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can't find my way up from the basement

Title: can't find my way up from the basement
Fandom: Hemlock Grove
Series: On the Outside Looking In
Pairings: Peter/Roman, Miranda/Roman, Miranda/Peter
Warnings: So much judgment.
Word Count: 902
Disclaimer: If I owned it, Peter and Roman would make out.
Summary: It's not her place to question or to judge but she does both.


It's not her place to question or to judge but she does both.

Her master is too young to have a child and he handles his new responsibility with neither class nor grace. Instead, he treats his daughter with both fear and adoration, refusing to pick her up but pining all the same. However, when Anna returns to her mistress to report, Olivia Godfrey will not intervene.

“I would not be welcome,” the woman says with a sad smile and thus it's left to Anna to steer her master down a better path. Not by arguing or scolding; she still doesn't have the right. But she tries to tell him that his child needs him despite his broken edges, the grief that leaves him staring out the window with longing on his face.

Something hurt her master; young Roman hasn't been the same since their dear Letha died. However, she hopes that Master Roman will let his child give him purpose. The way that baby screams, she's just like her father, born with the Godfrey temper through and through. However, when Anna's master finally shows a flicker of his old spirit, his daughter is not the cause.

She thinks it's the girl at first who put the fire in his eyes. That Miranda is truly beautiful and in need of saving, the sort of broken soul that draws young Roman like a flame. She's hardly worthy of a Godfrey – too low class and poor by far – but Anna bites her tongue for now. Anything to keep her master from falling back into old habits; better a tramp than the depression that haunted him for months.

And yet, Miranda's presence does not explain all the changes in young Roman. When Anna is busy folding laundry, she hears shouting from the foyer before her master storms past, looking furious but wonderfully alive. That evening, she finds a new jacket hanging on the back of Roman's door, one too masculine for Miranda yet much too cheap for Godfrey skin. Indeed, her master never wears the coat. He simply strokes a hand across the fabric and smiles wistfully. When Anna tries to wash the jacket, Roman is so angry she's afraid that he might kill her before he reigns his temper in.

Miranda alone never ignites that kind of passion and when Anna sees the pair together, she can't escape the feeling that something's not quite right. Roman holds Miranda like he's expecting someone different. His arms are loose around her and he has to correct himself to kiss her, like she should be another height.

Indeed, Anna swears that her master is disappointed when he finally pulls away. And she knows then that young Roman is using Miranda as much as the cheap whore is using him. There is someone else her master is trying to forget. Yet she has no idea who that person is.

Not until the morning that she finds a half-dressed gypsy in her kitchen, the man wearing ragged sweatpants and poking at her master's Keurig with a scowl upon his face. It takes a minute for Anna to recognize him; it's the scruffy criminal who used to hang around mistress Letha and she can't believe this piece of trash has the gall to show his face.

However, before Anna throw him out, Roman walks into the kitchen and she steps back into the doorway, assuming that her master will do the job instead. But he simply moves up behind the gypsy and wraps an arm around his waist.

“Morning, Peter,” he murmurs, nuzzling his face into the man's neck. “What are you doing?”

“I was trying to make some coffee, but apparently your machine was built by rocket scientists. Do you actually use this thing or do you just keep it around to look like a rich asshole?”

Despite the words, his tone is fond and he leans into Roman's touch before turning in his arms. Her master merely chuckles at the insult, reaching past the gypsy to start up the machine.

“It helps if you turn it on,” he says and then pulls the other man into a heated kiss. There's nothing awkward about this kiss, not like with Miranda. Master Godfrey molds their bodies together, jagged edges fitting smoothly as one hand cradles the gypsy's face. Roman kisses like he's starving for it, like this Peter is the air he needs to breathe, and Anna nearly drops her bag in shock. She doubts they would have noticed, honestly, as the kiss goes on and on.

Anna stands frozen, hidden from view by the shadows in the hall, and the only thought in her mind is, This explains so much.

Roman and his gypsy only separate when the coffeemaker beeps and by the time Miranda - Miranda? - walks downstairs, the men are drinking coffee and chatting casually. But even then the way they focus on each other seems so obvious that Anna can't believe the woman doesn't notice. She can't decide whether the girl is oblivious or deliberately intruding when she walks in-between the men and kisses each in turn.

Miranda's expression is possessive, her smile satisfied, and Anna has a sinking feeling as she slips back into the hall. It's not her place to judge but she can't help thinking that this is going to end badly for everyone involved.


End