Dance Steps

by llamajoy

Freya stumbles on the downbeat, six measures in. She holds her tongue, but the tip of her tail is stiff with self-conscious shame. Not since she was a short young thing has she had such trouble with her counterbalance, there; not since training for a dragoon has she felt so off-kilter.

Fratley isn't watching; he's looking down the length of his spear at the sunset. "Left heel down," he says, absently. "Don't you remember--"

"You remember?" Their words overlap; she is whirling to face him and her footwork is excellent.

He is startled, his tail twitching counterpoint to her own beating heart. "No," he says, but it sounds like a question and he reaches out his hand to her. "I mean, I didn't think so. Your footing faltered on the-- on the downbeat. Six measures in. It was somehow familiar."

She takes his offered hand, shiny and smooth with spear-callouses, strength and grace alike. "Is this familiar, then?"

All Burmecians know the dance, the movement in their blood and bone. But Freya leads (and this is new), and Fratley does not protest to follow. It was a war-dance, in its inception-- the rhythm of battle, the heft of a spear. It's not so martial, now. The only thing they carry is the peculiar weight of memory, and shared, it does not hinder their footsteps.

Six measures in, neither of them falters. And on the seventh, with a perfect leap, they hover in the sky with the sun.


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