Title: Godfather Material
Fandom: Harry Potter, first war era
Pairings: Remus/Sirius, James/Lily
Disclaimer: This world and these characters are not mine- even Peter who doesn't appear in this story. I get nothing for this, besides.
Summary: James is not at his best and neither is Remus. Sirius handles them both.
Notes: See the endnote
"I'm coming!" whispered Sirius in a hiss though whoever was pounding at the door could not possibly have heard him. He tightened the tie around his waist that held his bathrobe closed, because beneath it all he wore were boxers that were blue with white polka dots. Then he undid the multiple locks on the door, normal and magical both, and pulled it open. "James?"
It was indeed James Potter who stood in the doorway. To say he was standing, actually, was a gross exaggeration. In actuality, he was slumped over and his hand that gripped the molding around the door was the only thing keeping him from collapsing onto the floor in the hallway. As he stepped forward, it was Sirius who assumed that role, holding onto James whose legs buckled and body moved like it was missing half its bones.
"James, what's the matter?" Sirius asked as a million other questions rushed through his mind. Was this some sort of new incapacitating curse he received at the hands of Death Eaters? Was he injured or ill? Was it something so wrong that he had been shocked into silence? It wasn't until Sirius got a whiff of James' breath that he understood. "Come on," Sirius grumbled, pulling James over to the couch. James' legs moved as though he'd been hit by a badly performed Jelly Legs Jinx but he crossed the room with Sirius nonetheless and then collapsed onto the couch.
Sirius sat down beside, shaking his head in disapproval. "James Potter, you're as sloshed as a barosht!"
The left side of James' face was smushed into a couch cushion, but he groaned his objection and he lifted a finger into the air in front of him. "Clearly, m'friend, you've n'er seen a barosht!" He pulled himself into a ball, then sat up. "Because I swear I'm slosheder!" He looked confused. "Pisseder." He shook his head. "Drunker." That sounded better, and he grinned widely. "Tha's the one! I'm that one."
"You're something," Sirius said, rolling his eyes.
"I'm..." James started, but his words died away as he seemed to forget what he'd been trying to say. Instead, he leaned to the side and fell right off the couch. He landed with a thump, his body in a tangle of loosely moving limbs. As he collected himself, he moved forward, straight for the kitchen, his sights set on the fridge. Sirius watched for a few moments, then stood and followed in order to keep an eye on James. If James needed to get sick and couldn't get all the way down the hall to the bathroom, Sirius would make sure he could get to the sink. But James actually went to the refrigerator.
In a lagging crawl, James reached up and tugged at the handle on the fridge. He put his weight into it until he'd yanked it open. Then he scanned the contents a moment, looking disapproving at the supply of food and drink.
Sirius was certainly no stranger to the beauty that was intoxication, but his forays into that world usually consisted of friends and laughter and Remus taking him home and fucking his brains out until he came to his senses the next morning over a cup of coffee. "Go back to the couch, James," Sirius said soothingly. "I'll make a cuppa and get you a blanket. You can crash here for the night." Sirius didn't even want to think about James apparating home when he was in this condition.
But James vehemently shook his head. "No. Don't wanna be sober. I want... want... Aha!" He pulled his wand out of his back pocket and swished and flicked towards the top shelf of the fridge. "Assio beer!" he shouted. A bottle of beer shot out from the fridge and smacked him right in the chest. He managed to hold onto it before it hit the floor, however, and he clutched it and his wand rather tenderly as he turned around and crawled back to the couch.
Sirius glanced towards the cupboard where they kept mugs, realizing all their cups were in need of washing anyway. He ran the water in the sink and did a small charm so the dishrag would go to work on cleaning the dirty ones. Then he returned to the couch and his best friend.
"You want?" James asked perkily, offering over the beer.
Shaking his head, Sirius refused. "No thanks, Prongs. And could you keep it down a little?"
James drank as though it were much needed medicine, and Sirius could sense the man was hurting.
"What's wrong?" Sirius asked again with curiosity and concern.
James looked gravely at Sirius. "It's... my wife."
Something in Sirius' stomach jumped and alarm rushed through him. "What?"
"M'wife," James repeated. "Lily."
"Yes," Sirius sighed, slightly frustrated at how difficult it was to pull the information out of his drunk friend. "I know you're married to Lily. I was best man at your wedding last year, remember? Now what about her?"
James took a gulp. "She's..." He swallowed another mouthful. "She's..." Sirius leaned closer, worried. "She's... pregnant," James finished pointedly.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, staring at each other, frozen. Then James broke out of it by downing quite a bit of beer. Sirius simply sighed deeply. "Yes, James. I've known that for seven months now."
"No. You don' understand," James said loudly, shaking his head. Sirius hushed him, but it didn't do much good. James continued, "I mean really pregnant. She's out ta here..." He mimed an extremely large belly. "As big as a house. With a kid inside 'er. My kid."
Sirius chuckled softly. "James, most husbands would be rather glad that their wives were pregnant with their kids."
James still shook his head. "No... I mean she's really pregnant. Too pregnant."
"She can't be too pregnant. She's not due for another couple weeks."
Sirius sighed. "You're off your head, Mate."
"M'not!" James objected.
"Shhh!" Sirius said, punching James' arm. "Keep it down, would you? I just got Remus to sleep. He's got a rotten head cold and a big day tutoring tomorrow."
"Shhh!" James echoed, lifting a finger to his mouth in the universal sign for quiet. "Don' wanta wake up the Mrs." He laughed. "Mrs. Moony... or is it Mrs. Black?" James snorted. "Tha's it. Like yer horrid mum. Mrs. Black."
"Keep it down!" Sirius said, taking the opportunity to hit James' side with a pillow. The beer sloshed as James tilted it to drink, and spilled some. James yelped and tried to salvage the spilled beer by licking his shirt, despite the fact that he still had a quarter of a bottle left.
"Sirius?" Sirius turned to see Remus emerging from the hallway, shuffling over in bunny slippers and long, thick flannel pajamas. His face was sallow, his nose red and chapped, and his eyes terribly bloodshot. He ran a hand through his hair, then rubbed the back of it at his nose. "What's goig od?"
"Nothing," Sirius insisted, looking over with sympathy. "Go back to sleep, Luv."
But Remus did not go back to sleep. Apparently neither of his friends cared to listen to Sirius this night. James continued to drink and Remus continued to walk towards the couch. Remus sat down on Sirius' lap and pressed his cheek to the top of Sirius' head. Sirius wrapped his arms around Remus and hugged. Sleepy, Remus closed his eyes, but he still whispered. "Hullo, Jabes."
"Hello!" replied James cheerfully and still loudly. "I'm drinking your las' beer. Bu' don' worry! I'll go get you more, I promise." He gulped down the remainder of the beer, right to the last drop, then eyed the bottle to be sure there was nothing left in it.
"It's late," Remus whispered, his eyes still closed. Then he drew a slow, deep breath as he pressed the cuff of one long sleeve against his nose. "ehhh-yeh-CHSHHH! EhKHSHhhhh!" He sniffed hard and lowered his hand. It touched Sirius' shoulder, then slid down the front of Sirius' bathrobe towards the pocket where it withdrew a crumpled tissue. He unfolded it a little, then rubbed it at his nose. "Could you cub back toborrow?"
Sirius hugged Remus closer. "James is going through a bit of a crisis at the moment because of Lily's condition," he explained. "Plus he's sloshed as a--"
"Covered tha' already," interrupted James.
"Oh." Remus understood. "But it's quide dorbal for husbads to get dervous add scared whed their wives are bregdadt."
James stared at Remus with confusion, so Remus tugged on Sirius' sleeve and Sirius interpreted. "He says lots of husbands get scared when their wives are pregnant." Remus nodded.
James looked down at his hands. "I'm more than scared, though. I'm terrified. Utterly terrified." He sighed, "Don't you have any more alcohol? Merlin, I'll even take fire whiskey."
"Jabes, you're dot gettig... oh doe... godda sdeeze..." Remus' breath caught and he cupped a hand over his nose and mouth as he swayed. Sirius held him tightly, watching concernedly as the sneezes built. "huh-hehhhhhh... hehh-IHSchhhhh! IHHShoo! Chishooo! Oh..." Remus winced, then rubbed his forehead.
"Headache still bothering you?" Sirius whispered. Remus grunted back softly. "But you took those pills hours ago." Sirius strained his neck to kiss Remus' forehead tenderly.
"Wearig off," said Remus with a shrug. "Add it's worse whed I sdeh... sdeehhh..." He clamped his hand to his face again and snapped forward. "huhh-CHSHhhhhh!" He rubbed his cuff against his nose.
"Guys?" Sirius and Remus looked over at James. "Can we get back to th' subject here? I need booze!"
"Remus is right. You're not getting any. The last time you had fire whiskey you were sick for two days. You're too old for that shite and it's not going to help you feel less terrified." Sirius wanted to say something about James being too mature now that he was married and technically a father, but decided that wouldn't be the best angle to go with.
James' hand shook a little as he ruffled his own hair, a nervous habit that had no use any more and certainly not at this moment as his hair was already incredibly mussed. "I jus' want ta down out the emotions for a while is all. M'so scared I'll lose Lily. Physically... emotionally... Scared 'bout bringing a kid into this world right now w' the war. Scared I won' be me. I'll be James the dad. I can't be me ever 'gain."
"Brogs, you'll always be you, eved whed you are a daddy. Add as for everythig else, dat's why we're your frieds. We'll dever let adythig hurd you."
Used to doing so, Sirius started interpreting Remus' sentimental albeit stuffy speech. James held a hand up to tell Sirius to stop. He understood the meaning if not the specifics. He still felt scared, but not quite so much.
"hihh-IHSHhhh! HEHKShhoo! hehhChuhhh! KShuhhh!" Remus weakly dragged the cuff of his sleeve against his nose, yawned, and coughed lightly.
Sirius sighed. "Okay. Remus, you go back to bed. I'll join you in a few minutes and I'll bring that bottle of Aspirin. But first I'll get James settled here. And you're both going to have some water." With a surprisingly small amount of effort, Sirius managed to get James to give up on the hope of more alcohol and to crash on the couch for the night. In addition to water, Sirius forced James to eat a few crackers before James fell asleep on the couch. Then he headed to the bedroom with medicine and water.
Sirius found Remus sitting in bed, leaning back against pillows and the headboard, with a box of tissues planted firmly on his lap. He'd been working through the box quite steadily since that morning, and now was no exception. And after each Remus winced, either because of his headache or his sore nose. "My poor Remmy's got the sniffles bad," Sirius cooed, slipping off his bathrobe and sliding beneath the covers beside Remus. As his leg slid alongside Remus', Sirius sighed in minor frustration. "You're still wearing your slippers."
Remus hadn't realized it until then, but he nodded. Then he pulled a few tissues out of the box and cupped them to his face. "huhhh-Chshfffff! Uhh... Sniff! SNIFF! Sniff!"
"Come on, Luv," Sirius said, handing over the glass of water and two pills. Then he reached down and pulled the slippers off Remus' feet. "For someone who's excellent at taking care of people he loves, you sure do suck at taking care of yourself." He sat back up and pulled a few tissues out of the box and held them to Remus' nose. "Now blow your nose good and take your medicine and I'll cuddle you to sleep. Got it?"
Giving his lover a smile, he followed Sirius' instructions to the letter. Once he was snuggled against Sirius' warm body, he sighed deeply. "Add you wodered why Jabes add Lily decided to dabe you as the baby's godfather."
Sirius chuckled. "Must be you rubbing off on me."
Remus shook his head. The fingers of his hand, which lay on Sirius' chest, curved slightly in a soft petting motion over Sirius' heart. "I dod't thig it's be." Then he closed his eyes.
Sirius stroked Remus' head and supplied him with tissues until Remus fell asleep. Sirius didn't go to sleep right away. He stayed up for quite some time, listening to Remus' snores and the ones from James in the other room.
Endnote: Okay, so for a while now I've been wanting to write a 'guy has trouble dealing with the fact that his wife is pregnant' story. There's a lot of angsty stuff I wanted to put in (thanks to first hand knowledge) but it just didn't make it into this fic. And then I literally thought "Hmm, what if I wrote an Mpreg?" and quickly kicked myself for even suggesting it out loud. Because we all know how my muses can be easily convinced to do evil things :-)