Sirius revved his baby's engine and briefly ducked below the safety of cloud cover, all of London sparkling below them as dusk began to fall. Behind him, James whooped loudly, all fearless joy and infectious enthusiasm. Sirius's stomach swooped, and it had nothing at all to do with the sudden dip of the motorbike as he flew away from the City and back towards the Potter estate.
Today had been brilliant, one of those perfect summer days that Sirius wanted to live in forever. He and James had taken his bike into the City, ostensibly to shop for their seventh year Hogwarts supplies, but mostly to take full advantage of one of their few remaining days of freedom. School would be starting back up in less than a week, and while Sirius used to look forward to that day with breathless anticipation, eager to be reunited with the rest of the Marauders, this year was different. This summer with the Potters had been like something out of a dream, waking up every day next to James, his best mate, his other half. They'd always been close, inseparable really, but their bond had only grown stronger over the past several months as they spent their days and nights in one another's back pockets. Sirius had grown used to James's undivided and unyielding attention, had become greedy for James's smiles and his touch. The thought of having to share James with the rest of Hogwarts, with Remus and Peter and Lily, made his stomach churn with a sick and unpleasant jealousy.
"Let's go out to the pond," James said, his voice only audible over the rumble of the engine and the roar of the wind because his mouth was pressed right up against Sirius's ear. The brush of his lips along the nape of Sirius's neck sent a shiver rolling through Sirius's body and he nodded his assent, guiding his girl towards a copse of trees at the edge of the Potter property that bordered a small pond.
The two of them had spent many a glorious sun-soaked summer day out by the pond, swimming and fooling around, water droplets glittering on James's golden skin like diamonds. The memories passed through Sirius in a rush of heat and desire, warming his body despite the inevitable chill that came with being so high up in the air. Sirius had known even then that the summer would eventually have to come to an end, but that didn't mean he had to like it. The world was a terrifying place, becoming darker every day, and Sirius wasn't an idiot—he knew there was a war on the horizon, knew his carefree days were numbered. It only made him want to hold onto these precious moments all the tighter, made him want to cling to James and keep him near for as long as possible before life made its inevitable demands on them.
He dropped down onto the grassy knoll next to the lake, the sudden quiet almost deafening as he turned off the engine. Night had fully fallen by now, so he left the bright headlight on as the two of them climbed off the bike. James grinned at him conspiratorially as he reached into his satchel, pulling out a bottle of Firewhisky with a flourish.
"Where'd you get that?" Sirius asked as he followed James over to the cluster of trees and plopped down next to him on the grass.
"Nicked it from my parents. Hopefully dad won't notice it's missing until after we're back at Hogwarts." He opened the bottle and took a long pull, his throat bobbing as he swallowed. James offered it to Sirius, and their fingers brushed together as Sirius took it from him, making his skin tingle.
"Won't stop your dad from sending a Howler, mate," Sirius said with a laugh, doing his best to keep things light.
James shrugged and said, "I can handle a Howler." He flashed Sirius one of those grins he seemed to reserve just for Sirius, the ones that never failed to make his heart race.
Sirius brought the whisky to his mouth, relishing the smoky taste and the warm burn as it slid down his throat to settle hot in his belly. He passed the bottle back to James, taking comfort in the easy silence between them, the effortless camaraderie as they shared this moment. There wouldn't be much time for this kind of thing once Hogwarts started up again. Between classes and friends, James's Quidditch practices and his determination to woo Lily Evans… Sirius could kiss one-on-one time with James goodbye. The thought filled him with a bitter melancholy, tainting the peacefulness of night.
He turned to look at James who was leaning against one of the trees as he took a drag of whisky from the bottle, head tilted back to expose the long line of his throat. The bright white of the headlamp cast him in lines of light and shadow, emphasising the slope of his cheekbones and the cut of his jaw. The night was so black that the harsh light made it appear as if he was chiseled from darkness. It made him look otherworldly, dangerous, and so goddamned beautiful that Sirius wanted to cry with the unfairness of it all. Especially when James looked right back at him, hunger and challenge flashing in those oddly shadowed eyes as he carefully set the bottle down and pointedly spread his legs, drawing Sirius's gaze inevitably to the growing bulge of his groin. It wouldn't be the first time they'd got off together—far from it—though Sirius wondered if it'd be the last.
He always wondered if it would be the last.
James loved him, he knew that to be true, and James wouldn't ever mean to hurt Sirius, not purposefully at least. Sirius was aware though that these moments together meant more to him than they did to James. Or maybe they didn't mean more exactly, but they certainly meant something different. Sirius wanted this for real, for keeps, wanted to have James beneath him and beside him every day for the rest of his life, and James… James wanted Lily and the kind of life she could share with him. He knew that James wouldn't ever be able to give him everything that he wanted, wouldn't ever be able to give himself to Sirius, fully and completely. One day even these morsels he gave Sirius would fall away completely, when Lily said yes and James finally got everything he'd always told himself he wanted. But that day hadn't yet come, and if James was offering… Sirius never had been able to deny James anything, wasn't strong enough to deny himself whatever bit of James he could get. Sirius had always believed in living in the moment and dealing with the consequences later.
He reached for James, pushing him back against the grass as their lips pressed together in a messy whisky-soaked kiss. James arched up into him, bringing their erections into grinding contact. Sirius braced himself, wincing as he knocked his knee against a stubborn tree root before finding softer purchase against the earth. He settled between James's spread thighs and thrust down against him again and again, the rough friction of their jean-clad cocks providing just the right kind of coarse pressure. James made the sweetest noises against Sirius's lips, hungry sounds of want and pleasure, unrestrained in his passion the way he was in everything else. His hands wandered freely over Sirius's back and arse, slipping up beneath his shirt to press against Sirius's bare skin, his flesh cool but quickly warming as they rutted together on the ground.
Despite the whisky in his system, Sirius's climax built quickly—too quickly. Every time with James never seemed to last long enough, the stolen moments over in the blink of an eye when Sirius wanted them to last a lifetime. He could tell James was close too by the increasing pitch of his moans and the frantic bucking of his hips, and he picked up the pace of his thrusts, too far gone now to slow down and savour it.
James came with a cry and a shudder, his hands squeezing Sirius's arse and the wing of his shoulder blade as he found his release. Sirius always thought James was beautiful, but never more so than when he was overcome with pleasure. The sight of his head thrown back, his face twisted with ecstasy, sent Sirius tumbling over the edge after him.
They stayed like that for a while, entwined together in the night, illuminated by the bright shine of the headlight. Sirius let himself drink James in, and when their eyes caught James smiled up at him, slow and soft and impossibly fond. There was something lurking deep in his eyes, something like want and fear and longing, something that made Sirius wonder if maybe, in another life, things between them could be different.
Sirius rolled off of James and pushed those thoughts deep down inside where they belonged. Things weren't different, and he couldn't afford to let that kind of wishful hope take root. It would kill him, if he let it. So instead he reached for his wand and cleaned the both of them off with a cocky smile before reaching once more for the Firewhisky.
And if the burn in his throat as he swallowed it down matched the stinging in his eyes, well, that was nobody's problem but his own.
He'd deal with the consequences later.