It wasn’t Sirius’s goal to embarrass Remus. He just felt that after all they’d been through that his man deserved grand public declarations of love as often as possible, preferably in song. Even though Remus would blush and protest, he’d never look away. When Sirius was finished, he’d smile, so Sirius figured the message got through and was appreciated in the spirit it was offered.
And that was how Sirius became a regular at karaoke night at The Wax Works. He started with songs from when they were kids. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” was for when he was feeling croony, sort of Vegas-Elvis. He loved the way the song built up to that huge chorus—”I LOVE YOU BA-BY!” “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks were more Elvis Comeback Special, with that big growly “All right!” and then some sexy dancing in tight jeans to a guitar solo. When he was feeling more emotional, he’d pull out “You’re My Best Friend” because one couldn’t go wrong with Queen, and besides, every word of it was true.
Even though they were classics, and the crowd certainly loved them, Sirius was a little worried they were a bit old. Besides, he had a whole decade to make up for. He started poking around at various songs from the eighties, and when he found one he liked he’d send it in an owl post to Seamus or Andromeda for their thoughts. (He’d included Harry at the start, but Harry made it very clear that as Sirius was his godfather, any and all details of his romantic life were T.M.I. Luckily Remus knew what that abbreviation stood for; unluckily it gave him the opportunity to remark that it was a concept entirely unknown to one Sirius Black.)
Then one night Remus suggested they go out to karaoke, which was unusual for him. Sirius hadn’t quite settled on a new song yet and to be honest was hoping that Remus wouldn’t bring it up. But go they did, scoring their usual table. Remus went to get drinks and while Sirius lost track of him in the crowd by the bar, he was surprised when someone else brought him his cocktail, with no sign of Remus at all.
The emcee came up on stage and said, “Before we start the karaoke tonight we’re going to do something a little different, at the request of one of our regulars. So let’s give them a hand, shall we?”
Sirius clapped along with the others as a tall woman with a guitar got up on stage and sat in one of the stools. After a moment he recognized her as Padma Patil, the classmate of Harry’s who’d married Ron Weasley and who was getting started as a musician. But he didn’t have a moment to wonder why she was there, because climbing up on stage behind her was Remus, looking nervous as he sat down next to her.
“Er, hi,” he said. “The song I wanted to sing is a little obscure so instead of karaoke I have Ms. Patil here.” The crowd clapped politely. “Sirius has been trying to get me to sing for months now, so here I am. Anyway, this is ‘What Can I Say.’”
Padma began playing and Remus started to sing, looking at no one but Sirius. Sirius had been trying to get him to sing, as he had a much better voice. And now he was showing everyone else with a simple song that said Sirius was beautiful, and he loved him, and “your love takes my breath away” and Sirius had to try very hard not to cry in public. But he did stand up to applaud, as did many others, and Remus looked a little embarrassed, but also pleased.
When he came back to the table—along with Padma and Ginny, who’d been hiding someplace and who Sirius bet had more than a little to do with this—Remus said, “I know you think you have to make up for things, but I wasn’t the only one who spent those years sad and lonely, Sirius.”
“I suppose not,” Sirius replied, having not really thought about it that way.
Remus was quiet for a moment, then took Sirius’s hand. “So,” he said, “can we call it even now?”
Sirius smiled. “Yeah,” he said. “Let’s do.”