Title: Happenstance
Prompts:
Popcorn
Puppies
Pancakes
Text messages
Swing (dance)
Horror movies
M&Ms.
Music: Help Yourself by Tom Jones.

Happenstance: (noun) an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental.


*
The first time they meet, it's purely by chance. They end up sitting next to one another in the old, cramped theatre, each with a bag of popcorn, each completely unaware of his or her neighbour.

She is hunting a ghost, a nasty fellow who ganks pretty redheads and hangs them from the lofty catwalks above, keeping a wary eye on the leading lady -just in case. He is scoping out a new jerk to test a brilliant new prank on, eyeing the leading man with ill-intent in mind.

They do not see each other. At least...

... Not until she accidentally knocks her drink out of the cup-holder and straight onto him. The resulting yelp, chased with flustered, fervent apologies, draws the baleful eyes of many of the theatre connoisseurs. They quickly fall silent, the play continues. She offers a handful of napkins with an awkward, sorry smile.

As she salts and burns the remains of the ghost -Benjamin J. Miller- several hours later, when the moon, half-full, has reached its zenith and the graveyard screams with the serenades of cicadas, she can still see his eyes in her mind, and she thinks of hazel.

*

The second time they meet is also by chance. She is in a different town, a different state, walking through a park. She is hunting a Minyak Orang, a supernatural serial rapist, and she thinks he's holed up somewhere nearby. She's so busy looking for clues, for a trace of black oil here, or perhaps a footprint there, that she misses the Frisbee heading straight for her -never mind the Jack Russel Terrier right on its tail.

The next thing she knows, she's on her back with a puppy prancing a happy little dance on her front and a big bump on her head. Dazed, she opens her eyes when she hears a voice that sounds familiar, and he's there, apologizing and laughing because, really, how could she notsee a bright yellow Frisbee flying at her? He recognizes her as he helps her to her feet -the girl with the reallycold drink- and she grimaces, because that's just an embarrassing way to be remembered. He offers to buy her a beer by way of apology as she brushes the dirt and grass off of her clothes -then he winces and offers to find her an ice pack first because, damn, that Frisbee did a number on her noggin.

She has a cute laugh, he thinks a few days later, and he gives his dog a giant cookie for a job well done.

*

When they bump into each other for a third time, they both agree that this is getting a little weird. It's early in the morning and he's working his way through what can best be described as the leaning tower of pancakes in an IHOP restaurant, syrup, butter and all. She's interviewing an IHOP employee who witnessed a werewolf attack, the poor girl, and not getting very far. They spot each other at roughly the same time, both with bemused expressions on their faces, and they laugh, because, seriously, what are the chances? He jokes that she's stalking him. She laughs that adorable laugh, and helps herself to his pancakes without so much as a by your leave, a cheeky grin on her face. He doesn't seem to mind, and between the two of them, they manage to conquer the leaning tower of pancakes in record time. They exchange phone numbers, trade a few stories, and end up ordering lunch, too.

He has the most charming smile, she thinks, and this hunt is going nowhere. She can stand to stick around for a few more days, she decides.

The next morning, she finds out what he is from Bobby, via her mom. She wasn't trying to, but when she mentioned that she kept bumping into someone, her mom got suspicious, asked around, and, well...

She packs up and leaves that afternoon.

*

The fourth time they meet, it's not in person. He sends a text message to her cellphone, and she learns that he knows that she knows –she's not surprised. She doesn't answer, not to the first text, not even to the second text that says he knows she read the first one, now pick up the damn phone and answer back, because she's being a little rude here.

The third text asks how she feels about swing –the dance, not the playground ones, though those are pretty fun and does she like those too?- and she can't help it. She's trying to sleep, and he's not going to stop texting her until she answers back, so she says she doesn't know how to dance period and, yeah, she kind of likes the playground swings.

He thinks she'd have fun learning in his fourth text, and what the hell is she supposed to do with that?

She passes by a poster advertising dance classes the following week, and she ends up staring at it for a good five minutes, eyes glued to the swing dance lesson times. Her fingers itch to tear off a little tab with the phone number of the instructor printed on it, and she pauses. Stops. Thinks.

She turns and walks away, but now she has some stupid swing-dance song stuck in her head and it won't go away.

*

The next time she sees him, she's in her motel room, nursing a knife wound in her leg that she knows is serious and that she knows should be looked at by a doctor, but damn it, she can't, so she patches herself up as best she can and mutters curses in every language she knows about hoodoo priestesses. He just shows up at her door, walks in without so much as knocking –and she knows she locked that door- with a giant bag of M&M's in hand and a big grin on his face.

She very nearly shoots him on reflex. He thinks this is hilarious.

She calls him a jerk. He offers her some candy.

The whole thing is rather surreal, actually.

The next thing she knows, they're both sitting on the edge of the bed, watching an old black and white horror movie, finishing off the bag of M&M's and laughing. For a few hours, she forgets that he's an Archangel tuned Pagan god and, just for a little bit, she feels a little less awful about her latest hunt.

When she wakes up bundled up in bed the next day, having slept well into the afternoon despite herself, (which is worrying, because she doesn't remember falling asleep, never mind crawling under the sheets) the wound on her leg is completely gone and her bags are filled with her favourite chocolate bars.

She smiles.


A/N: Most random pairing ever.