Disclaimer: JKR owns, I'm visiting
A/N: Thank you to Magdellin and Nia7 for beta'ing my story, love you both. Challenge response for The Master and Wolf challenge fest. (Sorry no sex - they didn't want to be watched!) Challenge 81) Severus is definitely straight, or so he thinks. Remus tries to convince him otherwise.
'So, when was the last time you had sex?"
Snape looked around to see where the comment came from and rolled his eyes when he realised it was Lupin.
"I am not gay."
They were standing looking out across the impromptu dance floor in the centre of the Great Hall where he could see Harry, Ron and Hermione, dancing among others. Dumbledore and McGonagall were taking shots of Ogden's, drinking each other into a stupor in the corner. Molly Weasley and Tonks were sitting at one of the tables, talking animatedly. The rest of the Order were enjoying themselves in a frenzied manner, their relief over the final end of Voldemort warring with their grief over those who had not made it through the final battle.
As usual, when forced by Dumbledore to participate in social events, Snape found himself lurking in a corner with a glass of Firewhiskey in his hand and a sneer on his face. And yet he too felt relief and joy. He looked down at his arm and smiled at the memory of the mark rather than the actuality.
"That's not what I asked, Severus. I asked when was the last time you had sex. Different question completely." The werewolf had moved into his line of sight and was now catching his eyes.
"You know when." He looked away, breaking eye contact.
"Oh that's right, you're not gay. It was the stress of the battle or we were caught up in the moment or alone in extreme conditions. That worked the first three times." Remus reached over and placed a hand on his arm. "Aren't you tired?"
"What?" Severus spluttered. "If you say something inane about being tired of hiding my sexuality, I will walk away right now."
Remus grinned. "Now, I was just going to say something about the lack of sleep you've had for the last, oh month or so. But if you're tired of pretending, well..."
"I am not gay." Severus looked directly at Remus. The other man looked as tired and worn as Severus felt. The last months of preparation had taken a lot out of all of those on the front line. And Remus had fought as if he had a death wish, throwing himself wherever he was needed. Much like himself. They were both carrying guilt and anger, but Remus had managed to put it all away tonight. To relax and to celebrate. "Are you tired?" Severus asked.
"Yes. And Relieved. Look at Harry and his friends, relaxing and laughing. It's good. They were even more in the firing line than we were. Everyone knew that they were the ones who would be there to kill You-Know - Voldemort." He curled his lips in distaste. "And they did it. And we helped. But now, I'm a little in shock. It's over. This threat has been hanging over my head for over twenty years - it's gone. I don't know what else there is left." Remus looked down at the glass in his hand. "Enough morose thoughts. This is a party. I can't convince you to come and dance can I?"
"No" Severus replied, both to the question and to the unbidden image of his arms around Remus' waist and his head leaning down on Remus' shoulder.
"Well. What else can we do then? Surely you don't mean to spend the whole night hiding in the corner?" Remus smiled suddenly at the expression on Severus' face. "Ah, you are. Well I'm not sure I'm going to let you! So how about we play a game?" Severus raised an eyebrow, only slightly concerned about any idea the ex-Gryffindor could come up with. He didn't really want to spend the night alone either. And he didn't really feel comfortable mixing with any of the other groups that had formed around the room.
"Obviously, it's got to be something a little challenging. How about Truth? No Veritaserum, just a bit of alcohol to make it interesting. We each take a shot and then get to ask the other a question. If you can't or don't want to answer you take another shot. That way you can still hide and we can get drunk at the same time." Remus looked around for a spare table. Spotting one in the corner near the make-shift bar, he put his hand on Severus' back and pointed the way. "Shall we?"
"I'm not going to be able to get rid of you tonight am I?" Severus asked. Remus smiled and pushed him towards the table.
"Look, it's still in a dark corner away from everyone. You can growl till your heart's content and no one will really see you." As they walked past the bar, Remus swiped a bottle of Firewhiskey and a glass. The both sat down and Remus poured out a shot into his glass and lifted it to toast Severus. Severus raised his glass in return.
"To the end of the war," Severus toasted.
"And to new beginnings," Remus replied with a glimmer in his eyes.
"Sentimental Gryffindors." Severus threw back the whiskey in his glass and held it out for a refill. "Well, go on then, ask your question. Or do your earlier questions count?" He raised his eyebrow as if daring Remus to deny him. Remus waved his hand as if to let Severus go first. "Where do you go when you transform now that Sirius isn't there?"
Remus looked surprised by the question. He hadn't realised that Severus had even realised that Sirius had helped him stay calm. "I guess during the war I would go out on patrol or on missions. The Wolfsbane Potion keeps me sane enough. And it helped to be able to channel all of the rage and grief. There are times when it was useful to have all of that extra strength. While he was gone, in Azkaban, I used to go to the far north of Scotland and wander the moors. I guess that's where I'll go again."
"My turn." Remus swirled the whiskey in his glass and then threw it back. "Can you actually make the Wolfsbane taste better?"
Snape looked a little bit guilty. "It probably doesn't need quite as much wormwood as I put in."
Remus smiled. "Sirius always said that you were making it taste bad deliberately. I guess he'd be glad to know he's right." He poured another shot into his glass and into the glass Severus now held out in front of him. "Your turn."
Severus drank. "Were you lovers? Back at School?" Putting down the glass, Severus looked away across the dance floor, trying not to look like the answer mattered at all.
"Um, No and No. We were never lovers. He actually had a girlfriend for most of seventh year. Some girl he'd met over the summer. I didn't admit I was gay until after school and then Sirius was away for so long. It took us a long while to even become friends again. I don't think we were ever interested in each other that way." Remus paused. "Ok, maybe, I thought he was pretty hot when we were at school. But then I thought a lot of guys were hot when we were at school." Snape looked over to see Remus staring at him. "But I was in denial."
"Your turn." Snape replied forestalling any further comments. He didn't really want Remus to reveal anything more about his fantasies from when they were at school.
Remus downed his glass and asked, "How many people have you kissed. And who?"
Severus thought about it for a second. "Nine," he replied. He reached over to the bottle and went to pour another shot into both of their glasses.
Remus reached over and placed his hand over both glasses. "You haven't answered the question. Who."
"Isn't that another question, Remus?" Severus raised his eyebrow.
"No." Remus replied. "If you don't answer, you have to take another shot."
Severus lifted Remus' hand from the glass and pointedly picked it up. Not breaking eye contact, he swallowed the contents in one gulp. He grabbed the bottle and poured himself another shot.
"My turn. Are you going to take the Defense position, Albus' has offered you?" He drank his shot.
"Trying to change the subject, Severus? Ok, It depends." Remus grinned at the man sitting opposite him.
"On what?" Severus asked.
"Ah, that's another question and it's my turn." Remus slid his glass over and drank. "Are you still scared of the wolf?"
"The wolf?" Severus looked surprised. "I was never scared of the wolf, Remus. Your friends were pricks. Even after that, uh, prank they pulled, I was never scared of the wolf. There are a lot scarier things out there." Severus thought of the things he had seen while a Death-eater, Voldemort among the least of the horror, and shuddered. "You are just not that scary."
"What does it depend on?" Severus asked returning to the question about the Defence position. He was genuinely curious. He had decided to continue teaching for another year at least. It was something he knew.
"Oh, I guess the pay rates and perks," Remus replied. "And how things work out, now." He looked distracted as he answered.
"I guess it's your turn to ask again. Or are you getting bored?" Severus gestured for Remus to pass over the glass for a refill. Remus passed it over distractedly. Severus filled both glasses.
He had never considered that Remus might consider the wolf as part of the tension between them. But it was obviously distracting him. Remus' supposed best friend was a much more present reason. Even in death he lay between them and the tenuous friendship they had built up. They were the only ones left from that earlier life. A time when everything had revolved around secrets kept and waiting to be discovered. Severus never liked a secret kept from him. He had always tried to find it out. And the harder kept, the more obsessed he had become.
And here he had stunned the wolf into distraction with an unguarded reply. To be honest the wolf was something he found appealing the other man. Both the restraint that it made constant in his life and the passion which lurked beneath the surface. He had seen it once when they had been on a mission together. They had seen one of their comrades die, and the anger and frustration had come out of Remus in a rush. They had ended up against a wall. Remus had slammed into him and just taken what he wanted. None of the other times they had ended up in bed - Severus snorted at the word bed - had been quite as raw.
"Oh," Remus said. "My turn. Ah that's right. Have you ever kissed a female?" He wasn't really paying attention to the question. It was obviously something he'd worked out earlier and had been saving for his turn.
Severus decided to answer honestly to see what kind of reaction he'd get from the man who seemed so obsessed by his sexuality. "No."
"Ok, your t... What?" Remus sputtered as he put down the glass he'd just taken a shot from. "Never?"
Severus shook his head. "Never."
"Then how come you say that you're not gay? I'm assuming the, what was it, nine kisses, were with men? And while we're at it... how the hell did you manage that?"
"I'm not the most sociable of men, Remus. And I've never been that attractive. So, only nine."
"That isn't what I meant. I've only kissed six people. I know what it's like to be mostly solitary. But even so, two of those were girls. How have you never managed to kiss a girl?"
"The opportunity has never come up, I guess. Particularly, it seems not with women. Aside from that, I'm very picky about who I want to be with. Students generally don't appeal and as that's what most of the girls I meet are..." Severus replied. His glass had joined Remus' on the table. They didn't seem to be playing Truth anymore. Or at least not as a game. "Death Eater gatherings don't tend to provide a wide range of women either. Could you imagine trying to kiss Narcissa Malfoy or worse yet, Bellatrix LeStrange? It's not just that they're mostly married."
Remus smiled at Severus' humour. "So it's only been opportunity then." Remus looked around the room and then his eyes lit up. "Well let's see what we can do to rectify that. In the interest of science, Severus. Otherwise how will you really be able to tell if you're gay or not?"
Before he could stop him, Remus left his seat and crossed the room to where Molly and Tonks were sitting. Snape froze. This could potentially be the most embarrassing moment of his life. Even worse than anything that had happened when he was in school. Questions flitted through his mind as he watched in fascination and horror at Remus' audacity. Did he really trust Remus enough that he wouldn't hex him into oblivion before he said anything to anyone. Had he really told someone else something that could be used against him. And most importantly did he really want to know what it was like to kiss a girl?
Molly Weasley was an attractive enough woman with her drive and loyalty, not that he'd ever admit to anyone any positive thoughts about any Weasley. But in their time in the order he had grown to respect her. And her muggle-loving husband. At least you always knew where you stood with them. Unlike his Slytherin cohorts. Tonks on the other hand was a bit too loud for him. He could never take her seriously as someone he could spend time with although she was good at what she did. And she'd never seemed to hold his past against him. Mostly they had barely interacted beyond Order meetings.
He wasn't sure he wanted to know exactly what Remus was planning.
"Severus, do you want to come outside for a second. I have something I wanted to ask you." Remus said from across the room. At least the man had some semblance of discretion. Was he going to do this? Did he want to. He watched as Remus walked to the door and Tonks followed him. He could see that she really didn't know what was going on.
The man moved with a concentrated strength. Like he knew what he could do with the lethal weapon his body could be. It was a far cry from when he had turned up to teach at Hogwarts all those years ago. Severus stood up, thinking that now Remus had drawn attention to what was going on, it would cause less of a reaction to just follow.
He knew what Remus was trying to prove. He just hadn't been sure why. But with the way that he had flirted all night and with the surprise reaction to some of the answers he'd given, he was beginning to get an idea. He was a Slytherin after all, and a master of cunning in his own right. The question was whether he wanted what Remus wanted. And if he admitted it to himself, he did. He was getting older and it had been years since anyone had attracted him like the Werewolf did. Despite their history - or maybe because of it. They did understand each other as only people who had in one way or another shared a life could.
And he was picky. He didn't trust easily, he had been hurt and hounded for too much of his life. In truth he'd only had sex with three people. Remus was the most recent. Most of the time it had been by his choice, the overriding passions of the moment only an excuse. The question was what he would do about it when he walked through the door.
Remus and Tonks where standing in the corridor outside of the room. She was standing with her hands on her hips, her hair bright pink to the waist for the party.
"What did you want me for anyway, Lupin?" she asked.
"Yes, Lupin. What did you want her for?" Severus asked. He enjoyed the second of discomfort on Remus' face before adding, "The answer to your question is yes."
Remus looked away from a very confused Tonks to stare directly at Snape. Their eyes connected, to the surprise of Tonks, who in that moment was practically forgotten. "Which question?"
"Both the one you've been trying to get the answer to for the last two months, and the one that I think you've been building up your famous Gryffindor courage to ask all night." Snape replied. He turned to the now thoroughly confused woman watching the discussion with all the interest she could muster in her drunken fugue. "I think that you aren't needed here anymore, Tonks. If you'd kindly leave us alone to discuss this matter further." He knew he sounded a little stiff and formal, but he didn't want her to be here in case he was wrong.
Tonks looked from one to the other. Snape who was looking rather pointedly at her, and Lupin, who hadn't taken his eyes away from Snape since he had started talking. She hadn't seen that expression on Lupin in years. Except, sometimes when he'd come back from a mission with - Snape. Tonks grinned as all of the wheels suddenly clicked into place. "I'll, uh, just leave you two to it then, shall I?" Neither of them noticed her leaving, but neither moved until they heard the sound of the door closing behind her.
"Thank you," Severus said quietly. "For not embarrassing me totally."
"Did you mean it?" Remus asked. "Not that you're gay, that doesn't really matter to me. But that you might," here he paused for a second. Severus watched as Remus pulled himself together. "Be interested in me? Us?" he continued more confidently. He took a hopeful step closer to Severus.
"Yes. As I'm sure Tonks is just about to tell everyone at the party about us, I might as well," Severus replied wryly. He stepped forward and slid his arm around Remus' waist, pulling him in closer. Bending his head down, he brushed lips gently before taking a more forceful kiss. Immediately, he felt hands snaking into his robes pulling him closer.
"Wow," Remus murmured when the kiss broke. He looked down, uncharacteristically shy. All Severus noticed was the feel of their bodies pressed against each other. He slid his hand down Remus' face and gently lifted the other man's chin.
"Do you want to come back to my rooms?" Severus asked. "I do believe that we are in a hallway here."
"That would be nice." Remus untangled himself - all, except for his hand. He held on for a second longer and then squeezed Severus' hand and let go. "Are you still in the bottom most dungeon?" he asked as they started walking.
"Yes, Why would I have moved?" Severus and Remus walked silently down the stairs past the Slytherin common room and to Snape's rooms. "Wolfsbane," Severus said to the painting covering his door. Remus raised his eyebrow at this. "Would you like something to drink?" Severus asked.
"I think I'm pretty tipsy already. How about you show me your bedroom?" Remus said, feeling more confident now that he had breached Snape's inner sanctum. Severus pointed to the door on the left and Remus dragged him forward.
When they reached the bedroom Remus paused and looked around. He wasn't sure what he had expected - probably something stark - but this room showed a sensual side to his lover. The bed was the standard four poster he remembered from his time at Hogwarts. Snape however had covered the bed with a dark green velvet bedspread. Remus pushed Severus onto the bed and paused looking at the sight the pale skin and black robes made against the bed. He growled. "Don't move." He said. He placed his wand on the table, covered with books, which stood beside the bed and held his hand out for Severus' wand. Severus pulled the wand from out of the holster in his sleeve and handed it over to Remus. He felt completely vulnerable and Remus knew this.
Slowly, as if unwrapping a present Remus peeled the robes off the man on the bed, exposing more of the pale flesh. There were scars on Severus' chest, but there were scars on his as well. He ran his finger gently over one of the longest ones. It ran from under the ribs towards Severus' navel. It was one he had seen made: the Death eater that made it had died from a curse Severus' had cast before passing out from blood loss. Remus had apparated with Severus in his arms to St Mungo's and stood over him while they healed him. He had cried that night in relief when they had said he would be fine.
He pulled his jacket off and placed it on a chair. He began to unbutton his shirt, but he slowed down when he saw the look in Severus' eyes. He took his time, carefully unbuttoning his cuffs before taking the shirt off, enjoying the look of appreciation in his lover's eyes. He knew that his body wasn't perfect. He knew that there were signs of wear from years of changing every full moon, scars that he would never be able to explain. But for the moment he felt perfect.
Remus crawled up onto the bed and straddled the man lying there. "You know I've imagined this," he whispered. "You, and a bed." He reached out and grasped Severus' wrists and drew them above his head. "I didn't get as far as your room though." Remus leaned over and kissed the side of Severus' neck. "And all the time in the world." He let go of Severus' hands and began to lay kisses following the contours and scars on the body beneath him until he reached fabric from the trousers still covering stretched out legs. Severus seemed happy to let him take his time.