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Remus didn't know why he'd agreed to this. He supposed it was because Severus agreed to his spanking fantasy, despite claiming it would make him laugh--which it didn't. But this...

"I won't use my wand," Remus said.

"Fine," Severus said. "A chopstick." Of course, he had one on hand from their last carry-out meal.

Remus poked Severus in the back with the chopstick, and said, "Take your trousers off, bitch." He would have felt stupid if he was less horrified, but Severus obediently began to strip. "That's good enough. On your knees."

"Asphodel," Severus said.

"Are you all right?" Remus said, fondling Severus' arm.

"I'm perfect," Severus said. "I want you to do it again, only pull my hair."

"Severus..."

"It's all right," Severus said. "Trust me." Remus was going to say no, but then Severus said, "Please."

So again he said the agreed-upon script, only this time it was harder to say things like that to someone he loved, and this time he pulled Severus' hair. When Severus was on his knees, he said, "Tell me you want it, bitch."

"Asphodel," Severus said.

"I'm so sorry," Remus said.

"Don't be," Severus said. "Bind my hands behind my back this time."

Remus didn't know what demon Severus was exorcising here, but Remus wanted that bastard demon dead, so he did as Severus asked. Severus had many variations, each more specific than the last, and he always safeworded before sexual contact.

"Suck my cock."

"Asphodel. Again."

"Spread your legs."

"Asphodel. I don't suppose I could convince you to hit me?"

"Aconite."

"Fine, I won't ask for that again. Could I convince you to go another round?"

"Severus..."

"I'm getting exactly what I want here," Severus said. "Please, indulge me a few more times."

"One more time," Remus said.

"Then you'd best make it good," Severus said.

Remus took a deep breath. It's not me. It's a script. "On your knees, bitch. Tell me you want it." Severus gave him a defiant look, and Remus had the impression that this was where Severus wanted to be struck. He pointed his chopstick at Severus' throat and said, "Suck my cock."

"Asphodel," Severus said, and laughed. He rose and sat on the bed, and chanted, "Asphodel, asphodel, asphodel."

"Are you going to tell me who hurt you?" Remus said.

Severus looked at him for a moment. "I'm not ready."

Remus realized he was still holding the chopstick, and dropped it in revulsion. "Will you do me a favor?" Remus said, his voice sounding oddly young and scared to even his own ears, so God only knew how it sounded to Severus. "Will you tell me you don't think of me as the horrible person you had me pretend to be?"

"I don't think anyone else would have done that for me," Severus said, "which I suppose means I think you're the most generous person I know."

Remus shivered and sat on the bed next to Severus. Severus kissed him, and there was something different in the kiss, a deeper warmth and openness.

Remus hoped tonight was enough, because he wasn't ever doing that again.