Title: The Art of Holding Hands
Author: chocolatemooses
Disclaimer: I don;t own anything

AN: I just saw Wall-E and I thought the whole hand holding thing was the sweetes thing ever. I got inspired to write this little piece of fluff. Please review and I will hold your virtual hand!


I have a theory. The overlooked art of the world is holding hands. It is often seen as only a small sign of intimacy on the part of a couple, something off hand and throw away. But to those few individuals that can truly appreciate holding hands for what it really is know the significance such a gesture can hold. Holding hands is the way one person can tell another that they are not alone, that they will always have each other. When one person kisses another they are only able to see the one they love, the outside world fades away and they become oblivious to reality. Which is fine; moments like this are beautiful and lovely but love is so much easier in this fantasy world. When holding someone's hand, the two can clearly see the world around them and can see all the difficulties and realities that a relationship can bring about but, by holding hands, they signify that they accept all the challenges and are willing to go through them out of love. So, therefore I repeat, the overlooked art of the world is holding hands.

I decided this on July 4, 2004 at some 4th of July party. The setting was rather ideal for an epiphany; it was dark but clear night, the stars (or maybe satellites) could easily be seen shining in the sky. There was a slight breeze that dampened the LA heat, so the air was crisp and clean. The sky was dancing with colors as fireworks shot into the air, fizzling brightly before drifting away. And my faithful assistant was standing quietly at my side as usual. Perfect.

I remember looking over at her and marveling in her beauty. Her face was tilted slightly upward and her pale face was reflecting the glow of the lights in the sky. She had a look of child-like wonder on her face as she watched the fireworks, making her look almost like a little girl.

As I watched her, completely oblivious to the bright display, I was overcome with a huge need touch her, more specifically, to hold her hand. My eyes drifted down and I saw that they were hanging by her side limply. It would be so easy just to slip one of his own into hers. She might not even notice.

I stared at her hand, my mind going through all types of hand holding that were possible in this situation. I could do the cupped hands or finger hold or maybe even the dread laced fingers. I was starting to sweat. I had no idea how she would react; she might freak out, wretch her hand away, and resign. Or, dream of dreams, she might actually let him do it; not say anything at all, maybe even giving him a small smile. I tried to calculate the odds of that happening; I came up short.

So, instead, I stuffed my hands into my pockets and did nothing.

Over the next four years there had been so many chances for me to make my move. When she had come to the house after her mother died, her eyes red and puffy. I could have comforted her, instead of bringing her a glass of water and sitting on the other couch while she talked about her mother. Or when they had gone to the children's fundraiser and had played Red Rover with the kids. I could have taken a place next to her, instead of on the end next to some short blonde kid. Or when I had given my Iron Man press conference. She could have stood behind me and discreetly held my hand, giving me the much need resolve. Instead she stayed in the green room, waiting to chew me out for my little stunt.

Each and every time I had chickened out I had berated and pondered over my inability to just take her hand into mine. And each and every time it came back to my theory; holding hands is an art. One that apparently I am not skilled in. But I would soon correct that.

For days I had prepped. Taking my left hand into my right, carefully placing the fingers through each other, trying to find a comfortable position. I had built a robotic hand trying to find the perfect position in which to hold her hand. I had, secretly, been watching her hands with renewed interest; seeing how they moved, how they were stationary, memorizing everything about them. After awhile I felt that I was ready. All I had to do now was wait for the right moment.

The day came soon enough. It was the day of Obidiah's funeral and, despite my and Pepper's protests, S.H.I.E.L.D. demanded that we both attend. They said something about "keeping up appearances", I knew for a fact that my appearance said, "Good riddance," to Obidiah Stane. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't budge.

I remember her looking gorgeous and appropriately miserable, although for less than charitable reasons. Her hair was half up with small red tendril tickling her neck. She was wear a short sleeved dress and a silky shawl. But what I remember most of all is her lack of gloves, her hands were completely free and they caught my eye. I felt a sense of excitement run through my body, I had an opening. No one watching would think it was strange that Tony Stark was holding his assistant's hand, they would only think that he needed support in his time of mourning. And Pepper she could get mad at him because they were in public and such a display wouldn't coincide well with the whole "grieving" thing.

We were getting out of the car and I could feel my hands beginning to sweat. I begged them to stop and attempted to discreetly rub my hands on my pant legs, it didn't really work. We were getting closer and closer to the gravesite. I was just about to abandon all hope of even trying to hold her hand when suddenly I felt a soft, cool palm press against mine.

I almost jumped in shock. I looked down at my hand and was astonished to see her and mine were linked, her fingers laced through mine. I smiled broadly and glanced over at her, a small smile played on her lips as well. Trying to school my expression back to that of despair, I tightened my grip on her hand. She responded by rubbing the back of my hand with her thumb.

And so it happened that, standing in the middle of a cemetery on a cold wet morning surrounded by cheerless group of business men, I had the happiest moment of my life.