Disclaimer: I am afraid that I really have no choice but to admit that I was not the creator of any characters, institutions or well anything else…

Summary: Habits make the relationship.

Severus loved to watch Minerva doing most things, but he particularly enjoyed watching her while she was concentrating. He stood in the doorway now, a towel wrapped around his waist, and watched as she carefully placed a button along the edge of the fabric, before gently tapping the spot where she held the fastening from beneath. That done, she tugged gently on the new button to insure that the thin threads had securely fastened it, before moving onto the next one.

It was not a particularly quick process, and one that he knew could be sped up drastically had she been willing to simply spell them back on in one go, but no. She wanted to attach them all individually as, she claimed, they always ended up squint otherwise.

"You know," Minerva began, picking up the next button and, paying very close attention to the garment that she was working on. "I think the division of labour here is a little unfair."

"I wouldn't say that," he countered, sauntering over to stand behind her chair, and resting his hand on her shoulder. "You did pull them all off. Again."

"Yes well…" she responded, sounding a little flustered. "Have you returned my bed posts to their former glory?",

"Naturally. Though I do wonder why you wont let me leave the cuffs…"

She turned towards him for the first time, her look sceptical as she caught his eye over her glasses.

"And how do you think that would look," she asked, "should a student come to my door during the night?"

"Do you regularly see students at your bedroom door, Minerva?" he asked, teasing her mercilessly.

"I am something of a heavy sleeper on occasion,"

"And would those occasions be…?" he asked lightly, amusement twinkling in his eyes.

"The nights when there's someone in my bed wearing me out," she stated matter-of-factly.

"Oh. Those nights," Severus responded the corner of his mouth curving into a smile.

They both knew that there was no way that Minerva would let her students anywhere near her bedroom, there were charms set up on her front door to ensure that she would waken, but they ignored that minor detail for the time being.

Leaning down, he kissed her softly again, wrapping a hand around the back of her head as she reached up to stroke his cheek.

"Hmm," Minerva sighed as he withdrew. "as much as I'm enjoying this…" she continued, her lips grazing his own, "it is almost tea time."

He reached up and grasped her wrist, pulling her hand down to kiss the palm. She winced slightly at his gentle touch, and, unfastening the button, he peeled back the fitted cuff of her shirt. Frowning, he lent in to bush a delicate kiss over the raw and abused flesh.

"Are you sure…?" he began, looking up at her, genuine concern marring his tone.

She drew her hand from him and perfunctorily refastened the cuff, yanked the fabric back down over reddened skin and turned her gaze away.

"I have to keep something to remember you by don't I?" she said lightly, standing and straightening her skirts.

"Some women want flowers and jewellery…" he said with a sigh, rolling his eyes in mock exasperation.

"And some of us like to keep our lovers closer than that."

The open emotion, both in her voice and her eyes, as she looked up at him, struck him to the core, just as she always could.

A/N: just a little something.. let me know what you think xLx