Thank you so much to everyone who has commented or favourited this fic! I'm posting the final two chapters together as one as an apology for taking so damn long to come back and update. I've another few fics to come - both Torchwood and Harry Potter - so, if you're interested in reading, pop me on alerts. Cheers!
Just over an hour later, after a shower that had them both thanking any deity they could think of that they were young with a short refractory period, Sirius was dressed and shuffling his feet awkwardly in the doorway. The hotel car Sirius had called sat idling by the kerb while they said goodbye.
'I'll look forward to seeing the article in print,' Sirius said.
Remus smiled. 'Should be just before the start of your tour,' he told him, forcing words out of his dry throat.
'You'll have to send me an autographed copy,' Sirius teased and Remus chuckled.
They both inhaled simultaneously then laughed softly at their synchronism. 'I'd better go,' Sirius said, gesturing towards the car.
Remus nodded. 'Yep,' he agreed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. 'I... I promise to buy this new album.'
Sirius grinned, the smile not reaching his eyes then he cursed and grasped the waistband of Remus' jeans, pulling him in close for a final kiss. Remus melted into the lip lock which started off hungry with a flavour of desperation, then slowed until it was soft and sweet and Remus was having trouble breathing through the tightness in his chest.
When they parted, Sirius' tongue dragged over his bottom lip as if searching out one last taste of Remus, then he gave Remus a forced-looking smile before he turned and clattered down the stairs. Remus let out a shaky breath and closed the door, leaning his forehead against it for a minute as he listened to the slamming car door and the slight squeal of tires as it pulled away.
That's that then.
Except it wasn't.
Six hours later, Remus picked up the evening news from his door mat and unfurled it to find a picture of he and Sirius kissing splashed across the front page in all its black and white glory.
'Remus! Is it true that you and Sirius have been dating for several weeks?'
'Remus! Over here! What do you have to say to the claims that you turned Sirius Black and stole him from Selena Marks?'
'Why didn't Sirius ever come out? Why were you seeing each other in secret?'
'Is he ashamed of your relationship, Remus? Are you just a fling?'
'I can't go out there, Alice,' Sirius groaned, pulling a cushion over his face and wondering if it was possible to asphyxiate himself.
'You don't have a choice,' she said bluntly, one hand holding a mobile phone to her ear, the other pressing keys on her organiser. 'You were foolish and indiscreet, Sirius. Now it's time to reap the whirlwind.'
Sirius threw the cushion off his head to stare askance at the blonde as James queried, 'Reap the whirlwind?'
'She's been watching 'Young Guns' on the movie channel,' Peter said with a fond smile at Alice.
'I can't believe Remus did this,' Lily said, throwing the morning paper down. A frown marred her pretty features as she looked over at Sirius. 'I thought he was a nice guy.'
Sirius' face hardened then morphed into blankness. 'So did I,' he said bluntly, lurching off the couch and walking across the room to stare moodily out the window. 'Guess we were both wrong.'
'What I want to know is what was in it for him?' Alice asked, snapping her phone shut. 'He's not made any large deposits into his bank account that would indicate he was paid for that story, and he's not out there trying to sell every single detail to the highest bidder.'
'You checked his bank accounts?' James asked in disbelief.
Alice shrugged. 'I know people,' she answered mysteriously, and Peter grinned at her.
'You frighten me sometimes,' he said, looking anything but scared.
'He's not telling his story now because he's going to put it all in the article then sell it to the highest bidder,' Sirius said loudly, still facing the window.
Alice shook her head. 'No, he's not stupid,' she mused, tapping her finger against her mouth. 'He knows that this is a breach of his contract with us. He has to know he'd lose all rights to the material he gathered for the article...'
'He's still got plenty of information about what Sirius Black likes in bed though,' Sirius said with a scowl, remembering some of the details of the leaked story; details about things that happened on the roof top, things that only he and Remus could know. 'That's one hell of an article just there - "I had my tongue up Sirius Black's arse".'
'God, that is way too much information,' James groaned while Peter winced and Lily's face turned red.
'I can't believe I fell for him,' Sirius said despairingly, trying to forget that glorious kiss that had been captured on film, trying to tell himself that the Remus he thought he was kissing hadn't really existed.
There was a moment of quiet then Lily said tentatively, 'You mean, you can't believe you fell for his story, don't you?'
Sirius spun on his heel and glared furiously at her. 'That's what I said,' he snapped, resolutely ignoring the fact he was flushing deeply over his slip of the tongue. 'Look, let's just do this, alright. We can't call this press conference off.'
'As if anyone remembers we're actually releasing an album tomorrow,' James muttered and was immediately shushed by Lily.
Sirius clenched his fists and looked from one of his band mates to the other. 'Look, I'm sorry about this,' he said through gritted teeth. 'I didn't mean for it to happen and I've told you that I'm going to deal with it. I'm sorry about the timing... ' He snorted as he tugged his leather jacket on. 'You can talk to Remus about that one.'
Alice stood up just as her phone beeped. She opened her mailbox while the others pulled on their jackets then looked up at Sirius in surprise and trepidation.
'It's for you.'
Sirius frowned in confusion and took the phone she held out, glancing down at the screen.
'Sirius. It wasn't me, I swear. Pls call me.'
Sirius looked up at Alice who was studiously ignoring him as she ushered her other curious charges towards the door. He stared down at the message for a full minute before typing out a quick response:
'I was wrong. You are the bigger whore. See you in court.'
Remus cringed when he saw Sirius' return message and threw his phone at his bedroom wall in frustration. He edged his curtain aside, swearing when he saw that the crowd of photographers and journalists outside his front stoop was just as dense as it had been this morning when he tried to leave to go and see Sirius. He let the shade drop back into place and sank down onto the floor, back to the wall and legs drawn up to his chest.
'Well, this is ironic,' he muttered to himself. 'Bitten on the arse by my own pack. Sirius would love it.'
He stretched his arm and scooped up his phone, miraculously still intact. He searched for new messages, but there were none. The phone trilled in his hand and he fumbled, nearly dropping it. A quick look at the number made his hackles rise, and his temper snapped.
'Not you too,' he snarled into the phone after he answered. 'You're supposed to be my friend...'
'I am your friend, you fool,' the man on the other end retorted. 'Open your fucking door.'
The line disconnected with a click and Remus scrambled to his feet, peering out the window again and this time, saw a familiar shock of messy grey hair. He ran to the front door and opened it a crack. The wall of noise hit him like wrecking ball and he took a step back as the door was flung open and an older, gnarled man forced his way inside.
'Fuck off, you gutter feeders!' he snapped at the mob behind him then he slammed the door shut. He turned to glare at Remus then slapped him around the back of the head.
'Ow!' Remus cried, holding his head and ducking in case another blow was forthcoming.
'What was the first thing I told you about journalism?' Alastor Moody asked, pointing his cane at Remus.
'Don't let anything get in the way of a story,' Remus parroted and Alastor nodded.
'Don't let anything get in the way of a story,' he repeated, shaking his head as he limped past Remus and fell gracelessly onto the couch. 'And what do you do? You have a brilliant opportunity for a scoop and you let your cock do the thinking for you.'
'It wasn't like that,' Remus mumbled, rubbing the back of his head. 'I didn't have anything to do with this...'
'Of course you didn't,' Alastor said scathingly. 'I might have a bum leg but I can still see the obvious when it's shoved under my nose. You're bloody in love with that lout.'
Alastor shook his cane threateningly at Remus. 'That Black lout,' he snapped. 'Any idiot could look at that photo and see that you are completely arse over tit for him. Why would you jeopardize that, or your exclusive, for some tacky publicity in a shitty rag?'
'Sirius thinks I sold him out,' Remus said miserably, slumping back into his chair. He deliberately ignored Alaster's theory that he was in love with Sirius. It was a little too close to what Remus himself had been thinking. 'He won't talk to me.'
'Of course he won't,' Alastor scoffed. 'He's a bloody celebrity; they're all prima donnas. Listen, I've been making some phone calls – calling in some favours – and I know who took that photograph.'
Remus sat up ramrod straight. 'Who?' he hissed and Alastor winced.
'You're not going to like it,' he warned.
'Fuck!' Remus shot to his feet and clenched his fists. 'That fucking prick!'
'I see you remember him,' Alastor said dryly. 'Yes, Snape. Unfortunately for you and Black, Snape has quite a number of unsavory snouts scattered throughout the top hotels. That's how he gets so many scoops.'
'That must be how he knew so much about that night on the rooftop... Oh, I'm going to wring his fucking neck!' Remus seethed, stalking back and forth in front of Alastor.
He stopped suddenly and snatched up his phone. 'I'm going to call Sirius and tell him that I can prove...'
'Ah, you can't though,' Alastor interrupted loudly. 'You can't prove it wasn't you. Snape could say you two were in cahoots, and you'd planned the whole thing.'
Remus groaned and dropped his phone back on the coffee table. 'What do I do then?' he asked, raking his hands through his hair distractedly. 'How do I prove I had nothing to do with this?'
Alastor looked at Remus, eyebrow raised in appraisal. 'Why?' he asked bluntly. 'Why is it so important to you? Because you'll lose the exclusive if you can't prove your innocence, or because you want another go at Sirius Black's backside?'
Remus swallowed down his instinctive brush off and shrugged. 'I don't know,' he admitted softly. 'Does it matter?'
'Not to me,' Alastor said, raising an eyebrow pointedly then he smiled smugly. 'Lucky for you, I despise Severus Snape, and also lucky for you, he is scared shitless of me.'
He smirked triumphantly at Remus as he heaved himself to his feet. 'And I happen to know exactly where to find the little bastard.'
Remus frowned, puzzled, as Alastor stomped back down the hall and flung open the front door. He shoved his way through the crowd, disappearing for several seconds in the sea of bodies, then he reappeared, dragging behind him a thin man with greasy dark hair.
Remus shot to his feet as Alastor gave the other man a shove, sending him sprawling onto the hall floor, then shut the door.
'Moody, you lunatic,' Severus Snape snarled as he stood up and brushed off his black coat. 'I've a good mind to have you arrested for assault.'
'You want to see assault,' snapped Remus, storming towards the hook-nosed man,'I'll fucking give you assault.'
'Stop!' Moody ordered, flinging out his cane and stopping Remus in his tracks. He gave Remus a warning look then turned to Snape. 'All I want from you is the name of the person who gave you this story. It's not a lot to ask.'
Snape's lip curled in a sneer, but Remus could see the fear in his eyes as Moody advanced on him. 'I don't have to reveal my sources,' he said then he flinched as Moody's hand fisted.
Moody chuckled, the sound more menacing than amused. 'You will tell me,' he said quietly. 'Or next time I'm talking with your editor, my tongue might just slip about a certain employee's carnal interest in his wife. How is the lovely Narcissa these days?'
Remus' mouth fell open in shock. He knew Narcissa Malfoy. She was hot, and her husband, Lucius, was notoriously protective. A grin spread across his face. Lucius would gut Snape if he was shagging his wife.
'You can't prove anything,' Snape whispered, his already pale skin now tinged green.
'That never stops you,' Moody retorted, looking expectantly at the other man.
Snape licked his lips nervously, looking from Alastor to Remus. He closed his eyes and with a sigh of defeat mumbled, 'Barty Crouch. He works in Security at the hotel Black's staying at. He has a hidden camera on the roof...'
Remus saw red and launched himself at the other man, Alastor not bothering to stop him this time. He grabbed the front of Snape's coat and slammed him hard into the wall.
'Is there footage of me and Sirius from that night?' he hissed furiously in Snape's face. The twitch at the corner of those dark brown eyes told Remus all he needed to know. 'You cunt!'
His fist was already clenched, his arm drawing back, when Alastor seized it and held on tight. 'Don't give him the satisfaction, Remus,' he said firmly.
Remus, with deep regret, let go of Snape and dropped his arm. 'Do you have that footage?' he asked, clenching and unclenching his fists compulsively.
'He wouldn't give it to me,' Snape told him, eyeing Remus' fist and Alastor's cane warily. 'He wanted extra money for it, and I couldn't get it all together quickly enough. I was supposed to see him again later today.'
'He's at work today?' When Snape nodded, Remus abruptly turned and headed for the door.
'What are you going to do?' Alastor demanded, frowning disapprovingly. 'Contact Black's manager and she can get the hotel to look into the allegations.'
Remus dragging his hooded jumper over his head as he shook it. 'I'm going to see Sirius,' he said, voice muffled inside the hoodie. 'I need to talk to him face to face.'
Alastor rolled his eyes. 'I hope you know what you're getting into with this bloke, Lupin,' he said. 'He lives in a different world. This...' He pointed to the door – two inches of wood standing between them and the pack of photographers and reporters outside, '... is only the beginning if you get mixed up with him. You're a journalist, Remus. You know they'll stop at nothing for the story.'
Remus shoved his wallet in his pocket. 'I don't know what Sirius wants from me,' he said, pulling the hood up over his head. 'But I need to know he believes me. I don't want to end things like this with him.'
He glanced at Snape and shook his head in disgust. 'Can you get this git out of my flat?' he asked Alastor and the older man nodded resignedly.
'Go on,' he said, waving Remus off. 'I'll lock up here, but I want details before I see it in the paper.' He smirked. 'He does have a very fine arse.'
Remus grinned at him then pocketed his house keys and braced himself before he stepped out into the maelstrom.
Remus paid the cab driver and winced when he saw the crowd of journalists outside the hotel entrance. He slipped down a side alley and knocked on a dented door. It swung open fast, almost hitting him in the face, and his first and only girlfriend, Mary McDougall, stared out at him.
'Remus,' she hissed, glancing over her shoulder into the busy kitchen. 'I'll be sacked if they find out I've been letting you in.'
'I won't tell anyone,' Remus said with a nervous look at the mouth of the alley. 'Come on, Mares. Just one last time?'
Mary sighed and then beckoned him inside. She hurried him through the kitchen then held him back before he went through to the dining room.
'Remus,' she said uncomfortably. 'I can't do this again for you. Black's manager is raising hell over some of the details in that article. She makes it sound like there's a spy on staff or something...'
'There is,' he said abruptly. 'I've got to go, Mary.' He kissed her on the cheek. 'Thank you.'
She smiled and checked that the coast was clear before shooing him through the swinging doors.
Remus kept his hood up and hoped he didn't run into anyone who could stop him before he reached the elevator. Once he was in there, he knew the pass code that would get him right up to the door of the suite and...
He froze at the sound of the familiar voice and closed his eyes in frustration. 'Hi, Alice,' he said, turning around to face her. 'I have a very good reason for being here.'
She cocked an eyebrow in inquiry. 'Really?' she said, stepping closer. 'Well, how about I call security and you can tell all of us your very good reason?'
'Go ahead,' he said, crossing his arms over his chest defiantly. 'Ask for Barty Crouch and I can put some questions to him about how much illegal footage of Sirius Black getting a hand job goes for.'
She stared at him, taken aback. 'What are you talking about?' she muttered, taking his arm in her talon-like grip and dragging him out of earshot of the reception desk. 'Right. You have exactly one minute to tell me exactly what you think is going on.'
Remus did, then after his hasty explanation, he sat down to wait while Alice stalked off in a terrifying rage to speak to the manager, thanking every deity he knew that he wasn't in Barty Crouch's shoes.
Remus' foot stopped its nervous jiggling and he looked up to see Sirius smiling uncertainly down at him.
'Hi,' he replied, half-standing before Sirius waved him back into his seat then sat down beside him in the tiny half-hidden alcove Remus had found in the lobby.
'Alice told me that you were the one who found out who sold that story,' Sirius said. 'They're talking to the security bloke now, but they found his cameras and the stash of footage in his locker.'
He grimaced in disgust then glanced over at Remus. 'I wanted to say thank you for figuring this out and to... apologise for the way I treated you.' He fiddled with the hem of his shirt. 'I should have known you wouldn't do that to me.'
'I can't really blame you for thinking that I...'
'I shouldn't have,' Sirius interrupted, shaking his head. 'I should have known. I read that article you wrote. You were respectful and did everything I asked you to do with it.'
'I'm a journalist. The suspicion is always going to be there, isn't it?'
Sirius looked at Remus, hearing what Remus wasn't asking. 'Maybe it is,' he murmured, looking downcast. He twisted the toe of his boot into the lush carpet for a moment then said, 'I came out. In the press conference just now. I officially confessed that I enjoy a cock in my arse.'
Remus smiled. 'And how do you feel?' he asked softly.
'You know,' Sirius said thoughtfully. 'I'm okay. I was dreading it, and the press were just their usual horrific, demonic selves... no offense...'
'But on the whole, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.' He put a hand on Remus' knee and squeezed lightly. 'And I think I owe that to you. Talking to you...' He sighed. 'I realised that you were right. I didn't think I deserved all this. Like I'd gotten it at Regulus' expense or something.'
'You didn't,' Remus said firmly, putting his hand over Sirius', and Sirius smiled.
'I know,' he agreed. 'Really, Remus. I know. And thank you for showing me that the world didn't end because I let someone in.'
Remus gave him a nod and stared down at their hands. The temptation to feel more of that satin-soft skin became too great and he stroked the pad of his thumb over the back of Sirius' wrist, feeling the other man shiver as he did. He looked up. Sirius was watching the motion of Remus' thumb with an expression of longing that, had he looked in the mirror, Remus was fairly sure would be etched across his face as well.
'I thought... I hoped that we could...' Sirius bit his lip and looked away as he pulled his hand out from under Remus'. 'It just wouldn't work between us, would it?'
There was an edge of hopefulness in Sirius' voice that Remus wanted to grab with both hands and hold close to his heart, but practicality and reality were screaming in his ear that this could only end in tears.
'The rock star and the pap living happily ever after?' Remus mumbled, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jumper. 'That sounds like the cliched plot of a romance novel or something, doesn't it?'
Sirius smiled unconvincingly. 'We should just... go our separate ways,' he said and Remus nodded miserably, trying to summon up the courage to leave, or to tell Sirius how he felt. Anything other than just standing here feeling as though someone had ripped him open.
Happily, or unhappily – Remus wasn't sure - James Potter took the decision right out of his hands.
'Hey, Remus,' he said, giving him a smile and nod before he looked at Sirius. 'Sorry, but we have to get going. We've got some interviews to do in the suite, and our flight for Paris leaves pretty soon.'
'Yeah, okay,' Sirius muttered. They both watched James walk away then Sirius stood up with a sigh. 'I'd better go.'
Remus pushed himself to his feet, his limbs suddenly feeling heavy and cumbersome. 'Maybe I'll catch you in concert,' Remus said, swallowing when the words hurt coming out of his tight throat. 'You're back in London in a month, yeah?'
Sirius nodded. 'I could send you tickets,' he said faintly then he swore. 'This is shit. Look, I've got to go before I do something really stupid and girly like start bawling. I'll see you, Remus.'
He leaned in and planted a quick kiss on Remus' cheek then spun around fast and walked quickly away.
'See you, Sirius,' Remus murmured, feeling a bit like bursting into tears himself as he pulled up his hood once more and braved the front entrance of the hotel.
'Sirius? Is it true you're dating Bill Weasley?
'Sirius! Sirius! Come on, mate! One photo, yeah?'
'Sirius, are you happy to be back in London?
'Mr Black! How do you feel knowing you're only the second sexiest man on the planet?'
Sirius stopped, his heart stuttering when he heard the familiar voice rising above the angry buzz of shouting and yelling from the swarm of paparazzi outside the hotel. He looked over his shoulder and saw Remus standing nearby, getting buffeted by jostling bodies from all directions. He wasn't holding a camera; instead, he was holding up the latest issue of that bloody magazine that rated celebrities in order of sexiness every year and raising an amused eyebrow.
Sirius grinned. 'I think Pitt's got that thing rigged,' he said, then laughed as the other reporters scrambled to quote him. He nodded his head towards the hotel. 'Coming in?'
Remus shook his head. 'I can't,' he said with a rueful smile. 'I'm supposed to catch a plane tomorrow and I haven't packed yet. I just... wanted to say hi and thank you for the tickets.'
Sirius came closer, the camera flashes almost blinding him. 'Where are you going?' he asked, trying not to acknowledge how disappointed he was that, after nothing but a few platonic text messages, this was the most he was going to see of Remus. He had been hoping that they could talk about some of the things that had been constantly whirling around Sirius' mind from the moment he walked away from Remus a month earlier.
'Spain,' Remus told him. 'Going to interview Selena Marks.' He smirked. 'Apparently, we have a lot in common. We can compare notes...'
Sirius laughed, recalling the particularly persistent rumours from a couple of months back. 'You know, I've never even met the woman,' he said with a shake of his head. 'I probably should since I apparently had a torrid affair with her only to cheat on her and break her heart.'
'It does seem like the least you can do,' Remus agreed mock-seriously then he looked around at the frantically scribbling pencils. 'You're giving this lot a hard on by spending so much time out here.'
'Oi!' said a female photographer from behind Remus. 'Don't be sexist. Some of us are wetting our knickers as well.'
There was a ripple of laughter through the reporters and Sirius chuckled as well. 'I'll buy you a new pair,' he said to the woman, reaching for her hand then bringing it to his mouth and kissing it chastely.
He looked back at Remus who was staring at him with a funny little smile playing about his lips. 'You'll be back in time for the concert?' he asked, and Remus nodded.
'Wouldn't miss it for the world,' he said quietly then his eyes shifted to something over Sirius' shoulder. 'Uh oh. I think you're in trouble.'
Sirius twisted around and saw Alice standing in the doorway, tapping her foot impatiently. 'Er, right,' he said hastily, turning back to Remus. 'I'd better be off.' He hesitated then offered up a wide smile. 'I'll see you in a week or so then.'
Remus nodded then gave Sirius a wave as he made his way over to Alice. 'What are you doing?' she asked.
'Just catching up,' he told her, but when he turned back to give Remus a final smile, his heart sank.
He was gone.
Remus couldn't help but sneak another look at the magazine in his hand as he walked down the street towards his flat later that afternoon. It was the same magazine that had won the bidding war for Sirius' interview. They'd run the article last week and recorded record-breaking sales. It was the same magazine that had now contracted Remus to do some freelance work for them, interviewing notoriously publicity-shy celebrities all around the world.
Remus looked down at the cover of the current issue of the magazine. It was an average red carpet shot of a beaming Brad Pitt. Sirius had been on the cover last week; a bloody amazing photo Remus himself had taken of Sirius in front of the window of his suite – barefoot and wearing just jeans and white t-shirt - with the brightly lit London skyline glittering behind him. He looked like he had the world at his feet. Remus loved that photo; loved knowing that he'd been the one to swell those full lips with kisses just minutes earlier, that he'd been the one to put that soft and satisfied smile on his face, that those eyes were smiling and full of life because they were looking at him and remembering...
'They should have given you first place,' Remus murmured, looking down at the small posed photo of Sirius in the corner of the cover page. 'You're hotter than Pitt.'
'Actually, I think Brad Pitt's quite sexy,' said the last person Remus expected to see sitting on his stoop. 'I think I have a thing for men with brown hair. Huh. James told me I have a type, but I thought he was just being an arse.'
Remus stared at Sirius in disbelief. 'You're here,' he said, nonsensically, and Sirius nodded.
'I snuck out,' he admitted. 'You know your stoop smells like dog piss?'
'I'm aware,' Remus said faintly, his head still spinning. Sirius was here? His treacherous heart skittered in his chest and he sternly ordered it to stop. This didn't mean anything. It could be that he just wanted another night of stupendous fucking which – if he was honest – Remus would probably settle for, even though he knew it would break his perpetually, foolishly hopeful heart.
'See, the thing is,' Sirius interrupted, resting his forearms on his thighs as he hunched over, staring at the dirty stairs, 'I like you. A lot. A whole lot more than I've liked anyone in a long time and everything in me is screaming at me to not let you go without a fight. Well, except this little voice that sounds a lot like Alice that's telling me I'm insane for even considering...'
'I like you too,' Remus said, interrupting Sirius' ramble. 'But... this wouldn't work. You travel all over and I... '
'Stalk me,' Sirius said, looking up with a genuine smile. 'Or at least you used to. So couldn't you stalk me by day and... fuck me by night?'
Remus' heart sank. 'Couldn't you find a fuck buddy that would be more accessible?' he said sourly.
Sirius lost his smile and stood up, staring down at Remus from the steps. 'If I wanted a fuck buddy, I wouldn't be here,' he said, a hurt expression straining his face. 'You are not easy, Remus Lupin. You are stubborn and persistent and generally a pain in the neck. If I just wanted a nice arse to plough, I have several options available to me without even having to leave the hotel.'
'So what are you asking me?' Remus asked in confusion.
Sirius let out a loud groan of frustration and Remus was astonished when he actually stomped his foot. 'God, Remus,' he said, dragging a hand through his hair. 'You are fucking... I'm asking you to be with me, to be my... I hate the word boyfriend... partner? Lover? I don't fucking know, I just know I missed you like crazy and I don't want to go a month without seeing you ever again.'
Remus knew his mouth was hanging open but couldn't find the motivation to shut it. His ongoing fantasy of the last month was becoming reality, but he found himself unable to completely believe it was really happening. He shoved a trembling hand into his pocket, the other crushing the magazine at his side. It was hard to catch his breath and he cleared his throat twice before he trusted himself to speak.
'I have to travel for work,' he said, voice still embarrassingly shaky as he made a last ditch effort to protect his heart by playing devil's advocate. 'Our schedules would conflict... we might not see each other much. I can't turn down jobs.'
'I'll let you take interesting photos of me so you don't have to take on so many other jobs. And I can give you plenty of gossip about the others to keep you going,' Sirius offered, stepping down to street level so he and Remus were standing eye to eye. 'For instance, Lily and James are secretly engaged...'
'That's the worst kept secret in the Western world,' Remus retorted with a grin. He allowed Sirius to take his hand, the magazine dropping to the pavement. Sirius gently pulled him closer, Remus shivering when he felt Sirius' warm breath wash over his skin.
'I've got more,' Sirius promised, his face losing all traces of humour. He swallowed hard enough for it to be audible then he breathed in deeply. 'Can we...? Would you want to give this a try? Give us a try?'
Remus nodded, unable to hold back his burgeoning smile. 'I like the sound of 'partner',' he said softly.
Sirius beamed then whooped before hauling Remus in for a fierce kiss. When he released him, Remus let out a snort of laughter.
'You daft sod. Did you really think I'd say no to the second sexiest man on Earth?'
'You had me bloody worried for a minute there,' Sirius confessed, grinning madly. He claimed Remus' lips again in a slower kiss that deepened fast. They wound their arms tightly around each other, giving in to need that had been denied for four long weeks until a passing car rode their horn as they passed and startled them apart.
'Could we possibly go inside?' Sirius asked, stealing soft kisses after each word. Remus moaned as talented hands crept under his jacket and shirt and found warm skin that had been craving Sirius' touch. 'I'd hate to traumatize Alice any further this month by getting arrested for lewd behaviour.'
'This isn't lewd behaviour,' Remus murmured, his own hands on Sirius' biceps, guiding him backwards up the stairs so he didn't have to ever let go.
Sirius smirked against Remus' lips. 'What I plan to do to you next will be,' he promised in a growl that made Remus' cock as hard as stone.
Remus' hand slid down to Sirius' arse, curling around the curve of his buttocks and fitting their hips together like puzzle pieces. 'I'll hold you to that.'
With a ridiculous amount of fumbling with his key, Remus finally got them inside and Sirius immediately took the opportunity to shove him against the door and rid him of his coat.
'How long have you got?' he said with a mischievous smile and Remus chuckled at the echo of his own words.
'Barring emergencies,' he said, repeating Sirius' response. 'All night.'
Sirius beamed and, without any preamble, pulled his shirt over his head. 'Brilliant,' he breathed then pulled Remus into a long, hot kiss.
'Sirius! Over here! That's it!
'Sirius, look over here! Remus! Remus!'
'Come on, boys! Look my way, yeah?'
'Can we get a bit of a snog, boys? Ah, come on! You know you want to!'
Sirius felt Remus' fingers tighten around his and glanced away from the wall of photographers to smile at his slightly paler than usual partner. 'Alright?' he asked.
Remus nodded, trying for a reassuring smile but failing entirely. 'Still not all that keen on being on this side of things,' he muttered, wiping his sweaty palm on the side of his new black jeans.
Sirius laughed and untangled their fingers, sliding his arm around Remus' waist protectively. 'I'll protect you from the big bad paparazzi,' he said teasingly.
Remus bumped him with his shoulder in mock-annoyance, but was secretly extraordinarily grateful for the large warm hand on the small of his back. It was one thing to run the press gauntlet when they stayed at hotels, but it was another to have to actually stop and pose for them on the red carpet.
'I'm sorry I guilted you into coming,' Sirius whispered, leaning close so Remus could hear him. 'I know you were nervous about this.'
Remus angled his head so he could look into Sirius' eyes. 'You've been nominated for Album of the Year,' he said softly, resting his own hand between Sirius' shoulder blades. 'Did you really think I would miss this?'
Sirius' face broke out into a smile that made Remus' world tilt a little. He dipped his head and dropped a quick kiss on Remus' lips and the women (and some of the men) on the fan side of the barricade scream loudly in approval. Sirius chuckled and, sliding his hands around Remus' waist, turned his head towards the squealing hordes.
'Should I give him a proper kiss?' he called and the deafening shout of affirmation made Remus wince.
'Gotta give them what they want,' Sirius shrugged mischievously as he turned back to Remus.
Before he could offer up an objection or any words of caution, Sirius had pulled him close and planted his lips squarely on Remus'. The roar of approval hit them like a punch and Sirius smiled against Remus' lips.
'They love us,' Sirius said, teeth scraping over Remus' lip as he spoke.
'They love you,' Remus mumbled, trying to block out the stuttering flashes of light as the photographers frantically rushed to capture the public display of affection. Remus thought that, over the last year, the press had caught he and Sirius in enough clinches to satisfy most fans' voyeuristic tendencies, but it seemed the public had an unquenchable appetite when it came to Sirius. 'They tolerate me.'
'Well, I love you,' Sirius said lightly then he pulled back, cheeks flushed, and beamed at Remus. 'The more I say that, the better it sounds.'
Remus laughed quietly and gently extracted himself from the other man's embrace. 'I know,' he agreed, twining their fingers together as one strident voice rose above the cacophony.
'Sirius! Remus! Are the rumours about an upcoming Civil Partnership true?'
Remus stifled a smile and tried not to think about the ring sitting on his dresser at home, the matching gold band on a necklace hidden underneath Sirius' shirt for luck.
'Nope,' Sirius said with a hint of a smile playing about his lips. 'No plans for any nuptials in the foreseeable future.'
He squeezed Remus' hand, and Remus tightened his grip as well. Alice had managed to arrange their CP a week earlier without any leaks to the press and they planned on keeping it that way for as long as possible – or at least until after their belated honeymoon in a fortnight's time. After that, Remus had permission to announce it with his own article on the pros and cons of being married to an international rock star.
Sirius winked at Remus as they turned away from the press and entered the venue for the award ceremony. In the last year, they'd managed to strike a balance between which parts of their lives they shared with the public and which they held tightly to their chests. As Sirius raised their linked hands to his mouth and brushed a soft, comforting kiss across his bare ring finger, Remus smiled. This was one secret that was definitely worth keeping.