The Benefits to a Good Cup of Tea by Dafhine
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Ok, so I was a bit over eager to post this, as I just wrote it, and my beta is sleeping. So, here it is, let me know what ya think!

The Benefits to a Good Cup of Tea:

She gazed placidly at her mug of tea, delighting in the play of light over it, watching the shades change ever so slightly as the sun danced over it. She laughed silently to herself, a little chuckle that only she would ever know escaped her lips.

She stretched her legs, delighting in the heavy feel of the chaise’s fabric under her bare toes, which wiggled in the sunlight. Enjoying the marvelous release of tension as she curled up and stretched out along the chaise lounge, she was now content to lie appreciatively along its surface and trace a finger along the rim of her mug, which lie on the floor next to her resting place.

Certainly, tea was a wonderfully sensual thing, was it not? The way it rolled down your throat, sending wonderfully warm sensations all the way down to your core. She closed her eyes to think of other things, other people to be precise, who did just about the same.

But no, Severus Snape would sneer at the thought of being compared to a mug of tea. After all, did he not do more than just warm her core? Did he not ignite her senses and cause her to flail and scream his name? Did he not keep her warm at night?

But of course, so did her tea, and with considerably less snark about things too. She opened her mouth slightly to let out a soft chuckle again, arching her back, and delighting in the friction it caused. She relaxed once more, taking pleasure in the aromas that assaulted her nose, the light citrus scent that lazily floated up to her head, and the deep smell of sandalwood which penetrated her senses. It told her at once who this lounge belonged to, and she knew, better than any, that its owner would soon awake and come to claim his possession.

She watched the ceiling patiently, lazily awaiting the entrance of her lover. Her lover, who would soon seek her out, hair all rumpled from sleep, and eyes glittering with a need for her. She reasoned that he would be awake any moment now, and kept falling back to the distraction of her tea, which, she reasoned, was a lot like her lover.

Bitter at first to the taste, Severus had not been one to let her in easily. But, Hermione Granger did well when she put her mind to getting what she wanted, and Severus, he had been what she had wanted. She remembered fondly the day he let her in his rooms, “Shut up and let me love you”, she had said.

The aftertaste was less biting, and more subtle, its taste rolling in the back of her throat. He was never going to be the kind of man that would change his ways much, he was too stubborn and set in the way he lived his life for that, but he did allow her to insert herself among what he saw as the tattered remains of his life.

He wasn’t tattered at all to her, he was as sarcastic and as callous as ever, and she loved him dearly for it. Day to day he was her respite, her sanity, her friend, and her lover. He supported her, and encouraged her, even if he still did pout every time she left for a conference.

In fact, he looked near pitiful the first time she had to leave him, if Severus Snape could ever be described as pitiful that is. There he was, standing in the middle of her flat without a scant bit of clothing on except his thin nightshirt, his eyes pleading gently, his hair sticking out and begging to be smoothed down, and his arms gently tugging around her waist.

She remembered being 3 hours late to that particular conference. Although, she supposed it made them even after the time he missed class completely on account of her rampant desire for him.

Yes, tea was a very sensual object indeed, and really, if a man could not appreciate the finer points of a cup of tea, what could he do for her?

Not too far off in her mind she could hear the faint sounds of somebody bustling around the kitchen, putting the kettle on, and dragging his feet. She blushed when she thought of the way his long, elegant fingers went to work preparing his morning dose of caffeine. She rather thought those enticing digits could be put to better use, Severus Snape was a man of many talents, which she knew from experience.

Predictably, a short time later she was greeted with the sight of a sleep worn Severus, his hair mussed, and his glance uneven. He moved to perch on the lounge which she was currently occupying; his long legs folding gracefully as he tiredly placed a possessive hand on her thigh and a kiss on her forehead. His sensitive nose twitched delicately as he curiously inhaled the room’s scent, stopping only to frown at his beloved witch.

“Surely you are not drinking Earl Grey woman?” he sniffed disdainfully once more, confirming his own suspicions.

“Shut up and make love to me.”

He sighed, gazing at her sleep rumpled hair and the passionate gleam in her eye, and was only marginally disappointed he was not able to settle down to his Thai tea. All his longing for a good cup of tea was erased however as he scooped her up and carried her to their bedroom.

“Silly woman”, he mumbled into her hair, “impatient as always.”

20 years had not dulled the life of their marriage.