Disclaimer: For the disclaimer, warnings, etc., please see the first chapter.



Chapter 12 - Aftermath


Twenty years after the death of C├ępheus Black, the sun rose and illuminated the front of a small house in London, managing to penetrate the thick cloth of the cream-coloured curtains, and beamed right into the face of Remus J. Lupin. Well, Professor Lupin-Black, now.

The brunette opened his eyes, unwilling to get up. A glance at the clock told him it was only six-thirty. Remus never got up before seven if he could help it, and Sirius could stay in bed until nine-thirty, if left to his own devices. But now that he was awake, there was no possible way Remus could get back to sleep. Instead, he lay still and gazed at his lover.

At the age of thirty-six, Sirius was more beautiful than ever. His silky hair was waist-length, with not one single strand of white or grey anywhere to be seen. He didn't bother much with makeup anymore (a light application of eyeshadow and mascara was it), and had given up smoking at Remus' urging. He was still very thin, but his body was sleek and muscular, reminding Remus of some exotic wildcat. One arm, with a tattoo of strange Celtic symbols winding around it like an arm bracelet, was draped across Remus' hips. The sunlight glimmered on a gold band on his third finger.

Remus wasn't so bad-looking himself, either, though he never believed it when told so. (He had a number of fans among his female students, though he wasn't aware of it.) He had a few streaks of premature silver in his golden-brown hair, but they were the only evidence that he was getting any older. He also had an arm that twinged painfully every time it rained; he tried not to think about that, though. Smiling slightly, he brushed a strand of hair out of Sirius' eyes with a hand that also bore a gold ring.

After living like a married couple for so long - paying the bills, sharing a car, fighting over what colour to paint the kitchen, and making love every night - the pair had decided it was high time they got married. Well, they couldn't actually get married, but they had exchanged rings, and Remus had had his last name legally changed to Lupin-Black. It had confused his students to no end, but they'd get used to it in time (they were, after all, college students). It was taking Remus time to get used to himself - even after a week, it sounded strange to say.

Sirius and Remus shared everything - including the secret of what Sirius had done twenty years ago. For all this time, they had kept it secret, not even discussing it with each other. It had been so long that most people had even forgotten the police had suspected the two men at some point; but every once in awhile, mysterious notes would show up from some crackpot or another. Sirius cheerfully burned all these with his cigarette lighter, saying it might as well serve some purpose. But hiding a secret of that magnitude was stressful on the nerves every now and then (Lord knew they both had had more than their share of horrible nightmares; and there had been many incidents where Sirius broke down completely, calling himself a murderer, sobbing that he wanted to die, that he couldn't live with it anymore). Sirius probably had it the worst; he had endured years and years of abuse before finally being freed, and Remus never had any desire to know what went on in his lover's head at night.

Sirius stirred beside him, opening one eye. A slow, satisfied smile spread across his face - he looked rather like a cat who's gotten into the cream. The hand resting on Remus' hip wandered down his thigh. Morning, beautiful.

Morning, love. Remus kissed him. Sleep well?

Sirius chuckled. You know I did. I always do after sex like that.

By now, Remus was well used to Sirius' blunt, half-teasing manner, but he never failed to be embarrassed by it. He felt his cheeks heating up - though that might have been because of Sirius moving closer, his slender body inviting and exciting at the same time. You never give up, do you?

Sirius said, rolling over so Remus was pinned under him. He shook his long hair back, the satisfied cat smile still lingering on his lips. What time's your first class?

Remus breathed, putting his arms around Sirius' neck. I think we have plenty of time... for... His hazel eyes glimmered with mischief. ...naughty things.

Sirius burrowed his head against Remus' neck. Just what I want to hear, Mrs. Black.

Remus couldn't help but laugh. Stupid idiot.

Shut up and kiss me.

I'd be honoured, Remus sniggered, as their lips met in a light, teasing kiss. The kiss turned sloppier and more passionate, and neither man could have been happier. They loved each other, and for now, that was all that mattered, no matter what punishments they faced in the afterlife for never telling the truth about the murders. They'd just have to face that when the time came. Until then, they could enjoy themselves.



(A/N: Ah, the end already? It seems short, now that it's over. I had a lot of fun writing this (well, some parts weren't exactly fun, but you get the idea), and I'm sad that it's over. I know Sirius and Remus seem... unremorseful, but I wanted to get the point across that after all the horrible things that happened to them, they were still happy in the end. I've got to say thanks to you all for being so faithful in reading and reviewing this story! When I posted the first chapter, I was so afraid no one would like it, but it quickly became my most popular story! And I never could have done it without you! So, thank you so much! I hope you'll support my upcoming stories!)