Tittle: Your days in one (this day undone)Pairing: James/SiriusWord count: 1327Summary: The fear of life after Hogwarts jeopardizes James’ and Sirius’ friendship. They don’t talk about it.Notes: Originally written for hp_intoxicated's new years' fest. Title & cut text from Santa Fe by Beirut.Being on top of the world doesn’t feel as good as James had spent the last seventeen years of his life hoping it would. Winter hols mark a third of his last year at Hogwarts gone; the minor thrills garnered by his mild exploitation of his Head Boy powers at the expense of the Slytherins or Evans’ agreement to finally accompany him on the (ultimately lackluster) last Hogsmeade weekend of the term pale in comparison to the cold, hard reality of the world outside Hogwarts that even the castle’s thick stone walls and blazing fires can’t keep at bay.He’d wanted the four of them to all stay at Hogwarts over the holidays, their last Christmas holidays as children, but Peter’s parents had dragged him off to visit some German cousins or something of the sort, and Remus’ had not-quite-insisted but been resolved in their ever-compassionate way that he should spend the time with his family.Sirius stays, of course. At a time not all that long ago, James would’ve relished the prospect of days on end alone with Sirius, plotting pranks and concocting schemes, sluggish off too many sweets and, as they got older, alcohol in whatever form they could obtain it (this year, Firewhiskey from Sirius’ uncle, the only gift he got other than the one from James’ mum). He wishes it were still that simple.If James had imagined his final year at Hogwarts as the best yet, as good as it gets, the icing on the cauldron cake, it had been with Sirius by his side, the reigning kings of Hogwarts (or Gryffindor Tower at the very least). Of everything and everyone James holds dear and fears losing after Hogwarts, he treasures Sirius most of all.And that’s the bitch of it all, really. He cares too much for Sirius, he always has, probably more than he should. He feels too much he can’t easily explain, and he’s scared - scared of what he feels, but more afraid of what he stands to lose. James has never been good with fear; maybe that’s why he’s been distancing himself from Sirius. A twisted little part of him hopes that Sirius is doing the same, feeling the same, because if he’s terrified and confused and feelings all these un-named things, at least he’s not alone.--The first shot of Ogden’s Old burns on the way down and twists painfully in James’ empty stomach. Maybe they shouldn’t have skived off New Years’ Eve dinner in the Great Hall for a romp in the fresh snow in their four-legged forms, but there’s an easiness between Padfoot and Prongs that remains untouched by the tension between Sirius and James in their human incarnations.They’re back in the seventh-year dorm now, safely locked in from the few younger students also staying at Hogwarts for the holiday. Sirius sits cross-legged on James’ bed, his back straight as a rod. James wants to reach out and close the few feet between them, wants to ease the tension out of Sirius’ broad shoulders with his own hands. He wants assurance that they’ll still be drinking together to ring in the next new year, and the one after that. He wants so many things he doesn’t even know how to begin. He takes another slug from the bottle, trying not to cough, before passing it on to Sirius.Sirius takes the Firewhiskey in silence, dark eyes catching James’ above the bottle he brings up to his mouth. He doesn’t even flinch as he swallows the equivalent of at least three shots, and James wonders what he’s been doing the nights he disappears from the dorms, wonders if he wants to know.Their fingers brush lightly as they pass the bottle again, but the touch burns hotter than the alcohol they’re drinking. James’ breath catches in his throat, and he starts to drink faster.“Ogden’s ‘s an improvement over last year’s dregs from your dad’s liquor stash,” Sirius remarks, almost offers, into the silence.James remembers it well. Last year, they’d both stayed at the Potter house, trying to get as drunk as possible without making a visible dent in any single bottle of Mr. Potter’s. They’d ended up spectacularly sick, taking turns vomiting in James’ little bathroom. They’d woken up the next morning on the floor, a single quilt tangled over both of their bodies, and they didn’t leave the house until it was dark again. There had been no impending graduation then, no stirrings of war, little thought to life outside their happy childhood bubble. James misses it fiercely in that moment, misses his best friend so much it hurts. He wants to go back to that. He wants Sirius nestled in the crook of his shoulder, warm and heavy and real. He wants, he wants, he wants.He manages to laugh a little and nod. They keep drinking.--Midnight is minutes away. The tense silence between them has given way to drunken reminiscing of past hijinks, pseudo-philosophical ramblings, embellished stories. Even with their inhibitions as low as they are, they both carefully steer around any mention of their friendship and the heavy toll this year has taken on it.The clock strikes twelve, the first of the rings sounding dull and weighty in the quiet room. James is drunk. He’s confused, just this side of desperate, and he’s drunk – a legitimate excuse, should he need to use one. The clock keeps sounding off the midnight hour; five, six, seven. James thinks about what he wants: what he wanted a year ago, what he wants now, what he wants for the next year. Eight, nine, ten. The answer to all of those things, to everything, is sitting right in front of him, an arm’s length and a half away. He’s known Sirius for most of his life. He knows what makes him laugh, how he takes his tea. He’s the one who listens to Sirius’ hopes and comforts him after his nightmares. Eleven.James leans forward, catching his unsteady torso with a shaky arm that sinks into the mattress. Sirius, much closer now, looks at him, eyes softening into a question.“Jamie?” Sirius hasn’t called him that in months, maybe longer. They’re eleven again, best friends from the moment they met. They’re fourteen, burning vicious letters sent from the Black household. They’re sixteen, bundled up in blankets on the Potters’ couch, and Sirius is shaking and vacant, so far from home and never going back. They’re seventeen, the world at their feet, and all James wants is right here. Twelve.James gives him a lopsided half-smile and kisses him chastely on the lips. “Happy New Year, Pads.”“You – I. Shit.” Sirius grabs James’ wrist, pulling them both backward on the bed in the vague direction of the pillows. Sirius catches his mouth with his own, kissing him urgently and a little messily, mouth hot and insistent and everywhere – on James’ lips, his jaw, his neck. “Is this--? Do you--?”“I want you more than I’ve wanted anything in my whole life. Always have.” James doesn’t even feel that foolish when he says it. It must be a testament to how much they’ve had to drink.Sirius, never one for ostentatious displays of emotion or physical affection, seems to melt into him at that. He kisses him again, less desperate and a little sweeter, running his hands up and down James’ back, across his shoulders, his light grip simultaneously soothing and sparking a promise of something more heated in the future.I’ve wanted you forever, James wants to say, any way I could have you. I’m terrified. You’re the only thing I know and I never want to lose you. Instead, he returns the kiss, speaks to Sirius in touches and kisses and movements of his body. He pours out everything he can’t say and feels Sirius understanding him, taking him in. He feels Sirius coming back to him.
D'awww, this was incredibly sweet! I love how you wrote James: arrogant and kinda occasionally a little stupid, but essentially sweet and secretly vulnerable, especially in lines like James has never been good with fear; maybe that’s why he’s been distancing himself from Sirius. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks very much!