Soul Searching

Uh oh you're soul searching
I see that dangerous look in your eyes
Uh oh you're soul searching
But is a soul really worth your whole life

"Do you believe in God, Padfoot?" Remus asked one night as they were lying in bed. He was stretched out under the white cotton sheets, his arm bent behind him serving as a pillow for his head.

"God? You mean that muggle bloke that lives in the sky?" Sirius asked from his side of the bed. Most of his covers were thrown off, exposing his tanned body. He looked over at his bed partner and recognized the glint in his eyes that came whenever he was thinking of something a little deeper than their usual post-coital banter.

"Yeah," Remus replied, and his voice sounded far away, like he was clutching onto a memory.

"No, I suppose not. What makes you think of that? Was the sex really that good?" Sirius asked with a half smile.

A flicker of a smile crossed Remus' features. "I don't know, I've just been thinking. How can there possibly be a God if all these muggles and wizards are just allowed to be murdered? Doesn't everything just seem so meaningless to you sometimes? What if it all means nothing? I sometimes feel that even with everything the Order does, it's just not enough. It's never enough."

In these circles you seem to go
Never finding the centre
Never finding your way home
And do you ever see yourself
When you look in the mirror
Or is it a reflection of everyone else

There with the bitter hint of desperation in his voice and Sirius struggled to find the words that would calm him, the words that would make everything better again. He couldn't find the words in the end, and Remus sighed and continued.

"When I was younger," he divulged, "We used to go to church."

"I didn't know that," Sirius admitted.

"Yeah. We used to go to church. I can only remember it vaguely because we stopped going shortly after I got bitten." Remus paused, as if considering whether to continue. When Sirius moved closer and rested his arm across Remus' middle, he resumed speaking. "My mother told me later that she didn't know of a God that would let an innocent child's soul be taken like that by a vicious monster, and I sometimes wonder if she was right. How can a God let me go through that every month, without mercy, without relief?"

Sirius was silent. It was very rare when Remus allowed himself to indulge in self-pity. He was much like Sirius in that respect. Sirius knew though, that like him, Remus needed a release sometimes. He needed to question things and turn things over in his mind.

"Is that what you think? That you have no soul?" Sirius asked carefully.

Remus paused for a moment. "No, I think I have one. I just think it leaves me once a month when I transform."

There was a silence in which Remus looked up at the ceiling and Sirius looked over at Remus, again, searching for words.

"I don't think everything is meaningless," Sirius finally said. "I don't think there's someone up there with the blueprints, telling us what to do, but I don't think that this is all for nothing. I don't think their deaths are for nothing, and I don't think your pain is nothing."

"What is it for then?" Remus asked in a sudden burst of anger. "I can't stand living and not knowing whether you're going to be alive tomorrow, whether I'm going to be alive tomorrow, or any of us! What about Peter, James and Lily and Harry? What about Harry, Sirius? He doesn't deserve to live in a world like this, where there's so much hatred."

Sirius opened his mouth, as if to speak, and then closed it as Remus continued.

"My transformations are getting worse, again," he remarked.

"I've noticed," Sirius said and tried not to bring his eyes down to the most recently acquired scar across Remus' chest.

"And if my soul leaves me every month, I feel like less and less of it is returning. I don't know how much longer I can do this," he finished with a sigh.

There's a part of me that wants to hold you
And tell you everything is gonna be OK
And there's a part of me that
Wants to shake you
And tell you there's no such thing
As a soul anyway

Sirius wanted to shout at him that he couldn't not do this. He wanted to admit to Remus that he was one of the only reasons he got up in the mornings. He wanted to tell him that lying beside him was the reason he was able to get to sleep at night. If Remus couldn't do this, then...

"You can do this," Sirius said, a lot more confidently than he felt. "You have to."

Remus gave him a withering smile. "I know. Just sometimes I feel..."

"I know," Sirius replied honestly. He traced his fingers idly over Remus' chest and then pulled him towards him and kissed him tenderly on his bottom lip.

"Forget that soul stuff," he told Remus. "All that matters is here and now. You and me. Your soul... It's fleeting, but I'm not."

Remus didn't reply but held Sirius closer so he was half on top of him.

"We will get through this, won't we?" Remus asked, looking up at Sirius.

He nodded. "We will."

With that reassurance, Remus kissed Sirius and wrapped his arms around him, as if holding him here would prevent anyone else from taking him away. In a deluded sense, Remus did believe that, and as they drifted off to sleep he felt like they would never be apart.

You were searching for a soul
Tearing yourself apart
Just to become a whole
You were walking down the road
Only to find your reflection
In the puddles below

Four months later, he remembered their conversation as he walked past a church and smiled bitterly at his naivety. Sirius had lied when he said he wasn't fleeting. He was in Azkaban, as far away as one person could get from another. Sirius hadn't lied, however, when he said that Remus' soul was fleeting. Although, fleeting was too romantic for what Remus had felt. Remus had felt it wrenched out of him the day Sirius was sent to Azkaban, and it hadn't returned since. He almost smiled at the thought of putting up a wanted poster; Missing in Action: One Soul, or perhaps: Wanted: Former Lover Who Has Taken Hostage One Soul. He shook his head a little sadly as he walked through the slush of London. Somehow, he knew things would never be the same again.