Parade Waltz

It was the second Saturday of December, a relentlessly cold morning despite the sun that was shining merrily on the icy streets. In the few places where it hadn't yet been plowed away, a pristine layer of snow glistened. The usual hubbub of the shopping season had been increased tenfold by the chaos of the annual Christmas parade.

"Are you serious?" Sean mumbled, frowning. Tony shook his head, staring out at the blocked road. The only way out of the parking lot, and back home, away from the crazy shoppers, was completely sealed off. They were trapped until the parade was over, and who knew how long that would be.

"Guess so." Tony sighed and turned off the engine, throwing open the door of the truck and getting out. He moved to lean against the hood, arms folded, to watch the parade that had caused their delay. Sean joined him momentarily, pointedly unfolding Tony's arms and wrapping them around himself. Tony jumped slightly in surprise, unused to the public display of affection, but as he scanned the area, he realized that everyone in the vicinity had their eyes glued to the tinsel-decked floats that were rolling past, not them. Sean felt him tense, nonetheless.

"Calm down, nobody's interested in us right now," the paler boy said, reinforcing what Tony had assumed for himself. Tony adjusted his arms around Sean's middle, pulling him closer. It wasn't that he was ashamed of being with Sean; he really enjoyed it, actually. They just hadn't reached that point in their relationship where they were ready to go public. That was coming next weekend, with the school's winter formal dance. They had decided to go together.

"I hate parades," Sean muttered, pulling away from Tony, and opening the truck's driver side door. Tony passed him the keys so that he could turn on the radio, loud enough that the music flowed out of the truck and swirled through the parking lot.

Shielded from the view of the parade and its spectators by the door of the truck, Tony took the opportunity to kiss Sean lightly on the lips. Sean pulled away quickly though, dragging Tony over to the open parking space beside the truck. Tony's confusion turned to disgruntled realization when Sean took his hand and placed his other hand on Tony's shoulder.

"Remember what to do?" Sean asked, and Tony tried to pull away.

"I don't want to-"

"I'm not showing up to the dance and making a fool of myself just because you can't dance," Sean interrupted. He positioned Tony's hand on his waist. "Listen to the music."

"You'll manage to make a fool of yourself without my help," Tony muttered. Sean raised his eyebrow threateningly. "Okay, okay. Which foot first again?"

Sean told him, and Tony closed his eyes, focusing on the music, which sounded like some old-fashioned Christmas jazz. Trying to remember those previous evenings they had spent together- the ones where Sean was teaching him to dance, not the ones where… Tony pulled his mind back on track. Together they stepped off and Tony tried not to step on Sean's feet.

It took a moment, but he eventually settled into the rhythm of the dance, and dragged his eyes upward to meet Sean's. Sean was staring at him, a smirk lighting his lips. Tony immediately began tripping over himself. His boyfriend merely shook his head.

"You wanted to come out at the dance. I would've been happy making out on the front steps of the school," Sean pointed out.

"I didn't think you'd make me dance," Tony muttered, annoyed. He frowned at his shoes, as Sean took the lead confidently.

"I didn't think you'd be this bad at it," Sean retorted. "You had it for a minute. Concentrate."

"Where'd you learn this anyway?" Tony inquired, slowly getting his feet back into order as he spoke. "Honestly, ballroom dancing is so…"

"Not me?" Sean suggested. "I needed a fine art credit at my last school. I figured this might come in handy at some point."

"You thought you'd be teaching your boyfriend how to dance in an empty parking lot someday in the future..."

"I like to be prepared," Sean said, lifting his chin. Tony grinned.

"I'm not sure if a Boy Scout joke would be funny, or in bad taste," he laughed.

"Has that ever stopped you before?" Sean pulled Tony a little bit closer as he continued. "Don't look now, but I think you've got it."

They had been dancing throughout their entire conversation, and Tony hadn't even been paying much attention. The music faded to an end and a new song struck up in its place, slightly faster. Tony took the lead again and kissed Sean quickly.

"So do you think you can bear to be seen with me at the dance?" he asked dramatically. Sean pretended to consider for a moment.

"I suppose," he conceded. "If you can keep this up."

Just as Tony opened his mouth to reply, four loud rim shots on a snare drum rang through the air, and the high school marching band began playing some barely recognizable Christmas medley, drowning out the radio's music. Unable to keep time, the couple gave up dancing after a minute of stepping on one another's toes.

"I hope the band hasn't ruined my chances," Tony said, taking up his position against the truck. Sean smirked.

"You worked hard enough; I guess I can still take you to the dance."

"How generous of you," Tony commented. He pulled Sean up next to him, putting an arm around his waist and holding him close.

"It's the holiday season." Sean replied with a shrug. "You're supposed to be charitable."