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Avian Fraud

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Remus presses the heel of his palm to his eyes until white stars burst behind his eyelids, in the hopes that when he reopens them, there would magically be no unread messages left in his inbox. It was the busiest month for move-ins, and that means an astronomical number of maintenance requests. Leading into the move-outs he had people filing requests they had been putting off, in the effort to save their asses from paying extra fees, and once new residents moved in he’s has even more requests for things that were either actually broken, or they just didn’t like. The latter, he has no control over, but they still drain time from his day in needing to answer. 

Opening up the next request, he glances briefly at the apartment number and sees that at least this one was not from a new resident. It’s not a unit he gets many requests from, and all of them were legitimate. A leaking sink that needed a new part - the resident had even emptied the cabinet and put down old towels to protect the cabinet wood. A window that the casing had come loose and was letting rain in. 

His relief is short lived though when he opens, what has to be, the most bizarre message he has seen all day. That even takes into account the college kid who dumped dry pasta down the kitchen sink (why?), the single mom who tried to bribe him into removing the crayon her toddler had put on the walls (decidedly not his problem), and the elderly man he had to convince to return the painting he took from the lobby for his own apartment (he really isn’t paid enough for this shit.)


I have a situation where a pigeon has laid an egg on my air conditioner last night.

Do you know what steps need to be taken to have it removed?



Checking what time the ticket was submitted, he sees that it was early that morning. It’s nearly 5 in the evening now, nearly late enough that he can push it off until tomorrow. Nearly, but not quite.

With a long suffering sigh, he holds his face in his hands, considering his options in replying and thinking that he has never wanted a cold pint as badly as he does in this moment. His inbox pings again and the sound he makes is more akin to a wounded animal than an overstressed maintenance worker.

Seeing that it’s a reply to the ticket he’s currently looking at rather than an additional request does nothing to reassure him, but he begrudgingly opens it.


Please disregard. I have this handled with a bird sanctuary.


Leaving his laptop open, Remus crosses his apartment to the fridge, thinking that 5 o’clock can be damned as he pops the top and takes a long drag. Sitting back down he hits the reply button.


I feel obligated to ask for clarification whether a bird sanctuary has taken the egg, or you have built a bird sanctuary for the egg on your air conditioner.




As if I would waste resources on constructing shelter for something with such beady, judgemental eyes. If I wanted that in my life, I would still live at home with my mother.

To answer your question, a bird sanctuary has removed the egg from my air conditioner. I told them I was absolutely positive it was an egg of the rare wallow tit.




I really wish you wouldn’t have told me. Now how will I claim plausible deniability when they inevitably arrest you for such a heinous crime as avian fraud?

Glad to hear your air conditioner is safe. If only because it’s one less thing I have to handle.


There’s a long silence after that and Remus thinks, almost regrettably, that might be the end of the bird saga. Funny that such a bizarre ticket ended up leaving his evening on a high note after such a long day. He is about to close his computer and search for food when it pings again.


Perhaps I could bribe your silence when they come for me with the bangers I’m about to throw on the grill?


Remus hesitates. There’s nothing saying he can’t hang out with a resident. He doesn’t own the building. Sirius doesn’t pay him. He even lives in the building himself - there’s nothing against having dinner with a neighbour. He wishes it wasn’t happening through the apartment ticketing system that his boss could look at if he ever decided he had an interest in the place, but nothing to be helped there.


I’ll bring the beer.


10 minutes later, he’s knocking hesitantly on apartment number 104. The door is yanked open and both men stand silently shocked for one beat, two. Holding up the pack of beer in his head, Remus offers a hesitant smile.

Sirius is several inches taller than him, with broad shoulders exposed in the tank top he’s wearing, the sun having turned the pale skin red. Black hair is swept into a messy knot on the top of his head, but Remus thinks the best part is the radiant smile the bursts across his face when he snaps out of his initial shock. 

He waves Remus in and the patio door is open onto Sirius’ small patio where a grill has meat sizzling on it. “Please don’t let me forever be known as the pigeon man,” Sirius says as way of greeting.

“Too late.”