Spice, No Sugar
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Bill resisted the urge to throw the book across the room, but only just; he wasn't so much subjected to the uncontrollable rages predicted in the narrow-minded text as justifiably infuriated by the superior attitude and faux-erudite language of the author. "If this is the wizarding world's foremost expert on werewolves, then god help us all," he muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose. He'd been spending so much time trying to decide what was a symptom and what was just stress or hypochondria, he'd begun finding new symptoms like these damnable headaches that were, in all likelihood, more from all the reading than any actual side effect of Greyback's mauling.

There was nothing for it; he'd have to go ask the one werewolf he actually knew -- Remus Lupin. He'd been trying to avoid it, because some of his questions were far too personal for the sort of casual acquaintanceship they'd established so far, but at this point he really had no choices left. He sighed and found a clean bit of parchment, putting his quill to better use than trying to take notes from the drivel he'd been reading, and wrote Remus an owl asking for a bit of his time.

Three days later, Bill was pacing around his flat, making sure all his dirty laundry was shoved under the bed or in the closet, checking the tea things and then feeling like a big girl for doing so, and repeatedly peering out the peephole to sure he hadn't missed the doorbell while he roamed. When it finally did chime, he nearly jumped out of his skin before hurrying to answer. "Remus! I'm so glad you came, come in," he said, opening the door wide and gesturing for Remus to enter.

Remus smiled and stepped inside, sighing as the cooling charm swept the summer heat from his skin. "I'm happy to be of any help I can," he said, reaching out as if to clap Bill on the shoulder, and instead trailing his fingers over the scars. "Don't hesitate to ask anything, this is too important for propriety," he added, as though he knew just the sorts of things Bill wanted to ask and why.

Bill wasn't sure if he should be encouraged or discouraged.

Instead he shrugged and did what he always did, taking it one thing at a time. They sat in Bill's sunlit kitchen and drank the good tea and ate his mother's biscuits and talked first about the easy stuff, Bill correcting his notes and sometimes just passing the Pages to Remus for a laugh. Eventually the tea was gone and the questions grew harder, about Bill's strange feelings of paranoia and hunger, and his hyper-awareness of the moon's cycles. Remus couldn't tell him for sure what was all in his head and what wasn't, but he did suggest hiding all the lunar calendars, now that Bill knew from bitter experience that he wouldn't change into a beast, at least on the outside.

They very carefully didn't talk about Fleur, or why she'd left him. Everyone knew that something had happened that first moon, and Remus understood better than most that some regrets you just had to live with.

"Why don't we talk about the real reason I'm here," said Remus evenly, after the third inane question Bill asked him about plant allergies.

"I'll make another pot of tea," said Bill, using the time to steel himself while Remus Scourgified their cups and spoons. Bill poured and stirred, and finally when he felt he might snap instead of the brittle silence, he let out a long sigh and said, "Do the scars ever fade?"

"A little, but it takes many years. You won't... well, you shouldn't, anyway, have the self-inflicted wounds that also heal very slowly, but the original scar will always be with you," said Remus a little sadly. "I could show you, if you like. Years of Madam Pomfrey's attentions have banished all my modesty," he added, though his shy, shuffling manner belied his words.

"If it wouldn't bother you," said Bill, feeling the too-familiar heat begin to curl in the pit of his stomach at the thought of it, Remus there in the sunshine, naked and vulnerable. He laid a hand over Remus' to stop him from undressing right then and made himself ask, "Do you ever feel the hunger?"

He was shocked when Remus laughed aloud. "Every day," said Remus, pulling his hand away and standing. "I never forget I'm a predator, despite having grown very good at pretending to be one of the sheep so I can shelter with the flock."

Bill nodded. As soon as Remus had begun to assert himself, Bill's instincts had upgraded him from victim to rival. Bill's body seemed to find this equally appealing, however, and he felt himself growing uncomfortably hard in his tight Muggle trousers as Remus' hands worked open old-fashioned robes, showing himself to have nothing but simple linen pants beneath. Remus' body was traced with scars new and old, pink and silver and a few an angry red, and Bill had to swallow twice to keep himself from licking every one of them.

He had to clear his throat twice before he could rasp out, "How do you stand it?"

Remus laid his robe over the back of his chair, hands going to the drawstring of his pants, drawing Bill's eye to the outline of his cock pressing against the front of them. "I learned to ignore it, but sometimes," he said, tugging the pants down and stepping out of them, cock springing free, "Sometimes I can't help but want what I want."

"God," said Bill, looking at the mass of scars on Remus' left thigh, still angry after all these years. The marks looked huge, not because the werewolf had been so large, but because Remus had been so small when he was bitten and the scars had grown with him. "What do you want?" Bill asked; he tore his gaze away from the fascinating sight of Remus' cock rampant above ruined flesh and looked up, only to find predatory hunger in eyes he expected to be gentle and kind.

"I want to be inside you," said Remus, his voice matter-of-fact despite the lust riding them both, filling the room with tension and a heat that had nothing to do with the summer sun.

Bill swallowed, then nodded; he hadn't had sex with many men, and bottomed even more rarely, but he wasn't foolish enough to contradict his own instincts even if his mouth hadn't already been watering for a taste of Remus' cock. "Yes, but let me taste you first," said Bill, slipping to his knees without bothering to undress. He felt mesmerised by this side of Remus, fascinated and newly submissive, craving the pleasure of Remus' flesh sinking into his own.

Remus obliged him, stepping forward and pushing his cock unceremoniously past Bill's lips. Bill opened for him readily, mouth wet with hunger and made more so by the musky, animal taste of him. Bill moaned, hands coming up to stop Remus' hips, then began to rock back and forth, taking as much of Remus' cock as he could with each stroke. One hand found the base to steady it and then something clicked and Bill was sucking and Remus was fucking his mouth and it worked, a sexual harmony that transcended his own need and was simply about the weight and heat and solidity of Remus in his mouth and under his touch.

Remus' hands found Bill's hair and freed it from the simple leather tie. He gripped it like a handle, taking just as much as Bill had to offer and no more, at least for now. The edge of threat was there like the subtle spice in a good curry, not enough to burn but enough to give everything a hint of the exotic, of otherness. Remus wouldn't hurt him, Bill was sure, but a part of him wasn't entirely confident that this new side of Remus was as safe as the placid, public mask. A part of him didn't want to be safe, wanted to give in to his newfound hunger, not darkness so much as the instinct of a hunter whose chosen prey was the weak, soft human.

He nearly choked when he realized he didn't entirely consider himself human anymore. The small faltering seemed to incense Remus and he started thrusting faster until Bill couldn't synch his breathing anymore and he thought he might truly choke, his mind growing dizzy just seconds before Remus stilled and came, pulling back to paint Bill's tongue, lips and cheeks with bitter seed. "Mine, you're mine," Remus panted, going to one knee to lick away the spatters while Bill swallowed and tried to catch his breath. They kissed for long moments, the homey flavours of tea and milk lost in the sourness of Remus' mouth and the bitter saltiness of Bill's own.

"Yours now," Bill croaked, surprised to find the idea sparked a warm rightness in his belly.

Remus rubbed his cheek against Bill's and then stood, taking deep breaths as the light in his eyes slowly faded. "Wolves are pack animals," said Remus, "but we're not really wolves, it's just an easy label for humans to use."

Bill stood and began to strip, unselfconscious of his own flaws in the face of Remus' display. "This isn't quite mating, either," said Bill, not that he really knew what it was. Werewolves weren't men, either; they were other, magic, creatures unto themselves.

"No," said Remus, stepping forward as soon as Bill was naked and kissing him just as roughly as Bill craved. "It's owning."

Bill didn't bother to struggle or protest as Remus walked him backwards toward the bedroom, giving in to the instincts that rode him almost as strongly now as they had last week, when the moon had hung full and seductive in the sky, calling him to hurt and take and kill in her silent siren voice. "You marked me," said Bill, mind still working even as his body complied with Remus' every unspoken cue.

"Yes," said Remus matter-of-factly, laying Bill out on the wide bed and kissing him again, hard enough to draw a whimper from Bill's throat. "I never wanted..."

"I know," Bill stopped him, not wanting names or women or anything but them to invade this moment. "You want me."

"I have since before," said Remus, his voice rougher now, just a touch of the old, abashed Remus lingering around the edges. "But now you're irresistible, because you're mine."

"Not as good as a real werewolf," said Bill, surprised when Remus shook his head vehemently.

"You're you, and that's better. You won't have my curse but you'll come to know the parts that the humans never want to see," said Remus.

Bill laughed through the truth of it, shaking his head. "True, but irrelevant," he said, finding enough of his own will to snag the lubricating potion on the nightstand. It was barely a quarter full; he'd have rubbed himself raw without it, these past nights. "Use lots."

Remus chuckled wickedly as Bill lay back and spread his legs, and Bill fought the urge to freeze like a rabbit, instead running his hands over skin that was already sensitive, thighs and chest and stomach, fingers carding through the coppery curls at his groin. He moaned at the first touch of Remus' finger, unerringly finding its target and slipping inside, slender and insistent. "Tight," said Remus, pushing into him with the same roughness as everything else.

"I don't do this much," Bill admitted, blushing not at his own inexperience but the wanton way his hips kept coming up to meet Remus' touch as though his body had a mind of its own.

"Good," said Remus, slipping in a second finger. Something about the way he said it made Bill want to ask about tomorrow, about Tonks and the trouble they'd both be in with everyone for choosing one another over respectability or humanity. Remus must have seen the question forming in his face, because those wicked fingers crooked up and pressed inward, setting off a cascade of sparks through his nerves that disrupted all thoughts but yes and now."

"Soon," he said instead, spreading his legs wider and giving in to his instincts, long arms reaching out to Remus, pulling him down for a demanding kiss.

"Figured it out, I see," said Remus roughly, adding a third finger without waiting for Bill to get used to two first. His mouth found Bill's nipples, tasting them, biting them when sucking wasn't enough.

And Bill finally did get it then; Remus was his as much as he was Remus', though he suspected he'd best get used to being the bottom, at least in bed. "Yes," he said, meaning so many things but mostly just to encourage the way Remus' fingers pulled out and away only long enough to spread the magical slickness elsewhere.

"Yes," Remus echoed, pressing his cock into Bill the way he'd done everything else this sunny afternoon, implacably, relentlessly, and without a hint of gentleness.

Bill moaned; at least there'd been plenty of potion, but the stretch still hurt a little, not enough to be worrisome but instead adding another spice to this strange encounter, another sensation in a flood of them. Remus leaned in again and Bill kissed him, tasting Remus' come and Bill's own skin, smelling the musk of their sweat and sex, drowning in everything that they were together that they couldn't be with anyone else, at any other time than this. Remus began to move and they both groaned, the rhythm awkward and erratic until suddenly it wasn't, and it was all Bill could do to remember to breathe.

The air filled with growls, moans, little whimpers and half-spoken words that seemed to crowd back in on them, shutting out the sounds of the world outside and making a haven built of moments. Remus felt huge inside Bill, but more than size it was the significance of him, of them, each thrust binding them more tightly together. It wasn't love, but it burned the same way, filled him up with heat, belly and chest and head until his doubts melted away in the face of it. Tomorrow would be what it was, but now this was right, more right than anything Bill had felt in a long time.

Tomorrow whirled away with the rest of his thoughts as their hips sped, adding the slap of flesh against flesh, the bite of Remus' sharp hipbones into his thighs, the feel of Remus' teeth in his neck, marking him in a way even the humans would understand. It was that and a thousand other things that sent Bill over the edge and into an abyss of silver static, like plunging into the heart of the moon. Remus growled and bit down harder, and Bill's nails added to the lines decorating Remus' shoulders, Bill's legs tightened around Remus' waist, holding him inside.

Remus rode him through his orgasm and out the other side, still rough, still fast, no surcease given despite Bill's whimpers. Bill cried out as his cock became terribly sensitive where it rubbed against Remus' belly, smearing his come in the space between them. He thought of begging but knew it would do him no good, instead arching up to meet the thrusts, small sounds escaping him as his abused nerves protested with pleasure, trying to draw more from him when there was none left to give. He'd only come once, but it had drained away all the heat, filled every hungry crevice with satiation and left him limp and used.

Remus kept going, but Bill could see it in his eyes, that last edge of need that just needed one more thing to push him over. Bill tightened his body around Remus and kissed him hard, and that was enough. Remus nearly howled as he spilled himself in Bill, one last marking that was just for them. He froze for a long moment, suspended above Bill in his moment of completion, and the scars were beauty, and Bill was reminded of his desire to kiss them, lick them, learn them.

Remus collapsed onto his chest, panting, and Bill couldn't help but chuckle. "Too old for this sort of thing?" he teased, though really they were nearly contemporaries as far as wizards were concerned.

"Next time I'll make you ride me," growled Remus through the grin that formed on his features, apparently against his will.

That both inflamed and sobered Bill, reviving the heat in his belly and the worry in his head. "Good sex doesn't cure lycanthropy," said Bill, though that was the least of their worries, hoping Remus would understand what he meant.

"No," said Remus, shifting until they were both comfortably resting together; Bill whimpered when their bodies parted, but appreciated the easier breathing. "Nor will it make up for the people we'll hurt and anger."

"Is there more to this than just instinct and shagging?" asked Bill, not sure what more he wanted but knowing that there had to be something else; trusting that Remus wouldn't hurt people without a good reason, no matter how satisfying the sex had been.

Remus chuckled and nodded. "I told you, I've wanted you for ages, I just... well, you must know it's nearly as hard to be gay as a werewolf, most days."

Bill kissed his forehead. "You weren't sure of me," he said, thinking of the lengths he'd gone to make sure his own few liaisons had been willing, and remained discreet.

"What about you?" Remus asked, and suddenly the shyness was back, that core of vulnerability that was usually masked by modesty, and protected by the distance he kept between himself and those around him.

Bill kissed him, long and slow and sweet, as satisfying in its own way as the possessive, hungry kisses of earlier. Eventually they'd have to deal with the mess they'd made of things, but tomorrow didn't seem quite such a daunting prospect as it had yesterday or even an hour ago. "If I'd known you were up for it, I'd have pulled you ages ago," admitted Bill with a sheepish grin. "We both hid too well."

Remus laughed. "Well, good sex might not cure lycanthropy, but apparently it's brilliant for blindness," he said.

In a way, Bill thought, the laughter that filled the room was the best spice of all.

Title: Spice, No Sugar
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Bill/Remus
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Slash
Summary: Fed up with misinformation and dismissive attitudes in the prevailing literature, Bill asks Remus to help him sift through the fact and fiction of werewolf lore.
Acknowledgements: For Reversathon 2006, participant #80, Peponia Peabody. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to corvidae9 and juice817, both busy and brilliant betas.

All of the works contained herein are labours of love, unauthorized by those who hold the rights to such things, and no profit is made from them. No harm is meant, and hopefully no offense given.