Title: Back in Black (The Tattoos are Sexy Remix)
Author: lorax (adena(at)direcway(dot)com)
Summary: Remus thinks too much and remembers everything - even during reunion sex.
Warnings: Rampant mixing of movie and book canon. You have been forewarned. Also the Drabble's clever pun was somehow lost in the translation. As was its reference to Homeric Retardation because even after looking it up, I hadn't a clue what it meant. I am dumb.
Spoilers: Through PoA I suppose. Though considering this is a Remus Remix story, that sorta goes without saying.
Author you were assigned: not_vacillating
Original Drabble: Back in Black
by: Am-Chau Yarkona
Remus consciously slowed his movements, trying to linger on every sensation, thinking irrelevantly of Homeric retardation.
There were new tattoos on Sirius' neck, prison tattoos; the ones on his chest seemed faded, or perhaps that was just the grey tint in his skin. There were scars across them-werewolf claws, Remus realized, and bent to kiss them.
"Moony," Sirius gasped, bucking his hips up; apparently he felt that Remus was neglecting his duties. "Stop thinking and fuck me already."
"I," Remus said, thrusting firmly, "can do both at once," but Sirius didn't seem to be listening. Which was fine by Remus, as it gave him a chance to admire the sight: Sirius, hair spread across the pillow, head thrown back in pleasure, mouth wet, open and panting... It was good to be back.
"Hold on to the thread.
The currents will shift.
glide me towards you.
Know something's left,
and we're all allowed
to dream of the next."
-- Pearl Jam, "Oceans"
Lying with Sirius, making love to him, fucking him - it was like a memory brought to life. If he squinted his eyes, ignored the aches in his limbs, the gray in his hair, the gauntness of Sirius' hips, the shadows beneath his eyes - they could have been sixteen, in love, and unscarred by anything but their self-inflicted growing pains.
Sirius arched up underneath him, all sharp edges and deep-voiced sighs. A faded black tattoo curled over his thigh, precise smears on pale skin. It tasted familiar as Remus licked slowly along its curving length, remembering its origin, its meaning, how many times he'd done this before.
"Your mum'll have a fit, you know." James Potter idly wandered along the edges of the dingy shop, eyeing the sketches plastered on every inch of the walls.
"Why do you think he's doing it?" Remus Lupin slouched in a chair next to Sirius, his eyes on the book in front of him - its moving cover hidden beneath an opaque book cover, much to the portrait's dissatisfaction.
"Oh Right." James plopped into a seat opposite them, nearly jumping back up when the rickety old plastic seat shifted beneath him. "Coming here's like a bloody "please give me an infection" invitation, you know."
"Oh stop being such a prat. If you want to weasel out of it because you're a huge coward, then go ahead. But stop twittering about please." Sirius grinned at James as the other boy glared. "Remus, we already know your feelings on the subject-"
"Barbaric and unnecessary ritual. And I'm not fond of needles. Plus it's probably best not to chance contact with my blood."
"Bollocks. They wouldn't touch your blood. But fine. Remus is remaining smooth and unmarked by anything save his rampant body hair-"
Sirius went off as if Remus hadn't interrupted him. "And James is THIS close to prissing out on us." He held his fingers a scant inch apart. "What about you, Peter? How about a nice rat on your arse? Then when you squeeze your cheeks, its nose'll twitch."
Peter shook his head. "I d-don't think so."
"I think all of you have had your balls removed at some point."
Remus grinned behind his book. "Our testicles are all in place. Your brain, however, seems to have gone permanently missing."
"No, it's still there. It's just manly and prone to dangerous things." Sirius grinned. "Come on - it'll only hurt for a minute, and the mark will last for a lifetime!"
"As selling points go, that's really not a big one, Padfoot." Remus frowned as Sirius, not missing a beat changed tactics. Arrogant, demanding, and bullying abruptly became big eyes and a pleading expression. "Sirius . . ."
"PLEASE, Moony? It won't mean anything if I'm the only one to get one . . ."
Remus sighed. "What are you getting?"
"You are NOT getting a bloody bunny."
James grinned helpfully. "Droopy?" Remus glared and James shrugged. "Hey, it's a dog."
"Dog. You can get that. Written in Japanese. Like the ninja movies you drag me to."
Sirius smiled, victorious. "Arms?"
James snorted. "Not likely. Everyone can see if you're in shirt sleeves."
Peter spoke up. "Leg?" They all gave him a surprised look and he shrugged, grinning. "If you're a-all going to do it, who am I to stand in the way of Gryffindor idiocy?"
Sirius grinned. "Leg it is. Dog, Wolf, Pansy, and Rat."
James threw a balled up bit of paper at him as Remus flipped through the pages of the book, pulling out a small sheet of parchment and handing it to Sirius. Sirius looked at it and grinned as he read it. "Do you EVER not think ahead?"
He tossed the parchment - precise sketches of the Japanese symbols for Dog, Wolf, Stag, and Rat written in bold black ink with Remus' neat hand identifying each - to James, who rolled his eyes as Remus shrugged. "Probably not."
Sirius grinned, leaning closer and murmuring in Remus ear as James looked at the symbols and Peter watched them quietly. Soft hair brushed Remus' face, breath warm against his ear. "I could make you stop thinking, Moony."
A slow smile tugged a Remus' lips. "You're welcome to try."
"Moony," Sirius gasped, bucking his hips up, impatient and demanding as always. "Stop thinking and fuck me already."
"I can do both at once." Remus countered, thrusting his hips forward so that they rubbed together, heat and hardness and friction and Sirius threw back his head, panting and wet, mouth open in a wanton invitation. Shameless, primal, beautiful. Remus had missed this. The tattoo on his chest caught the fading light, the silvery red scars over it looking wet and new in the shadows. Remus traced them with his fingers, kissed them with his mouth.
"Jesus. I'm sorry. I didn't . . . you're such a fucking prat! Why in the hell did you even try! You know I can't . . . are you all right?" Remus hovered over Sirius on the cold floor of the Shrieking Shack.
Sirius grinned up at him, the blood on his chest only a trickle from the center, the edges dark and dried. "Just a scratch Moony. Don't be such a woman."
"I could have bitten you! Why the hell did you do that?" Remus shoved at his shoulders, careful not to jostle him.
Sirius shrugged, and the trickle of red changed its direction, floating toward the smooth center of his chest, where red hadn't yet stained the pale skin. "Dunno. Thought I'd give it a try."
Remus stared. "Do you think I'm bloody stupid? That I don't remember? You do it every time. Every single time. Are YOU bloody stupid?"
He grunted, turning his head, black hair covering his eyes. "Don't make such a fuss. When it doesn't work, I just turn into Padfoot and then it's fine."
"Unless you're a minute too slow, and I get my teeth into you."
"What do you think a werewolf-dog would be like, anyway?"
"It's not funny. Fuck Sirius, you can't TALK a werewolf out of being a werewolf. I don't care how charming you are." He stared at the blood on Sirius' chest. "You can't tell the wolf it's a man and expect it to understand you."
Sirius snorted. "Maybe one day it will work."
"Or maybe next time you'll be so slow that you won't get a chance to try again."
A slow grin, unrepentant, stubborn. "I've never been slow at anything, Remus. Unless I was asked very nicely."
"Prat. Just be careful." Remus didn't bother telling him not to do it, because Sirius always had and always would do as he liked, and trying to change that was useless. Instead he gently touched the claw marks across the chest. "And you just got that tattoo done. Do you think the scars will ruin it?"
Sirius looked down. "Nah. It will look like part of the design. Very manly and rugged."
Remus rolled his eyes, his hand reaching to brush his back absently. His own wounds were familiar, so much less than they were before they'd let him out, his pack. "Where are the other two?"
"James said something about trying to get back with healing salves before Pomfrey came to get you. Didn't want me walking about with this. He's more of a woman than you. He ought to be in a skirt trading hair care tips with Evans."
"Merlin knows he needs some help." Remus deadpanned back.
Sirius grinned again, fingers touching the Japanese symbol on his chest. "Freedom Moony. I still say you should have gotten the same. We're free of Hogwarts, free of teachers and professors and my bloody family. But at least you got something. The others are useless. As if one more would kill them."
Remus smiled, and agreed. "At least I got one."
They looked up at the sound of footsteps, light and measured, not at all like James quick dash or Peter's heavy footed tread. "Looks like Pomfrey beat them. Slow gits." Sirius stood with a grimace and dashed behind the piano, hiding quickly.
Remus grinned and then sobered his face into a pained mask as Pomfrey came in to usher him gently back down the long hall to Hogwarts.
Sirius' hands - long fingers and rough palms so different than the hands that Remus had memorized the feel of, long ago - traced the tattoo on his back. Twisting lines and elegant symbols that meant his cage; "moon".
Remus turned his head into the roughened hair of his arms, the puff of an old scar against his eyelid until he slid down, mouth opening, engulfing.
"Fucking Slytherins!" Sirius howled, Peter dodging automatically out of the way of the other boy's feet.
Remus watched, cross legged on his bed as Peter rolled his eyes and sat up fully, homework abandoned half-finished to listen to Sirius' latest rant. "What th-this time?" Peter asked in the resigned tone that said he knew whatever it was would end up with him helping wreak revenge.
James blew into the room behind him, the anger in his expression matching Sirius'. "FUCKING SLYTHERINS!"
"Actually I doubt anyone is, considering the general appearance of most of them. But what are you two on about?" Remus asked evenly, paying half attention as he totaled up the columns in his arithmancy homework.
Sirius held out his arm wordlessly as James stormed around in the background. Remus sucked in a breath. A thick silver snake, its tail in its mouth circled Sirius' arm. Its undersides were sharp and edged, and the flesh around it puffy, bloody, and purple as the snake tightened, swallowing more and more of itself. He turned instantly, reaching for one of the hex-reference books by his bedside. "Snape?"
Sirius shook his head and Remus could see the pain in his eyes now. "Didn't see. Got caught with a blinding hex, and then someone slipped it on. I got a punch in on them though. Think I hit an eye."
"T-told you we shouldn't have hexed their portrait shut last week." Peter offered.
"Shut up." Sirius and James barked in unison. Peter shrugged good-naturedly and stood, moving to sit next to Remus and peer at Sirius' arm.
"Sirius, you'll have to go down to Pomfrey."
"The hell I will. You can get it off. We can just cut the damn thing if we have to. She'll have me in bed for a day, and then she'll have half the school down my neck, asking who did it. And one thing will lead to another and someone will mention the portrait and the sheets-"
"What sheets?" Remus interrupted, frowning suspiciously.
"So, you can get it off, right Moony?" James interrupted hurriedly, sharing a secret sort of grin with Sirius. "Get the SNAKE off." He hurriedly added as Sirius opened his mouth to comment. Sirius just grinned as James cut him off again a second later. "THE SNAKE ON YOUR ARM!"
Sirius pouted a bit and then winced as the snake tightened another link, blood welling up from his arm. "Ow ow ow. Why didn't they do this to YOU? The sheets were YOUR idea?"
James grinned smugly. "I think they're afraid of Evans."
"I'M afraid of Evans. Bloody female is impossible. Only redhead on the planet whose completely carved of ice."
"Shows what you know." James' pleased expression set all three to rolling their eyes. "Anyway, do we have to wait until it clomps his arm off before we can get it off, or what?"
Remus ignored Sirius' strangled protest. "No. I think I can get it off." He paused, catching Sirius' expression from the corner of his eyes, and then sighed and clarified. "The bracelet."
Sirius sighed. "Neither of you let me have any fun." He shoved roughly in between Remus and Peter and flopped back on the bed with a theatrical collapse.
Remus rolled his eyes and twisted around, looking carefully between the book and the snake, twirling his wand absently in two fingers. After a moment he carefully recited a spell and tapped the snake. It gave him a reproachful look and opened its jaws, pulling its tail from its jaws and slithering off of Sirius' arm, falling dead and cold and lifeless onto Remus' mattress.
Sirius gave a howl of pain and looked at his arm. It dripped bright red, torn flesh circling all the way around. The black tattoo on the top of his forearm - it's slashing, curving symbol spelling out "Marauders" (or as near as Remus had been able to get after hours spent pouring over dusty muggle books) - was slashed in half, a thick line of blood and pain passing through the middle.
James peered over Peter's shoulder at the arm as Remus gently wiped it clean, Sirius' howling complaints proving that either Remus wasn't as gentle as he seemed, or Sirius himself was a wimp. James grinned a bit, eyeing the tattoo. "Well - that's rather ominous, isn't it?"
Peter grinned. "S-should have just gotten Bugs Bunny."
Remus grunted. "There will be no Bugs Bunny tattoos. I wish to god I'd never introduced you to Muggle cartoons."
Sirius sighed. "You're no fun, Wile E. Coyote."
Remus paused. "I'm the coyote?"
"It's the most wolf-like. Besides, Peter is Elmer Fudd."
He threaded his tongue along the vein, feeling it pulse in time to Sirius' strangled gasps. "God . . . Moony . . . yessss . . ." The word slid away into a hissing sound of approval as Sirius came, warm and desperate and familiar. He swallowed it down, remembering boyhood escapades and strangled gasps in crowded dorm rooms.
He looked up, licking his lips. That had always been Sirius' gesture. Wanton, depraved, it had always sent a shock straight to Remus' cock when Sirius licked his lips - as if the taste of Remus on his mouth was to be savored. Sirius groaned and Remus grinned, eyes tracing the long, straight tattooed bars over his neck and shoulders, darker than the others, unfaded by time. Prison wards. Magical markers that Azkaban's ghoulish guards used to tell one of their wards from another; to mark the different flavors of their meals.
He wondered how often they had tasted Sirius. Whether they had seen Remus sprawled beneath him, standing over him, wrapped in his arms.
He wondered how many of the memories Remus cherished were vanished from Sirius' mind, stolen away. Devoured.
Sirius gasped and shook. In the aftermath he looked weak again, gaunt. The beauty that had been so obvious in his youth faded back. "Looks like you've forgotten to take care of your own business, as usual, Moony." He croaked, smiling.
Remus was still hard, aching. It didn't matter that he was no longer beautiful. They were together again, broken and battered and older than their years - but together.
It was more than most could say in these times. He smiled. "We have time to see to that."
Sirius grinned back, wicked and bright - a shadow of another time. "Lots of time." He sat up and leaned against Remus, rough hands reaching down to stroke him as Remus sucked in a strangled breath. "This is how it will be." He said with the conviction of a young man who still believed in the world around him.
They lay curled on a blanket beneath a moonless sky. This was their tradition. They celebrated nights without moons the way most celebrated birthdays. A bottle of whiskey lay between them and Sirius head was in Remus lap, both of them looking up at a sky that Remus wished would rise every night. "This war. All of this shit that's making problems. Bloody Voldemort and his merry band of cringing sycophants - it'll be over. Dumbledore will take care of it, and the Order, and we'll graduate, and this is how it will be. We'll move to Fiji. There's no moons in Fiji, right?"
"I think they have moons." Remus refrained from asking where Sirius had picked up the word 'sycophant' through great force of will.
"Well there's no Blacks, so that's a selling point. We'll find somewhere."
"Yeah." Remus ran his fingers through Sirius hair, tugging playfully until Sirius swatted him in complaint. They sat in rare silence, Sirius for once content to be still, smiling up at the sky. Remus found the Dog Star with his eyes and wished he could believe the way Sirius did.
"This is how it will be." Remus echoed as he closed his eyes as Sirius' hands ran slowly up and down his length and forced himself to stop thinking, and to believe, for this moment anyway, that everything would be all right, now that Sirius was back.