Author's note: This story is for Xiao Gou (aka: Jao Ensatsu Kokuryuha), who wanted a story with Riku, Reno, and Zell and a few specific prompt words. I hope you like this, Super Pup.
Thank you for reading.
Several residents of Radiant Garden had gathered in the ballroom of the recently restored castle, which had been turned into a sort of public recreational centre. Aside from the library, falls, chapel, and computer room, several talented residents had decided to turn spare rooms into public classes or clubs.
Aerith had recently decided that it would be fun to open a dance hall, where everyone could learn various forms of ballroom dancing. Now she and Zack, whom had been volunteered to be her assistant, were standing before several of the townsfolk and a few of their friends.
Zell approached Riku and Reno at the back of the ballroom, where both seemed to be avoiding everyone else. "I didn't expect to see either of you here. Actually, I'm just here because I want to impress the ladies the next time I have a date…what about you guys?"
"Blackmail," was the Turk's brief reply.
The tattooed man raised his eyebrows slightly, "Oh…er, Riku?"
"Zack and Aerith thought it would be good for me to develop some social skills and this came up…Aerith was so into the idea that I couldn't just blow it off." The silvered teen shrugged with a weak smile.
"Yeah, I could see that," replied the redhead as the other man nodded his understanding.
"I think that's why most of the people you actually recognise are here," stated the blonde man. "They wanted to make sure Aerith didn't arrive to an empty class."
"That's how Rude and Tifa ended up coming," agreed Reno. "'Course, they seem to be enjoying themselves now, yo."
The other two males followed the Turk's line of sight to his best friend and Tifa. The bald man wore a slight smile as the mahogany-eyed woman laughed at something Leon muttered under his breath.
Riku looked slightly puzzled. "I thought Squall already knew how to dance?"
"He does;" Zell smiled and waved at his friend. "He and Cloud lost a bet to Zack and he said they had to come here as payment. I guess he didn't want them to have anything on him. I'm going to go bug him a little; I'll see you guys later." With a small wave, the tattooed man headed towards the steel-eyed man.
Reno and Riku simply nodded to the man's turning form and remained in the back, even as Aerith and Zack moved to the front of the ballroom to begin the lesson.
Both Aerith and Zack clearly knew what they were doing, and had obviously danced together on multiple occasions, for they moved as though they were one person. Aerith was calmly instructing the class as they demonstrated each movement.
Tifa and Rude took to dancing rather well, moving together easily and appearing to be enjoying themselves. It also looked as if Rude had some experience with dancing, although clearly not as much as Zack or Leon. Tifa caught on quickly and whispered to Rude from time to time, causing him to smile softly.
Leon clearly did not need to be taught anything. However, Yuffie, who he had agreed to dance with for the time being, obviously had a lot to learn. The scarred man was clearly putting some effort into remaining patient as he ignored the hyperactive ninja's foot stepping on his for the third time. His expression remained neutral as the petite woman giggled and muttered something.
Cloud clearly did not want to be there, but wanted to make an effort for his friends' sake. He moved stiffly and fumbled his footing several times, causing Lulu, whom he was dancing with, to look torn between annoyance and amusement. It appeared that annoyance was going to win out though.
Zell appeared to have a natural talent when it came to the upbeat dances, such as the Rumba, however, any of the dances that required grace and stillness seemed to escape him. Quistis had all of the motions down, but seemed to lack the nerve her dancing partner had to simply drop all composure and move with the music.
Riku had forgone a partner, as had a few others. The cyan-eyed boy remained at the back of the ballroom and seemed tense as he watched his feet. His movements were still graceful and precise, despite his obvious unease.
"You got the footwork down, yo," commented Reno as he steeped a little closer to the silvered adolescent. "And you definitely have grace and rhythm. Looks like you're just holding yourself back…"
Riku arched an eyebrow at the Turk. "If you know how to dance already then why are you still here?"
"Blackmail; Remember?" The redhead circled the teenager once before stopping in front of him. "Do you ever stand straight or move your arms away from your body…? Here…-"
As the Turk stepped forward and placed one hand on the silvered teen's waist while reaching for one of the boy's hands with his own, Riku stepped back and placed a hand just before the man's chest. The teenager's face remained impassive, but his eyes reflected apprehension, some irritation, and mild amusement. "I am not dancing with you."
Reno scoffed and rolled his eyes. "What's the point in going to dancing lessons if you aren't ever going to dance?"
"I'm not here because I want to dance, remember?" retorted the cyan-eyed boy.
"Oh right. I forgot about that, yo." The Turk smirked and then shrugged. "But while we're here…"
Riku glared slightly. "No."
"Come on, what if some guy you actually want to go out with sometime wants to dance?"
Cyan eyes blinked before the teenager looked at Reno guardedly and dropped his voice. "How do you know it would be a guy?"
"It isn't a big feat, kid," Reno replied with a smirk. "You don't react to or check out any of the girls here and I've seen the way you look at Leonhart when he's not looking."
"I admire him," defended the silvered adolescent. "He's determined, kind, noble…And so what if I don't check out girls…? I just…-"
"…Just don't have any interest in them," finished the Turk with a grin. "It's okay, Silver, I'm not going to give you any shit about it. I don't think any of the others are actually gay, but a few are definitely bi, so no one in our group should care too much, yo."
Reno suddenly chuckled. "I'm gonna laugh my ass off though if Stone Cold actually goes for you. Everyone thinks it'll either be me or Cloud to get nailed for taking jailbait…plus he's always defended that he's totally straight, despite the fashion sense."
Riku glanced at the man in question. Leon had managed to stick Cloud with Yuffie, both of whom actually seemed to be enjoying themselves, and was speaking quietly with a man who had recently arrived in Radiant Garden. The man used to be some sort of warrior and had blonde hair and a notable scar on the left side of his face. The teenager suspected they were not discussing dance techniques.
The steel-eyed man seemed to sense eyes on him and quickly spotted Riku, to whom he offered a nod. The cyan-eyed boy nodded back before looking at the ground again. "Just because he knows what looks good on him doesn't mean he's not straight. I don't see any practical reason to think he's lying."
"True," agreed the Turk with a grin as he eyed the silvered teen over and stepped closer once more. "But there are also exceptions to every rule, yo. I don't usually go for guys either but I'd go for you any day…and I'm not the only one who's checked you out when you aren't paying attention."
The silver-haired boy took another half step back as he shook his head. "Sometimes I really wish I knew what you guys see in me…other times I just wish you didn't. Stop it."
Reno stopped moving forward. There were still only a couple feet between he and the boy, and less than that between the boy and the wall behind him. "You know, I can't help but wonder why Aerith would think dancing lessons would be a good idea when you obviously don't want anyone near you, yo."
"And I can't help but wonder why you keep advancing when it's clear he doesn't like it," spoke a deep and steady voice from behind the Turk.
The redhead turned and both he and Riku turned their attention to Leon, who was standing a few feet away with Zell only a step behind him. The Gunblade wielder stepped forward so that he was almost as close to the boy as Reno.
"This isn't what it looks like," said the Turk. "I was just talking to him and offering to show him how to dance."
A sable eyebrow rose in disdain. "…And why didn't you stop when he refused the first time?"
Icy blue eyes looked over Leon, taking in his stance, expression, and proximity to the teenager beside them. "Because he's got promise, yo;" Reno smirked and began moving towards Zell casually, without turning away from Leon and Riku. "But since he's obviously uncomfortable with me or Aerith teaching him, maybe you should take over. You obviously know what you're doing and he admires you and trusts you."
Reno grabbed an amused looking Zell by the shoulder to turn him as he passed. "Good. Come on, Dincht. Let's go show the ladies how to Rumba."
"You're on," Zell smiled as he turned. While he walked away, he called to Leon over his shoulder. "I bet the kid's a natural at the slow ones."
Steel blue eyes narrowed slightly before turning to look at Riku, who appeared to be just as confused by whatever just happened as he was. Leon softened his expression and tone slightly. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Riku glanced at the scarred man before looking at the wall beside him. "You don't have to teach me…"
"I don't mind." Leon shifted his head to catch the boy's gaze. "Do you want me to show you?"
The silvered adolescent smiled softly. "Sure."
The Gunblade wielder took the teen's hand and moved to take his waist, but paused before making contact. "I only know how to lead."
Riku adjusted his hand in the man's slightly larger one. "That's okay. I'm a little tired of being expected to."
Leon smiled vaguely as he placed his other hand just above the boy's hip.
In the front of the room, Aerith smiled at Zack before directing his gaze to the two in the back with her eyes. The raven-haired man smirked at his wife. "Okay…you're always right."
"Naturally," the green-eyed woman replied before leaning forward to leave light kiss on her husband's lips.
The couple in the back of the ballroom continued dancing as if the others were not even there.