Stanley had paced in his office for several minutes, trying to work up enough nerve to ask. Finally he forced his legs into the hall and across the few feet to Richard's office, only to find it empty.
"He's in the little boy's room," their assistant whispered.
A bit flustered, Stanley mumbled a quick 'thank you' and started back to his office, but just before making a full retreat, he veered sharply to the right and headed out of their suite for the men's room. Barging in much too quickly, the door banged forcefully against the faux marble wall.
Richard jumped out of his skin, the water from his hands splattering up onto the mirror and his new designer shirt.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?!?" he yelled, willing his heart to once again start beating in some semblance of a normal rhythm.
Stanley repeatedly apologized, the whole time checking each of the stalls, twice, to make sure they were alone. Richard watched totally befuddled, now certain that his partner had finally gone off the deep end.
Satisfied that they wouldn't be overheard, Stanley blurted out "Jason's asked me to his friend's wedding and I need you to teach me how to dance."
When they say you could hear a pin drop, it wouldn't come close to describe the utter silence in the room. Richard gawped for several moments, tried to lift his jaw from the floor and failed miserably.
"I'm sorry. Did you just say Jason asked you to a wedding?"
"Like as in a date?"
"So that would mean you're ..."
"Yes, I'm gay Richard. We can have the whole 'you never told me' conversation later, I promise. Right now, I need your help."
"To teach you to dance."
"But I've seen you dance, you danced at the Christmas party we hosted for our clients last year."
"I don't know how to dance when I'm not leading. I need to practice with you."
"Don't you have anyone else who could help you?"
"No, I don't. Please, the wedding's tomorrow."
"Tomorrow? Way to spring it on a guy."
"Oh for fuck's sake, are you going to help me or not?"
Richard stood looking at his long-time friend and business partner, let out a deep sigh and held out his arms. "Ok, then. Let's do this."
It was a bit awkward at first, what with neither man being able to figure out where to put their hands. But after a few minutes they had a good rhythm going. They glided from the sinks to the stalls and back, slowly taking up their task with more earnest and enjoyment. Richard had just started humming a tune to match their steps, when the door swung open and one of the men from down the hall walked in.
They stopped mid-stride and looked in surprise at the newcomer, who was equally frozen at the door.
"Hello," they said in unison, only then remembering they were still holding the other and quickly let go, backing up a few steps.
"Um, yes, hi," the man stammered then quickly made his escape.
Richard and Stanley looked at the door, turned to each other and cracked up, their laughter echoing off the bathroom walls as tears streamed down their faces. Gasping for air, Richard clapped a hand on Stanley's shoulder.
"Do you think you're ready for your big date now?"
"Yeah, thank you."
"No problem. So, you're going to a wedding together. Are you going to try and catch the bouquet?"