Title: Gift for Tina 2007
Fandom: Harry Potter
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters or their world. Please don't sue me. I'm just having fun and not making any money.
Summary: Remus gets sick for the first time since he and Sirius become seriously attached to each other. How will each puppy cope?
Notes: Happy holidays, Tina!
For Remus Lupin, it was a month of firsts. He and Sirius had fought their attraction for years, and then in fifth year, Sirius had gone and used him in the prank and Remus wouldn't have anything to do with Sirius. It had taken time for Remus to speak to him, to trust him, to kiss him. They had agreed that they would keep their relationship simple and unconsummated until after they finished at Hogwarts. With school work- which at least Remus took seriously- and the war going on outside, they had more than enough to be getting on with without worrying about all the complications sex would bring. They didn't want to make James and Peter nervous. They didn't want Regulus or the rest of Sirius' family to find out. They didn't want the teachers or Madam Pomfrey to worry about a student getting so close to a werewolf.
But they also didn't want to wait quite so long. After all, there was still a year to go. At the beginning of the month, they had their first kiss in front of an audience. James and Peter had only been mildly disgusted and not remotely surprised. Since that had gone so well, by the middle of the month they found themselves having their first public kiss. It had all happened so fast, what with the Quidditch Cup victory and the whole house rushing down onto the field to congratulate the team. Remus found his lips upon Sirius', kissing passionately even though the whole school could see. Wrapped up in all the excitement and with the end of their sixth year upon them, they had wound up right where they had planned not to be by the end of the month.
That first touch, first caress, first night sleeping together in bed. It was all beautifully magical and strangely addictive. Remus practically moved into Sirius' bed after that first time, desperate to hold onto the newness of their physical relationship.
Sweating, Remus rolled onto his back, gasping for breath. Sirius reached up and wrenched the hangings apart just a little. If their dormitory mates had been awake, they might have seen slivers of bare skin. As it was, all that happened was the stale, warm air within the four poster was infused with fresh air. Remus took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then he turned his head to the side to see Sirius with a grin as wide as the one on Remus' face.
"You know," Remus said, "The strangest part of this whole thing is that my body isn't just mine any more. It's partly yours now." Remus pulled a sheet up over his thin, scarred body. "So, um, how was that?" Remus asked self-consciously.
Sirius pulled him into a hug, arm around Remus' shoulders. He nuzzled and snuggled and Remus relaxed. His whole body felt alive with satisfaction and desire. "Even better than the first time."
Remus chuckled. Their first time had been as awkward as it had been exciting. New was good, but it wasn't perfect.
"Remus?" Sirius whispered playfully as he tip-toed across the room in nothing but his boxer shorts. "Where are you? Are we doing it in your bed tonight?" He approached Remus' bed.
Remus was awake, and his words were muffled by his bed curtains. "Not tonight, Sirius. Okay? I just want to sleep here tonight. Please. Just go."
Sirius was not willing to obey and let the issue drop. "Well then I'll sleep with you," he whispered insistently. "We don't have to do anything. We can just snuggle."
There was a long pause, during which Sirius regretted wearing next to nothing. He shivered, even though it was a warm night in late spring. The prospect of lying beside Remus' warm body was so appealing and addictive.
"Go away, Sirius."
Instead of going away, Sirius parted the curtains. Remus gasped and yanked the covers up, right to his eyes. "Sirius!" he hissed. "I said--"
"I know what you said, but--"
Remus' eyes closed and there was a stifled, half-withheld sneeze. "N'ghttt!"
Unable to help himself, Sirius laughed. "Merlin! What in the world was that?"
Remus sniffed a tiny, pathetic little sniff and looked up at Sirius, blanket still clutched in his hands, hiding nearly all of himself. "A sneeze," he replied.
"That?" Sirius was still laughing, and Remus looked around nervously, not wanting the sound to wake their dormmates. "Remus, I've heard you sneeze hundreds- no, thousands- of times. I've even heard the wolf sneeze. It's never sounded like that before."
"Yeah, well... I don't want you hearing me any more, so just go. I'll be better in the morning and then we can forget this whole thing happened." Remus' breath hitched, and there was some movement under the covers. "Now take off. I don't... ihhh... hihhh... I don't want you to hear... ihhh..."
Slightly amused, Sirius stayed put and merely cocked his head. "Moony, love, you're my mate now. If your sneezes never bothered me before, why would they now?"
Remus tried to fight it, tried desperately not to sneeze, tried to shoo Sirius away. But it was all too much for him. "ihhh-Ngshhh! ehChshhh! Ihh-hihhChuhh!"
"Bless you." Sirius said kindly. He reached down to Remus to caress his forehead, since that was just about the only part he could touch. But Remus slid down, hiding completely under the covers. It was two "Remus?"s later when Sirius realized Remus was crying. "Oh, Remus, don't." He sat down on the bed and stroked some part of Remus' upper body through the blankets.
"Just go!" Remus begged around a sob. "I don't want you to see me like this! I'm not sexy. I'm not even cute."
Sirius sighed deeply in frustration. "Let me be the judge of that." He took hold of the blankets, fought against Remus, and finally managed to lower them as far as Remus' shoulders. Remus' eyes were a little red, albeit moist. His nose was pink and his face was pale. "You look cute enough to me." He leaned over to kiss Remus, but Remus wriggled away, trying to burrow back under the safety of blankets. "Oh no you don't." Sirius pursued, diving under the blankets, nuzzling until his lips found a bit of Remus' cheek.
Remus stopped struggling. He savored the kiss, then pulled away again. "First cold," he said.
Sirius shook his head. "You've had plenty of colds." Sirius recalled one several years ago when Remus had barely been able to stop sneezing. He remembered another right after the full moon last year when Remus had actually let Sirius spoon feed soup to him.
"It's different now. I... ihhh... ihhh-H'nggttt! Sniff! You see?"
"It's nothing," Sirius insisted. "I don't care how snotty or disgusting you are, you're still mine. Besides, right now you're cute." Remus looked wary. "Look, I could walk away from now and let you lie here miserable and sick. Or I could stay by your side and nurse you back to help. Which one would make me the better boyfriend?"
Remus hesitated to answer, but the answer he wanted to give made him slightly amused. He couldn't help but smile. "Um, leaving me alone?"
Sirius chuckled. "Not a chance, love. You're stuck with me." He studied Remus and Remus' bed. "If you're not coming over to my bed tonight, I'll stay in yours. So give me a second, and I'll be right back."
Nervous, Remus lay in bed and chewed his lip. His ears caught strange rustling and clanking sounds as Sirius moved about in the dormitory room. He emerged from his tangled covers with a cough and reached for the handkerchief beside his pillow. This idea of Sirius', to take care of him, was looking worse and worse. If, by some miracle, Sirius did manage to make him feel better and not horribly self-conscious about every little sniffle, the chances of Sirius catching this nasty cold from him was multiplied. And that would make Remus feel even worse.
Remus took a deep breath and let it out as he blew his nose, emptying it into the handkerchief and rubbing at his nostrils through the soft folds. The cold had snuck up on him so quickly, but it didn't seem to be leaving him as quickly. His head felt as though it were full of stuffing and his nose seemed more than happy to drip freely if he left it untended. His whole body throbbed with aches, starting in his shoulders and spreading upwards to his forehead and down to his stomach, which was fluttery and upset. He was chilled one moment and burning the next, and the thought of trying to accommodate Sirius in his bed wasn't the least bit appealing at the moment.
He felt another sneeze come over him, making his whole body tingle with need. "eh-hehhhhhh... hihhhh-Ehptchuhhh!" There was such an amazing feeling of relief after a good sneeze normally. With Sirius watching him, he didn't want to sneeze unrestrainedly, let alone freely. He knew what he must look like, and it wasn't the least bit sexy. In fact, Remus didn't think there was much that was sexy about himself. Maybe hiding under a blanket was a good enough strategy for all his problems. Except for the fact that Sirius would never let him hide for so long... and Sirius usually burrowed under the blankets along with Remus.
Remus heard footsteps and his stomach leapt. This was a bad idea. He should just tell Sirius that. Sirius would get turned off, break up with him, and catch his cold all in one go. That would be beyond disastrous and exactly why they had at first decided to wait until after graduation. The next few months at Hogwarts would be miserable. The next few hours would be the worst. "ehhh..." Timidly, Remus pressed his hanky to his nose. Sirius could walk in on him at any second. "ehhh-hehh-Eptttt!"
"That's bad for you, you know." Sirius had arrived mid-sneeze. And his hand brushed Remus' cheek even before Remus had opened his eyes after the sneeze.
Remus sniffed and skipped the portion where he blew his nose, settling for silent rub. He knew he should pull away from Sirius, but could not convince his body to do so. Sirius' hand felt extraordinarily warm. It made him shiver in comparison.
"Knew you were chilly," Sirius said. He produced several thick blankets from his bed, draping them over Remus'. He also added the pillow from his bed, giving Remus more support. "See? All this comes with your boyfriend. Twice the covers and twice the pillows." Remus found he could breathe a lot more easily. Then when Sirius climbed into bed with him, his body had absolutely no need to shiver. Instinctively, he cuddled up to Sirius and Sirius held him close. "Chilly now?"
Remus shook his head and rubbed his finger under his nose.
"Have to sneeze?"
Remus shrugged unconvincingly. "ehh-ehh-ehhh-"
"Just sneeze," Sirius chuckled. "I promise I'm not going to leave you just because you get a little sneezy from time to time." He stroked Remus' upper arm reassuringly.
Still, Remus wished Sirius weren't there to hear. He wished Sirius weren't there to see. He wished Sirius weren't holding him so tightly as to feel Remus' body shake when the sneeze came over him. "ehhh..." He couldn't fight it, not even with a hanky pressed to his nose. "ehhh-IHPtchhhhh!" Sirius kissed him on the cheek, taking Remus completely by surprise.
"That's what you get for being a good wolf," Sirius cooed. "And there's more where that came from, to be sure. So quit fighting and let me help you through this little cold in your nose, all right, Moony?"
Remus blew his nose out of need, albeit timidly. He coughed and snuggled closer, then he coughed again. "Sorry," he whispered. "My nose won't stop running and lying down makes it hard to breathe."
"Then sit up." That seemed logical enough, but Remus shook his head.
"Can't. I end up sliding back down under the covers where it's more warm and comfortable. eh-heh... eh-eh-" This time, he tried his best to relax and not think about Sirius watching and judging. "ehhKtchihhhhh! ehTchihhh!"
Two kisses this time, one for each kiss, one on his cheek and the other on his temple. And Sirius' lips felt wonderful against his sensitive skin. "See?" Sirius said. "Big bad wolf sneezes don't frighten me away. I'm still right here for you. And it looks like I'll just have to help you sit up."
Remus sniffed, coughed, and had to try hard to stop coughing once he'd started.
"Sit up, love."
Remus obeyed, slightly bewildered. Sirius propped up the pillows and yanked the blankets so hard that Remus' became untucked from the foot of the bed. Sirius scooted back until he was leaning against the pillows, and then he stretched his arms out invitingly. Remus' instinct was to go straight for them, snuggling and nuzzling, but he hesitated. This was more than he expected, and he would not risk a quality night of sleep for Sirius, no matter what. He was ill and excused from classes, but Sirius would have to go to class and Remus would not be responsible once again for a sleepy Sirius. It was bad enough that once a month the Marauders spent a completely sleepless full moon night out on the town.
"Come on," Sirius said. He dropped his voice down to the softest and tenderest of whispers. "I want to hold my Moony."
Remus was there in an instant, with Sirius' warm arms wrapped around him. Remus rested his head on Sirius' chest, the breathing and heartbeat instantly comforting and familiar after so many nights snuggled up in Sirius' bed. He coughed and Sirius rubbed his back soothingly. "This is so strange," Remus said as his eyes closed peacefully.
"What is?" Sirius murmured.
"Thehh... this-Eh-Kuhshhh!" Sirius had a fresh handkerchief, and yet another kiss for Remus. Remus couldn't figure out where the hanky had come from, but it was in Sirius' hand a moment after Remus' sneeze and already wiping at his nose. Remus nuzzled into it with a few stuffy snuffles to clear his nose, then sighed deeply. "I've had a lot of colds, Padfoot," Remus said.
"Don't I know it." Sirius rubbed a strong hand up and down Remus' back.
"And I feel sneezy, so tired, and achy all over."
"M'sorry," Sirius said.
"But this is the first cold I've ever had when I didn't feel completely miserable. And it's all because of you."
Even though Remus hadn't sneezed, Sirius still kissed him on the top of his head.