So you think you can dance.
(L/M, 9ABY, Coruscant)
The ball was big and noisy, but not in an obnoxious way. Just the way that balls are noisy when you gather a lot of people in one place and add music.
Luke weaved his way through the crowd greeting people along the way and avoiding the most annoying people without seeming to avoid them. His destination; the banquet and drinks table. I'll never get used to these big parties. Luke decided on a mild drink and discretely surveyed the people on the dance floor and at the tables while sipping his drink looking for familiar faces. He smiled as he spotted a person sitting alone sipping her own drink while looking somewhat critically the everybody else.
“Care for company?”
Mara looked up. Then she waved a hand towards a chair in a 'do as you please' gesture. Luke sat down next to her so he could look out over the dance floor like her.
“Old habits die hard?” Mara said.
Luke looked behind him at the wall a few feet away and then around the room. He could see everything from where he sat. “Yeah, well, I think that goes for both of us.”
Mara actually smiled slightly for a moment. “So we were taught to keep an eye on possible danger at all times; a useful skill.”
Luke snorted gently. “Not that there is much danger here; we're at a ball.”
Now it was Mara's turn to snort. “Yeah, right. Like you can't get assassinated at a ball.”
Luke shrugged. “Okay, so you can never be sure you are not in danger,” Luke conceded. “But still, the likelihood of us being in danger here is rather small.”
“Yeah, the most dangerous here are the bad dancers.” Mara looked critically at the people on the dance floor. Luke followed her gaze.
“Not all of them are bad,” Luke said. “That older couple over there dance quite gracefully. They know their waltz.” Mara nodded in agreement.
“But the girl – “Mara snorted in contempt “ – over there is absolutely terrible. Look at her; thinks she is the new member of the Coruscant Dance Company and the center of attention.”
“Oh, she is the center of attention, but not in a positive way.” Luke had adopted a critical look like Mara. “On the other hand that middle aged couple know their limitations and keep to a simple waltz routine.”
Mara looked at Luke. “You know about dancing?”
Luke smiled. “I do. I trained as a dancer once. Long time ago.”
Mara's eyebrows went up in surprise. “Really? So, you'd know the difference between the Alderaanian Slow waltz and the Alderaanian Slow waltz as danced on Cestus?”
“Of course,” Luke said snorting gently. “They made a few modifications to the dance to fit their anatomy. They had to since they are an insectoid race.”
“So you would know how to move across a dance floor without looking like a disaster?”
Luke looked affronted. “I would. Can you?” Luke challenged.
Mara looked him in the eyes. “I can.”
There was a moment of silence as they looked each other in the eyes. Then they rose by silent agreement and moved toward the dance floor. Luke was well aware several eyes were following him and Mara as they moved out on the floor and got ready.
Mara listened to music for a moment. “Empress Teta's tango?” Luke nodded.
They started out slow, testing each other step for step, challenging each other. Mara was determined to prove her own skills and quietly threw a challenge at Luke with her eyes. Luke stepped up the game with using some of the more complicated moves. Mara answered with her own. They didn't speak as they moved across the floor and didn't notice how the other people moved out of their way. People were starting to just stand around to stare at them. Leia noticed the change in the room and looked around to find the source. What the...? She was surprised to discover that Luke was dancing with Mara and that they were dancing a fairly fast paced tango. She had never been able to tell the different tangos from each other, but she had a suspicion both Luke and Mara could from the way they danced.
By mutual agreement they changed the styles without missing a beat going through different tangos of various complexity and speed. By now they had an audience who had made a large circle around them. The girl, who had previously been trying to get as much attention as possible, had given up to stare at Luke and Mara in open mouthed surprise.
Leia strangled a smile. So much for Luke's determination to keep a low profile. She was well aware that balls wasn't on Luke's top ten list of favorite things; he preferred to just having friends and family around. At big functions like this he was always asked questions en mass and there were always people, who thought they had a right to talk with the Rebellion's great hero. Luke didn't agree with those people, but he always remained polite even when their personalities and opinions clashed with his. On the other hand... dancing did seem to keep people from interrupting. Nobody wanted to break in between Luke and Mara while they danced.
The music piece ended with Luke and Mara finishing their dance spectacularly; Mara lifted her leg high while Luke dipped her lightly and as he drew her up again she bent her leg by his hip and slowly let it glide to the floor. For moment they just looked at each other. Then Luke stepped back bowing lightly to Mara with a smile.
“You do dance wonderfully.”
Mara grinned back. “Well, you know your tangos. I'll have to test the sambas some day,” she said turning around to walk off the floor. Mara blinked once when she realized just how many people were staring at them. “What?” she said with a hand on her hip. “Isn't this a dance floor?”
People suddenly remembered it wasn't polite to stare and the circle broke up in record time as embarrassment colored quite a few faces red. Luke offered Mara his hand.
Mara took it and they walked off the floor gracefully with the crowd parting for them.
“Well, that was fun. I just love telling aristocrats off.” Mara was grinning as she sat down by their chosen table again.
“Oh, yes. It does give some satisfaction to take them down a notch.”
“They thought they could dance; now they'll have to think again.” Mara laughed.
“Cheers to that.”
They gently clicked their glasses together in a silent wow to continue showing show offs they had a long way to go to become real dancers.