The healers had said that painting would be good therapy—both physically and mentally. But so far all Severus Snape had to show for it were three slashed canvases and a disgustingly blobby-looking cow.
“That curse did a number on your arm,” Remus had said on many occasions, trying his best to be the supportive boyfriend. “You can’t expect all your dexterity to come back right away like magic.”
But that was exactly what he did expect. The curse had hit him in a flash; surely a magical remedy could take it away just as quickly. Magic could do almost anything. But here he was, weeks later, and his hand still seized up when he gripped a wand. His arm trembled when he picked something up. And he had needed to eat dinner with the spoon in his left hand just to keep from spilling soup down the front of his robes. Worst of all was having to wank with his dick wedged in a pillow, humping the hell out of it like he was a horny teenager because doing it with his left hand just wouldn’t cut it.
He couldn’t even count on Remus to help him get some relief. All that time with the Death Eaters, playing along with their sick little games, made him flinch whenever he was touched in that way. He could sit in front of the fire with Remus’ arm around him for hours. He could brush up against Remus in passing and get aroused in a second. But whenever Remus tried to kiss him or join him in the shower or do anything but snuggle up to him in bed, Snape would be out the door in an instant, feeling cornered and terrified, shaking as badly as his arm when it was worn out.
So completely surprised to hear Remus, who he thought was back at the house, his paint brush flew across the canvas. The result was an ugly black streak over both cow and meadow.
Angry, Snape clenched his teeth and closed his eyes. “Lupin.”
“Oh… oh dear.” Snape turned to Remus, who looked devastated, and Snape softened.
“It was shite anyway.” He knocked it off the canvas and collapsed onto the grass. Compared to life at Hogwarts and working as a double agent, life out in the country with Remus was excruciatingly slow. He could lie there, watching the sun slowly cross the sky for hours before even a bird or cloud passed into view. There were whole chunks of time just going, never to return.
“I thought you might like a drink.” Remus sat down beside his sprawled-out body and offered a bottle of beer. He reached over to hand it to Snape and Remus’ hand brushed Snape’s side. He didn’t flinch. But he did reach out and grab it. They stayed like that for a moment, Remus holding the beer, patient and unmoving, and Snape holding tight.
Then Snape whispered, “Kiss me, Lupin.”
Remus leaned over and attempted a kiss. His lips were a soft whisper against Snape’s, so light that the other man barely felt it. So he reached up, put his hand to the back of Remus’ head, fingers deep into the thick hair, and forced Remus’ head closer.
And they snogged. Hard. They snogged the way they had before the curse, before the Death Eater orgies, before the calculated abuse. And when Snape picked up his wand to banish their clothes, his hand didn’t shake. Nor did it shake when he reached for Remus’ leaking erection, stroking it deftly. He didn’t shriek in terror when Remus slid into him. He didn’t shake with panic when Remus exploded with orgasm deep inside him. In fact, he had his own to match seconds later.
He lay there in the vast open meadow, panting, hugging Remus to him, gazing up at the clear blue sky. Remus would ask about this later, he knew. At night, when Remus would try to kiss him goodnight and he would pull away, he would have to explain. Remus would analyze it to death, making the subject even more tedious and painful than it already was. But right now, now he just wanted to enjoy being able to feel like himself again here outside where he couldn’t be cornered or forced into anything. Here in the fresh air and sunshine, as far from a dungeon as anyone could get.