A/N: Hello, darling readers! I've returned with a 3rd fic for your reading pleasures! This is yet another SeverusRemus with some unrequited SiriusRemus on the side. I enjoy this one, odds are it will remain a one-shot. I plan to continue 'Trust In Me' as soon as I post this. I couldn't resist writing it once it popped into my head. Read on! And review! Muahh!
"Good evening, Snape."
A false smile played across Sirius' lips as he opened the door of Black Manor to the potions master. It was clear by the hard glint in his eyes that he was anything but pleased to see Severus on his doorstep, the smile was a ruse for the benefit of their mutual friend, Severus' lover, Remus Lupin. Severus, however, did not return the gesture. He eyed Sirius with obvious dislike before nodding curtly.
"I've no time nor patience for pleasantries, Black. I'm merely here to collect Remus so we may return home."
Severus took pleasure in the way Sirius' smile faulted a bit at the mentioning of Remus returning home with him. The former-Slytherin knew that was still a sore spot for Sirius; Remus choosing Severus over Sirius never sat well with him. Even now, 5 years later, Sirius hated seeing them together, but he never voiced his distaste, for fear that Remus would once again choose Severus and end their friendship. The two formed a silent truce in an effort to keep Remus happy.
"He's upstairs in my bed," now it was Sirius' turn to smirk at the jealousy that flashed through Severus' eyes, "He's not feeling well, so he decided to rest for awhile. I take it you brought the potion?"
Severus nodded, moving pass Sirius without a word. He headed toward the staircase with Sirius close behind. The stairs creaked softly under their feet and Severus stumbled slightly over the last step, causing Sirius to chuckle. He's such a child! Severus thought angrily, Why does Remus waste his time here with such a fool?
Of course, he knew why. Black, Potter, and Pettigrew were Remus' oldest friends, their bond ran deep within him. These men were responsible for Remus' survival, despite the emotional and physical torment they caused Severus during their time at Hogwarts. Severus was surprised that, after Remus came clean about their relationship just after graduation, James was the first to approach him with an apology and the offer of a truce. Severus accepted, glad when Lily began speaking to him again. Begrudgingly he admitted James wasn't so bad now that he wasn't attempting to make his life Hell. Peter, forever riding James' coat-tails, offered a feeble apology next. In truth, Severus hardly cared for Peter or his friendship, but he acquiesced. While Peter wasn't particularly bright, the man could hold a decent conversation. Sirius, of course, was stubborn and head-strong. He maintained the belief that he owed Severus nothing. He couldn't say he was surprised, he'd expected it from Black. It wasn't until a fight broke out between the three of them at James and Lily's house that Sirius finally relented to save his friendship with Remus. Severus knew they would never be friends and he was perfectly fine with that.
Severus stopped at Sirius' bedroom door, waiting a moment for the other raven-haired man to unlock the charms placed on the entranceway. Sirius opened the door slowly, trying not to wake the sleeping werewolf. Upon seeing his lover, Severus' temper flared. Remus lay on top of the sheets, shirtless, barefoot, with his hair ruffled and his arm thrown across his chest. His state of semi-undress upset Severus irrationally. He turned to Sirius with an accusing glare and the other man merely smirked.
"Relax, he had a fever so he took of his shirt to cool down a bit. Though… it is a glorious sight, isn't it?"
Severus would have undoubtedly attacked Sirius for that last comment, were it not for Remus stirring in the bed. He crossed the room in three graceful steps, hesitating momentarily before sitting on the edge of Sirius' bed. He pushed thoughts of possible contamination out of his mind as he studied Remus' face closely. His auburn-haired lover was blinking groggily, his face flushed with fever. There was a thin sheen of sweat coating his brow and the slightest bit of effort behind his breathing. Severus frowned; it seemed Remus' condition was worse than his lover initially conveyed.
"Sirius?" Remus questioned, still blinking his eyes as if he couldn't clear his vision. Severus bit back his fury; clearly Remus was disoriented, "Is Severus here yet? I-I really don't feel well."
Severus' anger dissipated and he offered Remus a soft smile he wasn't sure the werewolf could see.
"I'm right here, Remus. Tell me what's bothering you." he said softly, using a handkerchief to wipe Remus' brow. He could care less about the glare Black shot him from the doorway.
Remus groaned softly, turning into the hand now cupping his cheek
"I ache all over, and I must still have a fever because it's ridiculously hot in here. My stomach feels as if I've just gotten off of Sirius' muggle contraption." he answered, rolling onto his side, toward Severus.
There was a scoffing sound from the doorway, "Hey, how was I to know the motorbike would make you queasy? And that was ages ago! If you'd just let me take you for another ride-"
"Can you sit up, love?" Severus interrupted, intentionally using a pet name, "I need you to drink the potion."
He helped Remus ease into sitting against Sirius' headboard before reaching into his satchel to retrieve the small vial. The liquid within was thick and golden; Remus recognized it immediately.
"Wolfbane? But the full moon isn't for another two weeks."
"I've been working on modifications on the potion. I think if medical potions can be tailored specifically to treat those with lycanthropy they may work better." he explained, uncorking the vial and handing it to Remus.
He glared at the golden liquid and Severus had to force himself not to chuckle at the childish display of dislike. Remus put the vial to his lips and swallowed the contents down quickly, pulling a face at the aftertaste. This time Severus did laugh.
"Just give it a few minutes and then we'll go home so I can make you a proper batch." he said, stroking Remus' bangs affectionately.
"He doesn't have to leave if the potion works." Sirius protested just loud enough for Severus to hear.
The potions master-in-training turned to him and spoke matter-of-factly.
"Yes, he does. I brought enough with me to help for now, but he will need a full dosage to see full effects."
"Fine. You're more than welcome to leave my home and brew it somewhere else. But of Moony doesn't feel like leaving, then he doesn't have to." Sirius shot back, meeting Severus' hardened eyes.
"Don't start this." Remus groaned leaning heavily against the headboard.
"I'd much rather not, but it appears your friend would have you risk your health just to avoid ending his little play date." Severus replied bitingly, taking the vial and placing it back into his bag.
"No, I'd rather not see my best friend treated like a debilitated child just because he has a cold!" Sirius shouted, his fists clenched at his sides.
"He is not being treated like a child! He's being treated like a man showing symptoms of a serious Lycan Flu. I apologize if my dedication runs further than a childhood of mischief and troublemaking!" Severus retorted, his own anger at it's boiling point.
"Dedication?" Sirius chuckled disbelievingly, "You've been here, what, 5 years? I've been by his side for 11, and I'll still be there even after you're gone!"
"Sirius!" Remus shouted, shocked by Sirius' words.
Severus advanced towards the last remaining Black heir, his fury taking control of his body. He barely registered Remus crying out for him to stop. Sirius made no attempt to evade him, he stood squarely on his feet, staring him down, nearly daring Severus to hit him. Severus' fist was already drawn back and in motion when thin fingers wrapped around his fist, stopping its motion with surprising strength. Somehow Remus was now standing beside him, lowering his hand, and placing his other hand on his shoulder.
"Severus, don't listen to him." Remus said, attempting to get through to the more logical of the two.
The dark eyes that looked back at him held anger and betrayal.
"You're defending him? You heard what he said, and you're defending him?" Severus demanded incredulously.
"No. Both of you need to end this! Sirius, Severus, I want both of you in my life, but not with this petty feud! Severus is my lover and he's not going anywhere, Sirius! And as my best friend, Sirius isn't leaving either, Severus! Can't you two just… just-"
The passion left Remus' voice. His face blanched and his knees gave out, sending him crashing limply towards the floor. Both men reached to catch him, Severus catching his body and Sirius supporting his head. Their anger towards each other morphed quickly into concern for Remus as they lowered his unconscious form to the ground. Quickly, Severus drew his wand to perform a medical scan on Remus' body. Intense jealousy shot through him when he noticed the way Sirius was cradling Remus' head in his lap, staring into his face with an emotion Severus didn't want to place. The other man was stroking Remus' head, murmuring comforting words to him. Severus recognized this scene; he'd seen it the one time they were all present the morning after Remus' transformation. This was what made Severus realize that Sirius was in love with Remus, too.
"I have to get him home so I can brew his potion." Severus said bitterly.
"Wouldn't St. Mungo's have some? If we take him there-"
"I already said I was working on the potion myself, it's still in the final experimental phases." Severus cut in.
"You're giving him experimental medication?" Sirius demanded furiously.
"It's the only thing we have that may help him." Severus countered, "And right now you're standing in the way of that."
A tense silence passed between them.
"I'll always stand in the way when it comes to Remus, Severus. He's my best friend and I'm going to do what I must to protect him."
The look Sirius gave him was intense, but Severus saw what he was trying to hide.
"I know you're in love with him, Black. I've known all along. He's with me. All your meddling is doing is hurting him! Get that through your thick skull and let him go so I can help him!" Severus said through clenched teeth.
Sirius looked back to Remus' face once again before releasing him. Severus scooped Remus into his arms, concerned by the heat wafting from his body. He rushed out of the room and down the hall to the parlor's Floo Channel. Sirius followed them. Before he had a chance to disappear into the green flames, Sirius spoke again.
"Maybe he's with you, but I'll always be here, too. I'm better for him than you'll ever be." he said with conviction.
Hours later, Severus sat beside Remus in their King sized bed, a book in hand and a glass of scotch on the bedside table. He wasn't reading, not anymore anyway. His thoughts kept drifting back to the incident earlier in the day. It was drudging up old insecurities from early in their relationship.
Severus liked to believe he was a sensible, logical man. Yet at the moment his thoughts were chaotic and unorganized; they made no sense. Logic told him that he had no reason to doubt the connection between Remus and himself. They had been together for 5 years now and, though they had the occasional spat and their own issues, their trust had always been unshakeable. But now voices whispered uncertainties to him. He would never accuse Remus of sleeping with Sirius behind his back, but what if this was some sort of emotional affair? Was Black offering his lover something he could not? It was true, Sirius and Remus had a deep bond, one Severus could never erase. He hated that fact. He hated thinking he was somehow inadequate compared to Black. He spent 6 years thinking those same thoughts throughout his years at Hogwarts, he refused to let them come back. But… what if Black was right? In all his analyzing of their relationship, Severus determined he was taking good care of Remus. But matters of the heart were rarely logical. Was it possible that Remus would one day decide he wanted Black instead? That thought was unbearable.
"Whatever you're thinking, stop it." came Remus voice, soft and raspy.
Severus looked to his lover, meeting golden eyes that reflected both mental and physical exhausted. Guilt gripped Severus for his part in causing that look.
"I wasn't thinking about anything, love, I was reading. Go back to sleep, you need to rest."
"The book was in your lap, Sev. You were staring at the wall. If you have something to talk about, say it. Don't start bottling things up again, please." Remus replied knowingly.
"It's nothing," Severus tried again, feebly.
"What did Sirius tell you?" Remus asked, forcing himself into sitting.
"What is there for him to tell me?" Severus countered once it was obvious he couldn't avoid this talk.
"As far as I know, nothing, but you only ever get that look when you're thinking of unpleasant things." Remus answered.
Silence followed as Remus waited for Severus to voice his words. Patience was one of his strong points; it was useful when dealing with both Sirius and Severus. The two dark-haired men didn't realize how similar they were.
"He's in love with you, Remus," Severus said softly, not meeting his lover's gaze, "I hate how easily you two get along and how close you are to him because he's in love with you and all I can think of is that I can't bare to lose you to anyone, let alone him."
"You won't, Severus," Remus insisted. He sighed when Severus didn't look at him or reply. He leaned against Severus' shoulder, the little strength he'd regained fading.
"Don't worry yourself with my insecurities, Remus. You need to rest, I don't know how long the potion will take to have a full effect." Severus said, subconsciously running his fingers through Remus' hair.
"Not until you hear me out, because there is something I should tell you."
Severus tensed but nodded none the less, prepared to hear the worst.
"I know how Sirius feels. I'm not blind. He himself has told me a few times over the years. He plead with me to give him a chance one night in 5th year. So I did. I lost my virginity to him that night, and came to terms with the fact that I was gay. I thought I was in love with Sirius, too, then. But, after a week of stolen kisses and not much else, he started avoiding me. It wasn't until nearly a month later when I caught him with a Ravenclaw 6th year girl that I realized… he never really wanted to be with me. He needed to sate his curiosity, and now he was off to his next conquest. I was devastated when I realized I'd given such an important gift to someone who never really loved me; someone who I wasn't even in an honest relationship with. But I was naïve, I thought that I could convince him we could work. He… that prank, he never wanted you hurt. He wanted to show me he couldn't be trusted, that I shouldn't love him. That's what he said when I finally heard him out, anyway. I built up so many walls around myself after that. I swore I would never be a fool again. Then, near the end of 5th year, you came back into the picture. You, with your soft words and dark, troubled eyes. You, who opened up to me after everything and offered true understanding. You destroyed all my defenses so easily; you made me a fool all over again. Except this time, I knew you were being genuine. You tried to hide it with biting remarks and cynicism, but I knew…"
Remus didn't realize he was crying until Severus wiped his tears away with his thumb. The werewolf sat up and pulled Severus into a kiss, gentle, sweet, and full of the love he was trying to convey.
"Do you understand now, Severus?" he muttered against his lover's lips, "Maybe Sirius is in love with me this time, but it's only because I'm in love with you. He thought I would be there like the others, waiting for another turn in his bed. But instead, I told him I was in love with you. All he really wants to prove is that he can have me, but he can't. Because I belong to you."
Severus' hands wound their way into Remus' hair, pulling him into a passionate kiss. He poured all of himself into that kiss; his love, his vulnerability, his fear. He left his soul bare for Remus to see with that kiss, and Remus returned it all with the same passion. His lips moved along with Severus', their tongues dueled, and he offered up reassurance and comfort. Severus eased them into sitting and pulled away, tucking Remus' head beneath his chin. He held the werewolf close, as if he was still afraid someone would snatch him away. Remus pressed a reassuring kiss to his collarbone.
"I love you, too, Severus. Always."
A/N: Yeah, that's right! I used that cliché 'Always' line. I love my fellow Potterheads, but you guys have used that line to death LOL. And also, no smut in this fic! Le Gasp! I promise there will be in my multi-chapter fic 'Trust In Me' and since there's already a SiriusRemus smut one-shot, I may write one for these two, too. So review, tell me what you think and what you want! Love you guys! Muahh!