Fanfic: here we are, again by dykesiriusblack (Free to read, 564,411Clicks)

Description:

James and Regulus are getting married. Sirius and Remus haven’t seen each other in six years.

Characters:

No Archive Warnings ApplySirius Black/Remus Lupin Regulus Black/James PotterSirius Black Remus Lupin James Potter Regulus Black Peter Pettigrew Marlene McKinnon Mary Macdonald Dorcas MeadowesAlternate Universe – Muggle Weddings Hurt/Comfort Angst Pining Explicit Sexual Content Past Relationship(s) Mental Health Issues Exes to Lovers they were once friends though so Friends to Lovers dorcas marlene and mary are in a polycule get around it Gay Remus Lupin Gay Sirius Black Bisexual James Potter Gay Regulus Black Edinburgh sirius black is a perfumer he also worked on a vineyard so sexually charged wine tasting and erotic cologne choosing mild hijinks on the part of jegulus Professor Remus Lupin Lesbian Lily Evans Potter lesbian lily evans i love u Swearing probably too much swearing if we’re honest Angst with a Happy Ending have i ever written a fic where this isn’t a tag? i love drama

Summary:

Summary:

James and Regulus are getting married. Sirius and Remus haven’t seen each other in six years.

Notes:

(See the end of the work for notes.)

Chapter 1

Chapter Text
“I can’t believe you’re fucking here!”
Sirius grinned and folded himself against James’ firm chest. He was tucked just beneath his chin, nose buried in his neck. He inhaled deeply, his perfumer’s nose picking up on the subtle pear and leather that clung to James’ skin, overlayed with the faintest suggestion of sweat from the warm summer night.
Sirius pulled back and shook James by the shoulders. “I don’t know what I’m doing here, honestly.”
James rolled his eyes, knuckling his glasses up his nose and tugging Sirius through the townhouse entryway, past the living room, and into the spacious kitchen. “You’re here because we’re getting married, you bloody ponce.”
James released Sirius to duck behind Regulus standing at the stove, enveloping him in his arms and planting two kisses to his cheek. Regulus sighed long and slow, burning smile negating his harassed attitude.
Sirius leaned against the doorway, folding his arms and observing the terribly domestic scene. His heart turned over before it warmed, syrupy and slow in his chest. “Oi, I’m the one that hasn’t been home for six years! I think I deserve some more affection,” complained Sirius.
“As demanding as ever,” Regulus sighed, flicking his eyes to Sirius with a smile. He stirred the simmering tomato sauce, buttery and shining in the pan, before he dropped the spoon into James’ hand and strode over to Sirius, all confidence. His barrister assurance – straight shoulders and high chin – shone through as he made his way across the kitchen, enveloping Sirius in a tight hug. One of Sirius’ hands clutched the back of Regulus’ head; the other clasped his upper back. Sirius felt his shoulders ease for the first time since he’d set foot in Edinburgh.
“Hi, Reg,” he whispered.
“Sirius,” he murmured, “It’s good to have you back.”
They pulled away at the same time; the tether, that connection of theirs still tied at their fingertips, tucked deep beneath their nail beds, knowing when the other was going to move and what they were going to do.
Sirius fixed his gaze to the checked floor, vision blurring. He blinked and blinked again. Cleared his throat. “It’s good to be back,” he said finally, looking up at Regulus, and James behind him watching them.
Sirius cleared his throat again and pinched Regulus’ ear lobe because he was still standing close, and he needed to clear himself, settle back in the warm kitchen rather than out on the Edinburgh streets, his old home. Rather than remembering being twenty four and –
He ducked out of the way of Regulus’ sharp fingers, yelping as he raced behind James, using him as a shield. “What are you going to do?” Sirius called, clutching James’ shoulders. “Attack your poor fiancé to get to me?”
Regulus grinned, shark teeth and silver eyes. “James doesn’t mind getting roughed up.” He smirked at James. “Don’t you, love?”
James choked on his laugh and Sirius backed away from both of them, lower back hitting the counter, groaning in disgust. “Gross! I hate you both. I don’t want to know anything about your bedroom habits. Why do I always hear about them? Why did you two have to fall in love?”
Regulus laughed, tugging James to his side and pressing a kiss to his temple. “This sounds eerily similar to the speech we got when we first told him,” Regulus teased.
James huffed and lightly pushed Regulus away, hefting the boiling pot of water to the sink and tipping the pasta into the waiting colander. “You’re both menaces. Reg, baby, pour Sirius a glass of wine and take him out to the patio.”
Regulus squeezed James’ hip and grasped the three waiting glasses on the counter, a bottle of pinot noir in his other hand, leading Sirius out the panelled glass doors to the back table.
There were tea candles lit across the table and fairy lights strung by the eaves. The patio looked onto their postage stamp garden. Artfully decorated with a small vegetable patch, heavy red tomatoes and blooms of mint leaves were just some of what populated it. There were roses in the upper left corner while heather and thistle swept the rest of the fence. It was maintained mainly by James as he had the time, but Regulus was the one with the true eye for detail, that crafted the garden into the canvas of colour and beauty that it was.
Sirius sat facing the garden, Regulus perching across him, pouring out the wine. He rested his elbows on the table and watched as James emerged, glasses fogged up, placing the pasta on the table. He spooned generous servings into each bowl, setting the remainder between them and settling at the table’s head.
James sipped from his wine with one hand, the other shovelling a too-large bite of pasta into his mouth. “Alright,” he spoke around the mouthful, “Give us the wine comments now and get it over with.”
Regulus snorted, covering his mouth with his napkin while Sirius scoffed. “I have no thoughts! The wine is lovely,” he said. He took a sip, letting the light-bodied, fruity wine flush against his mouth. He swallowed, taking in the way James and Regulus watched him. He sighed. “Okay, fine. With a tomato-based pasta I would have chosen maybe a Pinot Gris, a dry white, you know? And if we were really wanting red maybe more along the lines of a Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m not saying this doesn’t go at all or is bad – it’s truly lovely wine. Regulus, I know you have some taste.” James made an offended noise that Sirius waved away. James tended towards beer. He was an easy, simple man. It was why he worked so deliriously well with Regulus, who was all complicated knots and hackles constantly raised. “Seriously, I’m happy. Just, if you wanted my thoughts.”
“I mean,” Regulus intoned, sipping his own glass, “We asked for it, but we didn’t want it.”
“It would have festered inside you all dinner and only come out on the second bottle. And it would have been a far longer lecture about the acidity of the tomato and grape or whatever,” James explained with a warm smile.
Sirius took a bite of the pasta and savoured the silky texture. Regulus continued, teasing, “He spends a year working on a vineyard and suddenly he’s a wine connoisseur.”
Sirius swallowed. Swiped at his mouth with the napkin. “Excuse me, I travelled around for that vineyard and tasted –“
“Wine all across the country,” Regulus finished for him. “Yes, we know.”
Sirius threw a glance to James, who was pressing back a fond smile looking between them both. Sirius grumbled and shoved another forkful of pasta into his mouth. It really was delicious.
“I can’t believe you’re getting married,” Sirius stated after thirty seconds of silence. His neck itched. The air smelled of honeysuckle from another garden. He could almost taste the memories that toed at his consciousness. He would not – he could not – not right now. He sucked in a breath.
James ruffled Sirius’ hair, knotting it at the roots. “Neither can I.”
Regulus squeezed James’ other hand. He’d been against marriage for years and Sirius understood with their parents and the stifling, creeping coils of their childhood home. But James had changed his mind, without pressure, just by being him. Loving. Kind. The kind of person who welcomed Sirius into his parent’s home without pause for breath when they were eighteen, fresh in their friendship and somehow still linked to their gristle and bones, who extended that same unwavering kindness to Regulus a year later when he came back to Sirius.
Regulus poked at Sirius’ shin with his shoe. “Tell us what you’ve been doing the past three months.”
“I can’t believe we saw you three months ago,” James murmured. “It feels like so much longer seeing you here.”
Sirius shrugged. “I suppose I haven’t been back – here – for six years. It’s different than you two visiting me in France.” He sat back in his seat, cradling the wine against his sternum. “But I’ve mainly been wrapping up my work with Matisse. I know I’m no longer an apprentice but there was so much more he wanted to teach me so it was busy –“
“Well it’s not like he can’t continue teaching you,” James interrupted. His bowl was cleared and he mirrored Sirius’ position, although his hand was linked with Regulus’ on the table. “You’re going back in a few weeks.”
Sirius glanced at his glass, swishing its contents. He looked up. Regulus tilted his head, raised his brows. Sirius sighed. “James,” he began, “I’m…I’m not going back.”
James stilled. His skin was lit golden by the yellow fairy lights, casting shadows below his cheekbones, his jawline. He nodded once, stiff. “So where are you off to now?”
Sirius’ fingers tightened around the glass stem. “I’m moving back to Edinburgh. Everyone is here,” he replied. “I know what I’m doing now – who I am – I was always coming back here.”
James blinked twice, knuckled his glasses up his nose. Carefully he set his wine glass down, reached over and grasped Sirius’, returning it to the table. Shaking his head, James launched at Sirius, sprawling across his lap and hooking elbows tight around his neck.
“You prick,” he gasped, “You daft sod. How could you- you didn’t tell me – why in the – I never knew you were coming back!” He pulled back and glared at Sirius, hazel eyes shining behind his wire-frames. “I thought I was going to have spend my whole life with a piece of me in another country.”
Sirius closed his eyes for a moment, holding James precariously on his lap. He breathed in the honeysuckle, the bitter notes of the red wine, James. It was home. He pulled him in again, holding James close.
“I was always going to come back.”
///
Later, once another bottle of red had been opened and polished and they sipped at the burning Scottish whiskey James insisted was delicious, Sirius brought up the wedding again.
“So, Lily is your – best person? Maid of honour?” he clarified.
Regulus shrugged, movements slow, tucked beneath James’ arm on the couch opposite. The living room windows were thrown open to the gentle breeze, rustling the pages of yesterday’s paper as it sat on the coffee table.
“Maid of honour, I suppose,” he said. “Doesn’t matter to either of us. But yes. I’ve also got Steven and Raph as my groomsmen.”
“Is she devastated that you’ve finally locked down the man of her dreams? The one you both pined over for years?” Sirius teased, head lolling on the back of the couch. His head was fuzzy, cotton wool thick. A careful comfort settled on his skin.
Regulus fixed him with a dry look. He tucked a lock of hair behind his ear, pieces falling in some strange mid-cut. Not short, but not long like Sirius’. “Considering Lily is a lesbian – no, I do not think she’s very upset. I’m aware you also know this, as you two have a terrifyingly close relationship from all those times she travelled around Europe and, perhaps foolishly, visited you.”
“If she’s devastated about anyone, it would be Regulus. They’re practically inseparable,” James countered. His hands sifted through Regulus’ hair, gentle. He stifled a yawn and said, “She’s always been too smart for all of us though.”
Sirius hummed his agreement. Lily was an academic with a political science and gender studies undergrad, followed by several post graduate studies of similar subjects. She had two books on queer feminist theory that did quite well in the general market and spoke at conferences around Europe and internationally on various topics about feminism, politics, queerness, and its intersections. The only person that could match her, really –
Sirius let his gaze dart to James before falling on the amber liquid in his glass. “Remus and Peter are your groomsmen, right?” he asked, keeping his tone light.
James shifted up, jostling Regulus, and cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah. Yes.” He paused. “Have you-?”
Sirius held his gaze. “I think you know I haven’t.”
Regulus emitted a noise from the back of his throat, looking at his glass.
“Yes?” Sirius asked, chest clenching. His fingers flexed around the tumbler.
Regulus smiled at him, a little sardonic. “Are you going to talk to him?”
Sirius resisted rolling his eyes. “Yes, Reg. Obviously, I will. I’m going to have to see him.”
“But are you going to actually talk?”
He blew out a breath. “I…suppose.”
He didn’t want to. But he would have to. He was here, again. They were going to be in each other’s lives. Inevitable. Sirius swallowed a mouthful of whisky, felt the burn down his throat.
They were quiet. A car drove by outside. Sirius asked, “How is he?” It came out quiet, tentative. Grappled with unwilling tenderness in his throat.
“He’s good,” James replied. “He’s teaching at the university. History courses. Doing well, really. We see him often, obviously. We see everyone.” James faltered. “He- he does ask about you, sometimes.”
Regulus’ lips thinned and he murmured, “James.”
James threw a look to Regulus and sighed, arm readjusting itself over his fiancé. “What? He does!” He drained his glass. “I’m not going to pretend he doesn’t exist or – it’s been years.”
“Yes, but- “ he glanced at Sirius.
Sirius was burning, burning, and he took a final swig of the whisky. He was a fractal of sunlight cast against a glass, the unnerving sway you felt at the peak of an unbearable height. He said, “Is he dating anyone?”
James and Regulus were quiet. He had not meant to ask it, the words begging out his throat before he could think. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t going to matter.
“Sirius,” intoned Regulus. “No, we aren’t – you have to ask him yourself.” He laughed, twisted mouth and taut shoulders. The frame of him the same as it was when Sirius was ten, sixteen, twenty. Sometimes, he was too close to their mother. “We aren’t doing this. For either of you.”
Sirius exhaled slowly and set his glass down. “I know,” he murmured. Looked at them. James was peering at him with a delicate frown. Regulus was hard lines and kind eyes. “Forget that,” Sirius waved a hand, “Tell me about the wedding. What can I help with?”
James placed his glass on the table. “Everything is mainly sorted. It’s going to be at that manor half an hour out, basically in the countryside. We’ve basically done everything. Somehow. Reg is terrifying when choosing napkin colours and flower arrangements.” James smiled fondly at Regulus, who rolled his eyes with a smile curled half hidden in his cheeks. “There’s just the stag party to organise, which you know we’re doing together,” finished James.
Regulus continued, “You’ll mainly be organising that with Lily, but I’m sure the others will all have their ideas.”
Sirius smiled. “I dread to think of what Peter has concocted.”
Regulus shuddered and tucked close to James. “He’s terrifying. It’ll be something genius and awful, I’m sure.”
Sirius laughed. “It always is with Pete.”
They skirted around him, around Remus. Because they could talk for hours about the threat he would pose to their livers and their night, with his ideas. Remus was sweaters and elbow patches and tortoiseshell glasses, but he was also five shots of vodka on a night out and splitting his lip climbing over a locked school gate to swing on the monkey bars, despite the fact that his legs were far too long for a children’s playground. He was wandering hands and booming laughter, when someone got him started. That someone had been Sirius, before.
He sat forward, wiping his hands on his jeans. “I should be off,” he muttered. It was getting late.
James groaned off the couch and Sirius dropped a hand to Regulus’ head as he passed behind him. He paused on the doorstep, James lingering against the frame.
“It’ll be okay, mate,” James murmured. He grasped Sirius’ shoulder and tugged him in, planting a kiss to his forehead before shoving him away. “Night. I’ll see you soon.”
“Probably tomorrow,” Sirius grinned.
“Of course,” James replied. Smiled at him. And they were them again, brothers in arms, saviour and the damned.
Sirius turned away, heard the door click shut behind him. He walked into the night, the slick road and the aching moon.
He inhaled: the dry hops from the breweries, the crocuses and daffodils. If he inhaled again, he could almost imagine his cinnamon-warm aftershave. Everything here was Remus.
It was all him.
///
He walked across the bridge to old town, along the cobbles and passed swaths of tourists to reach his airbnb. With the wine and whisky lurking in his blood, it was hard not to let the nostalgia ache into consciousness the way it had been begging to do since he stepped off the train that afternoon, leather holdall in his hand, suitcase dragging behind him.
It was a balmy night, the sun dipped below the horizon, warmth clinging to the pavement. A slight sheen of sweat crested his neck and collarbones as he strode up steep stone stairs, the clack of his shoes echoing in the narrow space between buildings. There was a person hovering at the mouth of the stairway at its peak – long, lean, and blowing smoke into the sky. Sirius had to pause, heart thudding. Saliva rushed into his mouth and he swallowed. Swiping a hand over his mouth, he leaned against the wall. He waited until the man had taken off, hand tugged by a friend or lover. He was grinning. He looked so devastatingly familiar.
And it kept happening, that afternoon, this evening. Around every corner, every brush of contact with a man just slightly taller than most in a crowd, wearing a sweater or tortoiseshell glasses or emitting a low, meandering laugh that warmed Sirius’ blood, he was reminded of the man he’d left when he was young and scared and restless. But it was never Remus.
Sirius would crane his neck or pause in the middle of the path, disgruntled tourists and tipsy young professionals parting around him, and he would look, analyse the slope of their neck and curl of hair as it brushed their ear. It would become obvious, in the icy tendril grip up his spine that the man was an imposter, an echoing mirage, blurred out and faded at the edges of who he was thought to be.
Sirius continued, reaching the peak of the stairs and veering left, against the flow of people heading towards the cities nightlife, towards the lights and noise and bodies. There was a throbbing behind his eyes that snaked down to his stomach, roiling and grinding it out with nausea. His breaths were shaking as he tried to tame the competing sensations, the rising tightness of his chest, clawing and aching at his throat.
He knew it would be difficult, being back here. He was anticipating it; had discussed it with Jacob, the therapist he had seen on and off since his first disastrous year in France. He had accepted it.
Except Sirius couldn’t feel his legs, his fingers, and he walked passed their favourite café. The one near the university that was close enough they could duck out between classes but also served actually decent coffee. It was the one with wide picture windows that allowed soft, buttery light to fall across the scrubbed wood tables. The light often caught the gold and auburn strands in Remus’ hair, and it had captivated Sirius for two years as his friend until they finally kissed and Sirius could then squeeze next to Remus on the bench of their favourite table, run his hands through the curls falling across his forehead, kiss that spot behind his ear that always distracted Remus. Remus would let out a huff, breath coffee-stained and addictive as Sirius drew him away from studying to –
There were too many reminders.
Sirius was one street away from his airbnb, a loft on the top level of a low building. He was hot and tired, the walk only barely clearing the alcoholic fog that had descended across his memories. He was rounding the corner when he saw the bench, right near the restaurant and it swooped through his veins, a reckless, floundering kind of loss. They had been fighting about something, something trivial and silly that had risen the blood to both their cheeks and brought with it the suggestion of spectacularly good makeup sex later in the night, where they gripped a bit too hard and scraped teeth down their chests.
Remus had stormed off and slumped on the bench with his arms crossed, an endearing scowl slashed at his mouth. Sirius had followed, not bothering with space or time, growing bored of their fight that he vaguely recalled was about money and paying for dinner, and rustled up against Remus’ side, nuzzling his neck, whispering lovely, silly things to the sacred skin until Remus cracked and pulled him in.
Remus could strop quite hard back then – although so could Sirius – but he always found it ridiculously adorable, a sweet and mildly irritating quirk that was part of the man he loved. Until – until it had peaked into icy silence and distant stares and Sirius ran, ran until he could pretend he had never fallen in love, never known how wonderful it all could be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.