Title: Misery Loves Company

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Harry Potter, Marauder era

Pairing: Remus/Sirius

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I adore these pups, but they are not mine and I get nothing at all for this.

Summary: A sick and miserable Remus spends a sleepless night reading in bed.

Notes: Written for the weekly hatching #26



Misery Loves Company


     Remus tossed and turned in bed for an hour, though it truly felt like three, begging his cold to let him fall asleep. His throat was terribly dry as he could not breathe through his nose even the slightest bit. There was a sharp ache in his head and the rest of his body was tired, especially as he rolled over from one side to another. But no matter how he lay, he couldn't manage to fall asleep.


     "Hektchhhh! Ihhhtchhh!" Remus reached up for a tissue with a heavy arm and swiped at his runny nose. "I'b dot gettig adywhere," Remus sighed. Resigned to getting no sleep that night, he sat up in bed. After piling the pillows against the headboard, he picked up his wand and a book. Lately his tastes in literature were changing. He was sure his sudden shift from dramas and romances back to mysteries was mostly due to his recent interest in one of his best friends. He didn't need to read about romances when he had midnight rendezvous and sweets left on his pillows in the morning. He didn't need to read about star-struck lovers when he had snogging sessions in the astronomy tower and picnics in the meadow just beyond Hogsmede.


     But apparently he did need to read in order to fall asleep this night. Or at least read until he fell asleep. He used Lumos to look through and find the spot in the book where he left off. He knew he really should be reading one of his textbooks or using his insomnia to do something more productive like his essay for History of Magic. He didn't much feel like being productive just now, however. He didn't much feel anything except over-tired and sneezy. "hehhKTchhhh! Ehhh...ehhhTchuhh! Ehchhh!" He pulled the tissue box over onto his lap and blew his nose a few times. Deciding he wouldn't be able to get much learning done while sneezing so much anyway, he propped up his novel against the tissue box to read.


     Tonight's mystery story was about a string of murders where there seemed to be few clues and no witnesses. The detective was bumbling but brilliant, and the story took place in America. Remus was so absorbed in it, with the exception of distracting sneezes every few minutes, that he didn't notice the curtains at the foot of his bed move a bit. He jumped with a start when he noticed the way the mattress dipped heavily beside him and the covers filled. As something crawled up the bed beneath the blankets, Remus sighed and calmed himself. A dark haired head poked out beside him and a warm body snuggled familiarly up against his side.


     Remus stretched his arm out and wrapped it around Sirius' shoulders. Sirius nuzzled his face into Remus' pajama top and then rested his head on Remus' chest. "Well good evedig," Remus said, stuffily. "You wadt to sleeb here with be todight?" Sirius nodded and snuggled closer.


     Remus smiled. He had to admit he liked the idea. He liked having Sirius warm and snuggly beside him. It made him feel better just knowing Sirius there. Not completely better, however. "hehhh... heh-EHTchhhh! HehShuhhhh!" Remus sneezed, pressing tissues to his nose. "Excuse be," he snuffled, then blew his nose. "I've beed like this all dight. But if you dod't care if I'b sdeezig idstead of sleebig all dight... I bead I dod't wadt to keeb you ub..."


     Sirius snuggled closer with a bit of a sighing whimper. Remus chuckled silently. Few times had Sirius ever been quite so clingy and snuggly. "All right. I'll take that to bead you dod't care." He sniffed a few times to hold back his runny nose, then swept the jet black hair from Sirius' face. His lips pressed tenderly against Sirius' forehead, but then he pulled back. "Sirius? Why are you so warb?" Instead of lips, he touched Sirius' forehead with the back of his hand. The young man was indeed warm. "Sirius," he sighed deeply. "You caught by cold, haved't you?"


     Sirius nodded and sniffed to show how stuffed his nose was.


     Remus sighed deeply. "Oh, Sirius. I'b so sorry. It bust have beed frob be kissig you today. Or the tibes we kissed yesterday."


     "Could have been any of a hundred kisses," Sirius said, nodding. He sniffed again and yawned. "I couldn't sleep."


     "I dow the feelig," Remus said. He gave Sirius a squeeze around the shoulders.


     Sirius coughed lightly, then raised a hand to cover the lower portion of his face. "huh.HURSchhhhh!" He froze in place a few seconds then sneezed again before Remus could manage a 'bless you'. "HarSchhooo!"


     Remus pulled a few tissues out of the box and forced them on Sirius.


     "Sorry," Sirius said, rubbing at his nose. "I just feel miserable."


     "Yeah," said Remus, nodding. "I dow that feelig, too."


     Sirius coughed from the congestion and snuggled into Remus again. "So I can stay here? You don't mind having me here?"


     Remus shook his head. "Of course I dod't. I like whed you're here."


     Sirius smiled and pulled the blanket up a little more on himself. "I always feel so much better with you. You always take such good care of the rest of us whenever we're sick."


     Remus smirked. "What, you started feelig sick add biserable add decided it would be best to crawl idto bed with be so I could take care of you, eved though I'b sick add biserable, too?" Unable to wait for an answer, he quickly pulled a tissue from the box and clamped it to his face. "ehhh-IHHShhhhh! Hehh-hehhChhhhh!" Blindly, his breath catching, he grabbed another. "HIHShuhhhhhh!" Then he blew his nose until he was too tired to do so. It felt like however much he did, he would still be stuffed up anyway.


     Sirius coughed a few times but sat up to give Remus room to move and breathe properly. Then he kissed Remus' cheek and settled back against the young man before giving his answer, "Misery loves company, Remus. Who better to understand how I feel and keep me company when I can't fall asleep?"


     "I'b dot able to fall asleeb either," Remus confessed. "I was readig a little."


     "Ohh!" exclaimed Sirius rather cheerfully, snuggling up close and closing his eyes. "Read to me, Remus? I love the sound of your voice. It'll put me right to sleep."


     Not quite sure how to respond to that, Remus simply chuckled and shook his head. "Sirius, I'b all stuffed. Add by throat hurts. I cad't read out loud. I'b sorry."


     Sirius shrugged. "S'okay. I understand completely. How about we just read along together?"


     Remus agreed and they shifted around a little bit so that Remus was sitting up more in bed with Sirius sitting against him and helping to hold up the book. Remus pulled the tissue box closer and they both helped themselves frequently as needed. Remus read more slowly than normal, and turned the page instinctively when finished, assuming Sirius must have been done by then as well.


     "Hey, I still had a few more lines," Sirius complained, snuggling and nuzzling closer as though trying to convince Remus to humor him.


     Remus turned back. "All right. Just tell me when you're done, then." He reread the bottom half of the page while he was waiting, then tended to his tickling nose. "hehhShuhhh! ehhhShhhhh!" He blew his nose briefly and pulled a few more tissues out to be ready for the next sneezes. Then he read the last bit on the page for the third time, waiting for Sirius to say he'd finished.


     After waiting at least five minutes, Remus started to grow impatient. "Sirius? Aren't you done yet?" Receiving no answer, Remus craned his neck to get a good view of Sirius. The young man's grey eyes were closed and his mouth open, but not because he needed to sneeze. He'd fallen asleep already. "The book isn't all that boring," Remus said with a chuckle.


     Even though he was still reading and still unable to sleep, Remus felt better off. Now he was warmer, more comfortable, and had Sirius. Just the idea of staying awake in order to look after Sirius made him feel better about his inability to drift off to sleep. He hugged Sirius close and saw the man's mouth twitch into a brief smile in his sleep. Remus smiled back and slid the book out of Sirius' hands. Then he pulled the blankets over Sirius' arms and chest to keep him warm. With the book propped up against one of Remus' knees, finally he turned the page. He might have been right back where he'd started before Sirius had joined him, feeling sick and miserable, but he felt much better for the company.