Chapter 1 : The Only Way to Breathe
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The story kind of jumps around between past and present. I hope I don't confuse you much. It isn't really scenes of a sexual nature because let's admit; I probably couldn't write it well enough. We'll leave all the graphic stuff to other authors...while I just read them :)
Oh god, itís so cold. His teeth chatter almost constantly. Itís dark and musty. It feels like death and smells like sadness. Thereís nothing here but tears of misery and cries of anguish.
He dreams of death and lies of love. Through the walls, the gulls cry out a mournful tune, looking endlessly for their forgotten mate. Sirius cries out in his sleep for his lover. The gullsí song reminds him of sex on the beach and waking up in his arms, feeling his breath on the back of his neck. He fights off thoughts of Remus inside another, touching another with soft caresses and loving eyes.
ďI am always yours,Ē murmurs Sirius, ďand no other.Ē
He sleeps with a death warrant and a longing for love. Heís haunted by memories heís tried to forget. But he canít forget when his loverís eyes search him in his sleep; always questioning his motives.
ďWhy did you do it Sirius? Am I just a toy you can use and then, when the fun is done, you toss me away?Ē
ďNo, no, Remus. You are not the tin soldier of play-fame to be knocked down when the fun is simply over...Ē
Sirius would sooner decorate Remus with silver and gold and keep him in a crystal cabinet to gaze upon in awe while the sky paints his dreams all over itself.
But he canít forget the feeling of terrible heartbreak that night. Oh god, why was I so stupid? Using Remus, hurting Remus just to get back at SnapeÖ
Sirius, even still, feels irresponsible and irrational. He didnít even think about Remus or how Remus would feel. Why didnít he think at all? This was Remus! Kind, studious, friendly Remus and Sirius made him feel like the monster he turned into once a month. What kind of friend did that? What kind of lover did that?
Sirius had thought that his world might end because Remus refused to speak to him for weeks. Every night, he had been met with the cold silence in the sixth year boysí dormitory because even James and Peter sided with Remus. Remus could have killed Snape and it was just because Sirius had wanted revenge. But Remus eventually forgave Sirius because he would forgive Sirius for anything.
The towering stone walls and the cells of empty souls tears Sirius apart. The prisoners cry and writhe in distress and Sirius is reminded of Remus when he cried out his name in a fit of passion and when he writhed beneath SiriusÖand Sirius cries out now because he misses the feel of Remus beneath his skin, the taste of Remus in his mouthÖand he just misses Remus because heís Remus and what isnít there to miss?
Sirius mutters Remusí name in his sleep for the next twelve years and dreams of days when things were better and all he had to have was Remus to make him happy.
But itís hard to stay happy or to even conceive a happy thought in such a place. Thereís nothing for him to do but cry and try to cling to some memory that does not leave him so cold, so empty. Azkaban is cruel. The prisoners whine and cry and cringe in its heartless grasps, alone, so alone.
ďBecause you left me alone, you will always be alone, Sirius,Ē Remus taunts him in his dreams.
Alone and half-dead because he canít seem to breathe in Azkaban; the air is nothing like the sweet recess of Remusí mouth when he remembers that kissing Remus is better than breathing.
Heís too old and too weary to think of puppy love, because thatís all it ever was, but he does anyway. And it takes all that he has to keep the Dementors away from his precious memories of Remus. They are all that he has to keep him sane, to keep him living in a place full of death.
He grows thin and haggard. His once youthful eyes, full of spirit and life, show nothing but despair and emptiness. But maybe, maybe there is a spark waiting to be lit and maybe, maybe it wasnít just puppy love but something real, something more.
He wishes he could see Remus now. But he canít think straight; his thoughts get so muddled. Azkaban is not silent enough to concentrate on certain memories. But if he strains real hard to remember; he can picture sweat slick bodies moving in one constant motion. He remembers Remusí voice and his tongue (oh god, where did he learn to do that?) and feeling as though he was slipping over the edge. He loves that feeling almost as much as he loves Remus.
But the voice in his head reminds him that heís locked in Azkaban, thousands of miles away from Remus, with only his darkest secrets to keep him company.
He glances at the Daily Prophet spread out across the floor of his cell; its edges are folded and the print is fading from continual reading. The crossword is separated from the rest of the paper because he misses doing it but he canít seem to finish it.
Thirteen more days, he says, and he waits because now, the darkness he has lived in doesnít seem so suffocating anymore. Ten more days, and he doesnít think so much of Remus, but of Peter. Seeing Peter (how many times had he seen him turn into his Animagus before?) reminded him of his first week at Azkaban; questioning Peterís motives, but still wondering what he did wrong. But in the end, he realizes that although heís innocent of the crime he was charged withóthereís another crime that he knows heís guilty of: James and Lilyís death. He wonders if Remus will forgive him like heís forgiven him so many times before.
Three more days and heís becoming anxious. The cries of the gulls are calling louder and images of the old Maraudersí days haunt his mind so that whenever he falls asleep, itís all heíll dream of. He remembers all their pranks, Jamesí smile, and Lilyís gorgeous eyes. He remembers Peterís lack of self-confidence and need to cling to those greater than him; was that why Voldemortís powers seemed so appealing? But what he remembers most is Remus and especially Remusí distinct smell; ink and chocolate. He also recalls the scent of sex and cigarettes and wonders if thatís the smell Remus will remember him by. One more day and suddenly a new hope arises in him. He can taste Remus on his tongue and can feel him beneath his fingernails but he cannot see him.
Sirius does not know what Remus looks like. He does not know that Remus has grown just as old as he feels, and looks much older than his 33 years. He does not know that with twelve years of time to contemplate and think, Remusí hair is flecked with grey and his eyes no longer laugh like they used to. Twelve years of loneliness has beaten Remus down to the point of almost giving up. He has never felt the warmth of another man since Sirius. He does not think he could stand it because every time heís touched another man, theyíve sent cold chills to his heart. Siriusí touch was like fire to his skin. He misses that touch.
Remus knows that the man in front of him is Sirius but he does not look like Sirius. Sirius does not think Remus looks the same either. But they both remember that theyíre standing in the very place they shared their first kiss and the very place that almost tore their friendship apart. And they both want to touch each other because itís the right thing to do and the only thing they remember how to do. But they canít because Harryís here, and Ron, and Hermione, and none of them can know about the love Remus and Sirius share for one another. Not yet anyway.
But twelve years of separation is hard. Especially when all they want right now is to kiss each other, even if itís not perfect, because their so desperate for that touch. Because they remember that kissing one another is the only way to breathe.