So Much For Love
A/N: I wrote almost the whole last chapter for this story. I'm really surprised with how I see things ending, I didn't expect it at all when I wrote it, but it's fitting, so now I can't wait for you guys to read it, aha. The story is going to be twenty chapters, or should be, rather, but more on that next time. Chapter title, Volti Subito, it marks a part in the music when you have to turn the page quickly, turn a new leaf perhaps, change things abruptly, hmm? Well, we'll see. I apologize for the very, very apparent lack of Rem in much of this chapter, you'll see what I mean and hopefully understand why.
Chapter Eleven: Volti Subito
Remus wasn't paying attention to him and it was driving Sirius mad. No matter how many times he cleared his throat or coughed or sniffled or moaned. "How much longer is this going to take, Moony?" he asked, holding out the last syllable of the nickname until it was almost a whine. Remus didn't respond, just turned a page in his book and continued to write things down on his paper. Sirius sighed and buried his face in his arms.
They had been sitting there for what felt like hours, even though, in reality, it couldn't have been more than thirty minutes. Remus was sitting at the top of the bed, leaning against the headboard as he immersed himself in homework. Sirius, on the other hand, was using his Chemistry textbook as a pillow, taking up most of the bed as he lay on it, complaining about the situation. "Rem?" he asked, looking up at the other boy and doing his best to sound innocent. Remus didn't look at him but muttered something that sounded like a 'what' and which Sirius took as incentive to continue.
"Do you like homework more than you like me?"
"I hardly think I'm going to decide to elope with my Chemistry homework, so no."
"Oh, because it kind of seems like you would like to elope with it," Sirius said quietly, laying his head back down on his arms as they retreated back to silence. After a few more minutes of that Sirius took a deep breath and then exhaled, blowing his hair out of his eyes. Remus gave him an amused look and Sirius smiled because he had succeeded in getting his attention at least once.
"You know, you're the one that really needs to be working on this," Remus said softly. Even so he closed the book and set it to the side with a small sigh. "But we do still have a few days of holidays left so I suppose it wouldn't exactly hurt to take a break now would it?" The past week had gone by extraordinarily fast, although this was probably because Sirius wasn't sitting around, alone, in his room for the first time. Christmas had been uneventful as usual in the Black household.
The family was exceedingly religious, something that Sirius didn't buy all that much into. As such you might expect that Christmas was a big deal. But, no, Sirius' mother was firm in the fact that Christmas had nothing to do with celebration, it had to do with praying, and lots of it, at the dinner table. Naturally Sirius had just pretend to be talking to a higher power and exchanged bored glances with Remus the entire time and apologized profusely for it later. Remus wouldn't accept the apologies and eventually had to shut Sirius up himself, something that, admittedly, neither one of them minded much.
"It wouldn't hurt one bit!" Sirius exclaimed happily.
Remus just smiled for a minute, but then his expression changed to that of thoughtful and he suddenly jumped off the bed – literally – and practically ran to the doorway. "Hold on, I need to get something," he said, cheerfully, looking back at Sirius who just grinned back in dreamy surprise, watching as the smaller boy left his sight, yet never keeping his eyes off of the doorway.
The best part, about Remus, he had decided very recently had nothing to do with what Sirius usually liked about a person. Usually he liked people because they did certain things and didn't like them for doing other certain things. Plain and simple he liked them at the same time that he didn't. Everything was a love-hate relationship, because he never fully liked anyone or anything.
Not to say that he liked everything about Remus. Some of the things the boy did irritated him to no end. Such as his automatic view that homework should have precedence over everything else or how he was always chewing on the end of his pencil while he was thinking. No, Sirius didn't like everything about Remus. But the thing about Remus was that he made Sirius feel like none of that mattered. He made him admit that he didn't like everything about him, but he was the only person that made that not matter.
It was almost scary. The way they were both so easily accepting that fact. Sirius never voiced these feelings, but he suspected that Remus knew of them or something of the like. After all, they both knew the ferocity of Sirius' temper and were both well aware of the fact that he had yet to ever, truly, get mad at Remus. The thought of this somehow made Sirius smile as he lay there on his bed, waiting, the smile laced with some sort of odd feeling of longing.
Something else that scared him – he hated being away from Remus.
"Happy Christmas!" Remus was back, still happy, dropping something silver and shining in front of Sirius' face. It was a necklace, Sirius realized, and Remus was holding it by the top of its chain, so that Sirius could see the charm at the bottom, which was a simple, script letter 'C' that made Sirius stare at it in confusion. "It was my mum's," Remus added quietly, his voice less happy than before. "Here, let me put it on."
Of course, if it had been anyone else Sirius would have sputtered out some sort of disbelieving laugh, but because it was Remus he simply sat up and let the tawny-haired boy work at getting the necklace on him. It was almost amusing how Remus couldn't get the clasp to work exactly right and was flushing as he mumbled small obscenities under his breath the entire time. When irritated, it turned out, Remus' vocabulary expanded and became extremely vulgar. Finally he got the clasp to work and then just held the tiny charm in his palm, staring at it.
After a moment Sirius took his hand and gently held it. "Why did you give this to me?"
"It was…my mum's," Remus echoed his words before in the same quiet tone. Then he met Sirius' gaze and just sighed, looking away. "You know, my mom is really happy I'm going to school where I am now. She thinks it will really make things better for me. I – don't know if it will, but I pretend I feel the same way. We both have the same problem – our hearts. My dad says we're blessed because, strictly speaking, neither of us should even be alive. My mum…"
There was a long silence, neither one of them spoke or moved, Remus because he didn't want to say something and Sirius because he had lost and idea of what was right to say at the moment. "My mum is probably going to die soon and she knows it. He, my dad, he knows it too and so do I. The last time I saw her she gave this to me," he gestured with his free hand to the necklace. "I asked her why and she didn't answer me. But, if there's one thing I do know, I've been waiting for someone to give it to, and you're the only person that makes sense."
"But, why?" Sirius asked, again, this time asking for a different reason. He knew what he wanted Remus to say, he had realized it over the past week or so. He just wanted to know why him? Why had Remus chosen him out of everyone to open up to? All he was to everyone else was Sirius Black, infamous 'fuck you and fuck-up' who could hardly maintain a C-average, much less an actually relationship. And, if he remembered correctly, Remus had admitted to hearing things about him before and yet here he was, still. The only other person who even came close to this was James, but that was hardly the same.
"Because…you're really all I have left, Sirius. For some reason I can't stand the thought of losing you."
I love you. "I feel the same way, Rem," Sirius responded, dazed, planting a small kiss on Remus' forehead before they went back to the other Chemistry they were working on. But for some reason I can't tell you…not yet.
The weird part was that Sirius had seen this coming. The whole awkward shift, where no one knew what to say and time nearly stopped. He had felt that feeling before a few times, but never with anyone in his intermediate family. The cold feeling in the pit of his stomach as he realized what Regulus was realizing, as their eyes locked and he knew that they didn't have any connection at all, because they brothers in the sense of the basic word and nothing more.
The worse part was that Sirius had never figured Remus into the equation. For him it had simply been the gun and the victim. Somehow he had forgotten all about the bullet and how essential it was to everything. Because when you put the bullet and the gun together, only then, could you produce a victim. And, oh, had they been put together, in the piano room, such a spur of the moment thing that Sirius was almost disappointed that this was when Regulus had found out.
Remus had was playing something, practicing it, at a slower pace than he usually played, staring at the notes on the page as his fingers pressed the corresponding keys. Every time he had messed up he immediately stop and huff and start all over again. Needless to say Sirius found it thoroughly adorable and reminded Remus of this fact countless times until the other young man found it prudent to, albeit politely, tell him exactly which part of the afterlife he should go to.
It was that sudden burst of anger that caused Sirius to forget where they were and just start snogging him right then and there, even managing to push Remus off of the piano bench so that they were on the floor and right in plain sight of his brother who just so happened to walking down the hallway at that exact moment. For a minute Sirius hadn't even noticed until Remus, who had been responding quite eagerly up until that point, pushed him away.
"What the bloody hell are you – oh, fuck." None of them spoke, none of them moved, none of them looked away. Someone had pulled the plug on time and was taking there good old time on getting it up and running again. But the thing that surprised Sirius the most was that Regulus didn't run off to confront his mother and father, to tell them what dirty things he was getting up to in the piano room and, even worse, that it was with someone else of the male gender.
Instead Regulus, very slowly, turned around and walked away from the doorway without saying so much as a word. That would have been it, too, it hadn't been for Remus' insistence that he really needed to go talk to his brother, now, and his resistance to anything even borderline sexual. So now Sirius found himself standing in front of the closed door that led into Regulus' room, staring at the door and not knowing what to do. He could just walk around for a bit, convince Remus he had talked to his brother and then commence a nice snog-fest behind closed – and perhaps locked – doors. But he would regret that in the long run, Remus would find out, and that wouldn't end well.
So he knocked, very lightly and very briefly and then stood there waiting for a response. At first he expected there wasn't going to be one, and that maybe he could convince Remus that Regulus wouldn't talk to him and there was really nothing he could do about that, now was there? But then the door opened and Regulus was standing there, looking at him like he always did, but in a completely fake way.
"Hi," Sirius said shortly.
"Hi." The response was almost shaky, Sirius noticed, like his brother wasn't sure how to talk to him now. But Sirius ignored this and pushed past him into a room he hadn't been in for years. And he nearly did a double-take. Everything in the room was almost perfectly, exquisitely, just like his own in its own way. The bed was different, but in the same place relative to his own room, the comforter was a different print but it was folded down just like he always had it. The thing that struck him most was the posters. Three of them, in the exact same places that they were in Sirius' room. Not the same ones, but they were there for the same intended reason everything else in the room was.
Regulus, for a reason Sirius could not understand, had deliberately tried to make his room exactly like his older brothers.
"How…?" Sirius asked, turning around to face Regulus, whose face was flushed red.
"I – I…look, what are you hear to talk to me about?" Regulus snapped, his embarrassment easily careening off track and turning into unbridled anger. "God knows you wouldn't be in my room for any other reason than the fact that I just caught you and him doing…that. So spit it out and tell me off, tell me not to tell mother and father and to keep my mouth shut, because I know you're going to!"
Sirius was completely taken aback by the sudden show of emotion. They had rules to their relationship, they always had. One of them had seemed to be that they kept their emotions to a minimum, because neither brother liked to be vulnerable around the other, but that rule had obviously just been broken and Sirius wasn't sure what to do at this point because he had never talked to Regulus like this, not once in his entire lifetime. The only time they had been relatively close was when they were children, too young to really, truly talk to one another.
"That's not what I came here to say," he said weakly.
"Oh?" Regulus said, still looking angry, although his voice sounded less sure than he would have hoped.
"I mean, yeah, Reg, please don't tell mother and father and all that, but, I just wanted to make sure you didn't, I dunno, hate me now or something," Sirius admitted, keeping his eyes on the ground the entire time. He even had the same rug that Sirius did, covering up most of the wooden floor, the same oriental print on it and everything.
"Hate you?" Regulus said the words as if they were almost foreign to him which caused Sirius to look up at him, finally, and see that his brother looked almost happy at those words. "You mean you were worried that I might hate you?" He sounded excited at the thought. Sirius couldn't imagine why, but felt terrible knowing he had just lied. He hadn't worried at all about what Regulus thought of him, just what his parents would say when they found out from him what was going on.
"Well…well, yeah," Sirius deliberately lied.
"I don't hate you, Sirius, you're my brother," Regulus said. "It's like with you and father, he doesn't hate you and you don't hate him, but you tolerate each other, right?"
That hit Sirius hard, being reminded that his father tolerated him. His father didn't love him; he tolerated him, which was completely messed up. Your family was supposed to care about you, want to be around you, not just tolerate your presence because you just so happen to live in the same house. Come to think of it, if Sirius' family had even cared in the least about what the eldest son was getting up to then what would have happened? Would he and Regulus have some heartfelt talk about what was going on? Would his father be disappointed and yet support him? Would his mother simply take notice of what was going on?
Would any of them acknowledge that he was a living, breathing part of their family, rather than a minor inconvenience they had to stomach for about eighteen years?
"Right," Sirius choked out, finally, his eyes once again drifting around the room. "Why did you do this?" He knew it had to be on purpose, it wasn't just a coincidence that their rooms were nearly identical in looks, and there was some sort of reason behind it all. The only thing he couldn't understand was that Regulus never came in his room, so how would he even begin to know how to mirror everything in Sirius' room?
"Well," Regulus said with a weak laugh as he walked away from the door, and sat on the edge of the bed, "as stupid as it sounds, I thought maybe it would make us closer or something."
"Having your room like mine makes us closer?" Sirius asked, skeptically, leaning against the wall.
"It's something, isn't it?" Regulus said, catching his older brother's eyes. They stayed like that for a long moment, eyes locked, until Sirius tore his gaze away and returned it to the rug. "I mean, honestly, are we even brothers Sirius? Are we really?" Sirius just kept looking at the rug, pretending he couldn't hear his brother. "Biologically, of course, we are, everyone always says I look like you, only you're more handsome, they always add." The last few words could easily be mistaken for 'hate.' "But, Sirius, we're not brothers…not really."
Sirius still didn't respond, just leaned firmly against the wall, his arms crossed, eyes boring into the floor, trying to meld into the wallpaper somehow so he didn't have to face the accusations. Yes, we are, he wanted to yell back, we are brothers, we always will be, but you and I will never be friends. For some reason he held back though, bit his tongue to avoid lashing out and just kept his eyes averted, even as Regulus continued to berate him.
"And the thing is, Sirius, it's all your fault, it really is, because you don't pay any attention to me, ever," Regulus spat, the venom of his words so striking that Sirius was forced to look at him. Only to find that Regulus didn't look angry, he looked overwhelmingly sad. "We talk, maybe, once a month, and it's the same conversation every single time. You never want to come here because you don't want to see mother and father any more than you absolutely have to. What about me, Sirius? I don't like being here either, but I don't have anyone else."
"You have to have…someone," Sirius managed, taking a few steps towards the bed, almost embarrassed for his younger brother who looked near to tears at this point.
"Just because you have someone doesn't mean everyone else does," Regulus replied. "Did you ever even wonder why I keep asking you? I mean…if I honestly didn't care about it I would have stopped doing that after a while. But I ask you every month, because I hate being here with them. It's even more lonely than school, Sirius." Regulus buried his face in the palms of his hands, not wanting to look at his brother.
Then, without even thinking, Sirius sat down next to him on the bed and put a hand on his brother's shoulder, which was possibly the only physical contact that had really had in years. "Regulus, I'm…sorry. I didn't know," he offered quietly, as he listened to the small sobs that escaped his brother's mouth. He remembered Remus, then, telling him that they ought to act more civil towards one another.
Just to let each other know you care.
"I don't need friends, you know," Regulus said softly, finally looking up at Sirius. "But I kind of…I need a brother."
"Regulus, you stupid queer," Sirius said with a grin, "you have a brother."
To his surprise Regulus had the strength the push him off the bed and they both broke out into laughter. It wasn't real, nothing was really funny, but it was genuine, something they needed to do. "Speaking of queers," Regulus managed to say in his usual voice, almost like they were returning to how it had always been. "You and the new kid, huh? I really wasn't expecting that."
"I don't think anyone was," Sirius admitted with a small shrug, sitting up.
"So…do you love him?"
The question caught Sirius completely off guard and he just stared at his brother incredulously for a frozen minute. "I – I…that's completely not something that I need to…not that I don't, it's just that that's something I need to…to…think about," he managed to string the words together unconvincingly, the statements sounding false even to himself.
"I'll take that as a yes," Regulus said thoughtfully. "Going to go back to him now, then?"
"I guess," Sirius said as he stood up. "You want to come hang out with us or something?"
"You guys don't want me there," Regulus said with a small smile.
"Of course we do," Sirius responded.
Event though they both knew that wasn't true, they pretended it was. There was a small shift in the universe, insignificant to almost everyone, but life changing for the two brothers as they left Regulus' room together to go and meet up with Remus. Sirius realized that he had never really paid much attention to his brother, he had simply seen him as competition, someone his parents always compared him to. Regulus was like a pest in his life that he pretended wasn't there. Who knew how many times Regulus had been in his room and Sirius had just ignored him?
It was odd, to say the least, that they found each other together now, something the two brothers very rarely experienced, especially for extended lengths of time. It almost felt wrong and awkward and sometimes Sirius felt like they were going to revert back to before in an instant, without any warning. Yet, somehow, Sirius saw this as the beginning of something else, something that never would have been possible if it wasn't for the boy he was slowly falling in love with.
A/N: My writing style changed. Fuck. Once again sorry for the lack of Rem. Anyhow. Recently I realized why I, dare I say, write Sirius rather well. It's because, dun dun dun, I pretty much am Sirius Black. No kidding, I'm him in female form, and I even have his family as well. The only real difference between me and him is that I know a bit about music. How weird is that. Sorry this took longer than usual to write, I really don't know why that happened, this story is usually the easiest one for me to write. Ah well, since I took the time to write this for you, take the time to leave a review? (: