Milk and Honey
Jordan's River is deep and wide, hallelujah;
Milk and honey on the other side, hallelujah.
- Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore
Disclaimer: Sirius, Remus, and all their troubles belong to J. K. Rowling.
Summary: Remus wonders sometimes what would happen if something changed their comfort zone. He has never tried to find out; he fears he may be too set in his ways.
It's one of those mornings when it's all he can do to stay awake, all he can do to keep his eyes open, all he can do not to lay in bed all day aching with the memory of the full moon. Remus stumbles blindly into the kitchen, wishing the sun would take a holiday, rubbing sleep from his eyes. It's early, and he is exhausted.
Sirius, of course, is already awake, unwilling to let the day pass him by. "You look like hell," he says cheerfully, and Remus can see that he's making tea. He wrinkles his nose; he has too much wolf in him after the full moon to drink it.
"Thanks, Sirius; I appreciate it." Sirius is so alive, so vibrant, that it scares him sometimes. They've been up almost all night running in the woods behind their little cottage and he doesn't show it at all.
Sirius just grins and makes the toast and eggs, leaving Remus' runny because, after all, it is the day after the full moon. He puts the plate in front of Remus. "Thank you." It occurs to him suddenly that Sirius has been domesticated, and not by any of the girls who swore they'd do it at school.
"Working late tonight?"
He nods; he works late when he can, even after the full moon. He needs the money for the rent; he knows Sirius would gladly pay both halves but would never bring it up. Sirius knows him far too well.
They've shared this cottage for nearly a year now, just a two-bedroom bungalow in the heart of nowhere, and it's comfortable. They're used to each other. Remus wonders sometimes what would happen if something changed that comfort zone. He has never tried to find out; he fears he may be too set in his ways.
The toast isn't buttered, thankfully. Remus dips it in his runny eggs and relishes the taste, even though he realizes it's mildly disgusting. "Could you get me the-"
But Sirius is already putting the milk down in front of him, grinning knowingly, and Remus smiles his thanks. He is running a bit behind, is probably going to be late for work. He notices with a smile that hurts a little, inside, that Sirius has forgotten something, and stands to get it.
But Sirius is already in the cupboard, rummaging. Remus can see him biting his lip. Sirius hangs his head a little, stares at his feet. Holds out the jar of honey. Won't look up.
Remus takes it, a little awed. The comfort zone of the kitchen has mutated, has gone, has frozen.
Sirius' expression is wretched, his jaw set, his eyes anywhere but on Remus.
There is something there in his gaze, in the pain he can almost taste, in the soft bittersweet scent he's always associated with regret that hangs in the air.
Remus finds himself letting the honey fall to the floor; the resulting crack of splintering glass makes Sirius flinch. Then Remus can't help himself anymore, and has to reach out and touch his face.
He never does make it to work.