The knock finally comes at twenty past ten, making Remus jerk out of his trance-like state. His heartbeat seems to have climbed into his head; it beats against the backs of his eyes with hot, regular thumps and makes it difficult to see. He doesn't so much walk as fall towards the door, staggering wildly, seizing the doorknob like a drowning man seizing a lifebuoy. Sweating profusely, his hands slide off it several times before he finally wrenches open the door.

Sirius is just… standing there. He isn't fooling about; isn't slouched against the door-frame like the prom date in a Muggle film, isn't pulling a stupid face, isn't- like that one time he tries not to think about, that still make Remus' neighbours give him sideways looks when he bumps into them when taking out the bins and makes his ears burn red-hot and pulse like giant red beacons when it pops into his mind, usually at work- on his knees and shirtless with a rose between his teeth. Remus had dragged him in by his shoulder, heat starting in his earlobes and spreading as he sees the curtains of the old Muggle lady two doors down twitch, only for Sirius to bound off into the kitchen and tear everything off the shelves to find hot chocolate powder, having spent a good twenty minutes kneeling in the cold waiting for Remus (singing in the shower) to hear his knocking. He had milked it for almost an entire day, shivering and making Remus wrap him in more and more blankets until only his disheveled hair could be seen and make him half-hourly mugs of hot chocolate in what was probably the least sexy nineteen hours of Remus' life. But this Sirius is doing none of those things. He is standing looking slightly lost in the middle of the landing, shuffling from foot to foot, and when he sees Remus he lets out a short hissing noise like a held breath. He licks his lips. Remus can't stop staring at them; they are chapped in places and shiny in between and he wants to do a thousand things to them, preferably all at once. Sirius opens his mouth, clenching and unclenching his fists as he hovers.


He is Moony to nearly everyone important. People at work call him Remus, or Um-Remus more often, but differently. Not the way Sirius does. It makes him feel real, with no stupid nickname to hide behind. Moony is a Marauder and a bit of a twit. Remus is a person. This person, with his palms sweating and his nails digging into his palms and Sirius looking at him like that. For once in his life, he doesn't feel out-of-place and awkward and vaguely embarrassed, which is pretty much his permanent state of being otherwise. The boy who crosses rooms and then worries that he did it wrong grabs Sirius Black by the shirt collar and drags him through the door without a single niggling thought, and kisses him as though it was as natural as breathing.

The door slams behind them. Lips slide hard against one another, catching and slipping; Remus' fingers find the back of Sirius' scalp and wind tightly into the long black hair. There is a clash of teeth and Remus wonders in the very small part of his brain still available for coherent thought if they would ever kiss like normal people did, not that he knew anything about it except from Muggle films, should one of them bend their leg up like the girls in the old films, why was it a foregone conclusion that he would be the girl and anyway cocking a leg was something Sirius had done many times in a very different context-

Then Sirius' pelvis connects with his in a hard bump of bone and skin, and Remus realises just how very much normal kissing could go to hell that isn't at all grammaticalshutupshutup. His breathing is ragged, coming in tiny hisses of air through the side of his mouth. He can feel Sirius' heart pound, the pulse shuddering through both of them like a drumbeat, even through layers of clothing. Remus fumbles with Sirius' shirt. His fingers do not seem to be in control, skittering away from the buttons as he tries to grasp them. Sirius falls back against the wall with a thud and Remus goes with him.

Remus' lips slide over Sirius' and down his neck, catching on the salty skin, and Sirius moans and the skin goes taut. When he runs his teeth over Sirius' collarbone, a shiver runs through both of them like a current and Remus feels the first hot twist in his stomach, shooting through his abdomen and melting downwards. He can't think. He can't think why he would want to think. He wastes precious time trying to solve this puzzle and then Sirius makes a sound much higher than he would normally make or admit to making, a wobbly hiccup of a sound that trails off into a drawn-out breath. If Remus could still remember words, he might call it a whimper. He knows, knows he is the one doing it to Sirius, he is the one reducing him to this state, and it is glorious. No-one has ever been this alive.

The moon that shines through the window is a fragile sliver. It lights up the beads of sweat that trail into Sirius' hair like a constellation. Remus has never seen anything as beautiful as Sirius Black, who sucks in a shaky breath, presses his forehead against Remus' and whispers:

'Remus- I- I mean, I…'

Remus kisses him. He knows exactly what he means.