A/N: so this is very disjointed, odd, and nonsensical i know.... but i'll probably come back and edit soon - written in one go, and two in the morning, in my defense. Review with advice?


Loss

There were nights when he thought it would never end. Death, everywhere he looked. The pain and the suffering and heart-aching, gut-wrenching, stomach-clenching loss. Every other person had lost a loved one. What the fuck did loss mean, anyway? You haven't fucking misplaced them. They're gone. End of. No second chances.

Because, fuck, if he had a second chance, how much would he do differently? Letting Peter protect something as precious and James, and Lily and Harry, for one. Letting himself get caught. But James? Wouldn't change a thing. Didn't want to. It was the imperfection of the memories that made them so perfect, so glowing, so fucking wonderful for him to remember. Something to warm the cockles of his cold, cold heart.

Those days, when they had lain in the long, sun-kissed grass in the field, you know, the one round the back of Jamie's house. There was a river too. In the summer, when it was just them two, they'd paddled, pushed each other, rolled over and over in the dirt, and laughed. Laughed so hard, for so long – they thought it'd last them for years, at least. Then Lily gave in – James'd gone into a state of shock, and he'd not been able to stop laughing at the stunned look in his Jamie's eyes – and he'd not minded. She was good for him, and he loved her – always had, always would, but not in the same way he loved him. Nothing like that – and she loved Jamie. It was all he could ask for, really.

But, as inevitably happens in fairytales, that wicked witch crept into his mind, and BHAM! Everything changed. His view of the world, or, to be specific, of James.

Quite predictably, they'd been screwing since they knew what it was, but this was something new, something altogether different. This – bloodyfuckingasshole – thing made him stare when James so much as looked at him. He stared when Jamie stripped off. He felt his face grow hot when his Jamie tossed him a wicked grin. He did what he could. He flirted more outrageously, and openly than he had before – saying something, considering that they'd always flirted playfully to the embarrassment of Moony – and used every trick in the book to get Jamie to respond.

"Who was that?" James asked, arms folded, lips quirked in an amused smile as he lent against the door to their dormitory. Sirius was lying on his bed, refusing to flush, so lit up instead.

"Ravenclaw."

"I guessed as much." James said drily, hooking a finger under the blue-and-grey striped tie hanging off a bedpost. "Going for guys now, too?" Sirius shrugged, moving his bitten nails over the stained sheets slowly.

James snorted to himself, and, tugging off his own tie, said, "Remus and Pete aren't gonna be back for an hour at least."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." James openly laughed, grinning at his best mate, before striding over to floor to climb up onto Sirius' bed.

"What're you doing?"

"What do you think?" James straddled him, his grin stretching.

Sirius' elegant hands drifted to James' waist, clutching at his shirt and bunching up the material. "You're with Lily."

"So?" James reached down, and plucked the cigarette from Sirius' swollen mouth.

It developed, evolved, until it was so much more than a casual shag that neither could bear to admit it. James married. No one but James saw his tears, and no one but Remus saw through his hard grin.

War changed them. Blood, death, loss: everywhere. James had never gone to Lily after a battle, but now he barely left Sirius' place. They stayed, cramped up tight together on the sofa, on the floor, in the kitchen – once in a cupboard – but never the bedroom. Lily had picked out the matching duvet-and-curtain-set.

It wasn't cheating. If it was, James was cheating on him with her. But then little James came along. Brightened everyone's world, even his. Kind of.

"You're godfather." James said, beaming. He had wrinkles – when had they crept onto that smooth face, Sirius wondered.

"Oh. Uh, thanks?"

"Knew you'd be pleased. Isn't he incredible? Destined for great things – gonna play Quidditch for England, is my Harry!" And Sirius couldn't help but smile.

He didn't want to ever see James and Lily's son. Because as a teenager is how he remembers Jamie. Full of hope and promise and want and not much else.

It doesn't matter, now, anyhow. He's banged up in this howling cell. It's enough to drive a person insane. Sometimes he wishes for death, death to take him to Jamie, in a land where they'll be James and Sirius, Padfoot and Prongs for as long as they want to be.

Most days he just sits and remembers and tries to block out the screams. Everyday the memories get fainter. The precious memories of his misplaced person.