Title: If Only I Could Make You Mine
Fandom: Harry Potter
Theme: #55, Landslide
Sirius is slipping, Remus thinks, and it doesn't matter how hard he tries to hold him back, in the end it's no use; Remus knows that he can't be what Sirius wants him to be.
The November evenings are drawing in around them, and Remus can feel the steady, chilly ache in his bones that he's come to associate with cocoa and the scent of cloves and mulled wine. Remus makes tea, Earl Grey, and places a steaming mug in front of Sirius, who is sat in the drawing room, staring vacantly into the fireplace, before sitting opposite him in a red, leather armchair. The fire is the only light in the otherwise dusky room, and its patterns dance in Sirius' eyes; red and amber reflecting off of the grey in a way that makes Remus think of angels watching dispassionately on as the world slowly burns below them.
Sirius doesn't move, doesn't even acknowledge the tea or Remus, but rather continues to gaze at something deep in the heart of the fire that Remus can't see. Remus, in return, watches Sirius, and they stay there for what could be minutes, or hours, or days even. There is nothing to disturb them, only the quite ticking from the clock, like the steady beat of a pulse.
After what seems like an eternity, Sirius stands up, and stretches.
"I'm going to bed," he announces to the room, looking anywhere but at Remus. Remus closes his eyes, and nods once. When he opens his eyes again, Sirius has already left the room. The mug of Earl Grey still stands undisturbed where Remus had placed it hours before. The only difference is that it is cold now.
Remus sits for hours, alone, and thinks. When the clock strikes two a.m, it makes Remus jump; he thinks he really ought to go to bed, but finds it is a while before he can summon the will to move his weary limbs.
When Remus goes upstairs, he's not surprised to find that Sirius is still awake, staring out of the window at a moon that is very nearly full. Remus' joints ache at the thought of it.
Sirius, in the dappled half-light thrown by the streetlights from the square outside, would look like a statue of a Greek god if he didn't look so damn broken. He is beautiful still, Remus thinks, in an unconventional way, despite the shadows of his hollowed eyes; his cheekbones are still sharp and proud, his jaw strong, his shoulders broad – but now there's something missing in his demeanour - he looks beaten and wrecked and lost. This is the side of Sirius people don't see, Remus thinks, the side that Molly or Tonks or Dumbledore could never understand.
When Sirius turns to face Remus, the streetlights shine from behind him, like a halo, and his eyes are wide and blank and cool grey: they make Remus think simultaneously of shallow, mountain pools and Dementors. Remus finds this thought extremely disturbing. He bites his lip.
Sirius' face crumples. "Make me feel something," he begs.
Sirius feels breakable in Remus' arms: Remus can count his ribs, and the knobbles of his spine, can feel the veins and the sinews in his bony wrists. Azkaban has laid waste to him, Remus thinks, but when Sirius' eyes blaze, Remus can almost see the shadow of the man he once was behind them.
Afterwards, when all that's left is heavy breathing, and Sirius tangled in so close that Remus doesn't know where he ends and Sirius begins, Remus thinks that he can still taste sunshine afternoons and ginger beer in the sweat on Sirius' forehead, like the last fifteen years never happened. Remus knows that the Sirius now is not the same man that Remus fell in love with in his fifth year of Hogwarts, but somehow that doesn't matter anymore.
"I wish I could see the stars," Sirius murmurs into the skin of Remus' shoulder, and then, softer: "I wish I could see James and Lily."
Sirius is slipping away, Remus thinks, and it doesn't matter how much he tries to hold on, or how hard he loves him, there's nothing Remus can do to stop it. It doesn't matter if he's not the same, sparkling boy as he once was, with lights behind his eyes and infectious laughter. He doesn't care that Sirius is bruised and hollow, because Remus has known for a long time that he's bruised and hollow himself, and right now neither of them has anything to give or anything to offer.
"I still need you," Remus reminds him quietly, but Sirius is already asleep. Remus tucks his head into Sirius' shoulder, trying to get as close to him as possible. He can't help but wish he could tie Sirius to him, even though he knows Sirius would hate that. Even though they're right next to each other, Remus feels as if they've never been further apart.