September 13th, 2008
|dracofiend||02:38 am - Renaissance|
Summary: Romance. A few words, to revive a long love.
A/N: For dementordelta’s birthday! *puts on party hat* Have tons of fun at that ren faire and watch some jousting for me! ♥
Familiarity, Harry thought as he pulled the towel from its rung, doesn’t really breed contempt. He pushed it against his dripping chest, over his arms, his waist, his legs. It was more like discontent, but not quite, because he knew he really had nothing at all to complain about. He stepped out of the shower, onto the matted rectangle of rug, and began toweling his hair. Familiarity breeds a vague suggestion of guilt-inducing, unjustified discontent. It didn’t have much of a ring to it, he supposed.
“I’m through,” he called out, so as to be heard in the bedroom. “Your turn—and hurry up because we’re going to be late.” He finished drying himself and re-hung the towel, then moved to the sink and put his glasses on. The lenses were fogged over; when he’d cleared them, Severus was still nowhere to be seen.
“Come on! Severus!”
He looked at himself in the mirror, feeling distinctly cross. Mornings. He bent forward, tilting up his jaw, and considered going a third day without shaving. Severus hated it when those hairs were left unchecked—but then Severus wasn’t being especially cooperative at the moment. Harry turned his face from one side to the other, then dropped his chin. He slid his toothbrush from its place next to Severus’, loaded it with toothpaste, and foamed up his mouth, studying the lines under his eyes that appeared more prominent each day. The ravages of time, Harry thought as he brushed. Time with Severus. He cleared his mouth into the sink, changing his mind. No, just time. He rinsed his teeth, his toothbrush, his face once again, pressing it dry on a hand towel. When he raised his head, he was still alone in the bathroom.
Harry’s feet slapped softly against the soothing tile; they padded silently across short carpeting, carrying him to the edge of the bed and to the great lump that breathed gently in and out. “Severus,” he said, looking down at the lump, the wrinkly sheets, the gray-black tangles spread over a double thickness of pillows. Severus always co-opted Harry’s in the mornings; he never left bed until the latest possible moment. Harry had spoken his name quietly, but by now he was irrevocably put out. He remembered a time, perhaps years ago, when the man would’ve leapt from cozy slumber directly into a pit of fire and crocodiles at the merest word from him. Harry prodded, once, at the center of the lump. Those days were apparently long gone.
He waited a few more moments; the wrinkly sheets rustled and the black-gray hair slid some ways down the pillow, but no further progress appeared forthcoming. Harry padded to the dresser, to put on boxers. He padded to the closet, to put on a shirt.
The gushing of the tap startled him; Harry yanked the shirt down over his damp hair, upsetting his glasses. He fixed them on his nose and looked over to see Severus, standing at the sink, toothbrush in hand, staring bleary-eyed at his naturally cantankerous reflection. Harry put on his trousers and listened to Severus brushing his teeth, turning on the shower.
He’d finally located his Ministry authentication badge in the pocket of a pair of trousers on the floor and was just putting on his robes when he heard Severus step into the closet, behind him.
“Harry,” he said.
“What,” Harry mumbled, frowning as he concentrated on the fiddly clasps down his front. He hated these clasps with an irrational passion.
“You,” Severus said in his careful, measured tone, “are the love of all my yesterdays and tomorrows.”
Harry’s tired fingers paused; a hook slipped from where it was half-jammed into its eye.
“If you had a jot of common sense you would’ve learned by now,” Severus told him. Firm hands grasped his shoulders and turned him lightly around. The damp ends of Severus’ hair were pitchdark and clean-scented; they leaked droplets of water onto his lax sallow skin as he did up Harry’s clasps with much-practiced ease. “It’s not possible to fasten those robes yourself.” He smoothed Harry’s collar and bent his face near.
“You should shave,” he said, so that their cheeks brushed roughly. Severus kissed Harry’s neck, bumping his nose into Harry’s ear, which made Harry smile because it never failed to tickle, just a bit. Then he drew upright and moved aside to put on clothes. Harry watched Severus step into faded underwear, balancing on one foot, then the other, and it occurred to him, anew, that familiarity breeds familiarity—and there was nothing better in the whole world than that.