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Summary: "Aw, is the 'master thief of Jump City' afraid of a bit of dancing?" BlackX; oneshot; Stray universe. Happy birthday Freska!
A/N: WRITING DANCING IS INSANELY DIFFICULT. Ugh, I had to use so many references, and then eventually I just ended up winging it.
...Ahem. This was mainly inspired by a video of two people swing-dancing to "Starstruck" – search for the video "Ben Morris & Torri Smith – Improv West Coast Swing". When I watched it, I thought of immediately of BlackX, and it spawned all these headcanons about Red X and Blackfire dancing – this fanfic idea has been bugging me ever since. I wrote this with my version of X in mind (from my roleplays as him), but I guess it doesn't matter too much in the context of this oneshot exactly who he is under the mask (but it becomes obvious who it is towards the end if you're familiar with the comics).
(Also: on the subject of BlackX - I'd highly recommend C.L. Lab's BlackX oneshots "Midnight Meetings", "Moments" and "Another Reason".)
Dedicated to: Freska a.k.a. blackkomandrfire / regularraven on Tumblr a.k.a. RegularRaven on FF. Happy (late) birthday. I'm...sorry it's not much and that it's sort of OOC and, well, crappy. But I couldn't let your birthday go by without giving you something to thank you for being an amazing, talented person and a wonderful friend.
Aaaaand special thanks to the talented fastest-boy-alive on tumblr for her fantastic dance-writing advice...which I don't believe I did justice, but I tried my best.
(EDIT: I straightened out the tenses and fixed some of the punctuation errors. The cover art is by me - so I haven't stolen anyone's art. In retrospect, I actually quite like that drawing.)
Baby 'Cause You Blow My Heart Up
When Blackfire turned on the CD player and blasted heavy-bass dance music from the speaker, Red X simply arched a dark eyebrow from where he lay sprawled across the sofa of his apartment.
"...Oh come on."
"Don't be such a spoilsport, X." Blackfire gave a little flick of her hips to demonstrate. "It's called dancing. It's what people do for fun that doesn't involve cracking safes."
X looked affronted. "And what's wrong with cracking safes?"
"Aw, is the 'master thief of Jump City' afraid of a bit of dancing?" Without asking his permission, Blackfire yanked X from his seat by the hand; X stood stiffly, seeming to make himself ungainly on purpose as if it would discourage the exiled princess, but she simply pursed her lips in exasperation and, with a twinkle of determination in her violet eyes, twirled X around before dipping him effortlessly, her curtain of hair tickling his maskless cheeks – he blinked in surprise.
"Okay. That was actually pretty hot." However, he was already prising himself from Blackfire's arms. "Kom, trust me, I'm not a dancer."
Disappointed, Blackfire crossed her arms and pouted at Red X's retreating back as he headed for the kitchenette, the song trailing off into fading thumps before the next one began with a sharp beat. "What are you scared of, X? Never thought you'd have two left feet."
Red X stopped abruptly in his tracks.
"Hey, I do not have two left feet."
"What, the parkour not enough for you?"
"If it's not a problem, then what are you waiting for?" She swayed towards him in time with the music and extended a hand. "Show me those 'parkour' skills."
X didn't move away, but neither did her turn around. Huffing, Blackfire threw up her hands.
"Fine. A deal, then."
Now he turned his head, olive-green eyes sceptical, and Blackfire's mouth curled into a smirk.
"Prove to me that you haven't got two left feet, and I won't cook Tamaranean food for dinner tonight."
His mouth fell open. "You wouldn't dare."
"This is blackmail!"
"I'll make it a week."
"You hate cooking."
"You underestimate how serious I am about this."
After a quick, silent standoff, Red X sighed, slumping slightly, and Kom felt a rush of triumph – but then he squared his shoulders again and looked Blackfire straight in the eye with a sudden determination.
"Fine, Kom. But -" He travelled to the CD stack and plucked a CD from the shelf. "- we do this my way."
The effect was almost instantaneous.
When X's chosen music began, it had been Blackfire's turn to be skeptical (of any type of music for him to choose, she hadn't expected anything this...energetic, and was this Earth 70s? This is what The Red X dances to?) and she'd almost burst into laughter – until Red X had grabbed her hand and started to whirl her around the room.
Well, wasn't this unexpected?
Blackfire had had barely enough time to say, "Oh," when she found herself being twirled and landing in a dip in X's arm, body angled almost parallel to the floor. Now she was the one blinking up at X's smug expression, which was centimetres from her own.
She cracked a coy smile. "You said you can't dance?"
"I said I don't dance."
He closed the small distance between them with a swift kiss before she was flying across the carpet again, and she was suddenly relieved she'd had the foresight to move the furniture out of the way.
And the man at the back said, "everyone attack!" And it turned into a ballroom blitz...
To her surprise, the outdated song grew on her very quickly.
And the girl in the corner is everyone's mourner - she could kill you with the wink of her eye!...
But she was struggling to keep up with him. Blackfire...hadn't expected this. With a look of fiery determination, she threw herself into the dance – twirl, swing, almost hap-hazardous yet she could tell that X was sure of every step, a hand always connected to his – but this was nothing like dancing at a nightclub, let alone the strict, formal marches that passed for dancing at royal "parties" back on Tamaran.
And then the song faded.
When it finished, Blackfire had been spun outwards so that their arms were outstretched between them, the echoes of the final electric guitar riff still bouncing in their skulls. Blackfire was dizzy. Red X was still grinning as he unclasped her hand.
"You were saying...?"
Blackfire pulled away slightly and huffed. "Fine. No Tamaranean dinners."
"That's all I need to hear."
"Wait." Blackfire caught his arm as he went to move past. She would not be outdone. "We've done it your way, X. Time to do it my way."
This was more like her music.
As a slightly robotic voice came from the speakers, Red X barked a laugh. "We made the bet and I won. I've already danced. One dance. That's it."
But he didn't protest when, scoffing, she cupped the back of his neck and yanked him in for a deep, slow kiss. He didn't even realise he'd already begun to dance until she pulled away. Sneaky.
It was a far cry from the energy of the last dance; this song had an almost lazy beat in comparison, four-over-four, and Blackfire began to roll her weight smoothly from leg to leg with the music before twirling and rolling her shoulders, as if she were at a nightclub. X was dancing around her, but he couldn't seem to help that touch of awkwardness in his moves – until he grabbed her hand, and instead of moving as two parts, they moved as a whole, a twist of her body sending a wave through her arm, through his. He lifted her hand and turned her around, once, twice – six times.
So starstruck, cherry cherry cherry cherry boom boom...
Mix-and-match, then. She could live with that.
Blackfire lightly rested her free hand on his chest as he pulled her in, stepping quickly and lightly with his feet. Both thief and alien now wore expressions of daring: Challenge accepted. They almost glided across the floorboards, movements smooth and dexterous, Blackfire swaying in response to Red X's simpler moves. She twisted her hips, torso almost stationary as she pivoted her lower body on her flat-clad heels.
Baby now that we're alone, gotta request – can you make me number one on your playlist?...
Twisting on his toes, X spun slowly on the spot as Blackfire moved around him, his hand snaking around her waist – he dipped her quickly, and she came up into a spin. The apartment had melted away around them. Blackfire would almost see the strobe lights behind her eyelids when she blinked, and a thin sheen of sweat clung to her golden-toned skin.
They picked up the pace – step twirl dip, swing - X spinning Blackfire away from him and jerking his knees as he snapped his fingers over his head – Blackfire sidestepped and they wrapped their arms around each other's stomachs, rotating around one another and raised their arms over their heads, stretching them out, stepping forward again, an inch between them.
The song transitioned into a rap as the two sauntered back towards the far wall in tandem, then spun in a circle. X traced smooth arcs on the floor with his toes whilst Blackfire lowered herself to the floor and rolled back up again, their grip on each other's hands never breaking. Step, step swing roll step pivot. Their movements became sharper with the words of the song, jerking their knees and snapping out their arms. Blackfire and Red X's hearts were pounding in their chests, the music filling their lungs and they kept their eyes locked together, using each other as their anchor to keep them from spinning right off of the Earth, no longer competing but cooperating. From opposite ends of the universe but fitting like puzzle pieces – how had that happened?
But the two of them would have time to mull that over when the song was over.
Groove, slam, work it back...
Pausing in place, Red X tapping heel against the floor and clicked his fingers with the beat, Blackfire jerking her shoulders in-rhythm. Breathless, they took the momentary downtime to shoot each other exuberant grins – but then the dance was in full swing again and there wasn't time to think only step step swing, his hand finding her waist. He dipped her again and she swung her leg upwards in an arc, tossing her hair back.
Up into the chorus to the verse (I'm so, I'm so)...
Both hands clasped between then, they leaned into one another and kicked up their feet behind them, left-right-left-right-left-right, and they swivelled away from each other and swayed and bumped their hips, and Blackfire twisted and leaned her hand against his chest and pushed him backwards, shoulders gyrating.
They could feel the song coming to a close, the voice ceasing and the electrical keyboard fading. The dance slowed down to gentle toe twists and hip flicks.
With a final spiral, the dance came to a stop.
The air in the room was thick; the two stood where they were for a moment, unmoving, their feet crossing over; at this distance X could make out the twinkling stars in her violet eyes where they reflected the fluorescent lights. The apartment crept back into existence around them, imaginary strobe lights fading, the next track on the CD ignored as the two allowed their bodies to wind down. Their hair was a mess, X's white streak falling into his eyes, Blackfire's standing up with static.
The two broke into slow, twin smiles.
"Impressive," Blackfire purred as she hooked her arm around his neck. "I never knew a human could dance like that."
"Obviously, you've been dancing with the wrong humans, cutie." Without warning he lifted her up – she wrapped her legs around his waist, their noses bumping. The dance had tired them, but not enough. "You know what? That wasn't so bad. 'Course, we could dance some more if you want..."
She grasped his meaning immediately and laughed. "Do you even have to ask?"
She may not have gotten to see Red X's reaction to tasting home-made Glorrk, but as far as she was concerned, this was a greater victory.
A/N: Constructive crit welcome! It's, er, my first time writing dancing in as much detail, so please be kind.
Songs used are "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet and "Starstruck" by Lady GaGa / Flo Rida / Space Cowboy. (I stumbled across the former by accident when trying to find another song to use for this oneshot. It was like destiny.)