He was staring again. The wide rolling fields of green under the stretch of impossibly blue sky seemed surreal. Sirius wondered if it was a mistake taking Remus here. The green and flora seemed to overwhelm him at first. He spent a few days just sitting at the window sill, jaw slack, digits trembling.
But there was nothing that could surpass the look on Remus' face when he went outside for the first time. Felt the passing breeze rolling off the lake. Smelled the perfume of wildflowers waft around him. Soaked up the sunshine that beamed from the sky. Ran.
Perhaps Sirius had forgotten—or maybe he had never known—but Remus loved to run more than he remembered. Great, loping strides that not even Padfoot could keep up with. And he laughed as if the whole world wasn't enough to contain it, but he might as well fill it.
After one of these gay runs, Remus collapsed in a bed of pink flowers, giggling madly. Sirius transformed and lied next to him.
"It was nice of Alice to let us borrow her cottage for the summer." Remus pulled one of the flowers and twirled its delicate stem around his finger.
Sirius smiled and nodded, watching in quiet rapture as Remus fiddled with the eglantine.
"Thanks for bringing me here."
"Anything for you."
Remus blushed as pink as his rumpled flower. He pulled the petals individually from the center, frowning when he dropped the fourth and final petal.
"Sirius? Are we…never mind. I'm being a girl."
"We already knew you were a girl. That time in fourth year confirmed it."
Remus blushed angrily. "That was James' doing and you know that."
"Oh, I know, I know." Sirius grinned over at his friend. "But I must say you looked quite fetching in that dress."
Remus' face exploded in a pink glow and he dropped back to the ground, flinging an arm over his warm face. Sirius chuckled and rolled over so he was half crouching over Remus.
"Oh, Moony was the prettiest girl at the ball!"
Remus' skin went from pink to a flushing and vibrant red. "Shut up!"
"All the boys wanted to dance with her!"
Remus laughed and tackled Sirius. He pressed Sirius' shoulders to the ground. "Who's the girl around here?"
"You, Miss Pansy Poofter of the Venerable House of Wank!" Sirius scrambled around his friend. "Ouch, that hurt!"
"If I'm a girl, then you're losing to a girl. That just makes you pathetic."
Sirius did manage to get the upper hand and held Remus by his hair until the other admitted that he was, in fact, the girl around here and—no—Sirius was not pathetic.
"Good." Sirius grinned and released Remus' scalp. He paused for a moment, looming over his friend, before rolling away.
He heard Remus sigh and sink back into the grass. Sirius stared up at the passing clouds. It seemed that the incident in Moody's garden had gone by completely unnoticed. Or, at least, they were going to pretend it never happened.
Since they'd gotten to Alice's cottage in southern England, it had been as if they were just school boys. Rough-housing. Burning beans and toast. Occasionally James and Peter would stop by and they'd romp through the fields.
Not that Sirius wasn't appreciative; this was Remus' only chance to catch up on the threads of adolescence he missed. Remus was nearing twenty now, but he'd never gotten a chance at being on the cusp of age. He went from a fresh seventeen to older than numbers. Now, in between the cracks of growing up, Remus could be seventeen as he was meant to be. It was an illicit, forbidden sort of joy that no one but Sirius got to experience.
But, on days like these, where Remus' body heat seemed to replace that of even the sun's, Sirius wanted only to wrap his arms around Remus and snog him into oblivion. Friendship be damned.
Afterall, had he learned nothing from his last missed chance? Remus was a commodity. A rarity that could be swept away like a candle flame.
"Remus?" he asked at the exact time Remus enquired, "Sirius?"
The two blushed at their simultaneity. "Yeah, Padfoot?"
Sirius stared at him for a moment, thinking. "Do you like it here?"
Remus laughed, "Of course." His eyes scanned the scenery. "It's beautiful."
"I mean, do you like being here…with me?"
Remus smiled. "Pads, you're my best friend."
Sirius nodded, unsmiling. "I like being here with you."
"I'm glad." Remus looked away, suddenly preoccupied by something in the sky.
He snapped back into attention, surprising Sirius with the intensity of his expression. "Yes?"
"Close your eyes."
Perhaps two years ago, Remus would have been wary of a toad in his trousers or some other ill-planned joke. A few weeks ago, he wouldn't have even blinked had he feared being in danger.
But here? Here, he simply let his eyes flutter closed.
Sirius took a deep breath in, a roaring sound in his own ears punctuated by the desperate thump-thump of his heart and covered Remus' mouth with his own. He squeezed his eyes shut, unwilling to open them and see Remus' reaction. He felt Remus stiffen with surprise, eyelashes fluttering against his cheekbones. Then, like magic, Remus melted back into the grass and let Sirius all around him.
Electricity coursed through Sirius and he stretched his body over Remus', savouring the way the planes of their bodies fit together. He felt as if he was desperately thirsty and Remus held all the water behind his lips. Sirius' intrepid tongue dove into Remus' pliant mouth, searching for that water. For more, for more, for more.
Remus gasped and turned his head for air. His skin was a lovely shade of pink, cheeks flushed a pleasant crimson. Between his pants, he managed to breathe, "I thought I'd dreamt it."
"No," Sirius leaned down and peppered his face with kisses, letting his tongue flick out to taste the salt of Remus' skin, "but if it is, please don't wake up."
Sirius kissed his nose grandly and laughed when Remus' face scrunched up. "I've wanted to do this since…forever."
"You always had a flair for hyperbole."
"No, I was going to tell you…but you—"
"Sirius," Remus shook his head. Sirius couldn't help but notice how his tangle of hair caught blades of grass. His hair and arms and clothes fanned out across the grass like a fallen, rumpled angel. "Does it matter?"
"This isn't to get my rocks off, Moony. I…" Sirius' tongue got caught up in his throat.
"I fucking love you."
Remus laughed: a quiet sound like rain. "You would put it that way, Sirius."
"I just did."
Remus pressed a kiss on the edge of Sirius' chin. "I've always loved you, you sop."
A perfect moment passed then, as if recalling a distant fatality that ruined everything, Sirius winced. "We don't have to do this…if you don't want…"
"Don't be an idiot, Sirius." Remus sighed and closed his eyes. He leaned back so his throat was bare. When he smiled, the tendons in his neck shifted and flexed. "You should know by now that I want you to shag me."
Sirius' eyes were blown out with lust. "Hoped you'd say that."
And he threw himself down over Remus, kiss hard enough to make their teeth click. Remus laughed around the kiss and twisted his fingers through Sirius' mane of black hair and tugged. He tugged, hard, urging Sirius closer to him. Obligingly, Sirius relaxed his arms and settled for covering Remus completely.
To be fair, Sirius had only snogged a handful of people—only two of them blokes—and therefore didn't have much base to form an opinion. But, from what he heard, a good kiss was constituted of three things: 1. Tongue to lip ratio, 2. Adequate amount of action going on below the belt, and 3. The fizzy feeling of complete exhilaration and contentment to be there.
It was a fucking fantastic kiss.
"Fuck, Moony." Sirius pulled back and surveyed Remus. The ends of Remus' tawny hair tickled Sirius' wrists where his hands were planted beside his head. "I, uh…" he tried futilely to eliminate the quiver in his voice. It didn't help that Remus insisted on looking delicious beneath him. "Do you usually…?"
Remus always understood. "Both."
"Um…what do you prefer?"
"Do you have lubrication?"
Sirius flushed, there was no combating that quiver now. "I didn't want to try my luck by bringing along lube."
Remus chuckled affectionately and gently tugged on the ends of Sirius' hair. "I'll bottom then. You should have lubrication your first time, otherwise it hurts like a bitch."
Sirius frowned. "You speak from experience. I wish that—"
"Hey," That crease of concern appeared between Remus' eyebrows. It was oddly comforting to know that it was still there. "None of that. You won't hurt me like he did." He brought his hand from Sirius' hair to his chest and deftly flicked open a few buttons. His light touch tickled Sirius' skin as Remus' digits made their way towards his navel. "It's not the same as sex in the pack." He finished and ran a hand over the freshly naked skin. "I actually want this."
Above him, Sirius' eyes went soft and strained. "I should have killed him while I had the chance."
Remus' hand dropped. "What would that do?"
"I don't know," he said honestly, "but at least he'd be gone."
Sirius looked back down to where Remus was staring at him quietly. For a moment, Remus surveyed him. "You," Softly, as if speaking to a bird. "are not a murderer. Blood on your hands won't take back the blood Greyback spilled." He stroked a thumb over Sirius' lower lip.
He closed his eyes in response. "It's not right. It just isn't."
"I won't pretend that it is. I won't pretend I'm perfectly fine now. I'm not." Remus stretched his neck to press a small kiss to the corner of Sirius' mouth. "But I'm here now. Love me now."
Sirius' eyes snapped open. "I—I do. I will!"
"Then, damn it, kiss me."
Sirius' mouth tasted good. Familiar but not stale. It was only their third kiss out of many to come, but it felt like eternity pressed between the pages of time. A moment that penetrated through everything else, a needle through time, so it felt neither repetitive nor novel. Right. It felt right.
Back and forth. Remus' tongue pressing against Sirius' then Sirius' against Remus'. A brush of teeth on soft lips, pulling the bottom lip into the other's mouth until one of them groaned. An intrepid hand made it's way through Sirius' hair while Sirius' knee nudged between Remus' leg. The extra contact forced Remus to buck up into the pleasurable pressure.
They pulled away long enough to remove Remus' jumper and came together again. When Remus seized the collar of Sirius' shirt to pull him closer Sirius inhaled rapidly, pulling Remus' tongue farther into his mouth.
"Too much," Sirius gasped, "you're wearing too much."
The trousers and pants were next. The long planes of Remus' body stretched out beneath Sirius, his cinnamon skin perfect in the green of the grass. Sirius stuttered unintelligibly for a moment, knowing that he was gawking but unable to stop.
There were more scars on his skin than there had been before. A long, ugly one low across his hips, so deep it could have gutted Remus. A few yellowing bruises scattered along the insides of his thighs and along his abdomen—which was little more than skin stretched over a ribcage.
But he was still beautiful.
"What?" Remus was laughing now. "Lost your train of thought."
"No!" Sirius playfully snapped at Remus' nose with a flash of teeth. "I was just picturing all the ways I'm about to ravish you."
Remus' muscles convulsed and he shivered. Trousers and pants joined Remus' clothing and he brought a hand up to Sirius' mouth.
Sirius did as he was told, pulling Remus' three fingers in to the last knuckle. He smiled impishly when Remus' eyes fluttered closed and he suppressed a whimper.
"Okay," he said hoarsely, "okay, enough."
His breathing was erratic. He closed his eyes and slipped his ring finger inside himself. He pulled it in and out a few times before inserting the second and third.
"Do—" Sirius was breathless, "Do you need…help?"
"No, ah…I just…nnh. Gimme a, ah moment."
Sirius nodded and kissed his forehead gently. Remus shuddered and pulled out.
"S-S…please. I can't…Hurry, please."
"I don't want to hurt y—"
Remus ground a kiss into Sirius, pushing him over and straddling him. He rocked his hips into Sirius until they fit together. Perfect. Like nothing would ever fit again.
Sirius gasped against Remus' hot mouth when he hit a soft spot. Remus moaned around gritted teeth, muscles clenching desperately. "D-do that again." He flexed his hips slowly, torturously, and Remus let out a keen of pleasure-pain. It was as if touched with an electric shock. Sirius pushed and flexed and kissed and licked anywhere he could. There wasn't enough of him, but far too much of Remus that should, had to, needed to be celebrated.
Sirius came a handful of strokes too soon when Remus convulsed in pleasure. He heard someone screaming and surprised himself by realizing it was himself. Beneath him, Remus was whimpering high desperate tones. Breathlessly mouthing Sirius' name around his gasps. He didn't know anything in the world could feel like this.
Remus came just before Sirius did, and as they exhaled into repose, they were in sync.
A long moment passed of perfect one-ness. After an eternity, Remus gathered his breath and slide off of Sirius so they were lying side-by-side. "Y-you okay?"
Sirius smiled and kissed Remus on the lips.
Odd how it felt so incredibly intimate to casually kiss Remus, even in light of making love.
Remus closed his eyes, happy. They were happy.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.
Author's Note: Well, we're finished. I can't believe it. I hope you all enjoyed it.
Thank you to all who reviewed and to those who read. It never would have been completed if it weren't for you lovely people.