A Variety of Prompts Challenge: F.R.I.E.N.D.S Scenario's: A character has a relationship with someone from a different country. (Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, but the United Kingdom is made up of four separate countries, therefore it fits.) Occasion: Christmas. Objects: Ticket.
The Harry Potter Chapter Challenge - Book 4. Chapter 22. The Unexpected Task: Write about asking someone on a date and being nervous.
Greek Mythology Mega Challenge - Atlas - Write about Sirius Black
Disney Character Challenge - Queen Clarion - Write about long Distance Relationships
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - Astronomy Class - Write about a life-changing event that happens to a character simply because of a slip of fate. Example: They didn't get much sleep the night before, so they stop for a cup of coffee, and, in the coffee shop, they bump into the person they'll someday marry.
The As Many As You Want Comp: James Potter/Lily Evans, OTP, Please, Love, Never, First, Falling fast and hard, Christmas, Lily, Wink, Smile, Lips, Point, Notebook, Colour, Shiver, Me, Visit, Bedroom, Computer - 20/240
Open Category Competition: Fanon.
Thanks to hato-ryou-chan who gave me the idea for this! :)
Go read her stories, they're amazing!
A note on English Money slang: A tenner means ten pounds. A score means twenty pounds.
Sirius sighed as he waited in the queue. The train would be leaving soon, and he needed his ticket. The queue was moving much slower than it should have, and Sirius was tired of waiting.
"So dear, as I was saying, my niece went into labour two hours ago," the woman behind him said. "I wasn't supposed to go up to her until next week, but she's decided that she's going to have the baby sooner than expected. I just couldn't stay home, she was crying, you see. She wants me there."
"I'm sure you'll make it in time," Sirius answered, politely, wondering how on earth he got into this conversation.
"I hope so," the woman replied. "Her husband left her a few months ago, I'm going to convince her to come back to London with me once her little boy is born. Not that we know if it's a boy of course, but I could just tell when I last saw her that it's going to be a boy."
"I'm sure she'll appreciate the offer," Sirius replied, though he felt it unnecessary, as the woman seemed to enjoy talking too much to hear his reply. He watched her struggle with her bag, and took it from her hands. "Sounds like we're going the same way, I don't mind carrying this for you," he offered, causing the chatty woman to smile.
"What a lovely boy. It's a shame I can't introduce you to my son," she said. "Now, I believe the counter's empty."
He turned around and walked to the counter, purchasing his ticket quickly, and waited aside for the woman to buy hers. "I'm sorry, we've just sold the last ticket," the woman behind the counter said apologetically, and the woman's face dropped.
Sirius stared at the ticket in his hand. He was returning to Scotland to an office where he barely spoke to anyone, as he was the boss and people didn't make friends with the boss, followed by going home to an empty, lonely apartment.
"Does the next train to Scotland cost the same?" He asked, holding the ticket up and the cashier nodded.
"Buy the next ticket, and we'll swap, I'm in no rush," he told the woman, and her face lit up. "Are you sure?"
Sirius nodded, and the woman quickly purchased her ticket, swapping it with Sirius.
Sirius adjusted the large bag he was holding. "Let me help you on the train with this," he insisted, glancing at the small woman. He walked the woman to the train, and stored her bag in the luggage rack for her. After wishing her good luck with her niece, he left the station again.
Sirius was a big believer in Karma. The woman needed the ticket more than him, plus the bag was quite heavy... therefore he helped her on both accounts. Maybe the universe would bring him a bit of luck.
"Mr Potter, it's Sirius Black here," he said down the phone.
"Yes, Sir. Was there a problem?" James replied.
"I'm not able to get a train until two. I was wondering if you could make suggestions for places around London to visit, or to save the time would you like to have that meeting with me that we never got around to yesterday? It would save me coming back down for it, or doing it over the phone."
"That sounds like a good plan," James replied eagerly. He had wanted to speak to his boss over company matters, but they hadn't had the time. "There's a coffee shop about ten minutes from there. It's never overcrowded and very friendly. My friend works there. I can text you directions if you'd like?"
"Thank you, Mr Potter."
"It's called The Funky Wolf Café," James added, before hanging up.
"What would you like to drink?" Sirius asked, as James walked up to the Funky Wolf Café.
"Just a coffee, please," James replied. "They know how I take it." Sirius approached the counter and smiled at the redhead behind it who was watching the pair of them.
"Can I get a coffee and..." he paused, as his eyes moved over the colourful blackboard behind the counter. In big letters across the bottom, the special was a hot chocolate, and Sirius wondered what was so special about it. "A Chocolate Lovers Hot Chocolate, please?"
The girl smiled, and put the drinks through the till. "That's four pounds," she replied, and Sirius handed over a ten pound note. As she handed him the change, he dropped it into the tip jar and waited for his drinks. He glanced around, taking in the café. The reds and browns made the café seem warm and inviting, and the chairs looked very comfortable. There were a few people sitting down, looking quite relaxed. Sirius liked the feel of the place. He could see why James picked it. It was the sort of place you could easily kill time and not realise it.
After a couple of minutes, the girl placed his drinks on the tray, putting a cake on the side.
"I didn't order -"
"That's for James," she replied, smiling at him.
Sirius grinned at her, before returning to the table. "So... you suggested this place because the pretty redhead gives you free cakes?"
James grinned back. "I wasn't being unprofessional, Mr Black. I just know the service in here beats the other places. That's my soon to be girlfriend, Lily. I think I'm wearing her down, since she adds cakes to my order."
"Doesn't that get her in trouble with her boss?" He asked, and James shook his head. "Her boss is my best mate, so he doesn't mind. He gives me free cakes too."
Sirius let out a chuckle. "Well, if I fancied someone I'd do the same thing and make sure to go to the coffee shop they were working at. So... what was it you were saying to me before I left the office last night, Mr Potter?"
"Well, I was trying to tell you how much the London office has been taking on over the last year, and how we're understaffed. We keep bringing in new clients, and you know that we're the most successful branch by a long way... but to keep up with everything, we're working hours past the end of the workday. Some of us are in weekends too. We need more staff to continue to bring in more clients and to keep the one's we have happy. Also, if it's not too much to ask, I feel that the staff deserve some sort of an incentive as they've basically given up their life outside work as we try to keep up with the demand."
"Like a bonus?" Sirius asked.
"If you agree to it, yes," James replied, hopefully. "The staff at London BlackStar Books are extremely loyal. Honestly, more to the company than to you at the moment, as they're still waiting to see what you do to change the company. You've made it clear to me that you're not going to treat the branches like your father did, but the staff don't know that yet... but they are still working overtime almost every night. With what we're paying them for overtime, we could actually save money hiring full-time employees, according to the Payroll department. The bonus would show them they're appreciated."
Sirius opened his bag and pulled out a folder with BlackStar Books written across the front. He opened it and took the London branch report from the top. London had been the last one he travelled to before he was due to head back to Scotland, and he quickly scanned over the numbers.
"How many new members of staff?" Sirius asked, pulling out a notebook and a pen.
"Seven is the least we'd need. If we keep on as well as we are, that could raise, but for now seven would work."
"It's Christmas in a few months, taking time to train new members of staff would get in the way of our Christmas rush period. I would suggest starting this in January? Allow the staff to keep up their hours until Christmas, as I'm sure the extra money towards Christmas would be great for them. Tell them that things will be changing in January for the better. I'll include a Christmas bonus for the branch too. I'll leave it upto you to see how it's distributed. I was also thinking of closing the offices until the New Year, as I've gone over the numbers, and we're not actually making money staying open during those few days."
"Brilliant," James replied, smiling. "I'll start working on Job descriptions to go out to our agencies at the beginning of January. I would also like to request a new Manager."
"Are you leaving?" Sirius asked in concern. He had worked out quickly that James Potter was irreplaceable to the company, as he was what was making the London branch so successful. He didn't want to lose James Potter. "If it's money, I'll give you a raise."
James quickly shook his head. "No Sir, I was just thinking that with the increased workload, maybe an Assistant Manager working with me? Though I wouldn't turn down a raise."
"With a role like that, we'd go internally of course," Sirius replied, as he placed the drink back onto the tray.
"Hey James, another set of drinks?" came a voice, and Sirius was pulled out of his thoughts by the wonderfully soft tones that sent a shiver through him. His eyes darted upwards, where they met the most beautiful amber eyes he had ever seen. His eyes trailed across the man's face, taking in the shaggy dark blonde hair falling into the man's eyes, the shy smile on those perfectly delicious looking lips. This man was utterly gorgeous.
"Mr Black, another drink?" James asked, snapping Sirius out of his observation.
"Yes, that would be great, thank you," Sirius replied, quickly pulling himself together. He ignored the questioning look on James Potter's face.
"Do you have anyone internally that you think would fit the bill?" He asked instead, trying to keep his mind on the reason he was there in the first place.
James hesitated. "To be honest, everyone is perfect in their roles at the company already. I wouldn't feel confident leaving the office in anyone else's hands if I needed more than a day off. Now another thing to speak to you about... new offices. The one's we're in are already too small for our level of staff, and the meeting rooms are tiny. We're not going to impress anyone. I did raise these concerns last year with your father..."
For the rest of the time in the coffee-house, Sirius and James discussed the London office and the way it was being run. During Sirius' visit, he had been extremely pleased with what he had seen knowing the workload the office took, but as the day came to a close, the requests James Potter had put his way weren't discussed as there hadn't been time.
He could see the benefits of new staff. The London office had the most talented staff and was the highest profiting office, and to give them more staff would only increase the productivity of the branch, and it would make the staff happier. There was nothing to lose at all by going with James' request.
Sirius had visited each branch to see what he was dealing with, having only inherited the company a few months before. He wanted to make it better than his father had. One thing his father had been good at was hiring staff, it seemed.
As he spoke with James Potter, Sirius managed to mostly keep his eyes off the man behind the counter. He got away with a few glances in his direction, where the blonde was either leaning over a machine, tidying cups or leaning back against one of the counters. Sirius tried not to make it obvious, and he managed not to stare too much. Sirius also pretended he wasn't hyper-aware every time the man walked to the table and put down drinks for him and James.
Finally they realised that three hours had passed, and Sirius finished his last drink.
"So, you know the guy that brought us countless drinks?" Sirius asked, putting his full notebook into his bag, along with the office report that was now covered in notes.
"Yeah, he's my best mate. We've known each other since we were eleven... His name is Remus," James offered, watching Sirius carefully to work out his reaction, and Sirius nodded, not showing any emotion, but inside he was clutching the new facts about this man that he knew he had to see again.
"Right, so this was quite productive. I'll get back to you in the next couple of weeks so we can discuss new offices."
"Great, thanks for your time, Mr Black. Do you know your way to the station from here?"
"I remember," Sirius replied. "You can call me Sirius, you know."
"Okay," James replied. "Well, I better get back to the office. I'll walk you out."
Sirius nodded and pulled out his wallet. He walked to the counter and pulled out a fifty pound note and dropped it into the tip jar behind the counter. His gaze finally met the blonde's, who smiled at him. The man's gaze fell to the tip jar, and on the money he had put in and his expression changed to shock. Sirius winked at him, and before Remus could say anything, Sirius Black had turned around and left the café.
Sirius reasoned with himself that it was to cover all the drinks him and James had drunk, as well as a tip for both of the staff behind the counter, so it really didn't work out that much. The guy had brought drinks over for the whole three hours, after all.
"Fifty pounds," Remus said, as James picked up the phone.
"That guy... he put fifty pounds in the tip jar."
"My boss? I thought it was going to be a tenner, or at the most, a score?"
"Fifty. He winked at me too."
"He was staring at you a lot," James confirmed.
"He's gorgeous. Is he gay? Please tell me he likes men," Remus begged.
"I don't think so, I'm pretty sure he was flirting with the receptionist," James replied.
Remus let out a sigh. "What a shame."
As Sirius lay in his own bed back in Scotland, all his mind could offer was a vision of Remus. The beautiful amber eyes, the perfect blonde hair that begged for him to reach out and brush it from the man's eyes, and those perfect lips that would no doubt feel amazing against his own.
As he closed his eyes, he couldn't get that soft smile out of his mind. His dreams were filled with Remus in the Funky Wolf Café, and when he woke up, he found that Remus was still on his mind.
He thought after a few days, he'd forget all about Remus, but he was wrong. Finally a month passed, and he found himself on a train to London. James Potter had offered him an excuse to come down, by mentioning the new offices.
"So James, do you want to show me the top office choices?" Sirius said, walking into the office.
"Sirius, yes. I've got the details here," James replied, passing a folder over the desk. "How was your train down?
"Not too bad," Sirius replied. "Shall we get going?"
For the next couple of hours, James led them around the properties, and Sirius could understand why he picked each one. They discussed what they were looking for, and had it narrowed down to two top choices.
As they neared the London office of BlackStar Books, Sirius let out a sigh. "Do you want to head for coffee before going back in?"
James hesitated for a moment.
"Don't worry, I won't tell your boss," Sirius joked, causing James to grin.
"Sure. Do you want to go back to the place we were at before?"
Sirius shrugged and nodded at the same time, trying not to look to eager. He had spent the month telling himself that Remus wasn't as handsome as he remembered him to be. No one could be that perfect, right? Plus, his voice couldn't have sent shivers through Sirius' body, things like that didn't really happen.
"My turn, James offered as they walked in. "Hot Chocolate?"
"Yeah, it was really nice last time. How do they do that?"
"Remus is addicted to chocolate. He's developed the perfect combination of which chocolates to throw into a hot chocolate to make the best taste," James explained before walking to the counter. Sirius didn't look over, instead he took a seat.
James reappeared a couple of minutes later with the cups.
"So basically I'm drinking hot chocolate mixed with chocolate bars?"
"Not that much of the chocolate bars, just a small variety," James replied. "He changes it every so often... so, which of the offices did you like? I was set on the last ones. They had the two large offices, one of which would be mine. The other would be saved for you when you come down... but that would be a waste if you don't visit often."
Sirius thought about it. He wasn't down often enough to require his own office. He looked up as he considered what to do, and his eyes fell on the man leaning on the counter. He watched as the man's gaze slowly moved around the shop. His eyes met Sirius', and he smiled shyly.
He was utterly adorable, and more gorgeous than Sirius remembered.
"I've taken an interest in the London Office, I may be visiting more often," Sirius said, his gaze still on Remus.
"Great," James said, flicking through the paperwork and pulling out the information on the office. He missed Sirius' lingering gaze on his best friend.
On the way out, Sirius dropped a ten pound note in the jar. He didn't want to be obvious.
As he turned away from the counter, a beautiful voice thanked him.
Sirius returned to the office on a few more occasions, and finally three days before Christmas, he found himself in London again. He had organised a staff meeting that afternoon, where James would announce the office move, the new staff and the bonuses, before the office closed for the Christmas Holidays.
He knew the staff had concerns about him returning to the office a few times over the four months since he had first met privately with James, and Sirius wasn't kidding himself anymore. All of the things he was helping James with, James really could have done on his own. Sirius trusted him enough. The man was already running the overworked London branch alone, and Sirius knew that he really didn't need to be there.
But the few minutes that he got to watch Remus were more than worth the hours on the train each way, and worth the cost of the tickets back and forth. He barely knew anything about the man, but he knew he was falling for him.
Falling for someone he had never properly met. Someone whose last name he didn't know, but he couldn't tell himself anything different.
He went into the café and ordered his drink from Lily, his eyes darting around.
"Mr Black, the usual?" she asked, and Sirius nodded. Lily quickly made up the hot chocolate, and Sirius thanked her for the drink. He dropped the change she had handed him into the tip jar, before taking a seat.
He stayed in the café as long as possible, thanking Lily as she brought over a second drink and a cake, refusing money. He attempted to look over some reports, until the drink was finished, and it was clear that Remus wasn't going to turn up. He put some money in the tip jar, tried to smile at her, before heading to the offices.
"James' boss was in earlier," Lily said. "He's spending a lot of time in London... I'm worried about James' job. James said it's fine, but if the boss is taking such an interest, than maybe he's concerned about James' performance? I mean James works late nights and even signs in to work on weekends. He's running that office by himself. Should I say something?"
"I'm sure it's fine," Remus replied. "I'm sure his boss sees that. Maybe he's taking an interest because he's trying to help James with the workload? Hasn't James looked a bit more at ease since Sirius Black took over the company when his dad died?"
"Yeah, maybe he'll make the changes that James has been trying to get done for so long."
"Okay, is everyone here?" James asked, and the Department heads all looked over their staff members, and nodded.
"Right, so there have been a lot of changes being made to the company. I know you're all concerned about the amount of time Mr Black has been spending here, wondering if it'll affect your positions at all, and I can confirm that the changes will make your lives easier. I know I haven't given you much to go on in the past, and I'm glad you all trusted me when I told you that we'd be having this meeting, and now everything is signed off, so I can tell you what changes are happening."
He glanced around at the faces of the staff members, some looked eager to hear, and some looked worried, in case it would affect their jobs negatively.
So, first off, the offices will be moving to a bigger location. It's less than half a mile from here. The Warehouse is also bigger, and the printing rooms can do twice the amount of work at a time, so the hours will be more regular, rather than shifts in the printing rooms."
He glanced towards the teams that would be affected by the printing, to see a few eager smiled, and continued on.
"New offices also means we have space for a few new members of staff. I'll discuss which departments will be getting the new staff members after Christmas, when we'll be holding interviews. Thirdly, Mr Black has been notified of all the overtime and hard work you've all put into the company. For your dedication, he's arranged for a bonus for each of you, they'll be in with your wages, which we've agreed will arrive tomorrow, rather than on your usual payday. Your Department Managers have your payslips. Also, he's given the go ahead for the branches to close a day early, so you won't have to come into work tomorrow. The day will still be paid. I suggest making sure you have your work up-to-date before leaving tonight."
The staff started clapping, and that was followed by a lot of excited talking.
"Coffee before you get your train?" James suggested, and Sirius grinned and nodded. The pair headed out of the room, leaving the staff behind.
They walked to the Funky Wolf Café, and took a seat, Sirius gave a small smile as James leaned over the counter, and gave Lily a quick kiss, before she made the drinks. They took a seat, and Sirius couldn't help but look around for Remus, his eyes travelling to the counter countless times throughout the conversation.
James noticed, and wondered if he was watching Lily, but wasn't sure why Sirius looked so disappointed. He didn't feel he knew Sirius well enough to ask questions.
"So, you finally convinced her to go out with you?" He asked.
"How? How do you get it together enough to talk to her?"
"We went to school together," James explained. "She used to hate me. I think I wore her down since she started working here."
After Sirius left for his train, James returned to the café, and leaned on the counter, facing Lily.
"What was that?" he asked Lily. "I'm just confused."
"Are you sure he's straight?" Lily asked. "Because I think he was looking for Remus."
James' eyebrows raised.
"I'm quite sure of it. Whenever Remus isn't here, he tends to stay a lot longer, as though he's waiting to see him. He was here this morning doing the same thing. He was here for over an hour, and his eyes were on the door to the back room and the front door more than they were on his paperwork."
"Well, maybe next time, we could introduce them properly?" James said.
"Yeah, so tell me why he was here this time?"
"Well, it's all signed off now. We're getting new offices, extra staff, and he signed off on bonus' and even gave the staff tomorrow paid off."
"So it wasn't about your job?"
"No, he actually gave me a raise," James replied. "He's a really nice guy, doesn't talk much about his family and friends and stuff, but is always so curious about mine."
Sirius sat in the office the next day, trying to get some work done. He hadn't gone home, because he saw no point. The office was empty and quiet, and Sirius turned on some music, keeping him focused on his work.
There was no reason to return to Scotland quickly, there was no-one there for Christmas, and he had heard people talking about Christmas in London. He was checked into a nice hotel, and he had booked Christmas dinner in his room there.
He finished up the report he was writing and realised it was almost 5pm. He packed up, putting his laptop into his bag, and left the office, missing James Potter and Lily Evans on the street, as he turned to walk towards the coffee shop.
He walked to the coffee shop, and fixed his hair and his coat before trying the door, just to find it locked. He hesitated for a moment, before knocking, hoping that they had just closed, and someone was still there.
He stuck his hands in his pockets, and sighed, before turning to head towards the hotel.
"He was looking for Remus," James said, as they hid in a doorway on the other side of the street, after following him. "He was supposed to go home yesterday. He's still here."
"Where's he going now?" Lily said, as Sirius walked up the road. They followed him, and watched him walk to his hotel, which meant he had to walk past the office almost. It was clear Sirius went completely out of his way to go to The Funky Wolf Café.
"It all makes sense. He's not been coming up to do work, he's coming up to see Remus. If he was only after a hot-chocolate, he would have gone to one of those coffee-shops we walked past to get to the hotel," James said. "Earlier, he asked how I got it together enough to talk to you? I thought he was just taking an interest, but maybe he was asking for advice."
"It really sounds like it. You should have realised," Lily sighed. "But I don't get it. He's still here, and it's Christmas Eve tomorrow. Isn't he spending it with his family?"
James stared at Lily. "Wanna check it out?"
It didn't take long after they got back to James' flat to find information on Sirius Black. "His father left him the company, and it was all over the papers," Lily said. "Walburga Black is quoted as saying that the company was supposed to go to the younger brother and that Sirius Black had been disowned. Orion Black just hadn't changed his will to show this. Sirius argued that his mother had been the one to disown him, and his father was remorseful of that fact, and had no intention of taking him off the will."
"So she fought for the company?"
"And Sirius won the court case," Lily said. "It was revealed that Orion Black was quite quick at making changes to his will in the past to reflect his circumstances, so since he left Sirius on the will, it showed that he wanted Sirius to have the company... So doesn't he have anyone down there?"
"Maybe he doesn't," James answered. "Why else would he be here, working? I get the impression underneath all the charm and confidence, that he's quite lonely."
"So, he's alone for Christmas?"
"I'd guess so," James replied. "I'm betting his mother and brother were sore about Sirius winning, plus the disowning him."
"Maybe we should do something about that. We'll get him and Remus to meet, and if that fails, we'll invite him ourselves."
James kept an eye on the security reports on his laptop, keeping track of anyone scanning in and out at the office. He told Remus he had a last-minute report, but he was watching for Sirius to leave the office, and hoping he'd return to the café.
Finally Sirius logged out, and James grabbed Remus' arm, dragging him to the door.
"Let's go to your place," he insisted, pushing Remus out of the door. There was no time to be less obvious about it. Remus would thank them later. Lily followed them out, and they walked quickly down the street, ignoring Remus' questions.
Sirius arrived at the coffee-house, hoping it was open. It was earlier than the day before, but as he pulled at the door, he found it locked again. He let out a sigh, before turning to leave, and froze at the sight of the man of his dreams walking towards him.
Remus walked slightly ahead of James and Lily, and he noticed someone outside his shop. He frowned in confusion, recognising it as James' boss, but as Remus turned around, he noticed that James and Lily had slipped away. The man turned towards him, a disappointed look on his face, and he froze when he saw Remus.
Remus watched Sirius' face light up at the sight of him, and couldn't help but return the smile.
"I'm really sorry, the coffee shop was closed today," Remus said, walking closer. Where were James and Lily?
"Oh, I didn't know," Sirius said. "When do you open again?"
"The day after boxing day," Remus replied.
"Oh, well, I'll come back then," Sirius said, courage escaping him. He started to walk away.
"Wait... Mr Black?" Remus called, grabbing his hand to stop him walking away.
"My name's Sirius," Sirius said softly, turning around, and glancing at their joined hands.
"I'm Remus Lupin," Remus said. "So, Sirius... If you really want a drink, I'm happy to open the..." Remus' phone started ringing. "Hold on."
He checked his phone which had just rang.
"He fancies you, you moron! Here I thought you were supposed to be the smart one. Ask him to dinner." The call ended quickly.
"That was Lily," Remus said, putting his phone away. "So, I was wondering if you were hungry? We could go to dinner? Remus smiled slightly as he tried to hide how nervous he was. This man was the best looking bloke he had ever seen, and all James did was talk about what a great guy he was, and that James was worried about him, having not returned to Scotland, and spending Christmas in London by himself.
"Sure," Sirius replied, his lips curving into a smile, and Remus was aware that he was still holding Sirius' hand. He didn't want to let go, and Sirius made no move to pull his hand away.
"Lead the way, Remus."
The way Sirius said his name sent shivers through him. He led them to a small tucked away Indian, keeping Sirius' hand in his.
"Do you like Indian?" Remus asked, and Sirius observed the place doubtfully.
"It might look tacky, but I made a habit of ordering from all the different places in the area. This is the best Indian around," Remus insisted.
"Yeah, I'll give it a shot," Sirius replied, trusting Remus' word.
They walked in and were seated quickly, as it was still early, and Sirius smiled shyly.
"So... James tells me that you gave him a raise. In fact, James talks about you highly," Remus said.
"Yeah, well I saw how much work he takes on, and he's probably one of the best employees we have," Sirius replied. "I'm paying him more because he deserves it. I'm not going to run the company how my father ran it. People hated him," Sirius said, a look of anger flashed past his eyes. "But I'm going to show my employee's that I'm different."
"I think you've managed it," Remus said. "You've certainly made an impression on James."
"That's good," Sirius said. "So, what's it like working in the coffee-shop?"
"I own it," Remus said. "It's good, but I have to say that you're the first person to put a fifty-pound note in the tip jar."
"Well, you kept bringing us drinks, James said they were free, but I thought that was unfair on you, so I gave it as a tip instead."
"You didn't have much though," Remus said.
"Well, it was excellent service," Sirius replied.
"I'm glad you like it, you seem to enjoy the Hot Chocolate, is that why you keep coming in each time you're down?"
Sirius blushed and took a deep breath. Here was his chance.
"Actually... I go in for another reason," he replied. "I actually come down to London more than I need to for the same reason."
"Yeah, I only needed the first visit, I saw James was handling the office brilliantly, considering he's doing two people's jobs at the same time, and I could have left the other decisions to him, discussing them over the phone, but I couldn't help but come back down time and time again."
Remus' heart was pumping. Surely Sirius Black wasn't coming down to see him, that would be crazy. Things like this didn't happen to Remus, it was something that happened in a movie.
"But I looked into this man's eyes, and I was hooked. I found myself falling fast and hard. I've been coming down to see him."
"So... what's his name?" Remus whispered.
"Remus... I've been coming here to see you, to get the courage to talk to you, to ask you out. I haven't been able to stop thinking about you since I first saw you. I think you have amazing eyes, they're a beautiful colour, and I just want to run my fingers through your hair, and when you smile, it causes butterflies." Sirius blushed as the words tumbled from his lips. "When I hear your voice, I get a shiver through my body."
Remus sat in shock. He had no expected this.
"I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable," Sirius whispered. "I won't be offended if you choose to leave."
"And skip out on our date?" Remus replied, with a smile. "Would it help if I said that your voice has the same effect on me. James thought you were straight, or I would have asked you out sooner."
"What changed your mind?"
"Well, James. He was up to something, as he made sure I was walking to the shop at that exact second, and then when I approached the shop, they disappeared. They were hiding somewhere, listening to us too. I think us meeting was planned. Lily told me on the phone that I should ask you to dinner."
"Oh, so you asked me because Lily -" Sirius began, and Remus hated the look of disappointment on his face.
"I asked you because I fancy you," Remus told him, firmly. "I just can't work out how James timed it?"
"Security reports," Sirius replied. "He can keep track online of who is in the office by the key-fobs when people scan in and out. We had an employee sneaking into the offices a few months back and that's how he was caught. Maybe if he did plan this, he saw me leave the office?"
"James was watching the computer all day," Remus said. "He suddenly jumped up, demanding I take him to mine, and practically shoved me out of the door."
"Remind me to give him another raise," Sirius whispered, his hand reaching for Remus' over the table.
"I might just have to give him free coffee for life," Remus replied, staring into Sirius' grey eyes.
"It's Christmas tomorrow. I'm spending it with James and Lily, would you like to come too?" Remus asked, after they walked out of the restaurant.
"I don't want to be an inconvenience," Sirius said.
"It's not, I'd like to see you again," Remus said. "I live above the coffee shop, and James and Lily will be coming over at lunchtime. I expect to see you there... so, you're not spending Christmas with your family? Sorry to make assumptions, but it's Christmas Eve, and you're still in London."
"You can talk to me, if it helps?" Remus offered.
"Me and my family don't speak. They disowned me six months before I inherited the company," Sirius explained.
"They found out I was gay, and told me they didn't want anything to do with me," Sirius replied. "Not that I was close with them anyway. My dad... I know everyone thought he was cruel, but he didn't seem as let down as my mum and brother. He paid me to keep silent, but I think that was his way of making sure I was doing okay. He left the company to me after all."
"Well, it's clearly their loss, as all I've hard are good things about you," Remus replied. "So... will you be there tomorrow?"
"Well, I'm going to head home now," Remus said. "Thanks for a great first date." Remus leaned in and letting his lips brush against Sirius'. Before Sirius had a chance to react, Remus pulled away and smirked.
"See you tomorrow," he said, walking away, as Sirius fought the urge to chase after him and kiss him properly. When Remus was out of sight, Sirius looked around, hoping to find a shop that was still open. There was no way he was going to turn up the next day empty-handed. It would be the first time in three years that he had an invite for Christmas.
The next evening, Lily and James excused themselves earlier than expected. The day had gone amazingly.
Sirius had turned up an hour after them with wine and expensive chocolate for Remus. He had joined in the conversation, and the sparks shooting between him and Remus was frankly overwhelming. As the alcohol flowed, the distance on the sofa between the pair lessened, and they were almost in each other's laps, and the looks that were passing between the pair definitely meant something would happen the moment they left.
It was obvious to see that Sirius was completely taken with Remus, and as the conversation went on, Sirius done an amazing job of charming Remus, although he was already charmed from the date the night before. It was clear that Remus was very interested in Sirius.
Sirius' eyes locked with Remus' as the door closed after Lily and James left. He was surprised how enjoyable the day had been.
Before he even knew what happened, Remus was straddling him, his lips on Sirius', kissing him, making him moan. A tongue slid into his mouth, and hands reached for the buttons on his shirt, undoing them quickly. Sirius reached up, pulling Remus' jumper over his head, taking the t-shirt with it, and his fingers explored the other man's exposed chest.
"Bedroom?" Remus asked, and Sirius nodded, allowing Remus to drag him from the room.
"So... I know we only really officially met yesterday, but I would like to see you again," Sirius said, pulling the other man closer on the bed, and pushing his hair from his face. "It's not difficult for me to travel down here... that's if you're interested."
"A long distance relationship?" Remus asked, sitting up from where he had been laying on the bed.
Sirius bit his lip nervously. "If you want?"
"Yeah, I'd like that. I was hoping that you weren't doing this to get me out of your system," Remus replied.
Sirius looked relieved at Remus' answer. "I think what we just done has had the opposite effect," Sirius replied, tucking his hands behind his head. "I should go back to the hotel?" He asked, hesitantly. He didn't want to leave, but he didn't want to make assumptions either that Remus wanted him to stay.
"Not a chance," Remus replied, pulling Sirius close. "You can't get a train until after boxing day, so I'm going to make the most of you being here. I don't intend to let you get dressed anytime soon."
"So, Remus, we were wondering if you were upto much today?" Said James' voice down the phone, the next morning.
"Sorry guys, I'm not leaving my flat today."
"Ah, I was going to call Sirius and see if he wanted to do anything before heading back to Scotland," James replied.
Remus grinned at Sirius, who leaned towards the phone.
"Sorry James, I'm not leaving Remus' flat today either."
"I told you," Lily said in the background. "Didn't I say that they would be too busy shagging?"
"Mate, I'm going to have to go... I'll see you tomorrow," Remus said, as lips moved to his neck and he held back a moan.
"Right, have fun," James said, sounding amused, before cutting off the call.
James lifted his glass. "To Sirius and Remus, happy six-month anniversary," he said, and the other three followed suit. They finished their drinks, and James and Lily shared a look before he turned to Sirius.
"Mate, I've had a thought... well, I've been thinking about it for a couple of months, but thought it best to wait for a bit, and now seems like a good time to ask. So, you know how you're doing a lot of the work for the London branch while we work out for a new manager to help in mine?"
"You also said it was a shame that you couldn't send Peter Pettigrew down to help, as he's not willing to relocate."
"That's right," Sirius said.
"Well, the answer is simple," James told him. "Ask Peter to run the Glasgow office, and you come work down here. There's an office just waiting for you, you do mostly London work at the moment anyway, and you won't have to leave early every Monday morning to go back to Scotland, just to return here on a Friday night."
Sirius stared at him.
"You spend half your week down here. Why not live here?"
"I've lived in Scotland since I was fifteen, that's about ten years," Sirius said.
"Right, but what do you have up there?" Lily asked, softly. "Here you have me and James, we're your friends and you have Remus. You'll get to see Remus every morning when you wake up, and go to sleep with him every night. No more having to get long trains, or be apart from him."
"It's okay if you don't want to... or if it's too soon," Remus said, glaring at his friends for putting Sirius on the spot like this. "Even if I only got to see you once a month, I'd be happy because I get to be with you."
"I thought you needed someone to work as your assistant though?" Sirius asked James, but he shook his head.
"I just need someone to take a small amount of the workload away, so I'm not in the office until after seven each night," James replied. "You've been doing that, and I've actually been able to leave on time most nights now. You'd be more useful down here, and you could even make London the head office. You said yourself that your office isn't to standard to be head office."
"You're right," Sirius mumbled, deep in thought. "So is Lily. What do I have there? An almost empty flat, and nothing else. I know Scotland, and I don't know London, apart from the few months of travelling down... but it's true I have more here than up there. I hate getting the train every Monday morning, knowing I won't see you for a few days, Remus."
"Whatever you choose, it won't change things," Remus said. "I'll still be happy to be with you if you don't move down."
"Do you want me to move down?" Sirius asked, and Remus nodded.
"In all honesty, I'd love it, but like I said, we'll still be in an amazing relationship if you decide not to," Remus insisted.
Sirius looked at James and Lily, and gave a nod of his head, and they quickly got up and walked over to the bar to ask for another bottle of champagne to celebrate with, giving Remus and Sirius the privacy they needed for the rest of the conversation.
"Remus... before I make my choice, can I tell you something?" Sirius asked, nervously. Remus nodded, as Sirius took his hand.
"I just want to say that I love you. Since before we were dating, I realised I was falling for you, and I've been in love with you since our first date. I just wanted that out there before I make my choice."
"I'm not saying it to influence your choice, but I want you to know that I love you too," Remus whispered, smiling widely.
Sirius grinned at him, looking relieved. "Then I'll do it. Where would you recommend I should find a place to live?"
"I know there's a great place above a coffee shop just down the road, if you don't mind having a roommate," Remus said, nervously. "If it's not too soon that is?"
"Are you sure?" Sirius asked, before kissing Remus deeply.
"Yes," he said, as he finally pulled away. "When should we do this?"
"If Lily can run the café for a couple of days, I'll go back with you and help you pack," Remus offered. "If you're serious about doing this, I want you to move in as soon as possible, because I don't want to spend another night without you."
The pair were grinning widely as James and Lily came back to the table.
"So, Sirius loves me, I love him and I'm going back with him to Scotland to help him pack his stuff," Remus announced, happily.
"That's great. Two things to celebrate," James grinned.
"Are you ready to meet my parents?" Remus asked, and Sirius nodded his head.
"Yeah," he replied. "I won't lie, I'm really nervous.
"They're lovely," Remus replied just as he unlocked the door and let himself in.
"In the sitting room, love."
The pair walked in, and Sirius' gaze fell on a man walking towards him. "So, you're the man my son's been going on about?"
"Yes, Sir," Sirius replied. "It's great to meet you. I'm Sirius Black."
"He tells me that you've travelled down every single weekend since you met, to see him?"
"That's right, Sir," Sirius replied.
"Isn't that tiring?"
"A bit, Mr Lupin, but it's all worth it."
The man smiled at him. "Call me John."
"John, stop hogging Remus' new chap, I want to meet him," came a voice from behind him, and Remus' father stepped aside, and Sirius' eyes widened.
"You're the man from the station?" She asked in shock, recognising him.
"Yes," Sirius confirmed. "How's your niece?"
"She's fine, she had her baby. It was a boy."
"So you were right all along," Sirius recalled. "Did she move down?"
"Aye, she did," the woman confirmed. "I'm Hope."
"Wait, what's going on?" Remus asked, confused.
"Oh, do you remember me telling you about the nice man who bought the last ticket when I went to Scotland, but he gave it to me, and even carried my bag to the train for me? Well it turns out this is him. I never got to thank you, Sirius."
"That's why you didn't get your train?" Remus asked, his eyebrows raised.
"It's all about Karma," Sirius replied. "Do good things and good things will happen. I wasn't in any rush to get back to Scotland, and your mother was, so it only made sense to let her have my ticket."
"Well, if there's ever anything I can do to thank you -" she began, but Sirius shook his head.
"If I hadn't given up that ticket, I wouldn't have ended up calling James Potter, and he wouldn't have brought me to Remus' café," Sirius said. "So that's karma rewarding me for a good deed... so when you told me at the station that you would have loved to introduce me to your son, you actually managed to do that by taking my ticket."
She smiled widely. "Won't you sit down and tell us all about it dear?" she said, and Remus smiled at him, glad that his parents had taken to Sirius so quickly.
"So, you wanted us to meet Sirius?" John asked. "Is it because it's getting er serious between you both?" He chuckled lightly at his own joke, and Remus grinned.
"Well, Sirius is going to move down to London," Remus replied. "James convinced him to work from their London office, so Sirius is going to move in with me."
Remus pulled Sirius to him one last time. "One more kiss before I have to say goodbye," he mumbled against Sirius' lips.
"I'll see you soon, I love you," Sirius said, reluctantly pulling away.
"I love you too," Remus replied. "I'm going to miss you."
"I'll miss you too," Sirius said, spotting Lily outside. "I should have taken more than a week off to move down here," he complained, as he walked to the door and unlocked it, Remus following behind.
"You're the boss, you can take extra days off," Remus pointed out.
"True, but the staff have been told I'm coming into the office today. I can't let them down," Sirius grumbled.
They both greeted Lily, and stepped aside so she could go inside, and Sirius' lips brushed Remus' again. He couldn't get enough of Remus Lupin. He pulled away, and walked over to James, as Remus flipped the closed sign to show the café was open.
"Ready for your first day officially working in London?"
Sirius looked back at Remus who was leaning in the coffee shop doorway, watching him, and Sirius grinned. "No, but I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than here," he replied, his eyes fixed on the amber ones that he had fallen in love with, before turning to walk to the office with James, knowing that every evening after work, he'd return to Remus' arms.
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