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Perseverance

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Snape and Remus were lying next to each other in bed, both staring up at the ceiling. The duvet had ridden down their naked bodies, exposing their chests to the cold dungeon air. Both of them were breathing heavily, sweat still dripping from their brows. Neither of them knew quite what to say.

“Wow,” Remus finally managed, between breaths. Severus silently agreed. “I mean, wow.”

“Indeed.”

“That…that was so much better than I thought it would be. I mean, it was really quite good.”

“I understood you the first time…. And, yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes, it was…it really was amazing,” Snape replied, equally as astonished as the werewolf. He turned over on his side so he could admire the other man’s profile. One heated argument over continuing Harry’s Occlumency lessons had turned into one heated ripping off of clothes and then one heated loss of control. They’d been tiptoeing around their apparent attraction for years and now, finally, they had done it.

Finally.

“Severus?” Remus asked tentatively, turning so he could look the other man in the face. “Can I…um, ask you, something?”

Snape raised an eyebrow.

“Did you…do you…is it...”

“Do I still feel something for you now that we’ve fornicated?”

“Fornicated? What are you, my grandmother?”

“I would hope your grandmother had better manners.”

“You should have seen her at charades.”

“…”

“Sorry, I just. The sex was amazing.”

“I believe you have already alluded to that fact.”

“Yes, well…I’m not feeling that spark anymore. It’s like it went out with…” Remus stopped before making what he felt could be an extremely embarrassing analogy to his orgasm.

“Like all the tension has been released and we don’t have to pretend anymore?”

“Exactly. You feel it too?”

Snape sighed. While, as Remus kept insisting on saying, the sex had been better than he thought the werewolf capable, that first spark of desire did seem to have died down. He no longer looked at Remus as an enemy to be wary of, but a person, and a person whose feelings were of some concern to him. It was a strange feeling and one he hadn’t felt in a long time; he rather thought it was that of having a friend.

“I think that you are an adequate companion.” Remus laughed and ran a hand down Snape’s side.

“Hmm, more than adequate,” Snape breathed, wiggling slightly at Remus’ finger-light touch. Remus smiled, the first genuine smile since Sirius’ death; how strange to think that it was Snivellus who was making him feel this way. “But...”

“We could be better friends than lovers?”

“Something like that.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Okay,” he shrugged. “I’m glad we did it, especially if it means we can finally let everything go, but I think it’s okay that we want to be friends.”

Snape looked into Remus’ eyes, being careful not to push his mind in too deep and then reached forward and kissed the other man on the forehead.

“Does this mean we get to snuggle now?” asked Remus mischievously.

“Snuggle? What kind of…” Before Snape could go completely apoplectic though, Remus had moved forward and pressed himself along the length of the other man, putting his arms round him and gently pushing Snape down so that he could more easily rest his head on Snape’s lightly haired chest. Snape took a deep breath and then pulled up the covers over Remus' shoulders and lightly brushed his hand up and down Remus’ back before he too fell asleep.

=====

In the morning Snape awoke to the smell of freshly fried bacon and had a warm mug of coffee thrust into his hand by a naked werewolf.

“Did you pick breakfast up from the house-elves in that state?”

“This is my natural state, thank you very much.” Remus picked up the plate of bacon and put it between them on the bed, then got inside the covers, “And no, I borrowed your robe.” He stuck out his tongue at the other man who merely scowled.

After a few minutes where both men were sipping their drinks and nibbling at crispy bacon Remus turned to Snape and then looked away again.

Snape’s scowl deepened. “What?”

“Well, we never did get to finish our talk from last night.”

“No, as I recall you were rather too busy shoving your tongue in my mouth.”

“Me?” Remus spluttered, “You were the one who grabbed my crotch!”

“I did nothing quite as undignified,” Snape snapped, moving off the bed, making sure to drape a dressing gown around himself first, and over to the wardrobe from which he began to remove some clothes. Remus watched him glumly.

“I thought we weren’t supposed to fight any more.”

“Then perhaps you would refrain from making inane comments.”

Remus watched as Snape began dressing himself, wrapping himself in familiar layers. “Severus, please…”

Snape fastened the last button on his shirt and whirled the cloak around him, turning around to face Remus, who had pushed down the covers of the bed so that he was gloriously naked. A light tinge of colour found its way up Snape’s barely visible neck and along his cheeks.

“Very well,” he finally replied, sitting back down on the bed. “What, exactly, would you like to discuss?”

“Occlumency.”

Snape groaned. “Must we?”

“Harry needs to learn it, and Dumbledore has enough on his plate…”

“And I don’t?”

“Please, Severus, you’ve had more practical experience of using Occlumency. When was the last time Dumbledore used it against someone as skilled as Vol – You-Know-Who?”

Snape bristled slightly. “I suppose I have been able to hone the skill…”

“And the Order would be very grateful.”

“Pfft.”

“I’d be grateful?”

“I think I’ve already had everything you can offer…”

Remus leant over and playfully slapped Snape on the arm. “Arse.”

“That too,” Snape smirked.

“Will you be serious? How else is Harry going to stop You-Know-Who getting inside his mind again? You’re the only one who could possibly succeed at teaching him…Don’t you want to see Harry succeed?”

Snape pursed his lips. “Of course,” he replied after a moment. “I suppose I am the only one truly qualified, aren’t I?”

“Indeed,” Remus replied stifling the grin that was threatening to break out on his face.

“And don’t think I don’t know what you just did.”

“Who, me?” Remus batted his eyelashes and then opened them in surprise as Snape leant over and planted a gentle kiss on Remus’ cheek.

“You should put some clothes on. We have an Order meeting in half an hour.”

“Right,” he said, touching the spot on his cheek where Snape’s lips had just been. “We are doing the right thing, aren’t we?”

Snape turned from the doorway, raked the other man over with his eyes and looked him in the face. “Do you love me?”

“No.”

“Then I think we’ve made the right decision. Half an hour.” And with a whirl of his cloak Snape left Remus alone and naked in his bed.