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FIC for writermerrin: "In His Eyes" (G)

Title: In His Eyes
Author: imisstheobvious
Recipient: writermerrin
Rating: G
Word count: ~2,000
Warnings: None
Summary: A series of events from 1976-1979; mistakes and consequences, and perhaps a chance at something different.
Disclaimer: The recognizable characters belong to JKR and not to me. I’m just playing with them.
Author's Notes:


In His Eyes



"What're you looking at?" he inquired, his voice a little testy, defensive.

"Your eyes," she replied simply.

He thought about telling her not to, but anything that had her looking at him ... wasn't anything he really wanted her to stop. "And what do you see in my eyes, Lily Evans?"

"I don't know. They're awfully dark."

"Maybe you should get closer then," he quipped, not for a minute imagining she would.

"All right," she agreed.

And then her face was there, mere inches from his, her nose touching his, their breath mingling ... and he didn't dare pull his head back. "What do you see now?" he murmured.

"Lighting must be bad," she murmured as she lifted a hand to push away the flop of hair across his forehead. "All I see is me, in your eyes."

He wondered, often, if she knew exactly what she was doing when she did and said things like that. "Maybe that's all that's ever been in my eyes," he said quietly. He did notice, with a bit of smugness, the momentary surprise that registered in her emerald eyes as she drew her head back. A half-smirk quirked his lips.

She smirked back before she stuck out her tongue at him. Her attention dropped back to her homework, and after a moment she was aware of his eyes sliding away from her to pay attention to his own work.

~*~

He looped his arms around her waist, pulling her body back against his, delighting in her squeal of laughter. He buried his face for a moment in her hair, inhaling the scent of her before he loosened his arms around her, letting her turn within them. He felt the comfortable, familiar weight of her arms on his shoulders, and he smiled at her.

When they were face to face like this, lately all he thought about was kissing her. Here, in the spring air of the last Hogsmeade trip before their OWLs, it was harder and harder to restrain himself. Leaning in, he rested his forehead to her own. It wouldn't take much to bring their lips together. A tilt of his head, a little lift of his chin. But at the same time, the little motions seemed to be enormous, and he simply couldn't.

He always hoped that one day she would. That she'd press her soft lips to his, that she'd kiss him, that she'd know what he'd known for a while already - he belonged to her.

Lily gazed into Sev's eyes, so close to her own, near black reflecting her own green back at her. Lately, she thought she was seeing different things in his eyes ... deeper things. Things that ventured beyond friendship. She wondered if she was imagining it, but sometimes - moments like these - she didn't think she was.

Her eyes flickered, momentary doubt clouding them before she started to incline her head to one side, wondering if this was right. But his eyes were already starting to close, blocking out the reflection of herself. She pressed her lips to his, and after a fraction of a second of hesitation, he returned her kiss.

His arms tightened around her, pressing her body even closer to his. When she felt his fingers clutching the back of her robes, Lily knew she'd done the right thing.

Flushing slightly, she broke the kiss. Tilting her chin, she regarded him. "Am I still the only thing in your eyes, Severus?"

"Always," he assured her before he released her from his embrace, wrapping an arm around her waist so they could walk along.

~*~

How could things possibly go so wrong in such a short time? Lily was curled up in a chair in the commons, aware of the drying salt on her face from the tears she'd shed. How could he call her that? In front of a crowd, nonetheless?

Had it all been a lie? The kisses, the touches, the unspoken promises of something more that they'd shared in the few short weeks since the Hogsmeade trip. Always. What a lie that had been. The reminder of it sent another tear trickling down her cheek, but she didn't bother to brush it away.

Sorrow and anger bled together until she was simply apathetic. They'd had such plans for the summer, for when they finished school. Had she known, at least in the back of her mind, that it had all been lies? That his heart had truly been with his Death Eater friends? She'd hoped their friendship - or what their friendship was becoming - could have overcome his attraction to the darkness, but clearly she wasn't enough for him. Not if he could call her that.

Lily was aware of Potter watching her, but she couldn't make herself care about that, either. Whatever he thought, whatever he was thinking now, she didn't care. At least he wasn't bothering her now.

Eventually though, she got tired of the eyes on her and she retreated from the commons to go to bed. She'd missed dinner ... but she didn't care.

~*~

Her face was flushed, her robes were slightly askew, and she knew her lips were a little swollen. James Potter was a lot of annoying things, even now in their last year at school, but he was a very, very good kisser.

Attempting to straighten her robes and balance her books as she stepped into the library, Lily didn't notice the other person until she'd collided with him. With a soft gasp, she struggled to hold her books together, though one fell all the same. "Dammit," she hissed softly, and that was when she noticed who she'd collided with.

Severus had been surprised to feel someone plowing into his back - the library wasn't really a place a lot of people hurried around. He glanced back, and when he saw who it was, he frowned. When he saw the state of her hair, her lips, her robes, he felt a flush of anger rip through him. He knew damn well who she'd been snogging, and he hated it. Hated what a hypocrite she'd become. She'd hated Potter, and that had all changed earlier this year when they'd been made Head Boy and Head Girl. Potter was no different. Not to him. He was still the same arrogant, bullying toerag he'd always been ... except now he kept it quiet around her.

Even knowing better, knowing it wasn't going to help, he couldn't help the reaction. He slipped his foot aside and kicked the fallen book out of the way. It wasn't anger at her that had prompted it; it was anger at Potter ... but at this point, they may as well be one and the same. He glared at Lily before he started toward the door.

Lily bit her lip as she watched Severus kick her book away. Watched him walk away. He was no better than the others, anymore. Rosier, Mulciber, Avery ... and now Snape. Still, it stung the part deep inside of her that even now harbored some twisted hope that someday they could be friends again. That he'd realize all he was doing wrong. She hoped, somehow, she could still be enough for him.

Stretching, she reached out to pull the book back over to her before she stood up. She cradled her books to her chest and debated going after him. Maybe hitting him in the back of the head with the book, but ... it wouldn't help anything. Lily retreated to a corner table to try to study some, but her thoughts kept drifting to the encounter, going over what she'd seen in his eyes.

Or rather, what she hadn't seen.

~*~

It was chance, completely and utterly, their next encounter. A few weeks prior to her wedding she was out on an errand when she very nearly literally bumped into him again. She hadn't seen him in half a year, not since they'd left school, but even she could see he'd lost weight he could ill afford to lose.

"Sorry," she murmured as if he were simply another bloke on the road and not who she knew him to be.

Severus turned at the sound of her voice, his dark eyes looking her over. He'd heard about the upcoming wedding and he hated the idea of it. Lily ... Lily should marry him. Should be with him, the way they'd hinted and implied when they were in school. When they were still friends. Before he'd screwed everything up. He could let this go, but he might not have another chance.

"I need to talk to you," he said softly, sincerely.

"What's left to say?" There was a fair bit of acid in her voice because anger was easier to deal with than pain.

"A lot." He reached out to take her hand. For a moment, he thought she'd pull away ... but she didn't. She looked up at him, and he knew she was searching his eyes again. What did she see, now? A man who was beginning to realize everything he'd lost and everything he hadn't gained? "Five minutes," he breathed. "Five minutes, Lily."

Emerald eyes flickered over dark ones, seeing a shadow of herself reflected there. "Five minutes," she agreed. She followed him out of the shop and around the corner into the alley behind it. Her hand remained near her wand though she didn't draw it. Maybe it was naivety, or perhaps it was simply a subconscious acknowledgement that, despite everything, she still trusted him. She had no reason to, certainly, but she could remember the child he'd been. The promises he'd made then.

Wrapping her arms around herself against the cold, she looked at him. Studied him as the chill wind flushed his pale cheeks. Searched his eyes again and again to see if she saw anything there that would tell her what she needed to know.

Severus began to speak and it wasn't at all what Lily had been expecting. It wasn't apologies or pleading, it was a carefully detailed account of the next Death Eater planned attack. When he'd finished relating it to her, she tilted her head before she shook it slightly.

"Why?" she whispered.

He knew she didn't mean 'why are they doing that' ... she meant 'why are you telling me this'. He didn't know for certain, not completely, but he knew he couldn't continue on the way things were going. She'd been right; he saw that now. It might be too late to fix anything, to change anything, but she'd been right. He was interested in Dark Magic, yes. He hated his father, yes. But he wasn't a Death Eater. He didn't want to kill all Muggles or Muggleborns. He didn't want to kill her. He didn't want to see her hurt, ever, and if he continued the way he was going, there would come a time when she would be hurt.

But how to tell her that? How to tell her everything without actually telling her anything at all? He didn't want to tell her he loved her. Not with her about to marry Potter. She didn't love him. She wouldn't, she couldn't. But she had to be safe.

"I have a lot to make up for," he said simply.

"And here was where you chose to start?" She tipped up her chin to regard him.

"Better late than never." He lifted one ungloved, cold hand and rested it against her cheek. He brushed his thumb along her lower lip before letting his hand fall away. "You were right," he said quietly. "I'm sorrier than you'll ever know."

He tilted his head slightly as a gust of wind blew down the alley, pushing away his hair. He was aware of her eyes on him, knew what she was looking for, and hoped she saw it. With a last glance at her, he smiled. "Always, Lily."

Turning away, he strode a few feet down the alley before he pivoted on one heel and popped away, leaving her unable to follow, even if she'd wanted to. He loved her, and he would always love her, but he couldn't make himself be happy for her. Not while she was marrying Potter.

Lily stared down the alley at the point he'd vanished, thinking about his words. All of his words. He'd betrayed his friends, his fellow Death Eaters, and the realization slowly dawned on her. He'd made mistakes, and now he was trying to fix them ...

... perhaps she should do the same.

Turning away, she shuffled out of the alley, her mind whirling as she considered the possibilities this open door represented. What she could have, what he could have, what they might be able to make work, if they were careful. Very careful. She'd seen herself again in his eyes ... and she could hope.

Comments

This very nearly broke my heart, in a very good way. So much about Snape and his backstory is about pain and loss and bad choices. Lily was something good and pure in his life that also went all to hell in the end. Thank goodness for fanfic, yes? And the fact that so many of us manage to look at him empathetically.

"Better late than never." He lifted one ungloved, cold hand and rested it against her cheek. He brushed his thumb along her lower lip before letting his hand fall away. "You were right," he said quietly. "I'm sorrier than you'll ever know."

These lines really caught my attention because "Better late than never" is such a fitting motto for him. Very well done.
I like the whole idea of the symbolism here.

Flushing slightly, she broke the kiss. Tilting her chin, she regarded him. "Am I still the only thing in your eyes, Severus?"

"Always," he assured her before he released her from his embrace, wrapping an arm around her waist so they could walk along.


Awwww....! *dribble*
This is very lovely as well as heartbreaking; I admire how you ended on a note of hope, which only twists the knife some more. Well done.
You beautifully played that 'in your eyes' motif :) It bounds the whole story and invokes canon so well :) I really hope they will work out their differences.
AWESOME!

What a great look into theme and imagery tied into glimpses of canon! I love it!

I also really liked this line:

There was a fair bit of acid in her voice because anger was easier to deal with than pain.

And the entire last half dozen paragraphs were really good and made me smile and sorta tear up a bit. :(( Poor them! DOOMED!