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Love Me Like My Demons Do

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Sirius hears the tell-tale crash of the front door hitting the wall and then slamming shut, and a bright grin breaks out on his face. Not a second later James comes barging into the kitchen, cheeks flushed and his grin lightening up his whole face.

Sirius flicks his wand to turn the volume of the music down. “And? How did it go?”

James runs a hand through his hair, and he looks close to jumping up and down. “You’re looking at the new Chaser of the Falmouth Falcons!”

“Fuck, that’s brilliant,” Sirius laughs, reaching out and pulling him close by the front of his jumper to kiss him deeply. He sneaks his arms around James’ waist and doesn’t let him go when they break apart, just presses his face into the side of his head and sways them around the kitchen to ‘I love you baby’ by the Ramones that just starts playing.

“Where are the others?” James asks, wrapping his arms around Sirius’ neck and laughing when he does a spin.

“Lily and Remus are on a date, again, and Regulus is over at your parents, doing some potions experiment with your father I think.”

James snorts softly. “I swear, sometimes I think my father likes him better than the two of us combined.”

“Doesn’t matter, I like us enough to make up for it. So, as soon as we’re back from New Zealand, your season starts, right?”

James only hums in response and presses closer.

“It’s around the same time my Curse Breaking training starts. Back to real life, I suppose,” Sirius says with a soft sigh, kissing the side of James’ head.

James pulls away a bit and looks at him intently. “You’re sure you’re alright with that?”

He smiles, kissing him again. “Yeah, I really am. Are you?”

“I think so,” James says with a shrug, but he’s smiling as well.

Once again, Sirius marvels about the progress they’ve made over the course of one year. It’s nearly Christmas, close to the anniversary of the final battle, and it’s been interesting, to say the least.

The first few months after Voldemort’s fall, none of them had left the house much. They holed up in their little, safe bubble together and tried to keep the demons at bay until James’ parents had enough and ordered all of them to see a Mind Healer.

They’d protested, of course they had, but he couldn’t deny that it was the best thing that they could’ve done. The war had changed all of them, and not necessarily for the better.

James still panics sometimes at night and wakes him up because he suddenly can’t take seeing him still and asleep. Sirius still can’t breathe from time to time, his whole body tensing whenever James or Regulus have to take a potion.

They’d been nervous and on edge, alternating between quiet, depressing weeks where none of them left the house, and manic, close to hysterical bouts of energy where they all got lost in the streets of Camden or Soho for days on end, drinking too much until at least one of them crashed.

And it’s not like half a year of therapy has simply vanished the effects, but they’re all slowly getting there, establishing routines back into their lives and learning to pull themselves and each other out of their lows.

They fight, of course they do, but none of them would change their living situation for anything else. Sirius has become calmer, less reckless – not that he did change completely, his decision to go into Curse Breaking reflects that well enough, just as James finally going for professional Quidditch does, but they’re more careful, aware of what they’ve lost and how lucky they all are to still be here.

He tightens his arms around James and breathes him in. “You’re going to be brilliant. But first we’ll have a fantastic three weeks in New Zealand.”

“Yeah,” James says softly, kissing him again, long and slow and it makes Sirius push closer, pressing him against the counter, the feeling of having this, of being so incredibly lucky that James loves him just as much as he loves James still as amazing to him as on the first day.

It’s not all picture-perfect, but it’s them, and their friends, and they all know that as long as they have this, they’re going to be alright.

 

The End