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the world forgetting, by the world forgot

By DaydreamByDesign

the world forgetting, by the world forgot

This is for the Last Ship Standing Competition on ff.net. Pairing: Wolfstar. Prompts: infinity, "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt" -John Green, and drinking firewhiskey.

It's also sort of inspired by the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, hence the title.

Thanks to Paula for reassuring me that this makes any kind of sense.

...........................................................................................................

His face mocks you from the front page of a Daily Prophet you haven't bothered to read. His mouth is wide open, the barking laugh you've come to love silenced by newsprint and ink. The handsome and undeniably Black features are twisted into a maniacal expression and you think he must be mad. Barking mad.

His name is on everyone's lips amidst words that could never come close to describing the pain you feel, words like shocking and horrid and of all people to do such a thing!

Of all people indeed.

You set your glass of firewhiskey down in disgust, a ring of brown liquid you've spilled making a circular pattern over the headline that reads "Sirius Black Murders Thirteen With A Single Curse" as if that were some kind of impressive feat. You get up and cross the room to the window overlooking a street full of people celebrating the Dark Lord's defeat while you are wallowing in self pity.

This burning in your throat is too temporary and your bottle's almost empty. Your hands still shake and you have no one to hold them. You drink to forget but you'll remember in the morning and it will hurt all the more because pain like this demands your attention. It feeds off your weakness and spreads like a cancer until you can do nothing but feel and you just want to be numb. You want to forget, to not care. To not love.

And maybe you're too drunk or perhaps it's just too close to the full moon for you to think rationally, but before you can stop yourself, you act on impulse. You raise your wand to your temple and you visualize his face, every laugh line around his eyes and the set of his jaw when he's contemplating. You picture the way his lips form around I love you just as yours form around Obliviate.

And the front page of the Daily Prophet becomes a blur.

(It only takes a second. It only takes a second for a lover to become a stranger.

And in that split second, your life flashes before your eyes, millisecond memories that you never knew you had.

You never do know what you have until it's gone.)

.......................................................................................................

It's the last time you see him and two weeks before he becomes a traitor. Or perhaps he's already done his damage. You'll never know now. And soon, it will cease to matter at all.

There is something physically between you. Always. The couch, the island counter, the bedroom door. The word spy is there too, but neither of you say it. Not out loud, anyway.

"It could be any of us," you say.

He meets your eyes defiantly, daring you to accuse him. But there's also a flicker of sadness as he questions just exactly what it is you mean. "What could?"

"You know what I mean," you say pointedly.

And he does know. He knows you don't trust him, and he doesn't trust you. And what is love without trust, after all?

He packs his things with a flick of his wand. It doesn't take long so you suspect that he's had this moment planned for a while which is just as well.

There is no fight, no parting words because there is nothing to say. It's the only logical thing to do.

You watch his fading figure disappear on the back of a motorcycle and you try to console yourself with the knowledge that at least you were right in the end. You were right.

How you wish you weren't.

And the last thing you recall before it all fades to black is your blood staining the carpet and a broken picture frame in your hands. The photograph is of the two of you, arms entwined, your head tucked up underneath his chin.

You blink and he's gone and the photograph is now of you grasping at thin air. And you're happy.

"Good riddance."

.........................................................................................................

"Christ, stop missing the ashtray, Siri." You trace your fingers along the black mark he's left on the coffee table, and give him a look of disapproval that you don't entirely mean. A thin cloud of smoke frames his face, and when it clears all that is left is the look of a dog who's shit on the carpet. Sorry, guilty, so bloody endearing. How does he do that?

You pluck the pack of cigarettes out of the pocket of his robes, wrinkling your nose at the label. "I thought you quit."

He shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head. Then, he puts his cigarette out and pulls you by the wrist to sit beside him on the couch. You lean against his chest, taking comfort in the rise and fall of his breaths. His voice scratches like the stubble on his chin against your forehead which tells you that was not the first cigarette of the day. "First Order meeting's tomorrow, you know."

"I know."

"Are you ready?"

No. You were never ready. No one ever is.

"What have we gotten ourselves into, Pads?"

He only smirks and leans down to press his lips against your ear. "Trouble," he whispers.

And despite your obvious concern, you chuckle at this response. But his next words sound like an echo in the distance, signaling his departure, warning you of time running out. "I always did like trouble."

The hand in yours loosens its hold.

"..always did…"

And then it's just you on the couch.

"…trouble."

And the smoke rising from the ashtray is all he leaves behind.

..........................................................................................................

You grasp his leather jacket as the motorcycle picks up speed. You can barely hear him barking over the rumble of the engine. He says this is what infinity feels like; this is how to fly. Until he's gone and you've lost control and you are falling. You are freefalling and this is not like flying at all.

Maybe you were grasping too tight. Maybe you need to learn when to let go.

You are forgetting him so fast, so easily, but you suppose that will make it hurt a little less like ripping a bandaid from your flesh.

And when it's over you'll finally be numb.

...........................................................................................................

You are a tangle of limbs and sheets and pyjama bottoms around ankles and it's always a wonder how it could be so frantic but so gentle at the same time. Always gentle. His fingers tracing faded scars along the length of your torso and his mouth trailing kisses down your jaw.

"God, I love you, Remus." He kicks off the covers and turns onto his side, watching you catch your breath.

Grey eyes are silver when they're cocky and you almost want to resent him. But mostly you love him, too.

"I love you," you say. And it's true. You wouldn't be doing this if you didn't. You wouldn't want to forget, and you've lost yourself in this millisecond memory; you've forgotten that this is what you wanted.

Because you wish you could keep this moment for nights when you're feeling lonely. You wish you could always remember him like this, loving you like only he could.

And so, you reach out to him and bruise his lips with yours, holding on with all you have, savoring the little time you have left. "Don't go," you plead. "Don't go."

"I'm not going anywhere," he promises, but he doesn't understand. He doesn't know what you know. He doesn't see that he's already leaving.

"Don't…"

And the weight shifts beneath you as you collapse onto the bed, pyjama bottoms around your ankles and utterly alone.

.........................................................................................................

The next time you see him, you have already forgotten what he looks like. His face is an expressionless blank canvas with a gaping mouth spewing words you know you've heard him say before but in a different voice.

He says your name, but it's void of all emotion. It's void of all the love he promised along with forever.

He isn't Sirius anymore. He's a paper marionette, tap dancing across your memory as it begins to fade away.

"I'm losing you," you tell him.

"You're erasing me," he corrects.

"I'm sorry."

"I know."

"I love you."

He doesn't say it back. Somebody's cut the strings and he crumples into nothingness.

You want to be indignant, but you know that would be rather hypocritical seeing as that somebody is you.

..........................................................................................................

The Shrieking Shack looks exactly the same. There are two sets of paw prints among the scratches of rat-like claws and hooves, but there is no Padfoot tonight. As you whimper in the corner, the rat and the stag standing guard over you, you think you might hear him barking. You imagine a warm back pressed against yours. You remember how he felt.

You're going to miss that the most.

..........................................................................................................

The day you met has already disappeared by the time you get there.

King's Cross is still as busy as ever. You search the crowd for black hair, or the flash of his smile. You meet James and Peter and you sit with them on the train, but Sirius never shows up and the seat across from you remains empty. It's as if he never existed, and that's what you wanted, wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

He's gone.

You press your forehead against the cold, cold window, watching the blur of life outside go by.

"He's really gone."

..........................................................................................................

You wake up in a cold sweat, your body sore from the impact it made with the floor. You groan and stand up to stretch before collapsing on the couch. The almost empty bottle of firewhiskey is all the explanation you need, and you tell yourself you'll pour the rest down the drain before the night is out.

A bit of movement in your peripheral vision captures your attention, and you pull the Daily Prophet closer. Your heart sinks all over again as you read Peter's name among the dead.

And the photograph of a laughing man only makes you sick. The maniacal glint in his eye sends a surge of anger up your spine and you toss the paper away in disgust.

"A face only a Dementor should kiss," you mutter before going to get some water.

(You don't know what you had because it's gone.

It's really gone.)

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