I would like to start out by repeating that, if you are the sort of reader who would be upset by a Remus/Sirius pairing with some sexual content, you will find this piece upsetting. So, if you do read it, oh prudish reader, you do so at your own risk.

The story of this fic is this: I've been lurking around for a while, reading other HP slash fics (e.g. Rebecca the Great's recent one), but they all seemed a little too, well, romantic to me. So, one day, after watching the male Olympic gymnasts, I was inspired to write my own version. Hope you like it.

Boys' Own Camping Adventure

"Is Sirius missing ALL of dinner, then?" Peter mumbled through a mouth full of baked potato, eyeing Sirius' portion speculatively. "He's been gone for HOURS."

I can certainly understand that. Wanting to be alone, after last night.

Remus was feeling rather troubled and withdrawn himself. But then, Remus often felt troubled and withdrawn, and he couldn't afford to let it ruin his appetite. He chewed his fish thoughtfully.

"He did come out of the woods a little while ago, actually," James tossed a few fresh branches onto the bonfire. "While you two were fishing. He just grabbed his motorbike and said he'd be off to the nearest village to grab some beers and pick up some chicks."

Some chicks?

For a moment, Remus felt as if he'd just swallowed a fishbone.

I suppose that's just his way of dealing with a difficult situation. It always has been, I knew that.

"He won't be eating this then, will he?" Peter picked up Sirius' bowl.

"Oh, take it. It's getting cold, anyway," James decided. "Still, it's all a bit odd," he mused, "Usually, when he goes on a drunken bender like that, it's because of he has girl trouble. And we haven't seen a girl in a week, camping out here in these woods."

"True," Peter frowned. "Remus, you're his tentmate. Did he tell YOU anything that might explain things?"

Ah, yes.

"I'm almost sure that Sirius has not mentioned any girls to me recently," Remus replied carefully.

"He may well do so after tonight, though," James sighed. "You know, I just don't understand why he sleeps around so much. I keep telling him... I mean, he can see for himself how happy I am with Lily, and yet he insists on jumping from bed to bed."

And from sleeping bag to sleeping bag.

"Not everyone can be like you and Lily, James," Remus shrugged, staring into the fire. "Anyway, I think it's my turn to do the dishes."

"No, it's Sirius'" Peter pointed out, licking his bowl clean. "But I suppose he'll be happy with the swap. Say, guys," he brightened, "do you think that Sirius, in between girls, will remember to get us some cheese in the village? I miss cheese."

I don't. I feel like I'm trapped in a cheesy melodrama.

Carrying the bowls, Remus walked over to the river, and started casting vigorous scrubbing spells at the water.

Jealousy, jealousy is a very ugly thing. I hate feeling this way. Damn that Sirius. I could bite him... on his muscular shoulder... like...

Remus growled, and set a washed bowl on a rock with a bang.

Oh, I have got to pull myself together. But picking up chicks? It's so typical. Just as if nothing had changed. Cheap bar-room tarts before, cheap bar-room tarts after, and, among them, Remus. His 'dear' old friend. It's all the same to him, he'll come back laughing, happy and satisfied. And what am I supposed to do back here, challenge James to a wrestling match?

Wrestling. One could say that wrestling was to blame for everything.

It had been a fine camping trip. A final school vacation, one last chance for the Marauders to relax together before picking up their NEWT results and dispersing into the Real World. They had picked an appealing, remote pine forest. Under the full moon, which fell on the third day of their stay, they had enjoyed running together in new, unfamiliar surroundings.

They had come too close to the village, though. Moony had smelled it first, and had taken off towards it with no warning. On the brambly hillside, only Padfoot had managed to catch up with him in time. He had, however, been quickly defeated, and it was only Prongs' appearance that brought Moony up short, and, eventually, back to his senses.

The day after, Sirius had felt rather ashamed of himself.

"What kind of a Grim am I, anyway?" he had growled. "You shook me off like a flea."

"You held me back long enough for James to reach us," Remus had pointed out, yawning. "Anyway, if you must know, the main problem was that you just weren't taking full advantage of your weight."

Sirius had demanded a demonstration. Remus, longing to get back to sleep, had agreed to give one.

Hence, the wrestling.

A couple of days later, while James and Peter were off looking for mushrooms, Sirius had dragged the now fully recovered Remus to a small clearing.

Remus had felt odd. "You know, it seems strange for you to be fighting anyone other than James. Or a Slytherin," he told Sirius, casually, as they stripped off their robes and hung them on a tree to keep them safe. "And you know you haven't fought ME in human form for years."

"True," Sirius agreed. "But then you prefer dueling."

"You know I worry about biting people. Don't want to get into the habit."

"Yes, and I expect that's also why you're such a cold fish around girls."

It would be even worse to bite a girl than an enemy. And it's hard to be affectionate on a date with a stranger. Still, a cold fish? Where had Sirius come up with that?

Thoughts like those helped him work up some human, easy-to-manage anger to use during the fight. Thus, at least at first, he was able to take advantage of his greater agility and balance to work his way out of Sirius' clutches time after time.

Sirius was, however, by no means a slow learner. In no time at all, he'd learnt how to throw his weight around to some purpose.

"Victory! Is mine!" he gasped out, pinning Remus to the ground quite securely. "Hey," he continued pensively, glancing around at their intermingled arms and legs. "I bet this is more overall body contact than you've had in months!"

It had been true. And rather mean. And Remus, already struggling to keep the wolf at bay, had felt his rage rising beyond his control. With a superhuman twist, and a roll, he'd shot out from under Sirius, literally tossing him away, and raced into the relative safety of the trees.

Calm. Must calm down.

It had taken Remus several moments. Returning to the clearing, he had been alarmed to find that Sirius was still lying on the grass, eyes screwed shut.

"Sirius...?" He dropped down by his friends side. "Sirius, I'm sorry... I didn't mean to..." He reached out to touch his friend's face.

Sirius' eyes blinked open, his had fastening around Remus' wrist in a flash. "Don't worry, Moony," he whispered in an odd voice. "I just needed to, er, rest for a while."

Is he just winded?

Remus drew away, looking Sirius over for injuries.

What's that in his shorts? Oh! Oh, I see. I think I'd better ignore that. Act casual.

As Remus sat back casually, Sirius raised himself up, chatting in a very, very, very normal tone of voice. "Besides, I'm the one who should be apologizing. I'm sorry about what I said. I'm just so used to insulting James, occasional insults do that boy a world of good."

He's babbling. He knows I noticed. He's trying to cover up his embarrassment.

"Not that I thought you you were James - you, um, look very different to James..." Sirius continued, looking down at a scratch on his arm. "I mean, James always gets flabby in the off-season, as I was pointing out to him the other day. But I suppose there is no real off-season for werewolves, and you look... Damn, I feel cold!" he exclaimed in the afternoon sun, stumbling to his feet and towards his robes.

You look good, too. Better than me, in fact, as I'm sure you're well aware.

Remus watched his friend's retreating back, taking in the broad shoulders, the tapered waist...

"Yours!" Sirius tossed Remus' robes back towards him, his well-defined back muscles twisting. "We're pals, aren't we, Remus?" he said suddenly. "Why don't we go to a pub together tonight and... pick up some girls, or something."

He's so worried. It's almost as if...

Remus took a moment to shrug his robe over his head. "I'd rather not," he said, running a hand through his hair and gazing up at Sirius with solemn, troubled eyes.

Sirius' hands twitched as if reaching out towards his friend. "I don't know about you, but I am now going to jump in the river!" he announced in a strangled voice, disappearing rather quickly.

That COLD river. It IS almost as if he fancied me.

The cold river. Remus shivered, finishing up the last of the dishes. The sun was setting, its warmth disappearing from among the trees as its rays vanished, blocked by the horizon. After placing the dishes by the dying fire, he walked to his tent, hugging himself. He picked up a cloak lying by the tent entrance.

That jerk forgot his cloak. Well, he won't be needing it, not with all those warm girls around.

Dropping the cloak inside, Remus eyed the sleeping bags rather uneasily. He'd set them out neatly that morning, but he could still remember them in their rumpled, entangled state.

I almost hope that there'll be girls. That he won't freeze. Or crash his bike.

I am a pathetic sap. What's this, puppy love?

Peter's voice drew him out of his self-deprecating reverie.

"Remus, are you sure Sirius was OK last night? I thought I'd heard him groaning."

Yes, I remember that.

"He was cold," Remus replied through the canvas.

Well, the evening cold had definitely been part of the problem.

The rest of the wrestling day had passed peacefully enough. Sirius had swum a lot, and debated out loud who among the Slytherins was the least attractive. Remus had sat under a tree with a book on Magical Monsters on his lap. James and Peter had noticed nothing amiss.

But then, after dinner, Sirius had disappeared, claiming that he just had to take himself for a walk. Remus crawled into the tent they shared, and attempted to fall asleep. He tried several methods.

Counting sheep.

I would love to bite into a sheep right about now.

Thinking about History Of Magic.

I would have fallen asleep in every class, if I hadn't been sitting next to Sirius.

Thinking about girls.

I wish I was sharing this tent with a girl. I would take her in my arms, bury my face in her dark hair, and run my hand along her muscular... Damn!

Well, if I can't stop thinking about him...

Thinking about Sirius.

I am an idiot. Nothing happened today. Sirius likes girls, we all know that. He's probably meeting one right now.

There was a rustle at the entrance of the tent. Remus willed himself to lay utterly motionless, asleep, asleep, asleep, even when Sirius, doubtlessly confused in the darkness, accidentally placed a hand on his hip.

It worked! Soon they were lying there side by side, both pretending to be asleep.

Except that Sirius seemed to be shivering.

Damn. His sleeping bag has all those holes chewed in it, too.

Remus couldn't take it for very long.

"Sirius?" he asked. "Are you OK?" He reached across and started rubbing his friend's shoulder. "Do you want to go and warm up by the fire?" he asked

"No, this is f-fine." Sirius inched closer.

Aha! I have proof. He would never act this way if he had felt anything.

"You know, R-remus," Sirius started, as conversationally as his chattering teeth would permit, "My mother's friend Uncle Ch-cherry, the polar explorer, had a bit of advice for s-situations just like this."

"Hmmm?" Remus asked, as his hand slid through a hole in the other bag. As he touched Sirius' shivering back, a shock ran through him, as if in sympathy.

He feels so warm.

"Sharing a s-sleeping bag!" Sirius explained evenly. "It helps to capture body heat, you know."

He did NOT just say that! He couldn't have.

His mind blank, Remus opened his sleeping bag and let Sirius in, wrapping himself around his friend's shaking body.

Ah yes. I understand what's going on here. I'm dreaming. One of THOSE dreams.

At peace at last, Remus relaxed. Since he now knew he was asleep, he was no longer worried about staying awake.

Sleep began to claim him, at last.

And then Sirius ruined it all by turning around and kissing him on the lips.

Wow, what a realistic dream... Oh, Voldemort blast me!

It isn't a dream!

After a moment's indecision, Remus sprang backward in shock and confusion.

He couldn't get very far away - the sleeping bag held him. As did Sirius.

I don't believe this. The universe has just gone insane. Or is it just me?

"Remus. As I see it, you have two options now," Sirius' relatively calm voice came out of the darkness by his ear. "You can either run out of this tent and send in Peter who is, I promise, safe from my molestations, or you can kiss me back."

"Are you sure?"

"Option two, then."

And Sirius kissed him again. This time, Remus responded. His hands found Sirius' back, and he pulled himself closer.

Actually, this doesn't seem insane or weird at all. It feels... normal. And right.

Soon, they were as close together as any pair of wrestlers.

"You've been drinking, haven't you?" Remus asked, catching his breath.

"Yes. I was hoping it'd help me fall asleep," Sirius replied, running his hand over Remus' robes. "Or provide me with an excuse if I freaked you out. Would you mind taking this off, by the way? You can still freak out, if you like."

How could it feel weird? This is my friend Sirius, my companion in almost all of life's pleasures.

"What's MY excuse supposed to be, then?"

"My irresistible charm."

Well, I'm certainly not immune to that.

They did not talk much for the next few hours. It was hard to find the words. After all, this was something they'd both have laughed at when younger.

"This is really very... er, educational," Sirius suggested during a brief lull, running his fingers lightly across Remus' chest.

"Not for you, surely," Remus raised an invisible eyebrow in the darkness. "All your stories..."

"Oh, you CAN'T believe those," Sirius interrupted, "After all, you know how my mouth runs away with me," he explained, letting the forementioned mouth follow his fingers.

Remus was struck speechless by the happiness of a shared joke and a shared pleasure.

He did recover later, though. And the night proved quite exhausting for both of them.

When they fell asleep, it was still dark in the tent, but Remus could hear the birds waking up outside.

When he woke up himself, later, it was full light, and the trills had been replaced by Peter's high voice, complaining about the late breakfast. Sirius was not there. After stretching to loosen up some mysterious bruises, Remus took a look outside.

Sirius wasn't there, either.

Well, what was I expecting, really? Breakfast in bed?

Remus went through the day as if nothing had happened. He was very good at that. It was only in the evening that all those bar-girls started running through his head.

Nights like that are common enough in Sirius' life. I doubt he gives them more thought than he does a satisfying meal, or a good fight.

He knew he was not being entirely logical - Sirius didn't go on drunken binges after EVERY delicious dinner - but he could not help it. He'd always felt that his own emotions were usually far more extreme than other people's, and so he had to assume that Sirius had been affected less than himself.

I know that I have enough self-control to get through this.

After the sun had set, he lay awake in his empty tent, missing both the unfamiliar physical warmth and the ordinary warmth of friendship. Although he was very tired, sleep seemed even more elusive than on the previous evening.

In the end, he gave up and decided to take a walk. He'd always found forests soothing.

He walked down a narrow wooded lane, wishing for a full moon and the relief his uncomplex wolf-form would bring. It took him at least a mile to realize he had taken his friend's cloak with him.

Sirius' version will be up soon. In the meantime, do review. Constructively, if possible: I would love reviews that say more than "Ummmm." If you're freaked out, say why. Is it the underlying idea, or something about the way it's presented?

Usual Disclaimer: all the main characters etc. belong to JKR. I really don't think she wants to see them like this, though. Uncle Cherry is Apsley Cherry-Garrard of Scott's expedition.

Unusual disclaimer: I don't actually think of either of the two boys as gay. Sirius, to my mind, is clearly a fun-loving bisexual: Remus is, at this point in his life, confused. So I suppose there is plenty of room in their futures for the assorted Andreas, Jennys, and Lamias.