Setting/time: A sequel to last chapter. Post-Second Wizarding War.
But there's something in your smile,
That makes me want to try,
And it's warmer in the night,
With someone to lay by.
For mew, who wants Bella and Sirius to enjoy reality.
Months later, Bella stumbles across the same creaky, dusty drawer. Later, when Sirius enters the room and finds her staring blankly at all the photographs that had once been his escape from war-torn reality, he stutters to explain himself.
"Oh, these. I-" The grey-eyed man lets out a ragged breath and runs his fingers through his hair. "I know it looks strange. But you weren't here and I was losing my mind and I just..." He trails off, looking frustrated and struggling to find the will to tell her that Merlin I missed you so much and I thought I was going to kill myself and I'm not letting you go ever again.
But the words die in his throat - just like every other time - and he simply stares at her with anguished eyes, hopingprayingwishing that she understands.
Silence befalls the room after that. Sirius watches silently as she puts the single picture in her hand back in the drawer and slides it close with resounding finality. And then she was in his arms, hands and lips warm as she grasps his face and kisses him firmly, and Sirius thinks that this is exactly what he spent ten months trying not to forget.
That night, after Sirius' breathing becomes slow and even, Bella kisses him on the cheek and whispers, "I'm here now."
Happy thanksgiving, loves! Enjoy!