Title: Negative Stimulus
Author: Kicks ([email protected])
Archive: Azkaban's Lair, fanfiction.net under Kick Flaw
Pairing(s): Remus/Sirius
Rating: R
Spoilers: PoA
Warnings: Angst, general bad things.
Disclaimer: Is there any cross-dressing in Harry Potter? No? Then I still don't own it. Summary: Sirius finally matures enough to recognize the things he must not have.

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Negative Stimulus

I've always been most attracted to what's worst for me. It's not one of my better traits, I dare say. In fact, it's the cause of more pain in my life than anything else. I knew it would be then, I know it now, and still, still I find myself drawn. Not so much in these later years, but my youth was utterly taken up in my fascination with negative stimuli. Every move I made was a move in the wrong direction. Every move I made was wrong in itself.

I was the boy who took any and all dares. The one who leapt onto a broom from a high tower or swam naked in the Lake or allowed myself to be bound to a tree in the Forbidden Forest, just for the hell of it. Barely made it out of that scrape alive -that, and a hundred others. It's a miracle I'm here today. I suppose you could say I've a knack for survival.

Don't ask me why, I don't know. Something about danger set my mind on fire. I hated limits, I hated the idea of not being able to do something, be it because of age, or ability, or natural laws. I spent my childhood believing that magic was a myth, that humans couldn't fly outside of planes, that no one but psychotics drank blood. Those first few moments at Hogwarts knocked my perception off its feet, and I guess it never got up straight again. I believed that if I could stir up fire without a spark then I could do any god-damned thing I very well wanted to. And no one would stop me. Screw authority and screw their rules, the more it was forbidden, the more I wanted to wallow in it. Screw everyone.

My thrill-seeking was simply hardcore. As hardcore as it comes. There were some things that sucked me in, sucked me deep down, that even I flinched at. But I couldn't help myself. If it was absolutely wrong for me I would dive in headfirst, laughing. Reveling like a demon set loose from hell.

I took dares. I played pranks. I worked illegal magic. I got into fights. I blew things up. I vandalized. I drove my motorbike without a helmet. I carried weapons. I skipped class. I drank. I did heroine, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, opium. I lost my virginity to a seventh year girl at fourteen and my *other* virginity to a twenty-five year old muggle guy at fifteen. I slept around with both sexes regardless of birth control, STDs, without so much as knowing their names. I gave blowjobs. I fucked a teacher for a higher mark. You name it, I did it. I *was* the kid your parents begged you to stay away from.

I never meant to hurt anyone but myself.

I never thought I would.

So the day I nearly killed Snape, the day I pushed everything and everyone farther than they could go, it hit me like a giant's punch. I'd almost killed someone, almost gotten someone sentenced to life in prison. Someone other than myself. It made me dizzier than any drug I'd ever done. And not in the good way.

I'm not saying it turned me around. My lifestyle remained depraved, and my mind and body continued to respond to wrongness, but if I was going to get cliché I'd say it was like a ray of light, just a tiny thing. Pathetic illumination, really, just enough to wake me up. For the first time, god, I wanted something good for me. Oh so good, so sweet, so right it made me *hurt*. But I wanted it in all the wrong ways.

The problem was, fundamentally, Remus is just like me.

He's much more subtle, of course, he always has been. Precise and refined, tactful and mild, patient and understated. His way of getting what he wants doesn't change the fact that he wants the worst for himself, however. Where I range about in many, less devastating wrong things, he picks the most negative stimulus he can see and focuses whole-heartedly on that one thing.


I'd never seen it before that moment when I realized he was everything good. The sheer obsession he had with me. The depth of his twisted, self-destructive love. God, he *wanted* me, like a writhing man wants death. To him I was a fine wine -sweet-tasting and warm, killing his brain cells and self-control sip by mortal sip. I was intoxication. Toxic joy.

He must have known I would ruin him. Even on that murky night when we tumbled onto his bed and lost ourselves to the young, hot lust so fierce between us, he had to have known. That night wasn't beautiful, we didn't make love in saccharine whispers and slow sensation, we fucked. We *fucked*. It was carnal. Sweaty. Raw instinct.

We screamed.

I think about him now, haggard and gray. I think about the circles under his dull-hazel eyes, and I remember the way he gripped me tight at our reunion, arms clutching at the gaunt bones of my body. I know his obsession still burns in him, I could tell by the feel of his hands, the slight tremble that clearly belied a darker, chaotic desire spoiling for release underneath endless layers of peace. I won't say it doesn't hurt.

Because all I want is the holiness he lights up in me. He makes me sacred, right despite all my transgressions. He is the only balm my soul will accept, and I will deny my soul. I will deny it everything good in order to protect him. I refuse to be his negative stimulus. I refuse to ruin him.

Ruin him more than I already have.