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Tis The Damn Season

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~Hour 0   

 

Remus focuses on the chill that’s beginning to frost the window of the quaint, Edinburgh coffee shop that’s tucked into a dark corner of the large block of the tube station, appreciating the glittering blankets of snow coating the ground and the melodic holiday tunes playing from above. The scent of cinnamon wafts through the air and his phone’s pressed between his ear and shoulder while one hand toys with the tassel hanging off the reindeer trinket lining the counter, and the other’s clasping onto his luggage.

“I can’t wait to show you! My mum’s bought Harry the cutest little Saint Nick babygrow, and Mrs. Potter’s sent me her recipe for the samosas James especially likes. And—”  

Remus laughs through his nose, pressing the phone closer before accepting the hot chocolate handed over to him by the barista who winks his way before going back to start up the next round of drinks.

“Lils, I’ve bought the ticket, and I’m about to board. No need to continue on trying to convince me. I’ll be in London for Christmas.”  

“Oh, Remus, I can’t wait!” Lily crows delightedly, and Remus can just pick up on the sound of a bowl clacking to the ground, inwardly praying that she doesn’t burn down her entire cottage before Remus’s even gotten the chance to see it. “I’ve missed you, it’s positively ridiculous how long we haven’t been able to visit! Criminal, really!”  

Remus drags his bottom lip between his teeth, flushing slightly at the dig considering that the absence from his closest friend from childhood  was almost entirely his doing. “Well you know, with Fabian’s research and all, we were constantly out of the country, over to the States one week, and then Asia the next.”  

This time, it’s effortless catching on the sound of harsh stirring accompanied by Lily’s unimpressed cluck at the sound of Remus’s ex’s name. “Well good riddance. He was never good enough for you Remus, a total self righteous prat.”  

“Is that right?” Remus smiles wryly, taking a sip of his coco before wrapping his scarf around his neck once more to brace for the cold. “I thought he was mighty fancy-able considering the degree and being fit and all.”  

“Dry as Petunia’s skin in the winter,” Lily sniffs airily, and Remus studiously does not mention the mountain of moisturizers that Lily stored away in an unused closet in the old flat they shared during six form when she thought Remus wasn’t looking. “Now I get to have my fun and set you up with a proper bloke, especially since you’ll be moving back to London after the semester officially closes. Ooo! We can start a double date night! There’s this cooking class they’re holding down the street for couples but I didn’t wanna join because James would only get all obnoxiously cocky when he ultimately does remarkably and I end up burning water.”

Remus laughs, remembering the occasion she’s referring to, which had led them to pressing together their measly savings to buy an electric kettle like good and proper adults, rescuing their pots from getting burnt to a crisp thanks to Lily’s forgetfulness. “Least if you come along with whichever bloke, I’ll know I definitely won’t be the worst one there.”  

Remus twists up his mouth, displeased. “Unwarranted slander.”  

“Your french toast chipped my pug’s tooth before he spat it out.”  

“Maybe Snuffles just has a bad gag reflex.”  

“His gag reflex is perfectly adequate,” she sniffs.  

“Well I’ve never spat out my own food.”

“Hmm, I bet you get all the boys in the yard whenever you talk about how skillfully you’ve trained your gagging.”  

“Stuff it, Evans.”  

“Potter now actually, Ta so much.”  

“Gone off and married yourself a posh Londoner and now you’re sounding like you’re meant to be on an episode of Downton Abbey, is that right?”  

“Innit brilliant?”  

“Bloody exhausting is more what I was thinking, love.”  

Lily’s answering laugh is light and tinkling and it’s the happiest Remus’s ever heard her all year, and it’s like a punch to the gut when he all at once realizes just how drastically he’s missed her.

“Don’t pout Re, I’ll still be able to tolerate your lowly,  Welsh vowels.”  

“Sod off.”  

“Mean.”

“You started it.”  

“Oof.”  

“Did you break the eggs the wrong way again?” Remus asks, single brow cocked as he finally retreats into the actual underground and ambles to the queue waiting to scan their tickets.   

“You can’t break eggs the wrong way Remus Lupin!” Remus stays silent. “Don’t give me that look!”  

“What look?” Remus asks owlishly.  

“Don’t think I can’t picture it right now, with the slanted mouth and your left eyebrow raised with pure condescension.”  

“I don’t like this picture of my character that you’re painting, Evans.”  

“I don’t like your insinuations of my egg cracking skills, Lupin.”  

“But I’m right, aren’t I? You did break it?”  

“Well yes, that’s the general idea of cracking an egg.”  

Remus scoffs. “The wrong way I mean.”  

The silence coming from Lily is positively fuming and Remus thinks that if they were in some sorta old-timey Disney cartoon she’d be steaming smoke from her ears right about now. “’S just a singular shell, it’ll melt right in the pan once I pop it into the oven.”  

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you’re trying to poison us. And right when I became single and ready to pull again.”  

“Oh speaking of pulling,” Lily squawks, and Remus absolutely despises that tone of voice—flashes of young, drunken escapades bubbling to the forefront of his mind, twinging when he thinks of the flower he’s got tattooed onto his arse to match the crescent moon on Lily’s own.

“No. Absolutely not.”  

“Oi, you haven’t even let me explain myself, you berk! I just wanna help.”  

“You’re an evil, evil Femme Fatale, and you shouldn’t even have this much power over me considering how rudding gay I am.” He screams that last part perhaps a bit too loudly, garnering amused glances from most of his fellow patrons, and a couple curious ones. Including a pair of disarmingly lovely gray eyes. And holy christ above does he hate Lily right now.  

“But Remus,” she says in a distinct sulk through the line. “It’s just that James’s brother also recently just got out a relationship with this bird from work, and it wasn’t nearly as long as you and Fabian, but I thought you two would just be so cute together. He totally fits that crush you had on Stubby Boardman all through A levels, and I just thought it’d help you so much with getting over that ginger-haired bastard.“  

“You are the only ginger-haired bastard in my life,” he tells her glumly, wincing when the ticket holder smirks at him as she scans him through, mouthing a ‘Good Luck’ with a smirk. 
Damn Remus’s very existence.  

“Just for that cheek Lupin, I’m having Harry eat all the chocolates from your stocking.”  

“Oi! He hasn’t even got any teeth yet.”  

“Then I hope he makes a bloody mess with’m.” She hangs up in a huff, and Remus tries not to laugh as he rolls his eyes and shoots her a quick text.   

I don’t want to date your husband’s brother  

But I love you  

Tell Haz I gave them up willingly  

Lily only replies with a scowling face, a middle finger, and one more emoji that blows him a kiss.  

Text me when you’ve arrived   

Love you but we’ll discuss the brother issue at a later date  

Remus gives a shake to his head at the screen, knowing that arguing with Lily is futile on the best of days, and decides to pocket his phone instead of giving this little sparring match any more of his energy.   

 

~Hour 1    

 

The smattering of folks who are taking the December 22nd train to London  is surprisingly light. Remus reckons it’s a combination of most folks wanting to actually leave the city for the holiday season, and just generally having better foresight than him. He had only just bought the tickets this morning after all, originally planning to spend the break cozy in his favorite oversized jumper and distracting himself by correcting that imposing stack of papers from his first years. That is until Lily, of course, had heard his plans and subsequently began her tirade about Christmas being a time meant for friends and family and cheer for a record breaking thirty-five minutes, until Remus finally conceded. Honestly he was convinced by the two minute mark, but he just wanted to see how far she could go...  

Remus smiles to himself, feeling a warmth blossoming in his chest at the thought of the girl next door that became as good as blood to him over the years—probably better in all honesty—and he drags his gaze around the compartment. There’s a cuddling couple towards the front,  a handful of jaded others around his age sprinkled all around and then an elderly woman already pulling out her knitting. By the grace of God there’s a vacant seat at the very back, tucked away from any prying eyes. Remus is a man crazed when he rushes towards it, sliding beside the window and discarding his bag next to  himself, praying to God above that everyone else will take the hint and not sit on the aisle seat. Remus pulls out his ticket in preparation to be punched, and takes a warming sip of his hot chocolate as he relaxes back into his seat. 

Maybe the five hour ride will go by smoothly if he just gets a bit of shut eye and finishes up that book he’s been reading. Maybe this is exactly what he needs, a peaceful little interlude to clear his mind before the impending chaos that will inevitably storm the Potter abode for Christmas, interrupted only by Remus trying to dodge Lily’s none-too-delicate matchmaking habits.  

The last call for people to take their seats dings through the intercom and Remus idly scrolls through his Tiktok feed, trying to wind down, not expecting it when someone coughs towards his left and he’s forced to drag his gaze from a cute bloke on screen who’s giving an update on the latest education bill, (he sorta looks like Fabian if Remus squints, boyish smile and all.) There’s another round of coughing and Remus sighs as he looks over—and Oh. Oh holy shit. God fucking damn it.  

If the guy on screen was cute then the one here, right in front of him, in the fucking flesh can only be called an Adonis. Bloody Dionysus in the twenty-first century, all angular features and artful waves of obsidian that end a few inches above his shoulders, and a body that practically screams he spent all secondary school in a footie kit. “Bloody hell,” he ends up muttering under his breath to his own horror, turning beet red and sinking deeper down in his seat. Really and truly, fuck his entire existence.   

“All right mate,” Mr Adonis greets with a bombastic grin and glimmering eyes that reminds Remus of the Welsh morning skies in the winter. Of fucking course even his ruddy voice is a velvety baritone that could probably make the filthiest things sound so splendidly elicit, and just of course Remus’s toes curl with absolutely inappropriate arousal.   

Damn everything.  

“Ahem, hallo.”  A beat passes between them, so Mr. Adonis probably expects Remus to be capable of simple human socialization, but jokes on him because Remus has never been able to act like a sane person in front of ridiculously hot blokes, so he’s going to just continue to sit pretty right here thank you very much. Mr. Adonis can continue the conversation if he wants to that badly, which distressingly seems to be the case.  

“Right well, you don’t mind if I just sit here, do you? These back row seats are the best to take a kip in, and everywhere else is a bit too crowded for my liking.”  

Remus frowns now, inching forwards as he gives a pointed scan around the mostly vacant compartment and towards the door that leads to the half dozen others, but Mr Adonis just continues on standing there, smile placid and head cocked slightly, as if he’s amused by Remus’s reluctance, like Remus is some sorta cute puppy here for his entertainment. And considering how many ex-flings have called him good boy during there more than PG moments, well...Remus just sniffs at the implication.   

“Is that a yes then?” Mr. Adonis asks with a quirked brow and bright smile. It feels like Remus’s stupid heart has just jammed into his throat and all he can do is sit there, slack jawed at his greatest sexual fantasies manifesting to life in the middle of a train compartment, but he somehow manages a nod and Mr. Adonis doesn’t wait before he’s hefting his suitcase to the overhead and offers to take Remus’s own. Considering that all of Remus’s essentials are in the satchel he’s slid beneath his seat, he only thanks him and nods, trying his damndest not to watch the way Mr. Adonis’s shoulders ripple in a frankly obscene way beneath that leather jacket.  

Remus frantically checks his phone for the time, and realizes there’s still five entire hours to the trip. He has no idea how he’s supposed to last, made all the more true once Mr. Adonis sits down and Remus can smell the spicy, woodsy aroma of sandalwood and musk that radiates off of him.

Jesus help him.

 

~Hour 2

 

Remus has been steadfastly not looking up from his phone ever since Mr. Adonis settled down besides him, and it works for a while— Remus hasn’t actually made a blunder of things. That is until Mr. Adonis seems to get bored of his crossword and twists around so that he and Remus are face to face. 

“I’m Sirius, by the way.” He says once Remus flickers his gaze towards him, already feeling peaky towards the proximity, especially when Mr. Adonis finds it fit for him to toss Remus a friendly grin that makes his pale eyes look especially mesmerizing. Hell are those beautiful eyes, but Remus won’t let them distract him, he’s already confused to the lapse in conversation that must’ve happened when he was still blatantly drooling over the image lodged in his head of the sliver of skin that was revealed when Mr. Adonis was storing away the luggage an hour ago now—very lovely, very tan, very firm skin.  

Damn it! Remus was straying off again, he just prays to God he’s not as flushed as he feels.
“Ahem,” he clears his throat. “Pardon? Serious about what exactly?” The question only makes Mr. Adonis duck his head in a soft chuckle, and God, Remus feels his mouth drying with the want to kiss away that laughter. 

“Nah mate, ’s my name I mean.”  

Remus bites the inside of his cheek, hard, feeling so very dumb. “Oh, hah. Serious is your name?”  

“Yeah, with an ‘I’.”  

“Like the dog star,” Remus blurts and Mr. Adonis—no, Sirius—leers.   

“The very one.”  

God Remus feels like he’s melting under that gaze, equal parts smoldering and tortuous. “Hah,” he tugs on his jumpers sleeve, tries to collect himself and remind himself that disgustingly attractive blokes who happen to also be into other men just dropping into one’s lap is not an actual thing that happens, and he needs to get himself the fuck together or else the git is going to think he’s a total lune. “So family’s big into astronomy then?”  

“Nutters more like it,” Sirius retorts, smirk going gentle the longer he stares at Remus and he has absolutely no brain power to try and parse out that distinct change at the moment. “Lucky me I got away from their trite in the nick of time. Won’t be naming my kids after some bloody constellations, I’ll tell you that much.”  

Remus’s stomach drops, taking that for face value. Obviously Mr. Adonis just wanted to drop a hint into the conversation that he’s, of course, very much a breeder, probably has three different birds he’s juggling around at the very moment. And of course he is, being as tall and good looking and amiable as he is. Remus supposes he’s just thankful that the bloke was kind enough to just bring it up casually, instead of being outright revolted at how Remus is practically a blushing schoolboy around him. “That’s good, I mean seems like the type of stuff better fit for chocolate bars if you ask me.”  

Thankfully, that seems to have been the right thing to say because Sirius beams now and his teeth are just so very white and so very straight, sadly like the rest of him. God at this rate—drooling over random straight men who are plainly out of Remus’s league—Remus might just take Lily up on her offer.

“Got to move in with my best mate instead when I was sixteen, best decision I ever made, mind you,” Sirius says.

That definitely feels like way to much personal information to give to a random stranger, but Remus just nods along, reckons that if you’ve got a face like that you can come just close to admitting murder and anyone would be eating out the palm of your hand. Fuck, who’s Remus kidding, Sirius could tell him that he just stabbed to death the conductor for some perceived slight and Remus would reason that the git deserved it. “My dad kinda left me and my mum when I was young, and I was practically adopted as my best mate’s brother, said it was only fair since she got stuck with a total bint of a sister.” That anecdote actually makes it so Sirius tosses back his head, laughing loud and abrupt and it’s a sound Remus wouldn’t mind being wrapped up within for the next eon to come.  

“Don’t tell me that was the ginger-haired bastard.”

Remus freezes, gaping at him until he realizes just why those eyes were actually so familiar, them being one of the pairs that stared at him as he yelled at Lily in the queue. “Oh God, you were there.”  

“Afraid so mate.” Sirius grins in what’s probably his best estimation at being sheepish. God even that looks bloody sexy on him.   

“I might have to escape the country now, you do know that right? To save myself from the shame.”  

Sirius only gives him a one armed shrug. “Thought it was cute if I’m being honest. We all need ourselves a good bastard in our lives.”  

Remus covers his face with his hands and groans, “So many people heard me.”  

“Half the block at least,” Sirius tacks on with far too much cheer, damn him.  

“If you would just leave me to my shame, I’d appreciate it, mate.” Remus doesn’t hear Sirius’s reply because he meant it, has already jammed his airpods into his ears, and queued up his favorite Spotify playlist as he dug around for his novel and swore to himself that he would not let himself be humiliated by sexy blokes in leather jackets who won’t even give him a good fucking afterwards.

As he sinks back into the prose by Madeline Miller, Remus is still left with the vitrialistic thought that Lily Evans is truly a ginger-haired bastard.   

 

~Hour 3

 

The first time Remus had read The Song of Achilles, it was his first year at university and it was a gift from the older bloke he was shagging from the history department who always called him lovely and seemed so cultured and it was the first time. Remus was so far away from Lily so he did just about anything to keep holding Benjy’s attention. But then winter break came and passed and Remus realized he definitely wasn’t ready to be tied down in a long-term sort of relationship, but he’s still thankful it happened because this novel has become his absolute favorite. He’s probably read it a total of ten times if he’s being honest and now on his eleventh reread. He still gets lost in the precise storytelling and heart-wrenching emotions and beautiful imagery, and his chest still thuds at each of his favorite scenes. Like right now, when Patroclus finds out that Chiron’s cave is protected from Achilles’s mother’s vision and he and Achilles finally get to fall into one another in all the heady ways that make up the legendary sort of love, like their own.

Achilles is telling Chiron that he and Patroclus would like to go to bed right when Remus first feels the tapping on his shoulder. He wishes he could ignore it, but it’s persistent and really dragging him out of the moment and then he suddenly remembers that it’s most likely that sickeningly fit bloke who’s doing it and he’s frantic when he finally claps shut the book and glances over at him.   

Sirius only smiles—this edge of endeared—once Remus finally locks on him, and then casually waves to the older woman who’s dragging around the trolly, rolling her eyes at Remus’s spacey nature.  

“Oh, erm yes. Just a tea if you don’t mind. And a chocolate bar if you have it.” He sputters, shuffling hurriedly for his wallet in his satchel to hand over five quid.  

“Sugar?”

“Yes, please.”  

She quickly and efficiently pours the steaming water, dropping two spoons of sugar and handing Remus the teabag and treat before pushing further down the aisle.

“You know,” Sirius starts, eyeing him with a distinctly amused glint. “I’m starting to think you may have a sweet tooth, mate.”  

Remus blushes, looking anywhere but at him as he rips open the small plastic baggie and plops the tea bag into his cup. “What gave it away?”  

“Suppose it fits your general appearance.”

Remus smiles thinly, really doesn’t want to ask what exactly his appearance is, has heard enough bookish, skinny git jokes that’ll last him a lifetime. So he only snaps open the little tray in front of him to set down his snacks and then begins to pick up his novel once more, only stops when Sirius quickly interjects. “You know you never gave me your name.”  

Remus frowns now, pinning him with a one eyed squint. “Pardon?”  

“You know, the thing folks call to get your attention, probably have it written besides your footprint on a piece of paper in some hospital. Probably Wales if your accent is anything to go by.”  

Remus wrestles down his traitorous grin, “Didn’t think you were so cheeky.”  

“You’re being evasive,” Sirius retorts, waggling his finger at him—Remus really fucking tries not noticing how long and strong it looks. “Now either you're under some sorta witness protection program, or it’s even worse than Sirius. But that’s a difficult feat, mate. So I’m really convinced here that you were stuck in-between a horrid murder or maybe pulled a Jordan Belfort, and ratted on your underlings.”  

Remus blinks, beyond confused. “Jordan Belfort?”  

“You know the bloke from that Leonardo DiCaprio movie? Wolf of Wall Street, I think?” Remus goes positively red, and Sirius smirks. “Got a thing for Leo there? And here I thought he was best looking in the Aviator days, but to each their own I suppose—”  

“No! Erm, I mean— ’S just— Wolf,” Remus hurriedly interjects, really does not want his ideal man being talked about at all with a straight bloke who just so happens to check all of his God-forsaken boxes.  

Sirius clamps his mouth shut, tilting his head to the side like the first time Remus had ever seen him. “Wolf? Your name is wolf? That’s some mighty confident parents you got there, mate.”  

“No, no.” Remus coughs, hates the way he feels his skin beginning to burn under Sirius’s undivided attention, reminds himself that he’s not into men. “’S Remus—Erm, you know like the Roman legends, Remus and Romulus—” Sirius continues looking miffed for precisely five seconds before his face suddenly splits in half with an absolutely shit eating grin. 

“No, you’re pulling my leg! Remus!”  

“Yes, that’s my name.”

“But that’s the brother who dies!”  

Remus frowns now, hates that little fact. “Mum thought it was a bit poetic, he died so that Rome could live. Thought it meant I’d do something great before my own death.”  

“Well, he’d never even seen it because the poor bugger went off and croaked!” Sirius argues with an emphatic hand, looking animated in the most wonderful ways, and making it so Remus’s stupid heart begins to flutter.  

“Yeah, well least my parents didn’t name me after some cloud of sodding gas, mate.”  

“Oi! The brightest cloud of sodding gas is what you mean.”  

Remus snorts. “Apologies for the slight.”  

“Forgiven, I suppose, but you don’t seem very apologetic if you ask me, Remus.”  A slow, near predatory smirk begins to inch it’s way across Sirius’s features, making him suddenly look like an unobtainable god once more, pure mischief and cunning and beauty and Remus has never before been so thankful for a sobbing baby in his life because the sound is strong enough to pull them out this confusing standstill between them—one far too charged and far too suggestive and just simply far too much.   

“Erm, right,” Remus coughs. “Sirius is a perfectly fine name.”  

“Bit better on that go.” Indignant, Remus tosses him the bird before trying again for his novel. “So, what are you reading?” Sirius asks and continues the conversation instead.   

“Oh, it’s a retelling of the Trojan war, but more like the life story of Patroclus.”  

“Achilles’s boyfriend, right?” Remus must look as surprised as he feels because Sirius tips his head with an imperious air, telling him loftily, “I know history.”  

“Bet you watched that BBC limited series,” Remus retorts, making Sirius grin this side of lecherous.  

“Anyone ever tell you that you’re a bit of a snob Wolf boy.”   

Remus lets out a noise that to some may sound like a choking hyena, but is definitely very much  manly and brusk. “Don’t know what you mean,” he says loftily before returning to the novel, just barely catches the cheeky way Sirius is smiling at him— honestly it skims on dopey.

 

~Hour 4  

 

It takes until Remus reaches the introduction of Briseis for Sirius to begin tapping his shoulder again, holding out a deck of cards from his pocket and quirking his brow, “Care for a round of Snap?”

Remus smiles thinly. “I’m not very good.”

“’S fine, we’ll just play for the chocolates I’m sure you’ve got hidden away in that bag of yours.”

“Lucky guess.”

“I bet your dentist gets to treat themself real nice after your appointments.”

“Minerva loves me.”

“She loves the money you and your dozens of cavities put in her pockets more like it.” Sirius counters, cackling.

Remus glares now, properly indignant. “Piss off.”

Sirius preens beatifically as he begins to shuffle, so Remus supposes they’re playing snap after all and slips in his red and gold bookmark between the battered pages of his novel.

“So what’s bringing you to London then? Considering we’ve come to the conclusion you’re a Welsh lad,” Sirius asks, tossing a card to the pile while never straying away from Remus’s gaze.

“Don’t have much family left in Swansea, do I?” Remus says, has to swallow down the lump of emotion beginning to cluster in his throat. “Dad’s living in France with his latest girlfriend, and my Mum isn’t around anymore.”

“Oh,” Sirius freezes for a moment, which gives Remus enough time to win a pair of cards for himself. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked. That’s awful.”

The corners of Remus’s mouth tilt up into a tired grin, waving his apology away. “You couldn’t have known, yeah? Besides it’s not like it’s a surprise in any situation, I told you, Dad buggered off years ago and Mum’s been sick for a while. Think it was easier for her this way.”

Remus has to dart his eyes away from Sirius right then— the peculiar medley of green and gold that he had inherited from her. And though Remus knows the words he speaks are true, it still hurts thinking about those final weeks spent with her at hospital. Her small hands gone boney, and her delicately pretty features turned sunken and sickly. She wasn’t the mother Remus knew growing up but he loved her just as fiercely, even if she had begun forgetting his name and face towards the end, a side effect of the disease that had crippled her so savagely. 

“’S okay if you can’t talk about it still,” Sirius— still practically a stranger— gingerly prods, setting his hand of cards down so as to look at Remus more forcefully. 

“It’s good I’m getting back to the city,” Remus tells him instead, willing down the clogged up hurt. “I’m spending it with that ginger-haired bastard actually.”

Sirius smiles at the reply, a bit thin and a bit lopsided and entirely lovely. Remus pretends that the pale afternoon light doesn’t make his face look heavenly. “That’s good, has it been a while since you’ve seen her?”

Remus nods, picking up his deck of cards and setting one on Sirius’s tray to commence the game. “Yeah, it’s been really hectic actually. I was with my mum during her wedding and then when her first sprog came along I was in Shanghai with my ex-boyfriend, so it’s definitely my fault how much I’ve been neglecting the relationship. But she’s the sort to forgive easily and just hold on a bit tighter.”

“Sounds like the right sort, like my friend actually.” Sirius tells him before shouting an emphatic “Snap.” Gathering up the lion’s share of cards.

“Don’t think I can recover from that, mate,” Remus says with a chuckle, hurriedly grabs for his tea just to have something to do with his mouth because right then Sirius has apparently decided that he’s too hot and slinks off his deliciously appealing leather jacket so that he’s only got on the white vest beneath, and fuck. As if this bloke couldn’t be any more fit, he’s got a sleeve. (A literal, God forsaken, damn sleeve). 

Remus bites down on the inside of his cheek, hard. And he tries not to appear too eager when his glance glazes over the artwork etched into Sirius’s skin, elaborate designs that seem to go right over Remus’s head, with a couple images he can actually recognize. Like a pair of antlers surrounded by a reef of flowers on his forearm, a star with the initials RAB pressed into the center, even the Batman logo amidst the harmonic chaos of it all.

“Oi!” Sirius toots, grinning at the snort Remus had let out at the sight. “He’s the best superhero, don’t let anyone say otherwise.”

Remus shrugs, goading. “Spider-Man’s always been my taste.”

“He would be,”Sirius glows. “You’re rather alike, aren’t you?”

Remus’s lips curl, inching closer. “Well actually, ever since I hit puberty, my spunk’s always come out like this spidery, webbing liquid—“

“Come off it,” Sirius barks out a laugh, shoving him aside. “You’re a prick.”

“You were trying to call me a mild-mannered swot!” 

“Tell me Mr. Wolf-Boy, where is the miscalculation?”

Remus tosses him the bird which only seems to make Sirius laugh all the louder, causing the old woman towards the front to rebuke them with a shrewd look, lips pinched and single brow cocked. Red faced from all the laughter, Remus clamps a hand over Sirius’s mouth to settle him down and gives her a bashful grin. “Sorry, he’s not learned his indoors voice quite yet. Though, that is a mighty lovely pair of booties you're making there.”

The woman scoffs and looks away and Remus can’t help the giggle that pours from his lips anyways, squawking when he feels a wet tongue lapping at his palm.

“Christ! You’re a dog!” he rebukes with no heat.

“You haven’t seen nothing yet, love,” Sirius absolutely leers, and this is the part where Remus should probably demure. Should fall back from the fire in Sirius’s eyes and the mystery in his smile, where he should remind himself that this is a very dangerous back and forth they’ve got going on. But he doesn’t. And perhaps future Remus will give him a tongue lashing for it later on, but right now,  right here, Remus is enjoying himself far too greatly.

“Alright you mutt, show us what else you’ve got inked onto yourself.”

Sirius perks up excitedly, “I thought you’d never ask.” He points back to the antlers and flowers and explains that they represent his brother and his wife who’s become a great friend over the years. And then explains that the RAB are his younger brother’s initials, and apparently he’s a git but a good man at the end of the day. He then shows Remus other, more innocuous patches, ones that he didn’t even catch at first. Like the dog paw on his shoulder, and the butterfly near his elbow and  image of a tree that connects them all together amidst it’s branches, and Remus is absolutely besotted, blown away by the intricate details embedded into his skin and the miraculous beauty of it all. But his aesthetic appreciation is abruptly cut short the moment Sirius points to his wrist with that giddy smile still painted across his features and Remus has to give a double take. 

And then another one.

The image doesn’t change.  It’s still small, and rectangular and has got those same three lines of color, pink and purple and blue, and it’s so prominent that Remus can’t believe it wasn’t the first thing he spotted. 

“Got that one right after escaping my barmy home and going to my mate’s place, wanted to rub it in my batty mother’s and decrepit father’s faces that they’re son is a raging poofter.” 

“Oh,” Remus says, suddenly very heated. His head is swimming and he’s shuffling back through all there interactions so far, and if he has absolutely any chance with’m or if it’s wishful thinking.

“My adoptive parents are absolute diamonds though, came with me to sign that little slip and everything since I was still underage and all,” Sirius is still speaking and Remus tries his damndest to pay attention, is absolutely mortified when his hand slips forwards and brushes over the image of the bi-flag.

“Oh God,” he sputters, falling back so that the top half of him is completely pressed against the window. “I’m sorry, I don’t even know why I did that. I’m such an idiot.”

“I disagree,” Sirius retorts cooly, his pale eyes now boring into Remus’s hazel ones. “I think you’re ridiculously cute.”

Remus has absolutely no idea what’s going on now because Sirius is just gazing at him with an emotion Remus couldn’t discern if his life counted on it. It’s a look that makes his cheeks blaze and pulse spike.

“You got any tattoos Remus?” He asks the non sequitur pleasantly enough so Remus relaxes slightly.

“Ah, erm, yeah. Just the one, but it’s not in a place you can show in, erm— public arenas I suppose.”

“Mmm,” Sirius nods, a glint in his eyes and his grin going lecherous. “Well I need to use the loo.” And with only a wink cast Remus’s way he stands up, stretching and then padding off to the communal bathroom towards the back. 

And oh.

 

~Hour 5

 

It’s been five minutes since Sirius had swaggered off, leaving Remus a puddle of confusion and curiosity and a whole lot of fucking arousal. He alternates from carding a shaking hand through his hair, nibbling on the corner of his thumb and  squirming in his chair like he’s got an itch. It feels like everyone is staring at him, judging him for what he’s about to do. But Remus can’t muster it within himself to really care, is too excited over the idea of actually getting his hands and lips all over Sirius and all his corded muscle atop corded muscle. 

Remus breathes in, standing up as casually as possible as he makes the same trek as Sirius had only a bit ago.

Tis the damn season.

 

.-

 

Remus smiles pleasantly as he walks through the final compartment, panicking slightly when he first tugs on the knob and the door is locked. Fuck fuck fuck. Maybe he read the signs wrong? Maybe Remus was being too hopeful and too dumb and too—

He doesn’t have time to finish the thought because just then he feels the lapels of his jacket being grabbed and himself being  tugged inside and he’s stumbling through the threshold only to be assaulted by a pair of wonderfully demanding lips that crash against his own and slams Remus up against the shut doorway.

“What. The fuck. Took you so long.” Sirius pants between kisses, one on his mouth, and another on his brow and the third high up on his cheek. It’s like he’s bombarding Remus in the most lovely of ways.

“I had to make it look inconspicuous,” Remus blushes to the roots of his hair when Sirius dips down even lower to pepper another round of kisses against his protruding collarbone, and he scrambles for purchase, clutching for his broad shoulders. 

“Had me worried,” Sirius admits, biting slightly on his bottom lip with his forehead pressed against Remus’s own. And it’s the first time this whole train ride he’s looked anything like bashful and it’s ridiculous levels of precious.

“I’m sorry.”

Sirius only shrugs, smiling softly at him. “Least you’re here now, eh?”

Remus can’t reply because Sirius decides that’s a good moment for him to divest him of his jacket, and quickly slips cold hands beneath his jumper, caressing bare skin, pausing meaningfully at his ribs and nipples respectively.

Remus feels like he’s gone electric, all the more so when Sirius’s deft thumb slips into the waistband of his trousers. And he can’t help but moan into him, head smacking against the doorway and opening his mouth that bit wider, knotting his hands in Sirius’s hair that bit tighter.

“Please. Please take off your shirt.”

Sirius chuckles, moves back to mouthing along Remus’s neck, and flicking against a particular spot that always makes Remus hitch his breath. And God he is just feeling so much all at once.

“You first, love.”

Remus can only nod readily as he lets Sirius slink off his jumper, only followed by Sirius’s own shirt and they immediately fall back into one another— hot skin against hot skin and it’s so bloody remarkable Remus could shout. 

“You’re gorgeous,” Sirius whispers beneath his breath, right when he grabs for Remus’s arse, and Remus thrusts forwards immediately, finally getting some friction on his painfully hard cock when he rubs it against Sirius’s thigh.

“Touch me,” Remus says in a very near plea, and hides the embarrassment by shoving his face between the juncture of Sirius’s neck and shoulder, and God he smells so good.

“Right, yeah, but I wanna see you Remus.” He says, nipping at his ear. Silently, Remus nods, relaxing back against the door and bites down hard on his lip when Sirius gently unzips his jeans and slips into his boxer briefs, giving a few, slow strokes to his cock.

Remus tries to be quiet, he swears it, but he knows a couple gasps escape and he thrashes forwards, snaking his arms around Sirius’s waist. 

“You— Mmm, you too.” Remus just barely manages out. “Wanna see you too.”

“Oh, right,” Sirius breathes out slowly, shakes his head to try and collect himself. “Got lost in the view.”

Thankfully, Remus doesn’t have to think on how lovely of a comment that is because Sirius is quick to take out his own prick, sliding it up against Remus’s own once he pulls down his pants enough— and Remus only stares delightedly at the picture. Sirius’s dick is only about half an inch longer, but a good amount thicker, and there’s this really lovely vein that runs down it’s length, and Remus would really like to get his tongue on it, but reckons that now’s not the time.

“Erm, I’ve got some lube in my wallet, like a travel pack.”

Sirius hikes up his brows, equal parts surprised and amused looking. “Do this often, love?”

Remus really needs to get used to the way his cheeks blaze with every word Sirius says. “Hah, no. Not really. I mean not since me and my ex called things off last month.”

Sirius nods understandingly, “Well neither do I, just so we’re on the same page.”

“Oh, that’s— erm that’s good.”

Sirius laughs, shaking his head at Remus amusedly, letting go of their pricks so that Remus has a chance to pick up his disregarded jacket, picking up his wallet and handing him the lube. “That should be enough.”

“Mmm, yeah I reckon so.” Sirius goes back to snogging Remus to an inch of his life, and he must’ve torn it open already, because the next thing Remus knows, there’s a  warm, slick hand wrapped around his length and all his insides turn to liquid when Sirius begins to pump them in tandem, and it’s so many sensations all at once, with Sirius’s teeth grazing that same spot on Remus’s neck that always makes him absolute putty and his breaths are going ragged, thrusting forwards to match Sirius’s rhythm. And God this is so bloody brilliant he can’t even keep his wits about him. So Remus blames his lack of inhibition for why he inclines his head forwards to lap at the tattoos spreading to Sirius’s shoulder and he’s intoxicating, a sodding cocktail of salt and sweat and something Remus can’t describe but is absolutely positive he could easily become addicted to.

And then Sirius does a flick of his wrist, and it’s suddenly too much, too fast, and he knows he’s about to spill over the edge, and can only thrust that bit quicker to chase the feeling of it, of Sirius’s velvety skin sandwiching his prick from either end and it’s absolutely fucking remarkable. 

Remus lets out a choking noise right when he spurts out his come, and is thankful when Sirius kisses him harshly to swallow up the rest of the groan, finishing only a couple tugs later and then they’re just standing there, cocks exposed and hands gripped on one another and kissing like absolutely nothing else matters.

 

~Final Half Hour

 

Remus doesn’t know how long they just stood there, exchanging snogs and exploring more of each other’s expanse of skin, but eventually the train bumped slightly, effectively reminding them of just exactly where they are, and how they definitely shouldn’t be taking their time with this little rendezvous in the slightest. So Sirius had wet a few layers of paper towel, and handed it over before making his own, and then tossing them out before redressing and staggering their exits in as inconspicuous a way as possible. 

Remus is now returning to his seat, a bit giddy and overly flushed, and Sirius greets him with a cool “Hallo,” which might’ve stung if it weren’t quickly followed up by a wicked sort of gleam to his eyes once Remus had to shuffle against him to get to his own seat, making Remus swallow down a lump of wanting.

And the rest of the ride goes smoothly like that, each of them on their respective phones, and stealing glances when they think the other isn’t looking. And God it’s maddening. 

Sirius is gorgeous, absolutely bloody ethereal. And Remus supposes that this is a common occurrence, of gits like him throwing themselves for his attention. Except, no. Sirius had quite clearly and openly told him that public trysts are not things that he does either— But what? Is Remus supposed to think? He’s like, special or some ruddy shite like that? Because obviously he’s not, obviously Sirius is beyond playing in another league than he is. Sirius is playing a whole other sport. Hell, Sirius is here playing for the footie World Cup and Remus is probably just on the fucking curling team or some bollocks like that. He’s fooling himself, he’s ridiculous, he’s pathetic.

Like a chorus of angels, the tone signaling the end of this Godforsaken train ride rings through their compartment. And Remus breathes a heavy sigh of relief that amidst the suffocating and excitable crowd, he’s able to sling on his satchel and grab his suitcase without a second glance before he has to hear Sirius’s kind hearted but resolute, “It’s been fun, but you’re just not my type.”

Remus shakes his head from the thought and opts to look around the station for a familiar head of red hair, really wants nothing more but to fall into his best friend's embrace and smell her favorite, daisy perfume. And thankfully it doesn’t take too long because she’s right there, towards the entrance, waving emphatically and smiling like the sun.

“I’ve missed you!” she chirps, leaping into his arms and squeezing. 

“I need a lie down,” he laughs when she pulls a sour face at him, and swats at his arm. “Oh, yes I suppose. I missed you too.”

“Absolute prat,” she snarls, a smile threatening to break free. “Well hold your horses, we have to wait for Jem’s brother.”

Remus raises his eyebrows at her, confused. “Jem’s brother?”

Lily parts her lips to answer, but no sound comes out because right then another voice is calling for him, and he pivots around only to be met by Sirius Black, even more beautiful out in daylight. 

“Oi, Remus I think we had a bag mix up— Oh, Hiya Lils!” He stops before them and smiles widely at each of them, and Remus is so fucking confused.

“S! James has not shut up about you staying in Scotland for so long,” Lily crows, hugging him just as tightly as she had for Remus. And fuck, Remus is so beyond confused, it feels like his head is going to implode. 

“You know that barmy bastard Carro, wanted a week extra just for his lawyers to go through the contract as if we hadn’t gone over it a hundred bloody times. Lucky me I had Remus here to entertain me on the train home.”

Lily goes absolutely incandescent at that, rounding on Remus elatedly. “You didn’t tell me you met S when you texted for me to pick you up.”

Remus is fucking dumbfounded. “I— I didn’t know you guys were friends.”

“He’s practically James’ brother, dumdum. You know, the brother I was talking about on the phone,” she winks lewdly and the intent behind her words is definitely not lost to Sirius, who laughs abruptly right then.

“I hate you all.”

“What’s new?” Lily says with a shrug, gesturing for them to follow her lest the cabbie she paid to wait for them only dashes off, but Remus is stunned still.

“You left before I could ask for your number,” Sirius tells him, walking up behind Remus and whispering in his ear as he picks up both sets of luggage. “And I didn’t even get to see this naughty tattoo of yours.”

“I— I didn’t know you were actually interested,” Remus tells him.

“Hmm, we’re going to have to do something about that confidence issue you’ve got going on love. Good thing we’ve got all holiday for that, and of course time to spare for me to figure out where precisely you’ve hidden that tattoo of yours.” Sirius kisses the same spot on Remus’s neck that he was absolutely devouring only an hour ago, before he casually struts off to meet Lily.

And God, this is going to be an interesting holiday indeed.