Shall We Dance
X : Quick Step (cont)

+

Heero's anger grew as he watched Treize repeatedly try to sabotage Wufei and Hilde's routine. Fortunately his friends managed to avoid most of it. They ended the Latin program with a sweeping finish, as did Trowa and Catherine. They all rushed down out of the stands to congratulate their friends. Hilde in the meantime rushed off to change her dress for the modern portion of the competition.

Wufei accepted a bottle of water from Meiran and began ranting. "Kisama! Did you see that dishonorable cur step between us? He should be disqualified for inappropriate conduct!"

"I can't believe he would do something so petty!" Une exclaimed.

Heero felt Duo trembling beside him. He squeezed his love's hand and looked at him worriedly.

"Daijoubu, Heero," he said softly. "I'm not going to let him get to me anymore." Duo leaned up and kissed his cheek. "I have you here with me. That's all I need."

Heero smiled down at him as the emcee stood up to announce the finalists for the Latin program. Hilde came flying up to them, feathers fluttering off the trim of her white evening dress as the numbers were announced. When Hilde and Wufei's number was called, followed by Catherine and Trowa's, everyone cheered. And when they didn't announce Treize's number, they all turned to look at the tall man. Heero suppressed a snicker as Dorothy punched him in the arm and stalked off.

"Ah. Justice," Wufei said, apparently satisfied.

The emcee came over the sound system again to call for all participants in the first round of the modern program. Heero immediately felt faint. He and Hilde were dancing in the first round. His heart leapt into his throat, and he suddenly felt sick to his stomach. Both Une and Duo noticed how pale Heero had become, and Duo took Hilde aside.

"He'll be too nervous to even hear the music. You must guide him."

Hilde smiled and patted Duo on the arm. "Leave it to me," she answered, winking at him. Une placed a hand on Heero's arm.

"Heero, just flow with the music and enjoy the dance," she said in an effort to calm him down.

"Remember... Shall We Dance?"

Heero smiled at his teacher. "Aa. Shall We Dance?. Arigatou, sensei."

Hilde walked up, took him by the arm, and led him to the line of contestants waiting for their numbers to be called.

One by one, the emcee called their numbers. Heero escorted Hilde onto the floor and together they took their positions. A strange sense of calm came over him as they waited for the music to start. He could almost hear Duo's beautiful voice in his ear as the music began.

'The start is everything. Take a deep breath. Count. One, two, three. Two, two, three...'

Heero counted along in his head. Hilde extended her hand. Drawing the girl close, Heero took one last deep breath and stepped forward.

+

Milliardo watched with a sense of pride as Heero performed the waltz with precision and grace. He heard Lucrezia suck in her breath as they danced toward the center of the floor where Heero dipped his partner.

"Oh! You don't usually see something like that at the beginning of a waltz. Bold move. Bravo!" she said, clapping her hands.

The dance continued. Heero and his lovely partner seemed to be dancing on air as they whirled around the dance floor. Milliardo was watching them closely when he noticed another couple dancing straight toward them.

"Oh no, Heero. Look out!" he cried futilely to himself, knowing Heero couldn't hear him. Fortunately, the man only bumped Heero's shoulder. The rhythm of the dance was broken, but the two couples just smiled politely at each other, bowed in apology, and continued dancing.

"Points will be lost there," Lucrezia commented.

"But who's fault is it?" asked Milliardo, still confused on how the scoring worked. "I mean, it was just an accident."

"That's why I don't like amateurs," Howard muttered. "Can't keep from bumping into each other or being bumped themselves. How you react is most important, however. Judges will naturally notice bumping. But a quick recovery and a calm return to dancing can be noted and scored pretty highly."

Lucrezia laughed. "You really do know a lot about dancing, don't you Howard?"

"Oh yes," the older man replied. "Might even be able to teach you a thing or two, my dear."

Lucrezia blushed prettily. "Oh Milliardo, I love your uncle! You should bring him to the studio more often!"

"Uncle Howard, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were flirting with my girlfriend."

"Of course I am, silly boy! She's too beautiful not to!"

"Why Howard. Thank you!" Lucrezia said as the music came to an end. Heero and his partner finished beautifully. Milliardo watched in amusement as Duo ran to the Japanese man and launched himself into his koibito's arms. The braided dancer brought Heero's head down to give him an enthusiastic kiss.

"Zechs, isn't that your brother-in-law?" Howard asked.

"Brother-in-law?" Lucrezia asked, looking at him.

"My niece's husband," Howard replied. "And from the looks of things, she doesn't look too happy."

Milliardo's eyes grew wide as he turned his head in the direction Howard was looking. There, standing on the steps of the bleachers shooting daggers of rage toward her husband and his lover, was his sister.

"Oh, shit."

+

Heero caught the bundle of energy that had thrown itself into his arms after the waltz ended.

"Yatta, Hee-chan! You did it!" his lover exclaimed happily. He wrapped his arms around Heero's neck and drew him down for a deep, passionate kiss. They broke off when the announcement for the second group of dancers for the waltz was called. Heero smiled down at the American.

"What was that for?"

"Because you were wonderful out there," Duo replied. "And because I love you."

"I love you too." Heero brushed chestnut bangs away from Duo's heart-shaped face. He glanced up over his love's head to see Quatre staring at them. Heero felt his heart plummet into his stomach. This was it. He had to tell Duo now.

"Duo, is there somewhere we can go? I... I need to talk to you."

Duo looked puzzled. "What for?"

"I... I have to tell you something. Can we go somewhere?"

"Well there's nowhere around here that's not full of people. Can't it wait until after your next dance?"

Heero sighed and nodded, a lead weight settling in the pit of his stomach. The competition would be over soon. A few more minutes wouldn't hurt. He looked back at Quatre and mouthed 'I'll explain later.' He pleaded silently with his eyes for his blonde friend not to say anything. Quatre didn't look happy but he nodded. 'You'd better,' he mouthed back before turning back to Trowa.

Heero breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the remaining waltz sets with Duo. All too soon the emcee called for the participants in the quick-step competition. Duo gave him a kiss for luck before he left to find Hilde.

Before he could join his partner, a hand reached out and grabbed his arm. His expression darkened as he saw who it was.

"What do you want, Treize?" he asked curtly.

"Nothing," the older man said, feigning innocence. "Just thought I'd pass along a little information."

"Nothing you have to say would interest me," Heero said flatly as he tried to disentangle his arm from Treize's grip.

"Really. Then I suppose the fact that your wife is here wouldn't interest you at all?"

Heero's eyes narrowed. "You lie."

"Do I?" Treize smirked. "Well you certainly don't have to believe me. She is a pretty little thing though. Petite, blue eyes, pretty blonde hair done in braids..." He shrugged and let Heero go. "Just thought you might want to know." And with that, he turned and walked off.

Heero stood frozen in place. It wasn't true. It couldn't be. How could Relena have known he was there?

"Heero!" The Japanese man turned to see Hilde running toward him. "Come on, Heero! They're about to call our number!" The short-haired girl grabbed his arm and dragged him away.

Heero was so distracted by the thought his wife might be nearby, he almost missed their number. Hilde looked at him strangely as she tugged him onto the dance floor. "Heero, are you okay?"

"A... aa," he answered noncommittally as he took his position.

The music began, and Heero tried hard to block all thoughts of Relena out of his mind. He pulled Hilde close and took off across the floor. He tried desperately to concentrate on his steps, but the idea that Relena was in the stands, watching him... that she had seen the kiss he shared with Duo... it was too distracting. As they danced passed the audience, Heero looked up at the crowd, trying to spot his wife. With each turn, Heero became more and more distracted. He never saw the other couple. His eyes directed at the audience, he spun Hilde around and hit the other couple. Hard. He stumbled forward into Hilde, sending them both to the ground. In midair, he made the split second decision to twist their bodies so that he would be the one to hit the ground, rather than Hilde. His head cracked against the floor with bruising force. Looking up, Duo's horror-filled eyes were the last things he saw before darkness swallowed him.

+

Duo rushed down the hall, feeling nauseated at the sterility of the place. He'd never liked hospitals. But seeing Heero lying there, unmoving on the dance floor was worse. His heart had almost stopped when he saw (and heard) Heero's head crack against the hardwood floor. And when his lover didn't move... Duo had felt like he was going to throw up. He saw Heero lying on the ground, and all he could see in his mind were images of his parents and Solo.

He had sat down heavily on the floor, frozen in place as people rushed forward to help his fallen lover. He didn't know how much time had passed. The sounds of people moving around had threatened to overwhelm him. Only when an emergency team had brought in a stretcher did he break out of his fugue.

Une, who had been standing at the edge of the crowd surrounding Heero, had seen Duo on the floor. She had hurried over to help him up.

"Une... is Heero... will he..." the violet-eyed dancer had stammered softly.

Une had wrapped her arms around him, drawing him close. "He's unconscious, Duo-chan. He hit his head pretty hard. They're taking him to the hospital. Do you want to go too?"

Duo had nodded and allowed his sister-in-law to lead him out to her old, battered car. They had driven as quickly as they could through the Saturday afternoon traffic to the hospital. Heero had already arrived and had been admitted by the time they had gotten there. As soon as the lady at the front desk had told them where Heero was, Duo had taken off.

There was already quite a crowd gathered outside the room where Heero had been taken. Une's cousin Lucrezia was there, along with a man with long blonde hair and an older gentleman. Hilde was there as well. She'd ridden with Lucrezia as the two women knew each other well. Quatre and Trowa arrived only seconds after he and Une did. Quatre said Wufei and Meiran were on there way, as well as Hilde's family.

"How is he?" Duo asked Quatre, fear making his voice shake.

"We don't know. The doctor's in there right now along with..." He trailed off with a pained look on his face.

Duo was about to ask what was wrong when the door opened and a tall woman in a doctor's coat stepped out, followed by another rather pretty woman with blonde hair done in braids.

"I'm Dr. Po," the tall lady said, nodding to them all. "I assume you're all here for Yuy-san?"

"Doctor, how is he?" Duo asked, not waiting for anyone to answer the woman's question.

"He has a minor concussion but he'll be alright." Duo sighed in relief. "We'll be keeping him overnight for observation. Now if you'll excuse me..."

"May I see him?" Duo asked before the doctor could leave.

"I'm sorry, family only. Now I really must go." She smiled at him apologetically before walking away.

Duo clutched at Une's arm tightly. "Please, I have to see him."

The woman with the blonde hair who had been in the room with Dr. Po shot him an ugly glare.

"Family only," she said maliciously.

"Please..."

"Who are you?" she demanded, her blue eyes blazing.

"I'm his... his dance teacher," Duo answered weakly.

"Well I'm his wife. And I would appreciate it if you would all leave so my husband can get some rest," she sneered at him.

Duo didn't hear anything past the word 'wife.' The world seemed to collapse around him. He could feel his eyes grow heavy with tears as his breathing became erratic.

His wife.

His wife.

His wife.

"Duo-chan? Daijoubu?"

He looked up at Une's concerned face, then took a step back. Everyone was looking at him. He had to get away... away from Heero... away from her.

Choking back a sob, he turned and ran down the corridor. His vision was blurred with tears so he couldn't see where he was going. He didn't see the tall man with the ginger hair until it was too late. A hand reached out to grab him. He looked up in surprise.

"So... you've finally found out your lover's been playing you for a fool," Treize sneered down at him.

"How did you..."

"I thought it was my duty to let his poor wife know what's been going on behind her back. And now that you don't have him anymore, maybe you and I could..."

"You unbelievable bastard!" Duo shouted, yanking his arm away. "How could you think... after what you've done..." Duo was suddenly overcome with anger. Anger at Treize for his foolish persistence... anger at Heero for his betrayal... He drew his foot back and kicked the tall man in the groin as hard as he could. As Treize dropped to his knees, moaning in pain, Duo leapt forward and slammed him into the wall.

"If you ever, EVER call or come near me again, I'll have you arrested for stalking. I want you out of my life for good, Treize. Find someone else to harass. I'm not going to take it anymore!"

He let go of Treize's shirt, turned around, and walked off. He walked down the seemingly endless hallways until his body was trembling so badly his legs wouldn't hold him anymore. He found an empty, dark room and sat down in the corner. Drawing his knees up, he pressed his face into his legs... and cried.

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