Between The Emotion And The Response
by Victoria P.

Remus approaches Sirius carefully, as though he's a bomb ready to go off at any moment.

He touches Sirius gently, afraid if he pushes too hard, too fast, Sirius will shatter like glass, as if Sirius isn't the strongest man he's ever known. Sirius could fade in a puff of smoke, the desperate fantasy of a man too long alone. Or collapse into a pile of ash like the walking dead man Remus sometimes thinks he is.

The first time they have sex again, in the creaky bed that belonged to Remus's parents and grandparents before him, it is slow, gentle, tentative. Perhaps even loving, though it's been so long, Remus isn't sure. He has become used to hard, fast and anonymous over the years, and it is unnerving to wrap his hand around Sirius's cock, flesh he once knew as well as (if not better than) his own. He is shaken when he looks up to see those wide gray eyes staring at him as if just surfacing from some enchanted slumber. Which isn't too far from the truth, though Sirius's long sleep was the sleep of nightmares, the dreamlife of the damned. And Remus has to laugh at the image of himself as Prince Charming -- that has always been Sirius's role: tamer of wolves and slayer of dragons. But it has occurred to Remus, as he slowly jacks Sirius's cock, relearning how to touch him, that everything he thought he knew was wrong, and everything he'd believed to be a lie is once again the truth.

"You're thinking too much," Sirius says, his hoarse voice shot through with amused exasperation as he curls his hand around Remus's, entwining their fingers.

"There's quite a lot to think about, Sirius. Even you have to admit that," Remus responds with a smile.

"The only thing you should be thinking about right now is my prick in your hand."

Remus laughs again, hiding his face against the bony curve of Sirius's shoulder so he doesn't have to face those haunted eyes.

"Mmm, yes," he says, letting Sirius's hand over his guide him, as if they've never done this before.

Perhaps they haven't. The past is dead and gone, and they are neither of them who they used to be.

Remus uses the hard push of Sirius's cock under his hand, the wet heat of Sirius's tongue in his mouth, to make himself stop thinking, to finally surrender to sensation. Sirius rolls so he is on top, pulling their joined hands away from his body and thrusting down, his cock slick with their mingled sweat and precome, sliding against Remus's. In response, Remus growls, thrusting up. It is more like fighting than like sex, but it is what Sirius needs, and what Remus is afraid to give him until Sirius forces the issue. Toward the end last time, the fighting and the sex were nearly indistinguishable, Remus remembers, shouting matches that led to fucking that led to stony silences and slamming doors, and then the whole thing over again the next day. 'It's different now,' he reminds himself daily.

Sirius comes above him, breathing hot and moist into the curve of Remus's throat, his teeth sharp against Remus's skin. Remus moans again, still seeking release; he can feeling it building in him, spiraling higher and tighter, and then Sirius wraps a hand around him, and pulls. Remus is coming, falling, dying, his body melting into liquid fire as he spills himself over Sirius's hand, and the only thing holding him back from the abyss is Sirius's body pressing him to the mattress, Sirius's hand still stroking his softening cock.

They don't speak much afterward -- Remus has never been one for pillow talk, except with Sirius, and Sirius is still too exhausted and overwhelmed by sex to be chatty. He's mentioned more than once how even months after he'd escaped Azkaban, he couldn't wank for fear of attracting dementors. Remus knows he should probably gather Sirius close, whisper warm words of reassurance and love, but he doesn't know that he has it in him -- that he's ever had it in him -- so he says nothing as they drift off to sleep.


When Sirius complains about his current imprisonment, Remus stops him with kisses. Sirius craves touch, and Remus uses it against him. It's the easiest way to avoid arguments that can't be won, and Remus is too tired most of the time to be kind. He feels guilty about that, just one more item on a long list of things to feel guilty about. He tries not to flog himself over it, but sometimes he can't help thinking of his own lack of faith, his passive acceptance of Sirius's supposed crimes, even while knowing on some deep level that whatever happened between the two of them, Sirius would never have betrayed James like that. James, Remus is sure, never wavered in his trust of Sirius, even at the moment of his death. It was how they were, pushing each other higher, farther, always borne up by the other's belief that together, they could do anything.

Remus knows why James asked Sirius to be his Secret-Keeper, and he knows why James agreed to Sirius's request to switch, but what he still can't understand, deep in his gut, is why Sirius didn't trust him. Oh, he knows the reasons -- Sirius has confessed time and again, and begged for absolution under the influence of too much firewhisky and dementor-haunted dreams -- but try as he might, Remus still can't figure out why they believed he was the spy, except that they knew it wasn't either of them, and they'd never given Peter the credit he'd deserved.

Sirius ought to have known better. The fact that they'd been sleeping together for two years by that point meant Sirius should have given him the benefit of the doubt, but he hadn't, and when Remus looks back, he discovers he can't really blame Sirius for that, any more than Sirius blames him for believing the Ministry's evidence.

He and Sirius had been furtive, quiet, afraid of losing this amazing thing between them they'd never quite understood; they'd worried that speaking of it, naming it, would destroy it, and that silence infiltrated everything they did. That silence made it so easy for them to turn on each other when the need for trust was greatest, when an honest conversation might have saved them all.

Sirius is not silent now. Remus had thought Azkaban might burn the cruelty out of him, but being trapped at Grimmauld Place has brought it out, tempered only slightly by his grief and regret, and as Snape is rarely available, Remus is his favorite target, because Remus, unlike Kreacher or his mother's portrait, can be hurt. When his words cut too close to the bone, Remus stops his mouth with kisses and touches that leave them both trembling, breathless, and incapable of speech. He doesn't admit, even to himself, that he is sometimes afraid of what he might say if he lets himself be drawn into an argument. It is only with Sirius that he worries, because only Sirius has ever been able to get under his skin like that, and make him lose control. It is only Sirius to whom he owes expiation, restitution, and Sirius won't hear his confession.

There is no absolution to grant, Sirius insists. There is only the heat of their bodies as they stumble together in fierce, hot urgency -- in the kitchen, in the library, in Sirius's boyhood bed at night -- bodies stripped to skin and bone by years of need and deprivation, all harsh angles and concave bellies, even after months of feeding up. Here they are equal, well matched in the thrust and parry of tongue and cock, hands and lips and whispered prayers and profanities, with no worries that anything they say will be used against them later. Still, Remus doesn't talk much, even when Sirius presses him.

"Sickle for your thoughts," Sirius murmurs into his hair one night after the holidays, when their guests have gone and Remus will be leaving in the morning for a week. They are curled up in the magically enlarged bed in Sirius's old room, jagged edges softened by fine red wine with dinner and the languid aftermath of a good hard fuck.

Remus laughs, rubs his cheek against Sirius's sweaty, bony chest. "They're not worth that much."

"I'll be the judge of that." Sirius runs a hand through Remus's hair and Remus shivers under the touch, burrowing closer. He can hear Sirius's heart beat beneath his ear, and he turns his head to press a kiss to the spot.

"It's quiet," he answers finally, "with everyone gone."

Sirius snorts. "That's my Moony. Always so profound."

"Shut up."

"Make me."

They wrestle playfully. For a little while, it's as if the past fifteen years never happened, and they are back in their old flat in London, before everything went wrong.

Remus wishes every night could be like this.


With Sirius gone, Grimmauld Place echoes with the silence of the graveyard, and Remus finds himself full of all the words he couldn't say when Sirius was there. They rise in his throat and threaten to suffocate him; he wakes each morning with promises tumbling from his lips, before he remembers it's too late and he has no one left to speak to.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix