If you feel discouraged
That there's a lack of color here
Please don't worry, lover,
It's really bursting at the seams
-A Lack of Color, by Death Cab for Cutie


The next morning dawned earlier than he would have liked. He'd been up late because he couldn't sleep, couldn't stop his mind from wandering back to the silvery curve of her lower back every time he shut his eyes.

But the owner of said delicious-looking stretch of skin had woken him up from where he'd finally dozed off on the sofa with a well-aimed book lobbed at his stomach.

"Hey!" he yelled, sitting up and reaching blearily around for something to hurl back.

"You threw my books against the wall!" Hermione shouted, standing on the other side of the coffee table, holding said books in her hands.

He grunted, and stood up, shoving his greasy hair back from his face and stalking into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee.

"You're not even going to apologize for yourself?" she yelled, following on his heels. He ignored her, heating the water and setting the coffee to steep in their French press. There was no spell that could ever steep anything as well as the proper way.

Hermione was still yapping about something. He rubbed his eyes, and looked at her.

Bad idea.

Looking at her bed hair, her bare arms, and… oh gods, she wasn't wearing a bra. He shut his eyes. A twinge shot down his spine to his groin, and he attempted to suppress it as best he could with a deep breath and a quick thought of Harry and Neville's undoubtedly acrobatic sex.

"Severus! Listen to me!" she yelled, stamping her foot like some child.

"Hermione, I am exhausted. I got no sleep last night. You are acting like a juvenile" (here he paused, because he certainly wasn't thinking about her like she was an adolescent) "…and we can talk about this after I have a cup of coffee. Maybe."

He turned back to the cabinets and got a mug, and filled it with coffee. Nothing else. This was definitely an occasion for taking it black.

As he poured, though, he realised she hadn't said anything. And he knew she was still standing there, he could hear her deep, slow breaths, and could almost feel the tension thrumming in the air.

Running his hand through his dirty hair again, he turned back, taking a sip of his coffee as he raised his eyes to meet hers, bracing himself for more yelling. What he did not, however, brace himself for (and really, he should have seen it coming) was how fucking gorgeous she looked standing there.

The flush that had been covering her cheeks had spread down her neck, making her skin a startlingly erotic shade of red. He could just imagine that flush covering her skin as they lay tangled together on top of her sheets, her body pressed against his, her hands….

He shook his head. He took a deep breath, and tried to keep those deliciously erotic thoughts from visibly affecting any lower extremities.

She was still yelling. "Severus! Are you even listening to me? What is your problem!"

He narrowed his eyes. "Hermione Snape, you are getting absurdly worked up because I cracked the spine of one of your stupid poetry books. Kindly calm the fuck down, you are acting like a dimwitted child. Though I can't say I'm surprised, it seems to be your favorite tendency as of late," he snapped, stalking past her, trying to ignore the way his mind couldn't stop imagining her naked, on top of him, moving against him. Maybe she was wearing his shirt, unbuttoned, and he was taking her hard, on top of the kitchen table… It was a good thing he was turned away from her, because his nether regions had decided that today would be a good day to stop listening to his commands, and were distinctly not laying as they normally did.

She grabbed his elbow and yanked him back, facing him toward her. Luckily she didn't look down, instead choosing to slap him across the face so hard he reeled slightly with the unexpectedness of it. He caught her hand just after it left his cheek though, tightening his grip on her as what she'd just done sank in. He clenched his teeth.

"Too far, girl," he growled, low in his throat.

"I just wanted you to feel what you've put my belongings through, Severus," she said with a smirk. A victorious smirk. A victorious smirk that belonged on his face.

But through it all, he couldn't stop noticing how her chest was heaving under that skimpy tank top, how small her wrist was in his death grip, how short she really was when she was standing under him like this. Gods, to have her under him…

She grabbed the hand closed around her wrist with her free hand, wrestling with him to free her arm. He kept his grip brutal, undoubtedly painful, and put that victorious smirk on his own face. There, that felt better. He took a sip of his coffee, revelling in the way her eyes narrowed and her teeth bared.

If only, as he took that long sip of coffee, she'd not twisted her hips like that to gain better traction. She ground against him, and froze when she felt his inappropriate level of arousal, eyes still focused on where her hand was wrapped tightly around his own.

He swallowed thickly.

The silence grew.

She cleared her throat. "Morning stiffie?" she asked in a tone that was probably meant to be snarky, but belied her actual curiosity and confusion. God, she was so innocent.

"No," he said, wishing more than anything he could release her arm and run up the stairs. But he was rooted to the ground more firmly than any tree had ever been.

"Sadist, then?" she murmured, loosening her hold, still breathing heavily from their argument.

"Not as such, no," he said stiffly.

Then she was twisting in his arms, letting go of his hand and grabbing his collar to pull his mouth down to hers. The kiss was a mess of bumping teeth and lack of rhythm, but he growled into her mouth, dropping his coffee mug to the floor where it broke with a crack and a splash, and released her wrist to wrap his arms around her and pull her truly flush against his aching body.

She moaned into his mouth, biting his lip viciously before he invaded her mouth with his tongue, which was followed closely by another low moan on both their parts. She ran her fingers through his hair, dug them into his scalp, straining against him just as hard as she'd fought to get away from him earlier. Maybe harder.

It wasn't the theoretical romanticism that their first kiss should have held, even three years after their wedding, nor was it the very real anger that it had started out as.

It was nothing, it was everything. It was so much that he couldn't even think about it, and it was so little because he couldn't focus on any emotions other than her full lips opening beneath his and the way he knew her nipples were pebbling through her tank top.

Speaking of which… he grabbed the hem of her top and yanked it up, and she disentangled her arms from his long enough to hold them up and help him get it off. His shirt was next, and finally he could feel that skin he'd been daydreaming about since the night before against his own. It was softer than he'd remembered, and warmer, and somehow so much better now that it was writhing against his.

He found her lips again, kissing her hard before lifting her bridal-style (how ironic) and carrying her upstairs.

When they woke up from their day in bed, it was dark, and the air between them was cool and distant, more so than he'd have liked. There was something underneath what had happened, some reason that they'd been pulled together so fiercely. And so many times. He smirked. There was the first time, of course, hard and demanding on his part. Then the second, maybe her revenge for his dominance, where she held him down and showed him how wrong his assumption of her innocence had been. A third and a fourth, each a middle ground of the emotions of the first two, and between naps and limbs entangled in sleep. And then the fifth, the last, just as the sun set, slow, and full of a heavy promise he didn't understand and didn't want to dwell on. He hadn't thought he could find soft kisses and his slow, deep thrusts arousing, but he had, almost more than the previous times. That was strange, and he let himself come earlier than he'd wanted to, wanting to escape the pressing feeling in his chest that he couldn't comprehend.

They fell asleep, tangled together, until it was pitch black outside and approaching midnight.

Hermione sat up next to him, eyes roaming, possibly looking for a way out. He couldn't tell.

"It's not that I've had a crush on you, or anything," she said, in a voice that seemed too loud for the stillness of evening.

Severus nodded. "Nor I on you."

That weighty silence was still there, had somehow still been there even as they spoke.

"Should we… try this, maybe?" she murmured, finally raising her eyes to meet his.

He cleared his throat. "You mean a relationship?"

She shrugged, a weak little motion, and her eyes left his again.

"I won't be any good at it," he said quietly.

Hermione met his eyes again and smiled slightly. "I can probably hold my own." Severus was glad she'd brushed off his comment, knowing she'd heard and understood.

Severus just looked at her, feeling stupid and uncomfortable. Gods, she was beautiful. And smart, and almost perfect. He was awful. There were so many problems with the idea of them together, like the fact that he didn't deserve something so beautiful in his life—

Oh, fuck it.

He kissed her.


The End

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