Rating: PG13? No real explicit smut
Disclaimer: I own no grouchy potions masters, no Boys Who Lived, and nothing of the HP 'verse.
Bunny: Harry/Snape, established relationship, probably post-Hogwarts. Snape thinks there is absolutely nothing good about Muggle culture, so Harry decides to use a little dress-up to change his mind. Sexy fireman, policeman, doctor…that sort of thing. Points if pole dancing can be worked in. Sorry, pole-dancing didn't happen.
The Muggle Way
Harry shook his head and leaned against the jamb. "You really are a bastard about some things, Snape."
"This shouldn't come as a terribly great surprise after all this time, and your saying so will not induce me to join you in your little visit to Muggle wonderland." Severus folded the newspaper the other way and flattened it out to do the crossword.
"Bet I can change your mind."
Severus looked up. "Oh, do try." He was confident it couldn't be done; his opinion of all things Muggle was early formed and long held.
Severus ignored the sense of impending doom and worked out the anagram in four across.
Severus didn't bother looking up from his chopping block. "Do not call me that." He finished dividing the carrot into uniform pieces and added them to the stew.
"Severus." Harry was in the doorway. Wearing. …What the hell?
"Potter, why on earth are you dressed as a Muggle police officer?"
"Come to arrest you, of course."
"I believe doing so with your wand would be more effective. Hand cuffs are unlikely to hold me." Severus opened the tin of stewed tomatoes and poured them into a dish to pick out odd bits of skin and slice apart oversize chunks.
Harry dangled the aforementioned handcuffs from one finger, then crossed to pull Severus's hands behind him and fasten them together. "Idiot. I'm demonstrating what fun Muggle culture can be. See? Here we are, you immobilized--"
"Not exactly." Severus shrugged out of the cuffs and went back to picking through the tomatoes.
"You're not playing along! See, then you ask if I can't consider an exchange, and imply you'd be willing to offer sexual favors for your freedom, and--"
"And how, exactly, Potter, would that be fun? You wish for me to explicitly compare the Muggle police force to Voldemort's minions?" He added the tomatoes to the pan.
"Uh. No, actually. Never mind." Harry Vanished the uniform and soberly started washing the dishes Severus had already used.
"You could simply use a scouring charm," Severus pointed out.
"Yeah. I know." Harry pushed his glasses up his nose with one soapy finger and went back to scrubbing.
Severus stifled a sigh. The comparison had been fair, and obvious. Damn it. Now he was going to have to go along with whatever insanity the boy came up with next to make it up to him.
Severus turned the page and didn't look up. "Do not call me that."
Harry bounced into the room. "Look!"
"Potter. You appear to be dressed as a member of the fire brigade. It would seem a likely time to ask, 'where's the fire?' except that I imagine you are endeavoring once again to convince me there is something fun about dressing up as a Muggle."
Harry sighed. "Play along! I could rescue you from a terrible blaze, and then you could express your gratitude!"
Severus carefully marked his page. "Potter, if we had a terrible blaze, I think either of us could suitably quell it quite nicely with a watering charm, or a suffocating charm, or any number of other likely means. If, on the other hand, you believe I do not express the gratitude I feel for the manner in which we came to our current situation often enough--"
Harry blinked. "Oh. No. I didn't mean. Damn it." He sat down with a thump and Vanished the uniform. "What are you reading?"
Severus tilted the face of the book so Harry could see it.
"A hundred ways to get the most out of your carcass? Ew!"
"It describes how to salvage and process such things as--"
"Yeah. I think I can imagine. That's all right. I'll just be in the garden." Harry jumped up and left quickly.
Severus sighed again. For all he'd resolved not to be quite so impossible, he'd certainly stuck with what he knew, hadn't he? Well, it was who he was. Really, Harry ought to know that, right? Right.
He opened his book and went back to reading about how to get to the spinal fluid of a dragon before it went bad.
Severus didn't answer immediately, and before he did, he reminded himself of the last two times Harry had come in calling to him. "Do not call me that."
Harry came up the stairs and presented himself. He was dressed in short, tight, stretchy, shiny, red …trousers, which stopped, shy of his knees and came with …braces of a sort, stretching equally shiny and red up over his shoulders. His hair was tinted blue and formed short pointy spikes all over his head. And somehow, he'd acquired muscles with which Severus was not familiar. Which seemed unlikely given he touched Harry's shoulders and arse and thighs on a somewhat regular basis.
Well. Not so regular recently, since this whole determination on Harry's part to convince him Muggle things were fun. Still, he'd have noticed that. "What in heaven's name-- have you now decided to demonstrate the brilliance of Muggle culture by acquiring and using some of those hormone-derived injectable substances often features in the Muggle sport pages in the papers?"
"You know. The ones that athletic types use to increase muscle mass and performance, but which damage their bodies and render them impotent?"
"Ew! God, no. I like being, um, potent."
"One would hope. So, what is all this, then?"
"Well. The muscles are temporary, though, um." Harry bit his lip. "If you like them I could try to get more muscular."
"I do like them, but I also do like your usual shape just fine." There, that was pleasant enough.
"And the outfit is a wrestler one. I thought perhaps I could pin you, and--"
"Yes. Wrestlers, well, they wrestle, on a big mat, and whoever holds the other one down for three seconds wins."
"You want me to roll about on the floor with you? Not for sex, but for the glory of being held there?"
"Well, I thought then I could pin you, and then you could offer favors for being let go, and--"
"Why do all your scenarios wind up with me offering favors in exchange for your services? Am I not usually willing? Potter, I realize I am not a demonstrative man, but--"
"No! It's not like that! I just thought. Well. I just thought I might convince you there were somethings about Muggles that are fun. And when I think of fun, and you, I guess I think of sex, and… never mind. I've got it all wrong, I know." He Vanished the bizarre shiny outfit and turned to go, shifting in the regular clothes that didn't fit quite right over the temporary musculature. His hair, still blue, was back to routine mess.
Severus couldn’t think of what to say; he watched Harry go and sighed. He'd done it again.
Though it was gratifying to know Harry associated fun with having sex with him. Perhaps he could make it up to him this evening. After all, he did think there was something to be said for the shoulder muscles.
Severus groaned and turned over, unhappily awake and shuddering and uncertain why. "Do not… Dnnght. Call…" His tongue was evidently glued to the roof of his mouth, which tasted awful, and he couldn't stop shaking. "Wha--"
"You have a fever. Hold on." Harry rolled away, then came back with his wand, performing a series of charms Severus knew: fever-reducing, infection-cleaning, head-clearing, stomach-settling, and scourgifying. "Better?"
The shivering had stopped, he was still clammy, and he could smell the sour-thick scents of vomit and sweat. "Ugh," he managed. His head hurt still, though he could feel that ebbing, and the sheets were horridly damp.
"Come on." Harry stood and led the way to the bath, starting a warm shower and placing Severus in it. I'll go change the sheets. You stay here."
The shower felt far too good to do anything but comply, and Severus stood under the spray for several minutes, washing and cleaning his teeth and feeling the rest of the illness clear before the curtain opened again. "All right, I've got the bed made up fresh."
Severus opened his eyes. "Harry?"
"Come in here with me?"
"Do you need help?"
"Of a sort."
"A moment, then." The curtain dropped shut, and then opened again, and Harry, pyjamas gone, stepped into the shower with him. "What do you need?"
"It occurred to me you might be interested to know that showers, actually, are a Muggle device."
"And they're lovely. Constant flowing warm water, no sitting about in the soap you've already used, that sort of thing."
Harry frowned and put up a hand to Severus's brow.
"I'm fine, Harry. You did a good job. It just seemed to me as long as you were playing doctor--"
"Oi, I wasn't--"
"I know. But it seemed a likely segue. Showers, which are something good Muggles designed, are also good for something else, besides cleaning. For instance, wanking."
"Oh? And is that what you needed me for, then?"
"No, though the topic is related."
"I see." Harry was grinning slightly now, and Severus reached down to cup his balls.
"I thought we could see about me offering sexual favors in return for the services you just performed." Severus could feel himself blushing, because this wasn't how they usually did things, but Harry had been trying hard, and he found he didn't want to crush that sense of fun.
"What if I want to offer favors of my own, in exchange for that admission of Muggle adequacy you just made?"
Severus smiled. "Perhaps we could come to an agreement."
Severus smiled into the clean pillowslip and turned. "Do not call me that."
"You know what else is better the Muggle way?"
"What's that?" He was feeling pleasantly relaxed and drowsy after a rather …athletic shower experience.
"The cure for sore muscles."
"Yeah. Us, we just cast a charm on them. It's fast, but the Muggle way is better."
"It involves rubbing. Like this. Are you sore here?"
"Not yet, but I imagine I will be."
"Ah, then I should start. Pre-emptive massage."
Severus groaned at Harry's hands on his inner thighs, kneading and pressing and brushing against his balls. "Is that what it is?"
"Yes. That it's getting you hard again is only the secondary benefit."
"Oh? What is the primary?"
"That I get to touch you a lot."
Severus smiled in the dark, and agreed, Muggles did do some things right.