A/N: This is from a movie that I've never written for before, so I hope that I've done a competent job. I own nothing, as usual. :)
Katey tapped her pen against the edge of the desk in front of her, trying not to make her sigh audible. She hated this, all of it. Radcliffe had offered her everything that she had once wanted, but now it was almost a waste of time, and in Katey's opinion, it was a complete waste of her parent's money.
But her parents insisted, and so she went.
Everything reminded her of him. The gardener, who had his skin tone, the sea, whenever she had a chance to go down to the beach and dip her feet into the water, which had taught her fluidity, everything. Even now, sitting in a classroom in the heat of the day, listening to her professor lecture, she was reminded of him.
Two years, and she had heard nothing. Not one word or letter.
A droplet of sweat made a slow trail from the base of her neck, where her blonde hair was modestly gathered, down the length of her spine. Normally, the feeling would be strange and uncomfortable, and her old self would have pushed her body back into the seat so that her shirt could catch the droplet, but now, she let it go. Each centimeter of skin that it slid down reminded her of different nights with him, dancing close together in the hot and crowded La Rosa Negra club, surrounded by good music and very good company.
"Miss Miller," someone was saying, impatiently at best.
Katey looked up, startled for a moment and completely displaced. Wasn't she in Cuba? Wasn't she dancing with him? She sat back in her seat, completely forgetting about the droplet. No, she was here, at Radcliffe, and the teacher was saying something to her. "I'm sorry?" she asked, feeling foolish as everyone turned around to stare at her. She fanned her face with one hand and tried to look contrite. "This heat is getting to me."
"Liar," she thought to herself. "The heat never bothered you in Cuba."
Her teacher was kind enough to repeat the question, and when she answered it only partially correctly, he dismissed the class early. Katey was the first one up out of her chair, grasping her notes tightly as she practically ran out the door. She bit her lip, determined not to cry. She'd been doing so well! Why were all of these memories coming back so harshly?
"Katey! Katey! Wait, Katey!" someone yelled.
Startled, Katey slowed her pace and turned to find JoAnn, one of her only friends, hurrying after her, trying to juggle her books as well as the skirt that kept getting in the way. It was only when she turned to glance at her friend did Katey notice just how far she had walked in such a short time. She was nearly halfway across the campus. "Sorry," she mumbled, and waited for JoAnn to catch up.
"Is your dress on fire or something?" JoAnn teased, breathing hard and shuffling her books and papers around again.
"No," Katey said, and managed a smile. "But my skin is. My body is." She didn't voice these thoughts out loud. JoAnn, as wonderful of a friend as she was, wouldn't understand. She'd never felt that way about anyone before. She'd never given a piece of her heart and had a piece of someone else's given in return.
JoAnn, however, was astute, and she frowned slightly. "Are you thinking about him again?"
Katey nodded, clearing her throat in an effort to keep from crying. She would not break down, she would not break down. "Yes," she whispered softly, eyeing the ground in order to keep from meeting JoAnn's eyes. She pushed at a tuft of grass with the toe of her sensible shoe. She liked the sand better than the grass. The sand on the beach where they had practiced together….
The next thing she knew, JoAnn was grabbing her hand, causing her to almost drop her books, and was dragging her back the way she had come. "Come on," was all JoAnn said.
"Where are we going?" Katey cried, surprised at the force her friend was exuding. She, Katey, was normally the dragger, not the other way around!
"You'll see!" JoAnn promised, tossing the words over her shoulder as she continued plowing forward, apparently heading towards the dorm that the girls shared.
JoAnn took the three flights of stairs faster than Katey had ever seen her move, and when they reached their room, the latter was out of breath from trying to keep up. She almost collapsed onto her bed as she watched JoAnn flit around the room, breathing hard as well. "What are you doing?" Katey managed to gasp out. "Are you possessed?"
"No," was all JoAnn said, and Katey took her negative reply to be an answer to the second question. She watched as JoAnn threw open their closet and began rifling through the clothes inside. This seemed normal enough since the girls frequently traded clothes, but the urgency which now ruled all of her friend's actions seemed rather alarming to Katey.
As JoAnn pulled out the orange dress that was so familiar to Katey, she felt the sudden urge to snatch it away. JoAnn couldn't wear that! Katey was the only one who had the right to wear that dress, and he was the only person that she had the right to wear it for. Any other reasons or persons seemed wrong. As it was, she tried to laugh it off. "And where are you going that you're going to need that dress?" she teased.
JoAnn laid it out on the bed and scurried around, grabbing Katey's shoes and the barrettes she always wore in her hair. "I'm not going anywhere," she finally explained. "You are."
Katey stared, first at her friend, and then at her old clothes. "Where on earth would I wear that?" The students at Radcliffe would have heart attacks if they saw little Katey Miller in something like that! If only they knew….
JoAnn crossed over to Katey's pillow, and before Katey could process a protest, JoAnn had pulled the crumpled, well-caressed page out from under it. "Here," was all she said. Most of the words were in Spanish, but "Dance Club" was discernible in between the creases in the page.
JoAnn had done all she could. She had gotten Katey to leave, finally, and now she could settle down to her study guides, safe and secure in the knowledge that she had hopefully helped her friend. There was only so much one could do for a situation like Katey's, but she had tried her hardest, and the very fact that Katey was no longer in the room gave testament to the power of persuasion.
Just as she had settled into a decently-comfortable nook on her bed and opened her guides, a hasty knock sounded at the door, followed by another one before JoAnn even had a chance to close her textbook. If it was Katey, coming back in a panic, so help that girl…!
But it wasn't.
Standing before her was a young man that she had only ever seen in the reels that Katey had played over and over again when she had first been sent to Radcliffe. She had seen him smiling and waving at her countless times, but no black and white reruns had prepared her for the trembling man in front of her.
It had all been a mistake, a dreadful, horrible mistake. Katey leaned against the far wall of the lively club, letting herself get lost in the haze of smoke and sweat. She shouldn't be here. Not without him. JoAnn had been thoughtful, and for all intents and purposes very sweet, but she couldn't do this. Seeing the couples gyrating out on the dance floor, holding each other so close as they moved to the sensual rhythms, was just too much for her to handle.
Her palms felt sweaty as she rubbed them nervously against the ruffle of her skirt. Even the material hurt, the soft cloth feeling like a brand against her skin. No amount of bathing would wash him from her heart, body, or mind. She didn't even want to try.
She waited until the music ended, determined to wiggle her way to the exit, but just as the last note died down and she took a step forward, a movement by the door caught her eye. When she turned her full attention towards that movement, she nearly stopped breathing. He was taller, and even thinner than the last time she had seen him, but he was there, and he seemed to be very real.
He saw her at the exact same moment and his gaze locked onto her. It was there, across the floor of the crowded club, that Katey saw the intense love on his face, a look that she had not had the luxury of experiencing in full. She pushed her way through the crowd, and he did the same, coming to stand in front of her and take her hands in his, an action that felt like coming home after all these months.
To Katey's dismay, the first thing that popped into her head and out her mouth was, "I did take you with me." Those words, revised from two years ago, didn't make him laugh as she feared they might. Instead, he looked relieved.
"I did keep you right here," he told her as he moved her hands over his heart, trying to explain that he had not forgotten their exchange.
She couldn't stand it anymore. She threw her arms around his neck and moved into his arms, pressing her face into his shoulder. He hung onto her just as tightly before turning his head to kiss her hair. "I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear. "I'm sorry it took me so long to come and find you."
Katey hugged him tighter. "What happened?" she asked, pulling away only far enough to get a clear view of those dark eyes that she had loved so much.
"Carlos needed help," Javier told her, noticing her nod. She knew their story. "But after everything settled down, he told me that I needed to go pursue my own dreams." He cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand. "It took me a while to find you, Katey, but I'm so glad I did."
"Me too," she whispered back. "I'm so glad you're here! I-I haven't been able to think about much else but you." She blushed and ducked her head, but Javier immediately lifted her face up so that he could look down at her.
"I'm here for as long as you'll have me," he told her honestly. "There's not much left for me back in Cuba. Carlos is even thinking about joining me here once he saves up enough money for everyone to come."
It was Katey's turn to cup his cheek as she rose up on her toes. "Then you'll stay forever," she whispered. A smile spread across both of their faces and he closed the small gap and kissed her, making up for their two years apart as best as he could in that one embrace. Before she could even close her eyes completely, Katey felt his hands threading through her hair, knocking the barrettes out as he eagerly pulled her closer. His lips moved over hers with a gentle, yet frenzied, speed that had her legs giving out and giving him the opportunity to hold her even closer.
When Javier pulled back, both of them were breathing hard, and Katey had tears in her eyes, which he quickly wiped away. "Please don't cry," he whispered.
Katey sniffled and then laughed, hugging him once more, feeling the need to constantly touch him, almost as though her equilibrium depended upon the touch of his skin and the realness of his presence. "Sorry," she apologized, and was then struck with a thought. "How'd you know where I was?"
"I went to your dorm," Javier told her. "You're friend told me I could find you here." He bent over her and spoke into her ear. "She said you felt quite an attachment to a certain flyer of yours." He grinned as he watched her turn red. "You'll have to explain that story to me sometime."
Katey nodded. "Sometime," she promised. "For now, will you dance with me?"
Javier pulled her closer, closing his hands over her waist and nodded. "I've been waiting for two years to dance with you."
As they moved into the throng of dancers, their bodies remembered their natural sway and rhythm, and Katey found that the tight shackles around her heart fell away as she spun in and out of Javier's arms, both of them dancing together until the point of exhaustion. She felt freer than she had since she arrived back in the States. She had known before she left Cuba that their dance at La Rosa Negra would not be their last, and as they took to the floor one last time, bodies sliding against each other as they had so many times before, she knew that there would be many more to come.
Javier was here, and he was staying with her. She wouldn't need to be alone again.
They would dance through life in each other's arms until they took their final bows.
A/N: I hope you liked it! Just a quick note: JoAnn's character is indeed named after choreographer Ms. JoAnn Jansen from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, not as an insult (so I hope it didn't come across that way) but almost as a tribute. Since the story is based on the true events of her life, I wanted to put her in as one character, even if it's rather OOC (out of character) for her. Not everyone in the story can be a Katey! I imagined that the JoAnn here was very much like Katey used to be in the beginning. Thank you so much for reading! Please review!