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Treading Water

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It’s captivating, the way James looks in the moonlight. His face is so expressive when he laughs. The light catches on the droplets of water on the slant of his jaw. He pulls a hand through his hair and submerges himself under the surface with a splash and a kick of his feet. The ripples spread out from the empty expanse of darkness he leaves behind. Sirius trails his hand through them and watches as they fracture and disperse beneath his fingertips.

When James surfaces, he’s close enough to touch. Too close. Sirius’s laugh catches in his throat. It creates an odd sort of gurgle which reminds him of a fish mouthing at the air, looking for water just so it can keep breathing. Sirius should have known better than to strip down to his boxers, half pissed on a cheap bottle of plonk. Suggesting they go swimming ‘for a laugh’ is right up there on the long list of terrible decisions Sirius has been making of late.

“Hi.” James’s breath is warm and sweet, his mouth impossibly close. Small waves lap around them as they tread water. James clears his throat, his tongue flicking across his lips as his gaze drops to Sirius's mouth. Dangerous fucking territory, that.

“Jamie,” Sirius says. It's all he can manage, and his voice betrays him. It's too gruff with wanting to be much of a warning. Sirius thinks he meant to say don’t. Don’t come too close, don’t make me want you all over again. He doesn’t say any of those things. Instead he pulls James against his body, the lazy tug of desire now an overwhelming pull. "Hello," he whispers. His words are muffled as he presses his face into the crook of Jamie's neck, where everything is warm and familiar.

Sirius has never been good at saying no to James and he doesn’t plan to do so tonight, when it feels as though the moment might be gone in a gasp like the fleeting summer. Sirius takes in the easy tilt of James’s smile and he wants to keep pretending there’s nobody else in the world. It’s easier, when it’s just two boys cloaked in the night’s shadows. It’s always been easier when it’s just them. A slow, quiet sadness gnaws at Sirius like the nagging sense of something forgotten. He kicks away from James and pulls himself out of the water, shaking drops of water from his hair and grabbing a towel. Sirius dries his hair and collects a second towel from the grass. Their clothes are still on the ground, the jeans and t-shirts tangling together in a reckless pile.

There’s a splash of water and a huff of breath as James pulls himself out of the lake. “Not tonight, then?” James grabs the offered towel from Sirius, an odd flush in his cheeks. Wanting to suck dick is the only thing Sirius has ever seen James get embarrassed about, and James does a lot of things that would leave normal people squirming. Sirius can’t stand the thrill it gives him to hold that small power over James. It makes him feel mean and triumphant, even when it’s no victory at all.

Sirius glances at James. “You want to?”

Even now, Sirius bets James won’t admit it. He's never been able to put the this into words. If past form is anything to go by, there will be jokes after. They’re supposed to make whatever Sirius and James got up to feel small and forgettable, but they end up making it all bigger and more painful than before. James is good at jokes, but these ones never land. There's something too forced and angry about them and jokes aren't supposed to leave people quiet and withdrawn. I’m sorry, Sirius wants to say. I’m sorry that people in this stupid world made you think loving me could only ever be a joke.

“I always want to.” James’s voice is choked. It’s more than he usually admits. James looks so much younger without his glasses and he’s earnest and open in a way that’s unfamiliar territory. Sirius wants to hold him and never let go. He thinks he would swim across a whole ocean if he knew he might find James at the end of it. James gives Sirius a light shove which breaks the mood. His laugh is watery, like the quiet rippling of the lake as something in the darkness disturbs the still surface. “Come on, you fucker. Aren’t you going to kiss me?”

Obviously, Sirius is going to kiss James. It's a stupid question, really. Sirius pushes his hands into James’s hair, his damp fingers tangling in the wet strands. Everything is hot and desperate, the kisses warming the bits of skin cooled by the water. Sirius presses his hand against the hard line of James’s cock through wet pants and groans with pleasure as they move to the floor in a messy pile. Sirius snaps the waistband of James’s boxers before moving onto his back and trying to steady his breathing. He trails his fingers down his chest, through coarse, wiry hair and over the erratic thrum of his heart. “Get them off. I want you to wank on me.”

“You're such a pervert.” It doesn't sound as though James minds. He strips off his clothes quickly and then he's right there – a beautiful disaster in Sirius’s lap. He squeezes his strong thighs around Sirius, his smile is bright in the moonlight. Sirius swallows when James starts to stroke himself. For someone who’s going to be pillock and make jokes after this, James is damn good at putting on a show when he’s in the moment. Sirius wants to bottle that restless, energetic confidence and tell James to forget those football fans that threw punches and called him queer. He wants James to know that they could be so much more than memories fading away with the last remnants of the summer sun, so much bolder than whispers in the night.

“Are you even watching?” James stills for a minute, breathless.

Sirius sits up and keeps James in his lap with an arm around his waist, sliding his free hand over James's cock. He’s so hard in his pants already, but Sirius is happy to wait. He wants to watch James come first. He wants to take in every sound, every reflex, every expression that passes across James's face. “I’m watching. I’m trying to work out if I can make pensieve porn out of this and get some extra cash.”

“Idiot.” James laughs, pushing into Sirius’s fist. “I want to come and—” his voice falters, “I want you to fuck me tonight.”

Sirius loses himself in the heat of James's mouth, the sinuous flex and twist of his body, the pulse of his cock against Sirius's palm and the sweaty, salty taste of him. If this is their moment, Sirius is going to make it the best one of their lives. He kisses James with everything he has, and wonders if James can taste it on his lips - the hot, desperate hope for new beginnings mingling with the aching fear that fuck me means fuck me goodbye.