Disclaimer: These characters belong to Natsuki Takaya. The dancing class scenes were inspired by the movie "Shall we Dance?" with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. The song "El Tango the Roxanne" belongs to the movie Moulin Rouge.

Getting the Rhythm

Summary: To help Touru Hatori needs to learn the Waltz. Ayame helps him. Slash Ayame/Hatori

Category: Romance

Pairing: Ayame/Hatori

Author's Notes: They are a little OOC for my liking but that was the best I could do. Hatori is a rather difficult character. Any flames, I'm ready for that.


HATORI

As I stood at Ayame's door 7 o'clock on Sunday morning I wondered what was I doing there. My mind went back to 3 days before when Honda came to my office with a shy request. Would I dance the Father/Daughter Waltz with her at her Graduation Party? Politely, I agreed. I was the only sensible choice, after all… Shigure would be delighted, but we all know he is a pervert… Aaya wasn't an option; Yuki would kill someone before he let Touru dance with his brother. Ayame also was known to be somewhat of a pervert. So that left me, since her grandfather was too old for this kind of exercise.

The thing was…

I didn't have any idea how to dance.

And thus, there I was. 7 o'clock on Sunday morning at Ayame's door so that he could teach me anything about waltzing.

As Miine-san showed me the way to the backroom of the store, where Ayame receives his clients for measurements and trying on, I noticed she was wearing high heels and fitting pants designed for exercise. I myself wore my normal clothes. Should I have changed into something more suitable for Ayame's "class"?

As we got to the backroom I noticed Ayame had removed all furniture. The room looked huge now. And to my surprise I wasn't the only one there for lessons.

Yuki, Touru and Kyo were there, also dressed for sweating. Ayame, surprising me again, had nothing too shocking on. Just a plain Chinese tabard, Chinese shoes, Chinese pants and his hair was braided.

"Ah! Tori-san, good you could join us on time! Now, now, come!"

He said very enthusiastic as always.

"But first things, first." He said in way that was too serious to be Aaya. "Lady Touru-kun, Gentlemen, Kyon-kitty…" He announced making very clear his despite for Kyo who tried to argue but was ignored. "I, the Casanova dancer that inspires all, take dancing VERY seriously and I hope you all understand that. Thus, you all will do your best on these classes or don't do it at all. Of course you will never get to my level of expertise in a few months, but you have to try. Hard. I won't put up with lateness or lack of dedication." He said in such a fierce tone that even I was intimidated. He, then, smiled sweetly and said. "We can start now. Touru-kun will be learning from Miine in the other room. Shoo, shoo, girls!" He said laughing and urging them out. "Attentive students! Follow my lead! We'll start with what they call Waltz Box. It's a feet movement. Now look." He demonstrated. We looked among ourselves and tried it. It was not hard, took a moment or two to get it right but we did it.

Aaya looked delighted. "Fabulous!" He exploded in his usual exuberance. "Now you'll do that 'till it comes as second nature, my boys!" His smile had become slightly evil as he said that and we spent all Sunday morning repeating the movement, later on we continued the same movement but with broomsticks balanced on both our arms. Aaya had said it was to gain posture; we had to be the lady's "frame" to show out her beauty!

And so classes proceeded.

Ayame was really serious when it came to dancing. Not a mistake could be done without him correcting it.

By the time of the party we all were ready. So ready I think we would even have been ready for a dancing contest.

I had to agree that Aaya was a really good teacher and a very talented dancer.

Once, I arrived early to our classes and happened to watch Aaya and Miine practicing the Waltz. The same waltz we were supposed to be dancing. But it was so much more beautiful. Ayame's posture was straight and firm without manhandling Miine delicate frame, whose eyes and smile were idyllic. Such light movements…

I've never been really found of dancing, but as looked at Aaya and Miine gliding through the dance floor I felt hooked. I had been enchanted by dancing.

Ayame was also enchanting.

Funny. I've never seen him take something so seriously. He devotes himself to the store, true, but it was the first time I've seen him show such discipline and self-restrain. It had been years since I had been so close to Aaya. So much work to do that I barely saw him and Shigure on that days.

The classes, though, had merged in so many hours of relaxed talk over tea afterwards. I grew used to Aaya's way again, and got to the conclusion that he has changed. Of course he doesn't show it when we are with Shigure or any of the others, but I've seen he had matured. That he has worries, that he loves his shop and his business and his clothes and that he is one of the best at what he does. I know nothing about fashion but I've seen the fashion critics love him. That his costumers do too. I grew very comfortable with him. In a way we hadn't for a long time. Sometimes, I would even spend the whole Sunday at his apartment just talking and drinking his famous tea, watching movies or hearing him rant restlessly about Touru's gown for her Graduation. But even if sometimes he would speak non-stop, some other times he would listen… Other times yet we would not speak at all, and it would be just as good.

Sometimes I would think of Kana and in how Aaya was different from her. In how he knew what he wanted and when and how he wanted it. Kana was sweet but she was frail. Aaya looked frail but his daring nature wouldn't allow him to be so. How many times he had been beaten by Kyo or Yuki when they were too annoyed with him? How many times people had told him he was a prat and that he was useless and he had even flinched at that.

I remember one Sunday in which the dancing class was cancelled. That night I went to his apartment and found him inside. Crying. I haven't seen him crying since he was a child, but as I looked at his golden eyes, I knew the reason to his sadness had a name: AKITO.

I remember feeling the urge to strangle the little son of a bitch 'till he stopped moving. But I just held Aaya instead. We didn't talk. There was no need to.

That night we slept like that. On the tatami floor. And by the morning I knew how strong Aaya truly was. When I opened my eyes to the sun rays that came by the window, I noticed a blanket on top of me and I felt the smell of Aaya's tea.

He acted as nothing had happened.

And that was his strength, his mask. There laid his self-restraint. And I admired him for that.

On the night of Touru, Kyo and Yuki's Graduation, our little faction inside the Souma clan was almost all there. Momiji, Hatsuharu, Shigure, Kagura, I and even Ritsu were there. All dressed in our best gala. I don't need to tell that ours was one of the liveliest tables around the place. When Aaya and Miine arrived, it was almost time for the first waltz. Ayame looked stunning is his tuxedo. I had expected something like a white tux or even a deep red one (Ayame loves red), but his tux was plain black of the best quality. His tie was white silk and his long silver hair was tied with a thin black ribbon made of satin. Miine was in a black skin tight long-sleeved dress to match Ayame. I didn't like that idea. For some reason I still couldn't understand, Miine clinging to Aaya in such a way bothered me.

The first Waltz came and Touru and I made our little show. She was beautiful in the dress Ayame made for her. It was pink, soft and cute just as Touru herself is. We were the best at the floor and that thanks to Aaya. The next dance, the Waltz of the Graduates, we had Touru and Yuki, Kyo and Kagura that wasn't as good as Aaya's students but who did very well. Later on, after all that, the dance floor emptied and tecno/pop music started to play. We enjoyed ourselves dancing but I didn't like this kind of music so much. Aaya and Miine danced for hours… That… unsettled me.

The kids wanted to stay 'till the end and so did Shigure and Aaya and thus I granted their wish. By four in the morning, Momiji was asleep on his chair; Haru, who had been talking to a nice looking girl; then received Ritsu's "hearty" apology for scaring the poor girl away, Yuki and Touru were nowhere to be seen and neither was Kyo who was still avoiding Kagura. Shigure was living up his role as the family's pervert and hitting on some high school graduates. Ayame, I, and Miine stayed behind talking among ourselves. Miine was a little too talkative, her laugh a little slurred… Clear indications that she was slightly drunk.

She was showering Aaya with smiles, flirting with him shamelessly. He, on his, turn dodged her advances easily and without much ado.

That was when the last song of the night was announced.

"El Tango de Roxanne" it was.

Aaya had never taught us tango during our lessons, but I knew he knew how to dance it. Miine asked him to dance. He told her he couldn't and that he didn't felt like it but upon her insistence, he gave in.

At 4 in the morning, his coat was already on the back of his chair, his tie was on the table and he had the first 2 buttons of his shirt open. His black suspenders showing in a nice contrast with his white shirt, his sleeves rolled up to his elbow. As he led Miine to the dance floor he produced, out of nowhere, a black felt hat.

As they found their places on there, the first thing he did was grab her by her thigh and waist bringing her too close to his body. As the song's violin was played with mastership, Aaya played Miine's body likewise. She followed his lead as if she couldn't think for herself, their movements so sexy and daring and obscene in such a public place… It irritated me deeply. I heard the second singer have his words in a pained voice:

"His eyes upon your face," I watched as Miine's glazed eyes watched Aaya's as if he was mating her.

"His hand upon your hand," I saw the way he held her hand, so softly, so delicately.

"His lips caress your skin," I watched as Miine tried to kiss Aaya's lips. He gracefully let his cheek be kissed.

"It's more than I can stand!" Said Ewan Mc Gregor, the second singer, at last, and I knew I felt just the same.

I gathered the kids, Shigure and left the ballroom, really out of me. Biting my tong in rage in way I haven't done for years. I didn't even wait to tell them we were going.

I delivered each one of them to their homes and proceeded to my house's office where I kept my stash so as to keep it from Haru and Momiji. The liqueur burned my throat nicely as I replayed the night's events on my head.

'What has gotten into me?' I asked myself. 'Why the hell was I so furious?'

I may be very limited when it comes to feelings but even I couldn't ignore the signs. I remembered once when this other guy came courting Kana in front of me. I couldn't stand his presence.

I was jealous.

And that was exactly how I felt as Miine tried to seduce Ayame with her tango.

I sighed as I realized that.

Fuck.

I liked Aaya.

Liked in way I wasn't supposed to like.

Fuck, again.

The whiskey clouded my mind but also it gave me ideas. If Miine wanted to seduce Aaya, 2 could play this game. I would not loose the first person I ever liked since Kana. I would fight for it. And I even had my strategy laid out in my head when sleep finally claimed me on my office's chair.


Next day, there I was again at Aaya's store, first thing in the morning before I even went to see Akito.

He was so surprised to see me. He thought I was mad with him. I laughed that off saying that Momiji wanted to go home. He smiled satisfied. I offered my treat. A friend of mine used to say that the best way of seducing a bishounen in Chinese clothing was to offer them an expensive and very special sweet. So I brought Aaya the best and most expensive cupcakes in town, the ones only a small bakery produces and only once a day.

Ayame, as expected, loved it.

I could see Miine out of the corner of my good eye fuming behind the curtain. I was very satisfied.

Things proceeded in the same manner for a month or so. I kept doing my advances and Miine tried hers.

Aaya kept the middle. Never giving in to Miine who was more daring than I, and always making a daft ear to my subtle hints.

I decided then, that I need to make my final move. I put on my best suit and bought him a vase of ayames (1). I was planning on giving it to him and tell him of my feelings even if he hadn't demonstrated no sign of returning them.

As I got to his apartment I saw it was empty and dark, so I proceeded to the store. He always was at the store when he wasn't at home.

The backdoor was unlocked and I saw light in the backroom. A faint light. I felt the perfume of incense in the air but never stopped my pace or my hand as I moved the curtain and entered the room. Aaya had his back to me and he was lighting a few more candles. The room was full of them. And the air was rich with the smell of sandalwood. On the center of the room, surrounded by the many candle that lit it, sat a beautiful Persian bed covered with silk cushions of different sizes and a royal canopy made of orange silk tied to the ceiling.

It looked as something out of the ancient Babylon.

Rose petals were scattered all over. Aaya turned to me, his smile malicious.

"Tori-san. Good you made your entrance." He smirked at me.

"What's all this?" I asked him.

"Oh, well… I was waiting for you. To hear what you have to tell me."

"How do you know I have something to tell you?" I asked, caught off guard but understood everything before he could answer.

"Oh." I said.

I sighed.

Fuck.

I smiled.

"You architected it all, didn't you?" I asked.

"Well, not all. I was completely unaware of your feelings 'till you bolted from the party. Miine really wanted to kiss me that night, though not because she liked me but because she wanted to make her ex-boyfriend, who was at the party, jealous. Her plot, as it ended up, worked perfectly… On the wrong person. But I asked her to keep trying to seduce me… At least in front of you, so that maybe you'd make your move. It seems it worked." He said and smiled again. I put the flowers on the floor and went to stand near him.

So near we were almost touching. I grabbed his hair and brought his face very close to mine. His raged breath on my lips made me shiver. "Sneaky slithering bastard"

"All yourssss." He answered hissing the last word like the serpent he was.

I kissed him.

I had wanted him for so long. I realized then that I was being silly. HE had wanted me since we were boys. HE had waited for me for so long. HE had suffered through my love to Kana. HE had comforted me when I was broken because of her. HE always found a way to cheer me up.

I let my tongue slide against his as if they were dancing a tango.

I kissed his jaw, his earlobe, his neck, his eyelids. I opened the first buttons of his red coat, of the white tunic underneath and licked his collarbone. His skin smelled of sandalwood and cologne. It tasted like nectar, like I knew ambrosia should taste. I bit at his neck.

He whimpered.

His hands roamed my back, my sides, my nape, my hair, his longing and despair plain on each caress. I laid him on the bed, his hair sprawling like the white silk beneath, his eyes glazed. For a moment I wished my vision was better, such a feast to the eyes, and I could only have a quaff of it.

I decided then, I wouldn't let him go. Not like I did with Kana. I would never loose the one I love again. I didn't want to be alone. Not again.

I opened the rest of his buttons and inspected all the white skin beneath with my hands. He started for my own clothes and I let him take my shirt and pants. I hugged him as close as I could our sexes so rubbing in a maddening friction.

I wanted to have him, but I had never did such a thing with a man before. He stopped me. And took the reigns of the "situation". He prepared himself before my eyes, and laid down again on the silk covered bed, naked, legs apart, like an offering to some Aztec god. His manhood dripping, begging for release, his eyes glazed with passion.

I took a deep breath and caressed his face, kissing him again. He had to be so patient for so many years and yet he still trusted me. It hurt me to know how much I had hurt him. As slowly as my deep desire for him allowed I entered him and stopped all motion so that it wouldn't hurt him. He looked at me and moved his hips temptingly.

I couldn't take the wait anymore. So tight he was.

I made love to him all night. As many times as we were able to.

And when the morrow got us I had Aaya sleeping on my shoulder, his hair tangled, his lips slightly swollen from kissing. As I stared at him on the light of the morning sun I knew.

Once again my winter was melt but this time,

Summer arrived early.

Owari