Shall We Dance
VIII : Cha-cha-cha (cont)

They walked to an unused corner of the dance floor and took their positions. Duo counted under his breath, giving Heero his cue. He stepped forward, reaching for the braided boy's hand... only to find himself being pushed away.

"No, no, no!" the American said, shaking his head. "That first step is so important! You're still hesitating. The leader must commit his whole body to convey to his partner the tone of the entire dance. A weak first step transmits nothing."

He turned them so that he was in the lead position. He raised his hands, allowing Heero to take them, then stepped forward. "See how that transmits nothing? It is important that your right side be flush against your partner." This time, he placed his hand at the small of Heero's back and pressed him forward so their bodies were touching. Heero fought down the reactions of his body at having Duo so close. Again, the young dancer stepped forward. This time, Heero could feel the difference. The step was more powerful. "Now you try."

They switched places again. This time Heero tried his best to mimic what Duo had done. He pulled the dancer to him so that their right sides were touching. He waited for Duo to count off his cue, then he stepped forward.

"Yes! That's it!" his beautiful partner cried out. "The first step dictates how the entire dance will go. Step forward with confidence and the rest of the dance will fall into place."

"Very good, Heero-san." Heero turned to see five pairs of eyes watching them. He flushed. He hadn't been aware they'd had an audience. Une smiled at him. "Now try it with Hilde."

Heero reluctantly dropped Duo's hands and moved to the short-haired girl. They took their positions across from each other, and Heero extended his arm. He and Hilde started to step toward one another, but Duo stopped them.

"No. Let her come to you, Heero. Then pull her into position."

Heero nodded. He listened as Duo counted off for them. He let Hilde step toward him as he extended his hand, drawing her into place. He held her close while waiting for the count, then stepped forward like Duo had shown him.

The step caused Hilde to arch her back, her legs almost straddling Heero's right one. As Heero stepped forward, Hilde threw her head back and let out a low, sensual moan. Heero was so startled he almost dropped the girl.

"Mou, Hilde." Une rolled her eyes as Hilde laughed.

"I'm sorry. But he's stiff as a board," she giggled, throwing a wink at Heero who was rapidly turning red. The Japanese man unconsciously clasped his hands in front of his crotch.

"Oh will you two be serious? The competition is in three weeks. We have to be ready!" Duo exclaimed, his voice slightly agitated.

Une laid her hand gently on the young man's shoulder. "We will be, Duo-chan. You need to lighten up and relax. Everything will be all right."

Duo sighed and nodded. "Sorry. Maybe I'm just tired."

"We all are. Why don't we call it a night?" his sister-in-law suggested.

Everyone agreed, and the group broke up for the night. As Heero was gathering his things, Duo came up to him and laid a gentle hand on his arm. "We don't have a lesson tomorrow, but I'd like us to keep practicing. Do you think you could spare the time?" the braided dancer asked shyly. Heero's heart leapt at the opportunity at spending more time with Duo. He nodded. "Here?"

"No. Une's cousin teaches classes here on the weekend. Come to my house. Say about eight? We can have dinner first and then practice the waltz."

"Sounds good. Eight it is."

Duo offered him a brilliant smile before he turned and walked back to Une. Heero's heart melted as he watched the braided boy walk away. Then he realized what he had agreed to. Une worked at the dance hall on the weekends. He and Duo would be at his place alone. A wave of guilty pleasure swept through him. Sighing dejectedly, he knew he'd have to tell Duo about Relena tomorrow night. He couldn't bear to hurt the boy, but he deserved to know the truth. He only hoped Duo wouldn't hate him forever because of his little secret.

+

Saturday dawned cloudy and gray. Heero got up an hour early so he could sneak out of the house without having to deal with Relena. He knew she suspected something. He was hardly ever at home, and while she hadn't confronted him with her suspicions, she was watching him like a hawk when he was at home. It was unusual for her to remain silent about something she didn't like. It was almost as if she were biding her time, waiting for something.

He wearily climbed into the shower, yawning as he began to shampoo his hair. He hadn't gotten much sleep last night. Rather, he'd lain awake, tossing and turning over what to tell Duo. Sometime during the night he'd come to a decision. He realized how unhappy he'd been since his parents had died, how unhappy he'd been with Relena. It wasn't fair to either of them, being trapped in a loveless marriage. Although Relena was so deluded, she believed her obsession with him was love. Still, they both deserved a chance at real happiness. It was something he wanted... no, something he needed. It was something he'd found in a certain long-haired, violet-eyed dancer.

So, as he lay restlessly in his solitary bed, he made his decision. He was going to ask for a divorce. Strangely, once he'd made up his mind, it was as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Relena wouldn't like it, but frankly, he didn't care anymore. He wanted to start living his own life, and he couldn't do that if he was still shackled to Relena. He'd wait until the competition was over, then contact a divorce lawyer. Then he could get on with his life.

It was a life he hoped would include Duo. He'd never been happier since he'd met the young dancer. As he'd lain awake, agonizing over his decision to leave Relena, there was one constant, one thought that he hung onto like a lifeline. He was completely, utterly, and hopelessly in love with Duo Maxwell. He'd been afraid to admit it; after all, he never expected to find happiness with another man. But it had happened. And just thinking of the long-haired dancer sent his heart flip-flopping in his chest. He loved him more than he ever thought he'd love anyone. And he hoped and prayed that Duo felt the same about him.

Heero quickly finished his shower and dressed, mindful that he wanted to look good for his dance lesson with Duo tonight. He carefully dressed in a pair of tailored black slacks and a loose white shirt. He looked at his watch as he hurried out the door. Only eleven hours until he got to see Duo. He sighed. It was too long.

His day passed surprisingly quickly. He got his work done, and, when no one was looking, he spent the time drawing a diagram of their quick-step routine. He turned bright red when a coworker almost caught him practicing a turn in the restroom. He immediately chided himself. If he was too easily embarrassed over one person watching him dance, how could he stand a whole dance hall of people not only watching but judging his dancing? A surge of panic swept through him, but he quickly squashed it. It was too late to back out now, and even if he wanted to, he would not disappoint Duo and Hilde like that. He could do it. He hoped.

Butterflies settled in his stomach as the workday came to an end. Even after weeks of going to Duo's house to work on the dancing, he still felt nervous. Especially tonight. Even though he'd decided to divorce Relena, he still owed it to Duo to tell him the truth. The train ride to Duo's stop passed by in a haze. He wasn't even aware of walking the streets until he found himself in front of the Maxwell residence. Swallowing nervously, he ran his hand through his dark brown hair before ringing the doorbell.

The door opened, and Heero was struck dumb by the sight before him. Duo stood there, dressed in low, hip-hugging black jeans and a loose violet silk shirt that laced up in the front and matched his eyes perfectly. His hair was in its usual braid, but interwoven between the strands were large indigo and yellow violets. The shorter boy smiled as he grabbed Heero's hand and pulled the Japanese man inside.

Their hands lingered together as Duo took Heero's briefcase and placed it on the floor. "I'm glad you came," he said softly as he pulled Heero further into the house.

Heero ran his thumb over the back of Duo's hand. "Thank you for inviting me."

The American blushed and gestured toward the stairs. "I thought we could eat upstairs. It's going to storm soon and the view from the windows is... spectacular."

The young dancer pulled Heero by his hand up the stairs, pushing him into the dance room. Heero stopped dead in his tracks as he saw Duo had in store for him. A large futon cushion lay in the middle of room. The lights were out, but several candles were placed around the room, their reflected light providing enough to see by. Placed around the cushion were several dished of food along with two fluted glasses and a bottle of wine.

"Duo," Heero said, his voice choking with emotion. "What's all this?"

Duo giggled shyly as he pulled Heero over to the cushion. "I wanted to surprise you. Please sit."

They both sat down, the cushion large enough to seat both of them comfortably. The American poured them each a glass of wine, kissing Heero as he handed him his glass.

"Duo, I... I don't know what to say." He could feel his breath catching in his throat. No one had ever done anything like this for him before. Suddenly he was afraid. Duo had gone to all this trouble for him, and he still had to tell him he was married. "Duo, I..."

The braided boy silenced him by popping a piece of fruit into his mouth. "Don't. Just let me pamper you for a while. This is my way of saying thank you... and of saying I'm sorry."

"You're sorry? For what?" Heero asked as he picked up a rice ball.

"Sorry for... getting carried away with this dance competition," Duo explained as they ate. "It's just... every day I feel so alive. It's been a long time since I've felt this enthusiastic. It's a good feeling. I've even begun thinking about trying for Blackpool again. Up until just recently, I hadn't wanted to. But you came along and changed all that. Your spirit, your dedication... even after I was rude to you, you stuck with dancing."

Heero placed a finger on Duo's lips to silence him. He had a feeling he knew where this speech was going, and he couldn't let Duo confess his feelings until he had told him the truth.

"Duo I... I have a confession to make," he said hesitantly.

"What is it?"

Heero took a deep breath and looked into those large, expressive eyes. Those eyes seemed to pull him in until he wanted to drown in pools of violet. And suddenly... he couldn't do it. Duo's eyes were brimming with happiness. He couldn't break Duo's heart... not without breaking his own.

"Heero?" Duo asked him again, looking at him questioningly.

"I... I really felt like giving up after you told me not to dance for your sake," he covered quickly, cursing himself for being a coward. "But if I had, I would have been everything you accused me of. Of course it's true, that affection for you was what brought me to the class. But to be confronted with it was a shock. I felt like giving up. But I wanted to prove to you that it wasn't because of you. I'd said I was there to dance. Demo..."

"Demo?"

"No sooner did I decide to continue then I really began to like it. It gave me a sense of freedom I hadn't felt in... well, in a very long time."

Duo smiled. "I have a confession as well. I was watching you, too. From the window of the dance studio you can see the trains. I saw you practicing on the platform. It warmed my heart. After Blackpool I'd thought I'd never dance with my heart again. But then you arrived at the school and that all changed. And for that, I want to thank you."

Heero didn't know what to say. Instead, he smiled shyly at the American as the two continued to eat in silence, feeding each other the small finger foods Duo had lovingly prepared. When they were done, he helped Duo take the dishes downstairs. Refilling their wine glasses, Duo dragged Heero back upstairs. By then the storm that had been brewing all day was underway. The two stood at the window for a long moment, watching the rain lash at the glass and the lightning dance across the sky. Finally, Duo took both his and Heero's glasses and placed them on a small nearby table.

"Dance with me?" he asked softly.

Heero nodded and took Duo's hand. With his free hand, the dancer picked up a remote control and aimed it at the stereo. A sweet, lilting tune filled the air as Duo led the taller man onto the floor. Heero held the smaller boy close as they moved across the floor. For a long while they simply held each other as they swayed to the music. Then Duo looked up at him as lightning lit up the room. As he stared into those eyes, Heero knew he was lost. He raised on hand to run his fingers down the smooth skin of Duo's face. When he reached Duo's chin, he tilted the boy's head upward. Slowly he lowered his mouth, brushing lightly against Duo's lips. The American gasped softly, parting his lips as he clutched tightly to Heero's shirt. The Japanese man, not wanting to waste the opportunity, swooped in again, sliding his tongue inside Duo's mouth. The young dancer tasted as sweet as the wine they'd had earlier. Lazily their tongues moved together in their own private rhythm. Neither one noticed when they'd stopped dancing. Their focus was purely on tasting and teasing one another with tongue and lips.

Heero ran his hands over the smooth silk at Duo's back. Lower they traveled until he grasped the firm, round globes of Duo's bottom and pulled him in tight. Both young men hissed as their groins came into contact, each suddenly very much aware of the other's arousal. Duo looked up into Heero's deep cobalt eyes that were glowing with passion.

"Heero," he whispered huskily, "make love to me?"

He wanted to say no. He didn't want to take that final step without telling Duo the truth. But looking down at Duo's flushed face, his violet eyes heavy with desire, Heero wanted nothing more than to make this beautiful creature his.

Wordlessly he nodded, taking Duo's mouth once again with his own. His heart pounded in his ears... or was it the thunder outside? He didn't know, nor did he care. All he knew was that the boy he loved was in his arms, warm and willing. And for now, that was enough.

That was enough.

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