Title - Six days and Five nights
Written by - brakeawaymagic
Rating - PG
Summary - The light side was searching for Severus. Finally, his hiding place was discovered - by Remus Lupin.
Disclaimer - Everything belongs to J.K. and Warner Bros. I make no profit in the writing of this.

Six days and five nights. That's how long he'd been hiding in this pitiful thing he called a shelter. It was a small cave deep in the forest. Grass, trees and other living things grew on his 'roof.' When it rained, every last drop seemed to come flying into the entrance. The thick black robes that surrounded him were torn and mangled; his face and hands never seemed to stay clean. Wrapping his cloak and robes tighter around his thin frame, he curled up and tried to get some sleep before the next day.

Five nights. That's how many nights he'd been plagued with terrible nightmares. Over and over again they replayed in his mind. Prof. Dumbledore understood the choice he had to make, and knew that the outcome would never change. That fact never helped him get over it though. The headmaster might have been all right with it, but according to these nightmares, he sure wasn't. And he was sure the Order and the Ministry definitely weren't all right with it either. Tugging his tattered robes even closer and trying to get comfortable, he fell into a fitful sleep.

Three hours. That's how many hours of sleep he got that night. The sun shinning through the cave entrance woke him. Despite all that was going on, it still shone brightly like it never had a care in the world. Making his way out of the cave he headed toward the stream that ran near-by. Dipping his hands in the cool water he rubbed them together in a weak attempt to clean them. Then forming a cup with his hands, he brought the water to his face trying to wash all the dirt and grime from it. Satisfied with his attempt, he stood up and walked through the forest till he came upon a small clearing. Taking a hand full of blackberries and wild blueberries he headed back to his shelter. Placing the fruit in a makeshift basket, he brought it to the river and began to wash them. Once clean, he sat down on the ground, leaning against a large rock and began to eat the berries. During his time in the cave he hadn't been summoned once. The Dark Lord was most likely angry with both him and Draco. Why he hadn't been summoned he didn't know, but he was grateful for the reprieve.

Two minutes. That's how long he'd been sitting and 'enjoying' his fruit, when he heard a noise somewhere in the forest. And it wasn't like anything he'd heard during his stay. Taking his basket of fruit with him, he rushed into the cave and curled up in the back. Whoever or whatever was there hopefully won't see him deep in the back of the small cave. He could hear the footsteps of a person on the 'roof'.' Then they turned around, heading back the way they came. Sighing, he released a breath he didn't even know he was holding. The footsteps stopped, and headed back toward the mouth of the cave. Staring at the entrance he saw feet, then a head ducked to look into the cave. He was struck with awe. Why him? Why did he have to find him?

Fifty Seconds. That's how long it took for the visitor to speak. Crouching down and staring into the cave, his eyes seemed to find their target, almost as if they knew just where to look. Chocolate brown eyes met charcoal black ones. The visitor held his gaze for what seemed like hours before he spoke. "Severus?" He asked. There wasn't much else he could say, well there was, but nothing he would dream of saying. The visitor fell to his knees in front of the cave. His head fell in his hands. Placing the basket aside, he crawled toward the visitor. Placing the basket aside, he crawled toward the visitor. Stopping a foot before him, he too kneeled on the ground. He tried to speak, but the only the word the came out was, "Why?"

Four minutes. That's how long it was until the visitor spoke again. It was almost like he had been rearranging thoughts in his mind before he spoke once more. His hands fell to his lap where he bunched them in his ragged robes. "Because." he replied. The glare he received told him he should elaborate on that statement.

"Because I worry, because I care." He elaborated, averting his eyes and staring at the dirt floor. Sunlight streamed through the cave entrance outlining his visitor and sending shadows all over the cave. Reaching back for the basket of fruit, he offered it to his visitor. "Looks like you could use some food." His voice was free from its usual malice. Here he was in a cave, sitting with the man he had so long ago convinced himself that he hated. Did he ever really hate him? He never really knew. Every time he was around Remus he felt a strange feeling, a tightening in his chest, but he never knew why. He was unfamiliar with that feeling. A small smile graced the face of his visitor. "Thank you Severus." He responded, accepting the proffered fruit.

"Remus?" He asked when the man had finished his fill of fruit. A hint of distaste had entered his voice. "There's more to this than your letting on, isn't there?"

Placing the basket down, he moved to sit cross-legged on the ground. "Severus, the Order is searching for you, they want you found. Maybe even have you sent to Azkaban or worse... receive the Kiss." The werewolf's eyes darkened at the thought. Aside from the headmaster, Remus was the only person who knew what really happened that night.

The sun slowly began to dip behind the trees. The days were growing shorter and the winds getting colder. Remus moved over next to Severus, their knees barely touching. Taking a breath, Remus placed his hand on his companion's knee. Severus glanced over and their eyes met. Remus was the first to speak. "And what now?"

A cool wind blew in through the front of the cave making him shiver. He looked outside to see the sky growing darker. Dark storm clouds were rolling in, and huge droplets of rain were hitting the grass outside of the cave. Taking Remus' hand in his own and lacing their fingers together he turned to face him. "And now, now I sit in a freezing cold cave with a weak fire and I wonder what will become of me. The Dark Lord has no use for me now and the Order is out for my head." He sighed and gave Remus' hand a light squeeze. The rain outside fell, and it came down in buckets, echoing the Potions Masters feelings. A voice broke through his thoughts. "Severus?" It asked quietly.

Snapping back, "Yes, Remus?" He responded, but he didn't look at him; he couldn't bring himself to. Then he felt a hand on his, turning his face so they were face-to-face. "Don't give up, because you are loved," he whispered. In his companion's eyes he saw the one thing he thought he would die before seeing. It was the most amazing thing. Remus leaned forward and gently but soundly kissed him on the mouth. The action took him by surprise but he found himself responding. His hand found it's way around Remus' neck and tangled in his hair, while his other hand went around Remus and rested on the small of his back, pulling him closer. Remus' other hand went up to cup his face, deepening the kiss. Breaking away to catch their breath, Severus went to the back of the cave and motioned for Remus to follow. Following him, Remus sat down beside him and watched him prepare a makeshift pillow. They lay down side by side, and he began to pull his robes around him when Remus stopped him. Wrapping his arms around Severus, he curled up against him and fell into a deep sleep. For the first night in a long time Severus slept without nightmares.

Nine hours. That's how long they slept for. With the rain and the wind outside they slept peacefully. He woke up to the most pleasant sight. Remus, his head lying on Severus' chest and his sandy hair tousled from sleep. He swore he was in heaven. He watched Remus for a few minutes before the other man stirred from his sleep. "You stayed." Severus whispered. "I'll always stay." He responded, giving Severus a quick kiss before drifting back to sleep, safe in Severus' arms.