Better than Chocolate
was alone the next morning, as was customary. He hated it. He
hated that he let himself be used this way. Moreover, he hated that he
always settled for it, ultimately rationalising these drunken trysts as
better than nothing. Taking what he could get, because he couldn't bear
to refuse Sirius anything.
was going to be worse than most
mornings-after. Today they'd all been invited to James's parents' house
for lunch. Acting like nothing had happened was easy. He'd done it a
million times. Acting enthusiastic and happy, that was a different
was a strained affair. Remus's laughs were
hollow and Sirius wouldn't meet his eyes. James kept shooting them
concerned glances. Finally he cornered Remus in the kitchen.
don't want to talk about it," Remus said before James could even get a
fixed him with a steady gaze. "Well, then, do a better job of hiding
it, whatever it is. You've been positively morose all day. At least
twice a week since school ended, in fact."
don't you ask Sirius about it," Remus spat before storming out of the
Apparated home, regretting what he'd said to James. He'd probably put
two and two together very soon. And Sirius would never touch him again.
It's okay as long as we don't talk about it, right?
In those moments he'd spent entwined with Sirius, Remus would have
agreed to anything.
shut the screen on the fireplace and crawled into bed. This part of the
day was familiar to him. It was the part where he always got angry,
just before Sirius showed up with apologies. But he wasn't going to let
Sirius apologise this time. He wasn't. He was through with this. If it
lost him the few friends he'd ever had, then so be it. But he couldn't
take it anymore--being used, always having to take less. He
fell asleep, tears stinging his eyes.
was dark when a loud crash woke him. The crash was followed by some
banging, then a long string of obscenities delivered by a voice that
sent his heart into his throat. "REMUS!" Sirius shouted, banging on the
He wouldn't. He wasn't going to break this time. "Bugger off!" he
can't! I'm stuck in your fucking fireplace!"
You can die in there for all I care!" he shot back, slamming his
bedroom door so hard it splintered along the hinges.
was silence for a moment, and Remus moved back toward his bed, trying
desperately to ignore the situation.
silence didn't last. "REMUS JOHN LUPIN, IF YOU DON'T LET ME OUT OF THIS
BLOODY FUCKING FIREPLACE RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO BLOW UP THIS ENTIRE
HOUSE!" Sirius bellowed.
was chilled to hear the tone
Sirius usually reserved for Snape directed at him. It was enough to
prompt him to do as he was told and open the screen. Sirius tumbled out
onto the hearth. His face was still red from shouting. He also had a
black eye and a split lip. Yes, James had figured it out.
hurled something he'd been holding onto the couch, but Remus didn't
have a chance to see what it was. "What the fuck, Moony?" he said,
clearly enraged. "You could have killed me!"
Remus said, his voice trembling with a rage that frightened him. "I
don't want to talk to you. I don't want to see you. I only let you in
so you wouldn't blow up my flat. Now get out." And god, it hurt
to say those words.
folded his arms. "No, I don't think I will."
Remus spat, refusing to allow himself to stand down, despite the fact
that all he wanted to do at this point was cry. "Because if James finds
out you've left here without grovelling properly, he'll blacken your
other eye? Is that it? I'll save you both the trouble and do it myself
if you'd like."
sighed. "If it'll make you feel better," he said, his tone strangely
blinked at him in surprise. "Is that what this is about? Making me feel
better so you can feel like less of a bastard?"
ran his hand through his hair. A nervous habit, Remus knew. "It's about
making you feel better, yes. As for my bastard status, I'm afraid it's
right! Voilà! I feel better! You're still a prick! You can go
you, Sirius," he said, fighting for composure and losing. "How do you
suppose I've felt the past month? How do you think I feel when you show
up here rat-arsed twice a week, suck me off and refuse to kiss me? How
do you think I like knowing that you just use me whenever you feel like
it, that you take advantage of the fact that I'd burn down the whole
fucking world just to be next to you for five minutes?" Angry tears
were streaming down his face now, and he couldn't stop them, no matter
how savagely he wiped them away. "I can't do it anymore," he said
hoarsely. Sirius reached out to touch his arm, but Remus slapped his
looked hurt. It didn't satisfy Remus like he'd thought it would. "Will
you just sit down and talk to me?"
I always sit down and talk to you? When you tell me that sleeping with
me was a mistake?"
Sirius said, barely above a whisper.
let himself be pulled over to the couch, and he sat down.
Sirius said. "I won't make excuses. I know I don't deserve to be
excused. I've known that for a long time. But...dammit, Remus, it was
all I knew how to do. I'm no good with emotions and feelings. And...and
the way I feel about you, it scares me. It scares the shit out of me,
because it's nothing I can put words to. I don't know what to do about
it. So I'm a prick instead."
couldn't quite process what
he was hearing. It was too surreal. It was too close to what he'd
always wanted to hear. There had to be a catch. "Why didn't you say
anything to me?"
just told you, I was scared. I'm still scared."
did James do that's making you say it now?"
than hit me a few times? He said...he said I'd have to be completely
braindead to pass up someone who's so perfect for me," Sirius said, his
voice dwindling to a whisper toward the end of his sentence.
felt a different sort of tears coming to his eyes now. By some tacit
agreement, they moved toward each other, and Remus fell into Sirius's
arms. "What's the catch?" Remus finally said.
never get to laugh at me for having brought you chocolates," Sirius
murmured into his hair.
I did," Sirius said, reaching over to produce the parcel he'd thrown
earlier and handing it to him. "They might be a bit melted by now,
gaped. These were his favourite. "Sirius, you can only get these in
do you think I got them?"
image of Sirius walking into a Parisian chocolatier with a black eye
and demanding their finest assortment made Remus laugh.
said you didn't get to laugh!"
only laughing at what the poor Parisians must have thought," he said,
opening the box. The chocolates were a bit melted due to the heat
outside and the abuse they'd taken, but Remus didn't hesitate to pick
one out and devour it. He was about to lick the chocolate from his
fingertips but Sirius caught his hand and brought it to his own mouth,
slowly sucking one finger after another, even the ones that didn't have
chocolate on them. Remus moaned unabashedly and closed his eyes. He
immediately felt a warm hand over the bulge in his jeans, but he pushed
it away and turned to face Sirius full-on.
wrong?" Sirius asked.
kiss me, please," he said, trying to keep his voice from breaking.
smiled and gently pushed Remus's hair back from his face before leaning
down to capture his lips in a gentle kiss. "You taste like chocolate,"
he said, gliding one finger up the side of Remus's cheek.
taste better," Remus said, kissing him again. For what seemed like
hours, they sat motionless, just slowly exploring each other's mouths,
until soft sighs of contentment gave way to ragged breaths and moans
and fingernails on skin. Remus arched his back, grinding their
made a sound that was some combination of a gasp and a moan. "Do you
shook his head before he could finish, already feeling bereft at the
loss of contact with those precious lips. "Just keep kissing me," he
2004-2005 by Deirdre Riordan. Contact me at deirdre.riordan @ gmail .