a/n: A piece that bit hard enough to bring blood and refused to release me until I finished it. I think it's kind of silly but I like it.

standard disclaimer: I do not own or otherwise make any profit from the use of the characters herein. They belong to JK Rowling and any other affiliates, whom are all not me.

story disclaimer: Predetermined relationship SS/RL, SLASH, nongraphic (not even a well written snog).

---
Mouthing
---

Lupin had developed the bad habit of biting his shoulder when he slithered out of the bed lately. Initially they did very little; barely even recognized the fact that the other was still present. Whomever owned the bed turned away or went about their business while the visitor quietly gathered what was his.

Severus always believed he was the better of the two of them about it. He could dress and walk brusquely out as though it were perfectly normal to be leaving the wolf's rooms at two in the morning. Lupin was always seemed a little off-put. Never quite frowning or pouting, but there was an ever present crease between his brows as he searched for his wayward socks.

As time passed, the little semi-disgruntled look tweaked until it appeared Lupin was having bipolar fits as he smiled wanly then growled and threw a balled up sock across the room. At one point Severus had had well enough of watching the werewolf mope and finally snapped.

After a biting comment--asking Lupin idly if he was regressing back into his puppy-hood with all of his sniveling; and would he kindly let him know if he was going to begin wetting on the hall carpet?--Remus had been careful not to pout, at least where Severus could see.

There had been no problems when the whole mess started. Remus came to him, or he went to Remus. There had been no hanging feelings or problems with detail. One would creep in at night, make their wants known and would soon be on his way.

After a time it seemed, Remus was not happy with creeping about at all hours of the wee morning. He'd show up unannounced after his last evening class, an hour before breakfast, and one memorable moment when Snape was handling a detention. It had been interesting trying to make up an excuse to a sharp-eyed Ravenclaw and disappear into his inner offices for twenty minutes.

Granted, Severus had been very angry about the whole ordeal and Remus stayed off for some time until Snape sought him out.

It seemed that whatever time of day was soon not enough for the ravenous wolf either. He began to pop around into Snape's rooms with a decanter of whisky or gin. He started to let himself into the rooms even when Severus was not in. More than once had Snape stumbled in after an exhausting bout in the potions lab only to find Lupin half asleep on his couch with one of his books hanging from his fingers.

Severus was uncharacteristically patient with him and only until Remus began playing about with the lighting of their respective bedrooms did he finally draw the line. Remus had been fairly unhappy at how vehement Snape was about it--pitch black rooms, always--but let it be.

The first bit of 'mouthing' as Severus thought of it, had been nearly a month ago. He was sure of the day, because Remus had broken part of his routine.

As much as Snape had been adamant about the murkiness of the bedroom, Lupin had made absolutely certain that Severus stay at a distance during the first two days before, and then the last two days after a full moon. He never gave a better explanation than for Snape to stay away those five particular days, and Severus never bothered to ask why.

He had been quite able to avoid the wolf during that section of time. Lupin was too tired and weary looking before the full moon, and even more so after that Snape didn't have the drive to bother the poor fool. Besides, he did have a modicum of restraint.

Last month had been another story all together--and not for Severus' broken resolve, but Remus'.

Snape had stumbled into his rooms after a rather grueling bout with the inner circle of Death Eaters. Voldemort had been infinitely displeased about something that Severus never did manage to find out about. It was the day after the full moon, and Snape was looking forward to his large empty bed to ease some the kinks and aches out of his body.

When he pushed open his bedroom door, he stopped to blink and wonder if he had accidentally gone to Lupin's rooms instead. The wolf was curled up in the middle of his bed, practically nested in the blankets that were bunched up around him.

He was too exhausted to bother asking why and shed his outer robes. Remus had roused a little when Severus crawled up beside him, politely shuffling over and offering the man his share of blankets.

At some point during the night, Snape had bundled Lupin up in the entirety of the blankets and tucked him tightly under his chin. The wolf was whimpering softly into his chest and Severus had tightened his hold until the wizard went back into a restful sleep.

In the morning, Severus woke up to a chill across his whole body from his lack of blankets, and a horny werewolf grinding against his thigh. A quick and semi-violent round of pre-breakfast sex ended with Snape rolling over to groan into his pillows, wishing for three more hours of sleep. He was drifting off as Lupin got his things together. If it hadn't already been an odd night on two counts, Snape woke up quickly as Lupin swept a chaste kiss across the naked ball of his shoulder.

It progressed from there. A chaste kiss to an open mouthed one, from there to a sweeping taste with the wolf's tongue, then to a light scrape of teeth, and currently a quick nip all as the werewolf slid across him out of the bed. It didn't matter if Severus was on his front or back, awake or asleep, glaring at him or resting his eyes.

The potions master attempted to bring it up, but Remus always smoothly avoided the question. They didn't talk outside classes, didn't talk when they had their trysts, only ever really spoke about anything when at Grimmauld Place, and that was only on Order business.

Snape decided to take the matter into his own hands. He found himself transfixed by Lupin's constant attention to the same spot on the same shoulder. There had to be some reason for it, especially if Remus avoided the question. If it had been a matter of it being something the wolf simply enjoyed doing, he would have told him so bluntly. They may not have discussed much with each other, but on the matter of pleasure, they spoke volumes.

The library was his immediate den for several days. He spent an inordinate amount of time buried to his hooked nose in dust motes. It was sadly depressing how little there was about werewolves, let alone specific information. Severus even tried several psychiatric books about obsessions. All books led to nowhere, not specific enough to pinpoint Lupin's problem, and just vague enough so he didn't have an outlet to search elsewhere.

It had been an unspoken agreement that they would not interrupt another's research. It was too risky with their work in the Order for something like carnal desires to ruin it and kill handfuls of people. Therefore, Remus watched Severus juggle textbooks from afar and left him alone.

Snape's final resort was to search through books in Diagon Alley, and then in the rare items of Knockturn Alley. He had nearly given up on finding a reason and simply stringing Lupin up by his toes until he finally told him, but as he gave one final glare across the shelves his sight landed on a thin, worn book. He thumbed through it and nodded in silent glee. The shop-keep gave him a particularly odd look and carefully handed back his change, but Snape didn't care what the crooked old man thought.

He avoided Remus for another day, reading the slim book carefully over. It was entirely about werewolf mating habits, from front to back. Most of it was hearsay and conjecture, but at least it was something. It had nothing to do with what most would traditionally consider 'mating' for a werewolf. No grand patterns of courtship, no rituals of blood-letting, no permanent mate for life. It's closest counterpart of the paperback persuasion would be the Kamautra, only in comparison. It had no elaborate drawings, except for the scattered sketches of pressure points and the like, and was mostly text that explained what a particular thing to do, how to do it, and what to expect for a reaction.

Thankfully, somewhere near the end was a small chapter on what to expect from a regular werewolf lover. Snape had to read it several times to make sure he had understood it properly. It was with a small smirk of satisfaction of finally knowing what Lupin was on about that he finally went to sleep at three in the morning.

From that point, Snape was finished with his unending research, and it didn't take long for Remus to notice and institute himself into Severus' quarters. He didn't bother asking what Snape had been up to when he stumbled across the threshhold. It took him all of six steps before he had grabbed the potions master by his lapels and nearly hurled him into the bedroom.

There was a something different about Severus as Remus practically mauled him, but the wolf was too preoccupied to give it any credible thought. It was somewhere between getting himself pounded into the mattress with Snape yanking painfully on his hair that he began to get the inklings of unusual matters again. When Severus bit him at the juncture of his neck and shoulder and growled softly, Lupin lost the thought again as his brain shut down entirely.

As for Severus, he hadn't realized what Pandora's Box he had opened until it was too late. Not that he minded. What they normally started and completed in an average of thirty minutes took four times as long as Remus found it necessary to draw them both to peaks and drown them out only to start the cycle again. By the time Snape finally subdued the man long enough to finish them both he thought he'd either explode or kill the horrible creature for his torment.

He'd blacked out for a moment, coming to with the sounds of Lupin's labored whining. He rolled his head exhaustedly to look irritatingly at the man and stopped a smug look from his face. Severus knew the exact moment when Remus' primal side let go and his conscious mind cemented itself. The wolf let out a painful gasp of air and curled in on himself.

Snape grew worried for a moment, afraid he'd broken the poor man's mind, but Lupin slowly laid out flat and rolled into him, latching onto his shoulder like a leech. The wolf didn't let go for nearly ten minutes, alternately chewing and laving the bruising spot with his tongue. Severus left him alone and grinned evilly at the ceiling.

In his mind he recited the paragraph of text he had read only a few hours before.

"...it is with careful decision and thorough search that a werewolf will take a lover that is not, of themselves, a lycanthrope. Being intensely careful of whom they come into close contact for fear of alienating the other or infecting, it is rare to fine a lycan that will attach himself physically or emotionally to a nonlycan. If, however, they find one they trust to accept the stigmas and possible repercussions they are diligent in proving their gratitude through simple affectionate means. The former being: repetitious actions, such as special attention to a particular spot on the body, or recurrent vocal affirmations of care. These cases are more prevalent after sexual acts, and the frequency of the sentimental attention will increase in fervor to match the pleasure they've been given."