PG-13 for a bit of language, 1000 words
Summary: An angsty night in Sixth Year - time for Sirius and Remus to sort things out.
April 5th, 1977. Late at night.
There was a certain symmetry in the disruption. The boys on the periphery slept soundly, the sated snores of Peter and the half murmurs of James contented in the darkness. In the middle, in the heart of it all, two breathes rose and fell, but they had lost their rhythm and the sounds were jagged and out of time, as they listened to the clashing of the spheres.
Sirius had abandoned all thoughts of sleep long ago. He’d always been what James’ mum called a ‘night owl’ anyway, and so trying to fit into the routine of Hogwarts was a struggle at the best of times. Eyes pierced the ceiling, tendons fought against the inertia of this unwilling rest, and he breathed as though each inhalation were a battle of elements.
Slowly, still unwilling to break this uneasy equilibrium, he clambered out of tangled sheets and moved to the curtain’s edge. He clung on the ragged edges, memorial to a thousand scrapes in and out of this domain, and stared across the void. The curtains to Remus hung in solid lines and curves, a rigid moving in and out like a static wave. For a horrible moment, he was reminded of Grimmauld Place, the antiquity and oppressiveness of it all.
He wanted to smash the stupid panes of glass that take up no room at all and occupy all the space in the world simultaneously, wanted to reach into someone else’s life again so that he can forget his own ridiculous existence for once; dammit, he just wanted to kiss Remus again.
And yes this was his fault, and yes he should expect nothing, and yes some vestige of his brain did understand, but this was wrong, and Remus had to know it too. Remus had to feel the clutches and the strains and those awful gasps deep in the veins, didn’t he? If not, then everything was lost, and the void between their lives would suck him up forever.
He stepped out over the edge, and felt the rush and pull of something not himself. Shouldheshouldn’the and what was he doing anyway? Remus would be asleep, because that boy was always asleep when he wasn’t working these days, because he never talked to Sirius any more except in a vague way that never meant anything at all.
Sirius’ hands were in his hair as he tried to pull his brain into some sort of sense, and his feet seemed to dance around themselves, brushing and grazing and tangling themselves up. He needed to get out.
And so it was down to the Common Room, but there was the chair were Remus sat, and there were the books he’d left lying around, and over there was the corner where a lifetime ago they used to disappear together, and no one asked questions.
And so to outside, where time was freer and the memories were still the same, but the finality had gone and Sirius could smell the spring and pretend that everything was fine. The moon was down, down amongst the ripples of the lake, and Sirius had always told himself he shouldn’t find it beautiful, but how could anything so inextricably linked with Remus not be so?
He jerked out tufts of grass, staring down into the water. He wanted to scream, but he was tired of breaking things, and the silence felt natural, something that should stay just as it was.
‘Moony,’ he said without sound, and the word floated upwards, until it exploded in the sky.
And somehow, in this empty possibility-ridden space, he was entirely expecting Remus to sit down next again.
‘Trouble sleeping too?’ Sirius said gently, not daring to look at Remus straight on in case he dissolved and melted away.
‘I suppose. I wasn’t really in the mood.’
‘Shall we just sort it out now, then?’ If he didn’t look at Remus, everything would slot into place, all would be resolved and then he could feel rushes against his skin again.
‘Ok. Listen to me, Sirius, this was never meant to work. It was a hopeless idea on my part from the beginning, and I’m sorry I ever said anything to you about my ridiculous notions. I should have realised this could wreck everything that actually matters. I want to be your friend, Sirius, and that’s it. And it’s what you want too, you know it. You should be taking girls to Hogsmeade and having trysts over summers, and just keeping us as mates. For you, this is just a phase, and we should stop it now.’
There were cracks between the words, and Sirius could hear so much pain, which poured through the air and stung at his own eyes. Enough. Enough! They should not be hurting this much.
‘Bollocks, Remus. Stop being so self-sacrificing, who the hell are you to tell me what I should or should not be doing? Look at us, we are both fucking miserable like this – just you being all noble is not going to change anything. Look at me. Remus, look at me. I – love – you, ok? I love you. And maybe I’m stupid, and maybe this will all end in disaster, but we can’t go on like this.’
Remus said nothing at all, and Sirius just stared and felt the air and the gaps and was suddenly afraid. He wanted to say more, wanted to carry on talking until Remus had to give in – but what if he were wrong? What if Remus meant it?
And suddenly, his lungs dried up and he couldn’t say anything at all. So he just focused everything he had on Remus, on getting Remus back, and willed and prayed and begged it would be enough.
Somehow, Remus moved closer. Somehow, ‘I can’t’ and ‘I’ve missed you’ and ‘I love you’ were murmured against his skin, which he’d thought would never happen again.
Somehow, Remus kissed him.