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Waltzing

Chapter Text

When the first measures of music started, slow and low as if the piece itself was unsure about the whole project, G'Kar bowed and stretched out his hand towards Londo. His attempt at being graceful was somewhat ruined by the typically sturdy Narn apparel, which he was not willing to replace, and by the sour expression on his face.

"Great Maker, this is ridiculous." Londo exclaimed, gesturing exuberantly, but ignoring G'Kar's outstretched hand.

"I didn't deem it possible, but finally, we agree on something, Mollari." G'Kar intoned dramatically. "It can't be a good sign, the universe must be about to explode."

"Do we really have to do this?" Londo asked.

"I'm afraid so." G'Kar said and focused on the matter at hand. "You are supposed to give me your hand, Mollari." he instructed and tried to grab Londo's arm.

Londo jumped back. "All right, all right! Do you always have to be so impatient? This is a very delicate affair!"

"And do you always have to make a scene about everything?" G'Kar countered, then he grinned maliciously. "Or are you afraid of me?"

Londo straightened. "I am not! No Centauri is ever afraid of a Narn!" He took one step forward and placed his hand carefully inside G'Kars, as if fearing to burn himself.

"You have to put your other hand on my shoulder." G'Kar said.

"Your shoulder? How odd." Then Londo eyed the Narn sceptically. "You are not having me on, no?"

"I wouldn't dream of it, Mollari." G'Kar said solemnly. "This is exactly what Ivanova has shown me."

"Really." Londo said, somewhat mollified, and tried the position G'Kar had proposed. "It feels strange." He shifted a bit to make himself more comfortable. "What now?"

"Now we dance."

"Yes, I figured that already, thank you." Londo erupted. "But how? As I understand, there must be some sort if instructions, yes? Some rules or required steps."

"Well, as Ivanova told me, it goes like this: One, two, three, four, five, six." With these words, G'Kar dragged the Centauri unceremoniously across the room. "One, two, three, four, five, six."

"Ouch!" Londo cried, bringing them both to a halt.

"What is it?"

"You are trampling on my feet, you clumsy Narn! It hurts! And it's ruining my new shoes!"

"And I thought it was something important." G'Kar noted dryly. "Steel yourself, Mollari! Be a man!"

"I am a man!" Londo huffed. "But, bless the Great Maker, we Centauri are not as thick-skinned as you are. And we do not wear such heavy boots." He looked down at the offending garments indignantly. Then he contemplated. "We must be doing something wrong. It looked different when Sheridan and Delenn were dancing on their wedding. Let's try again!"

They stumbled off.

"One, two, three, four, five, six..." G'Kar counted.

"No, no, no!" Londo interrupted.

G'Kar sighed exasperatedly. "What is it now, Mollari?"

"You must listen to the beat of the music!"

"I don't hear any beat in that... music."

"Knowing what passes for music on your planet, I'm not surprised! What is this music, anyway?"

"It is called 'An der schönen blauen Donau'." G'Kar said in his best lecturer voice.

"What? What's that supposed to mean?"

"I think it's an Earth dialect. Chinese or some such. In English, it is called 'The Blue Danube'."

"A blue danube? Isn't that an animal?" Londo frowned.

G'Kar shrugged.

"Who names a dance after an animal? And a blue one at that! Well, anyhow. Let me count this time."

"Why?" G'Kar said abrasively. "You always want to be in authority, Mollari, don't you!"

Londo rolled his eyes. "Of course I do. But as it happens," he gestured at the entertainment system with a flourish, "I am the one who is able to hear the beat in the music."

G'Kar just snorted.

"Ready?" Londo asked, placing his hand back on G'Kar's shoulder. "One, two, three, four, five, six..."

They started off once more, this time a bit more coordinated.

"See?" Londo said. "I think it's getting better."

"Yes." G'Kar admitted, albeit grudgingly.

They danced some more, and it actually started to look like dancing. The music grew more confident as well.

"I think we are 'getting the hang of it', as the humans say." G'Kar finally announced.

"Yes." Londo agreed. "Although I have to say, it's starting to bore me."

"How so? I am actually beginning to find it quite amusing."

"This human dance is just not very... satisfying."

"Satisfying?"

"Well, when we Centauri dance, there are women involved. Lots of women. And most importantly, we don't restrict ourselves to pairs. Why would one do such a thing?"

G'Kar snorted.

"And then," Londo continued, oblivious to the Narn's disapproval, "we would use our... attributes to..."

"Stop it, Mollari!" G'Kar interrupted. "That is an image I can happily live without, thank you very much."

"Really? And I thought you might be enjoying the Centauri dance." Londo waggled his waist provokingly.

"No, certainly not! Mollari, don't you have any dignity?"

"You Narn are just prudish." Londo retorted. "Although, I know a certain Narn who was not too prudish to sleep with my wife."

"Mollari!" G'Kar growled dangerously.

Londo shrugged, unperturbed. "Well then, tell me. How do the Narn dance?"

"We don't dance."

"Oh? But what do you do, then? There must be some social activities, yes?" Londo prodded.

"We fight."

"How barbaric. But then, maybe not really surprising. After all..."

"Mollari, can't you just keep quiet for a while?" G'Kar interrupted. "I'm trying to concentrate on this dance, which is a really hard thing to do when you keep rattling on like that."

"Why? Mariel told me you liked your Centauri to be vocal."

G'Kar grew dark beneath his spots. "One last time, Mollari..."

"Fine, fine." Londo said pacifyingly. "But under one condition: I get to show you that Centauri dance later." Seeing G'Kar's glare, he added, "In privacy."

"Pah, you wish." G'Kar huffed, but a curious sparkle in his eyes belied the gruff tone in his voice.

From then on, they danced in silence, until the music came to its triumphant conclusion.