Title: 2005 Gift for callmetina
Fandom: Harry Potter, Marauders Era
Rating: PG if that
Disclaimer: These characters and their world are not mine. I've no rights and no money.
Summary: Sirius is sick and all Remus wants to do is take care of him. Unfortunately, that's the last thing any of his friends want him doing.
Notes: Written as a gift fic for Tina during the 2005 holiday season.
2005 Gift for callmetina
They stood in the center of the circular dormitory room, facing each other but feeling incredibly awkward about it. Remus shifted his weight from one foot to the other, and Sirius looking down to the floor as though for help.
"Well..." said Remus finally. He rubbed his hand against the back of his neck. "I guess... Goodnight, Sirius."
Sirius looked up, nodding. He scrubbed the side of his hand beneath his nose. "Yeah... Goodnight, Remus," he just managed to reply before James seized his shoulders from behind, turned him around, and guided him straight to bed.
Peter similarly whisked Remus away in the opposite direction. He pulled back the hangings so Remus could crawl into bed. Remus sighed with frustration as he made himself comfortable in the bed he didn't usually sleep in. Ever since he and Sirius had become a couple during fifth year, Remus had barely seen his own bed.
"This makes sense," Peter said, trying to reason with him sympathetically. "You said yourself that you shouldn't spend the night with him if you wanted to avoid catching his cold. Because you know how susceptible you are to these things right after your transformations." Remus smiled at the memory of his last transformation, just two nights ago. It had been the very best to date as he and the other Marauders had stayed out nearly until dawn setting up a sure-fire prank. And the best part was that if anyone tried to figure out who'd orchestrated it, all they would have found was a few sets of paw prints and some small hoof prints. "You know this is for the best."
Knowing it was for the best and actually following the advice and keeping away from Sirius were two different thing. 'He needs me,' thought Remus. 'He's my boyfriend and he needs me and I'm supposed to be there for him. I don't care if I get sick from it.' But he knew the rest of his friends cared. He'd come down sick after a full moon plenty of times and each time it was always harder and harder to recover from, especially as he couldn't take anything for it. Sirius, especially, would feel terrible about giving Remus his cold. And Remus certainly didn't want to be the cause of Sirius feeling terrible.
So Remus finally nodded in agreement. This situation was probably for the best. He could hear a murmur of voices coming from Sirius' bed right across from his in the room and Remus knew James was giving Sirius the exact same talk. Remus sighed deeply and looked up at Peter. "Just promise that you and James will look after Sirius, all right?"
"Of course," he said, waving his hand dismissively. "There's nothing to worry about. Padfoot'll be fine. Goodnight, Moony."
"Goodnight, Peter," Remus replied, closing his eyes as the hangings around his bed fell back into place. Even though his transformation had been an easy one, he had spent it awake all night and admittedly he wasn't quite caught up on sleep yet. Hoping he really didn't have anything to worry about, Remus fell asleep right away.
He woke up again almost immediately after falling to sleep, however. At first he couldn't explain why, but then he heard a loud double-sneeze originating from Sirius' direction.
Remus shifted restlessly in bed, finding it hard it get comfortable again. He turned over onto his back.
"HurShoooo! Sniff! Sniff-sniiiiiff!"
'Sirius sounds like he needs to blow his nose a little.' But Remus did not hear that familiar sound of nose-blowing. He wondered if, perhaps, Sirius only had a small supply of handkerchiefs and did not want to waste them so early in the night.
"Sniff! Hehhh... Sniff! Sniff! hehh-Ehhhhh-HEH-Choo! HerShuhhhh! Sniff! SNIFF!"
Remus sighed to himself then sat up and leaned forward. He pulled the curtains at the foot of his bed over to one side and whispered. "Sirius!"
Remus heard some rustling, and Remus could feel it in his bones when Sirius' bed made that familiar squeaking sound that happened when there was movement in the center of the mattress. Then the curtains of Sirius' bed at the bottom were pulled over and Sirius' face stared back at him through the gap.
"I just wanted to check to be sure you had enough hankies," Remus said, unconsciously rubbing the back of his neck again.
Sirius leaned to the side to give Remus a good look at the stack of handkerchiefs on his pillow. He gestured back to them and shrugged.
"Oh," said Remus, nodding. "All right. Great. Just... checking and all. Um... Goodnight again."
"Night," Sirius replied with a smile. The curtains of both beds fell closed nearly at the same instant, and both boys settled back down in their beds.
Remus pulled his covers up to his neck, then to his ears. It was the first chilly night they'd had yet this year and, caught off guard, Remus was still wearing his summer pajamas. But the sheets warmed to him fairly quickly, and the weight of blankets on top of him kept him warm as he moved around beneath them.
He moved around a lot, finding it impossible to fall asleep as quickly as the time before. His instincts cried out for him to get up and join Sirius in bed. Sirius was ill and needed his care, for one thing. For another, Remus' body missed Sirius' and he knew that longing went both ways. It felt strange to sleep alone when he was so used to sleeping beside Sirius nearly every night for two years. He missed the snuggling and the gentle caresses they shared in private.
And Remus missed being right there beside Sirius, able to help him in an instant when there was a problem.
"Cough! Coughcoughcough-coughcoughcough... COUGH-cough-cough-cough-cough-cough-cough-cough!"
"Sirius?" Remus sat up and crawled to the end of the bed again. "Sirius, can I get you a glass of water?"
The curtains were parted again and Sirius appeared at the end of his bed, too. He had a glass of water in his hand and was taking small gulps. "James got it for me before we went to bed," he explained, nodding to the water.
"Right," Remus said, nodding repeatedly. "Sorry."
Sirius set the glass down back on his nightstand, then crawled back to face Remus. "Sorry for what?" Sirius asked, cocking his head.
'Sorry for disturbing you. Sorry for assuming I was the one who was supposed to get you water. Sorry for being paranoid and worried.' "I don't know," Remus said with a shrug.
The room was quiet, nearly silent apart from Peter's light snores and the wind rushing past the windows outside every so often. They whispered across the room to each other and did not have to do so loudly.
"This is weird, innit?" Sirius asked finally. "I wish you could be here with me."
"Me, too," sighed Remus. "But this is for the best."
Sirius nodded. "That's what James said, too." Clearly James and Peter had rehearsed beforehand. Not surprising. Then Sirius turned his head. His eyes fluttered closed and his body tensed up. "her-Shuhhhh! HEHShoooo!" He sneezed freely but wiped his nose on the back of his hand with sniffles afterwards. "I dod't wad you gettig sig," Sirius said, looking pained.
"I know," Remus said. The sneezes had looked bad, and he didn't actually want to be sick either... but he still felt the need to go to Sirius. "But I don't want you suffering alone." Remus took a deep breath and made a leap, "If you need help..."
"I cad call for Beter or Jabes," Sirius said, still snuffling wetly against his hand.
Remus sighed and nodded. "Right. I, uh, I guess I'll let you go back to bed, then. You look like you really need to go blow your nose."
Sirius nodded back at once and gave an incredibly liquid sniffle. He started to turn, then paused, looking over at Remus a moment more.
Remus' insides were pulling at him. He had to grip handfuls of his blankets in his fists to keep himself from bolting over and kissing Sirius goodnight. "I love you, too," Remus whispered. Sirius broke into a wide smile that could not be hidden behind his hand. He nodded and they both crawled back under their covers. Remus could hear Sirius blowing his nose, finally and thoroughly.
Feeling himself calm a little at the sound, Remus closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep. But Sirius could not do so, so neither could he. Remus lay awake, listening to every sniffle and cough and sneeze. His mind was racing, trying to think about what he could do, even if his friends wouldn't let him do anything. There were things he could do, of course, like bringing Sirius tea and food or making sure Sirius had enough handkerchiefs. But Remus was just aching to do more. It just wasn't in his nature not to look after a sick friend... and it certainly wasn't in his nature not to care for a sick someone he loved.
'Sirius.' Remus' ear twitched, listening for James' reply. But only silence followed.
"James? Prongs?" Sirius tried again. "Cough! SNIFF! Cough!" Sirius paused, then, "Peter?" He raised his voice a little. "Peter? Wormtail!"
'Sirius!' Remus wanted desperately to call back. But he waited to see if Peter responded. When Peter's reply was in the form of a snore, Remus sighed deeply and tore out of bed. This time, he didn't stay on his bed. Remus headed straight across the room, shivering slightly in the cold, and pulled Sirius' curtains aside.
Sirius jumped in surprise at seeing him. "Remus... I was calling James and Peter..."
"What do you need?" Remus said, sounding worried. He looked down at Sirius, huddled beneath the blankets. His face was pale and tired-looking.
"I'm freezing cold," Sirius replied. He shivered and clenched his jaw to keep it from chattering.
Remus gave a nod, then went and returned in the blink of an eye. He had a blanket from his bed with him and he threw it over the bed. Then he proceeded to tuck it around Sirius tightly. Tucking, Remus had decided long ago, was what really made the difference. He made sure that there was no way any cold air could find its way to where Sirius was, and only Sirius' head was out and exposed. Remus tried to resist the intense urge to kiss him Sirius when done. 'Surely just a quick peck on the cheek couldn't hurt?'
But as Remus leaned over Sirius, getting just a little bit closer, Sirius reached out from beneath the covers, disturbing and disrupting them. Remus was halfway to scolding Sirius about it when Sirius reached up and gave him a little push away. "Go... I..." He brought the hand back and cupped it to his nose and mouth. "I have to... hehh... dod't wad you catchig-hehhhhhhh-this..." He struggled to keep his eyes open as he watched for Remus to back up, out of the way. Then he turned his head towards his pillow and muffled his sneezes into both the pillowcase and his hand. "hehChffff! herShfffff! hehShiffffff!"
Remus resisted the urge to hand him a handkerchief, and Sirius got one himself. He wiped his nose with one corner of it. "Scuse be," he muttered, his body relaxing again now that the sneezes were through with him.
"You'd better blow your nose," Remus suggested, reaching forward and quickly tucking him in again.
Sirius nodded. "As sood as you leave. Sniff-SNIFF! Add you'd better go before you catch this."
Remus sighed to himself. "Okay. But..."
"I'b still cold, but I'll get warber," Sirius reassured him. "Go to bed. It's gettig late. You deed your beauty sleeb."
Remus chuckled. "G'night." As he headed back to bed, he heard Sirius blowing his nose. Remus still wanted to give him a goodnight kiss but ended up snuggling into his pillows, sheets, and remaining comforter instead.
Remus dozed on and off a few times, but didn't actually fall asleep for more than fifteen minutes at a time. He kept worrying about lying there and sleeping while Sirius was across the room suffering. He wanted to be able to help. He needed to feel needed. Remus he came fully awake when he heard Sirius call out his name across the dorm room. "Remus? I'm st-still c-c-cold." And then Remus was up and over there in an instant with his comforter hugged to his chest, still warm from his body heat.
He draped it over the bed, then tucked it around Sirius. It wasn't until Sirius had stopped shivering that Sirius really noticed why. "Moony, you've only got a sheet left on your bed now. Sniff! Sniff! You'll catch a chill."
"I'll wear my cloak or something," Remus said with a shrug. Hoping it didn't sound too self-sacrificing, "You're sick. You need it more than I."
Sirius rolled his eyes, then sneezed again. "HERSHhhooo! Arshoo!" His whole body shook, and the covers along with him. Then the shivering started again.
Remus sighed, moving close so he was right up against the bed. He rubbed Sirius' arm through the blankets.
With a cough and a shaking head, "You shouldn't. You'll get sick."
"Right," said Remus. "Well if I'm going to catch cold by sleeping in my own bed without blankets anyway, then I might as well catch cold by sleeping with you." He pulled up the blankets and slipped beneath them. "Budge up. I'm joining you."
"Remus... you shouldn't..."
Remus slid right up against Sirius' back and wrapped an arm around him. "Of course I should," Remus whispered. "This is where I belong. Besides..." He grinned and spoke in the tone he reserved for when the Marauders were out and up to no good, "I think I feel a sniffle coming on already. I must be getting sick. Oh well."
Sirius chuckled but rubbed his back against Remus' front, the friction generating heat and keeping him from continuing to shake. Remus nuzzled him from behind and hugged him tightly. "James and Peter will kill you when they find out," Sirius whispered back, sounding amused.
"Probably. If they get mad, I'll just fake a sneeze or two and they won't be able to yell at me. But do you think I really care what they say? They didn't take good enough care of you."
"No one takes care of me the way you do," Sirius replied. "I missed you."
Remus snuggled into Sirius even more with a delighted "Mmmmph! I missed you, too."
Comfortable and together beneath the blankets, Remus felt as though he could fall asleep at any second. But he could also feel Sirius in his arms, tensing up and breathing more quickly. "HerChahhh! HehhShuhh! Hehh-Shooo-KTchooo!"
"Bless you." Sirius didn't even move afterwards, completely confident that Remus would tend to him. It took virtually no time at all for Remus to grab hold of a handkerchief and hold it to Sirius' nose. "Blow," he whispered, his breath warm in Sirius' ear. Sirius shivered and chuckled at the tickle which Remus soothed away with a kiss. Then he took a deep breath and blew his nose. "Good," he said, kissing Sirius' cheek, then his temple. "Now if you need anything else, you just let me know."
"I've got you. I won't need anything else," Sirius said.
Remus chuckled. "I can tell you're feeling better when you say things like that." He propped himself up and leaned forward, giving Sirius a soft kiss and hugging tightly. "Goodnight, Sirius."
Sirius sighed happily and relaxed into the comfort. "Goodnight, Remus."