Sirius waits for him at the top of the stairwell, dark robes hanging off of his still-thin body. Remus smiles at the sight of him.
"You should have eaten," Remus says. Because you need to, hangs in the air. Sirius lets him by and doesn't say anything, but he follows Remus to the bedroom.
The dark room smells of mould, sour sweat and the faint hint of sex. Remus wrinkles his nose and moves to the window in a few large steps to push it open. He turns and Sirius is standing near the closed door, a pensive look on his wasted face.
"What did you have?" Sirius' voice is still a little hoarse from years of not speaking.
Remus shrugs. "A beef stew. Some bread. It was good." He moves to the bed slowly, clenching his fingers around the corner of the sheets and tugging on them. "There's a bit left over if you want some later."
Sirius comes closer to help, and he almost picks up another corner but drops his hand immediately. "It smells like the old Quidditch showers in here," he says lightly, backing away with a horrified expression. Remus grins.
"What, the sweat?"
Sirius chuckles, shaking his head as he watches Remus pull another corner of the sheets free. "That and the come. If I had ever stopped to think of how many wanks had been finished off in those showers..."
"That's disgusting," Remus says quickly. He stops and glares at Sirius. "Are you going to help me or just stand there and watch? This is your filth too, you know."
Shrugging, Sirius folds his hands in front of him and relaxes his shoulders, indicating that he is going nowhere. "I like watching," he says simply.
Remus snorts and snaps the sheets so that the opposite corners unhook from the mattress. "You like watching me clean by myself?"
"I just like watching you."
Remus' hands still, and he smiles over his shoulder at Sirius. It is not often that Sirius shows a bit of affection towards him, not in that way at least, and it has only been recently. It's like finding a sweet in your coat pockets - unexpected but treasured. Remus collects these treasures all the time.
Sirius is smiling back at him, a little serene at first. Then the expression changes and Remus knows what he's thinking. He laughs and starts to shake his head.
"I want to watch you," Sirius states, loudly this time, and Remus laughs again because Sirius can rarely be tender but can always be suggestive.
Sirius points to the bed. "Come on, Moony, I want to watch you. Please?"
Remus shakes his head, amused. "You always like watching me. I want to be touched, sometimes." The bed is pulling him in anyway.
"I can touch you later," Sirius says with a naughty grin, his eyes following Remus' form. Remus pushes himself onto the bed and back, leaning against the headboard with his legs out in front of him.
Sirius strips quickly, leaning back against the opposite wall, his cock already half-hard. He runs his hand down over his stomach and groans, and Remus feels the groan go straight to his own blossoming erection, his breath caught in his throat at the sight of Sirius. Remus doesn't bother to shed all of his clothes; he bunches the thick fabric of his robes up around his stomach, pulling down and kicking off his pants. Sirius' eyes are burning a trail to his bare skin, and Remus can't hold off; he wraps his hand around his cock and squeezes the base. With his other hand, he runs his finger along the moisture at the slit on the end of his erection, bringing his finger up to taste himself as he moves his other hand up and down slowly, savouring the taste of himself and the feel of his hand. He wished Sirius would cross the room and touch him, but Sirius is a voyeur and prefers to watch. Remus will do whatever Sirius wants.
Flames of desire lick at his skin, racing through his veins in liquid form as he shifts his body further down the bed, closing his eyes as he groans at the building pleasure. His foreskin slides nicely, his hand speeding up as he strokes himself. He sucks on his finger, imagining that it is Sirius' cock in his mouth. He's panting, his chest rising and falling in short, rapid movements. Sirius gets louder, the sound of the breaths and moans matching in the musky air.
Remus pulls at his cock roughly, pulling his finger out of his mouth and fondling his balls with the other hand. He groans and rubs his thumb across the leaking head, his nerves on fire with pleasure and urgency. Across the room, Sirius is moaning loudly now, and Remus has to force his eyes to open and focus across his haze of desire to see Sirius clearly. The other man is still leaning against the far wall, his eyes wide open and staring at the bed, breathing heavily, his right hand moving along his cock in quick strokes as his left hand is pinching one of his nipples.
The sight of Sirius alone is almost enough to make Remus come, and he speeds up his movements and concentrates on the slow build of ecstasy. He thrusts his hips forward a little, digging his heels into the mattress as he caresses his cock, coaxing the impending orgasm to rush forth. Once last stroke and it does, shooting out of him strongly and hitting the fabric of his robes still covering his stomach. He keeps stroking as he comes down off of the height of his climax, relaxing his head back onto the pillow.
A few seconds of near silence passes, and Remus lifts his head again to see Sirius standing beside the bed now, looking down on him. Black hair is now a little tangled, wisps sticking to the sides of his face with sweat. Blue eyes are staring down at Remus, and he can't help but shiver at the intensity of the stare. He stares back wordlessly.
And then Sirius smiles at him. "Thank you," he says. Remus scoots over to make room for him, but he doesn't sit. He walks back to the other side of the room and picks up his discarded robes, pulling them over his head. Remus can't take his eyes off of him.
A knock at the door jolts Remus into action. He calls out, "Just a second, please." Rushing to put his pants back on and push his robes down, he races to send scent-disguising charms around the room and on the sheets, hoping that they cover up the smell of sex in the air. His robes had been turned inside out when they had been pushed up, and now he feels the slimey gooeyness of his come against his abdomen, but he ignores it. He makes it to the door and pulls it open to reveal Molly, who's holding a stack of blankets in her hands.
"It's starting to get cold out, Remus, so I thought you might want some extra..." She trails off, wrinkling her nose slightly as she looks at him with wide eyes. "Well, you might need to put these on your bed."
He takes the bundle out of her arms and holds it to his chest. "That's very kind of you to think of me, Molly," he says calmly. "I could have got a blanket from downstairs myself, though."
She frowns. "Remus, you've been...you're not all right. I can hear you talking to yourself sometimes." She reaches out her hand to put it on his arm, and he lets her. "He's gone. You have to let him go, Remus."
He feels an ache in his chest. He has heard this many times already, from Dumbledore and Tonks and Arthur. They don't understand, though. They don't realize that he SEES Sirius, still. How could they not see him, too?
"He's not dead," he whispers, but he knows that the conviction behind his voice is feeble and crumbling more every day that he says it. He wants to believe it so badly. He tells people that he is fine; he says that he is strong. They all look at him with sympathy like they can't believe him, but he feels as if Sirius himself is whispering into his ear, telling him that he believes the truth. That no one else knows. "He's here. He tells me..." He trails off, unable to say the rest. He tells me that he loves me now. He never had a chance to before.
Molly is rubbing his arm. "I understand that he was your best friend, Remus."
He shakes his head. "No, he was more than that. He...I..." How can he explain? "He feels more than that, as I do for him."
An expression crosses her face that's a mixture between concern and confusion. "More than that? You...you loved him?"
He swallows. "Yes," he whispers, unable to look at her. "I love him. And he loves me."
She moves close and pulls him into a hug, resting her face against his chest. "Oh, Remus, you need help. Sirius is dead." She pulls away slightly, looking up at him. "And I don't think he was gay. Unless he told you that he was." She pauses as he stares at her. "Before that day in the Department of Mysteries, I mean."
He tries to remember, but now his brain has shut down his memories, making them blurry and unclear. "I can't remember if it was before or after then. He tells me now, though."
She murmurs something under her breath as she looks at him sadly, something that sounded like "Dumbledore" and "help him." He thinks that he should be irritated and angry at what is clearly pity, but he only feels numb.
When she leaves, Remus goes back into the room and tosses the blankets onto the bed. The room is empty. He sits on the bed.
He struggles between the two opposing thoughts in his mind. On one hand, he saw Sirius fall through the archway that day. He listened as people told him that they were sorry. He felt the sadness and the anger and the frustration that came before his current emptiness.
On the other hand, though, Sirius still talks to him. Remus does things for him. He brings food for Sirius and leaves it in the bedroom, because Sirius doesn't want to go down to the kitchen. He lets Sirius watch as he masturbates, because Sirius didn't get to see it before. He hears the things that Sirius tells him.
But the room is now full of mouldy food and empty of Sirius.
Maybe Molly is right, then. Maybe he is not seeing Sirius. Maybe his mind is just making it all up. But for what purpose?
In his imagination, Sirius gives him hints of love that Remus had wanted when they were young. In his mind, Sirius shows him the sort of affection that Remus has craved from him since his escape from Azkaban.
Sirius, Remus thinks, just never had the chance to tell him the truth. Sirius had been hiding his feelings for Remus while he was alive so that they could be revealed in death.
Remus can't let it go. Sirius lives on in his mind, and he loves Remus. It's what keeps both of them alive, one literally and one just in memory.
It is enough for him.
But this house is haunted and this ride gets rough
You've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above.