The thinking behind this is that Lily and James got married fairly early on because of the war and such; they were anywhere from 17-21 when they tied the knot. So yeah, I can imagine some problems along the way. And then I listened to "A Thousand Miles", that old Vanessa Carlton song, and then I got this :)
A Thousand Miles
"James, would you walk a thousand miles for me?" asked Lily Potter dreamily. She had been Lily Potter for only a few months, and she was a hundred percent sure of James's answer.
Her hypothesis was sorrily wrong.
James looked up from an report he was writing from Dumbledore on his latest mission for the Order and, before he could remember a) exactly who he was dealing with here and b) what gender said person was, he snorted with laughter. "A thousand miles? Blimey, Lily, no way! I love you, but a bloke has his limi – Lily? ...Lily? Don't – oh, Lily.."
For Lily had burst into tears.
"Lily?" James said weakly.
"Fine then!" sobbed Lily, slamming the pencil she was holding for no particular reason onto the table with great drama. "Fine! I'll just go! See if I don't! I'll walk a thousand miles away from you, so you don't – you don't follow me!"
And with those final cheerful words, she had slammed the chair into the table, was yanking a coat off a hanger, and slamming the door.
James slapped his forehead. "Women," he muttered, leaping up from the table and slamming the chair into it. "Women!"
He did what any worthy, but twenty year old, husband would do.
He apparated straight to his best friend's house.
"LILY IS NEVER SPEAKING TO ME AGAIN AND IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT," he roared, entering it.
"Hello to you to, Prongs," Sirius said mildly, looking up. "She'll come round eventually. She always does."
"THAT'S NOT THE POINT," declared James, collapsing on the couch.
"Exactly what is the point, then, my friend?" inquired Sirius, sitting up.
"YOUR FACE," declared James.
Sirius blinked. "James. Get a hold on yourself."
"Shut up," said James sourly. He was not exactly sure why any of this was Sirius's fault, but his number one rule for life was: when in doubt, blame Sirius.
"How, exactly, is any of this my fault?" asked Sirius patiently.
James sighed. "It's not," he admitted, "but it is," he added quickly. "Because you introduced me to Lily..yeah, that'll be it."
"No I didn't," said Sirius patiently.
James thought back. "Drat," he muttered. "Okay, fine, hm, let me...all right, it'll be MOONY'S fault."
"Now we're talking," said Sirius happily. "It's all, all, ALL Moony's fault! Mwahahha!"
"Scapegoater," accused a voice. A door slammed for the third time that day.
"I need to remember to keep my door locked," muttered Sirius. He jumped up. "COME ON IN, MOONY!" he shouted. "LILY LEFT POOR OLD PRONGS!"
"What?" Remus Lupin rushed into the living room, where his friends were sprawled on the couch. "Seriously, Prongs?"
"No," mumbled James. "I don't think so, anyways – not for good, at least." He paused. "BUT SHE VERY WELL MAY HAVE," he added dramatically.
"Who may have what?" Peter asked, appearing in the doorway.
"Where'd you come from?" asked Remus.
Peter shrugged. "The door was unlocked. I came round to give you this cake, Padfoot." He produced a cake from the bag he was carrying.
"Why?" asked Sirius, accepting the cake. "I mean, I'm not complaining, but.."
Peter shrugged. "I bought a cake for my mum's birthday, but then I realized it's next month, so I decided to give it to you instead."
"Why didn't you give it to me?" said Remus sadly.
"CAN WE GET BACK TO THE BASIC POINT HERE!" shouted James. "LILY HAS LEFT ME AND WILL PROBABLY NEVER COME BACK!"
"She'll come back," said Remus. "Wormtail, why don't I get any cake?"
"Well I'm sorry Remus, but I only have one cake. Maybe Sirius will share it?"
"NO!" said Sirius, hugging the cake to his chest. "It's mine! My precciiouuss!"
"Sirius, there's no need to go all Gollum," said Remus witheringly. "I just think that it's completely unfair for some Marauders to get cakes and some Marauders to get no cake."
"And other Marauders to get no WIFE," said James pointedly.
Sirius looked at Remus. "Do you have a wife?"
"No," said Remus. "Do you?"
"As you can see, Prongs," said Sirius grandly, "none of us have wives, so – "
"I HAVE A WIFE!" shouted James. "OR I USED TO BEFORE SHE LEFT ME! CAN YOU ALL PLEASE GET HER TO COME BACK NOW?"
The Marauders deliberated.
"In my experience of girls," said Sirius, swinging an arm around his friend's shoulder, "it depends on what you've done on how to get them back. So Prongsie, what did you do?"
James groaned. "Something terrible."
"Ooh," said Remus, looking greatly interested all of a sudden, "what?"
"Yeah, what?" said Peter excitedly. "Did you – did you kill her cat?"
Everyone looked at him.
He squirmed. "I once killed a girl's cat by mistake because I ran it over with my broomstick," he said ashamedly. "She never spoke to me again."
"Did you buy her a new cat, at least?" said Remus.
"Yes, but she still never spoke to me."
"How tiny was this cat that it died by being run over by a broomstick?" asked Sirius curiously. "And who was the girl, anyway? I've probably dated her cousin or something.."
"You never dated her, but we all know her – it was Marlene, our Marlene. It was just a kitten. We were really young then, about thirteen.."
"Oh so THAT'S why she hates you!" cried Remus. "I always thought it was because.. well, I didn't know why.. maybe it was because you didn't get her a cake and you got her best friend one instead," he added, glaring at first Sirius, then Peter, then the cake.
"No, I didn't kill her cat," said James wearily. "Not even I'm that stupid.. but what I did do was nearly as bad, I was a complete idiot.."
"What, then?" asked Sirius.
"Well," said James, sighing, "she was being really dreamy – I dunno what's gotten into her lately, really, she's always like this, daydreaming and thinking and murmuring to herself, it's so unlike her...but anyway, today she asked me if I'd walk a thousand miles for her – and I know what I was supposed to say, but I was – I was working on a report for Dumbledore – I wasn't paying attention and I.."
Remus, Sirius, and Peter gave coinciding groans, effectively cutting off James. "Oh, Prongs you didn't," said Peter, sounding very disappointed.
"I did," said James in a muffled voice; he had buried his face in his hands. "It's so stupid, argh.. and now she's gone and left me for good, I'm sure.."
"Sorry, Prongs," said Sirius, who had stood up, "but I think she has left you.. accio knife!"
"PADFOOT!" cried Remus as a knife whizzed in from the kitchen, narrowly missing his ear. "You could've killed me!"
"Cake for everyone," said Sirius, ignoring Remus. "Yes, even you, Moony, even though you are mean. And a big piece for Prongs because his wife has left him."
"Oh, leave him alone, Padfoot," said Remus, ignoring his jibe at him and picking up the knife to cut the cake, "Lily loves him with all her heart, she always have."
"Not always," said James gloomily. "She used to hate me..thanks." He tore off a piece of cake and bit into it. "Such is the life of a bachelor – sloppily eating cake for the rest of his days," he added mournfully.
"Oh, come off of it, I'm only kidding," said Sirius, also tearing off a piece of cake off of the slice that Remus had neatly cut for him, "she does love you, mate, she always has – from when we were little she's loved you.."
"Yeah, she has," agreed Peter, accepting a piece of cake and wolfing it down. "I mean, she never admitted it but let's be honest, that was just because of Snivellus."
James sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "But now she won't ever come back," he said sadly. "She ran out and she said 'I'll walk a thousand miles – so you won't follow me!'"
There was a silence in the flat, then all at once Sirius, Remus, and Peter groaned.
"PRONGS!" cried Sirius exasperatedly. "You're the only one of us with a wife and yet you're the one of us who knows the absolute least about girls, you idiot! Go after her!"
"I – what?"
"You go after her," said Remus, who was eating his cake the most politely, ironically enough, as he was a werewolf. "Go after her, find her, kiss her – is it raining? Perfect, find her and kiss her in the rain, and then – "
"And then say," said Peter, "wait, no, don't say anything – give her some cake. That is how you deal with girls." Remus and Sirius made agreeable noises.
"Here," said Sirius, "accio wrap!" He cut a huge piece of cake, very neatly, and wrapped in, also very neatly, in plastic wrap. "Now go get her."
"You really think that'll work?" said James eagerly.
"Trust us," said Peter, speaking for them all. "Would we ever steer you wrong?"
"No," Remus answered for James. "Anyway. Do you know where she went?"
"Well," said James, "I didn't see her when she left, so I think she might've Apparated away.."
"No," said Sirius, "no, if she was talking like that, and she was all moody, she probably did run off. Hmm.. can you think of any general direction she would go? You know she's just waiting for you, wherever she is.."
James thought. "Oh!" he said suddenly. "Yeah, yeah – there's this little brook me and her go out to sometimes.. we always say we'll bring our kids there and teach them to swim in it – it's where I proposed to her!"
"Well, duh, then," said Remus, putting the cake in his hands and shoving him in the direction of the door. "My God, Prongs, you would be blundering around in the dark if it weren't for us, wouldn't you?"
"I s'pose," said James, still looking a tad confused. "But wait, why am I giving her ca – "
Peter stood up and shoved him out of the door.
"Well okay then," said James. "I guess I better start walking, then. A thousand miles. Or like a fourth of one. But oh well."
He shook his head. "Why am I talking to myself," he asked himself. "And this is why you need a wife. So go get her."
On his own orders, he left the flat and started walking towards the brook.
Lily was there, of course. She was sitting in the rain, right by there, dangling her legs in, looking very beautiful and woeful.
"Lily?" James peeked cautiously out from behind a tree. "Um.. I'm here?"
Lily looked up from her utter woe. "You came," she said quietly.
"Yes," said James, and suddenly he realized that Sirius was an idiot and he did not need to give anyone cake, and he really needed to say something and it would be insanely helpful if they had told him what to say. Lily was clearly expecting a romantic speech about trust and love and how sorry he was, and what did he have?
A piece of cake.
That was what.
"Uh," said James, toeing nearer to her. "Um..it's really.. wet out here."
Lily looked the beginnings of amused through her woe. "Yes,," she said contritely. "It is."
He sat down besides her. "I brought some cake," he said, holding it out.
Lily raised her eyebrows. "James, did you go to Sirius and ask him what to do, by any chance?"
Caught. James felt himself go red. "Uh."
Lily started to laugh besides herself. She swatted at him. "You are an idiot, do you know that? Who tells his wife no when she asks him a sappy question like that?"
James laughed nervously. "But.. I shouldn't've," he said, trying to figure out whether or not she was mad at him. "It was very wrong of me.. I do love you, Lily. I love you loads. And I would walk a thousand miles for you.. I'm really – really sorry for what I said. I didn't mean it."
Lily smiled. "Silly James," she said softly. "You didn't need any cake."
"I didn't?" said James, looking relieved. "Oh – but you can have it anyway," he added quickly. I'm learning, he decided.
"Thanks," said Lily, grinning and accepting it. "We'll share it.." She conjured spoons, unwrapped the cake, and handed one to James.
"You're much neater than I am," said James, grinning.
"I'm a girl," explained Lily, also smiling. "Anyway.. James, you didn't have to bring me a cake. All you needed to say was.. that."
He smiled, she smiled, they kissed, and then they ate cake.
"We're a little young for marriage, aren't we?" said James as the rain slowly spun to a stop and they finished off the last bit of cake.
"Well, we're certainly making loads of mistakes," said Lily, grinning. "But I do love this, being married to you. And I think making mistakes is more enjoyable than not making mistakes – I get cake out of it, after all!"
They laughed. "I like it too," said James amicably. "I think we've got it going all right here, Lily."
Lily smiled. "I do too, James," she said happily.
The two stood up and walked the few miles home, together.