"Pointy Toe Thingy"

By LadyCleo

For Nutmeg610, as promised, inspired by her artwork… As always thanks to my wonderful betas!

Part of the BOUND lifetimes; Colonel Jayne runs into Prima Ballerina River again.

The perfectly manicured fingernail dipped into the sparkling champagne, swirling the contents. The music swelled to a high pitch and River looked up from the sparkling contents of her glass to watch the dancers attempt to follow its lead. Around her the chatter of politics masked itself in black tuxes and beaded dresses. 'Funding' and 'Legislative support' filled the air as waiters bustled past with trays of champagne. Somewhere in the room her 'date' was probably talking someone's ear off and somewhere far away from here, a warm and comfortable bed called to her.

"Makes me dizzy," the rough masculine voice muttered.

River jerked upright and spun in the chair to stare up at the dark blue uniform. Colonel Jayne frowned as he watched the dancers jerk across the floor. "Never understood why they dance at these things," he added after a second of silence.

River turned back to the watch the dizzying array of sequence, fighting off the slight smile that twitched on her lips. "They make you dizzy because they're not doing it right." Reaching for her wine glass she picked it up, swirling the contents around. "And they have the dancing so that they can pretend like it's a party and not a political game of chase the funding."

The Colonel snorted, stepping around to her side he shrugged, "Which one's your date?"

River jerked her head back over to stare at the Colonel, an eyebrow lifting into a delicate arch. "My date," she answered, "is the gentleman currently debating the value of the Evergreen project with Senator Grant."

Colonel Jayne tilted his head in response, "Little bit incestuous, ain't it? Dating your own father ain't a common practice last I heard – don't think your mother'd like it either."

River fought to keep the laughter off her lips, "Honestly, Colonel."

"I'm just saying is all," as he spoke a smile cracked across his lips. "Still, I suppose he's better looking than mine." Jerking his head quickly, the Colonel motioned towards the General. "He's been arguing with Senator Thompson for the past hour; ain't once asked me to dance."

A small laugh slipped past her lips and the Ballerina turned towards the Colonel. The music swelled softly once, then died down to a soft strain, the violins creating a dying strand that echoed through the room. Jayne shifted from one foot to the other, eyes still glued to the dancers, "Reckon your toes are worth a couple million."

River turned to look at the man, her eyebrows knitting, "On average, I suppose one could say that they are pretty expensive."

"Insured?"

"Pardon?"

Jayne turned to glance down at the smaller woman. "They insured? Ya know, in case anything should happen to them and they can't do that pointy toe thingy?"

River smiled as she watched the Colonel with a decidedly amused expression, "Liability only."

"Too bad," the Colonel seemed genuinely disappointed by the news as he turned back to watch the dancing. "Reckon I'd better not risk damaging them then. Good evening, Miss Tam."

River's heart leapt a beat faster as she watched the Colonel slowly turn to walk away. "Colonel-" The man paused, turning in time to watch as River jumped gracefully to her feet. "Are you- are you asking me to dance?"

A smile twitched across the Colonel's lips, "I don't recall asking anything all those lines, Miss Tam. I reckon that based off my train of conversation one might come to the assumption that I was perhaps considering-"

River rolled her eyes and sighed, "Would you like to dance Colonel?"

The infuriating grin spread quickly across his lips, "I would be delighted, Miss Tam, but I don't think my date would take too kindly to the idea of his security force dancing on the job –."

"Honestly!" Reaching out, the Ballerina grabbed a hold of the large man's arm and started dragging him towards the dance floor. "Really Colonel, I don't see why you insist on playing these silly games-" reaching the dance floor, she positioned his hand on her waist as she took the other with her hand "it's just a simple dance and you make this whole charade out of it." Counting off in her head she took the lead, moving naturally and gracefully into the flow of the music.

Going into the first turn of the dance, Jayne shifted his hand, moving it from her waist to rest on the small of her back, pulling her a little closer as he stole the lead.

It was no secret that River Tam had danced with some of the greatest dancers in Ballet. It was no secret that she had also danced with some of the most notorious dancers in Washington, men who, though they were extremely eloquent in speech, failed miserably with their feet. It would however remain a secret for sometime that River Tam, Prima Ballerina, found dancing with one, Colonel Jayne, to be one of the most exhilarating and pleasant experiences in her lifetime-

"Ow!"

Jayne grinned down at her sheepishly, "I warned ya."