Disclaimer: You know the drill... I don't own Willow or Snape... yadda yadda yadda...
"Oh, the blues will be blue and the jealousies green
But when love picks its shade it demands to be seen" –The Red Strokes
Midnight surrounded them with moonlight as a cool breeze gently stroked their hair. Neither believing the war to be over. For a long time had they waited, so much energy wasted. Yet they stand here in silence, sipping their wine. Away from the crowd, choosing to not acknowledge the others presence.
But they want to.
Severus let out a deep sigh, he knew that she was there, in the shadows. Contemplating and brooding just as he was. About everything that had happened in the past year that slowly pushed the two of them to reluctantly work together for the greater good. He couldn’t stand her. Her gentle laugh, and bubbly nature. Her deceitful naivete that seemed to lure people to her. No one was safe from the girl, and in the end he too came into her thrall.
When he met her, her innocence screamed at him. So much that he made a grand fool out of himself when he publically told Dumbledore that she was unfit for the DADA job. He had hoped to humiliate her, but it backfired. Innocent, she was not. Crafty, ornery, stealthy, difficult and beautiful were adjectives that would describe her. Among them were also: nerve wracking and snarky.
It was enough to drive him slowly insane. What’s more, he knew she felt the same way about him. So, why did he feel so alone now that he would not have her as a partner on a daily basis.
So, she decided to acknowledge him after all. Putting on his best sneer, he turned to the woman he had been brooding about for months.
“What do you want?” He asked in a gruff tone. She didn’t flinch like everyone else he used that tone on. Instead she stepped closer.
“I wanted to thank you.” Severus raised an eyebrow. He had not been expecting that answer. She continued. “You’ve been a real pain in the butt, but I’ve grown to appreciate our time that we spent working together. I just wanted you to know that.”
One look in her emerald eyes was all he had to do to believe her. She was sincere. Yet, there was something else, that she was not telling him. “What’s wrong, Salix?” He asked using the pet name he had christened her with.
In the moonlight he could see her eyes mist over. “I’m almost embarrassed to say it.” She said in a whispered voice.
“What?” He asked softly.
“The rest of the Scoobies are leaving tomorrow, but I don’t want to go.”
Turning away from her, he faced the lake. Was it possible that she truly did share the same feelings with him? He knew that the only way to find out was to ask, but at the moment, he couldn’t find the courage. So he settled on, “Then don’t go.”
He felt her body heat as she moved to stand behind him. “I have no reasons to stay.”
Severus bit the inside of his lip hard. He was at a total loss as of what to do. If he said nothing, they would go their separate ways, and he would go back to his life as a now coveted, lonely, bachelor. But, if he spoke there was a chance for him to never be alone again. Taking a deep breath, he turned to face her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “I don’t want you to go either.” He said softly.
Her tears that had threatened to fall moments before, did at this moment. Running in twin streams down her cheeks enticing him to reach up with both hands and wipe the moonlit, diamond drops away. Searching the depths of her eyes, he found something that he was well accustomed to. She had the same look when she needed wolfsbane, for her ex. Also when she needed him to quote, ‘trust me for once.’ Both times, she truly believed that she was in need, and when she gazed on him now, the need seemed to be magnified.
Deciding to take a chance, he slowly dipped his head, pausing a moment to see if she showed any signs that he was not welcome. Seeing none, he closed the gap and lightly touched his lips to hers, and immediately felt as if his heart had been given a boost as it started to beat rapidly. His nerves started sending reactions all through his body as her hands traveled up over his chest and around his neck to deepen the kiss.
He was shaking as the sensations flooded his body, and he could tell that she was too. He had never felt anything like it. It was pure.
Finally breaking the kiss for lack of air, his arms went around her body, now never wanting to let go. She lighted his darkness, and anything that can do that must be kept around. “Believe it or not, Willow, I’ve fallen in love with you.”
Willow purred on the inside. He had used her name for the first time since they met, and it rolled off his tongue like velvet. Then she realized what the rest of the sentence was and purred again. “And, I love you.” She whispered into his ear before kissing him once again.