Title: Questionable Harmony
Disclaimer: I own nothing, JKR everything else
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre/s: Romance (Slash)
Warning/s: Fluff, WAFF
Archive: After the third Wave is finished; FF.net, AT.org, FF.de, ANI.de, HP.com, FFL.com
Anyone else please ask first
Summary: Answer to the 5th Challenge
5) BUBBLES! Snape and Lupin share a bubblebath...
"Don't be so grumpy," Remus chastised, shoving Severus playfully in the shoulder. "You act as if I forced you to do something outrageous." Which taking a bath probably was for him, especially if it included a hilarious amount of bubbles.
"I wonder how this impression might spring to mind?" Severus drawled, folding his arms in front of his wet, naked chest. It was a strange sight – bordering on grotesque – how the outwardly so cold-hearted, feared Potions master sat in the tub filled with hot water and bubbles all around him. With his stubbornly crossed arms he reminded Remus of a sulking kid who didn't want to clean up and go to bed.
"It's just a bubble bath," Remus said, smiling encouragingly. "You promised, remember?"
Severus flinched, clearly reminded of the incident he only referred to as his 'biggest mistake ever'. He was quite melodramatic at times, or maybe he had finally forgotten when he joined Voldemort.
"I don't know why I'm supposed to be a Slytherin, when I'm not even allowed to break my own word," he grumbled. "It was for egoistical purposes only, you know that."
"I wouldn't have you any other way."
Severus glanced away, unable to hold his gaze, and Remus sighed softly. How much longer would it take for his Love to accept that Remus didn't intend to dump him any second now? Convincing Severus Snape of the truth of his emotions was more difficult than killing Voldemort had been for Harry, it seemed. Remus already had an idea how to squelch every last bit of doubt in Severus but he wasn't sure if *he* had the bravery to go through with it. He might be a Gryffindor, that was true, but Courage was not his middle name.
"It's not going to work again," Severus said and shot a glare at Remus. "I'm not someone who's compassionate, you know that, but this 'arrangement' has a few advantages for me."
"Arrangement," Remus snorted. "It's a bubble bath, for Regina's sake. You're not going to die from it."
"How would you know?"
"I'm not going to let you drown or choke on the bubbles, soak assured."
"I'm going to laugh afterwards, when my simple mind allows me to process the punch line."
"They're only bubbles; sweet, nice-smelling, funny bubbles with which you can play around!" Remus grinned, grabbed a handful of bubbles and blew them at Severus, who warded the assault off with an angry hand movement. A few bubbles landed in his damp hair but Remus wisely refrained from pointing it out.
Remus sighed, surreptitiously moving closer to his lover.
"This – however Slytherin-like – tactic won't work either," Severus drawled.
Remus stilled. "You're such a grouch. Couldn't you at least pretend to enjoy my company?" The werewolf saw his lover flinch at the harsh words but he couldn't bring himself to feel compassionate. Severus had brought it upon himself, now he had to face the consequences. Remus wasn't shy and gentle 24/7, the Potions master should know as much by now. Remus crossed his arms and frowned, facing away. He knew he waited in vain for an apology, and after few long moments, the werewolf sighed dejectedly. Gripping the edges of the tub, Remus began to hoist himself out of the water but suddenly a firm hand settled onto his knee, stopping his movements.
Remus gazed upwards, genuinely startled by Severus' initiative, and looked at his lover's face, which conveyed the battling emotions just beneath the surface. Severus was grinding his teeth and avoiding Remus' gaze, obviously at a loss how he should continue (and frustrated due to that).
In the end, Remus took pity and covered Severus' hand with his own, coaxing his lover to look at him. "That wasn't too bad, was it?" he asked softly.
Severus' eyes flared shortly, and he ripped his hand away, ready to bolt- until Remus touched his hand to the other man's knee, compelling him to stay.
"I didn't mean it that way," Remus whispered, squeezing Severus' knee. "You know I'm many things but not sarcastic, don't you?" He spread his arms and gave a warm smile. "Come here ..."
Severus didn't move one bit, stubbornly staring somewhere at Remus' collarbone.
"Okay," Remus sighed, moving through the water towards his lover till he sat at Severus' left side, swinging his legs across Severus' lap and embracing him tightly. "Shall I tell you something?" he asked lightly, nuzzling his face into Severus' neck until the Potions master half-heartedly returned the hug and nodded for him to continue.
"I love you." Remus smiled and wouldn't let go of Severus as he tried to squirm away, uncomfortable at the tender confession. "But you knew that already, didn't you?"
"I think it's time to leave, or your skin will start to wrinkle," Severus said, carefully avoiding the topic. "You're relaxed enough as it is, aren't you?"
Remus noted somehow sadly that his lover didn't even insist anymore on his 'compensation'. He didn't let go, anyhow, pressing closer to Severus' body and feeling the rapid beating of his heart.
"Shall I tell you something else – something new?" Remus whispered, his voice nearly cracking. Now he'd done it. He'd crossed the point of no return. Looking back, Remus would say it had been the easiest thing in the world to finally mutter the words to change both his and Severus' life for good. Remus knew it would be exactly what his secret lover needed to reassure his comfort-seeking heart, to erase every last bit of doubt in his gnawing mind. What more could he wish for than finally being officially together and not being kept as a dark little secret in the cupboard (even if Remus never saw him that way)?
Two words that turned Severus' ordinary world upside down.