Hi! So. This is Seamus/Dean. Slash. Pretty mild stuff, really. It came about when I was researching Irish history, and obviously Seamus came into my head, being that he is my favorite little Irishman. And then I realized that, statistically speaking, Seamus has a pretty good chance of being Catholic. I mean, just cause they're wizards doesn't mean they can't have religion. Plus, everybody always writes all the Hogwarts couples getting flats in London after they leave school. But Seamus is Irish! Why shouldn't they get a flat in Ireland? It's not fair! So. Yes. Presenting Seamus the Irish Catholic, and his Catholic guilt.

I don't own Harry Potter. Or Dean or Seamus. Harry actually isn't in this one. Let's pretend he's there in spirit.

The thing the war teaches them, if it teaches them anything at all, is that there isn't enough time.

"I want to go back home," Seamus says. "I've spent seven years here, and I'm tired of it."

Dean has been expecting something like this. It isn't really a matter of being tired of anything, but of being tired: the way neither of them can really look at each other anymore, and how when he says anything it never means exactly what he wants.

But he has a hand in Seamus' hair; and there is warmth on his scalp, and his eyes are closing, softly. And Dean thinks, this matters.

"You can go," he says finally. "You can go, wherever you want, but I'm coming with you."

Seamus' eyes open now, and he reaches up and grabs Dean's hand. "Of course you are," he says, and that matters too.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

Home, to Seamus, is Adare, in County Limerick, Ireland.

Dean feels as if he's walked into a painting, and says so. Seamus laughs—a curious, sparkling laugh that Dean's never heard before.

"I guess so," he says. "I mean, this is where I'm from. It's home."

And it is. Dean looks at Seamus and wonders how he ever could have existed anywhere but here. Here he is as natural as air, as much a part of the landscape as a river or the sky. His eyes are brighter, and his hands are warmer, and his hair is softer.

"I'm glad we came," Dean says.

Seamus stops short, still smiling, and Dean can't imagine him any other way, here. "Me too," he says.

They kiss, briefly. It is as natural as breathing, locking together like the last pieces of a puzzle, more right than it ever has been.

Dean thinks, just maybe, this is home.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

Seamus' parents' house, when they go, is exactly the kind of place Dean would have imagined Seamus growing up in, if he had imagined that sort of thing at all.

Seamus' mum is tiny, a birdlike little woman who nonetheless squeezes the breath out of him the moment he walks in the door, and kisses both his cheeks to boot.

"You're a good boy," she says. "You and me Seamus both."

At dinner (cabbage soup, soda bread, some sort of soup—"I'm so sorry it's not much, but there wasn't time—") he is seated next to Seamus. Seamus' hand is resting innocently on his thigh beneath the table, and Dean does his best to keep the grin off of his face.

There is a grace before eating. Seamus leads, and Dean peeks an eye open to watch him. He's never heard Seamus like this.

After dinner, Seamus and his mother clean up in the kitchen while Dean waits on a couch the next room over, pretending to read a book, feeling distinctly out of place, and entirely unable to keep his eyes away from the crucifix hanging over the doorway.

There are voices from the kitchen.

"…Didn't want to say anything, but Shay, love, I don't know you understand what you're getting in."

"I know what I'm doing, Mum."

"I can't help worrying. I'm trying to look at this like you do, but I look in the Bible and I see things, and I worry for you."

Much quieter: "I worry, too."

When they finish, they hurry to Dean, smiling brightly. Nothing more is said.

But Seamus won't quite look at him, and when Mrs. Finnegan kisses him goodbye, he either feels or imagines her resentment.

"I never meant to make you feel bad," Dean blurts out, later that night, as they lie beside each other in bed.

Seamus' breathing is so steady that for a moment Dean thinks that he is mistaken and Seamus is already asleep.

"You don't," he says softly. "You never could."

A while later, long after Dean has fallen asleep, Seamus adds something.

"That's the trouble," he says, and no one at all is listening.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

That first Sunday, they wake up early to go to the 8:30 Mass at St. John's.

"I've been going here since I was two," Seamus says as he slips into his nicest clothes: dark brown pants, washed one too many times, a white shirt that's never fit quite right around the wrists, a tie he can never manage to knot just so.

Dean yawns, stretches himself out of bed, and slips the tie out of Seamus' hands.

"Are you worried?" he asks.

Seamus touches his head, and Dean looks up in surprise at the gesture.

"I mean," Seamus says, in a rough voice. "I mean—this is a sin, isn't it? You and me. And I can't—I can't not."

"Oh."

Dean doesn't say anything else until they have taken their places in the pews. There is a line of sweat over Seamus' lips as he makes the sign of the cross, and his foot taps on the kneeler during the Gospels.

Dean touches his back. Seamus looks up at him like he's startled; shudders.

"Hey," Dean says in his ear. "None of this really matters. Right?"

Seamus doesn't meet his eyes.

"Right," he echoes.

The first Sunday they go to Mass is also the last.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

Every Friday evening, Seamus goes to Confession.

Dean asks him once, if Seamus would like him to come along.

"No," he says, after hesitating. "It wouldn't make a difference, for you. But this—I have to do it and it's better if I'm alone."

Dean smiles at him, melancholy. "I don't understand this."

Seamus reaches out and grabs his hand. Dean doesn't understand why this startles him until much later, when he realizes this is the first time Seamus has initiated contact with him in days.

"I know you don't," he says. "And I don't want you to. I wish I didn't. But I can't give you up." I've tried, remains unsaid.

"What are you looking for?" Dean asks.

Seamus breathes in sharply. "Absolution," he whispers.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

What Dean thinks might have been home isn't. What used to be a softness around the edges becomes a dullness, and the dullness becomes an ache.

He finds it harder, now, to paint. Everything on his brush seems to some off on the canvas gray and lightless. Faces come out hollow and worried, and Seamus never comes out looking quite like himself.

Eventually he stops entirely. It is less painful to know that the brushes and half-blank paper are tucked away in the corner of the attic than it is to struggle, every day, with something that used to be so easy.

Seamus asks him about it once.

"There's something missing," Dean says. "I don't know. I don't have it anymore."

Seamus kisses him, and is rough and careless with his teeth and his hands. And though that is painful too, at least it is real.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

Things are different from when they were in London, and Dean used to think that would be a good thing.

Not anymore.

Seamus doesn't hold his hand when they go shopping, or walk down the street.

"I don't see why it matters so much to you!" Seamus shouts.

They've never fought before.

"It's nothing," Dean says quietly, even though it is. "Are you ashamed of me?" he asks.

"No," Seamus says loudly, and again, quieter, firmly. "No," he repeats. "I'm ashamed of myself."

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

Dean wakes up one night and finds the bed beside him cold and empty.

He surprises himself by panicking. Before he knows what he's doing he's out of bed, crossed the few steps to the window. He's not breathing when he looks outside: the town is silvery, like a painting from a dream, and he imagines Seamus fading into it, disappearing, melting into the moon. Home.

But—without knowing quite how he gets there, he's in the kitchen, and that's where Seamus is. He is kneeling on the hard tile, his face turned to the floor, a string of black beads snaked around his fingers.

"Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners; now and at the hour of our death, Amen."

There is something in it that makes Dean feel that he is, somehow, more than himself; he doesn't fit, somehow, in the clearly defined lines of his own body, and he thinks that this is what home means to Seamus: sacred.

Seamus' face is wet, somehow; and Dean feels it on his own face and more importantly in his chest and his lungs and deeper.

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us…"

The tile is cold under his bare feet.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen."

When Dean slips into bed, fastidiously ignoring the cold place where Seamus should be, he feels he is losing something, and can't imagine what it might be.

XXXxxxXXXxxxXXX

So? Thoughts? This was written in literally an hour and seven minutes, and I'm posting it right after. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think! I'd promise you cookies or something, but those are pretty easy to come by in fandom, and besides I already owe cookies to many many people. Oops.