Severus straightened his cufflinks and smoothed his tie before buttoning his jacket. A quick pat to his right hip reassured him that his duty weapon was clipped to his belt and flexed his arm to make sure his wand holster was functional.
"Severus?" Harry Potter, SIU second-in-command, poked his head into Severus' office. "Everyone's here."
"Excellent, I'll be right there."
Severus stepped into the briefing room, looking at the people seated around the table. "Welcome to the Special Investigative Unit, ladies and gentlemen. You're the elite of British law enforcement, handpicked by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Magic."
Severus passed out copies of the operations plan before giving them a moment to look over it.
"This assignment comes directly from Her Majesty; one of her grandson's friends was the last target of this gang." Severus made sure he had their attention. "Potter and I will serve as the bait as they are targeting wealthy, powerful men indulging in trysts, homosexuals five times more that heterosexuals."
"Bloody hell, why do I always get to be the homeless bloke?" Finnegan groused.
"Because you've a way with dust bins?" Potter suggested, leaning casually against the wall.
The room dissolved into laughter.
Severus checked into a suite at a posh London hotel, sending his bag up before heading into the busy pub. Conscious of potential watching eyes, Severus seated himself at an empty table near the fireplace, a waiter materialized immediately to take his order.
"Glenlivet, neat," Severus snapped.
"And a pint, please!" Potter grinned at Severus, sliding into a chair. "Sorry I'm late, Sebastian."
Severus noticed the waiter looking between them as an answering smile curve Severus' lips. "Harold! I didn't see you come in."
"Dark ale for the gentleman?"
The waiter's obvious attention irritated Severus and he narrowed his eyes.
The evening proceeded with the waiter continuing to chat-up Potter, which Severus pretended not to see, ordering the best whiskey and food. He put on what he hoped was a besotted expression as he lavished Potter with attention that included one dance, precisely three minutes in duration, in the adjacent nightclub. Leaning in, Severus whispered the signal to Potter and they stood to leave.
Silently, Potter followed him to the suite. Stepping inside the door, Severus pressed Potter against the wall and kissed him hungrily. The flash of a camera made them spring apart as the plan fell into place.
"Generally, I'd just post a copy of the photo to you with my demand for money," the masked man told Severus, waving him back with his gun. "But this one is rather delicious looking."
Potter jerked away, earning him a vicious backhand, and Severus' jaw clenched. "How much money do you want?"
The man, who sounded quite like the waiter from the pub, sneered at Severus. "You sound like the last bloke, whining and crying, offering me anything to leave his boy alone!"
Potter surged upward, stunning the suspect and toppling him to the floor as the door burst open.
The suspect's spontaneous comments made the arrest easy, the operation completed without a single Muggle Oliviated. A uniformed officer took custody of the arrestee to transport him and the rest of the team followed to start processing the paperwork. Severus, having shed his jacket, watched a rumpled Potter stretch.
"Would you like me to heal your face?' Severus said, watching Potter's reaction.
"Only if you finish what you started." Potter closed the gap between them.
Severus smirked, swiftly healing the laceration before tugging Potter against him, kissing him hard.
"Good thing they let us keep the room for the night."
Severus curled around Harry enjoying the after-glow. Their lovemaking had been amazing, everything Severus had fantasized it might be. Moreover, Harry might just reciprocate his regard, if work didn't get in the way.
"You're thinking too hard," Harry muttered, turning to face him.
"Minor concern over whether this'll change our working relationship." Severus was honest.
Harry buried his face into Severus' throat, his breath warm. "Our Aurors'll be relieved we've stopped dancing around each other. And as I answer to the Head Auror and you to the Minister, there's no conflict."
Severus smirked. "Well then, shall we carry on?"