Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until August 31st, 2007. 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.
Warnings: slash, light bondage, ooc, graphic sex
Challenge & Summary: SS2: Summer Holidays! The Marauders decide to take a trip to Brighton over the summer. There's just one catch: James and Peter don't know about a relationship between Sirius and Remus.
Author's Notes: For Skelly: My editor, my confidante, my rock and my muse. Thank you for talking me down off a cliff every time the creative process goes "boink."
It has been eight whole days, as Sirius continually reminds him by mouthing the words at him from across the room, face drawn and mournful, every time James and Peter are simultaneously looking away – which is happening rather more frequently than Remus would have imagined, had he the time and energy for such imaginings. Eight days doesn't sound like a very long time, and for Remus it isn't a very long time, but Sirius looks like he's about to die of something akin to starvation, which is largely ridiculous under the circumstances. Honestly, going eight days without sex when the person with whom you are currently…romantically entangled is sleeping on the foldout couch in the hotel room you're sharing with your three best friends may not be desirable, but it's hardly lethal. In fact, before Sirius, Remus had gone a good seventeen years without it, which made eight days – and even the eventual three weeks– seem like a walk in the proverbial park.
And frankly, the situation calls for it. What else could be done when you were vacationing with your blissfully ignorant best mates in Brighton? It wasn't as though they could have a bit of a feel in the kitchenette. Well, alright, they had started to have a bit of a feel in the kitchenette on day five. James and Peter had run for eggs to a store that Sirius swore at least six times was half an hour away. Unfortunately, the two had found, with their indelible good sense, a convenience store on the first floor. The moment James's keys jingled in the lock of the front door, Remus had been so startled that he jumped off of the cramped kitchen counter, knocking Sirius back onto the kitchen floor, who took a broom and a dust pan down with him. As if on cue, a thoroughly confused James walked up, bearing eggs, to find a shirtless Sirius scrambling to his feet with broom in hand, and Remus grabbing at the dustpan.
"Just doing a bit of brooming!" Sirius announced cheerily, flashing a smile and the broom in James's direction as if to punctuate his sentence with irrefutable evidence.
"Sweeping," Remus corrected, standing up to take the eggs from James and to pack them into the tiny refrigerator.
"You know what I mean. I forget these things. I'm much too handsome for housework," he added with a wink, leaning the broom back against the wall and shrugging it off before continuing, "Who wants to go to the beach? I know I do." And then James was raising an eyebrow and rolling his eyes and calling Sirius a plonker, and all was right in the world once again.
Except that now, there is no way Remus is going to let that happen again. There is not going to be another close call, and there is certainly not going to be any getting caught. They had gotten lucky, because James is really incredibly thick for someone as smart as he is, and Peter, loathe though Remus was to admit it, simply didn't spend as much time thinking as he did eating, and Remus is not going to press their luck, because he has all the luck of a blind, three-legged dog.
Sirius, however, seems insistent on pressing their luck. Maybe this is something Remus should have realized about Sirius long ago given things like past precedent and his personal history of making a point of pressing his luck as far as it will go, which is usually pretty far. But you don't really recognize the extent of a friend's persistence until he's grabbing your arse over breakfast when your friends aren't paying attention
Or on Day Ten, when Sirius is watching Remus make pancakes – chocolate chip, of course – on the stove in the kitchen, and apparently decides that Remus needs a little help flipping them. Normally apt though Remus is with a spatula, he's sure that the tilt of his eyebrow must have been a desperate cry for help. Otherwise, Sirius wouldn't have snaked an arm around him to steal the spatula and flip the pancake not a moment too soon. Or linger several seconds too long with his chest against Remus's back, fingers slipping surreptitiously under the hem of his shirt as Sirius backs away and heads toward his bedroom, hips twitching back and forth in low-slung pajama bottoms as he throws a look over his shoulder that Remus almost misses and pointedly ignores, mentally cursing the curve of Sirius's arse that is all too visible even in loose-fitting cotton.
By Day Eleven, some part of Remus Lupin's brain agrees with Sirius's original idea that at this point, maybe they should just tell James and get it over with to avoid future incriminating situations. Like perhaps before someone slips up and accidentally jumps someone else on his way out of the bathroom after a steamy shower. Which, by the way, would hardly be the first someone's fault when that someone else walks through the hotel room with nothing but a towel hung around his waist to protect him from the elements. Certainly not after a long day of splashing around in the ocean while the first someone tried very hard to concentrate on Wuthering Heights, and oh, bugger, 'hard' was an unfortunate choice of words. Not that he was dwelling on any unfortunate words or their possible cause, who was definitely doing that intentionally. Just like he intentionally dropped his towel in a heap by the bedroom door, which prompted James to yell at him to put some fucking slacks on and prompted Remus to forget to breathe for a good seven seconds before seeking refuge in the bathroom.
On Day Thirteen, there were also problems following an especially problematic incident involving chocolate strawberries from the Sunday brunch buffet on the third floor and some strawberry juice that Sirius knew was dribbling down his neck and doing nothing to stop. The point was reiterated while Sirius was enveloping a strawberry with his tongue so painfully slow that Remus heard himself tell Sirius in a voice that was a little more hoarse than he remembered to "Put it in your mouth," Remus Lupin was nearing his breaking point, and Sirius knew it.
After two late-evening bottles of wine, when James and Peter had finally passed out on the sleeper sofa in front of the television, Sirius passes Remus on his way to the bathroom, skimming his waist with his fingertips and smirking at the way Remus's cheeks still fill with color at the lightest touch from Sirius. And as quickly and suddenly as wires twanging, enough was enough. Hand flying to the back of Sirius's neck, Remus crushes their lips together and slams Sirius against the bathroom door with a sound that is barely muffled by three glasses of wine and a thin white t-shirt. Shit, had it really been this long? It had been too long. It had been way, way, too long, he notes definitively, one hand snaking up the back of Sirius's shirt.
"Beach?" Remus asks, breaking from Sirius's lips for air and something that tried to be foresight because James was only a room and a hangover away from waking up and finding out exactly what was going on.
"Beach," Sirius agrees with a shaky breath, grabbing Remus by the hand and slipping out the front door.
Nearly tripping over himself twice in his eagerness to reach the bottom of the stairs, Remus flies out the door with Sirius three steps ahead of him, hand still firmly gripping his wrist and leading him down the stairs because letting thirteen days turn into fourteen days would only mean the inevitable death of both of them, and death would put such a damper on their vacation plans. And the hotel would undoubtedly be put through all sorts of horrible trouble because of the death of two of their patrons and Remus would feel terribly guilty, even post mortem.
They have to jump a gate to get to boardwalk and Remus nearly loses a shoe in the process, but that seems far less significant than the fact that they are now only a stone's throw away from the beach, from the culmination of Thirteen Days of waiting and nothing and wishing idly that James and Peter would please consider losing their room keys or falling off the face of the earth for just a couple of hours, as it would be greatly appreciated.
Remus stumbles out onto the beach within moments of hopping the fence and straight into Sirius's embrace, suddenly finding his back pressing heavily against the dry, weatherworn woodwork of the old boardwalk leading out into the sea. Before he could form a coherent thought, Sirius is cradling Remus's jaw in his hand, his thumb brushing against the strong line of Remus's cheekbone as Sirius steps between his legs for contact or leverage. Meeting Sirius's lips in a kiss, needy and desperate from something like too much time apart and too much time together, Remus steps out of his shoes to feel the sand beneath his feet.
He's read a book like this once, Remus thinks somewhat deliriously when his hand pushes up the hem of Sirius's shirt, feeling the balmy, pliable skin stretch under his fingers. Except in the book, when he kicked off his shoes, there would have been actual sand under his feet, but here there are just rocks and broken glass, and that shit it's been too long is becoming a shit I think I have a splinter in both of my shoulder blades. Prying himself away from Sirius's lips a second time as the boy makes easy work of the last button on Remus's shirt, Remus stops him, grabbing Sirius's hand in his.
"This isn't going to work," Remus announces anxiously, slinking away from the weathered wood that was currently causing him discomfort.
"Are you serious?" He asks, horror creeping into his voice as he looks at Remus in disbelief. "We just got here! You're joking, aren't you?"
"Not unless you're keen on ending up with sharp rocks lodged in unfortunate places," he elaborates, also considering the obvious risk of stepping on a hypodermic needle, undoubtedly left behind by some beach bum slash drug addict, and contracting Hepatitis C, which is surely something everyone considers when he or she is about to shag someone on a beach under a bridge.
Sirius nods, seeing the logic of Remus's argument, or deciding that the point was not worth arguing. "Should go up near the tide, the sand's better," he notes finally, pulling his friend towards the edge of the water. If Remus had been in his right mind, he might have argued the point. Something about shagging out in the open, even if it was probably five in the morning and nobody was out there, but he was about a quarter past caring. He is too busy being led out onto the soft tidal sand. He is too busy shrugging off his white button down and reaching over to peel off Sirius's t-shirt, which clings to his back, damp and sticky with some combination of the thin sheen of sweat that glistens on his skin and the muggy ocean air.
Almost instantly, as if he had weighed the options and decided that there was definitely no time to waste, Sirius tumbles down into the soft sand of the shoreline, packed and worn by the movement of the ocean at high tide that had finally receded in the late evening. Without a second though, he reaches up to grab at the tie that hangs loosely around Remus's perpetually overdressed neck. At least he has already rid himself of the sweater vest, or Sirius might have been able to find the presence of mind to complain even as he pulls Remus down on top of him, the knees of Remus's trousers digging into the cool sand where he falls haphazardly between Sirius's legs.
"Oh dear," Sirius mutters, his hands sliding gracefully down the line of Remus's slim waist, pale skin seeming to glow in the light of the nearly full moon, and he halts at the button of Remus's trousers. His old, brown trousers that are faded in the knees and too big in the waist and too short in the stride and all manner of ill-fitting, which causes Remus endless embarrassment, but which Sirius thinks is kind of glorious inasmuch as ill-fitting trousers and exposed, bony ankles can possibly be, which is more than he would have imagined. "Looks like you're getting sand on your trousers, and we can't possibly have that. I think we need a debriefing." The slight pink tinge of his cheeks, the moment of awkward regression to deeply ingrained modesty hidden in his horror at word misuse is enough to make Sirius smirk just a little bit. Remus helps him struggle with the hidden hook that was causing him some difficulty, kicking off his own trousers that snagged briefly around his ankles. He starts with the button on Sirius's, but not before Sirius presses a kiss to the corner of his mouth.
"What? That doesn't even mean – you're insufferable, do you know that?" Remus asks with no real conviction, nearly catching his thumbnail in the zip of his trousers in his eagerness to get Sirius out of those blue jeans, the ones with the rips in the seams that Sirius will never admit that he had to pay extra for.
"I'm not sure how I feel about being insufferable. I don't think that's going to work for me," Sirius adds, wiggling out of his jeans with such efficiency that Remus wonders wildly if he has been practicing during those thirteen days, which is a totally insane idea but sort of sounds like something he would do.
"What do you mean?" Remus starts to ask before there are lips on his neck, strong, firm, steady lips that always seem to know what he needs them to do even when he doesn't, and it's completely infuriating and altogether too wonderful to allow for complaint, which is almost more maddening.
"I think I'd rather be incorrigible," Sirius decides, punctuating his thought by scraping his teeth gently across the delicate skin of Remus's throat, which elicits one of the most ridiculous, unsophisticated noises Remus thinks he's ever heard low in his own throat, "Or insatiable."
The next words out of Remus's mouth might have been If you don't shut up right now, I'm going to strangle you with my tie, or No one would ever find the body, but whatever they might have been, they must have meant I'm going to kiss you on the mouth right now because that is what he was doing, his fingers twisting into the soft, salty mass of Sirius's hair and his lips scraping against the late-evening stubble on his chin even as his overlarge nose dug uncomfortably into Sirius's cheek, but for some reason, no one seems to mind.
That's the thing about being with Sirius – it doesn't make sense. There's no logical reason why it works. In fact, there are so many things about it that seem like they shouldn't work, so many things that have not been and will never be in a book that Remus has read or a movie that Remus has seen, that there is no possible way it could be good. But it's ridiculous and intoxicating and totally mesmerizing. And he can't even think about it because it's completely insane. It's insane that having Sirius's tongue in his mouth is something he wants to have happen all the time. It should be terrible, as Remus would admit if his primary interest were perfect honesty, all this swapping saliva and spreading disease and smacking noises and the scrape of stubble against his chin. It shouldn't feel good, so it doesn't feel good.
It feels fucking amazing.
As he is constantly reminded, when Sirius pulls him down by the back of his head, sucking his lower lip between his teeth and tugging on it hard enough that it almost hurts, but doesn't, rubbing the sandy sole of his foot against the curve of Remus's calf. Remus is dimly aware of Sirius kicking one of his legs over both of his own to switch their positions, rolling them over so that Remus's shoulder blades are digging into the soft ground. He can feel cold salt water lapping at his toes as much as he feels one of Sirius's legs pressed in between both of his. He can feel their hips pressing flush, and he revels in the sensation of their bare chests together, finally, compelled by the warm, sticky haze of urgency. Because, in a few hours or maybe even less, the sun will be up. In a few hours, they will have to go back to hiding and pretending and being something they weren't, just waiting for something, for this, to happen again. Because thirteen days is too long, Remus reiterates, his hands pulling Sirius closer and eagerly exploring the flat planes of his mate's back, salty skin laced with sweat and sand as Remus arches into his touch. Thirteen days is way, way too long.
But after thirteen days of nothing, the intoxicating friction of skin against skin isn't enough, not nearly enough, Remus realizes, laying thick, sucking kisses on the junction of Sirius's neck, of neck and shoulder, nipping sharply at the subtle dip of his collarbone as his hand finds the now-sandy curve of his arse. Sirius seems to realize it, too, thrusting wantonly against Remus's hips, and moaning in a way that excites Remus more than he would ever cop to sober. When he pulls Remus up for a kiss, it's like he's trying to devour him. Tongues clash and teeth jar and someone's knee is dangerously close to somewhere that's currently very pleasant but potentially very painful, and Remus's nose is pressing into his cheek again, but Sirius doesn't stop. It's like he needs to taste him again, a concept that Remus finds both totally mystifying in that anyone ever feels that way about him and oddly understandable. Because he feels the same way about Sirius, and it's what make his fingers tighten in his hair and dig into the flesh of his thigh. Because he needs to feel him, for reasons indeterminate, reasons he will never understand and reasons he will never seek to understand because that is not important. Reasons he has only always questioned because he never realized that he never had to question them at all.
"Inside me," he murmurs against Sirius's mouth, too desperate to feel any embarrassment and clinging fiercely to his skin as he bites down on Sirius's lower lip. He isn't sure how he expects him to move when he's doing that and he isn't entirely sure that he's expecting it at all. Sirius nods curtly in understanding, reaching across Remus for the pocket of his jeans and pulling out a small tube of lubricant that makes Remus certain that Sirius had been planning this all along. He smiles, giving a laugh that's a little high-pitched and slightly hysterical and as breathless as a Godard film. "Conniving bastard," he calls him in what he's certain is the most loving possible way. There isn't a moment of hesitation before Sirius's slick fingers are pressing inside of him, sitting back on his haunches and taking this opportunity to scrape his teeth across the jut of his hip bones and kiss his stomach and the swell of his waist. Remus gasps, his fingers fisting in sandy black hair as Sirius's fingers brush against the spot that makes his hips buck desperately against his hand.
Sirius pulls back for only a moment, slathering the lubricant on his cock before he pushes inside of him, groaning as his dark hair falls limply around his face. Remus's legs come up to wrap tightly around his back, drawing him closer and digging his heels into flesh as his head falls back limply into the sand. Finally, finally, his mind repeats as he presses back against him, finally. Sirius starts to pull out just to thrust back in, burying himself to the hilt, the fucking hilt, inside of Remus. He's so full, so impossibly, completely and brilliantly full and how do muscles even do that, and Oh, God.
Remus notices Sirius looking down at his lips, which always look soft and skinned even by the light of the moon, the moon that Remus will always harbor a little bit of hatred for, and even now it's as though he can't not kiss them. Even now as he's thrusting erratically, trying less successfully than usual to develop a rhythm, but it makes sense. It has been so long, so long, and judgment is always clouded when urgency comes into play. He wraps his hand around Remus's cock, stroking the length in time to try to match the movements of his hips. The pretense of something like decorum that Remus always hides behind, always, is being shed, replaced by something wild and feral that arches to meet Sirius's thrusts and keens under his ministrations. Something that pulls down on the back of his neck and takes Sirius's mouth in a hungry kiss because he needs more contact, needs to be touching him at every possible point and needs it now.
Sirius pushes harder, and Remus jerks when he hits that spot a second time, writhing underneath Sirius like he is a livewire inside him. He hears someone say "Please," in a whisper he barely recognizes as his own, and it's all he can do to cling desperately to Sirius. He can't move, isn't even really sure that he's still breathing because he feels like he's being smothered. It's like drowning, surrounded by smell and sound and Sirius and so much skin, as he clenches around him. Shaking and gasping his name, he is coming so hard he can barely see, spilling over Sirius's hand and pressing himself flush against his chest, murmuring Love you, love you, love you against his skin. With a last, shaky thrust, Sirius comes to the refrain in a flood of warmth that Remus can't see, but he feels in a way that is absolutely staggering.
It takes Sirius several moments to roll off to his side, still breathing heavily as he lies on his back and stares up at the sky while Remus watches the rise and fall of his chest, steady as the tide that's currently skimming his ankles with each slap against the shore. Some combination of Sirius and afterglow brings a lopsided, satiated smile to Remus's lips, and he curls up against the line of Sirius's side, laying his head on his chest and letting heavy eyelids fall shut. Sirius wraps an arm around his waist, his thumb stroking a thin, pale scar on Remus's arm. "I swear to god," he murmurs something in a voice like honey and dark wine, "If we wait two weeks again, I'm jumping you in the lift and pressing the emergency stop button."
With a dim, giddy laugh, Remus digs his noses into Sirius's chest and promptly slips out of consciousness as the first signs of dawn streak the lilac sky.
Early the following morning, Remus awakes groggily to the sound of birds chirping and the unmistakable sensation of being slammed in the face by a wall of ice-cold salt water, which is followed by the pleasant feeling of having that same water in his lungs and up his nose. There are reasons that his alarm clock does not do that, he thinks, turning his face towards the ground to cough up sand and various lung infiltrates and oh god there's seaweed in his nose, and where the hell is he? He can't even open his eyes for a moment because there's some absurdly bright light, far too early for this ungodly hour, beating down on his bare chest, which, by the way, stings for some reason. This is practical joke. Something Sirius must be in on, because Remus turns his head to find that his view is currently blocked by shiny black hair (also attached to someone who is currently sputtering), but for which James is definitely primarily responsible. Clearly, James has just dumped a bucket of seawater on his head and …and opened the curtains, or turned on some sort of sun lamp… and stolen his trousers… and poured sand in his…
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. Remus opens his eyes suddenly, though it takes several moments for them to adjust to the bright light of the early morning Brighton beach sun, and first sees Sirius murmuring incoherently and still coughing up salt as he curses under his breath. An explanation for the sudden sharp sting whenever he moves suddenly presents itself in the form of the angry red color that every visible inch of his skin – except for an expanse of white in the center of his stomach that looks a handprint – has suddenly taken on. Every visible inch, by the way, consisted of quite a few more visible inches than he was accustomed to. He didn't even know you could get sunburned some of those places.
The now horror-stricken Remus Lupin whips around to look up at the hotel that's still visible from their current location just shy of the boardwalk, and notices something incredibly unpleasant. Something incredibly unpleasant in red shoes by a bloke named chuck taylor, accompanied by his portly companion who's still wearing pajamas.
James towers over his drowsy, sunburned comrades, arms crossed over his chest, with a look on his face between one of dawning comprehension and the one he always gets before he tells someone that eurgh, nobody wants to see that. Peter, on the other hand, just looks oddly amused, as if giddily thankful that someone did something stupid and it wasn't him.
"How drunk were you guys?" Peter asks, voice bubbling with something like mirth because, apparently, winding up naked on the beach after a night of drinking is somehow inordinately funny to people who aren't Remus. Sirius curses again, shaking his head and muttering something about a hangover before he grapples around for his discarded denim trousers as the look on James's face fades into a knowing smirk.
Throwing Remus's brown ones in his general direction, James murmurs in a voice too soft for Peter to catch it, "Not as drunk as you think."