Will You Dance To This Beat?

He bounced a little on the spot, shuffling forward a bit whenever the queue moved. Breathing made little clouds of white that could barely be seen in the sky, illuminated as it was by the after-dusk light and assorted bright lights overhead, hastily constructed once it was realized the crowd coming to see tonight's gig would be much larger than usual.

It sucked that he was there alone, he decided, letting his sleek silver hair fall over his face in an attempt to keep some of the heat form escaping form his face, but it couldn't be helped. Namine had called the previous night, saying she'd booked her flight home from her overseas university for the holidays, and Sora and Kairi had had to go pick her up; Sora because he was the only one who could drive/control/understand his wreck of a car, and Kairi because neither she nor Namine were comfortable with the other being alone with the spiky-haired, blue-eyed kid. Roxas wouldn't have come anyway- he didn't even like the music- but he'd also managed to wriggle out of meeting Namine too, by begging a friend to give him her shift at the supermarket that night.

Still, it was worth it. He was going to see Renegade Hearts, the biggest new gig to come from the Destiny Islands. It seemed to be where all the new bands came from nowadays, that paradise of sun and beach and blue sky and sea, and he didn't understand why they'd bother playing in dingy Traverse Town, of all places. Granted, it was the place for the multitudes of morons who flocked to buy tickets to every new gig (of which he was one, he admitted silently to himself). Not only had they toured with such great names as My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco, the lead singer-slash-bass guitarist was Yuffie Kisaragi. It wasn't that he'd even seen her before, but he'd heard Selphie raving about how she was television's hottest new emo girl.

And Riku, dressed in black leather and matching jacket and boots, couldn't wait. Forty-five minutes spent in the freezing, muttering queue had cooled his ardour somewhat, but only from the roaring furnace it had been before.

His long torture was about to end anyway, he realized with a jolt, glancing through his fringe to see only three people between him and the entrance to the top venue in the Third District, the Liquid. He eagerly pressed a crumpled and perspiration-moistened ticket into the bouncer's hand and shoved his way in, grinning already.

The mosh in front of the stage was already a teeming, heaving mound of madness, sweaty bodies glistening in lights that changed colour every few seconds. Everywhere, flashes of blinding colour punched in the through the black, showing couples already making out in the shadows along the back wall. Shaking his head, he made his slow, winding way through the crowd to the bar.

"Whaddya want?" the gruff, pressed barkeep demanded when he spotted him. Riku grinned and pushed two dollars over the counter, which the blond man pocketed swiftly into a leather apron that could've looked less out of place in a mechanic's workshop than here.

"A lemonade'll do for now, Cid," he flashed his pearly whites again as Cid grunted sourly, craggy features accentuated in the dark light. "Sorry, mate. You're not getting much out of me tonight- I want to keep my wits about me when I get home, what with Kairi and Namine hurling thinly-veiled insults at each other and all."

A small laugh chimed, making him look down beside himself in surprise. "A lemonade, too, thanks," she told the middle-aged man with a bright smile, glancing up at Riku.

"What?" he exclaimed, in genuine shock. "Someone else in here who doesn't drink alcohol besides me?" he took a sip of the liquid the blond pushed roughly into his hand, aquamarine eyes showing bemusement.

"Hate the stuff," the dark-haired petite girl said, wrinkling her nose and nodding her thanks to Cid for her drink. "Alcohol and I never had much going for each other- I was already too hyper for the combination to work out." She sighed theatrically, fine features lighting up at his startled chuckle. "Who're you?" she extended a slim hand.

He took it. "Riku. You? And why did you get lemonade of all things?" he was curious to find out more about this attractive, bubbly, friendly girl.

She practically smirked, and slipped her hand out of his grasp. "Call me Yuffs," she told him, "and I happen to like lemonade, especially before a gig as big as this one." With a flourish of a wave she disappeared into the crowd, not spilling a drop of her sparkling liquid.

"H-Hang on!" He called after her, starting up just as she vanished. No reply came, except for a few curious glances in his direction. Sighing inwardly, fine silver brows knitted together, he placed his half-glass of lemonade on the counter, told Cid he'd be back, and plunged into the crowd just as various band members of Renegade Hearts filed out onto the small stage to the sounds of screaming and clapping and wolf-whistling.

A spike-haired blond guy walked to a mic, electric guitar slung around his chest. "Uh, hi, I'm Cloud.We're Renegade Hearts-"

He was drowned out by a thunder of roaring cheers, and smiled wryly and stepped back, grasping his red guitar firmly. "Right. I guess you know us, then."

A chorus of "Hell, yeah!"s followed his comment, and earned eye rolls from smiling regulars at the club.

"Well. Yuffie should be on here in a few seconds- we lost track of her somewhere a while back..." Cloud grinned sheepishly as the crowd wolf-whistled again.

"Sorry!" A guilty, cheerful voice piped up and she raced out, a grin on her face and waving to her suddenly wildly insaneaudience.

Riku gaped. That girl... the one who had told him to call her Yuffs... was Yuffie Kisaragi. His mind added, with a smirk, a favourite saying of Selphie's: ZOMGWTFBBQ- causing him to wince and shake his head, then stare at her again.

The lead singer of Renegade Hearts was clad in tight black stovepipe jeans with a loose black-and-silver belt wrapped around her slim waist; thick black bracelets encircled her thin wrists and a simple tank top- also black- completed the outfit. A black-and-silver headband completed her get-up: she looked hot. He gulped convulsively. And he'd just met her, talked to her, had been going to ask her to dance with him-

The music began. She sang in a clear, pure voice, far beyond what he had expected. It wasn't heavy music; it couldn't be the ear-hurting, migraine-instilling type with such vocals accompanying it. Riku was shocked; he was awed; he was definitely impressed. The bass guitar thrummed with her, part of her.

She was also versatile, belting out a heavy rock song one minute, techno the next, punk and alternative; she took them all on, and won easily. And several times during her performance, she added in songs by other artists: "This is 'Cemetery Drive' from My Chemical Romance, and this next one is 'Pretty in Punk', originally from Fall Out Boy- we love you guys for letting us use your songs!"

He knew several guys about him, and even a few girls, were drooling over the petite girl on stage; he knew he was one of them. But try as he might (and he didn't), Riku was utterly entranced by Yuffie, singing with all her heart and energy, illuminated in various lights, moving about on stage and drawing the audience with her. How did I not realise? She's... she's... her energy... God. Several times he had the urge to bang his head on the counter behind him, lemonade completely forgotten.

The night wore on, and Riku never took his eyes off the singer. People shoved and jostled him, slightly enebriated or worse; many had a partner draped over them and all were heading for the bar, or else the other rooms, where lounges waited to accomadate couples in quieter, darker corners than here.

Two hours after midnight, her face flushed and glistening with sweatdrops, Yuffie smiled apologetically, panting. "Guys? This is the last song. Sorry to finish up, but- frankly- I'm screwed. I can't take any more."

An intelligible roar from the crowd; his heart sank. He didn't want her to stop. He never wanted the music to end. He wanted her to keep singing, and he wanted her.

"This one," she continued, bright-eyed but obviously drooping a little in weariness, "will not actually be performed by me. I'm sure you all know Roxas-" the crowd roared without words again; agreement and unhappiness mingled "-and he's going to sing this last song. It's from some new friends of ours, Panic! At The Disco-" Yuffie smirked as a wave of sound erupted from the audience, and his heart skipped a beat, both from her smile and the knowledge that this was one of his favourite bands "-and this one is called 'The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage'." Screams accompanied her speech, forcing her to yell by the end of her sentence.

"And," she continued, seriously now. "It's a habit of mine to dedicate the last song to something or somebody. It's always someone special. Tonight, the guy hasn't taken his eyes off me, making me wonder if he's possibly a stalker-" again, that beautiful smirk when her audience, in tune with her, laughed "-and he's got long silver hair and a pair of beautiful, weird, aquamarine eyes."

Riku gulped. Selphie's saying repeated itself in his head several times, accompanied by other, not-so-kind phrases. Oh shit.

"He's standing back there, near our awesome bartender Cid-" a round of applause for the man who'd kept them all happily intoxicated "-and his name is Riku." Gasps came from the few people who knew him, and Cid exclaimed, a series of expletives that Riku tried not to listen to; hardly anybody noticed Roxas take her place from the switchboard he'd been sitting at, and another man took his place. Yuffie slowly unslung her bright red guitar from around her neck, not taking her eyes off him, and jumped carefully over the edge of the low stage, and walked towards him, taking her time. A space was opening before her, and around him, too- he didn't notice. He was too amazed at what was happening.

Roxas started singing, voice soft and deep, yet strong with energy. "Sit tight..."

He walked out the last few steps to meet the girl, who was gazing at him with a shocking intensity. They met; she placed an arm around his neck, forcing him to bend a little and follow her out onto the dance floor, the one that had been a mosh moments ago and still was up closer to the stage. Music was all about them; he could feel it running through her, leaping about his veins.

"I swear to shake it up," she murmured into his ear, standing on tiptoe in the gentle mosh of people.

He leaned down, breathing on her neck. "If you swear to listen," he murmured in response, heart throbbing in time with the beat, swaying back and forth with her. Lights flashed all about them, punching through the dark.

Reasonably sure that any typos in there are from joining words together, sorry...

Okay. This fic has several :smirk: moments in there for me. Can you guess? There's the part where Yuffie says she doesn't like alcohol :makes a face at the very idea of drinking it:, there's the name of the club, as Liquid is our local nightclub, there's the various (AWESOME) bands that RH happens to be affiliated with... and there's the band itself. And the music. But mainly the band. Renegade Hearts. I'm sure none of you ever knew, but once I thought of the name I thought that would be the coolest band ever. :nods:

And yes. That's about all for now. I appreciate reviews, and constructive criticism- keep in mind that flames only serve to make me laugh very loudly, so it's advisable not to bother. However, if you really want to...

I thrive on reviews, though. And music. And food. And sleep. And anime and manga and games. And more. But meh. Myeah.

Another note. This fic actually had in mind Ayumiyori's BJ-idolising fic (how does it make you to feel that this is a fic inspired by a fic inspired by a fic? :grins:). Big thankyou to the gorgeous gal XD

Bye. And... Gawddammit Cloud!

Tally. SilverAuthoress. Rikku. AngelKairi.