Stretch sat silent on the couch, wondering to himself how he’d gotten here. The order of events was fairly clear, but it was still surreal to be sitting in Edge’s living room with the lights turned down low, watching him push furniture out of the way to create a large, open space in the middle.
Once there was enough space that Edge was satisfied, he turned to a stereo system he’d set up just for this evening. Stretch watched his back, straight and stiff as ever, as he picked out whatever music he wanted for the evening. He then turned to Stretch and stepped up to him, holding out a hand.
“May I have this dance?”
Was it warm in here? Edge usually kept his home colder than Stretch liked, but right now it felt more like hotland than snowdin.
They weren’t in either place anymore. They were on the surface, had been for almost a whole year, and the entire reason they were here was because Asgore wanted to plan a celebration ball. The first annual ball, he’d called it, and Stretch was adamant that he wasn’t going to go. His brother had gotten all of the others to gang up on him, asking for reasons why, and none of them accepted a damn thing Stretch had to say. Not even that he didn’t know how to dance all romantic like, the way that balls usually required.
Edge had been the one to counter that. As the Captain of the Royal Guard, he’d attended formal balls in Underfell. He and his brother were probably the only skeletons who had ever gone to them.
Swallowing hard, Stretch nodded and put his hand in Edge’s. He let Edge pull him up to his feet. As soon as they were standing chest-to-chest, Stretch felt his face heat up even further with a deep blush. He didn’t know what to do with his hands.
“Relax, Stretch,” Edge said softly. “Just relax.” He took Stretch’s left hand gently in his and lifted it to his shoulder. “I’ll be leading for now, so you’ll put your hand here.”
Stretch nodded and started to move his other hand, but Edge held tightly.
“No, your right hand stays in mine.”
“oh, right. sorry.”
Edge’s mouth curved in that cute smile that wasn’t a smile unless you knew what to look for. “You don’t need to be sorry. I’m aware that you’re new to this. It’s why we’re doing this, after all.”
Right. Edge was just teaching him to dance.
Stretch took a deep breath and nodded, telling himself to just calm down. If the worst case scenario were to happen, Stretch would leave with no more knowledge of how to dance than he came with, but he’d have had the opportunity to be close to Edge for the majority of the evening.
Best case scenario…
Well, Stretch didn’t want to get his hopes up.
“You need to get closer. Like this.” Edge’s right hand went to Stretch’s back and pulled him close enough that their chests were nearly touching.
Stretch’s hand tightened on his shoulder as he sucked in a sharp breath. He was nearly overwhelmed with Edge’s scent, spicy and heady, and he fought the urge to lean in to him to just sniff. Instead, he opened his sockets and found Edge giving him that smile again.
“Now just follow my lead.”
Stretch was about to ask about the music when it started playing, as if it had been on some kind of timer or if Edge had pressed play by sheer willpower. Stretch honestly wouldn’t put it past him.
They started moving slowly, just swaying at first. Stretch tried to keep his bones loose and just do whatever Edge wanted him to do, but the first step Edge took made him tense up again. He didn’t step with him at first, but when he did he managed to step on both of Edge’s feet.
“i’m sorry!” Stretch yelped, starting to pull back.
Edge held him close, his arm around him holding deliciously tight while his hand holding Stretch’s pulled it to his chest. “It’s okay, Stretch. You’re learning; I should have told you what I was doing.”
Stretch nodded, taking another deep breath.
“I very much doubt this ball will be nearly as formal as the ones I used to attend, so instead of a full waltz we’ll stick to an easier version of it. We’re basically stepping in a square pattern, like this.”
Edge pulled back then just enough to let them both look down at their feet while Edge demonstrated the step pattern. They went through it a few times until Stretch felt he could keep up with Edge without stepping on his feet again.
“i’ll really try not to disable you tonight.”
Edge snorted. “I survived close to thirty years in Underfell, I’m sure I can survive one evening of dancing with you.”
Somehow, Stretch was absolutely certain he detected a hint of fondness in Edge’s tone. Maybe he was hearing things he wanted to hear. Stretch decided to believe it was fondness.
As another song started, Edge pulled him close again. “Let’s try this again.”
This time, when Edge stepped, Stretch was able to step with him. They kept up the pattern for a while, just a slow, leisurely dance. Stretch tried to pay close attention to his feet, but something soon caught his attention. Edge was humming.
Stretch didn’t dare say anything. He was certain that if he did, Edge would stop. Instead, he just listened to the rough scratch of his voice in his chest, that low pitch that changed with the music. The more he listened, the more he began to realize the music they were listening to wasn’t what he had expected.
“um, edge?” he asked quietly.
They were both quiet for a moment as the song played on and they moved together. The singer sang softly about love and the methods they could show their partner how much they loved them. For one delirious moment, Stretch thought about singing those words to Edge just to see what might happen. He wanted to pretend that Edge had picked these particular songs to try to convey the same message to Stretch.
He cleared his throat, reality coming back to him, and he looked up at Edge. “what are we listening to?”
There was that smile again. Dammit, Stretch wanted to kiss him. The music and dimmed lights weren’t helping.
“I figured it would be a good idea to dance to the kind of music you’d be dancing to at the ball. There will be other kinds of music, of course, but I know you don’t need help with those kinds of dances. Remember that I helped to choose the music.”
Right. That was okay. Stretch still had his fantasies.
Edge frowned. “Is that okay? I can change it if you want.”
“no, don’t change it,” Stretch blurted, maybe a little too desperately. “it’s good. and you’re right; i should learn to dance to the music i’d actually be dancing to.”
Edge hummed in agreement, his arm around Stretch pulling him back up close again. They were both silent for the rest of the song and the next one, then Edge began humming again. His hand on Stretch’s back tightened in something that might have been a hug, Stretch wasn’t sure.
Stretch decided to take a chance and rested his head on Edge’s shoulder. He thought he had the footwork down enough to only give it half his attention, and it seemed he was right. Edge held him tighter, pulling their clasped hands closer to their bodies. Stretch let his sockets slip closed, listening to the deep rumble of Edge’s hum in time with the singer’s melody.
Oh, what he wouldn't give to have this be a regular thing. He couldn’t say for certain how long he’d been in love with Edge, when his feelings changed from friendly admiration to soul-deep longing. It didn’t really matter when it had happened; what mattered was when he was going to tell Edge about it.
Maybe tonight, after Edge decided he had taught Stretch well enough. Which might be soon; it was becoming more and more obvious that Stretch wasn’t struggling anymore. He didn’t want to stop. His hand squeezed Edge’s and he couldn’t help but try to hold him tighter as the song went on, a tenor voice singing about how everything they did was done for their partner.
Edge held him tighter, and a thrill went up his spine. He could almost pretend that Edge loved him back, and that tonight was so much more than just learning to dance.
The song changed again, and Edge continued to hum along, his low tone contrasting so well to the female singer’s soprano. Stretch almost couldn’t believe what was happening when Edge leaned his head down on his and began singing softly against his skull, ever so slightly off tune.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Stretch couldn’t help but look up then, meeting Edge’s eye lights. Their movements stilled as Edge lifted their clasped hands. He placed a gentle kiss to the back of Stretch’s knuckles as the song ended.
“You’re doing quite well,” Edge said softly.
He nodded and mumbled a thanks, then made an impulse decision that could either be one of his best decisions or one of his worst. Before he could think too much and talk himself out of it, Stretch pushed himself forward and kissed Edge, holding himself close as Edge’s whole body stiffened.
When Edge didn’t kiss him back, he pulled away with brightly burning cheekbones. It was a mistake. He shouldn’t have…
Before he could so much as take a step back, Edge pulled him back in and kissed him hard. Stretch pulled his hand from Edge’s to wrap both his arms around his shoulders. He shivered as Edge held him tightly. Together, they deepened the kiss, and Stretch heard himself whimper at the taste of Edge.
An entire song played on barely heard as they kissed in the middle of Edge’s living room, holding each other as though letting go meant the evening would have to come to an end. Slowly, the kiss simmered back down to light touches of their teeth.
Without loosening his arms, Stretch leaned back just enough to see Edge’s face. He was blushing, a sight Stretch could say he’d never seen before. It was adorable.
“i love you,” Stretch ventured.
Edge smiled, a bright, beautiful grin. “I love you, too.”
“how long…?” He wasn’t really sure how to ask that question.
“A long time. You?”
Stretch shrugged, his face burning hotter. “a long time, too.”
Edge chuckled. “I would say that I’m sorry for flirting with you tonight, but I’m not.”
“yeah, no, don’t be sorry for that.” He hugged Edge tightly, a thrill in his soul making him shiver as Edge hugged him back.
“Are you sick of dancing yet?” Edge asked.
“no, surprisingly not.” Stretch shook his head. “i don’t want tonight to ever end.”
Edge leaned in and kissed him again, a soft, lingering touch of teeth. Pulling away, he spoke. “It will have to eventually, but Stretch? I’d like you to come to the ball with me. As my date.”
Stretch honestly couldn’t think of anything better than that. “you’re not worried i’m going to embarrass you?”
Something about the way he frowned made Stretch regret what he’d said. “Why would I be worried about that? You’re not embarrassing, even when you do silly things. Those quirks of yours just make me love you all the more.”
Stretch couldn’t help kissing Edge once more.
They spent a few more hours dancing together, Edge showing Stretch a few more techniques. By the end of the evening, Stretch was able to let Edge spin him without knocking them both off balance and dip him without fear of being dropped.
It was everything Stretch could have dreamed of and more. When he said goodbye that night, it was with a kiss and a promise to see each other the next day.
At the ball a few weeks later, Stretch dressed up nice and entered the ballroom at Edge’s side. They danced together, but only to the softer songs. Stretch tried to get Edge to dance to the more up-beat ones, but he flatly refused. Instead of potentially making Edge uncomfortable by pushing the issue, he danced with his brother and other friends.
At the end of the evening, they danced the final dance together. As he had before, Edge hummed along to the music. So much love swelled in Stretch’s soul, making him feel so light and happy he could float away if it weren’t for Edge’s arms around him.
Edge took him home that night and they separated with a kiss.
Stretch lay in bed staring at the ceiling, a bright smile on his face. He almost couldn’t believe that things had turned out as they had, and he was very much looking forward to exploring this new relationship with Edge.