Fandom: Hemlock Grove
Series: On the Outside Looking In
Pairings: Peter/Roman, Other minor pairings
Warnings: Minor angst, violence, non-con - so canon really.
Word Count: 1263
Disclaimer: If I owned it, Peter and Roman would make out.
Summary: Olivia knows that Peter will be the key to everything.
Olivia knows the legends paint her kind as monsters but while Upir are forced to kill by hunger, they are made by love.
Every Upir is born of heartbreak. They are born of loss, betrayal, and broken promises because only love could make so many turn against the world. Olivia was no different; for all her strength and power, she became an Upir the same way as the rest. The girl she’d been had loved a boy with everything she had and then that boy had left her, all that passion turning to bitter hate instead. Hate for the world, hate for her lover, and hate for the foolish heart that had led her path astray.
In the depths of her despair, Olivia chose escape; she chose to spill the lifeblood from her veins. But in seeking the embrace of death, the Upir escaped that fate forever and she considered what she'd lost a more than even trade.
Olivia had known betrayal and now her son must do the same.
The Upir had never expected to adore her child, the heir she spent five lifetimes searching for. Olivia had killed a dozen children without a moment’s hesitation – squalling babes without potential – before Roman came out screaming his displeasure to the world.
Even before she saw him, she knew her son was special and she was given proof in the caul that marked his face. Roman would be an emperor. He would be a god amongst humanity once he shed his chrysalis.
So Olivia watched her child grow from a boy into a man and she taught him all the wisdom that she’d gained throughout the years. She taught Roman that the world could be divided into tools and those who used them – into predators and prey. She told her child that he should never hide ambition or feel guilty for taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses; that money, sex, and power could bring the best men down.
Olivia had used all three to rule the Godfreys and their city; she married JR for his company and fucked his brother for herself and she doesn’t mourn her husband when he chooses suicide.
Honestly, the Upir is better off without him. His death is an inconvenience but one that has its uses in the teaching of her son. For when Roman dares to have nightmares about his father’s body, Olivia commands him not to mourn. Death is nothing to be scared of and he should remember that even the strongest men still choose escape sometimes. Sometimes being perfect is a heavy weight to bear.
“A Godfrey should always be perfect,” Olivia tells her child every evening, holding him to a standard that would break a lesser man. She wants him strong as well as fragile and though he sometimes flinches at her words, the Upir never asks him how he’s feeling. She’s content with the knowledge that her plans are well on track.
By the time Roman reaches high school, he’s strong and proud just as a Godfrey should be, secure in his position and his place. However, when he begins to feel the hunger, Olivia starts to realize that she may have taught her son too well. Because Upir are made by heartbreak and Roman barely loves his family, let alone a stranger. He seems to hate his mother as much as he respects her and Olivia fears she has no leverage with which to shatter him.
But the Upir has worked too hard to let her son’s rebellion ruin everything. Roman is hers and he will not stand against her. He must be made to see the truth and while his sisters are not perfect, she can work with what she has.
Olivia considers Shelley first – perhaps her daughter will finally prove useful. But the girl is soft and weak of heart; she would never betray her brother the way that Roman needs.
So the Upir turns her gaze on Letha, the bright and shining child that Norman Godfrey loves. Indeed, everyone loves Letha and after some observation, she decides the girl will do. Roman may not know that Letha is his sister rather than his cousin but they've always been close, his interest a shade too possessive to be truly innocent. Blood calls to blood after all and while Roman may not act upon his dark desires, Olivia can twist his bond with Letha to suit her purposes.
She steals her child’s mind and orders him to rape his cousin when her dad is out of town. Olivia expects Letha to struggle – perhaps to cry, perhaps to beg – but instead the girl seems mesmerized. She lies on the bed limply as Roman takes her in a parody of romance, fucking Letha without gentleness or mercy until he plants his seed in fertile ground.
Olivia could have stopped him; she could have made him wear a condom. But the Upir has been wanting a grandchild – she wants a dynasty – and she rather enjoys the thought of Norman Godfrey's daughter turning into a cautionary story about teen pregnancy. The man deserves some torment for ending what they had.
Once the deed is finished, Olivia locks away Roman’s memories. She buries the knowledge deep inside his mind while giving Letha a vision of an angel so that she doesn’t question her child’s parentage. That truth will be the Upir’s leverage. Someday Roman will stand vulnerable and then the knowledge of his actions will be the knife that strikes at bone.
Olivia has seen enough to believe he still has morals. The more his hunger grows, the more stubbornly her son pretends that he is human. Roman wants to be a hero but only monsters rape their sisters and so destroying his self-image should be enough to turn the tide.
At least, that is his mother’s hope.
She hopes her son will shatter but his eyes are cold as winter when the Upir is around. Some deeper instinct warns him that she meddled with his mind – that Olivia is dangerous – and he might be furious instead of devastated when the truth comes out.
But even if Roman blames her for his actions, Olivia thinks that she can spin the guilt around. Love would be better but she will break her son with shame if that is her only option and she tells herself that Roman will forgive her afterward. Everything she’s done has been to free her child and she’s certain that he’ll understand once he claims his heritage.
And then the gypsies come to town.
Olivia is vaguely irritated when Peter Rumancek and his mother move into the old trailer near the Godfrey mansion. She doesn’t want their kind around. But the trailer isn’t technically on her land and she doesn’t care enough to run them out of town. The Upir sometimes has a use for gypsy remedies and the boy being a werewolf might make things interesting.
She’s not thinking about Roman then. It’s not until she watches him with Peter that she thinks, Oh, of course.
Like mother, like son and it seems this gypsy boy might be the key to Roman’s heart that she’s been looking for.
Because her son is clearly fascinated, drawn to Rumancek by his strangeness and his power, and if she's not mistaken, Peter feels the same. They circle around each other – testing, pushing, tangled – and even when Letha inserts herself between them, it's clear to Olivia where the werewolf’s interest lie. Peter might be dating Letha but he and Roman still gravitate together anyway. They’re always touching, always longing, and she never thought she'd offer a gypsy gratitude.
But this boy has stolen Roman's heart without even trying and someday he will crush it in his hands. He will run because running is his nature and on that day, Olivia will strike.
So she waits and watches. The Upir rescues Peter when he runs into a werewolf hunter and smiles to herself when Roman will not leave the gypsy's side. It feels strange to welcome the boy into her home – even stranger to protect him – but Olivia has always believed in treating her tools well. Peter dying might not be enough to break her child’s spirit; she needs Roman to feel true desolation, not the bloody thrill of vengeance. She needs Peter to do what he is destined to and leave her son behind.
When the gypsy does, Olivia will add to Roman’s pain with the truth of Letha’s baby and like a diamond struck just right, her son will break in two. He will try to escape his shame and heartbreak just like her husband did and in so doing, he will finally shed the remnants of his humanity.
Peter Rumancek is the chink is Roman’s armor. He is the spark that will light a conflagration and turn her son into the emperor he was always meant to be.