The first time Severus pushes Minerva down upon his bed, he tries to be as gentle as he knows how. He quickly finds that she does not relish gentleness, and soon it becomes a triumph to him, a deep dark burn of pride, to know that inside her are these wells of fierceness that only he may tap.

They fight each other for what they each need, Minerva matching him thrust for thrust and bite for bite, until their long thin forms untangle, gasping. They speak few words, none of endearment.

Many reasons why this is a bad idea, Minerva said, and she is right, but so is he, and none of those reasons really matter - not when she sits astride him, looking down at him with the clear eyes of her namesake, silver-spun hair loose to her waist where his hands grip her tightly; and least of all when Severus, feigning sleep, feels Minerva's hands on his head, hears the spells of ward and guiding that she places on him, speaking the words in the softest whisper so that he will not wake and break them.

FIN

A/N – for any who are still a bit confused about the timeline of these chapters, chronologically they would have gone like this: Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 1, Chapter 5. I was inspired to write the events of Chapter 1 first, then felt driven to explore the backstory that led Severus and Minerva to that point, then wanted to round it off with a final chapter back in 'present time'. I hope that helps to make sense of it! - Verity