*gaps*!I hath written a Regulus/Remus fic!!How traitorous of me!
Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to J.K. Rowling.
Summary:It has been years since Regulus has died but where the heart is concerned, even old magic can make almost-miracles possible.
Remus shudders slightly as the cold hand touches his forehead. He knows what this is or rather, who this is.
"Remus." His voice…it never changed, maybe because he has never gotten the chance to grow up or maybe because he had grown too fast for his age and dived head-first into death. Only eighteen.
"I'm cold." Remus tells him hoarsely even though his body is burning up with the fever that has become a recurring pattern now, eighteen years now. Regulus nods and pulls the covers up, tucking them around Remus wordlessly.
"Remus." He repeats while stroking his damp hair and Remus leans into the touch, his eyes closed. Here in his rickety bed in the run-down house with its old furniture and the pitter-pattering of rain outside, nothing… no one can take this away from him-this one truly magical moment he has every year. The night of Regulus's death anniversary. Funny how it comes around much like a birthday.
"Not there." Remus manages to whisper and raises a hand to find Regulus's. He misses and ends up sweeping off his wand to the floor.
He hears a sigh and a shuffle which means that Regulus is moving away and he wants to tell him not to do so because…and then his wand is on the table with a clutter and Regulus's pale hand in his. A hand that should not have life, that should not be so soothing and comforting and yet is there. Remus tugs at his hand and pushes off the cover with hands that feel like lead but he needs to feel his warmth. Now. So Regulus takes the hint and settles under the covers.
"Better?" He asks and Remus nods as he leans into Regulus's body, wanting to merge with him now and forever so that he doesn't have to go back to the world, does not have to face another day without him. Regulus seems to sense it like always so he wraps an arm around him. Remus breathes in his scent which is just the same as always, as it used to be before his death. He pushes his knee between Regulus's legs wanting the contact and tangles his hand in his midnight-coloured hair. Regulus relents after a few moments of hesitation and drapes his leg over the lean, muscular thigh. They relish in the way their bodies are joined even without sparking any heat.
Remus has long since stopped trying to understand what it is that happens with Regulus and how he manages to come to him in such a solid form. Part of him knows that it is probably the fever that takes over him no matter how hard he tries to prevent it, but he so desperately wants to believe that Regulus is not an illusion; because illusions did not touch and caress and whisper words of love and cry tears of hurt. They just did not.
"Remus, you need to stop this." Regulus says just as Remus presses a daring kiss to his lovely throat and Remus thinks he misheard it but then he looks at the serious expression and shies away.
"Why? You know we don't have much time. Not until the next time." Remus reminds him. There is something peculiar in Regulus's expression after which he looks away.
"Remus." He says softly but does not continue; he has an expression that tells Remus that Regulus did want to say something to him but did not know how to. It was just a little unfair how much more open Regulus had become after death. If only he had been this way in life perhaps Remus could have found a way to know of Regulus's personal mission to bring down the Dark Lord and maybe even saved him.
He feels Regulus's fingers stroking his hair, an expression of longing on his face. It makes him want to shrink Regulus and tuck him away somewhere inside so he never has to feel this way ever again. But that is hardly possible so he raises his own hand and places it atop Regulus's one that is now holding the side of his face.
"Tell me." He finds Regulus look into his eyes and somehow he knows that there is bad news coming up. He doesn't want to know but at the same time, he needs to. So he squeezes his hand lightly in unspoken plea. Regulus nods.
"Tonight." He replies just as thunder rolls in again and lights up the ghostly features harshly for a minimal moment and Remus is struck again by how beautiful Regulus still is, unlike his worn own self. It must have shown in his unconscious ministrations of thumbing Regulus's cheek because the younger man-ghost?-looks at him fiercely.
"Remus, don't you even dare look down on yourself for any reason." He sounds so passionate that Remus deliberately deludes himself into thinking that he is alive and well. "The Wizarding World has given you far too many reasons but never believe that they are right." Remus nods because he doesn't believe in this world's prejudices and reasoning. All that breaks his soul and heart apart are the deaths of everybody close to him-his first friend, his best friends and his one true love.
"What about tonight?" Remus asks getting back on the topic because they do not have much time until dawn breaks upon the city and his world. Regulus goes back to looking glum and so disheartened that Remus decides to leave the subject alone but then Regulus is clutching his hand and speaking or trying to speak between broken pauses.
"I can't-Remus, the magic, it's-it won't hold for any longer." Remus understands what Regulus is trying to tell him without even elaborating it and he feels the air leave him as he grasps what he is being told, "Remus. Remus, I can't come back-"
"Stop!" Remus almost shouts out as another bout of thunder rolls in, "Stop it…you don't-that's not…" He trails off as the rain starts pouring in torrents now, the silence heavy with injustice at the end of their story. Curiosity, apparently killed wolves much as it did cats.
Then all of a sudden they are both clutching each other, holding on to each other as if it can stop the fast approaches of their unnerving fate and everything that lay beyond this night. Remus doesn't know who started first but he feels the wetness of tears on his face as they kiss and broken whispers of words that he cannot distinguish. He feels his heart breaking, his body burning with fever, melting from an overload of love and passion; he feels all of Regulus's feelings too as they connect deep down in their souls.
Their hands map each other's faces, the angular features and sharp joints that are digging in the softer parts of their bodies but the pain is only a welcome reminder of their shared reality; a reality that exists just for the two of them in the form of an old unknown magic at work. Their words and messages are a jumble of disconnected names and nouns and such- Remus. Regulus. Remus. Love. Please. Why? Remus. Need. Oh. Merlin. You. Regulus. Love. You-because all they need is the closeness now and the time to stop. Forever.
But forever is not now, Remus feels the wolf in him wail primitively as Regulus pulls away from him, real tears flowing from his eyes down the bridge of his straight nose that Remus brushes his own one against while slipping in a frantic, chaste press of lips. Their tears mingle and Remus finds himself chanting "Don't leave. Don't leave. Don't leave."
"Remus. Please." Regulus stands up fluidly as a ghost should when the sounds of rain start waning, "You'll find me. I'll find you. You know I will, so please, just live." Remus realises that he has stopped crying despite the red eyes and wet face.
"I am living. I wish I wasn't though." He tells him, his whisper hoarse but Regulus is shaking his head.
"This isn't living, Remus. You're alive but you haven't been living for a long time now." Regulus kneels on the floor and carefully places a hand on Remus's burning forehead, "I want you to stop mourning everyone this way. I couldn't live for long, Remus. You have to, for me you have to." It is a selfish request and Remus finds himself about to refuse but he finds himself unable to when he sees the vulnerable expression of love and concern in Regulus's eyes, Regulus who is now slowly starting to fade at the edges.
"No." He whispers as he raises his hand. Regulus grabs hold of it still waiting for an answer. Remus gulps, "For you. If it's for you, I will." It's the only answer Regulus needs as he leans down and softly places a kiss on his forehead.
Remus does not know how this happened or what Regulus is truly. He often used to wonder if maybe he had lost his marbles but it doesn't matter because Regulus may not be alive or he may be in his head but he is real, he has been real for the one night these last eighteen years and his touches are real….
Regulus watches Remus's eyelids drop down, his breathing a little wheezy. So he continues stroking the light hair with peppered grey in them, taking in the features with a forlorn expressionuntil his breathing evens out somewhat. He traces a finger along the scar across Remus's otherwise straight nose in an attempt to maintain the contact for however long possible.
Outside, the rosy light of dawn peers through the curtains and manages to pass through Regulus's deathly form and highlight the sleeping body of a man who looks older than he has a right to do so. Regulus raises the covers up to Remus's neck and refrains from touching the man who is and has been a part of his soul and mind, lest he fails to return to the afterlife and lose his chance of a Forever with him.
So Regulus turns away from him and faces the lovely light of dawn that seems to break his very being as he returns to his rightful place far away from the plane of the living as the sound of rain fades slowly into green leaves and muddy puddles on the streets of London.