Word Count: 924
Summary: Richard says he doesn't dance, but what if the right person asked?
SPOILERS: Tiny ones for episode 7.
Notes: #3 in my Richard/Fidel series, the rest of which are here
Dancers in the dark
Richard Poole stood in the crowded room and watched as everyone else had a good time. They danced to the music, or tapped their feet to the beat, all smiling and laughing even though this was a wake. Back home in England this would have been a sombre affair but here it was a celebration of a much-loved musician. The music pounded in his ears and vibrated through the floor to his feet and all that he could think was how long did he have to stay before he could leave without looking like he was being rude? It wasn’t that he objected to music- he rather liked it in fact- but why did it always have to be so blasted loud? Couldn’t they turn it down, just enough to be able to hear himself think? To make matters worse, Camille seemed to have decided that he needed to dance. Fending off her attempts for the past half hour had been tedious, especially as she never seemed to get the message.
“Oh, come on Richard,” she told him, trying to take his arm and coax him out into the mass of swaying bodies. “You need to lighten up! Just one dance; it’s a slow song.”
Lifting her hand off his arm, he repeated the now-familiar mantra. “I do not dance.”
Excusing himself, he escaped outside for a while, just standing out in the night and looking out at the moonlit view. He would go back in soon, by which time Camille would hopefully have found someone else to dance with. It was rather pleasant out here; he could still hear the music in the background, low enough to be enjoyable while not deafening. Now if only he had a cup of tea…
The door opened, the sounds of laughter and loud music spilling out into the quiet night.
He smiled at hearing Fidel’s voice, having been dreading Camille coming out looking for him. Apparently, Fidel had realised that too.
“She’s dancing with Dwayne,” he said, coming up to stand close to Richard. “I asked him to keep her busy for a while.”
Fidel took his hand and led him away from the door and onto the small veranda that ran around the side of the building. Out here, the music was a little louder, though still not at the levels of inside, thanks to an open window high up on the wall.
“Will you dance with me instead?” Fidel asked him, turning Richard to face him and sliding an arm around his waist. “Please?”
Why did everyone want him to dance? “I don’t dance.” Seeing the disappointment on Fidel’s face, he amended quietly, “I don’t know how to dance to this. Give me a foxtrot or a nice waltz and I could show you a thing or two, but this...”
A wide smile lit Fidel’s face. “It is not difficult,” he said. “You just have to feel the rhythm, and let yourself move with it.”
Fidel pressed closer and started to move, just a slight shift from side to side in time to the music. As he was still holding Richard close to him, he was given little choice but to follow.
“I feel ridiculous,” he said after a moment, but Fidel wasn’t deterred. He just laughed.
“Well of course you do, still in your suit. People don’t dance in suits.”
Richard frowned. “They do. People dance in suits all the time at weddings and such.”
“Maybe in England, but this is Saint Marie. Here, we don’t. Take off your jacket.”
It took a moment’s persuasion before Richard finally surrendered the jacket, allowing Fidel to take it from him and hang it over the railing along the veranda.
“Doesn’t that feel better?” Sensibly, Fidel didn’t wait for and answer to that before pulling Richard back into his arms again. The music inside had changed to something more upbeat, faster, but still Fidel kept Richard close. A few minutes later, he smiled. “You see, you do know how to dance.”
Richard realised that he had in fact been swaying to the music, following Fidel’s movements, and he was surprised that he no longer felt stupid doing it. If he was inside where everyone would be watching then that would be different but, out here, with no one but Fidel, it actually felt rather nice.
“We should really go back inside soon,” he said reluctantly, knowing that someone would be looking for them before much longer.
Fidel shook his head, walking them back into the shadows until Richard’s back was against the wall. “They won’t miss us for a few more minutes,” he said, and leaned in for a long kiss.
Around the corner, Dwayne smiled and backed away silently. It wasn’t exactly a shock seeing them together; he’d charmed it out of Fidel after seeing the younger man sneaking away from their evening socialising a few weeks ago, catching up with the Inspector who had left moments before. The minute Fidel caught him up, Richard’s entire demeanour had changed from his polite yet slightly annoyed expression in Catherine’s bar to a wide, genuine smile. Fidel, too, looked happy and in Dwayne’s mind, that was all that really mattered.
Camille had sent him outside to find Richard and bring him back in, grumbling something about ‘stuffy Englishmen who didn’t know how to enjoy themselves’. Well, he would be going back in alone, he decided.
Richard seemed to be enjoying himself just fine out here with Fidel.