"We could try dating, Sirius, but…I don't think it would work."
"Why wouldn't it? We can do more than try, Moony. We can date. We can make it work."
"We can try."
Sirius Black was relatively simple. For coming from the relatively complicated Most Ancient and Noble House of Black, Sirius really just wanted one thing from Remus, and that was trust. He wanted Remus to trust that they wouldn't just try. That Sirius would be the ultimate boyfriend. Remus and Sirius would be just perfect. How could they not to be? They clicked. Pure and simple. They fought and argued and made up. If anyone else tried to start a fight, they would turn and defend each other. They were more than two of the Marauders. They were Remus and Sirius, the bookworm and the loud playboy. Sirius knew he loved Remus since their 4th year. Nothing had changed since.
Remus had originally told him that he needed more time. It was a lot for him to get adjusted to. His friends already knew he was a werewolf, but to be the resident gay werewolf was just a bit too much. He was willing to date Sirius, but he just needed a few more years. 7th year, he told Sirius, I'll be ready by 7th year." Sirius pretended he fully understood. He was more the willing to tell his family, his friends, the whole of Hogwarts, that he was gay for Remus Lupin, hell with what they thought. Remus clearly had more reserves about the matter. Still, Sirius had been elated that Remus had agreed to go out with him so he vowed to wait as long as Remus needed it.
Those three years were excruciatingly long for Sirius. James would have laughed him out of their dorm for what he would determine a "girl thing" but Sirius spent those three years extensively thinking about their future together. Him and Remus kissing at graduation. Living together in a flat. Moving together in a house. Going on vacations around England. Coming home from work and curling up together on their sofa – Remus would be reading a book, leaning against Sirius who would be more than content just to read over his shoulder." Sirius caring for him after each full moon. Sirius and Remus dancing together at Lily and James wedding. His and Remus' own small wedding. He had thousands of different scenes in his head, some unlikely, some likely, and some that would have made Remus' blush.
Instead, Remus just wanted to "try". To Sirius, trying implied failure. He and James had tried a Quidditch maneuver of swapping brooms in midair. They had ended up in the hospital wing for two weeks. Trying was failing. He wanted to date. Not try to date. How did one try to date anyway? Wasn't it something you did or did not? Was Remus afraid Sirius wasn't into their relationship? That seemed unlikely. Sirius was less than subtle in his relationship with Remus. The excessive touching, the endearing names, the over protectiveness, the closeness, surely Remus didn't mistake that for ordinary friendship?
"I don't want to try. I want us to actually date. Not just 'Oh, let's try and see if this fails! Another bad Marauder excursion.' "
Remus walked away, leaving a bewildered Sirius standing outside the charms classroom. He had no idea what just happened. Was Remus saying that they could date, not try? Or was he saying something completely different?
What Remus had apparently meant was telling Sirius that he no had hold over him, because over breakfast two days later, Remus announced he was dating Marlene McKinnon.
"Was it something I said or something I did
Did my words not come out right
Though I tried not to hurt you
Though I tried"
Sirius' stomach leapt into his stomach and he excused himself. He could feel cold sweat running down his back and his vision started to fade. He slumped down on the floor just outside the Great Hall and before he could stop himself, felt tears welling at the corners of his eyes. Remus had found someone else. In two days. So while Sirius was begging and pleading for Remus to want to do more than try his luck at a relationship with him, Remus already had someone lined up he was interested in. Clearly, he hadn't liked Sirius as much as Sirius assumed. Two days. Two days and he's with someone else. You didn't even have a chance. And no one knows. You only told Remus. So no one will ever know how you felt about him. Remus will deny it – and people will think you were just making things up. He screwed you pretty well.
Sirius hastily dried his eyes and looked up at Remus. It was sweet he had followed him to see how was doing…if he hadn't just announced he was dating Marlene.
"Nothing. I'm happy you found someone to date. Remus' first relationship. Good for you."
Even to him, his voice sounded hollow and cracked, despite his best efforts to calm himself.
"So why are you upset?"
Why was he upset? As if Remus didn't know. Remus was just going out with someone else, two days after he told Sirius he wasn't going to date him. Maybe Remus was colder than Sirius had first thought. He must have know how Sirius was feeling and just not cared. Or he underestimated how much Sirius really did feel towards him. Either way, it didn't stop Sirius from feeling like yesterday's garbage.
"Did you have Marlene lined up for when we failed?"
"No. I just realized that I have never thought of you as anything other than a friend. You're a great friend, my best friend, but in the end, I can't summon up any other feelings for you than friendship. And I felt it would be extremely unfair to you if I agreed to go on a date knowing in the end that I didn't like you that way."
"After three years. You tell me this after two years?"
"Well, you told me I didn't want to try."
"Of course I didn't want to try! Who wants to try at something they can actually do? You love someone or you don't!"
"And I don't, Sirius. To me, dating is about exploring to see if you might have a romantic attraction to someone. You and Marlene. Something more than friendship might develop or, it might not."
Sirius was stunned, "That's...I thought that you actually liked me...like...like how much I liked you. I loved you, Remus. Bloody hell, I still love you! And you let me believe you liked me and then I find out you like me as much as you love ruddy James!"
"Then you shouldn't have pushed me aside. Until then, I was imagining dating you. So I moved on."
"You moved on in two days! And what would have happened if we had dated? You would have said, 'Sorry. This isn't working. I still feel like we're friends?' "
"We'll never know now. You closed that door."
"I didn't close that door. You closed it. You didn't give me a chance. If you felt anything for me, you would have said 'Let's start dating' and not just left me in the dust for Marlene!"
"I'm sorry, Sirius. I really am. But you closed that door. We'll never know what we could have had."
"The door isn't closed," Sirius snapped, "It won't ever be closed until I stop caring about you. You can move on and leaving me here crying because I care so damn much about you and you could care left, but the door will never be shut."
"You told me, 'no'."
"I told you I didn't want to try! Trying implies failure. You think I would have wanted to date you if it turns out you only liked me as a friend? You've always been less emotional than me, and if we were dating I would have been okay hugging and kissing you and you would have hated that and pushed me away and I can be so blunt and…well…rude…I didn't want to destroy our romance and friendship, all because I pushed when you weren't ready. And saying 'try', just implies you aren't ready."
"Well, I took that as you refusing me. So I'm sorry, but I am not leaving Marlene, Sirius. You need to accept, I closed that door. Us as a couple will never exist."
"As long as I want you, I refuse to believe that door is closed. Fine. Date or marry Marlene, but I swear to you I will spend the rest of my life waiting for that door to reopen."
Sirius walked off, waiting until he turned a corner to start crying in frustration. Remus was blaming him? So it was Sirius' fault, because he had pushed Remus – the man he was madly in love with – towards Marlene. Sirius had spent the better part of three years planning little scenarios of his life with Remus only to see it be shot to hell.
"I know I could have saved a love that night
If I'd known what to say
Instead of makin' love
We both made our separate ways"
At first Sirius thought he could handle it. Remus was still talking to Sirius, so how hard would it be just to act like a normal best friend again? He thought that he would just be jealous for a few days, and then would wish Remus well and find something - or someone – new to occupy him. He hadn't really heard to much of Marlene McKinnon, other than the fact she was in Gryffindor, but he couldn't deny the fact that Remus seemed far happier with Marlene than he was when he was with the Marauders. Remus was happy. That was at least comforting. It was also comforting that after asking around to several of his sources, namely timid first or second years, Sirius uncovered more about Marlene, and was rather relieved, yet jealous, to find that she was an all around good student, well behaved, not known for cheating or taking advantage of her dates. There wasn't anything about her that Sirius could really hate which upset him more. They seemed to be overly happy couple. Perfect for each other.
As it turns out, it was extremely hard. Sirius found himself torn between not knowing exactly how to act. His mind still kept wandering back to Remus. Remus and his damn gorgeous eyes and his nose always in a book spouting some fact or another as he rolled his eyes at Sirius, James, and Peter's exploits. He couldn't lose his friendship with Remus over this. Remus had completely broken him down and yet he still had to stay friends him. He didn't really have a good reason for hating Remus. Remus felt that Sirius had turned him down so he had found someone else. It wasn't like Marlene was some horrible, needy girl. She was fiercely intelligent, good looking, shared many of Remus' tastes in books and hobbies.
Sirius didn't want to avoid the topic of Marlene, but nor did he want to know every detail. Jealous prevailed however, and Sirius found himself forcing interest in all of Remus' relationship antics. He heard every new facet of their relationship. Remus and Marlene would hold hands when they were in the dorm together. Remus would kiss her on the top of her head before he left the room. Remus' arm would snake around her shoulders in the middle of a Quidditch game. Everywhere Sirius looked it was Remus and Marlene. Remus and Marlene. Everything Remus talked about ended back up with Marlene too. Marlene was meeting him at Hogsmeade. Marlene was going to come to the library with him. Marlene was going to study with him.
He could have done all those things with Remus. All of those tender little moments – he and Remus could have done. And yet Remus was doing them all with Marlene. It tore him apart. His more jealous, possessive side demanded that Remus and Marlene break up so Sirius could have a chance with Marlene once more. His more caring side surrendered. He loved Remus more than anything and Remus' well being and happiness was his priority even if they weren't a couple. So if Remus was going to be happy spending the rest of his life with Marlene, then that wasn't any of his business to break up.
"But now I hear you found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife"
It hurt like a knife being thrust into his lower abdomen and then exploding into a million small shards that lodged themselves into his body. Several times he had started to shake and felt physically sick and had to run and lock himself into a bathroom stall. Most times he would just lean back against the door and try to calm himself. Many times that wasn't enough. Every muscle in his body would start quaking and all he could see flitting through his mind was watching Remus with Marlene. Most times he would gag and hunch over, a few times becoming physically sick.
He put on a friendly face and asked Remus what he was doing with Marlene and if they had kissed yet and joked about their wedding plans. Remus didn't seem to notice anything, which Sirius took as a sign his acting was improving. Every lie was not without a consequence. While Remus might have been fooled to think that Sirius was interested in his relationship with Marlene and was getting over the fact he was with her, Sirius knew differently. Every time Remus would come back glowing about what he and Marlene had done and about their time together, Sirius' heart froze and shattered. It was like a fragmenting rose, each petal crinkling to the ground, dried and withered.
He realized he couldn't handle it. Remus was spending more and more time with Marlene and less and less time with Sirius. Whether they wanted to admit it or not, the whole Marlene and dating issue had fragmented their friendship. They spend less and less time together while Remus was out and about at different clubs or dates with Marlene. The emotional strain of pretending he was so happy about Remus and Marlene while having to focus on stopping the wave of emotions that brought tears to his eyes and tremors to his stomach. He had less than a year. As long as he could keep smiling and pretending, he would make it through. Sirius Black would have to face the fact Remus Lupin wasn't – and never would be – his.
"Though it's been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals
But the scar, that scar remains"
A/N: Please read and review! The song is: "Every Rose has its Thorn" by Poison. The lyrics aren't all used and aren't all used in order. Sorry. Sorry its so angsty! Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to add a happier chapter!