Word Count: 645
Summary: Sirius apologizes.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Written as a thank you for hawkeyecat.
"I uh, I brought you this," Sirius tells Remus, watching him with wide gray eyes in the gloom of the hospital ward as he hands him the small package.
Remus doesn't take it.
"Come on, it won't bite."
"Ha, bloody ha."
"And that wasn't a crack," Sirius adds, putting the package back into the pocket of his robes and sitting down carefully on the edge of Remus' cot.
"Get out, Sirius. I don't want to speak to you," Remus says, turning his head away.
But the way Remus' fringe falls over his eyes is too . . . . Sirius doesn't have the words for what it is. He just knows that he can't leave. Instead, he places his right hand on Remus' left thigh and squeezes.
"You see. You don't want me to go."
Sirius tentatively slides his hand up Remus' leg and holds his breath.
"So will you take the package?" Sirius asks, smirking, though Remus doesn't see it because he still hasn't turned his head.
"I meant that I didn't want you to touch me."
"Oh," Sirius says, worrying, because he thinks maybe Remus actually means it this time. "Oh," he says again, lifting his hand and placing it in his lap.
"I will if you want me to."
"Then do it," Remus growls, snapping his head around to glare at Sirius. "Get out!"
"No," Sirius says, refusing to believe that Remus wants him to leave. "No. I'd never leave you, Remus."
Sighing, Remus falls back against his pillows, and Sirius can see that there are tears in his eyes.
Or maybe those are my tears, he thinks, clenching his hands. "D—don't you want to know what my present is?" he wheedles.
"He could have been killed."
"Well, he wasn't," Sirius says, reasonably. "He wasn't, so why'd'you want me to go?"
He hates sounding so desperate. Remus has never liked it when he has before.
"But I am desperate," Sirius says, as if Remus should understand what he means.
"You almost got Severus killed. You almost let me kill Severus. You . . . you . . . you're supposed to be my friend."
And Sirius can feel the bed shake with Remus' sobs.
It was just a joke. Just a joke, and . . . and it was only Snape, he thinks. "Why'd'you care so much about Snape?"
Remus keeps crying.
The bed stops moving. For a moment, Sirius isn't sure if Remus is breathing—and then the laughing begins. The bed is vibrating with Remus' laughter, but that laughter . . . .
Isn't happy. "Remus, please. Tell me what to do. I'll do anything," Sirius begs, laying his hand back on Remus' thigh in an effort to steady him. "Please."
"Do you . . . own a . . . Time-Turner?" Remus chokes out, between sobs.
"I could get one. You mean, to take back the prank? I could get one, Remus—only please, stop crying."
"Stupid. You're so stupid, Sirius."
"I . . . I know. I'm sorry. It was stu—"
"No. You're stupid," Remus says, sitting up, his eyes wet, but hard. "You're so stupid sometimes you're close to useless."
And that's the most awful thing Remus has ever said to Sirius. Not even his mother could have said something worse.
"Fine then. I'll leave," he says, standing.
"Leave the sodding chocolate," Remus tells him, rolling over on his side, his back to Sirius.
"I . . . fine," Sirius says, removing the foil-wrapped packet of semi-sweet chocolate that he knows is Remus' favorite and laying it on the pillow behind Remus' head. "There. It's left."
He is almost to the door when Remus calls softly, "Thank you," and Sirius stops walking and waits.
Soon, he hears it—the sound of foil crinkling—and he knows.
He does forgive me. "You do, don't you?" he asks, raising his voice a bit, but not so loud that Madam Pomfrey will hear him.
"I do. But get out."
And Sirius leaves.