Would You Keep Me?

Remus trudges home from the college he currently teaches literature at, leather messenger bag tugging at his worn shoulders. He is a spectacular teacher; passionate about his work, and always eager to help his students. His paycheck, however, reflects none of this. He sighs into the air that hints of nighttime showers, looking up into the dusky sky. He has a wonderful job, a comfortable home, and three wonderful friends (One to be married within a few months, he reminds himself). He smiles as he thinks of them, happiness washing away the wrinkles already painted across his young face.

He likes to remember the good old days; day of laughter and thrill. He likes to replay memories of schoolboy antics like a black and white film, choppy images and mere whispers of sound reeling through his mind. It helps Remus forget the foreboding feeling of loneliness growing inside of him.

Peter has been quite elusive lately. Remus takes note of his new habits; skirting questions and evading answers. He is constantly preoccupied with his newfound position in the ministry, always trying for that higher position, and Remus notices this change. Peter he thinks to himself, has become power hungry.

James thinks of nothing but Lily Evans and their plans for the impending wedding. Every time Remus goes over for tea, he braces himself for an onslaught of attempted wedding vows (one in particular had made Remus spit out a mouthful of perfectly decent tea; something to do with Lily's shockingly beautiful red hair rivaling that of the buttocks of an enraged garden gnome) and color combinations (the worst being red, green, and cyan, which was immediately rejected by a very distraught Remus). Sometimes Remus feels like he is missing something, but this is brushed aside as he offers his friend spare poetry books in an attempt to improve his gift for analogies. At least he's happy, Remus thinks to himself, readjusting his jacket to ward off the pervading night chill.

Sirius is never around anymore. He is constantly abroad searching for rare parts for his new 'project'. It's to the point (Remus sometimes dares to think) of obsession. He misses his friend's surprise visits and mischievous smiles. He misses that twinkle in his eyes that appears when he's plotting something devious. He misses the familiar scent that the werewolf inside him is so drawn to; so irresistibly attached to. Sometimes, Remus doesn't know what to do with himself when his raven-haired friend isn't around. He wakes up in the morning, looking for his inexplicably misplaced teapot, only to finally find it a few hours later in his mailbox after going to retrieve the paper. When is he coming back? Remus finds himself thinking, all too often.

Remus sighs again, watching the sky darken. He extracts himself from his thoughts, slowly readjusting to the muggle environment surrounding him. It's nothing like his memories; harsh reality in the form of carefully preened lawns and poorly parked cars. Remus thinks he hears something behind him; a few soft thumps, perhaps an audible breath here and there. He ignores it, passing it off as a curious child, or worse, his imagination. Just a few more blocks, he thinks.

Remus turns down his street, eyes roaming over modest homes and neatly groomed flowerbeds. He thinks he sees a flash of black behind him, the sound of a dog panting, but he ignores it still, mind screaming at him to stop the thoughts he knows such delusions will incur.

As he approaches his slightly run down house, he can't help but reminisce on recollections of silky black tresses and endless stormy depths. He imagines that he'll have to make himself some tea once he gets inside, if he can locate his tea pot.

Remus reaches his house, still thinking about the things he fought so hard to quell. Strolling up the crooked walkway towards his rickety porch, he notices that the jacket he had been searching for that morning is nestled amongst a bed of petunias (if you could even call it that; weeds had taken control over the flowers long ago, rendering all attempts of growth useless). Hardly even slowing his stride, he reaches into the greenery and pulls his jacket free, draping it over his shoulder as he proceeds up the wooden steps.

Pausing in front of his door, Remus rummages around in his worn leather bag for his keys, cursing himself for leaving his wand at home again. His hands brush against cool jagged metal, and he loops his finger into the key ring, pulling it out from the depths of his bag. Jingling echoes through the quiet neighborhood as he sorts through the mess of keys, inserting the correct one into the slot on the doorknob once he finds it. Just as he is about to push the door open, he feels a warm hand snake its way around his wrist; he would know that grip anywhere.

The fingerprints that press against his skin he had long ago committed to memory, the familiar curve of fingers are implanted in his mind. The roughness of palms and the gentleness of fingertips are a combination of qualities possessed by only one person.

Remus glances up, almost afraid of what he might find; afraid that his delusions had gone one step too far (maybe he is going crazy?). For a second, the tawny-haired professor feels as if he is being engulfed by an endless extent of stormy-gray. Soon though, he comes crashing back into reality and those profound eyes have a face, that face has a soul, and that soul has a name; Sirius Black.

Sirius stands there in all his glory, smirking at his childhood friend, hand still gripping his wrist. His hair is a bit too ruffled, Remus notes, to indicate anything good. Remus is breathless, mind completely blank yet brimming with things to say. His tongue fails to deliver the barrage of words assaulting his mind, but then logic kicks in and whispers to him (despite the obvious Sirius's eyes look rather nice): There a motorcycle on your lawn, Remus, and it has broken your birdbath.

Finally, Sirius's smooth, deep voice breaks the through the silence, startling his friend.

"Hey Moony," he says, grin creeping even further across his face, "If I followed you home, would you keep me?"

Remus smiles in response, shaking his head hopelessly at his fellow marauder as he remembers back to fourth year. Sirius had bought a muggle book containing pick up lines and had taken to reciting them to anything that walked on two legs. Remus, because of Sirius's doglike attributes, found this line in particular all too amusing.

Sirius slides his hand down, entwining his fingers with Remus's as the professor pushes his front door open, leading Sirius into his home. As they walk through the door Remus glances at the tall man behind him, tightening his grasp on Sirius's warm hand.

"Would you like some tea?" he asks, although panic soon sets in as he realizes that he may not be able to find his teapot. Sirius nods; too late.

Remus holds his breath as he peaks from around the coat rack into the kitchen, only to find that the teapot is there on the stove; it's right where he left it.

Remus smiles to himself, hanging his two jackets (one with bits of leaves protruding from the pockets, the other with a rather large hole hidden underneath the collar) on the wooden structure next to him and pulling Sirius inside. He shuts the door behind them with a resolute click.

Maybe, Remus thinks, still holding Sirius's hand as he walks into the kitchen, this is what I'm missing.

A/N: I wrote this for a challenge on livejournal; you had to use a pickup line as a prompt. The pickup line I chose was 'If I followed you home, would you keep me?" To me, this phrase fits Sirius so perfectly both because of his Animagus form and because he is simply cheesy.