First Love

He hurls himself into the air again, and then again, reveling in the perfect balance between freedom and control. A quick spin at the top of the arc, the slightest pause before he touches down, giving him just time to arch his foot fully—he's determined to hone these leaps to razor-like precision.

It's late, and he's been rehearsing this solo for hours; he keeps having to stop and wipe away the sweat rolling into his eyes. Cosmo, playing piano for him at first, was finally called away to other duties in the music department, but Don has pressed on without music.

Funny how he doesn't feel tired. If anything, he feels invigorated. It's been so long . . . too long. Nothing else he's ever done in his career, not even the stunts or the swordplay, has brought him anything like the joy of dancing. Even all those hokey numbers on vaudeville stages were sheer joy.

And now—now he has an opportunity to use his dancing in a way he'd never even dreamed of. And it is going to be perfect. Every last step.

He wipes his face again, and throws the soaked towel onto the piano, and the mirror catches his grin as he launches himself into the air once more.