An Intelligent Dance Fic
A fic challenge shorty issued by Moon Klutz
Author: ChibiCori
e-mail: kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com
website: www.chibicori.virtue.nu
rating: PG-13 (language and light sexual content...until the end, but it's
still PG-13!)

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon me no own-y. Canned Heat-y by
Jamiroquai-y me no own-y. Me no own-y car, me no own-y your soul-
y in brown paper baggy. Me no own world-y. :( Me no own
nothing...-y.

Well, it seems I just can't turn down a challenge. MK issued this one,
an intelligent dance fic in which Serena did not look like an under-age
prostitute (no fun MK) sitting at the bar of a club, just waiting for
Darien to come and grind against her. ::shudders:: What has happened
to youth today?

So, yeah. I present my intelligent (or at least as intelligent as I get)
dance fic for your scrutiny. Give me luvin's!

An Intelligent Dance Fic (with an oh-so-original title)

Some people are dancing fools. Serena Tsukino, surprisingly, is not
one of them.

For example, Serena never so much as tapped a foot to the beat of the
music. She never paid a dollar to dance with the groom at a wedding,
she doesn't "do" clubs. And she never, *never*, goes to school
dances.

Which seemed to be a reality her friends just wouldn't accept, much to
the blond's irritation.

"No. N-O. What part of that don't you guys understand?" Serena
crossed her arms over her chest and arrowed her brows over her nose.
She meant it to be intimidating, but it probably only made her look
like a mean old lady. Who kicked dogs. And never bought Girl Scout
cookies.

Serena's four best friends shook their heads in unison then sighed, as if
this was a never-ending battle in which they never won. Because,
well- they never did.

Much to their irritation.

"But, Serena!" Mina wailed, pulling her mouth into a pout she damn
well knew wouldn't work. Serena had, after all, taught her that move,
"It's the last dance of our middle school careers!"

Lita nodded her agreement so fiercely that her brown ponytail nearly
flopped over one eye, "Yeah, after this, it'll be high school dances.
And those are totally different from middle school."

"Then I don't have to go to the dance, if high school is so different,
which I highly doubt. The same people will be there, just a year
older." Serena pointed out, her vow unmoved.

Mina and Lita scrambled to find some sort of mental bulldozer to try
and pry Serena from her strict stance, and luckily, they found one. In
the form of one, petite genius, "That isn't true, Serena, and you know
it. Besides, you've never been to one of Crossroad's dances."

"And I don't intend to." Serena's jaw hardened in determination,
"You've never been to any of the dances either, Ami, so don't even
start."

The blue-haired scholar blushed bright red and suddenly became
engrossed in how the pads of her index fingers met ever-so-neatly
before clearing her throat, "Well, actually-"

Serena groaned and dropped her forehead to the table in front of her
with a thunk, "Ames, no! Don't tell me that these banshee's have
sucked you into their trap?"

"Banshee's?" Lita ground the heels of her hands over her eyes, rolling
them around her eyesockets before continueing, "Serena, don't you
think you're being a little melodramatic about this?"

"A little?" Mina snorted as she mimcked Serena's earlier posture, arms
crossed over her torso and brows lowered over the bridge of her nose.

Serena propped her head up on her chin as she narrowed her blue gaze
at the bow-bedecked blond sitting across from her, "Watch it, Mina.
You are treading dangerous waters here."

Mina only snorted indelicately again which had Serena's head picking
up off the formica table top, as if she sniffed the scent of a challenge
in the air. Ami quickly intervened, never one for bloodshed, "The
two of you cool it." She then turned her attention soley to Serena, "It
was my decision alone to attend the dance. With the exams for high
school over, I figured that I, that we all, could use a break. I had
hoped you would come too, despite your mysterious dislike of school
socials."

Serena rolled her eyes, not buying the earnest tone in Ami's plea, "And
the fact that the weekend of the dance Greg come's into town for the
summer had nothing to do with your 'decision?'" Serena bent the
middle and index finger on both hands in air quotes.

Again, Ami blushed, then stuttered in a miserable attempt at
nonchalance, "Oh, that's right, isn't it? I'll have to invite him along.
How unlike me to forget."

'Right.' Serena rolled her eyes once more, inwardly rejoicing in the
defeat Lita and Mina displayed after Ami had been shot down. Fools,
they trusted the soft-spoken genius's sway over Serena's own mind too
much. Serena might have been easily persuaded into all sorts of other
embarrassing ordeals by her pals, but never, *never*, would she let
them get her into the school gymnasium for any other reason than to
watch the basketball team get all hot and sweaty.

Next to her, Serena noted that a certain raven-haired priestess had
been all too quiet during the whole ordeal with the other three. Highly
uncommon for Rei, Serena didn't like it one bit, "Well?"

Rei blinked and unpursed the lips that had been sucking noiselessly at
her straw, "Well...what?"

"I'm sure you have something to say on the matter." Serena rested her
cheek in the palm of her hand, one golden brow arched in a dare, "I
mean, the day that Rei Hino passes up the chance to mock and
humiliate Serena Tsukino is one for the history books."

"Oh, please! I don't even go to the same school as you guys. I'm not
going, so why should I care if you went?" Four pairs of eyes glazed
over at the shock of Rei's defense, "And I agree with you, Serena.
Dances are stupid. If you don't want to go, then don't go."

Still stunned at her unexpected ally, Serena turned back to Mina, Lita
and Ami. With a short shake of her head, sending both shock out and
pigtails tumbling over her shoulders, Serena spoke with crushing
finality, "I am, *not*, going to the dance."

Captitulation was visible in each girls face as their shoulders drooped
in defeat. They slid from the booth at the Crown one by one,
mumbling thier grievances. All but Mina who only punched Rei on
the arm at the nearest, available moment.

"Thanks for the help!"

"Ow! Mina, you get back here!"

Serena released a relieved breath as Rei chased after the fleeing Mina,
finally leaving her at peace. Geez, it got worse every dance. They just
wouldn't take no for an answer. She could get "No," tattoed to her
forehead and they'd still argue with her at every turn. But Serena just
couldn't. They'd have to understand, though she'd never given them
any other explanation other then she thought dances were the devil. A
lie, yes, but better then telling them the truth. And it was none of their
business but hers that she-

"Um, hun?"

Well...damn.

Per the usual, the senshi's personal crusade to see Serena a laughing-
stock had distracted the meatball-adorned blond to the point of
forgetting everything else around her. Very slowly, the colors and
shapes of the fruit parlor came back into focus. The beeps and PINGS
of the arcade on the other side rang in her ears and she could again
smell the sweet smell of ice cream mixed with fatty grease from the
hamburgers and fries. And all too suddenly, she felt the presense of
her boyfriend sitting next to her in their usual lunch-date booth.

And she was pretty sure he hadn't blanked the whole debacle with the
girls from his brain. Without a doubt in her mind, Serena knew he
would want to know-

"Why don't you want to go to the dance?"

-that. She hated *that* question.

"Because I hate dances." Serena answered shortly, hoping her tone
would deter further investigation.

Of course, it didn't, "How come?"

"Because spending countless hours applying make-up and doing my
hair to sweat it off within ten seconds of entering the building just
doesn't appeal to me." Serena bit out, "Not to mention the hassle of
finding a dress, then coming up with the money to buy it. Oh, and a
limo. Don't even get me started on finding flowers."

Darien hid his grin behind the rim of his coke, knowing that if Serena
saw how immensely amused he was by her reasons, he'd never prod
the real answer out of her, "Is that all?"

Apparently, that was not all.

"Now that you mention it, no. Let's not forget the hypocracy of the
whole idea. They invite an entire school of cliques and classes under
the banner of unity, and then what do they do? They crown two of
them our king and queen! As if the brainless, A-list jocks and
cheerleaders who get those stupid plastic crowns even deserve to
fathom ruling an entire school of people. Then there is the humiliation
involved! The inevitable tragedy of your tube top falling around your
waist, drinking too much spiked punch resulting in you wrapping
yourself up in every low hanging streamer available. And then there is
the possibility of being wallflower, possibly branded with the
stereotype for the rest of your natural life."

There is no way, that after all of that, Darien could keep his face
neutral. He gave it a valiant try, but there was no use. One eyebrow
shot upwards in astonishment and shock registered in his eyes. Holy
moly.

"School dances are a cess-pool of demonic and torturing, adolescent
plagues. My opinion is, that if we got rid of them, school would be a
happier and safer place for us all." Serena punctuated her speech by
popping a few french fries in her mouth, chewed for a furious, silent
moment then swallowed harshly, "I'm tired of having explain myself
to everyone. Could we just drop it?"

Having had a few moments to collect himself, Darien just coughed,
shrugged then turned back to his soda, "Consider it dropped."

And then, there was nothing. Serena couldn't believe it. He hadn't
said more then ten words through the whole thing, and then he actually
let it drop after she asked. This was something Serena was not at all
used to.

Of course, comparing Darien to the senshi in their persuasive skills
was a stretch. So instead of fight the unfamiliarity, Serena embraced
it. Sitting back and closing her eyes, Serena took in a deep,
unrestricted breath then released it with a whoosh. Finally, peace.
Blessed nothing.

But then, the peaceful nothing stretched...

Serena carefully opened one eye and glanced over at Darien, who was
staring out the window at the passers-by. No big deal. Sliding her eye
closed again, she took another deep breath. It gave her a moment to
order herself. Then she could truly enjoy her date with him again. So
what if he didn't seem to sense, as he usually did, that she had been
lying through her teeth. As long as he didn't push it, Serena was
happy.

...and stretched...

The eye popped open of it's own accord. Darien turned and noticed,
smiled and winked at her, lifting his glass to his lips to take a sip
before staring ahead into the fruit parlor. He didn't see Serena smiling
back, though it didn't really matter since she'd forced it. It was nice,
not to have to hear the constant needling that the girls were prone to.
Again, she'd never expect Darien to resort to that tactic...but, still. He
hadn't resorted to any tactic. Just took her cock-a-mamey story for
word. And something about that just bothered her.

...and stretched.

"I can't dance, okay?"

It was his fault. Him and his damn silent treatment. He knew full
well that she couldn't stand that, it was worse than the girls nagging!
And damn the boy for not being interested enough in her to try
anything else but the easy route!

"You can't dance?" Darien's expression nor tone gave not one inkling
to deception, he was just asking an honestly surprised question. As if
he hadn't used the dirtiest trick in the book to get her to admit it.
Serena's eyes narrowed, had she damned him enough yet?

"That isn't enough? What more does it have to be? Dances usually
involve dancing and I do not dance." Serena answered, again assuming
her defensive stand of choice, "Hence, I do not go to dances."

"Thank you for clearing that up." Darien chuckled and snagged a fry
from her plate before he continued, "Have you ever been to a dance
before?"

Serena pretended not to see the fry theft as she lifted her chin a notch,
ready not to answer. But that would only result in another of his
damnable silent treatments. So, cough up her reason she did, "Yes, if
you must know. I went to a dance before I met you or any of the girls,
during my first year at Crossroads. It was a 'get-to-know-you' kind of
thing, pretty much the first social gathering of the new class, and
Molly and I went, ready to wow our new classmates. To make a long,
embarrassing story short and slightly less embarrassing, I made a fool
of myself."

Darien supressed a grin at the unique humor the situation was wrought
with, and put a loving arm around Serena's shoulders, "I'm sure it
wasn't that bad."

"I did the Running Man."

Darien stilled, then forced his smile to stay frozen as he reached out
for his coke, ready to take a sip, but first inserted a reassuring squeeze
of Serena's shoulders and saying, "Some would consider the Running
Man a classic."

"I requested the Macarena." Serena added glumly.

Darien couldn't help it. It was a knee-jerk reaction. The swallow of
soda he'd just taken caught in his throat at his girlfriend's confession,
scorched its way back up and finally left his mouth in a spray of
caramel-flavored stickiness.

"See, I can't dance." Serena sighed as she gathered a pile of napkins
from the dispenser next to her, shrugging out of Darien's embrace and
wiping down the table before moving to dab at the drink staining his
polo shirt.

Darien brought his arm back to his side and took a semi-soggy napkin
from her, smoothing the rough paper over his cheek as he tried to
make amends, "It isn't *that* bad-"

"Only bad enough for you to ruin a shirt, waste a mouthful of soda and
help put a small tree into a landfill." Serena flopped a handful of wet,
brown-stained napkins down onto her serving tray. Breathing a self-
defeating sigh, Serena looked glumly at the droopy pile, able to
sympathize.

It was the most authentic of the down-side of Serena's mood swings
Darien was yet to witness. She looked so defeated, and the idea that
she actually accepted it was even worse. Serena could be beat
anything, and she always bounced back good as new, if not better.
Whether it be from a bad grade on a test to being side-swiped by a
flame-breathing youma. In any situation, Serena had always remained
upbeat. Until now.

Fortunately, Darien didn't have to just sit aside and twiddle his
thumbs, waiting for the mope to pass. You see, the devilish young
man had come up with a plan, "Why don't you stop by later?"

Perhaps his suggestion should have been phrased better, or he should
have changed the subject a little more smoothly. Because his out-of-
left-field offer came out a teensy-bit too abrupt, a tad too nonchalant, a
pinch too "I'm up to something and I'm not telling." You get the
picture.

And Serena noticed. He could tell with the slow slide of her head as
she turned to face him, her eyes narrowed in suspicion, "Why?"

Busted. "You have to ask?" Darien quickly recovered, "I just want to
spend time with my beautiful, talented girlfriend."

Now, the first of rule of tricking a woman, is to never lay the flattery
on too thick. They're just too smart to believe they're that great
(though we are pretty damn close), and will only suspect your motives
even further, "Why?"

An exasperated sigh passed Darien's lips and he rolled his eyes.
Despite what most believe, he never was any good playing head games
with females. A woman's brain is too devious for any man to
comprehend, " Just come over."

"Not until you tell me why." Serena squared her jaw and tensed in her
seat, a clear sign she wasn't budging.

"It's a surprise." Darien attempted damage control, again, and used his
most enticing tone.

Which was pretty damn enticing, much to Darien's pleasure, because
the suspicion was uprooted by eagerness, "What is it?"

"Come over and you'll find out." Darien smiled wolfishly, his
expression promising.

Not one to be left hanging, Serena pounced at her boyfriend, but he
smoothly slid from the booth before she could land. Pushing blond
bangs from her blue eyes, Serena looked up at him, still fishing for
clues, "Is it food? Are you making me something special?"

Darien laughed, he should have known Serena wasn't one to mope or
bemoan her situation too long. An understandable mistake, he was,
after all, only a man. He reached out and caressed her cheek softly and
briefly, "Maybe."

* * * * *

Serena knew she'd been had when she stepped out of the elevator and
was not immediately assaulted by delicious aromas. How clever of
Darien, lurring her into his lair by insinuating food would be there.
Down right tricky.

Just what did Darien have in store for her then? Serena's face once
again fell into it's earlier wary state as she lifted her fist to rap on the
door to Darien's apartment.

It opened a few moments later and Darien greeted her warmly. She
received a quick peck on her cheek as she walked past, but Serena
hardly registered it. Her eyes serached for any sign of anything out of
order.

But she didn't see anything. Literally. All his furniture had been
pushed against the walls of his living room. Which was, she
supposed, out of the ordinary, "Are you shampooing the carpets?" She
voiced her querry, carefully avoiding the pristine, white carpet.

Darien's warm laughter filled the space behind her, then passed her
with the man as he stepped into the living room, "No."

"Oh." Serena flushed slightly, then followed him into the empty area
and indicated the furniture, "Then why is every against the wall?"

"We need space."

A blond eyebrow rocketed up and Serena nearly choked, but managed
only a short cough of surprise before, "Space for what?"

Darien glanced back at her, his smile wide as he answered, "Your
dance lesson. What did you think I was talking about?"

Serena very pointedly avoided the answer to his question, since she
knew he knew what she thought he was talking about, and just
continued, "You mean to tell me that *you* are going to teach *me* to
dance?"

"That's my meaning."

"You dance?"

Darien flushed slightly, then offered a sheepish smile, "You could say
that."

Serena shook her head, still not fully comprehending what Darien was
offering, "We're talking real, shake-your-booty, tap-your-toes and
maintain-eye-contact dancing? Not interpretive dance, or mime?"

"Interpretive dance is for people who can't dance, and mime is actually
much harder then you'd imagine."

Serena could only blink at him. Darien did not just insinuate he had
experience in mime, he was only jerking her chain. He had too,
because she'd already had her fill of Darien's-Secret-Life for today,
thank you.

But still, he was too cute standing in the middle his bare living room,
still in the pressed khaki pants he'd been wearing at lunch. He had
changed into a plain, dark grey t-shirt though, one that showed the
lines of his masculine body to his advantage. His feet were bare, his
tanned skin in sharp contrast to the snowy carpet beneath them. His
hair was also slowly working its way out of the styling Darien had
done that morning, so a few dark lanks of hair fell over his deep blue
eyes.

Yowza, he was a stud. Serena always knew he was extremely pleasing
to look at, and she'd admit to pangs of jealousy when she'd see other
girls walking down the same street as they nearly turn their heads all
the way around just keep Darien in their line of vision. Of course,
when they ran into light poles or tripped over their own feet in front
everyone else on the street, Serena felt immensely better.

While he was being unknowingly aesthetically appreciated, Darien
was doing his own perusal of his Meatball Head. She'd changed from
the schoolgirl uniform she'd been wearing when she met him at the
Crown for a quick lunch date into her more casual evening wear. A
simple pink t-shirt with button snaps at the collar made her glow, and
the white pants she had coupled with the top made her look like a soft
pink angel. Her blond hair was up in his meatballs and the confusion
and tinge of excitement that radiated through her true-blue eyes had
stained her cheeks pink.

Serena didn't need cosmetic help, like so many other girls he'd "seen"
or "dated." Even on special occassions, Darien rarely saw her in more
than some soft mascara and natural colored lipstick. He loved that she
was so beautiful, and Serena seemed completely unware of the fact.
No, not seemed, was. She managed to be down-to-earth and up-in-
the-air at the same time. Serena the contrary, he loved that about her.

What more perfect example could there be than the situation just then.
Here was the this bubbly girl, who had bopped around in the passenger
seat next to him, singing off key to his radio and imitating music video
moves wherever they went. Yet, she had requested the Macarena at
her first school dance and steadfastly refused to humor her best friends
by going to another.

Darien hadn't been kidding, he could dance. And reasonably well, he
thought too. If Serena would only give him the chance to show her
what he had, and what he could give her.

Serena had moved past the moment of...well, staring is what would
best describe it. She moved forward, stood on tiptoe to kiss Darien
very softly on his mouth. She trembled slightly as his arms moved
around her waist automatically, as if it were the only natural thing to
do. She let her lips move over his for another brief second before she
pulled back and said, "Darien, I love you."

Darien faltered a bit, her proclamation a surprise. Sure, he'd heard her
say those three words countless times before, and don't get the boy
wrong, he was thrilled every time he heard them. But "I love you,"
was the last thing he had expected her to say after an offer for a dance
lesson. He should just be thankful he had asked, rather than someone
else. Darien wanted her love to be his only.

And as for his answer to her's, all he could think of was, "I love you
too."

Serena smiled and dropped back down onto the floor before pulling
out of his embrace and sliding her hand into his, "And even though I
know you could do almost anything, you cannot teach me to dance."

"Why not?' Darien eyed her, finally seeing that her "I love you," was a
form of apology. Never one to be deterred though, Darien kept his
face carefully masked as he let her hand fall back to her side and
moved around her.

Now, Darien might have thought he was being slick, but Serena knew
he was up to something. As sure as she'd known her surprise wasn't
food when she had stepped off the elevator. And in a weird, round-
about way, just as she hadn't fathomed the actual surprise was an
impromptu dance lesson in Darien's living room, she also couldn't
figure out exactly what he was up to now. She continued warily,
"Because next to flying pigs, me dancing is on the top of the 'Never
Gonna Happen' list."

In a reversal of roles, oh-so-common in relationships, Darien's
response wasn't what she had expected. She was sure he'd laugh, or
deny it. Tell her that anyone could dance, say she was being over-
dramatic. Something along the trodden path.

So, Serena was not expecting in the least to feel Darien's hand wrap
around the nape of her neck, and in one seamless move of the wrist,
duck her under the bridge of his arm, spin her once and then capture
her in the same arm that had started the step. The same arm that held
her practically parallel to the floor in a deep dip that had Serena seeing
stars.

Finding all she could do for a few pulse-pounding moments was stare
up into his smiling eyes with her own wide-eyed stare and gaped
mouth, Serena enjoyed the thouroughly romantic feeling of being at
the will of his one arm, trusting him not to let her drop. She gulped
and took one or two (or possibly five or six) composure restoring
breaths, she managed a choked, "How did you do that?"

Darien's grin was positively devious as he straightened them and
slowly lowered Serena back onto her feet, his turn to enjoy as her slim
form slid smoothly down his front. Closing his eyes briefly to shake
the intensity away, he answered her as simply as his tight throat would
allow, "Practice. And Soul Train."

Confusion replaced the shock, but not enough for Serena to relinquish
her hold on Darien's neck, where both her arms were crooked and
clinging tight. She had just been swept off of her feet, quite literally,
and was still dizzy. Lucky girl, "Huh?"

"When I was in the orphanage," Darien began, as if he had read
Serena's mind and in sure hands, he lifted her off her feet again and
walked towards his stereo, all the while continueing to explain, "I used
to sneak down after head count to cath the old episodes of Soul Train
they played late night. When I moved out I enrolled in a few dance
classes."

"A few classes? Like what?" Serena nestled into his chest as he
stopped in front of the eleborate sound system, smiling slyly when she
saw the moment of distraction flutter over his features when he looked
down at her.

"Swing, waltz, salsa and all the rest. Mostly partner dancing." Darien
waggled his brows wickedly, " I was hoping to meet a nice, long-
legged girl who liked to dance as much as me. We could dance
professionaly, settle down after making a few million, and have tap-
dancing babies."

"Big plans." Serena commented, the light lilt to her tone showing she
knew he was teasing, "And here you got stuck with a short girl who
couldn't dance to save her own life and I refuse to enroll my children
in tap lessons. Could you imagine the headaches? No thank you, not
for me."

Darien laughed loudly, always a thrill to Serena's ears, then hugged her
tight as he finished, "I haven't been taking any classes since I started at
the university." Guessing Serena's next question before she even
voiced it, he answered with out being asked, "I decided to focus on
becoming a doctor. But-" Darien trailed off enticingly as he
reluctantly released his hold on the blond who fit like a long-missing
puzzle piece and grabbed the knob of a cupboard behind his stereo,
before finishing, "I still have the old stand by."

With that, he threw the doors open and Serena's eyes bulged as she
took in shelf after shelf of video cassettes with "Soul Train" and then
the date it was taped written in Darien's meticulous handwriting on
each label. On the shelves below those, were at least a dozen c.d.
organizers filled with compact discs from nearly every walk of music
there was. From forties big bands and fifties be-bop to eighties jams
and the hip-hop remixes of the nineties, Darien seemed to have it all.
Most of his collection seemed to consist of seventies funk and classic
grooves from Motown.

And just when Serena was sure that she couldn't see anything more
shocking than all of that in Darien's utilitarian apartment, she reached
that last two shelves, where she found a record player and three crates
filled to nearly over-flowing with vinyl records.

Finally, sure she'd seen all that was to be seen in the unit she couldn't
believe she'd never noticed before, she turned to Darien and said,
"Darien, if I didn't know better, I'd swear that just by all this, you were
gay."

Darien laughed again, not offended by the blatantly stereotypical
comparison. He had always been very sure of his masculinity and
confident in his male ego. And through his classes, Darien had met
some very nice homo-sexuals with whom Darien would be proud to
grab a drink with after their workout. One in particular had introduced
him to one of the best sandwich shops in town on the same street as
the studio.

But still, Darien decided it was best to leave no doubt in Serena's mind
to his straight status and tweaked her nose before saying with much
emphasis as he pressed his body into her side suggestively, "It's a good
thing you know better."

Serena blushed brightly and Darien bent a kiss to the sweet spot
behind her ear before he lifted his lips to her ear to whisper, "So, what
do you say? Will you let me teach you to dance?"

"I don't know." Serena shuddered at his feathery request brushing at
her sensitive ear flesh. Worrying her lower lip, she eyed the proof to
Darien's credibility. All eight shelves of it,

"Come on, it wouldn't hurt to try."

"That's where you're wrong." Serena emphatically pointed out, "It
would hurt. You. I'd probably step all over your feet until they were
bloody stumps, leaving you crippled for life."

Darien cringed, "You would not. Let me teach you."

Serena crossed her arms over her chest, ready to straight forward turn
him down and then tell him to make her a real surprise. But someting
stalled her. Maybe it was the face-pressed-against-the-glass
expression on Darien's face. He so rarely made demands of her, not
that giving a dance lesson or two was really a demand, but he wanted
to help her so badly. Or, maybe it was just the idea of spending an
evening in the circle of his arms.

That, very likely, could be it.

And, just maybe, it was the possiblity that he could actually teach her
to dance. After all, he'd gotten her to do that fancy dip with only his
hand on the back of her neck. That said something about the boy's
talent, she'd say.

Heaving a sigh of capitulation, Serena relented, "Fine. Work your
magic. But I have warned you, remember that."

"I'll keep it in mind." Darien had to use all his will power and famed
cool not to jump up and down like a giddy school girl. It must have
been too long since he'd pushed the furntiure back and let loose
because he was not only elated to help Serena out, he was pratically
bursting at the seams to shake his groove thang himself.

Either way, Darien couldn't wait any longer to get started, "So, do you
have any dance experience at all?"

Serena's face scrunched in thought before she nodded, "I took a class
once."

"That's a start, you know the basics."

"I remember my teacher telling me I was pretty good too." Serena
perked up a bit.

This was good, anything to build her confidence was great for both of
them, "In that case, this will be a cake-walk."

"Of course, I was five. You're always 'pretty good' when you're five."
Serena's brows dropped a fraction as she finished the memory.

Darien deflated a bit. So much for building confidence. Should have
known it wouldn't be that easy. They'd have to start from the ground
up. After some careful deliberation, Darien selected a c.d. from one of
the organizers and withdrew it. Opening the case, Darien took the
flashy disc out and placed it in his stereo's c.d. player. He turned the
volume up to a level that was loud enough to keep them going but
quiet enough to keep the neighbors from pounding down his door and
muttering about damn, noisy kids. Turning to Serena, he held his
hands out to his sides and then brought them together in a loud clap
that made Serena jump, "Okay, let's get started."

*(You know this boogie is for real.)

Serena took in a deep, fortifying breath before she bowed slightly,
"Teach me, funk-sensei."

Darien felt a corner of his mouth slip upwards as he poked his index
fingers into her sides, eliciting a surprised squeal from the girl, "Shut
up and listen."

*I used to buy my faith in worship,
But then my chance to get to Heaven slipped.

When Darien didn't eleborate, Serena lifted her brows and motioned
around her with her hands, "Listen to what?"

Darien held a finger to her lips and answered, "The music, listen to the
music."

*I used to worry about the future,
But then I throw my caution into the wind.

They were quiet another moment before Serena whispered, "Okay, I've
listened to the music. What's next?"

"No, *really* listen." Darien eyed her in short irritation before he was
silent again. Serena only rolled her eyes, then copied Darien's still
form and closed her eyes, and tried to *really* listen.

*I had no reason to be care free,
No, no, no; until I took a trip to the other side of town -
Yeah, yeah, yeah - you know I heard that boogie rhythm!
Hey! I had no choice but to get down, down, down, down...

"This is nice. Who is it?" Serena finally asked after the last refrain.

"Jamaraqoui." Darien answered shortly, opening one of his eyes to
peer down at her.

Serena's eyes were still shut until that point. Blinking, she looked up
at him, her face thoughtful until she asked, "That's the guy with the
hat, right?"

"There were a lot of guys with hats, Serena."

"Oh, really, Mister Know-It-All. Name a few." Serena challenged
sourly.

"Tom Petty, Boy George, Slash, The Mad Hatter, Jiminy Cricket-"

"Oh, be quiet." Serena cut him off and slammed her eyes shut again,
"I'm listening to the music."

*Dance! 'Nothing left for me to do but dance(!)

One last moment of silence (well, except for the music) stretched
before Darien began the next stage of his lesson, "Okay, now I want
you to dance."

Serena's eyes shot open and she stared at him open mouthed for a split
second before she protested, "Have you not been paying attention to
anything I've said all day? The reason we're doing this is because I
can't dance."

"Trust me, this will help." Darien stepped back and waved her away as
she stepped forward to follow. His voice was sure, even though this
was a new tactic for him. It was what he did naturally, so in theory, it
should work. "Move how the music makes you feel."

"Huh?"

"Just dance."

So she did.

"Okay, stop dancing."

*Off these bad times I'm going through. Just dance!
Got canned heat in my heals tonight baby...

Serena darted an annoyed look at the stunned expression on Darien's
face, "I told you, I *can't* dance. Did you think I was kidding?"

"It's, uh...not *that* bad." Darien stammered as he palmed his hand
over the back of his neck, feeling the flame of his embarrassment, not
only for Serena but for himself. It seemed he had vastly over-rated
Serena's abilities. He just found it very hard to believe someone could
be *that* bad. This, was going to take some serious time and effort.

But he'd give it the time and effort needed. Anything to see that smile
on her face while her hair swung with the motion of her body, her hips
swaying to a seductive beat and to hold her close for the slow songs.
Darien was beginning to think the only reason he really wanted to
teach Serena to dance, was so he could go one of the school events she
hated that he secretly always wished to attend.

Serena took Darien's prolonged silence after his lame lie as his defeat
and slumped to the floor in equal dejectment, "Let's just forget it, all
right?"

Darien blinked, stunned at how easily she was giving up. He knelt
down next to her and took a slim upper arm in each hand to give her a
soft, but swift shake, "No. It's not all right. I'm going to teach you to
dance."

"But-" Serena's lower lips trembled slightly and her watery eyes fell to
gaze at the floor.

Darien shook her again, interrupting her, "No buts.
You...are...going...to...learn...to...dance. Say it."

Serena looked up, doubt still heavy in her blue eyes, but she
swallowed the thick lump in her throat and managed to say, for
Darien's sake at least, "I am going to learn to dance."

*I feel the thunder, see the lightning.
I know this anger's heaven sent,

Darien gave her a reassuring nod and then set them both upright,
dragging Serena up by his grip on her upper arms, "What we need to
do is find a style of dance that you can do. You said you requested the
Macarena." Darien ignored Serena blanch as he concocted a plan, "So
maybe your strong point is line dances. They always have a couple of
those, so you'll be able to do that at least."

"Except the only line dance I know the Macarena, and that is only
because I'd seen the video five billion times. And after what happened
last time, I never want to hear that song again." Serena growled, her
mind's eyes recounting that horrible dance. Shuddering, she shook the
memory off and looked at Darien, "So what now?"

"I guess, I'll have to teach some line dances."

*So I've got to hang out all my hang-ups
Because of the boogie I feel so hell bent.

"Heel, heel. Toe, toe. Heel, toe. Heel, turn."

Serena followed him carefully, stumbling over her own feet when she
got to the grapevine, "What is this one called again?"

"The Hustle." Darien answered, puncuating both his steps and
sentence with a clap.

"Oh yeah." Serena smiled as she and Darien finished the next set of
"heel, toes," in sync and managed to get through her following
grapevine without almost twisting an ankle, "Say, this isn't too
baaaaAAAD!"

But then she got twisted up in her left spin and crashed into Darien's
book case.

*It's just an instant gut reaction, that I got.
I know I never ever felt like this before,

"Okay, this one is easy, and they always do it at weddings." Darien
soothed as he proceeded to show her the moves, "There is no turning,
no fancy steps. Just step out on each side, some jumps and then you
start all over again."

Serena slowly joined him, then smiled when she completed her first
circuit, "This is fun, what's it called?"

"The Bunny Hop." He heard her giggle and felt her moving next to
him, then decided that continueing to instruct would be best, "Good,
now jump forward, jump back and hop, hop-"

CRUNCH!

*I dont know what to do,
But then that's nothing new,

"No way." Serena stared in disbelief as Darien completed the latest
line dance, ending with him picking up one leg and slapping his foot
in front of him, then behind him before kicking the leg out to turn,
"No way can I do that! What is that supposed to be, anyway?"

"The Achy, Breaky Heart." Darien answered, planting one hand on his
hip and using the sleeve on the other to wipe sweat from his brow.

"Achy, Breaky-" Serena shook her head, sending pigtails flying with
the ferociousness of it before she slashed her arms in front of her in a
finalizing gesture, "I don't care if it's so all-darned popular. Couldn't
we learn something easy? Something where I won't kill anyone?"

"And that would be?" Darien teased.

Which Serena wasn't in the mood for, "Watch it, buddy."

"Okay, okay." Darien fought an impudent smile as he began again,
"Here is a really easy one, one that everyone on the face of the planet
knows." After Serena gave a shrug and positioned herself next to him,
Darien intructed, "First, put your right foot in."

Serena put her right foot in, and when she was satisfied she had done
it with no damage done to property or person, she smiled up at him,
"Next."

The smile nearly undid him, but Darien remained firm, "Then, take
your right foot out." Then pulled his own leg out with her before
standing next to her, "Then put your right foot in."

Serena did so, then looked back at him, awaiting instruction.

Darien's smile was slow, "Then you shake it all about."

Serena lifted the foot, then stilled. Then made up a new move all her
own, which involved a single loud smack to the arm of the person
(perferrably a boyfriend) next to you.

Hokey Pokey is plain dangerous these days.

*Stuck between hell and high water
Need a cure to make it through.

"Aren't you done torturing me yet?" Serena whined as she flipped her
ice pack over and placed it over her knee again.

Darien limped past her as he paced the room, "No. The next thing I
can think of is some partner dancing."

Serena's brow wrinkled in disbelief, "You've got to be kidding. I
stepped on your feet at least nine-"

"Twelve."

"Twelve times already." Serena amended and rolled her eyes, "And
you were standing next to me! Now you want to stand in front of
me?"

"You'll never learn otherwise." Darien insisted, prying her ice out of
her fingers, then pulling her to her feet, "I am going to make one rule
though."

"What is that?"

"Either I go put on my steel-toed boots, or you take off the Keds."
Darien pointed down at Serena's feet.

*Hey! Dancing, nothing left for me to do but dance
Off these bad times I'm going through. Just dance!

"And one-two-three. And one-two-three."

"Shall we dance?"

"One-two-three."

"Blah, blah, whatever the words are!"

"Serena, could you please be serious?"

Serena rolled her eyes for probably the umpteenth time that evening
and stuck her tongue out at her task master/funk-sensei, "I thought
dancing was supposed to be fun?"

"Not for you." Darien quickly dismissed the idea, "For you it's work,
lots and lots of work."

Serena shot him a nasty look, then shrugged and added nonchalantly,
"Nobody waltzes anymore, by the way."

"What, would you rather I taught you to freak?" Darien would never
admit it, but a tiny part of his brain secretly wished she would say yes.

Serena's mind flashed the lewd dance favored by her peers across her
mind's eyes and she grimaced before saying, "You're making me loose
count. One-two-three and one-two-three."

The tiny part of Darien's brain snapped its fingers and said, "Well,
damn."

*Hey, got canned heat in my heels tonight, baby.
You know, know, know... I'm gonna dance yeah!

Darien pushed Serena out, then drew her back into his arms. He
ignored the pain as she trampled all over his feet, then spun her out.
Quickly readjusting his grip on her hand, he began to spin her in a
circle around him. After the fifth turn, he felt Serena begin to get
wobbly.

Now, normally, Darien would have moved to catch her. But Serena's
loosening form tripped him up, literally. Suddenly, one of her feet
flashed out and caught Darien's ankle. It jerked back as she went into
the next spin, taking Darien's feet out from under him. And since
Darien was holding her, and she was one dizzy girl, she promptly
followed.

Thankfully, her landing was broken by Darien's body as she crumpled
on top of him. She stared into his eyes for a few short moments,
seriously considering kissing him and making him forget about dance
lessons and just think about making her feel good. But the sudden
urge to throw up had her pushing off of him and vaulting into his room
and towards the toilet.

When she returned, feeling a little urpy, but a couple pounds lighter,
Serena found Darien pushing the repeat button on his stereo. Again.

*All the nasty things that people say...

Feeling utterly exhausted, not to mention royally stupid, Serena
flopped down onto the couch without any ceremony. After all, here
was this wonderful, hunky man who could dance the pants off of Fred
Astaire, and he couldn't teach one, inept kid to dance. What did she
do to deserve such devotion?

Then Serena remembered that she did plenty. She loved him with all
her heart, she gave him a family, friendship and something to feel
worthy of. She had given him two millennium's worth of passion and
she had given him his own life back on several occassions. So, okay,
she couldn't dance, among other flaws. But hell, she was still a catch.

Damn, was Darien one lucky guy or what?

But still, this new revelation didn't make her feel any better about the
dancing thing, "I don't get it! Why can't I do it? I did that thingy with
you earlier."

*Dance yeah, but I'm gonna make it anyway,
Dance, yeah, got canned heat in my heels
tonight baby, you know i got canned heat in my heels!

"You're thinking about it too much. When I spun you earlier, you
weren't thinking about it, and you just let me do it." Darien answered
as he turned back to her, and extended his hand, a clear indication he
wanted to do it again.

"Are you nuts?" Serena jumped off the couch and out of his reach, "I
just threw up and you want to do it again? You're going to need to
shampoo the carpets if you keep this up."

"You'll get it, just stop thinking about it so much." Darien insisted,
stepping forward to make a nab for her, but Serena easily averted the
move.

"I'm not doing it again. You can have a nice time spinning yourself,
but I am not going to do that anymore." Serena crossed her arms in
front of her chest, again, for the umpteenth time that day. This time,
no matter how much he pouted all cute like, she would not budge.

Darien sighed as he dropped his head back onto the wall behind him,
"There has to be something that we can do. I see you dancing in the
car all the time, or with your friends when the radio comes on. You
always dance fine then."

*You know this boogie is for real.
Only the wind can hold the answers,

"That? You're comparing the brainless copying of music video's to
actually dancing?" Serena snorted, patted his cheek as she passed him
and wandered into the kitchen, "Sweetie, I love you, but you really
need to get a clue. All girls do that."

Darien brought his head up and followed Serena, yet another plot
blooming in his head, "So...what you're saying is that if you watch it
on tv enough, you could copy it?"

"Anybody could." Serena shrugged and opened the refridgerator,
making a quick perusal then pulling out a a tupperware with leftover
mac and cheese in it.

"So if I was to, say, sit you in front of the television with Soul Train in
the VCR, you'd be able to memorize the moves in it?" Darien leaned
against the fridge as Serena foraged for a fork, found one, then took a
big forkfull and stuffed it in her mouth.

Serena thought about his suggestion for a few seconds before
answering around a mouthful, "Yeah, I guess."

Darien didn't hold back as he jumped up and pumped a fist in the air.
Manacling Serena's wrist in his hand, he pulled her back into the
living room. Sitting her in front of the television set, he foraged
through his videos, selected one and put it in his VCR. Pushing play,
he then snagged the dish from Serena's hands and took a few bites
himself.

"Hey! I wasn't finished with that." Serena protested and began to rise,
but Darien hastily pushed her back down.

"I want you to watch this. Then, if you need to, you're going to watch
it again." Darien held the mac and cheese out of Serena's grabbing
hands, "Besides, you just threw up, I'm sure that cold macoroni and
cheese will not help your stomach."

"It would be helping immensely, seeing as how my stomach is now
empty." Serena pouted.

Darien smiled and dropped a kiss to the top of her head, "Tell you
what, if you sit here like a good little girl and watch the tape, I'll make
you a big dinner. All from scratch."

Serena jolted, "You will?"

"Yep, only with the condition that when you're done watching, we
practice what is on the tape."

*And she cries to me when I'm asleep.
She says you know that you can go much faster,

Serena thought on it for a few seconds before she extended her hand,
"Deal." And when Darien shook it and placed a kiss on the back, she
used the other to swat his butt towards the kitchen, "Now, get a move
on that meal! And don't be disturbing me with questions on how Lita
makes things. I'm going to be focusing, and I really don't pay attention
to what Lita puts in her dishes."

"Just there to eat them?" Darien threw the light-hearted barb over his
shoulder as he walked into the kitchen, Serena's reply following him;

"Of course! Some may get their kicks from dancing, I get mine from
eating."

*I know that peoples talk can be so cheap, hey-hey,
I've got this voodoo child inveined on me,

Amazingly, Darien's covert operation worked. By the time of the
dance, Serena had mastered at least four of the tapes he'd shown her.
He'd managed to teach her original dances by intergrating the moves
from Soul Train's foxy ladies into the traditional steps. At the end of
the week, dance time, Serena and Darien looked like they had been
dancing together for years.

Unfortunately, Serena still wasn't *that* good. She still stepped on
Darien's feet all the time, couldn't do more than two spins
consecutively, didn't learn the Achy, Breaky Heart, and had somehow
managed to slam her foot through the floor on The Bunny Hop.

After that rather expensive mishap, Darien banned her from ever
hopping again.

But she was passable enough for a middle school dance. Imagine the
girls surprise when Darien showed up at the Crossroads gym,
decorated to resemble downtown New York on New Years, dressed to
the nines in his handsome tux. A rental, believe it or not. And on his
arm was a dressed-in-lush-pink Serena, flushing prettily with both
excitement and anxiety.

*I'm gonna use my power to ascend.
You know I've got these boogie heels to use,

"Serena?" Mina blinked then rubbed her gloved hands over her eyes.
She was looking very much the move-star in her burnt-orange dress,
one of her spaghetti straps falling over her shoulder and her mid-calf
skirt full, "What are you doing here?"

*Sunshine, there's no way to lose.
I was born to walk and built to last.

Lita appeared next to the astonished blond, her deep green lace dress
offering peek-a-boo glimpses of her tanned skin beneath, except for
where the bodice of the dress started, of course, "After all that fuss,
you decide to show up? What gives?"

*You've never seen my feet 'cause they're movin' to fast.

Serena ducked her head in embarrassment, but then rose her chin in
defiance, "I just decided to come. What other explanation do you
need?"

"How about the truth?" Mina remarked, her tone subtley snide, but
eyes expressing her pleasure at seeing her blond friend at the dance
she had avowed to never attend.

"Where is Ami?" Serena's eyes searched for the blue-haired genius,
but couldn't find her in the crowd.

"She's out there somewhere, dancing with Greg." Lita scanned the
perimeter too, having the advantage of her height, but even she
couldn't see their friend, "Lucky girls, having dates. Mina and I
decided to go stag."

"Which is a stupid idea, since everyone who comes to the dance has
somebody with them." Mina rolled her eyes as yet another cute boy
entered, followed by his inane girlfriend.

Lita snapped, then put the hand down on Mina's shoulder in a display
of comradery-in-dateless-arms, "Say, now that we got Serena to a
school dance, maybe we could get her to a club!"

"Ooh, yeah. There are always cute, single guys at a club!" Mina
bubbled over with excitement, making her as inane as any other girl
who'd come in, "What do you say, Serena?"

"I don't think so." Serena said with conviction, then tightened her grip
on Darien's arm, "Besides, all my dances are taken."

Darien grinned at her, then lowered his head to hers for a tender kiss.
In the background, behind the fireworks, bells and whistles, Serena
heard her friends groan.

"No need to rub it in." Lita grouched.

Mina pointed an authorative finger towards the mass of teenagers
bopping around on the dance floor, "That's it, no mushy, couple stuff
around the single girls. I banish you to the dance floor."

"I thought you'd never ask." Darien mused as he slipped Serena's hand
into his and led her towards the dance floor, "Happy hunting girls."

*Dance yeah, nothing left for me to do but dance!
All these bad times I'm going through, just dance!
Hey! 'Got canned heat in my heels tonight, baby.

If Mina or Lita had responded, Darien didn't hear. All he cared about
was getting Serena on the dance floor. To see his week's worth of
hard work come alive, shifting under his hands and stepping in time
with him to beat of the music. Sure, it was rather obnoxious music,
not what he perferred, but it was music, the floor was smooth and
hundreds of kids around them was in for the show of their lives. His
creation will be born!

Oh, and Serena would finally see she isn't such a horrible dancer.
Can't forget that. It was, after all, all for Serena. Heh.

*Hey I've got to dance yeah, all the nasty things that people say.
Dance yeah, but I'm gonna make it anyway.
Dance yeah, got canned heat in my heels tonight, baby.

At the edge of the dance floor, Darien felt Serena hesitate, pull back at
his hand. Turning to her and drawing her close, he spoke low enough
so others wouldn't hear, if they could past the erratic beat of the techno
the dj was playing at the moment, "What's wrong."

Serena didn't look at him, just past his shoulder where her peers
gestured wildly to the electronic bleeps and rips of Fatboy Slim. Her
eyes were wide and fearful as she swallowed loudly, then finally
looked at Darien, her lips trembling, "I can't do this."

*You now this boogie is for real,
Got so much canned heat in my heels yeah,

"Of course you can." Darien reassured her, running his palms up and
down Serena's bare arms, "You can dance better then any of these
kids."

"No, you don't get it." Serena's voice was getting more desperate with
every word, "I *can't* do this. This music, I can't dance to it."

"Is that all? We can request something different, it's not problem."
Then without another word or asking any permission, Darien took
Serena's hand and led her towards the head of the crowd, where the dj
was spinning furiously, his fingers moving like lightening over the
records, his other hand flipping through c.d.'s without even looking,
uncasing them and flicking them easily into his stereo system.

*Gonna dance, gonna dance my blues away tonight
You know I'm gonna dance my blue away.

From the front, the crowd was even more frightening. They seemed to
press forward to the point of it being painful for anyone up front.
They jumped and bopped and ground against each other. There was a
whole chain of people, at least fifteen, each pressing their fronts into
the backs of the one in front of them in a most intimate matter. They
dipped and rose, each depending on the people in front and behind
them to keep from falling flat on their fannies. Serena had never seen
anything so bawdy and fascintating in her entire life.

It was an orgy, a big dancing orgy.

*You know this boogie is for real.
Got so much canned heat in my heals yeah,

Serena felt Darien leave her side as he pushed through the orgy to get
to the dj. Serena pressed the hand he'd been holding to her mouth,
hoping his lingering scent would ease her suddenly quesy stomach.
She hadn't thrown up since that first lesson, and she really didn't feel
like doing so in the middle of the school gymnasium.

She scanned the crowd for familiar faces. She found Molly and
Melvin towards the side. Molly, she knew was having a blast, but it
was Melvin she was surprised with. For such a big geek, the guy was
remarkably agile on his feet. He swung Molly around him easily, and
pulled her into him for a quick bop around before swinging her out
again.

So, sure, he was dancing incredibly inappropriate for the music
playing, swinging to the techno. But Molly didn't seem to mind, she
was just laughing and then screeching with surprise when Melvin
would pick her up off the ground and throw her legs to each side of
him. Serena's expression matched Molly's, with brows shot up and
mouth hanging open, though she wasn't screaming. For such a big
geek, the guy was also pretty strong.

*Gonna dance, gonna dance my blues away tonight.
Dance, come on, got canned heat in my heels tonight,

Serena then heard a familiar laugh and turned to see Ami with Greg.
Ami was wearing a simple, boat-necked blue gown. But that wasn't
really what Serena was looking at. The shock on Serena's face from
Molly and Melvin deepened as she watched Ami dance with Greg.
She looked positively...silly.

Ami, sweet, shy, don't-make-too-much-of-a-scene, Ami, was running
around the small space the crowd allowed the couple, making a
complete fool of herself. Suddenly horribly embarrassed for her
friend, Serena glanced around her to see the disgusted expression of
the people by the petite scholar.

But no one was looking, they were to busy making out, making moves
or making fools of themselves as well. Even Greg didn't seem to
mind, he just laughed and caught Ami up in his arms, spinning them
around and then releasing her again so he could begin to dance just
like his date. It was probably the most bizarre thing Serena had ever
seen.

Darien was suddenly back at her side, she knew it without looking.
She also knew he was looking at Ami and Greg. Serena grimaced as
she realized that Darien was probably looking at the two of them with
the perfectionist eye he had been using to hammer her into the perfect
dancing companion.

So when Darien chuckled and said, "Look at Ami go. She's great."
Serena was, rightfully so she felt, shell-shocked.

"She's what?" Serena sputtered, then waved at her friend and
continued, "But she has a complete lack of form, no sense of space
and she isn't even stepping in time!"

"That's true." Darien nodded as he looked at the water senshi and her
date again, then looked at his own date with smiling eyes, "But she's
having fun."

"Fun." It wasn't meant to be a question and wasn't taken as such.

"Yeah. Serena, the whole point of dancing is to have fun. It doesn't
matter how you do it, whether your good or bad. If you have fun, then
that's all that matters." Darien wrapped an arm around Serena's waist.

Serena felt her temper flare and quickly counted to ten. It didn't help
much, "As I recall, I had said something along the exact same lines of
that when we first started the lessons."

Darien kissed the tip of her nose, "But you were all grouchy about it.
And I would have never gotten you here if we hadn't done all that
work. Besides, it's different with different people. Some just have fun
dancing and others like to be good and have fun."

Serena registered through the warm, secure blanket Darien was
creating around her that a familiar song was playing and she groaned,
"Did you have to pick that one?"

"I figured I'd calm you down with something familiar." Darien grinned
as he listened to the opening chords of Jamaraqoui, then offered his
hand, "So, you ready to dance?"

Serena looked at the hand for a few moments, considering the options,
then answered without further ado, "You bet!"

After all, if Ami can look like a buffoon and it was accepted by the
peanut gallery, then so could she.

*Canned heat in my heels tonight,

Serena took the hand Darien held out and allowed herself to be led to
the floor. She stopped right at the edge of the dj's table and pulled him
back, "Remind me. The second count is the slide-ball change-box
step-into spin-quick lift, right?"

Darien laughed, always a thrill to hear, "Yeah, except you got it
backwards."

"Oh."

Darien kissed her then whispered into her ears, "Just have fun,
Serena."

*Canned heat in my heels tonight.

Serena nodded and then took advantage of lips as the skimmed over
her cheek. Catching Ami's eye, she waved enthusiastically at the
surprised girl. Ami quickly got over the shock when Greg boldly
planted a kiss on her cheek. Ami's blush could be seen even in the
dim light, she turned her shock to the brunette boy dancing next to her
before waving distractedly at Serena.

Serena laughed and looked up at Darien. She loved him, especially
right now with the multi-colored lights shining off of his ebony locks.
And he loved her, especially in the strapless satin number she'd
managed to find at the last minute. Oh, and her sparkling personality
and sense of humor.

Throwing her head back, shoulders squared and chin proud, Serena
finally signalled Darien she was fully ready. He led her in, and Serena
followed, ready to wow them all with her amazingly sexy boyfriend.

*Hey got so much.

However, when she stepped and pulled all the plugs for the speakers
and lights out of the switch board, it put a bit of damper on everyone's
night.

So one canceled dance and a quiet drive back to Darien's apartment
later, Serena found herself still cursed. School dances, any place that
involved her moving to the rhythm of any sort of music, was forbidden
to her.

Which, Serena was chagrinned to find, didn't bother her as much as
she thought it should have. The scene at the dance hadn't proven her a
bad dancer, just accident prone. And everyone already knew that.

Darien, on the other hand, was convinced that Serena would never
dance again. He couldn't blame her, though she hadn't noticed she had
stepped into a loop in the cables, when she moved to finally follow
him on the dance floor, her ankle caught and yanked all the plugs from
the board. There were so many that they wouldn't have been able to be
fixed in time, so the dance was canceled.

Darien remembered the scowls shot Serena's way. He had done all he
could to shield her from them, keep her distracted, crowd her so she
wouldn't be able to see past him. But it was impossible to keep all of
them away from her.

Sighing heavily, Darien unlocked his door and waved Serena in front
of him. After closing the door, he leaned against it and finally spoke,
"Serena, I'm sorry."

Serena turned, startled at the sudden end to silence, "Why? You didn't
do anything?"

"I shouldn't have led you right through those cables, I knew they were
there. And I made you go to the dance in the first place-"

Serena's hand suddenly appeared over his mouth as she hushed him,
"Darien, none of what happened tonight was your fault. And just so
you know, I had a great time."

"Really? But-"

Serena laughed, "No buts. I...had...a...great...time. Now you say it."

"You had a great time." Darien smiled at her, thankful for her ability to
see the bright side, and forcing him to look at it too.

"It's a beautiful night, and it's still young." Serena pointed towards the
balcony, "Why don't you go light some candles out on the balcony and
we'll just hang out there."

"Sure." Darien watched as she walked towards the kitchen, "Where are
you going?"

"Refreshments, my love. I'm parched." Serena called over her
shoulder, "Go ahead. I'll be right out."

Darien did as he was told, and as he lit the last candle, he heard the
beginning chords to...was that Marvin Gaye?

Serena appeared at the sliding door to the balcony, a soda held in each
hand as she leaned against the door jam, her expression placid, yet
wicked.

"Serena?" Darien managed past a sudden lump in his throat.
Watching as Serena moved with a cat-like grace and placed the sodas
on the outdoor table before she reached her hands out to his and
smiled beseechingly.

"How about a dance?" She winked.

The corner of his brain reminded Darien he hadn't taught her the freak
yet. Tamping the little pervert down, Darien played dumb to Serena's
seduction, "Here? Now?"

"Here. Now." Serena took his hands and pulled him up, pressing
herself into the neat little groove made for her body against his, "It'll
be fun."

Darien's brain shut off as he lowered his lips to hers, then allowed the
natural rhythm of his body to take over, sweeping her into his arms
and moving in unison with her.

And they were dancing, get your minds out of the gutter.

Darien and Serena danced, kissing and touching and slowly, and very
consentually, getting to the other form of dancing that (we might as
well admit it) is just as fun as the other.

All the while, the immortal words of Mr. Gaye played their
soundtrack.

*Let's get it on
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know, I'm a naughty, naughty girl. Both for my suggestive ending
and for the fact that this is one minute late. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

^_~
Cori!

Written: Well, technically, it's Oct. 15 2002