Morning filtered slowly through the whispy curtains, sunlight drifting lazily to eventually fall on the two occupants of the bed. All was motionless and still: London, or even the world, had not woken up yet.
As a cloud shifted in the sky, the rays of light which pierced the window pane became suddenly stronger, startling one of the sleeping statues into consciousness as golden light struck his face forcefully.
He moaned thickly and stirred, bringing a hand to his eyes even before the dark lashes flickered and finally opened, revealing two groggy but piercing eyes. He blinked, irises pulling the world about him into focus. He stared blankly at the grubby white ceiling, eyes dark and tired. Then, as if the sun had woven in through the clear air of the room, the entire form of his face lit up, and he looked round excitedly at the still slumbering figure, stretched out next to him.
Sirius smiled as he looked at his sleeping friend who lay peacefully beside him. He did just look beautiful. Sirius wasn't one for being overly soppy - everyone knew this by now: he shunned everything poofy, bar some things, of course - but there were some times when it struck him how... glorious Remus was. Not taking into account his wonderful spirit and person - which, while Sirius did his best to take the piss out of on a daily basis, did astound and humble him often - Remus was amazing.
Looking at him now, Sirius could barely recognise the tall, skinny, gangly boy he'd seen standing awkwardly on the platform, clutching his scruffy suitcase anxiously to his chest. Sometimes, when Remus had been forced out of another job, or if someone had gotten too close to knowing about his 'furry little problem', or there'd been another piece of news in wizarding circles regarding the nature of werewolves and the best ways to kill them... Sirius would catch a glimpse of young Lupin, pale and terrified, looking up at the world around him with huge golden eyes. Wondering how he was supposed to survive in it. The same way he looked up at the full moon.
It made Sirius' heart ache at how cruel the nameless masses could be to someone so wonderful. Sometimes he felt only he knew the true brilliance of Remus - the pure, unashamed light that encapsulated him all the time. It was the same way he'd felt at Hogwarts... no matter how close the Marauders were to one another, Sirius had always felt fiercely protective over the quietest member of the group. James was his best friend, of course, and they did everything together. But James didn't need provoking during quiet moments in the dormitory, didn't need cheering up in the midst of exam stress, didn't need comforting in the sterile coldness of the Hospital Wing, or holding when he cried out in pain as his limbs twisted and his body warped itself beyond his control.
James didn't need him, not like Remus did... and Sirius knew that he didn't need anyone - anything - like he needed Moony. He sometimes thought he could go without oxygen, as long as he had Remus to look up at him through his soft and sweeping fringe in mock annoyance.
Or had Remus to gaze down on during mornings such as this.
Lifting one finger, Sirius tenderly smoothed back the straw-coloured hair that had fallen into his lover's closed eyes. As he did so, he revealed the the spot on Remus' temple where the huge scar which ran at length across his face - across the bridge of his nose and dragging to an end under his left ear - emerged from his hairline. Sirius flinched despite himself, and drew back briefly. He remembered the night Remus had given himself that. And he knew all too well the reason why Remus' wolf had attempted to claw his own face off. The scar, along with the two other shorter ones, served as a constant reminder of his starring role in the affairs of that night: it stood out - red and ugly - against soft pale skin for years, and showed no sign of fading to the silvery hue of the other scars which adorned Remus' wiry body and face .
He looked again at the scar, and his stomach clenched as memories of the pain, the unbearable agony of guilt, self-loathing and utter shame which had followed resurfaced within his mind. Images dance across his vision of James' fierce snarling anger - grey eyes dark and cheeks coloured in his fury. Of Peter's total confusion, and the repeatedly squealed question: "But why?" Even of Lily's total disgust, her curled lip and appearance of nausea everytime she looked at him. The carpet pattern in the Dumbledore's office, which he spent so long staring fixedly at as lashings of righteous abuse and verbal punishment came crashing down upon his shoulders, delivered by those he respected but who suddenly had no respect for him.
But, most vividly of all, he feels again the sudden coldness, the Tundra-like freeze of yellow eyes which had once looked upon him with so much golden warmth and amused fire. The absolute revoke of all his former priviledges regarding intimacy and shared friendship. The absence of the twitching lip, the sparkling eyes, and the dimpled grin, all of which had previously been directed almost solely to him. The sound of someone he loved more than life crying into his pillow when he thought it was late enough and no one could hear him.
Sirius gasped at the strength of these memories, the pain they still hold. He looked down at his golden wolf and realised for what felt like the millionth time that he did not belong in the same orbit as him, let alone the same bed. He felt the familiar, mixing waves of unworthiness and gratitude well up within him. Yet, strangely, they swirled together - as they always do - into a tide of what can only be described as pure love.
Unsure of what to do momentarily, Sirius eventually dipped his head and - far more chastely than he usual cared to be that early in the morning - pressed a gentle kiss to the jagged, shining scar on the other man's shoulder. Remus smelt of sweat and sleep, and Sirius breathed in deeply before letting it go, a cool breeze dancing across Remus' skin, which caused him to stir and open his own bleary eyes to the world.
Sirius grinned, and tilted his head, feeling his hair fall and shift down his back, "Good morning."
"G'morning," Remus smiled groggily even as he struggled to wake up, eyes closing of their own accord again. "Oh, no..." He shifted closer to Sirius' warmth, snuggling down into the covers and wriggling his arse to work his way deeper into the bed in the same way he used to in the Hogwarts dormitory when double Potions was the bane of Monday mornings.
Remus nuzzled his face into Sirius' side, mashing his nose to the side in a way that the older man found highly comical. Finally, finding a position he was comfortable with, Remus clumsily wrapped his arms around Sirius and drew him closer. As his bare leg entwined itself with Sirius' under the cover, Remus whispered something that sounded suspiciously like "I love you". But, Sirius tells himself over and over again, it could really have been anything, considering the mangled words were spoken upon the very brink of sleep into solid flesh and not at all clear.
The darker man considered waking him up again, force him to say it again: clearly. He went back to stroking the soft hair once again, then - upon hearing Remus' breathing even and deepen, and his stirrings slow and then stop - decided against it.
He was far too content. Far more content than he deserved to be... but lying there, with his arms encircling his sleeping lover, whose rhymic breath tickled his torso and caused shivers to run up and down his spine, he found it very hard to care. For the first time in years, he knew once and for all that he was where he belonged. And he had been forgiven.