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I would just like to go on record as saying I still think this is a bad idea.
Saturday, June 30th - Afternoon

Somehow, when the matter had been broached at Malfoy's party the night before, Bill hadn't been able to come up with a good enough excuse to keep Tonks away for the night.

No, he hadn't actually ever hurt anyone - that he could remember. There were a handful of moons he had managed to drink himself into such a stupor that he really didn't have a clue what had happened the next morning, other than the hangover. But that didn't mean the urge to break things, and people, hadn't been there.

That's why he'd kept Fleur away. Hell, that's why he kept just about everyone away, other than a few nights spent in the company of Chuckles, but Bill knew Charlie could take care of himself if something were to happen. The man dealt with dragons, for Merlin's sake.

Just because he hadn't ever hurt someone in the past, didn't mean he wouldn't some night. But that wasn't good enough for Tonks. She had persisted, and pushed and now... Now she was due to show up any minute, assuming she didn't chicken out and spare them both.

Bill continued to pace the living room, nerves biting at him, demanding that he not answer the door when she knocked, to run away and hide in the woods for the night.

No one but family had seen him like this, antsy and full of repressed energy, since Greyback had mauled him, and Bill wasn't really looking forward to changing that.

At all.
See, you can't let slip that your brother was going to be gone over the full moon and expect any friend worth her salt to say, "Well, sucks to be you, huh? Hope you don't get driven crazy out there by the lake alone like you talked about before."


Tonks hadn't even felt guilty about using everything Bill had confided in her in order to get her way. She'd had a stomachful of the whole noble suffering gig already in this lifetime; now it was time for practicalities. Someone should be there to point out there was nothing to be ashamed of, and that he was too smart to do anything stupid, and just wait through the night with him.

Also, he hadn't acted quite as disturbed when they were out last night as he had last month before the actual full moon. Tonks figured she better not say anything out loud, in order to protect the ever-sensitive male ego, but in truth: she was proud of him.

Which didn't mean she wasn't going to knock down the cabin door if it didn't swing open soon in answer to her persistant knocking.
Run for it. Run for it.

Bill took a deep breath and stalked toward the front door. He would open it, tell Tonks this just wasn't going to work and she should go, shut it in her face if need be, and drown his sorrows in the fridge full of beer.

It was a good plan.

Too bad he didn't actually follow through with it.

Instead, he opened the door and looked down at her, at a complete loss for words, and then simply opened it wider to silently invite her in.

Tonks sailed inward, with seemingly all the confidence in the world.

"Afternoon, Stretch. Didn't know if you'd prefer icing or beer, so ... I brought both."

She breezed into the kitchen, but stopped and chuckled at herself upon opening the icebox, which had a fair few cases already in stock.

"Guess you've got the beer part covered, though."
"Yeah. Beer."

That's intelligent. You're quite the conversationalist today, aren't you, Billy Boy?

He continued to stare at her for a minute, then blinked. "Would you like one?"
Her eyebrows went up, and Tonks wondered briefly if she'd gotten icing on herself or something again. Merlin, that'd be perfect, swanning around town with a swipe of chocolate on my nose.

Sad thing was it wouldn't be the first time.

"I would indeed."

Tonks bent over and grabbed two bottles before shutting the door and handing one to Bill.

"So what would you like to do?" She asked as she returned to the main room. Slipping her shoes off, Tonks sat on the sofa and made herself comfortable, crossing her legs underneath her.

"I'm up for anything. You wanna play Exploding Snap, or go for a walk around the lake and maybe ask the Squid about his deep dark Squiddy secrets, or maybe work on fixing those tiles in your shower?"
"Exploding Snap? Walk? Shower?" The last was repeated in a dangerously high squeak, forcing Bill to quickly open his bottle and drain half of it.

Once he was confident he could speak like a man who had actually made it past puberty, Bill tried again. "I usually just sort of sit. In my chair. And drink. Which sounds absolutely thrilling when I say it out loud, doesn't it?"

Not that it stopped him from plopping into his favorite chair anyway. "Look, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I'm not really - comfortable with this. This whole you being here thing."
"Something might have tipped me off, yeah."

Tonks took a sip from her own bottle and cocked her head.

"But I have every bit in faith that you will. Get comfortable, that is."

Now that she was sitting on the couch, strange sorts of memoriesdaydreams she'd been having tried to filter their way to the forefront of her consciousness, the ones in which she and someone else were on this very piece of furniture making out pretty hot and heavy.

Tonks pushed them back where they belonged.

"I can sit and drink and talk with the best of 'em. Just ask Sirius."
Now would have been a good time to mention that whole thing about not wanting to get drunk off his arse around Tonks again because last time they had ended up in bed and naked and the worse part was that he couldn't even remember if getting there had been any fun.

He bet it had been.

However, Bill didn't think bringing up all that old stuff would be a particularly bright idea right now, so he chose to take a drink instead.

"How is Sirius, by the way?"
"He's in Italy, flirting with all the waiters and waitresses he sees. And he says he's not coming home until he's had his fill of sun and sand and freedom."

How long that would be, Tonks had no idea, but she hoped the knowledge that Bellatrix was gone would lift some of the weight of the past of her cousin's shoulders.

"Offered me the deed to Grimmauld Place — says he's never stepping foot in there again, which I can't blame him but, hell, I'm not getting saddled with that dump either, so I told him sorry but to shove off. I think he hit Harry up with the same offer before me."

Tonks shrugged her shoulders and took another drink.

"It sounds like he's doing better than he was before, though. It's hard to worry too much about someone when they're offering to Portkey you down for a vacation and holding out promises of nude beaches, you know?"

Her beer wasn't half gone, but she sat it down for now and leaned against the arm of the sofa, propping her head on her hand.

"Merlin, our family's messed up."
"Fuck yeah, it is." He tipped his bottle toward her in a salute, then frowned.

"Wait, you're talking about your family, aren't you? Although, either way it's still messed up." Bill squinted one eye a bit as he thought back. "Although, I can't say as anyone in my family ended up in Azkaban for crimes against all wizardkind. And you've got Draco Malfoy in there, too, don't you?"

Suddenly, he laughed. "You win."
"Hey!" Tonks sat up straight, just maybe a touch defensive about the whole "homicidal and/or insane family tree" thing.

"Yeah, you're right, but then, Lucretia Black married your mum's, um, cousin? And Arthur's mum was a burn hole on the ol' tapestry just like my mum is, I think, so it's all really one big messed up family if you think about it."

She faltered and kinda half-heartedly chuckled.

"Not that I'm saying we're cousins or relatives or anything like that."
"I should hope not!" Perhaps yelling that across the room wasn't the best way he could have expressed his opinion. Not to mention the sudden flushing in his cheeks. He hopped out of his chair and began to pace.

"Because that would be bad. If we were. Because of the - with the thing and - Technically, once you're off the tree I'm pretty sure they stop counting you, besides, Mum's cousin is way far over on the other side of the thing and it was your Mum and... I need to eat. You want something?"
Tonks was taken aback by Bill's outburst, the very vehemence of it sending her thoughts in a different direction.

Merlin knew she wasn't all that proud of most of her family — very far from it — but he was acting like the merest suggestion of having Black blood was like being brushed by a plague, and was scrambling to distance himself.

She got up as well, blocking Bill's path. Tonks folded her arms and stared up belligerently.

"I don't know. You sure you want to share your food with one of those awful Blacks, even one like me? 'Because that would be bad.'"

The words coming out of her mouth didn't make a bit of sense, and Bill was aware that he probably looked as confused as he felt.
"It's just ..." Tonks spluttered a bit, gearing up for a fight that obviously was going to be one-sided, which took the wind out of her sails completely.

"Oh, hell. Whatever, I don't blame you. If I could disavow them I would, too."

All of them but her mum and Sirius and possibly Draco on his good days.

She wilted a bit, shoulders slumping.

Stupid plodding family. Man, Walpurgia's portrait would be full of stuff to say about this.

"Never mind. Go get yourself a snack."
He was missing something.

Give him a tomb with an ancient curse, and he was right at home. Hell, chasing down a rogue vampire didn't seem to be an issue, either. But toss him in a room with a female and nothing made sense any more.

Bill looked longingly toward the kitchen. There were steaks in the fridge, they'd been sitting in a marinade since he got home last night. It wouldn't take long to grill them up nice and rare.

Instead, he sighed and ran a hand across the back of his neck. "I don't think you're understanding what I was trying to say. Badly, apparently."
"Well, I might have lost the point among the shouting and the pacing," Tonks allowed, slightly embarrassed.
"I was talking about -" Good gods, he was going to have to say it, wasn't he? "Sex, Nymph. I was talking about you and I, and what may have happened before."

And what may happen again.

"Now do you see how it would be bad if we were related?"

Oh, that.

Er. Well.

"Sirius' parents were second cousins. We'd be rank amateurs when it comes to that particular family tradition — not even in the same league as the champs."

Tonks winced when she heard the thoughtless babble coming from her lips. It sounded like she was justifying something that didn't need to be justified, but it wasn't that. Not really.

For the first time since entering the cabin, she found herself nervous. Not from fear — more like a sort of hyperawareness that was making the hairs on her arms stand straight up.

"Doesn't matter, though. I've been telling myself since February that it would be a bad idea and that's that."

Funny how one instant in which you see someone differently than you had before could be so difficult to forget.
Steaks were forgotten as Tonks declared the entire idea of them to be a bad idea. True, Bill had pretty much resigned himself to the same conclusion, but hearing her say it rankled.

A lot.

"Since February, huh. You've been thinking about me and you together since the Black Orchid Orgy that wasn't?" He moved closer, invading her personal space, leaning forward just a bit to bring his face closer to hers. "It's a bad idea, and that's that, yet you still ended up in my bed just a few months later."

Bill's eyes closed briefly and his nostrils flared as he caught her sent for the first time that night. "And here you are, once again."

When his eyes opened, there was a predatory gleam in them. He began to step forward, forcing Tonks to edge back to keep any space between them, until the wall interrupted their strange dance. "Bad idea or not, Nymph, I'm hungry."
Bill was hot.

And not in the ordinary, everyday way he always was — this was different. He was radiating a sort of heat; Tonks swore she could feel it across the scant difference separating them.

Maybe that was why her mouth was dry and her tongue flickered out to moisten her lips.

"I don't want to go through another Remus," Tonks whispered, her eyes locked on Bill's, mesmerized. "I don't want to be another Fleur."

She'd been backed against the wall, but she wasn't the sort to let that stand. Tonks moved forward, and ran a hand up Bill's arm to sample that warmth she sensed.

"But yeah, Bill. I do want you."
He inhaled sharply when she touched him.

The good news was that he didn't think he'd have to worry about wanting to hurt her. The bad news was that there were so many other things he wanted to do to and with Tonks, things he craved.

The same instinctual needs that were always present when the moon rose were still there - to run free, to feed - but there was a new urge that suddenly outweighed the rest. The need to claim her. To mate.

She'd condemned them both when she'd said she wanted him, after that there was no thought of drowning out the urges in alcohol and solitude.

Bill took her mouth, wrapping both arms around her body to pull her closer to his own.
Tonks drifted awake pinned in place by a heavy body above her.

Mmnh. Later.

She shifted slightly and burrowed her head into the pillow.

Sometime later she awoke more, and eventually memories of the prior night came back.

... No wonder she was completely and utterly unmorphed, every inch of her relaxed. And hungry, so very hungry. That was probably what had finally woken her up.

They never had gotten around to a meal, being more concerned with other things. Bill'd been insatiable, a man if not possessed then at least inspired, and she'd done her best to match his pace until at last they'd fallen back on the bed for some much-needed rest.

Although, in the middle of the night Tonks thought she did hear him leave at one point.

For her part, she'd been asleep for good by the time he'd returned.

Now, though ... she flipped herself over so she was lying on her back, and looked over at Bill, just watching him sleep. After a bit she reached over to brush some hair out of his eyes.

"So here we are again, Stretch."
Bill woke up immediately at the sound of her voice, but didn't move or open his eyes.

The sense of deja vu was strong, the only difference was this time he remembered what had happened the night before. All of it.

Thank the gods.

She didn't sound upset, which was good. Right? She wasn't screaming, hitting him, or telling him he was a cad for taking advantage of her. Also good.

So now what? Last night he hadn't really been thinking about the future, or even what would happen the morning after. Truth be told, he hadn't really been thinking last night at all.

But now it was morning, and it was time to face the consequences. The first words he said to her would be super important, they would set the tone for the rest of their relationship - assuming they had one - and be an indication for his feelings - whatever they were - for Tonks.

Bill cracked one eye open. "Waffles?"