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i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

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There are rings on Peter’s fingers. Each one has a different size than the other; some are thick, then, the other will be thin; metal and dimmed gold; scrapped raw and shining. He sees histories in each ring. And pain, at some odd times, would appear in his eyes, glistening like ice before it melts away. Roman would take his hand and fool around with it. There would be a tug of a grin on the wolf’s face because Roman’s happiness is his. And, he would delightedly bask in it. He would entangle their hands and gaze at Roman with mischief and fondness (“we do fit like a puzzle,”) as one of their personal little jokes and Roman would feel at ease.

Roman has one of the rings adorning his finger.

It flickers beneath the sun in the summer of Hemlock Grove. 

He thinks of Peter’s hands, forgiving and loving, circling around his wrists as their whispers of sin turn his lips vermillion red. Everything about Peter is beautiful under the shimmer of moonlight seeping behind curtains and Roman — Oh, Roman loves him. 

-

There’s little attention when Mrs. Warren introduces them to Romeo and Juliet (“the star cross’d lovers,” Peter says with a whispered voice full of pride, “I’ve read this before,”) in such an enthusiastic tone. The one of many famous Shakespeare works, yet Roman only spares a glance at it. He finds that staring at his wolf is much more interesting to do. He notices, with fondness blooming in his chest, that there’s a glint of passion in Peter’s eyes, burning bright like a fire to gasoline. His hair is tied into a bun, and despite some strands still falling to his face, Roman can see him clearly. He can see his baby blue, watching intently, trembling with excitement.

Later, Peter peers at him. He smiles softly in response. And, Roman sees his whole life clutch in that smile - in everything Peter does. The hands that grasp Roman’s vermillion beating heart. Roman sees those hands digging marks of ownership onto his waist. Making love in the sheets and rolling blunts in the cold of December. Hands that cup his jaw and rubs meaningless circles on his skin to ground Roman, and when he cries, those hands wipe his sorrow away. So, so tender that Roman gets dizzy. In Peter’s eyes, there is deep passion and bravery of the wolf; there’s love for Roman, fierce and intense. The soft hue of blue is gentle like the years he spent under his mother’s affection. And, when it darkens, it brings a deep chilling sensation to people around him. When Roman grins back, those eyes bring him solace. 

“Between us, I would be Romeo,” says Peter as they head to his locker. 

It startles him enough that the upir’s first reaction is to snort, followed by a light chuckle that leaves his mouth involuntarily. “No way, you’d fucking kill yourself for me?” Roman asks.

“Yeah – well, you’d do, too,” he replies with a shrug, arranging his books inside the locker before closing it shut with a loud slam, the metal rattling. When he stares at Roman, his shoulder pressed to the locker, leaning on his side. His eyes point towards the silver band of their promise resting on Roman’s ring finger, glinting like it holds secrets. “You love me.”

“No, I don’t.” 

Peter raises his brows. “Say that the next time you ride my dick.” 

At that, Roman barks a surprised laugh, shaking his head and covering a hand across his face to conceal his blush before following him out with two fingers secretly clinging their ways on the hem of Peter’s leather jacket.

The conversation ends there.

(Roman does love him.)

-

Many times—many many fucking times Roman dreads moments like this.

Both feet planted on the ground, stunned like a Greek statue. When he falls to his knees, it follows with a loud thud. As if his legs give out. He looks at the blood slipping between the wide gaps of his spread fingers, flowing and trickling to the floor like a waterfall. This brings a fresh sickening feeling inside him, boiling and twisting his inside. His Godfrey eyes are wide, shaken; a solid proof of his shock and fear. He looks at Peter and his chest; up and down, up and down. He is breathing. Peter is breathing.

“Peter,”

His voice is faint. Fainter than the wind. Roman is trembling in his place.

“’s not my blood, babe,” Peter says between groans. He huffs as he discards the limp body off him. “Help me up,”

But the fear is real. The sight of red on his hands is real. 

Roman moves fast as lightning. He ignores Peter’s demands and he also does not care if his knees scrape from the sudden movements as he engulfs his wolf in an embrace. A loud sob breaks through, escapes his mouth, and shakes his body. It takes Peter several seconds to comprehend; to notice the wetness dripping on him; to finally wrap his arms around Roman with such tender care.

“Hey, hey, jeez — baby, I’m fine,” Peter grips the back of Roman’s head. “I’m fine. Baby. Look at me,”

But Roman refuses. He mumbles incoherently, trembling on the ground like a child afraid of death - and perhaps, Peter thinks, that Roman is afraid of death. Although not his own, but Peter’s.

Peter’s embrace stays even after Roman’s breath even out.

-

At such odd times like this, the house belongs to both of them. 

The light in the living room flickers, and Roman thinks of the house by the lake. He bought it out of impulse, one that is out of the sinister land of Hemlock Grove. Peter had promised him a place, somewhere far and safe, but Roman thought buying that would not hurt, so he took the opportunity. It was a quick buy and a satisfying one. Roman pictures a beige crib in one of the rooms upstairs, pale orange walls because joy should exist in every way possible in their new house. His thoughts wander and wander and wander until suddenly a brush against his cheekbone, then, Roman is in the living room, again.

“I think you’re wrong,”

With a puff, the smoke leaves Roman’s mouth. 

He appears content with his head on Peter’s lap. There is a blunt trapped between his index and middle finger, halfway burned by now. And his smile is loose, painted with light smoke he puffs. The air is warm from the smoke. Peter manages to lay a comforting hand atop Roman’s chest, strong fingers to sturdy ribs. 

“What ya mean?” Peter asks, slightly confused.

“’bout us being a fuckin’ Romeo and Juliet,” says Roman.

Peter runs a hand through Roman’s hair. His touch is comforting. Always is. Then, he glances downward. “Yeah? Why so?”

“They’re not in love,” he says under his breath like the confessions of penitents. A regretful sin that is supposed to be uttered in the confessional, unheard. But he knows, as well as Peter, that his mouth itches to say it out loud. To tell the truth, so he continues, “they’re in love with the idea of love.”

Roman shifts. He looks up - waiting. His eyes are wide and bright. Determined. And when Peter gazes at them, something reaches into his heart. This, this vulnerability; Peter never sees this side of him.

“And we won’t die tragically like them. I won’t – I won’t let anyone kill you. Or me. No – We are untouchable. I am killing everyone who dares to even fucking try.”

“Even your mom?”

The wolf rests his hand on Roman’s hair. Their gaze meets.

“Yes.”

“Okay,”

Then: “We’re not like them, Peter,” says Roman. His voice quivers with fear, uncertainty, at the edges.

A loving kiss to his forehead, then: “No, we’re not, baby.”

There is no use to compare.

History is made and crafted by their own fingers. They love in the dark and their kiss gives promises in the daylight. They are not the tragic lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Or, even the new age of Patroclus and Achilles. They are Peter and Roman; the wise wolf and the upir – the lovers.

“Not even fucking close,”