Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. However, the plot of this particular yarn is because it came from my brain;)

Author's Notes: My second attempt at an alternate universe. Anyone who knows me knows that the standard couples apply (1xR, 2xH, 3x4, 5xS, 6x9). And, despite the story's subject matter, Quatre and Trowa will be the only yaoi couple in this entire fic, all the way through. Ballet is something that was important to me for nine years. I just never realized it until I quit. Writing this story is bringing it all back to me. Whether or not you like it or think that male dancers are fruity or whatever...I hope you'll read and enjoy. And perhaps relieve some memories of your own, or commiserate if you're a dancer now;)

Dedication: To Melissa, one of the truest and dearest friends I have ever had. As long as you have a song in your heart and your old jazz shoes in your closet, you will always be a dancer


To Dance Beneath the Diamond Sky
by Kristen Elizabeth


Dance isn't something that can be explained in words; it has to be danced. -Paige Arden

To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more powerful, more beautiful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking. -Agnes de Mille


"Hi everyone!" Hilde Scheibeker strode into the open practice studio with the confident grace of a modest queen.


"Hey there!"

"Hi Hilde!!"

Amidst the greetings from her fellow students, Hilde tossed her exercise bag against the mirrored wall after plucking her pointe shoes from it, and started for her usual place at the barre. He was already there, waiting for her.

"Saved your spot, gorgeous." Duo Maxwell winked at his girlfriend. "You're late."

Hilde gave him a quick kiss. "My mom is making me go to tutoring in the one free hour I have left in my life." She sat on the wood floor to lace up her shoes. "She says that I'll never get into a good college if I don't."

Duo plopped down beside her. "You did tell her you weren't planning to go, right?"

"Of course." Hilde looped the pink ribbons around her ankle. "She has selective hearing. It didn't register."

He reached for her other foot, to help speed up the process. "New shoes? It's gonna be a bitch to break them in this late, babe."

"Should I have let the other pair fall apart on me in the middle of the pas de deux?"

"Well..." Duo flexed her foot with his strong hands. "I would've paid to see the look on your partner's face, anyways."

Hilde poked him with one satin pointe. "Speaking of Heero, where is he?"

A loud eruption of giggles and high-pitched greetings from the other girls in the company gave Hilde her answer. She looked at the double doors in time to see Heero Yuy enter, wearing the same black shirt, black tights combination as Duo. He ignored the simpering girls and went to his own place at the barre.

"And he's off." Duo shook his head as Heero began his warm-up routine. "He's such a tight-ass. Even for a dancer."

Hilde laughed and stood up. "Better not let anyone else hear you talk about his ass." She winced as she raised up onto her toes. Duo grabbed her waist for support. "I'm okay," she assured him.

He gave her a doubtful look. "I think I'll be making a midnight trip to Brooklyn with bandages and antiseptic."

"Why don't you just make the trip...?" She used the extra height being on pointe afforded her to kiss his forehead. There was a glint of promise in her blue eyes that Duo picked up on immediately. He returned the kiss just as the double doors opened again. Their instructor and choreographer entered with a young, blond girl in the standard black leotard and pink tights.

A girl next to Hilde sighed. "Mr. Treize gets better looking every day." Hilde wrinkled up her nose. Their instructor, Treize Kushrenada was many things...the son of a rumored Russian defector, an accomplished cavalier dancer, a disciplined teacher and a notorious ladies man...but she wasn't quite sure she'd ever add "sexy" to his list of qualities.

The class continued to chat as Treize said a few words to their choreographer, Lucrezia Noin and the new dancer. Hilde found herself admiring the girl's honey blond hair, pulled into a thick knot at the base of her slender neck. Her own hair was short, black and curly and could only be held off her face by several clips.

Her eyes drifted over to her pas de deux partner as he continued his pre-class exercises. She smiled in exasperation. From the moment he entered the studio to the moment he left it, Heero's focus never wavered. Of course, that's what it took to be the best dancer at the Ballet Conservatory. She should know. They were partners for a reason.

At the front of the room, Treize clapped his hands for his classes' attention. Even Heero lowered his leg and listened. "Good afternoon," he greeted them. "Before we begin today, I have some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news."

"That is so like him," Duo snorted.

Treize continued. "Mary Backer has been moved from this class to one more...suited for her abilities."

Duo's head shot up from readjusting the strap on his soft, black shoe. "What about Mary?"

"They've moved her." Hilde bit her lip. "I'm sorry, Duo."

"Great!" he whispered harshly. "Nice of them to tell me I'd be losing my partner!"

"Well....I mean, she wasn't exactly..." Hilde phrased her thoughts carefully. "She was a little...okay, *way* behind on technique, Duo."

Duo scowled. "Don't pull the prima donna stuff, babe."

She bristled. "I'm not! I'm just saying that..."

"Miss Scheibeker, Mr. Maxwell." Treize folded his arms over his broad chest. "Do you have something you'd like to share with the class?" Both teenagers shook their heads, but only Hilde felt the sting of the reprimand. Duo's violet eyes were still narrowed.

"With Miss Backer's departure comes the good news," Treize went on. He put a hand on the new girl's shoulder. "Class, I'd like you to meet Relena Dorlian, our new student."


All twenty-nine members of the prestigious Ballet Conservatory's most advanced class watched her with cool, curious stares. Relena swallowed and fought to keep her hands from trembling. She'd never been very good in front of a crowd; it was for this exact reason that her mother had pushed her into ballet at an early age. But she felt none of the grace and presence that dancing was supposed to have given her. Rather, she felt extremely out of place. A duckling amongst the swans.

Relena searched the room for a friendly eye. She saw aloof detachment or vague resentment in most of the girls; a few arched eyebrows and interested once-overs from some of the guys, but boredom from the male dancers who had their arms casually slung over another male dancer. There was a flash of sympathetic violet in the back of the room. It prompted at least a smile from Relena.

Her smile fell when her gaze settled on a hard glare of Prussian blue. The dancer behind the stare looked away, not too quickly to denote shyness, but not slow enough to indicate that he enjoyed looking at her. Relena picked up nothing from him beyond a physical description. Of course, when she took into account his great physique, it didn't seem to really matter.

She found herself blushing in front of the entire class. Behind her, Lucrezia Noin patted her arm in reassurance. Relena was intensely grateful for the presence of her brother's fiancee.

"Miss Dorlian comes to us from Theatre Ballet in Paris where she has been studying for the past year," Treize announced. There were no sounds of awe, only eyes rolled skyward and faint snorts. "She will take Miss Backer's place as Mr. Maxwell's pas de deux partner."

The dancer with the violet eyes grinned at Relena. The petite, dark-haired girl beside him crossed her arms over her leotard. Relena felt Treize push her forward. "There's plenty of room on the back barre with your partner," he told her.

A red-haired girl on the barre in question raised her hand. "Actually Mr. Treize, we're cramped as it is back here. Maybe you could find another place for her?" There was the slightest hint of a sneer in her voice.

Relena looked down at her pink satin pointe shoes. A hot lump settled into her throat. Moving from an entirely different country wasn't nearly so hard as starting over in a new dance class. Fortunately, Treize had no intention of allowing the students to run his class.

"In that case," he began. "Miss Scheibeker, move up to the front barre and take the empty space next to Mr. Yuy. You two really ought to be stretching together, anyway. Miss Dorlian, you take Miss Scheibeker's place."

The dark-haired girl threw the boy beside her, who had a long braid of hair trailing down his back that Relena could see when he turned, a mournful look, but did as the instructor asked. Relena passed her on the way to the back barre and received a rather cold look. Doing her best to ignore it, Relena took her place beside her new pas de deux partner.

"Hey," he greeted her with a wink. "I'm Duo."

Relena shook his hand with great hesitation. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"All right everyone. We'll begin with the usual routine. Two demi-plies and a grand in first, second, fourth and fifth. Full port de bra forward, sideways and back." Treize pointed to the pianist and light music filled the room.

Duo's muscled back faced Relena as they started the stretches. "So, Paris, eh?"

She waited until she was well into her grand plie before replying. "Yes. I miss it." As she rose back up, she frowned at his thick braid of hair. "Doesn't that get in your way?"

"Nah, I just tuck it under my shirt after warm-up," he replied, bending over backwards in the required port de bra.

"What about during performance?" she asked when they both moved into second position.

"Well..." Duo completed his plies and stretched forward until his head nearly touched the floor. With his legs in second, he could see her behind him, in the same position. "I'm not a cavalier, so it doesn't matter. I play the character parts." They straightened up and bent sideways. "Like last Christmas, I played the Rat King in *The Nutcracker*. Not in the big company production, of course," he hastily added. "Our class just put it on with the next level down for one of the children's centers in Harlem."

Relena closed her eyes, feeling the familiar stretch up and down her side. The school might have been new, but the comfort of dancing made the awkwardness fade away. "Still...that's a great part. So, who in here was the Nutcracker Prince?"

"Wait until we get into real practice..." Duo adjusted his feet into fourth position. "And then you can figure it out for yourself."


Thirty minutes later, they had moved from the barre into floor exercises. Now paired up with their partners, the class had been instructed to perform a fish dive move. When Duo put his hands on her waist, Relena instantly tensed up. She wondered what her old pas de deux partner was doing right then. It was much later in Paris, but Quatre Winner was probably still rehearsing.

Duo seemed to sense her hesitation. "Hey, it's okay." He took her hand. "I haven't dropped a girl yet."

She relaxed a bit and let him lead. He lifted her up into the air; she curved her back, bending one leg at the knee slightly more than the other. For his part, Duo supported her with one hand on her stomach and the other curled around her inner thigh. She aligned her arms at a paralell with her body and they held the position until Treize made his way to them.

"Good. Miss Dorlian, relax your fingers...." Treize looked them over critically. "Mr. Maxwell, you need to support her more; she looks like she's about to fall."

Duo grimaced. "All right." The only way to follow Treize's instructions was to get his hand even higher up on Relena's inner thigh, to the point where he might as well be copping a feel.

Relena jumped even at the expected movement of his hand. Somehow having Quatre hold her in the exact same position had never made her feel uncomfortable. Perhaps because of his relationship with Trowa Barton... A sudden wave of panic hit her.

The slight jerk of her body knocked Duo off balance. She almost fell onto her face, but managed to catch herself by pulling one leg of his grasp and landing on it. She stumbled forward too quickly for him to hold her in place. Every eye was suddenly on her.

"Nice move," someone snickered.

Treize frowned. "Miss Catalonia, keep your comments to yourself." He looked at Relena. "You have to trust your partner, Miss Dorlian or else you might as well quit now."

Relena released a breath when he continued on, inspecting the other dancers. Duo approached her. "Sorry about that," he apologized.

"It's not your fault." She wiped a bead of perspiration off her forehead. "I won't let it happen again."

Across the room, Treize suddenly called for everyone's attention. "Class, I want you to watch Mr. Yuy and Miss Scheibeker execute the fish dive." The partners moved into a perfect example of the supported adagio position. "Look at the lines of Miss Scheibeker's body. This is what you should be trying for, ladies. And gentlemen, watch how Mr. Yuy supports her. Try to do the same."

Relena watched the pair for a long minute. "She's really good..."

"Hilde's the best." Duo grinned. "She's also my girlfriend," he continued, proudly.

"And her partner?" She licked her lower lip when the dancer with the Prussian blue eyes released Hilde.

Duo moved behind Relena to try the fish dive again. "Heero Yuy." He lifted her up.

Her eyes were still on the other boy. "The Nutcracker Prince?"

"You got it."


"Great class everyone. See you tomorrow at four sharp."

At Treize's dismissal, the entire class relaxed and headed for their abandoned exercise bags. Relena followed Duo when he went to pick up his. "Wasn't bad for a first class together," Duo told her.

"I nearly toppled over, landed wrong on my grand jete, flubbed up my foutettes...."

"Don't beat yourself up." Duo grabbed his bag. "There's always tomorrow."

Relena tucked a few sweaty strands of hair that had worked loose of her bun behind her ears. "I suppose."

Just then, they were joined by Hilde who immediately claimed Duo's arm. He kissed the top of his girlfriend's head. "You looked good today, babe."

"Thank you." Hilde wrapped her arms around his waist.

"Relena, this is my girlfriend, the greatest dancer alive, Hilde. Hilde, this is Relena," Duo introduced the girls.

Hilde gave her a cool smile. "Did you really dance in Paris?" Relena nodded. "At just what level?"

Duo shook his finger at her. "Quit being catty or I'll have to pinch you."

A little bit of Hilde's initial jealous and hostility towards the new girl faded in the light of her boyfriend's obvious devotion. "Sorry. PMS." She gave Relena a genuine smile. "Duo's a strong partner; you'll get better."

"Um...thank you. I think." Out of the corner of her eye, Relena caught sight of Heero, returning to the barre. "Does he take double classes?"

"No, he's just a perfectionist," Hilde replied, leaning on Duo for support as she loosened the ties on her pointe shoes. "He'll be here until he gets whatever he's working on completely down pat."

"Whew! For a second, I was afraid he might have convinced you to stay, too." Duo winked; it seemed to be his trademark gesture.

Hilde removed her shoes and slipped on a pair of Keds before Duo could see the bloody blisters on her feet. "I wish I could, but I have to work tonight."

"Where do you work?" Relena asked, politely, as she zipped up her parka.

"A dance supply store on West 23rd." Hilde reached into her bag for her watch. "Actually, I've got to run if I'm gonna catch the subway." She kissed Duo's cheek and tried not to hobble out of the studio.

Duo sighed. "Her feet must be killing her. Damn, I wish she wouldn't push herself so hard."

Relena placed her pointe shoes in her bag and pulled on her sneakers. "She seems really nice."

"Yeah. She is." Duo smiled. "When she's not being a prima donna."

Most of the class had left by then, with the exception of Heero who was practicing at the barre. "Do you need a ride somewhere?" Relena asked Duo.

"You have a car?"

Together, they walked out of the studio. "Well, not exactly." When, after a short elevator ride, they emerged onto the busy sidewalk of Broadway, he saw what she meant. A stretch limousine waited for her at the curb. "Damn..." Duo whistled. "Nice setup. So, just who are you, Relena Dorlian?"


Relena was, he learned during the twenty minute limo ride to his parent's apartment in Chelsea, the daughter of Gerrard Dorlian, Ambassador to France. Her parent's recent divorce had sent her back to America, quite unexpectedly.

"So, you live with your mom on Park Avenue?"

She tore her eyes away from the bare, winter trees in Central Park as they passed by. "Well, we live with my brother, Millardo."

Duo double-blinked. "Millardo? As in 'Peacecraft'? The Conservatory company's artistic director, Millardo? Engaged to our classes' choreographer, Millardo?"

Relena nodded to every statement. "He's only my half-brother, actually. We have the same mother."

"Hey, that's cool, though." Duo settled back into the leather seat. "Put in a good word for me with your brother when he's casting the workshop next month."

"The workshop? That's the auditions for the company, right?"

Duo nodded. "And pretty much every other company that matters. City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre. We're doing *Swan Lake*, apparently. I'm bucking for the role of Baron Rothbart."

Relena smiled. "I'll drop Millardo some subtle hints."

"I think I'm gonna like you, Relena Dorlian. And not just for that, I swear." Duo grinned. "It's a lot about the limo, too."

She laughed, for the first time in weeks, although Duo wasn't aware of that. "I suppose your girlfriend's going for Odette?"

"Hilde's been trying for that part since she was eight." Duo scratched the back of his head. "She'd probably get it on her own merit, but having Yuy for a pas de deux partner helps her chances a hell of a lot."

"Is he really that good?"

Duo snorted. "He's fucking perfect." He glanced out the window. "Oh, hey! Driver-person..."

"Miles," Relena supplied the driver's name.

"Miles-man." Duo pointed. "That's my building right there." Miles pulled over and Duo opened the limo door. "Thanks for the ride, princess."

The new nickname made her smile even brighter. "Wait," she called to him. "What school do you go to?"

"PS 156," Duo replied. "Why? Where are you gonna be going?"

Disappointment flashed on Relena's face. "St. John's Academy."

"Ah..." Duo crossed his arms. "Well, you won't be alone on your first day, then."

"I won't?"

"Nope." He started to close the door. "Yuy goes there, too." The door shut. Duo waved and bounded up the steps of his apartment building.

Relena closed her eyes as Miles started off towards Park Avenue. She'd be going to school with Heero, the Perfect Dancer.

Somehow, she had a feeling that wouldn't prevent her from being lonely on her first day of school.


"Relena, you haven't touched your creme brulee." Lucrezia Noin gave her fiancee's half sister a puzzled look. "I thought it was your favorite."

"It is," Relena assured her. "I'm just not very hungry."

Across the table, Relena's mother, Helen Dorlian, touched her linen napkin to the corners of her tight mouth. "Don't push her, Lucrezia. She needs to watch her weight."

"There's nothing wrong with her weight," Millardo Peacecraft said, firmly. He lifted his coffee cup to his lips and smiled at Relena.

Helen gave her oldest son a look. "A few extra pounds can count for a lot when someone has to lift you everyday. You should know that better than anyone, Millardo."

"A few extra pounds also keeps her from looking emaciated," Lucrezia added in a quiet voice. "But if she's truly not hungry, she's not hungry."

Relena pushed back from the table. "May I please be excused? I have a lot of homework."

No one objected, so Relena started out of the dining room. A servant gave her a curtsy in the hallway before she escaped to the luxurious haven of her rooms. Her bed had already been turned down; not an article of clothing lay on the floor and nary a knick-knack was out of place. Relena stifled a small scream. She had very purposefully left a uniform skirt and blouse in a messy pile on the oriental rug.

She flopped onto her bed. Her own room and she couldn't control how it was kept. As she lay on the soft down comforter, her thoughts drifted back to class. The fish dive. The horrible feeling of panic when Duo's hand came into contact with the inside of her thigh. It was way too much like...

Relena shook her head. The past was a bad place in which to dwell. She turned her head after a moment and her gaze fell on the princess phone beside her bed. Without hesitation, she pulled the receiver from its cradle and dialed a long string of numbers. After a moment of ringing, she heard the voice she had been longing for.

"Hallo?" Quatre Winner's sleepy French was like music.

Relena bit back tears. "Quatre...il ist moi, Relena."

"Relena!" He sounded overjoyed, not giving any indication that he cared that she had woken him up at four AM, Paris-time. "Oh, cheri....it is so good to hear your voice."

"Quatre..." She lost the battle with her tears. "I miss you so much!"

"Bebe..." His sympathy floated to her from across the Atlantic. "Everyone in class mourns now. Relena is gone. I think we do not go on much longer."

Relena twisted the phone cord around her finger. "I think I do not go on much longer, either."

"Do they not treat you well in America?"

"I suppose. But it's not Paris, Quatre. It never will be."

"Of course not!" He paused. "Today began your new class?"


"Et..." he prompted.

Relena sighed. "I have a very nice pas de deux partner. You'd like him, Quatre. He's a bit of a rebel." She described Duo's braid, to Quatre's amusement. "But," she continued. "In class today, when he had to touch me..."

"Vous etes devenus fous?"

"Oui. I completely freaked out." Relena sniffed. "I thought if I got out of Paris....even though I'd be leaving you and the company....I'd be getting away from..." She swallowed. "From him."

"You do not leave behind all bad thought because you run," Quatre said. "It will now follow you until you say, 'Alles vous en! Laissez-moi seul! Be gone! Leave me be!' Only then do you forget."

Relena looked down at her lap. "And then I'll stop having nightmares?"

Quatre made a noise in the back of his throat. "You do not sleep, cheri?" He emitted several French curses. "When I see him, I spit on him. Remember this, bebe...he is one man. The men you meet in America...some different. Give them a...a...merde! What is the word?"

"A chance?"

"Oui! A chance. But trust carefully. Do you understand?"

Relena nodded. "I understand. Merci, my dear friend. When you see Trowa, tell him I miss him."

"I tell him when he wakes," Quatre promised. Relena laughed. Twice in one day; it was a record. "Bonsoir, petit mademoiselle."

"Bonsoir," she whispered before the click of his phone hanging up. She left the phone at her ear for a long time, as if it could keep Quatre with her.

And keep the bad dreams away.


To Be Continued