The Lines We Cross - Epilogue

Sirius lugged what must have been the millionth box up the three flights of stairs to his flat. Lugged might have been a bit of an over-exaggeration actually. The boxes were charmed for weightlessness so they were not particularly heavy, but there were just so damned many of them, and since his flat was not yet connected to the Floo network, despite Peter's assurances he could bump him up the queue, he and Remus were forced to move his belongings the Muggle way.

He deposited the box in the small alcove with the other boxes labeled books and turned to the man who was currently sorting through a box on the kitchen counter.

"Remus, I thought you said that bloke you fucked over burned all your shit. There must be two dozen boxes here and there are still some at your parent's place you haven't brought over yet," he said, dusting his hands off on his jeans as he moved through the maze of boxes and new furniture that had become his living room.

"He did. Believe it or not, I did manage to acquire new shit over time. When you asked me to move in with you, it was with the full understanding that all of me was welcome. That includes my things," Remus replied, still rummaging through the box.

"I thought I was the only 'thing' you needed any more," said Sirius with a pout, and Remus gave him a look.

"Sorry, love, but no. But if it makes you feel better, of all the 'things' I've acquired in my day, you are my favorite."

They shared a smile and Sirius was once more struck with a giddy, stupid feeling that only Remus Lupin could to inspire in him. The sort of feeling that made him want to run, and jump, and hug nearby strangers shouting "Merry Christmas" like that mad bloke he'd seen in that film James's mum had dragged them to over the holiday.

He pulled Remus forward by the collar of his shirt and kissed him just because he wanted to and because he could. Because they'd spent an agonizing four months apart and then two blissful weeks getting reacquainted before Sirius plucked up the courage to ask him, "So are you going to come live with me or what?" to which Remus replied "I make a half decent fry-up," which Sirius thought was rather good, because so far he'd been living off take away and the weekly parcels Mrs. Potter had been sending him.

Despite his jokes, Sirius could tell Remus was a little reluctant to say yes outright. After much prodding, Remus admitted he didn't want to feel like Sirius was "taking care of him" because he could not afford to take up half the rent and utilities. Sirius argued he'd done nothing to earn the money he was currently living off of except be extraordinarily lucky that Alphard had not hated him as the rest of his family did, and that Remus could earn his keep with sexual favors and general housekeeping type things, for which, Sirius found, he was woefully inept at.

"I just want to be with you, Moony," he said as they snuggled under a blanket after christening his new sofa. "Say you'll stay."

"I'll stay," Remus said, and at that moment, Sirius thought there were no two words in the English language that sounded better.

They broke apart, a little breathless and Sirius wondered if he could convince Remus to take another "break" from unpacking. As if reading his mind, Remus shook his head, a long-suffering smile tugging at the corners of his lips, and took a step back, putting a decent amount of distance between them as he resumed his digging.

"What are you looking for?" Sirius asked, peering to the box. Remus shoved it to the side and kneeled down to open another, his back to Sirius.

"A particular 'thing' that I cannot seem to find. Ah, here it is. What did I put it in here for I wonder?" Sirius tried to peer over his shoulder but Remus clutched the whatever-it-was to his chest. He stood once more and moved it quickly behind his back.

"What are you hiding, Mr. Lupin?"

Remus simply smiled. "Close your eyes." Sirius merely quirked a brow and Remus rolled his eyes. "It's a surprise."

Sirius did as he was told and closed his eyes. There was the sound of a box scraping across the floor as it was pushed aside and he felt Remus take his hands and place a small, square object in his palms. His fingers gripped the edges as Remus moved behind him.

"Alright, you can open your eyes now."

Sirius looked down at the mysterious object which turned out to be a picture frame containing the photograph of himself and Remus sharing a loving kiss after his first Order meeting. His heart swelled as Remus placed his chin over his shoulder, arms coming around his waist, holding him close. They watched the photographic versions of themselves kiss, eyes falling shut, Sirius's hand coming up to cup Remus's cheek which was turning steadily pinker. They broke apart, eyes opening slowly to share a look that spoke volumes before moving in to kiss once more. The giddy, stupid feeling was back in spades.

"I thought it might be nice for the first thing we hang on the wall to be something that belongs to both of us," Remus said in his ear as he placed kisses on his neck. "You don't want to know what I had to do to get that away from Marlene, perverted woman that she is."

"I'm sure I don't," he said, still feeling a little overwhelmed at the small but touching gift.

After a heated debate—heated because Sirius could not keep his hands off the other man and Remus was really not discouraging him—they hung the picture over the fireplace, and stood, shoulder to shoulder, admiring it once more for quite some time.

"Still interested in that break?" Remus asked after a while and Sirius felt a grin forming on his face.

"I think there might be a few surfaces left we haven't claimed yet."

"What are we waiting for then?" Remus said before hitting him with a fierce kiss that made Sirius want to run and jump and shout crazy things at random strangers as the giddy, stupid feeling took up permanent residence in his heart.

Much later, as they lay together on the cold, hard kitchen floor, Sirius leaned up on an elbow to run a hand through damp brown hair. "Remus?"

"Correct. Well done, Mr. Black. Ten points to Gryffindor."

Sirius swatted him on the head halfheartedly and Remus took the hand in his, bringing it to his lips to press a kiss and nibble on the tips of his fingers.

"What is it, love?" Remus asked, pressing the hand to his cheek.

Sirius sighed and melted into his lover's embrace. "You're my favorite 'thing' too."