Sirius and James are skipping as they reach the van in the garage. Remus' mother doesn't stop giving him warnings about the car. Remus can do nothing but nod as Sirius and James are screaming out loud in a chant 'Drive, drive, drive the car, gently down the road', since they are so inexplicably loud that Remus can't even hear his parents.
"Yes… yes, I'll watch the gas," Remus shouted loudly to his parents, who are fussing continuously.
"Don't run into anything!" Remus' dad says sharply.
"Dad, what would I run into? A tree?" He asked reassuringly. "SHUT UP, YOU GUYS!" Remus yelled at Sirius and James, who immediately stoped and stiffened, still chuckling.
"We'll see you soon." Remus said as a final goodbye, nodding to his parents.
"Bye, Mr. and Mrs. Lupin!" Sirius called awkwardly. "Thanks for letting me stay!"
The Lupins nodded stiffly at Sirius. Remus steered his friends away towards the large van, which Sirius and James immediately started to invade. Remus sighs.
"Get in the front, Peter." He said tiredly to Peter, who climbs into the front and buckles his seatbelt.
Remus buckled himself in, turning around sternly to see James and Sirius chuckling around crazily in the back.
"Quiet, you guys!" Remus hissed.
James and Sirius played with the buckles. "Hey, Rem?"
"How do these beckle things work?" He asked carefully.
"You click the metal thing into the plastic thing," Remus said patiently, starting the car. "You get it?"
"Er… I think so. Yeah." Sirius answered back.
"START THE DRIVE, MOONY!" James yelled, digging in his suitcase, which was buried underneath his chair. He pulled out his extremely enormous and rainbow rimmed sunglasses, which he put on with a beaming smile. Very toothy. "WOOHOO!" He screamed, and Remus looked toward his parents, who were looking awkwardly and rather worriedly toward the car. Remus gave a half-hearted thumbs up toward them, before backing out of the garage.
It seemed like James and Sirius never got tired of being loud. It seemed like their voices never seemed to lose their spruce and their enthusiasm. How much can a person talk without ever getting a croaky voice?
He couldn't remember who – but somebody in the car – had asked to turn on the radio until Remus grew mad from their relentless bugging, and had turned on the radio. And now the two of them were back there, kneeling up in their chairs and ignoring the buckles, throwing kernels of popcorn around while both of them had on the awfully bold sunglasses and singing to the lyrics. Remus didn't even look back there anymore in fright of seeing grease stains on the floor – or worse – soda stains…
He shuddered even thinking about it.
Peter got tired a lot faster. Even though he had agreed to help Remus with the map deciphering, telling him instructions after looking at the roads on the map, but soon afterwards he was groaning about a stomachache and was relaxing in the passenger seat with the map slumped lifelessly in his lap. Remus was sure that he was simply pretending to sleep and pretending his stomachache because he was sick of reading maps and helping Remus. How could anyone truly sleep in such a ruckus?
Remus had a headache.
His mind was throbbing with the constant noise that never stopped and the loudness of the marauders in the back seat. His neck was constantly cracking as he was snapping his head back and forth from the map and the roads. Twice he had considered telling Sirius and James to 'shut the hell up' but he had stuffed cotton into his ears, which helped a tad.
It was growing dark way too soon.
It was past ten at night, the colorful headlights of the cars and streetlights interspersing into a small neon show glinting against the black sky, and everything was quiet.
Oooh, sweet Mother, it was finally quiet.
Remus closed his eyes in the relishing chirping of only the crickets…
But only for a minute.
He did have to concentrate on the road, after all.
Remus found a clearing to pull over in for a moment, just to turn back and perhaps ask for some help driving through the night. He didn't have his headache anymore, but he was tired. Very tired, and it was a chilling night, humid and moist but icy.
It was the first frosty dew of the summer. Remus turned the key in the car for a moment, the car groaning as it gently turned to sleep mode.
The werewolf climbed gently out into the dark abyss of the road, and went into the back to open up the trunk. He fiddled for his suitcase and unzipped it.
An owl chirped in the distance.
He pulled out his pajamas and his nightly bottle of water. Trying not to make too much sound, he carefully rezipped the bag and tiptoed back to the front driving position.
He closed the door shut again, thankful for the dark as he slipped off his shirt and his pants, getting ready to put on his pajamas in only his boxers.
Suddenly, Remus' hand slipped on a thread on his shirt and it pulled into a terrible ripping sound, making Remus yelp out loud and drop his shirt.
There was movement in the backseat and Remus' head snapped over, where Sirius was stirring.
"James…? Is that you?"
"Er – no. Go back to bed, Sirius."
"Am I in a car?" Sirius asked quizzically, and Remus worriedly tried to curl up in his seat to refrain from his almost-nakedness showing.
"Newcastle, Sirius." Remus told him, rolling his eyes.
"Oh. That's right."
There was a small silence, which Remus didn't want to break by rustling into his pajamas.
"Rem?" Sirius asked softly in the darkness, just being a shadowy figure moving slightly.
"Yeah?" Remus replied uncomfortably, starting to shiver.
"Can you join me in the back?" He whispered gently, a hint of hesitation in his voice.
Remus stared into the back. There were two sits that could be folded back, which Sirius and James were using, which weren't connected, and then in the very back there were three connected seats like a big couch. They probably could both fit on the big couch.
"Er, sure," Remus said. "Let me just… uh… change–"
"Change?" Sirius asked rather surprisingly. Remus could hear him gulp rather loudly. "Are – are you naked up there, Moony?"
"No!" Remus shouted indignantly.
"Then… then why can I see your scars from here?" Sirius asked smugly.
Remus made a face at Sirius. "Get back there." He hissed, and quickly slid on his pajama pants and his pajama shirt while Sirius sniggered and moved to the back. Remus joined him silently.
The couch-like seat seemed a lot smaller now that they were both squished back there in the dark.
Remus was lying uncomfortably on the very edge, when Sirius 'tsked' and pulled him closer, Remus stiffened.
"Why are you on the very edge?"
They shifted until they were both somewhat comfortable – as Sirius thought they were – even though Remus was completely tense and uneasy. Their heads were pressed side-to-side, Sirius' face in the crook of Remus' neck, and his hand on Remus' chest lightly. His warm breath kept on gently ghosting over Remus' shoulder, his jaw, his neck, and it made him shiver every time.
"Why did you ask me to sleep with you?" Remus asked gently, and all of a sudden his eyes snapped open at the two meanings of the statement.
"Er… in which sense?" Sirius asked awkwardly from the darkness.
"I-I mean – I mean like – just lying there. Next to a friend. So… laying with a friend. Laying next to a friend. And in our case in this small seat, laying on top of a friend." Remus said, trying to fix up the awkward statement hurriedly.
Sirius chuckled innocently. "Remus. You basically just said that you were getting laid."
Remus' teeth gritted together. "Dirty thoughts, you Sirius Black."
There was another silence. "But honestly… did you have a bad dream?" Remus asked softly, suddenly very aware of the hand that had wandered into Sirius' hair. He jerked it away quickly.
"Don't stop doing that." Sirius said quietly.
Remus' eyes widened. "What?"
"You were massaging my head. It was nice." Sirius said, and Remus let out a quiet 'oh' that Sirius didn't hear. Awkwardly he let his hand wander back up to Sirius' smooth silky hair, rubbing against his scalp.
"Mmm." Sirius said, closing his eyes. Remus couldn't help but feel so inept in this entire situation.
There was another silence.
"I didn't have a nightmare," Sirius finally said. "I… I just needed to hold onto something."
Remus could feel Sirius blush. The werewolf squirmed.
"Then… then why didn't you ask James? Or Peter?"
Sirius looked up, and then wiggled up so the two boy's noses were touching.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize you didn't want me here."
Remus grabbed onto his wrists firmly just in case Sirius wanted to leave.
"I don't mind. Not at all." Remus said tenderly.
He half expected Sirius to get up and leave, and halfway he expected him to just nuzzle his neck again.
Sirius sighed and did nuzzle his neck again.
"I guess I just feel more comfortable with you than James or Pete. I never go to James' bed in the night when I have a nightmare or I wanna hold someone. Well… I guess it's not someone. It's only you."
Sirius laughed harshly. "Listen to me. Being all stupid and sappy. I guess I just am in a cuddly mood, Remus. That's all."
"C-Cuddly?" Remus asked uneasily.
"Yeah." Sirius said, and snaked his hand farther along Remus' chest to his stomach… and then his waist… and then back to his stomach… and back to his waist.
Remus drew in his breath as Sirius nuzzled his nose in his shoulder blade and sighed contentedly. Remus' hand was still in Sirius' hair, and every time he stroked his scalp a bit, Sirius would go 'mmm' softly and lean into the touch. It made Remus close his eyes and actually hear a tiny voice in his head, which sounded like Sirius saying 'Remus…' gently.
He didn't know if Sirius was awake or not, but it seemed like an hour later when he simply leaned over and kissed Sirius' temple.
And this time he actually did hear Sirius saying "… Remus…".
Remus woke up to the chirping of birds and the gentle, soft breathing sounds of Sirius gusting against his neck –
Wait a minute, why was Sirius' breath on his neck in the first place?
Sucking in his own breath, Remus sat up in the seat, taking Sirius with him. He grunted and opened his eyes.
"Bloody Hell, Remus, what's wrong?"
"It's morning, Padfoot." Remus breathed. It was just then when he noticed Sirius' legs tangled in between his own. He tried to stand up, but then in their tangle of limbs Sirius came crashing to floor, tripping over his own feet, and dragging Remus with him.
The seat itself of the car was small and cramped, but the spot underneath the seat was bumpy and even more cramped, and Remus can't help but notice that there are popcorn kernels all around his hand and probably his feet too. Maybe his face too, except that he had just fallen on top of Sirius and Remus' cheek had just contacted with Sirius' lips.
"Woah – ow!" Sirius cried out, before pushing Remus off of him and trying to clamber back to his seat.
Remus touches his cheek. There is a softness at that one spot. It's a little wet, a little sticky, but mostly, it's just soft and tender. Softer and more tender than the rest of his body.
Remus passed his unused water bottle to Sirius.
"Dump it on James' face, Sirius. And make sure that some hits the floor, too. I noticed an awfully large soda stain back there on the carpet when… when I fell on you."
Sirius stood up and ducked his head, and moved over to Remus swiftly, smiling broadly.
"And Rem… you should know, I get sappy when it gets dark. Sorry about that… whole thing yesterday."
"That's okay, Padfoot. You didn't really do anything."
"Did it bother you?"
Remus doesn't know what Sirius is even referring too, or what might be bothering him, but he doesn't want to make a big deal out of Sirius' cuddly moods, so he simply shakes his head with a false grin.