|cocoa_cardigan (cocoa_cardigan) wrote in snark_n_bark,|
@ 2008-11-05 18:38:00
|Entry tags:||complete, remus, severus|
A Blast from the Past
Characters: Severus, Remus
Summary: An evening of spoiling ends up not exactly as planned
Remus looked around to make certain that he'd gotten everything settled into perfect readiness, then nodded to himself, a pleased smile curving his lips. Severus was spending more time at the shop now that Gaia was no longer a baby, which meant more hours on his feet, and so Remus had decided to give Severus a special evening as a treat. The children were with Tybalt and Serenus for the night, which meant he and Severus had the house to themselves for once, a very special circumstance indeed.
He had arranged to purchase a special chair for Severus, and it had arrived that very day. It was modeled on a Muggle thing that Severus had told him about from during his experiences as Severia Blythe, and Remus had contacted a wizarding firm to get a magical version made. He was looking forward to seeing Severus' reaction to the gift, and he'd set it up in the bedroom, along with candles, a bottle of wine, and Chinese take-away from Severus' favorite eatery in Muggle London - something that Severus could eat straight from the carton with chopsticks - as well as a bowl of egg drop soup. Remus had stripped and was now attired only in a towel wrapped around his waist, and he picked up a thick, fluffy bathrobe and slippers before making his way down to the parlor Floo where Severus would arrive. All that was needed now was the guest of honor.
Severus helped close up the shop and took the Floo home, tired but not excessively so. Although he was working at the shop more, he hadn't returned to working all day every day; it wasn't necessary, and he didn't want to, preferring to spend more of his time at home with his family. Deep down, he rather liked being at the shop at least a few hours three or four days per week; he would never admit it aloud, but he liked knowing the shop had turned into a family business, and going in allowed him to spend more time with Serenus and Gaius than he had when he had stopped going in at all shortly before Gaia was born. Besides, working a little outside the house gave him a reason to look forward to returning home, and he stepped onto the hearth rug and looked around with anticipation to see who was awaiting him.
He had expected noise, toys strewn around the room, and at least one of the little hellions running to greet him. Instead, he saw a nearly naked werewolf standing there with a dressing gown and a pair of slippers and wearing little more than a towel and a secretive smile.
"I assume this means I am about to have a wonderful evening," he drawled, moving to greet Remus with a kiss. "Dare I ask what your fertile imagination has come up with this time, or should I go ahead and close my eyes now and let you lead me to whatever decadent extravangance you have planned?"
Remus returned the kiss with enthusiasm, his eyes dancing with amusement. "Ah, you know me so well, my love," he replied, not surprised that Severus had deduced he was up to something that involved indulgent spoiling. "Eye closing isn't necessary until we get upstairs, but you should definitely let me lead you to it. I've sent the children to Serenus and Tybalt for the evening, and so I have all night to spoil you rotten." He held up the robe and slippers. "I'll turn my back while you put these on, just so I'm not tempted to pounce you right here and wear you out before I can pamper you."
Severus accepted the robe and slippers, raising a questioning eyebrow. "Are you certain you don't want to watch?" he purred. "Surely you have enough self-control to manage it."
"Well, when you put it like that..." Remus replied, a flash of heat showing in his amber eyes. "But if you don't get your surprise because I'm overwhelmed with lust at the sight of you, you have only yourself to blame." He stepped back, his lips quirked in amusement. "All right, then, I'm ready if you are."
Smirking, Severus put the robe and slippers on a nearby chair and reached up to toy with the buttons at his collar. "I hardly think 'blame' is the word that will come to mind if you are overwhelmed with lust," he said, but he slipped off his shoes and began unfastening his long jacket without deliberately turning it into a teasing show.
Amber eyes followed the movements of Severus' long fingers as they worked on the buttons, and the wolf let its interest in the proceedings be known. Fortunately, Remus did have self control, enough to keep his more visceral side at bay, although he was definitely aroused by Severus' tormenting game. "No, perhaps not blame," he said, his voice deepening and taking on a rough edge. "Congratulate, perhaps. Although considering I ordered in your favorite foods from your favorite restaurant, I would think you might be annoyed if they got cold while I took my time ravishing you."
"There are charms for reheating food," Severus replied archly. But he continued to undress with swift efficiency, his curiosity over whatever surprise Remus had in store overruling his desire to tempt Remus into ravishing him then and there. Shrugging into the dressing gown, he tied the sash and slid his feet into the slippers, and then he held out his arms by his sides. "There. Is this satisfactory?" he asked.
The glimpses Remus got of Severus' bare skin as he disrobed were enticing, but it seemed that he'd roused Severus' curiosity as much as his desire. "Perfect, as always," he said, then slid an arm around Severus' waist and led him toward the stairs. "I'd been thinking about some of the things you'd told me the Muggles use for pampering themselves, and I was inspired, because of course, pampering you is one of my favorite things to do," he said, eyes gleaming in anticipation of Severus' reaction. "The pool is enjoyable, but sometimes there isn't enough time in our busy day to enjoy it fully. And there might be times when I'm not here for some reason and you need to relax a bit, so I believe I've found something to take care of that."
They reached the door to the master bedroom, and Remus grinned like a small boy. "Close your eyes, my love, and your wolf will give you a big, and hopefully pleasant, surprise!"
"I thought you said you weren't going to ravish me," Severus replied, catching a bit of Remus' playful mood, but he closed his eyes and grasped Remus' arm obligingly.
"That will come afterward," Remus said, placing his lips next to Severus' ear and growling softly. "But for now, spoiling."
Remus opened the door, leading Severus inside and kicking it shut behind them. He'd placed the big chair against one wall, and he drew his wand from the small of his back where he'd stashed it and caused the seat to rotate to one side. "Sit down, carefully," Remus instructed him, easing Severus into the thickly cushioned seat, which had a head rest to cradle Severus' head. He bent down, lifting Severus' feet and removing his slippers before rotating the seat back into position, carefully placing Severus feet against the padded edge of a large basin which held magically conjured and warmed water. Remus sat down on a low seat on the other side of the tub, then looked up at Severus. "All right, you can open your eyes now!"
Severus opened his eyes and looked around, his dark eyes growing wide with surprise when he saw the magically enhanced spa chair. "Where did you get this? Can we keep it?" he asked, already relaxing against the padded cushions. He adored going to Muggle spas, but if he could have his own spa chair at home, he would be delighted.
"You get to keep it, it's all yours," Remus replied, pleased with the way Severus seemed to melt into the chair. "As for where I got it, I had a firm that specializes in magical furniture make it. They were intrigued with the idea and with my suggestions, so they did it for cost since I allowed them to use the design. Not that I can take credit for it, since I just researched the ones you told me about from the spa and converted things to magic. Hopefully that will make it even better; the massaging part of the chair is designed to adjust automatically to where it senses you are most tense, and the footbath fills automatically and stays warm, as well as having a whirlpool you can control magically for duration and intensity. I also had them add a table which lifts up from the side, so that you can have your drinks and food right at hand." Remus pointed to indicate the wine, the bowl of soup, and the take-away box with chopsticks which were within Severus' reach. "The footbath also empties and cleans itself magically, and it will blow warm air over your feet to dry them."
Severus sighed with bliss at the mere thought of such luxuries, and he wiggled his toes in anticipation. "It sounds heavenly," he said, offering Remus a rare smile. "Thank you. I've no idea what I did to deserve it since it is not yet Christmas or my birthday, and our anniversary is long past, but I like it," he added, reaching for the take-away box and sniffing its contents.
The smile was the only reward Remus needed, and he grinned, happy that Severus was pleased with the surprise. "You deserve it just because you're you," Remus said, tapping the footbath so that the water began to bubble and swirl. He lifted Severus' feet one at a time and placed them into the water to allow Severus to enjoy the experience before going on to the next bit. He tapped the base of the chair, and the massaging effects started up. "You know how I feel about spoiling you. I'd give you something like this every day of the year, if I were clever enough to think up something new that often! But I was hoping this would be something you could use often; sometimes even fifteen minutes of privacy and a footsoak might help your day seem better. And of course, when we have time to indulge, as we do now, I'll massage your feet and legs, and I'll even paint your toenails, if you'd like." He gestured to a pile of warm towels near his leg and a basket which held a selection of Severus' products from Alchemy and Ecstasy.
"That sounds perfect," Severus replied, sighing again as the heated water relaxed him even more. There was little more that ranked higher on the list of relaxing activities than a nice hot footsoak, unless it was a massage, and he could feel himself practically liquifying under the soothing effects of the magical massage. "I would indeed like that."
"Excellent." Remus poured some lotion into his hands and began to rub Severus' legs above the level of the water. "So, how was your day? Things starting to get going for the holiday season?"
"Mmm...." Severus' eyes were half-lidded as he gazed down at Remus, thoroughly relaxed in his new chair. "As a matter of fact, we are. The three of us had a planning session this afternoon and generated some ideas for decor and merchandise. Serenus suggested that I create some lotions, shampoos, and other such products in holiday scents, and of course, Gaius is going to be in charge of decorating the shop for the holidays."
"Sounds good." Remus smiled warmly back at Severus, the expression in Severus' eyes warming him as well as arousing him. It gave him pleasure to give Severus pleasure, and he continued to massage Severus' leg, edging upward toward his knee. "Something like gingerbread or cinnamon would be something I'd enjoy. You know how I feel about spice." He licked his lips playfully. "We should probably start making plans for the family get together and decide if the two of you would like a getaway for your birthday. Last year's was a big success, after all."
"Something spicy for my wolf. Check." Severus made a mental note to move that up to the top of his production schedule, his expression relaxed and open as he watched Remus work. "Last year's holiday was quite enjoyable, yes," he agreed. "Although I suppose we will not be able to enjoy the same games since those two will be trying to spawn again. Still, that does not mean we cannot go away somewhere together. I am in favor of someplace warm."
"Warm it shall be," Remus agreed easily. "And there are things we could enjoy that wouldn't interfere with any potential spawning." He trailed his hands up above Severus' knee to his thigh, teasing him blatantly. "I'll talk to Tybalt, and perhaps we can come up with something decadent and indulgent. A couples retreat, perhaps? Or an amusement park. Something fun and relaxing."
Severus shivered and let his knees fall open in response to Remus' teasing, his toes curling in the heated, bubbling water. "A couples retreat sounds intriguing," he said, sounding a little breathless even to himself. "But I have faith that you and Tybalt will come up with something suitable. You know what we both enjoy."
"We do, indeed," Remus replied, giving a playful leer. Severus seemed to be enjoying things a great deal, and Remus kept up his teasing of Severus' sensitive flesh. "We'll have to try to beat last year, but I consider that a most pleasant challenge. We're motivated." He paused to pour more of the lotion on his hands. "And after Christmas and your birthdays, we'll start in on the preparations for the next movie, and Severia Blythe can hold court again. I love watching you play the diva, you know."
"Do you indeed?" Severus raised his eyebrows at that. "Why is that?"
Remus thought for a moment, trying to put a name to the reasons why seeing Severus playing the haughty role delighted him so much. "I think... because it's how you should be, how you would have been all your life had the world not treated you so unfairly at such a young age. Full of self-confidence, aware of your charms, flaunting them with utter glee. You are meant to be admired and envied, and I like seeing you that way. It says more than anything else that the past is behind us both, and our lives are what we have made them, not simply an extension of the suffering we both had to endure."
Leaning forward, Severus reached out and caressed Remus' cheek tenderly. "We have both reinvented ourselves, it seems. For all the suffering of the first three decades or so of our lives, we have indeed done well in taking things into our own hands and reshaping them along much better lines. I prefer my life as it is now, centered around you."
Pressing into the caress of Severus' hand, Remus hummed with pleasure. "So do I," he murmured, turning his head to brush his lips to Severus' fingers. "I have the life I've always wished to have, and never dreamed I would have. That's one of the reasons I love to spoil you: to show my appreciation for you making all my dreams come true."
"I have no objections to being spoiled," Severus replied archly. "For all that I spent many years in asceticism, I would rather indulge the hedonistic streak that was apparently buried under all the snark. Gaius is not the only one in the family!"
"Somehow I didn't think you minded," Remus grinned. He began to massage Severus' leg again, but it was more of a caress than a therapeutic touch. "Would you like me to massage your feet now, my gorgeous, haughty diva? You can enjoy the massage and your Chinese food while I do my best to make you feel utterly wonderful."
Severus retrieved the chopsticks and delved into the carton, his appetite for food slightly ahead of other appetites - for the moment. "Yes, I would like that," he replied, favoring Remus with a benevolent look. If Remus enjoyed seeing him play the diva, he would be happy to oblige since it was a part Remus made it easy for him to play. His attention was diverted momentarily, however, by a rapping at the window, and he glanced over to see an owl fluttering at the pane. "It seems one of us has a message."
"What in the world?" Remus stood, glancing at the window in consternation. He knew it couldn't be from Serenus or Gaius, and almost all his other correspondence went through Debi. It wasn't Jane, either, so he knew Debi herself wasn't contacting him. He sighed. "This had better be very important, or someone is going to have a cranky wolf on their hands."
He crossed to the window, admitting the unknown owl, accepting a letter from it with a murmured thanks. There were only a couple of owl treats left in the bowl by the window, since they rarely received messages up here, but he gave the bird one and then watched it flutter off.
"Oh. It's for you," Remus said, raising a brow at the unknown handwriting. He returned to Severus and passed the envelope over.
"For me?" Severus' brow creased in a puzzled frown as he accepted the letter and opened the seal. His frowned deepened as he pulled out the letter, unfolded it, and began to read, and it was only morbid curiosity that compelled him to keep reading rather than consign the entire missive to the fire straight away.
I realize this will come as a shock to you after so many years of silence, but as I grow older, I've come to appreciate the ties that a family offers. I regret our lengthy estrangement, and I would like to mend the rift between us. I would like to get to know you as an adult, and I would like to meet your brother and your families. Can we not forgive and forget? Being surrounded by my son and grandchildren would offer me comfort in my old age. Send word, and I will meet you at any time you please to talk.
"Bah!" Severus flung the letter aside, scowling, no longer relaxed, his body vibrating with tension. "Burn it! I have no intention of answering."
"What?" Remus had seen Severus' thunderous expression as he read the letter, and he bent to pick it up, glancing at it quickly. His own brows rose to his hairline, and then he drew his wand and banished the letter, feeling vaguely unclean for having touched something written by a man so poisonously evil as Severus' father.
He moved to Severus' side, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and holding him tight. "You don't have to answer, and he can't ever touch you or hurt you again, I promise that," Remus said fiercely, the wolf rising up in protective anger in response to his mate's distress. "That man won't get anywhere near you or our children or Serenus and his family. I mean that, no matter what I have to do to protect you."
"No, he will not," Severus agreed fiercely. He slid one arm around Remus in return, drawing comfort from Remus' support and strength. "I don't believe he has changed, but even if he has, I have no desire to subject anyone else to him. He may be a blood relative, but neither Serenus nor any of the children are missing anything by not knowing him."
"Definitely not." Remus nuzzled the top of Severus' head, pressing a kiss to his dark hair. "Any man who would do the things that he did doesn't change suddenly just because he realizes he's old and alone. He's not your family, blood relation or not; he gave up that right before you were even born, when your mother and her sisters sought to escape him. I don't want him anywhere near you, or Serenus, or Gaius, and especially not the children. I have no idea what his game is, but we're not putting anyone in this family at risk. I don't care if he's suddenly pretending to be a perfect angel; it's not worth the risk."
"I agree." Severus leaned against Remus, releasing a slow sigh, and rested his head on Remus' shoulder. "As cynical as it may sound, I do not trust his sincerity. He was dangerous, and while I have seen exactly how much one person may change with the right motivation, I am not convinced he is one of them."
"It's not cynical, it's realistic," Remus replied, caressing Severus' arm soothingly with his hand. "Usually people who can change either haven't done truly heinous acts, or they repented almost at once. That's the difference between people who have made mistakes and those who simply don't care; it's a matter of conscience. Did you notice that he never said he was sorry for the things he had done or that he would like to atone? No, he simply said he regretted that you weren't around - which I rather doubt - and that he wants you to forgive and forget! Those are not the words of someone who regrets their past mistakes; it's the manipulation of someone who wants something and is trying to guilt trip you into giving it to him. He's damned himself by his own words, in my opinion. If he knows what's good for him, he will stay away, because I know that neither of us would hesitate to kill to protect our family."
"Damned right," Severus said grimly. "I am not going to tell Serenus or Gaius about this. If I do not respond, perhaps he will get the message and leave us alone."
"Do you think that not telling your brothers is wise?" Remus asked, biting his lip in concern. "I agree that you shouldn't respond, but perhaps you should warn them, in case he tries to get in contact with them. They should be prepared."
Frowning, Severus considered this. He didn't want to tell them; he didn't want their lives tainted by Tobias as his had been. In truth, he had nursed the obviously vain hope that Tobias Snape had died alone by now, but since Tobias hadn't done the world such a generous favor, Severus supposed forewarned was indeed forearmed.
"I suppose you are right," he said slowly. "I will tell them and warn them not to listen or trust him if he attempts to approach either of them. I should have a word with Tybalt as well. No doubt he will be able to suggest extra security measures, should they be needed."
"I think that's the best course," Remus sighed, squeezing Severus tightly. "He's up to something, and the best we can do is thwart him completely for getting whatever it is he wants. We'll put up extra wards around our house, and Azoth House, and even the shop. We should also warn Nanny Stella, and Serenus and Tybalt should tell Ethelenda and Celestra. If we close ranks against him, there's no way he can hurt anyone."
"Indeed not." Severus pressed a kiss to Remus' bare shoulder, feeling some of his tension drain away now that he had calmed down and reassured himself that Tobias could not harm any of them. He supposed he had experienced the knee-jerk reaction of the terrified, abused boy he had been, a fear so ingrained that it could affect him even now, decades later, but he was an adult, and more importantly, he was not alone and without allies as he had been as a child. He sighed and gazed at his new chair with regret. "I suppose I should tell them now, in case Tobias sent a letter to Serenus as well. I am not certain he would know about Gaius, but he knows about Serenus and the children, which means he has done some research. The question is how thorough that research has been, and I do not want to take any chances."
Remus felt regret for their interrupted evening as well and a surge of resentful anger at Tobias Snape for causing his Severus pain and uncertainty for whatever his own selfish motive happened to be. "That's probably for the best," he sighed, then bent his head so that he could kiss Severus firmly and lingeringly. "But we'll not allow him to ever interrupt another moment of our time after this, even if we have to put the whole Manor under a Fidelius. He's not going to have any control over this family, no matter how trivial. His power over you ended decades ago, and he's not getting it back."
Severus parted his lips and returned the kiss, clinging to Remus more tightly. "No, he is not," he murmured. "That is a chapter of my life that I am happy to leave far behind me and not revisit. I have not felt as if I have a father all these years, and I have not regretted it or felt as if I were missing anything. I certainly am not so eager to fill that hole that I will welcome him with open arms. He is dead to me, and that will not change."
"Definitely." Remus held Severus tightly, then moved back with a sigh of regret. "I'm sorry your night of pampering got spoilt, but I'm going to see to it that you get another, and this one won't be interrupted for any reason!" He smiled and reached out to caress Severus' cheek briefly. "I'll come with you, if you'd like, or I'll take the children out if you'd prefer to talk to your brothers alone. Just let me know what you're more comfortable with, love. I know this isn't going to be easy, but I'll do what I can to help as much as possible."
Severus leaned into the caress, his expression somber. "I should speak with them alone at first, I think, and then we will discuss strategy with you and Tybalt once the children are in bed."
"All right, love." Remus retrieved his wand, then moved back to sit at Severus' feet again. He banished water, then picked up a towel and gently dried Severus' feet, wanting to give Severus the comfort of contact rather than letting the chair do it. Then he stood, returning to Severus' side as the chair rotated, offering his hand to help Severus up. "You get dressed, and I'll deal with the food and candles, and then I'll throw on my clothes and we can go."
Accepting Remus' offered hand, Severus clasped it and rose to his feet, casting a wistful glance over his shoulder at the chair as he headed for the wardrobe to fetch a change of clothes. At the moment, he wasn't certain what annoyed him more: his father contacting him out of the blue or having his pampering interrupted. He put on loose black robes and a pair of shoes and socks, and he retied his ponytail while he waited for Remus, spending a moment fussing in front of the mirror.
It only took Remus a few moments to extinguish the candles and levitate the leftovers down to the kitchen, then he made certain Winslow and Cyanide were settled for the evening before heading back upstairs. He smiled at the sight of Severus in front of the mirror, then quickly put on jeans and a jumper and stepped into his trainers.
"Ready?" he asked, holding out a hand to Severus and giving him a smile of support. "Perhaps we can still salvage part of our evening. At the very least, I want to hold you and let you know that nothing can harm you."
Severus clasped Remus' hand and twined their fingers, squeezing gently. "I know nothing can harm me. Not now. I have too many allies on my side." He drew in a deep breath and released it slowly. "I am ready. Let's go and get this over with so the cuddling may commence as soon as possible."
Nodding, Remus accompanied Severus down to the parlor, so that they could Floo together to Azoth House. He knew Serenus would be surprised to see them, and he could only hope that Serenus and Gaius would be able to deal with the shock with as much strength and grace as Severus had. Tobias Snape had touched all three of the brothers lives with too much evil, and he didn't want the man to unsettle any of them, not ever again. He'd see to it... no matter what he had to do to keep Tobias Snape away from the sons whose lives he had done his best to destroy.