A bit of fluff, by Shakespeare's sister.
It was 3 am and every sensible human being, muggle or magic, was asleep. A slither of moon dangled in the sky like a fingernail. The darkness would have been impenetrable if not for the moon's uncanny light, which sent a soft glow through the curtains hanging at the bedroom window.
As Remus Lupin was an eminently sensible man, he was asleep. Severus Snape, however, was neither. He laid still and quiet in the bed, thinking very hard about something, frowning in the dark in the direction of his bedmate.
It was indeed a knotty problem that he grappled with, one that even the keen intellect of the Hogwarts potions master was having difficulties with. Well, less of a problem, really. He was fairly sure he knew where he stood. It was just a bit… tricky.
And what was the dark and dastardly potions master wondering?
It was simple, really. Long as it had taken him to work out, he had finally realised that he and the werewolf had a really rather remarkable connection. Not being a man of an imaginative bent, he didn't explore this connection; no, he labelled it neatly and tried to file it away under 'love'.
Unfortunately, the love file, though previously empty, appeared not to have enough space for even one entry, and its contents continually spilled out into what Severus thought of as the 'in use' section of his brain; the bit that he required to work on potions problems, to concentrate on the students' ghastly essays and, most importantly, the part that was required to behave like a mature, intelligent and attractive adult in Remus's presence.
It was driving him slowly mad, and he couldn't think what to do. Though he had initially made an executive decision that the werewolf didn't need yet another hold over him, and that the love thing could stay hidden, as more and more of his defences crumbled in Remus's intoxicating company, the love thing seemed less and less satisfied to behave itself and stay in its file.
He twitched suddenly. The solution had come. He had to tell Remus, to release love from its mental dossier once and for all and then maybe it could finally start to behave itself as a self-controlled man's emotions ought to.
He turned and looked at Remus. He was slumbering peacefully, his breathing deep and slow, long lashes lying on flushed cheeks. For a moment, the love broke free again and he tried furiously to squash it down. Unfortunately, love wasn't having any of it.
Fine, he thought furiously, I'll let you out now, while he's asleep, as a trial. I'll see how it sounds aloud (not too sentimental, please Merlin) and maybe, just maybe I'll try it when he's awake.
He opened his mouth but no sounds came out. His tongue appeared to have stuck itself to the roof of his mouth. He rolled over and sipped at some water, before turning to face the root of the problem in all his sleepy annoyingness.
'Remus,' he whispered hesitantly. Oh go for it, you bloody fool, or you'll never be able to think about anything else ever again! 'I love you.'
His heart was beating wildly and he was trembling from head to foot and sweating slightly. Honestly, how old are you? Anyway, he's fast asleep.
Remus moved slightly, and Severus's heart was in his mouth. He tried swallowing but it didn't seem to work. Remus snuggled in close to him, put a protective arm around his waist.
'I know,' the werewolf said sleepily. 'I love you too.'
Severus's heart seemed to leap out of his chest. 'Really?' he demanded sharply.
'Oh yes,' Remus assured him, a little more awake. 'Actually, I'd have thought you'd have known that already. You're supposed to be so clever!' He chuckled warmly, a rich golden sound blurred with tiredness and Severus's heart constricted with emotion.
He attempted a little irascibility. 'You were supposed to be asleep.'
'Oh Sev, why on earth would you tell me you loved me when I was asleep?'
Severus thought about the file, about the love impeding his concentration. He surely couldn't say that aloud.
'I was practising,' he said with dignity.
Remus chuckled again and cuddled into Severus's warm body, promptly falling asleep again. Severus stayed entangled with him, blinking back distinctly undignified tears at the smell of him, the feel of his skin, his warmth. He smiled in the dark.
Why was that? Was the love back where it belonged?
No, stubborn Severus Snape had given up and given in. He could worry about thinking again tomorrow. For now, he fell straight to sleep, surrounded by the first requited love of his life.