What You Need
by Laura Smith

"Birthdays," Sirius stated flatly as he tossed a box back into the bin, "are a pain in my arse."

"Afraid you're not going to be beautiful forever, Padfoot?" James sniggered. "You'll get old and wrinkled and no one will love you, not even the rest of us, since we only admire the young and gorgeous."

"Yes, that's my worst fear," Sirius jabbed James in the ribs with his elbow, smiling at the other boy's loud 'oof!'. "That you lot won't be with me forever. I'm practically weeping right here and now." He picked up another box and examined it, pursing his lips and tossing it back. "But, to get back to my original dislike of birthdays, it's got nothing to do with me and everything to do with the fact that I absolutely refuse to buy Moony another sodding book."

"He likes books, Sirius. It's not a crime to get him one."

"Should be. Bloke's already rivaling the school library with his personal collection." He picked up a third box then set it back without even glancing at it. "He needs everything but books. Clothes. A decent broom. Food." Sirius sighed. "Everything but books."

"But you'll get him a book. Because if you get him clothes, he'll get all quiet again like he does whenever he thinks he's being put in his poor place by our wealthy selves." James rolled his eyes. "Remember when you bought him those boots?"

"It was snowing. His had holes in them. Actually, they were more holes than boots."

"I'm not arguing the need," James picked up one of the boxes that Sirius had discarded and looked it over. "I'm just saying that Moony thinks we're reminding him that he's got less money than us."

"They were a gift! A Christmas gift!"

"And he sighs just before he puts them on every time."

"Stupid, stubborn..." Sirius sighed. "His robes are practically see-through."

"Don't get him clothes, Sirius. It'll just end badly." James tucked the box into the shopping basket he was carrying. "And don't, no matter how much you think you should, do not buy him a broom."

"He'd like flying if he had a decent broom."

"Do not buy him a broom," James reiterated. "He doesn't care that much about flying."

"He would if he'd just..."

"He won't."

Sirius sighed. "No, he won't. Well, fuck all. I'm not buying him a sodding book!" He slammed his hand down onto the shelf then looked around at the few people in the shop with them. "I refuse. I won't give in. I'm adamant that there's to be no book buying or giving."

"So what then? Chocolates? Peter always gets him chocolate. You don't want him to mistake your gift for Peter's, do you?"

"I buy better chocolates than Peter."

"Oh, so you're looking to upstage Peter as well? That should go over."

Sirius sighed and closed his eyes, his head hanging down, defeat etched in his shoulders. "Bugger this. Let's go."

"To a bookstore?"

"We're his best mates, James. Surely we can find a present that isn't a book that Moony would both like and not feel burdened by? What if we get him a date? He's not been on a date in months. Years." He paused. "Ever."

"And you're going to do what? Go up to some nice chap in a café and ask him if he'd mind dating our friend? So long, of course, as it's not at a full moon?"

"Why would I ask a chap?" Sirius stopped and looked at James curiously, his expression darkening as realization dawned. "You're not saying...No. Moony's not."

"Oh, okay." James nodded, trying hard not to laugh. "He's not. He's straight as an arrow."

"He is." Sirius glared at James. "He's not a poof."

"Sirius, as much as I admire your capacity for denial..."

"He's not a fucking poof!" Sirius looked around the store again, feeling the hot eyes of the other patrons. He turned his gaze, hot and angry, back to James. "I've got to go."

"Sirius..." James watched him storm out of the store and sighed, closing his eyes as the ringing sound of Sirius's heavy boots echoed over the tile and sidewalk. Grabbing another box off the shelf, he glanced at it and smiled, tucking it into his basket. Lily liked mint.


"Open the fucking door, Remus!" Sirius pounded hard on the wood, barely noticing as it bowed under the pressure of his fist. "God damn it! Open the door or I'll break it down."

The door opened slowly and Remus blinked at him, eyes hazy with sleep, chest bare. "What is it?"

"Why didn't you sodding tell me, you bastard?" Sirius pushed past him into the flat, slamming the door shut behind him. "I had to find out from James. James! James is the dimmest of us all. Except for Peter."

"Sirius, I have to say I've no clue what you're blathering on about, so if you could just..."

"Why? Why didn't you tell me? I thought I was your best mate. I thought we told each other everything. I told you everything. I told you about Andela. And about Marilyn. I told you about everyone. And you didn't even bother telling me that you..."

"Is everything all right?"

Sirius whipped around and stared in disbelief at Remus's bedroom door. At the man in Remus's bedroom door. "Who the sodding hell are you?"

Remus sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Anyone like tea?"

"Sod the fucking tea, Remus," Sirius snarled, his eyes still locked dangerously on the other man. "Who the fuck is this?"

"Daniel." Remus sighed. "His name's Daniel, and he was actually invited into my flat, unlike you, so do behave, won't you?"

"What the fuck is he doing here?"

"Maybe I should..." Daniel gestured vaguely toward the door.

"No." Remus assured him.

"Yes," Sirius's voice nearly overwhelmed Remus's. "Get your things and go."

"No." Remus snapped. "Sirius is leaving. Not you."

"I'm not bloody..." Sirius turned to look at Remus, inhaling sharply as he drew himself up to his full height. "I'm not leaving, Moony."

"Yes. You are." Remus's eyes flashed golden in the room, hot with determination. "I'll meet you this afternoon, Sirius. At the pub."

"Why don't you just let him leave, Remus? He wants to go."

"Actually, before you barged your way in here, he very much wanted to stay. And I very much wanted him to. So I think the person best suited to leave here is you. I'll meet you later."

"If this is an issue," Daniel began, backing up a few steps as Sirius turned back to him. "I mean, if there's unresolved...I don't want to be..." He looked at Remus. "You said you were single."

"I am." Remus glared at Sirius. "And Sirius is leaving." When Sirius opened his mouth, Remus growled low and shook his head once. "Now."


Sirius paced the sidewalk in front of Remus's flat for nearly an hour, only halting his lack of progress when the main door to the building opened and Daniel stepped out. He met the other man's eyes and held them, his whole body stiff.

"You're not to come back."

"That's not yours to decide."

"He's not single."

Daniel raised an eyebrow, a slow smile curving his lips. "He's not yours."

"He's my friend and I'm not about to let him fall prey to the likes of you."

"He likes the likes of me." Daniel moved closer to Sirius, his bravado pulled around him with his clothes and coat. "He likes the likes of me a lot. Shall I tell you how?"

"Shall I rip out your throat?" Sirius snarled, advancing, teeth bared on instinct.

"You're welcome to try."

"Sirius." James's voice came out of nowhere, his hand snapping hard and fast around Sirius's wrist as he took a step forward. "Enough." Looking over at Daniel, he nodded toward the street. "Go. Make it easy on all of us, won't you?"

"Perhaps I should go back inside?"

"Perhaps James'll let me go and I'll eviscerate you?" Sirius asked politely, his voice calm and cool despite the fact that he was shaking with rage. "Shall we see which is the most likely course of action?"

James sighed his irritation. "Go. Now." He waited until Daniel was a good distance down the street before he released Sirius's arm. "Bloody hell, Sirius, what the fuck have you done now?"

"I haven't done anything."

"You threatened to gut Moony's boyfriend."

"He's not his boyfriend." Sirius didn't look at James. "What are you doing here?"

"Saving you from getting into trouble. I figured the last thing any of us needed was you calling the Ministry down on us by whipping out your wand to hex Moony's..." He stopped at Sirius's look.

"I wasn't going to touch my wand," Sirius told him, his voice deceptively light. "I wanted to feel the hurt."

"That's not nearly as comforting as you'd think," James assured him. "Come on. Let's go get a drink."

"I'm going to go talk to Remus."

James caught Sirius's arm again and forced him to face him. "And say what, Sirius? How dare you not mention that you fancy blokes? How dare you actually go out and get laid? How dare you fuck someone who isn't me?"

Sirius reared back and bared his teeth in a snarl. "What?"

"Well, that's the only thing I can figure, given that you're being such an arse about this whole thing. Why do you give a fuck who Moony's getting on with, Sirius?"

"It's Remus, James."

"Remus, who is smarter than the rest of us lot put together."

"Doesn't mean he knows how to pick a...a..."


Sirius glanced up at the window to Remus's flat. "Sod this. I need a drink."

James nodded. "Betcha the boyfriend's getting him a book."

"Oh, fuck off."


Remus hung back in the doorway for a few moments, watching as Sirius leaned over his pint to point a finger at James. Peter was sitting back slightly from them and Lily, as usual, was rolling her eyes at whatever Sirius was saying. He closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, inhaling smoke and dust and beer, breathing it out slowly before stepping through the door and making his way to the table.

"And that is why marriage is an antiquated institution, my friends. You're really only asking for trouble by having succumbed to it. Next thing you know, you'll be telling us you're expecting a child and the world will crumble. Cease to exist." Sirius glared at Lily. "Don't think we aren't on to your cunning plan."

"Oh yes, because I was the one who pursued him relentlessly all through the years at Hogwarts, was I?"

"In your own, non-pursuing way, yes." He lifted his glass, stopping midway to his mouth. "Hullo, Moony."

"Sirius." He turned and nodded to everyone else. "James. Lily. Peter."

"You're late," Peter informed him. "It was your turn to buy the first round and you're late."

"I had some things to take care of." He hooked his foot around the leg of the lone empty chair and pulled it from beneath the table, settling on it, feeling the tension radiating off Sirius, sitting on his immediate right. "I'll get the next."

"No, we've already take care of it. Sirius bought tonight's. You're just up first next week." Peter took a drink, his expression sullen. "Thrown the whole pattern off, of course, but there's nothing to be done about it."

"Peter," Lily leaned over and kissed his cheek, "don't worry so."

He blushed and looked away, down at the floor, refusing to meet James's laughing eyes. "Don't do that, Lily!"

"Ah, yes. You're afraid it will give away our secret love, are you?"

Peter's protest was lost in the sound of Sirius's chair scraping back. "There's a dartboard calling my name." He grabbed his glass and headed for the back of the room, disappearing through the haze of smoke.

Remus rubbed his eyes, letting his sigh slip out beneath his hand. "I need a drink." He stood, weakly smiling his apologizes around the table. "Excuse me, won't you?"

He headed for the bar, his body tight with tension and apprehension. As he neared the long counter, he could see Sirius leaning against another table, chatting up some blonde who looked dimmer than the hazy yellow light overhead. A slow smile lifted Remus's mouth and he turned, the bar no longer his objective.

Sirius caught Remus's movement out of the corner of his eye and stiffened slightly, his chin rising somewhat defiantly. He turned his attention back to the girl he'd been talking to, ignoring Remus as he closed in on them. "And you cut hair then, do you?"

"Oh yes, but it's not just that, you know. It's a science, really."

"Hmmm." He ran a hand over her wrist, smiling as she turned her arm over and let him feel the delicate skin on the inside of it. "I imagine so."

"Flirting again, Padfoot?" Remus's voice was soft and deep, thrilling along Sirius's nervous system, startling him. His fingers were against the small of Sirius's back, light pressure flickering over his nerve endings. "Should I be jealous?"

"I don't know what you're on about, Moony," he assured him, closing his eyes briefly at the strange, husky sound of his response.

"Really?" Remus's teeth were sharp against Sirius's ear, biting the soft flesh of the lobe just hard enough to sting, to send a shock of painful pleasure straight to Sirius's groin. "You've no idea?"

The blonde was watching in a mixture of fascination and arousal, her eyes wide and attentive as Sirius stood still, Remus's hand creeping slowly down to the curve of his ass. "This has ceased to be funny, Remus."

His tongue snaked around the shell of Sirius's ear, dipping in to the elegant curves. "It was funny?"

"There's this club," the blonde broke in hurriedly, her voice high with excitement. "It's the newest thing, like the one in America, everyone's with everyone or whoever. We could go there? The three of us?"

Sirius shook Remus off of him, putting distance between them. Remus cut his eyes down to Sirius's black jeans then back up, his smile dangerous. "What do you say, Padfoot?"

"I'm not into threesomes," he assured them both, earning a glare from the girl, "or blokes."

Remus grinned ferally and slid his hand over Sirius's cock, his palm hot against the hard flesh. His voice was whisper-soft. "Liar."

"Fuck off!" He shoved Remus away from him and headed for the back of the bar, disappearing down the dark hallway toward the bathrooms. Remus shrugged and smiled at the blonde. "Sorry, pet. Looks like you're out of luck tonight."


Remus slipped past the bathrooms and out the back door to the bricked in alleyway. Sirius was leaning against the soot-blackened brick, his head tilted back, his breath puffing out in streams of smoke. "I thought you gave that up."

"What the fuck are you on about?" Sirius jerked his head down to glare at Remus. "What the fuck was that?"

Remus's gaze was steady, his eyes glittering in the starlight. "Payback."

"For what? You want to tell me the last time I cocked up a chance for you to get laid?"

Remus shook his head, letting out a soft laugh. "This morning?" He moved closer to Sirius, feeling the other man's eyes on him. "Or did you think the half-naked man in my bedroom doorway was there for some other reason?"

"I don't want to talk about this."

"Fine. We won't talk. How about you just listen. My personal life is just that. Mine. And whatever it is that makes you think you have the right to just barge in on it..."

"We're friends."

"Daniel and I are lovers." Remus held Sirius's gaze. "One has absolutely nothing to do with the other."

"Don't ever touch me like that again, Remus."

He stiffened, his eyes narrowing sharply. "Don't worry, Sirius. I've no intention of it." He turned on his heel and headed back for the door, ignoring Sirius's muffled curses. He let the heavy wood swing shut behind him, tempted to lock it. Instead, he headed back to the table, feeling the heavy, curious stares of James, Lily and Peter. "I've had a long day. I'll see you all next week."


"I am," Sirius said softly as he sank down at the table across from Remus, "a world class prick."

"I've known that for a long time." Remus picked up his cup with both hands, not looking at Sirius over the top of it. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you."


"Because I was a royal arse the other night. I hadn't...I didn't handle things well. At all. Or perhaps I didn't handle things at all. And I want to make amends. If you'll let me."

Remus finally glanced at him, berating himself mentally as he did so. Looking at Sirius was equal to forgiving Sirius. After all, once you've forgiven him for one thing, what was another? "You deserve to be hexed by an idiot with a wand. Perhaps I'll let Peter try out some new ones on you, eh?"

Sirius smiled and waved to the waitress, placing his order before giving Remus a disapproving look. "You'd let Peter have at me? I thought you liked me."


Sirius grinned and leaned back in his chair, watching as Remus sipped his tea, one hand reaching out to close the book that he'd been reading. The sight of it brought a rush of thought back, flooding his head with images he didn't want to intrude in the moment. "Where did you meet him?"

Remus didn't answer for a long moment. Finally, he sighed and set his cup down. "At a bookshop."

Sirius rolled his eyes and sighed. "Should have guessed that one. And what does he do?"

"He works at a book shop."

Sirius took a drink from his cup and frowned at the lack of alcohol lacing the bitter tea. "Of course he does. Probably getting you a sodding book too." He narrowed his eyes. "And is he a Muggle?"

"Yes. Of course he's a Muggle, Sirius."

"What do you mean, 'of course'?"

"Well, if he weren't, you'd probably know him, don't you think?"

"What if he went to Durmstrang? Or, even worse, Beauxbatons?" He made a face. "He could be a French poof." Remus's face stiffened and he sighed. "That's not what I meant."

"It's exactly what you meant, Sirius."

"No. No it isn't." He shook his head violently. "It's not." Remus sighed, not arguing and he went on. "How long?"

"Three months."

"And why've I never met him?"

"I've known him three months. We've been seeing each other for just a couple of weeks."

"And you're already..."

"Oh, do please let's not give me any kind of grief over that." He snapped. "The last girl you dated, how long did it take you to get her into bed?"

"That's different."

"Why? Because you're shagging girls?"

"No, Remus, because I'm me. I'm...stupid. You're careful." He sighed and rubbed two fingers over his brow. "Well, what about your wand? How do you explain that to him?"

"My wand?"

"He probably thinks it's some sort of sex toy, doesn't he?"


"Do you show it off and turn him on with it?"

"You think I need magic to turn him on?" Remus's voice was suddenly dangerous.

"No. I..."

"He thinks it's my teaching baton. And he's never asked me to use it on him, if you must know that as well." He pulled out his wallet and thumbed through the few well-worn bills in it. "I need to go."

"Do you love him?"

Remus sighed. "I fancy him. I like him. And that's all I know so far." He met Sirius's eyes defiantly. "All right?"

"How long have you known?"

Laughing, Remus shook his head, "I don't know, Sirius. Forever. Since school? Before school."

"What?" He looked around and lowered his voice at the glare he received from the shopkeeper. "You dated girls at Hogwarts."


"How? Why?"

"To be sure? To...because it was easier sitting across from a girl I didn't like and having her ask after you than it was sitting across from a boy I fancied and having him do the same."

"There were blokes that..." He shook his head, forcing himself back on track. "I'm sorry."

"It's all right. I managed to do just fine."

"There were boys? In school?"

"One or two. Why do you care?"

"Not Snape," Sirius blurted out quickly, cringing. "Please, I beg of you, not Snape."

"No. Not Snape." Remus's jaw tightened. "Are we done?"

"Did you ever fancy me?"

"No," Remus bit out. "You're not my type."

"What does that mean?" He reached out to catch Remus's wrist as the other man stood up. "Remus!"

"I have to go. I'll see you Friday."


Lily opened the door and leaned against the jamb, crossing her arms over her chest. "And to what do I owe this dubious honor?"

"I need your help."

"My help? The great and illustrious Sirius Black needs my help? Surely the most noble ancestors are spinning in their graves."

"It's about Remus."

Lily inhaled and held her breath for a moment before letting it out in a soft sigh. "All right. Come in."

Sirius entered the small house and paced the room as Lily headed into the kitchen. He watched her as she moved comfortably, the picture of a perfect homemaker. "Did you know he was...well..."


He sighed then nodded. "Yeah."


"How?" Sirius threw up his hands and started pacing the room at an even greater pace. "How the bloody hell did everyone know before me?"

"Because you're blind? Because you never thought to look? Because Remus isn't the most blatant of people?" Lily put the kettle on and turned to look at him. "The bigger question is how did you not know?"

"I don't know." He sank down onto the small sofa and fell back against the cushions. "Christ, I don't know." The kettle whistled and Lily poured them both tea, setting a small bottle on the tray as she carried it in. Sirius picked it up and smiled at her, pouring a dollop of whiskey into the dark liquid. "How long have you known?"

"Since fourth year."

"What?" He nearly spilt his tea. "What!"

"I cornered him in the library one day and kissed him." Lily shrugged and took a sip of her tea. "He responded a bit, I suppose, probably afraid of hurting my feelings. Then he put me away from him, told me it wouldn't be right as James had decided that I was his intended, and told me that I wasn't his type. I told him he was a liar, because, you have to admit, if Remus has a type, I'm it."

Sirius nodded warily.

"And then he trailed the softest finger down my cheek, over my shoulder, down my arm then let it curve ever so slightly over my breast. He gave me this haunted smile then and told me that I wasn't his type. I was, of course, all offended and wounded and hurt until I got back to my room and everything sort of fell into place. The next day I met him in the library and we talked for hours. He told me no one else knew, he told me he was afraid, he told me...he told me a lot of things."

Sirius bit the inside of his cheek, anger swirling in his stomach. "Why didn't he tell any of us?"

"I think Remus had enough to worry about without adding that on top of it, don't you? Bad enough to be poor and a werewolf, which I didn't know about, if it makes you feel any better, but to be homosexual on top of it." Lily shrugged. "Couldn't have been easy."

"We accepted the fact that he was a bleeding werewolf."

"Much easier for a teenaged boy to accept the fact that his friend is a bloodthirsty monster than it is to accept the fact that his friend might have the urge to have sex with him." Lily sipped her tea, watching Sirius out of the corner of her eye. "I'm sure he didn't want to burden any of you more than he already had."

"Stupid arse." Sirius scoffed. "As if we would have deserted him."

"Sirius." Lily snapped out his name, forcing him to look at her. "You've known all along, or suspected. You're not that stupid, no matter what I might insist most of the time. You've pretended, lied to yourself, because you've got no sodding clue how to deal with any of this. It bothers you that Remus likes men, that he shags them. It bothers you more than you want to say."

"I don't care who Remus takes to bed. I've experimented. I've been to clubs..."

"Remus isn't experimenting. This isn't some game to him, some drunken bet to see who can get the most people in a club to offer sexual services." Lily's hands shook and she set her cup down. "This is his life, Sirius. Not some blow job in a back alley."

Sirius was silent, picking up the small bottle of whiskey and downing the remains in one swift swallow. "Have you met him? The boyfriend?"




"And I haven't because you all knew I'd have an issue with it, is that it?"

"You hadn't because Remus didn't think you'd want to. Or maybe he knew you'd have some sort of mental breakdown and start threatening him. Perhaps Remus should take up Divination."

"You're not funny."

"I'm not trying to be." Lily got off the sofa and walked over to the window, pushing the curtain back and staring out at the gray sky. "He's happy, Sirius."

"How can he be happy? That boy...man...he knows nothing of Remus's life. He doesn't know that he's a Wizard; he doesn't know he's a werewolf. How are they supposed to have anything resembling a relationship when Remus can't tell him anything?"

"How many of the girls you've shacked up with were aware of the fact that you're a wizard?"

"We're not talking about me."

"Why is it different?"

"Because it is!"


"Because it's Remus." Sirius shouted and slumped back onto the sofa. His voice softened to a whisper. "It's Remus."

"And Remus isn't allowed to have affairs? He isn't allowed to have a sex life and relationships?" Lily sat down beside him and put her hand on his arm. "He's not allowed to be in love?"

"No." Sirius clenched his hands into fists, unable to keep them from shaking. "No."

"Sirius, you stupid, stupid git." She wrapped her arm around his shoulder and pulled him against her, holding his trembling body against hers. She could feel the heat of his breath as his mouth opened, but heard no sound, felt no tears as he cried.


Daniel leaned over as Remus opened his first gift and pulled the small packages free of the box. "What's a chocolate frog?"

"It's a frog," Peter spoke slowly. "Made from chocolate."

"Ah." Daniel took the piece Remus offered him and popped it in his mouth, catching Remus's hand and licking his fingers free of any remaining darkness. "Very good."

"There's more," Peter pushed another present toward Remus, ignoring Daniel as best he could.

"Peter, the chocolate is more than enough."

"Oh no! This is better!" He nudged it closer to Remus until the other man picked up the package and opened it. "It's a book!"

"So I see."

"About chocolate."

Remus smiled. "It's marvelous, Peter. Thank you."

James tossed a gift at Remus, watching him with a sly smile. "You'll never guess what it is."

"Hmm," Remus grinned, "perhaps a new broom?"

"Oh yes," James drawled as Remus set the small, square package down on the table. "After all, this flat is horribly dirty."

"What do you..." Peter shut up as Sirius kicked his shin, apologizing profusely as Peter cursed and James smothered a laugh.

Remus shook his head and tossed the paper aside. "Shakespeare. Very nice, James."

"Well, let's be honest, Lily bought it. I wouldn't know literature from my own arse." He lifted a bottle in toast. "But I did bring the ale, so you've got no cause to berate me any more than I already have."

"True enough." Remus leaned forward and clinked his bottle against James's. "Well done, mate."

"My turn then, eh?" Daniel glanced around the room and smiled weakly. "It's not quite fair, surrounded by friends you've known for years, but I did try and find something you'd like." He handed Remus a box. "I saw you looking at it."

Remus opened the box and pulled out a dark grey wool coat, the heavy fabric falling down past his knees. "Daniel..."

"And I have to admit, it's a selfish present as well. I want to see you in it." He smiled, leaning closer to Remus as his voice dropped. "And slide you out of it the second you're inside my flat."

"Here." Sirius's gift landed on the table in front of Remus. "It's a book."


"Because all we're allowed to get you are books. Anything else draws that vicious Remus silent reproach, and I don't think any of us needs that. So enjoy your book."

"Thank you." Remus picked up the package and started to unwrap it, stopping and putting it down. "Can I see you for a moment, Sirius? In the other room?"

"Sure." He uncrossed his feet slowly, pulling them off the coffee table. He stood, large and arrogant in the room as Remus got to his feet and headed into the bedroom, standing to the side of the door and waiting as Sirius moved past Daniel to follow him.

Remus shut the door slowly, letting it click loudly in the silence before turning on Sirius. "What the fuck is your problem?"

"Books are my problem, Remus. Books that we get you every sodding year, because we're not allowed to buy you anything else, because it's as if we're mocking you for being poorer than us. But he comes along and spends more galleons..."


"What-fucking-ever. On a coat. A coat you've needed for years but wouldn't let any one of us buy for you. And it pisses me off. We're your friends. We care about you. We love you. And it means less to you than the fact that you've been fucking him for a few weeks."

The pulse in Remus's jaw jumped. "Are you finished?"

"Maybe I'm an arse. Maybe I'm blind. I don't know. I don't know what it is or what went wrong or why you thought you had to find someone else. I don't understand, Moony." Sirius clenched his teeth, his voice thick. "Make me understand."

"What question, Sirius? What don't you understand? Why am I dating someone? Because I'm lonely. Because I'm horny. Because I want someone who cares about me because they think I'm sexy or funny or intelligent. Because I want someone to want to take me to bed. I want someone underneath me at night." He moved closer to Sirius. "Haven't you ever just wanted to be inside someone, Sirius? Someone that cares about you? Haven't you wanted them to mean the words they whisper in the heat of passion? Haven't you ever just wanted someone you could escape into?"

"No, Moony." Sirius shook his head, bewildered. "I have you."

Remus half laughed, the sound clogged with tears. "Oh, fuck you. Just fuck you, Sirius-fucking-Black. I've known you nearly ten sodding years and you've just now come to the realization that I'm a poof? And you think you know me? You care about me? You give anything more than a shit about me?"

"He doesn't know you. Your secrets."

"And you think you do?" Remus's voice was bitter with laughter. "You think you know a sodding thing about me, you great prick? You don't know anything. Superficial, meaningless crap."

"Remus." Sirius grasped his arms and held him, shaking him slightly. "You're my friend. My best..."

"Shut up." Remus shoved him back, sending Sirius sprawling across the bed. "I'm not your best anything. James is your best friend, Sirius, and we both know it. Don't insult all of us by pretending otherwise. The only best I am to you is a weapon."

"Don't pull that bullshit again." Sirius got off the bed, his voice tight with anger. "I've prostrated myself before you. What's the matter, Remus, your forgiveness only situational? Whenever I piss you off, you whip out my guilt and your grief to punish us both?" He shoved Remus away from him, eyes narrowing as Remus's iron strength and will kept him standing. "Get out of the way."

"You don't get to walk away from this, Sirius."

"There's nothing to walk away from. You want to have your home in him, that's fine. There's nothing I can do about it. You want to live your life as a lie, all snug with your lover who doesn't know a single goddamn important thing about you, you go right ahead, Moony. You come up with diseases again, lies again for every full moon you spend hiding away from him." He shoved at Remus again, the unexpected motion sending him hard against the door. Remus started to straighten, to stand, when Sirius pinned him to the door, his body hard and lean as it pressed against Remus's. "Whatever you have to do to get you through the night."

"Get off me."

Sirius thrust slightly, his breath shortened. "Is that what you want?"

"Sirius, get off."

"I'm trying, Moony," he whispered against Remus's neck, burying his head against the column of flesh, hair clinging to the rough whiskers that darkened Remus's chin. "I want to," he breathed, his tongue marking a trail as he kissed his way up to Remus's lips, licking them. "Let me."

Remus groaned hotly, opening his mouth under Sirius's. Sirius whimpered, his tongue sliding over Remus's, tasting heat and want heavy on his taste buds. Remus's legs parted further, allowing him to settle between them, his cock pressed against Remus's. A hard shudder went through Remus's body and he jerked forward, denim rasping against denim as his length whispered over Sirius's. "Oh...fuck," he panted harshly into Sirius's mouth, capturing his tongue and sucking hard on the thick muscle.

Sirius shuddered, his hands clenching in Remus's shirt for a moment before he shoved at him, stumbling backwards and dropping onto the edge of the bed.

Remus's teeth scraped his bottom lip as he stared at Sirius, eyes narrowed and feral. "Get out."


"Now!" Remus roared, his voice shaking the walls. Sirius stood, shaking with an overload of emotion. He opened his mouth then shut it, his dark hair framing his face as he hung his head.

Remus opened the door, his eyes solely on Daniel. "About time. Whatever were you two talking about?"

"Sirius's lack of manners." Remus didn't move as Sirius slipped by him, gathering his coat and heading for the door. "And the fact that he has to leave early."

"Over-committed myself," Sirius offered in lieu of an apology. He managed a weak smile. "See you all next week."

"Actually," Lily stood up, her eyes locked on Remus. "We should all be going. It's late and James and Peter both have to work tomorrow."

"We...oh." Peter jerked his leg out of James's reach. "Too right. Besides," he faked a yawn, "I'm exhausted."

Daniel raised an eyebrow and looked at Remus with a knowing grin. "Should I leave as well or are they simply failing to be subtle?"

"No," Remus caught his hand. "Don't go." He barely flinched as the doors slammed behind Sirius.

Daniel inclined his head toward the bedroom. "I'll give you a few minutes." Remus smiled, a mixture of gratitude and relief, the meager gesture fading as the bedroom door closed behind him.

"Come on, Peter," James hooked his arm over Peter's shoulders. "Let's go find Sirius."

Remus bent his head as they walked out, finally daring to look at Lily. "We cast a silencing spell on the room. No one heard anything." She tilted her head. "Was there anything to hear?"

Remus caught her eye, suspicious and wary. "What do you mean?"

"I don't think it's any secret that Sirius isn't handling this well."

"You mean Sirius is acting like a spoiled child who isn't getting everything he wants?" Remus snapped. "Yes, that's amazingly different than his everyday behavior." He sank down onto the sofa and shook his head. "I'm ever so sorry that my sexuality has put some sort of crimp in Sirius's grand plan for me or whatever, but I'm happy, Lily." He looked up at her, his eyes begging her to believe him. "I like Daniel. And he likes me. I'm happy."

She nodded and leaned down, kissing the top of his head. "Sirius loves you, Remus. He's just worried about you. He always worries about you."

"I'm not his to worry about." Remus stood up and followed her to the door. "I never was."

"I think perhaps everyone forgot to mention that to him as well." She kissed Remus's cheek and waved her fingers at him before turning away, her coat swirling around her as she hurried down the stairs.


Sirius groaned and stumbled to the door, his eyes closed as tightly as possible and yet still allowing him to see. He attempted to peer out the peephole, giving up as a brilliant shaft of sunlight seemed to pierce his brain. He slapped at the lock and jerked the door open, turning away and burying his face in the couch. "Whoever you are, just take what you want and go."

The door shut and he managed to brave the dimness. Lily was leaning against the wood, a slight smile curving her lips. "How much did you drink last night? James said he and Peter had to pour you into bed."

"The least they could have done was poured a sober-up potion into me as well." He managed to sit and leaned his head back, closing his eyes. "Don't suppose you'd be a dear and do it?"

"No. I won't." She sat across from him, tucking her legs beneath her, her shoes lined neatly in front of the chair. "Not until we talk."

"I don't want to talk, Lily. Unless you've got good news. Something like someone's shut off the sun just for me."

"Or Remus and Daniel have split up."

"Have they?" His eyes opened, widened. "Did they?"

"No." She shook her head, watched him slump back onto the couch. "Why do you want them to?"

"He's not right for Remus. We discussed this the other day." He laid the back of his arm over his eyes. "He's just not right."

"Who is, Sirius?"

"I don't know."

"Another wizard?"


"Someone who knows him?"


"Someone who knows his secrets."


"Someone like you?"

"Ye...no." Sirius sat up sharply. "No. I'm not his type."

"Because he told you that?" She asked gently. "Or because you don't fancy men?"

"I don't."

"But you fancy Remus, don't you?"

"You're off your bloody rocker." Sirius told her flatly, refusing to meet her gaze. "I'm not a poof. I like girls."

"Why do you care who Remus sleeps with?"

"Because he's my friend."

"Because you want it to be you."

"I don't fancy Remus. At. All." Sirius stood up, towering over her. "I don't fancy men and I certainly don't fancy stupid, arrogant, argumentative, stubborn werewolves who don't know..."

"What? What doesn't he know?"

"That that stupid prat he's dating isn't good enough for him. He's probably just in it for the...the sex. And he's probably not even very good at it. Probably just lies there and doesn't care that it's Remus. It could be anyone."

"It should be you."

"I don't fancy him!" Sirius kicked her chair, sending it sliding across the floor. Lily never looked away from him as he hurried after her, kneeling in front of her and apologizing. "Christ, Lily, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

"How long have you known, Sirius?"

He looked down at his hands on the arms of the chair, watched them shake for a long moment. "Since the night after the Trick," he whispered the words, his voice shattered. "I was watching him in the hospital room, staring down at Snape and he wouldn't even look at me. I realized I was jealous. Of Snape. And I realized that I cared more about the fact that I'd fucked everything up with Remus than the fact that I'd almost gotten someone killed."

"Why haven't you told him?"

"For those same reasons. He's forgiven me for it all, I suppose. He doesn't look away when I look at him, he doesn't move when I sit next to him. He doesn't pretend like I don't exist anymore. But it's there, underneath it all. That...something wrong between us." He sank down onto the floor and stared at the wall. "I didn't think he was seeing anyone. And I certainly didn't think he'd be seeing...I didn't think he'd be serious with anyone."

"He is, you know."

Sirius nodded, the pulse in his jaw jumping. "I know."

"And he's happy." The words were softly spoken, echoing with apology.

He felt broken inside. "I know."

Lily stroked his thick black hair then stood. "I'll make you that potion now."


"It would be out of line for me to ask to see your teaching baton, wouldn't it?"

Remus looked up from his desk and sighed, shaking his head. Ignoring the distinct lack of invitation, Sirius slipped into the crowded office and shut the door behind him. "I have office hours, Sirius. For students."

"The campus is deserted." Sirius glanced out the window. "It's snowing. People are afraid of the snow. Makes them rush home and curl up in front of fires and drink hot cocoa and all that sort of thing."

"What are you doing here?"

"Well, initially I was thinking of apologizing, then I thought perhaps I'd just irritate and annoy you more, since I appear to be best at that." He sank down into the chair opposite the desk. "I'm an arse."

"Notice me not arguing that point."

"Remus, please look at me." Remus looked up, the soft entreaty catching him off guard. "I'll start at the end and work my way backwards. I'm sorry for intruding on your office hours. You're working and I've got no right to bring your personal life into your job. I'm sorry that I ruined your birthday. I'm sorry if I made trouble for you and Daniel."

"You didn't."

"Lily mentioned..."

"In fact, you rather helped. After you left the other night, I spent quite a long, inventive time convincing him you weren't some sort of deranged jilted ex of mine. I had to be rather explicit in showing him the ways I was not interested in you." Remus's smile was cold. "He was most appreciative. Singing your praises the next day. He rather hopes you'll come over and be an arse every night."

Sirius's impish smile tightened with Remus's words and he nodded once. "Right." He stood up, his hands clenched into fists at his side. "Well, I've said what I came to say then. Just add everything to my list of crimes and let me know what the punishment will be, eh? Maybe, if I try hard enough, you'll just be rid of me. Maybe that'd be best for all of us." He shrugged and shook his head. "Sorry to have disturbed you."

Remus's hand settled on Sirius's shoulder just as he reached the door. "Oh stop being so dramatic." He shook his head. "Sit down."

Sirius nodded once but didn't move except to raise his hand to the blinds on the window, turning them until they blocked out the hallway. Remus took a step back as Sirius turned, leaning back against the door. "Did you really have sex with him that night?"

Remus held Sirius's gaze for a long time before he shook his head slightly. "Not quite."


"I don't owe you any answers, Sirius." Remus moved back to the safety of his desk, hitching one hip onto the edge of it, his arms crossed defensively over his chest. "I don't owe you anything."

"You need someone that knows you, Remus. Your loves, your lies, your secrets. You need someone who knows how dangerous you can be, and you need someone who doesn't care. You need someone to tame the wolf. Someone who sees the man beyond it. You need someone who will take care of you, buy you sodding books if that's what you want, or everything you deserve if you let him."

"And you're that man, are you?"

"I don't know."

"That's a horrible argument."

"I don't know, but I want to be. I want to be, even though I never thought about men the way I think of you. I want to be even though I'm scared to death. I want to be because ever since I found out you were shagging that bookshop clerk, all I've wanted..." He stopped, suddenly realizing his tactical error as Remus's slight smile disappeared completely. "Remus..."

"You want me because someone else has me. How very Sirius Black of you." Remus shook his head. "I'm getting rather tired of kicking you out, Sirius."

"Then let me stay."

"How about you just go." Remus seemed frozen, his eyes hard and unreadable. "And stay gone."

"Is that what you want?"

"This hasn't been about what I wanted since the moment you barged into my flat, Sirius. It's been about you. What you think, what you want, what you seem to feel you're entitled to." Remus sighed and closed his eyes. "I like Daniel. And I think you're just going to have to live with that fact."

"I can't."

"Then you're just going to have to go."

"You'd choose him over me?" Sirius moved closer, bowing his head slightly. "Can I tell you a story, Moony?" Remus's jaw tightened in response, but he remained silent. "Once upon a time, there was this horribly stupid prat who thought the world owed him something because of who his family was and who he thought he was. He was, however, horribly mistaken and the world didn't owe him shit. But he was very lucky, because he found this group of friends who managed to make him realize that, in fact, he owed the world something. And so he tried, really hard, to be a fairly decent bloke."

He took another step forward and stopped, gauging Remus's reaction. "He failed miserably, of course, because he was still an entitled little prat and, because of that, he picked out the person he thought was really most like who he was supposed to become and singled him out, did his very best to make the git's life a living hell. Which isn't to say that the git didn't deserve it, but still, maybe he didn't."

Another step, only a few feet left between them. "Well, he did, but that's not the point. The point is, one day our hero, for lack of a better word..."


"He went too far. And, the second he realized it, he also realized that he'd managed to ruin what was potentially the very best thing in his life. Because without knowing it, he'd fallen for one of his friends. He didn't get it, didn't understand it, because he didn't fancy boys, and he didn't even really fancy this friend so much as suddenly notice that he could give a flying fuck about himself, so long as this friend didn't look so wounded anymore, so cold, so sad, so haunted. As long as this friend was his." He closed his eyes. "Mine, Moony."

Remus bit the inside of his lower lip, holding Sirius's gaze as he took another few steps, the distance between them negligible. "When you forgave me, I didn't dare hope for anything more. And, maybe it was selfish of me, but I never thought you'd...I never thought there'd be anyone else." He touched Remus's cheek softly, fingertips trailing down to his lips. "I need you, Moony. Even if I have to share you with him."

"You're lying," Remus said softly, holding Sirius's gaze as his finger played over the soft skin of Remus's bottom lip.

"About what?" Sirius asked breathlessly.

Remus smiled. "Sharing."

"No," Sirius frowned. "I'm not. Not if that's what it takes." He let his hand curl around Remus's neck, his thumb stroking his jaw. "I just...Christ, it's odd."


"This," Sirius slipped his hand between them, putting pressure on Remus's cock before removing it, replacing it with the hardness of his own erection as he closed the last bit of distance between them. "This."

Remus closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. "I can't do this, Sirius."

"Are you sure?" He rocked slowly, deliberately. "Because it feels as if you can."

Remus laughed brokenly. "I can't share."

"Oh," Sirius breathed, nuzzling Remus's ear. "I should stop then."

Remus nodded, his leg snaking around Sirius's and pulling him closer. "You should."

He forced himself back and stared at Remus with wide, wild eyes. "Tell me when."

Remus threaded a hand through Sirius's too-long, dark hair and tugged him closer. His lips brushed a promise then parted in a smile. "Later."

Sirius's nails dug into the soft, worn corduroy of Remus's slacks as they kissed, tongue sliding over tongue like a promise of naked flesh to come. He gasped softly, surprised by the heat that rushed through him and pulled away, panting quietly. Remus's eyes opened slowly, slightly wary. He licked his lips, swollen and laced with the scent of Sirius. "What?"

"Well, given that I'm, pardon the pun, out of the doghouse right now and should probably just keep my mouth shut and any hopes, presumptions or suggestions to myself," he winced slightly as Remus sighed. "I don't want to do this here." Remus opened his mouth and Sirius shook his head, continuing quickly. "Whatever it is we're doing, I don't want it to be here in this room where anyone could walk in and interrupt us or ruin us or whatever. I want it to be somewhere where we're completely alone. Even if we do nothing more than what we've already done, I want to do it somewhere else."

Remus considered him for a moment then nodded. "My flat?"

"No. You and he..." He shook his head. "My flat."

"And you've been with how many women there?"

Sirius shifted, the motion causing friction to shiver between them. Sirius's entire body tightened and he thrust, rolling his hips toward Remus. "Please?"

Remus closed his eyes, his forehead resting against Sirius's. His breaths were deep and shaky, the feathery brush melting into Sirius's skin. "I shouldn't. I can't." He pushed Sirius back, their bodies still close. "Daniel..."

"Sod Daniel," Sirius begged softly. "Figure it all out later. Think later, Remus." He swallowed; holding Remus's gaze as he moved back in, kissed him. "Please?"

Remus's eyes fluttered closed, his hand snaking around Sirius's neck, the heat of the room nothing compared to the heat pooled between them. "Sirius..."

"Remus?" A sharp knock followed Daniel's voice. Sirius cursed under his breath, moving back away from Remus.

Remus cleared his throat. "Just a moment, Daniel." He looked at Sirius, his hazel eyes anguished. "Sirius, I..."

Sirius shook his head. "Don't bother. I get it." He moved further away and managed a smile, his lips curling ruefully as he Apparated from the room.

Remus squeezed his eyes shut, swallowed a curse and made his way to the office door.


"Go 'way, James."

There was a long silence on the other side of the door and Sirius turned and walked away. Finally, the words slipped quietly through the thin wood. "It's not James."

Sirius stopped and turned, taking a deep breath before opening the door, leaning against it, the bottle of firewhiskey dangling from his fingers. He lifted an eyebrow and sniffed, eyeing Remus carefully. "Where's your boyfriend?"

"At work, where he was headed when he stopped by. I dropped him off on my way home."

"You're not home."

"No." Remus sighed, barely smiling, and leaned against the wall outside the door. "I'm not."

"Does he know you're here?"


"Are you going to tell him?"

"That depends."

"On what?"

Remus grabbed for the bottle and took a small sip, his nose wrinkling at the taste. "Oh, this is bloody horrible."

"What does it depend on, Remus?"

He looked at Sirius, his eyes shining gold. "On whether or not you're going to let me in."

Sirius took the firewhiskey back from Remus and took a long drink, staring down at it as he pulled it away from his wet lips. He ignored the low growl that seemed to emanate from Remus's chest and took a deep breath before finally looking up into his eyes and nodding. "Yeah."

Remus brushed past him, closing his eyes at the brief contact. Sirius closed the door, leaning on it and locking it, his own eyes closed for a long moment before turning around. Remus moved into the small flat, shedding his worn coat and draping it over the arm of the sofa. Sirius watched him with dark eyes, sweeping down the length of Remus's body in frank exploration.

"You ever done this?" Remus asked softly.

"Invited a bloke into my apartment?"

Remus looked up and met Sirius's gaze. "Euphemistically speaking, yes."

"I've said goodnight at the door." Sirius gave him a small smile that disappeared quickly. "I've been drunk, Remus, and stupid. I've been quite good at all those things. But I'm not drunk now. And, though I might still be stupid, I'm really a bit more frightened that this is all some colossally bad joke."

"You think I'm joking?"

"I think you might change your mind once you get a moment to think about all of this. What you're doing. What we're doing."

Remus nodded and loosened his tie, unbuttoning the top button of his shirt. "I've done nothing but think the entire way over here, Sirius. I've done nothing but think the entire time I've known you." He shrugged off the jacket to his suit and placed it over his coat, unbuttoning and rolling up his sleeves until, save for the tie colors, he looked the image of himself at Hogwarts. "You started this."

Sirius nodded. "I did."

Remus's voice was soft and thick, full of promise and intent. "Take the next step."

Sirius's laugh was quick and nervous. "You're not going to make it easy for me, then?"

"You've had everything easy in your life for too long, Sirius." Remus crossed his arms over his chest, his smile part dare, part suggestion.

"Nothing's easy with you, Moony." Sirius set the bottle down and moved forward, his eyes never leaving Remus's. "You make me think and work and never let me take the easy road."

"It's more rewarding if you actually work for it." Remus's body jerked slightly as Sirius stood in front of him, hooking his fingers under Remus's arms and pulling them away from his chest, letting them fall to his sides.

Sirius slipped one finger under the knot of Remus's tie and pulled slowly, the silk falling to the sides as well, framing the long row of buttons on his shirt. "Like this?"

Remus nodded once, licking his suddenly dry lips. "Yes."

He undid the buttons one by one, the fabric parting, exposing Remus's chest slowly; rough dark hair and pale skin laced with scars curving over muscle and sinew, so tight and thin as Sirius carefully trailed his fingers over Remus's abdomen, his breath catching as Remus inhaled sharply at the gentle touch. "More?"

Remus nodded again, saying nothing as Sirius spread his palms over his stomach, warm hands sliding up to his chest and smoothing over his nipples, the distended flesh hardening at the whisper of heat. His body jerked again, a sudden intake of breath pulling him back before releasing him into Sirius's touch again.

"What now, Remus?" Sirius breathed, his eyes wide as he looked into Remus's. His thumbs teased Remus's nipples again and again, circling and tracing before sweeping over the tips, forcing a thick gasp of air from Remus's lips. "What nex..."

His words were cut off as Remus buried his hand in Sirius's hair, jerking him forward, his tongue pushing into Sirius's mouth. Sirius groaned and shuddered, letting his hands slide under Remus's shirt, smoothing down his back to the waistband of his slacks. Remus thrust forward, his body colliding with Sirius's, his free hand flat on Sirius's ass, guiding his own thrusts.

"Remus," Sirius breathed, pulling back and panting hard, diving in for another quick kiss. "I want you. I want this."

"Then shut up for once," Remus snapped, biting Sirius's lower lip hard enough to sting before sliding his tongue over the tender spot. Sirius whimpered softly, the sound low and deep in his throat as Remus's tongue continued flickering over his parted lips, tasting their mingled breath.

Moaning with frustration, Sirius wrapped one hand around the base of Remus's neck and pulled his mouth closer, his own tongue sliding out to meet Remus's. He ground his hips hard against Remus's, denim and flesh meeting in a flash of heat. His voice was little more than a growl, more animal than human. "Make me."

Remus shoved Sirius away from him, watching him with narrowed eyes as he stumbled back, nearly tripping over the low coffee table, sprawling on the couch. "Make you?" Remus asked with a cocked eyebrow. His voice was a low purr of seduction, thick and hoarse and full of promise. He closed the distance between them, straddling Sirius's spread legs. "Or let you?"

Sirius licked his lips, tilting his head back, his chin raised in challenge. They stared at each other for a long moment, Sirius's gaze finally breaking away as Remus's fingers slowly ran down his shirt, stopping briefly at his waistband before deftly unbuttoning the pale copper button, parting the fabric enough to allow his hand to slide the zipper down, the noise as ragged as Sirius's breathing.

Remus continued looking at him, defying him. Sirius shifted beneath him, catching his breath as Remus let his eyes fall, his gaze scorching over the dark hair and pale skin exposed between his shirt and jeans, the dark fabric of his boxers sleek and shiny, more ornamentation than protection for the hard bulge beneath.

Sirius swallowed hard as his body responded to Remus's stare: hardening, thickening, pressing damply against the fabric. His voice broke on Remus's name, the shaky sound bringing the other man's eyes back to his. Sirius licked his lips, words forgotten as Remus's eyes held his, as his hands slipped under Sirius's shirt, rubbing warm circles on the overheated skin, palms soft and smooth against the hair-roughened flesh.

"What?" It was a challenge, Remus's soft voice and sly smile taunting him. Sirius reached up and trailed his fingers down Remus's chest, reveling in the sudden intake of breath.

"Stop nancying about and touch me."

Remus's grin broke into a full-fledged smile. Sirius grinned in response, his expression changing as Remus snarled and grabbed his wrists, lunging forward until his body covered Sirius's, his deceptively thin frame pinning him to the sofa. "Touch you how?" Remus's sharp teeth bit at Sirius's lobe, his breath hot and angry in his ear.

Sirius turned his head so that he could stare into Remus's eyes. There was a wildness in them, a primal flash that jerked hard at the coil of hunger in his groin. The corner of his mouth lifted in a taunting grin. "I'm not going to beg you, Lupin. Blacks never beg."

"Oh?" Remus closed his eyes slowly, holding Sirius's gaze as long as possible before crowding him, his lips and tongue brushing over the dark stubble of his chin. "I'd bet 100 galleons Blacks never fuck werewolves either."

Sirius shoved Remus back, his quick reflexes catching him before he fell, holding him poised on the edge of his knees. Sitting up slowly, Sirius lowered Remus to the floor and hovered over him, his teeth bared in a rakish grin. "You'd be wrong."

His breath caught in his chest as he inhaled, not looking away from the sheen of dark hair that fell around his face as Sirius moved closer. "Would I?"

Sirius nodded as he lowered himself, his lips brushing over Remus's. His tongue licked the thin upper lip, opening Remus's mouth, then slid inside and out, breathlessly. "Very wrong."

"You know what our problem is, Sirius?" Remus swallowed and closed his eyes as Sirius's tongue blazed a heated trail down his throat. "We've talked so long and so much," his breath caught again as Sirius's teeth closed around his nipple, the light pressure bringing his hips off the floor, "we can't seem to stop."

"I'm," Sirius flicked his tongue across one nipple then the other, "not," then placed a burning kiss just above Remus's navel, dipping his tongue inside before easing Remus's slacks apart, the zipper almost falling away at his touch, "talking."

"No," Remus agreed, nodding mindlessly as Sirius's breath played over his skin, melting flesh down to the nerve endings that burst into flames as his tongue touched them, trailing over thick hair, circling Remus's cock. "No, you're really not."


He forced his head off the ground, looking down at Sirius's dark eyes over the swollen head of his own cock. "Yes?"

Sirius licked the dark tip and smiled. "Shut up."

Remus's response was lost as Sirius's mouth closed around him, heat suffusing his skin as wet flesh surrounded his, Sirius's firm tongue tracing the thick vein that pulsed along the underside of Remus's cock. His hands dug into the braided rug beneath him, nails separating the threads as they curled, Sirius's mouth moving hot and slick against his skin.

Sirius pulled back slightly, licking his lips before taking Remus in his mouth again. Remus moaned, his hips arching off the floor. Sirius repeated the sound, the low vibration wrenching a gasp from Remus's mouth.

Sirius pulled away, his hand grasping the base of Remus's cock as he ran his tongue along the length of it, letting it slip down further, tasting the warm stretch of skin above Remus's balls. "It's all right?" He whispered softly before sliding his tongue down, curving it around the swollen sac. "It's all right, Remus?"

"Yes," Remus panted as Sirius's hand began moving, stroking him slowly, steadily. "Gods, yes."

"It feels good?"

Remus nodded mindlessly, reaching down to run his hand over the top of Sirius's head, smoothing over the silky black strands. He could feel the slight smile against his skin, all outside sensation lost as Sirius sucked lightly on his balls, pulling the flesh into his mouth, laving it with his tongue. "Fuck. Sirius." He slammed his head back against the carpet, every nerve ending dancing at the end of Sirius's tongue. His hips thrust upward, his cock sliding in Sirius's hot grip, reaching down and closing his own hand around Sirius's.

He guided it to the tip of his cock, the ridge caught at the base of Sirius's hand. He set the pace, his hips and hand rocking in erratic rhythm as Sirius's mouth continued moving over him, slipping free only to slide further down, tracing over his perineum.

"Holy..." Remus released Sirius's hand, edging his body away. Sirius looked up, wounded surprise in his eyes.

"What'd I do, Moony?"

Remus was on his knees, lunging for Sirius before the sentence was finished. He pinned him to the floor, kissing him, his tongue seeking heat and dominance in Sirius's willing mouth. He worked his hand between them, easing Sirius's jeans further apart, stroking him through the silk of his boxers.

"I'm going to fuck you, Sirius. Long and slow and hard and I'm not going to stop until you beg me for mercy." His voice was rough, scratchy, barely above a whisper as it shivered down Sirius's spine. "I'm going to be inside you." He bit Sirius lightly on the neck, growling as his chin lifted, offering the pale expanse of flesh to Remus's mouth. Remus bit it again, feeling the pulse pounding against his tongue then pulled away.

Sirius watched with dark eyes, pupils dilated and deep, the barest hint of color surrounding them. Remus pulled away, dragging his body against Sirius's, hands moving over skin until he found cloth, pulling Sirius's clothes down his muscled legs. Sirius licked his lips, his gaze never leaving Remus's. His hips arched up as Remus stripped him, staying in the air for a long moment before sinking back to the carpet. "I've..." He shook his head and reached back, finding his coat on the couch where he'd thrown it earlier.

Remus watched him digging in the pockets as he got to his feet, stripping off the remains of his own clothing. Sirius stopped suddenly, as if he'd never seen Remus before, staring at the flesh and sinew and scars, all pale and silvery save for the dark red pulse of his cock. Sirius swallowed hard and sank back on the floor, his hand clenched around a small bottle.

Remus knelt before him and took it, smiling hungrily. "Sure of yourself, were you?"

Sirius shook his head. "Sure of nothing."

Remus's hand was warm as it pushed against Sirius's chest, guiding him to the floor. He opened the bottle easily with his thumb, leaving Sirius cold as he lifted his hand, letting the clear liquid pour into his palm. "Be sure of this, Sirius."

He nodded, his feet planted on the floor, his hips raised in invitation. "Sure of you, Remus. Always sure of you."

Remus growled low, his hand smoothing over Sirius's bare skin. Sirius hissed at the sudden shock, the warmth of Remus's fingers beneath the cool slide of lotion. He closed his eyes, his hands pounding softly against the floor as Remus moved closer, thighs brushing the inside of Sirius's, the hot, wet tip of his cock lighting on his skin.

Sirius stiffened as Remus lowered his cock, letting it brush over the tight opening, relaxing as he moved it down, away, his muscles unclenching then tightening as Remus eased one long finger inside him. His eyes widened then closed at the slow thrust of it, his body slowly accepting and adapting. He licked his lips, a precursor to speaking, the sound stolen from him as Remus slid another finger in, his pace increasing.

Remus stared down at Sirius, watching the play of emotions across his face. His cock ached, throbbed with the unfulfilled fantasy splayed out before him. Pushing another finger inside, he reveled in Sirius's gasp, his thumb pressed to the base of Sirius's cock, feeling the pulse of blood pounding beneath it.

A hollow ache pooled in Sirius's stomach as his body reacted to Remus's fingers, pushing down against them, the slight stretching a counterpoint of pain to the pleasure coursing through him. He started to speak again, giving in to a moan of disappointment as Remus's hand slipped away from him, his eyes closing at the loss.

They snapped open suddenly and Sirius swallowed, unable to look away from Remus as he felt the sudden pressure. The tip of Remus's cock pushed inside him and his mouth opened, breathing in as the feeling intensified, swallowing the hollowness inside him, piercing it, filling it. Remus stared down at him, his eyes golden and bright, moving slowly, barely breathing. Sirius's breath suddenly hitched, shuddering out of him in a quick arpeggio.

Remus stopped, breathed in and then thrust slowly, closing his eyes as Sirius's body closed around him. They stayed, locked together, neither moving for a long moment. Remus's body jerked suddenly as Sirius's fingers brushed his chest, the light sensation sending shockwaves through him. He groaned, the sound buried deep in his throat, and thrust forward, his hands locked on Sirius's hips.

"Christ," Sirius panted, his eyes wide, his adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed air again and again. "Oh, Christ, Moony."

"Stop?" Remus asked, his body still moving, his thrusts lengthening, the slide of skin on skin addictive.

"I...oh..." Sirius gasped as Remus pushed further, harder, walls of flesh surrounding him, tightening around him. Sirius's entire body clenched and he beat at the floor with one hand as the other dropped from Remus's chest to close around his own cock. "Don...don't stop."

"Can't," Remus assured him, his mouth open as he struggled for breath, his eyes watching Sirius's. "Sir...Sirius..."

Sirius's head thrashed as Remus's pace changed, quickened, thrusts still long and hard, but faster, hotter, harder. His fingers dug into Sirius's hip, his legs under Sirius's, supporting him. Giving up all pretense of control, Sirius brought his other hand up and wrapped it around the base of his cock, allowing his other to slide along the length, his hand matching Remus's growing rhythm.

Sirius's fingers slid up to the tip of his cock, his hips jerking off the floor as he came, milky liquid spilling over his hand as he kept stroking, swallowing to wet his parched throat, the air around him burning from the heat in Remus's gaze. The amber eyes dropped, watching his hands move as Remus kept thrusting, filling him.

Remus's chest shook, every breath wracking his body as he moved. Sirius was moaning, begging, nonsense syllables filling the air around them. Remus closed his eyes, his groan coming from the base of his spine, spiraling up through him as he thrust quickly then stopped, the hot flood of his orgasm buried in Sirius's willing flesh.


Sirius stared at Remus in the wake of silence. He'd sunk back on his heels, still buried in Sirius's body. Sirius cleared his throat, the soft sound forcing Remus's eyes open. "I've tea."

Remus chuckled, the sound dissolving into a laugh as he eased away from Sirius, stretching out on the floor beside him. There was a slightly manic edge to the tone, the faint tinge of hysteria that always shook Sirius when Remus let it slip.

"It's all right."

"The tea?"


Remus shook his head and got to his feet, walking toward the bathroom.

"I could clean us up."

Remus looked back at him, his eyes unreadable. "A spell cleans it up, Sirius. Doesn't wash it away."

"Is that what you want?" Sirius got to his feet, his body strange and rubbery, unreal. He didn't recognize anything about himself, including his voice. "To wash this away? Me away?"

"How long have we been friends, Sirius?"

"Human years or dog years?" He tried to grin, unable to force his muscles to behave. "Forever, Remus."

"And where was all this in the plan?"

"What plan, Remus?"

He shook his head. "I've a boyfriend."

"And what am I?"

Remus didn't look at him, simply turned and headed for the shower, locking the bathroom door behind him.


James set the glass in front of Sirius then sat down beside him. "And what would you do in America?"

"I don't know."

"Well, at least he's thought this brilliant plan out."

"Sod off, Lily. Since when are you allowed to boy's night?"

"Since James invited me."

Sirius glared at his best friend. "Traitor."

"She understands Remus better than any of us, mate."

"I don't want someone that understands Remus," Sirius reminded him sharply. "I want Remus to be here, without his sodding boyfriend." He glanced over at the door, as if wishing it would make the other man appear. "I want Remus."

"Yes, well, all of us know that, Sirius." Lily placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. "And we're also becoming intimately aware of what a royal prick you are when you don't get what you want."

"I'm not a prick."

"A brat? Whiner?" Lily fought her grin. "Bastard?"

"We must be talking about Sirius."

Sirius's breath caught and he turned slowly on his stool, his eyes moving over the length of Remus's body. He wore faded, worn blue jeans, a ratty t-shirt, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his long, gray wool coat. "You've no problem wearing his gifts then, have you?"

"It's a nice coat. It's cold out." Remus's voice lilted with amusement, his eyes dancing. "I need something to keep me warm."

"Where's your boyfriend?"

Remus shrugged and moved to sit on the other side of Lily. He signaled for a drink and then turned, looking past her to Sirius's dark eyes. "Don't have one."

"Oh, look." Lily slid off her stool and moved around Sirius to grab James's arm. "There's the Longbottoms. Let's go chat."

James's reply was lost as Lily dragged him away, drowned out by the sound of Sirius moving to Lily's vacated stool, the legs scraping against the scratched floor. "What of Daniel, then?"


"Thought you fancied him."

"I did. Do. But he seemed to think my thoughts lay elsewhere." Remus nodded his thanks to the bartender and took a sip of his Guinness.

"Was he right?"

"Occasionally." Remus set his glass down and looked into Sirius's intent gaze. "What do you want from me?"

"You." Sirius shrugged. "I've not thought beyond that. Mostly because I didn't know it was you I wanted until I couldn't have you. And that sounds like a right cock-up, but it's true."

"So you only want what you can't have?"

"I didn't..."

"I don't trust that you really know what you want, Sirius." Remus cut him off, his voice flat. Giving in to a smile, he reached out and placed his hand lightly on Sirius's thigh, rubbing a small circle with his thumb. "But we'll give it a go, eh?"

Sirius smiled, mischief dancing in his eyes. "All right. But I'm buying you a new coat."


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