So, this is inspired by/based on 'Asking Us to Dance' by Kathy Mattea. Not my best work, either. That's okay. :)—Kiyoshi'sGirl64 and Kiyoshi


Kendrick spent the entire day watching Rowan surf. It had been the other man's idea to come to the beach, and Kendrick only agreed because he knew how much Rowan liked to surf and how few opportunities he had to do it. Kendrick himself was a very poor surfer and contented himself with watching his boyfriend move through the water as though he was born to be there.

Every couple of waves, Rowan would come up to Kendrick and try and coax him into the water. He only succeeded once, which only resulted in Kendrick getting toppled by a wave he knew was rather pathetic. He gave it one more go and then gave up. He knew Rowan felt guilty for ignoring him all day, but Kendrick assured him it was fine.

And it was fine. Kendrick had spent years worrying about Rowan. He felt as though Rowan spent too much time working, too little time resting. And what time Rowan didn't spend working, he was looking after his sometimes-wayward other half that was Kendrick. Kendrick believed he deserved more time to himself than he actually allotted.

When—yet again—Rowan approached him, another guilty look on his face, Kendrick chided, "Rowan, get your ass back in the water. I know you want to be out there surfing."

"But—"

Kendrick scowled and said, "If you really feel guilty, you can make it up to me tonight, okay?"

Rowan smiled. "Okay, babe." He gave his lover a quick kiss and then charged back into the water, board in hand.

Kendrick laughed at how joyful Rowan was when he was riding the waves—and he laughed even harder when Rowan was thrown off his board.

Eventually Rowan returned to Kendrick's side, obviously exhausted. He plopped down on the blanket next to the younger of the two and said, "I'm starving."

Kendrick laughed and said, "I'll grab some food. You just sit right here."

"Kenny," Rowan tried to object.

Kendrick pressed a finger to Rowan's lips. "No, don't argue. It's not every day my adorable husband turns forty seven."

Rowan made a face. "Just had to remind me that I'm getting old, didn't you?"

Kendrick pushed Rowan backwards and crawled on top of him, running his hands over firm muscles. "No, reminding you that you are still unbelievably sexy to me, even after seventeen years."

Rowan let out a loud bark of laughter, which Kendrick stifled with a deep kiss. "Fine. Food."

Kendrick hopped up and jogged to the nearest hotdog stand; as Rowan watched, he had to wonder what Kendrick saw in him. As far as Rowan was concerned, the forty-five year old was still in his prime, his lithe runner's body moving effortlessly as he brought back two hotdogs, two bags of chips and a drink for them to share.

Kendrick snuggled up to Rowan's side and they looked out across the water, watching the sunset. "This is the most terribly cliché thing we've ever done together," Rowan remarked.

Kendrick snorted. "Can't you look at it as romantic rather than cliché?"

Rowan kissed Kendrick's hair. "Kenny, to me, romance is having you kick me awake in the middle of the night and not being able to get mad at you for it. It's you waking me up for work because I've slept through my alarm again and I have to leave in five minutes. It's when I'm running late and forget to call and you're panicking so bad when I get home you're kissing me and hitting me at the same time. It's taking care of you while you're sick and you nursing me back to health. It's bickering over stupid things and then realizing that it doesn't matter if the bathroom is painted blue or green. That's romance, Kenny, not some stupid sunset. Sunset's happen the same, every day. You and me, we're one of a kind, and constantly changing."

Kendrick was torn between laughing and crying. "Ro, that has got to be the most terribly corny thing I've ever heard you say. And also one of the sweetest."

"I try."

The beach was mostly empty by the time the sun had finished setting, the few remaining people leaving now that the sun was gone—now that the beach was technically closed. Rowan and Kendrick didn't move. Suddenly Kendrick stood and tugged on Rowan's hand. "Dance with me," he commanded.

"What?"

"Come on," Kendrick said. "It's been forever. I told you that you could make it up to me tonight, and this is what I want you to do. Dance with me."

"Kenny, I haven't danced in ages," Rowan objected, although he was already standing, unable to resist the pleading in Kendrick's eyes.

"I know," Kendrick complained, tugging on Rowan's hand some more. "Please, Ro? Please? I love dancing and you said you'd make it up to me."

Rowan tried to be angry that Kendrick was manipulating him, but he just murmured, "Romance is when you blatantly manipulate me and I can't bring myself to do anything but go along with what you want."

Kendrick laughed joyfully. "But can't you feel it, Rowan? It's like everything, everywhere, is singing. The wind, the waves, the sand. The people we can't see, talking, walking. The sky, the moon, the stars. The music is everywhere, Rowan, how can you just sit there and not want to dance?"

Rowan smiled indulgently and said, "You're a dreamer, Kendrick."

"So you better hold onto my while I dance, or I might float into the clouds," Kendrick said.

Rowan just shook his head. "Kendrick, I swear. Sometimes I wish you'd just act your age, and then I realize that would take all the fun out of life." He then bowed dramatically and said, "Sir Kendrick, may I have this dance?"

Kendrick laughed happily. "I was wondering how long it would take for you to ask me that."

Rowan kissed him gently and then led danced with him, slowly and lovingly. It lasted a long time, moving them closer and closer to the water, until they were finally dancing in and out of the surf. Without warning, Rowan picked up his smaller partner and ran out into the water, tossing him in.

Kendrick came up sputtering and tackled Rowan. After a short water battle, several long minutes making out in the waves, and an impossibly long, sand-covered crawl back to their blanket, Rowan and Kendrick stripped off their clothes, heedless of the fact that they were on a public beach. It was well past nightfall and the only other people present were a group of college students having a bonfire a considerable distance down the beach.

Kendrick clutched Rowan's shoulders as the taller, older man made love to him on the beach. They were sandy enough that it wasn't the most comfortable thing he'd ever experienced, but it was Rowan so he really didn't care. But he completely understood what Rowan meant about romance.

"Gentlemen!" a stern voice suddenly snapped, a light falling over them.

Rowan and Kendrick both froze, blinking confusedly in the sudden light. After a couple seconds, they both scrambled for their clothes under the watchful eyes of the very displeased cop. "Come with me, gentlemen," the man said icily.

Rowan was trying desperately not to laugh; Kendrick wasn't helping him in this task, giggling like a schoolgirl all the way to the cop's car. The man opened the back door of the vehicle and they climbed in without a word. Then Rowan managed to ask, barely repressing a snicker, "Officer, what's the problem?"

"You're both under arrest for trespassing and indecent exposure."

Rowan and Kendrick dissolved into a fit of laughter, not listening to whatever else the cop said to them. Eventually they were brought into the police station and stuck in a cell, left alone with a prostitute and someone who—based on Rowan's limited experience—was probably a drug dealer. He ignored them and pinned his husband up against the wall, resuming his kissing and groping, although this time not completely removing Kendrick's clothing.

After a good long while he whispered in Kendrick's ear, "Sir Kendrick, one last dance?"

"Here?" Kendrick asked, surprised.

"Can't you hear the music? The talking of the cops, the police sirens, the echoes of the cell. They seem quite satisfactory accompaniment to me," Rowan answered, pulling Kendrick into a slow dance, oblivious to the eyes of the prostitute and the dealer.

Eventually a cop came back and was about to ask Kendrick and Rowan to come out, but he could only stare when he saw the two men dancing around the cell to a music no one could hear. "That's something I've never seen before," he remarked.

"See?" Rowan murmured in Kendrick's ear. "We're one of a kind."