I own nothing.
Dedicated to Mr. Bellatrix Lestrange, who is the reason this is done so soon, and who wanted some Remus/Sirius fluff, which this is. Mostly. Except for Remus getting a little angsty in the middle, because he does that (it's a werewolf thing).
For the HPFC Poetic Colors Challenge
Prompts: Pine, peach, denim, jade, almond, cerulean, rose, aquamarine, cotton candy, midnight , champagne, cinnamon, ebony, candy apple red, and olive
The wall starts out peach. The most hideous, horrendous, appalling shade of peach imaginable. Sirius is convinced that the woman who lived in the flat before him was blind, because there's no way anyone would ever knowingly, voluntarily paint the walls of her bedroom that color, regardless of taste. And, given it's a one-bedroom flat, she had to deal with it on a regular basis. Sirius wonders if the reason she moved out was because someone committed her to a madhouse – he honestly wouldn't be surprised if the walls had driven her crazy.
The first renovation he makes in the tiny flat is to paint the bedroom.
Maybe it's just his independent streak, and maybe he's just a little too spur-of-the-moment, but he covers the horrendous peach with a shade of black that the paint store calls ebony.
It turns the wall into a black hole that sucks up all the light in the room. Still, he feels bad, thinking about repainting after he just paid for paint. It'd make him feel silly.
Then Remus comes over and points out that it's awful. And that he's a wizard, with absolutely no need to buy muggle paint. Sirius shrugs sheepishly. He never did have much by way of common sense.
That night, Sirius spells the wall a color he found on a crayon. Remus bought him a box when he found out Sirius painted the walls black because he felt overwhelmed by all the paint samples.
The box of crayons simplifies things down to 48 colors. Given that he'd already ruled out both peach and black quite effectively, Sirius lands on a brilliant method of choosing his next wall color.
Dump the box out, close his eyes, and grab one!
He glances down at the crayon in his hand. It just had to be pink, didn't it?
He shrugs. Who is he to argue with the crayon gods? Or is it the wall-color gods? Regardless, Sirius flicks his wand and turns the walls a color called "Razzle Dazzle Rose."
It's nearly as appalling as the peach.
He blinks. Then he grimaces. Then he goes to sleep, hoping it won't be as bad in the morning.
It's definitely as bad in the morning. As a matter of fact, it might actually be worse, now that the sun is shining on it. Remus stops by because it's Saturday, despite the fact that he stopped by the day before after Sirius got home from work. He does a literal double-take as he enters the bedroom. Sirius laughs, because he'd thought that was only an expression.
He tells Sirius that it looks like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol exploded. Sirius isn't entirely sure what that is, but he grins, and says, quite cheerfully, "Horrible, isn't it?"
Remus closes his eyes and gives a long-suffering sigh.
"And why, if you're well aware that it's horrible, did you still paint it this color?"
"Because the crayon gods told me to?" The words are stuck halfway between a question and a statement.
Remus is trying not to laugh.
"I… don't want to know."
Sirius grins again. "No, you probably don't," he chirps before abruptly moving on. "You'll come over tomorrow? I'm sure it'll be different."
Something unrecognizable gleams in Remus's eyes as he nods that he will.
They spend the rest of the day pointedly ignoring the "Razzle-Dazzle Rose" walls.
When Remus visits the next day, he's a little afraid to look in the bedroom.
He takes it as a good sign that he's not immediately blinded as he walks in the door.
He's not sure this is better, though.
Sirius follows him, beaming proudly, and declaring the color to be "pine".
"It reminds me of you, see? And all the times we spent in the forest."
Remus shudders. Sirius blinks, before realizing.
"I'm an idiot."
Remus backs out of the room. "You aren't an idiot, Pads."
"No, nope, I'm pretty sure that I am. Certifiably idiotic. Gosh, Rem, I didn't even think about the fact that your memories of forest might not be as… cheerful as mine."
Remus shakes his head. "It's your bedroom. Why does it matter why I think?"
He turns to leave, but Sirius catches his wrist before he can. "Hey. It has always mattered to me what you think."
But Remus won't meet his eyes. "Look at me," Sirius says firmly. Reluctantly, Remus does.
"Why is it so hard for you to believe that your opinion matters to me?" Sirius's voice is a pained whisper.
"Why does my opinion matter to you?" Remus counters.
Sirius frowns. "I… don't know. Because youmatter to me."
"I don't know. I don't know, okay? I just do. Why does it matter why?"
"Because you shouldn't! Because I'm a monster!"
Sirius flinches. The words sting, even coming from Remus.
"You are not," he says firmly.
Remus shakes his head. "I am. Just because you refuse to see it, doesn't make it untrue."
"Just because the rest of the world thinks it's true, doesn't mean it is," Sirius countered. "Rem, what matters is you, not the werewolf lurking under your skin. And you are not a monster."
They've had this discussion a thousand times and gone nowhere.
Sirius suddenly grins cheekily. "Alright, what's your favorite color?" he asks abruptly.
"Denim," Remus answers promptly, before flushing bright red, for some unfathomable reason.
This, as usual, makes Sirius grin slyly. "Why, Moony, darling, you're blushing," he practically purrs. Remus goes brighter red. Sirius smirks.
"Now why," Sirius continues, his voice still slippery-smooth, "would a favorite color of denim – which, by the way, I was not aware was even a color at all – make you blush?"
"It's not," Remus mutters.
"What's that?" Every syllable of Sirius's voice is still laden with teasing.
"It's not a color, okay? It's a fabric. It's just…" His face, which had finally begun to cool, is suffused with heat again.
Sirius laughs lightly, slinging his arm around Remus's shoulders. "C'mon, Moony! You know you can tell me anything!"
Remus stutters something out and escapes through the front door. The next time he comes over, the room is the color of Sirius's favorite pair of blue jeans. He blushes at the sight of it, cursing how easily his face colors, but he seems pleased.
"Alright, seriously," Sirius says, and then glares at Remus when he sniggers at the unintentional pun. "Why on Earth does denim make you blush?
Remus flushes bright red and mumbles something under his breath.
Remus seems to have decided that it'd be best to do this like a bandage – one quick jerk.
"I've always thought your butt looked great in denim." He spits it out like it's only one word.
The smirk that stretches across Sirius's face goes from one ear to the other.
"What was that?" he asks smugly.
"You. Look really good in denim," he mutters to the floor, too embarrassed to look Sirius in the eye.
Sirius is grinning like the Cheshire Cat, and he's got an almost predatory look in his eyes. When Remus finally looks up, it frightens him. Sirius takes a step forward, and Remus takes a step back. This happens again and again until Remus feels his back hit the wall. He'll deny it afterward, but he actually squeaks. Sirius's grin, if possible, actually gets larger.
"Just say if you want me to stop," he says in a voice that clearly conveys that he's well aware that Remus won't say a word.
Sirius has one hand on the wall above Remus's head. He leans forward slowly – agonizingly slowly. So agonizingly slowly, in fact, that Remus gets fed up with the waiting and leans forward to meet him in the middle.
Six months later, when Remus moves in, the room is still denim. He smiles at the memory.
Still, when Sirius gets home from work that evening, the room is white.
Sirius doesn't even have to ask out loud. He shoots Remus a questioning look. Remus shrugs.
"I thought we should pick a color together," he says. Sirius nods.
The first color they land on is a tannish grey color Remus claims is "almond".
The color lasts only three days before neither of them can stand the neutrality.
The next color choice, they err on the opposite end. In hindsight, it should have been obvious that candy apple red was going to be ostentatious and obnoxious. Still, Sirius says it's better than almond.
Needless to say, candy apple red doesn't last long on the walls.
Getting decorating advice from James was probably not the best idea.
James immediately dyes their walls jade green. This probably has quite a bit to do with his fascination with a certain pair of green eyes, but the color doesn't work as well on walls. It's a little too bright, and neither Sirius nor Remus really feels the need to be reminded of Lily Evans (soon to be Potter) in their bedroom.
Thinking maybe green was the right way to go, they tone down the brightness and jade transitions into olive. Olive, though, is far too close to pine for Remus's liking, and evokes the same feeling – the forest. Remus does not have happy memories of forests. He was bitten in a forest, oh-so-long ago, and it created an almost instinctive fear of forests. He only had to learn that lesson once.
They paint it cerulean blue next. This is better than the olive, because it evokes memories of sky, rather than forest. Sirius feels like he's on his broomstick every time he walks through the door.
This time, they think, maybe they've got it right.
Until an Auror mission goes wrong, and Sirius nearly drowns. James saves his life, but only just. After spending a few days surrounded by the harsh, antiseptic white of Saint Mungo's, coming home feels like he's drowning all over again.
They resort to the crayon box again. Sirius stares at the crayon he pulled in disbelief.
"My hand has some bizarre attraction for pink crayons!"
"We are not painting the walls that color."
"The crayon gods have spoken!"
Still, it's after he paints it cotton candy pink that Sirius starts calling it the Untouchable Place. After all, they both know there's a war going on out there – for Merlin's sake, people are dying – but somehow, in this room, it seems like none of that can touch them. The bright, appalling nature of the pink only highlights that fact.
Still, the pink doesn't last long.
Remus refuses to let Sirius pick another crayon. Instead, he tacks 20 colored slips of paper (none of them pink) on each slice of a dart board.
He closes his eyes (which is maybe a little bit dangerous, but less biased) and tosses the dart.
Sirius gapes when it actually hits the dart board. Not only that, it's nearly a bulls eye. Remus smirks and doesn't explain why he's so good at darts, though Sirius desperately wants to know.
The slice it lands on is labeled with a square of paper that's a reddish brown Sirius claims is cinnamon.
The color stays longer than most, but there's just something about it that feels... Not them. It feels like it's somebody else's bedroom, and that's not really what they're going for.
They seem to be running out of ideas. Resigned, they resort to the crayons once more, although Remus declares straightaway that Sirius is not touching the box.
The first color he pulls out is a midnight blue that Remus refuses to even put on the wall. It feels too much like the cerulean, he says. They don't need to go through drowning all over again.
The next color he pulls Is champagne, and it's so close to the boring almond that Sirius vetoes it.
He pulls aquamarine after that, and they sigh and paint the walls, but it feels far too feminine.
Sirius glares at the crayon box.
"The crayon gods are not working in our favor today."
"One more," he entreats. "Together, this time."
Sirius nods, and they put their hands together, closing their eyes, and pull out a single crayon.
The minute he sees the name on the label, Remus starts laughing.
Remus shows it to him. Sirius lets out a barking laugh.
"I guess that's our sign, Moony ol' pal."
"The crayon gods have spoken," Remus murmurs wryly.
The crayon is denim.