OMG, I wrote angst!!!! I'm not sure WTF inspired me to pinch-hit for HP Emofest on LJ, but there you have it. I must have been in a peculiar mood. So, yeah, this is not a happy story. But I really love it. *happy sigh*


Regulus thrust into James, slowly, teasingly, making it last, pushing gently into the spot that always caused James to make that sound…

James did it again, a throaty uuungh that made the breath catch in Regulus' throat. Coupled with the look on James' face, it never failed to send a shiver through him. Merlin, but James Potter was beautiful. His dark hair splayed upon the pillow in an atrocious mess, in need of a trim, as usual, but the perfect length for Regulus' to grip as he angled the gorgeous mouth up for a kiss.

Regulus kissed him as though he needed kisses more than sustenance, which sometimes seemed like absolute truth. There were times when he needed James so badly it felt like a knife twisting in his spleen, aching until the very sight of his lover eased the pain, except for lingering traces that never really dissipated. The unspoken ache lay within Regulus even now, tinting their lovemaking like raindrops smearing a perfect watercolour painting.

James whispered his name—another thrill—and raised his hips. He pushed upward, driving them even closer together, and Regulus sped his movements, excitement quickening his blood. James was close and Regulus loved it when they came simultaneously. Nothing in the world could be more perfect.

"James," Regulus whispered reverently and the throaty moan came again, spurring him to even faster movements, treasuring every response dragged from James Potter's normally guarded, cocky reserve. Regulus panted through the curtain of his dark hair and moved his hands to James' hips, gripping tightly and gritting a smile when he felt strong fingers clench upon his wrists.

"So good," James murmured, fuelling Regulus' desperate desire to fulfil James, to become everything he ever needed. "Always so good."

The words alone were enough to send Regulus spiralling into release and he was blissfully thankful when he felt James tightening around his cock. He let go of one hip and quickly stroked James' erection, milking the spray that shot forth to glisten like icing on James' flat abdomen. Regulus watched it come, dotting the clenching muscles. He wanted to lick it clean, but James always pushed him away with a laugh and a wrinkle of his nose whenever he tried that.

"Don't be a perv, Reg," he would say, not understanding that it wasn't perversion, it was simply Regulus willing to take any part of James that he could get.

He shook off the memory and let the pleasure wash over him, knowing that right now, at this moment, James belonged to him. Only him.

He kissed James gently between intermingling gasps, feeling the quivers shaking the body beneath him, mirroring his own. James was right. It was always good. Better than good.

James grabbed his arse and squeezed playfully, another familiar signal. Regulus obediently rolled away to lie next to James, reaching out to touch his face only once before James caught his fingers and sucked lightly on the tips before pressing kisses there. James' blue eyes were soft and warm, brilliant in the afterglow.

I love you. The words were on Regulus' lips, dying to burst forth, begging to be heard. He choked them back for the hundredth time and instead asked a question.

"So, have you given up that silly idea of yours?"

Shutters slammed down over the blue eyes and drove a spike through Regulus' heart. The smile that had been so lovely a moment ago turned cold and James moved roughly, pushing away from Regulus and leaving the bed entirely. Regulus cursed himself for asking, even though he had known the answer. It was always the same.

"It's not a silly idea, and you know I haven't changed my mind."

Regulus crossed his arms behind his head and stared up at the ceiling, trying not to pout, swallowing the bitter hurt and wondering why it never got any easier. James had told him months ago. It had burned like acid then, eating through his soul, damning him, making him curse, and sob, and vow that he would never ever see James Potter again.

And then James would cock that devil-may-care grin at him, and hold out his hand, and Regulus would go running, hating himself, straight back into their fucked up not-relationship.

"What we have is fun, Reg, but we can't keep it up forever," James said lightly as he sat in a chair and dragged his trousers up over long, slender legs. Regulus pretended not to watch him. The words were as familiar as the line of his calves, the curve of his thighs. "Sirius would kill us if he ever found out."

James stood and tucked his spent cock into his trousers before fastening the leather lacing. No pants for James Potter. Not ever. Even now, Regulus found it sexy as hell, although he wished he didn't.

"Besides," James added, twisting the knife that still lodged deep in Regulus' heart, placed there by James himself and wielded with unconscious precision, cutting deeper with every careless word. "Besides, I love Lily. Of course, I'm still going to marry her."

Regulus said nothing. Words were useless. He had talked and cajoled and even fucking pleaded, but the harsh truth was that James would never see him as anything other than a casual fling. The fact that Regulus had fallen completely, desperately in love with him made no difference at all.

James pulled on his shirt and buttoned it slowly. Regulus turned his head to watch, savouring every last sight of tanned flesh as it disappeared bit by bit. James left the shirt tails untucked, the better to look just-shagged, no doubt. Regulus often wondered if he turned up on Lily's doorstep stinking of Regulus and sweat and sex. He wondered if Lily felt the same sort of pain in reverse, knowing she had James' heart, but never his passion.

Socks and shoes were next, and then James walked forward to rest one knee on the bed as he leaned over Regulus. His usual sardonic grin had returned and he leaned down to press a soft kiss on his lips. Regulus made no response.

"Buck up, Reg," James said cheerfully. "You'd love Lily, too, if you got to know her. Everyone does. And who knows; maybe I can talk her into a threesome one day?" James chuckled and Regulus felt the remains of his heart crumble into ashes.

James kissed him again and Regulus responded, despising himself, closing his eyes as tears pricked his lids. He curled a hand in James' unruly locks and kissed him deeply, tasting him one last time in bittersweet farewell.

James pulled away, finally, and touched Regulus on the cheek in a gentle caress. "That's my beautiful Reg," he whispered. He bounded away from the bed, all leashed energy and charisma once more. His smiled was brilliant as he flung his cloak carelessly over one shoulder and opened the door. "See you later!"

The door closed and Regulus stayed where he was until the growing darkness and evening chill drove him from the bed. He dressed woodenly and walked to the desk that stood against one wall. An innocuous-looking box sat upon it and Regulus flipped it open with one hand.

He lifted the locket out by the chain and let it dangle. It gleamed in the last hint of sunlight, ominous only for the portent it contained, carved with a stylized S.

Regulus swallowed heavily and dropped the locket into his pocket.

"Goodbye, James," he whispered and then summoned Kreacher. It was time.