Title: Sanitation

Rating: R. But probably more PG-13.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a lot of c.d.'s and a vast collection of shoes.

Notes: For the O&U ship at FA.

"Oh, honestly Blaise. That's just not sanitary." He was making breakfast. Naked. Again. Hermione, used to such behavior, was nonplussed.

"Do you want some?"

She shuddered delicately and slipped on a pair of sandals. "No. Thank you. I'm meeting Ginny for breakfast."

"Give the youngest weasel my regards?"

"Only if you promise to scourgify the entire kitchen."

"Deal."

And with a crack, she was gone.

* * *

"Naked?"

"Yes."

"As in. naked?"

"Utterly bare-arsed."

"Oh." Ginny sighed dreamily, "But what an arse it is."

"Virginia Weasely! Wait until I tell Neville!"

"You wouldn't!"

Hermione smirked, "No. If anything I'd tell one of your brothers. Not Ron, because he'd simply kill Blaise. And then I'd be in a pickle, trying to scrape up his half of the rent.

Maybe Fred and George."

"You've been living with a Slytherin for much too long."

"I'm afraid I can't really argue with that."

* * *

"You know Hermione, I really admire your will power." Ginny was trailing behind Hermione in Flourish and Blotts.

"What do you mean?"

"You live with Blaise Zabini."

"And." Hermione prompted, not exactly sure what Ginny meant.

"Well, he's quite shaggable isn't he?"

"I can't say that I've noticed."

Ginny was skeptical, "You can't honestly tell me you've never thought of it? Shagging Zabini?"

"I can honestly say I never have," Hermione retorted.

"Well, your probably one of the few straight witches I know who haven't. Most of them would give their wand arms to shag him."

"For Merlin's sake Ginny, will you quit saying 'shag!'"

Several other shoppers, most of them older, shot disapproving looks Hermione's way. Blushing slightly, Hermione studied the spine of a book, A Beginner's Guide to Dragon-Keeping. Idly, she wondered if Hagrid had it.

Ginny, however, was not the least bit concerned with the scandalized looks. She was far more interested in the nerve she appeared to have struck unwittingly. "Technically, I only said 'shag' once. "Shagable' and 'shagging' aren't quite the same."

"Shut it, Gin," and without a backward glance Hermione headed to the counter to pay for the stack of books she had accumulated.

* * *

A few minutes later Hermione and Ginny were strolling through Diagon Alley when Ginny retuned to the subject. Hermione cursed the infamous Weasely stubborn streak.

"So, why haven't you?"

"If you're so interested, why don't you shag him?"

"Because I am a one wizard kind of witch. Besides, he wouldn't be interested in me."

Hermione scoffed, "Please. If it weren't for the fact that it's well known that you have a large pack of homicidal older brothers, you would be beating the wizard's away with a broomstick."

"And," Ginny continued, not the least bit distracted, "he wouldn't be interested in me, because Zabini is interested in you."

"Ha!"

"Don't 'ha' me, Hermione Granger."

"I'll 'ha' you if I feel like 'ha'-ing you. I'll 'ha' anyone I please."

"Tell me, however did you fool all of those professors into thinking you mature for your age?"

Hermione refused to dignify that comment with a response.

* * *

Several hours later Hermione returned to the flat she and Zabini shared. It was quite nice, though Zabini, with his millions in Gringotts, could have easily afforded a much more opulent place. In fact, when they'd first decided to be flatmates he'd offered to pay more rent but she'd flatly refused. Either they shared the bills equally or they didn't share them at all. He'd relented.

However, if he got to a bill before she did, he'd pay it in full, always providing some feeble excuse. He was generous in other ways. They always had expensive wine on hand, and Blaise was fond of purchasing rare books and always willing to let her read them first. He cooked (cooking was on the list of skills Hermione did not possess, right along with her lack of an inner eye and any talent on a broomstick) wonderful things, always mindful of her likes and dislike.

Furthermore, he was tidy, tolerant of muggle devices, indeed, quite fond of some of them. (he was positively enamored with the blender and had created an impressive array of beverages, most incorporating some sort of alcoholic beverage, after Hermione had shown him how to use it), he had good taste in music and had yet to bring any tarty girls back (that she was aware of, at least).

That's not to say he was a perfect roommate. There was the naked thing, of course. And he tended to be quite belligerent to any men that she brought back. He'd been polite enough to Harry and Ron. Neville had spent the night once. On the sofa, since he'd had a little too much Firewhisky during a small get together of former Gryffindors. He'd awoken with a mysterious case of purple boils. Ever since Neville had made every excuse to avoid coming to Hermione's apartment. Blaise had claimed innocence but Hermione had still not spoken to him for weeks. Until he'd brought home some simply marvelous ├ęclairs and an out of print volume on invertebrate transfiguration. He was an awful prat, exploiting her weaknesses like that.

Bugger.

Wait just a bloody minute. Ever so slowly realization dawned. She couldn't believe she'd been so dense.

* * *

About an hour later she was sitting in the living room when she heard that distinctive 'pop' and turned to see Blaise. There was a slight smudge of pink lipstick on his cheek, a telltale sign that he'd been to see his mother. "Oh!" He started a little upon seeing her, "I didn't expect you'd be home yet."

"Well, Ginny was on about something rather ridiculous, so the day got cut short."

Blaise loosened his tie and made his way to the kitchen, "And what was she on about this time?"

"You and me, actually." Blaise, in the process of reaching for a glass stilled momentarily.

"She has this crazy idea that you might be interested in me."

Blaise, turned looked Hermione in the eye and said, "That hardly seems crazy to me, a bit offensive, maybe. I did think I hid it rather well, though."

Hermione's breath caught. She hadn't expected him to simply admit it like that, as though it were perfectly easy and natural and expected.

"How long?"

"Six years."

"Since Hogwarts?" Blaise nodded. "Why. why didn't you say something?"

Blaise shrugged, "Nothing could have happened at Hogwarts. I'd have been eaten alive in that dungeon. Then there was the war, which was hardly the time. What with the looming possibility of death. Hardly romantic, that. And then you became my friend. I wasn't about to muck that. But I guess the secret's out."

"So it would appear."

"Right," the word came out decisively, and the barest hint of a smirk crossed his lips. "Might as well muck things up a little more then."

She barely registered Blaise crossing the kitchen. Suddenly his hand was warm on her neck. Her eyes closed as his thumb brushed her bottom lip. She felt his mouth brush her eyelid, her cheekbone, before coming to hover over hers, he breathed her name and it was she who tilted her head up, and caught his lips with her own.

He kissed her slowly, deliberately. He bit down gently on her lower lip, and Hermione moaned. She stood on her tiptoes, slipping her arms around his neck, her hands into his hair and bringing their bodies into contact. The gentleness gave way to intensity, Hermione becoming the aggressor, allowing her tongue explore, to taste him.

Blaise responded and one hand stroked down the column of her spine coming to rest low on her hip while the other felt behind him as he blindly made his way backwards. He tore his lips away from hers, moved to her jaw, her neck, shoved the neckline of her shirt aside and bit down gently on her shoulder, soothing the wound with his tongue. Hermione

gasped and fisted her hand in his shirt, pulling him even closer.

Abruptly he backed away, a soft groan indicating that he didn't want to. She reached for him, but he eluded her grasp. Slowly she opened her eyes and gazed at him. He stood, just out of reach, tousled and breathing erratically, eyes bluer than she'd ever seen them. Crazily, she wondered why she'd never noticed just how beautiful he was.

"I want." Blaise stopped, cleared his throat, "I know this makes me sound like some silly Hufflepuff, but I want to know that you want this. I want to know that you're not going to regret this."

At that moment he was more vulnerable than she'd ever seen him. She found it even more difficult to breathe. She stepped towards him, cradled his face and kissed him. He let her, but only briefly. He tugged her hands away, "I need you to say it, Hermione."

She drew a shaky breath, and met his gaze. "All I can think right now is that I can't believe we didn't do this sooner. I want this."

"That's good enough for me," he pressed her palm to his lips, kissed it and pulled her out of the kitchen.

* * *

Hermione awoke the next day in a bed that was not her own. After a moment of confusion memories flooded back. Blaise. Kissing the hollow of her throat, licking her hipbone, hissing her name. She buried her face in his pillows, allowing the giggle that escaped. Looking up, she noticed that he wasn't beside her. His side of the bed was still rumbled but a piece of parchment with her name on it rested on his pillow.

Meet me in the kitchen.

Smiling, she wrapped the sheet around herself and picked her way through the pile of clothes (hers and his) that littered the bedroom floor. She may have even hummed a little.

On quiet feet she made her way to the kitchen and stood in the doorway. He was cooking breakfast. She took a second to admire him, his smooth skin (now marred by a few red scratches under his left shoulder blade) and the way his muscles bunched and smoothed as he worked.

Stepping into the kitchen she cleared her throat, "What's on the menu today, Zabini?"

He didn't turn so she heard rather that say the smirk, "Funny Granger, we weren't on a last name basis last night. But I suppose Blaise is easier to scream. Less syllables."

Blaise turned to catch her blush, as he'd known she would. But then he caught sight of her wearing his Slytherin green sheet and his amusement was forgotten. He stepped towards her. She met his eyes and, reading their purpose, she blushed for an entirely different reason.

A few minutes later, when the sheet lay forgotten on the floor, and grooved surface of the kitchen table was digging into Hermione's back, sanitation was the last thing on her mind.