Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. This story is also based on characters and situations created and owned by the writers, producers, et al of the television show 'Supernatural'. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, internet persona, or other being, living or dead, is completely coincidental and unintentional unless otherwise noted.
A/N: This is so totally AU it's not even funny, except that parts of it might be, or whatever. AU for HP especially (I'm ignoring the last two books completely). The only bit of SPN I'm completely ignoring at this point is Dean's assertion that he doesn't 'swing that way'. In my other SPN/HP fics, I can't really introduce slash, and so I give my fellow slash-fans this little nugget. As of right now, it's solely a oneshot, though I may go back to this 'verse in the future.
Warnings/Intel: This is gonna be SLASH of the male/male persuasion. If you don't like it, FUCK OFF! There's gonna be light smut (mainly 'cause I can't go over the M rating – and the fact that writing sex scenes always make me giggly), kissing, foul language, and so on. So, if any of that offends, please FUCK OFF. I haven't written much in the way of slash lately, and so I might be a little rusty. Please let me know if I start venturing too far outside the realms of acceptable character behavior (which should become rather clear at the beginning of the story).
Oh, one last bit to clarify things for you: This is a pre-series SPN fic; it takes place while Sam's at Stanford, but after Dean's relationship with Cassie has ended. Insofar as HP is concerned, like I said, I'm totally ignoring HBP and DH. Per canon intel from both sources, Harry is only a year younger than Dean, so they're aged 23 and 22 in this story.
Oh, yeah, one last thing – this really isn't meant to have a plot, so don't be upset if you can't find one.
re-bound: intransitive verb a) to spring back on or as if on collision or impact with another body b) to recover from setback or frustration
(abridged definition courtesy Mirriam-Webster's online dictionary)
One of the things drilled into his head from the time he learned to drive was Never Pick Up Hitchhikers; unless, of course, they were hunting a phantom one and he was set to play bait. But his dad wasn't there, had headed after rumors of a banshee in Okoboji, and the silence since Athens was just getting on his nerves. Most of the radio stations he'd located were playing country or broadcasting some sporting event he'd never had the time or inclination to get involved in following. He had thought longingly of his impressive collection of cassette tapes several times since leaving Athens and promised himself to get a tape deck for the car with the next credit card. He could have scrounged one from Bobby's collection of rust, but he wasn't too sure about going back there, not after Bobby had run John off with a shotgun. Dean still didn't know what had sparked that; he'd stumbled into the kitchen – literally tripping over Rumsfield – in time to hear the distinctive sound of a double-barrel being cocked and Bobby's gravelly tones ordering John to 'get the fuck outta my house'.
It was raining. There wasn't any thunder and lightning, not yet, but the rain was still coming down at a good clip and had been for the last week. It was almost like the storm had been following him – or maybe it was that he was following it. Dean didn't know, nor did he particularly care. In either case, that wasn't why he pulled over when he saw the slight, drowned-rat figure standing by the side of the road with a battered backpack at its feet. No, it was the silence… and what his dad didn't know wouldn't hurt him. Dean shifted the Impala into park and reached across the seat to unlock the door. He cracked it open enough that the hitchhiker would be able to hear him when he said, "Where ya heading?"
The hitchhiker pulled the door open a little further and ducked down some to reply, "Nearest place that's warm and dry will do, though I wouldn't turn down a bit of something to nosh on, too."
Within the first six syllables of the hitchhiker's words, Dean realized three things. The first was that the dude was, all appearances aside, a dude and not a drowned-rat. The second was that he was from the UK, Ireland, or Australia – Dean never had been able to tell those accents apart. The last nugget of information was that, unless he wanted to spend a full day conditioning the leather, the guy was going to need a towel or something to sit on. "You can toss your bag on the floor in the back, but if ya gimme a sec, I'll find ya something to dry off with."
"Can do, mate."
While the hitcher reached around and unlocked the back door, Dean slid out from behind the wheel, taking his keys with him. It didn't take more than half a minute to locate a towel pilfered from a hotel four hunts ago. He tossed it to the hitcher and resumed his seat in the car. He was only slightly damp from his excursion into the rain. The hitcher used the towel to dry off his face and hair before shrugging out of his jacket and setting the sodden denim overtop the pack. He spread the towel on the seat before joining Dean in the car. "Thanks again, mate. Can't tell you how much I appreciate you stopping for me. The last car passing this way slowed down enough to make sure they had a good aim before pelting me with an empty beer can." The hitchhiker paused and leveled a narrow-eyed gaze at Dean. It made him feel oddly exposed. "Name's Harry," the hitcher said. "Harry Potter." He offered his hand and smiled, the momentary suspicious look gone as though it had never been there to begin with.
"Dean Winchester," he shook Harry's hand and started the car. The silence which had previously pressed down on him seemed to grow heavier with the addition of Harry; not quite what Dean had been aiming for when he'd stopped to offer the guy a ride. "So…" Dean broke the quiet, and his voice seemed almost as sudden as a thunderclap. "Where you from?"
"Doubt you've heard of it, but it's a little town south of London by the name of Little Whinging," Harry replied, his eyes focused on the two-lane blacktop road cutting through the Oklahoma panhandle.
"Yeah… Don't know it. Whacha doin' here?" Dean's eyes kept flicking back and forth between the road and his passenger.
Harry shrugged a little, "Seeing what there is to see. Started off as part of a tour, but found that the bus wasn't much to my liking. Split from the group back in Chicago; thought I'd see if I could make it to Arizona. I've never seen a desert before."
"I'm not really one for deserts – ain't a whole lot to see – but after being stalked by this damn thunderstorm for the last week, week and a half, I could definitely get behind a drier climate."
Dean had to laugh at Harry's expression; he could tell he'd inadvertently confused the guy. "Hey, don't sweat it. Boise City should be comin' up here shortly, and I don't know about you, but I could do with a burger and a beer."
"You'll hear no complaints from me."
The dingy little pub'n'grub could have been anywhere from Washington to Maine to Florida. Much like the no-tell motels and the tiny family-owned diners, the bars Dean wound up in were invariably unwitting clones of one another, right down to the oddly-named local brews on tap and the pool table with either a bubble under the felt or one leg shorter than the rest. Hell, if Dean suddenly happened across a perfectly level pool table lacking in warps and flaws under the felt, he probably wouldn't know how to play any more. But it didn't really matter much just then – Dean wasn't looking to swindle any cash and was more interested in something fried and greasy and washed down with something maybe a little stronger than beer. The juke was playing Ozzy, and Dean was fine with that. Anything was better than the silence since Athens.
There weren't many people, not surprising for it being just past seven-thirty on a rainy Thursday. A couple of old guys at the bar, trading dirty jokes with the barmaid, a solitary man somewhat younger with the distinctive air of 'long-haul trucker' tucked in a corner booth and nursing what looked like a bloody Mary, and a group of kids too young to actually drink monopolizing the pool table. Dean was pretty sure one or more of them were probably related to the barmaid who interrupted the latest round of 'there once was a man from Nantuckett' limericks in order to tell him and his newfound companion to 'sit anywhere'.
Harry was grateful for the ride, really he was. He had been wandering down that godforsaken stretch of highway for the better part of two days, ever since his last ride had booted him to the curb. It wasn't his fault that his nightmares tended to scare people. They had the unnerving tendency to scare him, too. Even five years later, the memories and worry and might-have-beens haunted him. It wasn't like he could cast a privacy ward around himself when whoever was giving him a lift was mere feet away. If he'd been a little better with memory charms, he might have tried it anyway, but he'd never been particularly apt with those types of spells.
Since leaving the cross-country tour behind in the outskirts of Chicago three weeks earlier, Harry had been given rides by several people – some were chatty, friendly sorts; others were stonily silent and suspicious and usually made Harry wonder why they'd bothered stopping in the first place.
It was odd, to Harry's way of thinking, that his newest companion seemed to be a strange blend of both animatedly friendly and suspiciously morose. Whatever was bugging Winchester, however, didn't seem to affect his appetite any – the man nearly inhaled a double-stacked bacon cheeseburger and a massive basket of French fries. Harry's dinner consisted of chicken strips and more fries, and unlike Dean, Harry actually took the time to both taste and chew his food. Honestly, I'm surprised he didn't choke. I don't think even Ron ever ate quite that fast.
While they ate, conversation drifted over some of the places both had visited, and Dean passed along a few stops Harry mentally added to his list of 'Things to Do While in the US'. As the last of the fries disappeared and beer turned to Jack'n'Coke, then to straight-up shots of the amber liquid, the conversation began meandering further into more personal topics.
"You know," Dean rambled, his voice a little more rumbly than it had been at the start of the evening, "I really thought she might've understood… But I don't think she really got it – you know? Dude, I mean family's important, right? Last time I ever date someone for more than a night…" His tongue darted out to lick his lips and Harry cautiously sat his drink on the table. Damn it. Aside from a handful of covert glances in the locker room (and a spectacularly failed attempt at a relationship with a Ravenclaw two years older than him), Harry'd done rather well in squashing out most of his…baser reactions, particularly around a good-looking guy. But Dean's rumbling monologue was making his chest vibrate in interesting ways, and the alcohol Winchester had downed had gifted his complexion with a light sheen that seemed to make him glow in the lights from the neon sign hung above their table.
Stupid hormones. Harry's hands were trembling slightly. To cover it, he simply crossed his arms behind his head. "That's rough, mate," he said, only slurring a little. "You're right, though. Family's the most important thing there is. Take my word on it – I grew up without one. But still, this Cassie-chit, yeah?" Dean nodded and finished off the last of his drink and signaled the waitress for a refill. "She didn't try to take any body-parts as trophies, did she?"
"Nah," Dean shook his head. "Called me nine kinds of crazy an' stomped outta the room, slammed the door hard enough to almost break the jamb, and laid an inch or so of rubber on the parking lot peelin' outta there – which, now that I think on it, was a feat. The lot was gravel."
Harry chuckled and leaned forward a little. He brushed his shaggy mane of black hair to one side and pointed to a ragged-looking scar that encircled his left ear. "You should try telling your best mate's little sister – a girl who's idolized you for literally years – that though you think she's a good friend, the fact she's got tits just doesn't do anything for you."
Harry saw Dean blink at this little, tiny, Earth-shattering revelation, shrug almost imperceptibly, then lean forward to see the scar better before wincing in sympathy. "Damn, dude. I take it she didn't handle the news all that well?"
Harry chuckled again and nodded as he leaned back in his seat. His hands were still trembling, and now an annoying flock of butterflies had decided to roost in his stomach. "That's putting it mildly. To this day, she maintains it was an accident, but I'm convinced she thought I was teasing her. Here's a little bit of advice – don't date a redhead. The rumors about their tempers don't do them justice."
Being more than just a little bit wasted, Dean found the assertion funnier than he should have, and let out a long laugh. It excited the fucking flock of flutterbys enough that Harry likely would have had to sit down if he hadn't already, as – through some strange alchemy no one ever bothered teaching at Hogwarts – they turned his knees to jelly.
As Dean's laughter wound down, he blinked at his empty glass. "When'd that happen?" he muttered, then sat it back on the table. He shook his head a little and stood up. "Gotta hit the head," he said. "If that waitress comes back, flag her for a refill."
Harry grinned at him, "Can do, mate." Most of his grin was because said waitress was on her way over from the bar with two fresh glasses of Jack on the rocks.
Even though Harry knew for a fact that Winchester was almost completely pissed, there was no drunken stumbling as he made his way to the loo. In fact, the compact economy of movement he'd been admiring when they'd arrived at the pub only seemed more fluid and graceful. What was that phrase I kept hearing from that fifteen year-old on the tour? Oh, yes. That man is sex on a stick.
The waitress plunked the fresh glasses down on the table with a small sigh. "Never fails," she said.
"Pardon?" Harry asked – more to clarify what she'd meant to say through her thick Oklahoma accent than for any other reason.
She picked up the empties with a wistful little smile. "The really sexy ones are always either married or gay," she explained before returning to the bar.
It took a minute or two for Harry's muddled brain to decode what he'd heard as 'Th'rally sex'uns're allus ear mar'der geay.' But when his mind caught up, his grin morphed into a smirk. Don't I wish.
In the bathroom, Dean only took a minute to 'make more room', but spent a further four staring at himself in the cracked mirror over the sink. "What the hell, Winchester? Thought you exorcized that urge back in high school."
Kyle was good, and yeah, it was weird at first, but that didn't stop the two of you from trying to remove each other's tonsils out at the lake every day after school, did it? Isn't that originally why you took Sammy's side to let him join that math-whachamacallit? So he'd be busy for a coupla hours every day an' you an' Kyle could sneak off to Stone Point?
"Shut up, brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip."
Resorting to Simpsons quotes?
Dean turned on the cold water. Even he knew it was a bad sign when he started arguing with himself. "I'll quote what I wanna."
Look at it this way, Winchester; you can always blame it on the booze. Just like you blamed it on curiosity last time.
"If I recall, last time," Dean paused a moment to splash some of the icy water on his face, "was because Cindy Markoff only did threesomes."
And between those two weekends with Cindy, just how did you and Kyle entertain yourselves, hmm?
Dean groaned and shut off the water. He just knew he was gonna lose the argument. That he lost it to himself was just another sign of how seriously fucked-up he considered his life to be. "Okay, fine."
"But only if he shows any indication he wants it." Sure, Dean'd had all sorts – including one girl who was into serious fantasy shit – but it'd all been willing. He may be something of a sleeze (and he considered it a point of pride that he could admit it), but he was basically a good guy.
Oh, he wants it, Deanie-boy. You know that look. Hell, if he had boobs instead of balls, you'd've had your hand up his shirt and your tongue down his throat by now. Dudes may be different, but they ain't that different.
Intensely aware of the argument going on up in the Control Center, Little Dean – already aware that an Attraction Alert had been put out by Command – started running down his pre-flight checklist. He wanted to be ready to spring to attention when Command issued the order.
Only peripherally aware that his body was gearing up for a night of 'fun times', Dean growled a little and tore a couple of paper towels out of the dispenser next to the door. He quickly dried his face and headed back to the table and his Hitcher.
Harry, jackass. His name is Harry.
Dean mentally shot his inner voice an image of his earlier threat with the Q-tip.
"There you are!" Harry handed Dean the new glass of booze their waitress had provided as Dean slid back into his chair. "I was getting ready to send a search-party."
Winchester drained half his glass in one go and smiled lazily at Harry. A jolt, not unlike the feeling he got from pulling off a textbook Wronski Feint, stabbed him right through his side. It left behind a pleasant tingle that shot through his nerves to settle in his fingers and toes. "Nah," Dean said. "I don't get lost."
The flirting – for that was what it was, Harry finally realized – only continued to grow more blatant. At roughly midnight, and somewhere after their seventh or eighth (in all honesty, Harry'd long lost count, but it couldn't have been more than ten…okay, maybe twelve) drinks, the older pair of guys at the bar began shooting them dirty looks.
When the waitress brought them what they'd both agreed would be their last round for the night, Dean managed to convince enough of his brain cells to divert some power and ask if A.) there was a motel in walking distance and B.) if it was okay for him to come back for his car in the morning. It took four tries to phrase the second request so that the waitress understood what he was getting at, as the first two times he'd simply asked to leave his 'baby' there, and the third he called the Impala 'my gorgeous girl'. She finally understood what he was on about when, during his fourth repetition of the request, he got side-tracked on trying to explain how much of a hassle it was to repair dents and dings, especially if there was a scratch to her paint-job added into the mix.
In return for a fifty-dollar tip that Harry wasn't sure was intentional or not, the waitress (who'd turned out to actually own the bar) guaranteed that the car would remain unmolested for the night.
A wicked grin lit Harry's face when his own inner-voice silently replied that though the car would remain unmolested, her owner probably wouldn't be totally unmarred come dawn.
Looking back on it later, Dean never could remember how they got from the bar to the motel so quickly; only that once they'd stepped out into the rainy night, Harry had pounced on him. He'd slammed his back against the wall next to the door and, regardless of the fact the dude was a good six inches shorter than he was, pulled him into a kiss that seemed to make the raindrops evaporate on contact while it caused his toes to curl hard enough inside his boots that he wound up with a light cramp in the arch of his right foot.
That had been the signal for Command to issue it's orders and Little Dean sprang to full attention.
Somehow – again, Dean would wind up pondering the how of it for quite some time, as the journey itself was a complete blank, aside from a loud popping noise he'd attributed to some kid playing with fireworks at the time – they'd broken from the kiss just outside the office of the motel the barmaid had told them about. Had Dean been a little less drunk or a little less eager to scour Cassie from his memory, he might have been suspicious. But he later blamed it on the booze.
He did recall a quiet, "Wait here, I'll get a room," though. The British lilt would come to be branded in his memory in a way the journey to the motel never could.
The wait outside in the rain seemed to take six or seven millennia, and the walk to the room took another eon or two, but finally the pair were inside a room with a queen-sized bed, tearing at clothes before the door was fully shut behind them.
Much like Harry's voice now had pride-of-place in Dean's log of 'happy thoughts', much of the night passed in flashes of sensory images permanently branded to his memory.
A series of kisses, much like the first, that were nearly violent, but oh-so-good.
The slick feel of sweaty skin as layer after layer of leather and flannel and cotton and denim were removed.
The salty taste of sweat mingled with the freshness of rain.
A fiery tingle of brain-melty tingles flashing through his nerves.
The fleeting thought that 'skinny guys are always packin', ain't they?'
A battle of wills, playful, but deadly serious at the same time as each tried to dominate the other.
A deep burning that nearly made him call the whole thing off until a switch got flipped and it felt like his head was gonna explode.
The feel of angles and planes where he was used to gripping soft curves, but thinking maybe curves were getting a little stale.
And then all thoughts ceased and Dean existed purely in a state of want and need.
And then the world exploded.
Little Dean, his sworn duty to Command fulfilled for now, relaxed even as the Control Center went offline and wondered if Command would mind if he had more exercise like this in the near future.
Mostly pissed and extremely lethargic, Harry slipped off to sleep in Dean's wake.
For the first time in almost six years, he didn't have a single nightmare.
A/N2: No, the use of 'flutterbys' is NOT a typo. I used to call all moths and butterflies 'flutterbys' until I was about six or so. I still use the word on occasion and thought it made for a nice bit of alliteration.
And I meant no offense to anyone who lives in the Okie panhandle – just pointing out that if you've an accent, and someone with little-to-no experience with that accent hears you, it can be hella-hard to figure out what the fuck you said. My personal experience with this was with trying to get driving directions from someone who hailed from Cajun country.
Also, I've been reading a book called A Civilian's Guide to the U.S. Military as research for one of my original works – hence some of the more militaristic analogies. Sorry.
And it goes without saying that this is independent of any of my other fics out there. And even though it's less than five thousand words, can you believe it took me over a year to finish this fucker?
Anyway, I'm always happy to hear what y'all have to say, so leave me a review, okay? Thanks.