Again, some dialogue taken directly from the movie.
by: Caroline

Shall We Dance
X : Quick Step

Heero lay on the cushion for several hours, holding Duo's sleeping form in his arms, listening to the storm rage outside. Finally the rain slacked off, the thunder rumbling low in the distance. The downstairs clock chimed the witching hour. Lifting his sleeping beauty in his arms, he carried his long-haired love downstairs. He found Duo's bedroom on the second try. Laying his precious burden on the bed, he tucked the sheets around the boy and left him with a kiss. He hurried back upstairs to put his clothes back on and clean up the room so Une wouldn't suspect anything. He gathered up Duo's clothes and returned them to the boy's room. Duo stirred sleepily as he entered.

"Heero?"

"Shh, koi," he whispered, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"What time is it?"

"Just after midnight."

"Oh." The sheets rustled in the dark. "Can you stay?"

Heero paused. "I'd give anything to stay here with you, but..."

"But you can't." A hand reached out, groping for Heero's. The Japanese man found it and interlaced their fingers together. "I understand."

Hearing the disappointment in Duo's voice, Heero leaned down and kissed the young dancer on the forehead.

"Duo, I'm sorry. I..."

"Daijoubu, Heero," his lover interrupted. "It's all right."

Heero swallowed. What had he done right to deserve this beautiful creature. "Duo, I... I love you."

The slender hand in his tightened. "I love you too, Hee-chan."

Heero leaned down for one last, soul-searing kiss. "Sweet dreams, koi," he whispered as he stood.

"Oyasumi, Hee-chan," Duo said sleepily as his hand dropped back to the bed.

"Oyasumi."

Heero crept quietly out of Duo's room and let himself out of the house. He walked to the train platform with a heavy heart for he was leaving his beloved Duo behind... and going home to his wife.

+

The final three weeks before the competition passed by in a whirlwind. So intent were they on getting ready for the event and putting final touches on their routines that Heero barely had time to think about the consequences of making love to Duo. He only saw the boy at rehearsal since preparing for the competition took most of their free time. The only time they had to themselves was during the short breaks they took in between lessons. And even then they could only share fleeting touches as they were never alone. But the heated glances they exchanged spoke volumes.

And through it all, Heero felt the guilt over not telling Duo the truth gnawing at him. Although he'd taken the first steps to freedom by contacting a lawyer to begin drawing up the papers for divorce, he still felt terrible for not being totally honest with his braided love.

Not that he really had time to sit Duo down and talk with him. The violet-eyed dancer came to their lesson a week later flustered and full of energy. He wanted to change the opening to their waltz routine, something that both Heero and Hilde objected to.

"Change it?" Hilde asked incredulously. "How can we change it now? We've only got two weeks until we're supposed to perform it!"

"I don't know if changing it is such a good idea," Heero added. "What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing. And that's the problem," Duo explained.

Heero and Hilde just stared at him.

"Look, the way you're doing it is fine. You've got the turns, the sweeps; everything is the way it should be. But it's the same thing everyone else will be doing. You won't be able to capture the judges' attention with this kind of routine." He turned and began drawing a diagram on the white board. "The waltz usually begins facing outward and starts with a half-turn, leaving the middle of the floor wide open. What you two need to do is take center stage and do something unusual. Even if they hate it, the judges will be watching."

Hilde grumbled but in the end agreed. They worked long into the night and the nights that followed, developing and perfecting a new opening that would attract the judges' attention. Heero returned home night after night only to strip off his clothes, bathe, and fall into bed. He didn't even speak to Relena anymore, neither did he bother to come up with excuses as to where he'd been. He'd deal with it all once the competition was over.

The remaining two weeks disappeared before he knew it. Heero had taken a few days off work to get ready. He had a custom-made set of black tails made to wear for the dance. Although taking Duo with him to the tailor's had been a mistake. He'd had to pry the young dancer off him in the dressing room several times before they'd gotten out of there. Having Duo so close and not being able to do anything about it was slowly driving him mad. Fortunately the upcoming competition proved to be a welcome distraction. He had to be ready, for Hilde's sake... and for Duo's.

+

The sun was shining brightly on the day of the Eastern Japan Amateur Dance Competition. Heero arrived at the Exhibition Center an hour early to be ready. Une and Duo were already there, and Hilde arrived only moments later with her sister and man Heero presumed to be Alex in tow.

Hilde was already dressed for the Latin program in a silver body suit that glittered under the lights. Her hair was done up with a silver band, shining bangles dangling from the ends. Hilde dragged her companions over to them to introduce everyone.

Her sister smiled as she reintroduced herself to Heero. "You deserve a medal for putting up with her, Yuy-san."

Heero smirked and Duo giggled as Hilde tried to beat her sister over the head. Wufei chose that moment to arrive with a tall, Chinese woman at his side. "So, onna," he remarked to Hilde, "only minutes before the dance and you're beating up the competition? How dishonorable."

The tall woman at his side hit Wufei on the back of the head. "Stop teasing, husband."

Hilde paused in the middle of slapping her sister with a shoe. "Husband? You mean you're actually married? To a woman?"

Wufei's wife smiled. "My name is Chang Meiran. I'm honored to meet the woman who would willingly dance with my husband."

Hilde stared at the two of them for a long moment before breaking out into a wide smile. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Meiran. Although I'm rather surprised. With Wufei's views on women, I'd been thinking he was gay!"

Hilde and Meiran laughed conspiratorially together as Wufei fumed. Heero found it all amusing.

The two women were still discussing Wufei's "finer" points when Trowa and Quatre showed up with a woman a few years older than the two young men. She was introduced as Trowa's sister, Catherine. Catherine was dressed similarly to Hilde as she and Trowa were only going to participate in the Latin program. Catherine seemed to be Trowa's polar opposite. Where the green-eyed man was quiet and reserved, Catherine was loud and outspoken. Heero couldn't believe the two were siblings.

Heero glanced at the clock nervously. Butterflies were fluttering in his stomach in droves. He felt his hands go clammy as he realized the competition would begin in a few minutes. He stood frozen in place, almost petrified, until he felt a small hand on his arm. He looked down to see Duo's shining violet eyes smiling up at him.

"Just relax, Hee-chan," he said softly, tugging on his arm. "Let's go find seats for the Latin program."

They left Hilde, Wufei, Trowa and Catherine in the greenroom and headed out into the stands. There were a lot of spectators present, more than Heero had expected. Had Duo's calming presence not been next to him, he'd have headed for the hills as soon as he saw the crowd.

As the judges entered the hall and took their seats, Duo's hand snaked over to clasp Heero's. The two young men smiled shyly at each other as the emcee began announcing the couples for the first rumba set. There were to be three sets for each dance, with about ten to fifteen couples dancing in each set. Trowa, Catherine, Hilde, and Wufei wouldn't be dancing until the third set.

The first two sets seemed to fly by until finally, it was his friends' turn. Gretchen and Meiran cheered loudly as Hilde and Wufei took their place on the floor. Quatre did the same for Trowa and Catherine.

Heero heard Une curse and felt Duo stiffen as the last couple was announced. Looking up he saw Treize and a woman with long blonde hair walk onto the floor.

"He's still with her," he heard his lover whisper softly as the two took their places.

"Who?" Heero asked, feeling an immense hatred for the man who had once broken Duo's heart.

"Dorothy. My old partner."

"I don't understand what he's doing here," Une added. "This is an amateur competition.Professionals aren't allowed."

Heero could feel Duo tremble next to him. He rubbed the pad of his thumb across the back of the boy's hand reassuringly. The young dancer smiled up at him and moved closer.

"Ignore them, koi," Heero said, squeezing Duo's hand. "Let's just cheer on Wufei, Hilde, and Trowa."

Duo nodded, leaning in closer, and together, waited for the music to start.

+

Higher up in the stands, three figures took their seats.

"Wow. I didn't realize how big this competition was," Milliardo said as he handed Howard a program.

"It's one of the biggest in the region," Lucrezia explained as she laced her arm with his. "I danced in it, oh, seven years ago I guess it's been now."

"I bet you won," Milliardo said, smiling at his girlfriend.

The short-haired woman laughed. "No. Second place."

"Really? But you're such a wonderful dancer."

His lady-love snorted. "I'm good. But there are others who are better. My cousin and her brother-in-law for instance. You should see them dance together."

"Her brother-in-law? Duo Maxwell?"

"Yes. How did you know?"

"He's a friend of a friend," Milliardo said noncommittally.

"Ah."

They watched in silence as the third set of couples entered the dance floor. As the last one took their places, Lucrezia swore loudly.

"Shit! I didn't think he'd have the nerve to show his face here."

"What? Who?"

Lucrezia pointed to the last couple and quickly told them the whole sordid story of Treize's relationship with Duo. "That bastard broke Duo's heart, then turned on him. Fortunately that young man is made of sterner stuff. He managed to let go of it all and move on. I even heard he's found someone new in his life."

"Aa. I've heard that too," Milliardo said softly as he scanned the crowd for Heero. He spotted his brother-in-law in the second row, holding hands with the long-haired dancer. He smiled at the sight. It looked like Heero had found true happiness at last.

At that moment the music started, and the couples began to move. Milliardo spotted some of Heero's new friends on the floor: the Chinese man and his partner, and the tall man with the long bangs. He watched those two couples with interest. The Chinese man and the short-haired girl were obviously doing well. He spun the girl away from him and was dancing back towards her when Treize and his partner stepped between them. Lucrezia sucked in her breath, and Milliardo saw the Chinese man shoot the interlopers a glare. Fortunately he and his own partner recovered gracefully and danced away.

"There was plenty of room to go around," Milliardo commented. "Why did they do that?"

"They did that on purpose. He knows that they're students of Une and Duo's. I think he's trying to sabotage them."

"Why would he do that if you say he's trying to get Duo back?"

"Maybe he thinks if he can't have Duo, he'll harass his students instead. Maybe he's getting back at Duo for 'humiliating' him at Blackpool. Or maybe he's just nuts." Lucrezia shrugged. "Who knows exactly what's going through that little mind of his."

The three of them watched nervously as the dance continued. They noticed two more attempts made by Treize to get in Heero's friends' way. Fortunately the two were proficient enough to avoid the traps. They finished with a flourish to a round of applause.

"Excellent! They'll lose points for that first interruption but not many. Treize will lose more."

The next dance, the paso doble, began a few minutes later. Heero's friends' routine was beautiful as well as sensual. As they moved together, Milliardo made a mental note to ask Lucrezia to teach him the dance later.

Treize and his partner attempted again to get in their way, but the Chinese man was quick on his feet. He twirled his partner away and ended the dance in a sweeping finish. Milliardo watched Heero, Duo and the rest of the others on the second row join their friends on the sidelines after the dance.

"What happens now?" Milliardo asked as he watched the judges confer.

"They'll compare the scores of the three sets. The ten highest scoring couples of both dances will move on to the finals."

The emcee moved to the microphone and began announcing the numbers of the couples who had advanced to the final round. Milliardo was pleased to hear that the Chinese man and his partner as well as the tall man with the long bangs had made it to the finals. He smirked when he did not hear Treize's number called.

"Despite his behavior, I thought Mr. Macho danced pretty well," he commented offhandedly. "Why didn't they pick him?"

Lucrezia opened her mouth to answer but Howard beat her to it. "Bad attitude. Ungentlemanly behavior. It is a British sport after all."

Milliardo smiled and Lucrezia hid her laughter behind her hand. The dancer had taken a shine to his eccentric uncle. And Howard wholeheartedly approved of his developing relationship with Lucrezia.

The three of them chatted amongst themselves about the intricacies of dance competitions while they waited for the modern program to begin. Through it all, Milliardo kept one eye on Heero and his friends. His brother-in-law looked very nervous, almost green. He saw Duo speak to him softly before leaning up and placing a kiss on Heero's cheek.

"I'm glad Duo-kun has found someone," Lucrezia said, smiling at the two.

'And I'm glad Heero's found someone, too,' Milliardo thought. 'He's been unhappy for far too long.'

+

[cont]