Time to Dance

AN: Well, I got this idea but didn't feel like working it in to Scottie Socks (LAZY!!!). So think of it as an intermission, obviously set when the mentioned characters are alive… so pretty early on. I think it's sweet and whee, early secret slashiness. W00t. Siren's a cutie. Oh, and it's late and I haven't checked this yet. Poo. --;

"What are you doing?"

"We're going to dance," she said, setting the needle on the record and waiting for it to spin before grasping his hands and tugging him out the open doors.

"But why?"

"Because dancing is the best way to forget things, silly—well… among other activities, but I imagine we all need something to do together, you know?" she said, leaning close and swaying with the music.

Siren almost laughed. So she could be thoughtful sometimes. So she could think. Hah.

In the courtyard there were statues of angels.

It was something they did to pass the time and to try to forget; when red appeared in wet splotches on the floor, it was time to drag the turntable into the kitchen and blast music through the open doors into the cobbled area outside. There were little patio tables with matching chairs and granite benches. The cobbles made Marlette trip and fall into Siren's arms.

"You OK?" he asked gently, with a slight smile.

"Y-yeah," she murmured shakily, steadying herself.

A hand tapped Siren's shoulder. "I'm cuttin' in."

"…Right," Siren murmured stiffly, moving to let Flavian take his spot. After all, that spot had never really been Siren's to begin with. His name was taped to it, but there was always a different name gouged into the surface beneath the white paper. But it was what Marlette wanted, so it was fine. Perfect.

Siren plopped down on a bench next to a rosebush, dying and crinkled like those in the front yard, but yellowed with age and disease. The boy stared at them wonderingly, the petals slipping in and out of focus as his vision shifted and he began to see so many little yellow crinkles until…

"This seat taken?" Adrian asked.

"It's yours if you want it," Siren answered noncommittally.

"Well, it's such a shame to see someone sitting alone with so many dancers around, after all." Adrian took a graceful seat next to Siren. "Do you do much dancing? I saw you over there with Marlette—you're better than her, at least."

"Not much," Siren murmured, shrugging. There were odd moments when an old song would come on the radio and Mother would take his hands and lead him in a flouncing waltz… a drunken waltz… but that was hardly dancing.

"I can teach you," Adrian offered, holding his hand out in gentle invitation. He smiled with reserved sweetness as he looked at Siren.

The boy blinked, surprised. "…Sure," he answered, looking down to hide his building embarrassment.

But Adrian pulled him to his feet with one fluid move and Siren had no time to hide his blush. "What, does it make you feel weird? Dancing with a guy? …I'm sorry, but there's a bit of a girl shortage here. The only one not dancing is… that one, and she seems perfectly happy by herself." Adrian gestured to where the strange girl was doing the Macarena with one of the angel statues.

At first it was awkward, Adrian grasping his hands and guiding them to his shoulders and beginning to sort of… shuffle back and forth. Soon enough, though, they picked up the rhythm of the song and moved in sync, Adrian leading and Siren following, and after a while Siren wasn't even bothered by the fact that he was learning to dance like a girl and he'd never be able to use the skill again… unless he and Adrian continued to dance?

He doubted it. The teen had just put some misplaced pity in Siren and had invited him to dance so he wouldn't feel so alone. It was a lost cause, though, because Siren didn't feel alone. It was nice, though, the dancing; different from dancing with a girl. He could just relax and lean into the solid warmth, his head resting against Adrian's shoulder almost by instinct.

No wonder women liked dancing… He could smell Adrian's shampoo, a crisp, clean scent, he could feel Adrian's soft hair rubbing against his cheek. It was relaxing, almost, and Siren was so tired—of being strong, of being depended on, of even being nice—and he just wanted to be able to rest and know it would be all right. Adrian was strong enough to keep him from crumbling, he thought…

And, still swaying lightly, Siren slipped into a sleepy daze, leaning heavily into the other teen.

"You OK?"

"…You're warm," Siren murmured thickly, leaning further in. Adrian tightened his arms in response.

"Oh? Thanks."

Siren drifted to sleep, his mind blissfully blank. Perhaps dancing was the best way to forget…

But in the end all the dances in the world had to end and the ball gowns had to be divested and crumpled in the bottom of mothball-infested closets and the morning had to come.

Eventually Adrian walked Siren back to his room, half-carrying him, and Siren waved a sleepy goodnight and shut the door. It was like prom, but without the corsages and the matching outfits and the sex afterward.

Siren fell into bed and slept and dreamed of waltzing in a beautiful ballroom where nothing was red.