I dunno if some of you watched the Livestream BUT HEY here’s Veronica Sawyer from Heathers. Yup! I drew her from the stream. Thnx so much for those who took their time to watch the stream and I might just make this a regular thing now :)
A/N: Remember when I said I would personally make Heith content well here you go.
prided himself for keeping a level head most of the time. When times got tough,
he knew he could trust himself to not get into a panic and think of a way
forward. It was just who he was.
To be fair,
the entire situation kind of threw him off a little bit. There he was, brooding
as he normally did, when a certain yellow paladin came bursting into his room
with a bright smile on his face, telling him that he needed an assistant chef
and apparently it was Keith’s (un)lucky day.
rotated ‘assistants’ between Pidge and Lance. Apparently he’d had Shiro once but
that ended up as a disaster. As much as the paladins admired Shiro as a leader,
he was terrible in the kitchen. Hunk never asked Allura or Coran, not that
Keith could blame him; Altean food was really weird so he tended to avoid them
like the plague, even though they offered to help on many occasions:
never asked Keith before. Not once.
And Keith had to admit that though he knew
he shouldn’t have been bothered by it, he kind of was. Every time Hunk would go
into the common room, declaring his assistant for the day, a bit of Keith got…hopeful.
Though he knew he would ultimately turn him down in that suave, cool way he
adopted, at least he would have been acknowledged.
never was. At least, not until today.
please help me out today?”
It was so
out of the blue that, though Keith had initially planned to decline, he found
himself stuttering out a “Yeah, sure,” and was whisked away by the incredibly
happy yellow paladin.
Keith had ventured throughout the ship plenty of times, he hardly went into the
kitchen unless it was for water or a snack. Usually when Hunk was cooking,
Keith was in another room, so he was surprised when Hunk turned back to him in
the kitchen with…a yellow apron?
“Okay, so I
was doing a bit of experimenting earlier and I think I can make the Altean equivalent of cupcakes.”
paladin’s eyes shot up. When was the last time he’d ever had a cupcake? Back when
he was still in the garrison? Before?
It had been so long. There was a bakery close to his home that sold the best
ones he’d ever had. He’d gone there every Saturday as a kid with his dad and he’d
always get the chocolate one with the strawberry on top. The entire place just
smelled of good food and comfort and home.
get your hopes up, okay? Last time I tried to bake, well…”
cookies saved us in the end, so don’t worry about,” Keith said
matter-of-factly. “If they’re inedible maybe Coran could use them to jumpstart
chuckled as he went to fetch the ingredients. “Okay, that was a good one. Let’s
made cupcakes before.”
and looked back him. “I’ll guide you through it. Don’t worry about it.”
And then he
smiled and, quiznak, it was like his
joy practically radiated from him and Keith, well, he couldn’t help but smile
back, albeit softly. It’s not like he could help it. Hunk’s joy was practically
contagious. He was like a bright sunny day, and though they were in the middle
of space and Earth’s sun was a ton of lightyears away…Hunk was becoming more
and more like the paladin’s sun.
Maker, that sounded like something out of one of those terrible teen romance
forced out of his thoughts when Hunk placed a large bag of…whatever in his
hands. It nearly knocked the wind out of him and he almost stumbled, but Hunk
okay there Keith?”
was like electricity. Keith rushed out of it as soon as he could, not expecting
it, not knowing what else to do.
slightly taken aback and, disappointed? Keith couldn’t tell. Usually Hunk was
an open book, but at that exact moment he was difficult to read. Like he didn’t
want Keith to know how exactly he was feeling.
heavily settled in. Red and yellow were on opposite sides of the kitchen, not
daring to say or do anything.
cleared his throat. “So uh, what did you want me to do with this?” He gestured
at the bag in his arms.
washed over Hunk’s. “Um, yeah, there’re some jugs in the cabinet over there.
Altean measurement is pretty weird, but just take the medium one and measure
two of those.”
nodded mechanically and set to work. The two of them soon relaxed into a routine.
Hunk was doing most of the talking, he didn’t seem to mind it much either and any
of the previous awkwardness was melted away.
they worked was pretty methodical. Hunk would ask Keith for a spoon or direct
him to certain places for weird ingredients. Keith didn’t do any of the actual
baking, which he was fine with. Hunk looked like he knew what he was doing.
was one thing Keith noticed over time. Throughout their time in the kitchen,
after that one incident, Hunk never touched him. And it wasn’t coincidentally either.
If the two of them were close, Keith noticed Hunk subtly adjust himself
slightly so they were further apart.
doing everything in his power to make Keith feel comfortable. He was joking
around and laughing so Keith was too busy enjoying himself to notice it at
first, but Hunk was adapting himself to accommodate him. It hit Keith in waves. It made him feel grateful that he would
go through such lengths for him. But at the same time…
At the same
time he thought about Hunk’s relationship with the others. About how he’d
ruffle Pidge’s hair, bump shoulders with Lance, sweep Allura up in a hug, high
five Shiro, pat Coran’s back. Hunk was a tactile person. He was affectionate. It was just who he was.
And now Keith yearned for the same. He wanted Hunk to touch him; ruffle his
hair, bump his shoulder, be swept up in those arms which he knew probably felt safe—
looking at him in concern. “I said we need to put these in the oven, but you
kind of zoned out there. Do you need to lie down? I can take it from here.”
fine.” He found that he said this almost too quickly. “I…”
I really like spending time with you.
concerned look didn’t leave, but Hunk put the cupcakes in the oven anyway and
set the timer for fifteen dobashes.
There was a
comfortable silence as Hunk cleared away the supplies after taking off his
apron. Keith stared after him contemplatively before finally asking him the question
that was plaguing his mind the whole time.
back at him in confusion.
always ask Pidge or Lance to help you out in the kitchen. Were they too busy
for you or something?”
thawed slightly. “You were the first one I asked today, actually. I thought it
would be good for you to get out of whatever headspace you’ve been in the past
never asked me before.”
paladin chuckled sheepishly. “Because I’d always assume you’d say no. And
honestly I couldn’t really stand the thought of—”
speaking abruptly, as though he’d said too much.
thought of what?”
sigh, Hunk palmed his face. “Please don’t make me say it.”
was curious. Whatever was going on was really bugging Hunk and making him
uncomfortable and wasn’t one way of getting rid of discomfort talking about it?
to me. What’s going on?”
away, avoiding eye contact. In that moment, Keith couldn’t help but think that
for someone so large he looked really small.
thought of rejection,” Hunk said slightly louder this time, still avoiding eye contact. And with the
way he said it, Keith knew immediately that he wasn’t talking about cooking
There was a
silence, but only externally. On the inside it was as if those words had opened
the floodgates that contained Keith’s emotions. He was swamped, floored, he
could barely stand up.
time. All this time.
say anything because I didn’t want to ruin the dynamic of the team. We work so
well together. I just…” Hunk trailed off and scratched the back of his head. “I’m
he seriously apologising?
“I didn’t know…”
have changed anything?”
If Keith had known that Hunk felt that way about him…
can act like this never happened. I don’t mind,” Hunk continued, taking Keith’s
silence as a ‘no’.
knew, he could see that Hunk minded. That
Hunk cared. That this was killing him.
walked up to him, closing the gap between them. He reached out to touch his arm,
hesitantly at first, before he placed it there completely.
have changed everything.”
at his words, completely overwhelmed.
something snapped and Keith was wrapped in his arms. And it was everything he
thought it would be. It felt safe. It felt like how that bakery he went to smelt.
It felt like home.
okay?” Hunk asked after a moment, remembering how Keith reacted to his touch
up at the yellow paladin before stretching up and pressing their lips together
in a soft kiss.
Remus felt trapped between elation and dread. Surely this didn’t mean what he hoped it did. He tried not to let himself get his hopes up, and yet, thinking of it now from the safety of his hard, flat bed, he could hardly help himself. He held the hand Sirius had grasped so tightly up in front of him, only seeing the very faint outline of it in the moonlight. Sirius had held his hand. He’d taught him to dance, barefoot in the forest, like they were old friends. Even lovers, Remus dared to think. He’d brought him chocolates. He’d invited him tomorrow…
Remus thought the question over and over again. Sirius no doubt had a host of friends to choose from. Not to mention James who, if all else failed, had to be at the top of the list.
Does he hold James’ hand?
It was a stupid question. Of course he didn’t. James liked Lily. Sirius liked… Remus closed his eyes.
He could have been drunk?
Remus let his hand fall back on his chest, exasperated. It seemed to be the only logical explanation, although he really had seemed quite steady. Drunk men don’t dance like that. But, then again, he’d come to Remus right under his mother’s nose. But maybe that was Sirius, maybe that’s how he is. Reckless and daring, like the princes in the fairytales. Remus gulped. When all the other boys had talked of princesses to save, he’d always preferred thinking of the prince. Privately, of course.
He wasn’t drunk. Remus knew this. So what? Why?
The answer Remus wanted to hear streamed to the front of his mind, although he never quite let himself fully believe it. He wanted to believe that Sirius had felt it too, what he had felt in the kitchen that evening, in the clearing just a half hour ago. That he had felt the very same draw of the other; to the heat of skin, the pressure of hands, the uneven breaths. Remus closed his eyes and felt it all again, but as a memory. It wasn’t the same. He wanted tomorrow to come. He fell asleep thinking of warm hands and mischievous eyes.
Sirius’ breathing was shallow as his mother led him back inside, into a private room, away from the lights of the party. She was wordless, only her shoes scuffing against the stone floor, muffled only by her long dress and cape. She had worn her crown, as she always, always did, and it did not move on her head, her neck like an unyielding column. Her silence made Sirius fear the worst. As soon as the door were closed however, the silence was broken. And in the worst way.
The smack of skin against skin rang through the room and Sirius’ head snapped to the left. He felt the sting of her rings slice the delicate skin that covered his cheek bone and he bit his tongue so as not to cry out.
It was worth it. He told himself, Remus. He is worth this.
“Where were you?” His mother’s voice was murderously calm, “Answer me.”
Sirius tasted blood, “My apologies-“
Smack. This time the rings cut downwards, catching on his lip and splitting it wide. Sirius felt something wet on his chin but still, he did not fall.
“Answers.” His mother’s voice was more growl than woman.
“I got sidetracked. I did not realize the time. I ran into Lucius the nobleman and time wasted away to politics.”
The lies slid easily from his split lips.
“Politics.” She spat, “You? You expect me to believe- You’ve just ruined what would have been an outstanding match for this family. Do you have any idea the power, the wealth that girl could have offered us-“
“Us?” Sirius shot back, “You wouldn’t have to spend the rest of your life with her!”
His mother’s lip curled, “You ungrateful, despicable-“
Sirius did not turn towards the messenger boy. He mustn’t see his bloodied face.
His mother straightened, face flattening to barely contained rage, “Speak.”
Sirius didn’t hear the message, only felt the glare in his direction and heard the door slam behind his mother as she followed the servant boy out.
As soon as he was alone he let himself fall. His knees hit the stone floor heavily, his wrists spiking with pain as the trembled with the effort to keep him somewhat upright. He breathed deeply, willing the swirling panic to cease.
She is gone, he told himself, she is gone now. He raised his hand to his face and his fingertips came back painted with thick red that dripped into the cracks on the stone floor.
Sirius pushed himself up, using the back passages to get to his room and locking himself in for the night, not ringing for James.
He stumbled his way into his bathroom, feeling almost terrified to look in the mirror. He hoped and prayed that the amount of blood was deceiving him, that it wasn’t as bad as it felt. He was let down at first glance.
His cheek was purpling and swollen, the bruise spreading towards the crescent of skin under his eye. It would be swollen half way shut by the morning. His lip was the same and grotesque. He cursed, taking a clean cloth to the basin of water and soaking it fully, bringing the coolness to his face. Then, turning without glancing in the mirror again, he fell into bed still clothed, with only one thought on his mind.
Remus cannot see.
Perhaps the reason behind this thought was also pride, but, for the most part, it felt like shame. A shame he had felt bloom in his chest regularly since he was a child. He would not show his face.
Remus woke the next morning with a headache, finding that the dread and hope that had come at Sirius’ request still were at war in his head. He tried to sensibly talk himself down from the hope side. The dread, if things went as he expected them to, would be easier to handle in the end. Hope doesn’t give into grief as easily as dread does. He told himself this as he punched in the day’s bread dough he had set to rise last night. It was four in the morning now. Noon. He had until noon.
Say it back so I know you’ll remember
How, how could he forget?
Remus pushed the heel of his palm into the cool dough, trying to focus on the repetitive motion. Pressing and folding, needing and punching. It only seemed to succeed in riling him further, allowing the emotion he truly wanted to suppress to bubble to the surface: excitement. He couldn’t allow it. He shouldn’t allow it. But as he stood, nimble fingers now twisting the brioche for breakfast into delicate twists and knots, it spread quickly through his chest. He wanted to meet Sirius. In fact, he wasn’t sure how he would be expected to wait nearly eight hours until then. He’d have to keep himself busy. He would start on the servant’s dinner after this. A stew would take the longest to prepare, and he’d let it simmer all day. The meat would be tender and it would take enough time to prepare. Then Mrs. Potter and the rest of the servants came down to prepare breakfast and wake the court. That would be at least another hour and a half of the blissful distraction of eggs and bacon, salmon and toast. Maybe he would offer to prepare the orange juice. No, too repetitive. He needed something that wasn’t mindless. He would do the eggs. He’d definitely have to focus then. He’d have to mind the heat and the consistency and then make sure they were still hot when they got sent up to-
Remus froze mid bread knot. He was always in charge of Sirius’ breakfast, there was no doubt today would be the same. Remus swallowed, an odd sort of thrill filling him that made it nearly impossible to keep the smile from his face. Maybe he could allow himself this. This small thing, this regular thing that now had a new world of connection. Sirius did know his breakfast came from Remus’ hands now. Maybe he could send up a note, tuck it into his napkin or under the plate where he would find it when he picked up his carefully placed fork. It was risky. It couldn’t be seen. But Remus couldn’t resist. He needed some little piece of his day among all this waiting to be dedicated to Sirius. He hated that a little bit. He would hide it well. No one needed to know.
He heard a creak from upstairs—Mrs. Potter—and tried his best to shake himself of his stupid grin, picking up the trays of bread for the oven.
~ Sirius woke to James accidentally rattling his breakfast tray and cursing.
“Shit. Sorry. You awake?”
Sirius opened his mouth without opening his eyes to respond with some sarcastic, not-so-charming remark but shut it firmly again when he felt the sharp sting of his split lip. He swallowed, opening his eyes—eye. One felt almost completely swollen shut. He hadn’t even thought to decline a wake up call. He usually was always so careful. He didn’t like James—anyone—to know if he could help it but, with James, he rarely could.
“Sirius,” James sing-songed, “Come on, mate. This is heavy.”
Sirius took a breath, then rolled over and sat up with as much dignity as he could manage. His eyes flickered to James’ face and he winced at the look on it. He knew how bad day old bruises looked.
“Morning,” He rasped shakily, “That for me?”
“Jesus…” James quickly sat the tray on Sirius’ thighs, then sat on the edge of the bed, warm fingers pressing to his jaw and tilting his face towards him to get a better look at his lip. His brows pulled together, “Jesus, Sirius.”
Sirius looked away, “My mother, actually.”
“This isn’t funny. Stop- god- I hate-“ James rose angrily from the bed, proceeding to pace across the fireplace opposite it, “She can’t just-“
“Actually she can.” Sirius sighed, “Unfortunately.”
James threw his hands out, exasperated, and gave a breathy, bitter laugh, “Unfortunately? Unfortunately? God, I cannot wait for her to croak and for you to-“
Sirius raised an eyebrow, a substitute for the smirk he knew would hurt too much, and unfolded his napkin, “Careful James.”
“No.” James was pacing more insistently now, “No, I know you don’t like to talk about it but…”
But Sirius was no longer listening, as a small bit of parchment had fluttered from the folds of his napkin and onto the sheets beside him. Instantly, his heartbeat sped with hope. His breakfast has never come with a note before, although, that was before he knew the maker. He glanced in James’ direction, making sure he was still talking (to himself) and unfolded the note. Sirius grinned. He couldn’t even feel the pain of his lip.
You taght me to dance Gess I have to teech you to cook an egg now
Sirius ran his fingers over the messy scrawl. He read it again and again and again. The writing slanted to the left, it was nearly illegible. Clearly it had been written in rushed secrecy. Some words were spelled wrong and for that Sirius adored it even more. The double “e” in teach. The lack of “u” in taught and guess. He turned it over, hoping for more.
His smile fell.
He was not disappointed.
I have not forgotten
His heart warmed at the sentence, but his body went cold.
He cleared his throat, “James.”
James huffed, “I know, I know. I don’t have the training but just keep in mind that kings can do anything.” He paused, “Almost. Meaning you should absolutely feel free to make me part of your king’s guard. If you wanted. At any time.”
Sirius blinked. The lack of context caused a laugh to spring free and he suddenly partially wished he had been listening to the rant. James did like this conversation point quite a lot.
“And have to miss all of these useful conversations because you’re standing outside my door all day? I don’t think so. Fetch Pomfrey for me, would you? I want this to heal up quickly.” He squeezed the note in his hand, “As soon as possible.”
James sniffed, patting his heart, “That was almost nice.”
“Fetch.” Sirius pointed his fork at the door, note clutched almost desperately in the other. He needed time he didn’t have. He closed his eyes when the door shut behind James. He felt it now, the shame from last night, in every spike of pain from his lip, in every pulse of blood in his eye. He felt it.
Remus tilted his chin up towards the noon sun greedily, almost thanking it for being so high in the sky. The long grasses of the south grounds tickled his ankles and the soles of his feet as he made his way to the lake Sirius had specified. He’d been once before with James and a few of his friends. A boy named Peter who seemed nice enough given the fact that he was to King Orion as James was to Sirius. It couldn’t be easy spending all that time with… that. Lily, the house maid, whom he liked very much and who he knew better now, had come along after much convincing from James. Her and James clearly doted on each other. He’d asked Lily about it once and she’d sent him to fetch some linens from the upstairs cupboard instead. Lily had brought a few of her friends along; sweet, quiet Alice and headstrong Marlene. They had been followed by some others, an equal mass of boys and girls—most of which eyed James the entire time with either jealousy or lust. Someone had brought wine and figs from the kitchens and it had turned into something of a party.
Remus dug his toes into the rocky sand of the shore. It was quieter now. He liked it better this way.
Remus looked back at the castle then down at himself. He had changed out of that morning’s shirt, but even this one looked ratty. Like everything else he owned, the seams were fraying and it was littered with untouchable stains.
Sirius would look good in even this.
He laughed softly to himself at the thought. He shouldn’t think it, but it was true. Sirius had looked good the first night, if not hopelessly tired and arrogant, in his maroon robe, the gold stitching glinting off his skin. He’d looked good barefoot, in only his billowing tie-up shirt and trousers, with fluffy post-swim hair. Remus wondered if he’d get to see that again today. And he’d looked good dressed in forest-like, velvety greens and browns, soft curls splaying around the tops of his ears. A prince ready to be presented to his subjects. Each memory was devastatingly imprinted in Remus’ thoughts. He wanted see what he would look like today, what new version he would be granted with.
Slightly breathless, Remus sat down on a warm patch of sand and waited, nerves and need coming threw in his drumming fingertips.
And waited. And waited and waited. And Sirius didn’t come. And his heart got heavier with each fading degree of sunlight.
And Sirius didn’t come.
And he was right.
Grief doesn’t give easily into hope.
Remus doesn’t sleep for hours after he lays down. He can’t decide if he’s more angry or hurt. He thinks of the four hours he sat in the sand, back aching and hopes falling. Angry, he decides. Definitely angry. He should have known better, to be quite honest. A prince. Why would a prince ever, for a second want-
Remus closes his eyes, brow creasing. A play thing. A time passer. That’s what he was. He should have seen it earlier.
He must have fallen asleep, or at least dozed off, because he is lulled awake by his door creaking in very separate and short bursts. Like someone is trying to open it very, very slowly.
He’s alert in a moment, pushing up onto his elbows. The moonlight offers a silhouette but nothing more. Tall, broad shouldered.
“James? Who’s there?” His voice comes out softer and hoarser than he would have liked.
The figure lets out a breath and opens and closes the door in one swoop, leaning against it, “No. Does James often pay you midnight visits?“
Remus, in utter bewilderment, moves for the matches and candle on his bedside, when Sirius’ voice cuts him off.
“No, no don’t light your candle. Please.”
It sounds panicked, pleading. He’s never heard Sirius sound like that before.
“What? Sirius, why? What are you-“
“I’ve only come to apologize. That is all.”
Remus lowers his hands, not reaching anymore, and sighs. He thinks for a moment, before shifting to press his pillow to the headboard to sit against and looks back to Sirius’ outline against the door.
“Quite right, too.”
Sirius lets out a breath and—quite presumptuously—and to Remus’ great delight—comes and sits cross-legged at the end of Remus’ bed. The moonlight still does not reach his face.
“I had…something came up. As things do for someone like me. I didn’t know how to reach you.”
For someone like me. Always the constant reminder, even on accident.
“I’m missing the apology part.” Sirius let out a breath and Remus glared, not sure if he could see it or not, “I sat there for four hours, I’m not going to let you off easy-“
“I’m sorry. I am, Remus.”
The second time hearing his name from Sirius’ mouth had no less of an effect. Remus desperately hoped his own face was just as invisible to Sirius as Sirius’ was to him. He was sure it had softened quite a bit, even as he tries to knot together the last scraps of his anger.
“Well.” Remus stretches his legs out, remembering too late that Sirius is there. His toes press into the warm skin of Sirius’ calves and he jerks back, bringing his knees to his chest. His heart has triple in speed, at least.
“Are you going to tell me why we’re sitting in the dark?”
Sirius ignores his question, “Your toes are freezing.”
Remus feels his cheeks burning, “It’s an odd request. To talk in the dark.”
“Don’t you have slippers?” It’s almost concern in his voice.
“No.” Remus huffs. He clearly isn’t going to get an answer, “No, Sirius, I don’t have slippers. There are more important things in life.”
“Not when one’s toes are cold, there aren’t.”
“What an interesting philosophy.” Remus can’t help but laugh.
And just like that. He isn’t angry anymore.
Sirius laughs too, then harder when Remus makes a startled noise at the warm fingers that are suddenly closing around his ankles, pulling them forward again.
“Wh- Sirius, what are you-“
“Christ, even your ankles are cold. Do you sleep under blankets at all?”
Remus, still startled by the fact that Sirius’ hands are still pressing softly into his skin, can barely choke out a response, “You know, this is getting borderline offensive again.”
He hears Sirius suck in a breath, “Oh. I didn’t mean it. I’m- I-“
“It’s okay.” And, in truth, Remus had been half joking, “You just said sorry, I won’t make you say it twice.”
Sirius is quiet for a moment more, then Remus straightens at something extraordinarily soft and extraordinarily warm encompassing his feet, first his left, then his right. He wiggles his toes, feeling some sort of fur slide against them, feels soft leather just below his ankles.
Slippers. Sirius’ slippers.
“Any better?” Sirius says softly. His palms are still resting on the tops of Remus’ feet, warming where the shoes don’t reach.
Remus swallows thickly, nodding before he realizes they are still in the dark.
“Yes.” He croaks out, “These are… warm. My room is always cold. ”
“That’s terrible.” Sirius sighs, like it’s the worst thing in the world. Maybe to him, it is.
“I manage.” Sirius probably doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to manage, “Aren’t you cold now?”
“No.” Sirius says, and Remus realizes that they’re both whispering now, “No, not at all.”
It should be strange, sitting there like that in the dark, but all Remus feels is an overwhelming sense of comfort. He doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t know why Sirius is here. He doesn’t understand why they’re sitting in the dark or why Sirius is touching him so calmly. The contact alights something in him, he can’t deny it. It warms him almost as quickly as the slippers had. He presses his hands to his thighs, feeling safe, feeling unsteady. He wants to want this more than anything.
Push it down, leave it be.
“Hm?” Sirius’ voice came out just as strained as his, quiet among the silence that surrounded them. His thumbs were rubbing softly over the tops of Remus’ feet, pressing into the bone of his ankle. Remus didn’t know if Sirius realized he was doing it, but he never wanted him to stop.
“Are you going to tell me why we’re sitting in the dark?” He asks gently.
“No.” Sirius says it back just as gently.
Remus hesitates, then gives into his instinct. Sirius didn’t seem to have any problem with contact so why should he? He scoots forward, very careful to keep his feet where they are. His knees press up to his chest again and he rests his hands atop of Sirius’. He feels Sirius let out a breath across his cheek, and realizes how close they are. He can still see almost nothing. Maybe a slope of a nose, the part of lips.
Forget his mind screams it at him but he can barely hear it. Not when Sirius is rightthere.
“Hm?” More strained now.
“Are you alright?”
Sirius didn’t respond for a long while, and Remus didn’t push. He let Sirius mull through his thoughts in his own time. When he finally did speak, he turned his palms up first, fingers looping around Remus’ palms, thumbs pressing into the pulse points on his wrists. Remus hoped he couldn’t feel how hard his heart was beating.
“Where are you from?”
Remus almost protested against the change of subject, but the tone in Sirius’ voice was just enough to make him let Sirius lead him where he wanted.
“Right here.” He said, “The village.”
Sirius was quiet for a moment again and Remus pictured him nodding thoughtfully, his thumbs had started running slowly over the insides of Remus’ wrists, “What did your father do?”
Remus focused on Sirius’ soft touch and closed his eyes, making the darkness even darker, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
Remus took a deep breath, “No. I grew up in the orphanage. I was put there when I was three years old but, I don’t know, it’s all I remember.”
Remus recognizes the familiar tone and risks giving Sirius’ hands a little squeeze. He notes how natural it feels. He hadn’t expected Sirius to let this linger so long, but neither of them seemed to want to pull away.
“It isn’t the sob story you’re thinking of right now.” He assures Sirius, “My family was poor. They realized they couldn’t raise me. The orphanage said I was barely alive when I arrived. It was a good thing.” He said it like lines from a play, lines he’d said over and over to anyone who looked concerned. It wasn’t a long list of people.
“You grew up without a family.” Sirius’ voice sounds off through the darkness. He’s holding Remus’ hands tighter now, even pulling a little towards him. Remus wants so badly to give into that pull.
“Yes, and no. You learn to make families along the way. Home doesn’t always have to be blood, you know.”
“I hate my blood.” Sirius’ voice is hushed and fierce, “I’m not allowed, but I do.”
Remus was slightly taken aback by this statement. He somewhat knew Sirius’ thoughts on his parents—his mother, at least—but to say that he hated his blood, so boldly… That implied he hated who he was. He didn’t expect that from Sirius. He wants so badly to see his face right now, to see his eyes as he let the forbidden phrase slip. Remus thought for a moment, “Maybe you’re not allowed to show it, but they can’t really do anything about what your heart says, can they?”
Sirius’ voice comes after a slight pause, and when it does, there’s an unbearable note of hopelessness to it, “I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“You should be.” Remus says simply. He doesn’t know if Sirius realizes how much meaning that phrase holds.
Sirius’ hands relax into Remus’. Remus didn’t even dare twitch a finger in case he pulled away.
I want to kiss you. He could map out each small motion it would take to reach that goal.
Remus bit hard into his tongue. His mind would think little else. Forgetforgetfor-
“I visited once, you know. That orphanage.”
Remus swallows, “I know.”
“Mum made me walk around all proper, nodding and waving. She thought going would make me appear… I don’t know, like I’d make a good king someday. Kind. Not that she’d know much about that.” Sirius’s silhouette visibly stiffened, “I mean…I think it just made the kids hate me. I probably looked so…” Sirius sighed, “I don’t know. Actually, come to think of it, you must have been there when I went.”
Remus lets out a breath, “I was.”
“Do you remember?” Sirius’ voice almost sounded excited, “Did you see me?”
Yes. And you saw me.
Why, did you really expect him to remember?
Remus nodded, “Yeah, I remember. We, well, we actually spoke.” He feels Sirius’ fingers tense in his own and he pushes on, “It wasn’t much. I mean, we didn’t say much…”
Sirius doesn’t respond and Remus can picture him racking his brain, trying to place this conversation.
“You were just plain rude, honestly.” Remus laughs somewhat nervously.
Sirius lets out a similar sound, “What else is new?” Then a few moments later, “What did we speak of?”
Remus let out another hushed laugh, “You told me that I looked like the living dead,” Remus hesitated a moment at Sirius’ intake of breath, “and… I told you that you were probably right. And that was it. You got pulled away.”
“Well.” Sirius shifted his fingers along Remus’ knuckles and somehow Remus knew he was looking down in the direction of their hands, “Turns out you’ve been out smarting me since before I can even remember, then.”
Remus can hear his smile and god, I want to see your face.
“Yeah,” he says softly, “turns out.”
Remus wished the sky would lighten. Even a little. Then again he didn’t. Because that would mean time passing and he wasn’t sure he would mind staying in this moment for a little longer, hands warm, feet warm, head foggy with Sirius’ presence, his touch.
“Did you enjoy the rest of the party then?” He needed to distract himself.
Sirius let out a breathy laugh, “Not particularly, no. Did you?”
Remus shook his head in the darkness, “Not particularly. Not as fun dancing alone.”
Sirius let out a snort, “Were you practicing by yourself?”
“You’re the one who refused to give me another go!” Remus smiled into the dark.
Sirius laughed again, a sound that ended with a strange hiss, as if he had been stung or burned by something, then regained its humor quickly. One hand briefly leaving Remus’, then settled back palm to palm. Remus knit his eyebrows.
“Right. We’ll just have to do it again some time.”
Remus’ heart jumped, “Won’t be ditching me this time, will you?”
“No, no definitely not.” Sirius’ laugh ended with the same intake of breath as before, “I swear it.”
Remus’ brows pulled lower. He stayed quiet, mind slowly working. Something was wrong. He’d been distracted before, but something was off. he could hear it in Sirius’ words, how he said them carefully, gingerly even.
“You didn’t fall asleep on me, did you?” Sirius voice came a few moments later, “Because, honestly-“
“Are you hurt?” Remus cut in.
It would make sense. No lights, the hiss that sounded like it hurt whenever he laughed. He’d heard Sirius make that noise the very first night he met him and burned his hand.
Sirius shifted, making the bed move, “What? No, what makes you say that?”
“You’re hiding something. You-“ Remus raised an eyebrow, proud of himself for figuring it out, “You didn’t want me to see something today, did you?”
“Remus.” Sirius’ voice was much more somber than before. He said his name like he was speaking to a subject, like it was a command. It made Remus angry and it made a shiver run down his spine at the same time, “Don’t. Drop this.”
“You are. You- Sirius, did someone-“
“I said drop it.” Sirius’ hands were suddenly gone from his own. It was an odd sensation. Remus knew he was still on the bed, right there, but not being able to feel him anymore put miles between them.
Remus pushed this time. He pushed because he didn’t think he could stand another period of silence. Not so soon. Not when he now knew what it was like to have Sirius’ breath on his cheek, his fingers on his skin.
“No, you know I can help-“
“I don’t need help-“ Sirius’ words were shaky, said between teeth.
“There’s no use lying to me-“
“I only came to apologize!“
Remus reached out blindly, pressing a hand over Sirius’ mouth to stop his voice from ringing around the room and reaching through the walls. Sirius flinched at the contact, biting back a groan and turning his face away. Remus felt the soft skin of his cheek run under his fingers. He felt his lips.. just for a moment. They both froze, breathing quickly.
“I know. And you have.” Remus said between breaths, hand falling slowly to rest on Sirius’ shoulder. Anything to feel him there again, “Please. Just let me see. I won’t,” Remus cut Sirius’ protests off, “I won’t ask questions if you don’t want me to.”
He could feel the rise and fall of Sirius’ chest.
He felt the nod.
Remus leaned away just long enough to grab his candle, and struck the match.
“God.” The word was soft and sad. Sirius’ face was the same in the yellow glow of the fire, but littered with angry blackish bruises. One eye was swollen and blackened, making the delicate skid underneath it the color of summer plums. Dried blood made angry red lines the crevices of cracked skin. His lip looked raw and aching. Remus swallowed, hurting at the sight, “Who-“
“You said no questions.” Sirius said quietly, not meeting Remus’ eyes.
Remus’ heart ached at the look on Sirius’ face. He looked… ashamed. He looked embarrassed. Had he been beaten in a fight? Is that what he did in his spare time? Remus tried to push down his dislike at this notion. He didn’t know anything. He shouldn’t assume. He nodded.
“Yeah, you’re right. No questions.” He looked a moment more before sliding off the bed and turning back to Sirius who still hadn’t moved, “Come with me, yeah?”
The kitchen lit up when they walked in, Remus’ candlelight reflecting off the various pots and pans that hung from the ceiling racks. It threw Sirius’ beaten face into a harsher contrast and Remus winced, quickly setting the light down and moving to the cupboards. From the corner of his eye he saw Sirius move to lift himself onto the counter and stopped him.
“I’ll sit there, you stand.” Sirius blinked at him and Remus turned away so Sirius would miss the flush that crossed his cheeks at his next words, “That way we’ll be level.”
“Oh. Right.” Remus could hear the threatening smirk behind his words. Only Sirius would take such pleasure in his height.
When Remus turned back around Sirius was leaning patiently against the countertop, arms crossed, and heavy lidded gaze trained on Remus. His eyes flickered downward to the flower in his hand,
“Oh. Pomfrey used that on me. Earlier today.” Sirius picked up one of the small pinkish flowers, “What is it?”
Remus smiled a little, pleased at knowing something Sirius didn’t, “It’s called Comfrey. Helps with swelling. Some people call it bone-knitter too. Does miracles for broken fingers, I’ll tell you that.”
“Bone-knitter.” Sirius said thoughtfully, “Sounds like something one of my cousins would name their sword.”
Remus raised an eyebrow, “Which kind?”
Sirius snorted then winced and brought a finger to his lip, “The metal kind. Fiend.” Sirius grinned when he caught Remus’ eye.
“You wouldn’t name your sword that?” Remus started ripping the petals up.
Sirius scoffed, but sounded slightly embarrassed, “I don’t name my swords.”
“Hm. I don’t believe you.”
Sirius laughed and bumped Remus’ shoulder with his.
Remus smiled too, more because Sirius was smiling than at his own joke. He reached across the table for the granite mortar, dragging it towards him and dropping the torn petals in.
“What’s that do?” Sirius was right over his shoulder now, his breath on his neck.
“It grinds it up.” Remus cleared his throat, trying to rid his voice of the nervous tremor, “So I can make a paste and get the healing..”
“Properties.” Sirius supplied.
“Properties.” Remus sent him a small smile, trying to ignore the embarrassed twinge in his cheeks, “So I can get the healing properties out.” Remus ground with his left hand. It would be slower, but he wasn’t willing to ask Sirius to move.
Sirius hummed, still twirling a stray flower between his fingers.
“Okay,” Remus huffed, “budge over so I can sit.”
Remus lifted himself as gracefully as he could onto the counter, turning briefly to swipe some of the paste up with his fingers, before turning back to Sirius. Sirius who had already placed himself conveniently between Remus’ slightly opened knees, palms resting on either side of his outer thighs. Remus blinked, chest tightening uncomfortably in the best way. Sirius sent him grin, leaning onto his palms, inviting Remus in. He smelled like summer and nighttime and warmth.
Remus sent him a wry one back, “It won’t hurt. In case you were wondering again.”
“Don’t worry, I trust you.” Sirius’ grin was still painted on his face.
The phrase made Remus sink his teeth into his lower lip, and he shook his head a little, making Sirius laugh, “Hold still, yeah? Don’t get all flinchy on me.”
Sirius rolled his eyes.
Remus took a bigger breath than necessary before he reached out. His fingers cupped Sirius’ jaw in a way that, Remus realized too late, was heart-stoppingly similar to the way he would if he were about to-
“Second time you’ve patched me up, you know.” Sirius’ voice sounded like a liquid version of the soft candlelight flickering around them.
Remus’ eyes flickered to his briefly before back to where his thumb was now slowly smoothing the paste over Sirius’ high cheekbone, the angry red cut disappearing under the purplish mix, “Hm. What does that tell us?” Remus replied just as softly.
“That,” Sirius hesitated, and Remus blinked up at him when when he felt something soft tuck into the hair over his ear. He reached up with his other hand and felt the flower Sirius had taken there, the petals soft against his temple, “I might just have to keep you around.”
Remus’ chest felt warm. Is that really what Sirius wanted? To be…with Remus. Whatever that meant to him. As much as Remus hated to admit it, he knew he would take any version of those words. With his hand still pressing softly to Sirius’ cheek and Sirius standing so close, he was in too deep to back out now. There was no forgetting now, “Well.” He wasn’t spreading the paste anymore but he didn’t move his hand, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Sirius’ eyebrows moved fractionally downwards, the faintest hint of worry etching itself into his brow, “You’re sure?”
Remus tilted his head a little, not sure what this meant. He answered anyway, “Yes.” It felt like the right answer. He couldn’t imagine giving any other answer.
Sirius nodded minutely, pulling his bottom lip between his teeth then wincing, “Oh. You missed a spot.”
Sirius’ nose could have been nudging against Remus’ if he just leaned in a little. Remus’ heart beat at the thought, “I… You can’t- I mean, I can’t put it on your… you can’t ingest this. It’d poison you.”
“Hm.” Remus heard Sirius say before his eyes slipped closed of their own accord as he felt Sirius’ forehead press to his. Sirius’ voice was a whisper, “You’d lose your head for that.”
“Yeah..” Remus could barely speak. His beating heart had replaced every other one of his body’s functions, Sirius’ forehead against his and his hands pressing to his thighs had replaced every thought, “I would.”
And no, there was no forgetting now. Not with Sirius tilting his chin forward and pressing his lips to Remus’, mouth careful and warm. Not with his hand sliding up to rest on Remus’ hip.
Remus could never forget this.
He kissed back, matching Sirius’ pressure, hand pressing to Sirius’ chest. His shirt was like fine silk under his fingertips, and he moved his hand to rest against Sirius’ neck. The feeling of his skin was even finer. Warm and alive and soft.
Sirius pulled back for air and Remus could feel his shuttering breaths. He felt powerful and nervous all at once.
“I’m sorry.” Sirius breathed and Remus’ chest caught.
No, don’t be, kiss me again.
Sirius, to Remus’ surprise, let out a laugh, one that sounded almost close to a tearful one but not sad, “No.”
With relief, Remus gave his neck a soft squeeze, noting Sirius’ wince, “Do I need to make there all better too?” He couldn’t feel any wounds but they could have been hidden by the fabric of Sirius’ shirt.
“No.” Sirius said quickly again, and then he bumped his nose against Remus’ to soften it, “No. I’m alright.”
Remus bumped his nose back, half relishing in the fact that he was even able to do that, half scared that Sirius would pull away at any moment, as he had at the party, “You should learn not to say things you don’t mean.”
Sirius let out a sigh that was probably suppose to sound light but didn’t, “Yes. You’re right. Always right.”
“That’s probably the most useful thing you know.”
“God.” Sirius laughed, thumb rubbing lazily against Remus’ side. Remus had never felt anything so soothing. Despite himself, he suppressed a yawn, “Tired?” Sirius said gently.
Sirius smiled, “You should learn not to say things you don’t mean.”
Remus grinned, “Yes, yes. I’m tired. You woke me up.”
Sirius’ eyes went from bright to sad in a moment, thumb coming to a stop, “I can’t stay.”
Remus felt the sadness too, but his mind also filled with that means he wants to. That means he wants to stay. “I know. You probably shouldn’t. You know, speaking of losing one’s head.”
One side of Sirius’ mouth twitched upward, “Right. Can’t have that. Got a country to run.”
And just like that, something felt off. Remus tried not to let his smile drop. Always a reminder. This boy, standing in his arms, was not attainable.
He pushed that thought away and allowed Sirius to guide him from the table, hands holding his in a way that felt entirely new, and back up the stairs to his bed. As he laid down he pretended for a moment that Sirius was going to lay next to him. He wouldn’t. He probably never would.
Sirius stood for a moment, lit only by the soft light of the candle. His bruises looked worse like this, but Remus found he could see past them to the eyes that looked more blue than grey in the yellow light.
“I’d like it, you know.”
“Like what?” Remus said slowly.
“To learn to cook an egg.”
Remus grinned, face half covered by his pillow, “Oh, that. Well, name a time and a place. You’re the king, after all.”
Remus, in his tired state, didn’t catch the flinch this time, and was already too asleep to catch the, “Not yet.”
He wasn’t awake at all to feel the warm hand brush against his forehead.
The next morning came suddenly, like time hadn’t past, and he was surprised to find light streaming through his window and Sirius gone. He was even more surprised to find a note propped against his candle stick, scrawled in impeccably neat cursive.
- *something moves in the corner of ur eye* *turn to look @ moving thing* *thing is now regular thing but you knOW ITS ONLY PRETENDING* - bugs?? everywhere?? why are they in my skin and my hair why - is that a gif - hey look these two delusions totally contradict each other but they are also somehow both true - seriously is that a slow moving gif or a photo or - thinkin ur friends arent real - thinkin ur friends hate u - everyone is In On It. u arent sure what It is but they are In On It. - really slow moving hallucinations. u know the ones. like the floor is moving ever so slightly under ur feet or the ceiling shifts a lil and ur like god damn go big or go home son this is hurting my eyes - those voices that essentially just shitpost constantly - tfw suddenly everything phases in and out of existence and ur like woah - impulse control?? what is that?? - seriously i smashed a glass and then squeezed the shards?? - why did i do that - who knows - rage
Summary: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” You think, after being alive for this long and leading an team of superheroes, Steve Rogers would’ve perfected his communication skills, but apparently, when it comes to women, he just likes to assume, and that is never a good thing.