Kiss and Make Up
A forehead creased.
A finger twitched.
Remus jerked out of his chair at Sirius' bedside at the movement, moving to grasp his hand reassuringly, rubbing comforting circles on the back of his hand.
"Padfoot?" he whispered.
"Nngh… Wh – where am I?" rasped Sirius as he blinked blearily at his surroundings, willing them to come into focus. "Moony? That you, Moony?"
Remus' breath came out in a relieved whoosh when Sirius' familiar gaze fixed on him. "Yes, yes it's me, Pads. You're in St. Mungo's." His grip on Sirius' hand tightened. With his free hand, Remus reached for the glass of water that sat on the bedside table.
"Mungo's?" Sirius' tone was confused, uncomprehending. "What am I doing at Mungo's?" A pained hiss escaped his lips as he tried to use his elbows as leverage to sit up, intending to sip the water that Remus held. "Ow… Merlin's balls, that bloody hurts."
In a blink of an eye, Remus was standing. "Here, let me help you. Take it slowly," he advised. A strong arm snaked around to support Sirius while the other brought the cup to Sirius' lips. He gently eased Sirius onto his back again once he was satisfied.
"You got hit pretty badly. You'll probably be sore for the next few days at least." Remus informed. Raking a scrutinising gaze over Sirius' heavily bandaged torso, he amended, "Or perhaps a couple of weeks."
"Hit badly… How…" the black-haired marauder trailed off uncertainly, before his eyes widened as a barrage of memories hit him and understanding dawned. "Ah," he muttered intelligently.
" 'Ah' indeed," replied Remus, his features grim. "Damn it, Padfoot! You can't just take an unknown curse, especially one fired by a Death Eater, to the face! What did you do? Stand there and let him hit you for fun? What did you think it would be, huh? Rictusempra?" Remus' hands had left Sirius', now tightly balled into fists at his side. The relief he had felt earlier crushed to smithereens and engulfed by worry and anger.
"Obviously I wouldn't 'take an unknown curse, especially one fired by a Death Eater, to the face for fun' as you kindly put it!" Sirius began, riled up by Remus' earlier words. "I didn't think –"
"You got that right, you moron," Remus cut him off heatedly. "You. Didn't. Think." He punctuated each word with a jab to Sirius' arm. "And really, coming from you, I shouldn't be so surprised. The war isn't a game! We're not at Hogwarts anymore! The time for pranks has long gone! It's time to grow up, Sirius! Stop fooling around! One mistake and people could've been killed. You could have been killed, Sirius Orion Black! What if we hadn't gotten to you in time to save you?" He had gone from angry to downright furious, pacing the floor and punctuating his words with wild gestures.
He sat down abruptly, running a hand through his unusually messy hair before taking a deep, shuddering breath.
"What would I have done?" he choked out brokenly. Remus finally lost the battle with his emotions as the first tear trickled down his cheeks.
Sirius' heart shattered at the sight of his boyfriend sitting there, gripping his knees so tightly his knuckles were white. He noticed the eye bags that had absolutely no place on his Remus' face, exhaustion unmistakeable to anyone who took a second to look at the man. He saw the way his shoulders shook with as waves of supressed anxiety, fear, anger and relief warred for dominance, before he was struck by a heart-stopping realisation: This was his fault, he had caused this.
"Oh Rem…" he breathed, fighting back his own tears as emotion threatened to bubble up from the pit of his stomach and overwhelm him. Remus looked up at him with moist, bloodshot eyes and Sirius opened his arms for a hug. Moving into the embrace with well-practised ease, Remus soon found himself lying on the bed, his head nestled comfortably in the crook of Sirius' shoulder and Sirius' arms wrapped around his torso.
"I'm so sorry, Rem," he mumbled in his ear, closing his eyes as he breathed in Remus' familiar scent. "I had to – the bastard had fired at this muggle lady and I just reacted instinctively – there was no time – and shoved her out of the way. I'm sorry, Moony."
The sandy-haired man brought his palm to rest on Sirius' cheek. "It's fine," he sighed resignedly. He had already forgiven Sirius, because he knew that this was who he was, this need to protect innocents was his nature. Just like how I'm a werewolf, he thought wryly. Only his nature wasn't dangerous or lethal to human beings – well, only sometimes. Like this one.
"No it isn't, Moony," protested Sirius adamantly. "I promise you. No more reckless behaviour from today onwards. There won't be a repeat of this episode; you have my word on this. No more."
"It's terribly selfish of me, I know. How can I ask you to stop protecting people just for my own desires? I know we're supposed to protect people but if the cost is you, then I don't think I could ever – It's just too much and – Argh! I don't know anymore!" Remus had scrunched his eyes shut in frustration.
"Calm down, Moony. It's not selfish," came the instant reply and Remus scoffed in disbelief. "It isn't," he insisted. "Look at me." Sirius tucked a finger under Remus' chin and tilted his head up to meet his eyes. Grey stared seriously into brown. A calloused thumb wiped away the remaining tear tracks that streaked Remus' face from earlier, tracing the contour of his face tenderly before he leaned his forehead against the dejected-looking marauder's.
"I love you, Moony. I'd do anything for you and you know that." He paused briefly to return Remus' smile. "You're just trying to keep me alive. It's actually self-preservation, in a way," he continued thoughtfully. "You want me alive, because without me, you'd wither up and die." He pulled away and flashed a toothy grin at his boyfriend, watching contentedly as the tension left Remus' body and his eyes crinkled in amusement at the familiar antics.
"Oh, except for you, of course," Sirius added a moment later. "I'm going to protect you as much as I'm able, and then some; circumstances be damned. I'll stick to you like glue, follow you everywhere… You won't be alone for a minute!" Sirius beamed triumphantly at the plan he'd concocted.
"What?" asked Remus, his voice switching over to dangerously calm in a split second. "Think I can't look after myself, do you? Don't trust me in a fight?"
"No, no, nothing like that, Moony," Sirius' grin fell quickly as he hastily defended himself. "You've got it all wrong. I'd trust you with my life –" He leaned in for a chaste kiss on Remus' forehead, chuckling as Remus furrowed his brows in response.
" – just not with yours." Sirius winked mischievously. "Ouch! Oy, injured person here!" He adopted a wounded-dog expression after being slapped by Remus.
The logical marauder rolled his eyes. "You're an idiot," he muttered affectionately.
"But I'm your idiot, and you love me for it." The cheeky grin was back.
Remus rolled his eyes but otherwise made no attempt at denial, instead choosing to lean in, his eyes fluttering shut. Sirius swiftly and happily acquiesced, capturing Remus' lips in his own and reaching around to cup the back of his head as he deepened the kiss. The duo was enveloped in blissful heaven, lost to the rest of the world.
"Oh hey, Padfoot!" cried James exuberantly as he bounded into the room. "Welcome back to the world of the living! The healer said you were awake and so I – oh," he trailed off abashedly, his cheeks turning pink as the two marauders startled and broke apart, turning to look at him with impatient glares, although they made no effort to untangle themselves from each other. We're kind of having a moment here, if you'd be so kind, was communicated silently.
"Er, that was not what I was expecting to walk in on." The glares intensified and James winced. "Yeah, I'll just – see you soon, then!" With that, the bespectacled marauder bolted out of the room.
"Talk about awkward timings," mused Sirius, ruffling Remus' hair affectionately.
A glint of mischief shone in the grey eyes as he leaned in to whisper, "You up for round two?"
No verbal answer was required between the couple as Remus met Sirius halfway, their eyes closed as they lost themselves in the moment once more.