Um... warning: bitchy Relena ahead.
by: Caroline

Shall We Dance
IV : Jive

Relena was livid. She paced back and forth in her private study, waiting for her brother to return her call. He'd know what to do... he'd help her figure out what Heero was up to. Heero.

Her eyes narrowed at the thought of her husband. How could he do this to her? After all she'd done for him - rescuing him from abject poverty, helping his parents' failing business. The idea that he would go and do something like this was inexcusable.

The phone rang. Relena jumped to answer it.

"Milliardo."

"Relena. What could be so urgent for you to leave half a dozen messages on my machine?" came the voice on the other end of the line.

"It's Heero."

Her brother sighed. "Of course it is. What is it this time?"

"He's having an affair."

"Oh. Is that all?"

"Milliardo! Be serious!"

"Well what do you want me to do about it? Find you a good divorce lawyer?"

"No! Heero is my husband! I want you to find out who the little slut is he's seeing."

Milliardo let out a long, suffering sigh. "'Lena, how do you even know he's having an affair if you don't even know who it's with?"

"He works late on Wednesdays."

"God, 'Lena. Please tell me that's not all you're basing your suspicions on."

"Of course it's not," his sister snapped into the phone. "What do you take me for, a fool?"

Milliardo held his tongue.

"He started working late on Wednesdays a few weeks ago. I, of course, was against it, but that damn fool is so stubborn when it comes to work. Well, a couple of Wednesdays ago he was really late, so I called his office to see when he'd be coming home. And they told me he'd left at six like usual. So I did some checking. He hasn't been staying late at all! He's been lying to me!"

"So why don't you ask him about it?"

"I was going to. I went to his room last Wednesday to confront him about it. But the idiot was already in the shower. His clothes were strewn all around the room, and since the maid had already gone home, I thought I'd better pick them up. You know how much I dislike a dirty house." Milliardo did indeed. "When I picked them up, I could smell her on his clothes. Jasmine perfume. You know I can't stand the smell of jasmine! His little hussy must wear it."

"Look, 'Lena, I still don't understand what you want me to do."

"Follow him. I want to know where he goes on Wednesdays."

"You can't be serious."

"I'm deadly serious, Brother. I want you to follow Heero and tell me where he goes."

"What will you do when you find out?"

"I don't know yet. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. So you will do this for me." It was more of a command rather than a question. Milliardo sighed.

"Yes, 'Lena. I will. I'll let you know what I find out."

"I knew I could count on you brother," she said then hung up the phone. She'd have her answers soon. And then... Heero would have to answer to her.

Milliardo shook his head as he replaced the receiver on the base. Then silently, he congratulated Heero. He knew the young man was miserable in his marriage and didn't blame him a bit if he had found a lover. Relena had always been overwhelming, not to mention incredibly self-centered and selfish. Whenever she wanted something, she got it and to hell with the consequences.

Milliardo sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers. His sister was never going to learn. Although... if Heero had indeed found a lover, perhaps this would be a turning point for her. Perhaps this would rip those rose-colored glasses from her eyes and show her that the world and the people in it were not there to please her. Milliardo smiled. Yes, this might be exactly what she needed. Milliardo smiled to himself and wondered if he had any film in his camera.

+

Heero glanced at the clock on the wall. Sighing, he put his files away and gathered his things. Six o'clock. Time to go home. Idly he pondered staying out in the city until nine, the time when his dance lesson would normally be over. But he rejected the idea. There was nothing he wanted to do nor was there anywhere he wanted to go. He might as well go on home.

He stepped onto the elevator of his office building and hit the ground floor button. He watched the lights descend as musak was piped through the elevator speakers. Heero frowned. He knew this tune. Almost without realizing it, his feet began to move in the familiar pattern of the mambo. This was one of the songs they had danced to during their lessons. Heero found himself dancing around the small space in the elevator, smiling softly and humming the tune to himself.

The bell dinged and Heero froze as the doors opened to admit two women. He felt his face redden as he moved to stand against the back wall. The music continued to play and Heero imagined the steps in his mind while the two women chatted to each other.

When the elevator reached the ground, Heero hurried out of the building and around the corner to the waiting train. No matter how fun it might be, dancing was still somewhat of an embarrassment. He took a seat next to an elderly lady and ran the steps through his mind again. His feet moved along the floor as he pictured the steps in his head. Basic step. Half turn. New York...

He frowned.

He couldn't remember how to do the New York step. Well damn. He sighed and leaned his head back against the wall. Maybe he could look it up in a book or online...

The train ground to a shuddering halt. Heero opened his eyes and felt his heart leap into his throat as he realized they were at the stop for the dance studio. He raised his eyes to the warmly lit windows. He could almost hear the music coming from the studio as a couple whirled passed the window. How he wanted to be up there instead of on his way home to Relena!

Without thinking, he suddenly found himself on his feet and walking off the train. He crossed the street and found himself staring up at the stairs that led to the dance studio. He swallowed hard, wondering if he should go in. He didn't want Duo to think he was stalking him... but at the same time, he knew he'd miss the dancing if he quit now. Drawing in a deep breath, he made a decision. He'd go up those steps and into the studio, but he wouldn't look at Duo. He'd throw himself into the dancing. He'd prove to Duo he wasn't the kind of man he thought Heero was. He could do it.

Quatre and Trowa greeted him as he came in. Heero glanced around the room and saw Duo dancing with Hilde. Quickly he looked away. He was here to dance, nothing more.

"Heero?" The Japanese man looked down at Quatre. "Trowa and I wanted to know if you wanted to go to one of the dance halls Wufei is always talking about this Saturday."

Heero looked surprised. Him? At a dance hall? "Ah... I'm not sure..."

"Come on, Heero! It'd be fun, plus you can test out your new dancing skills."

"We won't take no for an answer," Trowa added.

Heero was hesitant. Dancing in the studio was fine... but in public? He didn't know if he could. Then again... it would be a Saturday night away from Relena. Heero smiled. "What time?"

"Sugoi! Eight o'clock. We'll meet you here then go together," Quatre explained as Une walked up to begin the lesson.

Heero took his position and focused on Une's words. And not once during the lesson did he look over at Duo.

+

Saturday night found him standing alone in the crowded dance hall as he watched couples of various ages and ethnicities dance past him. Quatre and Trowa had immediately taken off onto the dance floor, leaving him alone on the sidelines. A couple of young women had asked him to dance, but Heero had politely declined. He still couldn't bring himself to dance in public.

"Yuy-san?"

Heero turned to see Une standing not three feet behind him. She was dressed in an elegant blue-green dress with her hair arranged in an elaborate braid on top of her head. "Sensei? What are you doing here?"

She smiled at him. "I moonlight here on the weekends. They pay me to walk around and dance with people who don't have partners."

"Oh."

"Are you here alone?"

"No, Trowa and Quatre are around here somewhere." He spotted them on the dance floor and pointed them out to her. "There they are."

"Ah. They look good together." She looked at him thoughtfully. "Shall I introduce you to someone?"

Heero shifted uncomfortably. He'd been itching to dance but didn't want to do it with a complete stranger. "If you don't mind, I'd prefer to dance with you, sensei. Some of my steps still need work."

Une laughed and blushed slightly. "I'd be honored to dance with you, Yuy-san."

"Please, call me Heero."

"All right. Heero." She took his outstretched hand and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor just as the song the band had been playing came to an end.

Heero stood stiffly before Une, wondering what the next song would be. Rumba? A tango perhaps? He hoped it was something he knew so he wouldn't be embarrassed.

"Heero-san, you need to relax," Une said gently, noticing how nervous he seemed to be. "This isn't a competition. Here you can forget about the steps and enjoy yourself."

Heero smiled shyly as the music began again. He heard Une gasp softly and saw her tilt her head as she seemed to recognize the tune. Heero looked at her questioningly.

"Shall We Dance? from The King and I, " she explained.

"Ah. I saw that once. It had that bald actor... what was his name again?"

"Yul Brynner." Une smiled wistfuly. "It was that film which inspired me to start dancing. It still sets my heart racing. He held Deborah Kerr's hands like this..." She took his hands in hers, his palms down, hers up. She lifted up on the balls of her feet and began to bounce slightly from side to side. Heero tried his best to mimic her. Then suddenly they were off - half-skipping, half-dancing around the dance floor. Une laughed gaily and Heero began to smile as well. While he suspected this step wouldn't be sanctioned in any dance competition, he had to admit it was fun not having to worry about getting the steps just right.

"See Heero-san?" Une asked, her eyes sparkling as they danced to the familiar tune. "Dance is more than just the steps. Feel the music and just dance for the sheer joy."

Heero's smile broadened. It was exhilarating, sailing across the floor like this. He was enjoying the dance so much he didn't see the other couple until it was too late. He collided hard against someone and almost lost his balance.

"Hey! Watch where you're going! You're not the only ones out here you know," came the indignant retort of the woman he had bumped. Heero turned to apologize, eyes widening as he recognized the speaker.

"Hilde, gomen nasai," Une said apologetically as she too recognized the dance student.

"Une-sensei, Yuy-san. What a nice surprise," the dark haired girl said pleasantly. Then she grabbed Une's arm and started to drag her away. "Sensei, you should see this," she said urgently. Heero, not knowing what was going on, followed the two women.

"What is it Hilde?" Une asked.

"Look," the girl said, pointing towards the bar area. Heero turned to look as well. Standing next the bar was Duo, looking gorgeous as always. But that apparently wasn't who Hilde was pointing to. A tall, sandy-haired man was standing beside the young dancer, practically leaning over him with a lecherous gleam in his eyes.

"Kami-sama, what's he doing here?" Une muttered under her breath.

Heero looked at Hilde in confusion. "Who is that?"

"That worthless piece of humanity is Treize Khushrenada," Hilde explained. "Duo's ex."

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