Author: PhoenixFire Liz
Rating: Hard R to NC-17
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until September 30th, 2005. After that, it's yours to do with as you will.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter, its characters, or anything associated with it. I'm not making any money from this story, and I don't intend to.
Challenge & Summary: Challenge SS #09: One of the boys spends too much time outside in the sun and the subsequent sunburn results. How one takes care of the other is up to you. "Sirius surveyed the damage with a whistling hiss of breath sucked in past his teeth. Everywhere but a stripe of skin from his navel to the middle of his thighs was harsh crimson, even his scalp if he ducked his head. Remus’ scars stood out in stark contrast, the deadened skin pale against the blistering red."
Author Notes: None.
Remus closed his eyes and breathed in summer, the sand under his feet like watered silk, shifting cool and smooth on his bare soles. He felt incredibly indulgent, reclined on a blanket in the shade of green-grass-waving dunes, grains of sand scattered over the holey tartan like a milky sky of stars. Seven days of downtime in the war-storm, sleeping cotton-sheet easy and watching sunrises break fresh as strawberry jam over soft-lapping turquoise seas.
He set his book down on top of the wicker picnic basket at his elbow, lazily watched the breeze flip the paperback pages. It felt impossibly blue out, all around him, blue and free. When everything was over, Remus hoped to be able to live by the sea, somewhere warm, in a cottage where the windows could always be wide-open-grinning, always smelling of sea, of July.
Sky behind his eyelids, Remus was content to lie out on his blanket and simply be.
Drops of cool water plashed onto his face, his clothes. Remus dared not open his eyes, pretended to be consumed by drowsy-warm sleep. The blanket shifted, knee-sized pockets of sand dipping down. Lips brushed over his, a salt-sea kiss.
Remus cracked one sunrise-amber eye. A sea godling knelt over him, leaning close with tan freckle-starred shoulders. A once-broken nose crinkled, more barely-there freckles over the bumped bridge.
“Hullo, I’ve caught a merman,” Remus murmured.
Sirius chuckled, dripping everywhere. “I think I’m the one who’s caught you.”
Remus sat up slightly, sand shifting under his elbows. “What do you want? You’re getting me wet, Padfoot.”
“I want you to come play with me,” Sirius whined, sticking his wet-cold boy-Padfoot nose under the blond’s chin. “You’re sitting here in the shade with barely a stitch of skin showing. That’s not how you play at the beach, that’s what old wet blankets do.”
Remus threw a handful of sand at him, diamond-shard confetti sticking to his wet chest. Sirius stuck his tongue out, sliding a rough wet hand under the hem of Remus’ worn cotton shirt, teasing scarflesh and smooth pale skin.
“I don’t want anyone to see,” Remus muttered, throwing his head back slightly.
“Moony, we’re in the middle of bloody nowhere, who is going to see you? The seagulls?” Sirius teased, edging the hem of his shirt up. Remus grabbed it and pulled it back down, magenta-faced.
He leaned close and kissed Remus again, slip of tongue and tart-sweet taste of lemonade nicked from the picnic basket. Remus sighed and traced the pads of his fingers over one salt-slick shoulder, trailed over the wing of Sirius’ shoulder blade.
“If you promise to be nice and not splash me…”
Sirius grinned and tugged off Remus’ shirt and trousers, throwing both off into the dunes, pulled him and his faded swimming trunks to his feet. “Race you.”
“No cheating,” Remus teased, waggling his long piano-fingers. Sirius was already halfway to the sea. “Sirius! You daft plonker, I’ll get you!”
They skated into the water, Sirius breathless with laughter, kicking up splashes and letting the saltspray fly. Remus tackled him, throwing his shoulder-weight into Sirius and sending him pitching back into aquamarine. The ocean greeted him eagerly, tasting with wet foamy fingers. Sirius kicked Remus’ ankles out from under him. He screamed and spluttered into the water, falling with a tremendous splash. Dark hair dripping, Sirius slop-rolled himself over Remus’ dripping too pale body, grinning.
Remus pinched the boy’s freckled nose. “You cheat.”
“Ah, but you still love me,” he replied, licking a droplet from the corner of his mouth. “Besides, you should’ve known I would cheat. We’re talking about me, after all."
They swam in the bath-warm waters and chased along the foam-white edge, feet squishing deep in the sand; they gamboled and Remus threw sticks for Sirius, who laughed and refused to change forms, but fetched the driftwood anyways. They frittered away the afternoon light; spinning about in a pas-de-deux as Sirius swung Remus clear off his feet, toes kicking sand and water in a high laughing arc.
They stayed out on the beach the whole afternoon and into the evening, watched the sunset leave ruddy-purpling streaks across the sky. The day cooled and the sky darkened to bruise-black-blue, the waves lapping and softly luminous as they lay out by the bluffs and watched the stars shudder into focus.
“I’m exhausted,” Remus yawned, stroking the inside of Sirius’ wrist with two fingers. “Let’s go to bed, Padfoot.”
Sirius nodded and staggered to his feet, easing Remus up, sand squishing and night-sounds humming. They summoned up their belongings, sent them off to the house ahead of them and climbed up the rickety gray stairs, up the bluffs to the back porch, the wood time-and-storm smooth under their soles.
“I feel sort of stiff and achy,” Remus complained wearily, leaning on Sirius, sand on their skin rasping as they touched.
“Probably because that’s the most I’ve seen you run about and play in a long time, if ever,” Sirius replied with a quiet chuckle. “And I’ll bet you got a bit of color today, being out in the elements and all.”
Remus mumbled something that went unheard, drowned out by the squeaking hinge on the back screen door. Sirius held it open with his hip, nudging Remus inside and up towards bed. Lumbering with all the grace of a pair of mountain trolls, neither boy even bothered to make an effort to slough off the sand and salt on their bodies, content with just shucking off their wet trunks and clamoring into bed together. Sirius pulled Remus into the tangle of his arms, guided his wet head to rest against his sand smattered chest. The sound of his heartbeat melted into the gentle rocking pulse of the ocean as Remus drifted off, snuggle-warm and secure.
Morning sunlight filtered through the blinds, pale golden fingers edging across the floor and the sheets. Sirius’ side of the bed was cool to the touch, empty, but the wandering smell of bacon and an occasional curse and clatter from the downstairs kitchen gave him away. Remus shifted in bed, gasping softly. His flesh was throbbing, pulsing with an ache he’d never felt before.
Remus opened his eyes slowly; it hurt to move even his eyelids. “Padfoot…”
The floorboards creaked, Sirius taking two steps up the staircase, bare feet scuffling on the runner. “You got breakfast in bed yesterday, I’m not doing it again. You’ll get spoiled.”
The cotton sheets rasped sandpaper-painful against Remus’ bare skin. His mouth tasted sick and stale, fear bubbling like nausea in his throat. “Sirius…I don’t feel well…”
Footsteps hammered up the staircase, echoing down the breezy hall in a thunder-rumble. Sirius blustered in through the door, skin glistening and perfectly tan, rainstorm eyes wide with concern. They grew wider still as he padded step-step across the floor almost dazedly.
“What is it?” Remus asked, voice wavering.
The dark-haired boy took Remus’ wrist carefully, holding the curse-thin arm at an angle so he could see. The skin was a severe shade of angry red. Sirius pressed two fingers to his forearm delicately, watched the skin turn white when he pulled them away, slowly burning back red.
“You have the worst sunburn I have seen in my entire life.”
Remus closed his eyes. “This is all your fault.”
“Hush now, it’s not like you’re going to die from it,” Sirius retorted, guiding his arm back to the blankets. “Get up and take a cool shower, I’ll see if I can find something to put on you. Maybe Heathcliff has a bottle of Ethelfrida Eveready’s Soothing Salve tucked in a cupboard.”
Whimpering with pain, Remus twitched the covers aside and cold-molasses-slowly staggered to his feet. Sirius surveyed the damage with a whistling hiss of breath sucked in past his teeth. Everywhere but a stripe of skin from his navel to the middle of his thighs was harsh crimson, even his scalp if he ducked his head. Remus’ scars stood out in stark contrast, the deadened skin pale against the blistering red.
“Stop staring, I already know I’m hideous-looking,” Remus muttered, slowly sulking off towards the bathroom and its promise of sandalwood soap and fresh towels.
Sirius shrugged, winging a glance towards the quickly closing door. “I never said you were.”
The shower, in Remus’ opinion, did more harm than good. The lukewarm water gurgling down over his abused skin stung so much that Remus kept looking down to make sure there wasn’t a hornets’ nest crumpled under his soles. He knew he shouldn’t complain, so many years of wolfscars and moon-pain had taught him to hold his tongue, but he couldn’t stop a few salt-warm tears from mingling with the shower water as it splashed over his cheeks, down his nose and his sore lips.
“Moony?” Sirius’ voice called out muffled with the gurgle of the shower. “You all right?”
“…Yes…” he replied, sounding tremulous, reaching to shut off the water. “It hurts, though, Padfoot.”
Sirius opened the shower curtain and helped him out, wrapped him in a towel, swept him off his feet. Remus leaned into the crook of his neck, eyes closing, breathing in the smell of his skin, warm-fresh-tangy. “I know, Moony. You’ve never been sunburned before, have you?”
“No. At least, not this badly, not that I can remember. After I was bitten my parents didn’t want me going outside anymore, and I didn’t much want to either. We were all afraid that if I went outside, even just into the backyard, that that werewolf would come back to get me. And with all my scars…well…”
Sirius nodded, carrying Remus back to the bed, arms wrapped around him. “I found a jar of Eveready’s, nice big one. It should take the sting out of the burn.”
“Thank you, Sirius…but you do know I can walk, right? I’m sunburned, not paralyzed.”
He grinned in reply, rubbing Remus’ shoulder with his thumb. “Quiet, my boiled lobster. You said this was my fault, and so now I’m taking care of you.”
“Boiled lobster?” Remus mumbled as Sirius lowered him onto the bed, the towel sandpapering against his back. “Padfoot, were you swilling cooking sherry in the kitchen again?”
“Maybe just a little,” Sirius replied. “Now lie still and behave yourself and maybe I’ll treat you to ice cream later.”
Remus tried his best to relax, closed his eyes and felt Sirius peel the wet towel off his skin, fingertips rasping along the path of a scar. He heard the sucking pop of the cork pulling out of the jar, Ethelfrida Eveready’s Soothing Salve; a pistachio-colored and aloe-scented cream (mostly murtlap essence, really) Remus was all too familiar with.
Sirius picked up one hand, kissing the tips of each finger, pressed a kiss to the palm. His boiled lobster quips, it seemed, weren’t far off the mark. Remus’ skin was hot to the touch; smudges of steam practically radiating off. “You know, Moony, you should consider yourself lucky. You could have it worse off, in my opinion.”
“How worse could it be?”
“Your bollocks could be burnt too, and what a shame that would be.”
Remus opened one eye. “If it came to that, I can honestly say I would cut your bollocks off and toss them in the sea, Sirius.”
Sirius laughed and massaged the salve into Remus’ hand, working it in with gentle strokes. Remus could feel an improvement in the burn already, though that might’ve just been from Sirius pressing open-mouthed kisses up the length of his arm, salve-slick fingers trailing in the wake. He sighed softly at the touch, Sirius swirling green lotion over every inch of his arm.
“That feels nice.”
“Well, that’s the general idea, now isn’t it?” he teased, tapping one slimy finger-pad against the tip of Remus’ nose. “You’ve no more thoughts of castrating me and tossing my bits to the fish, right?”
“For now, maybe.”
Sirius moved to the other arm, taking the same slow care as before, kissing up Remus’ arm before smoothing on the cream. Remus smiled up at him, twisting a lock of the boy’s dark hair around his fingers. He pulled Sirius down for a kiss, his warm mouth raking over his burnt, chapped lips. Sirius shook his head slightly and pulled away.
“You’re jumping the gun, I’m afraid. We’ve got all day, Remus, and I intend to make this last.”
Remus narrowed his eyes, muttering, “Only you could make rubbing on soothing salve an all-day event, Sirius More Middle Names Than I Care To Rattle Off Black.”
“You,” he replied, tapping the blond’s nose again, “are just jealous because you have the most vanilla middle name in existence, Remus John. And stop being prattish, this is supposed to be romantic.”
“Pardon me for ruining your grand romantic schemes, though I hardly call smearing Ethelfrida Eveready’s Soothing Salve over my horrific, raging sunburn an erotic experience,” Remus replied, feeling a warm mouth and cool fingers trace over his forehead, temples, eyelids. Sirius traced under his eyes and over his nose, the corners of his mouth, his chin, and lastly his lips.
“On the contrary, Mr. Moony,” Sirius whispered, closing his mouth over the other boy’s, slipping his tongue past his sun-ravaged lips. Remus moaned softly, tasting Sirius’ morning glass of orange juice trying to mask the boy’s own crisp November taste. His tongue stroked lazily against Sirius’, breathing in the smell of his skin and the scent of the lotion the other boy was stroking into his neck.
Remus arched his head back, bared his throat in spite of the werewolf’s grumbling protests cutting under the surface of his melting flesh. Sirius dipped his tongue into the hollow of his throat, dragged it over his Adam’s apple, grimacing as he tasted the slightly bitter salve that he’d just spread over Remus’ sensitive skin. Remus’ moan warbled against his lips, shudder-soft.
“Told you so,” Sirius replied, smirking down at him with autumn-storm eyes. “Have I ever been wrong, Moony?”
“Loads of times, you arrogant berk,” Remus mocked back, matching Sirius’ crooked smirk with one of his own.
Sirius laughed, kissing Remus’ collarbone with a sweep of his lips, circling his nipples with salve-smudged fingertips. His head fell back, Remus gasping, shifting. His breath scuttled wet-hot-humid over Sirius’ skin, eyes overbright while Sirius drew tiny chartreuse hearts all over his ribcage.
Raingray eyes flashed again and Sirius blew a hurricane down on the cool skin, wet July winds from his cherrystain lips. Remus felt his flesh shudder and crawl, gooseflesh rising, moaning against the back of his hand. Sirius dipped his tongue into Remus’ navel, reaching the line between pearly pale and blotched vermilion.
“Oh, what a tragedy,” Sirius sighed melodramatically. “All my favorite places to touch are the only places not sunburned.”
“What are you going to do?” Remus asked.
He didn’t answer, lathered more salve into his palms and worked it into his feet and up his legs, pressing his thumbs into the dimples of Remus’ knees. August swept through his blood, Sirius crept over him like sand, pervasive, crawling into every inch of him. His sunburn didn’t ache as much anymore, though he wasn’t sure why, whether it was Ethelfrida Eveready or because Sirius was making other things ache.
“Turn over, I’ll get your back,” Sirius hissed into his ear with a dunegrass whistle.
“But I like looking in your eyes,” Remus protested, trailing his fingertips down the curve of his cheek, brushing the pad of his thumb over full lips. “They’re such a pretty color, Padfoot.”
“It’s more like gray-blue, really. Like morning,” he whispered, reluctantly shifting to his belly.
“Flattery gets you everywhere, my fine Mr. Lupin,” Sirius replied, zigzagging kisses and licks left-right-back-forth-down the middle of his spine. He spread out spring green wings, detailed feathers over his shoulder blades, swirling them into the skin in glistening trails like fish scales.
Sirius dipped his fingers in the jar again, slid them past the boundary between red and white, over his tailbone and down the cleft of his arse. Remus gasped, back arching with a crackle-snap of vertebrae. Fingertips pressed and teased at his entrance, moans spiraling up from Remus’ lips like gull cries, rumbling like summer thunder from Sirius’.
“This is going to be rather sticky, isn’t it, Padfoot?” Remus panted, pressing back against Sirius’ fingers as he scissored two inside of him. “I’m not sure I like sticky.”
“We could be doing this out on the beach,” Sirius pointed out. “Personally, I’d take sticky over having sand up your arse.”
Sirius twisted his fingers, Remus cried out and ground his hips into the mattress, terrycloth towel rasp-ratcheting against his cock. Sirius laughed softly, sliding his fingers back out, teasing and circling his fingertips still.
“Would you mind getting on with it?” Remus asked. “I still haven’t even had breakfast.”
“Don’t whine, Moony, it’s unbecoming. And budge up your hips a little, this is sort of a wonky angle.”
“I’ll give you a wonky angle,” the blond muttered, raising his hips.
Sirius laughed again, coating his aching arousal with the green salve. He spanned his hands over Remus’ bony scarred hips, sliding into him with ease. Remus sucked in a breath, felt it shiver over his teeth like a sea breeze.
“You all right?” Sirius murmured, running his hand along the sharp slice of skin at Remus’ hip. “How’s your burn feeling?”
“Better, though I do wish you hadn’t used the Eveready’s for lubricant. It was rather cold.”
He chuckled, rolling his hips slightly. “Soothing, Moony. Not cold, soothing.”
Remus whimpered, pressing back on Sirius’ cock, fists catching hold of the towel and the sheets. His lips tasted green, and all he could smell was that salve, over even the scent of sweat and sex.
“I think there’s still sand in the sheets, Padfoot,” he murmured, rocking his hips as Sirius thrust in again.
“We’ll strip the bed and shake them out, don’t worry.”
Remus stop trying to be conversational after that, moaning and gasping clouds across the blue-green of the bedclothes. Sirius moved like rough seas, thrusts rolling hard against the other boy, beads of sweat running down the crooked line of his nose (he’d broken it in Quidditch two years ago with a Bludger to the face). Remus reached back and tangled his hand in Sirius’ hand, hooking his crimson-scalded arm around his neck as Sirius reached around to gently stroke the blonde’s length.
“Oh…haven’t even had breakfast yet…you’re spoiling me so much,” Remus gasped.
Sirius let out a short pant of a laugh. “Only because we’re on vacation, love.”
Remus turned his head and kissed Sirius’ jaw, nuzzling him with a ridiculously red nose. “Love you, Padfoot.”
“Love you too, boiled lobster.”
Remus let out a soft, choked laugh, coming with a shudder. Sirius held him close, kissing his burnt skin, groaned out his own climax. They lay together in the bed like flopping fish on the pier, mouths open and breathless, shaking and wriggling close together. Remus stroked a hand through Sirius’ hair, smiling at him once he could remember how to smile again.
“The bacon’s probably gone cold and the juice gone warm,” he murmured.
Sirius shrugged lazily. “Easily fixed. Just a wave of the wand.”
“Are you going to get up and do that, then?”
“Not right now, I’m not,” Sirius grumbled. “If you get to have a lie-in, then I do too. It’s only fair, you know.”
“You’re not sick, you’re just sunburned.”
“Which is still your fault for making me leave my protective bubble of shade,” Remus reminded him.
Sirius shoved his shoulder lightly. “Don’t be a wet blanket, you had fun.”
Several applications of Soothing Salve and a pint of ice cream (which Sirius swore was snozberry flavored) later, Remus’ skin had dulled down to a soft strawberry pink color, peeling off in great white patches. Now he stood at the foamy edge of the water, dressed in a comfy, oversized jumper and shorts, his long legs exposed. White bubbles skimmed over the tops of his feet as the breeze off the whitecaps teased his hair.
“Vacation’s almost up,” Sirius said, padding over and wrapping his arms around Remus’ shoulders. The blond leaned back against him, nodding as he closed his eyes.
“It was nice while it lasted, though.”
Sirius laughed, kissing the boy’s cheek. “You complained about your sunburn half the time.”
“Well, it hurt,” Remus replied, pouting.
Sirius gave him a shove towards the shivering turquoise water and ran off, transforming into Padfoot mid-stride, the dog barking as he tried to outrun the lumbering werewolf and the fistfuls of sand he was throwing.
Remus breathed in the warm wet taste of the seashore, the tang of soothing aloe cream still on his lips. He threw another clod of sand at Padfoot, watched them break in exploding shards over damp dark fur. The afternoon whispered sunshine words over the shoreline, loving words exchanged between kings of summer, boys of July.
And Remus was content to just be.
Liked the fic? Let the author know!
Email the author
Go to the review board