Disclaimer: I do not make any money from the publishing of this story. Seriously. I swear. :P
"Would you like a drink or something?"
Severus shakes his head, staring down at the carpet he's soiled with his boots for the umpteenth time. Harry is usually cleaning it with a grumble by now, or pretending to be angry so they can 'make up' messily and all over the house.
He only glances down at Severus' shoes, his rain-slicked hair and moist face, and pads down the guest hallway to grab a towel.
Harry knows Severus dislikes drying charms, and Severus knows that if Harry were truly angry with him, he would have cast one to spite him. This means Harry is no longer angry with him, for better or for worse.
Severus takes the towel without a word and dries his hair and face, watching Harry afterward for a moment that stretches languidly into eternity.
"I moved most of your things into the hall closet." Harry says quietly, and it is a relief that he has broken eye-contact. "I wasn't sure about the potions or the pictures, so I left them where they were."
Severus nods, and an urge to pull the younger man to him wells up from the pit of his soul. He smothers it with the sober reality that he has not been home for nearly three months, and upon arrival, he has soiled the carpet.
Harry heads for the bedroom and Severus follows. They wind through the living room and dining room, a path so familiar Severus' heart begins to ache. Harry sinks onto the bed and gestures toward the wall and dresser, both littered with photos of them together, of Teddy on Severus' shoulders, both of them beaming.
Harry clears his throat. "You can take whichever ones you want. I moved my older ones into the kitchen and hallway."
Severus nods, not trusting himself to speak. He eyes the photos with a furrowed brow and picks up one of him and Draco, another of Draco and Scorpius. After a moment of deliberation, he sets them down again and turns to face Harry, who has begun to quietly cry.
"I don't want to leave you."
Harry shakes his head. "You already have."
Severus sits on the bed, and when Harry shifts away from him, it's like a physical blow. "I needed time, and I've had more than enough-"
"You could have asked!" Harry spits. "You could have left a fucking note! 'I'm not happy, I need time to think, don't forget to start the oven.' You just left, and I had no idea where you were! I asked Ron to look into it, and you were staying with Malfoy-"
"Draco." Severus corrects automatically, and Harry stares at him for a moment, beginning to cry with abandon.
"Just go back to him, Severus. Go back to him and leave me alone."
Severus smiles despite the sadness in his heart and reaches for Harry, pulling the younger man to him, despite his half-hearted struggle.
"I wasn't with Draco, Harry. I stayed in his home because he made it clear in the past that I was welcome. And all I did while I was away was think of you, every moment. In fact, I came to tell you that I'd rather just stay. It's not worth the effort, separating myself from you and trying to live alone, or even with someone else. I know that if I left, I would feel that you were missing, no matter the circumstances."
"So you're staying out of convenience?" Harry said sourly.
"I'm staying out of desperation."
Harry made another effort to pull away, and Severus let him, but kept him within arm's length, looking him in the eyes.
"You misunderstand. I am desperately in need of you. I need you in my life, whether we're fighting or eating or passing in the hall or fucking-"
Harry's eyes widen a little at that. He doesn't think he's ever heard Severus say that word pre-coitus.
"I'll need you around me for the rest of my life, if I'm going to function properly. Do you understand?"
Harry nods mutely. He's still unsure if Severus is being a selfish prat or making an attempt at romance. Severus puts a stop to that with a kiss, a gentle one, and it's so natural, Harry knows he doesn't stand a chance of resisting him for much longer.
As they separate, he lifts a hesitant hand to thread into Severus' hair, and the older man sighs and pulls Harry flush to him, kissing him with vigor, as he's wanted to for nearly three months.
"Merlin, I missed you so much." Harry gasps when they surface for air.
Severus nips beneath his jaw for good measure. "I'll never leave again if I can help it."
"I'm not cleaning the carpet."
"As a monument to my return?"
"As a mess you made that you'll have to clean yourself."
"Always a lesson to be learned with you, Potter."
"Never a dull moment with you either, Professor."