*sigh* I'm sorry, those of you waiting for Ibex or Hellion updates. The muse is a harpy and is overly fond of R/S. And uses my love of Rumi against me. I have no idea how long this series will be.

"This that is tormented and very tired
tortured with restraints like a madman,
this heart.
Still you keep breaking the shell
for a taste of its kernel."

by Rumi, The Many Wines

Sirius was half broken, locked in his childhood hell with no escape. At least as a boy he could go out to London and walk around. Now, he was prevented from such a simple thing by Dumbledore's reluctant orders and the on-going man hunt for him, trapped instead in the rotting black opulence of Grimmauld Place.

He had gone past the point of stir-craziness; instead he simply lay on couches or slouched in chairs and got drunk. Not blackout drunk, but forget-your-woes drunk. Remus came home one evening to find him lounging on their bed, half naked, and tipsy.

"Remus!" he called, looking more cheerful than he had in weeks. "Come sit with me!"

Remus could not help but smile—Sirius had always been a happy drunk and here he was again, like always. This was closer to the real Sirius, the one who would have been able to break free if Wormtail had not escaped (part of Remus wanted to catch and brutally murder Peter before dragging his corpse to the Ministry for all to see so Sirius would, at last, be free).

"Reeeeeemus," Sirius coaxed when he had not moved yet, "Please?"

A smile. "All right, all right." Remus settled next to Sirius on the bed, the white cotton sheets cool through his clothing.

Sirius stared at him, a smile crinkling his eyes, and tilted his head side to side against the pillow.


"Nothing," he said and took a swig of what Remus thought was cabernet, "nothing."

"Right," agreed Remus skeptically.

Sirius grinned impishly at him and put the bottle on the bedside table before rolled over to curl around Remus's body for a moment, resting his nose against the rough fabric of Remus's pantleg. With a laugh, he rolled away and tugged Remus down to kiss his lips. Remus tasted the oak and berry of the wine in his mouth and smiled when Sirius tried to deepen the kiss.

He pulled away, "Didn't we learn early on that drunk sex is sloppy sex?"

Sirius pouted, licking his lips in the candlelight.

"When you sober up you can have your wicked way with me," Remus said after a moment.

"Swear?" Sirius asked.

"I swear." Remus nodded.

Sirius tugged him down to lie next to him on the bed and reached over his body to pick up the bottle. "Drink with me in the mean time," he suggested.

"You'll never get laid at this rate," Remus laughed as he accepted the wine and took a sip.

Sirius grunted. "Sex in the morning or whenever we run out. I'd rather drink with you if I can't have sex."

The next morning, Remus awoke to a pained groan.

"Oooh, that was a little too much last night..."

He cracked an eye open and smiled. He hadn't had nearly as much as Sirius and was feeling quite himself, rather than like a trampled dog (Sirius's favorite way to describe hangovers). "Fresh hangover potion on the left hand side of your table," he said softly.

Sirius must have heard him because there was the sound of wood against wood as the drawer slid open, the gentle clinking of phials, and the pop of a cork. He could hear Sirius swallowing in the warm morning silence.

After a moment, Sirius rolled over to face him and paused, "Did you fall asleep with your shirt on?" he asked with a soft laugh.

Remus peered down at his chest, discovering that he had. "Apparently." He peeled the shirt off and tossed it on the floor, now clad only in his boxers (he had remembered to do away with his pants last night).

Sirius grinned at him and rested his head against Remus's shoulder. Silence reigned, broken only by their breathing and the occasional shifting under the covers.

"Remus?" Sirius asked after some time had passed, "do you think I'll ever get out of here?" He looked hopeful.

Debating how to answer this, Remus bought himself time by pressing a kiss into Sirius's messy morning hair. "I think so, though I can't say when. Peter will probably make himself known at some point in the near future I suspect. He won't hide away forever, not the glory hog that he is."

Sirius seemed to consider this. "First thing we're going to do when I get out of here is go to Fortescue's. And then to a quidditch game."

"Such simple desires," Remus murmured into his ear.

"When have I ever wanted opulence? It's just gilt, Remus, gilt painted on lead. I know that. I want what's real, not illusions. Besides," he smiled up at Remus, "ice cream is decadent enough on it's own—what do I need with the likes of sorbet or gelato?"