Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
This was not the first time that Remus was apprehensive about drinking the common room dry with his friends.
James had returned to the dormitory with an armful of firewhiskey and a manic grin that Remus was sure was illegal. His excuse had been that tomorrow would be the first colossal test in classes since the beginning of life as a sixth year. Remus had rolled his eyes at that, claiming the excuse to be childish and nonsensical, but both Sirius and Peter had waved Remus' reasoning off with an aura of dismissal.
Remus was starting to wonder if his friends had a drinking problem, but he really couldn't worry about that when he was just as wasted while lying at awkward angles on his bed.
Maybe not just as wasted. Probably a little less.
But the positive news was that no one had injured themselves yet, and that there hadn't been an accidental and alcohol-induced clumsy poke in the eye or a smashed bottle of butterbeer on someone's foot.
As naturally, Peter had been the first one to rush to the bathroom feeling nauseas, his cheeks bulging and sporting a sharooshing color of green. As always, he returned mumbling something about not being able to hold his alcohol well, just before he vomited once again.
This time, it was on Remus' bed.
Promptly after, he passed out.
James had been next to go, mid-sentence and slurring.
Lastly, Sirius and Remus had both survived. Remus, because he had only downed so many bottles, and Sirius, because he could hold his alcohol like a glass that kept getting refilled but had a hole in the bottom.
"You… you need a bed." Sirius said dizzily.
"I have a bed." Remus replied simply. He rubbed at his head, "I don't know why I let you guys talk me into this. I'm totally going to fail that test tomorrow."
"Ahh, it's in the aft'rnoon. Hang'ver will have passed by then," Sirius slurred, "and unless you want to sleep on W'rmtail's up chuck, you're sleeping in my bed."
"Fine." The werewolf agreed, stumbling to reach the bedpost. He numbly reached for his trunk to retrieve his pajamas before he gauchely undressed.
Once both boys were nestled underneath the covers, the stink of alcohol staining the crisp midnight air, Sirius turned to face Remus' back, prodding him in the back with his fingernail.
"Ow." Remus said dully, turning to face the inebriated boy annoyingly. "Is there something you needed?"
"Obviously," the werewolf turned his head to see the ticking clock on the bedside, "Sirius, it's past one o'clock. What is it?"
"Not a morning person?"
"This isn't morning, Pads. I'm not a night person." Remus corrected, rolling over to continue sleeping. Sirius insistently poked at his spine again.
Sirius grinned inanely. "I can't sleep."
"And what am I supposed to?" Remus asked exasperatedly.
"Keep me company."
"Oh, now I have to be awake too?" he sighed, "some of us have tests tomorrow we want to be well rested for."
"Yes, and you and I are not some of us."
Instead of turning around to fruitlessly attempt to continue sleeping and get another finger in stuck in his vertebrae; Remus wordlessly stared at Sirius' eager face, not giving any response at all.
"So what do you wanna do?" Sirius offered.
"Sleep." Remus replied impassively.
The black-haired boy snickered drunkenly, his voice thick with the husky rasp of firewhiskey. His eyes drooped closed halfway, Sirius laid his head on Remus' jugular, inhaling the other boy's scent.
"Uh. Uh, Sirius. Sirius." Remus said awkwardly, attempting to push the other boy away. He hoped that perhaps Sirius had fallen asleep, but believed him to still be awake when he felt Sirius' hands ghost up Remus' side and tickle at his waist.
It wasn't until Remus felt the other boy's lips on his that he sprang up in bed, causing the other boy to fall off of him and land unceremoniously on the pillows. The sheets got haphazardly tangled up in Sirius' legs while they pooled around Remus' hips.
The werewolf blinked. And he blinked again, gaping at the flashing memory of what had just occurred.
"Okay. If that was a technique to get me to stay awake, it was mean." He said, not daring to turn around to face the other boy.
"Hey!" Amiss Sirius' intoxicated voice there was a thick aura of drunken indignance. "I am Sirius Black! No one pushes me away!"
"Pads, you're way too drunk to get me warped in this vortex of your popularity."
"I'm not drunk!" he defended acrimoniously, his voice becoming an octave higher.
"Oh, yes you are! Otherwise why would you kiss me?"
Sirius ignored Remus' question, dragging him back down to the bed, "No one pushes me away! If you pushed me away then, you're not going to this time!" He clumsily attempted to straddle the other boy and pin his hands onto the pillow, a look of aggressive determination playing onto his features.
Before Remus could do anything, Sirius' mouth was on his. The kiss was too wet, too toothy, and too alcohol-induced. Remus could taste the firewhiskey bouncing off of Sirius' tongue, which Remus couldn't remember even entering the equation in the first place. The black-haired boy moaned deeply in his throat, attempting to roll his hips.
Remus was thankful that Sirius was one of those people who lost strength when they were inebriated. He pushed Sirius' tight grasp on his wrists away, using his palms to shove Sirius' chest away.
"What the hell are you doing?" he panted breathlessly, still stuck being straddled firmly.
Sirius grabbed the tawny-haired boy's face, trying to bring their mouths together again. Remus rolled out from underneath him, his eyes as wide as tree trunks and his cheeks flushed scarlet.
Sirius smiled seductively. "I like you." he mumbled.
"What the hell? If this is what happens when you get drunk, I am never letting you near alcohol again!"
"Just because I'm drunk doesn't mean I don't like you." Sirius murmured.
"Sirius, why don't you discuss this with me in the morning when you're not completely wasted?" Remus suggested, scooting defensively to the edge of the bed.
"I'll be looking forward to that conversation." The Animagus winked suggestively.
Oh, the throb.
His head was a living construction site, complete with clouding dust and loud whirring machines and debris. Remus tried rubbing soothingly at his temples, staring at his sleepy form in the mirror.
Perhaps he would have gotten more sleep if Sirius hadn't kept him up at one o'clock.
How could he have forgotten that conversation? Or actually action, considering that there really wasn't much conversation. Suddenly there was a whole new pain stinging in his mind, and this one was dread.
He raked a scarred hand through his hair, scruffy from sleep.
Suddenly, he felt cool hands encircling his waist from behind, a chin resting softly on his shoulder.
"So can we have that conversation yet?"
Remus was stunned.
He thought for sure that if Sirius remembered any of last night, they would have been hazy memories mistaken for imaginative dreams – or nightmares – or just snippets of remembrance that were forgotten along with the rest of a drunken whirlwind.
"Eager, are we?" Sirius laughed quietly, his fingers brushing teasingly along Remus' stomach.
Remus spun around and away from Sirius' embrace.
"You were drunk!"
"So? Doesn't mean I couldn't mean what I said."
Remus gaped. Sirius, his best friend and lady's magnet, Sirius Black, fancied him? Shy and scarred Remus Lupin who had a furry problem?
"You meant what you said?"
"Of course," Sirius said simply, as though it had been obvious, "I like you."
"You're gay?!" Remus asked incredulously, his eyes widening.
"So are you!"
Remus violently shook his head, "No! Sirius, I'm sorry if I led you on or gave the wrong message or something, but, I… don't fancy you."
Slowly, the smile washed off of Sirius' face. Remus sympathetically apologized, reaching out to grab the other boy's hand.
And out of the blue, Sirius smiled. A growing, manic, and truly Marauder up-to-no-good grin that meant that Sirius had far from given up.
"Don't be sorry," he said, "because I know that you like me. You'll realize."
Remus had every intention to believe that his and Sirius' friendship would suffer through the damage that Sirius had provoked. He believed that throughout every dinner and every class and every Marauder prank there would be awkwardness and hesitance.
He was wrong.
Every time a girl would approach Sirius and shakily ask him out, he would politely decline and send Remus a roguish wink. Every time that Sirius and him were Potions partners, Sirius would bump their knees together and raise his eyebrows suggestively. And every time they would wake up in the morning, Sirius would ruffle Remus' hair and blow him a flamboyant kiss.
Apparently Sirius was sticking to his plan of not giving up and accepting his defeat.
"So. Another week has passed. Realized that you're madly in love with me yet?"
"No." Remus responded uneasily, watching as Sirius showed no signs of disappointment. He grinned dazzlingly.
"Just wait and see."
Next week, Remus woke up to the sight of dancing gray eyes looming over his, Sirius sitting on the edge of his bed and smiling eerily.
"I like you."
"You like me too."
"Don't think so." Remus replied groggily, rubbing at his eyes.
"I'll be back later. And I know you'll have a different answer."
As Sirius bounced off the bed, Remus grabbed his arm to stop him. "Sirius," he began, his eyes clouding over with concern, "why are you doing this? I don't want to be the one who ends up hurting you."
"Then just say you'll be with me."
"I'm sorry, Pads, but–"
Sirius cut him off, splaying two fingers over Remus' lips. He picked up one of his hands and gently rubbed his thumb on the pale skin.
"What is it that you don't like about me?" he asked.
Remus sighed, "Sirius–"
"No pressure. I just want to have one specific thing that doesn't make you want to be with me."
"…So you'll change it?" the werewolf began apprehensively.
"Yes," Sirius nodded determinedly, "I'd do anything to make you change your mind."
Remus sighed again, shaking his head at the crimson sheets he was lying amongst. "I don't know, Sirius. You're just… not my type."
"Don't be ambiguous, Moony!" Sirius reprimanded playfully, waggling a finger at his friend.
"I…" Remus glanced over to Sirius' bed. A small frown grew on his face. "I can't stand how you never make your bed in the morning."
"I'm certainly willing to change that." With an extra spring in his step, Sirius kissed Remus' hand before releasing it and hopping off from the bed.
By the time Remus was nestled in his bed at ten o'clock that night, his book propped up on his knees, Sirius had popped up by his bedside a moment later.
"How do you like it?" he questioned, flourishing his hand to his own bed.
Remus glanced over tiredly.
Sirius' bed was neater than it had been the first time they had ever come to Hogwarts. The comforter was drawn up at the right margins, tucked in the bottom, and neatly covered with a silky throw. There were mountains of pillows, all carefully piled atop of one another. The hangings were not hanging sluggishly from the post, but drawn up with golden strings. There wasn't a crease or wrinkle on the blankets in sight.
"Did you, like, pay the house elves to do that?" Remus asked, looking suspiciously at the bed.
"Nope. Did it all by myself." Sirius' arm crept it's back around Remus' shoulders, pulling the other boy closer. He huskily whispered in Remus' ear, "wouldn't you just like to lean against all of those pillows? Someone warm and Sirius-like pressed up next to you?"
Remus pulled back, flipping a page in his book.
"Will you go out with me now?"
"Because you always steal my chocolate stash." Remus pouted slightly at the thought of the pounds of chocolate his friend had discreetly stolen from him and devoured recklessly. "You don't even like the kind with the raspberry filling but you took the whole box I bought for myself during that Hogsmeade trip from Honeydukes!"
When Remus returned to his bed to study Arithmancy, he was startled to find a box of Honeyduke's chocolate, rich and sweet. Unopened. Raspberry filling.
His mouth was watering when he unwrapped the box, enthusiastically opening it. By the time he had eaten three of the small truffles delicately planted inside the package, Sirius had arrived in the dormitory and kneeled by Remus.
"So do you like it?" he husked.
"Did Merlin have a beard?"
Sirius laughed, sitting on the bed and gently placing his hand on Remus' thigh. The other boy was too wrapped up in his sweets to notice.
"Will you go out with me?"
Remus sighed, temporarily stopping his chocolate raid. He turned to face Sirius, "I'm sorry, Pads. Would you just take a hint and stop hurting yourself like this? I don't like you, and it's not because of the chocolate or the bed making or any other of your annoying habits! It's just that I'm not attracted to–"
Remus was sharply cut off by a pressure on his lips, a tongue coaxing his mouth apart, fingers running through his hair and a bouncing on the bed as someone moved closer.
Sirius moaned hungrily, cupping the werewolf's face and flicking his tongue at Remus' parted lips. The other boy whimpered, something that Sirius hoped was a request for more, even though he couldn't oblige if it was.
He pulled back for air, panting and licking his lips.
"Why won't you just admit that you like me?" he asked, grinning from ear to ear.
"Sirius, if you continue this, you're just going to embarrass yourself."
"If you're not prepared to look stupid then nothing great is going to ever happen to you. A true Marauder's words." Sirius said firmly.
"I'm sorry, Pads, but there's nothing you can say or do to change my mind about you. I want to stay friends. Just friends."
"If you didn't like me, then why didn't you push me away just a second ago?"
Remus was silent.
Sirius laughed triumphantly, "Go and snog a girl, Moony. You won't get the same electricity."
Still, Remus was at a loss for speech. He swallowed just to have done something in the situation.
The black-haired boy seemed even more caught up in his success, "Oh, the smell of victory is sweet!" he yelled blissfully, "you don't leave this bed because you don't want to snog those girls! You want to snog me!"
"No! I didn't snog any girls because I don't like them!" Remus realized what he had said after he said it. He swallowed again, but this time it was around the forming lump in his throat.
Sirius smiled, "I've made progress," he said, "a few weeks ago you said you weren't gay. Now you are. It'll only be a matter of time until you realize that you're mine."
Remus shook his head vigorously, "No. You misunderstood me, Sirius!" he attempted to cover his tracks fruitlessly, "I don't like girls but I don't like guys either! I'm practically asexual!" he cried desperately.
"Oh, you sweet werewolf." Sirius said fondly, putting two fingers underneath Remus' chin.
"Sirius, there is no way that this is going to happen."
"You like me. And you know it. You just don't know you know it."
"That doesn't make any sense." Remus argued reasonably.
But Sirius had already left.
Remus was not happy.
Sirius was messing with his mind. All of the girls had officially backed off, even though they were still sending lustful glances in Sirius' direction. It seemed as though Sirius was open for Remus, and for Remus only. Like a tasty fruit that everybody but him was allergic to. Remus still wondered, though, how long this deal for him lasted. Sirius would not keep up façade forever, chasing after a boy who he could not get.
How long could Sirius go without sex? Without physical contact and the confidence of knowing that the whole world found him irresistible? Remus concluded not very long, but he was willing to bet that Sirius would avoid all of that for quite some time while waiting for Remus to come around.
Not that he would.
Remus hoped that when Sirius would get over him, his head would have deflated a bit. That he would realize that not everyone in Hogwarts was in love with him. Perhaps he wouldn't treat every relationship like it was an afternoon's ice cream; just a snack and nothing that would really fill anyone up, and the moment it melts, to the trash it goes.
But Sirius was definitely making it hard to resist him, and if Remus would give in to this ridiculous game, that would not be teaching him a lesson. It would be egging him on. And after a week, Remus would be just another half-eaten ice cream cone melting in the garbage. Like an ice sculpture that was liquefying and ready to be wheeled back into the ocean, never to rise above those torrents of waves again. Sirius' mind would be full of a vortex of thoughts of if I can get Remus, who else can I get? Remus shuddered at the thought of Sirius even attempting to seduce Professors or parents at the train station during the end of the year.
"Okay, let's say you're right!" Remus yelled frustratingly at lunch the next day, passive-aggressively spreading jam on his sandwich.
"You're saying I'm right?" Sirius asked ecstatically.
"No. I'm saying – let's – say you're right. How the hell would you treat me? Like scum? Like just another girl?"
"Of course not! I like you, I wouldn't – wouldn't fling you." Sirius expounded carefully.
Remus suspiciously eyed Sirius before he returned to spreading jam on his bread, gentler this time.
"So… are we still saying that I'm right?" the Animagus ventured.
"No." Remus dismissed, "I don't like you."
"I want to be with you."
"I'm sorry," he said coldly, "I can't tell you to do anything but get over it. Everyone does it."
"So I guess you're the one person I can't get?"
Remus stared fixedly at his lunch. "I guess I am. And maybe it's a good thing that somebody can actually resist you."
Remus nervously gave a glance to his friend, whose face was contorted in what looked like a battle of his mind. He looked as though he was halfway in between sulking in silence, sending him another wink, or shagging him right there in the Great Hall just to prove that Remus couldn't resist him.
"I… I really am sorry." Remus said uneasily.
"So I guess you haven't been getting over it?" Remus sighed tiredly as Sirius poured crushed moonstone into the cauldron they were both hunkered around.
"How could I?"
Sirius hadn't been flirting with him. No winks, no intimate touches or attempts to flaunt his homosexuality in public. Sirius had been oddly quiet in the last week since the lunch incident.
"I… I'm just a crush of yours, Sirius. It's not a big deal that you can't get one person. There's thirty girls in line to shag you."
Sirius angrily dropped his stirring spoon, "It is a big deal, Remus. This isn't about who I can get and who I can't. The one person that I want to get is the one person that's impossible to get.
Remus gently touched Sirius' arm. "Just because I don't like you doesn't mean I don't have feelings for you." he said.
Sirius' head shot up as fast as a bullet shooting from a gun, "Really?" he said hopefully.
"Yeah… friendly feelings. Not… romantic."
Sirius sighed. "I like you." he gritted out. "I'm not going to give up. Every week I'll be pestering you to be with me. And at one point, you will say that you love me."
It was Remus' turn to have his head shoot up. "You love me? I thought… I thought you just liked me."
"Same concept." Sirius muttered, ignoring Remus' gaping mouth, "will you go out with me?"
"Because we're in the middle of making a potion."
"Not anymore," Sirius declared, throwing the last ingredient into the bubbling substance. "Will you go out with me now?"
"Just stop it, Sirius, please. What do you expect to happen? For me to fall in love with you overnight?" Sirius was silent. "The Sirius I know would not have been upset because a girl rejected him!"
"You're not just some girl, Moony. I like you."
"Yeah, I got that."
It was later on that night, around three o'clock, that Remus was lying sleeplessly in his bed, staring impassively up at the ceiling.
And all he could think about was Sirius.
He had literally crushed the boy's heart. The first time he actually had feelings for someone and he was told that he wasn't good enough. Or that he wasn't the right type. Or that he should just get over it.
Would he ever find enough faith to fall in love with someone else? Remus wanted to teach him a lesson, not torture him and ruin his feelings toward love.
Guiltily, Remus rolled over to his side.
He didn't want Sirius to never feel the exhilaration of falling in love with someone. He didn't want Sirius to miss out on things like emotional engagements and silly wedding traditions. He wanted to be there when Sirius would write his vow and be there to help cook Thanksgiving dinner for his kids. He wanted to send in anniversary gifts and be acclaimed Godfather of Sirius' gorgeous and egotistical children. He wanted to be there in the hospital when they would be born. He wanted to baby-sit and go out for play dates. He wanted to double date. He wanted to send his children and Sirius' children to Hogwarts at the same time for them to become great friends. He wanted to give them prank advice and tell them to pick on the Slytherins.
It only took a sudden pang to draw Remus from his imaginative wishes for him to realize that he didn't want to watch Sirius create all of those memories, he wanted to be alongside him, experiencing everything with Sirius.
He had been wrong.
He did realize overnight that he was in love with Sirius.
Remus didn't want to wait until next week for Sirius to ask him out. He was going to do it himself.
Remus fearlessly marched over to the other boy's bed, yanking open the curtains and shaking the other boy to pull him from his slumber.
"Wassamadder?" Sirius mumbled.
"It's me." Remus whispered softly. "Wake up."
Sirius blinked his eyes, yawning widely before he stared sleepily into Remus' amber eyes, dancing with excitement.
"What is it?" he asked.
"I like you," the werewolf began. This was such a camera moment. He wanted it to be engraved in his brain forever, just so he could remember how everything started, the anniversaries, the engagement, the children, the marriage. He beamed, "Will you go out with me?"
Sirius eyes widened, before he calmly stated, "No." and jerked closed the curtains.
"Sirius!" Remus said impatiently, frowning.
A second later the hangings were drawn back again, Sirius yanking Remus on top of him in the bed with a grin that was glowing enough to compete with the brightest of stars.
"I knew it," he whispered, "I knew you liked me. I knew you'd realize it."
"I am gay. And I do want to snog you. And I don't care if you eat my chocolate or don't make your bed. I – I love you!"
Sirius grinned, "No one ever says no to Sirius Black." He said triumphantly, right before he furiously pressed his lips to Remus, this time and for the first time getting an eager response.