Character A is injured. Character B is still listed as their emergency contact.
“So, anyway, I drove about, I don’t know, four hours? Yeah, four I think it was to get the teacup pig- I mean who wouldn’t want a teacup pig, right?”
The girl- Nicole, Lily had said- stared much to excitedly at Sirius from across the restaurant table. Lily must have been joking when she said they would get on. She had to have been joking.
Sirius tried for a smile, “Uh. Yeah, right.”
The girl let out a shriek, “Right! I mean, it was a bit sketchy, honestly. The woman didn’t even ask my name. But I got the pig so, whatever, right?”
Nicole reached for her water, eyes trained expectantly on Sirius.
“I-“ Sirius had nothing, absolutely nothing to say. “Right…”
Nicole offered a slightly less enthusiastic, more uncomfortable smile, “Okay, maybe not everyone wants a teacup pig then… Whatever.”
Sirius had just enough mind to feel slightly guilty for not playing into the story a little more, when his phone rang.
He didn’t even try to feel guilty for the relief that flooded through him at the sound.
That had to be Lily calling him to tell him it was all a joke and that he was the most gullible person on this planet. Please be Lily. He dug into his coat pocket.
Faded sirens filled his ear, then the voice of a woman.
“Hello, is this Mr. Sirius Black?”
Sirius’ brow knit, and he held up a finger to Nicole who seemed to be having trouble getting her pasta noodles to stay on her fork and payed him no mind.
“Yes.” He said as he closed the restaurant door, wrapping an arm around himself and his thin sweater against the cold. He tried to push down the worry in his chest at the formal tones, “Yeah, speaking.”
“Mr. Black, I’m calling from Mercy Hospital on behalf of Remus Lupin. Unfortunately, there has been an accident…”
A ringing made its way up from Sirius’ heart into his ears, chilling him. Accident. It was like he was now listening to the world through cotton.
Remus. In an accident. Sirius’ heart beat against his skull. Remus who he hadn’t stopped thinking about for months. Remus who he hadn’t seen for months.
An accident an accidentanaccident.
Sirius brought a hand up to his mouth, stomach churning.
“Mr. Black? Mr. Black, are you there-“
“Yes. Yes, I-“ He pressed the hand over his eyes, “What- is he-” His voice sounded much too horse, like he’d been shouting. Please tell me he’s okay.
“I wasn’t on call sir, I’m afraid I don’t know the details. ”
Sirius closed his eyes, hand dropping to the brick wall. He felt like he was holding himself together, “Right. Right.”A thought occurred to him, “Wait.”
“Why are you- I mean, why did you call me? I don’t..” Why not James? Lily? His parents?
“Well, you’re his emergency contact, so…”
Emergency contact? Sirius’ heart sped up, fear combining with the lingering longing for Remus he’d been trying to suppress to a simmer for what felt like forever. It flared up, burning a hole in his chest through and through. Despite the fact that Remus had probably just forgotten about it, Sirius’ heart warmed. “Right. Thank you. Thanks, I’ll be- in a bit.” He shook his head, he wasn’t making sense.
He didn’t even think he made eye contact with Nicole when he grabbed his jacket and threw (probably too much) money onto the table.
It was the only thing going through his mind.
The cabbie tried to talk to him on the ride there but he either didn’t hear the words or doesn’t remember what he said. The city lights were streaks of color in his eyes, and they stayed streaks when the cab stopped moving. He tripped on the curve. It was wet, and red and blue ambulance lights reflected in the puddled yellow surface. When had it started to rain? Sirius saw the sirens but heard only his own breath. The doors opened by themselves and he nearly tripped again. Everything was too white now.
“Remus.” He gasped at the woman behind the desk. He wiped wet hair from his forehead, leaning heavily against the counter, “Remus.”
She obviously recognized him from their phone call not moments before. She got up, motioning for him to follow through another set of doors that opened by themselves. His eyes told him she had started talking to, his ears didn’t.
She stopped outside of a room. 221. This door didn’t open by itself and Sirius was left, hands pressed to the hard wood and face alined with the small window. His heart went to his throat, his stomach into knots.
The scene wasn’t chaotic, but it wasn’t peaceful either. Sirius’ breath fogged up the glass and Remus momentarily looked as if he were asleep on a cloud, not a hospital bed. The sight was angelic and disturbing; it looked too far away. Sirius pushed open the door, wiping the glass as he did and Remus was back in the hospital bed and much, much closer. Panic threatened to simmer up again.
Sirius expected to feel out of place. He expected to feel as if someone else should be here. Remus would want someone else here. Right? But he didn’t. He felt just as draw to Remus now as he had any other day, maybe even more so with the whites of the hospital making him look pale and delicate.
Sirius jumped at the voice from behind him and turned to see the nurse from the phone flipping through Remus’ chart. She glanced up at him, then nodded her head to Remus, “He’s very lucky, you know.”
Sirius looked at her, then back to Remus with his slowly purpling eye, his bloodied lip, the IV and white bandage striped across his shoulder like a seatbelt.
“Lucky..” He breathed.
The nurse closed it with a clatter, hanging it back on the bed end, “Lucky. To be alive. To have someone come running at a moment’s notice. Honestly, what was that, five minutes?”
Sirius blinked at her. He didn’t know how long it had been.
She just smiled sympathetically and placed a hand on his shoulder, “He’s going to be fine. I’d still stay though. It’s good to have a familiar face around when they wake up.”
Even one they probably hate?
Sirius almost voiced this question, when he realized he had been left alone, door swinging shut behind her. Left alone to stare at Remus’ slowly breathing form on the bed.
Guilt washed through him in sudden, powerful waves.
If I hadn’t let you walk out would you still be in here?
Sirius took a breath and it shuttered its way through him. That was stupid. It had been months ago. There’s no way of knowing…
“Fuck.” He breathed, shuffling a little and looking around. He thought about sitting on the bed, but he wasn’t sure what Remus would do- how he would feel- when he woke up, and he didn’t think close proximity was the best way to find out. He pulled at the stool by the wall instead, wincing when it scraped against the tiles much louder than he had anticipated. He picked it up, placing it next to the bed carefully. He sat awkwardly and straight.
He might have sat there for hours, might have been minutes. Time passed sluggishly, then seemed to speed up, then slow again. His eyes slipped closed, he slumped forward onto the bed, just as dawn was filtering through the blinds and casting lines of warm light across Remus’ face.
Be okay. Sirius said it even in his dreams. Please be okay.
He woke up to a light tapping at his shoulder, long fingers shaking gently. It took him seconds to remember where he was and he sat up too fast, straining his neck.
“Fuck- Remus-“ His eyes went right to Remus, eyes roaming his face, searching for any alarming reasons for Remus to be waking him.
Perhaps the most alarming part of that search was that Remus didn’t look alarmed at all. Or that his hand had slid down Sirius’ shoulder and into his palm. Or that his fingers were gripping Sirius’.
Sirius stared at their hands for a moment, before slowly looping his fingers around Remus’ too, “Remus…”
Remus didn’t say anything. He just looked at their hands too. His eye was fully swollen now, cheek pushing it closed a little, but his lip looked slightly better. The bandage on his chest was clean so Sirius guessed that was good. And Remus just sat there, holding his hand. Sirius’ heart beat. He was utterly helpless against the feeling of Remus’ cool fingers, so utterly helpless.
“Before I blacked out,” Remus’ voice was barely there. He coughed weakly, but shook his head when he saw Sirius eye the cup of water on the bedside table. “Before I blacked out,” he began again, eyes moving back to their hands, “I was thinking about you.”
Sirius was so, so helpless, “Re…”
“I was hoping they’d call you. I couldn’t remember if..” He coughed again, and this time Sirius took matters into his own hands, holding the cup out. When Remus didn’t take it, he raised it to Remus’ lips, but Remus covered the top, shaking his head, “I was coming to you-“ Another coughing fit but Sirius barely heard it this time.
I was coming to you.
Sirius stared at Remus, wide-eyed. He felt his heart frantically trying to keep up with his lungs, “God, Remus. God, if something had really gone wrong, if you-“
“I’m not-“ He cut himself off again and Sirius sighed.
“For fuck sake, drink.” He didn’t let Remus refuse this time.
When Remus had drained half the glass he let his head fall back against his pillows, eyes staying on Sirius, and hand gripping tighter, “I’m not blaming you. I’m not, Sirius, listen to me. Jesus.”
Sirius couldn’t help it. He pressed his lips to Remus’ knuckles, encasing the chilly hand in both of his own. If something had happened if something had happened his mind kept replaying. He would had never known. You would’ve never got the chance to tell him.
Remus’ eyes flutter at the small gesture and he sighs, “I missed you. God, I’ve missed you so much, Pads, and look, look what happened. We can’t-“ Sirius hears the heart monitor pick up and he shifts onto the edge of the bed, hand pushing through Remus’ hair, trying to calm him.
“We can’t waste a day.” Remus’ eyes are pleading and golden in the dawn light. He breathes for a second, turning his face into Sirius’ palm, “I can’t spend another day. Not like this. Not without you. Anything can happen at any time and- and if something happened and I didn’t have you-“ The monitor starts to pick up again and Remus’ chest is heaving against the bandages and Sirius does the only thing he can think of.
He kisses Remus. It’s soft, and more on the corner of his mouth than anything, to avoid his injury, but its like he can breathe again. His thumb runs along his jaw as he pulls away, forehead against forehead,
“Take it easy love, okay? You don’t have to spend-“ He closes his eyes, “Fuck, Re. Fuck, if you’ll have me you never have to spend another fucking second without me. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t leave your side. I’d never…” Sirius just shakes his head, pressing a kiss to Remus’ forehead, “Okay?”
Remus’ eyes are hooded and sleepy when Sirius looks back to him, but he’s smiling. A smile Sirius knows is reserved just for him, and one he hasn’t seen in a lifetime.
Sirius’ thumbs lightly over the swollen part of Remus’ lip, “Don’t you ever do that to me again, okay? I- fucking hell, Re-“ His voice breaks at the end and he can’t continue.
“I know.” Sirius’ can feel the heart monitor on Remus’ finger press into his cheek, “I was scared too.”