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You Can't Count The Stars

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Remus knew about the mark behind his left ear, two stars and a faint line connecting them. A constellation. He actually liked it, it was better than the wolf outline one his mother had, he did like the iris his father had, a fitting meaning of Hope. He thought the universe must have some sick joke giving his mom an outline of a wolf on the inside of her forearm but it was there long before Remus was bitten, still, she covered it up from him and he appreciated that. He could only imagine what sick twisted tattoo his poor soulmate had to live with but he hoped that maybe it was a book or a cup of tea… Nothing ever worked out to be that simple and pleasant for Remus though.

He wasn’t in any rush finding his significant other, he felt bad for whoever was going to be stuck with him and he never once went searching for them. He buried himself in his studies, going on to be a professor at the local college, well, working his way there. He was in his fourth year and was looking forward to his graduation at the end of it before he got started on his masters. It was a lot of work but he enjoyed it, it kept him busy and the once a month issues were something that he just had to deal with. That part wasn’t so easy, but he kept himself pretty isolated. His friends group was incredibly small and it was just the few people he kept close to from when he was young.

James Potter was someone protective and supportive - a little on the wild side but he had the biggest heart and he and Remus went over ten years back. Lily Evans was Remus best friend though, a few years difference in how long they had known each other but they connected instantly and as they grew up they did think for a moment maybe they were the others soulmate. Remus was sort of grateful that they didn’t match up though, he loved her as a friend and would do anything for her and for James but he knew being in love - really in love would be different. Despite what the tattoo said. However Lily and James - their tattoos matched up, even though Lily kept her tattoo hidden for a few years because she had connected the dots first and wasn’t ready for someone like James Potter - eventually it worked itself out and they were perfect for each other. Remus never minded being the third wheel with them, if anything sometimes James became the third wheel when Remus and Lily got on about their studies and work. That was the extent of his circle and who knew about his furry little problem. Lily was more practical about it all and James was more light hearted which is how Remus got the nickname ‘Moony’ and it stuck. He was sure some people thought that was his actual name, and while Remus was more on the quiet side he did correct them if someone else called him that. It meant a lot to him that his few friends still accepted him and all his faults.

***

It was a Thursday morning, far from a morning person and regretting signing up for a 8am class, but he was here. His lycanthropy left him with scars, a few light ones over his face and some deeper ones over the rest of his body. He wore long sleeves and jeans almost always - the questions and the stares just weren’t worth it. He had the class book out in front of him, reading over the lecture chapters when the seat next to him filled up and he glanced over at them only to do a double take. Remus quickly looked away but the chiseled cheekbones and sharp jaw was already a permanent memory. How did some people get so lucky? Sneaking another look, perfect skin and thick, dark hair that layered out from his eyebrows and down to the collar of his shirt. It looks soft and curled just right, not too long and not too short. He couldn’t focus on the words in his book anymore, reading the same line four times so he wouldn’t stare though. Remus was 23 and had no idea how to even give a hello or introduce himself, so he didn’t. He sat back with a soft exhale and waited for the class to start.

The professor came in last minute, Ancient Roman Studies was the first thing she wrote across the large white board and she gave a beaming smile to the class before she gave a motion to the man sitting next to Remus and he looked over at him again as he stood with a roll of his eyes and a stiffness to his shoulders. Remus was certain he had never seen anyone with such straight posture, so much that it made him sit up a bit more. He was short, well, short compared to Remus and he could tell that from where he was sitting, he maybe went to his shoulders if he were to stand up next to him. The professor's voice broke his train of thoughts,

“Please welcome Regulus Arcturus Black, the Black family is a key contributor to keeping this place alive. Donations that have helped give all of you the top of the line experience and education - so, thank you, Mr. Black.” She had a smile on her face but Remus could tell that this was forced and it didn’t look like Regulus was all that interested in being called out like this, still he nodded, not a twitch of a smile and then sat back down.

It only took a minute for the name to click. Having the stars as his sign of his soulmate he studied them, the names and locations, the brightness and he went as far as space and science had been able to reach. The color drained from his face, his heart was pounding and he shifted just a few inches away to try and catch his breath as the lecture continued. He stayed like that, in a state of shock and trying to wrap his head around that this was supposed to be his soulmate. He was sure of it. No one had a name like that, Regulus… and then that middle name. It was no coincidence. They were names of two stars and he had two stars on his body and in black ink… He was sure everyone in the room could hear his heart pounding in his chest and the second the class was over he grabbed his things and exited the other end of the row and ran out to his car to call Lily.

“You’re sure? I mean you sound sure. Oh my god! I’m so excited for you Moony!” Lily was trying to catch up just as much as Remus was but at least she was excited about it.

“He’s rich then? A true prince charming then, eh?” James' voice came in and a laugh followed.

He was grateful for the both of them, James for lightening the mood and Lily for actual advice. She told him to just introduce himself, say hello - ask for a pen… Remus touched where the tattoo was and took a deep breath, it was obviously meant to be but the guy seemed impossible to approach and Remus was just going to take it slow - he had waited this long so there was no harm in it. He only had class with him on Mondays anyways, the week went on and he saw him only once more walking to another class and Remus was actually relieved to only have one class with him.

***

A month went by and he never got the courage to even say hello, he had a full moon coming up and homework to focus on so his soulmate was put on hold and Remus didn’t mind. He tried glancing to look for a tattoo on him but never caught sight of one. After a month though, after the full moon - being exhausted and sore - he missed a step on his way to his normal seat. The class was fairly empty but an arm wrapped around his center and it didn’t catch him completely but softened the fall.

“Shit, sorry…” His heart leapt into his throat, “And - thanks..” He swallowed hard and Regulus picked up the dropped book and handed it to him with his lips pressed in a line and a shrug.

Hazel. His eyes were a light hazel and he couldn’t help but think how unfair it was someone so perfect was supposed to be stuck with Remus. He’s handsome and made it obvious he was smart - which was another thing Remus likes, just not so much the arrogance behind it but maybe he was just like that in class. Regulus didn’t say much of anything after that and Remus didn’t know what he could say to spark a conversation so he spent his morning break on the phone with Lily again who talked him up to trying again, she chalked up trying to catch him to Regulus at least noticing him and that had to mean something. Remus was certain she was just being nice but he took the words to heart anyways.

Another month passed though - Remus just couldn’t bring himself to say anything but he was determined this time. Something. Anything. Ask about the homework for all he cared. There was a ten minute break in the hour and a half class so he took the opportunity to shift just enough to face Regulus a bit more and give him a soft smile, “Hey, did you have troub-” He was cut off by the other.

“I saw your tattoo… The two stars.” Hazel eyes were burning into Remus and his heart was hammering in his chest all over again, not exactly against the bluntness but Regulus didn’t sound all that excited about it, “I - don’t have one… so, I can’t confirm..” He shrugged a shoulder and the tone of his voice softened just enough that he looked and sounded human instead of a cold statue.

“Ah, that's okay. I didn’t - I wasn't going to go there just yet but if you wanted.. And you’re not busy.. I have a free period after this. We could get some - coffee? Or, whatever you want. If you’re free.” He was cursing himself and he was sure there was a blush to his cheeks with the terrible ramble and his heart hadn’t stopped racing in his chest yet. He never heard of someone not having a tattoo but it seemed like it bothered the other so he’d wait on that question, he would actually like to wait on ever speaking to Regulus again if this is how it was going to be - the blunt short sentences, Remus already felt like he was never going to get to know him and while he wasn’t planning on letting his guard down anytime soon he was willing to let a conversation happen.

“I’m available.. The coffee here is disgusting but I could make with some tea.” His voice and annunciation was so proper that Remus just nodded with a soft smile and went back to his work. He would at least have progress to report back to Lily and James with.

***

Six months had passed since their tea date, it went - okay. It was clear Regulus came from money, it showed in every single thing he did but there was a certain softness to him that came around after their fourth or fifth time going for tea. Then, after that they managed a real date. Remus didn’t come from money but he wanted to make a good enough impression so he sold a few classic vinyl albums and used that for their dinner. It was awkward at first but there was some common ground when they got on about their studies, Regulus was stubborn and that was clear rather quickly. Remus wasn’t exactly in his comfort zone enough to call him out on it and part of him just didn’t feel right about it so he sort of let Regulus take the lead in silence or conversation. He was difficult to read but so was Remus so navigating things was difficult, they were both quiet at times and they never really got on with each other like Remus had hoped. Lily encouraged him that not everyone clicked like her and James did. Sometimes it would take work and he accepted that fate. He knew a relationship would take work but he figured the first few months would at least be a little more light hearted, but maybe those moments would come later for him and Regulus.

“Your family?” Remus was sure he couldn’t hide the shock on his face and Regulus gave him a bit of a glare in return.

“Yes, my family. They want to have a proper dinner to meet you. It’s not taken lightly when a Black is paired up with someone…” Regulus never went deep into his family, all Remus knew was that he had a brother and assumed a mom and dad were in there somewhere too, he had cousins that lived with him as well. He got an odd feeling whenever anything family related came up and this was no different, the defense was up and Remus just sighed.

“I want to meet them… You just tell me when and where…” He offered a soft smile and Regulus gave his forearm a soft squeeze.

Affection was another thing that was never really given or received, Remus understood that though. There was no way he was ready to come forward about his lycanthropy but touch was something he deeply craved but was also sometimes repulsed by it and Regulus seemed to not be overly fond of touch so they never really did. They had a first kiss, it was strange and off but Remus didn’t think that was weird considering he didn’t exactly have a lot of practice in that area. He could count how many times they kissed in the six months, he didn’t mean to keep count but sometimes it bothered him, he would never push for more but it never felt right.

***

Ten months of them seeing each other and now it was time to meet the Blacks. He was more nervous about this than talking to Regulus the first time. He had to go out and really shop in the thrift stores for a decent outfit. Black slacks that he hemmed himself, a dark burgundy button up that he tucked in and - a borrowed pair of dress shoes from James. Remus could tell his mom wasn’t exactly sold on this relationship but she wanted him happy so she kept her comments to herself. His dad had moments that let his greed show if Remus got in with the Blacks but he also saw fear there for if someone that powerful wasn’t approving of their son. He assured them he would be fine and when the car showed up to pick him up he thought at least Regulus would be there for the ride but he wasn’t… he gave his mom a pressed smile before getting in the car alone.

It was nearly a forty minute drive and Remus was starving at this point, he hoped it would be at least a sort of rich party with appetizers. It was nothing short of a mansion when the car pulled up. Greenery covered each side of the street leading up to the front door. It was a steel grey exterior which contrasted the beautiful surroundings. The mansion itself looked like it belonged in a movie but with dead trees surrounding it, not lush and vibrant plants and flowers. It was still a breathtaking view and it was really the moment Remus realized just how much money this family must have.

The driver came and opened his door for him and he extended his arm out for Remus to head to the front door, his lips moved to say thanks but he wasn’t sure if his voice actually came up. He was still starving but now he felt like he might get sick if he ate anything. Remus didn’t even get a chance to knock when a woman answered the door, she had a half apron on and looked older, older than his own mom but before he could speak she was offering him a quick smile and ushering him in, “Yes, Remus? Right. Could I get you a drink? There are reds, whites, water, whiskey if you need.” The fact that she said need had him tense just a bit but he went with a red wine.

The entryway was as big as his house, he was sure of it. The ceilings were impossible to reach and the art - well, Remus never found art ugly but it was certainly questionable for a house to have. It was gaudy and dark, chandeliers were in every room and more than one but the lights were dim and it made his eyes hurt being somewhere in between dark and enough light to see properly. He could smell dinner, lamb, he should have figured it would be something of the sorts. He was led through another room with two walls completely covered in books and he did wish he could have had a moment to see those in more detail but then he was ushered to the dining room.

Eight chairs on a long table in the center of the room. The dark wood sat on dark tile but the light was a little better in here. Family pictures were plastered and he could guess it was extended with different kids in some and no kids in others. He found it a bit unsettling but it wasn’t like he had any real sort of normalcy in his life or with his family. Maybe this was just how things were done when you had money.

He did smile when he saw Regulus, a familiar face and he forced himself to relax a bit. He gave a half smile in return but it didn’t reach his eyes, still he came over to him and again, gave his forearm a squeeze, “Thanks for coming.” His voice was quiet and Remus just nodded.

Then came the rest of the family, Regulus led Remus to his spot at the table. The head was taken by who he could assume was their father, he didn’t look mean but he looked quiet and calculative. Regulus sat at the first seat to his right, then Remus and next to him was a woman with long platinum hair. She was gorgeous, he still thought Lily was prettier but the woman next to him looked stone cold and it reminded him of Regulus the way she carried herself. The other end of the table was Regulus' mom, Remus thought of himself as a monster and evil but that kind of energy radiated from the woman at the end and Remus couldn’t find it in him to make eye contact. Next to her was a woman with long dark curly hair that looked like it was never going to be manageable, it was fluffy and still pretty but she wore a smile that made him second guess being here. Across from him must be Regulus brother….

His eyes locked on him for a moment, blue with a hint of steel grey behind them. Same cheekbones and a sharp jaw but he was softer. His hair was longer and hand more bounce to it, his skin porcelain and perfect. He smiled and Remus' breath got caught in his throat. He had never imagined someone to look so beautiful. There was something unearthly about him and yet something so grounding that Remus felt less nervous after meeting his eye. He moved onto the next though and she had light brown hair, long and straight, she radiated a type of joy in contrast to everyone else at the table. She gave him a soft smile and he couldn’t help but give one back.

“Remus, thank you for joining us, we’ve been so excited to meet the soulmate of our dear Regulus.” The way she said soulmate made it seem like she was spitting poison from her tongue and all Remus could do was swallow and give what he could as a smile and nod. His voice felt trapped and he wasn’t sure how it would sound just yet so he didn’t dare use it until he took a sip of his wine.

He could feel the nervous energy from Regulus and in the ten months he never once saw Regulus feel - much of anything, “Thanks - I mean, Thank you for having me. You really have a lovely home.” He glanced at their mother and then to their father. The one across from him just let up a soft huff but everyone seemed to ignore it.

The mother just hummed before introducing everyone, “Orion..” Giving him a fond smile before moving to the mousy brunette one, “Andromeda..” There wasn’t any fondness behind that one, “Sirius…” It sounded like disgust when she said his name and he just gave a bow from his seat, “Bellatrix, Narcissa, and I'm Walburga.” She had a satisfied smile on her face at the last few introductions, as she ended the very blunt introductions, four butlers came forward and started with a pale green soup placed in front of every one.

This was going to be a long night, he had never been to a dinner quite like this and he watched Regulus to see what spoon to even pick up first. He also wished he would have picked whiskey. He had no words, too many nerves and thoughts rapidly firing in his head. This place didn’t feel like a home and none of this felt comfortable but he would get through this dinner for Regulus. It did dawn on him that all of their names, except their mother, had to do with stars and constellations but he didn’t put too much thought into it.

His eyes kept dancing across the table to Sirius, who was slouched in his seat and dressed more loosely than Remus - Remus was at least trying but he was sure they all could see the second hand store when they looked at him. “So, dear boy, I hear you’re going to school to be a teacher? Hm. I take it not at any sort of ivy league…” She looked him up and down and Remus caught eye of Sirius again but he looked away at his soup a bit embarrassed but agitated all the same, jaw flexing before he spoke, “No, not an ivy league, i actually hope to start with helping people get their GED as my practice..” She cringed and the blonde next to him raised an eyebrow at him, Regulus sank in his seat a bit and Sirius was smiling. Remus felt bad though, he was here for Regulus so he stood down and took a few bites of his soup while the mothers eyes burned into his skull.

“Well shit, I might as well take a card and maybe I’ll get somewhere in life with a GED, huh, Walburga.” Sirius' voice broke the silence and while he sounded a bit like his brother it was clear they were nothing alike.

“You have your diploma dipshit.” Regulus came in and glared across at him.

Remus really just found it more odd that he called his mom by her first name, he stayed quiet but gave a somewhat grateful look across the table. Bellatrix was grinning now, not even eating but watching the little outburst with an adoring expression.

“And there Sirius is, looking for just a crumb of validation.” She finally spoke and it was scratchy and it made Remus tense up.

“Well at least I know the difference between validation and violence. Someone really should get her checked - for fleas and probably schizophrenia.” Sirius quickly spat back, Orion simply sat back and ate, Remus could see Andromeda nudge Sirius and Narcissa wasn’t letting a single syllable phase her.

Regulus gave Sirius a pleading look and it took a few seconds but he shut up and took a few bites of food. Remus tried to look at Regulus, tried to get a read on him but nothing. He was impossible to get through to and Remus just picked his spoon back up.

“Welcome to the Black’s family dinner.” Narcissa finally spoke, quiet and to Remus with a soft smile at the corner of her lips as the trays were exchanged for the lamb he could smell earlier.

It was clear who had little to no impulse control when Walburga mentioned someone needing to be fit to pair with a Black, Sirius just couldn’t do it, and Remus eyes darted at him when he spoke again, “Yes, Walburga prefers if to keep it somewhere in the family tree - isn’t that right, mum? You going to make Remus here burn off his tattoo, too?” The way he said mum sounded more like acid than anything Waburga had said so far but she apparently met her limit.

She stood up and Sirius shrunk a bit, Andromeda got more protective, Bellatrix was beaming and Narcissa was cutting into her food like Orion. Regulus was sitting there, stone front but now Remus could see the cracks. Remus was looking at Regulus when the sound echoed.

Sirius was clutching the side of his head and Andromeda had her arm over him. Remus was usually able to keep his cool for a while, he got that from his mom but he also had his fathers anger and once he looked up he pushed up from his seat, “What the fuck!” As if the mention of burning off their tattoos wasn’t enough to be concerned about. He met Sirius' gaze and before looking at their mother, furious but Orion was also on his feet as well ready to intervene.

“You’re nothing but a disgusting, filthy dog.” She spat at Remus with a smile on her face, “You think we don’t know your type - leeches. You’re in no way good enough for my son, and I’d be surprised if you’re good enough for anyone.. Hm.. Those scars - do you think I haven’t been around long enough to know what kind of filthy dark creature makes marks like that..” She had the upper hand now and she knew it, Remus was sinking in the gut feeling. Looking around for help but Regulus wouldn’t even glance his way. Andromeda had tears in her eyes but she didn’t budge from protecting Sirius. The cool grey eyes were on him, there was so much fear there and it was like he was telling Remus to run.

“You’re lucky I’m letting you walk out of here alive. I could be saving countless lives from a monster like you.. But I'd rather you suffer every month for as long as you live Remus…`` She turned on her heels and walked out. Bellatrix broke the silence immediately with a cracking laugh and Remus couldn’t bring himself to look away from Sirius for a few more seconds before he started walking out.

Regulus started after him, but Remus stopped him, eyes blurry but he wasn’t going to let them fall here, he wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of breaking him in her own house, “What was your tattoo..” His voice was strained and Regulus shrugged, he was clearly shaken by the outburst as well which made Remus stop for a moment but he shook his head and still headed for the front door when he wasn’t given an answer.

The car wasn’t waiting for him and he figured he was going to have to find his way home so he started walking and tears started falling. A hand on his shoulder had him ready to throw a punch as he quickly forced some distance between whoever it was but he stopped when he saw it was Sirius.

“What do you want?” He swallowed and still took a step back, he wiped at his face quickly.

“She’s a bitch… I just wanted to say sorry. Regulus is sorry too but he just -” Sirius shrugged, “Let me give you a ride home…” A nod of his head as he started walking to the side of the house. Remus was nervous, the what ifs crawling through his head. Their mom would have no problem killing Remus, that was perfectly clear, why would anyone else at that table feel any different. He kept his distance as he followed, ready to bolt at any moment but the truth was Remus wasn’t athletic so no matter what - he wasn’t getting away if they tried anything.

It was a black beat up car though, Sirius nodded to it for him to get in and he glanced around once more before opening the passenger door. Out of everyone at the table Sirius seemed to at least have some sort of mind of his own, and a mouth. It was quiet for a while, Remus gave him a few directions so they would hit the right freeway but it was a long ride home.

“I think it’s an owl.” Sirius finally spoke. His hair pulled back into a bun, he looked relaxed but there was obviously a lot on his mind. Remus was still in his head a lot but it was impossible to not notice the sculpture-like masterpiece in the driver seat.

“He was young when she burned it off him. I don’t really remember it but I’m pretty sure it’s an owl. Andromeda and I are the only ones that didn’t get them burned off.” He glanced at Remus and then back to the road, “Reg isn’t a bad guy.. He just - is a little lost.” His lips pressed together with the thought.

Remus could figure that much but he just shook his head, burning their tattoos off - he couldn’t imagine. It may not have been Remus most important thing, finding his other half but it was sometimes comforting to know there was someone out there for him. Burned off, he thought about it again… He watched his hands in his lap for a bit, “An owl doesn’t make sense… but thanks.” His voice sounded tired and he didn’t want to use it anymore.

“What’s yours?” Sirius seemed like the blunt type and a little too into people's business but he couldn’t really blame him after seeing what he grew up with.

“It's two stars. A line connecting them. It’s behind my ear…. You?” He wasn’t sure he was going to ask but what was the harm, his mind kept wandering to the owl anyways.

Sirius was quiet for a few seconds and then shook his head, “Ah, yeah, I have a pretty cool one actually, it's the phases of the moon on the back of my neck.” He grinned and looked proud of it but it made Remus stomach sink.

“Have you found them yet?” His voice quieter now but he had to push the thought out of his head. There was no way, Regulus was his soulmate. Maybe the owl meant night owl - or something about being smart.. He was reaching but he couldn’t help it.

“Nah, I’ve gone looking but nothing yet.” That perfectly placed smirk on his lips still had Remus heart beating steady in his chest and he looked away.

Remus didn’t say anything to that and the silence fell over them for a few more minutes but it seemed Sirius wasn’t good with the silence, “It doesn’t bother me, ya know.. And you don’t seem like a monster. My mother is a monster. A true Vile creature…” His tone changed towards the end and Remus didn’t want to think about it, it made him extremely uncomfortable that eight more people now knew something so personal.

“It’s fine… thanks.” cutting into silence again and Remus was just starting to enjoy it when Sirius spoke again.

“You know anyone that's matched up?” Another glance at Remus and another flutter in his stomach. Remus had to really stop looking in his direction.

“Yeah, my best friends actually. They really are fit for each other too. One’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie and the other, well, she’s probably keeps him alive.” A soft laugh came up and he could feel Sirius eyes on him at that which just made his cheeks flush and he looked out the window for some escape.

“Sounds nice..” Sirius' voice had mellowed out, it was soft and soothing to begin with but now it sounded quiet and in thought.

Remus looked over at him and they made eye contact again, and there it was again. It felt like his stomach was flipping and he couldn’t look away just yet. Thankfully Sirius was driving and he had to, Remus had to catch his breath and focused on his lap again, he didn’t know what to say but he had a feeling both of them had the same thought but weren’t ready to even bring it up.

Sirius talked about music a lot and he asked about Remus studies and it was small talk but it felt nice and it was easy to fall into. The forty minute ride even managed some laughs by the time they pulled up to his house - far more than any conversation with Regulus and the thought made his chest ache. It wasn’t like he was in love with Regulus, he liked him though and felt they were making progress but now there was a massive what if in Remus mind and he wasn’t sure what kind of mistake he was making.

“Again, sorry about the mess…” Sirius called out from the driver side when Remus stepped out, never once addressing the slap across the face he received and the fact that on the drive home the corner of his eye started to bruise. Remus wanted to offer a safer place - he wanted to protect him, and Regulus. No one deserved to be treated like that but Remus just brushed it off and gave a thanks before heading inside.

It wasn’t nearly as late as he was expecting to be home and his mom gave him a look as she came from the kitchen, assuming it couldn’t have gone that well she rushed to give him a hug, she knew him better than anyone. Not asking what happened but just giving him that bit of comfort that it was going to be okay. He excused himself to his room where he promptly called Lily,

“What if… is it - I just - I think… It’s ridiculous. Tell me it’s ridiculous. Lily - talk me down from this damn ledge.” She just laughed a bit, she had come over once he mentioned the abuse and Remus didn’t realize how much it affected him till he was saying it out loud and his voice shook.

She sat there and hugged him for a few seconds but then he went on about Sirius, and he went on and on and on about him. The car ride home and the details of the conversation, the stupid jokes and the mutual respect for musicians. Then he told her the tattoo and she froze a bit too. She tried to cover it up but he caught it and she was sort of lost on words, “You really are dating the wrong brother…” She was at least soft spoken about it, if James were here he would be laughing till he couldn’t breathe and then offer him a bit of terrible advice, the thought still made him smile and despite the situation he laughed at the fact that it was happening to him, of course it would.

“God, what am I going to do.. How am I supposed to tell him - and then he still has to go home to that witch of a mother…” He felt terrible, he felt like he was letting Regulus down even if there definitely wasn’t a connection there like with Sirius. He was willing to just suck it up and be there for the younger brother because he just wasn’t sure what was going to happen to Regulus - so, that's what he did.

***

Another eight months had gone by, Lily and James were adamant about Remus just telling Regulus what he was thinking at the very least but even after a year and a half Regulus was barely lukewarm. The family dinner put them back a lot and Remus did ask him how he felt about the whole werewolf thing, there was a cringe and if Remus wasn’t so good at reading people he would've missed it. That hurt but Regulus dismissed that it bothered him and they never brought it up again, he did go back to the Black house a few times and he did his best to avoid Sirius but there was a pull just being in the same house as him so he kept his trips to their residence slim to none. Regulus did meet Hope and Lyall - he did his best to be kind and Remus appreciated that but he could tell that he wasn’t going to be living in a single home anytime soon.

They stole glances here and there, Regulus was still handsome as ever, they kissed goodbye sometimes and they got into a heated make out session once but nothing more. Nothing felt like the way James explained kissing Lily, how he knew and how he knew just seeing her. James was a softy when it came to Lily and he treated her like the gift to earth and she was just that. Remus just couldn’t relate when it came to Regulus but he lied to himself about it as much as possible if this was going to be his future. It did seem that Waburga left him alone a bit more since dinner and Remus still showed up, she wasn’t quiet how she felt about it but Remus bit his tongue and again, he kept his visits like a rare sighting.

Sirius often clouded his mind, the steel blue eyes, the way his lips curved into a perfect smile, the conversation in the car played over and over and he felt he was losing the sound of his voice after these eight months of not hearing it but he was gripping to the memory till guilt came crashing down that he was missing someone he wasn’t dating.

It was late on a Monday, Frank Turner played soft from his room as he studied for finals. This was it and then he'd get a proper summer break in, with a job but still more of a break than he had taken in the last four years before he would get in with his masters program. He and Regulus didn’t fight, they didn’t do much of anything but homework together and eat sometimes. There were no late night texts or phone calls, no talk of hobbies or even so much as a movie and it was wearing on Remus. It didn’t feel like a relationship and the night prior Remus brought it up - a full moon was this week so his emotions were less in check, irritable and tired. Regulus felt for him, he did but he felt the same and Remus had his first break up. They were cordial about it, of course Regulus was - he did give him a hug though and it was a simple goodbye. He didn’t feel as bad about it as he thought he would, he was hurt but more with himself, he spent a lot of time trying to win over Regulus and just like that it was over. Just like that he was alone.

It was near 1am when he heard a car pull up and he groaned at the thought of it being James trying to get him up and out, ‘It’s only been a day, I'm allowed to be sad for one day Potter.’ He got to his feet and headed downstairs quickly so he wouldn’t wake his parents but when he opened the door it was a motorcycle - and it wasn’t James Potter.

His heart leapt into his throat, shaking his head as the silky black hair fell from the helmet. Closing the front door behind him as he gave him a confused look but god did he look good.. He looked a lot better like this, in jeans and a leather jacket then at the dinner table all those months ago but Remus was certain Sirius Black could never look bad.

“I - what are you doing here?” He took a few steps towards him and wrapped an arm around himself a bit, glad he at least had a long sleeve on as he ran his hand over his forearm.

There wasn’t a whole lot said, Sirius quickly closed the distance, “I haven't stopped thinking about you.” a hand at the back of Remus neck as he pulled him into a kiss. The shock lasted all but a few seconds - his heart was racing and every nerve in his body came alive as he kissed him back. A sound in the back of his throat, his skin felt warm for the first time in his life, his mind blissfully blank for once and he found himself clinging back to Sirius. It felt like a light electric current was coming alive and being passed back and forth between them. Neither one of them willing to let much space come between them even when the kiss came to a stop.

Remus kept his eyes closed, catching his breath and trying to wrap his head around it, around this. He couldn’t and it was as if Sirius knew he was trying to figure it out and make an excuse or a reason and he knew Regulus was going to come up, “He knows, he knew.” Sirius nodded but he had to lean in and kiss Remus again, “He’s okay.” He whispered against his lips and Remus finally opened his eyes to meet the cool blue ones in front of him but they weren’t cold, they were nothing but warm and inviting and Remus nodded and gripped onto him a little tighter. His eyebrows furrowed, his body felt alive and his heart was racing but it wasn’t in a nervous way. This is what he had been missing, wanting. Having it just barely out of grasp and being too afraid to reach for it himself. He closed his eyes, this felt right.