So, another story from AOPT. My, I am a fickle authoress. But my remus/sirius muse came back from her prolonged sabbatical, demanding that I write for her. Gave me ideas and everything. Who could say no?


I'd rather ask your opinion, I think. I don't like going around you like this, but I can't talk to you anymore. It's like you can't hear me – and you try, you do try, but maybe it's just too soon.

But I never meant to lose you this quickly, after finally finding you after all these years. Maybe I got carried away, but you have to understand that it wasn't because I needed to leave. I wish you'd stop staying up all night and being gone by the morning. You're probably sleeping in a library somewhere, or a bookshop with a cup of coffee, watching the crowds like you always do.

I hate this. I hate wondering if you'll ever be here when I'm here, or awake. When we sometimes pass each other, I'll smile, and you'll seem to want to say something, and open your mouth, but I can't ever hear anything.

This is ridiculous, I try to tell you one night, and I think you hear me, because you turn around, but maybe it's just an echo to you. You say something in return and your voice is crackly like a far off radio. We catch the other's eye for a split second, but then the moment sputters and dies, because we still can't hear, even if we can see.

Maybe I should change for you. I could sleep days, talk nights, because I don't have anything pressing during the day. I could try to slow down to hear you, because maybe I'm too fast to catch your quiet calling. Or maybe you're not saying anything at all, and I'm trying to hear what isn't there. Maybe it's in the looks you give me, the desperate almost-speech glances that I can never quite interpret.

But I try one on you that night, and an expression almost akin to recognition passes through your face, and I think I love you.

Do I?

It's been nagging at me for far too long, even when I was sure I couldn't see you. We're on separate planes, you and I: slowly converging, but also drifting. If we don't both pull toward the other, we'll drift apart faster. You fade one day and grow stronger the next, and then I wonder, if I reached out, would there be something tangible under my fingers? I almost try one day, but drop my hand, afraid. What if you were nothing but air to my questing fingers? What if you felt it, and pulled away?

I refuse to make you sleep on the floor by taking the couch before you can say anything. You're deaf to my arguments by no fault of your own, but you can see clearly I've made a choice. Even if it's the wrong one.

Sometimes I wish we could compromise, and both take the bed. But that's a little too presumptuous. Even if I did, would you feel anything?

I resolve to find out one night, because talking isn't working and seeing only gets us so far. I need to feel, to smell, to taste. I wish you would let me know if you agreed, but I'll have to find out my own way, on your terms. Tonight. I can't go on wondering like this, if I'm going to admit to love.

You're downstairs in the kitchen with your customary cup of tea when I walk in, all awkwardness and deep breathing. Remus, I say. You look up, surprised. I thought you were asleep, Sirius, you reply. I'm sorry if I woke you up.

No, I tell you. You kept me up. Why can't we communicate?

We are, you say.

You know what I mean.

What do you want to say? you ask.

Anything. Everything. I want to ask you something. I wave my arms, hoping you understand in spite of weeks of being on different planes. But perhaps we haven't been so far apart, because you look like you want to say these words as much as I do.

Ask me, then, you say, I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable.

I don't know the right words anymore, I begin. We've gone too long without words, Remus. I couldn't see you sometimes, and sometimes you couldn't hear me. I need to make sure you're real, because you weren't, and now you are, but maybe you aren't and I don't really know.

I've felt similarly, you say. I take this as an opportunity to step forward while my heart pounds both low and high. I reach you far too soon, and for a second I don't know what to do. But you stand up and wrap your arms around me, and you are real.

I've missed you, you say. I nod, because words are failing me after too much disuse. I prefer to clutch you tighter, hold on for dear life, and let myself cry silently. I haven't let myself cry in years, and you know this. You know everything about me, as always. How could I have forgotten?

I could hold you like that longer, but moments can't last forever. When I've composed myself, I slowly let you go. I suddenly have things to say, things pushing against the inside of my head and the roof of my mouth. I love you. I love you.

Is that what you needed to say? you ask, but no, it was just the beginning. I haven't finished at all. No, I say, I haven't kissed you yet. And you smile, and tell me that you suspected as much, and it's suddenly easy to lean in and brush your lips with mine.