The two wizards entered the muggle theater, taking their seats just moments before the curtain rose on the opening act of the play. As they watched, a man walked onto the stage and began to speak.
“He reminds me of you,” Sirius said to Severus.
“The actor. He looks just like you did in high school - tall, slender, unnaturally pale, thin lips on a wide mouth. He’s even got the long, straight nose. He’s all points and angles, just like you were. Are. You really don’t look all that different than you did then.”
“You’re saying I still retain my youthful appearance? Should I take that as a compliment?”
“Nah. You were all dark and freakishly thin when you were a teenager. You looked like a starving crow.”
Snape turned away, trying hard not to look offended. Sirius, however, knew him too well not to recognize the slight evidence of hurt on his face.
“Face it Severus. You were never the sort that girls saw and instantly fell for. You’re more of an acquired taste.”
Severus’ expression only turned more cold and shuttered. “That no one bothered to acquire. Anyone I was interested in avoided me like a boil. And the marauders? You all hated me, back then, for no reason.”
“Actually, James was rather under the impression you would look good in tight leather.”
Severus scoffed, glanced at Sirius, turned away again, and turned toward Sirius once more to stare hard at the man’s unusually serious expression. “Really?”
“Yeah, really. Watch the play, Sev.”
Severus turned towards the stage of the theater once more. His doppelganger was involved in a long soliloquy about the tragedy of unrequited love. “Why did you drag me to this horrid muggle display anyway.”
“You need to get some culture, Sev. You spend all your time hovering over potions, muttering to yourself and letting your personal hygiene go to hell.”
“I’ll have you know my personal hygiene is impeccable.”
“Sure Sev. Whatever you say. Just do yourself a favor and brew some shampoo the next time you lock yourself in the dungeons for a fortnight.”
The two finished the play in silence. The ending was happy and sweet - true love conquering all and other such tripe. Snape was most disappointed with the entire performance, and said so.
“Oh, come on, Severus. There must have been something you liked about it.”
“Well, I did enjoy the orchestra. The music quite appealed to me.”
“Ugh - of course: the only part I hated. All those violins in minor key - all screechy and depressing.”
Snape smiled, slyly. “And what am I, Sirius, if not screechy and depressing.”
“You don’t screech. You snap or you growl or you hiss. I have never heard you screech. In fact, if there’s one think about you that I’ve always found attractive it’s your voice, and I find screeching highly unattractive.”
Sirius only shrugged in response. The pair exited the theater and walked quietly along the streets of muggle London. The weather was cool, and slightly humid. The tang of smoke hung in the air. They found a bench in front of a small restaurant and sat down together. Sirius slid his fingers into Severus’ hair, twisting the lank strands around his index and thumb, scratching at the scalp. Severus sighed, and let his head drop back against the massaging hand. Sirius let his own head fall back to stare up at the stars. “I remember once when we were in school, Remus managed to get a hold of some muggle punk music - some band called the Sex Pistols and another called the Clash. Never did find out how he got a hold of it. He was addicted to the stuff. I would just sit there shaking my head at him.”
Severus laughed. “I can see it now - Remus dancing around the room and you sitting back and frowning in disapproval. I’m sure you mother-henned the boy to death.”
“I did worry about him. Sometimes he’d look so frail after full moon was over. He was always so brave about it all - it’s no wonder he was put in Gryffindor. He had so much self control, you know. He never showed he was in pain or lost his temper, like he was always overcompensating for the wolf. Muggle punk rock was his tiny corner of rebellion - the one part of himself that was unrestrained. He even got both his nipples pierced, if I recall.”
Snape started laughing so hard he lost the ability to inhale. Sirius looked over to see his lover’s face frozen in a mask of silent hilarity. After a few minutes, the potions master finally wound down to weak chuckles. “Oh, Merlin - it’s too much. Quiet, self conscious, nondescript Remus walking to class with nipple rings. And they thought you were the wild one.”
“I was more of an intellectual, actually, before I met James or Peter or Remus. Mum was surprised I wasn’t put in Ravenclaw. When I came to Hogwarts, I wanted to transform myself into a completely different person, so I wore tight muggle pants and let my hair grow out. Mum didn’t mind so long as I kept up top grades.”
“It was just an act then?”
“Pretty much. The sex god thing...well it got me laid, now didn’t it?
Severus was quiet for a moment. “So it was Remus who drew you to muggle rock.”
“Yeah. I can’t stand that classical crap you love so much.”
“My tastes were always more refined than yours.”
“I think if you listened to the stuff you’d really appreciate it.”
“I sincerely doubt that.”
“Severus, you just don’t know what your missing - Depeche Mode, Nirvana... “In Bloom” is one of their songs. It has a great rhythm.”
“If I ever heard it, I’m sure I’d beg to differ.”
Sirius leaned in to Severus’ ear. “You know, the first time I made love to you I was fucking you to that rhythm.”
“I take it back. You have flawless taste in music.”
Sirius only smiled.
This fic is in response to Ten's challenge, which can be found here. Lyrics to "In Bloom" can be found here.
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