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Written for Secret Battle Competition.
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To Sirius Black, it was just another night at work. He moved up and down the bar, pulling pints, making cocktails with umbrellas, fruit, sparklers, and anything else that he was asked, and he smiled politely as men tried to chat him up. It started off as any other night.
He had been there a few hours, before he noticed the bar getting quite busy. Sirius looked around for Lily, only to find her in conversation at the other end of the bar, talking to a tall skinny bird with black hair and glasses. He let out a snort. The best the girl would get is a drunken snog, and that would only be if she played her cards completely right.
As he served a few more customers, working his way up the bar, he quickly realised that the 'girl' that was chatting Lily up was in fact a bloke. He pulled another pint for one of the regulars, screwing up the phone number that was slid to him and tossing it onto the counter behind him, before looking back in Lily's direction again, hoping she'd finish chatting soon, so he could get some help.
Suddenly, his eyes met amber, and he was lost.
"That's just it, Remus, you keep going on about how you never know where to go to meet a guy. You decided you were gay three months ago, yet you don't seem to want to do anything about it. Don't you want to shag a bloke?"
"Yeah, I do," Remus admitted, blushing heavily, and picking at the bottom of his favourite jumper. There was a tiny hole, and he was intent on tying the loose threads together, so the hole wouldn't grow. "I just don't know how to meet anyone. Turns out being gay is harder than being straight. At least it's considered normal to chat up women, but I can't really walk up to a random guy and ask if he likes cock?"
Peter spat his drink across the table. "No, you really shouldn't ask random people that," he agreed, "that's why we're going to a gay bar."
"Plus, I didn't 'decide'. I knew I was gay, I just chose to have it revealed to everyone. Wait, I never agreed to a nightclub, you know I hate clubs."
"We can find one that's more like a pub," James said. "It'll be fine. I'll make me and Pete some t-shirts that say we're straight, and you can have one that -"
"I'm not wearing a t-shirt saying I'm gay," Remus said with a laugh. "I'm sure they'll just assume that one of us is, and since I'm not wearing a prattish t-shirt, they'll know it's me."
"I'll bring Mary," Peter decided.
"Mate, I don't want to sound bad, but lesbians are hot, she might meet a beautiful girl to take home," James warned him.
Peter just stared at him. "I fail to see the problem with that," he replied, before taking out his phone and tapping away at the buttons.
"Friday night, don't wear your lucky jumper," James ordered.
Sirius almost dropped the bottle as he took in the face that hosted those beautiful, innocent eyes. He could see that the man was nervous, and was fidgeting slightly. He was also slipping looks at the bloke next to him, the one Sirius had assumed was a woman.
He waited until Lily had moved away from them to talk to her. "I want him," he muttered.
"I'm pretty sure he's straight," Lily replied. "Plus, he's not really your type."
"He is, did you see his eyes, they're amber, such a fascinating colour."
"Hazel, you mean," Lily corrected.
"Amber," Sirius insisted. "I just want to run my hands through that soft blonde hair -"
"Oh, the blonde," Lily replied, realising that Sirius was talking about someone else.
"I thought the guy chatting you up was a girl," Sirius admitted with a grin, before turning around, bringing the drinks over to the customer, and receiving another phone number, which he threw behind him.
There was only one number he wanted tonight, and that was the phone number of the cute stranger.
He glanced back, and the guy with glasses next to the future Mr Black was paying for both drinks, so they were clearly friends. The guy with glasses was saying something that was making his future lover blush, and Sirius found himself fascinated. Even his blushes were sexy.
"You wore the jumper," James accused, as they made their way to the bar. "I thought I said -"
"It's my lucky jumper," Remus replied defensively. "I wore it when I came out to my parents and they were supportive."
"Your mother fainted," Peter pointed out.
"Yes, but she was nice to me afterwards, and I was wearing it when I told you guys too."
"We saw you snog a bloke, it wasn't really telling us, it was more showing us how far your tongue would fit down his throat," Peter corrected him.
"When I first snogged Benjy, then," Remus said, with a smirk.
"Leave him alone, he looks nice in that jumper. Don't try get him to dress up as someone else, James Potter, because you want him to meet someone who likes Remus for Remus," Mary said.
"Well said, love," Peter said to his girlfriend, kissing her on the cheek.
"Thank you, Mary," Remus said, with a pointed look at James. "I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not." He turned to Mary and gave her a hug, and a quick kiss on the cheek. "You look lovely today, Mary, did you get your hair done?"
"Yes, I did," she said with a smile. "You're wearing the aftershave I got you?" Remus nodded.
She linked her arm through his and James and Pete led the way to the bar, only stopping to get money out at the cash-point. The closer they got to the bar, the more nervous Remus felt, but he had his friends there, and he kept telling himself there was no reason to be nervous at all.
They paused outside the bar, and the bouncer looked between the group. "ID," he requested, looking at Mary and Remus. The pair pushed their passports forward, and he nodded. His gaze fell on James, who was looking around, grinning, and at Peter who looked quite uncomfortable, before determining that they weren't going to cause any trouble, and letting the group in.
Peter quickly took Mary's hand as he felt eyes on him.
"Come on, Remus, let's go to the bar," James said, leaving Peter and Mary to occupy a table near the bar. "Do you think the redhead is a lesbian too?"
Remus shrugged as they approached the bar. It took mere minutes for James to get the girl's attention.
Remus glanced around, looking at the guys there. He was actually quite intimidated. He only knew one other gay person, and that was a guy that he snogged - Benjy. They had gone out for only two weeks, before they both admitted they didn't feel any spark.
Which led him here, to a gay bar, with his three friends, who would no doubt embarrass the hell out of him, and try to find him someone.
His eyes moved around, taking the place in, until they fell on the bartender. A man around the same height as him, black hair falling past his shoulders, with stubble, grey eyes and a dirty smirk on his lips. He watched the man for a moment screwing up a phone number, the smile slipping for a moment as it was tossed onto the back counter, where a few other screwed up bits of paper lay. He found himself transfixed.
The man's eyes fell on him, and the smile widened, and Remus was left wondering if this sex-god of a man just smiled at him? At plain, boring Remus Lupin?
Remus' eyes kept darting to him as he stood with the redhead, their backs to the pair at the bar, making drinks. Remus pretended not to watch him screw up another number. If the bartender was screwing up numbers he was getting from good-looking men at the bar, Remus knew he had no chance in the slightest.
"Okay, I'm going in. I'm not stopping until I get his number," Sirius said to Lily, feeling very nervous. He was used to getting chatted up, but he wasn't too good at being the one doing the chatting up. Not with someone as shy looking at this guy, and he didn't want to say anything to scare him away.
Lily grinned. "Good luck, Siri," she replied, serving the customers faster so Sirius wouldn't have to rush back to help her. She watched Sirius walk out from behind the bar, the amber eyed man's eyes following him, and she realised that Sirius wouldn't need luck. The guy really was adorable. She almost laughed out loud as Sirius situated himself between the two men, and turned his heated gaze on James.
Sirius ran his finger ran down James' arm. "Very muscular, I bet you have an amazing six-pack, maybe you could show me later?" he murmured, seductively. "I'll let you see mine too, there's an alley out back where..." Sirius started laughing as James grabbed his drink and promptly ran from the bar. Remus turned to follow him, feeling slightly disappointed that the barman had gone after James. He froze when he felt a hand on his arm.
"He's straight," Remus said, his eyes meeting the amused silver ones he had quickly began to love. Silver was an amazing colour after all, his new favourite, in fact.
"I only did that to get rid of him," Sirius said, still very amused at the guy's reaction. "I didn't think you'd feel comfortable chatting with me if your friend was playing cheerleader."
"Cheerleader?" Remus repeated, looking towards the table, where James was clearly having a panic attack and Mary was laughing as Pete consoled him. His mouth twitched. "That was evil," he told Sirius, and Sirius grinned back.
"Yeah, well, I'm usually on the other side of the bar. Friends come for moral support, but they can end up getting in the way, interfering. The guy always acts more reserved because of his friends watching him, cheering him on. Your mate seemed like the sort that would cheer you on with a banner, and some sparklers, maybe glow-sticks. I thought I'd try get to talk to you without him, so I got rid of him."
"Me?" Remus repeated. Why did this handsome man want to speak to him? Why wasn't he able to form proper sentences?
"Yeah, I can tell you're new here. You seem pretty shy, so I thought I'd give you some help, tell you what it's like in here..."
He looked at Remus' untouched beer. "Did you even want a beer?"
Remus shrugged. "James always gets me one, I don't mind -"
"Lils, couple of drinks, surprise us," he said. He glanced at Remus again. "Something sweet?"
Lily grinned, pulling out a few bottles, and pouring them into a jug, before pouring out two glasses and setting the jug between them. Remus looked at it in concern. "I've never drunk anything green before," he replied.
"Have you ever had a cocktail?" Lily asked, and Remus shook his head.
"It's called a Fat frog," Lily said, winking at him.
"Much better than a beer," Sirius told him. "Trust me."
"He stroked my arm," James whimpered, and Mary let out a giggle. "He wanted to see my six-pack. I know my abs are amazing, but the bartender told me about an alley around back."
"What did you expect, coming here?" Peter said.
"But my t-shirt," James replied pathetically. "I thought they would understand. I should have realised that not even a t-shirt can stop people wanting me, it's almost a curse. I should have known that they wouldn't be able to resist me."
"It seems like he's not even that hung up on your rejection," Peter replied, looking towards the bar. "Remus seems to have made a new friend."
The three looked back at the bar where the bartender was chatting to Remus, and Remus was smiling shyly at him.
"I should go back over," James said hesitantly. "Make sure he's not trying to seduce our poor Remus. Guys like that only want one thing, and it's my job to protect him." James stood back up, but Mary and Peter grabbed an arm each and forced him back into his chair.
"No you won't," Mary said. "Remus would never forgive you if your interfering resulted in him not getting to snog the hot bartender. Leave him be."
"I agree, do you think he was just doing that to wind you up?" Peter added. Their gazes all turned back to Remus to watch.
Sirius watched Remus take a sip of the green drink in front of him, and Remus' eyebrows raised in surprise.
"Told you," Sirius said. "So, I don't even know what to call you. I'm Sirius, and yes, that is really my name," Sirius said.
"Like the star?" Remus asked, and Sirius nodded. "I usually get some odd looks, but it's a family thing. My brother is Regulus, my father is Orion, even my cousins are in on the act, with names like Bellatrix and Andromeda," Sirius explained.
"Remus Lupin," Remus replied. "No story behind my name, I'm afraid."
"Oh, sure there is," Sirius said. "Remus, brother of Romulus, who were two brothers raised by wolves. Lupin, means belonging to a wolf, or wolf-like." Sirius let out a little chuckle. "So, Remus. How wolf like are you?"
"How much like a dog are you? Sirius is the dog-star, after all."
Sirius pondered for a moment.
"I think I'm very loyal, enthusiastic, protective, I'm very excited when I get to see the man in my life... when I have a man... since I'm very single right now." Sirius hoped Remus got his hint.
Remus smiled. "So, how does someone like you end up single?"
"Just waiting for the right guy to come along," Sirius said, smiling softly at Remus. He was very interested in this soft-spoken man.
Sirius took a sip of his drink, and watched Remus do the same. He raised his hand to Lily, who nodded, and went to get the jug to pour them more drinks.
"So, how long have -" Sirius begun, but was interrupted.
"Hey, can I get you another drink," a man said, slipping a hand around Remus' waist. Remus' eyes widened in panic, and he went to step away. He wasn't used to people just touching him without him knowing them.
Sirius could see Remus' friends start to get up in concern. They must have seen Remus' panic too.
"Mark, if you don't get your arm from around him, you'll lose it," Sirius said, his eyes narrowed. There was no trace of his cheeky grin, just anger in his eyes. The man quickly stepped back. "Didn't realise I was stepping on your toes, Siri, love."
"I'm not your love," Sirius spat, before the man turned around and walked away.
"You should be careful around him, he can sense the guys like you from a mile away."
"Guys like me?" Remus asked, picking up the new drink.
"First time in a gay bar," Sirius explained. "Guys new to all this, maybe you've only recently come out, or you've only been with girls, or not with anyone, or -"
"I've been kissed," Remus said defensively. "I'm not that new to all of this, yes it's my first time to a gay bar, but I'm quite -"
"I don't mean it in a bad way," Sirius quickly interrupted. "I'm sorry, I'm just trying to say that some of these guys can spot guys like you. He's just someone to stay clear of. You need to be careful. I'm just trying to look out for you."
"Do you see him do that a lot?" Remus asked.
Sirius' smile dropped slightly. "Sometimes. When I hit eighteen, Lily dragged me in here, and I was lavished with attention from Mark myself. It was stupid of me really, it was my first time in a gay bar, and I didn't think. So when Mark asked to go home with me, I didn't say no. I woke up the next morning extremely sore, completely alone, and utterly appalled at what I'd let him do to me. I can't ban him from here, as he's not actually done anything wrong. Everyone who leaves with him, leaves willingly. I can just warn people."
Remus looked sympathetic.
"Sorry, Remus, I didn't mean to try put a damper on your night. I just don't want you to do something you'll regret."
"So you scared off James just to help me keep away guys like Mark?"
Sirius shrugged. "Well, I don't think I'm doing a very good job at it, but I was hoping to get your number," Sirius admitted.
"But... you must get so many, why do you want mine?"
"I just thought you have amazing eyes, and wanted to come talk to you, and you haven't tried to hit on me once or grab my arse, whereas the bloke behind me has grabbed it three times." He said, glaring behind him.
"I just... why me though? There are better looking blokes here," Remus said, pulling at the sleeve of his jumper nervously. Why was he trying to talk this guy out of taking his number?
"I think you're good-looking," Sirius said. "I've enjoyed chatting with you, too. I don't do one night stands and you don't look like a one-night stand sort of bloke. There is no-one in this bar that I'd rather take on a date."
"It must be easy to pick up guys, being the bartender." The bloke with glasses was back, and his arms were folded.
"That much hair product makes you look like a lesbian," Sirius replied, and Remus snorted in laughter as James looked offended. "Plus the t-shirt makes you appear as a challenge, which will get the guys flocking. You'd do better in normal clothes... and for your information, the last time I chatted up a customer was almost a year ago, I don't make a habit of this. Don't believe me, ask Lily." He gestured to Lily behind the counter. "I fancy your friend, and I want to take him out to dinner or a movie or wherever Remus wants to go."
Remus smiled at him, ignoring the stand-off between him and James. "Pass your phone, I'll put my number in," he offered, and Sirius pulled a phone from his pocket, handing it over. Once Remus passed it back, Sirius called the number, and Remus felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.
"So you have mine too," Sirius said. "So, I'm not one for waiting a certain amount of days before texting, you'll be hearing from me sometime tomorrow."
Remus quickly stored Sirius' name next to the number on his phone.
"Now, I have to get back to work, my break finished ages ago. Wait here for a minute."
A minute later, he helped Remus bring over a jug of delicious green Fat Frog cocktail and some glasses, winking at Mary before he returned to the bar.
She watched him walk away.
"Remus, I totally approve," she told him, pouring herself a glass.
Each time drinks were needed, Remus followed James to the bar, just to get another look at Sirius. Each time, Sirius would smile widely at Remus, and let his hand brush Remus' when he passed the jugs of cocktails over for Peter, Mary and Remus. James preferred to get beers for himself. They never got a chance to exchange more than a few words, but Sirius found himself looking forward to the end of the night, as Remus and his friends showed no signs of leaving.
Finally, the bar closed, and the music was winding down. Lily shoved Sirius out from behind the bar, offering to tidy it herself.
"You're still here?" a voice said in Remus' ear, and he jumped.
"Yeah, Mary's having too much fun," Remus replied, nodding towards the girl who was dancing with two men on the dance-floor.
"Ah, Gideon and Fabian... you might want to warn your friend that Fabian isn't actually gay... he just comes here looking for the groups of straight girls."
"Wait, what?" Peter said, turning around to look at his girlfriend. She noticing him looking and waved back with a grin. Peter quickly moved from his chair to dance with her, and drive the red-headed twins away.
"Oi, Specs, Lily behind the bar wants to know why you haven't asked for her number?" Sirius said, and James rushed over to the bar, leaving Sirius and Remus alone.
"So, I'm off duty since the bar has just closed," Sirius said. "And there will be one more song after this. Can I interest you in a dance?"
"I'm not too good at dancing," Remus admitted, but Sirius had his hand, and pulled him up and over to the dance floor, earning a few jealous looks. Everyone knew that the bartender never showed interest in the customers, quite a few of them had tried and failed, but this guy had gotten Sirius Black's attention somehow.
He pulled Remus close as a slow song started, and they were dancing together, their bodies closer than appropriate. As the song ended, Remus felt a breath on his cheek. "I know you're new to all this, but can I kiss you?"
Sirius was answered by some soft lips on his, only lingering for a second, sending electricity through his body, and making him feel light-headed.
"Fuck," he murmured, wanting another taste of Remus, but not wanting to push him.
"Indeed," Remus replied, looking quite dazed.
"Your friends are waiting," Sirius said, looking back towards the table, where the three friends were waiting, their coats ready, pretending they weren't watching.
"Yeah, so I'll... speak to you soon?" Remus said, shyly. He really hoped Sirius would call him.
Sirius and nodded, his lips brushing Remus' again, before Remus walked over to his friends, and Sirius returned to Lily.
Remus never would've guessed that a stranger from a bar could dominate his thoughts after just one meeting, but for the past week he had thought of nothing else but Sirius, and the upcoming date.
"What should I wear?" Remus asked, having held an emergency Marauder meeting with his mates and Mary.
"Am I supposed to be here, I thought I wasn't allowed in on your secret boy's club meetings," Mary said, looking around at the trio as they sat on Remus' bed, whilst he searched through the wardrobe.
"You are if it's an emergency," Remus told her, holding up various jumpers.
"Where's he taking you?"
"Cinema, followed by dinner," Remus replied nervously. "What if he changes his mind?"
"He won't," Peter replied. "The bloke's lucky to meet someone great like you."
The others nodded in agreement.
Remus' eyes fell on his lucky jumper, but James quickly grabbed it away. "He's already seen this one," he said, keeping the jumper out of reach.
James stood up, and grabbed a plain white shirt, and a navy blue cardigan. "These," he insisted, pushing them towards Remus.
"But, I've not worn that before, I don't know if its got any luck, or..." Remus panicked, his eyes on the red jumper in James' hand. "The red one got me a date with Sirius," he insisted.
"I think he'll like you no matter which jumper or cardigan you wear," James replied. "So, you really like him?"
"Yeah," Remus replied, smiling as he thought back to the weekend before. "We've spent the whole week texting," he admitted.
James grinned at him, and gave him the t-shirt and cardigan. "According to Lily, Sirius really likes the colour blue," he said. Remus reached for them.
"New man in your life, wear the new cardigan and make it lucky," Mary said.
As he pulled the t-shirt on and the cardigan, there was a knock on the door, he rushed over to answer it.
"Yeah, I know I'm like twenty minutes early, but I couldn't wait any longer to see you," Sirius admitted, blushing slightly. "You look really good." He moved forward, placing a kiss on Remus' cheek.
"Thanks," Remus said, grinning at his friends as he closed the door behind him. "I've been looking forward to this all week."
"Me too," Sirius said, not even trying to contain his joy at seeing Remus. He reached out to take Remus' hand in his. He had a very good feeling about starting a relationship with Remus.
Word Count - 4113
Review please :D
Just so you know, the Fat Frog Cocktail really does exist. It is lovely!
Secret Battle Competition - Round 2 - Prompts used: Sirius Black, Dominate, Scared, Evil, Innocence. (Variations of words allowed.)
The AU! Challenge - Bartender
The Ten Times Ten Challenge - Colour: Blue, Emotion: Jealousy, Adjective: Sweet.
Daily Inspiration Challenge - Wednesday 13th August - Joy
Fanfic Scavanger Hunt - A Muggle AU!
The Birthday Challenge/Competition - August - Latin - Muggle AU!
Slash/Femmslash Boot Camp Challenge - Curse
The Flower Language Challenge - Rose: Love - Write about a Romance
The Star Challenge - Polaris - Write about Remus Lupin
The title is named after the Bruno Mars song - Count on Me. It's a great song about always being there for your friends.