Love Without Trust – 16.07.16

The end of a relationship is not always a failure. Sometimes all the love in the world is not enough to save something. In these cases, it is not a matter of fault from either person. Some things cannot be, it's as simple as that. – Ashly Lorenzana

Remus walked through the flat checking every room. All of the curtains in the flat had been opened to allow the August sun in. The bedroom was tidy; bed having been made and clothes picked up off the floor. The bathroom had been cleaned and a new shower curtain put up. The sitting room had been dusted and dirty dishes had been moved to the kitchen where they had been washed and dried and put back in the cupboard. He had even watered that one plant that sat on the kitchen windowsill.

He stood in the kitchen doorway and thought about the flat. Everything had been left in order: clean and tidy. He nodded his satisfaction before taking one last look around the sitting room. His gaze fell on the small piece of paper on the coffee table. It was folded over to hide its contents but had the name 'Sirius' scrawled on the upside.

He gnawed at his bottom lip as his gaze lingered on the little slip of paper. All he could hear was the kids outside that play curbsy in the street and the faint ticking of the clock on the opposite wall. He tore his eyes from the paper and looked at the clock: 3:58pm. He had to go. Now.

With one last deep breath, he left the kitchen doorway and sitting room, and walked along the hallway to the bedroom. He kept his head down to try and ignore the room as he picked up a large bag that rested on the box at the bottom of the bed. He turned to walk out of the bedroom but stopped at the door. He couldn't help himself. He took one last look around the bedroom, taking in every last detail as if he hadn't slept there hundreds of times before.

Memories bombarded him and Remus swallowed the hard lump that had formed in his throat before he walked out of the room slowly, gently closing the door behind him. He walked back down the hallway to the sitting room and put his bag down on one of the couches. He opened it up and checked that everything was inside. This bag held everything; all of his belongings.

He smiled ruefully as he closed the bag and zipped it up. Everything was there. For one brief fleeting moment, he thought that maybe he should leave something so he'd have a reason to come back. But that thought was soon gone as he remembered why he was leaving. He took a deep, calming breath as he picked up his bag again and made his way for the door.

Remus stopped short at the door and whirled around to take one last look around the sitting room. He didn't want to leave, but he had to. His gaze once again fell on the coffee table and the note. His mind made up, he turned around and continued his trip to the door. He was just about to open it when he heard a key in the lock. The alert charms hadn't been on since someone was in the flat.

Remus' eyes went wide as he stepped back from the door. He looked at the clock frantically: 4:14pm. He shouldn't be home yet, he thought. Not until 6 o'clock. His eyes travelled to the door again as it swung open. A tall, lean man walked in frowning slightly. He was always frowning nowadays. It was Sirius – the other inhabitant of this flat.

Sirius walked into the flat and shut the door behind him with a lot more force than was necessary. He flung his keys onto the small table by the door and hung his cloak up. He did all of this without even registering Remus' presence.

Remus swallowed and took another cautious step back as he tried to hide the large bag behind himself. He was really hoping to avoid this. To avoid Sirius and this situation.

Sirius looked up and noticed Remus. He looked tired. His eyes had subtle bags under them and his eyes weren't as lit with the fire of life as they had been once. This made Remus feel even more positive that he was doing the right thing. That his decision to leave was right.

They stared at each other in silence for a moment – Remus looking apprehensive, Sirius looking perplexed – before Sirius narrowed his eyes and frowned. Remus looked away.

"Hi," Sirius said gruffly. It had been a long day and he just wanted to sleep for an eternity. He couldn't handle Remus' strange behaviour right now. He looked down to see a poorly concealed bag behind Remus' legs. The bag was large. Unusually so. "What's…?" he said not bothering to finish his question but instead gesturing to the bag Remus was so clearly trying to hide.

Remus looked at where he was waving. How was he going to explain this? "Oh, er, this… Why aren't you at work? I thought you finished at 6?" he said, trying to drive his attention away from the bag.

Sirius looked up to Remus' face again. He frowned because all he could see was a blank face but the tone suggested slight worry. "Mad-Eye sent me home. Said I needed to get some rest," he said as he walked further into the room. He looked around. "You've cleaned?" he asked, not really surprised since Remus kept their flat clean all of the time.

Remus nodded and thought about edging his way around Sirius to the door. But then, he thought that would be suspicious. "Why don't you go to sleep? You look like you could do with some," he said supportively. He figured that if he could get him out of the room and asleep, then he could leave in that time.

Sirius nodded tiredly. He scratched the back of his head as he said, "Yeah. Yeah, okay." He began to walk out of the sitting room to go to the bedroom when he noticed something small on the table. He stopped and turned to the coffee table. His frown deepened. "What's that?" he asked, pointing to the paper.

Remus turned around to see where he was pointing. "Oh, that's not important…" he answered nonchalantly.

Sirius squinted at the note. "It's got my name on it," he noted aloud.

Remus opened his mouth to say something but couldn't think up a reply fast enough. He went to retrieve it before Sirius could read it but Sirius was faster and had gotten to the note first.

Remus held his breath as Sirius snatched up the note and opened it quickly. Remus watched as his eyes swept across the small paper as he read.

Dear Sirius,
I'm leaving. I think it's for the best.
I'm sorry.
P.S. Please don't forget that I love you.

He looked up from the note to see Remus fidgeting and looking everywhere but at him. He looked down at the note again, re-reading it just in case he'd read it wrong the first time.

"What is this?" he asked perplexed. Remus continued to look anywhere but at him. "Remus?"

Remus reluctantly turned his gaze to Sirius. He could see the confusion on his face clearly. But Remus didn't know what to say. The note pretty much explained everything.

"I… uh…" he breathed out as he thought of what he could say to remove his look of hurt and confusion. Remus didn't want to see that look on his face. That's why he had planned to just leave and not have this conversation.

"What does it mean – you're 'leaving'? Leaving to where? For how long?" he asked, frustration beginning to grow in his gut. Remus couldn't be leaving him like that, could he? "Where the fuck are you going, Remus?" he asked unable to keep the anger seeping through.

Remus looked away, keeping his gaze on the floor. "I'm just… leaving. I have to," he said defeated.

It had finally sunk in. Sirius felt like someone had punch him in the stomach before repeatedly kicking him all over. Remus was leaving him. He dropped to the couch as he stared at the note again. The words 'I'm leaving. I think it's for the best' swirling around in his head. How was it for the best? He deflated as he rested his elbows on his knees and stared intently at the note.

"Why?" he finally managed to croak.

Remus looked at him with sorrow. This wasn't what he wanted. He put his bag down carefully before sitting on the couch opposite Sirius. "I have to," he repeated.

"But why?" Sirius asked, temper flaring up again. He looked up to see Remus sitting patiently. Always fucking patient, he thought angrily to himself. His hands began shaking as he tried to control his temper.

"Sirius, this isn't good," Remus replied calmly. He was referring to their relationship and he knew Sirius knew what he meant. "We argue all of the time. We keep secrets. We don't get much time together and when we do, we argue. You're not happy. Not anymore. You don't trust me."

"I trust you," Sirius interjected. His eyes were wide and pleading and it made Remus' heart hurt to even look at him right now. But he watched at Sirius silently pleaded and defended their relationship.

Remus shook his head gently. "No, you don't. You want to trust me, but you don't. And it's making you miserable. It's making me miserable. A relationship is nothing without trust," he paused as he saw Sirius think over what he had said. The realisation that he didn't trust him had seemed to have sunk in. "You used to be happy. We both used to be. But, this war, it has taken so much away."

"This can't be one of them. Please don't do this, Remus. Please," he pleaded. "You can't do this. I love you!"

Remus could feel his heart breaking. He hadn't thought it possible but here it was, happening to him right now. "I'm," he choked back the tears that were threatening to fall. Now was not the time for tears. Too many had been shed already. "I'm sorry, Sirius. I love you too. But, it's not enough. You know it too."

Sirius looked down at his feet. How could Remus be so calm right now? He was ending the best thing that had ever happened to Sirius, and Remus acted as though he couldn't care less.

"I need you," he said so quietly that he didn't know if Remus had heard. "Remus," he said louder now looking into the hazel-amber eyes he had fallen for. "I need you."

Remus closed his eyes as he tried to keep control. He was either going to cry or he was going to give in and stay; and he knew he couldn't do either. He had to leave now or he was going to make a horrible mistake and continue to make his and Sirius' lives miserable.

"I'm sorry," he croaked, eyes still closed. He cleared his throat and tried again. "I'm sorry. But I have to go. We both know it." He stood up abruptly and walked around the back of the couch to pick his bag up.

Sirius' lip trembled as he watched Remus. He could see the mask was slipping off. And he couldn't do anything. Remus had made up his mind.

"Fine," he said trying to find conviction for his voice. "If you think that this is the only option, then, fine. Go." He stood up slowly

Remus stared at him, unable to hide the hurt in his eyes. Before Remus knew it, Sirius was latched to him, embracing him in a tight hug. One full of emotion; full of desperation. Remus hugged back gently as he unconsciously rubbed Sirius back soothingly.

"I love you, Remus," Sirius mumbled into the crook of Remus' neck.

Remus' breath hitched. The sudden realisation that this would never happen again hit him like a ton of bricks. But he had to go. He had to be strong enough to leave. Because Sirius wouldn't do it. Remus had to be the strong one right now. He held onto Sirius tighter, one last time.

"I know," Remus replied quietly. It was all he could allow himself to say back.

He reluctantly broke the hug and pushed Sirius away gently. Sirius leant back against the back of the couch as Remus kept his gaze on the floor and he picked up his bag. He turned his back on Sirius and made his way to the door. As he opened the door, he was just about to step out when Sirius spoke.

"Maybe… When this is all over…?" Sirius asked a shimmer of hope lining his voice. He knew it was there and it sounded pathetic but he needed to know if there was still hope for the future. Still hope that, one day, he and Remus could reunite and be happy again. Like they used to be.

Remus stood still in the doorway, his fist clenched around the handle of the bag making his knuckles go white. He wasn't sure either of them would even survive the war. He didn't know whether either of them would be able to trust each other completely. But, maybe, it would be different when the war was over. Maybe they would have matured even more, if that was possible.

But, then, maybe it wasn't possible. Maybe they wouldn't be able to get over the fact that neither could trust each other. Maybe the distrust would still be there and they'd never be able to get over it.

He didn't answer Sirius. He thought it best to leave now, before anything could be said that would give either of them false hope. Maybe they could in the future, maybe they couldn't. He didn't know.

Love is nothing without trust. And since, neither of them could trust each other, their relationship was doomed. It simply could not be.

Remus walked out of the door silently and closed it behind him leaving Sirius with his hope shattered as he sat on the back of the couch in their old flat.

Note: So, yeah. I wrote this a little while ago and didn't know whether to post it but I thought I best get something posted since it's been a little while.
Sorry it's a bit of a downer but, oh well. Hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. =)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters.