Boots and Leather
Harry Dresden grinned like an idiot as he walked through his front door, groceries in his arms, with two tickets in his back pocket. Today was turning out to be a good day. A very good day.
Bob, who was in the kitchen washing the dishes, heard the front door open and then heard Harry whistling a random upbeat tune. The ex-ghost smiled to himself as he heard this, glad to know that Harry was feeling happy and was in such a good mood.
Curious as to what was causing it, Bob thought about asking him, but decided not to ruin whatever the man had up his sleeve, and instead he simply asked,
"Harry? Did you get the groceries?"
"Yep, sure did," the wizard replied, his tone just as upbeat as his whistling. He then continued by saying, "I also got us something else as well, and I think you're gonna like it."
At hearing that, Bob silently groaned. What Harry thought he liked and what he actually liked, were usually two very different things. Harry, however, had somehow heard his mentor's groan and quickly reassured him.
"Hey, trust me, Bob. You'll enjoy this…and considering what it took for me to get it, you should at least be appreciative."
Hearing the warning tone in the man's voice, Bob decided to give Harry a chance. He turned around and leaned against the sink, the damp dishrag in his hand, and crossed his arms in front of his chest, heaving a sigh of resignation.
Harry walked into the kitchen and dumped several precariously balanced brown paper bags onto the small dining table and then turned to Bob, a silly grin appearing on his lips. He then whipped out two slips of paper from his back pocket and waved them in the air between them.
"We've got tickets…to the greatest concert…ever!"
Bob merely raised an eyebrow in response, and then said, in an almost bored tone, "And…?"
Harry looked at him, raising his own eyebrows.
"And this is the last concert that this guy is going to be giving for the rest of his career! This guy was one of the few eighties' singers that was actually good, and I mean good."
Bob said nothing, still trying to understand why Harry was telling him this and trying to figure out why he should be excited about it, while at the same time waiting to be impressed, but Harry, not noticing Bob's disinterest, continued to ramble on.
"I used to listen to this guy on the radio all the time when I was a kid, on the old radio in the kitchen. You'll love him, Bob, I'm sure of it." He paused for a moment, sliding the tickets back into his back pocket, and opening one of the paper bags. "He's amazing, and I'm positive you remember him, Bob…remember that poster that I had that I hid from Uncle Justin whenever he came to inspect my room each week?"
Bob thought for a moment, muddling through his memories, and slowly recalled the poster that Harry had mentioned.
It had had a man on it that had tan skin, thick dark hair, wearing black, torn jeans and a black leather coat, paired with black combat boots. What was the man's name? Jimmy Iron, or something like that?
Suddenly, it came to him.
"Steele…Johnny Steele," Bob said, nodding his head, and Harry grinned.
"See! Told you that you'd remember," he said, motioning a hand towards him that was holding a bag of carrots.
At hearing this, Bob simply gave Harry a look; one of his infamous ones. It was the one that said, 'No. It's not going to happen.'
He then said, "Harry…what on earth possessed you to think that I would want to go to such a thing?"
Harry simply grinned, yet again, as he put away more of the groceries.
"Bob, you've got to learn to expand your tastes, and Johnny Steele is perfect for that. Besides, it's just the one time," he added, putting the apples into the bowl on the table.
Bob continued to stand there, his arms still crossed over his chest, his eyes narrowed. Him? Go to a rock concert?
The image was laughable; hysterical, even. Why on earth did Harry really want him to do this?
He kept his scrutinizing eye on the young wizard, watching him for any signs that might tell him why Harry was doing what he was doing, but Harry simply continued to unpack the bags. When he was done, he saw Bob watching him and rolled his eyes.
"Look, Bob," he said, sounding exasperated. "I swear that I don't have any ulterior motive, here…I simply thought that we could enjoy some time together."
Bob then realized what was really going on…Harry really just wanted to spend some time with him. Everything suddenly fell into place at the revelation.
Since Bob had become corporeal, he had constantly been in meetings with the Council, as they were keeping an annoyingly close eye on him and his actions these days, and he was also being "volunteered" to help the wardens…specifically Morgan, and due to all of that, he had been gone quite a bit.
Harry had been busy as well as Murphy had been needing a lot of his services on her last few cases, which meant that the only time that the two of them usually saw each other was at their intermittent and inconsistent meal times.
Harry missed him. And Bob would admit that he, too, missed Harry.
Realizing this, a slow smile crossed Bob's lips.
"Fair enough, Harry. Fair enough."
The smile that stretched across Harry's lips at Bob's words, made him feel as though the sun had just risen a second time that day. He felt a faint flush run through him, but he decided not to examine the feeling too closely, and quickly found a change of subject.
"When is it?" he inquired, curious as to when they would be going.
"This Friday," said Harry, talking around a bite of apple that he'd just taken, while Bob tried not to roll his eyes at Harry's atrocious manners.
However, the answer caused Bob to start, and he looked at Harry with surprise. So soon? How had Harry gotten the tickets? Suddenly, he realized that Harry must have done something quite large, and possibly risky, to obtain the tickets.
"Harry…" Bob said tentatively, nervous about what he was about to ask him. "…how did you get the tickets?"
Harry just shrugged and swallowed his bite.
"Does it matter?"
Bob was suddenly much more worried at hearing Harry's blasé tone, the one he used when he was trying to not make a big deal out of something that really was a huge deal. He decided to press the issue, determined to find the truth.
"Harry, how did you get those tickets?"
Harry could hear the warning tone in the wizard's voice and quickly realized that Bob was not going to let this go, so he decided to simply get it over with.
"I got them from Bianca, alright?"
He winced at the intense scrutiny of Bob's accusing stare, and physically pulled away from him as Bob spoke up.
"You bought them from her? Let me guess," he said, his tone severe. "You now owe her a favor."
Harry nodded, not meeting the necromancer's eyes.
Bob was about to lay into Harry once more, but then he saw Harry's reaction and realized that the man truly was contrite, so he desisted and simply shook his head, still not quite believing that Harry had gone to Bianca for the tickets.
"Oh, well…what's done is done."
Harry looked up, surprised, but then Bob added, "That doesn't mean that I'm happy with the fact that you risked your neck for those tickets, so to speak."
Harry grimaced, but then nodded, understanding how worried Bob was. He, too, then realized how reckless and dangerous it had been, to go to Bianca, and that he probably shouldn't have taken the risk. But it meant more time with Bob, so to him that made it worth it.
"Yeah, well…you, know…I thought that you'd really enjoy it."
Bob could see the 'kicked-puppy-dog eyes' and he immediately felt bad for attempting to say no in the beginning, and he softened his posture, which was still defensive.
"Well, there's always a first time."