Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. The Harry Potter universe was created by JK Rowling and consequently belongs to her and her various publishers. I do not own anything remotely related to Dylan Thomas' poem Sometimes the sky's too bright either. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Note: Here is the second part of the fifth chapter. I hope it turned out good enough to be worth the long wait. Thanks to my excellent betas and my reviewers!


No stopping (II)

"Moony," Sirius says as softly as the falling snow and Remus opens his eyes. Even now with James having rumpled his robes as well as his pride, Sirius is too handsome for his own good and Remus wants to kiss icy-cold lips, a faint-pink temptation in Sirius' pale face, to assure himself that this is not just a midwinter's tale. Snowflakes are caught in Sirius' black eyelashes, making him blink.

It's curious how hard it is to find the right words, any words, when silence is so much simpler and terrifying in its allure. When he eventually finds his voice, Remus can't say more than "I'm sorry," and he doesn't even know what for.

"'s OK," is Sirius' mumbled reply and then it's Sirius who kisses him first, only a shadow of a kiss, and pulls him into a fierce hug. Remus' throat constricts and he is only seventeen and what else can he do but hug Sirius back, clutch his shoulders and hold him tight?

The snow swirls around them and Remus can hardly feel his fingers digging into the rough wool of Sirius' cloak. Sirius, whose breath is warm against his cheek and whose hand is entangled in his damp hair.

"What about James?" Remus asks after a while, when he is sure that his voice will obey.

"Forget about Potter for a minute."

Not daring to let go just yet, Remus holds on to his friend, glad not to be alone. "Can't," he whispers faintly.

"I know." And Sirius pulls away, a shadow of a grin on his wan face. "It's bloody cold though."

Remus smiles back and it hurts in the cold. "Yeah, it is."

A strange gleam in his deep grey eyes, Sirius asks, "Moony…I know I didn't really ask you before and that thing with James is a real mess but I can face it, I can, just…are we alright?"

Sirius' insecurity evokes a warm feeling in Remus' chest and it is strange to know that arrogant and aloof Sirius Black needs this one constant in his life more than Remus does. And so he answers, "Yes, Padfoot. We're alright," even if nothing else is.


Remus can remember a time when breakfast was a gloomier affair but this one is far from being comfortable and light-hearted. Sirius eats nothing, the spoon stirring his porridge magically but as listlessly as Sirius would himself. If the frown on James' forehead was any deeper it would hurt his brain. Peter, clueless and good-natured Peter, doesn't understand what's going on and looks hurt, doubtlessly because he feels left out once more. In contrast to yesterday, Remus wants to see him and James gone because he cannot bear James' contrite and Peter's reproachful faces any longer. It's almost Christmas, for Merlin's sake, and Remus wants to spend his last Christmas at Hogwarts without self-accusations and brooding, even though his parents are unwilling to lay aside their quarrels and at least two of his best friends are in a huff.

When he reaches for the butter, James opens his mouth but decides against breaking the silence. The spoon in Sirius' porridge clinks loudly against the bowl.


Even after the horseless carriages are out of sight, Remus keeps standing at the second floor window. For a brief moment he felt privileged that the horseless carriages are indeed still horseless for him but now he is back to being a teenage boy whose parents are at odds and who is left behind in a desolate castle with a just as desolate and lonely friend. Merlin knows where Sirius is, he disappeared shortly before James and Peter left for home and Remus hasn't seen him since.

Remus doesn't see any good in brooding in a cold corridor for much longer and so he goes down to the Great Hall, where Professor Flitwick is decorating the huge trees Hagrid carried inside.

"Can I assist you, professor?"

His Charms teacher gives him a beaming smile. "Certainly, Mr Lupin, certainly," he says in his squeaky voice.

And so Remus spends some time levitating fairies, candles and mistletoes.

"Very, good. Very good, Lupin. I have no doubt that you'll have no problems whatsoever with your Charms exam," the tiny professor says when they are almost finished.

Remus smiles. "Thank you, professor." It won't do him any good, of course. A werewolf who can charm icicles on Christmas trees is as unwanted as a werewolf with no magical skills at all. Flitwick seems to have read his mind.

"You'll make your way, lad."

Remus blushes slightly and nods.


Dinner is a splendid affair, it being Christmas after all. Hungrily, Remus loads his plate with potatoes and roast turkey and pools thick and dark gravy over it. He and Sirius are the only seventh year Gryffindors and Remus doesn't feel like talking to a third year, who smiles at him dreamily whenever he looks in her direction. So he sits alone and lets his eyes wander through the hall. Not many students have stayed at Hogwarts and Remus is very surprised to see Regulus Black sitting at the magically shrunk Slytherin table, chatting with one of his fifth year friends. Despite the excellent food and the festive decoration, it is nothing compared to any former Christmas Remus has experienced at Hogwarts. Dumbledore is gone, no doubt called to another emergency, and Remus misses his unique carols. Sirius doesn't show up and Remus is tempted to let him starve, the stubbornly moping bastard, but he packs some crumpets and two turkey sandwiches.

Back in Gryffindor Tower there is still no Sirius and so he searches their dormitory for the Marauder's Map and eventually finds it among James' Quidditch magazines. Remus is worried but also quite peeved by now. It's not his fault that James isn't excited about them and why does everything in Sirius' life border on melodrama? His anger disappears when he sees the little blotch that is Sirius in the Owlery. Daft idiot. James won't write so soon and he'll get pneumonia standing in the cold all day. But perhaps he was clever enough to use a Heating Charm.

It's two hours later that the door opens and Sirius stumbles into the room, looking positively frozen. No Heating Charm then.

Remus, who has occupied himself with revising Potions ingredients, says as casually as possible, "Have you been up there all day?"

Sirius' face goes blank. "What do you mean?" he asks just as casually. Remus sighs and gets up slowly, his legs a little numb from sitting in one position for hours. He looks at Sirius, who is all wintry cold, and wonders how he could ever miss Sirius' vulnerability when it comes to those he cares about. No, he didn't want to see then, he chides himself. James' voice echoes in his head. Skin and bones.

"It doesn't matter, forget it," Remus says evenly. "Just don't go there tomorrow, OK? And here, I brought you something to eat." Hunger flashes through Sirius' eyes as Remus points at the turkey sandwich on Sirius' bed. Seconds later Sirius is wolfing down the first sandwich.

"Pads," Remus says and Sirius looks at him almost pleadingly. He cannot drop it though. "I'm not happy about this either, yeah? It's just…you decided to stay here, so I want you to be here, right?"

Sirius looks taken aback by Remus' blunt request but he nods obediently before going back to devouring the sandwiches Remus brought him. Remus doesn't like seeing Sirius like that and heads to the bathroom. When he comes back, clad in his pyjama and feet cold from standing barefoot on the wooden floor too long, the curtains to Sirius' bed are closed. With a heavy, uneasy feeling in his stomach Remus goes to bed and falls into a deep, exhausted sleep.

He wakes in the middle of the night, when a trembling body crawls in beside him. "S-Sirius?" he mumbles, half-asleep.

"I don't want to sleep alone," Sirius says in a small voice that makes Remus' arms wrap around him automatically.

"Don't have to," slurs Remus, his head and eyelids heavy, and draws Sirius' cold body closer. He is asleep seconds later.


A heavy weight is draped around and all over Remus the next morning and it is making content little noises. Blinking in the sallow light between night and day, muffled by heavy curtains Sirius forgot to close behind him, Remus discovers that he could get used to this warm and cosy pile of boyish Siriusness in his bed.

He is a heavy bastard nonetheless.

"Geroff," he mutters and tries to disentangle himself from this black-haired, snuffling huddle.

"Ngha," makes Sirius and rolls aside, one arm still resting on Remus' stomach, looking as if he belongs.

Remus cannot suppress a soppy smile and reaches out to smooth an unruly strand of hair. Sirius turns his head just as his fingertips touch the heavy, black tress, and his bright grey eyes startle him.

"Morning," says Sirius and just like that, Remus has received the best Christmas present imaginable.

"Morning, Pads." They sound strange, these familiar words, strange because they share a bed and there is no safe distance. He blinks when Sirius' hand sneaks under his pyjama top, five sleep-dry fingers in search of skin. It's thrilling, this unwonted intimacy, and heat pools into decidedly less innocent places. Before he knows it, his hand mirrors Sirius' and he draws Sirius closer again, enjoying the feel of warm skin.

"Hmm," makes Sirius and moves in for a kiss. His tongue laps at his, sleep-stale breath sweetened by fresh desire, and Remus can't help but moan into his mouth. Sirius' hand wanders down and tugs on his pyjama bottoms, clumsy and impatient, and there is no stopping them now. It is too early to get up anyway.

They fall asleep a second time, naked, sweaty and sated, though Sirius fortunately remembers to cast a Cleaning charm.

This time, the sun shines all too bright on Remus' face when he wakes up. Sirius' lashes flutter against his neck, tickling on sensitive skin. His breathing isn't regular enough to belong to a sleeping Sirius.

"You should have woken me. It's Christmas and there will be presents."

Sirius mumbles something that could have been there is still time but also already got mine.

"Let's get up then," says Remus, trying to hide his blush.

He reaches for his pyjama bottoms when Sirius asks, "Moony, do you remember…well, do you remember the stuff I told you about my father?"

Remus freezes and turns to look at Sirius. "Yes, of course."

"Do you want to have sex?" Sirius blurts out. "I mean, with me."

"Right now?" asks Remus stupidly, utterly surprised but the turn of events.

Sirius grins. "No, you git. I mean, you know, at all." He sounds a little anxious and Remus understands because nobody before him has got this offer.

"Not before James owls back," replies Remus after a few seconds, trying to sound less excited at the prospect than he really is.

"What? What has Prongs got to do with it?"

"A lot actually. Look, Padfoot, I'd rather ask myself for years what it would be like than trying to forget what it felt like."

Sirius looks at him for a long moment and then nods. "I suppose you're right. I don't like it though. I hate being dependent on others, even if it's bloody James Potter."

"I know."

All of a sudden, Sirius jumps out of bed and pulls his pyjama back on. "Presents, Moony!" He exclaims at Remus' shocked expression.


There is no letter among their presents. Sirius shrugs it off but his eyes are bright with disappointment. Remus knows that James only takes the time he needs and does not torture them on purpose. He would love to talk to him now because James has a way to make complicated things easy and laugh problems off. Most likely, Sirius feels the same but they have only each other and neither of them has James' cheerful optimism.

"Wow, Moony!" Sirius holds up Remus' present – a miniature chess set – and is beaming at him. Sirius loves playing wizard chess though he is spectacularly bad at it. He lacks Peter's patience, James' capability of thorough planning and Remus' strategic mind. Remus loves playing with him nonetheless because Sirius does not falter to sacrifice important pieces and his random brilliance is always good for surprises. "It's a great present, thanks," says Sirius, his tone warm and affectionate.

"You're welcome." Remus unwraps Peter's present and finds a fine collection of various inks. From James he got a set of quills and a surprise packet from Zonko's, which rattles and ticks disquietingly.

"You can open mine, you know. It won't attack you," smirks Sirius.

Remus shows him two fingers before reaching for his gift.

It turns out to be a thick woollen scarf, nothing spectacularly original to the uninformed observer. Remus, however, knows the meaning of the soft crimson scarf at once. The previous winter, Sirius borrowed and lost Remus' favourite one and normally he would have bought him another scarf right away, laughing it off and teasing Remus for having to wear the scratchy school scarf. But he had been disinherited and owned nothing but the clothes he had worn the day he ran away from home and the things the Potters bought him afterwards. So Remus said nothing, went silent like he always does, and Sirius apparently forgot, not only the scarf but also that one does not betray a friend's secrets.

Remus' "thank you," comes out a little scratchily but he isn't a soppy girl and consequently he manages a wide and steadfast smile. The scarf is warm and familiar in his hands, the wool feeling very soft and expensive.


The next day comes and goes without a letter and it's getting to them both. They do not talk about it. Sirius is fidgety, full of pent-up energy. He isn't used to waiting and lapses into dark silences, interrupted by intervals of defiant cheerfulness. In the afternoon, he disappears for two hours and comes back with a bottle of Firewhiskey. They get drunk but not merrily.

On the third day, Remus' nerves are close to tearing.

"Hey, Padfoot, let's go outside for a while," he suggests after breakfast.

Sirius shakes his head and does not look over to the window.

"Fine, I'll go by myself then." Remus grabs his cloak and scarf (the new one) and almost runs outside. The day is cloudy and cold. There will be more snow. The lake is frozen and covered in white and Remus feels like breaking the surface, breaking something, anything. He doesn't, of course, because the lake will freeze over again and new snow will cover the edges. Halfway around the lake his feet are numb with cold and Remus decides to head back to the castle and persuade Sirius to a kitchen raid. In the distance, smoke is coming out of the chimney of Hagrid's hut.

When he reaches the seventh floor and walks around the corner he sees an unexpected picture. Right in front of the Fat Lady stand Sirius and the third year, who is wont to smile at Remus. Well, now she smiles shyly at Sirius, who – to Remus' surprise – isn't his usual aloof self and talks to her quite animatedly. Sirius sweeps his hair back and grins cockily and Remus sees her cheeks redden. But no, he refuses to be jealous of a third year and makes his way over to them. It's Sirius who sees him first.

"Ah, Moony, there you are," he says too cheerfully by far. The girl, however, blushes dramatically and flees in the other direction.

"Care to fill me in?" asks Remus, one eyebrow raised.

Sirius chuckles. "You jealous?"

Remus doesn't answer, only looks at him.

"Don't you worry, Moonykins, I'm quite fond of your cock," Sirius says, grinning and obviously enjoying to see Remus blushing. "But…I'm not the only one. Little Angelina fancies you and asked me about your preferences."

Remus groans. "No, she didn't! What did you say?" Sirius' grin widens. "No, don't tell me. I probably don't want to know. Just tell me whether she will run away every time our paths cross."

"Well, I can't guarantee for each and every time…" Sirius looks so very pleased with himself that Remus pokes him in the side. "Oy, I rescued you from uncomfortable silences and making most embarrassing excuses."

"Maybe," says Remus, the corners of his mouth quirking involuntarily upwards. "Are you up to a kitchen raid?"

Sirius only looks at him before he heads down the corridor. Smiling, Remus follows.

They fall asleep in Sirius' bed that night, their bellies filled with éclairs and chocolate cake, taking comfort in each other.


Remus wakes from Sirius snoring into his ear or at least he thinks that's the reason before he recognises the steady tapping sound for what it is. He ignores his body's inclination to snuggle closer to the sleep-warm boy next to him and rolls out of bed, blinking violently to banish his drowsiness.

He scuffles over to the window and, recognising James' Horus, hurries to let the bird in. His heart is beating fast in his chest and his palms are sweaty at the sight of the small parcel the owl carries. Flapping its wings, the bird hops inside, tilts its head and looks almost expectantly at Remus with huge round eyes as he closes the window behind it.

"Hush, let me get the message without waking Sirius," whispers Remus urgently. There is a letter on top of the parcel and Remus is relieved to find it addressed to him. Whatever the message, he is sure that he can handle it better than Sirius. With flying hands, he breaks the seal, and opens the letter.

Moony,

Enclosed is a belated Christmas present. I suppose you know what to do with this stuff. Use it well.

Prongs

P.S. Don't tell me how well you use it. Say hello to Padfoot and tell him that I ate all of mum's Christmas cake.

Curiously, Remus unwraps the parcel and opens the little box inside. He has to bite his lip hard to keep the laughter at bay. Resting on blue velvet, there is a small phial labelled as The Broom Polisher's Finest – Paramount Lubrication for Special Occasions.

Remus stares at the parcel and the letter and can't believe it. It's better than he expected as there are no apologies, no long-winded explanations and no awkward excuses. (Not that they are needed, they are Marauders after all.) Giddy with relief, he beams at Horus and the world in general and doesn't know what to do first. He sets down the parcel on the windowsill, lifts it up, puts it down again, and wrings his hands before letting the owl out. Horus hoots indignantly, as he is ushered out of the window.

"Sorry, don't have anything for you here. I'll make up for it," he says in a low voice, his thoughts with the sleeping boy only a few feet away. As soon as Horus is out, he grabs the parcel and almost jumps onto Sirius' bed.

"Whazza," mumbles Sirius and peeks at him through his fringe.

"Prongs. He wrote," says Remus breathlessly. His cheeks are glowing and for the first time he can look at Sirius without being scared.

Sirius' body stiffens and his eyes grow wide in an instance. "What? When? Let me see!"

Remus hands him the letter and the parcel. When Sirius finds the phial he lets out a bark of laughter. "Tosser," he mutters fondly and grins happily at Remus. "I'd have loved to see his face when he bought it." Remus chuckles. Placing box and letter carefully on his bed, Sirius says, "Let's go for a ride."

"What?" asks Remus, nonplussed.

"It's light out there. It's going to be a sunny day, so let's take a ride before breakfast. I feel like flying," babbles Sirius excitedly. His whole face is shining with excitement and happiness.

"Alright then."

Ten minutes later they soar through the biting winter morning air, round the towers of Hogwarts castle and through the extensive grounds. Remus doesn't feel his ears anymore and his stomach grumbles but whenever he looks over to Sirius, he feels it, too, and can only go faster. Until now he hasn't understood how much of a burden this uncertainty had been. Of course, James' letter cannot undo the argument or brush away all of Remus' fears. But Remus doesn't want to doubt anymore and he doesn't want to have this nagging fear that he cannot trust Sirius completely because how can he not love the boy who can do three loops in a row without falling off his broom even in midwinter?

"Woohoo," Sirius whoops and does a fourth loop. Remus feels light-headed by only watching him. It's not that he couldn't embrace the world right now but can't help craving a hearty breakfast first.

"Padfoot, as much fun as it is, I'm starving," he yells up against the wind.

Sirius looks down to him, his black hair shaggy from the wind, and blows him a kiss. "Can't have that," he grins widely, nose-diving towards him. It's a game they've been playing since second year and Remus stirs his broom aside at the last moment, trying to steal Sirius' scarf but failing miserably as Sirius whooshes by.

They play tag on the way to the Great Hall and Sirius cheerfully changes the colour of his brother's tie into Hufflepuff house colours. Red-cheeked and wind-tousled, Sirius never looked more gorgeous to Remus. As if he read his mind, Sirius looks up from his plate, bacon still on his fork, and gives Remus a dazzling smile, making his heart stop for a second.

"I like having this effect on you," he grins cockily.

"Big deal. You're having this effect on most people," counters Remus.

"But I don't care about most people," replies Sirius, his smile going a little softer on the edges. Remus looks down into his porridge.


As much as the last days dragged by this one goes by in a blur. Full of cheerful energy, Sirius rushes from one activity to another and Remus can only keep up with him, feeling elated and ridiculously happy himself. It's past five in the afternoon and completely dark when Remus admits his defeat and drops the last snowball. Sirius crows in triumph and tackles Remus to the ground.

"Oy, who's there?" booms a deep voice. Sirius lets go of Remus' writs and sits up slowly. A huge furry figure with a sooty lantern comes into view.

"It's only us, Hagrid," says Remus, breathless and hair wet from the snow.

Hagrid swings his lantern back and fro. "Yeh two look like Yetis. Why are yer still out here?"

"I guess we forgot the time," says Sirius, grinning happily.

Hagrid grunts. "Yeh had better head up ter the castle, yer two."

"Already going, Hagrid." Sirius pulls Remus up and knocks the snow off his cloak.

Hagrid chuckles. "Ah, ter be young." Remus smiles at him and waves before making his way back to Hogwarts. His feet are tingling with cold and snow is melting on his back where Sirius stuffed it under his robes but he is strangely reluctant to call it a day. They meet McGonagall on the marble staircase but apparently she is still in the Christmas spirit and doesn't say anything to their snow-soaked state. She restricts herself to a disapproving look over her square glasses.

"A kingdom for a hot shower!" exclaims Remus, as they enter their dormitory, and takes his heavy and wet cloak off. Sirius' hand on his shoulder makes him stop.

"A Drying Charm will do for now. We're late for dinner and I'm starving."

Remus shrugs, really wanting that shower but also very hungry himself. Sirius grins, "I'll make up for it. There are no ickle Gryffindor boys at Hogwarts. It's only us." Remus turns and eyes Sirius, whose grin widens and, good Merlin, licks his lips in a completely inappropriate manner for a boy who talks only about showers.

Remus nods jerky consent and searches his clammy clothes for his wand.


"See, everything's better with pork chops and treacle tart in one's belly," says Sirius, smiling contentedly like a milk-fed cat. Not that a cat would look content under a spray of steaming, hot water.

"It's a miracle that you can still move," teases Remus and splashes water into Sirius' face.

"You must talk," scoffs Sirius and pokes Remus' soap-lather covered belly. The subsequent wrestling match ends with Sirius pressed against the cold tiles.

"Pushy, aren't we?" he says nonchalantly, water dripping from his chin, but Remus feels his heart hammering in his chest. A drop of water clings to his lower lip and Remus leans in to lick it off. It is as though they have been dancing around this, precisely this, all day, ever since James' letter and the parcel arrived. Sirius sighs into the kiss, anxious tension melting away and changing into a different kind of tension as their hands start exploring, stroking, groping. Time flies by when Sirius nips his neck and rolls his hips in a wholly distracting way, when Remus can watch his cheeks redden and eyes grow dark with lust.

But today is special, he feels it, and it takes all of his willpower to draw away and say, "I think I'm clean enough now. Let's get back to the dorm before we shrivel up."

"That's far from being an option right now," Sirius replies hoarsely, his obvious desire making Remus grin. "Oh, stop grinning like that. You know I'll do anything if you do that," he adds.

"Anything?"

"Yeah. I'm afraid so," Sirius says and turns the water off before running his hands through his wet hair, sweeping it out of his face. He says it matter-of-factly and Remus has no doubt that he means it, a fact that gives him a secret thrill. Sirius' devotion to him still seems unfathomable at times but Remus can accept it now without questioning. For all their differences they are lucky to have each other. It's the way it is and watching Sirius rubbing the towel down his body is certainly one of the benefits of putting up with him. "What?" asks Sirius uneasily as he catches Remus staring.

"I'm just wondering how long it can take to rub that skinny body of yours dry," taunts Remus.

"Nice try, Lupin, but years of adoration by most witches at this school – Madam Pomfrey included – have fortified my innate narcissism. Besides, you're drooling," grins Sirius and wriggles his hips. Ten minutes and much touching later they both come to lie on Sirius' bed and Remus has lost all of his bravado. He wants so very much that it hurts but he finds it hard to articulate what needs to be said.

"Uhm."

Sirius' grey eyes are so very distracting, especially when they are filled with affection and darkened with desire as they are now. Tilting his head, he looks at Remus expectantly.

"I…the thing is. Well. I--"

"Shut up, Moony. I trust you. You can…you know, if you want to," Sirius says in a rush, cheeks pink with excitement or embarrassment or something else entirely, and presses the phial into Remus' cold hand. Remus props himself on his elbows and stares at the boy hovering over him.

"Oh," he makes, stunned into ineloquence, and he really wants to kick himself for being so inarticulate. This is something he has not expected, would not have expected in a hundred years. Whenever his fantasies went this far it had always been Sirius in control and seeing him handing it over without second thoughts, trusting and artless, is disarming to say the least. It is tempting, the thought of taking it, taking Sirius, but Remus wants this other experience too, wants it first. This is the part that makes it different from doing it with a girl and just this once he can do something different because he wants to, chooses to, and not because of a dark curse. Apart from that, Remus doubts that he has enough self-control to do the doing just now and Sirius' readiness to trust him with his virginity without even blinking is proof enough for…everything.

Sirius' voice cuts through his tumultuous thoughts. "Moony?"

Remus blinks. "No, I don't want…I want you to…"

"Bugger you?" says Sirius, luscious mouth drawn into a mischievous grin. "We're bloody pathetic. We've been talking and joking about this for ages and now we can't even say the words."

"Well, yeah, but it's just different when you're naked," protests Remus, laughing silently. For all their nervous teasing and babbling, he cannot stop touching Sirius' smooth skin, cooled down after the shower and feeling oh so good. Sirius wets his lips, full and dark against his light skin, and all Remus can do is lean forward and kiss him, sucking on his lower lip and grazing it with his teeth until Sirius kisses him back, deeply.

Sirius is breathless when he pulls away, one hand caressing Remus' cheek, the other lying possessively on his hip. "Are you sure?"

Remus wants to say many things, ranging from I trust you to I love you but somehow words do not seem to suffice and the only thing that comes out is, "Yes."

There is a moment of uncertainty and Sirius, looking uncharacteristically shy and younger than usual, doesn't seem to know how to go about this. Remus takes the chance to roll him over. And then they are snogging properly and Remus' hand finds its way to Sirius' arse and squeezes, eliciting a breathless gasp. A long-fingered hand around him, pulling slowly and skilfully, makes it Remus' turn to lose control over his breathing.

In the end it's better but strangely realer than Remus expected. Due to the unwonted position, Remus legs are cramping until he wraps them around Sirius, and yes, it hurts, despite the lube. It's a burning, stretching pain, an unfamiliar pressure that leaves Remus gasping for air and waiting tensely for the pain to subside, but it's not unbearable. He has closed his eyes until he feels Sirius' hand cupping his face. One single vein is standing out on Sirius' neck from the effort of holding still and giving Remus time to adjust.

"OK?" he asks, voice shaky. Remus nods, overwhelmed by their closeness and unsure whether this is something he will ever enjoy but then Sirius finally moves, slowly. "Oh," Sirius moans, eyes half-closed in ecstasy, and seeing him like this is definitely worth everything. A few more thrusts and the friction becomes less painful, more pleasurable. He doesn't mind when Sirius accelerates.

"Remus," breathes Sirius and leans closer. Their faces are only inches away and Remus can see tiny pearls of sweat on Sirius' forehead. So close but not close enough, the rhythmic motion preventing a proper kiss, and so it's more of a sharing of breath than a touching of their lips. Remus arches upwards, seeking more friction now, delicious heat building up inside him, incontrovertible and oh so good. He may have said that, he isn't sure, and he doesn't want it to end but there is no stopping now. Tumbling on the edge, he is almost falling and, groping blindly for a hold, he is tightening his grip on Sirius' back while speeding up his other hand, not knowing when he started touching himself; and then everything goes white and it doesn't stop, goes on and on, until he feels as though he spilt his entire soul.

Sirius is lying on top of him and they are both trembling in the aftermath of their release. The whole thing is rather prickly and sticky now but Remus feels ridiculously light-headed and blissed out.

He may regret it later, when he regains his composure and feels like it detracts from his dignity, but he loves Sirius and tells him so, silently and almost apologetically. Remus is being kissed then; a sweet and languorous kiss that tells him more than words. Wincing slightly when Sirius finally pulls away, he feels strangely disconnected and more than himself than before. They are both still the same, aren't they? But Sirius has changed, he is his now and nobody can take it away from him, the sudden softness of Sirius skin against his own and the warm and fuzzy feeling inside his chest. They are uncomfortably sticky though.

"Tergeo!" Sirius has apparently found his wand and spells them clean, his voice not more than a sleepy and contented grunt. Remus hears the clicking sound of his wand colliding with the floor before Sirius falls back onto the bed next to Remus and snuggles up to him.

"Padfoot?"

"Hmm?"

"We should do that again some time," he says with a lazy smile and feels Sirius chucking against his neck. Long, elegant fingers are playing with the hair behind Remus' ears.

"Suppose we could," Sirius mumbles into the crook of his neck. And in a more sombre voice, "Did it hurt badly?"

"Not badly." It isn't a lie. The aching emptiness is more confusing, as if he lost something that belonged. Sex is confusing, Remus finds. He can't wait to do it again. If only he wasn't so tired…


Remus wakes squinting, the morning sun warm on his face. They forgot to draw the curtains close again. What he took for a pillow is Sirius' chest and turning awkwardly he finds that Sirius is wide awake and has obviously been watching him.

"Did you know that you hum in your sleep? That's pretty weird, Moony. 's not proper talking or manly snoring." Sirius' smile is clearly cut into his face, the sun giving the illusion that he is shining from within. His head still rested on Sirius' chest, Remus feels his voice more than hearing it.

"Shut up. Too early for that," he complains. Their skin is warmed up from the sun shining brightly through the window. It's going to be a cold winter day. They could spend it inside.

"Have you noticed that the sky's bluer in winter?"

"No. Have you noticed that you're a royal pain in the arse in the morning?"

"I could leave you alone and go for a flight," suggests Sirius, the mirth in his eyes mocking the hurt tone of his voice. Remus lifting his head and tightening his grip in protest puts a rather daft smile on his face. Grinning, Remus nestles closer and wonders whether he has ever seen it there before. One of Sirius' hands is caressing his back with just the right touch of nails, eliciting comfy little noises from Remus' throat. The sunlight is back on his face, making him squint again. Maybe Sirius is right, he thinks, almost dozing off. The sky seems a little too bright.

In the end, it doesn't matter.

Sometimes the sky's too bright,
Or has too many clouds or birds,
And far away's too sharp a sun
To nourish thinking of him.
Why is my hand too blunt
To cut in front of me
My horrid images for me,
Of over-fruitful smiles,
The weightless touching of the lip
I wish to know
I cannot lift, but can,
The creature with the angel's face
Who tells me hurt,
And sees my body go
Down into misery?
No stopping. Put the smile
Where tears have come to dry.
The angel's hurt is left;
His telling burns.

Fin


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