Title: Dancing Queens
Chapter title: Courage
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
Notes: I was trying so hard today to think of a title for this fic. At first, TK suggested 'Twinkletoes' (which I seriously considered at first). Then, after a bit of brainstorming, the genius came up with 'Dancing Queens' and I thought it was brilliant; thus, the name. I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun writing this. Oh, and I hate pronouns.
"… I'm not sure whether this is embarrassing or whether I should be laughing."
"I know just what you mean."
Yamato and Sora stood at a safe distance, observing the event with unsure expressions. They were making a vague attempt to look as inconspicuous as possible, and were failing. Sora stood boldly in the middle of the corridor, staring and not wanting to miss a second of it in case something vital happened. The blonde was faring slightly better by leaning casually against the wall and trying not to stare, although the glances he was making every few seconds were more than obvious.
Mimi, on the other hand, was finding the whole thing far too exciting to stand still. She paced repeatedly across the corridor behind Sora, occasionally stopping to stand beside her and bounce impatiently. After all, it had been mostly her idea in the first place; it was about time someone did something amusing. She'd been beginning to get bored. After pacing for a moment longer, she stopped, stamped her foot and bit her lip in irritation. Her gaze landed on the focus of her annoyance and she ran a hand through her hair. "Oh, what's taking him so long? I could have pulled three times by now!"
Clearly not wanting to miss anything, Sora leaned in Mimi's direction instead of turning to her. "Maybe he's trying to build it up? You know, get noticed before he goes in for the kill."
This excuse wasn't good enough for Mimi's liking. She began to pace again, not taking her eyes off Taichi. "What does he care if he gets noticed first?"
"I don't know," Sora shrugged, "maybe he's just that set on the two of us having no hair."
Mimi inwardly shuddered. The prospect of waking up bald the next morning was not one that she was looking forward to. She swore, if that happened, both Taichi and Yamato would be tied down and every single inch of their bodies would be waxed. True, that hadn't been part of the bet, but nothing was stopping her doing it anyway.
Yamato looked at his feet, ignoring the girls' commentary and began to wonder why he'd agreed to this in the first place. As much as he liked to think he was confident in Taichi's abilities, he wasn't. He was well aware that Taichi had all the superior graces of a pregnant rhinoceros and, especially when he was making as much of a scene as he was, the charm of a flatulent baboon. It would be a genuine surprise to him if his friend actually managed to pull this off, which was a rather worrying thought. The consequence he knew he'd have no choice but to endure if Taichi failed was not the most appealing of activities; he'd be a laughing stock as soon as everybody found out. Mimi and Sora would certainly make sure of that. Even if Taichi succeeded, the girls would without doubt come up with some kind of punishment for them. It was a lose-lose situation and, unfortunately, too late to back out.
2 days prior…
Yamato dumped his bag down on Taichi's lunch and sat down next to him in a huff. At first, no one said anything. To get on the wrong side of an angry Yamato was a really bad move, so it was necessary to tread carefully if you didn't want a fork in the side of your face. Jyou fidgeted and nervously cleared his throat, wanting to say something but not wanting to be the first to approach the matter. Luckily Taichi jumped to his rescue, eager to express his feelings about his squashed pizza.
"Who rattled your cage? You owe me lunch now, I hope you know."
The blonde leaned with his elbows on the table and his head in his hands. "Some guy just implied that I look like a girl."
Sora and Mimi looked at each other with raised eyebrows. Koushiro coughed uncertainly, and Jyou looked away, tugging at his collar.
Taichi simply blinked. "Well, you do."
It was one of those moments when Yamato wanted to rake his hands violently through his hair but couldn't because he'd spent so long styling it that morning, which made it all the more frustrating. "I don't look like a girl!" Pulling his bag away from Taichi's pizza and ignoring the attempts on Taichi's part both to salvage it and to make him feel bad about it, he fished out his own lunch and pouted as he began to eat it. Mimi couldn't help but giggle, and it earned her a glare.
"You really do look like a girl, Yamato." Taichi found this whole situation mildly entertaining. He'd always thought that his best friend had had a feminine look about him, but had figured that Yamato must have noticed it on his own. After all, Yamato was best known for his almost insane vanity; if he didn't think he looked impeccable, he wouldn't leave the house. It was as simple as that. Taichi would have thought that at some point Yamato must have felt at least a little bit insecure about his femininity, but apparently he hadn't even noticed it.
Yamato, feeling ganged-up on, seemed to drink the rest of his sandwich and shot a 'don't-say-anything-stupid' look over at Taichi. "How the hell do I?"
Taichi grinned and began to tick the things off on his fingers. "For starters, there's your hair. It looks awfully girly from every angle. And you've got your womanly eyes with obscenely long eyelashes-"
"You've got the figure of a girl too!" Sora interrupted with her mouth full of giant pretzel, trying not to let any spill out as she spoke. She too had already noticed Yamato's femaleness and didn't want to lose out on the opportunity to comment on it.
Mimi waved a forkful of salad around as she joyfully joined in. "Yeah, you've got lady hips!"
If looks could kill, Yamato's look would have massacred all three of them. Taichi in particular; no one was allowed to make comments like that about his hair. "Jyou, Koushiro! Tell them!"
"Well, uh…" Koushiro struggled for words, "Without meaning to offend you, I can't disagree. Your voice and face shape are the only things that, to an observer, would suggest otherwise."
"He's right Yamato, I'm sorry!" It seemed that Jyou felt an awkward sense of pity for the blonde. "But in our defence, you don't make any kind of effort at all to look like a guy! Especially when you've got a gig and you wear all that make-up."
Yamato slammed his hand on the table in despair and hung his head. "I don't wear make-up because I enjoy it! It's only for the shows! I style my hair so it looks good, not girly. My eyelashes aren't that long, and I so do not have 'lady hips'! You're all talking rubbish! Has someone drugged your food or something?"
"Nothing's been drugged. We're stating widely known facts."
"I've never heard such absurd 'facts' in my life, Sora!"
She merely shrugged and took a sip of her drink. "Delude yourself all you want. Truth is that you look like a girl. Ask anyone you like, and you'll get the same answer."
"I do not."
Sensing Yamato was getting a bit sulky, Taichi took it upon himself as the best friend to change the direction of the conversation. "What exactly did the guy say to you, anyway? When he said you looked like one?"
Yamato picked at his fingernails, deliberately not looking at the brunette. "It was half what he said and half what he did that bothered me."
Koushiro looked up from his lunch, vaguely intrigued, and the two girls paid noticeably more attention. Mimi was the one to ask. "What did he do?"
The reply was incoherent. Taichi had to lean as close to Yamato as he possibly could when a repetition was mumbled in order to pick up what was being said. His eyes widened, and he turned to the blonde with an expression of surprise, wanting confirmation and trying not to laugh. "You serious? What a pervert!"
Mimi was really beginning to lose her cool. She couldn't believe something so blatantly interesting was being kept from her, and she was certainly not the most patient of people. She wanted answers. "Tell us!"
Taichi looked around at the group, waiting for a response from his best friend. The eager faces were all around; Mimi looked as if she was about to burst from anticipation, Sora surely felt the same way and just didn't look it, Koushiro was making no effort to hide his interest and even Jyou was having difficulty keeping his eyes on his lunch. It was pretty funny (well, Taichi thought it was, anyway) that they were all so keen to get some entertainment from Yamato's ordeal. When no response came from the blonde, he took the matter into his own hands.
"He says the guy came up behind him, squeezed his arse and offered him a good time."
Hidden behind his hair and a blush of humiliation, Yamato was lucky that he could only hear the reactions of his friends and couldn't see them. At first, just for a moment, there was silence. Taichi, who could see, witnessed first Jyou looking very uncomfortable. He then noticed that Koushiro, who had stopped moving, was staring at him in disbelief. The girls exchanged wide-eyed expressions before turning to Taichi and Yamato expectantly, wanting verification. At the unspoken request, the brunette simply shrugged and the blonde did nothing because he wasn't looking at them. This was enough for Sora's mouth to drop open.
"Oh my God! I never thought you looked that girly! It had occurred to me, yeah, but I never thought it was that bad. Did you do something different with your hair or wear anything that might have made you look more feminine?"
The muffled reply from behind the blonde hair was, "Don't be daft."
Taichi tried comforting Yamato by rubbing his back; and surprisingly it seemed to work. The blonde lifted his head, if only to cover it with his hands afterwards, and leaned on Taichi's shoulder. He couldn't believe he had so little self-control as to let out something so embarrassing. Jyou and Koushiro would forget about it before long, but he knew he'd never hear the end of it from Taichi and the girls. It was one of those things that would forever be rearing its ugly head during disagreements.
At least, he thought with a small sense of consolation, his brother wasn't there. Takeru would tease him about it more than Mimi and Sora put together, just because he'd be able to do it without being strangled.
Mimi broke the silence and addressed Yamato directly, having grown tired of the short pause. "What did you do?"
Briefly wondering why this was still the subject of the conversation, Yamato reluctantly hauled himself upright. He had been very comfortable on Taichi's shoulder, and was really wishing he'd just kept his mouth shut. "What?"
It was obvious that the blonde wanted to avoid the subject, but Mimi wasn't having any of it and repeated herself clearly. "What did you do?"
"After he said it?"
"And did it, yes."
Yamato began to twist his fingers together, wondering how he could answer and change the topic at the same time. "I just turned around and said 'you might swing that way, but I don't'."
She immediately looked disappointed. "Oh, what? No hot boy-on-boy action? I'm ashamed of you, Ishida Yamato. You're so boring."
Koushiro gave an amused glance and Sora giggled into her drink, while Yamato managed to look both displeased and entertained at the same time. "Nope, sorry. But let's be realistic; if I was to turn into a homo, it wouldn't be for anybody as repulsive as he was."
Sora was next in line to butt in with a question. "Who would you turn gay for, then?"
All eyes swivelled to the singer, who looked like he was about to start stuttering. Taichi, deciding that his best friend had had enough embarrassment for a little while, figured he'd lighten the mood a little more and (quite literally) leapt to the rescue by throwing his arms around Yamato shoulders. "He's gay for me! Aren't you, Yama-chan?"
'Yama-chan' peered sceptically at the winning smile his best friend was currently sporting. "Yeah, you wish."
The reply didn't discourage the brunette; it simply made him hug tighter and grin wider. "That's not what you were saying in bed last night."
"Guys, please-" Jyou began to plead, only to be interrupted by Mimi.
"Now, hang on," she waved her fork in Yamato's face, who had difficulty moving backwards due to the boy attached to his shoulders, "I'm still unclear about this thing with you looking like a girl."
The blonde stopped trying to detach Taichi in favour of slamming his hand on the table in frustration. "Yes! So am I! I do not look like a girl!"
Ignoring this outburst, Koushiro shuffled and turned to Mimi. "What is there to be unclear about?"
"Well," she began, studying Yamato as if he was an object, "I know he looks like a girl. There's no doubt about it. But don't you think that if it was that bad, he'd have guys hitting on him all the time? It would have started ages ago instead of just now."
Blunt as ever, Koushiro glanced back at Yamato and replied, "That's true. It's possible they just didn't think he was attractive enough to flirt with."
"Wait a minute!" Yamato was already annoyed enough about his lack of masculinity being brought up again, combined with the fact that Taichi was still clinging to his shoulders and slurring comments about their apparent love life into his ear, without being called unattractive too. It would have been slightly more bearable if they had been joking, but unfortunately the blonde knew they were being serious. "This is where I draw the line. I can tolerate you guys thinking I look feminine and everything, fine. But now, not only do I look like a girl, but I look like an ugly girl? Have you all gone completely blind? By no stretch of the imagination am I ugly!"
"I think you'd make a really fit girl."
The speaker, Taichi, managed about six seconds of keeping a straight face before bursting into a fit of giggles. Needless to say, Yamato was not amused.
"If anyone's like a girl," he retorted, "it's you. Listen to yourself, tittering away. Men don't giggle."
When Taichi's laughter subsided, he let go of his friend and stretched his arms in the air. "Hey, I was being serious. I'd bone you so hard if you were a girl." He brought his arms down and gave Yamato a confident look. "And we all know I'd make a much better female than you would, anyway. I mean, just look at this natural charm!"
As Taichi flung his hair in all directions, attempting to mimic the models in adverts, Jyou shook his head. This was exasperating. "I've gotta disagree with you there, Taichi. You make a terrible girl."
"I concur," Koushiro added as he raised his hand.
"You're both lying, and you know it," Taichi stated decisively. "I make a better girl than Mimi does, sometimes."
Inevitably, this time it was the brunette who found himself on the wrong end of Mimi's fork. "I take offence to that!" she wailed, "Are you trying to imply that I look like a man? You make it sound as if I don't wash and constantly stink of BO, like you do!"
It was Taichi's turn to look offended. "Where'd you get the idea that I don't wash? I wash all the time; I live in my bathroom! And I do not stink of BO!" His tone then turned comical and he added, swaying his hair again, "This is the new fragrance for men."
Sora passed the remainder of her giant pretzel to Koushiro, who gratefully accepted it. He was a big fan of giant pretzels, so Sora had promised to share hers whenever she had them. She watched briefly as he devoured it before turning to interrupt the glaring contest between Taichi and Mimi. "It really does smell of BO, Tai."
"They're right," Koushiro agreed, happy with the pretzel and therefore not caring whether he made Taichi mad, "You smell like you haven't showered for a month."
Taichi himself was looking more and more annoyed with each comment that was made. Remembering how Taichi had called him a girl, Yamato smirked and nudged him with his elbow, wanting to add the icing to the cake. "Only girls wear fragrances, anyway."
At first, the brunette opted to sulk, but after realising what his best friend had said he sat up straight with a grin of triumph on his face. "See? I do make a decent girl! Better than Mimi," he mock glared at her, "at any rate."
Once again, Mimi was infuriated. "Girls don't stink of BO like you do! I refuse to believe that you make a better girl than me; it's absolutely inconceivable! I pride myself on being more feminine than Marilyn Monroe! My dead, rotting corpse would be more feminine than you!"
"Poppycock!" Taichi stood up suddenly, standing his ground even though he was well aware from past experiences like this that getting into this sort of argument with Mimi was like trying to flog a dead horse. "I'm a better girl than you, and everyone here knows it!"
Mimi, standing up also, stared down at each of her friends in turn, daring them to agree with Taichi. Jyou and Koushiro wisely, albeit suspiciously, avoided her gaze. To suggest that Mimi was more of a man than Taichi would certainly not be a clever thing to do, but they both knew better than to disagree with Taichi when he was too riled up to sit still; he could easily have made both of their lives hell if he really felt the need.
When she came to Yamato, he didn't look away; he simply smiled at her, and then turned to look teasingly up at his best friend. "At least you're more of a girl than I am."
Taichi scoffed at him. "You be quiet, lady hips!" He then turned back to Mimi and pointed at her defiantly, way too into the squabble to back out now. "I get more straight men hitting on me than Yamato does, so how come he's a girl and I'm not?"
"That doesn't make you feminine! Men swarm over me!"
"I'd get twice as many men as you if I looked the part!"
"That's the biggest lie I ever heard!"
"It is not! In fact, not a single man in the entire world would be able to resist me!"
"I can name quite a few!"
Noticing that the quarrel was close to the point of no return and that now Mimi and Taichi were inches away from each other, trying to stare each other down, Jyou resolved that it was his duty to try and calm them down before they did any damage or started throwing food at each other. "Come on you two, don't argue. Tai, you know you can't compete with Mimi and win when it comes to stuff like this. Just let it go."
His attempt worked on Mimi, at least. She sat back down calmly, a smug look on her face and a gleam of victory in her eyes. It served, however, only to make Taichi more irate. He sat down also and Yamato gave him a wary glance. Knowing the kinds of things that Taichi tended to get them both into when he was feeling competitive, he thought it best to be on his guard.
"Ok…" the brunette started slowly, raising his eyes to look at Mimi again. "I know how we can settle this."
By then, Mimi had gone back to what was left of her salad and was only half listening. "It's already settled, Tai. You heard what Jyou said. I win."
"Jyou's just afraid that you'll eat him or something if he disagrees with you," Taichi waved his hand dismissively. "Just listen. I will prove to you that I am perfectly capable of and girly enough to pull a straight guy."
"Taichi," Yamato warned, not liking the sound of where this was going, "Leave it alone. You're only going to end up making an arse out of yourself."
"No I won't; don't you have any faith in me? You're a crap best friend. Anyway, I'll prove that I can pull a straight guy. And when I do, you and Sora are going to shave your heads."
Sora opened her mouth with every intention of protesting, but unfortunately Mimi got there first, paying full attention again. "Gladly. But let's be realistic, shall we? When you fail, you and Yamato are going to enter the dancing contest as partners."
"Hang on a second-" Yamato was interrupted by Taichi, who raised his eyebrow.
"What dancing contest?"
Taichi and Yamato both turned around to see what she was pointing at. Stuck to the wall they saw a large, crudely drawn poster advertising nothing other than an in-school dancing contest.
If the brunette was at all nervous, it wasn't showing. "Sounds like we've got a deal."
"Wait!" Yamato waved his arms in the air, frantically trying to get their attention. He wasn't going to try and get out of it, because he knew they'd only draw him back in again. But a dancing contest? They must have been having a laugh. "Mimi, I really do agree that Taichi needs to learn that he doesn't have a vagina and everything. Let me ask you a question, though; have you ever wondered why I sing in my band and I don't dance? It's because I can't dance and because I don't like dancing. At least choose a different punishment? We both know that Taichi doesn't have a chance at winning this little competition you've got going."
She looked as if she might grant the blonde some mercy and reconsider, but Taichi, offended by Yamato's lack of belief in him, protested. "Hey! No messing with the terms. We," he gestured to himself and Mimi, "both accepted, so now there's no going back."
Yamato looked helplessly at Sora, who had some protesting of her own to do. "I know Taichi isn't very likely to win, but I don't want to agree to shave my head on the off-chance that he does win. You might be prepared to take such a risk, Mimi, but I'm not."
"Well, like Tai said, the terms have been set," Mimi stated. Sensing her friend's displeasure, she eagerly offered reassurance. "Don't worry about it though. There's no way he'll win. He can hardly pull a girl, let alone a guy."
Taichi started, "That's so not true-"
"Oh!" interrupted Mimi, who had remembered something important, "You say you can pull any straight guy in the world if you make yourself look like a girl, Tai?"
"Damn right, I can." He nodded assertively.
"Then I choose. You make yourself look like a girl, I point a guy of my choice out, and you pull him. No second chances. Does that sound good?"
"Fine by me. If I say I can pull any guy I want, then I can pull any guy I want!"
Amused by Taichi's confidence, Koushiro traded glances with Jyou. The doctor-to-be was looking fairly ill as a result of the bickering taking place next to him. He and Koushiro both knew full well that, by the time all of it was over, they would likely be consoling two boys who were being forced to dance. In all honesty neither of them could picture Taichi making a convincing enough girl to get a date with a guy. It was virtually impossible. The whole event was bound to be mortifying, and Jyou promised himself right there and then that he would not be present when Taichi made his debut as a female.
Yamato leaned his head on the table, still not entirely sure why he had been dragged into the bet. He supposed he had been the one who had brought the subject of femininity up in the first place, but he was convinced that the entire disagreement had been Taichi's fault. Poor Sora, too; even though it had been nothing to do with her, if Taichi managed to win she'd be forced to go bald. In fact, the blonde couldn't picture either of the girls without hair. It was a laughable but unfortunate concept. He thought of his own hair, and decided that he was probably on the better end of the deal.
Knowing he couldn't get out of it, all he could do was watch as Taichi and Mimi looked at each other, and Taichi rested his elbows on the table with a cocky grin. "So, when do we do this?"
And back to the present...
Taichi's hair, due to the girls styling it to make it look less manly, looked well-groomed and well-kept. He twirled a lock around his finger, glancing over at the guy he was supposed to pull before closing his locker loudly.
The other three watched as the brunette smoothed down his short, black skirt and slowly swaggered over, making sure he was swaying his hips with each step he took. He was doing alright so far, which worried Sora a little; while Mimi was certain he could fail, the other girl was not quite as convinced. Taichi was doing a good job of keeping the guy around, that was for sure. He just seemed to be hovering by the lockers, not really doing anything but not leaving either, which signalled to Sora that he must have thought Taichi was attractive.
Yamato was watching him too now, and he had to admit that Taichi looked rather fetching after all the work the girls had done on him. He was dressed in Mimi's clothes (it had taken a lot of persuasion, as Mimi had been convinced that he'd rip them); the previously mentioned short, black skirt which was fitted to cling to the curves on a girl's body, a black tube top (with a very padded strapless bra) and black heels which belonged to Sora because all of Mimi's shoes were too small to fit him. His legs had been shaved, his fingernails had been cleaned and his face had dolled up with all manner of powders and glosses. Yamato would have gone so far as to say that if he'd never met Taichi before, it'd take him a while to figure out which gender he was.
The girls had stopped commenting in favour of watching the outcome with full attention. All possible consequences aside, it was pretty funny, and they were both curious as to how the boy would react when Taichi finally made his move. Mimi, with Sora's help, had picked this particular guy on purpose; not only was he homophobic, but he didn't like Taichi very much either. She was relying on him realising that the familiar girl walking up to him was, in fact, a guy. She was sure it wouldn't take him long to figure it out; she'd deliberately not covered up a bit of facial hair.
After what seemed like an hours wait, Taichi stopped in front of the boy and, hands resting on his hips, said something to him. The three of them strained to hear him, but he was talking too quietly; Yamato really did hope that Taichi wasn't embarrassing himself. It would be bad news for both of them. In the same way, Mimi and Sora hope that Taichi was embarrassing himself. Neither of them had any particular desire to go bald.
And for one heart-stopping moment, Mimi saw the boy falling for the charade in front of him. This was it; Tai had been right. She bid farewell to her hair and was about to go crouch in a corner and cry when she heard a loud outburst of, "Stupid fag!"
By the time she looked up, the boy was walking away laughing and Taichi was bent over, cradling his jaw in his hands. Mimi rejoiced; obviously the facial hair had paid off. Sora was trying to giggle subtly as she thought it might be a bit harsh to laugh.
Yamato just held his head in his hands. Everything had looked so promising for a second; Taichi had gotten the guy's attention and done the hypnotising, girly walk. He must have used one of the most ridiculous chat-up lines in the book, or forgotten to make his voice higher or something. And now not only was Taichi going to have a huge bruise on his jaw from the homophobic punch and a deflated ego, but both of them were going to be subjected to the humiliation that came with competing in a dancing contest.
Sora and Mimi high-fived as Taichi joined them again, looking rather disgruntled. "Well…it could have gone worse."
"I'm glad it didn't though," Mimi smiled, "I really didn't want to be bald."
"I meant worse for me! He might've broken my nose instead."
"He didn't though, did he?"
"No, but I'm only saying he might have."
Yamato sighed and felt an arm wrap round his shoulders; when he looked up he saw Sora looking at him, relieved but sympathetic. "Good luck, Yamato. I'm sure you'll be fine."
"I don't know," he replied, dreading the thought of the competition, "Taichi's got two left feet. It's going to be hell."