|Torina Archelda (torina_archelda) wrote in severus_sighs,|
@ 2010-10-19 23:31:00
|Entry tags:||fic, member: torina_archelda, pairing: severus/harry, pairing: severus/lucius, rating: g|
A Lifetime of Love by Torina Archelda
Title: A Lifetime of Love
Pairing: Severus/Lucius, Severus/Harry
Word Count: 1400+
Summary: Sometimes there can be happy endings for everyone.
A/N: A belated birthday present for my dear friend whitecotton. I wish you all the joy in the world, darling. Thanks to atypicalsnowman for the beta!
“Severus,” Lucius said warmly, opening the door wider to let him inside. “Harry isn’t with you this evening?” The boy—Lucius couldn’t help but still think of him as such—had become a common presence at these dinners the past two years.
“No.” A house elf appeared and took Severus’ coat, and Lucius took that moment to determine that Severus looked decidedly uncomfortable. “Harry and I…”
Lucius didn’t make him finish the sentence. “I see,” he said, leading his oldest friend into the sitting room. “My condolences.”
But Severus shook his head. “It has been a long time coming,” he admitted, taking a seat when Lucius gestured him toward his usual armchair. Lucius stayed silent, focusing his attention entirely on Severus and waiting for him to continue. “Harry… He was too young for me. Or I too old for him—one or the other. Or even perhaps age was not the issue, but spirit.” He paused, folding his hands and staring off a bit above Lucius’ left shoulder. “He would rather be off traveling the world when I would prefer to spend quiet evenings at home, and we had too little in common to find a middle ground. There is only so long that two so differing sets of desires can coexist and keep both parties satisfied. We were each going too far beyond our limits to make the other happy…so we decided we would be better off apart.”
“But you loved him,” Lucius said, already knowing the answer. He poured two glasses of scotch and passed one over to Severus.
Severus gave a wan smile. “I did. I still do. But some things…” A flash of something like pain flickered briefly through Severus’ eyes. “Some things are simply not meant to be.”
“By which you mean love for yourself?” Lucius arched an eyebrow. “You are hardly unattractive, Severus. The ending of your relationship with Harry is hardly the harbinger of the end of your love life.” There are many men who would love you, he thought wistfully. You deserve better than all of them.
“Harry is not the only man I’ve dated. All my relationships, however long-lasting, have turned out to be spectacular failures.”
“And you regret them all?” Lucius prodded.
Severus’ gaze turned pensive, and he took a sip of his scotch before answering. “No…not all of them. Not Harry…or a few others. But on the whole? I think I’ve had enough heartbreak for one lifetime. And I’ve truly begun to doubt the person exists who could put up with my ways and truly love me for it.”
Lucius let out a slightly bitter laugh. That hurt too much to bear. Perhaps he would regret this, but to hear Severus speak that way… “I suppose it’s too much to ask for you to see what’s right in front of you?”
Severus froze, then looked up at Lucius with cautious eyes. “Of course I see,” he replied, scanning Lucius’ face. “But I am aware enough that certain things are unavailable to me.”
Lucius’ heart gave a wary leap. Perhaps he hadn’t taken so large a risk after all. “Are you so sure?” he asked, keeping his voice low as if afraid that enthusiasm would spook Severus.
The glare Severus sent him would have been venomous directed at anyone else. As it was, Lucius knew it was propelled by hurt. “You’re married, Lucius.”
Lucius waved that away. “A marriage of convenience, nothing more. You know there is no love lost between Narcissa and I.”
Severus snorted. “A convenience that upholds all the traditions and history you hold so dear.”
Lucius shook his head. “You underestimate my feelings. Had you ever given me an inkling that we had a chance… I’d have called the wedding off in an instant. Even now...”
“What, now, Lucius?” Severus challenged. “Will you throw away more than twenty years of marriage, earn the disdain of your peers, scorn the traditions that have upheld your family for generations?” Severus scoffed. “No. No, you would not be so foolhardy. Not over me.”
Lucius’ heart twinged. “You value yourself so little,” he said, his tone soft enough to affect visible surprise in Severus. “If you cannot see your worth yourself, at least trust that I see it. That I desire it. That I desire you.”
Severus’ expression was endearingly vulnerable, and Lucius reached out and grasped his hand. Severus clutched it with something akin to desperation. “Do not toy with me, Lucius,” he breathed. “I spent years blocking you out of my heart, telling myself to be content with your friendship. If you are anything but truly committed now—”
Lucius tightened his grip on Severus’ hand. Had he ever been truly committed to anyone—anything—else? “Surely you must realize, after all these years, that I have far too much respect for you to simply string you along. I would not have said anything had I not…” Lucius throat closed, and he took a steadying breath before continuing. “I have always loved you, Severus,” he said more confidently, lacing their fingers together. “It has simply taken me far too long to admit it.”
Severus laid his glass down on the small table next to him and clasped Lucius’ hand between both of his own. He tried several times to speak, but the words simply wouldn’t form.
Lucius could stand it no longer and spoke in his place. “I know you’ve been hurt, Severus. I can’t promise you that won’t happen again, but I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to make you happy. Do you think you have it in you to take one more chance?” Lucius waited through fifteen terrible seconds of silence before Severus replied.
“For you?” he asked. “Always.”
Two years later
Kingsley clapped Severus briskly on the shoulder one last time before stepping aside, leaving Severus to greet the next in the impromptu line that had formed. He paused almost imperceptibly when he saw who it was, but the slight smile in the eyes of the man before him told Severus it hadn’t gone unnoticed.
Well, Harry had always been able to read him exceptionally well.
“Harry,” he replied, shaking his hand when it was extended. “I don’t believe I have been properly introduced to your companion,” he said, glancing at the man whose hand was linked with Harry’s.
Harry’s smile widened. “The invitation wasn’t enough introduction?” he grinned. “This is Marco, of course. We met in Spain last summer.”
Severus shook Marco’s hand. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Marco replied. “Congratulations.”
Severus inclined his head in a slight nod and then returned his attention to Harry. “Thank you for coming. It means a great deal to me to have you here.”
Harry’s smile was warm. “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world. You’re coming in June?” he asked, absentmindedly fingering the ring on his partner’s hand.
Severus nodded. “Of course. We’ll both be there.”
Harry released Marco’s hand for a moment and threw his arms around Severus in a brief hug. “I really am very happy for you,” he whispered before he pulled away.
“As I am for you.” Lucius caught his eye from across the ballroom and motioned him over to the five-tiered monstrosity the elves had concocted for the occasion. “If you’ll excuse me, I believe it’s time to cut the cake.”
“Be well, Severus,” Harry told him, and he and Marco wandered off into the crowd. Severus stared after them for several long moments, snapping from his reverie only when Lucius’ arms wrapped around his waist from behind.
“Thinking too hard, love?” Lucius asked in his ear, pressing a chaste kiss to his cheek.
“I truly don’t regret any of it,” Severus said, placing a hand over Lucius’ and running his fingers along the gold band that rested there. “Not a minute I spent with him, and certainly not a moment I’ve spent with you. It’s all part of what has led us here today. How can I regret anything that would bring me closer to you?”
“Well,” Lucius said, spinning Severus around to face him, “we have a lifetime of moments ahead of us for you to learn to regret tying yourself to me.” The sly smirk on Lucius’ face was what had made Severus fall in love with him in the first place, and his heart had never felt lighter than it did in that moment.
“Somehow I doubt that will happen,” he said quietly, and Lucius raised an eyebrow. He knew he had broken the rules of their game by not responding with a sarcastic remark of his own, but the moment felt too tender for levity.
“In that case,” Lucius said at last, “I suppose I’ll have to settle with a lifetime of moments to love you.” He leaned down for a kiss, and Severus’ eyes closed in pure bliss. I can live with that, he thought, and he was, at last, content.