Disclaimer...i do not own the characters, or the songs...if i did i would share...maybe, oh who am i kidding of course i would share!

learn a foreign language, Si, comportarsi bene!

lean to cook, well that one didn't go so well but I tried.

learn woodworking. He took a moment to look at his new desk, end-table and bookshelf. Check

write a book. yeah that's never going to happen.

finish labrats. getting there.

get a pet. been there done that...twice.

David Hodges was quickly running out of things to try. His list of "ways to waste income" was rapidly getting shorter, but still he was unfulfilled. Something was still missing and he was unable to figure out what. He had done everything possible under the "well rounded" header right down to joining a gym. That's really the only one he kept up with, it was good to sweat a little after a day behind a desk. Besides that he had no idea what to do, and he was bored. He checked his watch, the summer lineup of reality shows and call-in competitions was beginning, and in his state of unparalleled ennui he decided it was a good idea to watch.

"Hawkeye, Hoolahan, time for dancing with the stars." He called. A thin black tomcat and a distinguished orange tabby materialized as only cats can, and the three settled to watch. Halfway through the show there was a commercial for a local dance studio. Watching the energetic little woman demonstrate the ease of the steps gave him an idea.

"That's what I'll do I haven't tried ballroom dancing yet. After all how hard can it be."


Saturday afternoon was his first lesson. He arrived a little early an watched the couple before him with a growing sense of apprehension.

"Don't worry we'll start you with something easier than that." Said a small woman from behind him. "My name's Brooke, my husband Trevor and I own the studio. He's out today and next week so it'll be just you and me. When he gets back he will teach you to lead, and I'll be your partner. Unless you'd like to bring someone with you." She said with a small smile.

It didn't take him long to decide he would need his own partner. It wasn't that Brooke was hard to work with, she was a fantastic dancer, it was that her strides were so much shorter he kept stepping on her feet.

"Don't worry my toes are immune." She assured him patiently. That was not good enough for Hodges though, he felt clumsy and needed to correct for that. After his lesson and his hundredth apology he began to think about the potential dance partners in his life. Well there is Catherine, an obvious choice, but a good one. Sara's not around, but she wouldn't have touched me anyway. There was Judy...no, Mandy...NO...Wendy...well that settles it Catherine it is.

Come Monday he had his plan all worked out. Just go up and ask her, it's that simple, we're both strait forward people.

"Hey Catherine, I recently signed up for ballroom dance lessons and..."

"You need a partner, well I don't dance anymore ballroom or otherwise. Sorry."

"Thought I would ask."

"Why me anyway, isn't there someone else you'd rather have your arms around?" She said biting her lower lip.

"No, it's not that I just..." He began.
"Just go ask her. Besides in heels I'm too tall for you." She said leaving the room before he could respond.

"But Cath, I can't just go up and ask her, she doesn't like me." He said following her out into the hall.

"Well, woo her a little...anonymously. Then drop her an invitation, she'll be so curious she won't be able to resist."

"That works?"

"She works in a crime lab David, she can't not follow the clues."

"Riiiight. You're smart."

"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't."


Tuesday, Hodges waited with anticipation as he watched Wendy find the little box of chocolates he hid on her desk. She looked at the tag with her name on it, then around the room, then back at the box. He was giddy as he watched her pop a chocolate in her mouth with a smile, and close her eyes. He sighed feeling as contented as she looked. Wait until tomorrow fiore, there's more where that came from.

Wednesday as he was slipping the rose, and the larger box of chocolates into her locker he was struck with an idea so brilliant it impressed even himself.

Thursday he beamed as he watched her trying to find somewhere to put her half dozen roses.

"Looks like it's working." Said Catherine as she entered the room. "She's been snooping around trying to find who's left them."

"Wait until you see what she finds tomorrow."

"This is a side of you I've never seen before. I'm starting to think I should have said yes when you asked."

"What can I say, I never do anything by halves. And if you had said yes, I wouldn't have had to have wooed you."

"Point. Good luck, not that you need it, she doesn't suspect a thing."

Friday Catherine found an excuse to visit the DNA lab. There she discovered an awestruck Wendy and an impressive final present.

"Can you believe it!" Wendy was blushing furiously.

"What did he send you this time?" Catherine asked.

"Let's see, a dozen roses in all different colors, another little box of chocolates with a note "since you liked the fist box so much," an envelope, I haven't opened that yet, and these. She said opening the box she had on her lap. It was a pair of perfectly crafted high heels, in her exact size. They were enough to impress even Catherine.

"Lucky girl, somebody out there likes you. What's in the envelope?"

"I don't know, let's find out." Wendy said blushing again. " 'My little fiore, I know you're curious as to who I am. You can find out if you meet me here. Bring the shoes.' Then he leaves an address."

"Where to?"

"I'm not sure, I've never seen it before."

"Well then." Catherine encouraged. "I guess you'll have to go and find out."


Saturday morning Hodges waited nervously in the lounge of the ballroom. Catherine had told him Wendy bought it hook line and sinker but he was still fidgety. Then he saw them. The perfect pair of heels wrapping themselves criss-cross around the cutest feet he had ever seen. The allure continued with thin straps winding their way up legs that made him catch his breath. If that was not enough the rest of her was equally appealing in a clingy black dress that splashed off the gentle curve of her hips. Wendy had arrived, and he was too dumfounded to speak.

"YOU?" She was all she could get out. He shrugged.

"David, wonderful! You brought a partner this week. I'm Brooke, and your name is sweetheart?" The instructor appeared breaking the tension.

"Wendy. I'm confused, what do you need a partner for, and why is it me?"

"Um, ballroom dancing, and I'll explain later."

"Wonderful, let's get dancing!" It was Brooke who came to the rescue again.

Two hours later after endless repetitions of the basic dance steps and the careful avoidance of toes the lesson was over.

"You're a natural darling you must come back!" The little instructor cooed as the two left the building.

"I'll walk you to your car." Hodges told her.

"Good then maybe you can tell me what that was all about." she said with a probing glare.

"Well do you remember when I told you lonely geeks have a lot of spare time and income?"


"Well lonely geeks have nearly run out of options on ways to use that time and income. Learning to dance was next on the list. Little did I know so was finding a dance partner. And, um, well since I couldn't find anyone else I thought of you, well after Catherine gave me some encouragement."

"That doesn't explain why you turned my desk into a flower shop, or are trying to make me diabetic, and how did you know my shoe size?"

"I figured since it was me you would need to be convinced a little, and I checked your spare pair in your locker. I hope you liked it."

"I did, it was fun to find the surprise every morning."

"So you'll come back next week? Please? Your lessons are paid for. If not well I guess I can dance with Brooke, she just won't have any toes."

"What did you say?"

"About toes?"

"No about my lessons being paid for."

"Oh. I hope you don't mind."



"Well this is my car. I'll see you Monday then."

"Yeah, okay."

SO...chapter one...there you have it, it ends on a terribly awkward note...but it holds a lot of promises...

next chappie up soon!!

XO Ratty

PS. and PLEASE forgive me if my Italian is bad... the dictionary is only so helpful...