Note: Written for the "Summer of Love" crossover challenge - the very first crossover I've ever finished! Thanks go to Ian for pointing me in that direction... 😉 Short, very short.
Beta: No beta, sorry - didn't have the time because I wanted to meet the deadline.
Dedicated to: Meko, for her wonderful feedback and because there's not enough JC/Howie love out there for her ...

Howie Dorough pushed open the door of the hotel entrance and went in, grateful to get out of the wet.

He had been to an interview at the local radio station and had been walking around the small town, enjoying the warm sun and the fresh air, when all of a sudden heaven had opened its gates and it has begun to pour. Luckily Richard, his bodyguard, had seen the sign of the hotel at the corner and they had sprinted towards the welcome shelter as fast as possible.

Howie tried to dry his face and hair that had become soaked in a matter of seconds while Richard made sure it was okay to stay here. Someone handed him a towel and he took it gratefully, looking up quickly to see who his 'saviour' was.

He looked right into a familiar pair of blue eyes that were staring at him with as much surprise as he was feeling at this point.

"J... JC? What are you doing here?" Howie said when he finally found his voice again and started to towel off his dripping locks.

The other man shook his head slightly as if trying to convince himself that this was really happening before answering. Howie knew exactly how he felt.

"Well, my car broke down and I'm waiting for it to be fixed - not that I'll be able to drive anywhere in this weather..."

"Yeah, who'd have thought that it'd turn nasty like that..." Howie commented, not quite knowing how to handle the whole surreal situation. What were the odds of both him and JC ending up in the same small hotel in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere? And naturally, of all boy band members in this country it had to be JC Chasez, who he'd been trying not to think of too much ever since that party almost two months ago...

JC didn't seem to mind that Howie had gone off to dreamland - he was staring out of the window at the grey curtain of rain, lost in thoughts of his own. Howie wondered if he was thinking of the way their kisses had tasted, of the hunger with which their bodies had tried to get close and closer... Or maybe JC was grateful for the drunk guy bursting into the bathroom and vomiting right in front of their stall, totally destroying the best moment Howie had enjoyed in months.

Remembering those stolen minutes now Howie felt a familiar burn settle in the pit of his stomach and he forced himself back to the present.

JC was still watching the rain, a faraway look in his beautiful eyes and a small smile playing on his lips. What Howie wouldn't give to be able to look inside this fascinating man! But since he couldn't, he should at least try to keep at least the appearance of semi-normality upright.

"How long do you think it's going to storm like this?" he asked therefore, unable to suppress a shudder when thunder cracked seemingly directly above their heads.

That roused JC out of his contemplation of whatever was so interesting outside, and to Howie's surprise a warm pianist's hand found its way to his shoulder as JC smiled at him reassuringly: "I'm sure it'll be over soon - that kind of thing never lasts long."

Howie couldn't help but close his eyes quickly and savour the feeling of JC touching him like this, even if it was just a hand on a shoulder.

Obviously JC misunderstood him, because he now asked: "Long day? You want to crash somewhere for a while until you can leave the hotel without drowning?"

Howie chuckled and felt the first genuine smile spread on his face - JC was just such a caring and sweet guy, it was impossible not to relax in his company.

The next sentence simply escaped his inner censor: "You'd like us to take a room here for a couple of hours?" As soon as he heard himself speak he winced and cursed himself silently - what a stupid fuck he was! What the hell would JC think of him now?

The man in question was staring at Howie and Howie tried feverishly to come up with something that would make his words unsaid. But suddenly JC smiled, a very surprised smile, but a smile that made Howie's knees go weak.

"I'd love to."

The words were hanging in the air between them, charging it with electric currents much stronger than the lightning outside. They were staring at each other and Howie wondered if his own face wore the same stunned expression as JC's. He came to the decision that it probably did - and that he didn't mind the least.

Having reached that point Howie roused himself and quickly walked over to the reception desk, his hand lingering on JC's arm as he passed him with a smile that felt as if it would crack his face.

Securing them a room was not a problem and a couple of minutes later Howie found himself in an elevator with JC, riding up a couple of floors to their destination. They were silent, but it was not an uncomfortable silence, because JC kept sneaking glances at Howie that told Howie that he was not the only nervous one here.

It was a good feeling.

Even better felt standing in front of JC in their room, their breaths mingling and their bodies almost touching, anticipation turning Howie's bones to jelly.

And hearing JC say "Why don't we stay the whole night?" as they were lying on the bed in a sweaty tangle of bodies that were so different yet fit so perfectly - that was pure heaven.

The words came easy and this time he didn't fear JC's answer: "Why don't you drive me to the airport tomorrow - and come with me to Florida for a while?"

A bold of lightning lit up the room, enabling Howie to see JC's wide smile.

Howie contentedly rested his head on his lover's shoulder and listened to the tapping of the summer rain against the window.

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