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

Pairing: 1x2, R+1, 3+4, 5+M, implied 13x2, 6+9, Howard+anything in a skirt (it just keeps growing...)
Warnings: Shounen-ai, Yaoi, eventual lemon -- please don't read if this doesn't appeal to you -- AU, OOCness, a tad angsty, Relena bashing, lots of references to dancing, and I've gone and bastardized Treize... sorry (really, I hate to do it but I needed a villain).
Spoilers: none

Shall We Dance
by Caroline

X : Quick Step

Heero lay on the cushion for several hours, holding Duo's sleeping form in his arms, listening to the storm rage outside. Finally the rain slacked off, the thunder rumbling low in the distance. The downstairs clock chimed the witching hour. Lifting his sleeping beauty in his arms, he carried his long-haired love downstairs. He found Duo's bedroom on the second try. Laying his precious burden on the bed, he tucked the sheets around the boy and left him with a kiss. He hurried back upstairs to put his clothes back on and clean up the room so Une wouldn't suspect anything. He gathered up Duo's clothes and returned them to the boy's room. Duo stirred sleepily as he entered.


"Shh, koi," he whispered, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"What time is it?"

"Just after midnight."

"Oh." The sheets rustled in the dark. "Can you stay?"

Heero paused. "I'd give anything to stay here with you, but…"

"But you can't." A hand reached out, groping for Heero's. The Japanese man found it and interlaced their fingers together. "I understand."

Hearing the disappointment in Duo's voice, Heero leaned down and kissed the young dancer on the forehead.

"Duo, I'm sorry. I…"

"Daijoubu, Heero," his lover interrupted. "It's all right."

Heero swallowed. What had he done right to deserve this beautiful creature. "Duo, I… I love you."

The slender hand in his tightened. "I love you too, Hee-chan."

Heero leaned down for one last, soul-searing kiss. "Sweet dreams, koi," he whispered as he stood.

"Oyasumi, Hee-chan," Duo said sleepily as his hand dropped back to the bed.


Heero crept quietly out of Duo's room and let himself out of the house. He walked to the train platform with a heavy heart for he was leaving his beloved Duo behind… and going home to his wife.

The final three weeks before the competition passed by in a whirlwind. So intent were they on getting ready for the event and putting final touches on their routines that Heero barely had time to think about the consequences of making love to Duo. He only saw the boy at rehearsal since preparing for the competition took most of their free time. The only time they had to themselves was during the short breaks they took in between lessons. And even then they could only share fleeting touches as they were never alone. But the heated glances they exchanged spoke volumes.

And through it all, Heero felt the guilt over not telling Duo the truth gnawing at him. Although he'd taken the first steps to freedom by contacting a lawyer to begin drawing up the papers for divorce, he still felt terrible for not being totally honest with his braided love.

Not that he really had time to sit Duo down and talk with him. The violet-eyed dancer came to their lesson a week later flustered and full of energy. He wanted to change the opening to their waltz routine, something that both Heero and Hilde objected to.

"Change it?" Hilde asked incredulously. "How can we change it now? We've only got two weeks until we're supposed to perform it!"

"I don't know if changing it is such a good idea," Heero added. "What's wrong with it?"

Nothing. And that's the problem," Duo explained.

Heero and Hilde just stared at him.

"Look, the way you're doing it is fine. You've got the turns, the sweeps; everything is the way it should be. But it's the same thing everyone else will be doing. You won't be able to capture the judges' attention with this kind of routine." He turned and began drawing a diagram on the white board. "The waltz usually begins facing outward and starts with a half-turn, leaving the middle of the floor wide open. What you two need to do is take center stage and do something unusual. Even if they hate it, the judges will be watching."

Hilde grumbled but in the end agreed. They worked long into the night and the nights that followed, developing and perfecting a new opening that would attract the judges' attention. Heero returned home night after night only to strip off his clothes, bathe, and fall into bed. He didn't even speak to Relena anymore, neither did he bother to come up with excuses as to where he'd been. He'd deal with it all once the competition was over.

The remaining two weeks disappeared before he knew it. Heero had taken a few days off work to get ready. He had a custom-made set of black tails made to wear for the dance. Although taking Duo with him to the tailor's had been a mistake. He'd had to pry the young dancer off him in the dressing room several times before they'd gotten out of there. Having Duo so close and not being able to do anything about it was slowly driving him mad. Fortunately the upcoming competition proved to be a welcome distraction. He had to be ready, for Hilde's sake… and for Duo's.

The sun was shining brightly on the day of the Eastern Japan Amateur Dance Competition. Heero arrived at the Exhibition Center an hour early to be ready. Une and Duo were already there, and Hilde arrived only moments later with her sister and man Heero presumed to be Alex in tow.

Hilde was already dressed for the Latin program in a silver body suit that glittered under the lights. Her hair was done up with a silver band, shining bangles dangling from the ends. Hilde dragged her companions over to them to introduce everyone.

Her sister smiled as she reintroduced herself to Heero. "You deserve a medal for putting up with her, Yuy-san."

Heero smirked and Duo giggled as Hilde tried to beat her sister over the head. Wufei chose that moment to arrive with a tall, Chinese woman at his side. "So, onna," he remarked to Hilde, "only minutes before the dance and you're beating up the competition? How dishonorable."

The tall woman at his side hit Wufei on the back of the head. "Stop teasing, husband."

Hilde paused in the middle of slapping her sister with a shoe. "Husband? You mean you're actually married? To a woman?"

Wufei's wife smiled. "My name is Chang Meiran. I'm honored to meet the woman who would willingly dance with my husband."

Hilde stared at the two of them for a long moment before breaking out into a wide smile. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Meiran. Although I'm rather surprised. With Wufei's views on women, I'd been thinking he was gay!"

Hilde and Meiran laughed conspiratorially together as Wufei fumed. Heero found it all amusing. The two women were still discussing Wufei's "finer" points when Trowa and Quatre showed up with a woman a few years older than the two young men. She was introduced as Trowa's sister, Catherine. Catherine was dressed similarly to Hilde as she and Trowa were only going to participate in the Latin program. Catherine seemed to be Trowa's polar opposite. Where the green-eyed man was quiet and reserved, Catherine was loud and outspoken. Heero couldn't believe the two were siblings.

Heero glanced at the clock nervously. Butterflies were fluttering in his stomach in droves. He felt his hands go clammy as he realized the competition would begin in a few minutes. He stood frozen in place, almost petrified, until he felt a small hand on his arm. He looked down to see Duo's shining violet eyes smiling up at him.

"Just relax, Hee-chan," he said softly, tugging on his arm. "Let's go find seats for the Latin program." They left Hilde, Wufei, Trowa and Catherine in the greenroom and headed out into the stands. There were a lot of spectators present, more than Heero had expected. Had Duo's calming presence not been next to him, he'd have headed for the hills as soon as he saw the crowd.

As the judges entered the hall and took their seats, Duo's hand snaked over to clasp Heero's. The two young men smiled shyly at each other as the emcee began announcing the couples for the first rumba set. There were to be three sets for each dance, with about ten to fifteen couples dancing in each set. Trowa, Catherine, Hilde, and Wufei wouldn't be dancing until the third set. The first two sets seemed to fly by until finally, it was his friends' turn. Gretchen and Meiran cheered loudly as Hilde and Wufei took their place on the floor. Quatre did the same for Trowa and Catherine.

Heero heard Une curse and felt Duo stiffen as the last couple was announced. Looking up he saw Treize and a woman with long blonde hair walk onto the floor.

"He's still with her," he heard his lover whisper softly as the two took their places.

"Who?" Heero asked, feeling an immense hatred for the man who had once broken Duo's heart.

"Dorothy. My old partner."

"I don't understand what he's doing here," Une added. "This is an amateur competition. Professionals aren't allowed."

Heero could feel Duo tremble next to him. He rubbed the pad of his thumb across the back of the boy's hand reassuringly. The young dancer smiled up at him and moved closer.

"Ignore them, koi," Heero said, squeezing Duo's hand. "Let's just cheer on Wufei, Hilde, and Trowa."

Duo nodded, leaning in closer, and together, waited for the music to start.

Higher up in the stands, three figures took their seats.

"Wow. I didn't realize how big this competition was," Milliardo said as he handed Howard a program.

"It's one of the biggest in the region," Lucrezia explained as she laced her arm with his. "I danced in it, oh, seven years ago I guess it's been now."

"I bet you won," Milliardo said, smiling at his girlfriend.

The short-haired woman laughed. "No. Second place."

"Really? But you're such a wonderful dancer."

His lady-love snorted. "I'm good. But there are others who are better. My cousin and her brother-in-law for instance. You should see them dance together."

"Her brother-in-law? Duo Maxwell?"

"Yes. How did you know?"

"He's a friend of a friend," Milliardo said noncommittally.


They watched in silence as the third set of couples entered the dance floor. As the last one took their places, Lucrezia swore loudly.

"Shit! I didn't think he'd have the nerve to show his face here."

"What? Who?"

Lucrezia pointed to the last couple and quickly told them the whole sordid story of Treize's relationship with Duo. "That bastard broke Duo's heart, then turned on him. Fortunately that young man is made of sterner stuff. He managed to let go of it all and move on. I even heard he's found someone new in his life."

"Aa. I've heard that too," Milliardo said softly as he scanned the crowd for Heero. He spotted his brother-in-law in the second row, holding hands with the long-haired dancer. He smiled at the sight. It looked like Heero had found true happiness at last.

At that moment the music started, and the couples began to move. Milliardo spotted some of Heero's new friends on the floor: the Chinese man and his partner, and the tall man with the long bangs. He watched those two couples with interest. The Chinese man and the short-haired girl were obviously doing well. He spun the girl away from him and was dancing back towards her when Treize and his partner stepped between them. Lucrezia sucked in her breath, and Milliardo saw the Chinese man shoot the interlopers a glare. Fortunately he and his own partner recovered gracefully and danced away.

"There was plenty of room to go around," Milliardo commented. "Why did they do that?"

"They did that on purpose. He knows that they're students of Une and Duo's. I think he's trying to sabotage them."

"Why would he do that if you say he's trying to get Duo back?"

"Maybe he thinks if he can't have Duo, he'll harass his students instead. Maybe he's getting back at Duo for 'humiliating' him at Blackpool. Or maybe he's just nuts." Lucrezia shrugged. "Who knows exactly what's going through that little mind of his."

The three of them watched nervously as the dance continued. They noticed two more attempts made by Treize to get in Heero's friends' way. Fortunately the two were proficient enough to avoid the traps. They finished with a flourish to a round of applause.

"Excellent! They'll lose points for that first interruption but not many. Treize will lose more."

The next dance, the paso doble, began a few minutes later. Heero's friends' routine was beautiful as well as sensual. As they moved together, Milliardo made a mental note to ask Lucrezia to teach him the dance later.

Treize and his partner attempted again to get in their way, but the Chinese man was quick on his feet. He twirled his partner away and ended the dance in a sweeping finish. Milliardo watched Heero, Duo and the rest of the others on the second row join their friends on the sidelines after the dance.

"What happens now?" Milliardo asked as he watched the judges confer.

"They'll compare the scores of the three sets. The ten highest scoring couples of both dances will move on to the finals."

The emcee moved to the microphone and began announcing the numbers of the couples who had advanced to the final round. Milliardo was pleased to hear that the Chinese man and his partner as well as the tall man with the long bangs had made it to the finals. He smirked when he did not hear Treize's number called.

"Despite his behavior, I thought Mr. Macho danced pretty well," he commented offhandedly. "Why didn't they pick him?"

Lucrezia opened her mouth to answer but Howard beat her to it. "Bad attitude. Ungentlemanly behavior. It is a British sport after all."

Milliardo smiled and Lucrezia hid her laughter behind her hand. The dancer had taken a shine to his eccentric uncle. And Howard wholeheartedly approved of his developing relationship with Lucrezia.

The three of them chatted amongst themselves about the intricacies of dance competitions while they waited for the modern program to begin. Through it all, Milliardo kept one eye on Heero and his friends. His brother-in-law looked very nervous, almost green. He saw Duo speak to him softly before leaning up and placing a kiss on Heero's cheek.

"I'm glad Duo-kun has found someone," Lucrezia said, smiling at the two.

'And I'm glad Heero's found someone, too,' Milliardo thought. 'He's been unhappy for far too long.'

Heero's anger grew as he watched Treize repeatedly try to sabotage Wufei and Hilde's routine. Fortunately his friends managed to avoid most of it. They ended the Latin program with a sweeping finish, as did Trowa and Catherine. They all rushed down out of the stands to congratulate their friends. Hilde in the meantime rushed off to change her dress for the modern portion of the competition.

Wufei accepted a bottle of water from Meiran and began ranting. "Kisama! Did you see that dishonorable cur step between us? He should be disqualified for inappropriate conduct!"

"I can't believe he would do something so petty!" Une exclaimed.

Heero felt Duo trembling beside him. He squeezed his love's hand and looked at him worriedly.

"Daijoubu, Heero," he said softly. "I'm not going to let him get to me anymore." Duo leaned up and kissed his cheek. "I have you here with me. That's all I need."

Heero smiled down at him as the emcee stood up to announce the finalists for the Latin program. Hilde came flying up to them, feathers fluttering off the trim of her white evening dress as the numbers were announced. When Hilde and Wufei's number was called, followed by Catherine and Trowa's, everyone cheered. And when they didn't announce Treize's number, they all turned to look at the tall man. Heero suppressed a snicker as Dorothy punched him in the arm and stalked off.

"Ah. Justice," Wufei said, apparently satisfied.

The emcee came over the sound system again to call for all participants in the first round of the modern program. Heero immediately felt faint. He and Hilde were dancing in the first round. His heart leapt into his throat, and he suddenly felt sick to his stomach. Both Une and Duo noticed how pale Heero had become, and Duo took Hilde aside.

"He'll be too nervous to even hear the music. You must guide him."

Hilde smiled and patted Duo on the arm. "Leave it to me," she answered, winking at him.

Une placed a hand on Heero's arm.

"Heero, just flow with the music and enjoy the dance," she said in an effort to calm him down. "Remember… Shall We Dance?"

Heero smiled at his teacher. "Aa. Shall We Dance?. Arigatou, sensei."

Hilde walked up, took him by the arm, and led him to the line of contestants waiting for their numbers to be called.

One by one, the emcee called their numbers. Heero escorted Hilde onto the floor and together they took their positions. A strange sense of calm came over him as they waited for the music to start. He could almost hear Duo's beautiful voice in his ear as the music began.

'The start is everything. Take a deep breath. Count. One, two, three. Two, two, three…'

Heero counted along in his head. Hilde extended her hand. Drawing the girl close, Heero took one last deep breath and stepped forward.

Milliardo watched with a sense of pride as Heero performed the waltz with precision and grace. He heard Lucrezia suck in her breath as they danced toward the center of the floor where Heero dipped his partner.

"Oh! You don't usually see something like that at the beginning of a waltz. Bold move. Bravo!" she said, clapping her hands.

The dance continued. Heero and his lovely partner seemed to be dancing on air as they whirled around the dance floor. Milliardo was watching them closely when he noticed another couple dancing straight toward them.

"Oh no, Heero. Look out!" he cried futilely to himself, knowing Heero couldn't hear him. Fortunately, the man only bumped Heero's shoulder. The rhythm of the dance was broken, but the two couples just smiled politely at each other, bowed in apology, and continued dancing.

"Points will be lost there," Lucrezia commented.

"But who's fault is it?" asked Milliardo, still confused on how the scoring worked. "I mean, it was just an accident."

"That's why I don't like amateurs," Howard muttered. "Can't keep from bumping into each other or being bumped themselves. How you react is most important, however. Judges will naturally notice bumping. But a quick recovery and a calm return to dancing can be noted and scored pretty highly."

Lucrezia laughed. "You really do know a lot about dancing, don't you Howard?"

"Oh yes," the older man replied. "Might even be able to teach you a thing or two, my dear."

Lucrezia blushed prettily. "Oh Milliardo, I love your uncle! You should bring him to the studio more often!"

"Uncle Howard, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were flirting with my girlfriend."

"Of course I am, silly boy! She's too beautiful not to!"

"Why Howard. Thank you!" Lucrezia said as the music came to an end. Heero and his partner finished beautifully. Milliardo watched in amusement as Duo ran to the Japanese man and launched himself into his koibito's arms. The braided dancer brought Heero's head down to give him an enthusiastic kiss.

"Zechs, isn't that your brother-in-law?" Howard asked.

"Brother-in-law?" Lucrezia asked, looking at him.

"My niece's husband," Howard replied. "And from the looks of things, she doesn't look too happy."

Milliardo's eyes grew wide as he turned his head in the direction Howard was looking. There, standing on the steps of the bleachers shooting daggers of rage toward her husband and his lover, was his sister.

"Oh, shit."

Heero caught the bundle of energy that had thrown itself into his arms after the waltz ended.

"Yatta, Hee-chan! You did it!" his lover exclaimed happily. He wrapped his arms around Heero's neck and drew him down for a deep, passionate kiss. They broke off when the announcement for the second group of dancers for the waltz was called. Heero smiled down at the American.

"What was that for?"

"Because you were wonderful out there," Duo replied. "And because I love you."

"I love you too." Heero brushed chestnut bangs away from Duo's heart-shaped face. He glanced up over his love's head to see Quatre staring at them. Heero felt his heart plummet into his stomach. This was it. He had to tell Duo now.

"Duo, is there somewhere we can go? I… I need to talk to you."

Duo looked puzzled. "What for?"

"I… I have to tell you something. Can we go somewhere?"

"Well there's nowhere around here that's not full of people. Can't it wait until after your next dance?"

Heero sighed and nodded, a lead weight settling in the pit of his stomach. The competition would be over soon. A few more minutes wouldn't hurt. He looked back at Quatre and mouthed 'I'll explain later.' He pleaded silently with his eyes for his blonde friend not to say anything.

Quatre didn't look happy but he nodded. 'You'd better,' he mouthed back before turning back to Trowa.

Heero breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the remaining waltz sets with Duo. All too soon the emcee called for the participants in the quick-step competition. Duo gave him a kiss for luck before he left to find Hilde.

Before he could join his partner, a hand reached out and grabbed his arm. His expression darkened as he saw who it was.

"What do you want, Treize?" he asked curtly.

"Nothing," the older man said, feigning innocence. "Just thought I'd pass along a little information."

"Nothing you have to say would interest me," Heero said flatly as he tried to disentangle his arm from Treize's grip.

"Really. Then I suppose the fact that your wife is here wouldn't interest you at all?"

Heero's eyes narrowed. "You lie."

"Do I?" Treize smirked. "Well you certainly don't have to believe me. She is a pretty little thing though. Petite, blue eyes, pretty blonde hair done in braids…" He shrugged and let Heero go. "Just thought you might want to know." And with that, he turned and walked off.

Heero stood frozen in place. It wasn't true. It couldn't be. How could Relena have known he was there?

"Heero!" The Japanese man turned to see Hilde running toward him. "Come on, Heero! They're about to call our number!" The short-haired girl grabbed his arm and dragged him away.

Heero was so distracted by the thought his wife might be nearby, he almost missed their number. Hilde looked at him strangely as she tugged him onto the dance floor. "Heero, are you okay?"

"A… aa," he answered noncommittally as he took his position.

The music began, and Heero tried hard to block all thoughts of Relena out of his mind. He pulled Hilde close and took off across the floor. He tried desperately to concentrate on his steps, but the idea that Relena was in the stands, watching him… that she had seen the kiss he shared with Duo… it was too distracting. As they danced passed the audience, Heero looked up at the crowd, trying to spot his wife. With each turn, Heero became more and more distracted. He never saw the other couple. His eyes directed at the audience, he spun Hilde around and hit the other couple. Hard. He stumbled forward into Hilde, sending them both to the ground. In midair, he made the split second decision to twist their bodies so that he would be the one to hit the ground, rather than Hilde. His head cracked against the floor with bruising force. Looking up, Duo's horror-filled eyes were the last things he saw before darkness swallowed him.

Duo rushed down the hall, feeling nauseated at the sterility of the place. He'd never liked hospitals. But seeing Heero lying there, unmoving on the dance floor was worse. His heart had almost stopped when he saw (and heard) Heero's head crack against the hardwood floor. And when his lover didn't move… Duo had felt like he was going to throw up. He saw Heero lying on the ground, and all he could see in his mind were images of his parents and Solo.

He had sat down heavily on the floor, frozen in place as people rushed forward to help his fallen lover. He didn't know how much time had passed. The sounds of people moving around had threatened to overwhelm him. Only when an emergency team had brought in a stretcher did he break out of his fugue.

Une, who had been standing at the edge of the crowd surrounding Heero, had seen Duo on the floor. She had hurried over to help him up.

"Une… is Heero… will he…" the violet-eyed dancer had stammered softly.

Une had wrapped her arms around him, drawing him close. "He's unconscious, Duo-chan. He hit his head pretty hard. They're taking him to the hospital. Do you want to go too?"

Duo had nodded and allowed his sister-in-law to lead him out to her old, battered car. They had driven as quickly as they could through the Saturday afternoon traffic to the hospital. Heero had already arrived and had been admitted by the time they had gotten there. As soon as the lady at the front desk had told them where Heero was, Duo had taken off.

There was already quite a crowd gathered outside the room where Heero had been taken. Une's cousin Lucrezia was there, along with a man with long blonde hair and an older gentleman. Hilde was there as well. She'd ridden with Lucrezia as the two women knew each other well. Quatre and Trowa arrived only seconds after he and Une did. Quatre said Wufei and Meiran were on there way, as well as Hilde's family.

"How is he?" Duo asked Quatre, fear making his voice shake.

"We don't know. The doctor's in there right now along with…" He trailed off with a pained look on his face.

Duo was about to ask what was wrong when the door opened and a tall woman in a doctor's coat stepped out, followed by another rather pretty woman with blonde hair done in braids.

"I'm Dr. Po," the tall lady said, nodding to them all. "I assume you're all here for Yuy-san?"

"Doctor, how is he?" Duo asked, not waiting for anyone to answer the woman's question.

"He has a minor concussion but he'll be alright." Duo sighed in relief. "We'll be keeping him overnight for observation. Now if you'll excuse me…"

"May I see him?" Duo asked before the doctor could leave.

"I'm sorry, family only. Now I really must go." She smiled at him apologetically before walking away.

Duo clutched at Une's arm tightly. "Please, I have to see him."

The woman with the blonde hair who had been in the room with Dr. Po shot him an ugly glare. "Family only," she said maliciously.


"Who are you?" she demanded, her blue eyes blazing.

"I'm his… his dance teacher," Duo answered weakly.

"Well I'm his wife. And I would appreciate it if you would all leave so my husband can get some rest," she sneered at him.

Duo didn't hear anything past the word 'wife.' The world seemed to collapse around him. He could feel his eyes grow heavy with tears as his breathing became erratic.

His wife.

His wife.

His *wife*

"Duo-chan? Daijoubu?"

He looked up at Une's concerned face, then took a step back. Everyone was looking at him. He had to get away… away from Heero… away from her.

Choking back a sob, he turned and ran down the corridor. His vision was blurred with tears so he couldn't see where he was going. He didn't see the tall man with the ginger hair until it was too late. A hand reached out to grab him. He looked up in surprise.

"So… you've finally found out your lover's been playing you for a fool," Treize sneered down at him.

"How did you…"

"I thought it was my duty to let his poor wife know what's been going on behind her back. And now that you don't have him anymore, maybe you and I could…"

"You unbelievable bastard!" Duo shouted, yanking his arm away. "How could you think… after what you've done…" Duo was suddenly overcome with anger. Anger at Treize for his foolish persistence… anger at Heero for his betrayal… He drew his foot back and kicked the tall man in the groin as hard as he could. As Treize dropped to his knees, moaning in pain, Duo leapt forward and slammed him into the wall.

"If you ever, EVER call or come near me again, I'll have you arrested for stalking. I want you out of my life for good, Treize. Find someone else to harass. I'm not going to take it anymore!"

He let go of Treize's shirt, turned around, and walked off. He walked down the seemingly endless hallways until his body was trembling so badly his legs wouldn't hold him anymore. He found an empty, dark room and sat down in the corner. Drawing his knees up, he pressed his face into his legs… and cried.

on to part 11

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