Pairing: Roman/Peter.
Rating: NC-17.
AVVERTIMENTI: Slash, Lemon, Angst, Spoiler.
- In the aftermath of Nadia and Miranda's disappearance, Peter moves in with Roman, mainly to keep an eye on him and try and work out some way to get the baby back from the monster that kidnapped her. Before they do that, though, there's a healing process they've got to go through.
Note: Sono stata su dalla Tab per una decina di giorni ed abbiamo guardato tutta la s2 di Hemlock Grove in tipo tre secondi netti, urlando come galline, perdendoci nell'amore e riuscendo a non parlare d'altro per giorni e giorni sopraffatte come siamo state dalla bellezza generica e da quella del Romancek in particolare. E questa è la dichiarazione d'amore che ne è risultata -- scritta in due giorni mentre la mia donna lavorava nell'altra stanza. Yay.
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plots are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.
as we are standing on our feet

The house is more silent than Peter'd like it to be, but he figures that’s normal, that it could never be any other way, and he tries to deal with it.

It's not that he'd like noise and confusion more. Actually, he never liked noise and confusion at all. He's always been weird around messy situations, such as people laughing too much, or talking too loudly, or, well, just being there, around, crowding him, speaking to him, overwhelming him with questions and stories and random chit-chatting he never really knew how to respond to.

So it's not the silence per se. It's not being alone in that ridiculously big, ridiculously ugly sitting room, sitting on that ridiculously uncomfortable couch -- he'd change it with his mother's back at the trailer in a heartbeat; should he ask Roman for permission? Should he just jump on the truck and go get it? Would Roman be angry at him, would he even notice? --, staring at the void with nothing to do, nobody to talk to.

It's Roman's condition making the situation weird.

As always, Peter figures, passing a hand through his hair and sighing deeply, closing his eyes to rest them for a moment after trying to keep them open as long as he possibly could to stare at the stairs, hoping he'd come down.

His relationship with Roman has never been anything but weird. Since day one. He can't even remember a moment in which they weren't shrouded in awkwardness, making their every movement even more absurd than they were already forced to be by the fucked up situations and crisis they were facing every day. Peter doesn't know a non-awkward way to deal with Roman, so at first, when he sat down on that couch and decided to just wait for him to come down, then maybe exchange a few words and decide to just go get some pizza for dinner, it seemed like the best idea that could ever possibly cross his mind.

With Roman, more often than not, waiting and doing nothing until he himself makes very clear what it is exactly he wants you to do for him, proves to be the best course of action. Especially for one like Peter. He's rarely able to understand what people want from him unless it's them telling. It's even harder with Roman, him being an upir and all the fucked up shit that comes along with that. Not that Peter minds. Well, yes, he does, but it's not like he'd ever want Roman to be any different than who he is now. Who he was born to be. Would be fucking hilarious for a werewolf to be a bitch about the true nature of somebody else. There's a beast inside him -- how did Miranda so gracefully and ridiculously wrongly put it? Ah, yes, that he had "a wild heart". Such naivety. A wild heart, that's not what he’s got. All of him is wild, his heart being possibly the only human thing he's got left --, he doesn't feel like complaining about the beast inside Roman. It's a goodhearted beast, anyway.

Peter looks up, following the stairs up until they stop on the first floor. Nothing's moving up there. Everything's silent. No soft rustling of clothes being carried in a basket from a room to another by old Anna, no Mr. Conway silently and discretely moving from a room to another to tend to the house's needs.

No crying. No giggling. No Nadia.

Thinking about her opens a deep, dark pit in Peter's chest. He would've never thought... he could've never thought he'd end up loving that child in this absolute, desperate way. He did love her already when she was a tiny, growing thing in Letha's belly, but he thought it was easier, not knowing the father. When Roman told him the truth, for a moment Peter was about to run away. This is too much, he thought, this I can't deal with. Not him. Holy fuck, anybody but him.

But then something changed inside of him, something was switched on, something warm and comfortable, a new set of thoughts, probably, when he asked himself why, why not? Why not Roman, out of everybody else in the world? Why not him?

And then suddenly Peter knew it could've never been anybody but him. Anybody but Roman. It had to be Roman. If he had to point out a single moment in which he had understood this completely, that would've been that night when Roman first held Nadia in his arms. Peter remembers him so clearly, despite all that's happened in between that moment and now, he could paint him on canvas with such precision to resemble a photograph. Roman sitting on the floor, his eyes fixed on his daughter's chubby face. His arms wrapped around her tiny body while they both drift to sleep. They looked like a single perfect thing. Peter had sat beside them and thought, clearly in a disturbing way, they're perfect. They were the kind of perfection one could want to be a part of.

Maybe that's why he's here now. Despite being completely unable to deal with it, or to do something -- anything at all -- about it.

He's glad Roman's Nadia's father. He's glad he can share this with him. Loving her. Grieving for her loss. He couldn't do this alone. He couldn't do this with anybody but Roman.

He stands up from the couch, standing still right in front of it for a moment, eyes looking up. He waits for a few moments more, hoping he'd finally appear on top of the stairs and come down, but he doesn't, so Peter sighs, straightens his clothes to give himself an air of serenity that doesn't match his real frame of mind at all, and then walks upstairs.

He knows exactly where to go. He opens the door that hasn't been fixed up yet and walks down the hallway. To Nadia's room.

Roman is standing in front of her cradle. He looks down at the empty spot her tiny body left when she was kidnapped, and he's completely motionless, completely silent. Peter walks up to him and chases his eyes. While Roman isn't avoiding his gaze, it's still very hard to make him actually look back. Roman's eyes are fixed on the cradle, they're not searching for Peter's eyes right now. Not running away, not searching for him either. That's more or less a summary of the situation between them, at the moment.

Roman's eyes are completely lost, there's an air of surrender about them, and yet, at the same time, they seem so surprised and shocked. They're the same eyes Peter saw on him the night Nadia was taken away. The eyes of somebody witnessing something so inconceivable and absurd it’s impossible to process it, and yet already the eyes of somebody at a loss.

Roman's never been at a loss, not this way. He was always the one insisting on things, on the importance of moving on, of having another plan to go by, of doing something to fix a situation. Peter knows he wasn't always like this. Point is, he hasn't seen him. When Roman was trying to face the fucked up mess his life had turned into, Peter was away, trying to make a new life for himself, far from the thought of Letha, of her death, of what he had had to do to protect Hemlock Grove and the people he loved, on the great toll his action had taken upon himself. He was dealing with his own shitstorm, he couldn't deal with Roman's too, that much was obvious. And yet going away didn't erase the fact that, far away from him, away from his eyes, Roman was, indeed, dealing with a shitstorm. His own, and the one Peter had left behind leaving.

Was he this lost and confused, Peter asks himself as he looks at him, waiting for Roman to notice his presence, were these the eyes he looked at the world with while I wasn't around? Did I really leave him alone to face this new world with such eyes, such lost and scared eyes, for all those months, never thinking about coming back?

“I keep expecting her to start crying,” Roman says. His voice is faint and distant, something out of a dream, or a vision. Peter looks at him, pondering over what to do. He could reach out for him. Stroke his hand. Try and hug him, even. Would Roman turn him away? Would he push him back? “It's so weird not to hear that sound. I was used to it, at this point.”

“She wasn't always crying,” Peter says, though he doesn't really know why. How can such a sentence be of any comfort for Roman?, he asks himself. This is one of those rare moments in which he honestly loathes himself for having no people skills.

“She was,” Roman answers, eyes still fixed on the cradle, “Either she was being fed, or she was crying. She was alone, and desperately sad. That's how good of a father I was.”


“It's my fault she was taken away,” Roman insists, his voice trembling a little, “If I had paid more attention. If I never left Miranda alone with her in that lab. She didn't want to be left alone, you know?” he quickly turns to look at Peter, his eyes made twice as big by the tears quickly forming in them, “Did I tell you?”

“Roman, please.”

“She told me, don't leave me here alone,” Roman goes on. It's like he doesn't even hear him. “But I did. I left her there. I had to come get you. 'Cause that asshole didn't want to let you in, and I needed you. And--”

“Roman.” Peter doesn't raise his voice, he knows that'd be useless. He doesn't try and stop Roman with a torrent of words he wouldn't even hear. He raises a hand and touches him, his fingers brushing Roman's pale cheek and resting there, warm and still. That stops Roman from talking. He shuts his mouth instantly, his eyes open wide. He wasn't expecting to be touched like that. “This is not your fault,” Peter says, looking straight into his eyes, “You don't need to blame yourself for it.”

“Then who do I blame?” Roman asks eagerly, his arms moving up, his fingers closing in a clutch around Peter's shoulders, “Who do I get angry with? Because I have to-- somebody-- I have to be angry at somebody.”

“What about the asshole who kidnapped her?”

“I pushed her in his arms!” Roman yells, letting Peter go and turning away from him.

“You didn't know who he was!” Peter insists, walking after him, “And to say it all, you still don't. We still don't. We should be focusing on how to find that man, how to get her back! Blaming ourselves will take us nowhere.”

“Focusing will take us nowhere all the same,” Romans answers. His voice is so dark and low Peter can barely hear him. “There's nothing we can do. That was a motherfucking flying monster, Peter. He took Nadia, and Miranda, and there's nothing we can do to get her back. We lost her. We did. She's gone.”

His voice breaks on that last word, and hearing that sound Peter's heart breaks too. Peter feels it crack so clearly he's sure that if he could open up his chest his heart would fall out of it, scattered in pieces all over the floor.

It's not that he hasn't thought about the possibility. He's used to always think the worst, when analyzing a situation. That's what makes him able to solve crisis, most of the times. But this, losing Nadia forever, this is something he's not prepared to think about, not just yet. It feels wrong, it's not how it's supposed to be. Nadia's Roman and Letha's baby. She's supposed to be back. So they can take care of her. Raise her up to be a beautiful, smart, wonderful woman. A person who's gonna be happy. Yes, that's how it's supposed to be. Roman and him are supposed to make little Nadia happy. That's what's going to happen. Not now, but soon. Peter isn't prepared to face any version of the future that isn't like that.

“Roman...” he whispers, coming closer. Roman doesn't even move away. Does he care? Does he really need him here? If Roman wanted to be left alone, could Peter be able to walk away, this time? “You can't afford to think that way. We can't afford to think that way. We need to keep our strength and hopes up. We need to keep believing we'll get her back.”

“How?” Roman asks. He turns to face Peter again and his eyes are those eyes once more. Eyes whispering I can't do this anymore. I quit.

Peter's got no answer for him yet. He's not even sure he ever will. But he needs him to keep believing, because Roman has kept believing so many times, whenever Peter just couldn't, that Peter isn't even sure he'd be able to keep believing in anything anymore if Roman just stopped.

So he holds Roman's face between his hands, staring right at him. “I know we will,” he says, “Doesn't matter how, not right this moment. I need you to believe in this,” he swallows, pulling Roman down a bit, their foreheads brushing against one another, “I need you to believe in me, so I can believe in myself through you. Roman. I know I can do anything. That there's nothing I can’t do. If you just believe in me.”

Roman's voice breaks down in a sob as he closes his eyes and pushes their forehead together. The second after, Peter finds himself wrapped up between his arms, pressed against him with such strength it seems like Roman's trying to disappear inside him, or to make him disappear inside himself.

Ah, yes, Peter thinks, closing his eyes and passing his hand up and down Roman's curved spine to try and soothe him as he cries his heart out, forcing tears out of his own eyes too, to be part of him. To become one with him. He smells like family, like something good and pure to protect and be protected by.

Nadia's sweet baby scent surrounds them in that room. It has survived all the death that washed those walls in red over the past few days. It's been stronger than blood, that sweet, delicate scent, and it's wrapping them up in warmth and tenderness, now. They're together in this, as they should. They'll come out of it. They need to heal, but it's going to happen. And after that, there will be time for the hunt.


Full moon is approaching, Peter can feel it underneath his skin. It feels like fingers touching him everywhere, all over his flesh. It’s a tickling sensation, at first, it’s almost pleasant, it wakes his body up in ways nothing else can, not even hold or being held, but it changes as the days go by. On full moon nights it’s not a tickle anymore, it feels like sharp, pointy nails scraping at his muscles, trying to tear his limbs apart. That’s when he knows he has to turn.

It’s going to happen tomorrow, he thinks, looking up at the sky. The moon is a big white ball, just not perfectly rounded enough yet. But it’s coming. It’s already itching.

He doesn’t know how to make this work with Roman, right now, and that’s a problem.

He should just tell him. He’s sure Roman remembers, somewhere inside him, he’s sure if he just told him Roman, I won’t be here tomorrow night, I’ve got to turn, I’ve got to get out in the woods, I’ve got to run, Roman would look at him and Peter would know he knows. But Roman can’t deal with being alone, right now. He can’t deal with pretty much anything, as of this moment.

But some things come whether you’re prepared for them or not. Like full moon. The moon doesn’t care if you’re ready for her, she lights up the sky with her white, milky glow and expects you to accept it and act accordingly. For Peter, that means crawl out of his skin, leak out of himself like blood, eat raw meat, feel the earth underneath his paws, taste the wind blowing through his fangs while he runs with his mouth open.

He doesn’t want to leave Roman alone, but he’ll have to, and he’s got to tell him.

He walks upstairs – it’s funny how he basically transferred into that house almost three weeks ago, now, but he still only walks to the first floor when he has to go get Roman – expecting to find him in Nadia’s room. He’s not there, though. Peter needs to wander around a bit, but he manages to find him, in the end, lying down on his bed, his eyes open as he stares at the ceiling.

Peter hasn’t set foot in that bedroom consciously since that night with Miranda. It feels funny to come in now. The air smells like Roman’s cologne, walking inside he feels as if Roman suddenly jumped on him and started to hold him tight – something he knows Roman would simply never do, but it’s a nice thought to go by, so he allows himself to smile as he sits on the edge of the bed and looks at him, passing a hand through his hair to move them away from his forehead.

Roman’s eyes shift from the ceiling to his face, but he doesn’t move an inch. He’s lying down, wearing only a pair of trousers, and he’s pale and motionless like a marble statue. Weren’t he so handsome, he’d be creepy. Well, he is a little creepy. Peter’s just getting used to it quickly enough to forget to notice, every now and then.

“Hey,” he says, smiling down at him, “Haven’t seen you all day.”

“I wasn’t in a people mood,” Roman answers.

Peter pretends to be offended by it. “Since when am I people?”

Roman makes an effort to smile, his lips barely curling upwards. They look so soft. Something stirs in Peter’s stomach. It’s a kind of hunger he knows already. A kind of hunger that’s always been there, around Roman. It just gets stronger when the wolf is coming. “You’re right,” he says, “Maybe I wasn’t in a Peter mood.”

“Now,” Peter frowns, pursing his lips, “Are you trying to make me angry or what?”

Roman actually lets out a little faint laughter, looking away again. “I’m not,” he answers softly, “It’s just, I remember.”

Peter’s stomach clenches once again. “Remember what?” he asks nervously.

Roman turns to look back at him. “Full moon. Tomorrow. I’m worried about it.”

“You don’t have to,” Peter rushes to say, shaking his head, “I can turn on a full moon. In fact, I have to. I’m not going to freak out, I promise. I’ll be perfectly safe.”

“I know you will,” Roman sighs, passing a hand through his hair, “That’s not what I’m worried about.”

Peter tilts his head like a dog, frowning lightly. “Then what is it?” he asks.

Roman doesn’t answer right away. Peter almost sees him blush. He’s gotta say, that’s quite a sight. “I don’t want to be alone,” Roman says in the end, “But I don’t want to ask you to stay. So I wanted to ask you if I could come. You wouldn’t have to hold back for me,” he says, looking intently at him, “Like, going slower or avoid the hunt. I’ll keep up, and if I can’t you can just leave me behind, and I’ll catch up sooner or later. And I won’t be disgusted by some killing. Hell, I did some I can’t get disgusted at, I’m sure I won’t even flinch at you biting the head off some rabbits.” He sighs again, closing his eyes for a moment. “I wanted to ask earlier, but I wasn’t sure if you’d let me come along.”

Peter tries to suppress a little smile, but it’s hard when Roman looks so fragile and ready to open up. “Then how come you’re asking now?”

Roman shrugs, his eyes still closed. “I couldn’t wait anymore. I was scared you’d take off and wouldn’t come back in time for me asking later. So?” he looks up at him again, “What do you say? Can I come along?”

The next day they walk out of Roman’s house together. Roman watches Peter take all his rings and clothes off and then walk out of the house naked while he wraps himself up in his coat and a thick scarf, and shivers as he stares at his outline in the dimly lit darkness of the backyard.

“Aren’t you cold?” he asks, perhaps a bit worried. Peter smiles despite already feeling his bones painfully shifting in his skin.

“I can’t feel a thing,” he answers honestly, “I just want to turn.”

Roman stays silent during the transformation, and Peter’s grateful for it. He’s always loved the way Roman looks at him while he changes. He seems so swept away with admiration, like a little kid stealing a few glimpses of his favorite superhero changing into his battle suit. Peter growls, wriggles out of his own skin, pops his own eyes out, slashes his own flesh to come out himself new, and all the while, despite the horrific show, Roman stands up right in front of him and stares at him as if he was a miracle he has no idea how to get used to.

After it’s done, Peter eats the leftovers and sits in front of Roman, looking up at him with yellow eyes for a few seconds. Roman exhales as if he had been holding his breath up to a moment before. “It’s always so beautiful,” he says, “I wish you’d let me watch more often. I want to watch every time, from now on.”

Peter doesn’t answer, but the meaningful look he casts Roman is enough of a yes. Then he simply turns around and starts running, and Roman starts running after him. As always, it’s very easy to lose track of time while running through the forest. Peter follows the river, rolling in the mud and then throwing himself into the water. He’s not surprised to see Roman when he emerges from it, he’s still staring at him with that childish happiness making his eyes shine like the stars, holding onto the low branch of a tree to lean out on the river, to watch him better without falling down.

Then hunger hits him, and it’s time to hunt. He catches a rabbit and a couple of squirrels, eats them voraciously, only spitting fur and broken bones. He leaves behind a trail of death thick enough for Roman to follow even if it’s dark and weariness holds him back.

When Roman finally catches up, Peter’s resting in a clearing, bathing in the moonlight, licking blood off his muzzle and paws. Roman comes closer and drops on his knees in front of him, his chest heaving with his heavy breath. He ran as hard as he could and there are tears at the corners of his eyes. Peter instinctively knows they’re not sadness tears. He knows how liberating can running through the forest be. He knows this is probably the first moment of pure, perfect happiness Roman managed to experience in the last few days, and he feels proud of himself for allowing him to get there.

Roman reaches out for him, holding him tight. His face disappears in Peter’s black fur, and he feels him sob uncontrollably. “I’m hugging you a lot, aren’t I?” Roman asks in between sobs, “I know that’s not like me at all. I promise I’ll stop soon, don’t get annoyed at me.”

Peter wishes he could talk only to tell him, if it was for him, Roman would never have to take his hands off him.

They lie down together on the wet grass for hours. Peter watches over Roman, waiting for him to calm down, to stop crying. Then, when Roman turns on his side and closes his eyes, Peter decides he can take a nap. Just a quick one.

When he wakes up, he’s human again, it’s late in the morning and he’s lying alone on Roman’s bed. He looks up, and Roman’s there, looking down at him with such intense eyes he’s almost scary.

“I thought I’d sleep for just a few minutes,” he says, his voice still drowsy, “Did you have to drag me back?”

“Yes,” Roman nods, “You turned while you were sleeping. It was almost peaceful, despite the blood. You seemed okay. But you were naked, and it was cold. So I wrapped you up in my coat and I carried you back.”

“Sorry for your coat, man,” Peter answers, making a face, “That’s never going to be clean again.”

Roman shakes his head. “I don’t care.”

“Sorry for having to carry me back, then,” Peter says with a faint smile, “I know I’m not exactly a featherweight.”

“I don’t care about that either,” Roman answers, smiling a bit.

Peter lets out a small chuckle, but when he stretches out he can’t help a little grimacing. Everything hurts. He will never get used to this.

“It was fun, though, wasn’t it?” he asks, looking back up at Roman, “We should do it more often.”

Roman doesn’t answer. He moves closer, leans in and presses his lips against Peter’s in silence for the longest time. Then he straightens himself up and keeps looking at him. “I love you,” he says, as simply as he probably says it to Shelley, or used to say it to Letha and Nadia, as a simple fact he has no way nor will to change, “Let’s do this again soon.”

He stands up, leaving him alone in the bedroom. Peter looks at him as he walks away. His heart is beating so fast his chest almost hurt.


Months pass by, the lunar cycle marking the time precisely as always. Once a month, Peter turns into a wolf, Roman stares at him and then follows him out in the woods. Those are the best moments, none of them is ever sad when they're running through the forest like that. Every now and then, when it's not too cold, Roman doesn't put his coat on and leaves his shoes home. He runs through the woods barefoot, feeling the earth scraping at the sole of his feet and following Peter when he dives into the river. They play, splash one another, then Peter throws himself at Roman and licks his face, keeping him down under his paws, so he can't run away, and Roman doesn't even try, and he laughs so loud the whole forest echoes with the sound of his voice.

But then those are only the best moments, and there's a few of them. A month is long and there's a whole one of them in between one full moon and another, and Peter can't turn on those days, they can't run out in the woods and pretend nothing's been lost, that everything's still in its rightful place.

When they can't play out in the night, the thought of Nadia missing is so heavy they can barely move around the house. Peter mostly hangs out downstairs, because he doesn't feel comfortable invading Roman's privacy, and Roman's always wandering between his bedroom and Nadia's room, staring at her cradle for hours and then crawling back on his bed, closing his eyes and trying to sleep.

Every now and then, when he musters enough courage to climb up the stairs into that silent, mysterious place that's Roman's house's first floor, Peter joins him on the bed, lies down next to him. Roman opens his eyes and looks at him silently, expecting him to say something, and Peter starts telling him about his people, about meeting with Destiny and Andreas, or tells him news about his mother in Bucharest. Sometimes Roman smiles. He always listens. Then Peter wraps his arms around him and feels him tense under his fingertips, and he has to whisper senseless nothings to him for minutes, waiting for him to calm down, relax and then just fall asleep.

They're very similar in this, in the way they can't deal with people, with their proximity. Peter is pretty sure Roman had no idea how to return a hug before him. The only difference between them is that Peter's been raised by gypsies, and so, though he didn't like people, or having to deal with them, he was forced to do so, and his mother always tried to smooth down his social inability with her own sweet and overwhelming way to display affection, which is why Peter is always very, very awkward with strangers, but at the same time very, very close to those he loves.

Roman naturally falls in the second group. He naturally fell in it since the first day, despite everything. Hugging him feels good like hugging a close relative, but it's something else, it's something more. Holding Roman is one of Peter's favorite activities, these days, and at first Roman was resisting, but as time went by he stopped trying.

And that'd be good if Peter didn't know it happens because Roman hasn't been feeding.

He's pretty sure Roman's last meal was the night of the battle against those people wanting to kill Nadia. Roman told him he stuffed himself up with Dr. Pryce's human meat slushie, or whatever that is, but there's been nothing after that. Peter has tried bringing him food, every now and then, rabbits, squirrels, some other little animal from the forest, but Roman always refused, making a disgusted face. He doesn't like the thought of feeding. He's struggling to accept his own dark nature, and by now Peter knows he wouldn't want to become human anymore, but the thought of drinking blood is still too tightly linked to bad and upsetting thoughts for Roman to surrender to that urge.

And yet, it's not like he can go on without drinking forever. He can still eat and drink normal food, but blood is supposed to quench a different kind of thirst, a thirst no other drink can affect. Longing for blood is making Roman weak, it's stripping his willpower away from him, and Roman keeps refusing to acknowledge it. He thinks if he ignores the problem long enough it might disappear. That's part of why he used to keep Nadia in a sealed room, after all, isn't it? He wanted to keep her secret, he wanted to keep her safe, sure, and also some deep, dark part of himself secretly hoped that if he didn't look at her long enough she'd simply go, vanish into thin air. Sometimes Peter stares at Roman staring at the empty cradle and he knows Roman's guilt is eating him up from inside, and he'd like to reassure him, to tell him it wasn't his fault, that everybody would've done the same, that he was just scared, but he knows Roman would just nod and smile, pretending he got it, while his own guilty conscience keeps killing him from the inside.

"Roman?" he calls out for him from the doorstep. It's dark outside, and inside Roman's bedroom the lights are off and the curtains are closed, so Peter can't even make out the outline of Roman's body. He knows he's in there because he can smell him, and he knows he's on the bed because he knows him, but he cannot see him, and the thought is weirdly upsetting. "Are you awake?"

Roman doesn't answer, but Peter feels him stiffen, and he hears him hold his breath for the longest time. He frowns, worried. "Roman?" he asks again, "Are you alright?"

"Yes," Roman answers right away, but it's clear in his voice that he isn't alright at all, "Yes, I'm fine. I was just taking a nap. I'll be downstairs in a minute."

"I'm coming in," Peter simply says, taking a few steps inside the bedroom.

"No, no!" Roman hastens to try and stop him, curling up in a corner of the bed to keep himself away from him as much as he possibly can, "I said I'm fine."

"You don't sound fine at all," Peter insists. He finds the bed and touches the edge with his fingertips, following it until he touches Roman's knee. Roman recoils to the touch, but it's not like there's somewhere he can run to from there, so in the end he flattens himself against the headboard of the bed and doesn't move an inch after that. Peter hears him breathe uneasy, and he swallows. "You're hungry," he says, matter-of-factly.

"I'm not," Roman tries to deny, "I'll be fine in a few minutes."

"No, you won't," Peter says, sitting on the edge of the bed, "That's not how it works, Roman. This kind of hunger doesn't simply go away. It drives you crazy if you don't feed. It's in your nature."

"It's not," Roman insists, shaking his head, "Dr. Pryce says--"

"Dr. Pryce has a lot of brilliant ideas, and most of them work, but they're all in the White Tower," Peter says, "And you haven't been at the White Tower in months."

Roman stiffens again, keeping his mouth shut. Peter understands why he doesn't want to go there again, not yet at least. He doesn't want to force him to, but if Roman's doesn't want to go and take a sip of Dr. Pryce's magic slushie then he needs to address the problem some other way.

He reaches out to turn the nightstand's lamp on, and when the yellow light lights up that corner of the room Roman squints, letting out a small whimper. "Turn that off," he whines, shielding his eyes with his forearm.

"Let me look at you," Peter says gently, holding his wrist and moving it away from his face. Roman is the whiter shade of pink he's ever seen, and his eyes are blood red. His lips are chapped and his cheeks are flushed as if he was feverish, standing out on his pale skin so much he'd look funny if Peter didn't know where this is coming from. "Roman..." he says patiently, "You can't go on like this. This is not how it's supposed to be."

"There's nothing here that's as it's supposed to be," Roman answers in a low growl.

"Not even us?" Peter asks, and Roman tightens his lips, swallowing hard.

"We're fine," he says after a while.

"I agree," Peter nods, moving closer to him. Then he sighs. "Roman," he says, "Do you trust me?"

Roman's quick to turn and look at him. "With my life," he says wholeheartedly.

Peter nods again, and then reaches back to grab his t-shirt, taking it off in a swift movement. Roman looks at him, a little surprised, and there's a question dancing on his lips, but Peter knows he isn't going to ask. That makes it easier.

He lets the t-shirt fall on the floor, and keeps looking at him as he raises his hand to the base of his own neck, where it turns into the curve of his shoulder. He presses the sharp edge of his nail on his own skin, and Roman clenches his teeth.

"Peter, don't," he says nervously.

"You said you trusted me," Peter answers.

"I do," Roman puts a hand on Peter's, covering it, "But I don't need this, I swear. Don't do it. If you do it, I don't think I'll be able to restrain myself."

"I don't want you to," Peter insists, holding again Roman's wrist in his fingers and driving his hand away from his own. "Don't you understand? Would you want me to keep the wolf in on a full moon night? Would you want me to stop hunting, stop running through the forest? You wouldn't, because it's my nature and you respect my nature. So why can't you respect yours?"

"Because it's a killer nature," Roman blurts out in a heavy breath, "And if you let me near, I will kill you. So please," he looks terrified, his eyes lost and huge, his bottom lip quivering with every word, "Please, don't."

Peter looks back at him silently for almost a full minute. When he speaks again, his voice is soft and soothing. "You don't need to kill," he says, getting further close to him, "I can teach you," his voice is nothing but a whisper, now, "Let me teach you."

He doesn't wait for Roman to say something else, to try and convince him this is a bad idea. He knows it isn't. Things could go very, very wrong, Roman could lose control, maybe really kill him, but Peter knows it won't happen. So he cuts his skin open with his nail, a thin, long trail of blood starting from the base of his neck and running down to his chest. Roman follows it with eyes huge with hunger and bloodlust, and Peter swallows, feeling his insides tie up in knots.

"Come," he says in a low, deep, calming voice, reaching out for him. As if compelled by an order, Roman moves towards him, sliding on the mattress. Peter puts a hand on his nape, guiding him towards the cut on his chest, and then closes his eyes when he feels Roman's tongue lap at the wound in a weirdly soothing way. "You don't have to help it heal, you know?" he asks, breathing a little heavily, "You have to feed. Suck at it."

"Okay," Roman says, his voice muffled as he presses his lips against Peter's skin, closing them around the wound. He sucks, and Peter feels his own blood squirt out his own body and fill up Roman's mouth. Roman lets out a deep grunt, his senses overwhelmed by the taste, as he closes his arms around Peter's waist, to trap him in a tight hug Peter doesn't want to escape from. It hurts a little, but not much, and knowing he's doing it for Roman helps him not to feel any pain at all.

Roman feeds off him silently for a few minutes, the only sounds filling the room being the low, creepy noise of the suction and the moans that every now and then escape both their throats, and when he stops he pulls away with a soft, wet smack that sounds entirely like a kiss. He's breathing heavily and his eyes are watery, heavy with lust.

Peter looks down at him, his chest heaving. The wound burns a little, now, but Roman starts lapping at it soon, closing his eyes, and the burning fades away, giving room to a ticklish sensation that awakens Peter's senses altogether. Roman's tongue doesn't stop at the end of the cut, it travels upwards, following the line of Peter's collarbones and then heading towards his neck. Peter tilts his head to give him room enough to move, and soon enough Roman's lips are covering his throat in messy kisses, his sharp teeth scraping at his skin with no intention to cut but with an underlying hunger that leaves Peter breathless.

"Is it happening?" he asks confusedly, raising a hand to the back of Roman's head and losing it in the tangle of his messy blonde hair, "Is it, really?"

"I think yes," Roman whispers on his skin.

Since Miranda, there was only that kiss between them. It wasn't even a proper kiss, more like lips brushing in affection, as if they merely needed a few seconds to be physically linked to one another to seal the new bond tying them together. This is entirely different, though.

It's not that they weren't thinking about it. It's not as if it wasn't in the air already. They shared a bed once, and though Miranda was there it was never for a moment about her. It was all about them, as it always had been. Miranda only helped to make it safer, creating a bridge between them, helping them to overcome awkwardness and embarrassment for the first time.

But they had touched one another, that night. They had kissed and their bodies had rubbed one against the other, and when they had fallen on the mattress, though Miranda had fallen between them, their hands had kept touching for most of the night, until they had fallen asleep.

Now that it's happening, it feels as if it was always bound to happen. Roman holds Peter in his arms, pushing him down on the mattress, and in a second his lips are closing on Peter's, and they're kissing. Roman's mouth tastes like blood. It's strangely arousing. Peter kisses him back and the kiss turns hungrier, it turns in a series of bites and groans, and soon enough Peter pushes Roman on his back and climbs on him, his arms by the sides of Roman's head, his legs tightly clenched around his hips, to trap him underneath his body.

Roman throws his head back and lets out a liquid moan that drips like honey down Peter's spine, and Peter dives in on Roman's bare neck. He licks his salty skin in long, wet laps, from the base of his neck to his squared jaw, over and over again, and then takes a bite, hard enough to make Roman moan louder. Then he pushes his hips down, grinding against Roman's crotch, and Romans suddenly opens his eyes wide, painfully aware of his own erection, and stares at him. "I wanna fuck you," he says, as nonchalantly as he'd do if he was talking about something obvious, something inconsequential. Peter nods so hard his neck hurts.

He rolls on his back on the mattress and then turns on his stomach, unbuttoning his pants and pushing them down his thighs. Roman looks at him for a moment as if pondering if he should ask a couple of questions, the mandatory "are you sure you want me to?" or some other bullshit like that. Peter prays uncertainty doesn't turn him into a pussy, because now he wants to be fucked so much it hurts, and if Roman decides to back off he's probably gonna punch him in the face.

But Roman, though scared and surprised and confused as he is, is always Roman. He doesn't walk out on people. He doesn't walk out on Peter.

He pulls himself up on his knees and pushes down his pants, and then moves on him, his body glued to Peter's, his chest weighing on Peter's arched back, his erection pressing insistently against one of his buttocks. The tip's already wet with pre-cum, and Peter closes his eyes and growls to the feeling, pushing his ass up to expose himself. He wouldn't be able to explain what he's doing, he feels like he's following an instinct that's always been inside him, like he does when he's out hunting or when he turns. This feels utterly, completely natural, and Peter keeps his eyes closed and lets his body take control.

Roman reaches out for the top drawer of his nightstand, retrieving a condom. He tears the package open with his teeth and spits it out. The sounds he's making, their heavy breaths, the noise of their skin whenever they collide against one another, all of that fills Peter's ears, creeping into his body like a physical thing, something warm that takes possession of his limbs, runs through his veins, drips into his bloodstream, making him harder, making him want Roman more.

When Roman thrusts inside him, the pain is almost liberating. Frustration was mounting inside Peter's loins and it was quickly becoming unbearable, but Roman's cock pops him open as it moves inside him, and Peter finds himself parting his legs and trying to get up on all fours, despite Roman's weight all upon himself, because he knows it'll feel better that way. He arches his back and pushes his ass out, and Roman has no other choice than get used to the new position, straightening his back and putting his hands on Peter's hips to balance himself as he pounds hard inside him.

Swept away by the feeling, Peter raises an arm almost unconsciously. He reaches back, pressing the sharp end of his nail against his neck and tearing another little wound open. Upon seeing the blood run down his skin in thick drops, Roman growls harder and bends over on him. Peter throws his head back, screaming in pleasure, when he feels Roman’s lips close around the cut, and then the sucking resumes, and it feels like pouring something of himself inside Roman's body, something more important than life itself, something deeper and bigger, something more than love, even, some form of absolute, utter devotion that puts Roman on a different place than anybody else in the world.

It feels right, because he knows it's the same for Roman.

When Roman comes hard inside his body, Peter comes too, his orgasm almost triggered by Roman's, and after that they both collapse on the bed, spent and overwhelmed, breathing heavily and stubbornly keeping their eyes closed to cling to the feeling. Roman starts licking at the wound on Peter's neck to clean it up and help it heal, and Peter finally opens his eyes to look at him. He seems so serene, so calm, for the first time since he came back he didn't need to turn and drag him into the wild to make Roman happy.

It feels so good Peter could cry.

"I like when you look at me with those eyes," Roman says. There's a cunning smirk curling up his plump lips. He'd be ridiculous, if he weren't so sexy.

"I'm not looking at you in any way," he answers, but he's smiling like an idiot, he knows, so when Roman laughs he can't help but laughing too.

"You are," Roman says, "Sometimes you look at me as if I was the most beautiful thing in the whole fucking universe. It's comforting," he adds in a softer smile, "To know I don't have to be the only one doing that."

Peter smiles softly too, leaning in to kiss him. It's stronger than him, he has to. Roman curls his nose and makes a little face, and Peter laughs. "You're not a cuddly one," he says.

"You're the dog, after all."

Peter laughs again, settling down better on the bed. He looks at Roman for the longest time, combing his hair with his fingers, and then speaks. "Do you feel any better?" Roman just nods, and Peter nods too. "We've gotta do something to get Nadia back."

He was almost expecting Roman to back away and tell him that couldn't be helped, that they had to move on and forget about her. But Roman nods again.

"I don't think we can do this alone," he says, "Much as I hate the thought, I think we'll have to go back to the White Tower. Talk to Dr. Pryce. Maybe my mother."

Peter nods. "I'll be with you," he says.

"You motherfucking better be," Roman answers with a smirk, "If you dare walking out on me now that I need you the most again--"

"Oh, come on!" Peter laughs, "Let it go, already! Christ, you're like a five years old kid, sometimes, I swear."

Roman laughs, closing his eyes and relaxing against the pillow. It takes a while for Peter to understand he fell asleep. He leans in, kissing him on his temple, and then lies down next to him. Deep down, he's already hoping the next thing they can share with one another about Nadia is a dream telling them exactly where she is, and how to get her back.