Remus heard the horn honk from his bedroom and his heart sank. That wasn't the horn from James’ car.
It was late August and Sirius was picking him up to go on one last date before school started. They planned to take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend a day somewhere isolated and secluded. And intimate picnic , Sirius had joked. Remus expected Sirius to borrow James’ car so that they could drive to their picnic location. That wasn't the horn from James’ car.
Remus took a deep, steadying breath and swallowed his fear. He walked down the staircase to find his mother in the kitchen, peering nervously out the window.
“Remus, sweetie, you're not going to ride that thing, are you?”
“I don't think I have much choice in the matter…”
Mrs. Lupin turned to look at her son, worry spreading across her delicate features.
Remus shrugged, trying to seem aloof for his mother. He didn't want to let her know that he shared her exact sentiments.
“Lots of things are dangerous…”
“Honey, I don't--”
“It's okay, Mum. I can handle it. We're both wizards. If anything goes wrong, we still have magic on our side.”
Hope Lupin let out a soft exhale and nodded her head. She was a muggle, she knew that there were still many things about Remus’ life that she'd never understand. She tried to give her son a warm smile, but the permanent sadness leaked through. Remus smiled back. He was always better at masking his emotions than his mother was.
“I love you, Mum. Don't worry about us. We'll be safe.”
Remus kissed his mother on the cheek before heading out the door.
“Wear a helmet!” she called as he closed it.
Once outside, Remus stopped in his tracks, staring at his ridiculous boyfriend leaning against that goddamn bike. Despite the summer heat, Sirius was wearing his leather jacket and fingerless gloves, ripped skinny jeans and his scuffed Chucks. His long, dark hair was tied back in a messy bun, exposing the excessive, dorky grin plastered to his face. He gave an enthusiastic wave when he saw Remus and stood up straight. Remus gave his typical eye roll and made his way towards Sirius.
“What the hell is that?”
“Good morning to you too, Moony.” Sirius’ smile never wavered.
“I'm not riding that thing.”
“Aww, c'mon, Reme! It'll be fun!” Sirius attempted his best puppy-dog-eyes, grabbing his boyfriend’s hands in his own. “Please? For me?”
“You're not even wearing a helmet!” Remus pulled his hands back forcefully and continued to glare.
“Don't need one… never have. Anyway, it'd just mess up my hair…”
“You're an idiot.”
Sirius laughed, a bright, sparkling laugh that radiated around him, full of joy and ease. Remus softened slightly. It had been a really long time since he'd heard Sirius laugh like that. Padfoot had been so down lately, Moony wondered if he'd ever hear his boyfriend’s real laugh again.
Remus shook his head and rolled his eyes again.
“Do you at least have a helmet for me ?”
Moony didn't know it was possible for Padfoot's smile to get broader, but somehow he managed it.
“Of course, Moons. You think I'd expect you to ride this thing without one? That'd be so very un-Moony of you.” Sirius grabbed the black helmet that was dangling from the handlebars that Remus never noticed. “Here,” he said, tossing it at his boyfriend.
Remus barely caught the helmet. He rotated it in his hands, eyeing it suspiciously. This was the thing that was supposed to save his life should they get into an accident. It seemed so flimsy.
“You know what...On second thought, why don't we say screw the picnic and just have lunch here…”
“Come on Moons! I've been dying to take you on a spin since I got her!”
“... Her ?”
“Yeah, her .”
“Is that because you'd prefer to have a girl between your legs?” Remus raised an eyebrow and gave only the faintest hint of a smile.
“It's a good thing I know you're joking, 'cause I might be offended otherwise…”
Remus chuckled before giving the bike a once-over.
“It's not safe, Sirius…”
“Please, Remus? For me?”
Remus could feel his resistance melting away. Sirius was too charming for his own good, and Moony found that it was getting harder and harder to say no around him. He needed to learn how to put his dog on a leash.
“ Fine .”
“Yes!” Sirius raised his fist in triumph. Remus gave one last eye roll before putting his helmet on.
He pulled the helmet off.
“Where do I sit?”
Sirius smiled slyly and approached the bike. He swung a leg over and steadied the machine between his legs before knocking back the kickstand.
“Now you climb on behind me. You get the bitch seat.”
“ Sirius... ”
“What? That's what it's called!”
“I sincerely doubt that.”
Remus approached the bike cautiously, unsure of whether or not he made the right decision. He gingerly placed his hands on Sirius’ shoulders and hesitantly lifted a leg.
“Come on, Moons! You can do it! Just use me for balance.”
Remus held Sirius tighter and swung his leg over the bike. It shifted a bit beneath him, but Padfoot steadied it, allowing Remus to climb into the seat behind him. Remus sat for a moment before bringing his hands to Sirius’ hips. The engine started and the bike began to rumble.
“Wait wait wait wait wait!”
Sirius barked a laugh.
“I'm not ready… just… just give me a sec, 'kay?” Remus was clutching at Sirius’ waist, trying to find a comfortable way to sit on that god forsaken hunk of junk.
“Reme, just shove up a bit closer. You'll be fine. Sit right behind me, wrap your arms around me. I promise, it'll be safe.”
Remus almost jumped off the bike. He almost yelled profanities at his imbecile of a boyfriend. He almost punched Sirius firmly in the arm, upset at him for buying this damn thing in the first place. Instead, he shifted forward in the seat and wrapped his arms firmly around Sirius. He was much too terrified to do anything else.
“Merlin's beard, Reme. Not so tight! I can't breathe!”
“Shut the fuck up, Sirius.”
“Okay, Moons. Lift your legs. There's a place to put your feet… yeah, there you go…”
Remus scrunched his eyes shut and took a deep breath, putting his helmet on carefully. He knew exactly what was coming next, and he was dreading it ever happening. His grip around Sirius’ waist tightened and his thighs clenched together as he heard the engine roar and felt the bike begin to move.
As it turned out, Remus did not know exactly what was coming next.
He opened his eyes expecting to see houses rushing by. Instead, he found that he was looking down at the city of London, some five hundred meters below him.
“ Jesus fucking Christ, Sirius! What that fuck are you doing?!”
Sirius couldn't hear Remus’ expletives over the roar of wind in his ears.
“ISN'T THIS AMAZING, REME?”
“NO! NO IT IS NOT! I FUCKING HATE YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME?! I FUCKING HATE YOU!!”
Sirius laughed as the wind whipped past their faces and Remus clung helplessly to him, silently praying for the whole thing to be over with.
It took a while, but Remus’ grip eventually loosened the tiniest bit. He opened his eyes and looked around. His breathing finally steadied and his heart rate started to return to normal-ish. Ignoring the fact that they were on a flying death machine, God knows how high off the ground, ready to fall at any moment, it was actually quite beautiful. Moony was surprised at how far he could see and how peaceful the city looked from the air. The rolling hills and fresh greenery spread out in every direction. As long as he didn't look down, the fear kept at bay and Remus was eventually starting to enjoy his bike ride.
Sirius noticed that his boyfriend's screaming had finally died down. He leaned back in his seat to talk to Remus. The best part of flying the bike was that he didn't have to concentrate as hard on driving it. There were significantly less vehicles up in the air with him.
“Hey Moons, how're you feeling?”
Remus flipped up the visor on his helmet.
“Fuckin’ petrified is how I'm feeling. Why the fuck didn't you tell me it could fly?!”
“‘Cause then you'd never agree to ride it with me!”
“Fuck. You. Sirius. I fucking hate you right now.”
“Watch your language, Moons! You're a werewolf, not a swear wolf!” Remus let go of Sirius just long enough to give him a swift punch in the arm. Sirius flinched in pain before laughing it off. He loved pulling his Moony out of his comfort zone, even if he had to drag his boyfriend kicking and screaming. “You know, seven years we’ve been friends. Seven years and I have never heard you cuss like that before! I’m so proud of you, Moony!”
“Fuck off, you fucking prat.” It was all Remus could manage. He couldn’t believe that his boyfriend would take him on something this terrifying without consulting him first. He really hated how selfish Sirius was and the way that he ended up manipulating everyone around him.
“Hey Moons…” Sirius’ voice was soft, barely audible over the howling wind. Remus had to slide even closer to hear him, their bodies firmly pressed together. He could smell the leather of Padfoot’s jacket and the lingering aura of stale cigarettes. Remus tried to suppress a smile; he was still angry at Sirius.
“ What , Sirius?”
“...Thanks.” He paused. “I… I really appreciate you coming up here with me. It… It really means a lot to me.”
That did it. Remus’ stern attitude broke. He couldn’t stay mad at Sirius, and he hated himself for it. Sirius Black was so loving and so charming. He was a selfish prick, yes, but never on purpose; that was more a side-effect of his horrendous upbringing. Despite everything, Sirius cared fiercely about the people important to him, and nobody was more important than his Moony. He would fight to the ends of the earth to protect anyone in his pack, a quality that drew Remus to him in the first place. Moony squeezed his boyfriend a little tighter and, in spite of himself, responded.
“Careful there, Moony… You’re squeezing me awfully tight. Are you trying to start something?” Sirius teased.
And just like that, the moment was gone.
“You’re an idiot, Sirius.” His actions ran contrary to his words as Remus leaned his head on Sirius’ back and held onto his torso, not for dear life anymore, but for the sheer comfort of physical contact. “I hate you.”
“I love you too, Moons.”