Sirius can’t remember when exactly he started watching Remus in the mornings. He does know, however, that he hadn’t intended for it to become a daily thing. For months now he would awaken to soft noises from across the room: the rustling of sheets being pushed aside, the soft shuffling of bare feet across the hardwood floor, the low creak of the wooden wardrobe opening, quiet scuffling as pajamas were replaced with trousers and robes. As Sirius slowly eased into consciousness, his eyelids would flutter open sleepily, following the source of the noise to find a half-awake Remus, hair ruffled considerably and slightly pink-cheeked, moving lethargically in whatever state of undressing Sirius happened to catch him in. Always, without fail, Sirius would slowly slip back into unconsciousness as he watched Remus’ careful movements through his eyelashes. Knowing that he would always awake to find Remus before him was a small comfort, a reassuring thought that he wasn’t quite sure how to interpret.
Sirius awakens early one December morning in this familiar state. His eyes open groggily, and he immediately spots Remus across the room. He’s standing near the window, the rays of the early morning sun filtering through the closed curtains and illuminating the side of his face. It makes his hair looks startlingly golden, and Sirius swallows when his throat begins to feel too tight.
Remus turns away from the sun and toward his wardrobe, grabbing a fistful of his pajama shirt and pulling it over his head clumsily as he turns. Sirius’ stomach floods with warmth, both at the sight of Remus shirtless in front of him and at the feeling of fondness and familiarity that consumes him. Sirius is taken aback, though, when Remus turns slightly to the side and looks up at himself in the mirror before him.
In all the months Sirius has been watching Remus, he is almost certain that Remus has never so much as glanced over at his own reflection in the mirror while shirtless. He is almost positive at this point that Remus avoids it intentionally, and the expression on Remus’ face, thin lips pressed together tightly and eyes blank, as he stares at his shirtless reflection pretty much proves Sirius’ theory. Sirius’ eyes follow the chaotic pattern of scars across Remus’ back and chest, and he briefly wonders how many of them Remus is able to remember the story behind. His eyes travel down to Remus hips, where thin, careful lines stand out among the jagged disorder of the rest of his scars. The knowledge that those are some of Remus’ oldest scars makes Sirius feel a little better, but his mouth still goes dry at the sight of them. He asked Remus about them. Once. They haven’t talked about them since.
At the sight of movement, Sirius’ gaze shifts downward to Remus’ hands, both clenching and unclenching periodically as they dangle by his sides, the tendons in his wrists tight from the rigidity in his hands. A quick glance to his face has Sirius frowning slightly. His eyes are screwed shut, and his shoulders rise and fall with each shuddering breath that escapes his lips. Sirius shifts slightly in his bed to get a better look, worry building in his chest as he watches the Remus’ composure slowly crumble before his eyes.
“Remus,” Sirius calls softly, his voice muddled with sleep.
Remus jumps slightly, his eyes snapping open and his hands unfolding at his sides in a matter of seconds. He swallows once and turns to face Sirius. Still looking slightly startled, Remus utters a quiet, “Mornin’,” and gives him a small smile.
“Why are you awake?” Remus asks. “I think this is the earliest I’ve ever seen you up.”
Remus’ attempt at a joke falls through completely; his tone is all wrong. Sirius frowns further, and he sleepily reaches over the bed toward Remus, beckoning him to come closer.
“C’mere,” Sirius says, and Remus’ eyes dart quickly to the side, slightly panicked, before he takes a hesitant step forward.
Slowly, Remus makes his way across the room toward Sirius’ bed. Sirius’ outstretched fingers wrap gently around Remus’ wrist, tugging him down until he’s sitting stiffly on the edge of the bed. Remus begins to open his mouth, a question on his lips, when Sirius reaches a tentative hand upward and lightly touches a faded scar near Remus’ collarbone. Remus’ shoulders rise minutely as he inhales shakily, and he doesn’t continue breathing until Sirius begins to move his hand, lazily running his fingers along the rough outline of the scar.
Each time Remus looks as if he’s about to open his mouth and question Sirius, Sirius skips over to the next scar, distracting him with his feather-light touches across his chest and up his shoulder. The heavy silence that fills the room is broken when Sirius begins ghosting his fingers over the two symmetrical scars under his pectoral muscles. Remus gives an awkward, shaky laugh that shatters the silence previously established when Remus first sat on Sirius’ bed.
“What are you doing?” Remus finally manages to ask, a little bit breathless (and delayed, in Sirius’ opinion).
Sirius smiles up at Remus before slowly sitting up in his bed, pushing his bulky covers aside, and leaning in to gently kiss both scars. At the first touch of Sirius’ lips to his chest, Remus instinctively flinches, but he begins to relax slightly as Sirius strokes his arm reassuringly, watching Remus’ face intently for any sign of disgust or unwillingness. When Remus’ eyes only continue to shine with unanswered questions, Sirius leans in again. While the first kiss was short and hesitant, almost like a question, the second kiss lingers for a few seconds, Sirius’ soft lips pressed to Remus’ hot skin. He pulls his lips away only a fraction of an inch so that they’re still there, barely brushing against his skin as he whispers, “You’re beautiful, Moony. Every inch of you.”
Remus is completely still and Sirius is unable to read his expression with his face pressed into his chest, so he leans back, eyes flickering upward to look at Remus. His lips are quivering slightly, and he can’t seem to move his eyes away from Sirius’, even though he looks like he wants to look at anything but Sirius. Remus doesn’t look away until Sirius touches his wrist lightly.
“Moony?” he breathes, his voice hitching slightly as the thought that maybe this was a really bad idea assaults his brain for the first time.
Just as he is about to recoil from Remus and extract himself from the apparently misread situation, Remus places a shaking hand on the side of Sirius’ face and leans in to press his lips lightly against Sirius’. Remus leans back again, and the mere ghost of a kiss has Sirius’ head spinning. Within moments he’s smiling widely at Remus and Remus is smiling too, and Sirius thinks maybe I didn’t fuck this up after all. Laughing a little breathlessly, Sirius leans in to kiss Remus again.