Title: With a Walk and a Cigarette
Author: [insanejournal.com profile] eaivalefay
Summary: "He won't find out for awhile." Regulus took a drag, letting his breath out slowly. They both watched the smoke twirl lazily in the air.
Word Count: 2257
Rating: PG-13, for language
Pairing: Regulus Black/Evan Rosier
Warnings: Some strong language, mentions of war and death.
Author's Notes: This is a completed oneshot. For [insanejournal.com profile] thelaughingjohn, in [insanejournal.com profile] tarie's Illustrated Ficcish Wish Fulfillment Swap. I do apologize a thousand times for how late this is in getting to you.


Regulus sat back against the stone bench, watching as people passed by, making their way home from work or out to do their shopping. They didn't notice his slight form sitting in the shadow of the large elm. Even if they had seen him they would not have realized what was going through his mind.

His thoughts dwelled on the insignificance of their lives, of how little it would matter to the rest of the world if any---or all---of them died.

It was quite possible they would die well before any of them reached old age, and Regulus was trying to figure out if he cared or not. He wondered briefly if he should care if only because someone had to care.

He tensed as someone sat behind him, relaxing only marginally as the unseen form settled pale hands on his shoulders, warm fingers digging into his skin almost too tightly.

"Why are you here, Evan?" He breathed out, speaking in a whisper, but still heard by his companion despite the noise of the traveling crowds.

"Your parents are worried about you." Evan muttered, "Your mother flooed all in a tizzy, wondering if you were staying over at my place and simply neglected to inform them."

"If they had any sense they would know enough not to be worried." Regulus muttered, pushing away from the bench---and the hands---before hoisting himself up off the ground.

"Really." Regulus heard something sounding like a snort. "Because you've never gotten yourself into any trouble before."

"They're probably not even worried about me at all." He started down the brickwork path, ignoring the man who moved to follow him. "They only want to know how Sirius is. Mother knows I had lunch with him a few days ago."

"Is that why you purposely missed dinner with your parents then?" Evan said. "I do wish you'd be a bit more considerate. It's me who they come to when you miss some family occasion with them, you know. They're not even my bloody parents and I swear I end up spending more time with them than you---"

"That's not why I missed dinner." Regulus said, irritation curling through his voice. "I just wasn't able to make it---"

"And I care why?" Evan scowled, "I would just like to know why I am the one who ends up having to---"

"Stop interruptin---"

"Oh, shut up!" Evan grabbed his hand and yanked Regulus through the first door they came across; their local pub. "We're getting sodding drunk, all right? D'you happen to have any fags?"

The glare Regulus sent him was missed in the gloomy light of the building. "No. As I recall you bloody stole my last pack."

"Fuck." Evan paused mid-step, forcing Regulus to stop as he patted at his pockets. "We can't have a drink without a smoke."

"Well, the bartender won't let us bum one off him anymore." Regulus said.

"If you hadn't exploded his---"

"You're just going to have to go buy us some at the corner store."

Evan eyed him. "It occurs to me," he began, "that you might be looking to get rid of me."

"Since when have I ever bothered sneaking out of your presence?" Regulus snorted.

"That is a point. You're painfully blunt for a Slytherin, Reg, but there's a first time for everything." Evan was still studying him. "And I suspect this might be that elusive 'first time.'"

"Oh, come off---"

"Because you've been acting odd lately." Evan interrupted, ignoring Regulus' glare.

"I've had a lot on my mind." Regulus snapped. "You would've realized this if you'd ever let me get two sentences out."

"I've noticed that too." Evan smirked as he latched onto Regulus' arm again. "Lets go get those fags."

Sometime during the three minutes they'd been standing inside the pub door a light drizzle began outside. Regulus listened absently to the string of curses his companion let out as his eyes fell back onto the surging crowd. Most of the people were picking up their pace, heading for the closest available cover. After all, anyone who lived in London knew when it rained it poured...

Regulus' head whipped around to glare at Evan only to find Evan was already glaring at him. He rubbed the spot Evan's elbow had purposely rammed into. "What?"

Evan gave an exasperated sigh, "It'd be nice if you even pretended to listen to me, brat. I wanted to know, what did your fuckwit for a brother say to upset you this time?"

"He isn't a fuckwit." The words came more out of habit than any real effort to defend his long-estranged brother. "And he didn't say anything."

"Do you expect me to believe that?"

"I've had a lot on my mind since before I went out with Sirius, Evan." Regulus said wearily. He pushed a hand through his rain-soaked hair and watched the cobbled street pass under their feet with interest, feeling Evan's eyes studying him every so often. "Would you stop that?"

"Stop what?" Regulus could hear Evan's smirk.

"Stop staring, Rosier." He snapped. "I am not that interesting."

"Shows what you know." Evan replied, "And I won't leave you alone until you get whatever it is off your chest. Ten to one says it's something Sirius caused, eight to one says its your parents."

"Neither group are important enough for me to care about."

"Yet they still get under your skin."

Regulus ignored this in favor of pushing open the door of the corner store. The door jingled with bells as they entered; Regulus was fairly certain it had something to do with a universal law stating doors needed to be the most obnoxious they could possibly be.

"Yeh boys smoke too much." A gravely voice informed them from behind the counter. The grey-bearded man was already pulling out a couple of packs of Elita Lite (For Those Who Want a Wisp of the Best).

"You're hardly one to complain, Greznack!" Evan grinned. "We're the only two who keep this old shack in business."

"When yeh say 'this old shack' I've no idea if you mean the building er me, Rosier." Greznack chuckled. His laugh sounded more like a rocky avalanche than an expression of humor. "Will yeh be needing anything else, boys?"

"Some hard liquor wouldn't be remiss." Regulus said.

"A bottle of whiskey preferably, Grezshack."

"An extra sickle for that remark, I think, Rosier." Greznack smirked as Evan's grin vanished. "Which totals it at eight sickles and thirteen knuts. Yeh can't put it on any tab this time, boys. I need payment upfront."

Evan's eyebrows rose as Regulus pulled out the money. Regulus frowned at him. "Thanks, Greznack." He set down an extra sickle. "Save a couple bottles behind the counter, please. We'll probably need them later."

It wasn't until ten minutes---and a brisk walk through half a dozen side streets and back alleys to the park---later that either of them spoke.

"That's a fair amount of money you were casually waving about." Evan finally said. "I know your job doesn't pay that well."

"I've been in the family vaults recently. In Sirius' inheritance particularly." Regulus shrugged, "Mother, of course, has no idea. Father doesn't care about the family finances."

"Your brother will kill you when he finds out." He drew a cigarette, lighting it with an easy flick of his wand. Regulus plucked it out of his fingers.

"He won't find out for awhile." Regulus took a drag, letting his breath out slowly. They both watched the smoke twirl lazily in the air.

"So, what, you have some time before he kills you?" Evan pulled out a second fag. "What a fucking deal, Reg. I don't know why you don't let us just take care of the arse."

Regulus shot him a dark look. "He's my brother. His. . .choices. . .might be. . .incorrect, but he's," Regulus grimaced, "he's family. Besides, I doubt I will be living long enough to care in the end."

Evan reacted so fast Regulus never saw it happening. All he knew was that he was suddenly slammed hard against a tree, cigarette slipping from his fingers onto the wet cobblestones, and breath forced from his lungs. There would probably be bruising on his back tomorrow.

"Christ, Rosier---"

"What was that supposed to mean, Regulus?" Evan pressed in against him, eyes filled with anger and more fear than Regulus ever would have expected from him.

"I just meant." They stared quietly for a few minutes. Evan hissed, bringing his fingers to his lips, sucking on them urgently. Regulus smirked, "serves you right for forgetting about your fag."

Evan released his fingers, giving him a small glare. "On the contrary, I haven't forgotten about you yet." He leaned in closer, lips drifting across Regulus' ever so lightly. "You're going to explain that comment."

"Let me go." Evan glared at him. "Oh, stop it, Ros---Evan. We can talk, but I'd rather not do so in such an uncomfortable position." Slowly the body restraining him pulled back, and Regulus gave a genuine smile, "Thank you."

They continued their walk in silence, Evan letting Regulus think and Regulus attempting to do what he'd been trying to do for the past month---gather his thoughts and make sense of them.

Finally, spoken softly, "Nobody's winning."

"What?" Evan frowned.

Regulus slanted him a look, "nobody's winning, Rosier. I keep trying to stop noticing. When that fails I try not to care, but I am not sure I am able to do that."

"Please tell me you're saying something entirely different than what I think you're saying." Evan said quietly.

"Is it really us against them?" Regulus scuffed his foot along the cobbles. "We're killing our own people off, we're killing ourselves off. Friends and houses turning against each other, family killing one another. It feels. . .like we're losing what we were. It's such a high price to pay."

"Reg," Evan grabbed his arm. "You're speaking words that are blasphemy in the eyes of---"

"Are you going to turn me in, Rosier?"

"Don't be absurd. I'm warning you. You're walking along a precarious line." Evan said.

Regulus gave him an uncertain look. "Do you ever have such thoughts about the war?"

Evan looked around them, eyes scanning the trees and pathways. "Sometimes."

"There's no stopping things now, is there? And we won't win."

"Stop, Regulus." Evan said, voice filled with unspoken alarm. "Look, this isn't something you can talk about anywhere."

"Which side are you on?" Regulus asked.

"The obvious one, of course!" Evan snapped.

"You look positively rattled." Regulus smiled. "I'm not, by the way."

Evan gave him a wary look, "You're not what?"

"I'm not on any side anymore."

"Y-you shouldn't be telling me this. You shouldn't be speaking of it at all." He said.

"I know." Regulus sighed, "I'm sick of the death. I'm tired of knowing of all the people who will never go home again, and all for the will of a madman. . .and those of us who have chosen to follow him."

"You can't do anything about any of that. We're on the paths we have chosen. There's no changing now. We'd be dead before--- NO."

Regulus gave him a confused look, "No?"

"No, you won't kill yourself in some insane attempt to switch sides." Evan grasped Regulus' chin, forcing him to meet his eyes. "You won't." Regulus refused to meet his gaze. "Fuck it, you won't!"

"Evan---"

"Bloody fucking NO, Regulus Black."

"I think I might have to."

"You're not dying while I'm around, Black." Evan spat.

Regulus' eyes narrowed. "What does that mean?"

"It means," Evan smiled ever so slightly, "If you intend to die, I will have to be dead before I let that happen."

Regulus paled, "That's not funny."

"Well now you know how I feel."

"Bastard."

"You're not killing yourself. Would you really leave me to smoke alone on our. . .enchanting dusky walks through the park?" Evan asked.

"Of course not. This is ridiculous." Regulus said. "I'm not going to off myself."

"Hmmph." Even snorted, "You won't mind if I keep an eye on you just in case, I'm sure." He stubbed out his third cigarette. "Lets go to my place. The rain is starting to get a bit too wet for my tastes."

"I daresay that's the stupidest thing you've ever said." Regulus muttered, reluctantly following as Evan turned around. They fell silent, neither really wanting to discuss what had been said.

Reaching Evan's flat, Regulus hesitated, "This doesn't. . .fix things, Evan."

"I know that."

"I'm still liable to try something stupid."

"I definitely know that." Evan muttered.

Regulus glared at him. "I get it from my idiotic brother."

"Actually, I think insanity runs in your family." He tossed Regulus a towel, grinning as he heard Regulus mutter a humorless 'probably' under his breath. "That's why I'll be keeping that eye on you."

"I just mean, if something happens, it's not done to hurt you---" Regulus breathed.

"Same here." Evan glanced at him. "There's always a risk of something happening, I just don't approve of you doing said 'something' on purpose."

"Arse." Regulus wrapped his arms around him, pressing his forehead against Evan's chest. "Can we just forget all of this? I'd like to spend the night with you---and without my thoughts for once."

"For now." Evan kissed his temple, slowly trailing kisses and nips down his neck. "But we're only forgetting for tonight." He added absently.

Regulus was torn between laughter and irritation, "Naturally. Fine. Kiss me."

Evan obliged.
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eaivalefay

dreaming memories

What you can do with your life has little to do with what's going on in the world and everything to do with what you see as possible.

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