Disclaimer: I don't own 'Ugly Betty' or any of its characters, though good Lord I wish I could own Daniel Meade! ;O . The series is the property of Touchstone. So there is no copyright infringement intended, nor do I intend to tick anyone off – so please don't sue me, I'm poor enough already; all you'd win are a rust bucket car and a load of rescued pets with attitude problems that make Wilhelmina look like a poodle! But I do own the story itself and the original characters and non-'Betty' types…. :O)
Likewise the song that this story is loosely based on also belongs to the originator and the singer, no copyright problems intended; it's just such a gorgeous song.
This is my first '"Ugly Betty" fanfic; it's loosely based on the song by Josh Groban called 'so she dances' – hence the title. I love the Daniel/Betty ship (and pray they get together when the series finally ends), but I adore this song and just felt inspired to try writing again. They may be a little OOC, but I hope you like it anyway. :O
It's just a one shot (I'm still recovering from my second stroke, so I thought I'd start small – I'm having trouble with my other stories so please bear with me. I will finish them eventually.) This is a one off and I doubt I need to add more that. :O)
WARNING: NOT SURE IT'S NEEDED, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW. :o)
All reviews, and constructive criticism, gratefully received – but no flaming please; and I will try to update regularly.
SO SHE DANCES
It was 1am, Daniel was tired but couldn't sleep; his life was beginning to leave a nasty taste in his mouth. Betty had shown him that there was more to life than partying and having meaningless sex.
Betty – he smiled; not only his assistant, but his best friend and confidante. She helped him see he could be so much more than he was, but how to get there? All she would say is "you'll find the right way Daniel, but I can't tell you what to do."
He wandered to his window and looked across to the apartment block opposite. Like him, someone stood in the dark and seemed to be looking out of a window; the only light in their apartment was the soft green glow from a music system behind them.
The full moon came out from behind a cloud and softly lit the street – he could see them then; it was a woman and she seemed to be swaying to the music as she stared at the moon her arms reaching silently. She seemed to be smiling and it made Daniel smile too.
He couldn't make her out too clearly, but he could see she was curvy; wearing only a t-shirt and cotton shorts, her build was obvious. She pulled her wavy hair, which reached down to her shoulders, back from her face but he couldn't see the colour from where he was.
That was how it started – instead of dating up a storm or going partying he stayed in nights now; just to watch her.
He told everyone that he was busy with catch up work for Mode. He lied because he knew some would probably think it was weird, but he knew it wasn't – it was just nice to see someone at peace with themselves; a luxury he had been unable to find even with all his money.
After three months she disappeared suddenly, Daniel couldn't believe how worried he was – had she moved? No, he'd seen no trucks or anything there the first morning. Had she been hurt? He sighed in irritation, even if she had who could he even ask to find out? He didn't know her name, her age or even her damn apartment number.
He decided to wait and see; she'd probably moved. He didn't care; he would go to that party he'd been invited the following night – he didn't care; why should he? He didn't even know her.
As it was he didn't go the party; he found himself standing in front of the window at 1am as usual, but she wasn't there and didn't appear. He growled in a mixture of worry, annoyance and disappointment.
In fact it was another two days before she came back – Daniel had kept up his lonely vigil, and his relief when he saw the familiar shape at her window was palpable.
But now there was no smile; she would pull her hair back from her face as before, but the way she swayed to the music was sad – worse as she waltzed slowly by the window he was sure she was crying, her arms reaching up as if to embrace the white luminous orb seeking some kind of comfort.
It was June and so he opened the window – sure enough, with her window open too he could hear a melancholy tune filtering across to him – he stared in awe at her, even as his heart tugged in sympathy for her sadness.
She seemed so fragile, ethereal almost; yet, as she danced, even her shadow had grace.
So she danced and so Daniel watched, from afar with her just out of reach; he saw that no men visited, at least during the evening it appeared.
She seemed alone; occasionally another female called by, she would greet her with a hug and when she left they would hug. But there were no others to help with the sadness he could feel drifting across from her window; twining with his own, and making him realise that his misery was not alone in this world.
He wondered what had happened to her to take her peace away from her and make her cry. He wondered what had taken her away from him for over a week, but of course he'd never know; how could he, if they never spoke?
Daniel didn't realise how attached he'd become to her; it had been nearly six months now. Her softly swaying form haunting him in his dreams at night and distracting his mind during the day; six months of evenings spent watching her go about her evening chores……..always alone.
He felt for her – God he felt for her. He knew how bone crunching the loneliness could get; yet she seemed un-phased by it. He wanted to approach her, to show her you don't have to be alone – you can have friends, people who cared about you. Betty had taught him that – she was a good friend, listened to all his madcap ideas, put up with all his bullshit and yet still liked him.
He told Betty; she even came by one evening and watched too "reach out to her Daniel – tell her you like her. Tell her you'll be her friend." Betty looked across at the slowly swaying female in the darkened apartment opposite with sad concern "she certainly looks like she could do with one."
Daniel nodded, but didn't take her advice – how could he, how could he give up this view just to tell her? Tell her what; that he'd be her friend, that he'd be there for her every bit as much as Betty was there for him?
He wondered if she'd ever seen him, wondered about the man opposite who stood and silently watched her every night. Did she think he looked sad – did she wonder why he never brought women to his home anymore, save for one woman who dressed unfashionably badly and yet seemed like his best friend? Did she ever wonder about his life outside, as he did hers? Did she ever wish she could just reach out to him?
He sighed and went to bed, but sleep was a long time coming. When he did finally managed to sleep, just as the first fingers of daylight tugged at the edges of night's darkness, his dreams were filled with the waltzing form of his unknown neighbour.
Her tears fell like silver raindrops; her eyes calling him silently to save her even as she danced, her and her shadow, round an empty ballroom. Yet he didn't even know how to save himself, let alone anyone else.
Eventually the woman stopped dancing, merely standing in the window staring at the sky; yet Daniel still watched from afar. He felt a connection to her, a feeling he was loathe to recognise...but still, it was there - a warm glow he had never known before.
Another month passed and then his father was on the phone barking orders that there was a media ball he was going to be attending. Alexis would be there with their mother and he was damned if that freak and the alcoholic was going to be the only ones to represent the family.
Daniel had told him to stop speaking of Alexis like that – yes, it was hard to accept, but accept it they must for there was no going back. The argument that ensued ended with the usual "you're such a disappointment to me, but then aren't you always?"
Daniel had fumed, toying with the idea of not attending out of defiance. But in the end he decided to go; as Betty had said, there was no way he should leave his sister to deal with their father and try to cope with their mother once she'd decided to drown her woes in a gallon of martinis.
It had been a fairly bearable evening; he was getting on so much better with Alexis now. Well, since Betty pointed out to her that they already had been until Wilhelmina had interfered, and maybe Alexis should be wondering why?
So she had wondered and even done her own quiet delving; finding out that the woman was not the friend she thought and culminating in Wilhelmina being encouraged to take the post as Editor in Chief of their new London office – which she reluctantly did, it being a secondary publication to the US copy, but also knowing that now it was the only way she'd ever have of obtaining her dream.
Marc went with his boss, seemingly unable to survive without the bitchy woman to direct his life; and Amanda seemed to be less vicious these days without her sycophantic sidekick egging her on………well, for her anyway.
So there he'd been quite happily chatting with his sister about all these developments and watching their mother get smashed, listening to Josh Groban sing, and guessing with Alexis how much it had cost to hire him for the night when she'd walked in.
For a moment he couldn't breathe; he'd stood there stunned – after all it had been almost a year now that he had stared at her from afar wondering about her and her life – and now here she was, standing just a few feet away.
Her hair, he could see now, was a dark glossy brown; pulled up in to an attractive style gracefully cascading round the back of her head into waves that barely touched her shoulder. She was wearing a stunning gown of jet black velvet that was dotted randomly with twinkling crystals; just over her heart was one crystal that was a little larger than the rest. To Daniel it reminded him of the night sky she stared at each evening.
She looked nervous and he could see the woman that had been to visit her was with her. Reassuring her it was okay and they'd have a good time; but she didn't seem okay.
Then a man appeared, a few years older than her, and her face shone – of course someone like her would have a boyfriend, maybe even a husband; Daniel was crushed……but only for a moment, until he heard her making an introduction to her friend and caught the word "brother."
The brother took her onto the dance floor and they whirled around to 'Oceano'; in and out of the crowd so smoothly it was like a glance.
Others came to speak to her and she would smiled and dip her head before following them onto the dance floor. Still, as at home, Daniel watched from afar; feeling as though the dream that had plagued him for so long was finally real. For although she smiled at her partners she seemed distant, and he could still believe she silently called him to save her.
His mother came over and stood for a moment assessing the whirling couples who waltzed around the ballroom. "Reach out, ask her to dance" she said quietly in her son's ear "she needs to dance with someone who understands."
Daniel glanced sharply at his mother, his brow furrowed. Had she guessed, or had Betty said something – he knew his mother liked his assistant, as did his sister; all of them relied on the awkward young girl for friendship, acceptance and perhaps for help to believe they could be better than they were.
Perhaps Betty had spoken, however innocently, of his secret – but then Betty Suarez would never do that, he silently rebuked himself; Amanda definitely, anyone else (including his sister) probably – but not Betty, never Betty.
His mother smiled enigmatically "no one has told me anything Daniel, except you. Your feelings are written all over your face every time you look at her."
Daniel shrugged, schooling his features into his old arrogant nonchalance "I don't even know her."
His mother tapped his chest "yes you do, in here." Before he could reply she had turned to his sister and began bitching about some of the women there.
Daniel shoved his hands deep in his pockets, something he had done when nervous or unsure since he was a child. What should he do? He loved to watch her; watch her dance – spinning between his reality and dreams, her rhythm in time with his heart.
But he knew he couldn't keep watching her forever, it would all stop one day. Why not now, why not make the dream a reality – only this time he could save her….or perhaps she could save him.
He knew these nerves were ridiculous; he'd bedded more women than a lot of men could dream of, but he deep down he knew that this time was different – those women were as empty as he'd been back then; trying to fill the hours with vapid talk, partying, alcohol and sex so the screaming of his loneliness couldn't be heard.
But this woman was different from those others; he could see she had a heart, a heart that needed gentle handling. He took a deep breath and approached her and her friend.
"Ummmm….I wondered if you'd care to dance?" he smiled.
She glanced at her friend, who mouthed his name and shook her head with a slight frown. The woman stared at him for a long moment – her dark royal blue eyes held his bright sapphire ones. Then she smiled and held out her hand with a dip of her head.
As Josh Groban began singing "So She Dances" Daniel could not believe how closely the words mirrored what he felt for this woman "I don't even know your name?" he smiled, feeling as if he'd come home for the first time in his life.
"It's Serafina; a title too big for me, Edmund, my brother, calls me Fina." She spoke softly as she returned his smile.
"I think you're name fits you perfectly, it means angel doesn't it?" she nodded looking surprised that he would know, but how could he not? She was so strange; so different to all the women that he usually approached, that it was the only name that would fit her. Her soul shone from eyes as they spun round the room, everyone and everything else dropping away. So like his dream; only this time he had rescued her.
He wanted to tell her all this – tell her that now that he had her in his arms how could ever want anything else? But they had only really met just a moment ago, so how could he tell her he loved her – that he had loved her for so long and without even knowing her name?
She stroked his face "you don't look sad anymore – whenever I saw you from my window you looked so sad Daniel."
"I was lonely." It didn't seem strange to him that she had seen him, after all he had seen her too; he felt comfortable talking to her, as comfortable as he did talking so candidly to Betty.
A thought struck him "you went away, and when you came back you seemed so melancholy. I…worried." He dipped his eyes, but her finger bought his attention back to her.
"My favourite aunt died suddenly; I adored her so much. My parents died when I was young and she raised my brother and I." Fina's eyes swum "she was not only my aunt, she was my best friend.
I have always had trouble dealing with people, she and Edmund protected me – that's what his name means by the way, protector. But Edmund lives abroad now so when she died I felt lost, adrift. It took me time to adjust; but" she smiled, causing the tears to run down her cheeks, like the silver ones she shed in his dream "I knew I wasn't friendless, it was then I saw a handsome man across the way looking as lost and alone as I felt; I would watch him and the moon and know I wasn't alone anymore."
As he wiped her tears away with his thumbs Daniel knew that both his mother and Betty had been right to say he should reach out; he was glad he had.
At their wedding a scant six months later they had their first dance to the song where they had officially met that night, 'So She Dances'. Betty was there with Henry; giving him a grin and two thumbs up as he passed – Daniel returned the grin with interest.
When their first child, a daughter was born, they named her Elizabeth Claire after the two women who had helped him pursue his dream; but she would always really be just Betty to Daniel, named after his best friend.
He had felt Fina's peace and calmness from across the block; but to hold her in his arms each night, to see his seraphim's face each morning he felt truly blessed.
Maybe he had two angels in life he decided one night as he watched his wife sleep contentedly in his arms – for without Betty Suarez he would still be a lost soul adrift in a sea of hedonism.
As he drifted off to sleep the words from their song whirled in his mind and he smiled; the smile of a man who is no longer lonely, and is finally at peace with the world:
waltz when she walks in the room
She pulls back the hair from her face
She turns to the window to sway in the moonlight
Even her shadow has grace
A waltz for the girl out of reach
She lifts her hands up to the sky
She moves with the music
The song is her lover
The melody's making her cry
So she dances
In and out of the crowd like a glance
This romance is
From afar calling me silently
A waltz for the chance I should take
But how will I know where to start?
She's spinning between constellations and dreams
Her rhythm is my beating heart
In and out of the crowd like a glance
This romance is
From afar calling me silently
I can't keep on watching
I give up this view just to tell her
When I close
my eyes I can see
The spotlights are bright on you and me
We've got the floor
And you're in my arms
How could I ask for more?
So she dances
In and out of the crowd like a glance
This romance is
From afar calling me silently
can't keep on watching forever
And I'm giving up this view just to tell her