A/N: Yet another one-shot that came to me around 3 in the morning. It may have been a lot better when I was half asleep, but who knows. Please enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the job of babysitting two rather hyper children who nearly delete everything when they go anywhere near my laptop.
Hermione's eyes flew open, roving over the room, trying to take in her surroundings. Her breathing was loud in the otherwise quiet room.
She was in her bed in the dungeons of Hogwarts. She was safe. Calming down she looked left and saw a peacefully sleeping Severus. Yes. She was safe.
She hated waking him, but she had to. She'd never be able to get back to sleep if she didn't.
"Sev?" He didn't stir a bit. "Baby wake up." He let out a small groan. The war was taking its toll on everyone, but especially him. He's lucky if he got four hours of sleep most nights. Mercifully he had had that night off, and was dead to the world from the moment his head had hit the pillow. Hermione laid her hand on his arm, and he turned his head in response. His eyes slowly opened, still heavy from sleep. Seeing the freaked out look on her face he bolted upright.
"Nothing. Everything's alright." He raised his eyebrow in typical Snape fashion, proving that he didn't believe her for a second. She looked away from him. Her voice grew quiet. "It's just . . ."
"What?" He brought his hand up to brush a strand of her hair behind her ears. Sliding his hand beneath her chin, he tilted her head up to look him in the eyes. "Tell me."
"Just . . . kiss me. Please." She still seemed a bit frightened, and he could feel her shaking slightly.
Her eyes are what made him comply. Not that he'd say no to kissing her, just that it didn't seem wholly right under the circumstances. He knew the look that was in her eyes, had slowly come to learn what it was over the past few months. It was the look she had when she needed to know he was there, that she was safe. That they were both safe. He himself would get it a few times a month, depending on what kind of mood the Dark Lord was in.
Severus laid back down and brought his arms around her. She snuggled into him, immediately finding the sense of security she needed within his arms. His lips were soft and warm from sleep, moving gently, knowing the precise way she needed him. He pulled back to look at her, his eyes playful.
"Did my little lion have a bad dream again?" He spoke almost as though she were a child.
"I don't want to talk about it." She tried reaching up to kiss him, but he moved just out of her reach. "Hermione. Love, you've survived Death Eater attacks and been put in life-threatening situations more times than i'd care to remember. If anything your nightmares should be about that." He gave her a small smile, amazed at how brave she can be.
"I know it's stupid Sev, I just can't help it." He leaned down to place a quick kiss on the tip of her nose.
"I know, love. I know. We'll take about it in the morning. Now, try and get some sleep." Bringing his lips back down to hers, Severus knew that this would be the only way she'd fall back asleep. Lulled into a sort of haze by his kiss before succumbing to sleep wrapped around the safety his arms brought. He didn't mind it, he was glad that she had him there to help her. He didn't even want to think about the nights that she had to go through it alone. He could never fault her for it, he just would never understand it.
But understanding it wasn't in his description of being her boyfriend. His job was to protect her and chase away anything that dared harm her.
Including the clowns that ruled her nightmares.