Disclaimer: No.

Author's Note: I'm a huge Severus Snape / Sirius Black fan. This is just a small one-shot devoted to their crazy-insane love affair. It's rated mature for a reason, so read at your own caution. Please note that this story is set during the Marauder Days.

Summary: Snape and Black... who would have thought? But hatred can be the most fertile breeding ground for love... and as much as they hate each other in the eyes of the world, they hate each other that much more IN SECRET.


IN SECRET

The room was dimly lit. Severus had to squint through the gloom at his lover, who was sprawled lazily against the pillows, a cigarette hanging limply from his mouth. Sirius' lips were curled into a careless smirk. It rather unnerved Severus.

"So," Sirius began, "what's on your mind?"

Severus drew the sheets closer around his pale, skinny frame. He averted his eyes. "What?"

"I asked you what's on your bloody mind. What are you thinking about?"

"Puh," the Slytherin scoffed. "You sound like a woman. Would you like to discuss shoes and handbags next?"

Sirius didn't reply, only took a slow, sultry drag from his cigarette. He blew the smoke in Severus' direction. "Would you?"

Severus scoffed again and made it a point not to meet his lover's gaze. That had always unnerved him… Sirius Black had soul-piercing eyes. Even though he'd taken the boy as a lover and given himself over in a physical way — admitted defeat to the boy between the sheets, as it were — he still wasn't quite sure he wanted to bare his heart or soul to the Gryffindor. Not just yet.

But when Sirius looked at him like that, it was so hard not to thrust his heart forward with both hands…

"I hardly know what to think," he murmured, more to himself than anyone else.

Sirius, who still had a slight flush to his face and naked chest from their prior lovemaking, cast a sidelong glance at the candelabra beside the bed. The wax was beginning to drip onto the dusty, splintered wood of the bedside table. The wax was red — blood red. "About?" he prompted.

Severus could only shrug. "I guess… I guess I wonder what you think about."

"What I think about?" Sirius raised a delicate eyebrow. Severus had always thought his features were a little feminine… it suited him, though. He was beautiful.

"I suppose." Severus didn't know what else to say. All he could do was blush shamefully.

Sirius chuckled; it was low and warm, making Severus feel heat creeping back into his limbs. He always got to cold so quickly, even after a lengthy tumble in the sheets. "You want to know what I think about what, exactly?" he said at last.

"Bloody hell!" the Slytherin snarled. "You're absolutely infuriating, do you know that?"

"That doesn't answer my question."

"This whole conversation has been nothing but questions pointed at me. Why don't you answer some for a change?"

"Excuse me, sir, but I posed a perfectly reasonable question to you not moments ago, and you countered it with a sigh and a scoff and like oh my god, told me I was a woman. Why should I be any more accommodating?"

Severus rolled his eyes. He leaned forward and plucked the wrinkled, slightly crushed pack of cigarettes from Sirius' lap and pulled one out. His nose wrinkled at the smell of them; they were cheap and common and had a minty flavor to them. Severus didn't care for them at all. He lit one anyway.

"I wonder what you think of… me, I suppose," he said between puffs. The stale, cheap taste of the tobacco made him pull a face. Sirius laughed.

"Of you? What about you?"

"I want to hurt you oh so real bad right now."

Again, the Gryffindor laughed. It was gibing, derisive. Severus was reminded strongly of the other Sirius he knew — the Sirius that existed outside of their shadowy, canopied bedroom-world. He was an arse to him before the eyes of the rest of the world. They had to maintain that front, after all, for their own sanity. Probably for everyone else's, too.

"You'd best ash that," Sirius offered. Severus, still glaring hatefully around him, tapped his cigarette over the edge of the bed. The ashes fell unceremoniously to the carpet. Who cared? It wasn't his carpet, anyway.

Sirius continued to smirk. Or leer. Severus could never really tell. "What I think about you," he drawled, studying the smoke spiraling towards the canopy ceiling of their over-large bed. "Well, I think you're amiable enough. Obviously."

The heavy innuendo he'd slipped into that last word made Severus blush even more hotly than before. On his sallow skin, it probably looked more like he'd been scalded.

"I think I like that I can make you blush like that," Sirius said quietly.

Severus scoffed, looking pointedly away. "Don't flatter yourself."

"I never see you go so red in the face as when I'm around. In fact, before I set my predatory sights on you, I don't think I'd ever seen you blush, even when we taunted you."

"Predatory is right." Severus willed away the memory. The firewhiskey, the hot, darkened mid-term Christmas party. Merlin, had it only been four months or so? Their seventh and final year at Hogwarts was coming to a close.

"I've never heard you object to that part of my nature," Sirius whispered silkily.

Even though Sirius was sprawled gracefully against the pillows on one side of the bed, and Severus was brooding, slouched over with his legs crossed on the other, he felt the distance was far too close for comfort. Somehow, physically taking what he wanted from Sirius didn't seem quite so hard as sitting there, several feet away from him, being forced to bare his soul to the boy. It was… different, in a fucked up, cosmic way.

Merlin.

"Do you think me handsome?" Severus whispered before covering his mouth in shock. How foolish of him to ask such a thing!

Sirius was regarding him again, but not in that distinctly predatory way, the way a vulture eyes a dying animal, waiting for its next meal. He looked… pensive.

"Not in the traditional sense, no."

Severus scoffed. "What exactly is the 'traditional sense'?"

"Well, you're no Lucius Malfoy."

"Pah! Thank Merlin."

"Or Abbas Patil."

"Who?"

"You know. Indian bloke. Graduated a year or two ago. He was good looking. Who else, now? Hmm…"

"If the next name to come out of your mouth is James Potter, I'll hex you into oblivion."

Sirius laughed loudly, this time with no hint of derision. "True, he's the Gryffindor dreamboat, as am I but… well, he's just not really my type, I suppose. Too… boasty and loud."

"Like yourself?"

"Exactly. Why would I want someone who's like me? That's no fun."

Severus shook his head. "You're bloody infuriating."

"I think it's one of my more endearing qualities," Sirius countered. He smiled again and extinguished his cigarette in the steadily-growing pool of wax on the tabletop. Who cared? It wasn't his, anyway. "Are you feeling self-conscious again, mate?"

"Self-conscious?" the Slytherin boy repeated. He took to studying the smoke rings gathering beneath the canopy. "That's how I come off? Self-conscious?"

"Blimey, you positively exude low self-esteem, Sev. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I like you."

"You like that in people?"

"I admit it, yes. Odd, isn't it? Perhaps it's the Gryffindor in me… out to save the world and all its needy inhabitants." He sighed and sat up, stretching and cracking his joints. The heat of their previous tumble still seemed to linger in his cheeks. "Though, I do think that I was sorted where I was out of spite more than anything. I was so damned determined not to be a Slytherin."

"Ha." Severus took another drag from his cigarette, pulling another face at its crude, cheap taste. It was starting to dry his throat out — a sure sign of bad tobacco. He flicked away more ashes. "I think you'd be a damned good Slytherin. You're crueler and more conniving than you think."

Again, Sirius laughed openly, which thoroughly irritated Severus, as always. "I know that better than you think, love."

Severus' nose wrinkled. "That's distasteful. Words like that don't suit you."

"Love? You think so?"

"I just said it, so yes, I think so."

"You don't think love suits me?"

"Neither the word nor the concept, mate. But I don't think I would care for you half as much if it did."

Sirius kicked the sheets away from himself and began to creep across the bed towards his lover. "So you admit that you care for me, on some level."

Uh-oh. Severus didn't like this one bit. This was different than simple seduction. Sirius looked like a man on a mission, one who'd just been issued a challenge.

Severus did not like a determined Sirius. It was dangerous.

"I—you're twisting my words." He looked very purposefully not into Sirius' eyes.

Soul-piercers. Not fair…

"I'm not." Sirius came to a rest half-way across the bed. Far too close, in Severus' opinion. He was beginning to sweat again — surely the sheets would be sullied. But what did he care? They weren't his, anyway.

"You are. All right, so I said I cared for you, on some level. But, so what? I care for water and air and… and treacle tart and the dark arts too. So what, then? Doesn't mean anything. Would you prefer that I said I loathed you?"

"Not at all. If you still loathed me, it'd make me quite sad, actually."

"Pah! The hell it would. How do you know I don't still loathe you?"

Sirius began to creep forward again. Severus would have backed away, if he could, but his back was already pressed flush to the footboard. Oh, Merlin. He didn't like this. He didn't like it one bit.

Don't, he silently pleaded, finally willing himself to meet Sirius' eyes. Please… don't do this, not this.

"Don't," he whispered.

"Don't what?" Sirius snatched out and took one of Severus' pale, sweaty hands in his own. It was cold, as usual. Severus always seemed to be cold, even in a blisteringly hot room, like this one. He chafed the boy's hand between his own. "Do this?"

Severus tried, very weakly, to pull his hand away. "Don't make me… don't make me talk this way to you. It's… uncomfortable."

"I know it is, but to be honest, I love bringing you outside of you comfort zone. It excites me." He came to rest in front of Severus, almost close enough to be touching him, but not quite. The sheets and blankets pooled around them created a comfortable, nest-like effect. Sirius thought briefly that it was fitting.

All Severus could do was continue to pull away from his lover. He didn't like being scrutinized like this, especially if it was just for Sirius' sick pleasure. Well, he supposed their whole relationship was for Sirius' sick pleasure. He was a demented bloke, that much was certain.

Admitting the thing that was, however, did not change his current predicament. Sirius was trying to force himself inside Severus' heart, and there was nothing the Slytherin could do about it.

"Not like this," he choked. "Please—take my body, do what you like, but… Don't try to—"

"To what?" Sirius said. His tone was very soft, very unlike his normal snippy tones. It surprised Severus. "I'm only holding your hand, mate."

Severus made a face. "Well, that's odd, too… you never do things like that. It's positively… girly and lovey."

He smiled. "I can be that way too, you know. I suppose we've just never had the opportunity."

"I think I preferred thinking of you only as a sex-crazed lunatic."

A chuckle. "You like me better without feelings?"

"It's… more familiar that way." He'd almost said safer, but caught himself just in time.

"How so?"

Severus shifted uncomfortably, but for the time being decided to give over his hand to Sirius. It was only his hand, after all. The boy wasn't going to chew it off or anything.

So far as he knew.

"Let's just say I'm not used to being… loved on," Severus began. "I was raised in a house of silence and repressed emotion. I think my mother may have been demonstrative when I was little, but that memory is fuzzy, and anyway, being married to my father for so long eventually sucked all the feeling out of her. We weren't…real touchy."

"You respond well enough to my touch," Sirius winked. He continued to rub Severus' hand between his own.

The pale boy colored somewhat. Damn that Gryffindor prat, he was right… He did make Severus blush way too often. "That's different."

"Perhaps, but not entirely."

"Maybe it's because you show interest in me."

Sirius raised another eyebrow. "You like me because I show you interest?"

More blushing. "I suppose…"

"Blimey, Sev. I show interest in everything. I have a wicked lust for life and everything around me."

"So, am I to understand that I'm nothing special to you?" The thought made Severus' heart flutter more than he would have liked. It wasn't the good kind of fluttering, either. This was more like a painful clenching.

Sirius was slow to reply. He merely studied Severus face and rolled the boys fingers between his own. A slow smile was sliding across his features. "Why? Do you want to be?"

"Blimey, I hate you."

"Not."

"If I'm nothing special to you, then what does it matter what I want?"

"I never said that you meant nothing to me."

"Well, I consider 'special' to mean something more than just being a decent fuck for you." Severus struggled through the words. He'd never really liked swearing… he'd heard too much of it growing up. And it wasn't just the swear.

I think that if that was all I meant to you, I'd…

Sirius laughed softly again. "You are in love with me, Severus?"

"What!" the boy spluttered, outraged. "I never! I — I didn't say that — damn it, don't put words in my mouth!"

"Ha! You are. Admit it, Sev."

"I am not!" The dark, shameful blush in his cheeks and the way he stumbled over his words did not help to convince the Gryffindor.

"You're no bloody good at masking your emotions, Severus. You never were, try as you might. And I know you do try." He reached out for Severus' other hand. The Slytherin moved it away, but Sirius caught it up and held it between his own. Severus' hands were smaller, so they fit very well between the other boys'.

"Cut it out," he said quietly. "Why do you delight in tormenting me so?"

Sirius shrugged. "Why do you always rise to the occasion?"

"I'm not your plaything."

"Yes, you are."

Severus thrust the other boy's hands away. "I am not. I'll be damned if I let you toy with my emotions as well as my body, Black. You can't have both."

"I thought I already did. And the name's Sirius, if you don't mind." The taller boy moved closer to his lover, leaning down to rest his forehead against Severus' shoulder.

"Pah…" Once again, it hit Severus that he couldn't back away any farther. Merlin, if only he could shake that damnable boy off.

But, truth be told… he didn't want to. It was new to him, having Sirius be so affectionate and, though it was an alien feeling, he found that it was rather pleasant. Indeed, he'd been craving it without knowing it. Mostly, the two just hopped into bed together and said their goodbyes soon afterward. They certainly never cuddled.

So, Sirius' arm slipping around his waist, and not pulling him into anything further, was frankly strange.

Of course, it was also delightful.

"Why are you so stiff?" asked the Gryffindor. His body was warm and soft against Severus'.

"I—" Severus bit his lip, "You make me… nervous."

"Why? I'm only touching you."

"Yes, and you never do that. I hardly know what to think."

"That's your problem. You think too much. Just relax and go with it."

Damn. Severus sighed heavily. "I know. I try, but… it's hard to relax, especially around you."

"I sense that in you. But I'm only touching you, you know. I'm not going to hurt you."

"I could take hurt," he said quietly. "Physical hurt, anyway. I'm used to that."

Sirius scoffed. "Death Eater trait, I take it?"

"I told you to drop that," snapped Severus.

"Yeah, yeah, but I've got to take a stab at you about every now and then. Perhaps I'll turn your mind one day."

"I've already told you, that's none of your business. I certainly don't tell you how to live your life, do I?"

Sirius had no retort, for once in his infernal life. He was quiet for a long time. Severus couldn't see the boy's face, as the single candelabra gave off only a little light, but he could feel the frown spreading across his features. His face was half-pressed against Severus' chest.

"I don't like to think of you living your life that way. Not with those people."

"As if your people are any better," Severus spat. He was getting very angry, very quickly. Sirius was entering dangerous territory. Perhaps he felt it, because he pressed Severus no further about it. Instead, he changed tact.

"You'd rather that I didn't touch you like this, then? You're still all stiff and cold."

"Can't help that," Severus breathed. "Around you."

"Why?"

"You keep trying to get that out of me. Why are you so persistent? I wasn't aware that you cared."

"You care. You said so yourself, not moments ago."

"I thought we'd sorted that out. Just because I like you doesn't mean I—"

"Love me?"

Severus twitched angrily. "Stop saying that!"

"It's all right if you do."

"I don't."

"Yes you do."

"Black, I swear to you, if you keep on—"

"Can't you just be honest?" Sirius grinned against his lover's chest. "You've caught me in a rare, divulgatory mood. Take advantage of it, will you?"

"Aye, but maybe I'm not feeling quite so chatty."

"I want to know your mind, Severus Snape. And your heart. Just give it up."

"And why, may I ask, do you want to know those things? What good will it do you? To what end, hmm?"

Sirius only shrugged. "Why not?"

"Why not?" Severus repeated. He scoffed, then laughed a nasty laugh. "Are you… are you serious? Is that the only explanation you have to offer me? 'Why not'?"

"Sorry," the other boy sighed. "Can't think of anything better to say. My mind's all fuzzy now… maybe it's the heat in here, or maybe it's that I'm sleepy." His thumb stroked the hollows between Severus' ribs. "You'll stay the night with me?"

Again, Severus was shocked into silence. They never spent the night together. Ever.

Merlin, but wasn't this night just full of surprises?

"Why?" Severus managed.

"Again, why not? It's getting late already." The Gryffindor yawned as if to prove his point. "And it's cold out in the corridors. Such a long walk back to Gryffindor Tower."

"Not so long for me. My common rooms are right around the corner." Severus frowned. "Well, ish."

Sirius yawned again. "I love the Come and Go Room, but bloody hell, it's so far from everything. No way would I get back to the Tower without being caught. James quit lending me his cloak long ago." He frowned. "I think he suspects."

"Suspects us? Absurd. We're more than discreet."

"I don't think he has any clue about who I'm with, but he certainly knows I sneak off to meet with someone every week. He'd never guess it was you, though. James is rather thick, you know."

"Shocker," Severus muttered.

Sirius thumped him on the elbow. "Don't be rude. Anyway, you never answered my question. What do you want to mean to me?"

"I don't want to go back to that conversation," said Severus shortly.

"You're in love with me, so I assume you want me to be in love with you too."

"Ha! As if you don't have a million other strumpets running around, sporting your love."

"I might, and I might not. Does that bother you?"

"Not in the slightest."

"You want my love, then?"

"No, Sirius!"

"You do, you're a liar."

"I am not."

Sirius pulled himself up slightly to graze Severus' earlobe with his nose. "Yes, you're a liar. You're a great, lying prat. It's disgusting."

"Then why don't you leave?"

Sirius only brushed his lips against the flesh of his lover's neck. "Maybe I like a little filth…"

"Mmm," try as he might to retain his cold, hard anger against the Gryffindor, he couldn't deny that he loved the feel of him against him like that.

Loved…

I need to stop using that word.

"Let me in," whispered Sirius.

Severus relaxed against the pillows, allowing his eyes to flutter closed. "I can't. You let people in and then they shit on you. It always happens."

"Like with Lily?"

The Slytherin stiffened again. "Exactly."

"She and Potter are an item now. Did you know?"

Severus' teeth closed over his bottom lip. "Of course I know."

"You love her still." It wasn't a question as much as a statement.

"Maybe. But… that's different now, too."

"Because of me?" Sirius smoothed his hand across Severus' chest, up across his neck and allowed it to linger below his chin. "It's because of me, isn't it?"

"If you're so determined to think so, Black, then go right ahead. Do what you like." He gave an exhausted sigh. He wouldn't be able to fight the boy off for much longer, not with his hands on him the way they were…

Sirius kissed the soft place below his jawline. "So then, you love me."

"Damn it Black, I've already told you—"

"You're more than my bit of rough, Severus."

"Sirius, please—"

"You know I won't let up. In fact, you're really only making it worse for yourself, mate. Your denial excites and intrigues me. What a fun game you are, Sev."

"Don't call me that."

"Why not?"

"Lily always called me that," he added with a slight nose-wrinkle.

"Sev."

"What?"

"I love you, too."

The Slytherin opened his mouth for a nasty retort, but shut it again with a snap. No, he thought, no, I'll not have this kind of taunting. I've endured all else, but not this. I'll not have it, Sirius Black.

"Sirius, if you're having a laugh, you'd better stop right now. It's not funny."

"Do you hear me laughing?" Sirius pulled away but for once did not meet Severus' eyes. He was looking to the right, at the crumpled pack of cigarettes sitting on the bed. He grabbed at it and placed a cigarette in his mouth. He lit the tip with his wand.

Severus' mouth was hanging open obscenely. He was mad. The stupid Gryff had lost his bloody-damned mind.

"You'll not take the mickey from me this way," he said in a low, dangerous voice. "You've done it every other way your puny little Gryffindor mind can contrive, but you won't do it this way, Black. Do you hear me?"

Sirius' eyes narrowed with his wand-tip still to his cigarette. "What do you mean?" The words came out rather muffled, as Sirius' lips had to work around the cigarette that hung from them. He looked down and noticed how the sheets were balling up in Severus' tightening fists. "Plan on hitting me, mate?"

"Right in the mouth if you don't shut it." He scowled. "To hell with this, and with you."

"I'm probably bound for Hell anyway, Sev, so insult me all you want."

Severus pushed himself off the footboard and grabbed at his lover's neck. "It isn't enough for you to emasculate me between the sheets this way, eh? It never was. It's never enough for you… now you seek to do what? To destroy my soul as well? Don't play on my love for you, you filthy—"

"Your love?" Sirius spat as he swatted Severus' hand away. "Apparently, I don't have to do much of anything for you to emasculate yourself… the words fall just as willingly from your mouth, too! And I just bloody told you I wasn't having a laugh!"

Severus grabbed Sirius' hair. "Shut up. Shut up. Do you really mean to tell me that you're being honest? Merlin, it'd be the first time in your miserable life!"

"Don't fucking talk to me like that!" the other boy roared, pushing Severus away again. "I don't care how big and nasty you think you are, all tucked in nice and snug with the other Slytherins in that Death Eater group of yours, you won't talk to me like that, hear?"

"Oh, and I suppose you think you're better? You and your little goody-two-shoes Order members? Plan to save the world, do you Black?"

"You shut it about Dumbledore—"

Severus slid from the bed and collected his discarded clothing. "I'm not surprised you idiots joined up with him. Well, you'll get yours, trust me."

Sirius watched his lover step into his black school pants. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You don't know? Surely you've realized that you and your lot are being targeted. Then again, if you didn't know, I confess I'm not surprised. Hardly a brain among you…"

Sirius lashed out and kicked Severus squarely in the small of his back. The boy flew forward into the dusty armoire. "Is that a threat?"

Severus snarled and reached for his wand. Sirius was quicker, though. He pulled his out and jammed the tip of it into Severus cheek. "Where are you going?"

"Back to the dungeons, you fool! Anywhere but here… Merlin, I've had it with you!" He winced against the wand-tip. It was burning against his skin.

Sirius grunted and pulled Severus back into the bed. Now he had him trapped. "And what will you do there?" he asked with his wand still lodged in Severus' cheek. He was hovering over him, keeping the smaller boy firmly in place with his legs. "Round up your minions? Come after me and my crew?" He laughed darkly. "Bit of an early start for old Voldemort, eh? You'd think he was a better wizard than that, needing a bunch of schoolchildren to do his dirty work for him."

"You say that, and yet half the Order are teenagers like us!" Severus snapped. He scowled and gritted his teeth. "Get that wand out of my face."

"No."

"Oh, Merlin," Severus moaned. Sirius' wand was starting to really burn him. "Please—just stop, I can't take this anymore, not from you…"

"Apologize to me."

"For what?" Sirius jabbed him once more with the wand and Severus gasped. "Fuck yourself…"

The boy smirked. "Why do that when I can have you do it just as easily?":

To his horror, Severus realized he was becoming very aroused. He slid his hips against Sirius' with a groan. Yes, it had always been so between them. The angry words, the fighting, the violence… it had always turned him on something fierce.

"I hate you," he breathed with closed eyes.

"I know it," Sirius whispered, "And frankly mate, it turns me bloody-fucking on." He reached down and fumbled with the buttons of Severus pants. He smiled at the growling, hissing sounds of displeasure issuing from his lover's mouth. Soon, he held the boy's erection in his hand and was stroking mercilessly at it.

"No," Severus gasped. "No, just leave it—let me go."

"No."

"Sirius!"

Once again, Sirius jabbed Severus' cheek with his wand. This caused the Slytherin to arch his back and hiss in pain, or pleasure, or both.

"Don't mock me anymore, eh?" Sirius whispered. He'd shifted the wand from Severus's face down to stomach. He smiled at the pink scorch-mark it'd left in the fair, shadowy stubble of the boy's face. "I never liked being mocked."

"And you think I do?" Severus gasped. Ah, Merlin, Sirius had wicked, wonderful hands. He was getting close already.

"Yes, I think you do. I think you always have. Something about it makes you hot, I can tell. I could tell, remember? That night at the party?" He twisted his hand and Severus jerked forward.

"Shut up," he moaned. "I hate when you talk while you do this! Ah, shit…"

Sirius leaned down to bite into the soft flesh of the other boy's neck. He delighted in the mewl of pleasure that fell from his lips. "You hate me?" he asked softly.

Severus could only nod vigorously, apparently having moved past the point of using speech.

He bit him again, hard. "I fucking hate you even more, Snape." He stabbed Severus in the stomach hard with his wand. The other boy came hard, in hissing little fits of gasps and gulps as he usually did, and he clutched at the other boy's back and lapped at his ears and neck, but Sirius did not falter. He continued to stroke even after Severus had fallen back against the sheets, limp and cold and sweating.

"Fuck you," Severus whispered.

Sirius snorted and reached behind him to wipe his sullied hand on the sheets. Who cared? They weren't his, anyway. Before Severus could get up, Sirius took his hand and pulled the boy forward into a hungry kiss. "Right back at you, mate," he said.

Severus scowled and slipped from the bed. He re-buttoned his pants and donned his shirt.

"Where are you going?" Sirius asked again.

"Away!" Severus snapped. "It's late and we have class in the morning."

Sirius watched his lover dress, sitting cross-legged on the bed and frowning. "Will you not stay?"

Severus looked at him as if he'd spoken in another language. "Why should I?"

"I asked you to, that's why."

"Merlin," the Slytherin sighed. "I've had it with you. Absolutely had it." He pulled on his socks and shrugged into his cloak. "I'm leaving."

"You'll be back."

"I won't."

"You will. You always say that, and yet you keep coming back for more." Sirius shrugged and smiled to himself. Where had his cigarettes gone? Ah… he took the last wilting cigarette from the crumpled pack and leaned over the bed to light from the flickering candle flame. It tasted just as cheap and common as all the others had, but this time there was a slight taste of bitter victory to it.

That last cigarette always did, for some reason.

"I wish you'd stay," he said quietly, not quite meeting his lover's eyes.

Severus kept his back turned. "Well, I won't."

"When will I see you again?" he asked.

Severus didn't answer for a long time. He made a show out of slipping into his shoes, tying them, straightening his shirt and cloak. Finally, he turned and muttered, "This weekend, after exams." He laughed bitterly. "Merlin, this is bloody insane."

"So much of me is, Snape. My love is, certainly. It wouldn't be any fun if it made sense."

Severus blinked at him. "There you go using that word again. I've already told you it doesn't suit you." He left, then.

Sirius watched his retreated back without moving. He wanted to, of course. It occurred to him suddenly to leap from the bed and wrap his arms around Severus from behind, but at the last moment he faltered. He usually did, and always at that last moment.

Their love affair seemed to consist of nothing but those unused last moments.

"Snape," he said quietly when the Slytherin opened the door to the Come and Go room. He didn't turn.

"Yes?"

"I don't hate you," he said.

Severus sighed and leaned against the doorframe. He ran his fingers through his hair and glanced at Sirius from over his shoulder; a very seductive pose, one that Sirius found quite appealing.

He'd always liked the inadvertently seductive Severus.

"Do you love me?" he asked.

Severus scoffed and shook his head. A snippet of poem had come to him and it disgusted him fully, but it was surprisingly apt for their situation.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved; in secret, between the shadow and soul.

"You know I bloody-fucking do. And I hate you for it."

The door slammed behind him and the room fell into silence once more.

Sirius didn't leave the Come and Go room that night. Nor did he sleep. He merely remained lying in the bed, their bed, wrapped in the blankets and fighting tears that would never come.