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Beginner Partner Dancing [Fic]

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In junior year, they enroll in a swing dance class.

Britta leads and Troy follows, because Britta refuses to let outdated, patriarchal gender roles decide her life and because Troy lets Britta bully him into it. He has enough time to wonder if that was really a good decision, but then they start dancing and he stops thinking about everything else, because this is like nothing he’s ever done before and swing dance is hard.

(At first, he feels awkward dancing with other men, twirling for them on the spins and letting them run their hands along his body to signal what's coming next, until Abed points out that the Third Inspector was an equally proficient lead AND follow in Plutonian Salsa, which he could use to disable unsuspecting enemies.)

Although they do have to dance with everyone in the class – so that they don’t reinforce each other’s bad habits – Troy still gets plenty of time to find out what kind of lead Britta makes.

Most of the time, Britta’s pretty terrible at it.

She thinks too hard and tries to control her follower too closely, trying to choreograph their every muscle twitch, rather than just the dance itself. It’s frustrating and frankly, uncomfortable to be yanked around the dance room so forcibly. No one would put up with it except for the fact that sometimes, sometimes, Britta loses herself in what she’s doing and then… well, then her dancing is like nothing Troy’s ever seen.

They glide effortlessly through three-step and four-step alike, from tuck turns to passes, with a little Charleston thrown in just for fun. Troy can only describe it as AMAZING (all in caps, he tells Annie later, otherwise it wouldn’t do it justice). When they swing close into each other’s orbits, she’s soft against him like girls always are, but hard too, all strength and steel and he knows, doesn’t have to doubt for a second, that she’ll be there to catch him every time she lets him loose or dips him low. He feels like he’s being shown off, which is what a good lead is supposed to do, and he feels utterly unself-conscious about adding flourishes, because it’s easy, he doesn’t have to think. She just guides him through the dance like it’s what they were born to do.

If he looks at her like she’s hung the moon when they’re moving together like that, well. He can hardly be blamed for that, can he?