Ill Met by Moonlight

This is a self-contained story set in the Supernatural by Gaslight 'verse, written in response to The Little Things challenge at the spn-het-love community on Livejournal. I selected the first list for the prompt: boots, moon, grove, roses, lightning. Our challenge this time around was to write a fic which included all five elements.

Disclaimer: The Winchester brothers, even within this incarnation, are regrettably not my creation.

Rating: M (Naughty Victorian antics, boots and more broken furniture.)

Pairings: Dean/OFC, Sam/OFC (implied)

Miscellaneous: The boots do, indeed, imply that I set this within the Supernatural by Gaslight 'verse. However, it is fairly self-contained, so if smut peppered with terms like "sweet laboratory of love" would amuse you, dive on in. It is unrelated to any part of the main plot. (And if you're following the Gobsmacked 'verse, you'll probably recognize some of the characters.) Because, really, my fandom is all about the boots...

It would have been impolitic to curse the slight form trudging resolutely next to him, hooded cloak wrapped tightly about her, but a character marked by foolishness was a passable justification for their midnight excursion.

She suggested the expedition so nonchalantly that Deane Winchester could determine no fault with her reasoning until they were engaged upon the endeavor. They carried no lantern to mark their passage, both of them wearing old boots and walking clothes as armour against the rain, and her demeanor as they ambled towards an unknown destination suggested that Deane would implicitly trust her sense of direction. Perhaps she could ramble throughout the countryside with nothing but moonlight as her guide but lesser mortals succumbed to frailty – particularly when it had begun raining a scant five minutes before their departure from Highchurch Manor.

The notion that he could walk unscathed through relative darkness during a thunderstorm across unfamiliar terrain was decidedly set to rest when Deane's right foot became lodged in the third hole since Penelope Harcourt's ill-conceived proposal had set them upon their present course.

"Bugger!" he bellowed, lurching forward. The only measure against permanent damage to the ankle was the solid leather of his boot – and the fact that Penelope had urged him to tie the laces as tightly as comfort would allow. The grounds will be slick during a storm, she had observed while they slipped out the kitchen door, passing the pile of rocks she claimed was her childhood paean to Stonehenge.

The damnable woman had the audacity to giggle, the sound rising forth from underneath her darkened hood, before a small hand reached down to grasp his. "Your incessant screaming must surely act as a detriment to your chosen profession," Penelope said. "Particularly the high-pitched note that resembles the tone and timbre of a thirteen-year-old girl."

"You are fortunate that I am the soul of patience, Penny," Deane returned sourly, left hand sliding in the mud as he attempted to right himself. "Otherwise, I would turn you over my knee."

"Why must you always make promises that you are loathe to keep?" Penelope's rejoinder was a sigh, her arms slipping around his waist as she helped to steady him. The hood of her cloak slipped down to her shoulders as she turned her face up to his, rain falling gently upon her hair still pinned up with small white tea roses that matched the trim on the violet dress she had worn for dinner. "Such actions insinuate that you are not a gentleman," she added, standing upon her toes to touch his lips with her own.

"Words I would consider with more vigor if the woman who uttered them had not exercised her charms to lure an innocent man to his watery doom." He reached underneath the cloak, hands seizing her skirt at each hip. Penelope's mouth opened to his, arms held tightly around his neck as Deane lifted her up. The roses in her hair, bruised by the rain, gave up their scent as his tongue brushed against hers. The hard moan that escaped between her lips was enough to increase the verve of his assault, particularly when her hands trembled against the back of his neck.

Deane released her mouth with an audible groan and set Penelope Harcourt sharply upon the ground. Her foot slipped and she tumbled forward, forehead recoiling against the rough scratch of his pea coat. He snorted as two small hands clutched the wool at his wrists, Penny's green eyes wide as her boots started to slide towards his – coming out of the mud with a great wet noise.

He did not allow her to fall, catching her about the waist quickly as he braced his back against the nearest tree.

"I will concede," she breathed softly, looking up into his eyes, "That you can act as a gentleman when it is required."

"Damn and blast, Penelope!" He grunted as she balanced herself upon his feet, a small wrench to his wrists as she tested her footing. "Is there a purpose to this exercise or are you simply endeavoring to ascertain my regard through various methods of torture?" Deane twisted his right hand. "I believe you have succeeded in dislocating my wrist. I would not have thought it probable that your puny arms would carry the strength only formerly displayed by your stunted legs."

"You should give thanks, Deane Winchester, that I am not consigning you to perform research." A smile played upon her lips as she pulled her hood back upon her head, giving a small shiver as she brushed her hand with his. It was cool to the touch. "But there is a purpose. It is just past the oak grove," Penelope added, boots once more striking out upon the ground as she moved forward.

"I was hopeful that there was some form of torture involved," Deane returned gently, waiting for the hood to whip sharply in his direction. He smiled. "One that would require you to brandish a whip while wearing nothing but your corset, Penny."

"You may yet consider it torture," Penelope retorted, increasing her pace as she found a patch of moonlight spilling through the clouds. She paused long enough to look backwards towards him, as though she were uncertain that he would continue following her. "My sketchpad is within my satchel."

Deane snorted. "I am wearing my boots."

"Ah," she returned lightly. "That would be ample evidence of your regard, would it not?"

Penelope passed through the final circle of trees, Deane close upon her heels as she strode purposefully across the wet grass. She made it no farther than the hole where she had been digging scant nights before, on some errand to retrieve what she had called her 'treasure box' – a collection of letters and other trinkets she and her cousin had buried. The rain had increased the size of the hole significantly and Penelope stared down at it, giving a sigh.

"Are you thinking of Bootsie?" Deane asked softly, moving to stand beside her.

"I should have been remembering him but I was not," she said. "He was a good man, before…" Penelope shook her head sharply. Deane refrained from mentioning that all men were good when compared to the beast their werewolf form unleashed upon the world nor did he inform her that Bootsie's death was inevitable the moment it had attempted to attack her.

"I was thinking about everything I had locked away." Penelope knelt, hand touching the edge of the hole. "Although my cousin will never admit this, I am glad that your brother retrieved it instead of leaving it exposed to the elements." Penny stood up. "It contained letters I wrote to you and never sent, along with pictures I drew to show you when your family returned to Westshire. There was even an invitation to my tenth birthday party that I asked Father to mail to your family's solicitor on my behalf; I found it a year later, tucked in a corner of his desk."

"Are any of the poems my brother has been memorizing penned by your hand?"

"No." Penelope laughed, slipping her hand into his for mere seconds before pulling away. "Vertiline is the only Hillsworth woman with a penchant for poetry. Father always believed that it was too sentimental for a woman who would marry a scientist." Her hood was once more around her shoulders and she smiled at him. "But there was a detailed sketch of a frog I was dissecting. Vertiline begged me not to add it to the box."

"You drew me pictures of an animal's innards?"

"I am not a poet."

"Given your artistic subject matter, that is surely a kindness to the literary world." Deane grinned at her. "I would have stabbed my eardrums with one of Samuel's screwdrivers the moment he began his dramatic presentation of A Sonnet for a Toad's Intestines." He grunted, deep in his chest. "Although imagining the look upon your cousin's face when Samuel attempted to perform it for her, believing all the while that it was a romantic gesture, might have made up for the pain of its recitation." He winked at her. "I do not suppose that we can contrive a sonnet between the two of us and slip it within the box before Samuel returns it to your cousin?"

"You are an incorrigible man, Deane Winchester," she managed before leaning against him, her laughter echoing across the grove. The moon shone on the flowers in her hair.

"That is part of my charm."

Penelope grasped his hand once she had ceased laughing, leading him past the patch of grass where Bootsie had died with a glance over her shoulder. Looming before them was a muddy opening between two large oak trees. The oak trees were marked with the same symbols, carved painstakingly into the bark. "Verd and I created runes to mark the path to our secret lair," she said, a twitch of the mouth betraying her solemnity. "They were meant to frighten unwelcome intruders but Father always managed to find us. I suppose that is because it was his playhouse before it was mine."

Deane returned her smile but it did not soften the ache in his throat. She was still there ambling with him down a dirt path, a four-year-old girl who placed flowers within Samuel's cradle – untouched by smoke and fire or the years that had separated them. The trees were thick, so closely grown together that the rain passing through the leaves was a light misting. Penny was humming, a song that he remembered her mother playing on the piano, and it was as though the last twenty years had disappeared.

"We used to play here together, Deane," Penny's voice interrupted his thoughts. "Do you not remember?"

They were standing in front of a small wooden building, set back within a clearing among the trees. "How could I forget the first woman I kissed, Penny?" Deane did not inform her that he would tell Samuel stories, when his little brother was still young enough to believe in fairy tales, about a castle that was hidden within the trees. It was the safest place in the world, Sammy, guarded by its own princess. She had eyes like her mother's, always watching over you while you slept.

"I cried whenever you made me kiss your freckles. There were so many of them." Penelope snorted when he raised his eyebrows at her. "But you were most obliging in allowing me access until my mother spied us in the midst of the act. We had to sit in separate corners for a full thirty minutes. Betsy informed me that we were caught attempting to complete the task throughout the entire summer, no matter the length of our punishment."

"What you are suggesting, in the most delicate manner possible, is that I was doomed at the age of six."

Penny laughed, reaching within her satchel. "It may seem a small consolation to you at this juncture but it was a mutual curse." A smile flickered across her face and she removed a small key that she used upon the lock. The door opened with a creak and they stepped inside, past a cloud of dust the motion of the door had unloosed. Deane blinked, watching Penelope close the door and twist the lock behind her.

The room was nearly empty, save for a table lodged between two cots – one much taller than the other – and it was scarcely large enough to house them and the small writing desk set underneath the window. One lopsided chair was pushed underneath the desk and there might have been lanterns in the room once. The moon itself was managing to illuminate the room through its one window, despite the old curtains that still hung about it. A flash of lightning, followed almost immediately by the groan of thunder, glimmered against the glass.

Deane divested himself of his pea coat, placing it over the chair atop Penelope's cloak, and sat down on the longer of the cots. Penelope sat down opposite him on the smaller cot, disentangling herself from the satchel she had slung over her shoulder and pulling out a sketchpad and charcoal from the bag. She flipped open her sketchpad and looked at him critically, head cocking to the left as she narrowed her eyes.

"Are you insane, woman?" Deane demanded. Penny's eyes widened. "You forced me to risk life and limb on a treacherous cross-country journey merely to sketch me?"

"There was a reason I informed you that I was bringing my sketchbook. As you fetched your coat before I had finished asking you to accompany me on a moonlit walk across the grounds, I believed you were amenable to the proposal." Her charcoal whisked across the page, short strokes as she watched him. "I would scarcely describe my father's back fields as treacherous," Penelope added.

"I nearly broke my ankle three times walking to this ramshackle hut. You would, no doubt, be as dirty as your boots had I allowed you to fall when your balance was threatened." The shake of Penelope's shoulders, combined with the wry slope of her mouth, did nothing to appease him.

"We are both waterlogged," Deane continued, his mouth twitching to match hers. "There is a draft coming from a loose board within the ceiling if the wind whistling through it is indicative of the breach." He leaned over and removed the sketchbook and charcoal from her hand, setting it next to her on the cot before grabbing Penelope's hands and forcibly pulling her onto his lap. "And I am hungry because you did not even allow me to partake of a midnight snack before walking out into the garden."

"That is hardly my fault, Deane. You have a meat pie secreted within your coat pocket. I can smell it." Penelope twisted her head to look up at him, taking a breath to add more to her inevitable tirade.

"A magnanimous gentleman would forgive your faults," Deane interrupted. His mouth came down on hers, opening with a tiny sigh as she tilted her head backwards. Penelope took his lower lip between her own, sucking gently, while he brought his hands down to cradle her hillocks – capital points sprouting beneath his palms underneath the thin, wet fabric. "But as you are no proper lady," he added, "I believe that I shall have my way with you."

"Your generosity is duly noted."

"I do not recall your complaints on any other occasion."

"My only complaint is your desire to thrust all blame upon me. If we are waterlogged, Deane Winchester, you will recall that I suggested the use of an umbrella." Penelope shifted and placed both arms tightly around his neck while she addressed him.

"Threatening to brain me with your umbrella, Penelope Harcourt, is not substantial fortification from a storm."

"You should not have informed me that I scamper across the countryside on my stunted legs," she returned. Her lips dipped down to the curve of his neck, licking droplets of water falling from his hair. "If I promise to assist your attempts to dry off before we return to Highchurch, can we make amends?"

"You did promise ample recompense for assisting you with research," Deane returned, hands reaching for the trail of buttons marking the length of Penelope's back. "If memory serves, you sent me to lunch with your father." She shuddered when the first button was undone, leaning into him with a sigh when he began pushing the sleeves down her arms.

"You are going to hold that over my head for the remainder of my days?" Her mouth had returned to his, breath hot against the twist of his smile, and her fingers were entwined in his hair despite the damp.

"Most assuredly so," he whispered against her lips. The wind had picked up such speed, the loose board in the ceiling rattled against its companions.

Deane did not notice another lance of lightning arc across the sky; Penelope was on her feet, her walking dress falling to the floor. Underneath, she was wearing a simple white shift that was as soaked as the rest of their clothing, clinging to her skin. He leaned forward and took the point of one of her fruits within his mouth, tonguing it through the fabric and nipping against it with his teeth. His hands trailed down past her hips, bunching the fabric against her fleshy orbs; the ruffle of her bloomers tight against his palms.

"My boots," Penny said, hands clutched against the back of his head.

"Leave them on." Deane pulled her shift up over her head, mouth moving to her other breast.

"But I look ridiculous," she murmured, staring down at him in nothing but her bloomers and the muddiest pair of old boots that ever graced an otherwise pretty woman. "And I will track mud from your waist down to your knees if they remain upon my feet." Without waiting for his answer, Penelope bent down and removed first one boot and then another – taking care not to muddy her hands. Deane's fingers curled into the waistband of her bloomers, finding the tie. Once Penelope stepped out of them, she straddled his thighs.

"Did your father never teach you that a gentleman should always dress for the occasion?" Penelope's voice purred against his ear. Her tongue flickered around the lobe as both hands grasped his bracers and slid them off his arms. "You are overdressed, Mr. Winchester." She pulled his shirt from out of the waist of his trousers, not even attempting to unbutton it; her lips began chasing his scars, cold fingers finding the ones she had not yet touched. Another gust of wind roared around the small building, and it felt as though water was dripping momentarily onto his hair.

Deane looked towards the ceiling to investigate but one small finger traced the length of the stiff sinew bursting against his trousers. "Penny…" She smiled, twisting off his lap. She began untying his boots, slipping them off his feet and setting them close to hers on the floor. The loose board rattled once more but Penelope Harcourt was unbuttoning his fly and all of Deane Winchester's attention shifted to the trousers and union suit being pulled past his hips. As soon as they were on the floor, Penny encircled his whitestaff with her lips.

He wrapped his fingers in her hair, pushing tightly past curls and flowers, and he closed his eyes. She had never taken him so fully before, the tip of his steed driving against the back of her throat, while her hands held his back parts – nails digging into his flesh as a small rivulet of water descended through the crack in the ceiling and landed in her hair. Deane stifled a groan, thighs shaking, and pulled her mouth from his battering ram. "There is no need to be quiet," she said, kissing his hip before she sat up and looked into his face. "We are alone here, you and I."

Without warning, Deane pushed her backwards against the cot's thin mattress, lips and fingers playing with the peaks of her twin orbs – heedless to the water splashing against his back. Penny's legs slipped around his right thigh, her tender furrow stroking it furiously as he continued to nip and suck at her bosom. The small cry he expected erupted into a scream, her entire body stiffening before she shuddered hard, and Penelope's breath was ragged in her throat when his lips began their descent across her abdomen to her thighs.

"It does not surprise me that a woman with your lung capacity would scream when presented with the opportunity to do so, Penelope Harcourt." Dean traced the crease between her hip and thigh with his fingers. Her legs opened to him immediately, the backs of her knees braced on his shoulders.

"It does surprise me that a man who uses his mouth as cleverly as you do should balk at the opportunity to demonstrate your prowess, Deane Winchester." Anything else she might have said devolved into a moan when Deane's mouth dipped forward, tongue pushing into her pouting-lipt mouth while his fingers moved against her bee's sting. He alternated between them, until two fingers pressed up inside her sweet intersection and Penelope's pulse burst against his lips with a hoarse shriek and a spasm that reduced her to a shaking creature. She continued whimpering underneath the onslaught of his attentions.

He began kissing the length of her body back up to her manuals of love's devotion, her thighs coming around his hips. Penelope's ankles were crossed loosely at his back, her fingers digging into his shoulders as Deane slowly pushed his engine of love's assault inside the depths of her avenue. Every time that Penny would quake, Deane stopped – moving again only when Penelope's hips reared of their own accord into his.

Her head tilted towards the mattress, another loud groan shaking through Penelope's entire form. "Can you not cleave any harder than this?" she demanded, nails scratching down his back. Deane chuckled, lifting her by the hips and rapidly thrusting his prodigious engine straight into her tender part. Penelope arched her back off the bed to meet his him, rolling back down with him into the mattress. "Harder still," Penny hissed, breath hot against his neck.

Deane complied.

A great crack reverberated through the room and suddenly they were at an incline, bodies slowly sliding down the cot until Deane's toes reached the ground. Penelope opened her thighs wider and he braced his knees between them, ramming into the depths of her pleasure-conduit faster than any steam-powered piston within one of Samuel's blasted contraptions, and their voices during the sting of pleasure drowned out everything but each other – the storm, the wind, a crack of lightning that lit up the entire room momentarily.

Deane managed to catch his breath upon the realization that they had broken two legs off the cot with the force of their exertions. Penny's arms held him tightly while she murmured his name and he shivered as a stream of water poured onto his back. The wind had become a gale, goose bumps springing forth down both their arms from the chilled gusts that spilled into the small building. Penelope gave a shocked gasp and they both looked up to see another leak spring from the roof, sending smaller drops of water landing upon her forehead.

"My memoirs will identify this night as the singularly worst assignation of my life," he declared. Her weight was still pressed down upon his redheaded champion, locked securely within her sweet laboratory of love, while his toes balanced firmly upon the earthen floor. His calves were beginning to cramp. Deane shivered when another rush of cold rain water splashed onto his back. "I have fared better when hunting zombies through Berlin during a – "

She pulled her mouth up tightly against his, one hand brushing against his cheek while she shifted her weight – setting her feet on either side of his knees so that she could relieve some of the pressure bearing down upon him by the angle of the fallen cot. "I can think of no other man who would suffer this fate so loudly," Penny murmured, looking down upon him as she moved farther up the thin mattress. She trembled when the head of his truncheon slipped past the mouth of her cleft.

"You are thoroughly wicked, woman!"

Penelope grinned, touching her fingers to his lips. "I have never given you cause to doubt my wickedness, Deane." Her grin softened into a smile. "Although you complain most injudiciously, I know of no other man who would have willingly followed me on a night such as this – even with the promise of nothing but an hour alone with myself and my sketchbook."

"They are idiots," Deane returned, "Whereas I am a genius." He set his chin upon her stomach, feeling her laugh rumble through him.

"You are entirely too modest, by all accounts." Her fingers brushed his hair away from his forehead, water dripping onto her ruby-tipped globes so appealingly that Deane was compelled to begin removing all traces of rain from her skin by simply using his mouth. Penelope sighed, arching her back. "I have never known a man so enthusiastic in his pursuits that even furniture has been rendered an inconsequential hindrance in his wake," she added, fingers pressing into his shoulders.

"I possess extraordinary proficiency."

Penelope laughed but suddenly her face became serious. "You do not know how much I have missed you, Deane Winchester." She swallowed. Deane kissed her until the ache in his throat eased. When he pulled away, Penny continued speaking. "I will not spend the next ten years in the same manner I spent the last – without you knowing that I loved you once as my closest friend and that I love you still." Penelope took a deep breath, but another fall of water splashed against them both and silenced whatever she was going to say next. "This, truly, was one of my worst ideas," she confessed. "I do not even know why you are still here."

"With Father gone, my younger brother is now my responsibility and Samuel appears bent upon pursuing your hellacious cousin. I suppose that I could allow him to fend for himself but that would not be seemly." He sighed dramatically, rewarded by a kiss upon his shoulder. "Even if that were not the case, there are furnishings across the continent that must be examined for the good of mankind. I have devised another grand experiment for my new hypothesis and I require the assistance of a brilliant scientist." Deane looked at her critically, a grin splitting his face. "You will have to suffice."

She snorted. "When you ask so prettily, how can I possibly refuse?"

"You ask that question as though there is another answer besides yes, Penelope." Deane smiled. Most of the roses had fallen from her hair, scattered about them and on the floor around them; wet curls brushed her shoulders, and her eyes did not leave his face. They were full of answers to the questions he had not yet asked. "Although why you should want me," he added, "Is beyond my limited understanding."

"Because you are as much mine as I am yours, Deane Winchester." Penelope's hand cupped his cheek.

"You are getting the poor end of this bargain. I happen to find your stunted legs quite fetching."

"Do not be so unjust towards your considerable assets." Penelope's mouth brushed the curve of his neck. "You do possess extraordinary proficiencies," she added, lifting her hips salaciously against his. Penny's voice had gone low in her throat, a husky whisper that made them both shiver when he pressed himself along the length of her. "Along with a hero's heart," Penelope whispered, fingers tracing the muscles on his back as her entire body flushed.

He licked the length of her collarbone, rescuing her from another cascade of raindrops. Despite the water constantly pouring onto his white cliffs and dripping between his thighs, Penelope moved underneath him; ankles braced along the backs of his thighs, skin slick from themselves and the rain. When they began sliding down the cot, her mouth pressed tightly against his while she moaned, Deane Winchester knew that convincing the coachman in Dorsey to fake a broken carriage wheel two hours into the journey to Westshire was the finest investment he had yet made within his lifetime – and that the pretty young widow who refused to flirt with him, in spite of his obvious advances, was worth every penny.


The title of the story is a quote from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Since being ill for several months, my brain has had a difficult time writing anything serious in this 'verse. However, when I wrote the prompts that I used for this story, I doomed myself with the inclusion of the word boots.

Penelope Harcourt is the Supernatural By Gaslight's version of Cassie Robinson. Specifically, she is the girl who grew up on the estate next to the Winchesters' home. Within this 'verse, the Winchesters stayed with Penelope's family directly after the fire and the Winchester boys were left there two years later while John was on a hunting trip. Deane was, as is often the way in Victorian melodramas, reunited with her through mischance.

Within the scope of Victorian mourning conventions, Penelope was dressed for dinner in a gown that marks her as being in the final stage of mourning for her husband. I suspect, given the nature of their midnight ramble, that Penelope was not so properly attired in her walking gown.

It is never a good thing when a song hijacks your brain. It is even worse when said song replaces the words "sweet mystery of life" with "sweet laboratory of love," to whit: "sweet laboratory of love, at last I've found you."

Mea culpa for those waiting on more Cowboy Smile; finishing that story is my next project, and then I will begin focusing on the next Gobsmacked story ("Silent Night") and Chapter Three of Beneath the Hollow…but By Gaslight readers have been sadly ignored and this is my apology to them for their patience.

Those who read the Gobsmacked 'verse will undoubtedly recognize Penelope Harcourt's modern incarnation: Penny Hillsworth.

As always, all erotic terms are 98 authentic to the Victorian era. There were a couple I improvised… (And, yes, the sex scene is supposed to be funny. How could it not be? Seriously, I'd be hurt if you didn't laugh – I pulled the more outrageous terms this time out because it's been so long since I wrote one.) I did do my best to downplay the verbiage for the rating, so if more work is needed in that regard, please let me know.

The research I do for this fandom… ;-P