My first and definitely, not last, Gungrave fic. So much is left in the dark regarding the characters and scenes that you can't help but want to delve deep in those dark corners and create something just to calm the nerves. If you check out my profile, I will also include a link to my livejournal with the fic since I also posted two screencaps of the dance scene, for those that want to look.

Title: Last Dance
Author: Beck
Pairings: Brandon and Maria
Warnings: None....ummmm should I warn it if it contains a bit of sap?
Notes: This takes place during eps. 6 "Big Daddy". Anything written after their dance was purely my own wishes, thoughts, imagination, what have you since they really skip alot of things in this anime.
Disclaimer: Me no own. Gungrave belongs to Red Entertainment, Project Gungrave, & Yasuhiro Nightow.

Standing in front of the entranceway that would lead him to where he needed to be, Brandon wiped his sweaty palms on his slack covered thighs and loosened a bit of his tie to keep from suffocating. Then, with a deep breath he took his first step through the threshold, taking in the surroundings, quite in awe with all the elegance and high class that filled the ballroom. It was something he was not use to seeing; at least this up close and personal without having to steal anything. Nor did he ever think in his 17 years that he would partake in such an event, though with the sudden change in he and Harry's lives, nothing seemed impossible right now. Continuing to brave his way through the throngs of people, he made sure to keep his eyes and ears alert for a familiar face or voice that he was to meet here tonight. He still was unsure of the reason why Big Daddy had invited him to this gala, but then, when his dark eyes settled on the one person he had been searching for, it was all that he needed to be reminded of just why he had came here tonight.

There she was, by her lonesome, with eyes closed as in a deep thought and waiting patiently. Brandon stood his ground before he approached her, taking in everything about her. No matter if it was her voice or just her appearance, Maria always managed to take his breath away and right now was no exception. He knew he should tell her just how lovely she looked to him this night, but was uncertain if he had the nerve to. Even though they had a close connection to the point of not really needing words; he knew that at times it was the way one should express themselves, especially when he knew the other person would really be appreciative of hearing them. Finally gaining the emotional strength he desperately needed, he began to approach her and as he grew near, she turned around to face him at the last minute. His heart stopped again when he saw the brilliance of her beautiful smile and the happiness in her bright blue eyes; eyes that he noticed were taking him in, attire and all.

"Brandon!" She admired his form and in a bit of shock to see him dressed so formal for a change. "You look really good in that."

It came as a surprise to hear her be the one to compliment him, though what Maria said next stunned him even more. For as the musicians started to cue themselves up for their next number, she held onto his arm and gazed sweetly up at him. "Let's dance."

Brandon couldn't help but inwardly gulp and start breaking out into a light sweat, dance? I don't know how to dance. I don't want to disappoint her though. . . ."I. . . I. .

"That's okay, I'll teach you." Feeling somewhat weak kneed, he let her walk them out onto the dance floor where they assumed the proper position. Maria placed one gloved hand in his and her other hand she braced onto his shoulder. Knowing at least how he was supposed to hold her, Brandon laid his free hand on the exposed part of her back, noticing a slight shiver running through his body, giving him a thrilling sensation. To actually touch her again, was one thing he had been certain he'd never get to do. He felt her own body flutter as she released a breathy sigh to whisper into his ear. "Follow my movements and just go with the flow of the music." Nodding his response, the brunette male took the plunge, hoping he wouldn't step on her toes. Though the music filled the room, Brandon swore that the beating of his heart was even louder and stranger still, it seemed to be keeping perfect time with the music. His feet moved gracefully beneath, his body swaying in unison with hers as if he had been dancing for a lifetime. Feeling even more confident, he soon took over the lead, with Maria's wonderful smile making him feel even more at ease.

"Yeah, just like that. You're a fast learner."

A slight blush tinted his cheeks as he picked up their pace, and soon the young couple, were spinning and gliding across the floor as if they were one body. As the music came to an end, it took all he had to let go of her. So much was expressed in each other's eyes that Brandon feared to look away, this moment being lost forever. It was her voice that snapped him out of his daze.

"Thank you for the dance." Maria bowed slightly in his direction. Lifting her gloved hand to his lips, Brandon placed a chaste kiss on her knuckles, smiling a little more as she gasped from his gesture.

Peering at her again, through the hair that hung in his eyes, he voiced his pleasure back with a slight nervousness in his voice. "No...I mean...thank you...you're a good teacher."

Gripping his hand a little tighter, Maria laughed as they made their way off the dance floor. "I just have a willing student."

---------

Some mingling around and two more dances later, Maria suggested they go out to the terrace for a breather, an area that seemed to be the only place where couples could spend time away from the hustle and bustle. Despite being somewhat crowded, they managed to find a secluded spot at the far end. Once having staked their space, Maria grasped the marble railing and leaned slightly forward, taking a deep breath of the crisp night air.

"I'm so glad you could make it tonight. I wasn't sure if you'd come or not, considering what kind of party this is." She let out a small laugh. "Then again, who would've thought I'd ever be at such an event as well."

He chuckled with her, agreeing to her statement. "I wanted to see you...so I came. I like being with you...a lot."

Pleased with his response, she continued to stare up into the night sky. "It's a beautiful night tonight isn't it?"

Brandon gazed up to where she was looking at the star-studded canvas; a sight that was rare to see from the slums where they grew up in. "Ah, it is." His eyes didn't stay locked onto the sky, however, as he turned his attention to observing the young blonde woman beside him. He thought of many reasons why he loved this woman so much, and what it was that captured his heart from the first time he saw her. Was it her beauty, her compassion, her charm? There was just so much about her that he couldn't put it all together and it drove him crazy to even try. But one thing he did know, was that someone such as he, a good for nothing punk who had nothing to offer in life neither for himself or for her, still had her by his side, if only for the given moment such as now.

His heart suddenly cramped, as if telling his mind to do something, anything to show her how he felt. That, for some reason if he did not confess tonight then he would never get another chance to do so. They were here together, alone in their own little world; he had to make his move.

Taking a half step and closing the space between them, he timidly placed his hand over hers. Feeling his touch, she turned to him, willingly falling into his embrace as he pulled her to him. For several seconds they stayed, locked into each other's arms, until Brandon took her hands into one of his, using his free hand to tilt her chin upward.

Maria fluttered her lashes as if she was about to look away, but instead she held onto his gaze, the loving gaze that Brandon reserved only for her.

"Brandon. . . ?"

A single finger to her lips silenced her, allowing him to say what he had always wanted to say to her; not only on this night, but the many nights before since they had met. "It is a beautiful night, but not as beautiful as you are."

So touched by his verbalized sentiment, Maria had to fight the tears that welled up in her eyes, not wanting him to think that he had upset her, when in fact he had made her the happiest girl in the world.

"Brandon..I..."

Once again, she found her speech halted, this time by his lips on hers, sealing her mouth from speaking any more words. She felt warm and secure in his tight embrace, light-headed and euphoric from his deepening kiss. Who needed Brandon Heat's words when his actions could shout from the bottom of his heart, saying so much more.

Contentment, peace, acceptance and most importantly, love. These feelings, these hopes and dreams that rode on such a high cloud would soon fall however, for little did each of them know that circumstances and evil, beyond their control would shatter their dream world. Bringing it to an end, the tiny fragments being swept away by the torrent of cruel fate.

End