Author's Note:Hello my lovelies!

Oh yeah, credits to " Home" by Phillip Phillips.

To Dance with Another

The girl sat alone on the sand, her fingers absently tracing pictures through the soft grains. Dark brown curls, each as perfect and glossy as the next, cascaded down to the middle of her back. Her black-as-sin eyes absorbed the flickering firelight, taking everything in and letting none of it out. She looked like she had come to suck souls and lead people to the underworld, and it was a look that Eliava did not prove nor disprove.

Eliava flicked those unholy eyes up to absorb the party still in full swing. Her colleagues were of varying degrees of intoxication, their smiles loose and their eyes glazed. She could see Tristan and his band providing the entertainment, still going strong up on the makeshift stage despite the fact she had seen more than enough beer delivered to them. Tristan was even holding a bottle in his hand, his voice a bit slurred as he sung.

Kendra and Bri, her roommates, were laying against the logs in front of one of the many fires, giggling uncontrollably as three nameless guys attempted to lead them back to their apartments. Eliava studied them, noticing the attractiveness of each male and their charming, white smiles.

Judging from the equal interest in her roommates eyes, there was 100 percent certainty she would be spending the night alone in her apartment.

Her eyes scanned the crowd of nameless faces, searching for Lillian and Xandra. She spotted the girls still sucking face next to the overcrowded dumpster and the palm tree. Lillian was pushing her girlfriend against the tree, kissing her quite heatedly, and Eliava looked away; she would undoubtedly be listening to their foreplay all through the night. The walls in their complex were quite thin.

Eliava turned back to her doodle in the sand, biting her lip as she concentrated. It wasn't that she was friendless, it was just that her friends. . . . they engaged in activities that Eliava didn't wish to partake in. Namely binge drinking and sex. So when they dragged her to these raging parties, she always stepped back and volunteered to be the designated driver.

No. She wasn't an old spinster. The taste of beer disgusted her and that was it. And when she couldn't get wasted, there was hardly a chance that she was going to go home with a hot hunk.

" All right, let's slow it down all you ladies out there!" Tristan blared through his microphone." This song is designated to you! Why? 'Cause not all guys are selfish bastards. And how many of you gals are seniors this year at this fine college institution?" A loud cheer went up from the girls who heard and who applied. " May you find your way after graduation. Hopefully, with me." He gave a little wink; catcalls followed. " Here's a little song called 'Home', and while it's not our usual repertoire of songs, it's got a special place in my heart. So don't you dare fuckin' boo it."

The soft notes of the guitar steadily became stronger. Tristan closed his eyes and he began to sing in his beautiful tenor voice:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Eliava let her feet take over. She stood up, dusting the remaining grains of sand onto the ground. Everyone was too intoxicated to wonder why she was suddenly dancing, and if they weren't she didn't care. Perhaps it was because she was lonely, perhaps it was because she had danced for twelve years, from six to eighteen, and couldn't let a good song pass her by, but she danced.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Eliava knew she was a good dancer. Good verging on great, but not great enough. Years of intense training, of ballet recitals, of blisters, and of long days of practice had lead to her being rejected by the San Francisco Ballet Company. Her dream Company. The Company she had gone to see as a young girl, and had immediately been enraptured by the poise of the dancers, of the strength they held, of the beauty they possessed, of the way they moved so fluidly and in sync. She knew then that she wanted to dance for them and only them. She had wanted to be that beautiful ballerina pirouetting on pointe.

She had been well-versed in contemporary and classical ballet, going on pointe at age eleven. While most complained that it was much to young to go on pointe, her teacher Madame Maxine had stressed the importance of starting early, of getting that extra time to practice.

Eliava had been the star child. Madame Maxine had sworn up and down that Eliava would dance with the company, that she had never taught such a talented child, that she was the sure makings of a prima ballerina. Several of Maxine's former pupils danced with the same company, and Eliava had twice as much talent and the hard work.

So she danced. She danced her soul, conjoined with the soul and heat of the music. It flowed effortlessly through her limbs, directing them in a instinctual ritual that was beautiful and raw.

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo

Her leaps were high, her legs perfectly straight. One year after giving up her dream, Eliava still retained her flexibility and it showed. Her curls whipped around her as she flowed with the music, stinging her bare skin as she danced.

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

She kept in tune with the music, knowing that it was speeding up. She bent down, grabbed a handful of sand, and threw it into the air. Underneath the sharp stings as the sand fell, she twirled and then dropped, kicking her leg out to stir up more sand.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

She was the song. She was the tenor of Tristan's voice. She was the sand underneath her feet. She was the beat. She was the hope, the love, the uncertainty. She was everything, and she showed it.

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa

Eliava stopped just as the guitar stopped playing, her feet flurrying to a halt in the sand, her head tilted back, hands dangling loose. Her chest rose and fell with quick breaths, her cheeks a bit warm.

She licked her chapped lips, glancing back again at the party. Kendra and Bri and their three nameless hunks were gone, having escaped to the closest bed to give into their more primal urges. Lillian and Xandra seemed to have booked it as well, finally deciding that the tree was not suitable to make love on.

Nobody had noticed the flurry of movement in the outer rings of the firelight, danced by a girl in a white tank and jean shorts. Those facing her direction were dancing drunkenly in the masses, too buzzed to notice.

Alone, it seemed. As always.

Suddenly, warm hands clasped around her hips, pulling her into a hard chest. A not entirely unwelcome jolt hooked and coiled low behind Eliava's bellybutton.

" That was amazing," whispered the hot lips at her ear.

Not so alone then.

Eliava yanked herself away, but the male had grabbed her wrist, and he pulled her around to face him.

Her mouth just about dropped but she caught herself in time. In the flickering firelight, she caught the honeyed tone of his skin, the jaded green eyes, and the bronzed hair that fell into his eyes. She squinted up at him, briefly placing his attractive features in her Sociology class.

" Dance with me," he said, smiling. " Dance with me and I'll promise you you won't regret it."

She distinctly pried his fingers from hers and took a good step back. " You dance?"

He shrugged nonchalantly. " A bit."

Eliava frowned slightly, her eyes roving up and down his form. He was wearing dark jeans, the bottoms of them wet and clotted with sand because he had wandered into the ocean. He wore a white tank coupled with a unbuttoned blue dress shirt. She took in his physique: muscular, with a lot of tone, but not too muscular that he was considered brawny. Perfect for a contemporary dancer. As a classical, he would need thicker thighs or he would be screwed.

" Contemporary, if at all," she said. " Classical and your legs would buckle."

He tipped his head back and laughed, his amusement reaching his eyes. " So that was the point of your blatant ogling? And here I was thinking you were appreciating my Greek God physique." He clucked his tongue. " Damn, you know how to wound an ego. Though, is that a good thing I don't want to be restricted to classical ballet? Uptight and ruffles." He gave a mock, playful shudder. " Ugh. Shoot me know."

She was miffed, but she couldn't help that little twitch in her lips that gave her away. " Ogling includes appreciating the sight. I was. . . studying."

" Have you studied enough, then?" He was smirking, and his eyes flicked behind her to Tristan and his band. " I believe our song is on."

Eliava cocked her head, and then frowned as someone other than Tristan started to sing. She looked back to find the stage empty, and the was music now being supplied by an hastily set up Ipod.

" Where did Tristan–?"

" Snogging some poor girl senseless." She didn't allow herself to react, keeping her face smooth. The guy kept on talking, " Guess the guy got a bit distracted, all the alcohol running through his blood was bound to make him a bit woozy." His eyes slanted down on her–it wasn't all that hard to, seeing how he had at least six inches on her. " So, how about that dance? Our song is laying waste, being disgraced by all those drunken couples."

" 'Our' song implies that we have history," she snipped, backing away once again. He followed each step, a smirk simmering on his lips. " And I don't even know your name."

The smirk broke to reveal a wide grin, and his white teeth glittered in the dim light. " Nor do I know yours. All I know is that you are a hell of a good dancer, and I would like this dance."

Eliava bit her lip to hide her smile. Never before had she been so plainly pursued by a man. " I don't make a habit of dancing with unknown guys. You might be a rapist or something."

" Ah, but then I would have to face you in Sociology, wouldn't I? Can you imagine the emotional trauma?"

" I can, and would rather not take that chance."

Eliava turned to leave, but his fingers clasped onto her wrist and pulled back. She acted on instinct, twirling in the same direction and ended up pressed against him. His hand secured her lower back, and that little, arrogant smirk was playing his lips as she glowered up at him.

" What will it be, love?" he questioned. " Tango? Waltz? Cha-cha? Salsa? Freestyle? Our own little rendition?"

" Tango," she answered, and she was immediately pulled into the rhythm.

To her utter surprise, she found him a amenable partner. He moved well, secured her in his strong hold, and soon they were dancing quickly as they discovered the capabilities of the other. Their bodies just fit, perfectly. Pressed against each other, they moved as one, their breaths in tandem, their limbs in sync and guessing their partner's move. He knew when she made to lean against him that he needed to support her as she kicked out. She knew in the subtle tensing of his muscles when he wanted to push her out. He sent her out, then, and pulled her back in, hard. They kicked up sand as they danced, spraying it on each other as their bare feet wound within the others. Sand got in her hair as he dipped her backwards, and when he pulled her up she felt his lips brush against her throat.

Their eyes met in that exact moment, his burning with intensity.

Eliava found herself going with the flow, her body warming against his, relishing every contact of skin. She had only danced with partners when Madame Maxine had recommended it. After all, if she were to be a prima ballerina she needed to dance with one. But never before had she found herself loosing it, found herself enjoying every minute, found herself hopelessly captured by the emerald eyes of her companion.

In one smooth moment, she managed to loose him of his outer shirt, playing up the dance. He had nice arms, with biceps that she could curl her fingers around.

" Couldn't wait for me to be shirtless, could you?" He smirked, until she had wrapped the cloth around his head.

" Twirl for me, stranger," she said, and gave a soft yank.

He seamlessly twisted around, his smile still in place. They stood there for a heartbeat, staring into the others' eyes until he reached down and hooked her leg on his hip.

Eliava squeaked as he dragged her forward, but went with it nonetheless, her other leg trailing in the sand. When he stopped, she dug her hands into his shoulders and prayed that he would hold onto her other knee. She then lifted off of him, using his thigh as her anchor and sweeping her other leg high into the air.

" Beautiful," he muttered as he anchored her. He grabbed her waist, twisting her back round. " Nice improv."

They continued to dance, using each other, breathing each other. There was something intimate that was in every caress, every press of sweat-slick skin, in every brush of clothing. Knowing nothing else about the guy, she judged his character by the way he danced – his body alone could not lie. He was steady, an able shoulder to lean on, but he had just enough flair, just enough . . . of that wild factor that enticed her.

They flowed like water as he lead them farther and farther away from the drunken stupor and to the crashing waves in the distance. Wet sand tickled her feet, and it didn't fling up as much. Here, they were guided solely by moonlight and by the reflections of the waves, clutching each other for balance. Eliava, her initial misgivings forgotten, could not remember a time when she had felt more safe. The distant heartthrob of the music was softer here, fainter, and she felt herself fall into her own world, relishing the feel of his strong hands and body guiding, becoming just the music and the man in front of her.

" Had no idea you knew the tango," she said as he lifted her up so she could wrap her leg around his thigh. " And could lead it nonetheless."

She extended her other leg high into the air, and as he set her back down she caught the glimmer of a smile. " There's a lot of things you don't know about me. I mean," – he pushed her off so she could slowly pirouette and caught her as she fell – " I am just some guy you just met."

Muscles straining, Eliava curled herself up and found herself centimeters from him. Hot breath feathered across her lips, and the familiar jolt pulled her off center. His face was so close she could make out gold flakes in his eyes.

" Name," she croaked, deflecting his intensity with a downward flick of her eyes. . . . which landed right on his parted lips.

" Ace. You?"

" Cinderella."

His mouth went slack, eyes tensing in shock. " You're joking."

" Yep."

That familiar smirk was back again, and he let her go, straightening and running a hand through his tousled hair. They stood silent, and awkwardness settled in. Her body was cool, missing the heat his had provided.

At a loss of what to do next, Eliava gathered her thick tresses of hair into a messy bun. Ace turned and looked out towards the waves, where the moon was reflecting harshly off the casting waves. A soft, quiet sigh escaped his lips; Eliava thought it was a contemplative, wondering sort of sigh. Suddenly, a warm hand enveloped hers, and Eliava felt herself being tugged to where the sand was not wet.

Ace sat down, pulling her with him, and together they faced the endless sea. She decided she liked this man; she liked the sureness upon which he held himself, she liked the slightly cocky tilt to his eyes. She knew that he was intelligent; he more often than not received top marks in their Sociology tests and papers.

" When you say you're Cinderella. . . .you're looking for your prince, huh?"

Eliava gave off a noncommittal sound. " Maybe. My name's not really –"

" – I know that."

She smiled. " I kinda like you."

" You like the way I dance."

" Yes," she said, unable to keep the tone of appreciation out of her voice. " I do like the way you dance. I had no idea."

Ace pulled her hand out of her lap, threading the fingers within his. While the move was bold – and shockingly so – she couldn't help but admire the strength in his fingers, the tenderness on which he stroked the back of her hand.

" So, back to my earlier question. Have you found your prince yet, Cinderella?"

Eliava blinked.

" No," she said slowly, unaware of where this was going.

He looked at her, a Cheshire grin playing on his lips. His bronze hair was ruffled and falling into his eyes, and his green eyes were stripped and surprisingly honest.

" So, Cinder, can I put a shoe on you and make you lose it, so I have another excuse to talk to you?"

Ah, so this was his way of asking her out? Part of her was flattered, the other part was mystified and amused, and Eliava felt her happiness bubbling over to tweak her lips and spill out of her throat with a giggle.

" It's a glass slipper," she said, trying to force the corners of her mouth down and failing.

" Pfft, details," he said, and then his voice lowered, " So, what do you say, Cinder? Wouldn't we make quite a little hoot at the ball?"

" Or," she intervened, " you can just take me out tomorrow evening, after our class."

Ace laughed; she decided she liked his laugh. It wasn't nasally or wheezy; it was full rumble that built slowly in his chest before it expelled in hearty breaths.

" Or," he said, their eyes meeting in amusement, " I could just do that."

Author's Note:Soooo, there it is! Yes, it's cheesy. Yes, it's improbable. Yes, it shows that I'm a hopeless romantic. Yes, the ending was quick. Yes, this is a one-shot and I will not continue it. Yes, you are now wishing for your handsome/beautiful partner to dance with in life. Yes, this is a quite a long train of 'Yeses'. :) But what did you think?

May you find your partner to dance through the complexities of life,