Remus thought, It's cold out tonight.
Remus thought, I'm going to die.
He was - he could feel it. A deep, dark sensation in his bones that let him know; Yes, you are going to die. You belong to the night now.
And Remus felt it rip through him, he felt it yank at his body and puncture his lungs and make his heart beat irregularly. There was a howl, high and full of sorrow. The moon was bright and unblocked by clouds.
It hadn't been so much of an attack rather then an act of desperation. The wolf, it had to be a wolf - a large, black, dark thing - was sitting over him, it's eyes hollow and deep and sorrowful. It licked the top of his head and whined, then howled.
He felt a popping sensation in his lungs -- he was tired. There was no noise now - nothing could make it past the sound of rushing blood. He gasped and tried to stay alive, tried to fight the dark numbness, tried to live and breath and be.
But he was so tired.
He thought it fitting, for the most part, that what had fascinated him so much had been his undoing. The wolf was a solid, strong animal - and Remus had been entranced and jealous of its majestic grace. And now, he was dead.
Dying, his mind added, and there was a blackness tinting his vision. His body still fought to breath. Not dead yet.
Then - over the rushing, pounding, drowning sound of his last few gallons of blood coursing through and out of his body - Remus heard a voice. Then there was that fatal infra-black flash of light behind his eyelids, then nothing. Silence. Drowning. Cold.
It was a foggy warmth that he woke up in. It was most unexpected, and Remus almost let himself fall back asleep - let himself sink into that warmth.
A sudden, stabling, flash of white hot pain shot up his side, and Remus tried to scream - though it came out more like a squished moan.
"Good morning Moonshine. Don't try too move to much love, do us all a favor, eh?"
There was a stab at the back of his eyeballs when he tried to open them, but slowly color seeped back in. His vision was blurry for a moment, colors mixing together, slowly sliding into back into their proper places.
The first thing Remus noticed was a pair of eyes. They were a deep, dark blue - then a cold black nose, small white whiskers, and perky black ears.
Remus pulled back in surprise and tried to scream properly this time when white hot pain shot up his side. He must have blacked out for a second or two, because when he came back he found a man sitting next to him instead of a wolf.
Black shaggy hair hung over a pale white face. For a moment Remus thought that the black wolf had shifted - changed into that man - but hands moved him - cold long hands - closer to the mans' face and Remus knew he was wrong. His eyes were gray - not black, not white - but storm cloud gray. His hands were cold against the back of Remus' head - when did he get in this man's lap? - another hand snaking up and placing carefully against his forehead.
Remus felt hot, and breathing hurt, and this man - this wolf - was warm against him and Remus fell asleep, quickly and quietly.
When he woke once more, the sleek black wolf was sitting against his side. The wolf's fur was warm and thick and so soft - softer than any other fur Remus had ever felt. Remus found his fingers laced through the animals coat, his chest pressed against the wolf's side. The animal shifted, it's blue, blue eyes turning to look at Remus.
The wolf smelled of fire and earth.
Remus took a breath and moaned in pain, finally conscious enough to look around himself. The wolf next to him shifted and set it's head down again, whining softly.
He was in a small bedroom, the quilt over him a dark blue - the walls a lighter blue then the drapes. It was simple and wooden. Remus could smell the mountain air outside - could feel the cold breeze - telling him that there was a window open somewhere.
With an ear twitch, the wolf lifted it's head and looked toward the open doorway across from the bed. There was a steel lamp on the bedside table, and the door that let in the fresh air was made of cherry wood.
Footsteps - Remus could hear them, and so could the wolf (who's ears ticked with each foot fall) - shuffled around a few rooms down. Remus could feel a fine tremble run through the wolf - he knew the animal wanted to jump off the bed and run towards whoever was in the room a few feet away. But it stayed, trembling, and shuffled it's hind end toward Remus even more.
Sitting up was harder then he thought - Remus squashed a yelp, having it sound more like a squeak - resting on an elbow with his other hand still on the wolf. A fine sweat broke over his back, and for the first time Remus realized that he was naked.
"H-hello?" God that sounded pathetic. Remus' voice cracked with misuse and horse screams, his throat hurting. He tried again. "Hello?"
There was a pause in the footsteps, and a body peaked around the corner at the end of the hall.
See, he wasn't a wolf; Remus chided himself as the black haired man that he slightly remembered smiled and put a shoulder against the wall to lean on.
"'s good to see you up. I was getting worried." His voice was soft - it sounded so much smoother than Remus' own - a deep tumble. Remus felt the wolf's body tremble again, it's ears pointed toward the black haired man. Remus blushed under the gray gaze, pulling at the blanket weakly and falling into the wolf's body. The wolf only jumped a bit, but otherwise remained unmoving. With a few strides, the black haired man was stripping his jacket off and entered the room.
"I'm Sirius Black." He said carefully, and Remus felt the animal twitch. Sirius knelt so he was level with both Remus and the wolf. Carefully he placed a hand on the animal's head, and Remus felt the wolfs tail wag. A sigh went through the animal, and Sirius' smile widened. "And this is Padfoot. How you feeling Moony?"
Remus was tired, and his entire side hurt, and he sucked in a breath then stopped -- Moonwha?
"My name's-" Remus managed to wheeze before Sirius put a hand on his forehead, silencing him.
"Moony. We're - well, I'm calling you Moony. Padfoot doesn't call you anything - naturally - but he likes you quite a bit. He found you - the good boy he is." The last part was directed to the wolf. The animals tail thumped against Remus leg, who in turn was shocked with blinding, hot pain. Remus suddenly found himself healed by a pair of arms, the pain receding. Padfoot whined in pain, standing on the floor now - as large as a small horse.
Remus sucked in a breath and let it out slowly. Sirius' face was pale and close. "Careful Moony, careful. You're really hurt."
Yeah, I know, Remus thought, the air flowing out of him with a whoosh. Cold pain laced up his leg and sat in his side and stomach, beating with his heart. Remus' hand gripped onto Sirius' shirt, and he just tried to breath. How am I alive?
"You should sleep Moony." Sirius was laying him back down on the bed - the pillows smelled like rain and aftershave - and whether or not Remus agreed wasn't up to him, really. He fell asleep almost immediately, hearing a sigh, holding onto the soft fabric.
The next time Remus woke up he had warmth pressed against him on both sides. It was dark, the house - cabin...whatever had been shut and locked up tight. Remus was pretty sure that he had something on now, a shirt and shorts maybe...
The warm presence at his front was smaller, curled outward, it's back to Remus. Padfoot smelled more liked dog and dirt then anything else anymore, the hefty wolf's sides lifting and falling with every breath. Remus' hands were laced in it's fur, and when Remus stirred, the wolf picked it's head up slightly and turned just a little to see Remus' face. With a small lick, Padfoot laid it's head down again and let out a sigh, making the bedsprings bounce.
There was a arm wrapped under and around him, a hand on his hip. There was a nose - a mouth - placed against the back of his neck - a chest against his back. There was a leg slipped in between both of his. Remus was scared.
For a long time, there was silence. A tight knot wound itself into Remus' stomach. Remus' breath caught - he couldn't breath.
"Moony." A whisper on the nape of his neck, and Remus was pulled backwards - into his chest. There were mumbled word spoken into his hair, a hand pressed Remus' chest backwards, giving his warmth to Remus. Enveloping Remus in it.
"Sleep Moony." And he did.
A large part of his skin felt like it was missing - but there it was, under a huge lode of gauze and wrap. His side had started to heal already, but there was a bite mark...
A long and angry scar cut across his chest, from under his right nipple all the way across his abs toward his left hip bone. There were claw marks on his back - like something had grabbed and pulled - all along his left side. His leg was scratched up just as much, and Remus hurt.
It wasn't so much of a blinding white pain any more but a sharp stabbing pain every so often. Sirius had given him some white pills earlier, so now Remus could actually sit up. Padfoot had taken this movement as a good sign, jumping onto the bed and curling around Remus' right leg; laying halfway on him, his head placed carefully on Remus' lap.
The wolf was smart. Sirius told Remus that Padfoot was a wolf-mutt, and that Sirius had found poor Padfoot on his front step. Padfoot's mother, Sirius' continued, was the beautiful Alpha wolf that Remus had been looking for.
"She's the big white one." Sirius was saying, wrapping up Remus' bloody gauze and throwing it away. Padfoot, for his own part, was staring at the bite marks on Remus' chest, then looking up at Remus' face. The wolf looked sorry, and every so often - when Remus would place his tired hand on the animals head, his tail would wag happily and he would close his eyes for a little while. "Not sure who his Papa is though. Some black alpha I bet - some wolf with the dominant black fur. But he's got his Mamma's eyes."
Remus looked up slowly, watching Sirius break open fresh packages of gauze. The room smelled like antiseptic. Remus' voice was still horse, so it sounded like he had rocks in his throat when he spoke. "You've seen her?"
"Yes. She stops here every once in a while, to check on the ol' bear, I think. Padfoot n' her have met a few times, but I'm nervous about them staying together. Pads knows nothing about pack law...he might get hurt." Sirius held some disinfectant spray over Remus' chest and Remus took a deep breath, biting his lip when the spray hit his skin. It was cold, but Sirius hands were warm. Remus just kept his eyes closed as Sirius dressed his wounds.
He had been attacked by the rogue wolf that was forced from the main mountain's pack about a month ago. Fenrir, Sirius called him. He was the loser of a challenge for the pack's alpha position. Sirius told him that the pack had been starving Fen, so when Remus walked out - smelling of the forest and sandwiches, Fen snapped.
"Lucky for you we were out for a walk." He heard Sirius say, followed by few smacks against the flesh of a wolf. "Padfoot smelled the blood. Give me your leg."
Remus let his eyes slip open. Those painkillers were making his head feel groggy. Sirius was pushing his short leg up, and Remus watched. Padfoot moved his head and scooted up next to Remus - placing his large head against Remus' side.
"Why are you taking care of me?" Remus found himself saying, making Padfoot's ears perk. Padfoot had grown fond of him - he liked the sound of Remus' voice and loved to be near him. Padfoot barley left Remus' side, much to Sirius' amusement.
Sirius was very...well, Remus couldn't describe him. Careless. Vibrant. Free.
Sirius said he had lived in the forest for at least ten years. Said that he lived here with his uncle before his uncle decided that he would rather live in a smog infested city. Sirius kept this house and had taken in Padfoot, linking up to a satellite for cable TV and running a ground line for the internet - making everything modern. He had a generator out back, and he said he enjoyed the solitude.
Sirius' face was perfect. The planes of his nose and cheeks were high, attractively so. Sirius was tall - from the bed, anyway, though Remus had very long legs and thought that he could probably have a inch or two on him. His wrist were thin, his hands long. His hair was mostly perfect - often parted towards the sides to frame his face. Now, Remus had never been afraid to admit when someone - whatever sex they may be - was attractive; and Sirius had to be near the top of his list.
Sirius' laugh was rough, and colors that Remus knew weren't really there started to leak into his vision. "Well, I couldn't very well leave you there."
Remus grunted, feeling the sedatives leek in, and he felt Sirius reach over and brush Remus' sticky bangs from his face.
"Well, Pads, what do you think my little Freki? You like him?" Was the soft whisper some time later. Remus wasn't sure if he was still hearing right; there were distracting spots of random colors blinking behind his eyes. He felt Padfoot's head move and his tail wag, a soft 'yep' squeezing out between Pad's teeth. Sirius' laugh was dark, and Remus felt a stray finger tip brush against the inside of his leg.
"Yeah, I like him too."
When Remus could actually stand, the first thing he did was take a hot shower. Sirius' bathroom was small, his stall shower doors distorted with warped glass. Padfoot sat next to the toilet, staring at the large glass door, 'woof'ing every once in a while when Remus would talk to himself. That was a bad habit remush ad developed, and Padfoot had been the first to ever point it out.
He changed clothes - a long sleeved black shirt and a pair of red pajama pants with a checker pattern on them - that he'd found in one of Sirius' drawers. He then explored the rest of the house, Padfoot trailing behind him, sniffing. The smell of his master on his new best friend was confusing the wolf - who Remus no longer held any real fear towards.
Padfoot was an impressive animal. Sirius liked to call him Bear - and the name fit. Pad's sat with his head at Remus' hips and could easily be ridden by small children. Padfoot's eyes were wolf's eyes - but they were filled with kindness and, well, a sense of humanity that Remus hadn't seen in any other animal before. When Remus had first met the wolf, the pure fact that he was a wolf scared him. Remus knew wolves - he had devoted his entire life to studying the animals. So immediately he was scared of the big, black, huggable animal - with a reason, having been just recently attacked by an animal of the same cast. Needless to say that the incident in the woods was not the first time he had been bitten.
But now, Padfoot was his company. Sirius worked - Remus had yet to learn what he did - Tusday through Friday, and every other Saturday. Those days were quiet, and Remus found books to read and someone to walk with in the woods around the cabin.
Remus followed Padfoot, trusting the animals' nose and knowledge of the area lead them. Normally, Remus would bring a book to read, and Padfoot would lead them to the lake, or a clearing, or some nice field and would play for a bit while Remus sat and relaxed. After about an hour , Remus would stand; Padfoot would turn and stop what he was doing immediately, simply trotting back. They would walk back together in silence, and would relax for the rest of the day.
One of those days, Remus had called his mother to tell her where he was and what was going on, then changed in to his normally loose clothing. He was healing well, but his chest and side still hurt. His leg was better, and so was his back, but pants - all together - made him hurt. So they went off, Remus in a jacket and a pair of green sweatpants, Padfoot with a stick they found last week - he had grown fond of it.
That trip was the first time that Remus hurt himself. He tripped and fell, smacking against a tree, and he blacked out.
When he came around, Padfoot was curled around Remus, and it was getting dark. There was blood on Remus' pants, and the inside of his jacket was wet. Coughing, Remus sat up, and immediately Padfoot was licking his face and shifting into him.
They made it home carefully, Remus stopping every once in a while to lean against a tree - just to rest a moment. Padfoot would scout around him and then come back - sit - and wait. When Remus was ready, they would start again.
By the time they broke through the clearing, onto the dirt road Sirius' house sat on, Sirius' black truck was already parked in front of it. Worry strung up Remus' heart, knotting it, and he hurried toward the house.
Sirius wasn't inside. The door was still open.
Quickly, Remus turned to Padfoot and said "Go find Sirius." The wolf only hesitated a moment, waiting until he saw Remus sit carefully on the couch, before darting off with his nose against the ground.
A few moments later, maybe less then a few heart beats, there was a crash at the front door. Remus turned in time to see Sirius slide away from the door and dive over the couch.
He was enveloped in arms almost immediately, the warmth of Sirius body soothing. The feeling of Sirius' heart beating hard against Remus' chest - so hard Remus could feel it - made Remus' mouth go dry. Sirius' breathing was labored, harsh against his ears. Quickly, Sirius pulled back, his face flushed, his eyes scanning over Remus' body before their eyes met again.
"You alright?" It was breathy, and Remus hurt. His chest hurt, as if his heart was being crushed. He was choking on his own breath again, and he coughed - his body shaking.
"Yeah - yes...I-I'm alright..."
Padfoot whined, and Remus finally fainted.
He woke up in Sirius' arms again.
This time though, Padfoot wasn't up against his other side.
Remus' head was tucked under Sirius. Remus was laying on his back, one of his hands pulled into one of Sirius', his other laying carefully on his stomach. Sirius was curled up against his right side.
Sirius smelled like rain. He could smell sterile, hospital smells wafting off himself as well - antibacterial, sterilizing hospital smells - smells that made his head hurt and his nose sting. So he turned his head to snuggle in in the bend of Sirius neck and took a deep breath. He felt his chest compress again - but without the pangs of real, white pain attacking his senses as well; Remus realized that he rather liked this heart-crushing feeling.
He fell asleep to the sound of Sirius' breathing.
Sirius was seated next to him, buried deep in a coat, watching Remus. Remus was digging through his bag - Padfoot and Sirius had found it the day before, near the river where he was attacked. It was still intact, and it made Remus smile.
"This is my mother." Remus passed the picture over, and Sirius took it and examined it as well. Padfoot was sticking his head in between them, sniffing whatever passed between the two men. Sirius smiled at the petite woman in a white dress, noting how her hair color matched her son's.
"And this is my log book. Any wolf I've seen is in here." He stated, Pad's nose poking at the pages, and he turned to smile towards Sirius. "I think you could help me very much with my cataloging. I'm looking for that white wolf that you sai-"
Suddenly, Padfoot was nowhere near them. It was just Sirius, and Remus, and lips. Sirius suddenly had a hand against Remus' face, and Remus was staring - shocked- at Sirius' closed eyelids. Before it could really register Sirius pulled back, blowing out a thin stream of mixed air. His eyes were dark and moving, and - muffled by the pounding of Remus' heart in his ears - there was the sound of Padfoot howling.
"Of course, my dear Moony..." Sirius whispered, his hand still against his cheek. Then he smiled. "...my borwn-eyed Lupa..."
It took a moment for Remus to realize what Sirius said, and slowly a blush came to his face. Then -- weather there was an echo in Sirius' valley, or Remus was hearing things - but there was an answering howl in return.
Even so, Remus thought, closing his eyes and resting his head against' Sirius shoulder - just breathing. Snow started to fall; small, pure white flakes. ...this little pack is nice.