The line, "He kisses just like a girl," popped into my head and I had to write about it. At first I thought of Harry and Draco, then Trowa and Quatre, but it was another pairing that put itself together when I started typing.

So now I issue a challenge: Write your own story that includes the line "He kisses just like a girl." Post it online and send me a message with the link. If I end up with any responses to this, I'll put the links in my profile. ^_^ It doesn't have to be Harry Potter.

Happy reading.

oooOOooOOoo

"I dare you to kiss James."

"What?" James yelped, jumping back.

Remus's face flushed bright red. "I—I can't do that!" he stuttered, staring down at his hands.

"Sure you can," Sirius answered cheerfully, his face split in a grin.

"No, he can't!" James retorted, standing up. He brushed his robes haughtily. "That was a stupid dare, Sirius."

Going on the defense, Sirius said, "Ho, ho, coming from Mr. Potter! How many times have you made the rest of us do stupid things on dares? You remember when Pete had to write Lucius Malfoy that love letter?"

"I still have scars," Peter lamented grimly.

Bolstered, Sirius pressed on, "And the time I, me, Sirius Black, had to ask Gwendolyn Myers if I could carry her books for the whole week? I almost couldn't get the stench of her out of my clothes! Not to mention what it did to my reputation!"

James couldn't help but chuckle at the memory.

"This is small stuff compared to that," Sirius reasoned. "It's not I'm saying to do it in the Great Hall. Just here."

Brought back to his predicament, James had to admit that he'd forced some pretty nasty punishments on his friends over the years. And this wasn't public, or anything. Only Remus. He looked at the other boy who was peering at his hands with the utmost humiliation. Poor guy. James decided it would be easier on Remus if he didn't make a big deal out of it. The kid was pretty sensitive, after all. James sighed. "Fine. Just a—"

"On the lips," Sirius injected now that he had gained some ground.

James frowned at him, wondering what, exactly his best friend was playing at. "Fine. Come on, Remus. Sirius wants to get his rocks off on us snogging. Better get it over with so we can go back to the game." If James wasn't very much mistaken, Remus was shaking. Maybe it's his first kiss, James mused with some sympathy. Remus had never had a girlfriend and he didn't talk about girls he knew from home.

Stepping over Peter, James sat beside Remus and put his hand on his shoulder.

Remus looked up for the first time. His eyes were wide and a little scared, and he was definitely shaking.

"Just a quick one," James said.

"I—I don't—"

"Just let James lead," Peter teased. "He's got plenty of experience." He and Sirius broke into laughter.

James took advantage of their noise to whisper, "No biggy, Moony. Just you and me. Right?" He smiled encouragingly.

Swallowing thickly, Remus nodded.

James leaned towards him slowly, licking his lips. Remus leaned away slightly, then closed his eyes. Inches away…centimeters…their lips met.

It was a brief touch, but James had the chance to register that Remus's lips were dry, smooth, and warm. An odd tightness settled in his stomach as he pulled away. Remus opened his eyes slowly, his cheeks as bright as the flames from the fireplace.

Sirius and Peter laughed and made some comments and the game moved ahead. Before long, Peter's yawns were constant enough to be annoying and Sirius was slouching a little more than usual.

"Bed?" James asked.

"Yeah, I think so," Sirius said, pushing himself off the floor. He sat on his bed.

The rest of them followed suit and James turned the lights out. "Night guys," he said.

"Night," they chorused back.

Though he'd been tired while sitting on the floor, now that he was curled up in bed, the hangings drawn, James couldn't sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Remus's face, pleasantly flushed and waiting. James shook his head against his pillow.

In his own bed, Remus lay awake as well. Like James, he couldn't stop thinking about the kiss, but for much different reasons.

Why had Sirius wanted to embarrass him like that? Why did he want to make James get a kiss from a—a monster like him? Was it some revenge for a slight he, Remus, was unaware of?

He also kept thinking that it would probably be the only kiss he'd ever get. If there had to be just one, Remus supposed James was the person he'd want it from, but not forced like that. It had been very obvious James was only doing it because he had to.

I'm a freak, Remus despaired. A monster. Of course he didn't want to kiss me. Who would? Unbidden, tears streamed down his cheeks. He sniffled a little then buried his face in his pillow and let himself cry.

James's ears perked at the sound coming from across the room. He was used to being kept up by Remus's moans and cries. The other boy had severe nightmares as the full moon drew closer and it was no oddity to hear him talking in his sleep. But the night of transformation was far away now.

His stomach turning as it had after the kiss, James rolled over and mused upon the situation. Poor guy, he thought again, guessing Remus's thoughts. After a moment, he sighed and slipped out of bed. He crept across to Remus's bed and pushed the hangings aside.

"Wha—"

Before Remus's voice could disturb Sirius and Peter's snores, James slid onto the bed, letting the hangings fall closed around them.

"James?"

Pulling Remus's blankets back and crawling under like he had years ago in a similar situation, James put his arm over his friend's chest and whispered, "Quite crying and go to sleep. You'll be tired tomorrow if you don't."

Remus sniffled once more and rubbed his face. "I'm sorry I woke you up."

"I never went to sleep," James answered nonchalantly. He laid his head down on the edge of the pillow and closed his eyes.

Remus watched James for several minutes. He recalled the last time James had crawled into bed with him when he was upset.

It had been in their second year. He'd just returned to the dorm after a particularly painful transformation. Stepping gingerly, he'd made his way to bed, trying not to wake his friends. Just laying down hurt the bruises on his back and hip and he'd cried out without meaning to. Everything was still. No one had woken up. When Remus had settled into his bed, he closed his eyes against the tears that came.

He thought he was quiet as he cried, but James had come and pulled his hangings back. The first rays of dawn poured in through the high windows. "Are you OK?"

Unable to answer, Remus just shook his head then looked away from his friend.

"Is it your mom?"

His friends all thought he went to visit his sick mother when he was in the Shrieking Shack, so the assumption was reasonable enough. Remus neither confirmed nor denied.

James slipped under the blanket beside Remus. "It's all right. She'll be fine." James closed his eyes and fell back asleep before Remus, but his presence was still a comfort.

Then, as now, Remus had wished he could tell James the truth. At the time it had been the terrible secret of his Lycanthropy. Now it was something that seemed even worse.

If Remus had to be honest with himself—and he usually tried to—he'd loved James since that moment when the other boy had offered him comfort so freely. The feelings had only intensified when he found out that James had led the rest of them to become Animagi for him. Now Remus had given him his first kiss. Not really, he supposed. He'd only just sat there while James did the kissing.

"James?" he said softly.

"Hm?"

"Sorry about that stupid dare."

"Why should you be sorry? It was Sirius who did it."

"Yeah. But I should have just called consequences on it."

"Naw," James dismissed with a chuckle. "He would have just told you to kiss Pete or something instead."

Grateful for the darkness, Remus continued, "I'm still sorry."

"Sorry for what exactly?" James asked with an air of genuine interest.

"You had to kiss me."

"I can think of worse people to kiss," he answered easily. James propped himself up on his elbow and looked down at Remus's outline. "Lots worse," he assured him.

Remus licked his lips, wondering what a real kiss with James would be like. Not one where he was just sitting…. He leaned up a bit, then settled back in his pillow as though he'd been adjusted himself for comfort.

James read the movement correctly, however, and began to wonder himself what a real kiss from Remus would be like. His stomach squirmed.

It was only natural to be curious, though. He was very close with Remus. They'd been through a lot over the years. They had a strong bond, like him and Sirius. Of course, he'd never kissed Sirius before and he'd never wanted to. There was something in the sweetly reddened cheeks and the slightly feminine curve of Remus's bottom lip that intrigued James.

The curve of his lips? When had James started noticing things like that? He certainly couldn't have described Sirius's lips without seeing them again.

James bent a little closer to Remus, seeing him despite the dark.

"James?"

Wetting his lips, James dipped his head, brushing a light kiss on Remus's mouth for the second time that night.

Remus's breath caught and stopped for a second. "James, you don't have to."

"Why should I think I have to?" he asked, slightly offended. "Maybe I want to."

Licking his own lips, Remus pushed himself up to a sitting position. His body felt hot. "James."

"Stop saying my name over and over like an idiot," James admonished with a smile.

Smiling, too, Remus leaned forward. He hesitated for a moment then pressed his lips slowly against James's. The other boy responded with light pressure and Remus retreated a little, nervous. James brushed his fingers against his shoulder and, encouraged, Remus returned James's pressure anew. The kiss lasted less than a minute, but it was hot and sweet and full of passionate promises.

When they parted, James was breathing heavily. He kisses just like a girl, he thought, his abdomen painfully tight. Light and shy, but there was a heated desire just waiting to be coaxed to the surface. For a moment he wanted Remus as badly as Remus probably wanted him. Then the moment passed.

James thought of Lily. Her beautiful face and the engagement ring he'd bought her last month. It was hiding in his sock drawer, waiting for Christmas break when James would pop the question…. He drew away from Remus.

"Remus, you're one of my best friends. You always will be."

Sensing the shift in emotion, Remus nodded slowly. "Sorry."

"Don't be sorry. You're amazing."

"But I'm not Lily," he said with some sadness.

James shook his head.

Remus nodded again. "I guess I'm just glad we did that. I'd regret it forever if didn't happen." His insides had cooled at the thought of Lily's name. He was even a little ashamed of what felt like a betrayal of his friendship with her.

"I should go back to my bed."

Remus nodded again. He sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

James slid half out of the bed and said, "Good night."

"Good night." He paused. "And thanks."

With a final smile, James disappeared and the hangings fell closed.

Remus rolled over, trying not to think about James's lips or any other part of his body. He was comfortable with what he shared with his friends. He knew he would probably never feel as safe and comfortable with anyone else the way he did them. Not just James, either. Sirius and Peter, too. They knew him—the real him—and they loved him still.

Smiling to himself, Remus burrowed into his blankets and went to sleep.

END