Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.

I spent a good ten minutes imagining which That 70's Show characters the Marauders would be. (Eric-James, Donna-Lily, Hyde-Remus, Kelso-Sirius, Fez-Peter. Oh, and Jackie-Marlene McKinnon because I love Mila Kunis and I can't leave her out of anything That 70's Show-related. Actually, scratch that, for this story, I think it'd make more sense if it was Jackie-Sirius and Kelso-Marlene McKinnon.)

warning: if you like capitalization then don't read this fic.

x

lying awake but still dreaming

"even after all these years we just now got the
feeling that we're meeting for the first time"
- the script

it's all a very gradual thing, like most others.

he thinks that if—when—it happened he would've noticed. something would have been different about him—both of them. something in the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles, the curve of his chapped red lips slightly heavier on one side. something in the way he takes his scarred hand and brushes back his smooth black hair before he laughs; tilts his head back and laughs laughs laughs at everything like it's the funniest joke he's ever heard.

but now he realizes that there is nothing different, except maybe his heart beats a little faster and his face gets a little warmer. it's natural for him. it's second-nature to love him.

.

james is the first who notices, but james notices everything so it comes as anything but a surprise.

james says he sees it in the illumination in his brown eyes when he spots the black-haired boy from across the room; in the way he leans forward and his spine curves in his effort to catch every word that spills from those lips.

"maybe you should stop staring at him like a love-sick first year and tell him, moony," he says calmly one day when they're sitting by the lake, remus leaning over his homework and scribbling furiously while james levitates an old snitch boredly.

remus pauses, glances at his friend, and then turns back to his homework. "it's just a crush," he lies. "i don't want to make a fool of myself only to find that what i'm feeling isn't even real."

james laughs loudly, the melody of it disturbing a few third years sitting by the shore, talking. they turn around and look at him, and james gives them the finger. "remus, you've been looking at him like that since fourth year; i really don't think you're going to get over this pretty soon, if that's what you're hoping for."

the werewolf blushes deeply and leans closer to his NEWT potions homework. he's never hated yet been so grateful for someone. "go to hell," remus grumbles. and when james is busy shouting obscenities at third years, he grins.

.

sirius is drunk. there is no better way to say it. sirius black is drunk and sirius black is drunk in his bed and sirius black is drunk in his bed looking at him with dark irises and he thinks that the earth may have stopped its orbit.

"sirius, really, please go back to your own bed, i'm trying to sleep." please please please don't ever leave.

he doesn't listen, only flops even further into the covers. their fingers wrap around each other and remus thinks that if he stopped breathing and simply died right now he wouldn't even mind it. "you know you like me in your bed," sirius sings, his breath hot and stinking of alcohol. remus glances wearily at peter, who is already snoring soundly into his pillow.

"i really don't." fuck, yes i do. "i have to get up early tomorrow." i don't think i could ever leave with you here. "this is getting old. this is fifth-year business." this is forever.

"shut up, moony, and enjoy this," sirius giggles, and what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

"you honestly confuse me to bloody unfathomable degrees," remus confesses, but when he's only met by silence, he looks down at his side and finds his best friend asleep, half his face mushed into the pillow, his mouth slightly agape.

remus laughs at the unruly sight and brushes away stray hairs that had fallen into sirius' face, then settles into a light sleep.

(he thinks he likes the feeling of sirius' body pressed against his as he drifts off to sleep but he'd never say it out loud.)

.

james sneaks in through the door quietly around midnight, his hair wild and his glasses askew and his eyes all glossy and his smile sloppy like it gets when he spends time with lily. he rummages through the dresser drawer by peter's bed looking for the marauder's map, his gaze veering to remus and sirius, tangled up together in one bed—

what?

"moony!" james whisper-cries, shaking his friend awake.

remus rolls over onto his back, blinking profusely until his eyes adjust and he can see the outline of james in the dark. "merghffshwhat?" he babbles.

"you! and padfoot!" the whites of his eyes glowed brightly in the dark. "you two…agh! with wormtail in the room! you two are shameless!"

he squints, and then reaches up and scratches at his short brown hair. "how'd you get in?" he asks.

"not important right now!" he snatches the duvet off of them and sighs with relief to find his friends fully-clothed. "what's important is that you finally told padfoot! c'mon, wake him and i'll wake wormy and we'll all sneak out to hogsmeade and get a drink at the hog's head to celebrate, my treat—"

remus holds up an upturned palm. "prongs, i didn't tell him," he admits timidly. "he was drunk and he wouldn't get out of my bed so we just fell asleep like this."

"oh. i forgot. i shouldn't have given him those Firewhiskey-chocolates my cousin sent me." james doesn't hide the disappointment and impatience in his voice. remus doesn't hide the shame in his.

.

he wakes up early in the morning, just after dawn, his roommates all still asleep.

half of sirius' unconscious dead weight lies on him, the sweaty scent of cologne and fresh grass and sweets and alcohol that defines him. they share warmth and he feels nothing but calm peaceful stillness as the grogginess slowly fades away.

merlin, what he'd give to wake up every morning like this.

.

sirius wakes up about an hour after him, all panicked and jumping up and flying limbs, just like every morning. "where am i—" he finds remus, tucked into the corner of the bed, already dressed, reading a book. "morning, moony. why are we—oh! right. sorry 'bout last night, mate, but you know how i can't resist chocolates." he yawns and stretches and remus pretends not to notice the biceps straining from underneath his sleeves.

"yeah, let's try not to reenact it, yeah?" remus puts the book down on his lap. "now let's go get some breakfast. my first class isn't until 11 am."

"sure, sure, let me just change my shirt." and before he can even respond sirius has pulled his shirt off and is browsing through his wardrobe topless, the muscles in the small of his back moving as he pushes clothes off hangers and tucking them against his bare chest with his chin.

sirius turns around, two wrinkled t-shirts in his hands. remus looks up and thanks the gods for giving them quidditch, which, in turn, has given sirius perfect abdominals.

"which is better?" sirius asks, holding both shirts up.

remus' tongue is dry in his mouth. "the—ah—the blue one."

the other boy's brow furrows as he looks at his clothing. "moony, neither of them are blue."

"i—i meant to say brown, sorry."

"oh, okay."

remus actually means to say, "oh god, sirius, i've been in love with you for years, please make sweet love to me," but he's not going to tell him that anytime soon.

.

they eat breakfast quietly, with sirius stuffing sausages in his mouth like voldemort was in the room and he would never see tomorrow. lily laughs loudly at a joke peter tells, james plans out pranks using the map, sirius' knee accidentally bumps into remus' under the table; and he knows that all this is what he wants to last more than anything.

james looks up from his planning, and then leans over the table towards sirius. "oh, pads, i almost forgot—i have to tell you something important." he smirks and winks at remus. "i spent last night in evans' bed."

lily blushes bright red when she hears him say it. "james!" she fumes, and punches him in the ribs.

"ow!" he howls, keeling over and panting. he turns his head to glare at his girlfriend.

"i'm proud of you, i guess, prongs," lily throws her green-eyed death stare at sirius, "but i really didn't ask for details about your sex lives."

"he doesn't have a sex life," lily retorts, "at least not anymore."

james finally regains his wits and sits up straight, rubbing his side. "i just thought that we're not supposed to hide anything in the kind of close friendship that we have, you guys," he explains slyly. "i'm not embarrassed to admit that i slept with lily last night—er—even if it wasn't in a sexual way. especially because i've got such strong feelings for her. i'm not ashamed to tell who i share a bed with—or who i want to share a bed with." james winks again. remus stares, keeping the chaos in his head hidden.

"no, prongs, i think those kind of things you ought to keep to yourself," peter volunteers.

sirius shrugs. "well, then, in this case, i guess i should tell you something, too." everyone falls quiet, staring at sirius intently, who sneers. "i snuck into the head dormitories and shagged dorcas meadows in your bed a few days ago. sorry to keep it hidden for so long." he snickers.

remus' face falls. peter giggles nervously. lily rolls her eyes and sighs. "not exactly what i had in mind, pads, but, uh, thanks for the honesty," james replies uneasily, trying to keep his guilt from becoming obvious.

.

remus walks into the Gryffindor commons quietly around eight at night, having just finished his defense against the dark arts homework in the library. a few fifth years play exploding snap on the floor in front of the fireplace, and lily and a girl a year below them study together, quizzing each other whilst sitting cross-legged on the sofa. she sees him enter and waves, but james and sirius chatting quietly in the corner do not notice his presence.

he walks toward them to say hello before going upstairs to change from his robes into pyjamas, but pauses when he hears bits and pieces of their conversation.

"you really shouldn't just—"

"i know, i know, all right? i can't—"

"—and what about marlene, pads, you have to—"

"—lene mckinnon means nothing to me but an easy snog and i know she feels nothing for me as well—"

"i don't think this is the kind of thing you wait to do."

"—just springing things on people on a whim, i want it to feel—"

"don't be scared, padfoot, i'll—"

"—not scared, just—"

"—know for a fact that—"

"but what if—"

"that's not going to happen!"

"it could!"

"oh! remus! hello!" james cries, and sirius whips around quickly, nervous. "how long've you been standing there?"

"i just got here," he says, frowning. "what've you guys been up to?"

"nothing, nothing, just talking!" james pipes up too cheerfully.

"yeah, just talking," sirius mumbles half-heartedly.

they all look at each other for a second, each knowing that they weren't just talking. "right." remus brushes back his hair, not knowing what to say. "i—i'm going upstairs then, to go to bed early."

"all right, good night," james replies eagerly.

"'night," sirius adds weakly.

remus turns his back on his friends to walk up the stairs, the feeling in his stomach unpleasant.

.

they sit on the quidditch pitch, a few minutes before james starts practice. "the clouds are really gorgeous today," sirius notes, looking up.

remus admires the adam's apple straining against sirius' throat, the elegant way his newly-trimmed black curls reach his shoulders when he leans back, the wide pupils as he stares at the blue-and-white sky, the Adonis-like perfection of the bumps and curves that make up his smooth nose, his strong jaw, his sculpted cheekbones. he decides that sirius is beautiful.

he also decides that, godric, he is screwed.

.

he looks in the mirror and smoothes a finger against his gnarled, defined stomach. scars, scars, brown scars, red scars, white scars, black scars, scars, scars, everywhere. on his abs, his chest, his forearms, his collarbones, his thighs, his shins, even the bottoms of his feet and the tips of his fingers. they twist and collide and separate, each one a different story, a different full moon. they're like tattoos, but somehow more permanent, more meaningful. he's only lived for seventeen years and yet he feels like he's got enough scars for a lifetime.

remus decides they're ugly and pulls his shirt and pants back on, not wanting to look at them any longer.

.

he walks into an empty hallway and almost screams.

there's sirius, pulling marlene mckinnon's leg up to wrap around his waist, his mouth seemingly glued to hers by a sticking charm. she pulls away, giggles, and then kisses him again, and suddenly to remus the room is hot burning hot but he can't seem to move his legs. he tries to say something, but nothing will come out of his throat and the couple doesn't look like they're about to notice him anytime soon.

remus tries to remember and tries to forget at the same time, while he also tries to make the muscles in his legs work, tries to work them from their current position flat on the ground.

"marlene mckinnon means nothing to me but an easy snog," sirius' low voice repeats in remus' head, but at the moment it looks like him and marlene mckinnon are doing much more than just snogging.

finally, after ages and ages, remus remembers how to walk, and walks away from that hallway and decides to never take it again. after a while he breaks into a run, and he races across Hogwarts and through the doors and out into the open, open air, the leaf-less trees waving in the fierce wind and the lake iced over and everything glistening white with fresh snowfall. he breathes it all in, only now realizing that he'd been holding his breath.

later, he sits in the common room playing wizards' chess with peter. sirius walks in, is hair standing up and a few spots on his neck red and purple and his smirk lopsided and remus pretends that nothing is wrong.

.

he sees marlene mckinnon crying in the library a few weeks later.

"um, marlene?" he asks timidly, approaching her. she looks up, her hair a mess of blonde curls and her mascara running down her pale face. "are you all right?"

she sniffles, her bottom lip trembling. "n—no," she sobs, "sirius broke up with me today. he just…he just walked up to me after lunch and said, 'it's over, marlene.'" her face contorts and remus takes out his wand, mumbles a spell under his breath, and conjures a tissue, which he promptly hands to the crying girl. "he said it like it wasn't even anything. just said it and left. six months of dating, and that's all i get." she whimpers. "oh, thank you, remus."

"no problem," remus mutters, but his insides stir.

.

as he walks back to the commons, he feels like he's in a trance of some sort. he can hear someone calling after him, but he doesn't pay attention, and only concentrates on making his way back to the common room because he thinks he might pass out soon.

he enters the portrait hole slowly, careful not to slip, and he almost laughs at the irony because when he's inside, the entire common room is empty except for sirius black standing at the bottom of the staircase.

"oh, hey," he says, watching his friend take a couple long strides to get to him, "i was just looking for y—"

sirius never gets to finish his sentence because as soon as remus is close enough, he reaches his shoulder back, balls his hand into a fist, and slams it into sirius jaw, a sickeningly satisfying crack resulting from it.

"holy shit!" sirius screams, sprawled on the staircase, holding his red jaw, blood running down from his split bottom lip. "what the hell, moony?"

remus very calmly says, "that was for marlene mckinnon." he leans down, picks up his friend by the wrist, and then pulls his face in very gently, and then kisses him. soft, soft, soft as not to hurt his newly-punched jaw. sirius freezes, and then relaxes and kisses him harder, his fingers pulling away from his jaw and weaving through remus' hair.

when they pull away from each other, gasping, sirius cries, "what was that for?"

"that was for you never noticing that i've been in love with you for ages," remus shrugs.

sirius' mouth falls open and his eyes widen so much that his eyeballs look like they're about to pop out. "what? but…but, r—remus, i—"

but sirius doesn't finish his sentence because remus promptly turns around, walks through the portrait hole, and disappears into the hall, leaving sirius rubbing his jaw with wide grey eyes.

.

remus encounters james in the halls.

"hey, moons, where've you been? wormtail and i are about to—"

remus, floating on both euphoria and dread, fists his hand and punches his friend square in the face.

james sits on the floor, taken aback, staring up at remus dumbly, holding his bleeding nose. "i'm not going to murder you," he hisses, "but only because i beat you at exploding snap last night."

"that was for giving me idiotic advice," he explains, and when james stands up shakily, he pulls his friend close and hugs him, tightly, clasping him on the back. "and this is for being my best friend."

"n—no problem, mate," james replies, confused as he watches his friend's back, walking away.

.

lily finds him an hour later, sitting under a tree, watching the Giant Squid make large cracks against the solid ice over the lake. she approaches him cautiously, before sitting on her knees beside him, her red hair hidden by a beanie.

"you're not going to punch me, too, are you, remus?" she murmurs.

remus laughs. "of course not."

she smiles widely. "good to know." she leans her head against his shoulder, sighing. "everyone's been looking for you," she tells him softly. "especially sirius."

he bites his lip hard, tasting blood in his mouth. "so everyone knows, then?"

"not quite everyone. they just think that you guys have had a fight."

"did you know?"

"of course, remus," she replies, and then pauses before adding teasingly, "but i know everything."

he chuckles again. "was it really that obvious?"

she smiles, a small, red smile against a pale face. "only to the people who matter."

he grins and wraps an arm around her affectionately, pulls them both closer together, keeping each other warm, watching the colorless skies.

.

sirius finds him, too, soon enough, but probably only because lily had told him where he was. "moons, it's bloody freezing out here," he calls from a distance back, looking like a dark smear against the white snow.

"i like it," remus says back, not even turning around.

footsteps echo and sirius is at his shoulder. the sun is beginning to go down, everything fading to grey. "you're going to freeze your arse off," sirius warns timidly. "come inside."

"no, thanks."

he growls, swears under his breath, and then sits next to remus. "moony, come on!" he shouts. "what's wrong? okay, just tell me what's wrong, please!"

remus frowns, and then covers his face with his palms. he mumbles something muffled by the fabric.

sirius howls angrily. "speak up, i can't—!"

"you hate me!" remus yells, his voice deep and husky and raw. "you probably hate me. that's what's wrong, all right?"

everything is just shades of grey as they both stare at each other. remus breathes heavily, his eyes dark and his lips pressed together. finally, he stands up, ready to leave sirius behind again. as he begins to walk away, sirius grabs his hand. "you should really stop walking away, and start letting people finish their sentences." he tugs on remus' hand, and he turns around to meet sirius' eyes and instead is met with a kiss.

the world fades from shades of grey to color, bright searing color. the pale pink of sirius' skin and the shade of blue that remus' eyes are and the color of them when they're wrapped together amidst a snowfall.

.

"all this time?" peter mutters. "all this time! no one around here ever tells me anything."

lily, who sits on james' lap comfortably, laughs. "sorry pete, maybe you ought to start opening your eyes to the things right in front of you."

"yeah, wormy, and you wonder how you're failing history of magic—it's because you're practically blind to your surroundings. how can you expect to pass when you can't see, much less read your textbook!" sirius retorts with a smirk.

peter glares and challenges him to a game of wizarding chess, while james balances refereeing and snogging lily. remus watches his friends, sitting next to sirius shyly, and thinks that they are all what he loves.

.

"was what peter said true?" sirius asks that night as they share a bed again, listening to the sound of peter's soft snores.

"what do you mean?" remus asks sleepily through closed eyes.

"was it really all this time?" he sits up, and props himself up on his shoulder. "did you really love me all this time?"

remus looks up at sirius, his eyes open now. "more than that," he breathes, "i loved for even longer."

sirius smiles, and kisses him.

.

remus expects to feel surprise when he kisses him. like he's supposed to stop and say, "what the hell?" before remembering that, oh yeah, they can do that now. but it never really happens. kissing him is second-nature, as well as holding his hand and waking up next to him and sending each other secretive smiles and watching the skies in the springtime.

(his heart still beats faster, though, but he's getting used to that.)

x

finite.