Title: Necessary Measures
Author: Calixta9
Challenges: #56 When a werewolf loses his mate, madness and death can follow, unless the werewolf finds another mate. Snape knows that the side of Light cannot afford another loss at such a critical time in the war. And #18 Lupin just wants to roll over on his back and whine when he hears Snape's menacing voice.


He was doomed. One more time his lycanthropy had cursed him. Remus couldn't even muster up much reaction to his own impending demise. It only served to underscore the burning loss of Sirius.

He'd been given back his other half once, had one glorious chance to be soul mated as he'd longed to be all of his adult life and was not fool enough to believe he'd be given another. Once was more than the world allowed for beings such as he, hovering always between the dark and the light. This time, there was nothing to hold him in the shadows and prevent his final slide into the pit of madness and death.

At the time, he'd believed Sirius was worth the risk. Had been worth the risk, come what may. Sirius was everything Remus could never be, completing him as perfectly as two pieces of a broken coin. Remus sighed and rubbed at reddened dry eyes before reaching for the cup of tea slowly chilling unattended. Grimmauld Place was stultifying and Remus was without tears, without comfort and without his mate. He sat staring unseeingly for what seemed like hours at the elegant tea service.

Finally, he swallowed painfully, standing to return the tea things to the kitchen sink only to startle himself when he hurled the fragile porcelain against the wall. Remus watched the teapot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher all shatter into dozens of pieces, watched the dark tea streak the wallpaper and bit his lip hard enough to draw blood. He was so angry at the inequity of his situation and did his best to squelch the useless emotion. Closing his eyes a moment against the emptiness where Sirius' presence should be, he started up the stairs and ignored the mess for once, taking the iron taste of his own blood and grief with him to bed.


Severus Snape tightened his jaw and barely managed not to grind his teeth as he stared across the table at Albus Dumbledore. The Headmaster was blithely offering him lemon with his tea with that bloody twinkle still showing undimmed in bright blue eyes. Severus glared at Albus and automatically accepted the proffered teacup, long practice with volatile potions making it possible for his agitated grasp to remain gentle against the porcelain.

"I don't think you're taking this seriously enough," he hissed sharply once the pleasantries were out of the way. Severus had no more intention of drinking the tea than he had of being on the cover of Witch Weekly.

Albus bit crisply through a crustless sandwich, chewed and swallowed before answering. "Of course I'm taking this seriously, Severus," he said, his tone soothing. "I have no intention of allowing Remus Lupin to suffer the fate of so many others without a fight."

There was a pause while Severus' black eyed stare burned imaginary beams of magic and mayhem through Albus' body and the older wizard continued to sip his tea. "Well?" Snape finally insisted, leaning forward in his chair as potion stained fingertips tightened against his cup and saucer.

Albus cocked a brow at Severus and reached for a plate of biscuits, offering them to the Potions Master as if Snape were five and in need of a bribe until dinnertime. "Has Remus said anything to you?" Albus questioned gently.

"Of course he hasn't said anything to me!" Severus replied tightly, obviously managing his temper with great difficulty. "I'm the last person Lupin would confide in about such a delicate matter. I despised Black and made no secret of it. Lupin and I barely tolerate each other for the sake of the...for all our sakes," he amended before he could be indiscreet.

"I see," Albus said mildly, taking another swallow of the very good oolong. "Then how can you be sure that the er ...situation is as you perceive it to be?" he asked ever so gently.

Snape took a deep breath and let it out slowly, counting backwards from ten, in Greek. Albus was still twinkling, devil take him! He sucked in more air and imagined steam issuing from his own ears in sheer frustration. "Because outside of Lupin himself, I believe I can safely say I am the foremost authority on werewolf biology," he said finally, taking care to enunciate each word in an attempt not to shout and resorting instead to a touch of sarcasm. "Thanks to your insistence, I might add."

"I see," Dumbledore repeated and took another biscuit. He glanced sideways out the open window then back to the other wizard who was almost palpably vibrating with rage. Really, Severus was getting easier to manage the older he got. Albus allowed himself a smile and a twinkle of satisfaction.

"Then what do you suggest we do, Severus?" he inquired kindly, lifting a brow. "It isn't as if Remus has yet even broached the subject to anyone. Nor is there a ready candidate to take Sirius' place, even if Remus would accept one." Albus swallowed his mouthful of excellent shortbread and reached for his napkin.

"I don't give a flying shrivelfig for Lupin's missish attitude. This is his life we're discussing here." The irony was not at all lost on Severus and his lips pressed together in a thin line the moment the words were out of his mouth. He put the cup and saucer down with a decided snap. "If I have to, I'll take matters into my own hands," he added as he stood up.

Albus blinked up at Snape with what Severus privately thought of as his most addled expression. Why Dumbledore found it necessary to put on this ridiculous act in the first place was utterly beyond his comprehension. The expression did nothing for Snape's temper, that much was for certain. He fumed.

"Surely the decision is up to Remus," Albus pointed out with a lifted brow. "We cannot make him accept another er...solution if he doesn't wish to do so."

Snape opened his mouth to say that they most certainly could if that was what it took but he changed his mind at the last minute. "Perhaps some means can be found to persuade him," he suggested, still fuming but trying to cover it with something more conciliatory. He'd certainly had plenty of practice at that with the Dark Lord after all. Obsequiousness, as distasteful as it was, did have its uses.

Dumbledore gave him a surprisingly sharp look but nodded slowly. "Perhaps. Do what you can Severus," he said and waved his guest towards the door.

Severus was relieved to be dismissed; he had things to do before he flooed to Grimmauld Place. He allowed Albus to press a lemon drop on him then made his escape, heading straight to his workroom. He was going to need a very specific potion for what he had in mind. His lips pulled back from his teeth in a grim smile as he terrified a few first years out of his way en route to the dungeons.


Remus had managed to get the tea stain removed from the rather elderly wallpaper after a fashion though it had proved rather more stubborn than Remus had expected. The teaset was easily reconstructed with a quick Reparo and the appropriate flick of his wand. His heart however was not so simple to glue back into place. Seated in the library, he looked out the window on the rain swept street below him. One hand held a calendar, the other a quill but he'd failed to yet make the mark that would strike off this day as he'd done for each date before this one.

Sirius was over two months gone now he told himself as if trying to force the information to sink into his unwilling brain. There was something in him that simply would not accept the facts as they were. Perhaps it was only that he was looking down the barrel of his own demise as well as the loss of Sirius, part and parcel of the same unpalatable fact. Remus was getting weaker, that much he had to acknowledge. His appetite was nearly non-existent and the last two months' transformations had robbed him of a little more vitality that he'd never regained. There was no telling how much longer he had left, estimates varied and were mostly hearsay rather than researched fact. Most people seemed to feel that one more dead werewolf was a good thing.

Drawing a breath and letting it out slowly, he finally made the mark across the calendar square for this day, the quill a dry scratch against the paper. The shouting match with Snape this morning hadn't helped matters. It didn't really surprise Remus that Snape of all people had an understanding of what was happening to him. After all, Snape had been required to do quite a lot of research into werewolves in order to make his adjustments to the potion Remus was forced to swallow each month.

Remus tossed the quill and calendar both aside and shifted from the chair to the sofa. He was just too tired for all this thinking, worrying, and fretting. None of it added up to a hill of beans in the long run anyway. He only regretted causing Harry additional pain, as he knew his wasting away would do. Otherwise, it would be a relief to pass beyond the veil and hopefully see those he'd cared for most once again. Sirius

His lids drooped closed, the creases of tension and grief around his eyes and mouth gradually smoothing out as Lupin fell into sleep. He lay quietly, arms crossed over his chest as if he were already dead, his breath barely lifting his chest beneath the patched cardigan he wore wrapped around him. The rain continued to pour down outside with no indication it would be stopping any time before morning.


Severus stepped out of the huge kitchen fireplace and fastidiously brushed soot from the shoulders of his robe. He pulled out his wand to work a quick scourgify on himself to remove what was left. Flooing was convenient but it was bloody hell on a man's wardrobe. He sniffed quietly to himself, standing in the silent and nearly dark room as if to get his bearings. The house was silent, but then again it was silent even when filled with people. Something about the place seemed to smother conversations, muffle laughter until each occupant wanted nothing more than to escape it. Staying here couldn't be doing Lupin much good, Snape thought. He stalked silently through the hallways, pushing open a few doors though he was already fairly sure where he would find his quarry.

Walking into the library, he stood for a moment looking down on Lupin. The pallor of Remus' face and the near transparency of the werewolf's closed lids and waxen wrists came as a shock to Severus. It was true that he and Lupin had shouted at each other enthusiastically via the floo earlier in the day, but that mode of communication wasn't known for providing a clear picture of one's correspondent.

Swallowing his shock, Snape hesitated over speaking and finally chose to take the armchair situated close by the sofa rather than awaken Remus right away. For several minutes he simply sat there, giving himself the freedom to examine the other wizard for once without fear of being observed. Lupin's hands were really quite elegant, he found himself deciding as his dark eyes rested on the long fingers and carefully manicured nails. The man's profile, even marred as it was with the thin lines of previous self-inflicted injuries was still pure, not beautiful to be sure yet it reminded Snape of something carved out of ivory and not meant to be touched.

The instinct for acid commentary on the situation was squelched though Severus could not have provided a logical reason why this was so. The idea that he might still be harboring a schoolboy passion for Lupin was too pathetic for Snape to even consider. This was nothing more than concern for a fellow Order member, one they could ill afford to lose. He cleared his throat discreetly, shifting position in the armchair and crossing his ankle over his opposite knee with a rustle of black robe. Surely Remus couldn't sleep all evening.


Remus was aware of a scent in the room, something that smelled faintly of bergamot and juniper, clove and green leaves. His nose twitched, his sense of smell far more acute than a "normal" Wizard's would be. For what seemed a long stretch of time he breathed in the fragrance, associating it with pleasant thoughts and experiences. Slowly his other senses awakened, the faint rustle of fabric, the shift of a body against the leather of the armchair nearby reached his ears as he swam up towards full consciousness. Pain became a part of him once again, lacing itself as a dull ache in his back and shoulders then stabbing him in the temples just before his eyes flicked open.

A pronged holder fitted with fat white candles sat nearby, casting dancing shadows on the high ceiling with its Victorian medallion overhead and Remus could still hear the rain spattering against the window pane. Fully awake now, he shifted enough to glance at Snape sitting quietly beside him with his hands folded across his chest and his entire attitude one of fierce attention.

"Hello," Remus offered, his voice thin and reedy to his own ears. He made no move to sit up just yet; the cushions of the old sofa, now thoroughly cleaned if a little faded were as comforting as anything could be at this moment.

It surprised him really to see Snape sitting there, quiet and non-adversarial for once. He felt sure that Severus would have plenty of pithy comments to make before too much time had passed. Only in their youth could he remember the other man ever being caught without something sharp to say. Remus sighed at the thought. The tip of his tongue slid across his lips to moisten their dry surfaces though at this point his whole body felt weak and desiccated.

"I know," Severus said flatly, tilting his head to look at Remus' profile. He watched the faint pink color surge under the skin of Lupin's cheekbones and watched a trickle of tension take hold of the man's body as the two words sank fully into his mind. There was no way Snape could pretty this up, even if he'd been inclined to such soppiness in the first place. They didn't have time for it.

Lupin concentrated on forcing each finger to remain calm and lax where his hands lay over his chest, rather than allowing them to curl in impotent and humiliated fists. "I rather thought you might," he manfully forced out, his voice too tight for the casual air Remus was trying for. "You're good at knowing things you shouldn't," Remus added with a faint thrill of malice.

Severus' black eyes narrowed on the cameo profile he saw framed against the sofa's dark upholstery. "I could hardly miss the signs," he murmured silkily. "I've been treating your lycanthropy for quite some time now. Surely you didn't think I'd shirk any topic regarding the life cycle of the werewolf in my efforts to aid you." Choke on that, Lupin.

Remus' temper flared and he turned his head, strands of his dark golden hair heavily threaded with gray flopping forward over his brow. Impatiently he shoved his fringe aside and leaned up on an elbow. "Don't start with me, Severus. I'm not in the mood," he said sharply, amber gaze flickering with a kind of daredevil gleam. At this point he had nothing to lose and treading on Snape's toes just now would be rather pleasurable.

Severus' brow rose to a sharp angle but he resisted uttering the retort that sat on his tongue like the sharp taste of absinthe. "What is it you don't want me to start, Remus?" he asked, keeping his voice soft as if he sensed that Lupin's hearing was more acute than his own. "The bit where you're dying or the bit where you refuse to do anything about the fact that you're dying like some kind of lovelorn idiot in a fairy tale?"

Lupin visibly winced and he swung his feet back to the floor, straightening to sit so he could look Severus in the eye, amber striking against onyx with no visible winner. They both looked away as if the eye contact was too piercing for either to endure. Remus sighed and ran his beautiful hands through his hair distractedly. Even though he'd just awakened from a nap, he felt thoroughly exhausted. "It's not as though I have a stable of possible mates bursting down my door," he pointed out quietly.

Snape was making more progress than he'd expected and he sat forward, bringing his own boot shod foot to the carpeted floor. "True," Severus agreed in a slow drawl that drew out the one syllable until it resonated in the air. "You don't. You're a werewolf, not exactly prime material," he said with a touch of sly sharpness. "However, I have to take some umbrage at the notion that no one is beating down your door. I have, after all, been shouting at you every day for a week."

Severus held himself very still, watching Remus' face and the play of emotions the other wizard could never quite hide there. Shock was probably the foremost among them, he decided. Then incredulity and then, it did not surprise him to see anger there. Remus bared his teeth at Severus and glared, the amber of his eyes glowing with the force of his resentment.

"How dare you make a joke of it?" Remus growled, leaping to his feet and ignoring the way he swayed before he locked his knees. "Sirius is gone and I'm dying. This is my life you bloody, greasy, hard-hearted, miserable little bastard," he raged, showing no signs of stopping the rant Severus' words had provoked. "Who do you think you are? Is this your idea of revenge on me, on Sirius? Will you stop at nothing? Offer to whore yourself out so you can finally get even with Sirius and me?"

Snape's temper flared with outrage at that last. It stung more than a little though Lupin had no way of knowing what he'd had to do during his sojourn as a Death Eater. Nevertheless, the word "whore" burned in his brain and he stood up quickly in a rustle of robes settling around his lean frame. "As a matter of fact," he enunciated slowly, forcing more self-control than he was accustomed to exerting as he took the single step that crowded him inside Remus' personal space. "This has nothing to do with revenge, you dolt," he murmured, lips almost brushing the other man's ear. "Black is dead, we were mortal enemies while he was alive. I can't be expected to weep many tears over his loss. This, however, is about you."

Lupin felt suddenly as if he'd stepped out on a narrow and very rickety rope bridge hung over a ravine thousands of metres deep. He swayed; startled by the fact that Snape hadn't started shouting at him in return, that in fact the snarky bastard's attitude was on the verge of seductive. Remus bit his lip, lids closing as the brush of lips against the sensitive curve of his ear and then the sultry murmur of Severus' voice in his ear set off a dozen shivers through his body. Merciful fuck but did the bloody potions master have to smell so good. Why couldn't Snape smell properly of acrid potions? Why couldn't he loom as expected in a fit of temper?

Remus stuttered. His flashpoint anger derailed into an up swell of intense and terrifying arousal. "You don't mean what you're implying," he began. "I know you don't. All you've ever done was sharpen that wit of yours on me as payment for one accidental indiscretion I didn't even know about until it was over!" Despite himself, he took a deep breath, inhaling more of Severus' richly evocative scent into his lungs as if it was catnip and he was a particularly neglected feline.

Severus found himself almost wanting to laugh at the plaintive quality in Lupin's voice. He was about to make an even bigger gamble than the ones he'd tried so far in this little interview. "Lupin, did it every occur to you that there might be another reason that I harried you and condemned you?" he suggested mildly, the tip of his tongue flickering out like the devil's own to touch the sensitive skin just beneath the lobe of Remus' ear. Despite the raw emotions between them, Snape was finding himself enjoying this more than he'd expected.

Remus shivered against him, swaying enough that their bodies brushed together at hip and chest for one heart stopping instant before the werewolf straightened his spine and jerked his head aside. "Of course not," he snarled, something frightened and hunted about his eyes. "I loved Sirius, Snape, I still do and nothing...no game you play is ever going to change that. All I want now is just-just to go to him in peace." And yet, Remus was flushed and nearly quivering with arousal.

Snape backed off, taking a few physical paces away until a meter or so of space yawned between them. "This is not a game, Remus," he said firmly, eyes daring Lupin to disbelieve him. "This is your life and a chance to go on living it, to still be useful." One hand lifted and raked through the strands of his black hair, gleaming dully in the candlelight. "I won't give up," he snapped, belying his words by starting for the door.

Remus could not believe anything he was seeing, hearing or feeling. The sensation of Snape's tongue against his neck and ear was still making gooseflesh crawl over his skin and he was vaguely humiliated to realize the sensation wasn't the least bit unpleasant but rather the reverse. He could still sense the warmth of Severus' body, still smell that delicious fragrance that hung around him compounded of the other wizard's own scent. Remus' body didn't seem to care that Severus was only making this offer for his own reasons, that it was all some kind of act, or that Remus was too tired for this and only wanted to die in peace. Instead, much to Remus' dismay, his cock was straining hard against the fabric of his trousers.

"Go away," Remus urged weakly and sat back down on the sofa. His legs wouldn't hold him up. This had to be some incredibly bad dream. If he lay down again, perhaps he'd awaken or if not, perhaps he'd have a bit more energy to deal with this. One hand lifted to rub at the back of his neck, trying to remove the crick that lay there under the fabric of his shirt collar and cardigan. The other hand treacherously hovered over his blatant arousal before he curled it into a fist against his thigh.

Severus said nothing, but he left the room. He wasn't leaving the house though, not yet. Now that Kreacher had left the house for good and been barred from ever returning, there was no one at all to do any house cleaning or cooking. Lights flickered on with a wave of his wand and he set about making dishes wash themselves and eggs stir themselves with onions, bit of tomato, ham and cheese into fluffy omelettes. Lupin needed to eat, he told himself and let that be justification enough for the two or three dishes he placed in the fridge. They could be warmed up and would still make a good meal for Lupin. In his condition, he needed nourishment.

These self-appointed tasks completed, Snape brewed tea and without compunction added a bit of something extra to the china pot. By any means necessary was not the Slytherin motto without reason. If this was what it took to keep Lupin's death wish in check, then so be it. He'd never shrunk from a course of action once decided upon and he was not about to start. A faint smile hovered around his thin mouth as Severus effortlessly levitated the tea and dinner trays along to the library.

It didn't surprise him to find Lupin stretched out once again on the sofa, though the man's pained tarnished gold eyes snapped open to the small clattering of china and flatware. "Tea, Lupin?" he inquired almost mildly, situating the small table where it would serve both of them. If Snape had any pity left in his heart, he'd have suffered a small twinge as he once more took note of the other man's waxy pallor and general malaise.

"You look like hell," he added as he sat down. Fortunately he suffered no such merciful compulsions.

Remus only stared at Snape as if he were a mirage, a distinctly unpleasant one. "I thought you'd left," he muttered and sat up in a series of small hitches. The comment about how he looked only prompted a snort of derision. "Are you just noticing this now? I assure you Severus, I've never believed myself a beauty."

He nodded to the offer of tea, gaze settling on Snape's stained hands in the simple homely task. Even discolored and in a few places scarred as they were, those hands had an uncommon deftness and a spare elegance Remus could appreciate. He found himself wondering as if in a trance if those hands would be chill or cruel if they touched his bare skin.

The thought brought a fresh stain of color to his skin and Lupin covered it quickly with a sip of the tea, stifling the shiver that ran through him. The steam rising from the spout of the teapot had already told him the flavor would be orange spice, with a hint of something else he couldn't quickly define. "You aren't dosing me, are you?" he asked, but the inquiry was quiet and nearly half-hearted.

He noticed that Snape didn't hesitate to drink from the same pot and took another swallow. The warmth was soothing and mellow as it slid past his tongue and down into his empty stomach. As he sipped from his cup, Remus began to gradually realize that the delicious looking omelette set before him smelled divine and that his stomach was growling. It hadn't done that in days. Remus reluctantly reached for his fork.

Severus only smirked at Lupin, watching with a certain sly pleasure as the suspicious werewolf drank the tea with only the one query. "Of course not," he replied and made a point of drinking down a full cup of the brew before reaching to pick up his own plate.

He didn't begin to eat right away, pausing instead with his supper in hand to watch Remus pick up his fork and begin to eat with a growing appetite. It was difficult to keep the triumphant smirk at bay, but Snape managed it. He'd had a surfeit of practice as an actor of late, and this was only a battle, not the war as Dumbledore was fond of saying.

"You've not been eating, Lupin," he pointed out before paying at least some heed to his own plate. To do otherwise could prompt the other man's suspicions and though he doubted even a werewolf's heightened senses could detect what he'd done, he'd rather take no chances.

"Sod. Off." Remus muttered. He ate neatly but as if he hadn't had food in days, even reaching to serve himself another portion to follow the first. He couldn't understand what had prompted his appetite but the most thorough sniff of both the tea and the omelette could reveal nothing more than the usual smells of food and drink.

Snape wisely didn't comment, a mere lift of his brow and slight widening of his eyes in mimicry of the most vapid of his students when caught at some transgression was enough to convey his meaning. Instead he continued to eat his own meal, perhaps more slowly than Lupin was currently doing, but with enjoyment.

It was only when the dishes were empty and had been set back on the waiting tray to be dealt with later that he spoke again. "I never took you for a masochist, Lupin, despite your idiotic infatuation with Black," Snape said, letting the words purr provokingly off his tongue. He hadn't missed the intriguing reaction the werewolf had to the sound of his voice. If this was a battle, it was one he intended to win and would use whatever weapon fell to hand for that purpose.

Remus looked up from the depths of his teacup, doing his best to muster up a decent death glare. There was no point in attempting a mild manner he didn't feel, not about this subject. "It wasn't idiotic," he said sharply, fingers tightening a bit around the china cup. "Neither am I a masochist. Just because you don't understand love, Severus, is no reason to mock it in others."

Severus gave the werewolf a long look down his nose. "Forsaking for the moment the many points I could make about the sublime stupidity of devoting yourself to Sirius Black, Lupin, I'll go right to the matter more of interest at the moment. Not a masochist? And yet here you are, apparently ready and willing to let yourself waste away in quite a lovely little agony of mourning. It would be beautiful if it wasn't so utterly imbecilic," he replied, voice and gleaming black eyes all but drawing a line and daring Remus to step over it.

Lupin felt a strange tremor almost the moment Snape started to talk. It was as if that resonant and mellifluous voice had the ability to transform into a physical touch. He shivered though the room was warm and licked his lips before he could make himself concentrate on the actual words that were spoken. His physical reaction was distracting, his erection once more pressing against his trousers. The awareness made him angry and uneasy.

"You don't understand anything that isn't a list of potions ingredients or a method of stabbing someone in the back, do you Snape?" Remus said nastily, aware in the dim recesses of his mind that he'd rarely spoken so maliciously in his life. "It so happens that I loved Sirius, an emotion you obviously know nothing about. I can't replace him the way you can a bottle of sodding Pepper-Up Potion. Furthermore, even if I could, I'm not so sure that I would. He deserves some respect for his memory, especially from me!" He blinked, suddenly realizing he was on his feet and shouting.

Far from being offended by Remus' words, Severus had to instead hide his triumphant amusement once more. Finally he was getting somewhere here. He idly tapped his fingers against the side of his cup until the werewolf sat down again, smoothing his hair with a self-conscious air. "What would you know about my experiences with love, Lupin?" he asked, black eyes glittering intently. He wasn't surprised when the werewolf only gave him a blankly skeptical look.

Brow lifting in challenge, Snape continued, "I hardly think it respectful to let the object of Black's erstwhile affections waste away rather than do something about it." He set aside the cup and stood once more in a flourish of raven hued robes. "You're taking the easy way out, the coward's way and you know it," he declared, using his voice and words as a goad.

For a moment, Lupin only stared at Snape as if he'd never seen him before, then he growled low in his throat and jumped to his feet. "You have some kind of nerve, you miserable excuse for a man," Remus hissed, standing so close to Severus that their noses practically touched. "You've never loved anyone." His index finger jabbed into Snape's sternum as he spoke. "You've never been in mourning for someone you loved." Another jab. "You've never cared a jot about anything but your own damnable agenda and your own skin." He jabbed yet a third time. His eyes gleamed practically pure gold with fury; sweat popping out on his skin.

It was a relief in a way to vent his ire this way. For weeks now he'd been angry to the point of madness and had no one on whom to vent it. All this time he'd swallowed it down and accepted platitudes, meaningless sympathies and stupid eulogies. Now, he could be righteously angry, letting Snape have it as he so richly deserved after his comments this evening.

He was startled when Snape's hand snapped up to take hold of his own, forcing his jabbing finger to press a little more firmly against the solid albeit thin wall of the potion master's chest. "You are quite wrong," Severus said firmly. "On all counts."

Remus looked into Severus' eyes, stunned by their hot insistent glow. His breath hitched and more than half of his sudden rage drained away just as quickly as it came. "So are you," he said, trying to find his footing again. The grip Severus had on his hand and the proximity of their two bodies were conspiring to make him feel hot and dizzy and weak with the pounding of his heartbeat. He was aware of his body playing tricks on him again, responding unbidden to those eyes and the fierce intensity coming from Snape. For the first time, he allowed himself to admit that he'd always been aware of Severus this way and pushed it aside, smothered it into silence.

"Am I?" Snape insisted. He was on the brink of something and Severus felt as if he wanted to hold his breath lest whatever it was fade away. "I don't want you to die," he said softly and let his free hand slide beneath Remus' hair, cupping the back of his neck. Using that grip, Severus brought their mouths together, covering Remus' with his own and kissing him gently but as if he were starving for the taste of Remus' mouth. His tongue darted inside, sliding deep and tangling with the other Wizard's hungrily.

Remus shivered, unable to look away. He was surprised to find himself ever so slightly taller than the other man. Nevertheless, he felt as if Severus was quite the more dominant personality in the room and wondered a bit dizzily why he'd never noticed that before. He made a faint shocked sound, making an abortive move to pull back from Severus the moment that hand slid against his bare neck. Severus' grip was too strong, too commanding and Remus whined in his throat as he was forced to turn his head to meet the brush of Severus' lips with his own.

His toes curled against the pleasure that suffused him and Remus jerked against the grip that held him gently but firmly in place. He didn't want to want this, to feel his tongue coiling and flickering against Severus' and know he was aching for more. Both hands came up against the potion master's chest but for a moment they might as well have been useless and without feeling. All of Remus' attention was bent instead on the way they kissed and the way their bodies were within a breath of grinding together. He whined again, smothering the moan that wanted to escape him and pushed hard against Severus' chest until the kissing stopped.

"No," he muttered, miserably aware that he was shivering and sweating and so painfully erect that his teeth ached with it. "I...I don't know what this...what you're playing at, but no. Just, no." As a protest, it sounded weak even to Remus' ears but it was the best that he could do at the moment.

Snape had been as drawn into the kiss as Remus was, perhaps even more. It startled him to find the flavor of the werewolf's mouth so delicious, so heady and decadent. He was spared giving voice to his own moan but only by the thinnest of margins. He held on to Remus, refusing to let him go, delving his tongue deeper and coaxing the werewolf's to dance and flicker and stroke as well. It was good, intense and sensual and he wanted it to continue, the sound of that sexy little noise from Remus setting fire to his senses.

He hissed roughly when Remus forcibly pushed against his hold and brought about the end to their kiss. A glare made Severus' eyes narrow and his thin chest rose and fell with harsh breathing. "I'm not playing at anything, you lamentable fool. Do you think I make it a habit of forcing myself into other men's houses and feeding them? Much less kiss them?" And he wanted to go on kissing Remus too, hours and hours of kissing and touching and stroking, he thought with a suppressed shiver.

His robes hid his hardened flesh for the moment, but if he had his way that wouldn't be the case for long. His deft touch stroked up into Remus' hair, nails dragging over the man's sensitive scalp. "Don't be afraid, Remus," he urged and spread his hands to cup Remus' face, thumbs almost tenderly stroking over high cheekbones. It had been what seemed a lifetime since he allowed himself to touch anyone like this and he reveled in it.

Remus couldn't breathe. Confusion was roiling inside him, all the mixed up and frustrated emotions of the last few months welling inside him until he wanted nothing more than to cast himself against Severus' neck and let everything go. It would be easier. He let a small sound that he knew was pathetic pass his lips, eyes filling with unwanted tears as he looked into those other fathomless depths. "I'm not - I'm not afraid. I'm angry and- and sad, and I bloody well don't understand you!" he answered with a sharp exhale of frustration.

Severus' touch was warm on his face and Remus couldn't make himself refuse the comfort that seemed to be on offer. Slowly, bit-by-bit he let himself sway against Severus' body and lower his head until it was on the other man's black clad shoulder. A dim small voice was shrieking that this was a mistake, that he would surely regret this but for the moment, Remus squelched it and savored instead a strength and warmth outside his own sorely taxed body and heart.

"This is a bad idea," he protested, his voice thin and reedy.

Severus' didn't argue with Remus' insistence that he wasn't afraid but merely chose to wait the werewolf out. He wasn't in a position to make Remus do anything even if he would have. He breathed a deep sigh when Remus' cheek nuzzled into his shoulder and the man's weight swayed against him in an unintentionally teasing brush. Severus let one hand slide down to rub slow comforting patterns on Remus' back while the other remained in Remus' hair and they stood like that for a little while.

"Is it?" he asked. "I've done far more ill-advised things, things that I would change if I could," Severus said, his tone very dry yet still calm and soothing in Remus' ear. "This seems like a fairly good idea, in my opinion."

Remus sighed and opened his mouth to enumerate all the reasons this was a bad idea but a wave of sadness and longing swelled inside him and he changed his mind. "I suppose you think that I'm going to throw myself at your feet and let you do whatever you like with me?" he murmured softly. The words were intended to be playful but he was too melancholy for that even now in Severus' grasp.

"Perhaps not at my feet no," Severus answered after a moment's pause. "I know you're tired and ... defeated. I know what that feels like, Remus. Perhaps ... " Bloody hell the words were hard to say but he forced them past his dry lips, past an old painful anger. "Perhaps we can't be some foolishly romantic pair but we can ... comfort each other at the least." Severus had never so hesitated over speaking his mind before tonight. His own fumbling words made him fight not to stiffen against an expected rejection and he continued to hold the werewolf against him.

It soothed Remus' guilt, the hovering sense that he should not be allowing Severus to hold him much less do anything else with him; that he should not be allowing himself to receive comfort from someone his bonded mate had hated and who had hated Sirius, to hear that Severus wasn't expecting more than he could give. He was weakening in his resolve to die, the desire to fade away seemed to be replaced with the thick pulse of his lifeblood in his veins, reminding him he that still had work left to do. Very slowly he tipped his head back and searched the other man's face carefully. There was nothing there but a guarded memory of pain and the flicker of hope in Severus' eyes, heavily laden with a banked fire that Remus wanted badly to warm him.

He brought his hands up a little uncertainly, letting them hover cupping the air on either side of Severus' face. "Perhaps you're right," he agreed, speaking each word slowly as if he was taking some kind of vow. "I want a promise from you though, before...before anything else." It was a small thing but if they were to have any hope of managing some fragile peace between them, it was something that had to be said. Remus waited until he had Severus' eyes locked with his own and gently brought his hands to slide along the edges of Severus' high collar buttoned up to his throat.

"I know you and Sirius...well. But, I loved him, rightly or wrongly. I need you to respect that, respect me, even if you don't approve. I can't deal with fighting within my home as well as outside it," he said with quiet firmness. This was a deal breaker despite the insistent throbbing of his groin and the yearning of his chilled heart.

Severus wanted to clutch Remus closer, push him against a wall and hold him trapped, refuse to let him go. His fingers flexed, showed a disturbing tendency to share where they still sifted through Remus' hair. Still, he held quiet, watching Remus' face and the flickers of achingly tired amber eyes. His chest lifted with the depth of his sigh and he rubbed his cheek against the werewolf's scarred one before he answered with a harsh solemnity that made his voice rasp in his throat. "I respect you," he said, the words so short and flat there was no way they could be misunderstood.

His lips curled in the shadow of a sneer, but the expression faded as his thumb pad brushed over Remus' lips. "It will seem strange to me not to fight at every turn," Severus breathed. "I can't promise to be other than I am, a sharp and sour man composed of scars and meanness." His thumb pressed a little harder when Remus opened his mouth to speak, asking a moment more. "But, I will do what I can."

Remus felt Severus' husky words vibrate somewhere behind his eyes and sink into his bones and he refused to feel ashamed of the tears he blinked back with a trembling sigh. "What have you done to me, to bring me to this point?" he asked softly but didn't expect nor did he want an answer. Instead, he covered the small distance between them and kissed Severus slowly, letting their lips press together almost by gravity rather than by volition. Their mouths brushed back and forth, back and forth until friction wasn't enough and then the tip of his tongue begged rather than demanded entry to the rich molten heat of Severus' mouth.

Severus felt a sharp twinge of guilt, his hands curving against the pale blue collar of Remus' shirt in a spasm that he wrestled into stillness in time to meet Remus' kiss. The guilt receded to be replaced with warmth that quickly flared into heat. He gathered the other man closer against him, cursing the heavy clothing they both wore. When he set his mind on this course he hadn't been prepared for it to feel so good, for his body and mind to want this much, this badly. He shuddered and kissed Remus back, barely managing not to make it a voracious thing.

Remus stumbled, pressing more heavily against Severus and gathering up folds of the man's heavy black robes in both hands as if he meant to tear the fine serviceable wool right off Severus' angular shoulders. Gods, how could Severus taste like that? Like black licorice and orange spice and darkly erotic things Remus had no names to describe but oh he wanted them. He could feel Severus now, slim but firm against him and the hard jut of the potions master's erection against his hip promising so many pleasures he ached to have now that they seemed within his grasp.

The two of them swayed together, bodies rubbing together in a sudden fierce blaze of need. Their arms were tight around each other and for the moment, there was no dominant partner only the clutch of body to body. Both men made small noises, half smothered in the need for oxygen as pulses raced and hearts pounded. Hands groped and clutched and pressed as if to get that first wave of need assuaged before they met the next and the next surging within them both.

Severus was the first to break away, just enough that they could both gasp for breath while their mouths still hovered within a hairsbreadth from one another. He let his hands curl into fists in the folds of Remus' cardigan, tugging at it impatiently. "I want this off," he hissed, making no bones about the desire spiking in his blood stream. "I want to touch you and taste you and find out everything that makes you whimper."

As he spoke, he pushed his knee between Remus' legs and crowded against him, using his grip on Remus' sweater to keep the werewolf from stepping back. "I want you to live, Remus," Severus added, shifting so he could reach the werewolf's ear with his lips and snake the tip of his tongue inside the shell in a tantalizing serpentine kiss.

Remus' knees went weak and he clutched at Severus' robes just as tightly as he was held, taking satisfaction in digging his nails into the fabric. He ground himself against the sinful pressure offered by the other man's hip and thigh, gasping at the stark sensations that made him squeeze his eyes closed against the lust piercing him to the bone. "Yes, yes, yes," he panted.

It was good to finally and at last feel so blisteringly alive. He spared only one more saddened thought for Sirius, he'd always love the man but Remus' heart would not stop beating. He clutched even more tightly at Severus as if to banish the invisible third man in the room and whined at the wet, hot stroke of tongue against his ear. "Let's ... bloody hell Severus! Let's go upstairs." Even though he made the suggestion, he didn't make any real attempt to follow through on it.

The werewolf tasted so good, Severus thought distractedly. He hadn't expected that, hadn't wanted to expect anything in this situation. Nevertheless the scent of Remus' skin and hair was warm and intoxicating and the flavor of the skin he slowly traced beneath the lobe of Remus' ear and down his neck gave him a shock of pleasure. He grazed his teeth against Remus' throat and hummed with appreciation at the other man's gasping cry.

"Yes, upstairs," Severus agreed and shifted back to press a kiss to Remus' mouth. "Quickly, I must insist. I don't want to wait any longer." He didn't care that his urgency had to be reflected in his eyes or that Remus could feel the way his twitching cock jutted forward with every grinding brush of their bodies. The crucial point was that they both be stripped naked and more or less horizontal in the next few minutes.

Remus shivered and literally twisted the bits of Snape's robes that he was clutching, surprised when a few buttons sprang from their moorings to spill nearly noiselessly against the rug. His head tipped to the side to allow Severus' teeth their play with his neck as he strained to bring air into his heaving lungs. He burned; sweat slicking his skin beneath his clothing to betray his acute arousal. Who could have known that those slightly yellowed teeth could do such things to him, until he moaned with it?

He met the too-brief kiss with one of his own, amber eyes gone black at the center where his pupils were dilating rapidly. "Yes, quickly," he agreed and bit his lip. One hand detached itself from the white knuckled grip on the potions master's clothing and he pulled back enough to lead the way from the room and up the stairs. Remus felt nearly blinded, aware of nothing so much as the warm presence of Severus' body behind his own.

Severus drew several deep breaths but they did nothing to cool him. Right now there were two things he wanted more than anything else in the world: Blessed nakedness and the chance to explore Remus' body. The practice of years allowed him to keep a rigid self-control, permitting the other man to draw him forward by that urgent grip on his clothes despite the desire to simply drag Remus down onto the floor. He did place one hand on the side of Remus' waist, the tips of two fingers pressing cardigan and shirt upwards enough to let him touch bare skin.

Halfway up the stairs Remus stopped and Severus caught himself on the balustrade just in time to brace himself for the way the werewolf rubbed back against him in a manner Severus could never have anticipated. "Damnable tease," he grated roughly, his free hand sliding around to hold Remus against him. Devil take it but he was in danger of disgracing himself, back curving to grind his hips forward just there where his cock seemed to nestle right against the cleft of Remus' arse. Even through their clothes the contact was a sizzling shock. His erection flexed heavily, straining against his trousers and Severus felt almost maddened with the compelling want burning through his nerves.

Remus hadn't really intended to stop until it occurred to him that Severus would hardly want to sleep in the same bed he and Sirius had shared. He had no time to broach the subject before the other man was nearly pressed against him. Temptation was too much for Remus to resist and he swayed back against the solid heat of Severus' body, to be greeted both by the deliciously hard jut of Severus' erection and that harsh growl in his ear. He grabbed for the banister to keep from losing his balance and only rubbed harder against the owner of that seductive voice.

"I'm ...not teasing," he muttered, grinding his teeth. He pulled away and started up the stairs again, physically hauling himself up each one. "I swear you could talk a saint into an erection," Remus nearly moaned when he'd reached the top of the stairs. His mind was flashing all the words he wanted to hear Severus say, the dirtier, the filthier the better. He deliberately did not turn down the hall towards his room (and once Sirius') but rather led the way to one of the guest rooms that he knew was still made up.

Severus didn't answer though he found the roughly muttered statement intriguing to say the least. Instead, he concentrated on getting the rest of the way upstairs and preferably into a room with a bed. As he walked, he shrugged off his over robe and began undoing the buttons on his jacket. Once inside the room, he tossed the jacket and robe over the chair beside the door and leaned back against the panels to watch Remus rather nervously pull down the spread on the bed.

"I presume you already have an erection," he said softly, his voice rougher than it was normally. "However, I shall keep the information in mind should I have need of it some other time." His shirt collar was open, his cufflinks removed and dropped into his trouser pocket as he spoke. One hand then very deliberately dropped to press against the solid bulge of his cock pushed up against his flies. His breaths left him in a sharp exhale as his hips rocked upwards against the firm pressure.

Remus finished plumping the pillows and turned back to Severus just in time to take in the titillating sight of a slowly undressing Severus Snape and to let his eyes rest on the hard evidence of his excitement. He moaned nearly under his breath and began shedding his own clothes; sweater and shirt pulled off in one piece and left rather carelessly on the dresser. He'd just pulled his belt free of the loops of his trousers when the graceful if stained drape of Severus' hand pressed against his cock.

"Now who's the tease?" he demanded peevishly. All other considerations had fled from his mind as if it were a sieve. Now there was only the pulsing wanton need coursing through his veins. He wanted Severus, and his hands itched with the desire to touch, lips burned with the ache to caress and his cock was one fierce continuous throb. "Stop that," Remus added as he shed his trousers, socks and underpants in one swift flurry of motion.

"Don't you like it?" Severus asked, too aroused to make the words sound cold or uncaring. Instead the low notes of his voice made a taunt, a sexual challenge out of them. He found that he enjoyed the way Remus' eyes were fixed on him, on the slow motions of his hand and his pelvis, the pleasure of his own touch doubling and redoubling under the hot eyes watching him.

His own gaze was fixed without blinking on Remus and his lips quirked at the way the werewolf shed his clothing so quickly. "Stop? What will you do if I don't?" Severus drawled. He had no intention of letting himself come before he'd made very sure of what he'd come here to do, but there was something in him that couldn't resist provoking a reaction from Remus. It would please him no end to think Remus might be even slightly possessive.

Remus didn't even realize he was launching himself at Severus until he was already slamming into the slim form draped so artistically against the door. "This," he husked, spearing one hand into Severus' thick black hair and angling his head to avoid the potion master's forceful nose to kiss him as if he were ravenous. His other hand dropped to pull Severus' hand away form the current object of his most ardent lust, worming inside the loose fit of Severus' trousers to take hold of the long, thick cock within them.

The kiss took no prisoners and demanded everything. His tongue swept inside the other man's mouth and insisted that he had every right to the alluring flavor he found there. He stroked against Severus' palate, explored his teeth and tangled their tongues together in a languid in and out thrust that mimicked the way Remus' hips thrust against Severus'. The need for fresh oxygen beyond what he could get in quick drags through his nose made him break the kiss and bury his face in Severus' shirtfront, nipping and kissing at any skin he found revealed by the unbuttoned folds of linen.

Severus groaned under the sudden assault, feeling as if the floor beneath his feet was shifting. He kissed Remus back in the same reckless almost painful fashion, sucking at the velvet glide of Remus' tongue when he had the chance. The hand squeezing him in rhythmic pulses though was something else again. Remus' fingers seemed to know just how to touch him, what he needed intuitively so he had nothing to do but hold his breath against the cries welling up in his arched throat.

He held Remus close against him as if afraid that the man would suddenly disappear if he did not keep a firm grip on him. He was shuddering heavily, eyes heavy lidded and blatantly intent on sex as he shakily coaxed Remus head up so he could look into his eyes. The werewolf was practically a changed man; even his hair seemed to crackle with electricity, with the depth and ferocity of his changed nature. There was a flush on Remus' cheeks, his lips kiss reddened and wet, those eyes glowing with a firestorm of desire. Severus could finally let himself embrace his attraction to Remus and hold nothing back.

"Come fuck me," he drawled with a languid roll of his pelvis, letting the spark and hiss of the lust between them race over his own skin until all the fine hairs stood up along his arms and legs.

Remus was avid; the surge of animal power overwhelming after what seemed a lifetime denying it. He all but tore at Severus' trousers until they fell open to let him see the hard flesh he'd been squeezing and stroking. Loose cotton underpants were no match by the heavy length of cock and tight sac beneath. He licked his lips, wanting to sink to his knees and breathe the musky and vibrant scent of Severus' body. He was made to look up from his rapt appreciation of the blood-gorged erection, meeting the glitter of the other man's eyes with another shock. Merlin preserve him but he wanted Severus so badly in every way possible.

"Yes, fucking God, yes," he hissed, and backed off to the bed, hurriedly shedding the remainder of his clothes with no concern for them. Remus' mind was consumed instead with the thought of having, taking, mating with Severus. He bit back a whimper, dropping a hand to squeeze at his own cock in a useless attempt to soothe the ache there. He held his wand in one hand and with a small smirk he directed it's tip at Severus and murmured a wicked little charm.

Severus' cock twitched and flexed with the blood surging, gorging its length, pushing past the foreskin to reveal the sticky wet crown. The cooler air was nearly a caress in itself and the swipe of Remus' tongue in that suggestive way nearly undid him. He watched Remus back up, watched him strip but then was forced to look away in order to bend and remove first one boot and then the other, setting them under the chair that held his other clothes.

His white shirt flapped open as he moved, the tails brushing over his arse and thighs in a way that created whorls of spinning sensation under his skin. Remus chose that moment to work his charm and Severus caught hold of the chair to keep from falling as he felt himself cleansed and prepared all in one odd sensation. It wasn't painful but it was enough to make him shake and growl as he peered up at Remus through the strands of his sweat damp hair. "Bastard," he accused, but the word had no bite.

Remus only beckoned Severus towards him, his too thin frame and ascetic appearance overshadowed by something else entirely. He lay back on the bed, head on the pillows, one shaking hand still employed to stroke himself in a slow up and down motion that rolled his fingers over the straining head, toying with his foreskin. He felt infused with strength in a way he hadn't known for far too long. It was heady, like drinking firewhiskey too fast and Remus knew it couldn't last. He wallowed in it for the time he had.

Severus finished stripping with more deliberation, partly to prove to himself that he still had self-control and partly to draw out the anticipation for a few more moments. He laid his trousers and underwear on the chair and straightened, shoving his hair off his face with impatient hands. Making himself think one last time about what he was doing, he prowled after Remus, unashamed of the scars on his narrow frame. He too was underweight and bone thin but the skin stretched over them was startlingly pale and smooth. His chest was hairless though a fine trail began just below his navel to lead straight down to the unequivocal jut of his erection.

The growl came from Remus' throat unbidden, nearly savage in the hushed atmosphere of this bland bedroom. The lamp beside the bed cast a glow over the bed and he lay in it as if it were a pool of golden sunlight. He knew he was bony, his chest lightly strewn with hair, the niche of his hipbones and joints of his knees almost sharp enough to cut. None of that mattered, not when he and Severus were being drawn into this primal dance that sent burning tendrils crawling through his veins. Remus watched Severus come to him, fisting his cock harder, squeezing it almost roughly as the hunger swelled higher until he nearly shook with it.

Bloody hell, Severus thought. He'd never imagined the werewolf could look like this, gleaming with sweat and so flagrantly aroused it made his own body jolt just to look at him. He hissed between his teeth in answer to the growl, moving up onto the bed and crawling from its foot towards Remus. His back arched in a lurid curve, thrusting out both arse and the bounce of his erection like an animal displaying itself.

Severus let his mouth drop to Remus' knee, grazing it with his teeth and then licking the spot with a liquid flick of his tongue. Again he savored the taste of Remus' skin and eased up a little farther to nip again and again at Remus' thigh, following each small bite with the lap of his tongue. He could hear Remus making small gasping noises as his mouth eased higher and drank those down too as if they were an intoxicant he couldn't live without. This was exquisitely erotic, and he felt as if he could devour Remus whole, his fists gathering in the sheets as he inched higher and higher.

Chest rising and falling with panting breaths, Remus allowed Severus' mouth to attack him with those seductive nips and licks, spreading his legs wider to accommodate the inching along his thigh. His cock pulsed, his eyes drooping in an almost drowsy look as the excitement built and built. He felt swollen with it, not just his erection but also his whole body as if suddenly his skin was too tight for him. It wasn't painful, in fact it was delicious.

Remus shuddered, hand pausing to squeeze the head of his cock as he felt Severus' sultry breath on his taut balls. Sweet Circe! It was good and nearly unbearable at the same time. His hips bucked up as if inviting Severus to lick and nuzzle against him, one knee drawing up to press his foot against the clean sheets. Huffing cries fell from his panting lips, guttural near grunts as his head fell back and that wicked mouth sucked one of his tight sacs inside with an audible purring slurp.

There was nothing but fire, licking its way over his flesh, expanding him in some way Severus had no thought left to examine. His skin burned, his teeth ached, his lips were chafed and swollen, he felt hungry and open to the point it should have frightened him but left him only eager like a schoolboy. The way Remus' pelvis jerked up before him was like offering a banquet to a starving man and Severus pounced. He tipped his head, brushing his nose against the tender wrinkled flesh, breathing in the scent of Remus deeply as if he could inhale the man then opened his mouth to draw one ball into his mouth, working it carefully with his lips as his tongue flicked and lapped. It sent tingles through when Remus caught hold of his hair, tugging his face closer against Remus' hair roughened groin.

Oh, Merlin! Remus jerked again and again, giving up his grip on his twitching length to bury both hands in Severus' hair and haul that sodding gorgeous mouth harder against him. His nails dragged against Severus' scalp and he could feel the tip of his mate's wet cock brushing against his leg, but mainly he was aware of nothing but sublime pleasure. He had all he could do not to writhe completely out of control, groaning non stop as the heat and fierce bliss washed over him in tickling waves behind Severus' mouth and demonic tongue. He should have known from the way that Severus used his mouth to let fly such cleverly cutting remarks that his tongue would be just as savage in sexual ways.

Severus hummed around his mouthful, working to take the matching sac inside as well but they were too tight, too full to fit so he settled for lapping at them in a merciless tongue bath interspersed with careful suckling kisses. Only when he'd gotten most of the salty dark flavor of Remus' sweat from the sensitized skin did he relent enough to draw the flat of his tongue straight up the length of Remus' cock and twirl it across the straining crown glistening with milky fluid. "Mmm," he approved, not even once thinking about the incongruity of what they were doing. All considerations save pleasure and lust had melted away like fog before a burning sun.

He pulled against Remus' grip on his hair, relishing the burn on his scalp as he looked up at Remus. "Don't you think it's about time before we both go mad?" Severus murmured, reaching up with one hand to slide it over Remus' chest. His look was expectant, challenging, demanding - the dark glow of his eyes piercing as he stared into Remus' own incandescent gaze. It didn't' surprise Severus at all to hear Remus give that animal snarl or that he leaned over to kiss Severus hard enough to bruise before he moved to put himself behind Severus in a few graceful movements.

"Take hold of the headboard," Remus ordered roughly, hands sliding all over Severus' body possessively. He was shaking with need, quivering and desperate for friction, to push himself inside Severus' tight confines and possess him but Remus made himself take one more moment to just feel the smooth warmth of his mate's flesh under his itching palms. Remus didn't need to look to know that Severus had obeyed him; he felt it in the flex of muscle under nearly translucent skin.

He dropped his head, nuzzling against the center of Severus' back, dragging his cheek back and forth over the scars he could see as fine silver lines there. Remus kissed Severus and then peppered more quick hard kisses down the line of his spinal column all the way to the cleft of his upturned arse then bit the fleshy muscle sharply. He was careful not to break the skin but it was hard enough to leave a rapidly reddening mark in the wake of Severus' surprised yelp. Looking up, he could see Severus' head hanging low and those splendid potions marked hands grasping the spindles of the headboard tightly.

Severus was shaking, helpless to control the way his backside arched towards Remus like some kind of whorish offering. It should have shamed him but he was long past any such thoughts. He had nothing but empty want that made him frenzied with the waiting stretching out and out under Remus' lips caressing his spine. He was cursing under his breath, as richly and inventively as possible until the bite shocked him into a cry and a squirm.

"Damn you, Remus, do it!" he husked, trying to order but having no authority, only supplication. Thankfully he wasn't made to wait but was immediately given the blunt hot press of Remus' cock against his entrance and then the thick piercing drive inwards that forced his flesh to give way. The friction was unbelievable, chafing despite Remus' charm because he hadn't done this in so bloody long. Severus moaned, clenching his fingers tighter around the wood cylinders in his hands and arching his spine to push back against Remus' thrust.

Remus' body was every bit as impatient and frantic as Severus', perhaps more. His muscles stood out beneath his sweat-wet skin as his hands clamped themselves to his mate's hips and positioned himself to enter Severus' body. His eyelids fluttered with the first brush of his engorged cock head against the small puckered opening and he took a deep breath, holding it as he began to push inside. Severus felt fever hot around him, clamped tightly against his cock as he worked his way inside in a long blood-boiling drive.

For a few seconds, Remus could do nothing but grind his teeth and wallow in the ecstasy searing through his nerves. It was so good, Severus was so fucking tight to the point that the rapture was nearly pain and he shuddered, fighting against the ball tingling orgasm roiling at the base of his spine. He could feel Severus twisting, pressing against him until their hips nearly banged together, sensing more than hearing the throaty rough sounds coming from Severus' throat. He closed his eyes tightly then began an equally slow withdrawal, nails digging into the skin of Severus' hips as instinct demanded a fast, mad rush.

He was never going to live through this, Severus thought a bit wildly. They'd barely started and already he was a sweating, groaning mess dripping pre-come onto the sheets beneath his knees. He could hardly feel his fingers because he was holding onto the headboard so tightly and every move Remus made behind him seemed to send a fresh wave of arousal through him until he felt incandescent from the heat. His heart was beating hard like a caged animal in his chest and he felt the small muscles of his opening trying to clutch at the hard length pulling out of his arse bit by bit.

The second thrust slammed him forward so that Severus had to brace against the wood at the head of the bed. He cried out with the ferocity vented on him, repeating Remus' name as if it were a charm. It hurt and felt delicious and was going to make him come too soon if this kept up and Severus was scrabbling at what once was an iron-clad self control, consumed by the urge to howl like some mad thing. "Yes, Remus, yes, more, harder," he urged, convinced he was going to feel Remus' cock in his throat any moment as his lover ground in a hard figure eight against and within him.

Remus had never expected Severus to be so passionate, to splinter apart like this in his arms but he reveled in the cries and moans and wanton hitches of his mate's hips against his own. He leaned over Severus' back, sliding one hand around his mate's torso to hold their bodies as tightly together as flesh would permit, beginning to thrust harder and faster. Severus' tight channel gave way now, enough that he could slide more easily against the lubrication provided with the charm he had worked earlier but it was still enough of a struggle to provide a frisson of added lecherous pleasure. He angled his body, hunching a little so he could plunge up and in at a slight angle, searching for the motion that would stimulate Severus' prostate.

The sudden throaty near scream Remus provoked from Severus told him he'd found it and he exploited the weakness with a series of short ruthless strokes. Severus began to tremble; hissing urgent curses and near pleas under Remus' ferocious attention and Remus gloried in it. He bit at the back of Severus' shoulder, his thrusts lengthening again into grinding surges that left no doubt that he was plumbing his mate fully and completely. He too was whining, groaning, a thundering release wending its decadent way through him, coiling around the base of his spine, tightening his balls and making his cock jerk inside Severus' body.

Severus relished the feel of Remus' arms around him, the near savage press of that cock inside him, a red mist of pleasure suffusing him with every rough strike that bore down against his prostate. His blood was beating fervently in his pulse points, surging through his cock and balls until he whimpered with abandon. He needed to come, had to come, would die to come, the white-hot craving burning him like lightning would if a man could live through its surge within his very cells.

He'd never been so grateful for another man's hand as when his lover's fingers curled possessively around his cock. Severus' breath caught as he swayed between the vigorous plunge of Remus' erection within him and the grip insistently fisting him. His nails scraped off peelings of wood on the headboard, his teeth bit sharply at his lower lip as the tide rose and rose and rose like a slow coiling snake to finally break all boundaries and send him splintering into a ravishing climax.

Thick hot ribbons of come spattered across the linens and Remus' hand, Severus' guttural shout bouncing off the walls to reverberate in Remus' mind and body. His own passion was at a flash point, needing only a little more stimulation to drive him over the edge. Remus held on, straining, thrusting right through Severus' spasms while his fingers left blue bruises on his mate's hip. He was chanting Severus' name through clenched teeth, surging forward so hard that they both swayed nearly into the wall.

Remus would have sold his soul to Voldemort if it meant his climax would break, but then it did - washing over him in a strobing red/white blast that ripped through him in harsh swells. It seemed as if he was coming for ages, spilling himself into Severus until he was left shaken and temporarily hollow. He collapsed against his mate's back, holding him tightly as if he never intended to let him go. "Severus," he gasped, chest heaving as he strove to suck air into his lungs.

Severus' cheek pressed against the cool wood of the headboard as he too panted as if he'd been running a marathon. His senses were still twanging like a plucked bowstring and he could only reply, "Remus". His hands had loosened on the spindles he'd been holding onto, but his grasp was enough to keep them both from tumbling headlong onto the bed or worse the floor. His thought processes were slow, stuffed with cotton and an odd smile flickered on his lips where Remus could not see for the strands of Severus' long hair fallen across his face.

Aware that he was a dead weight on Severus, Remus very slowly and carefully slipped his softening cock from Severus with a shaky sigh. He eased over onto the other side of the bed and lay on his side, his outstretched hand inviting Severus into his arms. "That was.... brilliant," he said, his voice roughened by the intensity of their joining. Brilliant was an understatement, but his thoughts were too jumbled for him to think of some better description.

Trembling with the effort to hold them both up, Severus nevertheless exhaled a quick protest at the separation of their bodies. He leaned his head against the wood of the headboard for a moment, his scattered thoughts and torn emotions almost painful as reality settled in again. With a sigh he shifted stiff legs and sore arse bit by bit until he could lie down out of the wet spot and drop his head into the crook of Remus' arm. It felt strange to the point that he wanted to cover himself and hide. Remus' other arm dropped over him and tugged him closer, ignoring the sweat that covered them both.

Unexpectedly, the embrace was comforting and he closed his eyes, once more breathing Remus in. "It was brilliant," he answered very softly. His voice sounded unfamiliar to his own ears, a bit raspy and far less firm than his usual tones. Severus was in unexplored territory now and he hadn't allowed himself to think beyond the goal he'd set.

For a short while, they simply lay together. At one point, Remus gathered up the sheets and blankets to drape over them as their two frames cooled down and felt the chill in the room. He never quite stopped touching Severus though, nuzzled against him with his arm curled around Severus' narrow waist. Finally he cleared his throat in the thick quiet that lay over them more heavily than the covers.

"Now what?" he asked quietly.

"I don't know," came Severus' answer. He was silent for another moment then added, "I'm not sorry. I hope you aren't either." The words were spoken evenly but nevertheless Severus' shoulders and back had gone very tense as if he expected a blow or a rejection.

Remus considered it carefully before answering. The pain of losing Sirius was still there, would be there perhaps for the rest of his life. But, Severus had taken a big risk, chosen to accept a great deal and leave a deep grudge behind. He deserved Remus' consideration. Besides, Severus was now his mate.

"I'm not sorry," he said simply and firmly, gathering Severus a little closer into his embrace.

Severus relaxed and allowed himself a faint smile.

***the end***