sam_storyteller: (Slash Fic)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 12:01 pm

Animals And Angels

Rating: R; Remus/Sirius, Remus/Snape
Summary: Only Severus sees what's really going on here.
Warnings: Extensive portrayal of intimate partner violence.

Also available at AO3.

***

"Why do you drink?"

Remus looked up from the book he had been more-or-less reading, glanced guiltily at the half-empty glass of scotch next to his elbow, and then turned to the man who'd asked the question.

"Why do you want to know?" he replied, and Severus Snape gave a derisive snort.

"Idle curiousity. There isn't much else to do around here," he said, a narrow gesture of his pale fingers indicating that "here" encompassed 12 Grimmauld Place in its entirety.

"That's as good a reason as any," Remus answered, and bent back to his book.

***

"It's his last day," Remus said, against Sirius' skin, as they lay curled in a still-musty bed in Sirius' bedroom, in the old house Sirius hated more than any other place on earth. He kissed Sirius' shoulder, then nuzzled his jaw. "Surely you want to see Harry."

"Do I?" Sirius asked, rolling away from him, showing a broad expanse of back. Remus loved his back; it was pure, not covered in tattoos he only half-understood, most of them self-inflicted during twelve years in prison.

"He'll be heartbroken if you don't."

"And I suppose I ought to smile and pretend to be happy and proud, too."

"Don't tell me you aren't proud of Harry," Remus said gently. "Or that you think I want you to be anything other than what you are."

The muscles in Sirius' back clenched. "Someone you could walk about in daylight with? Someone you could tell Molly about so she'd stop foisting women on you?"

"I don't want you to pretend to be happy if you're not," Remus whispered.

***

He blacked his eye once before Remus broke his arm catching the second punch, and the black eye faded almost instantly; Sirius had to wait until they could summon someone competent in bone-healing spells (Molly, as it turned out, having patched up and kissed better seven children) to set his ulna and repair it.

"You broke my bloody arm, Moony," Sirius said, and Remus leaned against the counter, head bowed in shame; he hadn't injured anyone that severely since school -- at least, not anyone on their own side. Then he'd been gawky and young and unable to control his freakish strength, and he'd quickly retired from the rough-housing the rest of them indulged in.

"Sorry, Sirius," he mumbled, conscious of the fact that the sting was already gone from the black eye.

"You must be careful, Remus," Molly scolded, though gently.

"Yes, of course. I didn't think," Remus answered. "I'm sorry, Sirius."

"It's all right," Sirius growled. "I suppose I provoked it."

"No -- you were just angry. I'd no right to do that."

"Let's have some lunch," Molly suggested. "Clearly it's nobody's fault. But please, Remus..." she laid a hand on his arm, searching his face, and suddenly he wasn't sure what she meant, "...be careful."

Sirius gave him a dark look as he passed. "If you hadn't provoked me I wouldn't have done it, you know that," he said softly. "If you wouldn't parade around how great it is that you can go out, you and Snape -- "

"I'm not like him, am I?" Remus asked, worried.

"Sometimes you act like him," Sirius said. "I don't need you bringing me reminders that there's a world I'm not a part of."

"I thought you'd like it," Remus sighed.

***

"Why do you drink?" Severus asked, weeks later, and Remus looked up again.

"I've told you," he answered quickly, because when Sirius caught Remus talking to Snape he often lost his temper, and these days that usually meant he got hurt when Remus defended himself. "There isn't anything else to do."

"You could leave."

"And go where? Sirius doesn't like it when I leave."

"Suit yourself," Snape said, but he didn't walk away this time; instead he sat, sipping his tea. "Molly told me she's set another bone. Punching walls, is he?"

Sirius had been angry, again; it was never actually at him, Remus knew. Rage at where he was and who he had become, needing some focus. Remus had been a target before; he knew how to survive it.

Sirius had tried to grab him and he'd twisted, and Sirius' hand had broken in two places, but the pain didn't stop him like it usually did; instead he'd spun him around one-handed and fucked him hard against the wall, breath ragged with pain and arousal, and Remus had seen stars when he came. It was good; better than fighting, good sex and sometimes just touch he so desperately needed, but when it was done they'd had to call Molly for Sirius' hand. The bruises didn't show where Molly could see them, and faded within minutes at any rate.

It reminded him of younger days after Sirius had gone into Azkaban, losing control in the nighttime streets because that was where so many other people did, and nobody knew who or what he was. He'd let other black-haired strangers use his body and walk away; at least Sirius loved him.

"Something similar," he said, in answer to Snape's half-forgotten question. "He's an active man with not much to do."

"Except you."

Remus looked up mildly. "Going to out me as a homosexual as well, Severus?"

"I didn't mean sexually, though that's interesting information."

"Sirius doesn't hurt me."

"Not for long, certainly." Snape sipped his tea when no reply was forthcoming. "I can teach you to heal bones yourself, if you like. At least that way your humiliation is private."

"You've always been very considerate of my humiliation," Remus said, closing his book. "If you must know...I drink because Sirius does."

Snape stayed where he was, as Remus rose and left, a serene figure in the darkening kitchen.

***

Remus opened the kitchen cupboard, one hand wrapped in the remains of his white shirt (his last without holes, until now) and fumbled down the gauze with his left hand before reaching for the antiseptic cream. Cargo loaded, he moved to the counter and began the difficult task of uncapping the cream one-handed. Having achieved that, he went after the box of gauze; this was trickier, and the cardboard top kept catching on the sides, until finally he let out a soft cry of frustration, and bent his head, closing his eyes and counting his breaths to calm himself.

"You'll do yourself more of a mischief," said a voice, and he heard the box being opened. He kept his eyes closed, hot shame rushing through him, as Snape efficiently and not overly gently unwound the shirt from his hand.

"That was my best shirt," he said, concentrating on that rather than the pain as the cream was smoothed into the bite marks that riddled his right hand. "It was the only one without patches. I was going out to see a Muggle film, that's all, and he wouldn't let me past the door..."

"There will be other shirts," Snape said, voice dispassionate. "Move your fingers, please."

Remus did as he was told, gritting his teeth.

"Your tendons and bones are intact. I thought werewolves healed quickly?"

"Werewolf physiology is a funny thing," Remus said, wry through the sting as Severus wrapped his hand in gauze. "Animals can injure us far more than humans."

Severus tied off the end with a slight jerk, and swept the remains, including his blood-stained shirt, into the rubbish. Remus didn't turn around; he couldn't face the triumph he was sure would be in Severus' eyes.

A hand rested on his bare shoulder, fingers light, tracing an old scar.

"He's a brutal animal," Snape said quietly.

"Don't talk about Sirius like that."

"We both know it's true."

"You have no right," Remus said, turning, rage perilously close to the surface. "You haven't spent twelve years in prison. You don't know anything. It's not been an easy life for him."

"Nor has it been for you. Nor has it been for myself. We don't bite people on account of it," Snape answered, lifting Remus' injured hand. There were footsteps on the stairs, and Remus shoved his hand into his pocket, leaning casually against the counter as Molly appeared in the doorway.

"Sirius says he's broken a tooth," Molly said. Her words were accusing, and Remus gave her a bewildered look. "I've fixed it, but I won't be party to it any more."

"Molly, it's -- "

"It's not all right, Remus. He's done nothing to deserve it. I know Sirius has his flaws, but if you lay a hand on him again, I'll be forced to put a stop to it. Permanently," she said.

After she'd gone, stomping back up the stairs, Snape turned to him.

"We are not animals," he said, and then he vanished too.

***

Sirius skated a hand along his thigh, fingers barely touching, coming to rest warm and firm on his hip. He kissed his belly, nuzzling the soft skin there, and Remus stroked his hair, affectionately.

This was the real Sirius, he told himself, as Sirius murmured "I love you, Moony" against his skin. This was the Sirius he remembered from when they were seventeen, all sloppy kisses and unsubtle gropes in public places, suddenly gentle hands. The was the Sirius who'd crept into his bed in the Shack one morning and kissed him into blissful oblivion.

"Love you too, Padfoot," he answered, then drew a sharp breath as Sirius licked up the underside of his cock, tongue laving across his head, slowly. Sirius had always liked to lick because he wasn't very good with his mouth. Remus had known men who were more skillful, men who knew how to set his blood on fire, but Sirius was comfortable, was familiar, and more importantly was here, was never going to leave him. Sirius was willing to touch him, something no one else would; some because he was a werewolf, the children because he'd been their professor, the others because he was Lupin, distant and self-sufficient, requiring nothing and offering nothing in return.

Sirius kissed the tip of his cock, then sucked it into his mouth gently, wary of the sudden way Remus' hips bucked when he was aroused. Remus leaned back on the pillows, giving himself over. It was so easy to surrender to Sirius, to let him do as he pleased. Sirius made it easy; Sirius demanded and Remus gave in, because he always had. He didn't have to do anything, didn't have to think, didn't have to control himself because the slow, languid mouth filled Remus with lethargy.

He barely moved when Sirius leaned back and nudged his thighs apart, lifted his hips and with a muttered spell to ease the movement, pushed inside him. Remus turned his head to see his right hand on the pillow and closed his eyes, arching lazily as Sirius fucked him and moaned and collapsed on top of him. He felt Sirius' fingers curl around his erection and stroke it until he came, but he hardly paid it any mind.

Instead he cradled Sirius' head on his chest, and tried not to think of how Sirius' curly hair felt like fur under his fingers.

***

They found him curled in a corner of the library, breath ragged, clothes bloody.

"Merlin," Kingsley said, "What happened? Lupin?"

"A mission, clearly," Snape said, kneeling and lifting Remus' face, forcibly opening his eyes. Conscious brown pupils stared back, and Remus pulled his head away. "He's injured. Fetch bandages and warm water."

Remus tilted his head back as Kingsley vanished, unable to keep the tears from rolling down his face, though he desperately wanted to; Snape was the last person he wanted to see him fall apart.

"Don't talk," Snape said.

"M-molly," Remus tried to explain. "She said if I fought back -- "

"So you didn't, you stupid fool," Severus answered, examining his body with delicate surety. "And he nearly killed you."

"It's not him, it's Azkaban."

"Shh." Snape caught him as he coughed. "We'll patch you up. As usual."

"You needn't," Remus said angrily. "I didn't ask you to."

"You didn't have to," said Snape, voice gentler than usual. "I heard you from two floors away. The curse of Legilimency; it forces me to put my nose in where it doesn't belong."

"Hard not to with a nose like that," Remus answered, and Snape, to his shock, laughed quietly.

"You may be a punching-bag, but you have some fight in you, at least," he said. Hands cradled Remus' head, and he gave in, collapsing against a warm, firm body that supported his torn and bleeding one. Lips found his, somehow, and he realised he was kissing Severus Snape; was clinging to him and kissing him desperately. He should have stopped, should have pushed him away and asked questions, but all he could do was duck his head and bury his face in the soft black shirt, inhaling the not unpleasant scent of vervain and yarrow, woodshaving and bloodwort.

***

"We'll be caught," Remus said, lying on his side, stroking Severus' hair, smoothing it back from his forehead where it fell.

"Let him," Severus replied, lining kisses along his collarbone. Remus' fingers clenched in his hair, and he reveled in the comfort of hands that hadn't scarred him, a mouth that never accused him of doing things he oughtn't. Severus was scrupulously truthful, but he was never cruel.

"Let him try," Severus said, his voice soft, like the smooth sheets of the bed in his dim rooms.

"I owe him -- "

"Nothing. He owes you all that he has," Severus answered, kissing him silent. In this place, everything was different somehow; less furtive, less desperate. He was part of it, not just a warm body; he was touched because he was desired, not because there wasn't anyone else. "You are owed," Severus continued, as he moved up over his neck and bit his earlobe gently. There was a tacit apology in his voice, low and rough after sex, and Remus understood it; understood him in a way that didn't require excuses or defences.

"I could die this way," he whispered. Severus kissed his temple.

"I could live this way."

***

"It's done, Sirius," Remus had said, and Sirius had lunged, but others were nearby, and Severus was between them before Remus could flinch.

"It's done," he repeated, as Kingsley held Sirius back. "I'm so sorry, Sirius."

When Kingsley released him, Sirius glanced at Snape and spat."You don't deserve to be the one who finishes it."

He shook off Kingsley's restraining hand, and disappeared upstairs. Kingsley and Arthur left hurriedly.

Severus' fingers soothed him as they stood together after Sirius' death, four days later.

"It's done," he said quietly, and kissed the greying hair. "It's done."

[identity profile] saathi1013.livejournal.com 2006-01-12 04:27 am (UTC)(link)
Oh... oh. oh, god. You are unutterably good at this fic thing. I have been perusing the memory/archive here and every fic hits me somehow, but this one. this one... oh. It used to be so *good* for them, you can tell. but it's not anymore, and the used-to-be's don't make up for the 'now.' and Now, sirius is dead. *woobie*

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2006-01-17 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! This is one of my sekrit favourites, even though I'm a big R/S shipper. It's nice to play with the roles once in a while. :)

[identity profile] soshi.livejournal.com 2006-06-22 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
I just found this and wow, you are versatile. I really really like this, I like how the drinking is mentioned more than once, and I like the way you write Snape. It's so cool to see excellent RL/SS :) Cheers.

[identity profile] tamerterra.livejournal.com 2007-03-28 09:55 pm (UTC)(link)
The first time the drinking was mentioned, I was all: 'But it's England!' Then came the 'because Sirius does' and the implication of it being over-much and I went 'Ohh...'

*loves at Saviour!Snape*

[identity profile] lesyeuxverts00.livejournal.com 2007-11-22 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, this is fabulous. I love this in particular -

""I could die this way," he whispered. Severus kissed his temple.

"I could live this way.""

Really brilliant! All of the great little details, and just wow. The drinking and the title and the intensity ... it's amazing!