As his partner leads him to the dance floor, he can feel bystanders' eyes follow their progress. The couples already on the floor give them space to join in the line of dance, but she fords the stream of people, dragging the Doctor behind her, and leads them to the space in the center of the ring of people.

Coolly and patiently she places her hands behind her back. She tilts her head, not unlike a small bird, and he realizes he's supposed to do the same.

"I take it you're leading this one, m'lady?" he asks casually.

She nods, closing her eyes and shifting her weight side to side to get a sense of the music, a swaying bass line underlining a straight, slow-pulsing beat.

She steps toward him, with her shoulders signaling him to step back. Awkwardly he sticks his foot back, to her amusement. Her eyes gesture to her feet, as she slides it forward in example. He grins and shrugs apologetically as he slides the proper foot back.

She is careful to keep things simple, leading him in a simple walk, occasionally backing him into a circle to change direction, or halting suddenly to sidestep. The Doctor can keep up, but he's hesitant, and stumbles a little over the sudden pauses. His eyes are either on his feet, her feet, or her shoulders; rarely does he catch her gaze. And for some reason he can't help but subtly glance over his shoulder every once in a while.

They spend most of the dance in silence, until sometime towards the end of the dance. "Do you not trust me?" his partner asks in a pause to sidestep.

"All due respect," the Doctor replies, dragging his right foot to meet his left in time with hers, "I don't even have your name, never mind a reason to trust you."

"Fair enough." She shrugs. "I don't blame you, frankly." They take a moment for a slow sidestep as the music reached its end.

"There's only one other dance in this set," she explains, edging them back into the line of dance. "How about you lead this one?"

The Doctor shrugs with a contemplative smirk. "I suppose I can give it a go," he replies. He glances to the others for a frame of reference, and offers his left hand to his partner. "M'lady?"

She takes it and places her other hand on his shoulder. As the new music starts, he steps confidently, which receives a delightfully surprised nod of approval from his partner. He does very little beyond what he knows and can observe, and keeps in tempo, but his partner is oddly reluctant. She tries to follow before he can lead, and when he deviates from her expectation, she pulls away just a little, but enough to convey suspicion.

"What, don't trust me?" the Doctor asks, mimicking her playful accusation, suddenly but gently stopping her foot. She keeps her balance but he can see in her eyes that she's a little ruffled. He sandwiches her foot, then opens up to give her space.

"If you'll pardon my saying so," she answers matter-of-factly as she slowly steps over his leg, "I don't know your name, so by your own logic why should I trust you?"

"Fair enough." For the rest of the dance the Doctor can feel that she's trying to make an effort to trust his movement, but she still can't bring herself trust him completely.

The song finishes, to polite applause from the dancers. As people begin to shuffle either onto or off of the floor, the band begins a short little tune that sounds, to the Doctor's amusement, quite a bit like an Earth polka.

At least he thinks it's a polka. He had never been a music aficionado, but he has enough faith in what knowledge he has to be pretty sure.

He looks back to his partner, and they nod to each other. "M'lady."

"Reika," she says simply.

"Well Miss Reika, thank you for the dance."

"You're quite welcome, and thank you as well, sir." She suspends her sentence, waiting for an introduction.

He hesitates.  "Doctor."

A pause. "Come again?" He's used to the question, but it's usually in a tone of confusion, not possible recognition.



"Just Doctor."

"The Doctor?"

He shifts uncomfortably.  "Yes, I'm the Doctor."

She nods. "I thought you might be."

It's his turn to be confused. "Have we met somewhere before?"

"No, but if I can believe what my brother's told me, I know enough about you to know that wherever you are, trouble's not far off." She looks around the crowd ringing the dance floor and milling about the rest of the space. Returning her look to the Doctor she sighs. "Come on, we're at that table over there." Before he can object she takes his wrist and leads him through the masses. He can overhear her muttering to herself, "Quiesti's not going to believe this."

The End

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