"Kill me now, James," Sirius groaned as he flopped into a chair in the common room. "Just kill me now."
Sirius glared at him. "Why? Why? Have you bloody seen all the girls following me around all day?"
James snickered. "Aww, Sear, they just want to wish you a happy birthday! Don't tell me you're being unappreciative?" James teased, and had to dodge a punch from Sirius.
"Mobs of girls following me around is not my idea of a good birthday, James," Sirius growled, reminiscent of an annoyed Padfoot. If Remus would just get his head out of the clouds…now that would be my idea of a good birthday…I don't know how he could have misinterpreted all the stuff I've been doing for him, but it's been bloody weeks since the flowers!
"Aww, poor idle-widdle Siri-poo got overwhelmed by all the girls," James cooed, "and now he's running to big brother James for help!"
Sirius glared at him again. "James…" he warned, but James grinned unrepentantly.
"Don't call me that again unless you want Padfoot to try stag meat for dinner next moon!" Sirius threatened, but James kept grinning. "And besides, I'm older than you, so you can't be 'big brother James'."
"But you are running to me for help," James pointed out, and Sirius groaned.
"No, I'm escaping from the girls!" he corrected.
James rolled his eyes. "They like you, Sirius," James explained with the air of a long-suffering friend. "They think you're handsome and dashing and all that junk, and they want you to like them too. They think that if they pay attention to you on your birthday, you'll be grateful and want to go out with some of them."
Sirius buried his head in his hands. "I don't want to go out with any of them," Sirius complained. "I don't like girls that way!"
"Well, I know that, but they don't," James said reasonably. "You want to get them off your tail, just tell them."
Sirius looked horrified. "I can't do that!" he exclaimed. "If the girls know, Regulus will find out, and whatever Regulus knows, Mother knows. If Mother knows, she'll kill me!"
James looked sympathetic for the first time since Sirius entered the common room. "Merlin, Sirius, your mum…" James shook his head. "Sometimes I just can't figure out how someone like you can belong to a family like that."
"I know!" Sirius moaned. "Mother wants me to be friends with Snape! If she knew what Remus was, and how I felt about him…I would be dead, or worse."
"That would solve your girl problem quite nicely, though," James pointed out.
"Not funny, James," Sirius grumbled. "Mother's worse than the girls! Maybe you can knock me out until my birthday's over?" Sirius asked, hopeful.
"Well…I could do that…" James mused, "but then you wouldn't be opening your last present…"
"Last present? I thought I already opened them all," Sirius said, puzzled. James grinned as he pointed to a colorfully wrapped box on a table behind Sirius, and Sirius immediately jumped up and seized the box. James snickered at his enthusiasm.
"There's no name…" Sirius commented, looking all over the box for the name of the person who sent the gift.
"Maybe it's inside, with the gift," James suggested.
"Maybe…" Sirius said, eyeing the box dubiously, but then deciding that it didn't matter. He tore the paper apart and opened the small box underneath, lifting out a roll of parchment. He unrolled it, and his eyes grew wide.
"James…" he said, looking up at his best friend, his eyes shining. "…it's a poem…"
James smiled. "What's it say?" he urged.
Sirius cleared his throat, and read:"Dog and wolf will run together
Under the full moon.
But the human boys, however,
Will be with each other soon.
The dog, ever loyal,
Showed the wolf how he felt.
And when the wolf, after some toil,
Understood, his heart did melt.
For the wolf was in love,
But only thought the other's
Heart consisted of
The feelings of a brother.
But now the wolf has understood
That the dog loves him too.
So then, in the Forbidden Wood,
He'll tell the dog 'I love you.'"
Sirius's voice broke on the last few lines of the poem, and when he reached the words "I love you", a bouquet of flowers appeared on Sirius's lap.
"Morning glories…" Sirius breathed, picking up the bouquet of his favorite flowers and holding it gently, looking at it and the poem with bright eyes.
"Held together with a blue ribbon…" James murmured, and Sirius looked to see that it was, indeed, held together with a ribbon the exact blue shade of his eyes.
"James…" Sirius looked up at his best friend and hesitated. James chuckled and pulled Sirius up.
"Go, silly prat," James said fondly and giving his friend a gentle push. "He's waiting for you."
Sirius didn't need any more encouragement; he carefully placed the morning glories in the chair he had been sitting in, tucked the poem tenderly into his pocket, and practically ran out of the common room, deftly dodging the third-years who were just entering the portrait hole.
Sirius fairly flew down the stairs and corridors of Hogwarts, one thought on his mind: Remus. At one point he thought he saw Filch, who yelled at him for running in the hallways, but he paid absolutely no attention to the old caretaker. He figured Filch wouldn't have seen anything but a blur of black anyway.
Sirius left the castle and ran towards the Forbidden Forest, not even caring if Hagrid saw him. There was a clearing early in the Forest, which the Marauders had affectionately dubbed theirs, where one would go if he wanted to think or be alone, without the chance of anyone finding him but another Marauder. Sirius knew, with a certainty that would have surprised him with its conviction had he been thinking about it, that Remus would be waiting for him in this spot.
Sirius crashed through the Forest, barely even watching where he was going, heading unerringly towards that clearing. When he was approaching the clearing, he stopped, walking more quietly to the edge. He hesitantly stepped into the clearing and was greeted by the sight of Remus, standing in the middle of a patch of sunlight, face upturned towards the sky that could be seen through the boughs of the trees, his eyes closed, his hair catching and reflecting the golden rays of the slowly setting sun.
A small gasp escaped Sirius as he gazed at the picture of perfection that was Remus, glowing golden in the light of the sun. Remus's eyes flew open at the small sound, and he turned, smiling, to face Sirius.
"Sirius," Remus greeted, but made no other move. Sirius stepped further into the clearing until he was within a foot of Remus and stopped.
"Remus," Sirius returned the greeting softly, smiling shyly. Slowly Remus raised his hand until he was cupping Sirius's cheek. Sirius closed his eyes and leaned into the warm hand, sighing slightly with contentment.
"I'm sorry I took so long," Remus said. Sirius opened his eyes and shook his head.
"It's my fault, for not being so clear that you knew it was me," Sirius replied.
"No," Remus shook his head. "I figured out, a couple weeks ago, after the flowers, that it was you. I just couldn't believe it. It was kind of hard to accept, that the boy—the boy—that you've been in love with for years is in love with you too. And I was afraid."
"Afraid of what?" Sirius asked softly.
"That you would get tired of me soon," Remus answered, stepping closer to Sirius and taking his hand. "But then I decided…it didn't matter. Either you would get tired of me or you wouldn't, but until then, I wasn't about to let that stop me from living my life. There's already so many people who would rather I just gave up on living, and I'm not about to join their number."
"Good for you, Moony," Sirius smiled, giving Remus's hand a squeeze. "Don't let the stupid people mess up your life."
"I won't," Remus promised. "I'm going to go out and do stupid teenager things, and I'm going to have fun. I'm going to live my life how I want to live it, and I'm not going to let prejudice stop me."
"And I'll be alongside you all the way," Sirius told him. "I can't get tired of you any more than I can get tired of breathing. You're stuck with me, Moony. For better or for worse."
"For richer or for poorer," Remus said, stroking Sirius's cheek gently.
"As long as we both shall live," they both said solemnly. Remus's hand left Sirius's cheek and wrapped around his waist, pulling Sirius closer to him. Sirius gently pulled his hand free of Remus's and wrapped it around his shoulder. They leaned closer to each other, warm breath fanning each other's faces, until their lips touched. After a while, they pulled back slightly, smiling at each other. Then they leaned forward and kissed again.
Then they separated, and Remus took Sirius's hand again, entwining the other boy's fingers with his own.
"James is going to be insufferable, you know," Sirius said conversationally, and Remus chuckled.
"I know," Remus agreed. "And Peter's going to be shocked."
"Do you want to go in and tell them right now?" Sirius asked.
"James is going to know anyway," Remus pointed out. "He always knows when something's up with you."
"Then he can wait awhile for the official word, don't you think, Mr. Moony?" Sirius said, grinning at Remus.
"Oh, I do believe so, Mr. Padfoot," Remus agreed, grinning back.
"Then let's stay here awhile, shall we, Mr. Moony?"
"Oh yes, let's, Mr. Padfoot. And Happy Birthday. I trust you liked your present?"
"Oh, very much, Mr. Moony. Thank you."
So they stayed, and James had to wait several hours until they got back before he could gloat about how it was he that brought them together. Of course, when they did finally come in, James was asleep in his bed, as was Peter, so Remus and Sirius just grinned at each other and hopped into Sirius's bed, wrapping their arms around each other and falling asleep, happy grins still on their faces.
A/N: Well, that's the last chapter, folks. Oh, and for anyone who's wondering, I chose morning glories to be Sirius's favorite flower because Sirius himself was glorious in the morning (the early part) of his life. Kind of odd reasoning, but oh well. Thanks to ladyassassin, real-circus, Lady DeathAngel, Ambika-san, nightpearl, Sara the Pygmy Gnome, Chloe-Wagner, onthemoon, Carolina, Write-on3108, Nine1, *Satchelle*, I-heart-lupin27, me, The Demonic Duo, madkornfan, Shadow Phantom, Miyamashi, Ice, Winged Seraphin, ms. halley, and kimmaree for your wonderful reviews! You've all inspired me to finish this sooner than I would have otherwise!
kimmaree—I'm flattered that you liked my story when you don't read much slash. Thank you for your review!
Winged Seraphin—Heh heh, see why I like this pairing so much? I know you feel the same way about Sirius as I do about Remus, but hey, if we can't have 'em, they should have each other. Thanks for reading my story even though you don't like slash.
Shadow Phantom—Thank you! I loved James here too. I've tried to keep him relatively prat-like, but this happens about a year after Snape's Worst Memory, so James has to have improved somewhat. Heh, I also loved the "Prongs would soon be minus a few prongs" bit. I was so proud of myself for thinking of that!
I-heart-lupin27—Yes, there are quite a few R/S stories from Remus's perspective; I have quite a few of those myself. But this one was just begging to be written from Sirius's perspective. I just love how crazy Sirius can get sometimes (or my Sirius, at least).
Carolina—Lupines really do exist, and they're very pretty. If you want to see a picture, here's a link: http: //www. kasilofseafoods. com/ Alaska-Photos/ pages/ Lupines.htm. Get rid of all the spaces and then try the link, because I have no idea what's up with ff.net and not putting links up.
Everyone—thank you very much for your wonderful reviews! Now I'd be very happy if you all went and reviewed my other stories (unless you already did, in which case, thank you). It was very fun writing this, so wait for my next story! Ja ne!