I Need Some Sleep

Remus Lupin paces the room, unable to remember the last time he'd gone a full night without waking up before dawn. It is probably somewhere in the region of thirteen years ago.

The bed is a dark shadow by the wall. A narrow mattress, and barely long enough for him to lie on without bending his knees, but there's another body in it. Someone smaller, but they're hunched against the wall nonetheless. Remus wonders if his bigger body made Sirius uncomfortable. Had he stolen the sheets? Had he crushed Sirius against the wall? Is he, in fact, more of an inconvenience to Sirius than a comfort? He hopes not. Not just hopes, but prays and begs. He would die before he made Sirius' life more difficult than it already is.

It is an obsession, he recognises that. There's nothing he can do about it. He's tried. Every time he wakes up, he forces himself to think of things that are not Sirius. He has used this technique since they were at school together, but it never ever worked. He still tries though. Now he leans on the windowsill and thinks of what he will eat for breakfast. Maybe he'll have some toast and scrambled egg, with rich, sweet coffee and some juice to wash it all down with. He's always loved scrambled egg, ever since school, when he and Sirius would heap their plates full of it and race to see who could finish first. . .

It always ends up like that. Everything is connected to Sirius in some way. Every dust mote, every molecule, every whisper and every breath. Sometimes, he knows, he isn't doing it to forget Sirius; he's doing it to find ways of connecting more and more obscure things to his lover. And there always is a way, whatever he chooses to think about. Sirius is everywhere. He always will be.

On the bed, Sirius makes a small sleepy sound and turns over. It is far from dawn, and Sirius is not one for early mornings, so Remus merely smiles and continues to gaze out of the window. He has missed these moments, he must admit. He hasn't had someone to share his flat with, his bed with, for too long. It was beyond hoping that he would have Sirius back there - his Sirius, not the one they put in Azkaban. It's not good for him though, waking up at night. It makes him tired during the day, dulls his senses, makes his head muzzy. But these were the moments when no one else could catch him guiltily thinking about the man convicted of mass murder; the man he had never been able to stop loving; the man who was even now hugging his pillow and snoring softly in his sleep. And any amount of yawning and rubbing his eyes was well worth that.

Remus knows he should have hated Sirius. He knows something in him did. He knows something in him still does. Hates him for leaving, hates him for not trusting him, hates him for the years of hating him. The love he has for Sirius will always be tinged by the hate; the hate he has will always be tinged by the love. If he has any sense, he won't get back into that bed, won't lean into to Sirius' next kiss, won't touch his hand at breakfast and won't tell him how he missed him. If he has any sense, he won't let it go on like this. And Remus Lupin has plenty of sense.

But it is late. He needs some sleep. And he gets back into bed anyway.