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Warnings: Crossover-ish. Alludes to both het and slash pairings. (Snape/Lucius, Snape/Annabelle Chase, Snape/Phedre no Delaunay). Frighteningly cute. Character death mentioned in passing.
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine.
Summary: An AU of an AU. An envisioned future for Snape on Tabula Rasa is less bleak than expected.
Notes: Written for the_blank_slate, a multi-fandom RPG where characters are mystically transported to a desert island that has some crazy tendencies of its own. Random items appear of personal significance, the food never runs out in the kitchen, dinosaurs run around part of the island, there is no magic, and strange events like bodyswapping happen every so often. This was done for a meme in our character development community where players wrote ficlets about their pup's future on the island. It's impossible to explain all of Snape's backstory without writing a novel here, so if you want more information, just comment and I'll tell you anything you'd like to know.
It has been a very long time since Severus first found himself on Tabula Rasa. One year, three years, five years -- does it really matter anymore, this passage of time? Not to Severus. He's lost track, by now, of how old he should be. He knows that his hair is greying, jet black shot through with silver. His eyes are going, too; good thing an optometrist showed up four or five years back. The island even saw fit, after a year or so, to provide the good doctor with the tools of his trade so he could outfit all of the poor, aging adults with glasses.
Severus still spends most of his time reading, researching, creating. He's become quite proficient over the years in Muggle pharmacology, though he still hungers for the feel of magic coursing in his veins. He passes most of his time in the clinic, dispensing medicines, mixing up new batches of medicines and salves and syrups. No one -- no one -- fucks with this pharmacist.
Voldemort escapes, five years in, when part of the compound is destroyed in an explosion. (Some poor soul named Ethan Hunt appeared in the compound, like so many other new arrivals. Mr. Hunt, however, had the misfortune to appear with a bomb in his hands.) Severus kills Voldemort himself,with the bone knife that Riddick had given him. No one even considers prosecuting Severus for the act; with the injuries he sustained, it was clearly self-defence. Now, Dr. House isn't the only one with a limp and a cane.
It seems that every year, Lucius disappears, taken by the dinosaurs or the hurricanes or the Zombie Pygmy Invasion of Tabula Rasa Year 15 (Severus had been on the expedition with Dr. Brennan that discovered the zombies; seven of their team-mates died, but they were able to warn most of the island of the zombies in time to save so, so many). Every year, he disappears, and is replaced a few months later with a different version. One year he came back and was his eighteen year old cocky self; the next he was fifty and driven mad by Azkaban. This year, Lucius is twenty-three and beautiful, and Severus remembers the point in time where he would have done anything for this man.
Each time, Severus pushes him away, trying to rise above the man that he used to be so long ago. He has people to look after now -- not children of his own, never; but his friends, and the children of his friends, and he never thought that he could like any children as much as these ones -- and he can't afford to take any chances. But, without fail, Severus caves under the pressure again and goes to bed with the man who is his undoing, year after year.
There are always the old friends, though, that he knows he can always count on to soothe his battered soul.
There was the first time with Phedre, whom he'd always harboured an attraction for; she snuck into his room -- a private one by now, thank all that was holy -- one night and bid him to ask no questions. It changes something between them, for the good, and one day she presents him with a small stone engraved with a ragged dart, and explains it as a lover's token, given to her favourites. Her consort -- not husband, never husband -- glowers at Severus every time their paths cross, but was cordial enough. They had more in common than they thought, Phedre always tells Severus, though he's more unnerved than he'd like to admit by the fact that Joscelin, only ten-some years younger than him, could kill him before he even blinked were he displeased.
And when Erica, Annabelle's daughter comes running to him, twelve years old and already destined to be as beautiful as her mother, he already knows that something is amiss. Hawkeye's gone, and Annabelle won't speak to anyone. She lets him in, though, and he just holds her, fingers tangled in her hair, until she stops crying and slips off into sleep. They take up with one another time and again, easing each other through the rough spots of simply living, though both know they're better as friends and casual lovers than anything else.
Ultimately, he is alone, yet not. He has friends, no matter how much he wants to deny it. He has people who care for him. He teaches children who actually want to learn. At times, he believes that he truly is happy here.