fake smiles ought to break

A HariPo drabble

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. Guilt loves to follow people around… :] Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

Something small always sets it off.

That's always how it'll be, James feels, whenever he's on his own with Remus. James can put up as strong as a bravado as he is able, but Remus' bad, big Remus-size words always string together to put James back on shaky ground.

"To use an awful solecism, you'll be fine on your own for the Potions homework, irregardless." And he says it with a small smile, as though it's some private joke to make James feel bad. James doesn't see it as a poke at improper English, but as a poke at him for just being below Remus' level, and he feels awful that he probably will never be what Remus deserves, someone who's his intellectual equal.

When it's James' fault, a slip-up of the tongue when he mentions Lily, Remus doesn't even say anything, instead giving James a trusting, too trusting smile and returning to his classwork. And James can spend the rest of class seething, alternately angry for Remus' blasé attitude and worried that Remus is more hurt than he lets on. The latter James feels is the worst, because it's much more in tune with Remus' personality and, by George, he's had plenty of years to learn the bloody thing and still he can barely read what runs through that brainy mind of his.

And when it's a third party, James is sure he's going to reach out and shake Remus. He knows Remus saw Sirius joking around. He knows Remus saw Sirius yank on his tie and smooch James' cheek, lick his ear on a godforsaken bet from Peter. He knows Remus saw it and didn't comment and continued reading that stupid, stupid Muggle book 1984, which is ridiculous in its own case, because 1984 is still eight-almost-seven years away, so why should any book read at the end of 1976 be called that? And James hates himself again for getting sidetracked by that bloody line of thought as he stomps upstairs after Remus to their dormitory and enters, only to turn around and charm the door so the others—really, the troublemaking Padfoot and Wormtail—can't follow…or disturb them.

So James explodes.

"What the fuck, Remus?"

And either because it's quiet or because he really was more rattled than he'd let on, Remus jumps, his book finally dropping to the floor (ha, you lost, 1984!). He turns those big, brown eyes on James. "Why are you so irate, James?"

Perhaps it's the word that he's only heard maybe ten times in his life, or perhaps it's that Remus looks like a dainty unicorn just waiting to be attacked—whatever the motivation, James stomps over to his love and kisses him, hard, indelicate, the rough kind of way that bumped their heads together and momentarily bashed their teeth. But then Remus slacks a bit and gives a little moan in the back of his throat that tells James maybe he's won for once.

"Hey, I know I never have to worry about you," Remus breathes against his lips. "You're more than smart enough to know that, J."

And though James feels just a smidge like a prick—something they usually all leave to be better-handled by Sirius—it's a bit of a relief to know Remus isn't mocking him in the least bit. But still one thing hurts: "Can't you ever just…y'know, be jealous?"

Remus, goddammit, Remus does it again. He gives James that melt-your-heart-in-your-mouth smile that ignites dark emotions in the Potter boy. "I don't really know how to," he answers, and that sounds slightly mocking even though it's not.

James gets the picture. He'll just have to be jealous (or was it guilty?) enough for the both of them. He'll have to make Remus squirm and fight him a little and buck and actually beg for more because it's not enough to have him just say he trusts James. He's got to feel it, and James will only know he's feeling it if James feels it through him, through every part of him…through every ounce of his soul.

Godric, fuck…! If James had known how much better Remus was when he felt as though his life depended on it, he would've confronted the little wolf sooner. But James knows something else, too: It's not just that he loves him. It's not just that the little things set it off.

It's that there's so much love that the built up hurt makes it so much better…and James morbidly finds himself wishing that Remus gives him such false smiles again, because now James knows how to snap them off his love's face.

- ^-^3

Hrmm, a little hotter than I was expecting… ;) I'll just babble for a moment and not harm the wonderful image Jamus has left for you.

Solecism: A word that's not proper English but has become regarded as so. Examples: "irregardless," "ain't," "alright" (They're just not words.)

Irate: A synonym for angry, which is why James hated that Remus just didn't come out and say "angry."

Thanks for reading and please review!

-mew-tsubaki B3