Title: Life After Death Rating: NC-17 Pairing: Snape/Remus, mention and brief images of RL/SS and Remus/Tonks Warnings: DH spoilers Summary: Sometimes the dead don't stay dead and living is harder than dying. Author's Note: This fic is for Ponderosa, who has brought us so much joy with her art. Thank you, Pond! I hope that you enjoy this humble offering. Thank you also to Gina, for giving us this last Smutmas. My heartfelt thanks go to my secret beta; I have so much love for you, honey. Disclaimer: Unfortunately, none of the characters herein belong to me. They all belong to Ms. JK Rowling, her publishers, her movie makers and her mighty lawyers. Sad, but true...
"We're not going to be able to hold him here." Poppy Pomfrey's voice shook. "Severus, please. You're the only person we can trust to do this."
His knees hurt; the bricks were rough under his hands and knees. "I can't, Poppy. There has to be someone else."
"Another full moon and I think we'll lose him. Severus, he'd been dead for two weeks. He'd gone on and the werewolf in him dragged him back. If we can't tie him here, he'll be lost, caught between life and death." She reached out a hand through the Floo. "You're the best hope we have."
"I've heard that before," Severus muttered. He pushed his hair off his face, kneeling back to avoid her touch. "Have you spoken to Potter? And Shacklebolt?"
Her voice was very kind. "Harry wants to talk to you."
"No." He shook his head. "I want to see Shacklebolt."
"I'll talk to Minerva."
"Do that. If this is so necessary, Shacklebolt can come here."
She nodded. "Severus... I do understand. I wish--"
Severus stood abruptly. "Get Shacklebolt."
He put the fire out with a wave of his wand, cutting the conversation off and turned away, leaving the dingy front room and going into the kitchen. At least it was warmer there. He moved the kettle to the front of the Aga and rinsed the teapot out before dropping fresh leaves into it. A clean mug, a bottle of milk from the fridge, the three potions he had to take, a spoon, all joined the pot on the table. The kettle boiled. He filled the pot, put the kettle on the back of the Aga, dropped his mother's tea cosy over the pot and sat down.
He slammed his fist against the table.
None of this was meant to happen. God damn Albus, damn Potter, damn Pomfrey and her insistence on interfering. Damn fucking Voldemort for being a capricious, megalomaniacal, psychotic, motherfucking sociopath anyway. He damned himself for being a fool, for trusting stupidly, following blindly.
He fingered his neck, fingertips pressing lightly into the tender marks where Nagini's fangs had torn into him. Another fortnight and he should be fully recovered. He took the potions, swallowing with a grimace.
He finished his tea, put the milk back in the fridge, dropped the mug into the sink and turned the lights out.
He lay on his back in the narrow bed, looking into the darkness. Story of his fucking life.
"If I never hear those words again, it'll be too soon."
Shacklebolt looked up from his mug. "What words?"
"Severus, please. Every single time someone says those words, my life is about to go to utter shit again."
Shacklebolt laughed, a bright sound in the quiet stillness of the house. He'd left his Aurors outside; Severus supposed he should be grateful. A pardon was one thing; he'd never expect forgiveness. "You know what your problem is, Severus?"
"I know you're dying to tell me," Severus said. He stirred his tea again, dropping the spoon onto the table.
"You're too damned capable, man. When the hardest things need to be done, people look around for a hard man." He lifted his mug in salute. "Congratulations. You're it."
Severus shook his head. "That's bullshit. It's just a way of avoiding responsibility. I don't see why I should be responsible for Lupin. Find someone else."
Shacklebolt set his mug on the table and spread his hands. "Snape. There's no one else. No one we can trust to do it right. It'll be a permanent binding; I can't ask any of the kids to do it and not one of them has your skill. I know," he waved a hand to stop Severus' protests, "you've done enough. But Remus is bisexual, he's going to have to be dominated, it's going to need someone with the power to do that. You're it."
Severus shook his head. "You know, I should be dead. I was willing to give my life for this. I fully expected to die. It's inconceivable that I should be sitting here discussing my sex life with you."
"I know. Life's a bitch, isn't it?" Shacklebolt drained his mug and stood. "I have to go. Busy man, world to rebuild. Help me do that, would you?"
"Publicise the pardon. I'm sick of people looking at me every time I leave the house. I need money, enough to start a business and renovate this place. I want the government contract for the supply of specialist potions, wolfsbane included. I might as well; I'm going to have to make it for my own werewolf, aren't I?"
"Done. Do you want protection for the next few months?" Shacklebolt looked doubtful. "Stupid question, I suppose. Oh, and one other thing. This? Is still giving your life for the cause. It's just that you'll live, too. And who knows? You might even find a bit of happiness."
Severus snorted as he stood and took Shacklebolt's hand. "Don't be foolish. Happiness? Me?"
They shook on it. "Papers'll be at Gringotts for you by Thursday. And yeah, I know. If I ever see you smiling, I'll know the world is ending."
Pomfrey brought Lupin to Spinner's End on Friday at 2pm, Severus having refused to step foot on Hogwarts' ground again. Minerva had protested.
"Honestly, Severus, the castle's not going to hold it against you."
"I'm not doing it." He paused. "It's too soon."
Her face softened and she reached across the kitchen table to press his hand before he could draw it away. "Harry told me. He still has the memories, you know. He wants to return them in person."
"Bloody interfering boy. No. I'm not going to see him." He glanced at Minerva over his mug. "Tell him to keep them."
"He's grateful. We all are." A pause. "Albus was asking after you." She hefted the teapot experimentally before putting it back on the table. He'd only put out the small one; it discouraged visitors from overstaying their welcome.
"Send Lupin with Pomfrey; she can check on him after we're done."
Minerva sighed. "Very well. Have it your way."
He'd gone to Gringotts on Thursday afternoon, glamour in place, and signed the contract waiting for him. Shacklebolt had definitely had the lawyers in; the contract was filled with sub-clauses and annotations. He'd read through it twice before signing it and then checking the vault, removing only enough to restock his basement at Spinner's End. He'd need to brew Wolfsbane next week. The following month, he'd have to source supplies in bulk, but this month he'd need it only for Lupin.
Remus. He supposed he should try and think of him as Remus. He shook his head; if this crazy scheme worked, he'd think of that then.
He had the kettle on the boil when Pomfrey arrived, bringing Lupin by Side-Along-Apparition. Severus supposed he looked in reasonable condition for someone who'd been dead two weeks and was still in recovery. Pale and gaunt, his hair completely grey. Unfocussed. Lost.
He ushered them into the kitchen. "I'm going to have the entry fixed, now that the war is over. Sit down before you fall down, Lupin," Severus said. "Tea, Poppy?"
She shook her head. Severus made a pot for himself and Lupin anyway. He kept one eye on Lupin while she talked. "I've brought Remus' potions; I suppose you'll want to make them yourself now." She busied herself with her bag, lifting out two large bottles and a sheaf of parchment before placing a large block of Honeydukes chocolate and a packet of chocolate HobNobs on top of the paper.
Lupin looked around the kitchen with vague interest. "We'll live here, I suppose? If this works, I'm going for custody of Teddy."
"I'll leave you to it then," Poppy said. "You've got a lot to talk about."
"The better part of valour, Poppy?" Severus asked sardonically.
She smiled at them both, leaning in to kiss Remus' cheek and patting Severus' shoulder. "I have faith in you both, you know. I'll see myself out and come around tomorrow. Firecall if you need me."
Severus waited until he felt her pass through the wards. He turned the teapot and filled two mugs, pushing milk and the sugar bowl in front of Lupin. "Is that why you've agreed to this?"
"He's all I have," Lupin said with a shrug.
"If this works, you'll have me as well."
Lupin leaned back in the chair. "I don't know but that's more of a penance than a reward, Severus."
"For both of us," Severus agreed.
"Explain to me how this is going to work," Lupin said. He lifted the mug. "We might need more tea."
Severus stared at him. "We've exchanged letters on this, Lupin. Tell me why I should go through it again."
"I want to see your face while you try and justify this." Lupin leaned forward. "What deal did you cut with Shacklebolt?"
"Good heavens, Lupin, you look almost alive. Almost as if you care."
"I don't really." His eyes dropped to his hands, the mug turning within them. "I was happy dead, did you know that? I knew Teddy would be fine, I had my family, friends." He looked at Snape. "Albus talked about you a lot."
Severus held his gaze.
"Sirius still hates you."
"The feeling is entirely mutual."
"Lily's sorry about--"
"Stop." Severus shook his head. "Given that we are trying to get both of your feet out of the grave, I think we can change the topic of conversation."
"Hit a nerve?"
"One of many," Severus said. "None of us have come through this unscathed." He picked up the pile of parchment from the table, rifling through the pages until he found the letter he'd written to Remus. "Did you read this?"
"Of course. It didn't tell me anything I hadn't already found in my own research. There's been quite a few cases of werewolves returning from the dead. It's a shame no one thought to put a silver blade through my heart before they buried me." He reached over and took the scroll.
"I understand things were chaotic," Severus said blandly. "I was unconscious at the time. The evidence seems fairly conclusive, although the theory has holes you could fly a broom through."
Lupin nodded. "It makes no logical sense, but I can feel the disjunction." His gaze sharpened. "Do you think it will work?"
"I intend to give it a damned good try. If we fail-- Well, your soul is lost and within a couple of months you won't know or care, but I still have to live in this world and the final payments are dependent upon success."
"Yes, that contract. What did you get for me? I hope you held out for a high price."
"It's sufficient." Lupin didn't need to know the details yet. Although-- "You mentioned the child."
"Yes. If this works, then I'll be taking Teddy back. Right now, I can't care for him." He reached for the packet of HobNobs and opened it, taking two. "It's not negotiable, Severus. You need me to at least want to try."
Severus glared at him. "You could have mentioned this earlier. I didn't take a child into consideration."
Lupin shrugged, crunching one of his biscuits. "I used to love these when I was a kid." Severus waited through the silence, watching Lupin's face. Lupin put the biscuit back on the table before he focussed on Severus again. "If I'd said anything earlier, you'd have refused. Now, you're locked into the deal." He picked up his mug. "I think I'm done with the tea. Oh, and I should tell you, I have a high pain threshold. This isn't going to be easy."
Severus slid his wand into his hand. "I don't intend for it to be. Legilimens."
Lupin's mind was a mess. Wide open, cracked, with tendrils of memories, shades of emotion torn and floating. Unanchored. Yes, that was the word. Faded. Severus braced himself and went deep, deeper, looking for colour and intensity in the grey swirl of Lupin's mind. God, this was going to be a nightmare.
He leaned back in the kitchen chair, tapping his lips with a finger, looking at Lupin.
Lupin looked back, eyes crinkling. "You think it's bad? You should see it from in here."
Oh, for God's sake. Exasperation drove him to stand, chair falling back against the wall of the small kitchen as he reached across the table. "I refuse to be punished for your inadequacies any longer. Never. Again." He pulled at Lupin's shoulder, determined to wipe the amusement off the werewolf's face.
Lupin's shirt tore at the shoulder seam, Severus pulling at him over the table. "You think you can stand on the sidelines for this?" The point of his wand was tight against Lupin's jaw. "Fight, you bastard."
This close, Lupin's eyes were golden. "Make me, Snape."
Mind wide open, Severus cast and drove in, fists clenching tight in the soft fabric as he pulled them together, dragging Lupin from the chair and pressing him against the wall. "Poor little werewolf," he sneered, grasping a strand of colour, pulling at the feeling of bone-deep exhaustion. "Can't do anything right."
He could feel resistance gathering in Lupin's body, the tightening of muscle, and pressed him harder, biting at Lupin's ear until he hissed in pain. "You couldn't even stay fucking dead. Followed your little wife to the grave," - oh yes, that definitely stung and he caught at the bright strand of colour that swirled though Lupin's mind, the brilliant pink of Tonks' hair - "but you couldn't stay decently dead, could you? Failure."
Lupin pushed against him, a weak half-arsed attempt that went nowhere against the force of Severus' anger. "Pathetic, Lupin." He thrust his thigh between Lupin's, pressing hard against Lupin's groin. "Could you even get it up for her?" He breathed the words into Lupin's ear. "Or did she have to grow a cock for you, roll you over and fuck you?"
The resistance in Lupin's body against his firmed, hands pushing at him and the ribbons of memory intensifying. "You always did like it kinky, didn't you, Snape? In love with a girl who pitied you--"
He couldn't pull his arm back far, but it was enough and the punch into Lupin's ribs forced the breath out of him with a whoosh, hard and sharp. He felt the bone give under his fist and hit him again. "Was Tonks there waiting for you, Lupin? Did she welcome you with open arms? Or did Black beat her to it?" The sharp scent of sex wrapped in anger and grief coalesced into colour and Severus caught at it, stroked it, pulled at the hurt and inadequacy and the anger, ignoring the pressure as Lupin tried to push him out. He pushed his hand down between them, digging his fingers into Lupin's cock, rubbing at him. "You were gagging for it, weren't you? Let him fuck you, wanted him to love you--"
"Enough!" Lupin threw him off with a twist, the tendons in his throat tight as he lashed out. His face was bright with anger, harsh pants loud in the stillness of the house, and his mind was alight with images of Sirius, bright and shining and alive. "Fucking enough! You dirty, slimy git. God, they were right to hate you, and I felt sorry for you and guilty but there's nothing, nothing you won't stoop to--"
Severus ducked a flailing punch and caught him, pressing him down on the kitchen table, ignoring the shatter of crockery as teapot and mugs crashed to the floor, fighting to hold Lupin in place as he kicked out, nails cutting into his skin. "He's dead, Lupin. She's dead. They're all fucking dead." He kicked Lupin's feet apart, pushed in tight between his thighs and twisted a hand into his hair, clenching the soft strands into his fist. "They're not coming back." He forced Lupin's head to turn to look at him. "But you're still here."
"I don't want to be," Lupin roared. The pain in his mind was a flare of white as his body thrust up, trying to throw Severus off, arms tearing at him. "God almighty, Snape, there's nothing left."
"You coward." Severus pulled his head up and slammed it back into the table once, twice. "You fucking, pathetic coward. You've been running away all your bloody life." He reached deep into Lupin's mind, pulling memory after memory, rifling through them and watching all the people Remus loved leave him, watched him struggle to adjust and the wolf grind him further down with every loss.
Lupin looked up at him, face flushed and open, chest heaving, utterly exposed. Severus felt a slow stir of arousal through his belly, let it bleed through as he stroked through Lupin's mind.
"God, you're a twisted fuck, Snape."
"But I'm alive, Lupin. And it's either this or nothing for you. All that running and it's got you nowhere." He ran a hand down the line of Lupin's throat, pushed under the torn fabric to splay his fingers over the beating heart beneath. "You're still alive." He leaned in and traced the path of his fingers with his tongue, feeling Lupin's sharp inhalation. "If you want to be."
Lupin's mind shimmered. "And you can't leave?"
"I can't leave. You'll be bound to me wherever I go." Severus lifted his head, showed Lupin the truth of his words. "My own personal lapdog," he added dryly.
"And when you die?"
"You'll die, but you'll stay dead, not trapped in limbo. You'll come with me."
"Then I agree." Lupin raised a hand, fingers splayed. "Unbreakable vow? Sworn on blood?"
"It's the best way," Severus agreed.
He stood and found his wand where it had rolled against the wall and Lupin sat up on the edge of the table.
"I think Poppy's parchments are ruined," he said, looking at the mess of soggy parchment and broken crockery in the puddle of milky tea and sugar.
Severus snorted. "We won't need them."
Lupin held out his left palm, rubbing at his ribs with his right hand and taking a shaky breath. "You'd never think to look at you that had a decent punch in you."
"You've had worse, and will have again, I daresay. I'll have a look at it when we're done here. Pomfrey will have a conniption if I've broken too many ribs." He cut across Lupin's palm with the tip of his wand until the blood flowed freely, ignoring the sharp hiss of pain and then sliced through his own. "Are you ready?"
"I don't think I have any viable alternatives, Severus," Lupin said, his eyes crinkling a bit when Severus glared at him. "Yes, I'm ready."
Severus raised their hands together, palms pressed tight and fingers locked. He touched his wand to their linked hands. "Ask."
"Will you, Severus, share the length of your life with me until your dying breath? Will you keep me alive with you in this world?"
"I will." The tendril of flame from his wand wrapped itself around their hands.
"Will you take me with you when you die, carrying my mind and soul into the afterlife?"
"I will." Another line of fire wrapped their hands together. "Will you, Remus, live your life in mine, seeking no escape?"
"I will." There was a flash of light as the lines of flame enclosed their hands and he could feel the sharp burn of blood and fire through his body. Lupin's face was stark and open as the vow embedded itself into his magic, his body wracking, and Severus caught him to stop him falling from the table.
Remus slowly straightened, his hands on Severus' arms, and looked at him. "Fuck, that hurt. No going back now."
"No," Severus agreed. "I'm stuck with you."
Lupin looked at him, his face animated. "You'd better be worth it, Severus, or Kingsley will have your hide."
"A trouble shared is a trouble halved, Lupin, and you'll definitely be bearing half."
"If not more."
Severus shook his head. "Upstairs. We're not finished yet. Ribs first."
Lupin grimaced but followed Snape up the stairs. He hesitated at the door to his room before continuing down the hall past the bathroom to the larger bedroom and flicking the light on.
Lupin looked around the dingy room. The heavy iron bedstead and bare mattress jostled for space with a huge wardrobe. "Severus, I have to tell you. You have a really shitty house. There's probably a boggart in there."
He snorted. "No one's slept in here since my parents died. Wait until you see the bathroom, then you'll be complaining. We can spend some of the Ministry's blood money on doing it up a bit."
"A fair bit, I'd say. How many bedrooms are there? And what the hell did you do with Wormtail?"
"Just the two, and he slept on the floor in the front room. You don't honestly think I'd have let him have the run of the house, did you."
Lupin nodded. "Right, so we're in here and Teddy'll have the other room." His face was determined.
Severus let that go past. "Linen's in the cupboard in the hall. Hang on."
He stopped in the bathroom for the jar of bruise reducing salve before coming back with an armload of sheets and blankets. Lupin was bending over the drawers in the dresser and a strong scent of roses hung in the air.
"Sorry about the smell; I think it'll take a bit of time before it all settles down." He waved his wand again and the scent faded a bit.
Severus stared at him. "Only you, Lupin. It stinks like a boudoir in here." He dumped the linens onto the floor with the pillows before shaking out a sheet. "Give me a hand here."
Lupin obediently helped and they made the bed. It felt right to Severus, to do this by hand rather than use magic. Some sort of statement about building a life together. He shook his head at himself.
"Nothing." Lupin was pressing at his ribs again. "For God's sake, lie down before you fall down." He moved around the bed and unbuttoned Lupin's shirt, easing it off his shoulder. He was going to have some decent bruises, Severus thought; it might be better to leave them there. His marks on Lupin's body. He splayed his fingers over the darkening mark, pressing carefully. "I don't think they're broken." He shifted his hand down, ignoring Lupin's hiss of pain. "There's movement here, though. Pomfrey'll know. I've got some salve."
"This has to be the most unromantic seduction in the history of unromantic seductions," Lupin said.
"We're pragmatists, Lupin. Survivors. We don't do romance."
"I won't expect flowers on our anniversary, then." He pushed his trousers down, sitting on the side of the bed and leaning over to undo his shoes, catching his breath. "This is going to be damned awkward. I might have to stand up to fuck you." Severus caught the sly glance Lupin threw at him.
"Not a chance. You'll just have to put up with it this time," Severus said firmly. He stripped off, dropping the jar on the bedside chest of drawers with his wand, under his mother's hideous floral lamp, ignoring the tingle of embarrassment as his body was exposed and focussing on the task at hand. "Do you want the light on? It can't be completely dark; we need eye contact, but I can put the lamp on."
"Whatever you prefer." He dipped his head, hiding his face. "I need some light for sleeping."
Severus didn't comment; Lupin didn't need to know that he kept a lamp on through the night. He plugged the lamp in and the soft coloured light fell across the bed when he turned the main light off. He picked up the jar. "Lie down and I'll put this on."
Lupin muttered something that Severus didn't catch but he ignored it in favour of kneeling on the bed next to Lupin's sprawled body. He smoothed a thick layer of salve over the darkening bruise on Lupin's side before dropping it onto the bed and slowly rubbing it in. It softened with the heat of Lupin's body and his hand became slick. "All right?" he asked.
"Yeah." Lupin's eyes were closed and his breathed slowed as the sting eased. "That's definitely better."
He slid his hand lower, stroking over the hair on Lupin's belly. "Open your eyes," he said quietly. "Look at me."
Lupin shivered, but opened his eyes, his body tensing as he held himself still under Severus' hands. "I don't want you," he said. "Hell, most of the time I don't even like you."
"For me as well," Severus said. "But this must be done. And you do get to come."
Lupin rolled his eyes. "I could do that myself," he said, but the tension in him eased a little.
Severus reached for his wand, dropping it onto the bed between them before dipping his fingers again into the open jar of salve and lying down next to Lupin.
"Keep looking at me," he said. He held Lupin's gaze as he reached down for Lupin's cock, fingers closing around the length of him and slowly stroking as Lupin started to firm. He shifted slightly, moving closer and pressing his body against Lupin's, the fingers of his other hand closing around his wand.
"Legilimens." His entry this time wasn't the brutal attack it had been before. He slid in softly on Lupin's caught breath, slipping between the tangled, damaged strands of Lupin's mind, going deeper until he found the chaotic blotch of colour of the memories he'd caught earlier, now shot through with the flickering golden flame of the vow. He shifted through them, reaching out and smoothing over the tangled knots, watching himself though Lupin's eyes as he worked. The vow shimmered around them as he pulled at the fabric of Lupin's mind, weaving the grey strands into the knot of colour and watching the gold shoot over them, leaving colour, warmth and a tangled web of emotion in its trail.
"You can't do this and think of me as Lupin, Severus." Lupin wiped his hand over Severus' forehead, catching the beads of sweat as they slid into droplets, letting his hand rest on Severus' shoulder. "I have a name." His irritation was palpable, rubbing roughly against Severus as he worked. "Use it, damn you."
He caught at the irritation, held onto the frustration coiled around him. "Remus," he said, feeling the colour swirling through it as he spoke. He reached further, catching a memory of Remus wanking in the shower and stroking it, smoothing his mind over it as he inhaled the sight/scent/sound of desire, of the building need for release. "That's it, feel that." He shifted over Remus' body, easing his thighs open and sliding between them, hand releasing his wand, tightening his grasp on Remus' cock and sliding over skin as he leaned in. "I've got you," he said, holding firmly onto Remus' mind. "It doesn't matter if you close your eyes now."
Remus licked his bottom lip, his nostrils flaring as Severus pulled the heavy scents of desire and sex over them, the taste of Tonks as she called Remus' name heavy on their tongues. Severus kissed him, sliding them through the memory of hunger and need and Sirius, tongue stabbing into Remus' mouth as it opened under his.
Skin against skin, the clean scent of the salve mingled with the heavy scent of roses in the room and the memories of sex as they moved together. Severus shifted his hand back, slid his fingers past Remus' bollocks to stroke along the crease of his arse, rubbing over his perineum to rub against his hole, stroking against it. Sensation, emotion, memory swirled around them as he pushed in and Remus opened his eyes, his gaze heavy-lidded. "Mmm," and Severus kissed him again, all tongue and teeth and wet heat as Remus moved against him, looking for friction. His hands shifted, fingers scratching over the skin of Severus' shoulder as they settled into a slow rhythm of want and need.
One finger, two, thumb rubbing over bollocks as Severus' fingers sought for sensation and his mind built a tapestry of desire that caught them both. The rub of Remus' inner thigh over his hip, the warmth of his mouth as he bit at Severus' lower lip, the heat and intensity - "Ah, there, yeah, 's good," - as he slowly thrust into him, cock replacing fingers that moved to stroke and grasp over heated skin. The feel of Remus' hair beneath his fingers, the taste of his need and most of all the bright and shining colour of Remus' mind coming alive beneath his touch, a swirling kaleidoscope shot through with flaming lines of gold.
"God, Remus," Severus breathed into the hungry mouth against his, driving them further into sensation with every thrust.
Remus moved harder against him, fingers clutching and one hand sliding to grasp at his cock. Severus could feel the need in him, forced his hand away. "Not yet," he said, his mind spinning at the centre of Remus', pulling at each loose thread he could find to build into the tapestry of Remus' mind..
Remus' low whine skated across his nerves and he shuddered. "I need-- need--"
Severus thrust deep, hand closing around Remus' cock, feeling the pulse of blood and magic and life pounding within them. He shifted his knees, pushed harder, further. "What? What do you need?"
Remus' eyes opened and stared into his. "I need you."
Severus tightened his hand, thumb scraping across the slick head of Remus' cock as Remus convulsed, come burning hot as it splashed against their bellies and his mind ringing gold as Severus thrust, sharp, fast pushes within Remus' body that forced him over the edge of pleasure in an explosion of colour and warmth.
They rested against each other, heaving breath and pounding hearts slowing as the air cooled around them. For now, there was life and sex. Tomorrow there'd be arguments and their fumbling beginning at building a life together. Next week, they'd have to deal with the wolf and everything that went with it.
Remus shifted, reaching between them and dropping Severus' wand over the side of the bed. He winced as he straightened and Severus eased the blankets over them.
"I could sleep for a year," Remus said quietly, settling himself against Severus' shoulder.
It wasn't a laugh, he never laughed, but it was definitely a sound of amusement. "I should be the one saying that. All you had to do was lie there; I was doing all the work."
Remus' body was warm against his, his sleepy huff of indignation a breath over Severus' skin. "We have to get a better mattress. This one's just stinks of roses."
They'd made a start. He hoped it would be good enough.