Remus paced. Then he checked the clock on the wall for what seemed the hundredth time in ten minutes, but the hands didn’t change. Sirius’s stayed stubbornly at “In the Field” whenever Remus looked up at it, and things didn’t look to change any time soon.
They had been in the middle of supper when an urgent firecall came in. Sirius, already rising quickly in the ranks of the Aurors, was needed for “something”, but what that “something” was, no one would say. So Sirius just grabbed his robes and dressed quickly, kissed Remus good-bye, then Apparated out. That was two hours ago.
Now Remus knew that there was no definite time it took for an Auror to do his job—but that didn’t stop him from worrying. He glanced up at the clock yet again, just in time for him to see the hand labeled Sirius move to “Traveling” and then to “Home”.
Sirius Apparated right in front of the front door, then stumbled over to the sofa and collapsed bonelessly down on it, his head lolling back against the backrest, his eyes closed and his face pale. Remus was at his side in a flash.
“Sirius? What happened, why were you called out there?” Remus asked, taking Sirius’s limp hand in his own. With an effort, Sirius raised his head and opened his eyes. Inside them, Remus could see confusion, anger, pain, and more emotions he couldn’t identify swirling around, mixing seamlessly with the light blue and giving it a darker, almost haunted appearance.
“He’s dead,” Sirius croaked, and Remus felt a trill of fear run through him. Who was dead?—surely not James, or Peter! Or—Merlin forbid, little Harry, who was just born barely a month and a half ago, the little bright spot in all their lives who was still just blossoming and already dazzling people. But who else could put that shadowed look in Sirius’s eyes?
“Who’s dead, Sirius?” Remus asked quietly, afraid of the answer, but knowing the question had to be asked.
“Regulus.” And with that single word spoken, Sirius broke down completely. Tears started spilling out of his eyes and running down his cheeks and he took in several great, shuddering breaths, trying to get himself under control but failing utterly.
Remus sat stunned for a moment, his brain refusing to process the thought--/Regulus dead? Never!/ Regulus was Sirius’s baby brother…well, not-so-baby anymore, of course, since he’d just graduated from Hogwarts…but dead? Belatedly, his mind still not working properly, Remus gathered Sirius in his arms, holding his lover against him. Sirius’s arms came up to clutch weakly around Remus’s neck, and no longer could Sirius hold back his sobs of anguish. He howled, the tears falling ever faster, breath panting harshly against Remus’s shoulder. Remus stroked his long black hair, rubbed his back, and muttered soothing nonsense in Sirius’s ear, despite his own mind being in complete disarray.
After several minutes, Sirius’s sobbing calmed down and began to dwindle away, though tears continued to fall and soak the fabric of Remus’s robes. Finally he pulled away, roughly wiping the remaining tears off his face with the back of his hand, moving slightly back from Remus, though their knees were still touching.
They looked at each other for a few long moments, before Remus hesitantly asked, “How?”
Sirius closed his eyes and slumped against the back of the sofa. Remus put a hand on his knee, offering what comfort he had, and Sirius smiled thinly at him. “He…he was a Death Eater, you know…” Sirius started, and Remus nodded, without words urging him to continue. “We got word of a Death Eater meeting in which several were being punished for not following orders…being to squeamish, or something like that. So…we Apparated to where our informant said the meeting was, and found everyone gone. Or, rather, nearly everyone. There were two or three people lying on the ground, and from their positions we guessed they had been tortured with the Cruciatus before they were finally killed. We got closer…and I saw…one of them was Regulus…”
With every word spoken, Sirius’s voice seemed to gain strength, until it broke on the last sentence. Wordlessly, Remus gathered Sirius to him again. Sirius clutched him, burying his face in the warmth of Remus’s chest, but he didn’t start crying again. Remus just held him until again he pulled back, his blue eyes now flaming ice.
“We took the bodies back to their families,” Sirius continued, his voice hard, “but Regulus presented a problem. Since 12 Grimmauld Place is Unplottable, no one who didn’t know exactly where to go could even get there. Which left me as the only one who could bring Regulus back to Mother.”
Remus’s eyes widened. “No…” he whispered. He knew the kind of horrors Sirius had suffered at the hands of Mrs. Black in 12 Grimmauld Place. He’d been so happy when he’d finally escaped it, bounding around everywhere with that trademark enthusiasm of his, only more so. And now he had to go back, and give his mother her favorite son’s dead body in the process? “What happened?”
Sirius laughed bitterly. “Oh, she threw things, of course. Plates and knives, curses and hexes…you know. But she took him, and then I left. I assume she’s going to bury him in the Black family plot as soon as she can get herself under control. She’s probably still spitting nails. Just like her to be more angry than sad over something like this.”
Remus bit his lip. “And…how are you doing, Sirius? Are you going to be all right?” he asked, searching Sirius’s face for any sign of the answer, but that aristocratic face he so loved looking at showed nothing.
“My brother just died, Remus, how do you think I am?” Sirius asked sarcastically, but Remus didn’t drop his gaze.
“I won’t know how you are unless you tell me, Padfoot,” Remus said calmly, and Sirius flinched before relaxing and leaning his head on Remus’s shoulder.
“I…don’t know how I am; not yet at least,” Sirius replied softly. “I’m…confused, you know? Regulus was a Death Eater, he had the Mark and everything. I hate that Mark and all it stands for, so it makes sense that I would hate him, right?” Remus listened, letting the words pouring out of Sirius’s mouth wash over him. Then Sirius sighed. “But I can’t hate him. I just can’t hate him, Moony. Is that wrong?”
Sirius looked up at him, hoping for some remarkable answer like a child seeking reassurance. But Remus didn’t think he had any remarkable answers for him, so just an ordinary one would have to do. “Is it wrong not to hate? No matter what that person has done, I don’t think it’s wrong to not hate him. You can hate the choices he made and the things he did, but he himself? Do you want to hate him?”
Sirius bit his lip. “I…I don’t know. I mean, he was a Death Eater, he’s had to have done some terrible things, but…I can’t hate him. I don’t think I want to, but…he’s my brother. He’s my brother and I can’t hate him no matter what he’s done! And somehow, that makes things worse…”
Remus nodded. “You love him,” he stated quietly. “Even if he’s probably done some terrible things, and is guilty of at least wanting or intending to do terrible things even if he was afraid, you can’t stop loving him.”
Slowly, Sirius nodded, the movement of his head rubbing the robe against Remus’s shoulder. “That’s it…exactly,” he murmured. “I guess…love doesn’t care what they’ve done or what they are. Love just is, there, and you can’t get rid of it…not even sure if you want to, because you can still remember the nice, amazing, beautiful, innocent things they’ve done, and don’t even want to stop loving.”
“And Regulus had his good points,” Remus murmured in reply, tucking a stray strand of hair behind Sirius’s ears. Just as Remus was taking his hand away, Sirius reached up and seized it, holding it in his own, rubbing the palm with his thumb. He raised his head up to Remus’s level and tilted it slightly, moving forward those few inches to take Remus’s lips with his own.
It was a short kiss, and close-mouthed, but no less passionate for that. When Sirius pulled back, his lips parted slightly and his hot breathed fanned out over Remus’s face, who closed his eyes and breathed in.
“Remus,” Sirius said hoarsely, “nothing’s going to change the fact of my brother’s death. It’s just because of you today that I’ve even been able to begin to come to grips with it, but I can’t think about it now. I can’t think about what his death will mean for me and the rest of my family and all that stuff right now. But things are so…intense right now, and…I need…” Unable to find the words to articulate just what he needed, Sirius leaned forward again, covering Remus’s open mouth with his own.
The kiss was different this time, harder and softer all at once. Tongues reached out and met, tangling roughly, surging against each other. Remus’s hands went around Sirius’s waist, and Sirius’s hand crawled up into Remus’s hair and tangled there, pulling their faces even closer together. After several minutes, they broke apart, both panting and still sitting so close together they were nearly on each other’s laps.
“Yes,” Remus said in answer to Sirius’s unspoken need, and Sirius surged up against him once more. But soon, Remus broke away, rising to his feet and pulling Sirius up with him in one graceful motion. Walking close together with their hands tightly clasped, they made it into the bedroom, where they closed the door and locked it.
Once the door was locked, Sirius practically shoved Remus onto the bed, then climbed on it himself, sliding up Remus’s body until he reached his face, where they kissed again. Remus’s hands fumbled at the clasps to Sirius’s Auror robes, unwilling to break off the kiss to even be able to see what he was doing. Finally he undid the clasps one by one and slowly pushed the robe off Sirius’s body. Sirius took his arms out of the sleeves and tossed the robe aside, where it fell unnoticed on the floor.
Remus broke the kiss and immediately leaned forward, attacking Sirius’s upper body with his lips and teeth and tongue. He kissed his way down Sirius’s jaw, down Sirius’s neck where he paused and lightly bit, then soothed the flesh with his tongue. He continued downward, onto that well-defined chest, and lightly breathed on one of the nipples, watching it tighten with satisfaction. Sirius hissed as Remus leaned forward again and swirled his tongue around the nipple, the moving over and bestowing the same treatment to the other.
“Uhn…Moony…wait,” Sirius gasped out, and Remus looked up, questioning with his eyes. “You too. I want to…see you too,” Sirius explained, already at work on the clasps of Remus’s robe, undoing them easily, helping Remus out of the robe, then throwing it on the floor to lie with his own. Both men were now clad in nothing but their boxer shorts.
Sirius pounced on Remus, pressing his own kisses to his lover’s smooth throat, trailing down onto the chest, where he proceeded to mirror everything Remus had done to him, causing Remus to moan, his hands finding Sirius’s head and pressing it closer. But with one last lick to one nipple, Sirius continued downward, kissing the stomach. He reached the boxer shorts and pulled them down, Remus lifting his hips up so that Sirius could slip them off and toss them on the floor to join their robes.
Sirius sat back a moment to look in appreciation at the hard erection before him. Licking his lips, he moved forward and down, slowly sliding his lips over that cock. He moved up and down in a slow, easy rhythm, but soon enough Remus gasped, and hot liquid streamed into Sirius’s mouth. He swallowed it, moving his mouth away and back up to Remus’s face.
They kissed again hungrily, Remus tasting his own fluids in Sirius’s mouth. He moved his hands down to Sirius’s hips and tugged the boxer shorts off, throwing them away to land with the other pile of clothing.
Propping himself up on one hand, with the other Sirius reached over to the bedside table and the tube of lubricant lying there. Unscrewing the cap, he squeezed some onto his hands and then rubbed over his own hardened cock.
Lowering himself down again, he moved one hand down, slipping it between Remus’s thighs and inserting one finger inside Remus, who gasped and moaned out loud. Sirius moved the finger around a bit before inserting another, moving them both around, stretching Remus, preparing him.
“You ready?” Sirius murmured as he removed his hand and positioned his cock at the entrance. At Remus’s frantic nod, he pushed gratefully inside. They moved together, thrusting and groaning, Sirius’s hair plastered to his back, Remus’s fringe to his forehead. Sirius leaned down and pressed an open-mouthed kiss to Remus’s mouth, their bodies now connected in more than one way, and both men glad for the connection. They spiraled higher and higher, their pleasure rising together, until it peaked, and Sirius climaxed, Remus coming only a few moments after him.
For a few minutes they lay together in a sweaty boneless heap, but then Sirius dragged up the energy to withdraw, and he collapsed back on the bed beside Remus, both too tired to do anything more than draw the covers up and snuggle into each other’s arms.
“Thank you, Remus,” Sirius yawned as his head fell back against the pillow. “I love you.”
Remus moved back, closer into the circle of Sirius’s arms, and yawned in response. “I love you too, Sirius. Always and forever, I love you.”
And they fell asleep together, secure in the knowledge that they would wake up next to each other. That night, there was nothing more than comfort, and peace, and love.
Years later, Remus’s mind wandered back to the conversation they had that day, and how right Sirius would still be, even locked away in a cell in Azkaban as a murderer and a traitor. Love didn’t care what someone did or who they were. Love was just there, and he couldn’t get rid of it even if he wanted to. But now Remus knew first hand what Sirius had meant by loving a Death Eater. You just couldn’t stop, and you didn’t even want to.