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(Highlight to View) Prompt: After work, Severus and Hermione have a bit of unorthodox fun.
Summary: It's Friday night, and he's running late.
The car's clock glowed green in the dark, the wipers running full speed. Of course, of all the nights to be late, it would be this one.
He scratched irritably at the heavy leather suppression cuff on his wrist. A mere five months and twenty-three days until it would—finally—be removed permanently. Every two weeks for nearly ten years he had left his brewing company early to spend the afternoon at the Ministry with the cuff temporarily freed from his person to exercise the full extent of his magic, and every two weeks for nearly ten years he resorted to Muggle methods to get home, exhausted beyond belief.
Of course, if he hadn't stopped at a certain internet cafe a few years back and ended up filling in for a Muggle who had left his friends stranded mid-fight, he never would have met his lovely, lovely wife.
Severus signalled impatiently at the light, too drained to bother with a light charm or three to help himself slide through traffic. Getting back to the Somerset station and then driving home wasn't usually too terrible, but with the pelting rain it was as if every idiot was cramming into the trains and he'd had to wait for a later one.
Driving made him irritated despite the rather lovely car his wife had acquired. It had a smooth rumble that he usually enjoyed, and a spacious backseat that she liked even better.
He finally parked at their small home and jogged lightly into the house, rain already streaming down his hair and oversized nose. Grumbling to himself, he turned his key in the lock. He really should have let her pick him up instead.
Severus slammed the door behind him, chucking the keys onto the hall table with a clatter. He could hear her voice as he threw his coat onto a hanger, kicked his boots off, and made his way upstairs.
"—On your left! And if you wander off and pull mobs again, I swear I'll tell him to let you stay dead," she growled as he sat down heavily in his office chair, swiveling his lanky legs beneath the desk. She spared him a glance and a smile, her headset neatly on place. "We're just clearing the last of the trash. I've got you logged in already."
"I see that." Severus leaned across and she met him halfway for a quick kiss. Indeed, a steaming mug of tea and a lit cigarette—his vice—awaited him, as did the undead priest on the monitor standing in front of a swirling portal. Hermione grinned at him as she dropped fire upon her enemies. "How was work?"
"Good, caused loads of trouble, as usual." They both knew she wasn't going to tell him anything tonight. She grinned at him, then pushed the button on her keyboard bound to her microphone. "He's officially online; he just got home. Dropping a portal; please click it so we can summon him and get this started."
Severus settled his own headset into place and adjusted the microphone as her diminutive elf began casting. Raid night was their favourite Friday night pastime, he introduced to the game through sheer happenstance, and her through a cousin. His favourite of her cousins, if he was honest, for they had brought her to him.
Hermione's eyes sparkled with glee as she turned to him. In his ears, their group chatted over TeamSpeak, running down the fight. "I think we may down Illidan tonight if we're lucky."
He snorted. "We bloody should. We've cleared it the past two weekends."
"Yes, but Ibu's back from her cruise." Her words dripped with contempt. "She's the most useless mage on the planet. Can't even ice block. Just dies!!"
"She is, but with the gear we've gotten we should be able to carry her through the fight, even as a useless corpse," he muttered drily, "assuming that even I cannot manage to keep her alive."
Hermione smiled and stretched, watching him double-check his addons. He was probably the best healer she'd ever come across, and had joined his guild by chance after she'd helped another of his guildmates with a difficult quest. She hadn't even known who the deep-voiced priest was on the other end of the internet, preferring not to reveal his name but only go by his character's moniker, Mugwort. She had understood, preferring Perdita's mystique to 'Hermione'.
They'd flirted. They'd become good friends. They'd spent evenings running dungeons, leveling new characters together, leading the raid... and finally the guild had had enough and decided to force them to meet in person for a date that did not take place among floating chunks of a planet surrounded by rainbow clouds.
After a few surprised blinks on both ends at the other's identity, they'd decided to give it a go. Thirteen dates later and they'd simply eloped to Gretna Green. A bit rushed, but really, the most romantic thing a man could do in World of Warcraft was refuse to leave a woman's side and sacrifice his own character just to keep her alive. (And she had a nasty penchant for running into danger, completely assured that he would protect her, but also a habit of ensuring monsters saw her as a bigger target to protect him.) (And truth be told, he would throw himself into incredibly stupid fights, knowing she had his back, which he apparently found incredibly sexy.) So given their attraction, shared past, and shared present, it had made them both very, very happy.
"Is everyone ready?" he finally asked in his silky baritone. Hermione shivered. That commanding note in his voice was nothing short of sexy.
A chorus of voices declared their readiness and Severus gave Hermione a wicked grin. He began the count to pull the boss.
Their party sat atop the Black Temple, taking a quick break for food and other bodily needs before they faced the dread Demon Hunter Illidan. Hermione stretched and accepted the mug of tea he offered as he padded back into the office.
"I hope we can one-shot him," she muttered. "It's late."
"It's Saturday." He chair creaked as he sat and lit another cigarette, setting it on the warded ashtray. He liked the smell. He didn't like the taste: she didn't like the cancer.
"It's three am on a Saturday," she corrected.
Severus shrugged. He opened his character's bags and frowned as he moused over the contents before opening up his professions to create a few more mana potions. After all, he had a reputation to maintain, even in a game.
"How was it?" He raised a brow at her, questioning. She gestured to his wrist.
"The same as usual. Tiring and depleting." Five months and twenty-two days. "I should have taken you up on your offer."
Hermione smiled and reached across to take his hand. She gave it a squeeze and he squeezed back. "Yes, but then you would have had to put up with clearing trash mobs before the boss."
"More like tolerate you pulling everything for more AoE so you could rule the damage charts." Her smirk was unrepentant. Dropping spells to rain hellfire upon a large group of enemies was so...relaxing after a week at work. After the Ministry had stagnated her work, she'd taken up working with Astoria Greengrass-Malfoy to do things in a roundabout way. It required far too much planning and leading the blind for someone who preferred to present her facts and hit them over the head with them until they agreed with her. "Do you have enough potions yourself?"
She released his hand to check her bag. "I'll be okay for a few attempts. If we wipe more than five times I'll need more. And before you ask, my flask has got another 40 minutes and I have two more."
He nodded and closed the window before directing his priest to eat. Topping up a food buff couldn't hurt.
"Do you need any gems?"
"Only if I get some fucking gear," he muttered sourly. "Eight bosses and no fucking loot."
"You do have the highest item level in the raid," she pointed out.
"Doesn't mean I don't like new gear. I've nearly got my shadow set finished." Hermione nodded. He frowned. "Not like it's going to matter soon."
"The expansion is months away!" Hermione protested. "You have loads of time to be the most outstanding priest on our server, Severus!"
"Perhaps." If he was honest, the reason he healed was the accolades. People didn't care who he was, but the recognition and chorus of 'great heals, man, thanks' was something he rather liked hearing.
Minutes passed, and he took a long drink of his tea. The voices in their headset were many now as more characters either bounced about to kill time or spent it productively, as he had. She swapped windows to TeamSpeak, doing a quick count of people who had set themselves as away.
"Just missing Tabby," she said, holding down her mic button.
"No, I'm here," came a voice, and Hermione brightened.
"Oh good! Are we ready to turn Illidan into a smear on the floor of his own hidey-hole?"
Severus smiled wickedly at his wife's bloodlust. Downing a tough boss made her particularly greedy in bed, and he hoped for a quick kill tonight. He'd gotten spoiled with the last few weeks' post-raid romps in their bed.
In the end, it was their third attempt, Ibu once again dragging down the entire raid, that they succeeded in downing the difficult final boss. Half of the raid was dead, but Hermione was alive, calling out orders in rapid succession. Severus was feverishly topping up health bars and only Hermione at her desk kept him from standing in the quite literal fire.
Hermione whooped as they reached the final strike and she ran forward to loot, her warlock's ponytail bouncing with every step.
As cheered as he was for finally getting a semi-decent piece of gear, he was much more cheered to find that Hermione was top damage and far more energetic than she had any right to be.
Perhaps he could convince her to top something else tonight.