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Ladies' Man

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"Do save a dance for me, won't you, Wyatt?" The Countess of the Southern March fluttered her fan coyly as she passed by the corner where Cain stood watching the proceedings. The Queen's celebration had brought out every exiled noble in the entire O.Z. All those who had not supported the Sorceress, at least, which was still a good portion of them. Unfortunately for Cain, it seemed to Glitch as though every woman amoung them seemed to expect the former Tin Man to dance with them. Somehow, Glitch was pretty sure they were deluding themselves if they thought he was going to make good on all those nods of consent, Boy Scout honor or not.

In fact, if the hunted look in his friend's face was any indication, Glitch gave it five more minutes before the man took his tight pants and made a strategic retreat.

Shaking his head, Glitch half-skipped and half-walked toward the table with the punch bowl. He'd once told Cain how the ladies of the court had ignored him at balls in the past. It was funny how much of his memory had come back the more time he'd spent on the road with Cain and Raw and DG. His short term still glitched, but his long term memories kept coming back to him at random moments. Moments like when he'd tried to ask the Duchess of Herseford to dance. Luckily the echo of her laughter had fallen victim to his short term memory loss.

Or, so he told himself.

"Did you see? She's managed to bring Wyatt Cain back to Court."

"It was such a shame when that man joined the Tin Men."

Glitch stood riveted to the spot, afraid to breathe lest the women gossiping behind him should realize he was there and cease their conversation. Try as he might, he couldn't bring up any memry of Wyatt at Court before the Sorceress' bid for control. The thought intrigued him even as part of his mind began to wonder if there wasn't too much cinnamon in the apple tarts. Speaking of tarts...

"There never was a dancer like him, make a woman feel light as air and twice as graceful. I certainly hope he's kept that talent!"

"Has he danced with anyone tonight? I haven't seen--"

"Oh! Wait, here he comes."

"Glitch?" The headcase started at the sound of Cain's deep voice sounding behind him.

"Cain! I was just, um, getting something to dri--"

"Dance with me, Zipperhead." Cain's stood stiffly at his elbow, hand outstretched, a pained expression over his rugged features. For a moment Glitch stood, open-mouthed and blinking, unable to truly comprehend what was happening. Icy blue eyes held his gaze unwaveringly, a small muscle in the othe rman's jaw jumping in the only indication Cain was at all uncomfortable making the request.

"I was just getting something to..."

"Glitch." Glitch jumped again, only now realizing the ladies nearby had stopped talking and were watching them intently. "You said that already, Sweetheart."

"Oh!"

"Dance with me?"

"Of course! Why didn't you say so in the first place?" Cain looked as if he was about to say something, then thought better of it and simply led Glitch out onto the dance floor.

They danced in silence for a long time and Glitch had to admit Cain was a much better dancer than he'd expected. In fact, Cain was possibly better than Glitch! As the first song ended and the next began, he tried to remove his hand from Cain's grasp but the former Tin Man merely pulled him closer and continued smoothly into the next dance. And the next. Then the next. After awhile, Glitch just relaxed and let himself enjoy one of his favorite pastimes, two of his favorite pastimes.

"Damned vultures," he heard Cain grumble under his breath as they passed another clutch of women watching them with undisguised curiosity during a minuet.

"Cain, if I ask you something, you promise not to be mad and yell at me in front of everyone?"

"I promise I won't yell at you in front of anyone, Glitch."

"It's just...I heard those women talking earlier, before you asked me to dance. And, they seemed to know you, well enough they knew you could dance like this! I just wondered why you hide the fact you're a fantastic dancer."

Cain's immediate silence could have been interpreted as simmering anger, resentment that Glitch was prying into his private affairs. But, Glitch rather thought the hand at his waist would not have tightened imperceptively had that been the case. So, he simply blinked up at the other man owlishly, expectantly.

"My mother was a star dancer in her day, at least she was before she got pregnant unexpectedly and had to leave the competition circuit. We couldn't afford the academy on what she made as a waitress, so when I was younger I, uh..." Glitch couldn't remember seeing Cain so flustered. The color was high on his cheeks, his eyes glittered brightly, the hand holding Glitch's had become slightly damp...or maybe that was Glitch's hand. He couldn't really be sure. "Iwasahiredescorttoballsfornoblemen'sdaughers."

The words rushed out so rapidly, the meaning was almost missed.

"I'm sorry. Did you say you were an escort?! Wyatt Cain!"

"Not THAT kind! Just someone to dance with at balls, keep an eye on their daughters. Little more than a hired private guard."

"So, Mr. Over Protective got his start chaperoning half the ladies in this room to dances!" Glitch giggled, actually giggled, to himself. The giggles grew louder as Cain ground his teeth to keep from breaking his promise not to yell at Glitch in front of everyone. "No wonder they all want to dance with you."

"Yes, well. Now you know why I don't like to dance a lot."

"Yes."

They lapsed back into silence after that. Glitch hummed softly along with the band, never realizing his head was resting on Cain's shoulder as they moved around the floor. The old hurts and disappointments of the past, his enforced status as wallflower, faded into the background of unimportance in light of the present. He'd danced four dances...no five...four? He'd lost count, but he knew in that way he had of knowing what he didn't really know, or may have once known, he'd never danced this much in his former life as Queen's Advisor.

Still, he half expected Cain to walk away as the minuet ended, having grown irritated with Glitch's inquisitive prodding. But, as the minuet ended and a waltz began, the Tin Man showed no signs of letting go.

"Cain?"

"Hm?"

"If you dislike dancing so much, why did you ask me?"

"I don't dislike dancing." Sudden warmth flared unexpectedly behind cool blue eyes and Glitch swallowed in sudden nervousness unlike anything he had ever forgotten experiencing. "I just need a partner with soul."