Ever since I saw the movie, Shall We Dance?, I wanted to do a fic based on it. It is a truly wonderful movie... Japanese with English subtitles. My version will be a *little* different of course, but the basic plot will be the same. And I get to write Duo in a dancer's leotard. *grin*

Before we really get into it, I should explain everyone's ages. The boys are all older, late twenties I'd say. Duo's a little younger, about 21-22. Une is around 35 or so. Though age really isn't a factor... just thought you'd want to know. ^_^

Disclaimers: Nope, don't own it. Don't own the movie either.

Pairing: 1+2, R+1
Warnings: Shounen-ai, Yaoi, eventual lemon -- please don't read if this doesn't appeal to you -- AU, OOCness, a tad angsty, Relena bashing (sorry), lots of references to dancing
Spoilers: none

Shall We Dance
by Caroline


"In Japan, ballroom dance is regarded with much suspicion. In a country where married couples don't go out arm in arm, much less say 'I love you' out loud, intuitive understanding is everything. The idea that a husband and wife should embrace and dance in front of others is beyond embarrassing. However, to go out dancing with someone else would be misunderstood and prove more shameful. Nonetheless, even for Japanese people, there is a secret wonder about the joys dance can bring." ~Shall We Dance?

Heero clutched wearily at the worn leather strap suspended from the ceiling of the overcrowded train. 'Another day, another dollar,' he thought bitterly to himself as he watched the city roll by. 'Not that I need it... not with Relena's money,' Still... his job was the only thing that got him out of the museum his wife called a house. And anything that got him out of the house and away from his harpy of a wife was a good thing.

Heero stoically faced the window so as not to have to engage in any mindless conversation with the other passengers on the commute. The sun had set an hour before and now the city was bathed in bright neon. To anyone else, the city of Tokyo at night could be considered beautiful. But to Heero Yuy, it was nothing but a tarnished jewel. The world held no beauty for him anymore.

He sighed impatiently as the train slowed to one of its many stops along the route. He shifted on his feet and clutched his briefcase tighter. All he wanted now was to get home and take a nice, warm shower before falling asleep in one of the empty guestrooms in the house. And hopefully, Relena would be asleep by the time he got home. He looked at his watch. Twenty minutes until his stop. Not soon enough.

A movement from the second floor across the street from the station caught his eye. Looking up, he glanced briefly at the large sign on the side of the building. 'Hikawa Dance Studio' it read. Another movement drew his attention away from the sign to the large glass windows beside it. Inside, a couple was dancing. No, several couples he corrected himself as they sailed by the windows, twirling like porcelain figurines in a music box. Heero watched disinterestedly for a moment - until a lone figure moved to open one of the windows.

The young man at the window was dressed in a dancer's leotard over which he wore a slightly baggy cut-off t-shirt. He wasn't Japanese - the long braid of chestnut-gold hair draped over one shoulder told him that much. He looked European or perhaps even American. He had a dancer's build, although a tad on the slender side. And he moved with the gracefulness of a swan through water.

Heero stood transfixed at the vision above him. He'd never seen anyone quite so beautiful in his life. He almost cried out in denial as the train lurched to life, taking him away from the figure that had caught his attention. He watched the window as long as he could until the building was out of sight. Slumping down onto one of the now unoccupied seats, he wondered why the mere sight of a complete stranger had affected him so... and why such a beautiful face could look so sad.

I: Overture

Heero slumped on the seat of the train and looked at his watch. For once, he wished time could slow down. Relena was throwing one of her dinner parties, and Heero had no desire to be there amidst the vapid gossipmongers. He'd stalled at the office for as long as he could to kill time. Relena, of course, had been furious that he even went to work at all. And Heero wouldn't tell her the only reason he'd taken the office job was to get out of the house.

As the train pulled away from yet another crowded station, Heero contemplated his marriage to Relena. They'd met at the University; Heero had been on full scholarship, and Relena, like many of her socialite friends, had gone to school simply to find a husband. For reasons he still didn't understand, she became obsessed with him. Normally he wouldn't have given Relena a second thought - but the lure of her money had been too tempting. His parents' business was in trouble, and by marrying her, Heero could help them out. So he'd done it... and three months later his parents had been killed in an automobile accident, leaving him alone and saddled with a wife he didn't love nor want.

Divorce was, naturally, out of the question. Relena wouldn't stand for it. Heaven forbid any kind of scandal be attached to her family name. So he'd distanced himself from her as much as possible - taking a job on the other side of the city, moving in to one of the spare guestrooms. And in return, Relena made his life a living hell. To all outside appearances, they had a normal marriage. Relena kept up the façade for appearance's sake. And Heero did it just so he wouldn't have to listen to her bitch at him when they were alone. He supposed he could fight for a divorce if he wanted... but after losing his only family, he felt like he had nothing left to fight for anymore.

Heero shifted his gaze to the view outside the window. They were almost there. Every night for the past few weeks he had anticipated the ride home. Each night he hoped he would see the beautiful boy at the window. Most nights he was disappointed. But a handful of times he had caught glimpses of the young man who had captivated his attention. It was the hope of seeing him again that made the commute home bearable.

As the train pulled up to the platform, he found himself holding his breath. Would he again be disappointed tonight? The train stopped. The doors opened. Heero looked up.

Standing against the soft light of the dance studio was the chestnut haired boy. Again dressed in dancer's attire, he had the same sad, wistful expression on his face. Heero swallowed hard... the boy was so achingly beautiful.

Before he knew what he was doing, Heero found himself on his feet and stepping off the train. He stood on the platform, stunned at his abrupt action. The sound of the automatic doors closing behind him broke him out of his dazed stupor. He turned and watched in surprise as the train pulled away. What was he doing? He was already late for Relena's dinner.

At the thought of spending the evening with Relena and her friends, Heero quickly turned and made his way down the platform steps. He hurried across the street to the dance studio. A sign pointed him to the upstairs entrance. He put his hand on the glass door and went inside.

Classical music filled the air within. The scent of jasmine permeated the room. Heero paused before the front desk to take in the warm surroundings. The windows facing the train station were at the far side of the large, open room. The two adjacent walls were lined with mirrors and ballet barres. The front end where he came in looked like some kind of waiting area. There were wooden benches, couches, and a table upon which sat several glasses and a pitcher of iced water. The walls here were lined with photographs and trophy cases. There was a small corridor off to the side but he couldn't tell where it led.

The dance floor itself took up most of the room. Covered in polished wood, it stretched from one end of the room to the other. Heero watched several couples twirl and sail across the floor. They looked elegant and refined... everything he wasn't. Suddenly he felt out of place. He didn't know why he'd even come here. Ballroom dancing seemed more of Relena's thing than his.

"Excuse me? May I help you?" came a soft-spoken timber voice from off to the side. Heero turned and came face to face with the chestnut haired boy. He spoke with a slight American accent, and up close he could see that the young man was a few years younger than himself.

"I... ah," he stammered, suddenly feeling very nervous. "Your sign outside said visitors could stay and watch."

"Are you wanting to sign up for dance lessons?"


The boy cocked his head to the side, then motioned him over to the desk. "Lessons are twice a week with a private instructor. You can schedule them whenever your teacher has an opening. Each lesson is two hours long and costs ¥7000 per hour."

Heero barely heard what the youth was saying. He was being bewitched by the boy's violet eyes. He actually had violet eyes! "That's... ah, quite a bit of money," he forced himself to say. Not that he couldn't afford it... he just had to say something.

"These are private lessons, sir," the young dancer explained gently. "We do have cheaper group rates, but I'm afraid all the beginner's classes are full."

"Wait a moment, Duo-chan," interrupted another voice. A tall, older lady with straight brown hair stepped over to the desk. "I believe we have an opening in the Wednesday evening class."

"Une, I thought that class was full?"

"There's always room for one more. And it's best to start in a group. Learn from other's mistakes, ne?" She smiled and bowed to Heero. "My name is Une. This is Duo Maxwell. Welcome to our school."

Heero bowed in return. "I'm Heero Yuy. It is a pleasure to meet you."

"Tell me, Yuy-san, why do you want to learn to dance?" Une asked politely.

Heero's eyes flashed briefly at Duo. "I... I think it would be interesting, madam. I've always been fascinated with Western dance." He was lying through his teeth and was sure they both knew it.

"Ballroom dance is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable forms of dance," Une continued. "I'm glad you have such an interest in it. Duo-chan, why don't you help Yuy-san fill out the paperwork while I finish up with this class? Yuy-san, the first beginner's class meets next Wednesday at seven. Please do not be late."

"No, madam," said Heero distractedly as Duo handed him the application. He filled it out and paid cash in advance for the first month of lessons. He wanted to speak further to the violet-eyed boy but found himself tongue-tied. All he could do was stammer a curt 'thank you' as he was ushered to the door.

He walked back to the train platform in a kind of dazed confusion. Had he actually just signed up for ballroom dance lessons? And all because he wanted to get closer to the beautiful young dancer? Was he insane?

Heero smiled as he stepped onto the waiting train. Two hours every Wednesday night. Two hours he didn't have to spend with Relena. All he had to do now was convince her he would be working late on Wednesday evenings from now on. No problem. He was so straight laced she'd never suspect a thing. Suddenly he couldn't wait for Wednesday.

on to part 2

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