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don't you dare look back

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“You would think you’ve been doing this your whole life,” Cinderella gasps as Ariel spins her in a graceful arc, their feet moving quickly in time with the lively tune.

“It’s so simple, really,” Ariel says, still full of energy. “Just one foot in front of the other.” Couples move around them as Ariel leads, her presence like a shimmering wave across the dancefloor.

After the fast song ends in a flourish of strings, Cinderella finally sinks down into a chair, her ball gown puffing up around her in an airy whoosh. She fans herself with her hand; she knows her face must be as red as her wife’s hair. “I simply cannot dance another step.”

Ariel only throws her head back and laughs, the picture of carefree poise and beauty. Ever since the ball commenced, her feet have yet to still. She wears soft, comfortable shoes—a far cry from Cinderella’s glass slippers from so many years ago. “You’re not one to give up so easily, are you?” She holds out her hands, beckoning Cinderella back up.

Cinderella groans, wanting so badly to fetch a plate of dessert and a tall glass of champagne and rest for the remainder of the evening. But as she looks around, all she sees are the faces of their people—family, friends, neighbors. And they all adore Ariel, their queen who walks on both land and sea, who has charmed their Cinderella back to life.

So Cinderella sighs, smiles, and takes Ariel’s hands.