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Reply to Lucy

Added to the Roswell Slash Archive 10/24/01

Title: "Dance"
Author/pseudonym: Lucy
Fandom: The Forsaken
Pairing: Sean/Nick.
Rating: R.
Status: New, complete.
Archive: No.
E-mail address for feedback:
Series/Sequel: None.
Other website:
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Sometimes, it's enough just to hold someone in your arms.
Warnings: Not beta'd. Just another little ficlet written in the lj to pass the time. Enough stories for my own "Forsaken" archive, eh - and still nobody but me has seen the movie! I'm so on crack.

        He just wanted to dance.

        It wasn't a driving _need_, or anything - he could probably count on the fingers of one hand the times in his life when he'd danced, including junior high dances that were excruciating exercises in public humiliation. By the time he hit high school, he'd figured out that all the "cool" girls didn't spend their time at dances, preferring to meet under the bleachers by the football field, passing around cigarettes and bottles of warm beer. He'd graduated from sweaty-palmed boy to second base in one particularly memorable night.

        There was just something about being here, in this off-the-beaten-path place, that looked like just another roadside dive from the outside, but had served a surprisingly good, inexpensive meal, accompanied by a live band that did an impressive show and opened up the floor for dancing, afterwards. They weren't going to stay, had maybe another two or three hours of driving to do before they were tired enough to stop, but he looked at Nick and Nick looked back at him, and they both knew that they'd stay here, and crash at the motel across the road.

        Nick flirted with their waitress the effortless way he always did, seeming to do it without conscious awareness. Sean watched him, wondering how much of it was calculated to get them better service, larger helpings, the odd free drink on the house. Maybe calling it 'calculated' was unfair; Nick could be brusque and to-the-point when it mattered, but he also had an innate sympathy for those who truly deserved it. In another time, another place, he might have fulfilled some lucky female's rescue fantasies to a T.

        Nick grinned at him like he was reading his mind, and Sean looked away, flushed. "You should dance," Nick said. "You know you want to." He nodded over at a small cluster of young women leaning at the bar. "They want you to."

        "What about you?"

        "Sadly, I was cursed with two left feet," Nick said.

        "How do you know I wasn't?"

        "You've got grace," Nick said, looking at him shrewdly. "I can tell." He picked up his bottle of beer and took a long swallow, managing to make even _that_ seem like some sort of a challenge.

        Sean took the bait, the way Nick knew he would. The truth was, he _did_ want to dance, wanted to hold someone and breathe in the scent of another person's shampoo, wanted to feel someone next to him. It was one of those primal urges, a sublimated desire to fuck, maybe, but probably not. Tonight, the closeness would be enough. There was something to be said for simple human contact.

        He pushed back the blushing-twelve-year-old within and asked one of the women to dance, joining the several couples, mostly older, mostly married, on the dance floor. She smelled nice and felt nice in his arms, and he grinned back at Nick, who waved a bottle at him jauntily across the floor.

        That was the evening. It felt - nice. Normal, even, after way too much freaky shit, to spend some time with normal people without guns or bloodlust or even _worry_. He danced, and sat, and several young women joined him at the table - although none of them could prod Nick out onto the floor, he seemed happy enough and charmed them enough so that they didn't mind just sitting and talking.

        There was something slightly off about Nick, though, something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. He was polite and friendly with the women who talked to him, the same way he was with the waitresses, and yet - that was it. He was polite and friendly _enough_, but nothing more than that. Just enough to make whoever he was talking to feel flattered and complimented, but not threatened or encouraged to take it any further. There was an invisible line that no-one was invited to cross, and seeing that made Sean remember what Nick's reality was; for the sake of this night, he tried really hard not to notice.

        They had several rounds of beer and Sean worked it off on the dance floor, glad they weren't going anywhere further than across the street for the night. The place slowly emptied out as evening stretched into night, and the live music was replaced by a jukebox, fast songs for slow ones. Finally, there was only one couple left, the staff, and the two of them.

        Nick drained his beer, set the bottle down on the table. "You ready to go?"

        "Mm?" Sean asked. He was tired, nearly asleep leaning back against the wall. "Yeah," he said, with a start, realizing that the place was nearly empty.

        Nick threw some money down on the table, enough to cover the tab with a generous tip, besides. They'd probably never come back to this place again, but if they did, they'd be warmly welcomed. He helped Sean up and they bumped shoulders on the way out of the place; Nick threw a wave back at their waitress.

        "I could have gotten my own room tonight," Nick said, as they crossed the road. He had one arm on Sean's bicep, steadying him, even though he'd had more to drink than Sean.

        "Why?" Sean asked around a yawn. They'd been sharing rooms for weeks, to save money, and as a protective measure in case there was anyone following _them_, instead of the other way around. It was just easier that way.

        "If you wanted to be alone," Nick said. "With one of your dance partners." He fumbled for the room key.

        Sean laughed. "I wasn't interested in dancing horizontally with any of them," he said, wrapping his arms around himself. "Man, it's _cold_ out here."

        "It's almost two a.m.," Nick said. He got the door open and pushed Sean inside, leaning hard against the door to shut it. Sean stood there, still shivering, as Nick went to the heater beside the bed and turned it up. A little rumbling warmth soon slowly filled the room. "So, why not?"

        "Why not what?" Sean asked. He made his way to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and washed his face in the sink.

        "Take some company for the night," Nick said. He leaned in the doorway, watching Sean clean himself up. "You disappointed a few hopeful young women back there."

        "No more than you did. At least I danced with them." Sean stood in front of the toilet and pissed, still with the door open and Nick standing there. They were so comfortable around each other that he didn't give it a second thought. "'s all I wanted," he said. "Sometimes it's enough just to touch someone, you know?" He washed his hands again and rubbed a towel over his face.

        "Yeah," Nick said, and turned away.

        Sean stripped out of his slightly smoky, clinging clothes and found a clean t-shirt from his bag, climbing into the bed to warm himself up. Nick was sitting in the dark, looking out the window; the only light came from the bathroom, streaking across half the room. "You coming to bed?"

        "In a minute," Nick said, without looking at him. "Go to sleep."

        Sean turned over on his side, watching Nick sit there. Eventually, he warmed up enough to fall asleep.

        He didn't know what time it was when he woke up, but it was still dark in the room, the bathroom light out, now. He blinked a couple of times, and reached out to the other side, but knew even before his hand touched the sheet that he was alone in the bed. When his eyes adjusted to the dimness, he saw Nick still sitting, seeming as though he hadn't moved, even though he had to have gotten up to turn the light out, at least. "Nick?" His voice spoke the name, but not loudly enough; Nick didn't move.

        He climbed out of bed, wrapping the sheet and bedspread around himself to keep in his sleeping-warmth. "What's wrong?" he asked, squatting down on the floor beside the chair. Nick still didn't say anything, and he might have thought that he was asleep, except for the fact that Nick's eyes were open. He reached out and put a hand on Nick's knee, startled by how cold the skin there was. It was a little warmer in the room than it had been when he fell asleep, but not nearly as cosy as it was in the bed, under the covers. "Come on," he said, and stood, pulling Nick up against him and leading him to the bed. He threw the sheet and blankets in a heap over Nick and climbed in the other side, pressing full-length against Nick's body to warm him up. "Tell me," he urged again. "What's wrong?"

        Nick just shook his head, without speaking. Sean rubbed his hands over Nick's body, efficiently sharing his body heat, until Nick pulled away, rolled over and said, sharply, "Don't."

        "Well, you weren't struck dumb, that's a good sign," Sean teased. He got no reaction. "What is it? It's me, here, remember? Sean? Guy who's been with you the last four months, one who knows you better than anyone?"

        "Yeah, I remember," Nick said.

        "Good." Sean poked him. "Spill it."

        Nick rolled over on his back. "What do you want to know?"

        "Why the deep freeze? Feeling sorry for yourself?"

        It was meant as a tease, but it made Nick look at him, and chuckle. "Yeah," Nick said. "I guess so."

        "That's normal."

        "You think."

        "I saw you, tonight. You only let people get so close to you, Nick, and then you just close off."

        "I can't - " Nick said.

        "I know," Sean interrupted. "I understand. But it has to be lonely." He slid a little closer in the bed. "You don't have to be alone, you know. I'm here." He put a hand on Nick's shoulder. "I'm not afraid of you."

        Nick took a shuddering breath. "Maybe you should be."

        "Too late. I already know you. I know everything about you."

        "Not everything."

        "Everything important." He slid a thigh along Nick's and watched him jump, slightly, but Nick didn't push away, didn't try to get out of the bed. He moved the hand on Nick's shoulder up his collarbone, then along his neck, finally dragging a finger over Nick's lips, tracing them. Nick's tongue flicked out briefly and licked the pad of that finger, and Sean smiled. He moved closer, happy that Nick didn't protest when he replaced that finger with his lips.

        They kissed, hungrily, until Sean pulled away, unable to keep kissing Nick and remove his clothes at the same time. Nick caught his hands, though, and pressed them to his lips. "We shouldn't do this," he said, eyes lowered, breathing ragged.

        "Why?" Sean asked.

        "You know why."

        "We don't have to _do_ anything, Nick," Sean said. "I just want to touch you. I need to touch you."

        The way Nick's eyes flew open, startled, made Sean smile again. He realized that it hadn't occurred to Nick that they might share that need, for simple human contact, to just be close to someone - not just any warm body on a cold night, but someone who knew and understood, someone who went to bed and woke up with the same problems. This wasn't a solution for any of those problems, it was just a little temporary relief, but that was enough. For a little while, it could be everything, maybe.

        This time, when he reached out to touch, Nick didn't push him away.


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