Who: Romilda Vane, Taliesyn Robards, Cary Robards
Where: Robards HQ
When: 25 January 2002, evening
When Romilda had merely shown him the shoes Tali wasn’t impressed. He made polite noises of appreciation but they looked no different to any other pair. And two people wanted them desperately? Come on.
Then she put them on.
The effect was instantaneous. The shoes were still shoes, but the rest of Romilda was incredible. He needed to put his hands all over her right now.
“Right now” being, of course, several hours later, after their sweet little dinner date and romantic stroll. (Must not grope girlfriend in public, must not grope girlfriend in public…) But now they were home and it was finally right now.
Tali had barely got the front door open and his lips on hers (he had one foot across the threshold so it was no longer public and totally OK) when there came the sound of footsteps from upstairs. He froze.
After what was undoubtedly the most romantic evening she’d ever spent, Romilda was not particularly impressed when Tali’s lips still against hers when they’d hardly even crossed the threshold of their temporary love nest. For her to get a Saturday night off from the Grotto was rare enough that she didn’t want to waste it.
“You okay?” she murmured, hand slipping somewhere a little naughty in case he’d suddenly been distracted by thoughts of Watson or whether he’d cleaned the teapot.
“Yes, I’m… oh, oh.” And now he had two conflicting interests, Romilda’s hand and the noise from upstairs. The hand won out. She hadn’t jumped, so maybe the noise was just his stupid imagination.
“Absolutely fine, darling,” he whispered, putting both hands around her face for a proper insides-melting snog.
Stomp stomp stomp came down the stairs.
“Good.” Romilda smiled, leaning into the kiss as her other hand found somewhere else to touch. As she started to feel deliciously warm from head to stylish foot, the stomping smashed through the romance. Romilda kept her eyes shut. Maybe it was a murderer. Maybe it was Watson and he had more than doubled in size and weight since they had left for dinner. Stranger things had happened in Helga’s Hill.
Still holding Tali, Romilda clung to those possibilities, though she wasn’t sure what was worse: potentially being slain or being on giant corgi pooper scooper duty.
Well it was nice to die in the arms of a loved one, Tali thought, if one absolutely had to die. He pulled out his wand and promptly forgot everything he’d ever learnt in DADA. Crap. Well, he still had use as a human shield. He was pushing Romilda behind his back when the footsteps spoke.
“Hello, Mum and Dad! Did you miss—” Cary stepped into the light. “You are not my parents.”
“Oof!” Romilda nearly stumbled as Tali selflessly tried to push her behind him. She put one hand on the wall to steady herself, frowning as she heard an all too familiar voice. Straightening up, she scowled over Tali’s shoulder at Cary. “Too bloody right we’re not your parents.” Even though she sort of admired Mrs Robards, she really didn’t want to be compared to the woman at all. That would just be weird.
“Where’s Mum and Dad?” asked Cary. He correctly deduced they were not around if Tali was in the house.
“Honeymoon,” muttered Tali.
“What, they divorced and remarried already?”
“No, their own. Again, I guess.” Tali walked away and tried to get some tension out his body by stretching against the wall.
“Oh.” Cary caught full sight of Romilda. “Hello, Romilda! Looking good tonight,” he grinned. He gave her a look that made Tali want to cuff his brother around the head.
Romilda wiggled her fringe straight with a little ruffle of her fingers. “Thanks. We’ve just been out to dinner.” She pursed her lips, deciding that Cary looked entirely too cheerful. Was it too much to ask that he be embarrassed or at least apologetic that he had interrupted a perfectly knee-jellifying kiss? “Should you be in Madagascar or Malaysia or somewhere like that?” Romilda raised her eyebrows. “Or at Andrei’s?” she asked pointedly. “Where he has a couch. For sleeping on.”
Cary laughed. Oh, so that’s what they were up to in his parents’ absence. Of course.
“No. He might have someone over.”
“I definitely have someone over,” Tali said, face starting to burn a little. “Go to Dot’s and use my room.”
“I don’t know the way. And I don’t want to,” Cary added. “I’ll wear earmuffs to bed. You two do whatever you normally do, do whatever you like.”
This was infuriating and also horribly familiar to Romilda. When she’d dated Andrei at Hogwarts, getting any secret time alone in the boys’ dormitory was difficult when your boyfriend’s roommate was Cary bloody Robards.
“Andrei definitely won’t have anyone over. He’s been single forever. So you should go there.” She nodded decisively. “You could take him to the Grotto. It’s St. Dwynwen’s Day. I bet there’ll be single girls everywhere. Andrei needs all the help he can get.”
Cary thought hard. He had planned to stay stubbornly put. The thought of going out on the pull didn’t occur to him at all. But now… it was tempting. Worse case scenario he could just have a nice boozy evening with Andrei.
He narrowed his eyes. “You win this time, Romilda. But I live here too. I’ll be back… tomorrow.”
He clapped Tali on the shoulder on his way out. “Hope all your dreams still come true tonight.”
Tali waited until Cary seemed well and truly gone before he rushed over and put his arms around Romilda in sheer relief. “Fuck, I thought he’d never leave. I almost wished he was a murderer because then I could subdue him and the DMLE would then cart him off.”
Romilda sagged against Tali, her relieved sigh turning into a soft laugh at his comment. “I’m just glad I didn’t have to bribe him or something.” She’d had a few more things up her sleeve, but it had mostly involved trying to embarrass Cary out of the house and that would have lead to embarrassing Tali too. The last thing Romilda wanted to do was embarrass Tali because, quite frankly, she still wanted to have sex tonight.
Raising her head, she gave him as small smile. “When I heard him coming down the stairs, I hoped that Watson had just got really fat.”
“Because he finally ate every one of possessions?” Tali’s lip quirked. He laughed. “Yeah, maybe.”
Tali had thought the mood ruined, but his eyes slid down past her neck, and nope, mood not ruined, mood still good, mood still very, very good.
Unless Cary had lulled them into a false sense of security only to reappear, laughing maniacally.
“I think we should barricade the front door,” he declared. “In case of Cary. Or actual murderers,” he added after a small pause.
Romilda moved towards him, smiling slyly. “I agree. We need anti-Cary precautions.” Tali’s brother may have disrupted the flow of the evening, but he hadn’t stopped it altogether. On the plus side, at least it had been Cary and not Idris. Not even her cleavage could salvage that.
“Lock the door,” she whispered, a hand coming to rest on Tali’s chest. “Then back to kissing?”
He leant in. “I can kiss and lock the door at the same time,” he declared boldly. The door remained unlocked for several minutes even though he did manage to put a hand on the latch.
“Let’s go… oh wait, the door, right.”
Tali had to turn away from Romilda to lock the door. He then hauled the shoe cabinet in front of it.
“Heavy enough, you think?”
“Mm. I think so.” Romilda smirked. “And if it isn’t, the noise of it falling over will be the perfect warning system. Brilliant.” She grabbed the front of his shirt, half turning towards the stairs. “Now let’s go.”
“After you,” said Tali, letting Romilda go first, which was all gallantry and nothing to do with the view. Then he decided the view wasn’t enough and he followed her up with a hand on her bum.
“I’m keeping you steady! In case you trip and topple backwards.”
Romilda laughed, glancing back over her shoulder at him. “Oh, and you’re doing a marvellous job, my love,” she teased. “I don’t know how I’ve managed stairs without you before.” Merlin help her, she really did love this idiot. Her smile shone with affection and she reached to steal another kiss outside the bedroom door.
“Always happy to oblige,” said Tali, grinning against her face, returning her kisses. “And if you don’t feel like ascending on your own steam that’s OK too, I could totally carry you up.”
The door swung open with a quick shove of a palm. A sudden thought came to him. “Carry you to the bed?” It was barely four feet away. “Say yes.”
“I…” Romilda paused, dazed from his kisses and still smiling. He’d never tried to carry her to the bed before and maybe her faith that he would be able to manage her weight was a little wobbly. She bit her lip, then nodded. “Yes.”
“Brilliant.” To be honest Tali had no idea how he’d go. He put one arm around Romilda’s back and hooked another under her legs and lifted. Excellent. Off the ground. Now, he just had to take a few steps…
“Right. OK. This way.” He trod forward tentatively. Yes. Good. Still upright. Step again. So far so good. He reached the bed and now just to put her down… oh no, he couldn’t do it this way. He needed his back as a brace. He spun them around so now he was facing away from the bed.
“Um… I’m just going to… tilt backwards, if that’s alright with you.”
Romilda pressed her lips together to stifle a giggle. Well, at least he hadn’t dropped her. Yet. Being picked up by his surprisingly strong arms had been easy enough, but she was going to get dizzy if he had to spin her around like that again.
She gave him a peck on the cheek, bracing herself for some sort of impact. “Go for it.”
Tali bent back till his legs gave out and dropped onto the blankets with a flooph sound, precious cargo still in his arms.
“Take-off fine, journey acceptable… I admit the landing needs improvement.” He raised his head and gave Romilda a smile. “Come here.”
Shifting so that she didn’t end up squashing him uncomfortably, Romilda settled into a much more favourable position. She grinned, then pressed her lips to his. “My strong man,” she murmured. “I’m impressed.” If the landing needed some work, they could fix that another time. Right now, she thought as she curled her hand around his bicep, there were much more important things to attend to.
Tali smiled to the heavens. Wasn’t life just wonderful? He rolled over so he was now on top of Romilda. “Save your wonderment, dear, I haven’t even started.”