4th Approach…

To a satisfactory end

Severus slumped into his armchair, the crackling fire providing no consolation for his heavy heart. He sighed deeply as he glared glumly into the flames.

Lupin must hate me. He had good reason to do so.

After that disastrous evening Severus had seen neither hide nor hair of the werewolf for over a month. Unable to face the man after brutally invading on his most private thoughts and, even worse, using them against him, the Potions master had preferred to deliver the following doses of Wolfsbane potion secretly, hoping Lupin wouldn't be too offended to take them.

On the night of the Full moon he got a visit from a furious Sirius Black.

"What the fuck did you do to him?"

Severus had glared with loathing at the man. Not even his guilty conscience about Lupin could quench his hatred of that sorry excuse for a man, after all.

"If 'he' hasn't told you anything, Black, do you honestly think he would appreciate me telling you."

Black's eyes were blazing. Naturally, he hadn't thought about that.

"That idiot just won't tell me anything, taking it upon himself, as always. But we both know, it's all your fault, you heartless piece of shit! The last time he was with you, he went missing 'til morning, showing up chilled to the bone and blood dripping from his arm! And now he won't even let me keep him company for the Full moon! Just what the heck happened?"

Showing nothing of his worry Severus asked as if bored: "He did take his medicine, didn't he?"

"Of course he did, you bastard.." Black didn't notice Severus' relief as he suddenly got an idea: "That's it, isn't it? He knows you tempered with the Wolfsbane! You.. slimy little-"

Black had advanced on the Potions master in a fury, ready to strike at the man when he found himself on the wrong end of a nasty spell that send him slamming backwards into the door.

Severus towered over the slumped man, wand trained at the Animagus as he glared down in silent rage.

"You can assure Lupin the Wolfsbane Potion will perform perfectly as always. Now, I recommend you run back home, before 'someone' might alarm the ministry officials to your presence here."

With a flourish Severus turned around and left for his private rooms, not caring how or if Black found his way back safely.

.

By the time the next Order meeting was called in Severus had grown unnaturally nervous.

How to respond to this newfound knowledge of Lupin's desires?

He didn't know what to do, if Lupin should breach the subject. Yet, he couldn't ignore the matter either… which would have been preferable, but, of course, unacceptable for the dark-haired man's messed up mind!

They had to work this out sooner rather than later, if only for Severus' sanity.

Thus, he was thoroughly disgruntled when he noticed Lupin's absence that evening.

When enquiring about his whereabouts he was told the werewolf had offered to take over watch duty at the Ministry from an overworked Tonks.

Scowling Severus doubted that the Auror's wellbeing had been the only concern in that decision, but reasoned that he would have another chance at catching the Lycanthrope at the next meeting.

But the next time, Severus arrived only to find Lupin missing from the group once again.

Rumours ranged from a common cold to a recovery from a curse, but a glaring Black simply stated: "He didn't want to see your face."

When the Potions master visited Grimmauld Place to deliver the first goblet of Wolfsbane Potion a week later and was greeted by a note telling him to just leave it at the kitchen table Severus had enough.

This was ridiculous.

He timed his next visits differently in hope of catching Lupin at home, and on the fifth day he finally found the man in the late Black's master bedroom, comparing drawings with an old text book.

"We need to talk", Severus dead-panned, tone faintly accusing as he stood in the door with his arms folded.

Lupin jumped at the sudden disruption and there was a slight hesitance as he slowly turned around to the Potions master.

Severus lost some of his temper as he saw exhaustion on the werewolf's face. It was strange, Severus thought at that moment, that you could watch someone your whole life, and never really see their face; and he was surprised by the feeling of familiarity crushing into him at finally seeing Lupin's face after all these weeks. But at the same time he felt like a deep rift had opened up between them.

Lupin's eyes were a bit bloodshot and, although the former professor for DADA managed to hide his emotions, the telltale absence of a smile made Severus sense some kind of tired resignation.

He looked cold.

"About what?"

"You know what", Severus hissed, agitated by the indifferent tone of the other.

"Ah." Lupin sighed. "Well, as far as I'm concerned there's nothing to talk about. If you would excuse me now?" The werewolf made his way to the door, never even looking at the Potions master.

"Oh? Is that why you are shirking meetings now?" Severus' words were dripping sarcasm as he defiantly remained in the doorway, blocking his path.

He was gripping Lupin's arm to make sure he didn't slip by, when he was suddenly whirled around and found himself pressed into the nearby wall, Lupin's hands on his collar making sure he stayed that way.

The werewolf looked furious as he put his face right in front of Severus'.

"Do you really want to talk about entering my mind against my will? Or about using my secrets against me?... I didn't think so", he spit out, when Severus didn't react, still too surprised about the sudden forceful reaction from the normally mild-mannered Lycanthrope.

Lupin let go of him then, taking a step back to give Severus some room.

"You can rest assured. I'm not going to tell anyone. As for blackmailing me, go ahead. It's not like I expect you to keep my secrets." The man snorted bitterly and then stormed out of the door before Severus could even react and when the Potions master went looking for him, an empty goblet of Wolfsbane Potion was all that was left.

Well, at least he's taking his Potion.

.

Lupin did attend the next meeting. And although he clearly did his best to pretend that Severus wasn't there, he didn't seem to feel any contempt left for the Potions master, either. Only uneasiness.

So they were back at the beginning, Severus thought with a sigh, only that this time Lupin was openly avoiding the Potions master.

Which was unnerving Severus to no end, since he still felt compelled to clear things up with Lupin.

Severus didn't even know what he wanted to accomplish by explaining himself to the werewolf, but he found himself lingering after meetings nonetheless, paying Grimmauld Place more visits than necessary, waiting for an opportunity.

But the man flat out refused to talk to him, just brushing past Severus every time the Potions master tried to confront him. In addition Black apparently had taken it upon himself to guard his friend from further harm, growling hostilely whenever he saw the Potions master enter his house, and conveniently appearing every time Severus managed to catch Lupin alone. From the slightly hurt and questioning look he gave his friend it was clear, that the Animagus was still kept in the dark by his fellow marauder, palpably straining their current friendship… Which, in his dark hours, made Severus consider telling the mongrel about the werewolf's thoughts. It would certainly make for a good revenge on the despised man and in addition would probably cost the werewolf his shield.

It would also cost Severus any chance of reconciliation with Lupin, though. And he didn't want to aggravate the tawny-haired man any further.

Only, between Black fiercely watching his friend's back and the werewolf's uncanny audacity to simply Apparate when left with no other way out, Severus was growing more and more aggressive with every failed attempt. In the end he even wrote letters to the stubborn bastard, only for them to be returned unopened.

Severus was running out of options.

.

Then, Sirius Black died.

.

The House of Black seemed to be even glummer than usual as Severus descended down the cellar stairs.

The Full moon had already set, although you couldn't tell from within these windowless walls, and since the Potions master already had looked at every other place Lupin might have spent the night secured, it was with an air of certainty that he opened the cellar doors; and he found what he had come for, lying before him in an iron cage.

Determinedly he settled down against the wall opposite to the confinement, waiting for the exhausted man inside to rise from his sleep.

.

An hour passed before the naked backside inside the cage moved in a shudder and Lupin's hand sluggishly reached out for something to cover his freezing body up with. But there was nothing in the vicinity.

"I'm not going to say anything nice about Black."

Severus' words were void of any emotion.

"He got what he deserved."

Lupin flinched, then groaned as he tried to drew in on himself even more. His voice was broken and small as he pleaded: "He's gone two days, Severus. Can't you allow me a little bit more time?"

"And loose this opportunity to finally have you listen to me? I don't think so", Severus drawled.

Sighing Lupin slowly and painstakingly sat up and, looking over his shoulder, spotted his robes, wand and the key to the cage lying next to the Potions master.

"I don't suppose you will grant me the decency to cover up a bit, first?"

"I'd rather take no chances."

"Of course not", Lupin snorted bitterly.

Eventually he moved around to face the Potions master, subtly trying to hide as much of himself as he could as he sat there cross-legged, in silent acceptance of the imminent cruelty of his visitor.

Now, that he had Lupin's undivided attention, though, Severus didn't know what to say. He stared at the werewolf instead, looking for a clue, a reason for the madness this man had invoked in the Potions master.

The intense scrutiny made Lupin flush and gulp in turn.

"If I promise not to run, would you reconsider-"

"No", Severus interrupted bluntly, signalling the man to not disturb his musings.

Lupin scowled in exasperation.

After another round of silence:

"What do you want, Severus?"

I have no bloody idea where to start, Severus thought and he startled Lupin, when he jumped up and started to pace in front of the cage, blazing eyes glancing at him once and again, before the dark-haired wizard suddenly stopped and turned on the man.

"YOU", he gripped the bars as he leant forward, "are driving me mad!"

Lupin, who had automatically stumbled to his feet when Severus had stood, took a startled step backwards at the Potions master's sudden move.

"What do I want?" Severus asked incredulously. "I want you out of my mind! I want to stop constantly thinking about you! But I just can't! Not with you acting strange, apparently. So we have to work… this out." He drew himself up and made a vague gesture between them.

"How?" Lupin asked, suspicion layered by hurt. "It's not like I can control my feelings! I wasn't even aware of those thoughts until that damn evening. And I certainly never meant for you to see them! But I would never act on them, anyways, if that's what's bothering you…"

Severus mulled that over.

"No..", he agreed, "I guess you're right. You have done all you can. Which means, it's on me now…"

Taking in the sight of Lupin, shivering, naked and dirty from his night on the cold floor, Severus realized, he should have felt disgusted, even satisfied. Months ago he would have. But now he didn't.

Instead he was overcome by the desire to get the man cleaned up and warm.

Thinking about it, he wouldn't even mind getting personal in the process…

The dark-haired wizard groaned.

I really am doomed to this man.

Severus suddenly turned around sharp to pick up Lupin's belongings and the key.

Only one more thing to clear up now, really.

"Do you still hold those feelings for me, Lupin?"

The tawny-haired man was confused and only with greatest caution took the robes offered through the bars. A swish from Severus' wand cleaned the grime from his body as he hurried into his clothes.

Never looking at the Potions master, Lupin tried to sound indifferent as he answered:

"Does it matter?"

Oh, so he does!

Severus smirked darkly.

"Good", he drawled.

The werewolf didn't feel very reassured by that smile.

"Why?" he asked anxiously as the cage door opened with a creak.

Severus waited for Lupin to reach for his wand, which the Potions master was still holding in his hand, when he grabbed onto the werewolf's wrist and drew the surprised man to his body.

Then he ruthlessly exploited the werewolf's weak points, when he purred directly into his ear: "Because, Lupin, I'm intent on making good on those fantasies of yours.. and mine."

In accordance with his desires he sealed that vow with a passionate kiss.

If his sanity was dependent on Lupin, he simply had to make Lupin dependent on him.

So, as he felt the werewolf yield to the kiss he swooped him up and headed for the fireplace.

He knew just the way to do that.

Reaching …

The epilogue

Weeks later Severus Snape let himself fall into his beloved armchair in front of the fire and sighed deeply. The day had been long and taxing, but at least the newest Potions Quarterly seemed to be a promising read, and with a satisfied smile he opened the magazine, immersing himself in the world of potions.

"Are you going to waste the whole evening with reading this boring stuff, Severus?" Remus Lupin whispered huskily into his ear, before burying his nose into the –thanks to a certain potion– silky black hair. He planted a kiss on the back of the Potions master's neck, which as always elicited a little moan from the taciturn man.

After that incident in the Blacks' cellar it had still taken Severus some time and effort to prove to the werewolf that he considered their new relation to be of a permanent nature, and the memories always put a devious smile on the dark wizard's face.

The reserved man had been blushing quite magnificently those days. Then he had quickly set out to catch up with the Potions master's prowess of making his lover helplessly aroused.

Needless to say the Marauder managed that quite well by now and was proving to be even more of a distraction than the Potions master's fantasy formerly had been.

Severus sighed indulgently.

"How did you get in? I've set my wards up."

Remus chuckled, a deep rich rumble that Severus found to be very stimulating, especially during a blow-job. In fact, the Potions master had discovered that the tawny-haired man possessed quite a range of sounds that had interesting effects on Severus' body. And with gaining confidence Lupin had added more and more of those into their lovemaking over the past weeks.

"As soon as I figured out how you rigged your fireplace, Severus, it was easy to make some minor changes to transport me, too."

A pair of hands slithered over Severus' shoulders and down his front, and the dark-haired man had to intercept them before they could reach their destination.

"Oh? And what have you been doing in my quarters all this time, Lupin?"

The warning tone was only half-way playful.

"Mmh", the Lycanthrope nearly moaned into his ear. "Wouldn't you want to know that? Well, I could always show you." Severus' dick was already straining against his confines. "And then maybe you can show me another fantasy of yours, love."

Those four letters always worked like a spell on him and with a growl he was out of his chair and impatiently shoving Remus towards his chambers. As he fell in bed after the laughing man, brown eyes were dancing with mirth and the tawny-haired man was beaming up at him.

Severus never had told Remus about the forgotten night that had started all of this, too afraid to lose the Gryffindor because of stupid morale standards. But maybe, if he approached him now, Remus wouldn't be averse to being tied up and blindfolded?

Mmh…Maybe next time when I acquire that special ingredient.

END…

AN: Aaand, there you have it. The hopefully satisfactory end to this little story;)

I thank everybody for staying with me and I would be delighted if, by chance, you'll happen upon another story of mine in the future.

Until then: Fill the gaps in the epilogue (I know your mind is already working;) and spread the love, in whichever form it comes.^^v