"I like this," said Sirius, swirling the last of the beer in his glass, before downing it.
Remus looked at his own glass dubiously. "This? It's not bad, I suppose, but --"
"No, this." Sirius waved his hand across the table between them. "Us. Having a pint together."
A smile curved Remus's lips. "I don't know if you've been counting, Padfoot, but it's a bit more than a pint you've had."
Sirius huffed in annoyance. "You know what I mean. Prongs is always off with Evans these days, and Wormtail's too busy looking after his mum to come out anymore."
Remus nodded glumly and took another sip of his beer. The days of the four of them spending long, lazy evenings together seemed part of another lifetime. He wondered if, when the war ended, they might have more time for one another again, or if by then, it would be too late. It had only been a year and a half since the end of school, and already it felt as if they were growing apart.
"You don't think," said Sirius, eyes narrowing in sudden suspicion, "that maybe Wormtail's using his mum as an excuse, do you?"
Remus frowned. "What? You think he's avoiding us?"
"Dunno." Sirius shrugged. "I was just thinking, what if he's taken up with Yaxley again?"
"No surprise that he wouldn't want us to know it, if he has," said Remus. "You and Prongs were never exactly subtle about your opinions of her, and it's odds on she'd be involved with -- things." He glanced around the pub at the chattering Muggle patrons who were unaware of the war raging under their very noses.
"Yeah." Sirius flashed a sour smile. "Pete wouldn't be thick enough to get involved with one of them. He'd be too scared."
Remus left Sirius to his thoughts and went up to the bar to order another round. The two of them were out tonight celebrating Remus's new job. Remus himself was feeling lucrative and optimistic for once, and was beginning to entertain thoughts of finally moving out of his parents' house.
When he set the fresh pint in front of Sirius, his friend looked up at him, grey eyes shining and slightly unfocussed. "You're the best, Moony."
Remus smiled at him fondly. "Don't you forget it."
"So what about you?" Sirius asked after a long swallow of beer.
"What about me what?"
"Well --" said his friend slowly, gathering his thoughts. "Prongs has Evans. Wormtail has his mum, apparently. You seeing anyone?"
Remus shook his head. "No. Not for ages."
"It's complicated, isn't it?" Remus frowned.
"What? You mean because of --" he dropped his voice to a rough whisper, "-- your furry little problem?"
Remus shifted uncomfortably. This was not a conversation he wanted to have with Sirius. Especially not a slightly inebriated Sirius in the middle of a Muggle pub.
"It's not just that," said Remus, lowering his own voice. "I mean, that's part of it, but there's the war, too. Now just doesn't seem like a good time to start something."
Sirius made a face. "You think too much, Moony."
"I have to, don't I?" Remus said tartly. "Say I meet someone I like, and I want to ask them out. If I tell them I'm -- you know -- straight off, they're going to run the other way, aren't they? And if I don't tell them until they get to know me better, it's like lying to them about who I am. Not the best basis for a relationship."
Sirius grinned into his beer. "You just need to find someone who doesn't care about -- that."
Remus gave a humourless chuckle. "If you meet anyone like that, point them in my direction."
"Oh, c'mon Moony." Sirius nudged his arm companionably. "When was the last time you pulled?"
Sirius always got nosier when he had been drinking. Remus sighed. "I dunno. Six months ago?"
Sirius grinned. "You sly dog! You never said. How long did you wait before telling them about -- things?"
Remus's ears turned pink. "Didn't," he mumbled into his pint glass. "Wasn't really a long-term thing."
Sirius gave a bark of laughter, eyes dancing. "Do my ears deceive me, or did our Monsieur Moony have himself a one night stand?"
The rest of Remus's face now matched his ears. "Was five nights," he mumbled.
"Anyone I know?" Sirius asked, still fizzing with laughter.
"A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell," Remus said with dignity. "What about you?" He was not normally one to pry into people's private affairs, since he did not much like it when others nosed into his business, but he knew the only way to divert Sirius was to turn the question back on his friend.
Sirius shook his head. "Not for a couple of months now. Not as long as your dry spell, but still longer than I care for."
Remus snorted. "If I know you, Padfoot, you'll have your eye on someone."
Sirius gave his friend a considering look. "Maybe I do."
"Better not tell me her name," Remus grinned. "I might feel honour-bound to warn her about you. Does she know you're interested yet?"
Sirius shook his head again. "No. I'm -- just waiting for the right moment, you know?"
"Well, best of luck," said Remus as the bartender rang the bell for last call. "We'd best be getting on. The streets will be full of Muggles in a minute."
Sirius was notably more unsteady on his feet than Remus as they exited the pub and turned down a dark alley to Apparate, but that was not unusual. One of the many side effects of Remus's condition was a high tolerance for alcohol. He would just have to make sure his friend got home safely before he found his own way back to his parents' house.
Stumbling over his own feet, Sirius bumped into Remus, who lost his balance and had to lean back against the brick wall, clutching his friend by the arms to steady him. Sirius laughed softly into Remus's shoulder.
"You're drunk," Remus said fondly, trying to ignore the familiar warmth that rushed through him whenever Sirius touched him.
"Maybe a little." Sirius's warm breath puffed against Remus's neck, a sharp contrast to the winter air, and Remus shivered.
"Let's get you home," he said, a bit breathlessly.
Sirius did not budge. "In a minute."
Warm lips touched just below Remus's ear, and he gasped. "Padfoot -- what are you doing?"
"What's it look like?"
That -- that -- was very definitely a nuzzle. Sirius was nuzzling him. Remus realised he was still clutching his friend's arms, and let go. Sirius took a step back, looking disappointed but slightly steadier.
"Sirius -- I'm not queer," Remus lied.
Sirius cocked his head quizzically. "Are you not? Then that wasn't you playing the pronoun game the last half hour in the pub?"
"The what?" said Remus, disconcerted.
"Oh, don't worry," Sirius assured him, grinning. "You were subtle about it. But it was all 'someone' or 'anyone' or 'they'. I'm guessing your five night stand wasn't a bird."
"Even if that were true --" said Remus, flustered, "Sirius, you're not queer."
Sirius's grin widened. "That'll come as a shock to a few blokes I've known."
"You -- what?" Remus spluttered. "Who -- ? Since when -- ?"
Sirius shrugged, still grinning. "Since always. And I have it on good authority that a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell."
"Merlin," breathed Remus. This was possibly both the best and the worst news he had ever heard. Sirius was queer. Sirius apparently wanted him. But he did not know -- he did not understand --
"So," said Sirius, moving closer again and smoothing the collar of Remus's coat. "I assume you're not taking me back to your parents' place. I guess it's mine, then."
"Yes." Remus stiffened his resolve. "You're going home and you're going straight to bed, and when you wake up tomorrow, either you won't remember this conversation, or you're welcome to pretend that you don't. I won't mention it again."
Sirius scowled as Remus offered his arm to guide their Apparition back to Sirius's flat.
He risked popping directly to the kitchen door. It was late and dark and unlikely any of the neighbours would be watching. Necessary security measures meant they could not Apparate directly into the flat. Even Sirius's connection to the Floo network was switched off most of the time these days. Sirius had forgotten his key -- again -- but the door opened at a light tap from his wand.
"You realise you're supposed to be pretending you're a Muggle," said Remus, following Sirius into the darkened flat. He helped Sirius off with his coat and scarf, hanging his own beside them next to the door. "Shall I fix you a cuppa before I go, or straight to bed?"
"Bed," mumbled Sirius.
When he guided Sirius into the flat's small bedroom, though, Sirius shut the door behind them and turned, twining his arms around Remus's neck.
"Let's fuck, Moony," he begged against Remus's throat. "Wanted you for ages."
Remus tried desperately to ignore the way Sirius's words went straight to his cock, which had been rather insistently making its own opinion of matters known since Sirius had first stumbled into him outside the pub.
"You're drunk," he said again, trying to disentangle himself. "You don't know what you're saying."
Sirius drew back, looking into Remus's eyes. "I'm not so drunk that I don't know my own mind, Moony. I want to go to bed with you."
Remus could not breathe. Sirius's eyes were clear and grey, and his voice was not slurred. Now that they were back at his flat, he barely seemed inebriated at all.
"You were just pretending, to get me here, weren't you?" Remus accused.
Sirius grinned. "Looks like some of my tricks still work on you. So, how shall we do this?"
"We won't, Padfoot." Remus unwrapped Sirius's arms from around his neck and gently but firmly pushed him away.
"You really don't want to?" asked Sirius, looking disappointed.
Remus looked away. The truth was that he did want to bed Sirius. The knowledge that Sirius was willing and eager to have him made his palms sweat and his heart race. That did not make it a good idea. "I don't want to be one of your conquests, Padfoot. And I don't want to lose you as a friend."
Sirius's voice softened. "You wouldn't, Moony. That would never happen."
"You don't know that."
Sirius touched his arm, forcing Remus to meet his eyes. "You've been one of my best mates for eight years, Moony," he said gently. "We've been through so much together. We care about each other. Nothing's going to wreck that. It's just sex. It doesn't have to change anything."
Just sex. It was easy for Sirius to say that. But it would never be "just sex" for Remus. Not with Sirius. Not when Remus had been thinking and dreaming and longing for him for over three years.
"You don't know what you're asking, Padfoot," he said. "You may not think so, but it's more complicated than that."
"Because you're a werewolf?" Sirius asked. "You know I don't give a toss about that. Werewolf, vampire, centaur, merman; I'd still want you."
Remus stiffened, taking a step back, out of Sirius's reach. "Is that what this is about? You're one of those wizards who gets off on shagging Dark creatures, and now you want to know what it's like with a werewolf? Is that how it is?"
"What?" Sirius's mouth dropped open in shock. "You think I'd --? No! It's about you, Moony. The wolf, the prefect, the sodding war hero -- it's all you. I want you. But if you don't want me, that's fine. I won't let that change anything, either. You can walk out of here right now, and maybe I'll be a little embarrassed, but I'll get past it, because we're friends, and nothing is more important than that. I never meant to pressure you, Moony. I just thought you might want...." He trailed off, eyes pleading for understanding.
Remus was torn. He should go, now, before his resolve deserted him. Sirius's words echoed in the silence between them. I want you ... we're friends ... nothing is more important than that.... He knew such a combination of passion and devotion was rare, but then, Sirius was a passionate man, and a devoted friend. Remus owed him honesty, at the very least.
"It's not that I don't want to, Padfoot," he confessed. "I do. But I'm afraid. If it all went wrong, and I lost you -- I couldn't bear it."
A look of desperate tenderness came over Sirius's face. He stepped nearer, hands on Remus's shoulders, foreheads tilted together, mouth inches away. Remus could hardly breathe.
"You could never lose me, Moony. I promise."
Lips, soft and sweet as the words they spoke, touched Remus's, and the last of his resolve evaporated. He was sick of self-denial. He wanted this. He wanted Sirius. Now. Tonight. His arms closed around his friend, pulling him close. Sirius's lips parted eagerly under his, and Remus tasted his mouth deeply for a moment before drawing back. His hands rose to cup Sirius's face, searching his eyes.
"This -- it's just for tonight?" He needed to hear Sirius say it, to remind him not to get his hopes up too high.
The look on his friend's face was one that Remus could not interpret. "It's enough for me, if that's what you want, Moony. No expectations."
"No expectations," Remus agreed, before capturing his mouth again in another fierce kiss.
His hands buried themselves in Sirius's silken hair, and Sirius's back collided with the bedroom door as Remus's body pressed against his, pinning him to the wood. Remus ground against him, no longer concerned with hiding his arousal. If they were going to do this, he saw no point in being coy about it. Sirius was as hard as he was, and moaned into his mouth. Heat rushed through Remus at the sound.
"It's three days to the full moon," he warned hoarsely. "Things might get a little rough. You'll tell me if it's too much?"
Sirius's cheeks glowed, lips red, eyes dark with desire in a face that beheld Remus with a look of rapture. "I don't mind if you're rough, Moony. You can do anything you like with me. Please --"
The sight of Sirius, undone and begging, struck at the heart of Remus's deepest fantasies. Sirius wanted him. Desperately. It was a gift that Remus had never asked for. If he could have it for only one night, he would damn well make the most of it.
"Anything?" he murmured, lips ghosting along Sirius's jawline.
Sirius's head tilted back, exposing his throat in an unconscious gesture of submission. "Tell me what to do."
With a soft growl, Remus nipped at him, then stepped back, leaving Sirius to steady himself, weak-kneed, on the doorknob.
"Undress for me."
Sirius hesitated only a heartbeat. His eyes never left Remus's as he stripped off his jumper, tee-shirt, denims, slowly removing each item of clothing and discarding them on the floor. His chin lifted in a show of defiance, when at last he stood naked under Remus's gaze, but there was something vulnerable in the set of his mouth. Remus had seen him naked before; changing in the dormitory, in the showers, swimming in the lake. But never like this.
Sirius was beautiful. His dark hair and long lashes contrasted with his pale skin. The lines of cheek, nose, and jaw were even and perfectly balanced. His body was a continuation of that perfection. Flawless skin glowed in the low light, highlighting long limbs and a bone structure so well-proportioned that not even a master sculptor could have improved upon it.
Remus's hand rose to cup Sirius's cheek before drifting down over his chest and belly. Gooseflesh broke out in the wake of his touch, and Sirius shivered, eyes fluttering closed.
"Please, Moony," he begged as Remus ran a finger down the fine trail of hair below his navel.
He made a choked sound when Remus's hand closed around him, clutching convulsively at Remus's shirt.
Remus's fingers explored the delicate shapes of him. He liked the small size of Sirius's prick, and the way the slight curve of the shaft fit neatly into his palm, as if it had been designed specifically with his touch in mind. Tightening his grip, he slid the foreskin up and down, over the dark pink head, coaxing another helpless sound from Sirius's throat. Remus's own cock throbbed in response.
His eyes traveled up Sirius's body to fix on his face, eyes closed, lips parted in ecstasy. He leaned closer, brushing his mouth against the shell of Sirius's ear.
"Suck me," he whispered.
"Uh?" Sirius sounded as though the ability to process language had temporarily deserted him.
"Get. On your knees. And suck. My. Cock," Remus said slowly and clearly, releasing his grip and stepping away.
Awestruck, Sirius barely hesitated before falling to his knees, tugging at Remus's belt. His hand plunged into Remus's pants, pulling him free, before swallowing his cock with a hungry, guttural sound. Remus swore, fingers twisting in Sirius's hair as he plundered his friend's hot, needy mouth.
When it became too much, he pulled away. Sirius gazed up at him, dark eyed, lips wet and red and swollen.
"Bed," Remus rasped.
Wordless, obedient, Sirius did as he was bid. He lay back against the pillows, legs parted, body on display. His cock twitched as if it felt the touch of Remus's gaze, and his hand came up to stroke it. A shiver of desire passed down Remus's spine as he greedily drank in the sight of Sirius pleasuring himself.
Part of him wanted to keep his clothes on -- did not want to expose his scarred, skinny, flawed body to such beauty -- but more than that, he wanted to feel Sirius's skin against his own.
Sirius did not stop touching himself, nor did he show any sign of disgust, as Remus shed his clothing and crawled up onto the bed beside him. Remus knew Sirius had seen his scars dozens of times before, but this was different.
How can he want me? he wondered.
Bending his head, he marveled at the way Sirius surrendered completely to his kiss, lips eagerly parted, hands reaching for him, hesitant.
"Can I touch you?" Sirius breathed.
He might have imagined it, but he thought Sirius's hands trembled slightly as they slid over his skin. His fingers traced the familiar lines of Remus's scars with a gentle caress, thumbs smoothing over the worst of the damage. He bent his head to nuzzle at the patch of springy hair in the centre of Remus's chest, pressing his lips reverently to a scar over Remus's heart. Remus found the gesture oddly endearing. Sirius's hands continued to explore his body for long minutes.
"Is this all you wanted to do?" Remus teased.
Sirius blushed. "Sorry. Got distracted. We can -- do things."
In answer, Sirius found his mouth, kissing him again. His hands slid over Remus's shoulders, pulling him down. With a groan, Remus rolled on top of him, straddling Sirius's hips. He grabbed Sirius's hands and laced their fingers together, pinning them to the bed.
"You really want to do this?" he asked again, searching Sirius's face for any clue what he might be thinking. Sirius's awkward attempt at seduction, his subsequent odd behaviour, and the slight clumsiness of his actions made Remus wonder whether his friend was anywhere near as experienced as he claimed to be.
Sirius swallowed, eyes fixing on Remus's cock, inches from his own. "More than anything," he whispered.
"Tell me," murmured Remus, lips brushing against Sirius's collarbone. "Tell me what you want me to do." He thought he already knew, but he wanted to hear Sirius say it.
Sirius's head tilted back, exposing the arch of his throat to Remus in complete submission once more, but this time, Remus suspected the gesture was intentional. He could feel the frantic thrum of Sirius's pulse under his lips.
"I want you to fuck me, Moony."
With an exultant growl, Remus's teeth closed on Sirius's throat. "Merlin, yes."
He descended on Sirius, rubbing his cock alongside his friend's, delighting in the feel of it and in the inarticulate cry of pleasure that escaped Sirius's lips. Remus ground against him, nuzzling his neck, tasting the salt of his skin, until Sirius stuttered, "S-stop."
Remus stilled. "What's wrong?"
"Too close," Sirius gasped, face flushed. "Merlin, Moony. You barely have to touch me, and I'm ready to come."
Only in Remus's wildest and most secret dreams had Sirius ever looked so wanton and desperate. He would not last much longer, either, if they kept at it like this.
"D'you have lube?" he asked, rolling onto his side and pressing a kiss to Sirius's lips.
Sirius twisted his body to reach into the drawer of the nightstand. He withdrew a small jar, handing it to Remus.
Remus shook his head. "I want to watch you prepare yourself."
Sirius shivered. "Slytherin's arse, Moony. I never thought you'd be like this."
"Is it a problem?"
A wide, lazy grin spread across Sirius's face. "No, it's brilliant. We should've done this ages ago."
Remus watched, leaning up on an elbow, as Sirius tucked one of the thick pillows under his lower back, and drew his knees up, thighs parted. He hesitated, biting his lip.
"Is on my back OK?" he asked, eyes pleading. "I-I'd like to be able to see you, if that's all right."
His vulnerability squeezed at Remus's heart. "It's perfect," he assured him, kissing his shoulder. "I want to be able to see you, too."
Sirius's hands were definitely trembling as he uncapped the jar, scooping some of the clear gel out onto his fingers. He rubbed them together, coating them with the slippery substance, before reaching between his legs and sliding two fingers inside him. Remus watched, mesmerised, as Sirius slowly fucked himself.
Bending nearer, Remus rubbed his lips along the underside of Sirius's prick. Sirius made a small whimpering sound as Remus's tongue tease the head, fingernails digging into his shoulder. Remus's lips slid slowly down the shaft until coarse black hairs tickled his nose. He sucked gently, not wanting to push Sirius over the edge yet. The fit in his mouth was every bit as perfect as it had been in his hand.
When Sirius began to make desperate keening sounds, Remus released him, looking him over from wild grey eyes and flushed cheeks to the three fingers twisting deep inside him. He stretched out beside Sirius, nuzzling at his neck.
"Are you ready?" he asked.
"Yes," moaned Sirius. "Want your cock in me. Now."
"Mmm, so do I."
He picked up the jar of lube and scooped out a generous amount, slicking himself with it before the stuff even had a chance to warm properly. Kneeling between Sirius's thighs, he bent his head to his friend's parted lips for a long, thorough kiss.
"Merlin, you're amazing, Padfoot," he murmured. "If you only knew --"
He shook his head, dismissing the thought, positioning his hips so that the head of his cock rested against Sirius's entrance.
Sirius's eyes shone as he gazed up at Remus. His arms twined around him, drawing him down, hips canting up, urging Remus wordlessly on.
There was less resistance than Remus had expected; just the slow, tight glide through the ring of muscle into the enveloping heat of Sirius's body. Sirius gasped when Remus breached him, but made no sound of pain or discomfort as he pushed deeper inside. When Remus's hip bones pressed against Sirius's thighs, Remus stilled, giving Sirius's body a moment to adjust to the intrusion.
"All right?" he asked, forcing himself to take deep, even breaths. The hot, tight clutch of Sirius around him was almost too much to bear. He did not want to come yet. If this was the only chance he would ever have to be with Sirius, he was damn well going to make it last as long as possible.
"Perfect," Sirius groaned. "Bloody perfect. Go on, Moony." A hand slid down Remus's sweat-slick back to grip his arse, spurring him on.
Gritting his teeth, Remus drew back and surged forwards, plunging himself into Sirius's body with swift, deep strokes. Sirius's hips rose to welcome each one. Remus could feel the radiant heat of Sirius's skin against his own, feel Sirius's cock sliding and straining between their bellies, smell his sweat and his desire and taste them on his throat, hear Sirius's broken voice begging him, fuck me, Moony -- harder -- please -- oh, oh --! It was beautiful. It was exhilarating. It was perfect.
"Padfoot," he panted. "Padfoot --"
A hitching whine escaped Sirius's throat. His back arched up off the bed, hot spunk spurting between their bodies. Remus felt Sirius's muscles clench tight around him in climax, pulsing and fluttering, and oh, fuck! All those years spent longing and wishing, and now Sirius was here, coming on him, around him, because of him, sobbing his name over and over again, arms and legs clinging tight around his body. It was too much. Remus broke like a wave against the shore, helpless cries muffled in his friend's beautiful dark hair as he spilled himself deep inside Sirius's body.
There was a moment of stunned, sweat-soaked gasping as the echoes of orgasm faded, and then Remus had to get away, because if he did not, he knew he would gather Sirius into his arms and confess the one final secret he had sworn he would take with him to the grave. He pulled out and away and lay on his back, skin cooling in the night air, staring at the ceiling.
"It's never been like that before," murmured Sirius, almost to himself.
"Sorry," said Remus immediately, a knot of worry tightening in his gut. "It wasn't -- good?"
Sirius gave a soft, helpless laugh. "Not good? Moony, it was brilliant. I didn't know it could be like that."
"Yeah," said Remus softly. "Me neither."
"Moony?" Sirius's voice was quiet, earnest. He raised himself up on an elbow.
"Yeah?" he said again. He turned his head away, afraid to look at Sirius. Afraid his eyes would give his thoughts away.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Course you can, Padfoot."
"You don't have to -- I mean, I know we agreed it was just tonight, but -- would you maybe consider doing it again sometime?"
"I don't know," Remus answered truthfully.
"Right," sighed Sirius. "It's just -- I don't really know what this is, either. I know I liked it. More than liked. Godric's balls! That was easily the best sex I've ever had. I'd just prefer to know if it's never going to happen again, so I don't waste too much time hoping."
Remus risked a look into the troubled grey eyes above him. The truth was, he did not think he ever wanted to get out of this bed again. He wanted to stay there forever, naked and with Sirius, close enough to touch and kiss and make love whenever the urge took him. Looking at Sirius now, he suspected the urge would take him frequently.
"Maybe," he said at last.
Sirius gave a sigh of relief. "Oh, good. So, you'll still respect me in the morning?"
Remus could not hide a smile. "And here I thought I was the one whose virtue had been compromised."
"Nah," grinned Sirius. "I already knew you were a tart, didn't I? Five night stand indeed! That lucky sod. I'll just have to hope you think I'm worth that much."
Remus bit his lip. "We'll see."
"Do I get the rest of tonight, at least?" Sirius's hand came to rest in the centre of Remus's chest, over his heart, as if he thought Remus might get up and leave without some form of restraint.
The reluctant smile returned to the corner of Remus's mouth. "I might stay for breakfast."
The kiss Sirius gave him was tender and lingering, and there was not much more talking for the next half hour or so, as they enjoyed one another's company slower this time, and more gently. When at last they came to rest, spent and drowsy, their fingers were laced together, Sirius's head resting on Remus's shoulder.
He was just fading into unconsciousness when Sirius said quietly, "If I only knew what, Moony?"
"You said. Before. If I only knew. What don't I know?"
"Oh. Nothing." Remus tried to extract his fingers, but Sirius only gripped them tighter, pulling their linked hands against his chest.
"No secrets, Moony. Please? Not anymore. I know you're a werewolf and I know you're queer, and that's all turned out pretty well, hasn't it? Why not just trust me for once, instead of leaving me to work it out for myself?"
"Because," Remus said carefully, "some secrets make things easier to bear. The truth can make life messy and complicated."
"I think we passed 'messy and complicated' a while back," said Sirius wryly. "Tell me."
Remus sighed. He could not refuse Sirius. Not when he was like this. Maybe the confession would be easier in the darkness, where Sirius could not see his anguish. "I -- it's just that I've fancied you for a long time, Padfoot. More than fancied. I think I --" He shook his head helplessly. "You probably don't want to hear it. Just sex, right?"
Sirius's thumb brushed across his knuckles. "How long?" he asked softly.
"Fifth year," admitted Remus.
"It was fourth, for me," whispered Sirius.
Remus's breath caught in his throat. Sirius could not possibly mean --
"It was the day after the full moon," he went on, snuggling closer against Remus's side. "I'd just come back to the dormitory from detention, and you were asleep, sprawled across your school books. It was the day you'd torn your lip, remember?"
Remus nodded, tongue flicking out unconsciously to touch the thin scar. The cut had taken a long time to heal, because he kept biting and sucking at it.
"I was standing there in the doorway, just staring at your mouth, when I suddenly realised how much I wanted to kiss you." He laughed softly. "That was a bit of a crisis, realising I'd fallen for one of my best mates."
"Padfoot," Remus said, stunned, "that was five years ago."
"Five years, one month, eighteen days," Sirius agreed.
"D'you mean --? All this time --?"
Sirius nodded. "It was only tonight at the pub, listening to you choose your words, that I realised I might be in with a chance. So I took it."
"So you're saying it's not just sex, then?"
"Nothing has ever been just anything when it comes to you, Moony," he said softly. "Not for me."
"Not for me, either," Remus confessed. "So, what now?"
"Dunno," Sirius shrugged, lips grazing Remus's fingertips. "I suppose we go to sleep. Wake up in the morning. Or afternoon. Shag. Have a shower. Shag. Have breakfast. Shag again. Eventually you'll have to go to work, then back to your parents' place. I'll send you an owl asking when I can see you again. We'll meet up. I'll snog the living daylights out of you, and then we'll shag some more. Beyond that, I've no idea."
Remus chuckled softly, gathering his new lover into his arms. "That sounds good to me."
They were still in bed the next morning, finding slow, pleasant ways to wake one another up, when the front door slammed.
"Padfoot?" called a voice.
"Shit! It's Sunday!" moaned Sirius, cutting short the pleasurable activity his mouth had been engaged in. "I was supposed to meet Prongs for brunch."
He leapt out of bed and made a clumsy grab for his dressing gown just as James Potter burst into the room.
"There you are, you tosser! I thought something had happened --" Then his brain registered what his eyes were seeing, and abandoned his mouth to hang absurdly open.
"Prongs," Sirius said, quickly covering his lower half with the dressing gown, "why don't you go into the kitchen and make us a cup of tea? I'll be there in a minute."
James gave a jerky nod, turned on his heel, and closed the door carefully behind him.
Sirius looked at Remus -- bright red, with the covers yanked up to his chin -- and burst out laughing.
"Well," he said when he could breathe, "that might not be how I'd've chosen to tell him, but it was almost worth it for the look on his face."
Remus snorted and lowered the sheet. "I guess this means shower sex is canceled."
Sirius dropped the dressing gown and crawled back onto the bed to give Remus the thorough snogging he so richly deserved. "Mmm, I can already tell I'm going to love waking up with you," he said when he reluctantly broke away. "You can grab a shower, though, if you like. I'll deal with Prongs."
He found his best friend standing in the middle of the flat's small kitchen, staring at the kettle as if he had forgotten what it was for.
Sirius plucked the kettle from the hob, filled it with water, and turned on the gas. Normally, he would have heated the water by magic, but he suspected he might want the interruption of the kettle's whistle in a few minutes, if things became unbearably awkward. He sank into a chair at the kitchen table and gestured for James to take another.
"Are you all right, mate?" he asked.
"Er --" said James.
Sirius could not help a grin. "Serves you right, barging into people's bedrooms without knocking. I know your parents raised you better than that."
James grimaced. "Yeah. Sorry. So --"
"So --?" Sirius encouraged.
"You and Moony."
Sirius felt like he was never going to stop grinning. Me and Moony. "Looks like."
James cleared his throat. "How long --?"
"We haven't been keeping it from you, mate," Sirius assured him. "It just sort of happened after the pub last night."
He saw the beginnings of anger set in at the corners of James's mouth. "So, what? You got pissed and just thought you'd see what it was like, having it off with a bloke?"
That wiped the grin off Sirius's face. "It's not like that, Prongs. I'm queer, all right? I just never knew how you'd take it."
"All right," said James, swallowing visibly. "You're queer. Got it. And Moony --?"
"Him, too. I didn't even know before last night." He gave his best friend a warning look. "Have a go at me if you must, but if you give Moony trouble about this, I will hex you into next week."
James raised his hands in surrender. "If you're happy being shirt-lifters, I won't bother you about it. It's just a bit of a shock, walking in on your two best mates doing -- that."
Sirius scowled. "We weren't doing anything, if you recall. I was in the process of making myself decent for you when you came barging in unannounced."
"All right, I know it," snapped James, cheeks flushing darkly. "I said I was sorry, didn't I? So was it just last night, or are you two -- together now, or something?"
"That's a rather personal question, don't you think, Prongs?" Remus came into the kitchen just as the kettle began to whistle, and reached into the cupboard for the tea things, hair still wet from the shower, dressed in the clothes he had been wearing the night before. "Care to explain your intentions towards Lily?"
James turned a darker red. "I -- er -- as a matter of fact -- Look, I'm glad you're here, Moony. There's something I wanted to tell you both."
Remus raised his eyebrows and glanced at Sirius as he set three mugs on the table. "He didn't look glad to see me a little while ago, did he?"
"I'm over it, all right?" said James impatiently. "You're queer. You're shagging. It's none of my business. Moving on."
Sirius grinned. He could tell from his friend's uncomfortable posture that his declaration of being "over it" was patently untrue, but he would be soon, because he was James Potter, and his friends meant more to him than silly ideas about propriety and gender. There was no one in the world Sirius would rather have as his best mate.
"So what was it you wanted to tell us, Prongs?" he asked.
James took a deep breath, running a hand nervously through his unruly black hair. "I -- we -- Lily's pregnant. We're getting married."