There will be smut in later chapters, that's a promise :)
Matt reached the building with a 'Dance Studio' sign outside and prepared himself for either injury, serious embarrassment or both.
He'd had a text from Alex the day before asking him if he'd do her a huge favour - her friend had let her down and she was short of a salsa class partner. He'd rung her half an hour later and she'd confessed she didn't have anyone else to ask. To save her any further embarrassment he agreed to accompany her.
He opened the door into the studio and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw there weren't too many people there. Alex wore a black knee length skirt that flared at the knee and emphasised her hips (he couldn't help but notice) and a royal blue vest. He had worn navy jeans and a black t-shirt.
She gave him a generous smile when she saw him and gave him a brief hug. 'Thank you so much for coming Matt, I feel so cheeky for asking you!'
'No worries, you know I love to embarrass myself' he grinned back.
'It's nice and easy, don't worry, I come every week when I'm in London, I normally come with my friend Greg but he couldn't make it this week unfortunately. I didn't want to miss it and I have to confess I've always wanted to see you dance' she challenged.
'And that's why I came, Miss Kingston. To prove that I'm not a danger to myself or others on a dance floor'
'Apart from when you're the Doctor' she teased. Their chat was interrupted by the instructors introducing themselves.
A few minutes in and the introduction was done. The instructors asked them to partner up and get into the basic position. Matt stood (a bit nervously) in front of Alex and realised for the first time that he would have to be close to her.
Matt found Alex attractive, of course he did – most men (and women) did – she was beautiful. But for some reason he was nervous around her, they flirted on set and even for fun when they went out. It had become part of their chatting routine. They would politely say hello and exchange basic information about how they were. And then they would just dive straight into the teasing and flirting. It was all good fun and there wasn't much chance it would go any further.
But when Alex put a hand on his shoulder and took his hand in her other one, he felt himself go pink. He put his other hand on the side of her ribcage and the music started. Along with the instructions given, they started slowly doing the basic steps. His gaze fell on her hips as they swayed to the music.
By halfway through he had managed to only stand on her toes six times and she'd pretended it hadn't hurt. They were practicing the basic back and forward steps. Matt had nearly mastered it which he thought was quite good for him. He had been concentrating so much on not standing on Alex's toes and keeping his hands on her ribcage that he hadn't said much to her.
Five minutes later the instructors announced that the guided part of the class was finished and that the remaining fifteen minutes were for each couple to practice as a pair and dance the steps they had learned to a few songs.
Matt and Alex relaxed their dance position slightly and Matt's hand rested casually on Alex's hip. He saw her notice and their eyes met. She simply smiled at him and they began to dance again. Alex suggested doing side steps as well as the forward and back ones and Matt found them easy to master. They formed a little routine which they repeated a few times. The instructors were making their way around the hall and stopped at Alex and Matt.
'You two need to be a lot closer to each other' the woman commented. 'This dance involves your hips being pressed together and there being hardly any space between you when you're oing these forward, back and side steps'
Alex and Matt stepped closer to each other, leaving a few centimetres between them. The female instructor pushed them together so their hips pressed against each other and they were chest-to-chest. 'And now arrange your arms'. They did so. Matt's hand on Alex's hip, her hand on his shoulder and their other hands clasped together.
Matt's breathing was much deeper and Alex struggled to maintain hers at a regular level. Luckily the instructors left them to it after that, but Alex and Matt knew they were watching. Alex cleared her throat. 'Better start dancing again, Mr Smith' she smiled.
Being in the much closer position, they pushed against each other when doing the basic steps. After a while, they got used to it and their faces gradually went back to their normal shades instead of the blush that had first graced them.
They were laughing about what Steven would say if he saw his Doctor and River dancing the salsa together and had just decided that he would laugh and probably include it in an episode, when it was announced that the class was at an end.
'Ah, thank you so much for coming, Matt. I really appreciate it' she smiled as they were putting their coats on.
'No problem, Kingston. I'm glad I could do you a favour'
They discussed Steven's likely opinion of the Doctor and River dancing like that together and Matt suggested that they send in an anonymous letter to Steven detailing the request. Alex laughed until she felt tears welling in her eyes and realised where they'd ended up.
'Do you want to come in for a drink or anything?'
She laughed. 'Anything?'
'Cheeky, Kingston. I mean would you like a drink?' he stuck his tongue out.
'Well I don't have to be anywhere else today so I guess I might as well' she replied, smiling back.
They made their way to his flat and Alex flopped down onto the sofa. 'Tired?' he asked her, pouring them both some orange juice.
'Yeah. Not feeling too young right now'
'Well you certainly dance young' he told her, passing her a glass of juice.
'Thank you' she said graciously, sipping and sighing with contentment. 'Had you ever danced salsa before?'
'No I hadn't' he chuckled.
'What made you come along today then?'
'Well, you needed a favour so I was happy to help you' he replied.
'Were you not embarrassed?'
'Well yes, I was. Very. But luckily I'm happy to make a fool of myself for you. And other friends' he added quickly.
'Well there's nothing new there' she teased. He stuck his tongue out at her again.
'Do you fancy watching a film?' he suddenly asked. 'I mean, just as neither of us are doing anything in particular this afternoon?'
'Um, yeah ok, why not? Films always make me sleepy though'
'No worries, they do the same to me. What do you want to watch? You can pick as you're the guest'
'Hmm...' she looked through the collection of DVDs on the shelf next to his TV and spotted a few rom coms and quite a few action films.
'Ooh, we could watch one of yours?' he suggested. She looked at him as if he'd sprouted another three noses.
'Oh I just mean a film you've been in'
'Why would we do that? Do you even have my films? I wouldn't have thought they were your kind of thing...'
'Well I have Hope Springs and Croupier and -' he realised just too late what he'd admitted to. She looked at him in disbelief.
'You – you have Croupier?' she inwardly panicked and gripped the edge of the sofa tightly.
'Um...yeah I do' he answered quietly, looking ashamed.
This meant that he had seen Alex's naked body, something she wasn't afraid to show but the fact that one of her friends had seen it suddenly seemed a bit strange. But she didn't want to assume anything.
'And have you watched it?'
'...a couple of times yeah' he was looking down at the floor. 'Look Alex, I'm sorry, I was only joking about watching one of your films and definitely not one you're, uh, unclothed in and oh goodness this isn't going very well is it -'
'Matt, shh' she put a hand on his arm.
'Eugh, I'm sorry Alex, I'm a fool. A stupid fool. A stupid fool who says stupid things'
'Matt, darling, it's ok' she smiled. 'I overreacted a bit, I guess I'm not used to people saying they still watch things with me in it like Croupier nowadays. It came out over ten years ago and I'm just not used to it. Sorry. I should go -'
'Don't' he said quietly. 'I'm going to make this up to you'
'There's nothing to make up! Honestly, it's fine. I should have guessed you were joking' she reached for her bag but he took her hand.
'Alex. I value you as a friend, ok? You need to know that'
'I do, Matt'
'And I know that it creates a bit of a perverted perception of me, owning that film. It sounds stupid but I've always admired your acting. And in my defence I had no idea at all that you appeared naked in it...'
'Matt, it's ok. You don't need to apologise for anything'
'Well there might be one thing'
'And what's that?'
There was a long pause. 'Matt? Are you going to tell me or not?'
'I agreed to help set you up with someone'
Chapter title from Harry Belafonte's 'Jump in the Line'
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