Title: The Cute Clarinet Boy
Word Count: 1600
Summary: Sirius works at a music store and develops a crush when a cute clarinet player named Remus walks in to buy reeds.
Sirius had been spending what felt like hours attempting to make the Christmas ornaments in the glass case look somewhat presentable. Or perhaps, as his co-worker, James, kept saying: "You just have a serious case of boredom and don't want the 'hard tasks!'"
"Why do we even have these ornaments out already? It's September," Sirius said.
"Well," James explained. "I suppose it makes the store look nicer because otherwise we'd have to keep all of the reeds and guitar picks in there."
"That's true. Hey, I have to give a drum lesson in ten minutes, can you finish this for me?"
"Sirius, you finished that probably three hours ago."
"What can I say? I have a talent for making Christmas ornaments look perfect. Look at this saxophone one, it's perfect."
"It looks the same as the other ones."
"Don't lie to me, Jamesy!"
James jokingly glared at him. "By the way, what's Pete up to?"
"He's giving a bassoon lesson. Speaking of which… what's the difference between a bassoon and a trampoline?"
James just looked at him, trying not to smile. Sirius had already told this joke about fifty times since Peter started giving bassoon lessons at Merlin's Music.
"You take your shoes off when you jump on a trampoline!" Sirius cackled.
James grinned and gave him a smack on the shoulder. "Oh, go do something productive already. Go work the register, looks like someone just walked in anyway."
Sirius sighed and dragged himself over to the register. A thin boy who looked to be around seventeen wandered over in his direction. Sirius smiled at him.
"Can I help you with something?"
The boy smiled at him and Sirius' stomach did a flip. Hey, those amber eyes were something special.
"Yeah, I'd like a box of Vandoren 3 ½ reeds for clarinet."
"Hey…" Sirius started, grinning. "What's the difference between a trampoline and a clarinet?"
"What?" the boy asked.
"You take your shoes off when you jump on a trampoline!"
The boy looked tied between laughing and looking insulted. Finally his face broke into a smile.
"Not that I have anything against the clarinet. By the way, just a suggestion, you might want to try Gonzales reeds instead, they seem to be the new thing around here. They're easier to play straight out of the box but you should go up a half step because they run a bit soft."
"Okay, I might as well try something new. So a box of Gonzales 4s then?"
"Perfect!" Sirius exclaimed.
iYou take your shoes off when you jump on a trampoline /i … Sirius started chuckling while he gave change to the nice clarinet player. That joke just never got old.
"What's so funny?"
"I'm sorry!" Sirius said, chortling. "Just the joke."
"Do you play clarinet yourself? You sure know a lot about reeds."
"Nah, it's just part of the job. I play the drumset and I'm starting to pick up the bass. But clarinet's a cool instrument. Rhapsody in Blue? I could listen to it for hours."
The boy gave him that smile again and Sirius' breath hitched in his throat.
"So do you come to Merlin's Music often?" Sirius asked, not wanting him to leave quite yet.
"I do occasionally. I'm going to be back in again in a few days to try out mouthpieces."
"Oh! Well make sure you come sometime between 8am-5pm that way I can help you out." Sirius went over in his head the words that just came out of his mouth and had to resist the urge to facepalm right there in front of him. He just told him to come when he was working. Which means he just admitted that he would like to see him again. Which seems pretty obvious to Sirius that he developed a new crush and is already acting like an idiot about it. "I mean… you don't have to, but it would be cool," he added, trying to make it better.
"No, I will! Sounds good to me."
"What's your name by the way?"
"Well nice to meet you, Remus," Sirius said, giving his most charming smile. "I'm Sirius."
"Cool. Well I'll see you around, Sirius," Remus said as he gave a small wave and walked away from the register.
"Have a good night!"
Suddenly there was a tap on his shoulder.
"I see you've got a new buddy there," James said, raising his eyebrows.
"Your student has been waiting for you for a good five minutes."
"Agh! Not again!" Sirius jogged off towards the small lesson rooms in the back of the store.
Every day after that Sirius worked harder than usual. He knew it was a dumb reason, but he knew that Remus could walk in at any moment, and he wanted to look like he could actually do his job and wasn't just a lazy ass.
Of course that meant that James teased him mercilessly because of it. All Sirius ever heard anymore was "Are you waiting for your buddy to come back?" "Trying to impress your crush?" "Is there a reason you keep glancing out the window, Sirius? Looking for somebody?" And naturally, all of this was accompanied by numerous winks and elbow jabs.
Finally the moment came. Sirius glanced out the window, as he had been every five minutes for the past three days, and he saw Remus closing his car door and heading towards Merlin's Music.
Remus walked in the door and immediately smiled at Sirius, who could feel his face turn bright red. Fantastic, what a perfect start.
"Hey," Sirius said.
"How are you doing?" Remus asked, going a little pink himself. Sirius told himself it was just from the wind outside. Remus couldn't possibly be blushing over Sirius (even though he knew he was a good looking guy) because he was still a stranger who worked in a music store.
"Not gonna lie, a little upset because my co-worker, James, didn't laugh at my trampoline joke today."
"Seriously? I thought it was a pretty good one."
"It iis /i a pretty good one! I guess he's just heard it one too many times."
"How often do you tell it?"
Remus looked like he was trying to hold back a smile.
"So anyway," Sirius said. "Let's go try mouthpieces!"
Remus followed him into one of the back rooms, where Sirius already had their entire available clarinet mouthpieces set up.
"I knew you were coming, so I just figured… I'd get a head start setting up," Sirius said, trying his hardest not to blush. "Honestly, there's not much real work to do around here anyway, except for giving lessons."
"Can you give me a drum lesson after this?"
"Absolutely! First lesson is free too," Sirius said, winking at Remus.
After about an hour of Sirius passing Remus mouthpieces, accidentally brushing his hand with his own, then taking them back after Remus played them and passing another, Remus finally decided on a mouthpiece.
Sirius rung it up at the register.
"So about that free lesson," Remus started.
Sirius grinned. "Follow me!"
He practically dragged Remus into the back room with the drumset. An entire half hour of him sharing his knowledge with Remus? It couldn't be more perfect of an opportunity to get to know each other.
Sirius closed the door behind him.
"Well… have a seat at the drums!" Sirius said.
Before Remus even had a moment to respond or head over to the drums, the door opened and James peeked in.
"Oh," he said, eyes widening when he saw them there. "So sorry. Am I interrupting something?" He winked at Sirius.
Sirius glared at him in return, wondering why God created such a tormenting friend like James to keep him company throughout his life. Although no matter how much James made fun, Sirius still couldn't help the small smile that appeared on his face at the jest.
"Believe it or not," Sirius said jokingly "You actually are interrupting something. This is Remus' first drum lesson."
"I see," James said knowingly. "Use protection!" he yelled as he slammed the door behind him.
Remus turned to Sirius and made a face at him. "So that's your friend?"
"Cool guy, isn't he?" Sirius asked.
"Yeah…. He sure is suggestive though."
Sirius rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. "Hey, what can I say? It's what makes him fun."
Remus just smiled at him, and Sirius' stomach did a flip. If it did one more flip throughout the day, Sirius was going to be really angry. Honestly, if he could get his stomach to hold still and his face to stop turning red all the time, he would really be quite a smooth guy.
iSo I guess the only way to fix it is to actually confront the cause /i … Sirius thought. He took a deep breath and tried to push all of his nerves as far away as possible. Remus was just a stranger he met at the store anyway, it's not like he could screw up a friendship. Might as well go for it, right?
Before he even had a chance to change his mind, Sirius walked straight up to Remus, put his arms around his waist, and pulled him into a kiss… and Sirius could have sworn he felt the earth sway under his feet. Remus pressed forward and tangled his fingers in Sirius' hair.
After a long moment, Sirius pulled away and looked into Remus' amber eyes.
"So you play clarinet?" he asked, slightly delirious.
"That's cute. Wanna get coffee with me tomorrow?"
"Absolutely," Remus said, grinning.