rynne: (r/s all I ever wanted)
[personal profile] rynne
This was my pinch hit, and the first Remus/Sirius fic I've written in...more than a year. I like the fic, and apparently others like the fic, so it's nice to know that I haven't completely lost my touch with these two.

Anyway, sometime later tonight/tomorrow, I'm going to ramble about writing these two fics. I'm also going to finally update my website, so watch for that.

Title: My Candle Burns at Both Ends (The Extended Combustion Remix)
Author: Rynne
Summary: There are so many things Sirius should have done.
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Remus/Sirius
Title, Author and URL of original story: Burn It by [livejournal.com profile] kanella
Notes: Title comes from the poem First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Many thanks to my lovely [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose, for betaing on such short notice.


Remus has a limit to his domesticity. Sometimes this surprises Sirius; it was always Remus who would glare at dirty socks tossed in a corner in the dormitory, and Remus who actually remembers the household charms his mother taught him, and Remus who tends to point out that living in a dump would get smelly and disgusting after awhile. Sirius only really learned of these things after they left Hogwarts and he and Remus got a flat together; as a child and at Hogwarts, and even at the Potters' house, there were always house elves to do all those uninteresting chores.

But for all the household tasks he'll do, Remus doesn't like to cook. Sirius doesn't understand this, though he doesn't really mind, since he enjoys his food at practically any stage of preparation. It's generally no hardship to be the one cooking all the meals, though of course James deserved his hex in the face after getting him a gag gift like that apron that says "I'd tell you the recipe, but then I'd have to kill you". Not that Sirius doesn't like the apron, or at least is amused by what it says, but it's the principle of the thing. A bloke shouldn't give another one an apron, whether he likes other blokes or not.

So Sirius likes to cook, and Remus likes to nag at him to help out with all the other chores around the flat, though Sirius protests that it'll just get dirty soon again anyway and can't it wait a few days, there are so many more interesting things to do. And he'll waggle his eyebrows and leer, and Remus will look disapproving and finally laugh, and if Sirius can make him laugh long enough, Remus sighs and shakes his head and won't make him do more chores. It's a system that works for them.

It's a surprise to find Remus cooking, when Sirius gets home from work. He was actually looking forward to making dinner tonight; chopping things up with large knives is at least somewhat satisfying when one's job makes one want to use those knives in other, more illegal ways. But he's one of the good guys, and therefore does not torture and kill people the way Death Eaters do.

Remus stands in front of the stove, methodically stirring some sort of soup in a large pot. Periodically he'll lift the ladle and sniff it, as if trying to get the soup exactly right. He stands like his feet are planted to the floor, the bread is already sliced up and the fruit is arranged in its bowl, and Sirius grinds his teeth for a moment, because it's very obvious that Remus just lost another job. Last time this happened he went on a cleaning spree and wouldn't let Sirius help, and while Sirius is glad he's not going to get kicked out of the flat while Remus turns it upside down, he does wish that Remus could have exorcised his control issues on something that Sirius didn't want to do.

Then he sighs, because he can't stay annoyed at Remus for long, not over this, and he wants to Apparate over to Remus's latest employer and hex him into next Sunday. It's not like he asked for this, he wants to yell. It's not like he wants to have his body twist itself into a shape beyond his control every month. It's not like he wouldn't give his right hand to be without the bloody curse. And it's not like he's ever hurt anyone as a wolf, or ever will, but no one ever cares about all the precautions he takes, how much he gives up to keep himself safe.

Sirius can barely keep himself from snarling at the absent employer, but it's not like it'll be useful. And Remus won't appreciate him bringing it up, so he won't.

Instead, he sneaks up behind Remus and lays his chin on his shoulder. "Mmmm," he says, nuzzling his nose into Remus's neck. "You know what domesticity does to me." He uses his best throaty whisper, the one that Remus once said, in a moment of weakness having a lot to do with being naked and sweaty and sublimely exhausted, drives him to distraction. Remus could certainly use some distraction right now, Sirius thinks.

He can feel Remus's smile in the movement of their cheeks, and Sirius closes his eyes, glad to have accomplished that, at least. He pulls at the apron's ties, and when they're undone slides his hands around Remus's body, fingers ghosting across his hips and settling on his belly. He presses a series of slow, careful kisses against Remus's face, starting at his ear and wandering over his cheek and down to his jaw.

"The soup will burn," he protests, but he leans back against Sirius, slightly, just enough to be noticeable, and Sirius hides a grin. He presses another kiss to the underside of Remus's chin, and can feel the barest hints of stubble against his lips.

"Soup doesn't burn, Remus," he murmurs against his skin, tongue sneaking out to taste Remus's throat, and--there. So much better than soup, anyway.

Remus laughs, and reaches back to smack Sirius's thigh with a wooden spoon. "Twat," he says, affectionately. "Do you ever think about anything besides sex?"

That stops Sirius cold, despite the teasing tone, and it's only because he doesn't want to give himself away that he keep nuzzling Remus. He thinks he should quip that of course all he ever thinks about is sex, he's a healthy bloke and Remus is the sexiest bastard alive. That's true, but he does think about other things. He does.

Sometimes he thinks about dragging Remus away to Jamaica or Greece or New York City. They could lie in the sun on a beach and watch pretty boys--and girls, he's not that picky--in bathing suits bring them alcohol with the little paper umbrellas stuck in. They could wander around old sites of great magical and historical events, and he could watch Remus get adorably enthusiastic about ancient Greeks and their magical rituals. They could climb all three hundred and fifty-four steps in the Statue of Liberty and walk around on sidewalks crowded with people going about their lives and marvel at the wonders Muggles could do without magic.

They could do that. He's determined that they will, as soon as the war is over. As soon as they've won, and Voldemort and his Death Eaters have eaten death and choked on it. As soon as Remus's face clears and his eyes light up and they're free to be young men again and not soldiers, they'll do all that.

He thinks about buying a house in a town where their closest neighbor is a mile away. He'll paint the fence, which will be low enough that a dog and a wolf can jump over it if they want, and he'll keep a garden that he'll let rabbits get into, just so he can have the fun of chasing them out again as Padfoot. And Remus will never have to worry about their landlord finding out his secret and evicting them, because the house will be theirs, and theirs alone.

He wants to teach Harry to fly, though he'll have to do it before James, which probably means that the sprog will be young enough that Lily would hex him if she knew about it. He'll have to do it when she's not looking, which means waiting until she's relaxed enough that she's able to let her son out of her sight for more than a minute. Damn, James will still probably beat him to it.

He wants to be able to nod a casual hello to a stranger on the street without having to worry if the man is a Death Eater in disguise, or someone sympathetic to their cause. And he doesn't want that in a hazy someday, a dream of when the war is over, he wants that now. He wants the streets to be safe again, or at least as safe as they were before Voldemort rose to power.

There are many things Sirius thinks about; sex is just one of the few things that he can control and that makes him feel good, makes him feel alive, and that there's more to life than fear and worry and pain and grief. But he doesn't tell any of this to Remus, because none of them are Sirius Black things to say.

"Oh," he says instead, "but can you blame me if you are just too irresistible in that dashing apron?" He bats his eyelashes at Remus, but Remus isn't looking at him so the gesture is wasted. It's just as well; even he could hear that the levity in his voice was forced.

Then Remus twists in his arms, tangling the apron, but it doesn't matter because Remus says, "I have a meeting," and that's that, there will be no sex for them that night. He looks apologetic and Sirius can tell that he's sincerely sorry, but Sirius still gets unreasonably angry. Come with me, he wants to say. Forget the war. Forget everything but the two of us, and the good things, the special things, the things that shouldn't be taken away.

He thinks about saying I love you, but decides not to. It wouldn't help, because love alone is not enough to win this war, and reminding them both of that will not make anything better.

So Sirius forgives him and tries a half-smile that soon drops away. He helps finish preparing dinner, and they pass a quick meal talking about how big Harry's getting and laughing at Peter's antics as he moons over the witch he most recently fancies.

Remus gives him a small kiss before he Disapparates, leaving Sirius to clean up the dishes and rattle around the flat by himself, worrying over what half-cocked assignment Dumbledore is going to give him this time, and promising himself that he won't get angry when Remus says he can't tell him what it is. He's never liked secrets, even ones for his own good, for all that he knows he can't give up Remus's assignment under torture or Veritaserum if he doesn't know it. But secrets have a way of backfiring, and Sirius doesn't trust them.

He's alone now, the flat empty but for him, and dislikes that it's beginning to feel familiar. But things have changed so much since their student days; Peter is busy working, James now has a wife and child, and Remus is so determined to make a difference in the war that sometimes it seems he's gone more often than he's there. Sirius misses their relatively carefree life at Hogwarts. Despite all the bad things he remembers having happened--the stupid Willow incident, running away from Grimmauld Place--in hindsight it appears so idyllic.

Everything is going to hell now, and it seems like nothing Sirius can do is enough. He should have just kissed Remus against the stove and pulled him into their tiny bedroom, because at least he could have made the two of them feel better, could have let them sleep warm together, skin to skin, and prolonged one of the few good things they've had in recent years. He should have just let the damn soup burn.
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