like a red red rose
Sirius Black surveyed the items on the table in front of him with satisfaction. Everything had been arranged. Now where was Moony so they could get on with things? He glanced at the door. He couldn't possibly have forgotten, could he?
Nah, he'd promised, and Remus always held his promises.
Even if it was just to help a friend pass divination.
Sirius tapped his fingers impatiently on a glass orb. Get here, he willed Remus. Get here, get here, get here now. I have a date, I have a date, get here, get here...
He looked at the door.
No sign of Remus.
He sighed deeply and picked up a deck of tarot cards. He started shuffling them and laying the cards down on the table. At least this might convince Remus that he was serious about studying. Even if what he was doing with the cards looked suspiciously more like Solitaire than the Major Arcana...
Sirius was in the middle of coming up with the rules of playing Solitaire with a tarot deck - prankster goes on goddess, bad future goes on death - when the door flew open and Remus Lupin more or less fell inside the room. Sirius dropped his cards immidiately. "There you are! Where have you been? You're--"
"Late," Remus said. "I'm late. Sorry, sorry. Lily wanted to talk to me and I couldn't get away until now. So. What have you been doing?"
They both looked at the table. Most of it was covered by Sirius new invention of tarot solitaire, but on the edges (in danger of falling down any time now) were a pile of books, a glass orb, incense sticks, and small jars filled with something that smelled something fierce.
"Well. I don't think that one's in Professor Futuresky's book..." Remus eyed the tarot dubiously.
Sirius smiled. "See how much I truly need your help?"
Sirius started shuffling his cards together while Remus riffled through one of the books.
"So what did Lily want?" Sirius asked.
Remus blinked at him. "Lily? ...Oh right. No, she just wanted to know when James would be back. And what his favorite Quidditch team is."
Sirius grinned down at his cards. "She really fancies him, doesn't she?"
"Oh yeah," Remus nodded with a grin. "Think James knows?"
"Probably. One of his rather annoying traits is how he tends to know everything."
"Where do we start?"
"I don't know. What do you need the most help with?"
Sirius looked at the table, then over at Remus. "Well..."
"One of your deepest wishes is that the divinations exam goes something like 'stare into this orb and make something up', isn't it?"
"How did you know that?"
"I know all, I see all."
I sure as hell hope not, Sirius thought and gave Remus a grin. There were certain things he'd rather Moony didn't know, thank you very much.
"You do know that Futuresky would never do that, right?" Remus added.
"Yes," Sirius sighed. "Why do you think I asked you to help me?"
"To get me alone in the study room?" Remus grinned.
"Ah yes, there is that, of course."
"Enough kidding around, get your Palmistry book and we'll go through the lines..."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Oh glory hallelujah!" Sirius exclaimed as he got his test back. "I passed!"
Remus looked up from his own test and snickered. "See what happens when you study?"
Sirius twisted around to give his friend a grin. He knew perfectly well it was only due Remus patient teachings that he'd gotten that 5-. "Yeah, well, I'd hate to make a habit of it."
James gave Sirius a curious look. "You studied? For divination? You never do that."
"Professor Futuresky doesn't usually treathen me with expulsion if I don't get at least a 4 either."
"Oh so that was the reason... I was wondering," Remus half muttered. Louder he said: "Hey, Sirius, why are you in divination, anyway?"
Sirius shrugged. "Was either this, Muggle studies or Arithmacy."
All four of them made a face. James patted Sirius on the back.
"Next time, I'll be turning out the tests at the end of the class," professor Futuresky sighed. "Could I get your attention. Please?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Remus regarded Sirius with an amused look on his face. "You sure it was Snape?"
"Yes!" Sirius seethed. And paced. And had a distinct bright red hair-colour.
James was choked up in laughter, rolling on the floor. "I think it looks g...g...good on you!"
"It's a bit... red," said Peter.
"Yeah, it's redder than what's-his-name Weasley's," Remus agreed.
James, Peter and Remus broke down in laughter again.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sirius ignored him. He was good at ignoring Snape. Had a lot of practise.
He wasn't going to give that bastard the satisfaction of a reaction, no way. Well, looking away from that little... outburst earlier today anyway. But that had been unavoidable. The shock and all.
Speaking of shocks... Someone was playing with his hair.
Sirius blinked, then turned slowly to look at Remus. "What are you doing?"
Remus looked uncomprehending, then followed Sirius look. He snatched his hand back as though he'd been burned. He flushed. "I... Uh..."
"What were you doing with my hair?" Sirius asked suspiciously, feeling with one hand at the back of his neck.
"Hmm." Sirius shifted and felt around on his back. Maybe Remus had glued a 'Kick Me' sign to his back or something... He could have, if James had put him up to it.
Remus face was almost as red as Sirius' hair. "I didn't do anything!"
Sirius turned around and grabbed Lily's cloak as she passed by. "Hey Lil."
"Is there anything on my back?"
Lily looked at his back and grinned. "No."
Sirius narrowed his eyes at her. "Then why are you grinning?"
"Your hair is red. Really, really red."
"I bloody well know!"
"Well, that's why I'm grinning."
"Humph." Sirius let go of Lily's cloak and turned to look suspiciously at the still fiercely blushing Remus. "What were you doing?"
"Nothing! Really! Honest!"
Sirius didn't believe him.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Remus was acting strange. Stranger than usual. And Sirius couldn't figure out why.
It appeared to have something to do with his hair. His very, very bright, red hair. Sirius scowled at the thought. He didn't have anything against red hair as such, he was just of the firm opinion that his hair shouldn't be that colour. It should be black. Very dark, night shade type, black.
He was going to get Snape for this. He wasn't sure how, yet, but he was confident that an idea would present itself to him soon.
But. Remus. What was up with him?
Sirius tapped his fingers thoughtfully on the table, propping his chin up on the other hand.
Remus kept blushing and refusing to meet his eyes.
It was disconcerting and Sirius didn't like it at all.
He wanted it stopped.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sirius cornered Remus after Potions and shoved him into the nearest empty classroom (planning is everything, Sirius thought triumphantly). Remus went for the teacher's desk. And kept staying on the opposite side of Sirius. And blushing faintly. Sirius gritted his teeth.
"Uh. Hey, Sirius... Do you... uh... want anything?" Remus looked nervous.
"Yes, in fact, I do."
"Oh... Uh. Do you need my help with anything?"
"You could put it that way..."
"Well, I have a free period after lunch, I could --"
"Oh no," Sirius interrupted. "Nonono. I need your help right. now."
"Yes." Sirius placed his palms on the desk and showed his teeth. "I need you to do me a favour."
Remus looked apprehensive. "What do you want me to do?"
"I," Sirius said slowly. "Want you," he pointed. "To bloody stop blushing and would you look at me?!"
Remus turned bright red and looked at the blackboard.
Sirius hit his arms exasperatedly in the air. "But obviously that's too much to ask! What the hell is up with you anyway?"
Remus bravely met his eyes. Finally. "It's just..."
Sirius blinked in confusion. His hair? What did his hair have to do with anything? "What?"
Remus turned even more red, an, Sirius would have thought, impossible feat. "I keep wanting to touch it..."
Sirius stared at him. Had Moony lost his mind completely? He tugged at his hair. "You want to touch my hair and that's why you keep blushing all the time? Moony, o' mate of mine, I think you should have a little chat with Professor Dumbledore."
Remus frowned and looked surprised. "What? What do you mean?"
Sirius twirled his index finger around in the close vicinity of his head. "I think you've lost whatever marbles you might've once possessed."
Remus looked annoyed, which, in Sirius' opinion, was far better than him blushing. "I have not. I just..."
"Want to touch my hair. Yeah, I got that."
"And. I might, possibly, kind of, in a way... Haveacrushonyou," Remus rushed out and looked hesitantly at Sirius.
Sirius blinked. "Do you have some sort of fetish for red hair or something?"
"Because, you know, Lily and Weasley have actual red hair."
"Yes, I've noticed, thank you very much."
"But you have a... a... crush on me?" Sirius knew he sounded incredulous and probably looked as though Miranda had whammied him again, but he couldn't help it. The thought that Remus might have a crush on him had never occoured to him even in his wildest dreams. Remus was good looking, smart, kind, male... What in the world could he possibly see in Sirius?
"Yeah. Sort of," said Remus, and looked more like his old self, rather than the blushing, fumbling, well, idiot, he'd been the last few days.
"Sort of." Sirius thought about it. "What the hell do you mean, sort of? How can you have a sort of crush? Either you have one or you don't, there's no 'sort of'."
Remus ran his fingers through his hair. "Yeah, well. It kind of depends on how amusing you find it..."
"I'm not sure 'amusing' is the word I'd choose. Wondering whether or not I should have you commited, on the other hand..."
"I don't think so." Sirius sighed and sat down on the nearest desk. "Are you serious, Moony? Snape dyes my hair red and you suddenly get a crush on me? You do realise how much sense this doesn't make, right?"
Remus eyed the pile of books on the teacher's desk. "Yeah. But it's not the hair, really."
"What is it then? And, by the way, you've never been..." Sirius felt his face heat. "Playing with my hair before."
"I told you, it's not... Do we have to have this conversation?" Remus looked as uncomfortable as Sirius felt.
"No." Sirius shook his head energically, feeling relieved. "Just. Warn me next time, okay?"
"Warn you...? Oh yeah. Sure."
Sirius and Remus got the hell out of the classroom and headed quickly off in opposite directions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Hmm?" James didn't look up from his scroll of Quidditch strategies. "What?"
"Moony's got a crush on me."
"No. I mean... That's what he said."
"'Cause of my hair, I think." Sirius knew James was barely paying attention, but he had to talk to him about it anyway. If he thought it over by himself, he'd start angsting, and, well, he had a test in two days. He couldn't afford to sink into a deep, dark hole of darkness and angst.
"Padfoot," James said patiently. "Moony is not in love with your hair."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Believe me, no one could possibly be in love with your hair. It's currently a gruesome colour of red, and, also, he knows what you look like with bed-hair. That sight alone is enough to give people nightmare for weeks, trust me."
Sirius tugged at his hair. "Good point."
"You really think he's got a crush on me?"
"I don't know. Why are you asking me?"
"Because I think you do know. You know everything."
James looked up from his scroll briefly, grinning. "I'm flattered, but I really don't know. Why is it so important anyway? It's not like you're not going to be his friend if he is or anything." He frowned. "You aren't, right?"
Sirius blinked in surprise. "No. No, of course not."
James smiled. "Then?"
"You want me to go away, don't you?"
"What tipped you off?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Peter, do you..."
Peter looked up, puzzled.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"What in the name of small, evil gnomes happened to your hair?!"
Sirius shrugged. "I cut it."
"Massacred, more like it." James stared wide-eyed at him.
Remus didn't say anything.
"Good look for you," said Peter lightly.
"Thanks," Sirius grinned and sprawled down on his bed, hands behind his head. It felt strangely naked. Almost indecent.
James gave Peter a disbelieving look. "Good look? It looks like he used a chainsaw to... Wait..." James narrowed his eyes at Sirius. "You didn't, did you?"
"Do I look that stupid to you?"
"Do you really want me to answer that?"
Remus got up and left the room silently.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It wasn't about his hair. Not really. He knew it, Remus knew it, and odds were, James knew it too. Sirius had gotten used to James knowing everything. He wasn't quite sure how he did it (he had tried to get it out of James numerous times. He hadn't succeeded yet), but there it was. Wasn't anything he could do about that.
But. Maybe there was something he could do so Remus wouldn't have a crush on him anymore.
It just wasn't right.
Remus shouldn't have a crush on him.
He should have a crush on... On Lily, maybe, though that was futile. Or Miranda. Or Minerva. Or, hell, even Narcissa. Just not Sirius.
Sirius realised that he'd been thinking girl's names, which was probably all wrong, even if Remus had never actually said he was gay. But he would have to be, wouldn't he? If he had a crush on Sirius and all.
Maybe he should ask, but wouldn't that be kind of stupid? 'Yes, hey, Remus, are you, by any chance, gay? Yes, I know you said you have a crush on me, but...'
He'd just have to come up with something else.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Remus looked up from his self-defence book and blinked at him. "Yeah?"
Sirius tugged at what left of his hair uncertainly. "Are you... You know. Gay?"
Remus frowned and narrowed his eyes at him. "...Excuse me?"
"Because... and I was wondering. So. Are you?"
He shrugged, still narrowing his eyes at Sirius. "Yes. I suppose. Does it matter?"
Sirius opened his mouth, then closed it again and shook his head. "No. Not really. I was just wondering."
"Okay." Remus kept looking at him.
"I'll let you get back to your homework now," Sirius said and made himself scarce.
He went to hide in the library, amongst the dry history books which no-one actually ever read. He sat down on the floor, back against the Dark Ages shelves, placed his head in his hands and breathed out sharply.
James was angry. Very, very angry. He stomped into the Gryffindor common-room and pointed at the door. "Out." Seven of the eight people in the room scrambled to get out of the door. "Not you," James added and glared at Sirius, who hadn't moved.
"What do you want?" he said placidly, putting his magazine down on the table.
"What the bloody, fucking hell do you think you're doing?"
Sirius' eyes widened at the swearing. James hardly ever swore. He might be a tad more angry than Sirius had expected. "...I don't know what you're talking about?" Sirius offered hopefully.
"Run that by someone else, I know you," James said, eyes still shooting lightning bolts at Sirius. "And this has got to be the most low-life, disgusting, Slytherin-ish thing you've ever done."
James sat down on the couch beside him, obviously trying to calm down. "Sirius. You can't do this."
"Of course I can," Sirius said. "I'm in love."
"You are not now, nor have you ever been, in love with Miranda Shushen."
"I'm in love with her," Sirius insisted.
"No, you're not."
"She's a beautiful, talented, smart girl. Why wouldn't I be in love with her?"
"He's a handsome, talented, smart man," James countered. "Why wouldn't you be in love with him?"
Sirius looked stubbornly at the chess-set at the end of the table. The king stuck his tongue out at him.
"Padfoot..." James sighed. "Why must you be so stupid? Can't you see a good thing when it practically falls into your lap?"
Sirius didn't reply.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"I think Timian has a crush on Remus," Miranda giggled, eyes twinkling.
"Mirry!" Timian exclaimed, blushing.
Miranda poked Sirius gently. "Hey, you. Think you could do some reconnissance work for us? Find out if Remus is interested?"
"I doubt it," Sirius said absently, trying to catch a sight of the small golden ball James was chasing. "He's gay."
Miranda and Timian went silent for a minute.
"What?" Miranda said, an odd quality to her voice. "What did you say?"
"Remus is gay," Sirius repeated, still not really paying attention to his girlfriend and her friend. "So, no, he's probably not interested in Timian."
"Oh my gosh," Timian whispered.
"YES!" Sirius shouted and threw his fist in the air as James finally caught the ball. This would definitely put them ahead of Ravenclaw, and Slytherin... pah. Forget about it! He turned to beam at Miranda and blinked. "What? Why are you looking at me like that?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Mr. Lupin, if I may have a word..." Professor Futuresky said as the class rushed out of the room.
Remus stopped, and Sirius could hear Snape hissing to him as he walked past; "Extra-dick-ular activities, Lupin?"
Remus frowned in puzzlement, then paled as he met Sirius' guilty look. "You didn't...?" he mouthed.
Sirius shrugged helplessly. "Sorry," he mouthed back.
"Mr. Lupin?" Professor Futuresky said impatiently.
Sirius closed the door behind him.
Lunch was hell. Apparently Miranda and Timian had wasted no time getting the rumour spread, and by the time Remus came down to the room, everybody in school knew. Sirius watched as the Slytherins taunted him, some of the others made a cold front and some, very few, offered their support. The wast majority didn't seem to care at all. Which was good, he supposed, but he suspected Remus was going to kill him anyway. He probably deserved it too.
"You did this, you fix it," James hissed darkly at him.
"How the hell do you expect me to do that?" Sirius hissed back.
"Hell if I know. Come up with something and quickly!"
But he hadn't been able to come up with anything. Not then, not later. And James, Remus and Lily stayed pissed at him. He knew that if he'd... But he just couldn't. It wouldn't be fair to any of them and it would probably backfire anyway. Remus tried to talk to him a couple of times, but Sirius quickly brushed him off and left the room. He just couldn't face him, knowing what he'd done.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Padfoot, if you'd just listen to me for a moment..." Remus looked pleadingly at him.
Sirius said; "Why won't you just give up? I'm not in love with you, I've never been in love with you and I never will be. So why don't you just stop it and go bother someone else? Peter perhaps. He might be interested." Which wasn't what he'd intended to say, not at all, but it just came anyway.
Remus turned a ghostly white. "Siri--"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
He braced himself drunkenly against the doorframe, knowing that professor Futuresky would happily nail his arse to the wall if he was discovered drunk at the school grounds. Or drunk at all, really, but off the grounds there was less chance the professor would find out. Right now, Sirius didn't much care.
James was at home for the holidays. Peter was... where ever Peter went during the holidays, Sirius wasn't too clear on that. And. Remus was somewhere in the school. Probably the library again. Lately he seemed to be living there.
His fault, of course.
Sirius hadn't meant for things to turn out this way, honest he hadn't. He'd thought that Remus would fall in love with someone else if he made it clear he wasn't interested. And go back to being just his friend. Someone Sirius knew for sure that he couldn't have. Someone who wouldn't expect things from him that he couldn't give. Someone he wouldn't... fail, for sure. But that hadn't happened. Remus had pulled away. From the Marauders. Him. Everybody, it would seem. Even the full moon had been different. Remus hadn't wanted them there at all. James and Peter had gone anyway, but Sirius had gone to the village and got blasted.
He shook his head slightly, ridding himself of the memories, before stumbling into the dark room. He banged his knee against the bedframe and cursed.
"Padfoot...?" Remus' sleepy voice carried uncertainly through the room.
Sirius froze. "Yeah. I thought. I thought you'd be... Somewhere else?"
"I saw you go out, I didn't think..."
"No. No. 's okay. I was just surprised."
"Go back to sleep."
Remus turned on the light instead. "This might not be a good time, but I think we --"
"Oi! Bright!" Sirius complained, shading his eyes with his hand.
"Illuminae minus," Remus said, and the room dimmed. He sat up in his bed and gave Sirius a once over. "You're plastered."
"No shit?" Sirius sat down heavily on his own bed. He could feel himself sobering and it wasn't a pleasant experience at all.
"We still have to talk."
"Don't wanna," Sirius muttered.
"I know you don't. You've made that very clear. But we're going to have to..." He hesitated. "To work this out some how."
"Yeah, but at four in the morning?"
"Well, if I thought you'd be here later I'd agree to wait, but unfortunately I don't think you will be."
Sharp as ever, Moony was. Sirius groaned and dropped down on his back. "Okay. Talk."
"I get the point." was the only thing Remus said.
Sirius blinked. And blinked again. Then he sat up and narrowed his eyes at Remus, who was looking serenely back at him. "You get the point?" Sirius repeated, confused. "What point? There's a point?"
"You hate the idea of me being in love with you. Maybe you hate the idea of me being gay too, I don't know. But we can't keep using James as a demilitarization zone, or avoiding each other. It just isn't practical what with us sleeping in the same room and all."
Sirius wasn't entirely sure he caught all of that, but he got the essence of it anyway. "Uh..."
"So. We're going to have to be friends again."
Sirius brightened. Hey, this didn't sound too bad.
"But, the thing is," Remus said and looked serious. "I'm not sure I can."
This definitelly did sound bad.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't trust you anymore."
No. Of course he couldn't. Sirius had done his best to destroy that, hadn't he? And now he could just sit there and watch while the world finished falling apart in front of him.
Unless he said something.
"I didn't mean it," he said finally, quietly, not even sure if Remus could hear him.
He could. "Yeah, I know you didn't mean to out me --"
Sirius shook his head, interrupting him. "No, not that. Well, yeah, that too, but that wasn't what I meant."
"...What did you mean then?" Remus asked slowly, giving him a sharp look.
"You remember what I said about never being in love with you?"
"Like I'll be able to forget that anytime soon," Remus laughed bitterly, curling his sheet up in his fists.
"Yeah, well, I lied."
There was a long pause.
"I... don't think I understand." Remus frowned.
Sirius looked at the star-shaped crack in the ceiling. "I've been in love with you since we were twelve years old, Remus."
"This isn't funny, Sirius. Not at all." Remus' voice was closed off, serious, cold.
"I didn't mean it to be."
"I don't believe you."
Sirius looked over at him sadly. "No, I didn't think you would."
Remus looked back for a while, jaw tight, then he lay back down and turned off the light.
Sirius sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"I didn't mean for it to go this far," was the first thing he said when Remus opened his eyes. "But things got out of hand, and then I didn't know what to say and, well. But I want your friendship, Moony. I've always wanted that."
Startled brown eyes stared at him.
"So, I figure... We need to talk."
Remus blinked and squinted. "Sirius?"
Sirius leaned back on the chair he'd carried from the common-room and into the bedroom two hours ago. "Yes?"
"While I appreciate this... sudden... enthusiasm for talking, which you've never displayed before, do you think I could get dressed first?"
Sirius thought about it, then shook his head. "No."
"No? ...What do you mean, no?"
"I mean that this way there's less chance of you running out on me."
Remus sat up, annoyed. "Excuse me, but I'm not the one here with the history of running away!"
"I'm not taking any chances," Sirius said with a calm it had taken him most of the morning to achive. What he really wanted to do, was run screaming into the forest, but something told him that that wouldn't help at all. So. He'd showered, trotted into the kitchen and got himself some of professor Bellisur's miracle mixture (aka 'looks awful, tastes the same and gets rid of the booze in your system') and thought. He'd thought a lot, actually. He'd come to the conclusion that he was one sorry motherfucker and fear really wasn't a very good reason for... Well, anything.
Remus tilted his head slightly and looked at him. "I see. Okay. So what is it you think we need to talk about?"
Sirius took a deep breath. "I'm sorry."
Remus kept looking at him.
Sirius felt the urge to pace, and got up of his chair. "That's it, mainly. I'm sorry. I'm sorry... for a hell of a lot of things. Sorry I hurt you. Sorry you feel like you can't trust me anymore. Sorry I've been behaving like bastard lately. But, see," he said, and stopped in front of Remus again. "You scare the hell out of me."
Remus arched an eyebrow and there was a small, ironic smile on his face. "I scare you? ...Right."
"You do. You're so. So sure of yourself. You know who you are and what you're doing and what you're going to do with your life. Me?" Sirius spread his arms. "I know bollocks all of any of that. I have a fancy for Muggle things, yeah, but it's not really something I can build a career on. You, on the other hand, can do what ever the blight you want to do. You don't need me."
Remus sat crosslegged in his bed, frowning up at Sirius. "I don't know if you've noticed this, but I happen to be a werewolf."
"So? You're still brilliant."
"First of all, I have no idea what my intellect has to do with how I feel - or how you feel, for that matter, and second, no, I'm not. Germaine Patil is brilliant. I just study hard. There's a difference."
Sirius looked at him. "Not seeing said difference, and it's not really important."
"I was trying to make a point, not start a discussion on studying versus natural brilliance," Sirius sighed. Remus really wasn't making this easy on him. He supposed he deserved it after the way he'd been behaving lately, but it was exasperating still.
"Okay. Go on." Remus arched an eyebrow expectantly.
"You freaked me out and I behaved like a fucking moron," Sirius summarized.
"That part I got two weeks ago. Be kind and elaborate." His voice was impassive, but his eyes seemed to be twinkling again. Sirius thanked whatever deities bothered to listen to him. He was getting through, finally.
"I've been in love with you since we were twelve. I think I said that yesterday... uh... earlier today as well, but I don't think you got it then." Remus tilted his head and Sirius went on. "For five years, I've believed that I couldn't have you. I kind of liked not having you because then I didn't have to worry about it, you know? You, Moony, me, Padfoot. Friends. I liked that. When you said you had a crush on me, I just. It was too surreal. I couldn't believe it."
"Why didn't you tell me? Or at least give me a hint?"
Sirius blinked at him. "Give you a hint?"
Remus sat up on his knees and looked seriously up at Sirius. "I wouldn't have pulled away if I'd known you felt that way. And I wouldn't have let you behave like such a pillock."
Sirius smiled slowly, sinking back down into his chair. "No?"
"No." Remus smiled back. "I love you, if I'd known... Well, I would have pestered you until you admitted it, wouldn't I?"
"Wait. Hold it. Back up." Sirius sat up straight. "You love me?"
Remus sighed, looking a bit bemused. "Of course I do. You know that. I told you. That's why you've been Lucius Malfoy take two for the last month or so."
"No, no, no. You said you had a crush on me."
"It's not the same bloody thing at all!" Sirius laughed in pure joy. "God, you love me!"
Remus shook his head amusedly. "Yes, I do. And you love me. Or so you say, and I'm starting to believe you."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
James bounced inside the bedroom and threw himself at a puzzled Sirius. "Yes!"
"I knew you'd get your head out of your arse sooner or later!" James beamed at him.
"How the hell do you know that?" Sirius wanted to know and tried to push James off him so he could get up.
"I told him," Remus' calm voice came from the doorway. "James, would you get off my boyfriend, please?"
James crawled off him and sat up. "No problem!"
Sirius grinned up at Remus. "Hey."
Remus grinned back. "Hey."
"You two are too cute," James said, shaking his head. Then he looked thoughtful. "Hmm. Maybe I should try dying Lily's hair black..."
Sirius whipped around. "That was you?!"
"Oh you are so very, very dead! Just wait until I get my hands on you! I'm going to ..."