Sirius Black thinks a lot of things are overrated. For instance: rules, homework, sleeping at night instead of during History of Magic classes, and – as Remus Lupin knows all too well – personal space.
He's not complaining, honestly. He actually loves that Sirius is hardly ever more than a foot away from him. It's just that sometimes it gets hard. After six years of your best mate clinging to you most of the time, after six years of loving your best mate, it gets wearisome.
Remus doesn't know how to tell Sirius to back off a bit or how to tell Sirius that he loves him. He stays quiet knowing both things would upset Sirius. And that's something Remus tries very hard not to do – at all costs.
Currently Remus is sitting in the large armchair by the fire and Sirius is crammed into it next to him, arms wrapped around Remus' waist, fingers entangled on the other side. Sirius' head is only inches away from Remus' – propped up on the werewolf's shoulder and Remus can feel the heat of Sirius' breath against his neck. It's kind of driving him mad.
And by kind of, he really means a lot.
Sirius Black thinks that sending chocolates and cards and flowers on Valentine's Day is overrated. As well as snogging under the mistletoe – most likely because he's never actually done that – and roasting chestnuts over an open fire. That's more than overrated, Sirius believes, that's just stupid. Chestnuts are gross. There's a very long list of Things That Sirius Black Thinks Are Overrated. The thing that would be at the very top of said list is 'telling someone how you feel.'
He only thinks that because he's one of those pansy gits who's afraid of rejection. Or so James tells him. On an almost regular basis. It's really quite annoying. Considering it's coming from someone who's with the person of their dreams. And James also consistently reminds Sirius that Lily rejected him for years before she finally gave him a chance, and look how happy they are, and Sirius shouldn't be so stupid because even if Remus doesn't feel the same there's no way he would call off their friendship. It's Remus. To which Sirius usually replies 'exactly,' and that's usually the end of the conversation because James just gets too frustrated.
But back to the point. Sirius Black thinks that's way overrated. And is fooling himself into thinking he's perfectly content just being curled up against Remus and nothing more. He's really not, as I'm sure you, dear reader, can tell. But he likes to think he is.
Remus smells different, Sirius notices. It's not just because the full moon is at the end of the week – that always makes him smell more like Moony, but Sirius doubts many people notice it. He's weird like that. Or maybe Padfoot can tell. Whatever. This is different. Remus smells like himself, and Moony, and something else that Sirius can't quite put his finger on.
He doesn't mind, whatever this new smell is. In fact, Sirius kind of likes it. A lot.
"You change your soap, Moony?" Sirius asks in a low voice. There's no need to speak up, Remus' ear is right there. And his hearing is always so sensitive before the full moon anyways.
"Um, no. Why?"
Sirius' eyes are closed and he squeezes Remus a little – a kind of hug even though his arms have been around the werewolf for a while now. He drags in a deep breath through his nose and smiles a little. "You smell different. And not Moony different," he adds before Remus can ask. Because he knows Remus will.
Remus shifts so he's a little more squished up against the side of the chair, giving a tiny bit of space between him and Sirius. "Is it a good or a bad kind of different?"
"I like it," Sirius mumbles. "I mean, it's good. Not bad, at any rate."
"Oh," Remus says shortly, his voice laced with humour. "Okay then. So what do I smell like then, if it's different."
Sirius furrows his brow in concentration. He knows that smell. He had just smelled it somewhere else, he knows it. "Like that potion...that shiny one with the spirally steam...Amerdita...or something."
"Amortentia," Remus says, voice a good octave higher than normal.
"Yeah! That stuff." Sirius pauses and thinks some more. He really ought to pay attention in Potions more often. What was that potion for again?
"Shhh, Moony, I'm trying to remember if I paid enough attention in Potions." He screws up his face and sticks out his tongue – Remus loves that Sirius does that when he's thinking really hard. "And I didn't," he says finally, letting go of Remus and sitting back so he can look at his friend. "What's that potion do?"
At Sirius' question Remus' face turns a violent shade of red. "It's um... It's a love potion, Sirius. And..." he pauses to clear his throat because breathing is getting difficult. "It smells different to everybody, depending on..."
Sirius watches Remus expectantly, waiting for him to continue. He frowns when Remus just stares into the fire. "Depending on what?" Sirius asks impatiently.
"Depending-on-what-attracts-you," Remus blurts out quickly, hoping Sirius can't catch that, but knowing he will.
"Oh." Sirius is looking at Remus without any real expression.
"Hm?" He's starting to look a little like he did when Remus explained Muggle Physics to him: confused and slightly proud when he actually understood something.
Remus bites his lip. It's an awful habit, but he can't break himself of it, especially when he's nervous. "You smelled me in the Amortentia."
"Yeah," Sirius admits softly, grey eyes glued to Remus' amber ones. The fire is dancing in them. "What about you, Remus? Did you smell someone in it?" He's afraid to ask, but it's too late now. He's already said it, and he really wants to know.
"Who do you think?" Remus is smiling a little. That's a good sign.
Sirius still isn't getting his hopes up. "I know who I want it to be. Doesn't mean I'm right."
"You probably are," Remus says with a wave of his hand. "You want it to be you, right?"
"Yes," Sirius says and swallows hard. It feels like a Snitch got lodged in his throat.
Remus' smile widens. "Well, that's good. It's you."
Sirius really can't believe it. It's not that he doesn't want to, because God does he ever. It's just that it's Remus and how the hell can Remus Lupin love him? "Really?" he asks dumbly.
"Yes, really. Would I lie to you?"
Sirius grins. "There was that one time-"
"That doesn't count. She was a bitch and she didn't deserve you."
Sirius swears he saw something dark flicker through Remus' eyes, but he attributes it to the fire. Even though a tiny part of his mind is triumphantly thinking Remus was jealous! "Alright, alright. No. You wouldn't lie to me."
Remus smiles softly. "Exactly. Now shut up and kiss me."
"You're not the boss of-" Sirius can't finish telling Remus that he's not his boss because Remus' lips are crushed against his own and hell, maybe Remus is the boss of him. Sirius doesn't mind.
So maybe telling someone how you feel isn't completely overrated. Sirius still thinks that all the other things are though, because he has an image to uphold, and what is he without his list of Things That Are Overrated?
Exactly, just Sirius Black, without a list.
But he has Remus Lupin, so maybe he doesn't need the list after all. Because really, what else does he need if he's got his Remus?
Around Christmas Sirius Black will discover that snogging under the mistletoe is actually really nice. And around Valentine's Day he'll realize that sending Remus chocolate caldrons and a handwritten card gives him a fluttery feeling in his chest that he can't really explain, but he likes it anyhow. He doesn't send flowers only because Remus isn't a girl and that would be rather strange. The chocolates and the card cover it, Sirius thinks.
He'll still strongly uphold his beliefs that rules, homework, sleeping at night instead of during History of Magic classes, personal space, and roasting chestnuts over and open fire are heavily overrated though. So he'll at least have that.