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He pulls down his fake beard, leaving it over his neck, damning the cooling spells that seem to no longer be working. He leaves the green and golden hood over his head though because he resisted using a wig, so he knows he’ll get shit from Sirius if he shows his brown hair that doesn’t match Merlin’s white one.

 

“I can’t believe you,” says James offended, slumping on the wall by his side, pushing a beer into his hand. “I can’t believe him, actually, because I bet this was his idea. Making you come as a Slytherin? That’s not cool, mate,” and he takes a long sip of his beer and rearranges the piece of fabric that falls over his forehead and one of the multiple colour’s wool pieces over his head.

 

Remus rolls his eyes.

 

“It was the only costume that I didn’t veto. The other options were Olivia Newton-John or the Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood.” And he’s proud of James, because he valiantly manages to press his lips together and nod, instead of laughing. 

 

“Well, at least you look hot. I bet he was speechless when he saw you,” James says, with a |small smile.

 

Remus flushes at the implication.

 

“Why would he be speechless upon seeing me? And are you fucking with me? I look like any other posh wizard. He’s the one that looks -” and his eyes widen when he sees the knowing smirk on James’ face, making him realize he stopped the words too late. 

 

He takes a long, long gulp of beer.

 

“Well then. Good thing you’ll get him to kneel in front of you later,” James says, as Peter comes to stand by them dressed as - Mickey Mouse? Remus doesn’t have the time to process because he’s promptly choking with his beer at James’ words.

 

“I’m sorry?” he manages to wheeze.

 

“Oh, are we making fun of Moony’s and Padfoot’s costume already?” Peter asks, and James nods. “So what did you say already?”

 

“Just that he’ll get Padfoot on his knees later, because, you know, the crowning ceremony?” James says, smiling his best fake innocent grin, and Peter smiles knowingly too. 

 

“Oh yeah, there’ll be some crowning tonight, won’t be? After Padfoot, er, after he pulls at that sword, I mean. Sword, get it?” Peter says, and even though the tempo of the joke is poorly done, James is a good sport and laughs like it’s brilliant. Remus just flushes as he never has done before.

 

“Oh fuck off, you two. Are you done now, got it out of your system?” he manages to say, but he’s flushing so much that he’s sure he’s not half as threatening as he intended to be.

 

“Not really - are you going to show him your wand later, Moony?” Peter says, and James pats his back, shaking his head.

 

“That was a classic, Peter, but too generic in this case,” James says. “We need something more specific like, um, I don’t know, something related to power and snakes and…”

 

He knows James is still talking, but he doesn’t hear him anymore, because he feels someone looking at him. He looks around the room and that’s when he sees Sirius - Sirius, so handsome standing there, with his silver coat and the gleam of red of his cape, and the golden crown over his head. He looks down at his own green robes - they are a perfect fit, tight on the forearms, chest and waist, and falling gracefully over his legs, the colour stunning. He almost threw them over Sirius’ head when he presented him with them - he knows they cost more than he has ever owned. And still, somehow Sirius convinced him to put them on.

 

To be the Merlin of his Arthur. What a bloody cheesy line, but he can’t avoid repeating it in his head, remembering how Sirius had smiled as he said it.

 

Sirius is still there, on the other side of the room, looking at him, regal in his pose with his hand over the hilt of his sword. Remus swallows and looks down to the floor to try to regather his thoughts, trying to calm his heart, to convince it to not dare to dream. They are friends, and Peter’s and James’ teasing is just that. The only reason they came here matching outfits is because Marlene had threatened Sirius to not let him in if he didn’t match with someone else - It’s a couple’s costume party, Black, deal with it; and if Sirius hadn’t felt like bringing a random date, and Remus was his closest friend without a partner and therefore the most logical option, then… well… it made sense for them to come together, right? Didn’t mean anything, so stop getting all in a twist, Remus, pull yourself together, man.

 

When he looks up again with a sigh, feeling a bit more in control of his emotions, Sirius is walking towards him.

 

Well. Crush or not, they are friends and Remus loves that, so he smiles at him.

 

“Hey, Padfoot,” he greets Sirius when he stops in front of him, and instead of saying something, he just stares at Remus. Remus smiles and leaves his empty beer bottle on the table by his side.

 

“Hey, Moony,” Sirius finally says with a big smile.

 

“Your majesty,” James says, bowing, the colourful wool jumping in all directions.

 

“My liege,” Peter says, grabbing his puffy pants and flexing his knees.

 

“Commoners,” Sirius says, nodding satisfied, his chin raised.

 

“Are you here to take Merlin on a quest? ” James asks, raising his eyebrows.

 

“In a matter of fact, I am,” he says, grabbing Remus’ wrists softly, smiling. Remus smiles back before looking at James and Peter. He rolls his eyes at their suggestive eyebrow rises. “C’mon, Merlin, time for a cig,” and with that, Sirius is pulling Remus across the flat until they are on the other side of the balcony, the glass door closed behind them and the party noise muffled under the silencing spells.

 

Remus pulls down his hood - finally - and takes out the tobacco before pinching some. He can feel Sirius’ gaze over him.

 

“What,” he asks as he feels himself blush. He takes a piece of cigarette paper to put the tobacco on while he keeps the bag of supplies under his elbow, his fingers moving dexterously.

 

“You look very handsome tonight, Moony,” Sirius says, and Remus snorts as he looks up at him from between his eyelashes, his eyes going back and forth between the cigarette he’s rolling and Sirius’ face.

 

“Really? What is it, the beard perhaps, that does it for you?”

 

“It’s not even on your face right now, Remus,” Sirius says laughing.

 

“Well then, maybe you have a fetish for beards that start on the neck!” he asks, laughing too, as he presses down the tobacco to give a first tentative roll.

 

"If it leaves your face bare so that I can look at it, then yes, I think I do,” Sirius says, still smiling, but not laughing anymore.

 

Remus rolls his eyes as he pushes the paper around the tobacco, feeling himself flush again. Damn hot night. It shouldn’t be this hot in October.

 

“Sirius,” he says in protest. “You can’t say such things,” and he shakes his head with an indulgent smile, trying to calm down his heart as he puts the tobacco bag back in his robes and takes the cigarette to his mouth to pass the tip of his tongue over the glue, his eyes fixed on Sirius as he does so. 

 

He sees Sirius’ eyes trace the movement and his throat bob up and down.

 

“Why not?” Sirius says with a shrug, looking intently into Remus’ eyes. “Merlin, you are so flushed, Moony. With anyone else, I would think you have a crush on me, for how you react to the things I say. With you though, one can never be sure,” he says, and his voice quivers a bit in the end, even when he’s using a friendly, joking tone.

 

Remus blinks fast as he gives one last roll to the cigarette between his fingers to make sure it’s properly closed. Sirius always flirts, Remus always flirts back, and it’s part of who they are, he thinks. 

 

But Sirius has never been this direct. Remus feels vulnerable and exposed.

 

“What? A crush? Why would you think so?” he asks, swallowing and frowning slightly, playing with the cigarette before putting it behind his ear - for later, he thinks. This conversation is too weird to just start smoking in the middle of it, although he feels anxious enough to smoke cigarette after cigarette.

 

“Well, for one, you are all flustered now, but also, you haven’t had a date in ages,” Sirius starts.

 

“What does that have to do with anything? Neither have you,” Remus answers automatically, raising his chin, but Sirius just stays quiet and looks back at him.

 

“No, I haven’t,” he simply says.

 

Remus swallows again, at a loss of what’s happening.

 

“Well then,” and he tries to make his tone playful, but Sirius is looking at him with so much attention that he feels like squirming away, so he ends up sounding challenging. “With that logic, you should have a crush on me,” he says before laughing awkwardly.

 

Sirius doesn’t laugh.

 

“And I do. But it’s you that I can’t figure out, Moony,” Sirius says with so much calmness, that Remus feels dizzy.

 

Remus opens and closes his mouth, searching Sirius’ face for any trace of humour. Sirius looks back at him firmly, so Remus finally laughs and threads his fingers through his hair, the palm of his hand pushing against his forehead.

 

“I dressed up as Merlin for you, Sirius, and you really can’t figure out if I have a crush on you? I wouldn’t do this for James, nor anyone else,” he says, and he puts his hand down. He nods a couple of times, trying to figure out if he should say something else.

 

Sirius is looking at him expectantly.

 

It’s almost at the same time that both of them surge forward, Remus’ hands grabbing Sirius’ neck, his thumbs on his jaw, as Sirius’ hands pull him in by the waist, closer and closer. Their noses bump and they crash their foreheads together, but Remus’ heart is beating fast against his chest as Sirius breathes in - a shaky, intimate intake of air. He smells like cheap beer, and their lips are almost brushing, and -

 

“Hey Sirius, where did you - WHOOPS, SORRY!” They hear before turning their heads in sync to see Marlene closing the balcony door and covering it with her body, her arms splayed over the surface. She apparently yells something too, because suddenly everyone in the party is looking at them with blank stares.

 

They can’t hear anything because of the silencing spells, but as his fingers twitch in Sirus’ hair, and Sirius’ breath tickles his neck and his hands squeeze him, he sees most of his friends’ mouths open as they raise their glasses in what looks like a cheer, so Remus feels like fainting or maybe disappearing on the spot, if the balcony doesn’t fall off its hinges in that exact moment.

 

James surges forward and he gives them an absurd thumbs up with a manic grin on his full-of-makeup face. He pushes Marlene away from the door and closes the curtains over the glass, leaving them looking at the ugly yellow-and-white fabric.

 

Sirius is the first to break, starting to laugh muffled before letting a full barking laugh go, while he pushes his forehead against Remus’ shoulder.

 

“What just happened?” Remus asks, his hands starting to untangle from Sirius’ neck.

 

Sirius shakes his head and breathes deeply before raising his head to look back at Remus with glassy eyes.

 

“I think they know how long I’ve been pining,” Sirius says simply, before smiling brightly and in a swift movement, pushing Remus back. Remus yelps as he almost loses his footing, but he’s suddenly flushed against the wall in between a couple of dead plants, with Sirius lifting him by one of his legs that he pulls against his hips, as he pushes their foreheads together, so he can barely think.

 

“Seriously, Padfoot? You’ll have me against the wall for our first snog?” he asks as he laughs and tries to calm himself down because this is fucking real, this is happening, and this is all so Sirius that it just can’t be a dream.

 

“Mhm - well, if this is going to be our origin story, it had better be a good one, right? After all, do you think Arthur didn’t kiss Merlin as if his life depended on it? Do you think they had the greatest romance in history…”

 

“What?”

 

“... starting just with Arthur saying ‘Oh by the way, Merlin, thank you for the help but I’ve been meaning to snog the hell out of you for months now and I think you are -’’” Sirius keeps talking but their hips are so close that Remus has trouble breathing.

 

“Sirius, for fuck’s sake,” Remus smiles and bites his lip playfully, and Sirius is suddenly quiet, looking back into his eyes, his pupils blown away. “I’m gonna kiss you now, okay?” he says quietly, before moving his hands from Sirius’ arms, where they ended up when he was pushed against the wall, to Sirius’ neck, to pull him closer.

 

This time, their noses don’t bump, and Sirius tastes sweeter than he thought he would, and his body is hot while the wall on his back is cold, and it’s not as desperate as he thought it would be if they ever kissed, but Sirius’ hands squeeze his leg and his hip, and Remus feels like he’s losing control fast, so he squeezes Sirius’ neck and hears him sigh against his lips.

 

And maybe Remus never thought they would snog - and that if it happened, it wouldn’t be with them dressed up as fucking King Arthur and Merlin, but hey, Remus would take this as it is in any universe.

 

When Sirius pulls away to start kissing his jaw, Remus sighs, and a sudden thought makes him start to laugh without control. Sirius pulls back a bit, and looks at him with a smile in his lips and questioning eyes.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry - Ah, this is wonderful, Padfoot, I promise you, it’s just -” he tries to calm down, squeezing Sirius’ shoulders as he doubles over with laughter. “What the fuck is Prongs supposed to be dressed up as? The mental image just struck me all of a sudden and fuck, I can’t stop thinking about it - is he a doll? Is he a monster? What the hell is he?” and as he laughs, Sirius pulls him closer and away from the wall. He moves his hands up and down his arms and Remus pushes his forehead against his shoulder.

 

“I have no fucking idea either,” Sirius says, as he laughs too. “Couldn’t ask him. He was so excited about it, the poor sod. I had to tell him it was brilliant - he was so happy about it,” he adds with a laugh.

 

Remus smiles widely at that, sobering up a bit to look up at Sirius, who’s smiling softly at him.

 

“Fuck,” he mumbles as he surges forward to kiss Sirius’ mouth again, passing his tongue over his bottom lip and making Sirius’ breath hitch. “So… Do you want us to go to your place?” he asks, pulling away and smiling again at Sirius.

 

“You don’t want to stay for the rest of the party, Moony?” Sirius asks smiling happily, before coming down and biting his ear. “Alright, fuck, I can’t even pretend to be serious about it. Yeah, hold on tight. We are going now.”

 

Remus just nods, smiles, and breathes in, grabbing hold of Sirius’ arms before being pulled into the void.