Remus is the only person awake in the whole of the universe. It is half past Still Dark Outside o'clock, also known, to a certain Animagus in his bed, as Too Bloody Early. The window pushes back on the icy sky, holding it off from where he sits, propped up on the mattress on the bare floor. He enjoys the peace, and the sharpness of the morning, and the cold air juxtaposed by the impossibly warm body curled up next to him, and the sound of impossibly warm breath. He also enjoys the crossword.

Five letters, a genus of perennial shrubs and trees. Starts with 'y'.

Damn. Sirius is far better at these. Has a particular knack for them. Wake him up?

His face is more peaceful than it could ever be in consciousness, lips slightly parted to exhale visible puffs of warm breath. His hands could even be graceful, curled gently near the inky mess of his hair on the pillow. Remus watches his eyelashes twitch over whatever dreams he's having; a few strands of hair flutter in the wake of his breath.

Wake him up later.

Perennial shrubs. Surely knowledge from Herbology is useless here; this is a Muggle paper, after all. What does he know of Muggle shrubs? Pine. Spruce. Fir. Hemlock. None of which start with y. Bugger.

Last part may have been out loud; there is a stirring at his side.

"It..." The syllable is pronounced with great effort and importance. " Too Bloody Early."

"What's a perennial shrub that starts with the letter 'y'?"

Snuffling sound that might be laughter obscured by a pillowcase.

"You're..." General drowsy rustling. "You're up at Merlin-fucking-knows doing the crossword."

"I was up, I was bored. Perennial shrub, starts with 'y', five letters."

Sirius shoves his face back into the pillow and makes a humming sound at the back of his throat. "God, I love you so fucking much."

Remus drags his fingers through the tangled black hair. "That's more than five letters."

"Sooooorry, it's too early for me to be such a girl...Look what you've done, you bastard..."

Remus smiles down at him and lets his hand rest over Sirius' forehead, stroking his temple lazily with his thumb.

"But really, though. Just...aaagh...I do. So much."

The words are blurred around their edges with sleepy sincerity. Remus adjusts himself on the bed, sliding down so that they rest forehead to forehead, huffing visible air into each other's faces.

"I love you too."

Sirius' eyes flicker open. Nebulas of grey and blue and silver and gold.

"The crossword answer's 'yucca'."

the end **