Shall We Dance
VII : Samba (cont)

They went into the living room and sat down on the small sofa. Duo curled his legs under him and nursed his drink for a moment before he started to speak.

"Remember when you asked me if I had ever made it to Blackpool and I said I had?" Heero nodded. "Well, that's not entirely accurate. I qualified for Blackpool but I never danced there." He took another long drink. "I suppose I should begin at the beginning.

"After my parents and Solo died, I threw myself into dancing. It was my way of grieving, I guess. Une tried to teach me, but she was dealing with some serious grief of her own. So she enrolled in the Khushrenada School of Dancing. It was a very prestigious school with an impressive history. I felt so lucky to have been accepted... and to have Treize Khushrenada himself as my teacher. I was thirteen, almost fourteen, and very impressionable for my age. Needless to say, I believed every word that came out of his mouth. When he told me I showed real promise as a dancer, I believed him. When he told me I was beautiful, I believed him. When he told me he loved me... I believed him. What a fool I was.

"He filled my head with empty promises and hollow declarations of love and I believed everything he told me! I was a naÔve teenager who'd lost almost everyone I'd ever loved. I was desperate for affection. When Treize said he loved me, I thought I loved him back. I let him into my bed thinking I'd found someone to love me, someone to fill the empty places in my heart. I should have known better.

"Treize was an excellent teacher, I'll give him that much. I rose through the levels of JADA at a dizzying pace with my partner, Dorothy. She was a couple of years older than me and another of Treize's star pupils. I didn't like her very much but we worked well as a team. Then we got the amazing news. We'd qualified for Blackpool. We were going to be representing Japan in an international competition.

"I was just shy of my eighteenth birthday when we went to England. Treize and I had been 'together' for a little over two years. And I, in my dazzling foolishness, thought we'd be together forever.

"The night before the quarter-finals, I realized I had left my dancing shoes in Dorothy's room. I walked down the hall to her room, hoping she hadn't gone to bed yet. I raised my hand to knock on her door when I noticed it was open. I heard a moan coming from within, so I pushed open the door to make sure she was all right. Instead I found her and Treize... together... naked... on the bed... well, I'm sure you can imagine what they were doing. Treize looked up from where he was bending over Dorothy's back, and... and instead of jumping up and trying to explain that it was just a mistake and it would never happen again... he just smiled at me. He smiled at me and kept... kept at it.

"I didn't say a word. I just turned around, shut the door, and walked away. Literally. I left my things, and walked out. I caught the next flight back to Japan. I didn't let myself break down until I got home.

"I locked myself in my room for days. I felt angry, betrayed. All I'd wanted was someone to love me, someone to protect me like that dancer had protected his partner all those years ago. I thought I had found it in Treize, but he had just been using me, using my talent and my body for his own selfish purposes. When I finally realized that, I broke down and told Une the whole sordid story. She was mad, not at me but at herself for being so wrapped up in her grief that she had missed what was going on. I tried to tell her it wasn't her fault, and she tried to tell me that Treize wasn't my fault. We were both a mess, but we got through it somehow. We had each other. She shook off her grief and decided to open a dance school, something she'd always wanted to do. And I, having irrevocably severed my ties to Treize and his school, decided to help her. And I've been there ever since."

Heero stared at the boy for a long moment. Again, he was filled with conflicting emotions. Should he run out and throttle Treize Khushrenada within an inch of his life for hurting Duo, or should he wrap his arms around the fragile-looking youth and hold him close? Sadly, he couldn't bring himself to do either one.

"What happened to Treize after you left?" he asked, watching as Duo poured himself another glass of brandy.

"He wasn't too happy with me. I'd embarrassed him and his reputation by walking out like that. At first, he tried harassing me... calling me a worthless, spoiled child. Then he tried to slander my reputation by telling everyone I had seduced him. Une put a stop to that. At one of the regional meets, in front of God and everyone, she told him where he could go and what he could do with himself when he got there. Fortunately, no one believed his lies. He'd been known to do this kind of thing before... seduce his students then spread stories about them when they walked away. Then... he stopped. We didn't hear any more from him."

"Why is he bothering you now?"

"Une is a well respected member of the dancing community. When word got around about what he did to me, enrollment at his school dropped. All of his star dancers went elsewhere. He needs someone to help him attract students, and for some insane reason, he's picked me."

"But you won't do it."

"No. I won't. I'm not going to fall into his trap again."

Heero watched the braided boy with a sense of pride. He knew too many people who, when faced with as much pain and tragedy as Duo had, would grab at any sort of attention that came along like a lifeline. The fact that Duo hadn't repeated his mistakes showed him that the young man had a strong heart. It was just one more thing that drew him to this boy... this violet-eyed swan that had captured his heart.

Duo put his glass down on one of the end tables and stood up. He wobbled on his feet for a moment before Heero hopped up to steady him.

"Thanks. Guess I shouldn't have had that fourth glass," Duo said jokingly.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Now come on. Let's go try out some of those steps I was showing you." He grabbed Heero's hand and dragged him back upstairs.

For the next hour, Duo endeavored to show Heero some steps that would impress the judges. When Heero repeatedly missed one, Duo threw his hands up in frustration.

"No, no, no! Your right foot needs to go forward and then to the right. One tiny error can cause you to lose as much as ten points! You have to get the steps exactly right!"

Heero stopped to look at Duo, panting in exertion. The long-haired boy was clutching the end of his braid in frustration, his shoulders tense. Duo looked more tired than he did. They needed a break. He was about to suggest one when he remembered something Une had told him. 'Dance is more than just the steps. Feel the music and just dance for the sheer joy. '

"Duo, do you ever dance just for fun?"

The American looked at him in puzzlement. "Fun? Dance is my life. It's a demanding mistress and something I've dedicated my entire being to."

"So in other words, no."

"I don't understand."

Heero sighed. He didn't have the words to explain. Glancing over at the stereo system, he had an idea. He walked over and began looking through the record collection. Knowing Une, she'd have it here somewhere.

"What are you doing?" Duo asked as he came up behind him.

Heero found what he was looking for: The King and I soundtrack. Duo raised an eyebrow as Heero placed it on the turntable.

"Come here," he told the braided boy as the familiar strains of Shall We Dance? filled the air. Taking Duo's hands as Une had taken his, he pulled the beautiful dancer across the dance floor. Around and around they skipped to the music. Duo tried to pull away but Heero wouldn't let him. Heero twirled the young man around at a dizzying pace, making up steps as he went. Gradually Duo began to relax, eventually even smiling. When Heero picked him up and whirled him around, he threw his head back and laughed. It was the most beautiful sound Heero had ever heard. They skipped back in the other direction, Duo laughing in wonderment, when Heero tripped over one of the cushions they had been using earlier to sit on. They tumbled to the ground with Duo landing on top of Heero, still laughing.

Heero, too, was grinning like an idiot. He had gotten the sullen boy to actually enjoy himself. And his laughter! The sound of it filled him with complete and utter joy. He couldn't explain it. And looking up into those laughing violet pools, he didn't want to.

Slowly he became aware of Duo's body pressed against his. His body tightened in reaction as he stared up into the American's flushed face. Duo was looking down at him in wide-eyed wonderment. They held each other's gaze for a long, long moment. He heard Duo's sharp intake of air and saw his lips part slightly. Slowly their faces gravitated toward one another. Their lips brushed lightly together. Heero could taste Duo's sweet breath and went in for more.

This time he pressed his mouth more firmly against the other boy's. His arms involuntarily wrapped themselves around the lithe body lying on top of him. One hand reached up and buried itself in his loosely braided hair. Duo's eyes fluttered closed as his hands clenched the front of Heero's shirt. The American made a little mewling sound in the back of his throat, causing Heero's blood to stir. Effortlessly he flipped them so Duo was now lying half beneath Heero's well-muscled physique. Violet eyes opened wide as Heero reversed their positions, only to close again as the Japanese man swooped down for another taste.

This time Heero ran his tongue along Duo's bottom lip as if asking permission to enter. Duo acquiesced, opening his mouth just enough for Heero to slip inside. Their tongues moved lazily against each other at first, simply getting used to each other's unique taste. But as the moment progressed, the kiss grew more heated. Heero's body quickened as their lips danced together. He moved one hand down to clutch at Duo's hip, molding the younger boy closer to his body as their mouths moved together in a lazy waltz of lips, tongue and teeth.

Heero didn't know how long they lay there, tasting and caressing each other. He would have been content to stay on those cushions with Duo all night, but the chiming of a clock from somewhere within the house snapped him out of his lust-filled haze. He broke off the kiss, breathing heavily. As he stared down into Duo's hazy violet eyes, he felt a surge of guilt run through him. There he was, lying on a pile of cushions with one of the most beautiful creatures he'd ever laid eyes on... and he was married. He had to tell Duo. The boy deserved to know the truth. But looking down into Duo's flushed face, he couldn't do it. He couldn't add to the young man's pain.

Heero leaned down to rest his forehead against Duo's, their hair mingling together. "I should go," he whispered softly.

Violet eyes looked at him with sadness. "Do you have to?" One delicate hand reached up to run down Heero's face.

"I... yes." Heero swallowed hard. He didn't want to leave. "It's late."

Duo reached up and kissed him again before nodding sadly and pushing the taller man off him to sit up. Heero smoothed chestnut bangs out of the young dancer's heart-shaped face. Silently he stood, helping Duo to his feet. Hand in hand they walked down stairs to the door.

"Heero," began Duo as the Japanese man was putting on his jacket, "tomorrow night, after class, do you think... I mean, would you like to have dinner together?"

Heero stared down at the smaller boy. "I'd love to," he replied before he could stop to think about it.

Duo's eyes lit up. "Great! So, I guess I'll see you tomorrow evening."

"I'm looking forward to it," Heero said as Duo opened the door for him.

Both young men stepped outside, Duo still clutching tightly to Heero's hand. As he stepped off the porch, Heero tried to disentangle his hand from Duo's. But the young dancer wouldn't let go. His eyes locked with Duo's. He surged back up the steps to steal one last, passion-filled kiss from the American's sweet, sweet lips before breaking away, his eyes promising more later.

He stumbled down the steps and through the small iron gate that led to the sidewalk. He turned and walked down the street, glancing behind him every few steps.

Duo stayed on the porch, watching him until he walked out of sight.

+

Treize stepped out of the shadows, eyes narrowing as he watched the two young men kiss on the porch. Heero Yuy. He'd learned the Japanese man's name after the incident in the dance hall. Idly he fingered the sling holding his dislocated arm in place. He held an intense hatred for the man who had humiliated him. And now Duo, the little slut, was fucking him. Well, not for long. He needed Duo to dance for his school. And absolutely no one was going to keep him from making that happen. It was time he found out all he could about this Heero Yuy.

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