Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Sailor Moon.
Jaden Harris was not impressed with Zachary Lawrence. The dude was totally into these fancy-schmancy scenes. Of course, it wasn't Zach's fault, that was the way he'd been raised. Jay was cool with that and accepted him for who he was. That was what bros did.
They didn't drag them to jazz clubs that they seriously didn't belong in. Sure, Jay was a sing in the shower kind of guy and he sang everything from country to hip hop but he didn't actually go to jazz clubs. Especially not in a suit and tie. Jay uncomfortably adjusted the tie around his neck. Yet, eventually, everyone found themselves marching to Zachary Lawrence's beat.
"Man, how long are we here for?" Jay whined. Zach rolled his eyes and scanned the room they'd just entered. Jay knew Zach was checking the lay of the land. In seconds, the kid had probably figured out who he needed to charm, stay away from, and find out information on. Zach ignored Jay's whining and continued scanning until he found what he wanted. His spine straightened and he turned towards Jay.
"You owe me, remember? Besides, I think you'll like your date. I certainly do."
Jay rolled his eyes. "Tell me you're not setting me up with an ex. That would be all I need."
"Oh no. Lesson learned, my friend. You'll find the woman I've arranged for you to spend the evening with is of an entirely different breed."
"You couldn't do this with Kai?"
"He's taken and Darien's married. Nate is halfway across the world. You were my only option, so stop whining."
"Thanks," Jay drily remarked.
"You're welcome." Without warning, Zach moved forward and began to weave through the crowd, leaving Jay behind. Jay sighed and settled into an evening of polite smiles and small talk. Not. He spied a dark corner out on the balcony that had his name all over it.
Once outside he breathed the night air in deeply. Jay made his way to the railings and held onto them before looking up at the stars.
"They make you feel incredibly small, don't they?"
Jay jumped at the feminine voice that had come from beside him. He looked over and was surprised to find a woman standing in the shadows, her head tilted towards the sky. She inclined her head towards him.
"I'm sorry, did I startle you?"
"Yeah. I think I'll be ok, though."
She huffed in amusement and stepped towards Jay and towards the light from inside the club. Her large, almond-shaped eyes fixed on him and Jay breathed in slowly. She was petite and delicate. Her long dark hair contrasted against her pale skin and enhanced the effect of the deep purple dress she was wearing. Perhaps the night would go much better than planned.
"At this point, it would be polite to introduce yourself," she prompted.
"Ah, right. I'm sorry. It's Jaden or Jay for short. You are?"
Jay nodded expecting her to continue but that seemed to be it for her. If she wasn't going to say anything, neither was he. He didn't even really want to be here. Jay settled for watching the stars once more.
"Do you want to be here?"
Jay looked over at her in surprise. "E-excuse me?"
"If you were here for the party you'd be inside. Instead, you're standing here keeping an awkward silence with me."
Jay smiled and rubbed his chin. "I'm here in order to repay a favour."
She suddenly inclined her head towards the open doors of the club. Jay looked back to see what she was looking at but didn't see anything. Rei took a deep breath and turned towards him fully.
"I love this song." She held out a hand to Jay. "Dance with me."
It was an order, not a request. Jay shrugged. Who was he to deny a beautiful lady something? He gently took her hand and pulled her in closer to himself. Her scent was sweet and spicy, but not overpowering like many of the women he'd passed on his way out to the balcony. It made him feel heady.
They swayed to the music, staying in one place. Now, Jay could dance. Ballroom dancing lessons throughout his childhood and an "enlightened" mom made sure of that. Yet, with Rei, it seemed right to stay half in the shadows, in their own little world away from the party going on.
There were light footsteps behind him and Jay almost didn't react he was so preoccupied with the woman in his arms.
"Jay I – Rei!" Zach sounded surprised. Jay gently stepped out of Rei's space and turned towards Zach.
"You two know each other?" Jay asked, earnestly interested in the answer. Zach smile was knowing when he nodded at him.
"She was the exquisite creature I mentioned earlier. You know, the lady that I set you up with for the evening."
Rei snorted lightly. "You're too much Zach." She paused and turned back towards the railing, lifting her head to the sky. "What does my father want?"
Zach cleared his throat and gave Jay a warning glance. Almost to warn him against saying something inane at this point. "He wants you to sing a set, maybe two. Include a song that Mr. Warner likes, he's here tonight."
Rei nodded and turned towards the men once more, her eyes almost looking past them. "I'm ready. Do you have my stick?"
Zach said nothing and merely stepped forward to hand Rei a white walking st– was she blind? Zach held a finger to his lips as she passed them by, expertly making her way back into the club. Her stick made a rat-a-tat noise as she determined the path for her feet. Just as she got to the doors she stopped and turned back towards Jay and Zach.
"Jay, if you're not too overcome by pity, save another dance for me."
Zach clapped a hand to Jay's shoulder but whether in pity or amusement, Jay couldn't tell. He made his way back inside, leaving Jay behind once more. In moments, the music stopped. Soulful, jazzy strains floated out to him on the night air. A voice, at once sweet and sultry, pulled at him arresting his imagination but he felt the effect wouldn't be the same away from the stars. So, Jay sat where Rei had been sitting to enjoy the music and to save her that dance.
Perhaps it was good that he'd come after all.
AN: Now, you might be thinking: "If you have the time to write this...[finish the sentence]" I agree. I just want to get these Bits out though...rest assured, Round and Round is being worked on.