Keena: Ichigo glared at Shunsuì, our boss, in anger. "Damn it, you know I work best alone!" I couldn't help but smile at that. He certainly did incredible work alone. I always took the time to watch him dance ever since he started here at this supposedly gay club that catered to all sexual preferences, anyway. What the customers didn't know was that some of us –okay, all of two of us, being Ichigo and myself– were straighter than most arrows. Shunsuì released a heavy sigh that I, myself, had caused several times. It meant he was on the verge of smacking someone but still contemplating if they were worth the effort. I had to wonder just what Ichigo had been doing to wind him up that much: Shunsuì was normally infinitely patient. "Ichi, we're just trying this out. If our audience reception isn't what we hope, you can go back to dancing alone. You homophobe." "Bastard! I'm not a homophobe. I work at a gay bar, and I live with my gay best friend," Ichigo hissed back, leaning over the desk to glower at Shunsuì more effectively. Shunsuì was more than aware of both of those facts; he just really liked teasing Ichigo, no matter the situation. I figured this was the best time to make my presence known, before Ichigo threw a punch at our boss and Shunsuì handed Ichigo his ass. I knocked on the open door, but slipped inside the boss's office without even waiting for an answer. He wouldn't mind, anyway. "Hey, boss. You wanted to see me?" I looked at the other man in the office, pretending to notice him for the first time and offering him a smile and a greeting. "Oh, hi, Ichi-kun." Shunsuì smiled fondly at me, not even bothering to hide his relief at seeing me. He really didn't like to get in trouble with the owner for punching out the employees. "Keena. We're doing a couple routine as a bit of a promotional thing. You were at school when I told the others." I smiled at our manager. "Do we get to choose our own partners, or will you be assigning them?" "You guys can choose," he returned. "You can pick someone you'll work well with better than I can. But the pairs will have to be approved by me." He smiled lazily. "Why? Do you have someone in mind?" I gave him my cat-who-got-into-the-cream smile. "Depends on a few elements, like whether or not they already have a partner." I looked over at the strawberry-blond. "Hey, Ichi-kun, would you walk me home tonight?" He knew I had to walk through a dangerous part of the city. Ichigo was one hell of a fighter and chivalrous to the bone, especially since he had two little sisters at home yet. He smiled at me. "Sure, Kee-chan." I saluted Shunsuì. "See ya, boss-man." He leaned over his desk and kissed my cheek affectionately. "Behave, Keena." "Do I have to?" I purred back, smiling wickedly at him. He nodded sternly, then winked at me as we left. Maybe this situation could help me get closer to Ichigo. I couldn't help but smile at the thought.
Ichigo: Keena looked ridiculously pleased with herself for some reason that was still escaping my notice. I felt the need to investigate it a little. "You got someone in mind for the couple routine?" she asked me pleasantly before I had a chance to ask her anything. I shook my head. "It's weird. I mean, I'm really comfortable with everyone, but I really don't wanna dance with any of the guys. I mean, I'm not gay, but most of the others are, so dancing together seems… a little too intimate and bordering on 'being a psychotic tease'." She laughed softly but not mockingly, like she understood where I was coming from. The tone was both pretty and melodic. "Dance with me, Ichigo." I couldn't help but stare at her. "Aren't you…? I mean, I thought you were…" She smiled wryly at my stumbling tongue. "No, I'm at least as straight as you are, my dear." She'd always been spectacular to look at, but I was suddenly intensely aware of just how beautiful she was. She had mile-long legs, a hip-long braid of crimson hair, brilliant green eyes, curves to make any straight man drool, and cream-colored skin that flushed easily when she exerted herself or when she was embarrassed. She was incredibly beautiful, but her sparkling personality was highly attractive as well. She'd always cut a very striking figure, but I'd thought she was with Tia. She didn't seem to notice my careful perusal, how my eyes traced the lines of her body and how my hands ached to do the same. "It's a common misconception: folks tend to think that I'm gay because of where I work, who my friends are, and my general lack of a social life, but when they ask, I do set them straight." That smile found its way back to her lips. "So dance with me." "Sure." The word slipped out of my mouth without checking in with my brain. She gave me a softer smile, like something very sensitive and fragile had changed for the better in that instant. Then she stood on her toes to wrap her arms around me and hug me tightly before brushing her soft lips against my cheek. "Great. I'll run it by Shunsuì and have him approve it." When she stepped back, I felt a little lost without her body heat. I felt the loss somewhere deep in my bones. Wow. I find out she's straight and suddenly I'm a romantic-period poet with the libido of a horny teenager. "What song do you think would we should use?" I asked, pausing for a moment to brainstorm. "We could do 'Smooth'," I suggested. "Nah, I don't think I can strip to that one; sorry," she returned, chuckling as though she had some contrary memories attached to the song. "…Have you ever heard 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails?" she asked me slowly. "I'm… familiar with the way it sounds, I think." The song had a very sensual sound. As per usual, Kenna had terrific taste in music. Her lips quirked back into an almost sensual smile. "The lyrics are more than a bit risqué. I would have used the song on my own, but I think the song needs a male dancer." She tapped her fingers on my chest playfully. "Which is where you come in." I couldn't help but smile at her. It seemed she might already have all of this planned out. "Well, unless we have the chemistry, this it's gonna bomb." Her soft, genuine smile slipped across her lips as she realized I was playing devil's advocate and I realize that we'd been standing in front of her apartment complex for some time now, just talking. "Oh, I'm pretty sure we'll have it, Ichi. Do you care to come up for some tea? We can talk about this a little more and you can hear the song before we make up our minds." My breath caught in my throat at her invitation. You idiot, I scolded myself. It's for work. Not everybody thinks with their libido as much as you have been tonight! "Sure Kee-chan," I returned, trying to hide my own reaction with the simple words. The sweet smile on her lips wouldn't tell me if I had succeeded or failed.