Title: Indecent Rhythm
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh! (original series)
Rating: PG-13 for language and later adult content
Warnings: Will contain a threesome, all male. Slash. If any of this squicks you, for heaven's sake, don't read!
Pairing: Tristan x Duke x Joey
Summary: Senior year, post-series. Set in America – come on, go with me, here. Téa has three weeks to teach Tristan and Joey how to dance. When a time conflict arises, she hands the reins over to Duke Devlin, who introduces the boys to a new kind of rhythm altogether.
Disclaimer: As always, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! or any of the characters portrayed here. This piece of fiction has been created only for entertainment value and I agree not to sue 4Kids in the (extremely rare) event that they should use a similar story in an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh. …Yes, I said that with a straight face.
Author's Notes: I am using (and tweaking) primarily dub anime canon, hence the names. This was a personal choice, having been exposed to both and needing appropriate names for the setting I chose. Plzdon'tkillme, kthx.
It was the summer before senior year at Domino High. Spring's torrential downpours left everyone with a restless static energy, as if the lightning that struck the ground in April created an electric undercurrent in the teenage population.
It was summer now, and Téa Gardner was unsuccessfully trying to teach Joey Wheeler and Tristan Taylor to dance. "Keep your frame locked," she ordered. Téa stood behind Joey, guiding his movements with a hand curled at his shoulder and the other against the small of his back. He was pissed.
"I'm not a girl! Why does Tristan get to lead?"
"You can't both lead." Téa's tone was matter-of-fact. She swatted his fingers down over Tristan's fist. Both boys' knuckles were clenched tightly enough to make the skin white across the ridges. They made a battle out of even this, Téa noted with exasperation, just like they battled over everything else. "Stop whining. Look at your arms! Do you want to learn to do this the right way?"
The second story of Téa's home had been converted into her studio. Her bedroom was in a cramped cubicle on the western side of the open space, partitioned off with screens, with the bathroom beside it. Light flooded the rest of the space from large windows in every wall but the north wall, which was lined with mirrors and a practice barre. All of the windows were open and a fan hummed in one corner, doing little to combat the heat and humidity. Both boys had stripped down to only jeans - and dress shoes, at Téa's insistence. She wore a white leotard with a ripped Domino High tee shirt knotted over the top.
"How did we end up doing this in the first place?" Tristan looked down at his slightly shorter 'partner,' one dark eyebrow arched.
"Girls," Joey mumbled.
"No, I don't think that's how."
"Fuck you, Tristan."
"No, that's not it either. Tell me again why I have to learn to dance? I forgot."
When Joey did little more than growl, Téa rolled her eyes and answered the question for him. "Because Joey lost a duel with Mai, and now he has to learn to dance in three weeks for some huge gala her family's throwing." She waved a finger over Joey's shoulder at the taller boy, "And since Serenity is visiting this summer, and there's nobody at home to be with her, she's going too. So you have to learn to dance."
"So he gets to lead and I have to follow?" Joey protested. Tristan and Téa grinned at each other.
"Face it Joey. Mai's going to be doing the leading." Tristan poked his best friend's bare chest.
"But Serenity leads you around by the nose already, Tristan!" Téa giggled in Joey's defense. This didn't quite have the effect she'd planned, as now Joey was staring hard up at Tristan with a "you'd better not be screwing my sister" scowl.
"She does not, Gardner!" Tristan retorted, hissing as Joey's grip tightened even more on his already screaming hand. "Give it a rest, will you? Before Joey amputates my fingers."
"All right," Téa was suddenly all business again, tossing strands of her fluffy brown bob behind her ears, "Honestly Joey, you will get to lead. But it's Tristan's turn."
"Why can't we dance with you?"
"Yeah!" Tristan rubbed the circulation back into his hand.
The dancer dismissed both of them with an airy wave. "Because you both need help, and I can't be with both of you at once."
"That sounds kind of…ow!" Joey rubbed the back of his head where Téa's palm connected. Her blue eyes blazed with outraged virginity.
"Don't say it, Joey," she warned dangerously, "don't even think it."
"Too late," Tristan laughed, "he already has."
In the riot that followed, nobody noticed the dark, sleek head that slowly bobbed over the plane of the floor as Duke Devlin ascended the dim stairwell to Téa's studio.
"Well, look at what we have here;" he drawled, amused, taking in the shirtless boys wrestling on the polished hardwood floor, "You call this dancing? I knew you were chasing a Wheeler, Tristan, but I guess I had the wrong one pegged."
"Shut up," Tristan grumbled, and went limp.
Joey bristled and abruptly shoved himself off of Tristan's chest. "You wanna come over here and say that to my face, pretty boy?"
"Temper, temper, little Joey," Duke waved a warning finger in eerily the same manner that Téa had just done, "and I wasn't speaking to you anyway. Who Tristan lusts after is his own business." He leaned on the railing and smirked at the lanky brunet in question, "isn't it, Tristan?"
Tristan glared, but otherwise said nothing. Duke's eyes slid closed, and he cocked his head to one side, smirk widening. "That's what I thought."
Joey started for Duke with a snarl – not particularly in defense of his best friend's honor, but more for the reason that he disliked the older boy's superior attitude in general. Any excuse was a good excuse to charge.
Besides. He expected Tristan to stop him before he got anywhere. Which he did.
"Lemme go! Lemme kick his ass for ya! It'll be a pleasure."
"Cool it, Joey!" Tristan tightened his grip on Joey's forearm until the other boy winced. He stared hard at Duke over his captive's head. "How'd you know we came here to dance?"
"I have an exceptional gaydar."
"Lemme at 'em! I'll kill 'em!"
"Oh, shut up, the three of you," Téa straightened from inspecting the stereo, a fresh disc speared on one fingertip, "and Duke – stop teasing them."
"Killjoy," Duke pouted, stepping around the railing. He passed by Tristan and his captive – now in a headlock – without so much as a second glance. The boys were so busy fighting with each other again that they paid him no mind as he joined Téa beside the speakers. He kept his voice below the roar of the industrial-sized fan and the shouts of the combatants. "Téa, you can't be serious. I'm supposed to be working with them? But look at them!" He flung one hand in disgust, "They know more about pounding each other's asses into hamburger than they know about—" A caterwaul – presumably Joey, who was the more vocal of the two – interrupted him. He grimaced. "Besides. They won't listen to me."
"Oh, they'll listen," Téa replied cheerfully, and snapped her head to the side to roar at her 'students.' "That's it! Cut it out you two, or I won't show you how to dance, and let Mai deal with you!"
They froze, blinking at each other with chagrin.
Satisfied, she turned back to Duke. "And besides. You won't be working with them on your own until next week. I need an extra teacher, because my family's taking the week to visit my grandparents in the north."
"Next week? Just how long do I have to work with them?"
"Every day. Two hours a day. Four hours on Saturday and Sunday."
"Two weeks of this? Téa, you're killing me."
"Three weeks, actually. As long as it takes 'til then."
It dawned on Duke, then. "Mai's family party." He could understand why the girl tried to pretend she didn't have a family for the most part. Unbelievably wealthy, but incredibly suffocating. She was twenty, he thought, but whenever she was home they still treated her like she was fifteen.
Téa nodded, the edges of her fluffy bob sweeping against her cheeks. "She tricked Joey into going – and Tristan got dragged into the whole thing, and neither one of them knows a thing about dancing."
"I do too," Joey protested, getting up from where he'd once again pinned Tristan to the floor, "I know it's dorky as hell. And I know Mai's gonna kill me if I can't do it."
Tristan followed after, apparently none the worse for wear, if a bit more damp and red-faced. He was rubbing the side of his neck. "Since Serenity's going to get dragged along anyway, I gotta make sure she's not bored."
"Dragged?" Duke teased, "Where Serenity is concerned, I would hardly consider it an imposition."
"Shut up," Joey and Tristan blurted almost in unison – the former wearing his usual mastiff's protective glare, the latter rolling his eyes.
"Maybe I was wrong about you, after all. Not boyfriends, but twins." Green eyes flickered with mischief.
"I meant that I wanted to make sure Serenity had a good time." Tristan chose to ignore the earlier jab, and threw a barring arm across Joey's chest when his best friend chose not to.
"Of course she will. I'll be attending Mai's gala as well, and unlike you, I can dance. Hm, maybe I won't help Téa teach you. That might be a conflict of personal interest."
"Yeah, 'cause we already know how self-interested you are."
"Ouch! I'm stung! Big words, Tristan. Where'd you learn that one?"
"Off the back of the can of whoop-ass he and I are gonna—"
They all fell silent, staring in surprise at the source of the exclamation.
Téa stood with her fists on her hips, delicate chin at an aggressive upward tilt, glaring at the company of infantile males. "I meant what I said! If there's any more fighting, then I will wash my hands of this whole thing. I'm only doing this because you asked me."
"I'm not doing it anyway," Duke threw his hands up, spinning on his heel, "because they're impossible. I'm not going to waste my time."
"Leave and you'll regret it."
"Remember why you're here in the first place?"
Duke halted at the top of the stairs. The ponytail twitched. He looked over his shoulder, where the two other boys gazed at him curiously, Téa triumphantly. "That's blackmail, Téa!"
"You should choose your audience more wisely next time," The girl's full, glossy peach lips curled up in a superior smile.
"I trusted you!"
"And you can still trust me. If you agree to help."
"That's not trust! That's coercion!"
"Well then, go ahead and leave. Maybe it won't turn out as bad as you think."
Aside from the conversation, two pairs of brown eyes met. Eyebrows rose in silent question, followed by slow smirks of recognition. "Dude, she's got something on you, doesn't she?" Tristan turned back to grin.
"No," Duke retorted, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He stared at Téa suspiciously for a few moments, then sighed. "All right. I'll help."