- Story Summary:
- Even after Sirius has come to lie low, Remus has nightmares.
The hand on his shoulder gets through to Remus. Shaking firmly, pressing him to the mattress, it is real, it is uncomfortable...by definition it means that he is not falling through a veil into endless darkness.
No, Remus is lying on his solid, warm bed and the rest was only a dream. As he stills his twitching legs that have been trying to run through the air, he feels his pulse choking off his breath and tries to focus on just gulping in, panting out, the outline of Sirius' head in the dimness above him, the fingers still gripping his upper arm.
This is his home. This is now.
"Moony," Sirius begins in a weary voice. "If I'm the one who spent twelve years in Azkaban, and I'm the one the Ministry of Magic and the Dementors and the Death-Eaters are after, how come you're the one who wakes up screaming every night?"
Remus licks his lips, though his tongue is so dry that it doesn't stop the skin in the corner from cracking when he parts them to speak. Only two days after the full moon, his body is still exhausted, but he does not want any reminders of that night, when Padfoot had curled up with him and it had almost -- almost -- been like before.
"Death-Eaters," he repeats dully, tasting the blood at the edge of his mouth. "Voldemort. Dying without the Killing Curse. I'm sorry, Sirius."
The bed lurches and heaves as Sirius flops down beside him, settling on one arm so he can look down at Remus. Warm fingers push the damp hair from where it is sticking to his forehead, brushing it away from the most prominent scar. "If this keeps up, I'm going to have to start sleeping in here." Sirius teases as gently as he touches Remus. "Otherwise neither of us will ever get any rest."
Longing and panic strike simultaneously, as they always do. Traitor. Love. Murderer. The veil billows before Remus' eyes, whispering Don't fall.
"Shh." Sirius' hand is still on Remus' face, stroking his jaw, wiping away blood from the corner of his mouth. "It's only a dream, Moony." Leaning closer, he kisses the split lip and rests his nose against Remus' cheekbone. "Remind me again...why aren't we sleeping together?"
"Because I thought you were the spy and you thought I was the spy and we didn't trust each other and James and Lily died," murmurs Remus. He feels Sirius stiffen against him, pulling back, and he wants to add again, I'm sorry. His hand reaches after Sirius but dark hair brushes across his face like the flutter of black fabric, and he freezes. Then Sirius is beyond his reach, having rolled away to stand beside the bed.
"We're still alive, Moony," Sirius says in the darkness. "This may be all we ever have."
And Remus knows that he is right, yet cannot utter the words to call him back. Don't fall, warns the voice from his dream.