Author's Note: This was written for the AU Battle Competition on HPFC. Store-Clerk!AU with the prompt Remus/Sirius.
"Who's that?" Aubrey asked, nodding her head across the shop. Remus followed her gaze to where another employee stood, speaking casually to a customer. Harrods was particularly full on this Saturday afternoon; Remus could already see several customers wandering through the men's clothing department.
"That's Sirius," Remus informed Aubrey. She was the newest trainee, and he'd been assigned the task of putting her through orientation today. She seemed like a nice girl, only recently having graduated from Uni, looking for a job before she found another in her field.
"He's cute," she commented factually, appraising the man standing across the department store.
Remus frowned. "He's gay."
Aubrey turned back to look at Remus, obviously affronted by the sudden coldness in his tone. It was only now that the young man realized how possessive he'd sounded. He really needed to work on hiding this crush on Sirius better…
"Too bad," Aubrey mused, her eyes wandering back to Sirius.
"Let's get back to your training," Remus supplied instantly, not liking the way this girl was eyeing Sirius. He probably had no right to be so possessive, but Remus couldn't help it. "This is the register," he explained, leaning over the desk and pointing at the machine, "you type in your employee ID to log in, like so." He proceeded to demonstrate using the machine and ringing a customer up. Aubrey watched closely, nodding every few moments. Finally, he finished explaining everything and checked his watch. It was half-twelve. "You can take your lunch break now. When we get back I'll show you how to staff the fitting rooms."
She nodded, scurrying away a moment later. Just when Remus thought he was alone, a voice from behind made him jump.
"She looks right terrified of you."
It was Sirius. Remus whipped his head around to face his co-worker. Those steely-grey eyes were locked on him, dancing with amusement. "Did you say something in particular to frighten her like that?" Sirius asked, his deep voice filled with the same mirth in his eyes.
"No," Remus lied, "just the normal speech about how to treat the customers."
Sirius let out a short laugh, "Ah, well. It's too bad we won't be all alone here in the men's department any more." He waggled his eyebrows and spoke these words.
Remus shrugged, turning away to hide his smile. It really was too bad that they couldn't be alone anymore. Sirius had now been working at Harrod's for six months, and for three of those months he and Remus had been the only constant workers staffing this portion of the men's clothing department. It was a busy job having only the two of them, but Remus adored being able to spend so much time with Sirius. For a while he'd had a suspicion that Sirius felt the same. Once his friend Lily had come in to buy a shirt for her boyfriend and told Remus that Sirius watched him the whole time his back was turned. That information had made Remus particularly proud.
"Yes, too bad," Remus mumbled after an awkward pause. "We should get back to work," he suddenly found himself nervous talking to Sirius like this. The man had a nasty habit for making Remus nervous, and sometimes it felt like Sirius enjoyed it.
With that, the two men parted.
After about a week of Aubrey working alongside Remus and Sirius, Remus was certain she was trying to make his life more difficult. She didn't do anything malicious, of course, but she seemed to know that Remus had a huge crush on Sirius, and she used that to her advantage. One Monday she came in, asking Sirius about his weekend in front of Remus. When Sirius informed them that it had been a quiet weekend, she asked if he had any hot dates, eyeing Remus covertly.
Sirius laughed outright. "No hot dates for me."
"Really?" Aubrey mused, no longer making an effort to hide her meaningful glances at Remus, "are you waiting on someone in particular?"
Sirius considered the question for a moment. Remus watched the man out of the corner of his eye, noticing not for the first time how handsome Sirius looked when he was deep in thought.
"Possibly," Sirius answered at last, "yes, I suppose there's someone I've got in mind." Before Aubrey could continue the conversation, Sirius brushed past them, flashing Remus a friendly smile as he walked away.
"What do you think you're doing?" Remus asked lowly, pretending to distract himself by folding trousers.
"I'm helping you," she piped back, "you and Sirius obviously need a little push in the right direction, because it's taking you forever to notice your feelings for one another."
Remus narrowed his eyes, "what do you mean?"
She put her hands on her hips, reminding Remus eerily of Lily when she was frustrated.
"You and Sirius both fancy each other, that's what I mean." She said it as if Remus was particularly idiotic for not noticing by now. "I think you just need to get over whatever's holding you back and ask him out on a date."
Remus considered these words. How was this girl so sure that Sirius liked him in that way? Of course, Remus and Sirius were friends, but Remus couldn't imagine Sirius actually considering him romantically. "I can't just ask him out," he murmured stubbornly.
"He- he's-" Remus desperately tried to find an excuse, knowing that there had always been some reason for not asking Sirius out. "There's no way he's actually interested in me. Plus, I hardly have anything to offer. I don't need a relationship right now."
She shook her head at him. "Who ever needs a relationship? The point is that you want one… with Sirius. And Sirius wants a relationship with you."
Before Remus could say anything else, Aubrey walked away.
It was a full month before Aubrey finally convinced Remus that he needed to grow a pair and make a move. So, one Friday afternoon, Remus approached his coworker, preparing the words Aubrey had coached him through, thinking and worrying over how awkward he was going to make things if Sirius said no, or if he messed this up.
"How'd you like to go out tonight?" Sirius asked, not even giving Remus a chance to speak, just continuing to sort through the clothes left in the fitting rooms.
"W-what?" Remus stuttered, eyes going wide.
"I asked," Sirius finally looked up from the pile of trousers and shirts, "if you wanted to go out tonight. Maybe get some drinks? I know a great place just down the road."
"Like… a date?"
He chuckled, flashing a handsome smile and scratching his chin at the same time. "That's sort of what I had in mind, yeah." He said these words with the strangest flustered demeanor. Remus was taken aback- was Sirius actually nervous talking to him?
Remus didn't even realize he was laughing until Sirius interrupted him. "Is that funny- me asking you out?" he inquired, squaring his shoulders.
"No!" Remus immediately backtracked, "I-I just... I was about to ask you the same thing."
There were a few frightening seconds in which Sirius' expression remained defensive, until at last a brilliant grin broke across his face. "Wonderful," he said, turning his head and looking around. Remus followed Sirius' gaze, inspecting the fitting room and the hallway just outside. They were alone.
Suddenly, just as quickly as Sirius' expression had changed a second ago, he stepped forward, placed a hand on Remus' arm, and kissed him.
It was a quick, chaste kiss, but Remus found himself following Sirius' lips as he tried to pull away. His eyes were wide when they opened. Sirius wore the same suave, proud grin on his face as he slipped past Remus and retreated from the fitting room. "Aubrey's going to be thrilled," he murmured just before disappearing around the corner.
Author's Note: Reviews are appreciated!