Now, Sakai Michiba presents:

The Fatality

Part 42 of the Smitten series

It was the afternoon of the full moon, and Remus Lupin had never been so nervous about anything in his entire life. He was to Apparate to a common meeting ground for werewolves just before his transformation, and there he was to run with the pack and, in the morning speak with them of their intentions concerning the war. It was dangerous, a possibly fatal mission, and he did not want to reveal to Sirius that he was terrified. He was, at the moment, sitting on the couch with a book in hand even though he was not even reading it.

Sirius came from the kitchen with a mug of hot tea, blowing over the steaming surface and looking at Remus through the steam. "Brought you some tea, love," he whispered, and he sat down beside him, taking the book away. "You weren't reading it." He pushed the tea into Remus's hands and nervously fidgeted beside him. "Remus, if you don't…If you don't come back, I'll—"

"Shut up, Pads," Remus interjected, and he set his tea aside. "I'm coming back, okay?" He looked away with a flush to his cheeks, not moving as Sirius touched his wrist. He was relieved when that touch disappeared, but a moment later, Sirius's arms were wrapping around him, pulling him over into his lap, and he struggled lightly. "Stop it, Sirius! I'm in no mood!" he protested loudly.

"In case you don't," Sirius insisted, bringing a hand up to tip Remus's chin so they were facing one another, "then know that I'll never be with anyone else. Ever." These words were spoken in hardly a whisper, and Sirius knew that he had said the right thing when Remus's face crumpled. He pulled Remus in close and embraced him tightly, closing his eyes as he felt Remus press several shaky kisses to his collarbone. "I promise."

When it came time for Remus to leave, he held on to Sirius for a long time, his face pressed into his neck. "See you soon," he sighed, and he was glad that the kiss Sirius pushed to his temple was warm. Pulling back from him, Remus gave a nod and then Apparated, a cold feeling of dread seeping through him as he landed the Apparition in a forest clearing. This, Dumbledore said, was the place where the werewolves tended to gather every full moon, and if Remus was lucky, his werewolf instincts would have him follow them. When the transformation began, Remus had never felt so alone. He heard the howls of his brethren echoing around him, and the moment he was able, he threw his head back and called to them.

Sirius spent a restless night, keeping his ears open for any unlikely howling through the streets of London. He hated London more than anything; he was going to propose to Remus the moment he returned that they should have a house somewhere, maybe even Remus's parents' old home. There, Remus would be able to change without worrying about hurting anyone, particularly.

He expected Remus to come home immediately that morning, so he rose and made a light breakfast that Remus would be able to hold down before he spent the day sleeping. He was not entirely sure when the other was supposed to return, so he ate and had a cup of coffee, staring into the steam. When the clock struck noon, he sighed and ate the remainder of breakfast before it spoiled.

Then it was three o' clock. Then five. By midnight, Sirius was panicking, and he wrote a frantic letter to Dumbledore expressing his concern about this sort of assignment. He received a reply at five am, which told Sirius to relax—it would likely take some time for Remus to turn back up. 'Don't worry too much, Sirius, for worrying does nothing but produce wrinkles on your forehead,' the letter proclaimed, and Sirius threw it across the room with a yell.

For three days, Sirius was a nervous wreck. There was no word from anyone in the order, no letters, no anything. He was lying on the couch in front of the television, wearing one of Remus's sweaters and occasionally lifting a spoon of ice cream to his mouth when he heard a key in the lock. He sat up alertly, and he was halfway on his feet when the door swung open and Remus stepped through the doorway in little more than bloody rags. He looked up after he closed the door and smiled weakly for a few moments. "…Sirius…"

Sirius's flew across the room and seized his boyfriend in his arms, hauling him close and wrapping him up tightly. "Fuck, fuck, fuck…" he gasped against Remus's shoulder, and when Remus lifted his arms to hug him tight, Sirius relaxed against him and kissed his cheek, his temple, his lips. "Are you okay? Oh my God, I thought you were dead…"

Remus chuckled a little, but when he looked into Sirius's eyes, Sirius could see the hollowness in them. Sirius's hands came up to touch his cheeks, and he bit his lower lip before he leaned in to give him a proper kiss. Remus clung to him then, his mouth opening against Sirius's and admitting a desperate tongue. For three days, he had been through utter hell, through things that would haunt him, and Sirius brought him back down to earth. The end of the kiss brought on his exhaustion, and he slumped against Sirius. "I need to go to bed, baby," he said weakly, and he found himself suddenly swept off his feet. Resting his head against Sirius's shoulder, he moaned very gently and touched his chest. "Sirius, would you…would you still love me if I had taken part in…killing someone?"

Sirius blinked and moved to lie Remus down on the bed, sitting at his feet and taking off his shoes as he looked up and gave a nod. "Yes, I would," he said quietly, and he finished taking off those shoes before he crawled up beside his Remus and drew him close. "I'd love you as much as I ever have, Moony."

"Good." Remus swallowed hard and buried his face in Sirius's neck, not going any further than that, and just as he was slipping off to sleep, tears flooded his eyes and soaked his eyelashes a moment before he was asleep.