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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 11:25 am

Always Like This

Rating: R (Remus/Sirius)
Summary: It's just dinner, until it isn't.
Warnings: None.

Also available at AO3.


It wasn't exactly that Sirius didn't know how to cook. He was really pretty good at potions, and cooking wasn't that different. It was just that he would get distracted. Remus used to say it was a good thing he was extraordinarily smart, because he had the attention span of a brain-damaged puppy.

It was just that if there were other things to do, Sirius would rather be doing them.

So James and Remus were cooking, because Lily was coming over and the boys wanted to impress her with their independence and self-sufficiency. There was also the fact that Sirius didn't exactly adore Lily; he didn't dislike her, he just thought she spent entirely too much time distracting James from important things, like Quidditch games and weekend trips and that.

Not that Sirius went out that much anymore either, Remus thought, as he chopped the potatoes. He had promised Lily real old-fashioned Muggle-style mashed potatoes; she said she could always tell when they were made magically. James was busy charming the Yorkshire puddings to stay warm, and Sirius was sitting at the dining-table at the other end of the kitchen, reading the Prophet.

No, he didn't get out much anymore. He was working full-time now, had to in order to pay the rent on their little shared flat. He'd got a job in one of the broomstick shops in Diagon Alley, which meant he spent most of his day hauling kids off of expensive brooms, catching wayward racers, and restraining badly-charmed sticks. It was keeping him fit, at least, but at the end of the day he was tired, hollow-eyed and lethargic. In a few months he'd be permanent, and they'd pay a bit more, so he could work a bit less, but in the meantime...

James swore, snapping Remus out of his contemplation.

"What is it?"

"I've buggered the pie," James replied. Remus lifted an eyebrow. "Look, it's burnt," he said, mournfully.

"It's just a bit of crust. Cut it off."

"It'll look ragged!"

"She's not a food critic, James, she's your girlfriend. She won't care."

"And if she does, she doesn't have to eat it," Sirius added.

"Not helping," Remus muttered, to himself. He checked the water -- boiling -- and added the potatoes. James was beginning to arrange the lamb chops he'd picked up on his way back from the Ministry, in a large glass pan. James, of course, was also exhausted at the end of the day; Auror training wasn't easy. Remus wondered, privately, why he bothered; he had plenty of money, and didn't need the job. He paid most of the rent on the flat, which was why he got the big bedroom with the fireplace, while Remus and Sirius split the smaller. Poor Sirius didn't even have a proper bedframe; he slept on two scrounged twin mattresses, except when Remus was...ahem, "gone" for the full moon, when he slept in Remus' elderly bedstead, unless he and James and Peter were "gone" with him.

"How long before your stupid Muggle potatoes are ready?" James asked, good-naturedly.

"Five, ten minutes. Just let them sit," Remus added, as James poked the chops with his wand. James scowled at him and added salt and pepper, then went to the 'fridge and got himself a glass of juice. Remus leaned on the counter, and watched the potatoes idly.

He was, surprisingly, usually fairly chipper at the end of the day. Being a research assistant at a Muggle university didn't require much energy; it was mostly searching through old library stacks for musty books, and Remus was good at it. Besides, books didn't ever wear silver jewelry, or ask him why he was gone for three days running, or stare at the scars on his arms and neck. He liked books.

He was just about to ask James to pour him a glass, too, when the buzzer went, and James bounded for the door, glass still in his hand. Remus grinned, and watched as what he'd dubbed The Lily Phenomenon occurred.

When Lily Evans walked into a room, James changed.

Well, perhaps the rest of the world changed, for James. It vanished, in fact. When Lily was around, James could get hit by a lorry and not notice. Remus and Sirius became inconsequential.

This was probably one of the reasons Sirius wasn't best pals in the world with Lily, but Remus liked it. He thought it awfully romantic. You didn't see infantile, obsessive love like that anymore.

At least he was a good conversationalist -- quite entertaining, when Lily was around. Remus wasn't sure if it was an act or not; he suspected that James simply didn't realise that he treated her differently from his friends.

"Evening, Remus, Sirius," Lily said, allowing James to take her coat and lead her into the kitchen-diningroom-laboratory-animal hospital. Sirius gave her a nod, and went back to reading, flicking his wand absently to put the dishes in order and set the table.

They made small talk while the potatoes cooked, and Remus drained and mashed them; when the puddings and the potatoes were on the table, James brought the glass dish to the centre, and stood back, striking a dramatic pose.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Bloody cook them already," Sirius sighed. James waved his wand and cried "Incendius!"

The lamb-chops began to steam. Sirius fork-tested one.

"Perfect," he announced. He scooped one onto his plate, and one onto the plate Remus held out; James got his own and Lily's while Remus passed around the potatoes. There were a few moments of confused chatter while they sorted out the food and the wine that Lily had brought, and then Sirius settled in to eating with his usual singleminded intensity, while Remus very carefully made sure none of his food touched the rest, and Lily and James tried not to miss putting the food in their mouths while staring at each other.

"Heard much from Peter, lately?" Lily asked, as Remus finished his lamb and started on his potatoes. He glanced at Sirius, and shrugged.

"Job has him traveling, apparently," he replied. "Hasn't even got a regular flat in London right now -- he stays on the couch when he's in town."

"Uses up all the hot water," Sirius grunted. Remus snorted.

"For a little guy, he takes awfully long showers," James agreed absently.

"Eats all the cheese, too," Remus added. Sirius choked on his water. Lily tried not to laugh out loud. Remus passed Sirius a napkin to sop up the snorted water with.

Conversation moved on to other topics; Sirius, done before any of them, offered to prepare the dessert, while Remus ate the last of his yorkshire puddings and James poured the last of the wine. One bottle of wine didn't go very far, between Remus, who had a metabolism like a hummingbird, and Sirius, who was just frankly an enormous person, and James, who could drink anyone but Remus under the table. Still, there was enough for a second glass for himself and Lily, who suggested they move into the small but cosy living room with their desserts. Sirius, obediently trailed by four floating plates covered in the butchered remains of James' berry pie, plus a carton of vanilla ice cream, led the way; James and Lily flopped on the couch, leaving Sirius and Remus to their usual places, Sirius on the one overstuffed chair, Remus crosslegged on the floor near the battered coffee table. And the usual conversation.

"D'you want the chair?"

"I like the floor."

"Yeah, but you always get the floor."

"Because I like it. Good for the back."

"That's a myth."

"It is not."

"Oh, my god, would you buy a second chair already?" Lily asked, with a moan. James laughed and put his arm around her. "A folding chair, a hammock, anything, for crying out loud. A packing crate. I'll buy you one."

"I like the floor," Remus said stubbornly. Sirius scooped some ice cream onto his pie.

"Why?" Sirius asked.

"Because I do."

"You are impossible," Lily said. "James, make them behave."

"Oh, that I could," James sighed dramatically. Remus began delicately scraping his ice cream off of his pie, and eating it. Sirius, who was already mostly done, challenged him to a game of chess, claiming it was impossible for him to eat and think at the same time, and Remus agreed -- it entertained James and Lily, watching the little chesspieces yell at each other and their leaders. Recently, the board Sirius owned had got a bit soap opera; the white queen was in love with one of the black pawns. It was quite tragic, really.

Remus loved chess for more than the silly dramatics of the chess pieces; he liked to play with Sirius, who was just reckless enough to be unpredictable, and therefore dangerous to the methodical werewolf he played against. He liked to watch Sirius deciding who to move next, and see the way his brow furrowed when Remus took a piece, or sacrificed one. Sirius did not have a well-developed poker face, and his emotions were half of the fascination. Remus had played against other people, but none quite like Sirius, and he enjoyed it for the sheer quality of their interaction.

It was, therefore, quite some time before he realised that James and Lily had stopped watching, and were whispering to each other over their wineglasses, Lily laughing and blushing, James looking mischevious as usual. For one moment, as he looked up, there was a mild pang of jealousy; he wanted someone to laugh at his jokes like that.

"Check-mate," Sirius grunted. Remus turned back, stunned.

"Check mate?" he demanded. Sirius waved a hand at the board.

"Good thing," he said. "I'm for bed."

"Us too, I think," James said, with a wink. Lily snickered. Sirius rolled his eyes.


Two hours later, it was a bit of a different matter.

"What's got into you?" Remus asked, looking over his glasses at Sirius, who was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, and growling. He'd never growled before becoming an animagus. Remus sometimes worried that Sirius didn't quite divide the doggy bit from the human bit, sometimes.

"Them," Sirius said, jerking a thumb at the wall that he shared with James. He sat up, slid off of his mattress, and stood in the middle of the room, rubbing his forehead tiredly. "Listen, I've got to sleep tonight. Can't they cast a silencing charm?"

"Have you asked them?"

"It's not the sort of thing you burst in on!" Sirius retorted. This was true. It was an honour code among the boys. You did not Disturb someone while they were Entertaining. Sirius grabbed his mattress and dragged it to the other side of the room, near Remus', and flopped down on it. Remus adjusted the pillow he'd placed against the headboard, and went back to his note-taking; he'd already shirked quite enough...

"Turn out your lamp," Sirius said, into his pillow.

"I've got to finish this tonight. It's only ten more pages."

"Remus, turn your bloody lamp off before I beat you about the head with it."

"Sirius, it's ten pages. Go get yourself some cocoa and calm down, you wouldn't sleep right now at any rate."

Sirius fumbled a hand out from under his blankets and groped for his wand, stuck in his shoes. Remus reacted just a second ahead of time, ducking away from the lamp as Sirius swung the wand, and the lightbulb exploded.

"Right, that is bloody it -- " he dove across the bed, notes scattering everywhere, and tumbled down onto Sirius' mattresses. Sirius squirmed, trying to get free, while Remus tried to pin him down. For a moment everything was flailing limbs and bedcovers, and then Remus got a grip on his collar and pushed him against the mattress, sitting on his thighs to keep him from kicking.

"That was a brand new lamp, so if you've broken it, Black, I'm taking it out of your hide," Remus snarled. Sirius kicked, unexpectedly, and Remus found himself sailing through the air towards the floor, rolling and diving back towards the bed in one smooth, graceful movement. At least werewolf reflexes were good for something.

"Geroff me!"

"That was my lamp!"

"I've got work tomorrow!"

"I've got work tonight!"

"Children," drawled a deep voice. Remus, leg half-pinned under Sirius, propped himself up onto his elbow, and stared over Sirius' shoulder.

James was standing in the doorway, in his dressing gown. Lily, just behind him, was wrapped in a sheet.

"If you're going to kill each other, can you keep it down? Cast a silencing charm or something," he said, hair sticking up in tufts.

There was a moment of silence, during which Remus coiled for the leap that was coming --

"I'll kill him. I will END HIM," Sirius said, as the door to James' room closed behind him. Remus held him back by his pyjamas.

"You can't kill him, we can't afford this place on our own," he reasoned.

"I don't care, it'll be worth it -- "

Remus let out a low, sudden growl, the sort of noise that even coming from a human throat triggers something in the hindbrain. Sirius instantly stopped struggling.

"Don't do that," he said, rolling away and standing. "Makes me bloody want to roll over and beg."

"Then stop pissing me off," Remus replied, climbing up onto his own bed and sitting on the edge.

"Well, you wouldn't turn the lamp out."

"I told you -- "

"Oh, will you bloody stop being so reasonable."

Remus flopped back on the bed. Sirius sat on his mattress, back resting against Remus' bedspread, head leaning on his knee.

"I'm so damned tired of it, that's all," Sirius grunted. "Why can't we bring girls home and have nice dinners and that?"

"We don't have girls."

"We could have girls."

"I don't like girls."

Sirius glanced up at him. "What, all girls?"

"I don't like people, really," Remus said thoughtfully, staring at the ceiling.

"All girls?" Sirius repeated.

Remus rolled his eyes and sighed. Sirius crawled up onto the bed next to him, also staring at the ceiling.

"Nothing up there, you know," he said, looking over at Remus.

"Nothing up here, either," Remus replied, tapping Sirius' temple. Sirius grinned.

"All girls, Remus?"

"Yeah," Remus said quietly. "All girls."



"But...then what's that leave you with?"

Remus sat up, crossing his legs on the bed like he did whenever he sat on the floor. "Boys. Well, men, really."

Sirius stared at him for a while. "You never said."

"It never came up."

Sirius snorted. And leered a little.

"Funny, Black," Remus sighed.

"So" Sirius asked, tossing himself off the bed and walking to his bedside table. He grimaced as he retrieved his water glass. "They're back at it," he said, jerking his head in the direction of James' room.

"Nobody in particular," Remus said quietly. Sirius kicked his mattress out of the way and stood in front of him, sipping from the glass. "Don't really care. I like my job, got you and James about..."


Remus looked up at him, and Sirius stopped drinking. He lowered the cup, slowly, and set it down on Remus' desk with a clank.

"D'you fancy me, Moony?" he asked.

Remus flushed crimson, but didn't say anything.

"Because that wouldn't be half bad, you know," Sirius continued, thoughtfully.

Remus stood so fast his head spun, rising up into the kiss even as Sirius stepped closer. He nearly fell; Sirius' arm caught him under the elbow and his hand slid around to his back. It wasn't even a thought process. It wasn't even a shock. It was just a sudden, tight kiss that stole his entire awareness and seemed to catch away his breath.

Sirius' right hand was gripping his arm so tightly it hurt, but he wasn't paying much attention to that; bewilderment and lust in equal parts were filling his mind like warm sand, washing away rationality.

Sirius let out a heartfelt little moan, and pulled back just slightly, forehead still touching Remus'.

"You like girls, Sirius?" Remus asked softly. Sirius nuzzled his cheek.

"I like you, Moony," he answered. Remus felt Sirius' lips trace the line of his jaw, hover over his pulse.

His arm tightened. Remus was pulled forward, hips pressed to Sirius', and it was quite clear what his little admission had done to Sirius...just as clear, through the thin cotton pyjamas, as what Sirius' kiss had done to him....

Reeling under the sensation of Sirius nosing his shirt collar open gently, Remus leaned his head back, saw the same spot on the ceiling he'd stared at, minutes before...Sirius was making pleased noises in his throat, inhaling deeply, his breath tickling Remus' skin.

Oh, I could spend my life this way...

Sirius, however, could not. He half-tumbled, half-lowered Remus onto the mattress, sliding his shirt open, kneeling over him, bending down -- he really was such a presence, Remus thought distractedly, tall and broadly built, smooth-muscled, a solid, balanced weight.

On his hips...

Sirius bent to kiss him again, arms on either side of his shoulders, hair falling down onto his forehead. He kissed him, and grinned a little, and chuckled. Remus stared up at him, praying this wasn't what he thought, that it wasn't suddenly a joke --

But then Sirius was whispering words in Latin, and Remus laughed too -- a silencing spell. Sirius rested his head against Remus' cheek, and laughed, and laughed --

And then gasped as Remus hooked his thumbs in his pyjama bottoms...

Remus knew what he was doing, and Sirius was not a slow learner. But still there were...questions, and not just aloud, but with eyes and touches and caresses. Is that...? Do you like...? Should I...?

So many places to touch, and then Remus was moving him gently, whispering other spells, spells Sirius didn't know but could fathom the results of, and Remus was telling him not to be afraid, he wouldn't hurt him...Remus was doing things to his body that he had never thought to allow anyone to do, ever...

And then Remus, arms wrapped around Sirius' chest, face buried between his shoulderblades, nearly snarled as he felt Sirius lose control; he was not done yet and Sirius was his and oh -- god --

The room spun. Remus felt himself inhale and then he couldn't even breathe as his climax washed over him...

When he felt he could reasonably be coherent again, he relaxed what he realised was a bit of a death grip on the other man's ribcage, and fell back a little. Sirius groaned.

"Ye gods," he muttered. "I didn't know it was like...that..."

"What did you expect?" Remus asked, amused.

"Not that," Sirius answered truthfully. "I don't think I've...I mean, really. How did you do that?"

"I've read books."

Sirius burst out laughing.

"Of course you have!" he blurted, one of his hands snaking up to cover Remus'.

"It wasn't...I mean, surprising, all right, but...I reckon you don't spend most of your time fancying boys, do you?" Remus asked. Sirius, laughter fading off, breathed deeply, hand still caressing one of Remus' thumbs.

"Not most of my time, anyhow," Sirius said, after a while. "I mean...girls are fine and that. And it's not like I ever gave you or James the hairy eyeball."

"Till tonight."

Sirius nodded. "All right. But you know, I didn't know it was going to be like that. Cos if I did, I'd have started earlier, I tell you that."

Remus snickered. "Think you can sleep, now?"

"I think we ought to get rid of the silencing charm and wake James and Lily up."

"You would."

"It'd only serve them right."

They lay in silence for a moment, until Sirius drew another deep breath.

"Is it always like this for you?" he asked. "All tight in the chest and scared and idiotically cheerful?"

Remus smiled, and kissed the back of Sirius' neck. "It is now," he said quietly.


[identity profile] 2006-01-06 01:01 pm (UTC)(link)
This is lovely. This is easily the best Remus/Sirius story I've read since HBP came out, and even before: it's tender and sweet and loving and real.

[identity profile] 2006-01-09 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Very sweet, though I absolutely agree with Sirius that they should wake Lilly and James up and get revenge...

I only just realised that sounded a little bit kinky, lol :D

(Anonymous) 2006-07-31 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I love this, and I don't think you need me telling you to understand how great it is.

I have one thing to say though. The "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" lyrics made me all happy and forced me to drag out the CD and listen to the song. Thing is...

Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say


Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be

Did you decide to mesh the two together or was it a mistake? Sorry! I have to know.

[identity profile] 2006-08-04 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Heh. I love the song, but I always confuse those two. My bad!

[identity profile] 2006-08-04 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
I scanned through my favourite stories and came across this one, noticing that I never commented! *gasp* I love it! You can write fluffy stories without getting all cheesy and overdoing it.

Favourite parts:

"Eyecandy?" *snorts*

"Is it always like this for you?" he asked. "All tight in the chest and scared and idiotically cheerful?"

Remus smiled, and kissed the back of Sirius' neck. "It is now," he said quietly.
So lovely! A big fat AWWWWWW for this perfect ending!

(Anonymous) 2007-02-06 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
And the usual conversation.

"D'you want the chair?"

"I like the floor."

"Yeah, but you always get the floor."

Oh that is so perfect. Exactly me & my friends. What's wrong with the floor anyway?

[identity profile] 2008-09-13 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my!
I woke up this morning with an unusual hankering for some good R/S or just Harry Potter in general. (Yes, R/S was actually on my brain as I staggered out of bed)
And the natural place to go, was your archive of course. (There is way to much crazy with capital letters in this fandom for me to do any random searches.) And lo and behold, I found stories I hadn't even read before! Bliss!! And of course old classics like this, that I had forgot about. What marvelous re-acquaintance!

And if you ever wonder if your writings have any meaning, rest assured they do. They provided very welcome distraction this last year, as I found nothing worked better at putting my mind off my next round of chemo like a chapter or two of LC, Stealing Harry, or CC. (Don't worry, I'm finally done with the chemo, nothing actually threateningly, just very inconvenient)
So thank you!

[identity profile] 2008-09-14 04:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) And that you're getting done with your chemo.