Chapter 1 : Everything's Changed
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Remus really dislikes the current state of the Headquarters, to be honest. Of course, up until recently, it was lived in by a centuries-old family of dark wizards, so its shabbiness and poor decorating are to be expected. Remus still twitches every time he stumbles into his bedroom after a long day's work, only to see the rickety old bed and lumpy mattress waiting for him under a large portrait of some gray old wizard Remus doesn't recognize. However, he's never been all that good at housework -- organizing his own books and clothes and such, sure, but he'd never know what to throw out and what to keep of someone else's -- so he's stuck with what he's got.
He shifts under the one small blanket Sirius gave him, and his pant legs rub together. Even if he had pajamas that fit, he doesn't think he'd wear them in a bed like this. The pants he has on are the ones he wears outside, and that suits him just fine... It is rather uncomfortable, though. Remus sighs quietly to himself, and moves his pillow a bit to the left.
He doesn't think he'll ever get to sleep, especially with all the weird colours swirling around his head, and he thinks he sees Kreacher hopping along beside his bed, limping and carrying what definitely looks like a statue of a werewolf, and Remus certainly doesn't remember ever seeing that in the house. Then familiar warmth is smothering him and he rolls over to face Sirius, whose hair is short and who's lacking a beard, and Remus angles his face and leans towards him.
Remus only opens his eyes because he hasn't heard anyone call him that for over fifteen years. He doesn't want to wake up; doesn't want to give up the dream that he knows would have blossomed into familiar kisses and touches and everything he never got at Hogwarts. But then Sirius is wiggling beside him, in his bed, and whispering his name again, and Remus stares at him in the darkness. He looks the same as always. No magical youth or anything.
Remus would have thought that Sirius would have better than average night vision, after being a dog and spending so much time in Azkaban, but it still takes him a few minutes before he's staring back at Remus from across the limp pillow, and smiling in that way he does. Remus can't help but smile back, but he bites his lip when he remembers where they are and what they're doing. Not that they're doing anything but lying there, but it still makes Remus feel uncomfortable.
Sirius grabs at the thin blanket and Remus notices he's not wearing a shirt. It's not that fact that grabs Remus's attention -- it's the dark tattoos that sprawl out across Sirius's chest and up his neck. They represent an adult Sirius; a tormented Sirius in prison with hundreds of other tormented adults. They have nothing to do with the teenage Sirius Remus knew twenty years ago. That Sirius was careless and rebellious and didn't care about the consequences of his actions and his words. Now he's tired and constantly watching; watching everyone and everything and paranoid of getting too close for fear of being betrayed again.
Instinctively, Remus sticks a hand out from under the covers and traces one of the tattoos on Sirius's neck. It looks like a paper-thin feather, snaking across his collarbones and down one side of his chest. Sirius tenses and Remus draws his hand back hastily. Everything's changed and he realises that now. When they were at school together, Remus would sometimes spend hours just stroking Sirius's hair, or petting his tummy, trying to comfort him after a particularly nasty Quidditch match. They used to find secluded balconies and sit with James smoking gillyweed late into the night, and wake up with their limbs all tangled together and stiff backs from sleeping outside.
It's obvious now that Sirius is trying desperately to slow his breathing; to settle down next to Remus and not scare him off by twitching about too much. Remus knows he has good reason for being so antsy, but he feels a little sad that Sirius doesn't seem to trust even him.
"What are you doing?" Remus asks after a few moments of awkward silence, and Sirius shifts uncomfortably beside him, tugging at the blankets some more.
"Couldn't sleep..." he mumbles, and Remus has to assume it's more than just that. Sirius is a full-grown man, after all, and he's been living on his own for long enough that he should be used to sleeping alone. Remus moves his leg and even through the fabric of his pants, he can feel it brush against Sirius's. It makes him shiver and want to slap himself for acting like such a teenager, but Sirius doesn't have to know that.
"I'm afraid I can't help you with that," Remus replies, and starts to close his eyes again, hoping Sirius will just go back to his own bed and get to sleep, but he feels fingers grabbing a handful of shirt and he peers at Sirius again. Already the room seems to be lightening up and Remus hopes that's just his eyes getting used to the dark and not the sun coming up outside. Sirius distracts him from that thought by giving him a desperate look and shifting closer on the tiny bed. Remus sighs and doesn't know what to do.
"Sirius..." he starts, but Sirius shoves his face up against Remus's chest, so Remus just stops trying and gives into his instincts. He sticks out an arm and wraps it carefully around Sirius's too-small frame, silently reminding himself to make Sirius eat more now that he can. Sirius makes a happy little noise that sounds a tad puppy-ish, and Remus stares at the wall across the room. He's so tired... He decides to just rest his eyes for a few minutes, and then he'll check on Sirius again to make sure he's asleep...
Remus only opens his eyes because something is licking his neck and cheek. He stares at the bundle of hair and pajamas in his arms and Sirius smiles back.
"You were falling asleep," he says, hurt, as if that's the worst crime Remus could possibly commit, and Remus sighs. He's about to explain that the whole point of Sirius sneaking into his bed, he assumed, was so they could both go to sleep, but he stops because Sirius is kissing him rather suddenly, and Remus can't see anymore so he just stares blindly into the dark. It's over much too fast, though, and then Sirius is nuzzling at Remus's chest again.
"Mooooony..." he breathes, and once again Remus doesn't know what to do. He's never been in a situation like this before, not even at Hogwarts, and Sirius isn't really helping by suddenly being all cuddly. Remus doesn't dare move too quickly, or do anything he'll regret later; he just holds Sirius like he used to, and his face automatically seeks out Sirius's hair. It isn't the way he remembers it -- now it's long and a little ragged, because Sirius hasn't cut it since Remus met him again a few years previous, but Remus doesn't mind. It still has that familiar Padfoot scent, though it's marred slightly with dust and grime from around the shabby house.
Remus decides he really wants to kiss Sirius again, and right as he's thinking that, Sirius looks up at him and leans forward again. This time, he seems desperate, and everything's frantic and Remus feels disengaged from it all. Despite his hard outward appearance, Sirius's mouth is soft as anything and Remus melts down into the bunchy mattress, making incoherent noises without thinking. Sirius grins against his lips, and rolls a bit, pushing on Remus's chest, and half climbing on him. A bone in Remus's elbow cracks and he's disturbingly aware that he's not as young as he used to be, but he ignores it and holds onto Sirius as tightly as he dares.
He wants to say something -- anything; Sirius's name or even "Padfoot", or perhaps just random mumbled sentences, but Sirius is breathing for him and Sirius doesn't want to talk, so Remus stays silent. Sirius wriggles a bit and Remus makes a tiny noise deep in his throat. Sirius pulls back and stares at him. Remus hopes he hasn't ruined everything, but then Sirius grins and hugs him tightly, curling around him on the too-small mattress, and murmuring a "'night Moony" into his neck. Remus can't help but smile slightly. Despite all the horrid things that have happened recently, Remus is still sure of one thing.
Everything's definitely changed.