“All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t put it past you.”
“I would not burn my foot on a George Foreman grill, Lupin.”
“Need I remind you of the time I had to rush over to your flat because you accidentally spilled hot wax on your man bits?”
“You probably shouldn’t mention to Black that you’ve seen my man bits.”
“Eh, a healthy bit of antagonism is good for him. Keeps his head unswollen.”
“At my expense?”
“Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.”
Fabian narrowed his eyes. “You know I don’t like it when you repeat my own words back to me.”
“I think Freud might have a few things to say about that.”
“How did we get on this topic again?”
“We were talking about incompetent bosses,” Remus answered, staring at Fabian pointedly.
“Oh yes, that reminds me.” Fabian cleared his throat. “When I first met you I immediately knew I wanted to take you under my wing.”
“The first day we met you spent the better part of an hour making fun of my name.”
“You walk in here with a name like Wolf Wolf and I’m not supposed to say anything?”
“Well you walked in here smelling like cheap perfume and cigarettes and I didn’t say anything.”
Fabian ignored Remus’ jibe and said, “Honestly if you choose to study Classics with a name like Remus Lupin you’re basically asking for it.”
Remus opened his mouth to respond but abruptly closed it. Fabian was not wrong; he was sort of asking for it.
Fabian nodded smugly. “I thought so. Now can I please finish my speech?”
“I’m tired of speeches,” Remus groaned. “Everyone’s always trying to make big dramatic speeches. Sirius. James. Peter. Harry. Everything’s always worth a speech and I’m sick of it. Let’s just cut the cake.”
Fabian sniffed, “You have no respect for ceremony, Lupin.”
“Prewett, I know you’re officially done with your book-”
“Yes, and you don’t even want to commemorate our journey’s end.”
“Our journey isn’t ending! I will literally see you tomorrow at Dorcas’ birthday party!”
“But it won’t be the same.”
Remus rolled his eyes. “No, we won’t be stuck in a stuffy office in a poorly ventilated basement talking shit when we should be working. What a shame.” Remus was silent for a moment. “You’re right, it won’t be the same.”
“Hah! You’re going to miss me.”
“You’ll miss me!”
“Fine, I’ll miss you. Even though I can’t escape you even in my nightmares.”
A grin that looked too delighted for Remus’ comfort took over Fabian’s face. “Well, I have some good news then! The publishers liked my book so much that they asked me to do a new book of translations of some of Aristophanes’ plays. The boys are back, baby!”
Remus looked at him blankly. “And you’re just telling me this now? Why did we have to do this whole ceremony thing then?”
“Well I was going to tell you at the end of my speech, but someone didn’t want to hear it.”
“Arg! I’m leaving. Cut your own damn cake,” Remus stood up and began gathering his things.
“Yeah, that’s probably for the best. Emmeline’s on her way over.” Fabian held out a plastic cup filled with champagne. “Come on, Lupin. Just humor me?”
With a deep sigh, Remus took the cup.
Fabian cleared his throat. He raised his glass and Remus mirrored him. “Here’s to those who wish us well, and those who don’t can go to hell!”
They clinked cups and Remus took a drink. “You wrote a book and that’s all you could come up with?”
“Well if you’d rather hear my speech…”
“Nope, have fun with Emmeline.” Remus was halfway out of the room before he paused. “But please don’t have fun on my desk.”
Fabian shrugged. “We’ll see.”
"I, President of Marauders Incorporated, hereby call this meeting to order," James declared, "Agent Padfoot, if you could please give us a progress report."
"I have reserved the trained doves. In related news, the dove bite on my finger is healing nicely."
James nodded. "Good work. Agent Wormtail, please share your progress."
"Well," Peter began, "The life-sized Dumbledore ice sculpture is proving harder to secure. Though, I would like to mention that the ice artist is prepared to make a non-life-sized alternative."
James deliberated for a moment. "How non-life-sized?"
"A comparison to Danny Devito was made."
"No," James shook his head, "that'll never work. Tell the ice artist that we'll pay extra if we have to. Now, Agent Moony?"
Remus licked his lips, "I actually have a question."
"Who's the target?"
James blinked at Remus.
"I was under the impression that the target was Peter," Sirius said, looking into Peter's eyes with confusion.
"Nooo," Peter responded slowly.
"I thought that we were targeting Lily," James muttered.
Remus furrowed his eyebrows, "But Lily was the one who was supposed to get the fire dancers."
"Huh," James wondered aloud, "Strange."
"So, what do we do now?" Peter asked.
James pounded his gavel, "I officially shelve Operation: Midnight in Paris for future consideration. Agents, cancel the doves and the ice sculpture. This meeting is hereby ended."
"Okay," Sirius clapped his hands together, "Remus and I have news."
"You're breaking up?" James and Peter asked at the same time.
Remus' jaw dropped. "What the fuck?"
"You two are so annoying," Peter responded, standing up from the kitchen table to grab a banana.
"Yeah," James agreed. He took on a mocking tone, "you guys are so in love and are the perfect couple blah blah blah- give me a break already."
Peter sighed. "I miss Davey."
Remus rolled his eyes. "You never even met Davey."
"Yeah," Peter nodded, "that was the appeal."
Sirius was now switching back and forth between glaring at James and Peter. "Well since you don't want to hear our news, drop that banana and get the fuck out."
"C'mon, we jest, we jest. Tell us your news."
Sirius' glare turned into a beam within a second. "Remus is moving back in with me!"
James and Peter shared a look.
"So what's your news?" Peter asked.
"Haven't you guys been living together this whole time?" James wondered.
"No!” Remus exclaimed.
"You are literally always here," James argued.
Remus sighed. “That’s just because of the cockroaches.”
Peter cocked his head to the side. “I thought they fumigated.”
“He was talking about Greyback,” Sirius answered.
“This meeting was entirely anticlimactic,” James muttered.
Sirius returned to glaring. "Get out."
"Okay," Peter stood up, "I've got to go talk to the ice artist anyway. I think a Danny Devito-sized Dumbledore ice sculpture would look nice in my foyer."
As James and Peter made it to the door, they stopped and grinned. James said, "Congrats guys."
Remus felt tingles at the bottom of his feet when Sirius smiled at him. “Thanks,” he murmured, “we’ll see you for Friday night dinner.”
A few hours later, Sirius plopped down on the couch and grumbled, "I'm mad at you.”
"Hmmm?" Remus had decided to take on the one man task of cleaning the flat. Unfortunately, he was having trouble determining if the stain on the carpet was a Harry stain or a Snuffles stain.
"I'm mad at you," Sirius repeated and reached out to try and snatch Remus by the shirtsleeve.
Remus ducked out of Sirius' reach and made his way to the kitchen to grab the cleaning supplies.
"Remus!" Sirius called, "Don't walk away from me when I'm trying to yell at you!"
With a fond sigh, Remus made his way back into the living room. "Yes, dear?" This time Remus allowed himself to be pulled into Sirius' lap.
"Where was I?" Sirius asked after he spent a few minutes nuzzling Remus' hair and placing kisses on his neck.
"You're mad at me."
"Oh yeah," Sirius said, clearing his throat. "There was a refund in my bank account today."
Remus smiled. "That's nice."
"Yeah," Sirius began, "It was a refund for half of the month's rent."
"Oh?" Remus asked mildly.
Sirius narrowed his eyes. "Do you have any idea why I would be refunded half this month's rent?"
"No, nothing comes to mind."
"Really? Because I called the office manager and she told me that someone by the name of R. J. Lupin came in with a check and insisted that she take it."
"What a coincidence," Remus said, "That's so close to my name."
"I thought we talked about this!"
"We did! And I told you that I'm going to put in my fair share around here."
Sirius frowned. "I don't want you to put in your fair share. I want to take care of you."
Remus sighed and tried to kiss the corner of Sirius' frown. Sirius, however, was too quick and managed to turn his head at the last moment so he could kiss Remus fully on the mouth.
A minute later, they took a break for air.
"Remember when we first got together?” Remus asked, “We said that this relationship would only work if we're both equally invested and involved. Paying for my own things is part of being equally invested and involved."
Sirius’ face softened, “Fine.”
Remus kissed him again.
A few minutes later, Remus breathlessly asked, "Do you know what else is part of being equally invested and involved?"
"What?" Sirius mumbled, mouth still attached to Remus' neck.
"Picking up your own damn socks," Remus answered sternly.
Sirius removed his mouth and barked out a laugh. "But I love watching you bend over to grab them."
Flushing, Remus countered, "Well if I spent less time bending over to grab your disgusting socks, I'd be more inclined to bend over for other things." Remus leaned back to wait for Sirius to take the hint. It only took about half a second before Sirius was dragging him towards their bedroom.
And that was how Remus Lupin got his groove back.