The dialogue in the scene where Une describes the different kinds of dances is taken almost directly from the movie...
by: Caroline

Shall We Dance
II : Mambo

The next Wednesday found Heero sitting nervously on one of the wooden benches at the front end of the dance studio. It hadn't taken much to convince Relena that he was working late. She hadn't been happy about it, especially after he'd been late to her dinner party. But she had believed him and finally relented. He glanced at his watch and decided he could go ahead and change his shoes. He could hardly believe he had gone out and bought a special (and expensive) pair of dancing shoes for this class. His behavior the past few weeks had really surprised him.

He finished tying the laces on his new shoes and glanced at his watch again. The class would begin in just a few minutes. He wondered what they would learn first, and if he would get to put his arms around Duo at any point during the lesson.

Heero felt himself blush at that thought. He didn't know why he was so attracted to the long-haired dancer. He hadn't even been aware he liked boys. But something about Duo drew him like a moth to a flame. And he wanted to get burned.

At the thought of the violet-eyed boy, Heero turned his head slightly so he could watch the young dancer give a lesson to a graceless, balding, middle-aged man. The dancer was trying hard to get the man to maintain correct posture as they danced across the floor.

Heero didn't realize he was staring until a voice spoke in his ear. "He sure is pretty."

Heero turned to see a short-haired, dark-eyed woman sitting next to him. She was dressed similar to Duo except she wore a skirt instead of leggings. She smiled sweetly at him. "You don't have a chance with him."

"I was just enjoying the dance," Heero replied defensively.

"That's what they all say." She looked him up and down. "Still... you don't seem to be the desperate type like Tanaka-san," she added, nodding toward the man dancing with Duo. "That poor fool has been coming here for months and still doesn't have a clue that Duo-kun is not interested in him. And poor Duo has to fight to keep Tanaka's hands from wandering."

Heero jerked his head back to the dancing couple. Sure enough, the man's hands did seem to be wandering. Every few steps Duo had to stop to raise the man's hands from his hip to his waist. Heero saw red. He wanted to march over there and take the man down for daring to touch his Duo.

He blinked.

His Duo? Since when had he begun to think of the young dance teacher as his Duo? He'd barely spoken to the boy. But somehow... somehow the American dancer had wormed his way into his life. And now some overweight old pervert was trying to take advantage of him.

Heero was about to stand when the woman's voice stopped him. "Don't worry about Duo, though. He's used to it. He can take care of himself. My name is Hilde by the way."

"Heero. Heero Yuy."

"Nice to meet you, Heero Heero Yuy," Hilde said, grinning. "So are you here for the beginner's class?"

"Aa. Are you?"

"No, I'm in the intermediate class. We meet at the same time."

"Hn."

"Excuse me?" interrupted a sweet lilting voice from the other side of Hilde. Both she and Heero turned to see a young blonde man smiling at them. "Did you just say you were in the beginner's class?"

"Hai."

The golden haired boy smiled. "Us too," he said, gesturing to himself and a tall, green-eyed man sitting next to him. "I'm Quatre Rebarba Winner, and this is my partner, Trowa Barton."

"Nice to meet you," the other young man said quietly, tossing a shock of red-brown hair out of his eyes.

Heero eyed the two young men, noting the matching gold bands on their ring fingers. Partners in every sense of the word apparently. He nodded to them. "Heero Yuy."

"Ah, I see we've all arrived," announced Une, as she walked up to the group with a young Chinese man in tow. Hilde excused herself to warm up at the barre. The Chinese man introduced himself as Chang Wufei, and Une ushered them onto the edge of the dance floor.

"For those of you I haven't met, my name is Une and I will be your dance instructor for this class." Heero's eyes grew wide. He glanced over at Duo who was still dancing with the groping man. He had thought Duo was going to be their teacher.

Une must have noticed the disappointment on his face because she smiled and said, "I hope you don't mind. I know I am older than all of you, but I can assure you, I can still 'cut a rug' like the rest of you young ones."

Heero felt his face turned red and bowed in apology. "It would be an honor to dance with you, madam."

"Excellent! Let's start with party dancing, then we'll move on to the modern and Latin steps later."

"Excuse me, Une-sensei," interrupted Wufei politely. "I know those terms because my wife has been dragging me to dance circles for months. But the others might not know the different types of dances."

"Ah, of course. You are right. I should explain the various dances to you. There are basically two types of dances. The social dances include the waltz, tango, the slow fox trot, quick step, and the Vienna waltz. These make up the modern dances. The rumba, cha-cha-cha, samba, paso double, and jive constitute the five Latin dances. Together these are the ten competitive dances, and each qualifies for competition. Tonight we'll start with the mambo. The mambo and the jitterbug are non-competitive, but you'll fear no party if you learn them. They are excellent foundations for ballroom dancing," she explained as she winked at them. "Let's divide you up. It's unusual to have a beginner class without any women, so I'm afraid some of you will have to learn the women's parts as well. But don't worry. We'll switch so everyone has a chance to lead."

Trowa and Quatre were naturally paired together. They had already decided Trowa would be the lead partner, since he was taller than Quatre. Une volunteered Wufei to be Heero's partner, stating that since Wufei already knew the basics of dancing and Heero didn't, Heero should start out as the lead partner. Wufei grumbled slightly but agreed.

Step-by-step, Une led them through the basic steps of the mambo. Lead with your left. Put your weight on your right. Step together. Then back on your right. Weight on your left. Step together. It all seemed pretty simple to Heero as he watched it, but when he tried it himself, he somehow ended up three steps away and half turned to his right. Again and again he tried but he just couldn't seem to get the hang of it. After stepping on Wufei's foot for the third time, he thought it best just to stand back and watch for a little while. He observed Trowa and Quatre carefully since Trowa had caught on rather quickly. Hesitantly he tried the set again by himself. This time he seemed to have it. Wufei reluctantly resumed his place as Heero's partner, but smiled at the Japanese man as he successfully completed the step. The group practiced the basic steps for several minutes before Une deemed them all competent enough to try a half turn.

The half turn confused Heero even more, and it was only until Une walked him through it one foot at a time was he able to do one successfully. Over and over they practiced until Heero could do it blindfolded if need be. Une decided to act as Wufei's partner when it was his turn to lead since she didn't want Heero to become even more confused than he already was. To that, Heero was eternally grateful.

Throughout the lesson, Heero would look over towards Duo. His session with the old man must have ended because he was now working with Hilde. Heero admired the youth's graceful movements as he danced with Hilde, head held high, arms poised just so... it was like watching a dream, and Heero never wanted to wake up. But he would look away every time Duo would glance over at them. He didn't want the American to catch him staring.

Two hours later, Heero collapsed exhaustedly onto on of the wooden benches. All they'd accomplished during their first two-hour lesson was learn and master the basic steps. But to Heero, it felt like he'd been running a marathon. His calf muscles ached, and his hair was damp from sweat. Gingerly he changed out of his dancing shoes and stood up. He looked around for Duo, but the young man had apparently already left. His heart sank. He'd been hoping to talk to him again.

"Excuse me, Heero?" The Japanese man turned to see Quatre smiling at him. "Trowa and I have talked Wufei into a late dinner. We were wondering if you'd like to join us."

At the mention of food, Heero suddenly realized he hadn't eaten since breakfast. He nodded his acceptance and grabbed his things. Since he was already 'working late', a little later wouldn't hurt things.

After saying good-bye to Une, the four students left the studio and found an out-of-the-way noodle restaurant around the corner. They quickly found a quiet table in the corner. While they waited for their food to arrive, Heero decided to engage his fellow classmates in some small talk.

"Quatre, why are you taking dance lessons?"

The blonde boy grinned and reached for Trowa's hand. "Don't tell Une, but I already know many of the dances. My mother taught them to me before she died. But Trowa wanted to be able to dance with me at parties, and since I couldn't teach him to save my life, we decided to take the class together." Trowa nodded in agreement.

"Ah, sounds like my wife," Wufei observed as he sipped his tea. "Meiran drags me to these dance halls every other weekend, but I'm not very good at it. I'm taking these lessons to surprise her."

"Why are you taking them, Heero?" Trowa asked.

Heero hesitated. He couldn't tell them about his attraction to Duo. He was ashamed that he was taking the lessons for so petty a reason. He didn't want to lie, but he couldn't tell the truth either.

"My... wife suggested I needed a hobby. She thinks I work too much." Heero snorted to himself. That was certainly the truth. "I've always been... intrigued by ballroom dancing. So I signed up."

Fortunately, the others seemed to accept Heero's explanation at face value. They continued to chat about dancing and other aspects of their lives while they ate their food. Heero followed the conversation mostly in silence, his thoughts constantly distracted by a pair of violet eyes.

[part i] [part iii] [back to Caroline's fic]