A/N: Thought I'd take a pair of my characters for a spin. Normally they're not modern-day (I write fantasy, but longer works than I'd post here), and they're two of my favorites. Basically, this is a giant play on the title of that larger work, which is "Evanescent Waltz" (which just so happens to translate into the simpler "Fleeting Dance"), and the title, amusingly enough, is more or less a metaphor for that story and is literally illustrated here. Boy, am I rambling. Anyway, read, enjoy, and review!!

A Fleeting Dance

If you would have asked either of them what they thought of dancing, they would have both related roughly the same answer: it was an okay ritual that tended to be part of society because of the connotations of romance permanently associated with it. Dancing was supposed to be fun and intimate, but neither of them would have expressed much faith in the practice, much less enthusiastically pursued it. But at the moment, both of them were twirling around a dance floor, mostly due to the incessant pushing of their friends, who would not stand for their wallflower preference. In reality, both of them were excellent dancers, and both of them found themselves exceedingly popular on the floor, switching partners with the change of the song and sometimes right in the middle of a particularly inappropriate phrase, throwing everyone off-kilter for a second or two before they recovered.

He wasn't quite sure when it happened, but he knew that sometime during that night, it had. She had been dancing with some other man, a slight smile twisting her lips, and he had looked past his partner's head and become immediately transfixed. It was more than the fact that she was absolutely beautiful—eyes, hair, everything—and that every other man in the room was eyeing her like they were predatory animals; something about her attracted him instantly. It could have been because her small smile was almost a smirk, or that he could tell whenever her partner misstepped because her left eyebrow arched up, or because her bright hazel eyes shone with an intensity, a spark, a life that was unlike anything he had ever seen.

As the evening continued, he found himself exchanging dance partners again and suddenly she was in his arms, looking casually surprised at the switch. She shrugged, as if saying, "Why the hell not?" and smoothly began to follow his lead, and if he had been listening closely, he would have heard her raised heels clicking on the floor and the swish of her black dress and the even pattern of her breathing. But he paid no attention to such details, caught up in how easily she moved, as if she had spent years preparing for this very dance. There was such grace and such perfection in her that he could have sworn he was dreaming, lost in the haze of a wistful fantasy.

The song came to an end, and they halted, their hands falling back to their sides, their faces turning toward the band. He glanced back at her, wondering if he could claim her for another dance, but before he could suggest it, she spoke.

"Well, that was fun, wasn't it?" she said in a lilting voice, grinning, her eyes sparkling. "You're the best dancer in here; let that be a compliment." She laughed, smoothing the front of her halter dress absently.

"Thanks," he replied, a little at a loss. He recovered as she began to walk away, calling after her, "Wait, what's your name?"

"Lana," she answered, looking over her shoulder, still smirking. "See ya." And with that she continued on her way, offering only a little wave before she scooped up her coat from a chair and headed for the door.

He stood frozen in place, watching her leave, somehow completely transfixed. He couldn't help feeling deeply connected to her, and after standing dumbly for a minute more, he snatched up his own jacket and stepped into the dark street. He glanced to both sides, searching the sidewalks for any sign of her, but she had melted into the night and the lasting bustle of the city. Leaning back against the side of the building, he eased his hands into his pockets, shook his head, and smiled to himself. What had he been thinking?

It had only been an evanescent waltz.

Fin