Title: Three Sides to Every Lifetime: Recovery
Fandom: Harry Potter
Spoilers: read the third and fourth books!
Disclaimer: J.K.R.'s characters and world and I don't get a dime for this
Summary: Part 3 in my 'Three sides to every lifetime' trilogy. Set in the summer after Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts (summer between books 4 and 5).
Comments: Yes, please! :-)
Three Sides to Every Lifetime:
“Huh-Choo!” The sneeze echoed throughout the tiny cabin.
I looked up from my book, quill pausing over the parchment, dripping absentmindedly. Sirius' nostrils flared as he gave a loud sniff, then turned back to his newspaper, the evening edition of the Daily Profit. He'd taken to inspecting every centimeter of it, under the impression that there might not only be clues in stories, but hidden messages sent in the personals section. A suspected death eater was in the editing circle. Sirius looked absorbed in the paper, so I went back to my work, balling up the piece of parchment now that a large ink blot had appeared upon it.
I was researching a certain spell I'd not heard of since my days in theory back at school. But, if worked properly and combined with a few others, it might be able to help block the Cruciatus Curse for certain weak-minded individuals. The possibilities were great, and I needed to concentrate to remember what my own Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher had mentioned in passing so many years ago. So many years… it seemed a lifetime ago. A lifetime when I had been happy, thoughtless, carried away with the fun and excitement… and the intimacy. My three great friends… one of them my first lover. I'd been happier then than I had ever been in my life. And the future had seemed so loving and carefree.
“heh… her-CHAHH! hih-ketCHOO!”
I looked over again, seeing him rub a hand at his nose, pawing at it miserably. I sighed inwardly and called over to him, “Bless you.” Then I paused, considering what to say next. “Been sneezing a bit much tonight, haven't you?”
He sniffled, still rubbing at his nose but shook his head. “Just a little sniffle,” he said, waving his hand dismissively. “I'm fine.”
“Mmm,” I agreed thoughtfully, pretending to go back to reading. But I kept a watch on him out of the corner of my eye.
He raised the paper to read, but his eyes looked fever bright and he seemed to be reading the same passage over and over again, unable to properly understand it. In a few minutes, he put down the paper again, and pawed at his nose. “huh…” he shivered with sudden chill and cupped his hand over his nose and mouth. “heh-Choo! Huh-Cheshh! Ehh-Heshhoo!”
“Bless you,” I said again, looking over, concerned. I caught him in the middle of a yawn, still rubbing at his nose. He sniffled wetly and nodded a thank you faintly. Then, building up my confidence, I said. “You know, Sirius, I haven't heard you sneeze this much in a long while. Do you think you might be coming down with something?”
He shook his head firmly, giving me a stern look. “I said I'm fine, Remus. Just a bit of a tickle in my nose.” His voice was harsh, almost threatening.
I was scared to pursue it any further. If he wasn't going to admit it, then there wasn't anything I could do. But the truth was, he was sneezing much more than normal, and he was looking a bit paler than usual as well. “All right, all right. I just thought—“
“Besides, I think I'd know if I were… if I were coming down…” Sirius seemed to be struggling for words. Slowly, he lifted his hand to his face, and turned so I could only see the back of his head and arm. “heh-Cheshoo! Huh-Choo! Hih-Ketchooo!” He sneezed wetly, wiping his hand discretely on the leg of his pants.
I set my quill down, then stood up and walked over to him. He shivered and sunk down a bit in his seat, avoiding my gaze. I stood to the side, leaning over him, my hand on his forehead. He was burning up. He shivered at my touch and pulled away, rubbing at his nose. “You've got better things to do than take care of a sick pup,” he said softly, looking up at me with hurting eyes, then looking over at my desk.
I sighed, my face breaking into a smile. “There's nothing more important to me than my friends.” I had so few left. James dead. Lilly dead. Peter, well I wanted him dead. And Sirius. Sirius who slept out on the couch every night. “What d'you say we turn in early for the night, all right? I could use the sleep.”
He agreed. I waved him towards the shower while I went into my bedroom to change. I hoped he would take his time in the shower, partly because I knew the steam would do him good. And partly because I was a little nervous of him coming out and seeing me half naked. Thus far, we had avoided such things, mainly on my request, and I wasn't too sure I was ready for him to look at me again. Not that it hadn't been difficult the first time, either. I was young, taken by his handsome, strong ways. And yet reluctant at first to allow him to see me in the light. All my bruises, my scars. They covered the length of my body, a savage reminder of my lycanthropy. And how I had shuddered when he first touched them. And cried in his arms as he kissed them better and embraced my body as much as my mind and spirit. They hadn't deserted me. Sirius had not deserted me. And yet… I still deserted him.
The soft hiss of the shower ended, and his coughs, muffled behind the bathroom door caught my ear. Quickly I pulled on my pajamas. I didn't want him to see my scars. Neither my physical ones nor the ones that ran deeper, the ones you couldn't see so easily.
“Remus?” He stood in the bedroom doorway, wearing pajama bottoms, no socks, no shirt, a towel draped over his shoulders, jet black hair dripping down. “The bathroom's free.”
I nodded. “Thanks,” and waited until he'd gone into the living room before entering the bathroom. The room was foggy, and I had to perform several de-fogging spells on the place before I could see my reflection in the mirror properly. I quickly brushed my teeth and washed my face, noticing the abundance of used tissue that were starting to pile up in my trashcan. Poor guy, summer colds were always the worst, even if we were so far north that the summer wasn't all that sticky and hot.
When I left the bathroom, I looked over at the couch, instinctively drawn towards him. Sirius lay on his back, my only spare blanket, thin and slightly moth-eaten, stretched over his lower half, up as far as it would go, which was just above his waist. He had a tissue bunched in his hand, and was sneezing again, rather vigorously. “ehh-Hishhhoo! Heh-Chooo! Heh-Shoo! Hih-CHESHHhhoo!” He coughed into the tissue and blew his nose, looking truly miserable. And cold; he looked cold. That was my mate, my lover of old. When a werewolf falls in love, it's forever. When he gives himself for the first time, it's a bond that can never be broken. And yet… it was broken. And I broke it. There was my mate, sniffling and coughing on my couch and here I was standing behind feeling hesitant, reluctant and scared to go to him.
“Bless you,” I called softly from the doorway, and walked over, laying my hand on his forehead again. Certainly he had a fever. He bent his knees up and pulled the extra folds of blanket up to his chin, shivering.
“I didn't want to be a bother,” he said softly, sounding perfectly adorable with his gruff voice. He sneezed again. “heh-CHishhh!” freely, shaking, and I pulled my hand back, startled, wishing I hadn't just done so.
“You're not a bother,” I whispered back, wanting more than anything to embrace him and cry for forgiveness. I'd heard it before. The regret and absolution. But a werewolf's guilt was so difficult to dispel. And even with forgiveness, things weren't the same as they used to be. “How 'bout I put on some tea?”
Sirius nodded, looking rather grateful as if, perhaps, that's all he wanted from the start but was afraid to ask. I stared at the kettle as the water heated up, my eyes tired, my mind fogging.
“Bless you!” I called over my shoulder at him. I watched him shiver, cough. Then, with a sigh, retrieved a sweater from my bedroom closet. I scrunched up beside him on the couch, sitting on the edge by his waist with the sweater. “Here, put it on. It'll help.” It wasn't until I was tugging it over his head and arms that I realized what sweater it was. He snuggled into it, the sleeves a little short, but it was a generally good fit.
He grinned, looking down at it. Maroon, with horrid green and purple zig zags around the middle. “You kept it.” He patted his stomach and pulled the blanket up. “I'm glad you kept it.” I nodded, smiling. Lilly's first sewing attempt. She and Sirius had picked out the yarn themselves in Hogsmede. It was about three sizes too large for me in the middle, and a dozen centimeters too long in the arms. And it was ugly- hideously ugly. But it was warm, and it was sentimental, and I'd be damned if I ever thought about throwing it away. I believe, in fact, it was not only her first but her last non-magical sewing attempt as well.
The kettle began to whistle, and I jumped up, taking it off the burner and pouring into two thick mugs. When I returned, I went to sit in the arm chair but he scooted over on the couch, forcing himself to be as thin as possibly, desperately pressing his body against the back of the couch to look as though there were room enough for me to sit. Trying not to laugh, I smiled and took a seat on the couch beside his lying form. He scooted back to sit up against the arm of the couch, and accepted the tea.
He took a small sip to test the temperature of the drink, and his face lit. “Sugar and fresh lemon. You remembered?”
I grinned, nodding. “Course I did.” A werewolf never forgets. Or is that an elephant…
“heh…” I looked up from my tea to see that look on his face. He was going to sneeze, and then he'd spill his tea and burn his hand. With lightning reflexes, I reached over and held his cup steady. “heh-Chishh! Hih-Ketchhhoo! Kah-choo!” He sniffled and sighed, relaxing back on the couch cushion he used as a pillow. “Thags.”
I nodded, releasing his cup and pulling out my wand. He flinched, I'm sure I noticed him flinch. “Assio tissues!” I called out, and the box from the bathroom came shooting over and into my hand. I set them down beside him on the couch. “Blow your nose, Padfoot.” He ginned sheepishly and took a few tissues to do so. Meanwhile, I tried to keep the conversation on business, as it so often was. “Haven't had an owl from Dumbledore in a few days, I hope everything's all right at the school.”
“It's the subber, Moody. There's do ode there excebt Dubledore add the house elves. How buch trouble could there be?”
I smiled, agreeing, then nudged the tissue box closer to him. “Thought I said something about blowing your nose. Do I have to do it for you?” I laughed, taking his tea for him as he concentrated on the task at hand this time.
When he spoke again, he sniffled but sounded much less stuffy. “Everything's all right, Remus. We'd have heard if something went wrong. No owl's a good owl, or something like that.” He looked a little dazed a moment, then quickly put his hand up so I wouldn't hand him his cup back too soon. “heh…heh-Chishh! Ketchoo!” He blew his nose again, then took his mug back, drinking slowly but steadily, taking in the warmth as well as the taste.
I laughed, reaching over and rubbing his head affectionately. “Yeah, something like that. Still, I'd feel better knowing for certain. And Harry.”
“He's fine, I can feel it,” Sirius said reassuringly, draining his cup and passing it over to me dramatically. “What's my fate? Go on, I can handle it.”
I turned his cup over and gave them a good squinting at. “Uh, looks like you're going to lose a limb and inherit a large stash of something of no value whatsoever.” Good thing he was done drinking this time, or he might have choked with his laughter. Such a good, healthy sound it was, too.
I collected our cups and washed them in the sink immediately; I'd always found that was the best time for me to do dishes. Otherwise I forgot about them and found them ten days later at the bottom of the sink with flies buzzing around.
Looking over at Sirius, turning on his side, trying to make himself fit under the nearly useless blanket, my heart fell. I considered offering him my bed, except that I knew he would strongly refuse, and I didn't want to work him up into an argument when he was in this state. “You heading to bed?” he called, rubbing at his nose with the back of his hand.
I nodded, putting down the dish towel and walking back over to him. “You'll be all right out here, then?”
In answer, he pulled out another tissue and wiped his nose. “Yeah. I'm all set here, Moony.”
I felt his forehead again, feeling a bit worried. If it got any higher… if he passed out… I couldn't take him to a doctor. There wasn't a person five hundred miles from here who couldn't recognize Sirius as an escape murderer. There was certainly no way I could take him to a hospital or the like, and I doubted very much that he would agree to being seen by a vet. “Sleep well, Padfoot. Call me if you need anything at all, won't you?” I pushed his hair out of the way and kissed his forehead gently, lips lingering there as I remembered the many kisses we had exchanged in the past.
“Good night,” he replied with a yawn, pulling the blanket tighter around him as well as it would fit, and closing his eyes. I extinguished the candles and softly tip-toed back into my bedroom, not closing the door between them, just in case he did need something and called.
I lay in bed for a long while before I finally fell asleep, listening to Sirius' stuffy snores from the other room. He had come to live with me over a month ago, and yet there was still this distance between us. This distance that I felt responsible for. This distance I wished would go away.
“Remus?” I woke with a start, sweating under the covers from a bad dream. I didn't realize what woke me until I heard the call again, louder, more desperate this time. “Remus?”
I threw off the blanket and raced to the couch. Was he going to be sick? Was his fever spiking? Was there someone else in the cabin to be worried about? “What is it?” I asked, kneeling on the floor in front of him, stroking the side of his face gently, looking around the cabin for signs of anything wrong.
“I'm cold,” he said, gritting his teeth to keep them from chattering. “Really… really cold.” He closed his eyes and then shook forward. “heh-Chishhh! Huh-Choo! Heh-Cheshhh!” Sirius didn't even bother to pull an arm out from beneath his blanket to cover his nose or wipe it. So I grabbed a tissue and did it for him. “D-do you have another blanket I could use?”
I bit my lip. The only other blanket in the place was the comforter off my bed. I didn't even have sheets to keep me warm without it. I'd found long ago that even with the wolfsbane potion, sheets and werewolves don't mix so well. But I nodded at Sirius, kissing his cheek reassuringly. “Yes, hold on a moment.” He whimpered, shaking with chills, closing his eyes again. Yes, he certainly needed it more than I did.
Soon I draped the large comforter over him, tucking it tightly around his back and front. I knelt on the floor in front of him, rubbing my hands up and down his side to warm him. He whimpered loudly, desperately, shaking uncontrollably. “Shhh, you'll be all right. You'll be warm in just a minute.” I kissed his cheek and he tried to force a smile but his teeth were chattering. “It's just a fever,” I held my hand against his forehead as I rubbed his arm madly through the blankets with my other. “Shhh, it's just a fever and you'll be warm in a moment.” The more I said it, the more I tried to believe myself. What would I do if he didn't warm up?
In a few minutes though, he stopped shaking. He sniffled and looked up at me. “Thanks,” he said breathlessly. “That's much better.” The relief must have showed on my face because he gave me a reassuring nod that he was all right.
“Thought it might be,” I said smiling, rubbing a tissue at his nose, trying to act as though he hadn't stopped my heart. “You, er, need anything else?”
He shook his head. “Thanks Remus. I owe you one.” Sirius closed his eyes, retreating under the poofy comforter so that everything below his nose was hidden. I remained a moment to be sure he didn't start shivering again. Then his snoring started and I went back to my own bed.
It was, admittedly, much worse than I thought it would be. Despite it being summer, temperatures still got pretty low at night in the mountains, and I found myself clutching my pillow and trying to cover myself with it, curled into a tight ball. I managed to fall asleep after a long while, only to wake up moments later, shaking with cold. This was not going to work, no matter how many sweaters I put on.
Grabbing my wand and pillow, I tore from my bedroom, into the living room where Sirius lay snoring lightly, wrapped warmly in my comforter. I tapped the couch lightly to expand it, and it stretched out to easily fit two people. I climbed onto the cushions, on all fours, and scooted up behind him, tugging half the comforter away and wrapping it around myself to keep from freezing.
It was warm, so warm and lovely, under the blanket, and I sighed. I set my pillow up and looked over at Sirius, who stirred and looked back over at me. Our eyes locked for a moment, then he voiced his surprise. “Uh, Remus? What are you doing here?”
I thought of lying, and I thought of telling the truth. I finally decided to just go with the more immediate answer. “You took my only blanket and I was freezing. D'you mind, Padfoot?”
He grinned broadly and turned over to face me. “Why would I mind if you're here to keep me warm?” My heart pounded fast, hard, and I thought for a moment I would be better as a frozen Remusicle. “Don't worry,” he added. “I'm too sick and tired to try anything. I'll even roll over if you like.” And he rolled over onto his other side, his back to me.
Carefully, I scooted up behind him, keeping the warm blanket tucked around us both to keep out the drafts. I curved my body to match his, stretched my arm out beneath my pillow, and scooted up so close that I was spooning him. Gently I draped my arm over his side, hugging him tightly. “I trust you not to do anything, Sirius.” I bit my lip. “I trust you.”
Sirius' hand found mine on his chest, and held it tightly, squeezing reassuringly. “I know it was hard for you, all alone. And I know it's hard to trust me after all that's happened…”
“But I do,” I pleaded, propping myself up on my elbow to look down at his face. “I do trust you. But yes… it was hard.” All those years hating him for betraying the Marauders, for killing James and Lilly and Peter. He'd killed them all but me, Remus, who was pained and suffering for having a soul mate who betrayed his love and his greatest friends. “Every night I lay awake crying and cursing you, Sirius. Every night, until that part of you that I'd made in my heart died. Until that part of my soul, of my life bond died.” A werewolf mates for life. When his mate dies, he mourns more deeply than a normal person, and is unable to ever love again. But what had happened with Sirius was beyond death. It was torture. Unjust torture. “I hated myself for taking you to bed, for sharing my heart and my body. I hated that part of myself that cared for you at all.” I found tears running down my face now. “And after we met in the shack that night when we found Peter, and he escaped. After that, I hated myself for ever thinking you could possibly have been the spy. I don't know why I never saw it in Peter before, either. I hated myself for letting you down, for letting you die inside of me.”
He looked up at me wearily, then reached around and held his hand on my heart. “You didn't kill me, Remus. You just gave up on me. That's very different. We forgave each other for our suspicions a year ago. Have you been carrying that around all this time since?”
I nodded, looking away for the tears in my eyes.
“Silly Remus,” he said softly. “Why regret what you can now change? Do you want me dead inside you still? And what we used to have gone? Or do you want it alive?” He paused at my hesitant expression. “I'm not talking about sex, Moony. I'm talking about us. What we were to each other. Do you really want that to die? Killed by all this business with Voldemort?” He rubbed his nose and sniffled wetly, and I realized it was because he was choking back tears as well. “For Merlin's sake, Remus, we managed to love each other through the rein of the darkest wizard in a century. Don't let our love die now because of him. Not when we could save it.” He took my hand gently and gave it a soft, tender kiss. “We were friends again the moment you realized the truth, I could see it in your eyes. Don't let our love be any different.”
I buried my face in the back of his neck, sobbing unrestrainedly. And he turned again, embracing me with both arms as he shed tears as well, hugging me to him as if he were afraid I would refuse if he were to let go. It's all I could want or hope for. Finally, I pulled back, sniffling but smiling. “I love you, Sirius.”
“Hey,” he said softly, taking a tissue and wiping my face dry. “What we have goes way beyond love.” He squeezed me tight and snuggled up against me for warmth. “But I love you too.” Sirius gave a few harsh coughs, then closed his eyes.
I lay there for what seemed like hours, holding him as he had once held me, thinking about what we had said to each other. It wasn't the end of the talk, just the beginning of the healing. And I stayed awake not just to be sure I was there to help if he needed something, but to protect him. He understood how I could have doubted him, and I understood how he, in turn, could have doubted me. But it wasn't about doubt, or love. It was just about us and what we were. And now that we were again… there was no way I was letting anything take him from me.
I awoke late the next morning to the sound of coughs. The man beside me shook, coughing strongly. I opened my eyes and turned, wincing at the pained expression on his face. I raised my hand and felt his forehead. While it was still warm, it wasn't as hot as it had been. “Good morning, Padfoot. And how are we feeling?”
He sniffled but smiled back weakly. “Good bordig. Sniff! Sniff! Dot so well, actually.” He rubbed at his nose which had grown just a little pinkish. “Beed tryig dot to sdeeze for ted bidutes. Did't wadt to wake you ub.”
I passed him the tissue box. “Worry no longer. Sneeze as much as you need to.” I gave a stretch and slid out from beneath the blankets.
The room was freezing cold comparatively, and I hurried into my bedroom to get changed just as he started sneezing. “hehSHISHH! Huh-CHISHH! Huh-Cheoo! Huh-Chishoo!!” I turned back around in the doorway, looking back at him, lounging against the pillows, covered in my comforter, feeling all sick and needy. “heh-Choo! Heh-CHISHH! Ehhh…heh…hihhh…Ketchhhoo! Cheshoo!” I sighed, smiled, and went back to him, settling on the bed beside him. I took his damp, used tissue and forced a fresh one into his hand, then ran my hand up and down the back of his head until his sneezing fit passed. Then he blew his nose and said softly, “Thags for cobig back.”
“Any time,” I replied, wiping his nose for him. “I was alone for so long, it's nice to share this place with someone. You know…” I ran my hand through his hair, as if combing it. “I thought about getting a dog. But I think you ruined me for them. No dog could have ever been the dog I really wanted.” I grinned and scratched behind his ear; we both laughed. Even as I sat on top of the blankets, cross-legged, next to him, I felt warm again. Alive again. “Hey, how about we stay in our PJ's all day like we did when we were kids? I just got the new movie with Abigail Wilmworth. We could just lie around and catch up on some sleep. How's about it?” I raised my eyebrows hopefully. I left out the part about my needing to get some real work done, and catching up on my correspondence.
Slowly, he nodded. “I'b gabe.” I truly tried not to laugh, but it was difficult with his stuffiness.
“I'll, er, go make some tea then,” I said holding my hand over my mouth to hide my giggles as I hopped up. It felt better this time, making tea for him. He was the same Sirius, and I the same Remus, but our togetherness had begun to change.
As he sniffled and nursed his tea, I hovered around the kitchen, busily putting together a mess of ingredients into the cauldron on my stove. I'd never been much of a potion brewer, but this one wasn't very difficult at all. As it stewed, I searched for a metal bowl, finally finding one at the bottom of a large pile of pots and pans, and I accidentally tipped them over.
“D'you deed by helb?” came a stuffy voice from the couch, and I looked up to see him actually starting to get up to help me.
“No,” I said, smiling broadly. “I've got it. Sorry for the noise.” I poured the bubbling concoction into the bowl and carried it over, a spoon stirring it magically for me. I settled on the bed beside him, cross-legged, waiting for his sneezes to stop.
“ehhChishh! Heh-Chushhh! ehhChahh! Heh-ehh-Chishhoo!” He sat in bed, bending forward, sniffling miserably between blows.
“Bless you.” Then I gestured towards the bowl. “Here, this will help.”
He eyed it cautiously then sniffed it. His face screwed up and he pulled back, a look of disgust in his face. “Ugh! That's revoltig! You're goig to bake be eat that?”
I shook my head with a laugh. “Course not.” He looked quite relieved. “I'm going to make you take off your shirt and I'll rub your chest with it.”
His eyes widened, and I supposed that didn't sound like a much better solution from where he sat. It did smell revolting, but it would also clear his sinuses significantly. But he looked perfectly shocked and scooted away from me, flattening against the back of the couch. “Oh do, you're dot!” He clutched the comforter to his chest. “I'b stayig right here, all cobfy add warb!”
Smiling sweetly, “And stuffed up. This will help your congestion.”
His face fell, and he snapped his hand to his nose in time. “ehh-Hishhh! Heh-Chishhh!” and he blew his nose again.
“Yes, and that, too.” I sighed, trying to gently tug the blanket away from him. “Come on, it will make you feel better.”
He eyed the bowl still suspiciously, but scooted back over, seeming to trust me. The fool! I giggled as I pried the blanket from his clutches. “It's dot goig to burd by skid or adythig, is it? You bade it correctly?”
I nodded, slipping the sweater off his head, then unbuttoning the front of his pajamas. “It's just fine. And it doesn't burn. It's a little warm in a soothing sort of way. But it will help you breathe. Just trust me, Love.” I said it before I'd even realized it, and bit my lip, looking down at his buttons. I could tell my face was going red. “I-I'm sorry,” I mumbled, pulling the folds of his shirt open.
“I'b dot sorry,” he said with such a friendly tone in his voice that it made me look up into his eyes. His deep, gorgeous eyes that still, in part, had the distant look Azkaban had given them. “Dow… sniff, sniff, sniff! Rub that goo od be before I chadge by bide.”
I laughed, trying to translate in my mind. I think I got the gist. I slid over, sitting on his thighs to get good coverage. At the first touch of the cream to his chest, he sniffed strongly and pulled a face. “I'm sorry. I know it smells horrid. But at least your nose is stuffed! Imagine how bad it smells to me!” He laughed with me, and I leaned forward to rub at his upper chest when I felt something push me back. Something low. Something I was sure he had not intended for me to feel. Something very familiar and honestly rather flattering. Still, it startled me so that I sprang back.
His face was flushed with embarrassment this time. “Oh Rebus!” He snuffled, nose in a tissue. “I'b so sorry!” He tried his best to justify himself as he adjusted himself. “It's just… your touch. Add… well it's you. Add… it's beed a log, log tibe.” He tried to turn away, but I was sitting on his lower legs. “You cad stob, it's okay. I'b sorry.”
Smiling, I moved back to my spot, sitting so that I was pressed right up against the bulge in his pajamas. “I'm not sorry,” I replied. “I just want to take care of my sick pup.” And as I rubbed the cream into his chest with both hands, I leaned forward fully and pressed my lips against his in the deepest, most sensual kiss I think I've ever felt. There was no doubt about it from the kiss at all. He was my mate. And I was whole again with him to fill me.