Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Remus' face was eclipsed in the steadily darkening shadows that were plunging his musty office into a gloomy cavern. He brushed by his desk to light a candle but the thought slipped his find as he haphazardly attempted to shuffle multiple papers into a somewhat organized pile. With a sigh, Remus rubbed at his temples and slumped down into his chair.
Perhaps the work he was doing was too much for a werewolf. Remus was tired and exhausted and the premature gray flecks in his hair were enough to prove that. Being a Professor was more than Remus could handle at the moment.
Languidly and distractedly, the werewolf marked a messy essay with an O.
Remus sighed again, laying his head on his desk. Perhaps this entire mess would be easier if Remus had a friend to confide in and be comforted from. The closet thing to a friend at the moment he had was Harry, and all that did was remind him of James who reminded him of Sirius.
Remus lazily perked up his head a fraction of an inch and rested his chin on his elbow to stare contemplatively out the window. He wondered where the man was, what his plans were and especially if he was thinking about Remus as much as Remus was about Sirius. Remus wanted to consider him a friend, but he didn't know what he could call their relationship these days anymore.
Remus shut his eyes, nestling his face into the crook of his arm for softness. The last swirling thoughts of his brain grew hazy before they finally disappeared into the portion of his mind where problems rested for the moment.
He was wide awake, however, when a piercing crash of glass pulled Remus from his slumber. He was alert and scanning the area similar to a wolf's protective instincts for the cause of the noise, slipping away from his desk chair and drawing his wand.
A dark figure was climbing into the classroom, cautious to avoid the spiky glass shards still sticking up unsteadily from the window frame. Remus wanted to light his wand to identify the intruder but was concerned with the fact that once his wand was used for light he couldn't use it for disarming and possibly stunning. He cursed himself for not lighting that candle earlier.
For a split second as the sunken form stepped away from the window, a ray of moonlight splayed over the intruder's face. Remus stifled his gasp and it died sharply on his tongue. No, it couldn't be.
"I saw you falling asleep earlier," the intruder croaked groggily, "on the desk. You'll get a crook in your neck, Remus."
Remus didn't lower his wand. Despite the fact that his hand was shaking and that his fingers were practically having a seizure of tremor, his sweaty palm was still encircled around his wand.
"You know, a wand pointed at your chest is never really the warmest welcome, Moony."
Moony. Remus knew that nickname. And he knew that there was only one other person who was still alive who was aware of it, too.
He should've stunned Sirius. He should've called Dumbledore. He should've asked something cold and bitter like What the hell are you doing here, Black? or perhaps even blame an accusation on the man, like Murdered James, Lily, and Peter, so you're here to finish the job, eh?
Instead, Remus cautiously lowered his wand away from chest level and held it firmly at his waist, still ready for attack but unable to detect in the shadows.
"You broke my window," Remus murmured accusingly. He had tried to sound bitter and short-tempered, but it was much more soft and gentle, as though coming from a broken man
"I'm sorry." Sirius said tenderly, taking a tentative step forward, "this is probably a stupid question, but… did you miss me?"
Remus swallowed around the dry lump in his throat, "Reparo," he commanded at the window, which promptly fixed itself back together. "did… did I miss you?"
"Yeah," Sirius said quietly. Remus was surprised when he didn't hear an impish and sarcastic comment, slightly childish, follow afterwards. He felt the sudden urge to rush to Sirius' side and take his hand to fill the empty, hollow void in his life for the last thirteen years.
"Yes. Yes, I did." The tawny-haired man admitted. "How could I not?"
Through the shadows, Remus could hear Sirius moving closer with a relieved sigh, moving to hug the man, when the werewolf caught a strong whiff of Sirius' odor. He took a step back.
"Thanks," Sirius said dryly, "because I didn't know."
Remus smiled apologetically despite the fact that Sirius couldn't see him through the dark.
"There's a shower in my room."
Sirius sighed, "I didn't come for the hygiene, Moony."
"No hug until you take a shower."
There was a silence, Remus wondering if Sirius had silently sneaked off to the bathroom or if the man was still in front of him.
"What about a kiss?" Sirius ventured huskily, a hopeful and familiarly seductive tone to the edge of his voice.
Remus gulped. He hadn't heard that voice, suggestive and urgent, in over thirteen years. He thought that Sirius was done with him. That long-distant relationships were hard enough to keep, but going to prison was hardly a long-distant relationship. Remus wanted to chastise Sirius for not writing, for never visiting, for ruining their relationship. But all of those reprimands died on his tongue. Sirius had a perfectly viable excuse. But he had no idea that when Sirius would leave Azkaban that he wanted to pick things up were they left them just as though he had never abandoned Remus in the first place.
Usual Sirius, someone who would never start something without finishing it.
Nothing had changed since school.
Remus gave a small smile, trickling onto his lips. "We'll see after the shower."
And Sirius let out another relieved sigh.
When the black-haired boy had returned mere minutes later from the bathroom, his hair damp and pooling around his shoulders, looking almost exactly as he had years ago. Remus frowned slightly when the man approached him, a towel wrapped around his waist. He threaded his scarred fingers through Sirius' sopping strands of hair, furrowing his eyebrows together.
Remus worried his bottom lip, "Ohh, I feel like we should cut your hair." He pressed.
Sirius shook his head, "Nuh-uh. You promised me something first."
"Right." Remus' breath was lost in his throat as he was gathered in those familiar arms, shaking as they drew themselves around Remus' waist. The werewolf could feel Sirius' lips trembling against his skin on his shoulder, nearly crushing his ribs to powder.
Remus pulled back an unnoticeable amount, exhaling a puff of warm air on Sirius' ear as he cupped Sirius' face and drew back so their eyes met.
"I've missed you." the Animagus murmured breathlessly.
"You better have."
Their lips had barely ghosted over each other when there was a polite knock on the door. Sirius' eyes zapped up to Remus' alert and frightened. Their bodies were still pressed against each other, but all of that warmth vanished the moment Remus ripped himself away and cocked his head towards the window.
"You need to leave." He whispered, giving a firm and demanding glare over to Sirius. Sirius swayed on the spot, wavering the decision of either following Remus' orders or staying in place and just ducking underneath the desk for a hiding place.
"Lupin, are you in there?"
"It's Snape," Remus hissed to Sirius, "he has my potion for tomorrow's full moon. Go!"
Finally, Sirius listened. He yet again broke the glass of one of the windows and scrambled out. After Remus gave a second glance to the glass he couldn't even see the disappearing shadow of his friend.
The moon had not even showed itself in the steadily darkening sky as Remus attempting to finish grading the papers he had abandoned last night. Except that his mind was still somewhere else and not on the essays. This time he was chastising himself on letting Sirius go – not telling him to hide – telling him to waste his time with a shower when they could have talked – or, if Sirius' body language wasn't lying – let their bodies reacquaint each other.
This time, Sirius rapped softly on the window. Remus jumped, again holding his wand at the ready. He sighed, putting down his wand, when he identified the foolishly grinning visitor.
Remus walked over to open the window, letting Sirius scramble in.
"We need to get you new clothes."
"I'm not worrying about that right now, Moony," he smiled a hello to Remus, "did Snivellus suspect anything?"
Remus grinned fondly at the old nickname, shaking his head, "No. He didn't even come in, he just gave me my goblet."
"Tonight's full moon," the smile was wiped immediately off of Sirius' face. He cast a worried glance to the werewolf before automatically reaching out to grab his hand and stroke his palm. "How… how were the moons?"
Remus grinned, "You have changed," he chuckled, "last night I thought you hadn't, but you've softened. You've been in prison for thirteen years with dementors as your only company and you're asking about my lycanthropy?"
"Don't act like it's unimportant, Remus."
The werewolf still smiled at Sirius' concern, "They were… fine. They were rough at first, but after the first year I was fine again. At least as fine as full moons can be for a werewolf."
Sirius gravely brushed a strand of tawny hair behind Remus' ear, "I've left you for too long. I'm sorry."
"Stop apologizing," Remus said, "now are you going to kiss me and finish what you started last night?"
Sirius smiled, "Actually, it started fourth year in Hogwarts. But you know I don't start anything I can't finish."
They were centimeters apart from Sirius tore himself away, biting his lower lip timidly. Remus wanted to groan. He felt like a who had been promised candy, and just when the child had unwrapped the lollipop and he stuck out his tongue and closed his eyes for the sweetness, it vanished.
"What's wrong, Padfoot?"
"Before we do this, I need you to know something."
"What is it?"
Sirius closed his eyes, "I cheated." He mumbled.
Remus had a thousand thoughts slip through his mind. In school Sirius was the reputable Casanova, gorgeous and open. Remus hoped that he hadn't cheated in Azkaban. Who else was available besides insane and shrieking criminals?
"Oh god. Please don't tell me it was a dementor."
"No, no, I didn't even mean it like that!" Sirius dismissed hastily, "In fourth year, right before we started going on, Professor Binns class. I had been up all night playing Exploding Snap with James so I didn't study for the quiz the next day. I sat behind you so I could cheat off of you."
Remus smiled softly, "And I let you cheat. So you would sit behind me," he laughed, "now, is there anything else you want to get off your chest before we continue?"
Sirius looked worriedly at the weathered man in front of him, "When I came here yesterday. You didn't even ask me about Azkaban and James and Lily and Peter – and the betraying and the lies – aren't… aren't you curious? Don't you want to know what happened?"
Remus looked at the floor, "No," he said truthfully, "as long as I know that you're not responsible for this, I don't want to. I'm not the one who needs to hear it."
Sirius sighed, "I know."
"Harry thinks that you're insane. He wants to kill you, Sirius. I think he knows that you're his godfather, even."
The black-haired man shuffled his feet uneasily, "I can understand where he's coming from."
Remus let his hands play in Sirius' hair, gentle to the touch again due to yesterday's shower, "You need another shower. I don't think all of the dirt you've accumulated will come off after a few. Like house payments."
Sirius laughed, "I'll take a shower. But only if you take one with me."
The werewolf gulped again, except that this time he had no trepidation as he wrapped his arms around the other man's neck and pressed their mouths together in a long-delayed kiss.
Sirius left as soon as the moon peered out from the clouds. He gave Remus a goodbye kiss and a hug before he climbed through the window again.
The next day, Remus didn't expect Sirius to return. The man had come to rekindle his relationship with the werewolf, and that he had done. He had come to make sure that Remus had faith in him and that Remus trusted him. That he had done.
What was left?
But this time, Remus wanted him to come. He still didn't get his papers graded. His mind was still wrapped up in the warp of what had happened in the last two days. He kept expecting to wake up from this ridiculous hallucination. It felt too real to be a dream but it also felt too good to be a hallucination.
Sirius knocked on the window two minutes to midnight. Remus was shocked to see him, but didn't raise his wand at the ready anymore. With a sigh, Remus got up from the desk and opened the window again.
"There has to be something better than this." He said determinedly.
"What are you talking about?"
"This – this sneaking in and out from windows. This escaping Azkaban. This fucked up relationship of ours that I don't deserve."
"Moony," Sirius began tenderly, shaking his head, "I want it to be easier too. But… there isn't something better than this. But c'mon. The Marauders have always gotten through everything. We deserve a good relationship as much as anybody else. And probably more, seeing that we've spent thirteen years apart with no letters."
"I don't want to open the window every night and be paranoid that the Ministry is right behind you, ready to arrest me too."
"I'm sorry." Sirius apologized.
"Do you still love me like you said you did in sixth year?" Remus questioned, swallowing his dignity and mustering up his pride.
Sirius was taken aback by the question. He straightened, blinking. "Do I still love you?"
"Yeah." Remus found this reminiscent of two days ago when Sirius asked if Remus still missed him.
"How could I not?"
The tawny-haired man grinned. He grinned like he hadn't smiled in thirteen years when Sirius put him on this giddy, natural high every time he touched him. It was the same sizzle of skin when they touched.
"I love you too," Remus said, intertwining their fingers, "but this won't work unless we got your name cleared."
"I know that."
"There just… there has to be something better than this." Remus sunk to his office couch, clutching a pillow with a firm and almost needy embrace.
Sirius rapidly joined him, "I'm sorry that I'm making it this hard."
There was a small silence where Remus rested his head against the black-haired man's shoulder quietly.
"I always thought we would grow old together back in the days when you sat behind me to copy my tests."
Sirius snickered, "You thought we would grow old together in the fourth year?"
"You just had to check I put out first, right?" Sirius teased.
"No. I knew you'd put out since third year." (1)
"One of these days, we will grow old together."
Remus grinned at Sirius' determinedness. "You sound pretty sure about that."
Sirius nodded, leaning down to give Remus a slow and lazy kiss on the forehead. "I am."
"You keep coming back." Remus said the next day, actually grading his student's homework. He slashed another test with a scarlet pen like it was a samurai sword. "You're going to get caught eventually."
"I don't want you to forget me."
"I'm not… your teacher that you left from school."
"Well. No. But you are a teacher."
Remus laughed along wryly. "You always said I'd become one."
"Yes, but I also said that I would be capturing dragons in Romania with James. I ended up in prison, and James is not capturing dragons in Romania."
"Everybody has to die."
Sirius smiled, "When I die, will you be there with me?"
"I'll hope that I'll have gone first, Padfoot."
"So you won't have to suffer through another death?"
"It's partially that. But also because I know you won't go through old age. You'll die through a battle or protecting someone or getting hurt. You won't go quietly, Sirius."
"Is that a compliment?"
"As much as one as it can be."
Remus sneaked a glance to the window. The moon was shining through the sky like a single black marshmallow sticking out of the crowd of a bunch of white marshmallows. "Moon's here. You better leave before teachers come in for nightly talks, Pads."
"I've caught up on it," Sirius said, nodding. He pressed their lips together as he leant across the desk before he hurried away. "I love you." he called out.
(1): House MD, Season 2, Episode Clueless. Patient and his wife talking. (Hugh Laurie is amazing and not to mention very attractive OO Robert Sean Leonard is just as cool and even more attractive :D)
If any of you know House and dig House/Wilson as much as I do (It's like R/S in a screwed up way :D) read my new story Almost Undamaged. :D It's fresh on the market.
Written for Nathan, because he's an awesome boy and his birthday is in two days. Happy Birthday, my dear friend! Just another year older and another year wiser and another year closer to laws that stop restricting you the moment you turn 21. :P
Sorry for the long wait. I've had a short amount of writer's block. XD