In His Nightgown
By Rachael Sabotini
He itched -- his neck, his hands, his essentials, his no longer injured arm. The transformation back to human form had also had an interesting side effect: he was left with several bluish splotches covering his torso. Poppy hadn't been able to find what might have caused it in any of her sources. She had owled the St. Mungo's staff to see if they had any information. In the meantime, she had given him one of his own potions to repair his arm.
He wished that the hospital wing kept a stock of his own anti-itch salve, but Poppy preferred to make it herself, pointing out that at the speed the students went through it, he'd have time for nothing else. Severus forced himself to remain still and not scratch, but the itching grew worse. Finally, he shot upright in bed, threw off his night clothes, growling at himself for his own lack of control, and started scratching everywhere he could reach.
Bliss. He could feel his eyes wanting to roll back inside of his head, and tried not to think about the possibility that he might have picked up some magical form of flea--
"Professor Snape!" Poppy's voice cut across any line of thought he might have had. "What are you doing?
"Watching what little time I have left on this planet be wasted by your infernal care." Severus pulled on his grey nightshirt and forced his hands to his side, though he really wanted to keep scratching.
Poppy ignored his barb. "You will stay in that bed until I say you can get out."
He glared at her, but she remained unmoved. Fine, then. He'd try a different tactic, perhaps something with an element of truth. Anything to get out of this place and find a way to stop this itching. "I cannot sleep, Poppy. I suggest you let me return to my chambers, so that I might do something with the night."
It was true, but what he wanted to do...ah, now that was an issue. He needed to brew his own anti-itch cream, true, but part of him wanted to see what Remus was doing as well. He had not even entered the hospital wing once in the entire time that Severus had been staying here. Severus would have bet a Galleon or two that, after the way they parted, Remus would have been in here as soon as Severus was conscious, haranguing him about what happened.
But Remus had stayed away, and Severus was too proud to ask after him. Dumbledore had mentioned that Remus was staying in the guest rooms near Severus' dungeon. If he brewed the anti-itch cream there, there was a good chance that they might run into each other.
Poppy tsked at him in her irritating way. "If you are having problems sleeping, I have remedies for that." Her voice turned cold and her eyes hardened as the old argument resurfaced. Severus wouldn't use any of the potions that she brewed, not really trusting anyone's skill but his own.
"I'm fine," he said calmly, trying not to let on how much he needed to scratch the center of his back.
She wasn't fooled. "Severus, look at you. Your skin's red and cracked from whatever happened to you in the shadow lands. Let me guess, you don't have any anti-itching lotion on hand, and you want me to send you back to the dungeons so you can brew some, is that it?"
He was too tired for this. "I don't know how your potions will react with my skin."
"It's only an anti-itch salve. You took a potion that re-knitted your arm, didn't you? It can't hurt any worse than that."
"It's not the pain I'm worried about."
"What is it, then?"
He unfastened the neck of his nightshirt and drew it back so that she could plainly see the splotches on his skin. "These aren't the only unusual side effects I've had from a spell or a potion. Even the most banal of potions has had unanticipated consequences."
"You're afraid that I'll turn you into a toad."
"Nothing like that, I assure you."
"Here." She bustled over to the cabinet and pulled out a jar of anti-itch cream. "Do you want to sleep tonight, or not?" She thrust it into his hand. "This will scratch every itch you have."
His skin prickled, and he desperately wanted to scratch. "Fine," he snarled. "I'll use your cream." He looked at her significantly. "Would you mind letting me use it in peace?"
She shook her finger at him. "If you promise to use it."
He stared at her.
She shook her head. "All right, I'll leave you to put it on. But mind you do. I'll see you in the morning."
The door clicked shut. Severus threw off the covers and swung his legs over the bedside. His legs complained of inactivity, but it was a minor nuisance compared to the itch. He twisted the lid off the pot of salve and dipped his fingers into the cool, creamy mess. He sniffed it carefully: lavender and mint in a clotted olive oil base.
His fingers had ceased itching. Having proof of the cream's effectiveness, Severus invested considerable time in making sure every part of his body was coated with salve. When he slid back between the sheets, he itched nowhere, and, without the itching to keep him awake, he fell asleep almost instantly.
Someone was trying to get in. Remus got up quickly. He'd slept in too many questionable locations over the years for him to sleep through the sound of a key rattling in a keyhole; even when wizard-locking a door, he left the key lightly in place. Remus had his wand out and his feet braced for whatever might happen.
The key fell to the floor and the door swung open. Severus stood framed in the doorway, his grey nightshirt leaving his ankles bare, his long hair trailing down his exposed neck. He looked sexy and vulnerable, though Remus would never mention that.
Remus relaxed, the tension in his shoulders easing. For three nights now, ever since they had arrived back at Hogwarts and made their report to Dumbledore, he had expected something similar to this. Expected Severus to appear with bluster and bravado, crackling with energy, to argue over what had happened between them in the shadow lands.
Only Severus didn't crackle. Rather, all the energy in the room -- all sound, all warmth, all thought -- seemed to sink into him, his stillness eerie and unnatural.
Remus tensed again, moving into a defensive position. There was strong magic at work here, no doubt about it. Severus hadn't moved, hadn't said anything since the door opened. He stood there in front of the door, staring at it, as if... as if he wasn't in control of his own actions.
Imperious curse? Remus' mind flipped to the worse-case scenario. But who? How? At Hogwarts? He could feel the blood drain from his face. "Severus," he said sharply. "What brings you here?"
Severus tilted his head sideways, and an image of Severus as a dog flashed through Remus' mind. The look was eerily similar.
Light. Severus could see the light in the room, feel the cool air against his skin. He'd been in the hospital wing, hadn't he? He felt certain that Poppy hadn't released him yet. He felt as though he'd been awakening forever; the anti-itch cream must have sent him into a healing trance.
He remembered the hall, he thought, and the sound of a key falling. Severus shivered, blinked quickly, and tried to get his bearings. He could see Remus speaking at him, see words being formed, but it took a long time for the sound to reach him, and longer still for his body to respond.
Tired. He wanted to lay down. His rooms were still too far away. And he wasn't going back to the hospital wing, not now that he had finally got free.
Besides, he had wanted to see Remus. Wanted to say something. He remembered wanting to say something, anyway.
"Severus," Remus said again, moving in a little closer. "Why are you here?"
"Hate...hospital," he said as he moved toward Remus, the words slurring slightly, irritating him. Even his tongue was asleep.
"Have you been cursed?" Remus asked, trying to clarify what Severus had said, his hand falling to his side. "Severus, are you cursed?"
"Don't be...stupid." Severus glared at Remus, who visibly trembled. Severus was gratified to see that he hadn't completely lost his touch.
"Then what is it? Why are you moving so slowly? What's wrong?"
Gratefully, Severus sank into the upholstered chair by the fire, hissing sharply as his body began to tingle. It was as if all of his limbs had been asleep, and they were all waking at once. Little sharp needles pricked along his skin, tiny shocks jolted his muscles, and he could feel the dull, numbed sensation subsiding with each breath he took. "Healing...trance."
Healing trance. Well, that was a better explanation than the one he'd been using, and much more in line with the circumstance. Embarrassed, Remus realized the why of his 'cursed' conclusion, and his stomach tightened itself into a knot. He turned away so that Severus wouldn't see him, wouldn't realize what thoughts had been going through his mind.
Staring at the bed on the far side of the room, he tried not to let it bother him. He'd kept away from Severus because he hadn't wanted the fantasy to end. As long as he stayed away, he could pretend that Severus might be interested, might want to...continue what they had started. But he had been intensely aware of how brittle the fantasy was, how unlikely that outcome would be.
If Severus came to his rooms of his own volition, it would be to end any possibility of a future right then. So when he'd seen Severus in the doorway, his mind had leapt instantly to the thought of a curse.
Because only a cursed man would seek out his company. And a cursed man couldn't be held responsible for anything he said.
He flexed his hands and folded his arms across his chest. A healing trance was slightly better than a curse, but he could feel the fantasy splinter just by being in the same room with Severus. His coming here hadn't been a conscious thought so he might as well have been cursed. Certainly, now that he was here, he was bound to take advantage of the moment and end anything before it had a chance to begin. "
"Madam Pomfrey has some very strict rules about when her patients, you know."
Remus turned to Severus, who looked rather uncomfortable in the chair. "Pardon?"
"I don't think she knew I had sunk into a healing trance." Severus lifted his chin, his dark eyes as hard as rock. "If she had, I don't think she would have allowed me to leave."
"Can't you ever be direct?"
"All right. Why didn't you come to visit me?"
Ah. "I didn't think you'd want me to."
"Are you quite finished with your 'poor me' routine?" Severus said, standing with more ease than he'd sat. "If so, I suggest that you come here."
The last two words sounded liked a command Remus unfolded his arms and took a deep breath, then crossed what little room separated them.
"What you don't seem to realize is that while I was lying there in that damnable bed, I realized that I had an itch I needed to scratch," Severus said, sliding his hand around Remus' waist. He pulled Remus tight to him, leaned over the fraction of space that separated them, and kissed him.
Slow, he wasn't. His touch was oddly soft, hesitant...caressing. His tongue played at the edges of Remus' lips, begging entry.
Remus...didn't resist. He'd wanted to know where Severus stood with what had happened, and there wasn't any way in which Severus could be clearer than this. Reflexively, Remus closed his eyes; he had always enjoyed the way it made his senses more acute, so he could feel every shift and plane of muscle. He felt himself growing harder the longer Severus kissed him, and he threaded his hands up into Severus' hair, pulling them closer, their breathing shared. Severus growled, sliding his hands down Remus' back, cupping and squeezing his arse.
Remus pulled away, putting some distance between them. He gulped for air, his heart pounding. "Ask for what you want," he said, lowering his voice. "You can have it, but I don't--"
Severus grasped the edge of his nightshirt and tugged it off, leaving him naked in the firelight. "You," he said softly, his eyes seeming to glow. "I want you."
Severus looked completely different by the firelight than when Remus had seen him naked in the woods, battered and savaged from their last battle. His scars were still visible, and the Dark Mark branded his arm in a manner that spoke of possession and prior claims upon his soul. The light made his profile sharper, his limbs longer. His body seemed distant, somehow, and his stance arrogant, yet the tension in him sang with need. He exuded confidence and desire, and at the moment, Remus couldn't imagine wanting anyone else.
"Good enough," Remus muttered, pulling his clothes off as well.
The sensation of having Remus in his arms was a heady one. The first day of his confinement, he'd spent his day reading and staring at the ceiling, imagining just what exactly he would say to Remus to cool his desire. The second day, he'd reconsidered his options, and decided that he could live with Remus wanting him, that he really didn't need to throw water on the fire. Today, he regretted not telling Remus that desire could be a mutual thing.
Still, though, something felt wrong -- or rather, something felt right. The sort of right that he hadn't experienced in far too many years, not since the accident. Severus was hard, his cock aching, while his thoughts ricocheted around in his mind, desperate for a way to explain that fact.
Had the transformation in the shadow lands altered his human self in such a way that the old injuries had at last healed? Perhaps he'd been left with some sort of permanent effect from what had happened there. He'd never heard of any research that would support that idea, but it seemed possible. There was limited amount of information about the effects of the magical shadow on humans as it was simply too dangerous to investigate.
Severus' thoughts warred with the sensations awakening in his body, sensations he had thought long dead. He wished there was a way to shut off his mind, but he had never truly mastered the ability to not think.
"Going too fast?" said Remus, pulling off his shirt. "Or has it been too long?" His trousers went next, and Remus was standing before him, muscles and golden skin lit by firelight. His nipples and hair were darker, sculpting his body in shadows and light. His hair spilled down his back, and his face was shaded by the beginnings of a beard. Severus' gaze traced down his body, down the other man's thin chest to his muscular thighs and the hard cock nestled between them, and the rioting thoughts in his mind stopped mid-spin, leaving one thought central: Remus wanted him.
"Too long." Severus stared, amazed and shaken, every fiber of his being awaking with sudden, infinite need. Remus wanted him. The answering want inside him drew Severus forward until his arm was curving over the soft bare skin at Remus' waist and pulling the other man against him.
If this were a dream, then he'd be damned if he would waken. He kissed Remus deeply, mouth open, tongues entwined. He felt Remus' arms encircling him, felt the hardness that matched his own and pressed closer still.
The warmth felt good; the pressure felt good. Remus' fingers felt exquisite, and the way Remus nipped at Severus' neck made him shiver.
"Cold?" A husky purr in his right ear made him shiver all the more.
"No," he replied, his own voice dropping into its lower register. It was impossible to feel cold when every nerve ending in his body was on fire.
"Good." He could almost feel Remus smiling into his neck. "Crawl onto the bed."
Oh, now wasn't Remus the clever one? Not that he'd ever say that aloud. He dragged Remus with him to the bedroom and crawled into the large four poster; the touch of the sheets momentarily startled him, they were so cold, and then he felt Remus, hard and hot, pressed against his back. He groaned and pressed back; this was what he wanted, what he needed. He didn't want to wait, didn't want to be fort and gentle any longer. He just wanted Remus to press harder and deeper into him--
"So, are you going to claim that you hate me, and we never had sex?" Remus whispered.
"I will if we don't keep going." Severus and pushed up on his arms, staring at Remus. "I'll also tell Dumbledore that you're a wicked tease, and refused to put out."
"That would make staff meetings more interesting, I should think." Remus' eyes glittered, a hint of mischief in them. "Flitwick would be scandalized."
"It doesn't take much."
Remus nodded. "He's a prudish little gnome. You're not a prude, are you, Severus?" Remus leaned down and wrapped his lips around Severus' cock.
Shock. He thought his head snapped back, but he wasn't sure; he knew he emitted a long, slow groan. His fingers ached, he wanted to touch Remus and show him how good this felt -- and then he was too far gone to consider anything but the feel of Remus' hands, pressing him into the mattress while he pushed up, trying to increase the pressure and the feel of Remus' warm wet mouth around him.
Remus was experienced. He pressed and moved and rolled Severus into any number of positions he wanted, and Severus allowed them all, his mind trying to process all the sensations. Before one could be catalogued, there was another, from the feel of Remus' mouth on his cock, to the way Remus' cock felt in his own mouth; from the slide of a tongue to feel or wiry public hair, he wanted it all. The feel of skin beneath his fingers was exquisite, better than the finest silk he'd ever bought, and the warmth, the smell, the incredible passion of it all made him behave in ways he never would expected. The 'allowed' quickly turned to 'begged for' and 'reveled in', until Severus couldn't stand Remus' gentle, deliberate, unceasing actions a moment longer. With a moan bordering on the desperate, he rolled over on top so that he could get the angle just right.
Remus laughed, and Severus glared at him, but that made him laugh harder. Deep kisses stopped the outright laughter, but when Severus moved down and took the tip of Remus' cock in his mouth and ran his tongue over the slit, it completely changed the tenor of the moment. Amusement was transformed into rich, throaty growls and groans that made Severus want to shove--
A flat, round tin landed next to his hands. Severus twisted it open, revealing a thick, yellowish gel. He scooped out a dollop and smeared it over his cock, then scooped out a similar amount for Remus' arse.
He tried to ease into it, but Remus was having none of that. "Fuck me."
The sound of his voice made Severus half-crazed. He slathered the gel on himself, and shoved a pillow under Remus' hips to help with the angle and slid all the way in with little more preparation than that.
He was hot and tight, and Severus didn't want to stop. Flesh slapped against flesh, so hard and fast it almost turned pleasure into pain, running the knife edge of need and care.
Remus groaned, and Severus looked at him, startled by his own responses. He needed to slow down, draw this out -- only Remus was looking back at him with eyes darkened with desire, hair spilling around him like a spider's web, skin shiny with sweat.
"Do it," he mouthed, and Severus was lost again, trying as hard as he could to get as deep as he could as quickly as possible. He could feel the way his balls tingled, and the slide of Remus' skin under him; Remus matched every thrust that Severus made, no matter what pace he set.
He couldn't hold the pace for long and soon shuddered to a halt above Remus, spilling himself inside a man he used to claim he couldn't stand.
Remus slid his hands up Severus' arms, not bothering to avoid the Dark Mark. "Come down here," he growled playfully, tugging. "I'm not done with you yet." Severus collapsed onto the bed, panting, and Remus rolled on top of him. "Spread your legs," he whispered. "There's more where that came from."
Dawn was near. Severus could feel it. He knew he should get up and go to his rooms -- or go back to the hospital wing -- but he didn't have the energy to even lift his head, let alone dislodge Remus. Besides, he was comfortable here, and the feel of Remus' body curled around his own was somewhat comforting.
He must have moved something, though, because Remus said "Stay," and his hands pressed to either side of Severus' head, his gaze lingering over Severus' face.
"If you insist," Severus said coldly, his tone at odds with the way he gently stoked Remus' back. He arched up and kissed Remus' cheek, then collapsed back against the bed, utterly exhausted.
"So you do like me." Remus' eyes glittered, a hint of mischief in them.
"I don't hate you," Severus allowed. "And I do find your company...pleasant, on occasion."
Remus nodded. "That will have to do for now, I suppose. We'll work on the rest of it later."
The suggestion of a future gave him momentary pause. Severus couldn't stop the sudden rush of anticipation that accompanied his resentment at being out-maneuvered by someone...he used to profess to hate, and whose company he now enjoyed. With a long-suffering sigh, Severus threw his arm up over his head. "You will let me know if we move in together, won't you?"
Remus smiled and rolled over, no longer trapping Severus against the mattress. He curled around so that his arse pressed against Severus' thigh, while Severus himself lay flat on his back, staring at the ceiling, too tired to even roll over.
He would have to thank Poppy for her anti-itch cream in the morning. It might have had some...interesting side effects, but it had scratched even his oldest -- and most awkward -- itch.
It even looked as though that particular itch would stay scratched.
--the end --
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