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Night's Dance

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The night isn't cold but Song still wraps her cloak tighter around herself. Maybe she should've changed out of her usual outfit into something more casual but as Song continues to scan around, there doesn't seem to be anyone out on the streets this late at night. Most likely they're all at the taverns at this time of the night. So less likely for people to recognize her attire. Not that it lands her any trouble, but she's still wary about being recognized when she technically isn't here for any duty to the Eternals.

After more time passes, Song can hear the clack of heels on the pavement. When Song looks, it's Silva turning the corner—Song's eyes widen. Oh no, that's only made things worse, because now this allows her to better take in the sight of Silva sauntering down the street, the case of her giant sniper rifle slung over her shoulders, and most decidedly wearing a dress.

Silva… had most certainly not been wearing that when she left for her mission. Song can't help but stare. She'd never seen Silva wear anything like that before, and now Song can't help but feel under dressed—wait, why is Silva wearing that? Song's trying to frantically run through the few details that Silva had given her; she'd been hired as protection detail for someone, so…

"Song? I wasn't expecting you to wait up for me." Silva, in noticing Song, had apparently jogged the rest of the way over toward her, in her heels somehow. Her dress is fluttering behind her, the slit of the dress also revealing Silva's whole leg. Song's eyes roam down the length of bare skin before she quickly snaps her eyes back upward.

"Don't worry, I didn't mind!" Song quickly says, hoping Silva doesn't notice how red her face is. Just to be safe, she inches slightly away from the street light. "I would've waited the entire night to see you."

"Oh, don't say that." Silva's tone turns chiding, and it makes Song think she's had this conversation several times with her sisters. "I never want you to stay up for me."

"I know, but…" Song shyly presses her fingers, "I wanted to."

Silva blinks at her like she doesn't know how to answer before she sighs and shakes her head. She's exasperated, but Song can see the hint of the smile. "All right, thanks for waiting up for me. I'm ready to get out of this dress and head to bed though!"

Song nods… and can't seem to think straight, a million thoughts running through her head right now. The dress Silva's wearing—Song wouldn't call it indecent, more… distracting. It cuts low at the front, and Song is afraid her eyes will inevitably wander, so she keeps her eyes up, except that means staring at Silva's face, and maybe that's also hard for Song right now too because of how lovely she looks right now—not that Silva never looks lovely, Song thinks she'd still look beautiful even when she has streaks of gunpowder across her face and hair and—

"Song?" Silva waves a hand in front of her, which helps Song snap back into the moment. "You're staring at me. Something on my face?" Without waiting for Song to answer though, Silva is running her fingers over her face, frowning to herself.

Song clears her throat, more than glad right now that Silva can't notice the blush on her face. She asks instead, "Where did you get that dress, Silva?"

"Ah, this?" Silva looks down at herself, a half smile on her face. "A town I helped out a while ago gave me this and I've just never had the chance to wear it until now." She looks back up at Song, seemingly bashful now. "It doesn't really seem to fit me though, huh?"

"Hah? What are you talking about?" Song is blurting out her words before she even realizes. "Of course it does! You're—I mean—it's… it's beautiful," she finishes in a quiet voice, feeling just a little lame at how her voice trailed off a bit.

"Oh… uh, thanks—I mean, thank you." The way Silva's also flustered isn't entirely lost on Song, especially with the way the both of them can't seem to meet each other's eyes. Song is sure if she looks, Silva's face will also be just as red as Song's.

"A-anyway, we should head back to the ship!" Song quickly says. It's sheer coincidence that Silva's solo mission also happens to be on the same island where the Grandcypher is docked, and also that Song just happens to also have come to visit the crew. That's why Song wants to make the most of their time together, limited as it is.

"Right," Silva says but Song thinks she sounds distracted. Song would check on her but she still can't quite muster the courage to look at her right now.

They end up walking down the street side by side, not quite looking at each other. It's… awkward, putting it lightly. Song had wanted to ask if Silva was busy tomorrow so they could spend time together but for some reason, Song is finding it hard to say something. Maybe if she just doesn't look at Silva's face, that might work.

Song glances over, and realizes her mistake. Right. Silva's dress. She'd forgotten about that. It doesn't help that now that they're this close, Song now notices the open back of Silva's dress, and with her honed eyes, can also see the beauty of all of the muscles there. Silva certainly doesn't skip out on any training, whether it be carrying around a giant sniper rifle all the time or in hand to hand combat. Song's eyes follow down the line of Silva's back, to where the dress finally covers just above her finely shaped b—

"Song?" Silva's voice, slightly amused. "You're staring at me again. It really must be so odd to see me in this, huh?"

"N-no! That's not it!" Song almost yelps, averting her eyes and bringing a hand up to her face. Oh, if only Silva knew that was the opposite—no, Song can't really say that she'd been staring for certainly not the reasons Silva's thinking of. It must be so obvious… but Silva tends to run on the denser side of things, Song unfortunately knows.

"I was… ah! I was just thinking maybe you might be cold wearing that dress," Song quickly says, hoping the smile she makes isn't awkward. Silva blinks at her, seemingly surprised for some reason.

"It isn't so bad," Silva finally says with a shrug. "I've felt worse." But Song is already taking off her cape and moving behind Silva. It's always just like Silva to downplay herself and well, it really isn't that cold, but—

… it certainly isn't cold for Song, now staring at the entirety of Silva's bare back. She wants to reach out—Song quickly fits the cloak over Silva's shoulders. She can't allow herself to be more distracted than she already is but she thinks that even Silva might be able to hear how loud her heart is beating.

Silva laughs suddenly, turning around to look at Song. "Really, Song? It isn't as if you're better dressed than me!"

"Because I've had my cloak to keep me warm! And it won't take too long to get back to the ship anyway." Song hurriedly steps ahead of Silva before Silva can get a good look at her. "We should hurry back before it gets cold."

"Of course," Silva says, following after her. It might be strange for Song to walk ahead so she allows Silva to catch up before walking side by side again.

"I forgot to ask earlier, but why are you wearing that anyway, Silva?"

"Oh, right. I told you I was hired as a bodyguard right? It was for my client's daughter, and she was going to some sort of fancy party." Silva shrugs. "Nothing really happened, but I guess I got to sample a bunch of different food, and get paid while doing it."

"A… fancy party?" Song is trying to imagine it; what comes to mind is a giant ballroom with lavish decorations, and people dressed up in those elegant clothes she's seen Korwa design sometimes. And…

Song looks at Silva out of the corner of her eyes, a teasing smile on her face. "Does that mean you did some dancing? Oh! Does that mean someone asked you to dance?"

Silva makes a strangled sound before clearing her throat. Song nearly laughs at her expression but manages to keep it in. "I did not do any dancing," she finally answers in a mutter.

"... do you know how to dance, Silva?" Song finds herself asking. Silva sends her a look before shrugging.

"I… hm, I was giving a basic idea of it while I was on this job, but…" Silva smiles sheepishly, "I can't say I remember everything they've taught me now. It doesn't seem like I'd have much use for it, you know?"

"I think it sounds fun," Song says, holding out her hands in front of her. "I don't really know anything about it, but…" and she trails off, realizing what she'd been about to say to Silva. Song has always associated ballroom dancing with extravagant parties, and she can't imagine herself being at one. Even so, the sight of people dancing, their hands on their partner as they sway to music and look at each other in the eyes...

It's all very romantic and intimate to Song, and she'd be lying if she hadn't thought about wanting to experience that once in her life. The girls in the city who experienced that had always seemed so awestruck, talking about wanting to go to another one, for some sort of handsome stranger to sweep them off their feet.

Song doesn't want any handsome stranger though, she wants…

But Silva doesn't seem like she'd be interested. Song can already tell how embarrassed she is just by bringing it up. Neither of them seem very well suited to that sort of activity even if Silva's beautiful self is wearing such a gorgeous dress that fits the occasion.

"Do you want to try?"

Now it's Song's turn to almost choke, turning to Silva with eyes wide. Silva is scanning around the street now. "I don't think anyone's around right now, but maybe…" and here, she gestures for Song to follow her. More than confused (and maybe a bit excited), Song follows after her. Silva leads them toward a more open part of the street and carefully puts down her case. Just as Silva's said, there aren't many people around.

Whether intentionally or not, Silva steps out of the shadows and into the moonlight, and turns around to hold out her hand toward Song. Even though Song can tell Silva's embarrassed, she's smiling. Being so earnest has always been one of Silva's strengths, but looking at her now as she shines under the light of the moon makes Song feel captivated, unable to move or stop staring.

"A dance for my good lady," Silva says before her smile falls slightly. Song can see the hint of pink creeping across Silva's face. "I-I mean, at least that's what I've heard the others say."

Oh, now this is unfair. How is Song supposed to keep herself calm when Silva does this? Her heart, pounding almost nonstop the entire way since she's laid eyes on Silva, feels as if it's impossibly sped up. It feels like adrenaline is surging through her instead. Song thinks that she wants to move, but nothing will obey her, because as long as Silva keeps looking at her like that, Song is…

"Song?" Silva's smile falls again as she straightens herself. "I'm sorry, was that too much?"

"Ah!" Song quickly shakes her head and as if she's being controlled, her hand shoots out to take Silva's offered hand. "I-I'm sorry! I was, ah, just caught off guard! I wasn't expecting that!" She's slightly breathless, and she's desperately hoping Silva doesn't notice.

"Oh." Silva nods, relief on her expression now. "I should've given you a warning though, I apol—"

"No, it's fine! Silva, I mean," Song's voice is firm before she softens it, a small smile gracing her lips now, "I mean, I'd like a dance, if you're offering." She steps forward with a giggle that's both amused and nervous. Which is funny now, because Song can see the way Silva's expression shifts, her brow furrowing in what must be her obviously trying to remember the steps.

"I think it's…" Silva brings her closer and places her other hand on Song's waist. It's the lightest touch possible, but it still makes Song nearly suck in a breath, honing in on that sensation. If it weren't for the position of Song's belts there, Silva would be touching her skin… but it wouldn't be hard, if Silva were to trail her fingers a little higher… up the length of her side just the way Song dreams she does—

Song focuses back—and now it hits her how close she is to Silva. This close, she realizes she can smell perfume on Silva. It's something faint enough to not be distracting, and most likely the scent's been diluted after many hours… but it's a very sharp contrast to the gunpowder and smoke that usually surrounds Silva. Song is tempted to lean in but she holds herself back. It'd be strange for her to do that, and she's not sure what Silva would think of it.

Thankfully, Silva's staring down at the ground, her brow furrowed in concentration. It's about the same expression Silva makes when she's doing maintenance on her gun, and Song thinks it always makes Silva look cute whenever she sees it. Although, cute might be the furthest word from Song's mind right now, when Song's eyes move from the lines on Silva's forehead to trace down the bridge of her nose, moving lower still to Silva's lips—

"And I think we, uh, move like this?" The hand that's holding Song's rises so that it's above their shoulders, and Silva's fingers on her waist press a little to urge Song to move. Song steps forward reflexively though awkwardly because she's not sure what Silva wants her to do. The distraction is more than welcome, given the… dangerous path her thoughts have been wandering in.

"Are you sure you remember, Silva?" Song asks, trying not to laugh at how hard Silva seems to be trying to remember the movements. Silva's eyes narrow as she continues to glance back and forth between their shoes and her hand that's on Song's waist still. Song's other hand is still free though and she's not bold enough to do what Silva's done so Song decides to put it on Silva's shoulder, hoping Silva doesn't think that strange. She feels so out of her element right now, only having the vaguest sense of where things might go.

"I just need a bit of a refresher," Silva mutters before she starts to tug Song around. She spins them in a circle and blinks, as if realizing she wasn't meant to do that. Song doesn't know what that's for either, but it's seriously adorable to Song seeing Silva trying to puzzle through this. "Uh, maybe…" and Silva's head snaps up, staring right into Song's eyes.

Silva starts to move, and Song has no choice but to follow after her lead, slightly breathless at the way Silva's staring at her so intensely. At first, they're trying hard not to step on each other's shoes, of which there's a few close calls, but after a while, they find some kind of rhythm. It would be nice if there's music playing, but if Song's being honest, she's rather enjoying doing this with Silva. Even Silva's brow starts to relax, a triumphant grin coming to her.

Song's not sure how long they do this. She's not even sure if they can call this dancing, with the way they're stepping too far or too close to each other, awkwardly trying hard not to step on each other's toes instead, but Song doesn't think she's had this much fun in a while. Her mouth hurts from all the smiling she's doing, and Silva seems both bashful and amused at how well they're surprisingly doing.

"I think we're doing good—" and Silva yelps, stumbling before she can finish her sentence. Song manages to right herself before lurching forward, managing to catch Silva before she falls to the ground. "Yeah, maybe not me."

And despite everything, Song starts laughing. It doesn't take long for Silva's voice to join hers, and when they finally stop, Song feels like she can't stop smiling.

"I didn't think you'd actually try," Song says. Maybe Silva's had a few drinks earlier since she's always a little more courageous after getting some alcohol. But that can't be it, because now Song can see Silva's face turning red from embarrassment.

"You… you looked like you wanted to try, and I thought why not since I'm already wearing this," Silva says. "I don't think that went very well, though."

"No! It was…" Song smiles. "I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed doing that with you, Silva. Maybe we can..." and she stops herself from finishing the rest of her sentence.

"I have a feeling Heles or even Ilsa might have a better idea about dancing than the both of us. How about we ask them for some pointers?" Silva suggests, and Song nearly sucks in a breath. Just like that, Silva's said what Song was afraid of asking for. Now it seems silly for Song to have felt that way. It isn't as if Silva will tease her for asking, but Song's always been cautious. She and Silva are friends again, she doesn't want to… doesn't want to lose that friendship again by imposing on her more than she already is.

Song looks at Silva the same time Silva looks over at her—oh.Oh.

Now Song's aware of how close they are again. Song swallows, and tries not to think about how she notices Silva's eyes flicker down to her throat. She should look away, but Song can't seem to pull her gaze away. Under the light of the moon, as Silva continues to smile at her, she's… even more beautiful than before. Song can't look away, not when it's always Silva that draws her eyes. No matter how far away she is, whether she's in the sky or across the island, Song will always find her.

The night is quiet, so quiet that Song thinks Silva should be able to hear how loud her heart is pounding inside of her right now. She's almost holding her breath, as if afraid that even something so simple as that can disturb the strange air between them. Her mouth is dry, and she feels like she'd been hit with some sort of dizzying spell and knocked out of the air, now floundering on the ground on unsteady feet. Does Silva feel the same way?

Time seems to stretch on for far too long. Now Song feels like she's in the middle of a hunt, focused on her target. Song can see it all with her eyes, from faint flush on Silva's cheeks, to the slightest twitch of her lips, to the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes slowly.

Something like both impatience and nervousness bubbles inside of her. It would be all too easy for Song to lean forward, to close her eyes and imagine Silva's doing the same as they lean toward each other—but Song can't do that. What she and Silva have—Song's sure of her own feelings, but Silva… she doesn't know what Silva thinks of her. Song is afraid of being pushed away again, afraid of reaching another misunderstanding between them, afraid of… afraid of losing Silva again...

It is this fear that keeps Song frozen.

"Well!" Silva suddenly helps herself out of Song's arms, pushing herself up and dusting off the front of her dress with her hands. She extends a hand to Song afterward, offering her a light smile. "I think that's enough excitement for the night. How about we head back now?"

Song stares at her before taking Silva's hand, moving instinctively. She allows Silva to help her up, and she still can't help but stare after her even as Silva goes to pick up her rifle. She'd been… she'd been so… so close to...

"Song? Something the matter?" Silva's in front of her again, waving a hand to get her attention. It helps, but now Song's all too aware of how fast her heart is beating.

"I…" There's a part of Song that still wants to speak up, still wants to…

"Song?" Silva's expression changes from amused to concern now. "Something wrong? I really wasn't that bad of a dancer to ruin your night, was I?"

"O-oh! No, of course not." The idea of Silva ruining her night (or any day for that matter) is ridiculous, and that thought makes it easy for Song to smile. "I promise I had a lot of fun. At least we didn't step on each other's feet!"

Silva laughs at that, looking relieved. Seeing how seriously worried Silva was about it makes the smile on Song's face grow brighter. Sometimes it's funny to Song when she sees the things Silva gets worried over.

That strange tension Song felt before is gone now. Whatever this is now… it's a lot more comfortable and familiar to Song. She can handle this now. The rest of the night goes well, and Song manages to smile easily as she bids Silva a good night as they retire back to their cabins.

Song sits at the edge of the bed in the darkness of her room, with only the light of the moon to keep her company. Her eyes close, and unbidden, the entire night flashes through her mind.

Oh, who's Song trying to kid? Remembering the feeling of Silva's hands on her, being twirled around to the music of Silva's laughter… Song wants that feeling back—no, she wants more than that.

In the years after their misunderstanding, Song had missed Silva so much. Silva had been her first friend outside of her village that didn't run away in fear of her power, and she'd been so happy when they made up, and Silva had even gone the extra mile to introduce her to her whole family. It had let Song see how much Silva had regretted everything, and how foolish they were to run away from each other instead.

Now, Song looks forward to every moment she gets to spend with Silva. She wants to see more of Silva. She wants to reach out and hold her hand. She wants to visit more cafes with her. She wants to see more of the world with Silva. She wants to train together.

When her thoughts wander, they always fall on Silva. She wants… she wants to do even more; she wants to tell Silva her feelings, she wants to kiss Silva, she wants...

Now Song understands what they mean by being lovesick. She understands it now when the girls in the city described it… of how incredible it feels, and also of how painful it is. She wants to run over to Silva right now and spill her feelings… but there's a voice inside of her that whispers that Silva doesn't feel the same, that Song's still a monster and Silva deserves someone better—the fear of that unknown, the fear of rejection, and the fear of Silva distancing herself again

Song can't go through that again. She won't. Their friendship is already more than important to Song, and she knows that's something the both of them can agree on.

Even so, when Song sleeps for that night, she dreams of dancing under the stars again with Silva.