The New Dance

Written for Lilac_One, who asked for Ray and Fraser, five years after "La Danza Mas Antigua (When In Mexico...). With love.

Ray turns away from the small stereo and as the music slowly trickles in with the sound of the rain, he makes his way towards Ben. Ben watches his fluid movements, half-dance steps that find their rhythm in Ray's breathing. The sound of the rain transforms to slow, heavy melody - a woman's voice overtaking their small house, quietly, without awakening the kids. It's enough that they can both hear it, let it sway them closer together. Ray's gaze is langurous, pulling Ben in, and Ben walks towards him, where they finally meet. He doesn't realize he's dancing until he's safely caught in Ray's arms, their hips sliding together in a practiced step, feeling the rhythm, touching the heartbeat.

"Hey," Ray whispers, his breath sliding against Ben's ear.

"Hi," Ben answers, and then they're quiet once more, cheek caressing cheek, the music sliding in waves against them, eyes closed.

They rarely get to dance nowadays, their nights filled with games and noise and exhaustion, but every once in a while, when the stars align just right, and bedtime doesn't leave them entirely prone, they will do this.

Ray will give Ben a look, and take out the CD with their favorite tune, put it in the stereo - invite Ben to join him on the floor. It is a long way away from their first night, a hot, sticky Mexican dance that left them together. It is a long way away, but it is better. It is so much better, Ben thinks, as he follows Ray's movements with no thought, simply with knowledge and familial instinct. The friction between them is less charged, it is changed: grown softer over the years, and heavier. The desire he had felt that first night is hidden just underneath the surface, the intensity not so much lessened, as merely somewhat subdued.

They move well together. They move with the knowledge that after the song repeats, and the last of the cello dies down, Ray will keep Ben's hand in his, and dim all the lights, and lead them to the bedroom. There, they will continue to move together, to the echo of the song, fluid and familiar and warm.

And in the morning, when they wake up to the usual Saturday cries of "Breakfast, Daddy, we want food!" they will stay in bed just that extra minute, kissing slowly - a little reluctant to get up, and more than a little content.

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