Disclaimer; All credit to Jo. I own nothing and make no profit.
Author's note; Set in 6th year, post-prank.
It was Friday the 13th of March when Remus first noticed a change in Sirius. Friday 13th, unlucky for some. However much it tore him apart, however, Remus was glad he'd noticed. He wondered how long it had been there to be noticed, and how James, Sirius' best ever friend and practically a brother to him, could have missed it. Sure, James and Sirius had been having more of those seemingly superficial arguments lately than they'd ever had before, over Lily and silly unimportant things, and Remus had only just managed to find it in himself to forgive his ex-boyfriend for the prank he'd played -- how could he do such a thing to me? Someone I loved so much. How could he do that? --
Maybe with Remus' only recent forgiveness of Sirius and James' now reciprocated love for Lily, his closest friends had taken their eye off the ball, off their friend's feelings.
When did it get like this?
Sirius was different. Maybe it was down to Remus and James' diverted attentions. The glint in his eye had been extinguished, the usual upwards curve of his lips was sunken, his jokes were rare and pranks didn't occur any longer, his voice was quieter and more reserved, lacking in the vitality it once oozed, and his face looked...weary. Not a word that Remus ever thought of in regards to Sirius.
Sirius Black, he noticed with an aching heart, was not alright.
It was Sunday the 15th of March when things reached breaking point.
Remus entered the common room -- the ever-changing password was currently 'venomous tentacula' -- and with the excellent insight that he had developed through personal experience, he could tell something was not right.
James Potter and Lily Evans were entwined on an armchair, kissing, and Sirius was sitting alone not far away, an unfathomable expression clouding his features.
-- why can't I understand what he's feeling anymore? After everything we shared, everything we've been through --
Remus, following his head over his heart, stayed where he was in the shadows, out of sight.
“Can't you two get a room?” Sirius sniped at James. His voice lacked the tease it would have been full of a year ago. James turned to face Sirius and glared, “Just because you have not got a boyfriend anymore, with entirely your own actions to blame because you were an insensitive, act-first-think-later bastard to your best friend, does not mean you have to ruin others' happiness. You've done enough, Sirius!”
The common room fell deathly silent. Remus stepped a few paces into the common room silently.
“Thank you, James,” Sirius' voice was quiet and even, a tone of sadness, and with a glance in Remus' direction -- were those tears glistening in Sirius' otherwise lifeless eyes? -- and all eyes on his figure except the now reoccupied, kissing Lily and James, he swept up the stairs to the dormitory the Marauders shared.
James looked up at Sirius as he ascended out of sight, and held a vaguely regretful expression on his face.
“Show's over!” he exclaimed to the staring crowds.
Remus came and sat down on an armchair close to Lily and James. James looked up, and greeting Remus, who only raised an eyebrow and gave him an appraising look in return, before opening the book he'd been carrying.
“What??” James questioned, a tone of impatience filling his voice. “You know what, Prongs. That was out of order.” With that, Remus snapped his book shut, gathered his things and with a “goodbye Lily,” to the quiet Miss Evans, he too ascended the stairs.
He tentatively pushed open the door to their dormitory, and stood on the threshold, leaning against the frame. Sirius was not in sight, so Remus went and knocked on the shut bathroom door. With no reply, he tried the handle but it was locked. Remus took a deep breath, and tried to control his trembling voice, “Sirius?” he knocked again, louder and for longer this time.
He heard a sniff. “Sirius, I know you're in there. It's just me. Please let me in, before I have to break the door down...”
Quiet. “If you don't let me in, I'll get in somehow, Padfoot.”
Remus heard a sob escape inside the bathroom, “Please, Pads...”
A minute passed and then the door opened, and Sirius passed his ex-lover to sit on his bed, his back facing away from Remus. Remus came and sat on Sirius' bed, his back touching Sirius' own. Sirius tensed up but didn't move away and break the contact. It was enough for Sirius, but not too much to cope with.
“Even if James,” Remus started and immediately felt Sirius stiffen at the mention of James, “Even if he hasn't noticed, Sirius, I have.” He stopped and waited to see if Sirius would respond. Finally, a croaked “What?” reached Remus' ears. “That,” Remus paused for a second to consider his use of words further before continuing, “That you're...different. You're not okay.”
Remus turned his head slightly, “I'm sorry for that. I'm so sorry I let it happen, and that I was so stupid that I didn't notice before,” He moved his body off the bed, his back breaking the contact with Sirius' that they both craved -- a low moan passed Sirius' lips at the sudden movement -- and came round to the other side of the bed, crouching in front of Sirius.
“I want you to know that I forgive you, and that James was completely overstepping the mark,” Remus took Sirius' hands and squeezed them, “And I still care about you a lot, Sirius...please, tell me, what are you bottling up?”
Sirius swayed as the barrier of months of bottled up emotion released in a gush of barely coherent words, “I need you...love me, I need you. Gods, Remus, I'm so sorry I can't even begin to make up for what I did. I was a bastard, like Prongs said, I didn't think. I loved you, I love you still, and it hurts Remus, hurts so much...you don't love me anymore and James has Lily and you were so okay, without me, and I need you. I can't do this without you, can't do this...Gods, I love you Remus. I'm so sorry...”
Tears flooded down his cheeks and his neck and Sirius broke. He reached his breaking point, and everything just released. His heart and his voice and his tears and his whole soul were in pieces. Fractured. Fragments.
And suddenly, arms were grasping every piece of Sirius they could reach, and they were there, and holding him together, keeping him together. A blurring of arms and tears and souls and bodies.
“I never stopped loving you, Padfoot. I never will. I can't. I don't want to... I love you. I'm sorry for letting you think otherwise.”
Those words bound Sirius together. His whole self. His soul and his body, rejoined. He sobbed raw, open tears, but he was complete. His heart was cracked, but he was in one piece.
They were in one piece.