Fandom: Hemlock Grove
Series: On the Outside Looking In
Pairings: Peter/Roman, Miranda/Roman
Warnings: Creepy demon Nadia, infidelity, canon weirdness
Word Count: 1994
Disclaimer: If I owned it, Peter and Roman would make out.
Summary: She doesn't know there's monsters in the dark.
Miranda doesn't mean to start dating both of them. The woman doesn't even realize that Peter and Roman know each other and meeting them is nothing more than a happy accident.
But once she does, she's smitten. Peter is so sweet when he helps her with her car and while Roman is much colder, she's certain that his stiff facade hides a heart of gold. Plus, both of them are smoking hot, two sides of the same coin, and she can't deny that she enjoys having their attention. Miranda has always drawn the eyes of men around her, but it's been a long time since those looks made her feel beautiful.
So she lets herself say yes to one date and then another. The woman lets herself fuck Peter, finding pleasure in his callused hands as they stroke across her skin. The man may be a little rough around the edges, but he's gentle where it counts. He kisses her with sweetness even as his passion makes her body truly sing. She lets herself pretend that there is love between them and then she goes to Roman where she does much the same.
Miranda doesn't want to choose one man. Why should she? She isn't lying when she says that she enjoys their company.
However, when she finally slips and mentions Roman in Peter's presence, their conversation quickly turns into a fight. He warns her to stay away, his eyes burning with a fire that she's never seen before. Miranda thought that Peter was the sweet one but this side of him is wild, rough and possessive when she pulls him into the bedroom to taste the anger on his lips. She assumes it must be anger that fuels his passion now.
The man is sorry when he's finished, stroking her hair gently and wincing when he sees the bruises on her skin. But Miranda isn't fragile – no one will ever call her fragile, not again. So she waves off Peter's apology and uses Roman's name to goad him into another round instead.
As he thrusts into her, Miranda wonders how both her lovers know each other. No one hates that deeply without a lot of history and she wants to know the secrets of the past. She wants to discover the pain that lives inside his skin. But Peter deflects her questions and Roman's eyes turn dark and wounded when she asks.
Over the next few weeks, Miranda pieces together a rough outline from the fragments they let slip: the love of Roman's cousin, her death in childbirth, and betrayal on both sides. It doesn't feel like the whole story even then, but the woman knows one thing. If these men were friends once, surely they can be friends again.
Because she doesn't want to choose. Roman and Peter – as strange as it sounds, these men are beginning to feel like a small family of her own. Miranda wants a family. She wants to put down roots and finally stop running from her past.
So she stays even when she probably shouldn't. Miranda does not run when her breasts grow full of milk and she discovers Roman's child; she does not run when Nadia starts to call her in her dreams. Instead, she pushes the men to meet and then to reconcile, still not sure exactly what tore the two apart.
Whatever happened to Letha Godfrey, Miranda is certain that her lovers will be glad for this eventually. Because there's hurt beneath the hatred and longing beneath the pain and Miranda wants to be the glue that ties them back together. She wants to make them whole again.
She's the only person who can do this. When she returns from the park with Nadia to discover Roman and Peter arguing, she knows that she's the reason that her lovers bite their tongues. Not this baby or her mother, despite the look on Peter's face. This is down to her alone and Miranda knows this is her chance to have the life of which she dreams.
So she tells them that she's staying. She tells them they should share. The woman knows that neither man will want to live without her and when she heads upstairs to Roman's bedroom, she hears two sets of footsteps following.
Miranda feels powerful when Roman and Peter walk through the door behind her and strip at her command. She feels beautiful when she lies down upon the sheets and feels their eyes against her skin.
At first the men seem awkward, not looking at each other as they maneuver around the bed. Their attention is focused on her and that's exactly how it should be, her lovers working together to bring her ecstasy.
“You should kiss each other,” Miranda murmurs on a whim once she's come for the third time, Roman's face still buried in-between her thighs. She wants to watch them move together. She wants Peter to taste her there on Roman's tongue.
“Please, for me,” she murmurs, looking up between her lashes when her lovers hesitate. “Don't you love me after all?”
Roman and Peter surrender to her pleading just like always, though she isn't sure which one moves first. The two men reach for each other, struggling back and forth to take control. But then Peter grabs the back of Roman's neck and they just melt together, their mouths sliding hungrily.
She feels the first flicker of doubt then, wondering if this was truly a good idea after all. This is clearly their first kiss and yet the passion between her lovers is more than she expected. Roman looks more content than she has ever seen him, as though Peter's tongue between his lips is all his spirit needs, and Peter seems determined to swallow Roman whole.
Miranda doesn't think they've ever looked like that with her. She doesn't think the two men remember that she's there.
Indeed, Roman and Peter startle when she clears her throat, a line of spit keeping them connected as they turn to look her way. But the two of them still answer when she calls. Miranda opens her arms and lets her doubts dissolve at the touch of her lovers against her tongue.
The three of them exhaust themselves with endless pleasure and soon she has forgotten about her doubts entirely. When morning comes, Miranda only knows that she was right. She doesn't have to make a choice. She'll get to have her family, her life the way she wants.
She holds tight to this belief as the world grows strange around her. Peter and Roman are her future, them and Nadia, and she refuses to acknowledge anything that points another way. Miranda simply smiles when her lovers give excuses for they cannot stay. She accepts the lonely nights because the mornings are still filled with lust and sunshine, rough hands sliding over skin and silken sheets. Her lovers are not leaving; they're just busy with their lives and she buries her misgivings by spending time with Nadia. The girl at least is always more than pleased to see her and Miranda is certain that her family will be truly whole in time.
The woman ignores the way that her skin begins to shiver when she takes long walks outside, as though someone is watching her. She ignores the way her lovers sometimes forget to kiss her until she asks. Peter and Roman are simply entranced by the newness of their reunion, the freedom to touch each other that Miranda brought about. Once her lovers have adjusted, she will be the focal point of all their hopes again.
She believes this to be truth until the night of blood and chaos. When a group of faceless strangers attacks the home she's come to know, her illusions finally shatter. Although she mostly runs and hides, she can't unsee the monsters. Not the men who want to kill her and steal away Roman's baby; she can't forget the monsters that she let into her bed.
Miranda feels as though her world is breaking when Roman cuts a line of slaughter, a mix of fear and hunger on his face. She watches her fine lover turn from a noble to a killer and when she runs to Peter, her sweet man's no man at all. Miranda cannot understand it. She does not believe that this foul beast could be her lover, not until Roman rips his body from the monster's jaws. He holds Peter tenderly, his face stripped bare with longing, and Miranda finally realizes that she has no future here.
Her perfect home and family were just a fantasy. The men she thought were princes were nothing more than dragons and she is the fair maiden meant to be their sacrifice.
Miranda can do nothing more than sit and shake in horror. She wraps her arms around her knees like a broken child as her former lovers clean up the blood and bodies that mark their massacre. She is a fragile butterfly, thrust from its cocoon of safety into a harsh and awful world.
So the woman flees that house at her first opportunity. She flees without a plan or thought beyond escaping and throws herself upon the mercy of the first friendly face she meets. Miranda knows the doctor. He's been so kind and helpful since she arrived in Hemlock Grove, assisting with her injuries and Nadia's growing pains, and she is certain that this man will help again.
And at first, the mask stays up. He welcomes her with open arms and wipes away her tears. But then the doctor begins to talk and his words are poison in her ears. This man is insane. This whole town is full of madness and now it's in Miranda's veins.
She cannot be a monster. She will not be used to corrupt Nadia the way the doctor claims. He stole the child somehow, proud of his kidnapping, and he claims that it's her bloody milk which made the child strange. Miranda listens in horror as he explains his twisted scheme, how he brought her to this town and shaped her path at every turn. How he's going to use her in the future to make his dark god rise again.
Miranda has to stop this. But she has no allies here. Her former lovers do not want her. She saw the truth of both their hearts in a black wolf's gleaming eyes. They only want each other and she has no one else to turn to, nothing but darkness closing in on every side.
So when Roman's mother bursts through the door and attacks the doctor without warning, Miranda makes a choice. She chooses Nadia.
Miranda grabs the girl and runs but the darkness chases them. Her child is a demon, blood following her footsteps, and she sees no path ahead. No path but one and so she calls her former lover to tell the man goodbye. She wants Roman to know what's happening; she wants him to know he shouldn't mourn his daughter once she's gone.
Then Miranda takes her child to the highest point that she can find and there she prepares to sacrifice their lives. Roman and Peter try to stop her when they find her, but their pleas are empty. No matter how they claim to care, even now they stand together and she knows their words are lies.
Even worse, she knows she did this. She turned Nadia into a demon and her lovers into monsters; her dream has turned to nightmare and she knows that it's her fault. She is the common factor after all.
So Miranda holds her child tight before stepping into darkness and she does her best to smile as she falls. At least they'll die together and if there's any kindness left, Nadia's real mother will be there to greet her daughter on the other side.