Title: Two to Tango
Author: Tempest
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters recognizable from the
Author's Notes: Written in response to word #112 at the livejournal community 15minuteficlets. A companion piece to "Red & Violet." Inspired by "Face to Face" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. I'd already written one fic in response to this challenge, but I felt the need to do another. I don't know how much sense this will make to you if you haven't read "Red & Violet." This is set during the time of drabbles 21-24 on that fic, if you want to get straight to the point.
Dedication: For Sparkle, the biggest Shinobi Shaw fanatic in the world.


"Okay, okay. Let's start over from the beginning." Shinobi said, pulling her toward him. He placed his right hand just below her shoulder blade. He straightened his upper body, causing her to shift toward him. On impulse, she placed her hand on his upper arm and pushed against him a little, creating a gentle pushing and pulling motion that accented the dance. They placed their faces close together, so close she could feel the heat from his face.

They extended their free arms, placing their palms against each other, pressing their hands evenly together, but not clasping fingers. They wouldn't hold hands just yet, their instructor said. He said this would help them to learn each other's balance and timing. "I was looking forward to the holding hands part," she teased when he told her that. The instructor called this preliminary "the embrace."

They walked along an invisible line. Slow. Slow. Quick. Quick. Slow. They always started this way. It was sort of a warm up before their instructor taught them something more complicated. Shinobi joked he felt like a frog when they walked across the floor like that, but Ororo liked the sensuality of it all, being so close to one person you felt as if you were sharing their warmth, body parts fitting together like a puzzle.

"The Argentine tango is more than just a dance. They say no dance brings two people closer, physically or emotionally. No dance allows one person to get inside another like this one. In fact, the tango originally told a story. It builds trust between two people. You know like the kind where you would let yourself fall without hesitation and you just know this person would catch you before you could land," their instructor said, as they moved across the floor.

"Do you trust me that much, Ororo?" Shinobi asked. She didn't answer, as they turned sharply. The side of his lips grazed hers when they pressed their faces together.

When she thought about it, their instructor was right. Sometimes, she had to depend totally on him to lead when she was moving backward, and she had to depend on him to help balance her when she was leaning so far into him that she could fall flat on her face. Did she trust him enough to believe he would catch her if she should fall? That would have to stem from how she felt about him, right? And how did she feel about him?

Turn. Her hair swept across her shoulders as they made another turn. She liked Shinobi, really liked him. She liked the way he made her body tingle when he touched her, the way he said her name, the way he looked at her when he thought she wasn't looking. He made her heart leap, and maybe, if she fell, she would trust him enough to believe he would catch her.

Besides, she had to like him. She did let him step on her toes, after all.

"I don't know. It depends on how many more times you step on my toes," Ororo said.