"I still don't believe it,"

"I still don't believe it," Lavi grumbled, pointing to the newly married couple that was dancing.

"It was a little bit of a surprise, wasn't it?" Allen agreed. "Miranda and Noise."

"I meant that Miranda hadn't tripped over her dress yet," Lavi corrected. Allen shot him an irritated look.

"I think it's wonderful," Lenalee swooned, watching them as if in a trance. "It's so sweet, don't you think? I wonder if it was love at first sight!"

"You'd think that would be difficult, what with things blowing up and people dying all around you," Lavi muttered.

"I think it's silly," Kanda hissed from where he was slouched down in his seat. "A marriage between two exorcists? These two should be focusing on the war, not their relationship."

"Lighten up, Bakanda!" Allen snapped.

"Shut up, Moyashi!"

"I still think it's great," Lenalee argued. "You need a little happiness through times like these. I think that they're doing a good thing by putting themselves first for once!"

"Yeah, just like Suman," Kanda snapped.

Lenalee looked like she was going to say something back, but Lavi cut her off. "Look over there at Bak!" Everyone turned at once to him staring bug-eyed at Lenalee. "Same as usual. I bet he wants to dance with you!"

"I wouldn't mind that, either," she commented. "I haven't been able to test my dancing skills in ages!"

Allen stood up, offering his hand to her. "Here, then. I'll dance with you, Lenalee."

"My brother will freak if I dance," she muttered, though she didn't seem to care.

"Come on!" Allen took her wrist, pulling her up and out onto the dance floor. The two began dancing.

Kanda groaned, leaning against his palm, muttering something about it being 'a waste of time'.

Lavi twisted in his seat so he could better watch the dancing couples. He hated weddings.

He felt guilty to admit it, even to himself, but it was true. What was there to like, anyway? It was just a large collection of happy people in a room, laughing, dancing, and having fun. He couldn't join in on this. He was a bookman. He'd never be able to join in on any of this.

He watched Miranda and Noise spinning around in the center of the floor, smiling at each other. That was another thing he'd never have. A relationship. It was forbidden for a bookman to interfere with history. He had to watch from the sidelines, recording the lives of others but never living one of his own. He had slipped up too many times before in the past and he wasn't going to do it again.

His eyes wandered over to where Lenalee and Allen were dancing. They looked just as happy as everyone else up there. That bothered him, though he knew it shouldn't. Some strange voice in his head hoped that Komui would break them up.

Krory slumped down in a chair next to Lavi, breaking him out of his trance. "Isn't this a wonderful party?" he asked, dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief. "If only Eliade and I-"

Lavi rolled his eyes, not wanting to listen.

"It is a wonderful party!" Komui agreed as he, Reever, Bak, and Johnny joined them. It was strange seeing them all dressed up. "And would you look at Lenalee! She looks so beautiful today!"

"Shouldn't you be saying that about Miranda?" Reever asked, rolling his eyes as he took a seat next to Kanda.

"But she does, doesn't she?" he repeated, sitting next to him.

"I can't dance to save my life," Johnny laughed. "I won't even try."

Lavi could have sworn he heard Kanda mutter, "Thank God."

Bak watched Lenalee dancing, his mouth hanging open in awe. "She does look beautiful today…"

Komui kicked the leg of his chair roughly from underneath the table.

"Why aren't you two dancing?" Reever asked, looking at Kanda and Lavi. "You look so morbid. You should be having fun."

"Why should I be having fun if there's a war going on?" Kanda snapped, crossing his arms and turning away, irritated.

"I'm going to get something to drink," Lavi said, getting to his feet. For some reason, he wasn't in much of a good mood.

As he poured punch into a glass for himself, he tried to figure out what it was that had put him into a sour mood so suddenly. He wished he hadn't had to come – it was probably the atmosphere that was getting to him. Or maybe it was having to wear this ridiculous suit. Either way, he wanted to leave as soon as possible. From the way Kanda was acting, he was sure he wasn't the only one.

"Lavi!" two voices called as they rushed over to him. He turned around to see a breathless Lenalee and Allen coming over to get something to drink.

"It's terrible to dance in these heels," Lenalee complained, hopping over on one foot. "Man, do I need to sit down."

"Go ahead," Allen offered, "I'll get you something to drink."

"Thanks!" She smiled appreciatively and went to sit down.

Lavi frowned, feeling something strange in his stomach. Somehow, he wished that smile could somehow have been directed at him for once, rather than Allen.

"Tired?" he asked conversationally as Allen poured the punch into two paper cups.

"Yeah, dancing can really wear you out quickly," he commented. "It's addictive, though. Usually I'm not too great at it, but I'd like to think I was pretty good at it today. It was probably just because I was with Lenalee, though. She's a great dancer, you know!"

"I'm sure she is," Lavi agreed thoughtfully.

"Can you dance?" Allen asked as they headed back to the table.

He shook his head. "Nah. I've never done it before."

Allen's eyes widened. "Never?"

"Never."

He shrugged. "Well, I guess you never had a chance to, being a bookman and all."

Lavi bit his tongue before nodding. "Yeah…"

They reached the table just to notice that Lenalee wasn't there. Neither was Bak, Lavi noted.

Allen placed down their cups. "She's already dancing again?" he laughed.

Komui had his arms crossed and looked like his ears were about to blow steam. "That Bak insisted on dancing with her, and before I knew it, she had brought him out on the dance floor."

"Leave her alone, Supervisor!" Reever ordered. "Let her have some fun for once."

"I wouldn't consider dancing with him fun."

"You'd say that about anyone she's dancing with."

As Lavi sat down, he remembered that he hadn't commented on her dancing with Allen. Did he approve of Allen, but not anyone else? What if he had been the one to dance with her…?

He shook the thought away. What did it matter if Komui would accept it or not? It would never happen. He was a bookman. He wasn't allowed to dance.

He sipped his punch, watching the two attempting to dance. Bak's face had already broken out in hives, and it seemed that he would pass out any second. Lenalee struggled to keep him standing upright, let alone dancing. It wasn't long before they gave up and she dragged him back to the table, sitting him down in his seat, resting his head on the table.

"Here," Allen said, holding out her punch for her.

"Thanks." She accepted it, gulping the entire cup down in one sip.

Lavi couldn't help but laugh, even a little bit. "You must have been thirsty. I thought you said your feet were hurting you?"

"I've never been to a wedding before. I guess I was just having too much fun to remember." She smiled as she set down her cup, and Lavi noticed that something was different about her today. Her cheeks were a lot rosier than usual, and her eyes had a new twinkle to them. Somehow, she was enjoying herself at this sorry excuse for a party.

Whatever the reason, Komui was right – she did look beautiful today.

Speaking of Komui, he was glaring at Bak right now, not blinking. "You better not have touched my sister."

"Don't pretend you weren't watching us the entire time," he gasped between deep breaths. "Besides, you kind of have to touch someone to dance."

Komui banged his head down on the table and he didn't sit back up. Reever rolled his eyes and Kanda let out an exasperated sigh.

"Those two haven't stopped dancing, either," Lenalee commented, pointing to Miranda and Noise. "They must be even more tired than I am!"

"So, anyone know where they're going for the honeymoon?" Allen asked, striking up another conversation.

Lavi tuned out as everyone lively discussed the new couple's trip. He watched the dancers spinning around hypnotically, his mind wandering off aimlessly. He didn't snap back to reality before he heard Lenalee speak again.

"I think I'd like to dance again," she said. Lavi looked over at her with a jolt, opening his mouth to say something.

He was too late. "Come on," Allen offered. "So would I." They jumped up and rushed off to the dance floor.

Lavi slumped back in his seat. What had he been thinking? What had he been planning on saying a moment ago? Surely he wasn't going to offer to dance with her. Even if he was allowed to, he didn't know how. The last thing this already dreadful day needed was a public humiliation.

Despite this, as he watched her dancing with Allen, he almost wished he had spoken up faster. He turned his gaze to his shoes, not wanting to watch the dancers anymore. The reception was sure to be over soon, anyway, and then he could go home and forget about this stupid party.

At last, the music changed and the two headed back to the table.

"No more dancing for me," Allen said with a laugh, falling back into his chair. "It was fun, though."

Lenalee frowned. "Not even one more? Come on! The reception's almost over! I want to say I danced until the very end!" She turned to Lavi, tugging at his sleeve. "How about you, Lavi? You haven't danced at all! Will you dance with me?"

"I don't dance," he muttered reluctantly. "I never have and probably never will."

She gave his sleeve another yank – harder this time. "Come on, Lavi! You'll never learn if you don't try! I can teach you!"

He couldn't resist laughing at that. "You have no idea what you're saying."

She smirked. "I bet I can prove you wrong. Come on!" She pulled and him once more, and this time he didn't resist – he allowed her to pull him to his feet.

He had no idea what he was doing or why he had agreed to it as she pulled him closer and closer to the dance floor. He wanted to turn away and run back to the table, but it was too late – they were already in the center of the dancers. It was impossible to get away now.

"Here," she said, taking his hands and putting them around her waist. "Just hold on like that and sway back and forth. It's simple." She reached up, wrapping her arms around his broad shoulders.

Lavi began to feel self conscious as the space in-between them disappeared. He was sure that the entire room was watching him, wondering why a bookman was dancing with an exorcist. He tried to ignore his insecurities. For some reason, he wanted to be able to enjoy this dance.

Before he knew it, the music had taken over his mind and he was swaying to the rhythm of the slow song, no longer struggling to stay on tempo. He allowed himself to shut his eyes, shutting out everyone else around him. He didn't want to have to worry about what they were thinking about them. He leaned his cheeks against the top of her head, focusing on nothing else but her and the music.

Even with everything else shut off from him, the voice in his head kept whispering to him, asking him what he was doing. Why was enjoying one silly dance so important to him?

"You look nice in a suit, by the way," she commented as they danced, interrupting his thoughts for a moment. "I don't think I've ever seen you in one before."

"I usually don't have a reason to," he responded. "I don't like wearing them, actually."

She shrugged. "It suits you, though." She laughed. "No pun intended."

"Good. Because that was really bad!"

She laughed again, turning her head to smile up at him. The music had stopped.

"See, I told you that you could dance!" she said as they headed back to the table.

"I guess I was lucky." He paused before adding, "I had a good dance partner, too. That must have helped."

She smiled, looking down at her feet. "Thanks."

He still didn't exactly understand why he had felt so strange about a simple dance, but in that moment, he realized he didn't need to know right then. He had all the time in the world to find out why, right?