They fell asleep eventually, neither knew or cared what time it was. So it came as a mild surprise when Remus' eyes fluttered open to find Sirius no longer beside him. Stretching, he sat up, listening intently for sounds of his lover throughout the flat. All he could hear, however, was the careful rustling of paper and the snipping of scissors.

He stood up, his toes curling as they touched the floor, pulling the comforter off the bed and around his shoulders, pulling it closed in the front. He never was a fan of cold morning drafts, Christmas or not.

He padded quietly to the living room where Sirius had placed a second present, wrapped in cheap drug store wrapping paper with penguins printed on it, under the tree. But there was no Sirius in the living room. Before Remus could turn around, there was Sirius behind him, his arms wrapping around Remus' waist.

"Happy Christmas, love," he breathed on Remus' neck, and Remus turned to press his lips on Sirius'.

"Happy Christmas," he whispered, smiling and opening the blanket, inviting Sirius in. Sirius took the invitation, but they didn't stand there more than a minute before he asked the one question that he was always the first to ask.

"Can I open my present now?"

Remus laughed, nodding, and Sirius extracted himself out of his lover's arms and practically scuttled to the tree, a very childish grin on his face and sparkling in his eyes. He pulled the ribbon which gave way easily and then eyed Remus.

"Will this be harder than it looks?" he asked, grinning. Remus only shrugged in response, smiling into the tea he had conjured moments before.

Sirius turned back to the box and attacked the pieces of tape, only to find a box underneath. And under that box, another one, which was filled with shredded newspapers. Sirius quickly picked out the newspaper before pulling out his gift, which unfolded in his hands.

"A dog bed!" he laughed, and dropped it to the floor as he transformed into Padfoot, who flopped onto his back on the navy blue bed and barked happily. He then jumped up onto Remus, licking his face as Remus laughed, his tea sloshing on the couch. And then it was Sirius in his lap, kissing his face, his hands roaming Remus' body.

"I love it," he whispered in Remus' ear. "It's perfect." He kissed Remus soundly on the lips.

"I'm glad," Remus whispered against Sirius' lips. "And now, is it my turn?"

Sirius laugh filled the room as he allowed Remus access to his present and sat eagerly awaiting his boyfriend's response.

As was his nature, Remus too his time with the present, first giving it a gentle shake before carefully removing the ribbon, then un-sticking the tape so that the paper would hopefully come off in one sheet. Sirius gave a characteristically impatient sigh from the couch. But soon Remus was slicing open the tape of the box. As he opened the flap of the box to be greeted by the Beatles record that he had been eyeing up for weeks. He grinned broadly at Sirius, and was about to ask how they were to play it as he lifted the record out of the box, but stopped himself and let out and audible gasp as the new record player glinted up at his from the bottom of the box.

"Sirius," he breathed, setting the Beatles down gingerly and lifting the phonograph up and out, "it's wonderful."

"And you love it, and Happy Christmas," Sirius said happily, sliding off the couch next to Remus and wrapping his arms around his boyfriend's waist. "And I love you."

"Can we listen to it now?" Remus asked eagerly, and Sirius saw the Christmas spirit in his eyes.

"You hook it up, and I'll get us something for breakfast," he replied, kissing Remus wetly on the ear before wandering into the kitchen.

Christmas passed uneventfully from that point on. Remus, overtly thrilled with the record, put it on immediately. Sirius spent half the day as a dog so that he could curl up in his new dog bed (and also because the cooking turkey smelt much more delicious as a dog).

They had a floo from Lily and James around lunch (did they have plans for New Years? Should they all get together to ring it in with some Marauder-ish mischief and drunken fun?), a floo from Peter around two in the afternoon Peter (who was with his mother, and what were they doing for New Years?), and by a few members of the Order (not excluding Dumbledore, who wore a wreath around his head, and McGonagall who was singing carols in the background).

The turkey (thanks to some magical tips on Remus' part) turned out almost as good as the turkeys at Hogwarts (and improved by cranberry sauce), and Sirius still managed thirds of Christmas pudding before Remus dragged him back to the living room for a glass or two of wine while the dishes washed themselves in the kitchen sink. The wine was dry, but after two bottles of it, it tasted all right, Sirius said, as they lounged on the couch, watching the lights blink on and off, the Beatles silenced for the night.

"My apologies if the wolf destroys your new bed," Remus mumbled sleepily, resting his head against Sirius' shoulder.

Sirius chuckled. "I've always wanted to get Moony into bed," he joked.

"Will you settle for Remus tonight?"

Sirius response was lost as Remus' lips found his, silencing him, his hand found the wine glass and put them both gingerly on the coffee table, his lips never leaving Sirius'. His hands wound into the dark man's hair, his hands pulling at the sweat pants that Sirius had pulled on for dinner, and Sirius pulled at Remus' undone trousers. But then Remus' hands stopped roaming Sirius' body and held the other man's hands above his head as they kissed passionately. He could feel that the moment was terribly clichéd, but the Sirius whispered "Remus", and Remus was undone. His hands moved back into Sirius' hair as his lips roamed along the man's jaw line, rough with the day's stubble, over to his ear, and as he bit it Sirius moaned, grinding his pelvis up into Remus. It became a blur as Remus moved down Sirius body, holding his hips in place as his tongued swirled around the other man's hardness, alternating sucking and scraping his teeth along the shaft, Sirius' hands wound in Remus' hair, begging for more, begging to stop, begging to be inside him. He whimpered as Remus' ministrations ended and he moved up to slide his tongue inside Sirius' mouth, and almost choked on his next moan as he felt the tip of Remus' cock at his entrance. With a whispered word, Remus began to enter his lover, Sirius panting and gripping Remus' hips as Remus ravaged his mouth. But Remus tried to move slowly, to move his hand between them to grasp Sirius' shaft and stroke him in time with his thrusts, which proved to be difficult, but only for a shot time, as Sirius began to pant, Remus could no longer concentrate on kissing, and they both grunted into each other's shoulders as they came. They breathed I Love You's before, sticky and satisfied, they fell asleep in front of the twinkling lights on their pathetic Christmas tree. Sirius curled against Remus' body, only to awake the next morning to someone calling in the floo.

"Happy Boxing Day, you poofters!"

Sirius sat up with a start, revealing too much of both he and Remus to their unexpected and uninvited guest.

"Dung!" Sirius yelped, most undignified in his sleepy and bewildered state. "What the hell are you – why –?"

"On Dumbledore's orders, o'course," Mundungus replied. "Mind, I was told to speak to Remus, and I and he are in – whatchamacallit – kahoots and whatnot. But," he snickered, as Remus blinked awake and pulled the covers around himself tighter, "not in the kind that you two have been getting up to."

"Only between us, Dung," Remus said softly, and Mundungus' snickering ceased. "What was it you needed to tell me?"

Dung glanced at Sirius before looking at Remus, who looked more composed than Sirius in his state of undress. "Well, Dumbledore said I supposed to tell you in private, what with the secrecy and whatnot."

"I'm part of the order too, Dung," Sirius reminded him coldly.

"What is it regarding?" Remus asked, disregarding Sirius' comment.

"You're underground work," Dung replied. "A couple of your contacts have jumped ship."

"They've gone over?"

"Agreed to, after they was threatened by Greyback."

"Did they say what he threatened them with?"

Dung shook his head. "That's why Dumbledore asked me to tell ya. Said you would be able to go underground, find out the details."

"Who did he threaten?"

Dung shook his head again. "No one told me. Dumbledore knows, but he ain't tellin' me no top secret stuff like that. I'm just the messenger."

"Thanks Dung."

"Anything to report back to the boss man?"

Remus shook his head, deep in thought. "I'll be in touch with him today."

Dung only nodded in response and left the fire with a faint pop. Sirius stood, letting the blanket fall to the floor, but Remus paid no mind. As Remus sat back on the couch, the frown lines on his forehead deepened with thought, planning, and speculation, Sirius strode into the bedroom, out of the bedroom, and then into the bathroom where he closed the door rather sharply and audibly locked it. Sirius ran a bath, got in, and sat for an hour, during which time the water grew cold and he grew angrier.

After that hour, it seemed that Remus awoke from his reverie. He got dressed and meant to wash before he went to see Dumbledore, but Sirius was still in the tub. He knocked lightly on the door.

"Can I come in?" he asked when there was no reply from Sirius.

"Can't," Sirius finally said after a prolonged pause. "I locked it."

"You don't want me to come in," Remus sighed. "What's wrong?"

"Why do you always assume that something's wrong when I lock the bathroom door?" Sirius snapped.

"Because if nothing were wrong you would be inviting me in, not biting my head off because I won't tell you things about the werewolves," Remus replied.

A long silence filled the space between Remus' words and his next question.

"That's why you're angry, isn't it?"

"Because you won't let me in on the work you do with your other furry friends? Perhaps. Nice conclusion, Moony."

Remus sighed again, but did not reply. He had his answer, and now it was up to Sirius to accept what Remus had taken on.

"You could always charm the door open," Sirius said quietly after a few minutes, and Remus almost smiled.

As Remus stepped into the bathroom, Sirius looked up at him with his classic puppy dog eyes.

"Why won't you tell me anything about the wolves?" he asked innocently, sounding more like ten year old boy than a twenty year old man.

"Because they would quite literally love to have you either as their newest pack member or breakfast, and I'd rather have you as you are," Remus replied plainly, unsmiling as he filled the sink with warm water. "the less you are involved, the less risk there is of you becoming a lycanthrope."

"Why not just tell me the basics?"

"I have," Remus said, looking Sirius straight in the eye before turning back to the mirror.

"You've told me that you're conversing with the werewolves in secret on Dumbledore's orders."

"And those are the basics."

"Why talk to them at all?"


"That doesn't answer my question."

"That's the only answer I have, Sirius. He is the reason I'm risking my neck with the less tame of my so-called species." Remus paused a moment, then looked straight at Sirius. "Actually, no, he's not the reason," Remus began. Sirius looked up at him and Remus finished with: "you are the reason I do it."


Remus nodded, and turned back to the sink where he finished washing up as he finished talking. "You and Lily and James and Peter are the reason that I'm talking to the werewolves, trying to help the order, trying to put a stop to Voldemort. You are the reason that I want peace on Earth."

"Good will to men," Sirius whispered and looked up at Remus again, a completely different look filling his eyes. "I'm so sorry, Remus. I didn't stop to think."

"I'm not going to be mad at you," Remus said. "Last I checked, you were the one angry with me." A small smile quirked his lips.

"I'm not anymore."

"I'm glad," Remus said, drying off and Turning to Sirius one last time that morning. "I'm off to talk to Dumbledore, and I don't know if I'll come home before I go back underground. Either way, I'll see you later."

"I love you," Sirius said as Remus stepped into the hall.

"I love you, too. Forever and always. Remember that," Remus replied.

"I will if you will," Sirius smiled.