starsandatoms: ([ya] i'll always find you)
[personal profile] starsandatoms
Title: get up up on the dance floor
Rating: PG
Summary: "I'm fully confident that I'm not going to spend the next fifty years of my life lamenting not having gone to my senior prom."
Notes: Utterly self-indulgent fluff written after a bad day at work. For [livejournal.com profile] cliche_bingo prompt "Heat." Billy/Teddy.



June is unnaturally hot this year, and that's just one of the many reasons Billy cites for skipping his senior prom to his parents. It's not a big one, a supporting point to his thesis of Really Not My Thing And That Doesn't Make Me A Maladjust, No Really, Mom, tucked in after 'my friends won't be there anyway' and 'going would just be one last hurrah of the inane social structures of high school and shouldn't I be focusing on adjusting for college now anyway?'

"Isn't it indoors?" asks his mom, frowning.

"It is," Billy agrees, "but it's also all the juniors and seniors of the school packed into one school gym that isn't nearly big enough and engaging in rigorous physical activity."

"Dancing isn't rigorous physical activity," his dad interjects.

Billy refuses to be drawn into a conversation with his parents about how many calories grinding burns. "The point is, it's going to be disgusting in there, I'm not close with anyone else who's going, and I'm fully confident that I'm not going to spend the next fifty years of my life lamenting not having gone to my senior prom."

His mom looks dubious, but acquiesces. "If you're sure..."

"I am," says Billy, then hides in his room before she can change her mind and try to talk him into it. Again.

Billy may be eighteen now, but there are some techniques that never cease to work, and apparently "run and hide" is one of them.



It's about three days later when he's very deliberately avoiding the cafeteria at lunch when he stops dead in the middle of the hallway.

That would be because Teddy is standing about ten feet from him, looking uncomfortable.

Billy, never one to do the straightforward, sensible thing, takes out his phone and hits the speed-dial for Teddy's number, and from across the hallway he sees Teddy suddenly grab at his pocket, take out his own phone, and put it to his ear.

"Yeah?" he says.

"Cell phones aren't allowed on school grounds," says Billy, then realizes that that was a stupid thing to say.

Teddy looks around, sees Billy, and grins widely. "You rule-breaker, you," he says, then folds his phone closed and walks over to him. "You've got an open campus, right?"

"Yeah," says Billy. "What - "

"Let's get lunch," says Teddy. "The heat fried the wiring at my school, and the power's out - they sent us home early."

Billy shifts his backpack on his shoulders and tries to hide how pleased he is. "Yeah, okay. Let me dump my backpack back at my locker, and we can go."

"Cool," says Teddy, grinning. He walks with Billy towards his locker, but as they're about to pass by an open doorway, Billy hesitates.

"Crap," he says. "You don't have a visitor's pass - "

Teddy hugs the wall, slouches, and tries to look as inconspicuous as possible. "We'll be out of here in two seconds anyway," he says, and Billy nods. He runs the rest of the way to his locker, tosses his backpack in, and turns back - Teddy, of course, has already been waylaid by two girls that Billy vaguely recognizes from Bio two years ago. One of them is flirting outrageously - flipping her hair, batting her eyelashes, turning her feet and shifting her weight every two seconds. Teddy is giving her his polite smile, and her friend is looking exasperated until Teddy points over at Billy with an apologetic look. Then the flirter rocks back on her heels, looking - well, surprised doesn't really begin to cover it - and her friend smirks and pulls her away.

Billy walks over to him and raises an eyebrow. "Do I even want to know?" he asks.

"I just told her I was waiting for you," says Teddy.

"Then I think you just outed yourself to my whole school," says Billy.

"Oh - I didn't - " Teddy looks wrongfooted momentarily. "I didn't even think - are you out here?"

"I pretty much have been since the eighth grade," Billy admits. "Come on, let's go get lunch."

There's a burger place just a few blocks away, and they share a monstrous helping of fries as they eat.

"They're not still giving you problems, are they?" asks Teddy.

"Who?" says Billy. "Supervillains? Because I think you know the answer to that one."

"No, the kids at school," says Teddy. "I mean, if I'm already outed there, I could Hulk-out and threaten to break their legs if they mess with you."

"Nah," says Billy. "We just stay out of each others' ways. It works out. Besides, fifteen more days and it's not a problem."

"Not that you're counting," says Teddy, smiling wryly.

"Of course not," says Billy.

"So you're not going to go to your prom, then?" asks Teddy, gazing fixedly at the fries.

"Uh, no," says Billy. "Hell will freeze over first. Besides, it'd be boring as hell." He glances at Teddy. "Why? Do you want to go to yours?"

Teddy shakes his head. "The prom committee at my school is bugnuts insane - they've got a theme and everything."

"Oh, God," says Billy. "How corny?"

"Luau." Teddy wrinkles his nose. "From what I heard, they had a conga line and a limbo contest."

"That's horrific."

"I know, right?" Teddy shakes his head again, then shrugs. "But I don't know - don't you think it would be fun to at least try to do the Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles prom thing?"

"No," says Billy flatly, but Teddy looks a little disappointed and Billy can't stand it when Teddy looks disappointed, so he relents. "I mean, if it were all of us - like, you and me, Kate, Tommy, Eli, Cassie, and Jonas? Sure, it could be fun. But that's a lot of tickets and effort and I'd rather just kick some supervillain ass, you know?"

Teddy smiles at him. "Just so long as it's your decision, and not those assholes at your school."

"Yeah," says Billy, but his voice sounds doubtful even to his own ears, and he shrugs. "I mean, I don't know, part of me really wants there to be a Buffy-prom moment, you know? Where I show up and they give me a stupid pink umbrella and it turns out they all really like me, or at least appreciate me. But that's never gonna happen, and they're all assholes anyway."

Teddy nods once, decisively, and crumples the wrapper of his burger into a ball. "You should probably get back," he says. "What time does your next class start?"

Billy checks his watch, and winces. "Ten minutes ago."

"Right," says Teddy, glancing around quickly before giving Billy a quick peck on the lips. "Good luck."



On prom night, Teddy won't answer his phone. It's probably nothing big, Billy knows, but his brain immediately jumps to Skrull attack and he's about two seconds away from a real freakout when he hears something outside. It's not one of those oh-shit-alien-invasion weird noises, but more - eighties.

He goes to his window and the first thing he sees is the limo. It's big and black and a limo, in front of his house, and this can't possibly end well.

The next thing he sees is Teddy, wearing a suit and tie, holding his iPod in one hand and precariously balancing some speakers in the other, which at least explains where the music is coming from.

Behind Teddy stands the rest of the team - in formalwear. Kate's wearing a dress that's, well, on the small side, but looks good, whereas Cassie apparently went for a more traditional look - she's even got a corsage on one wrist. That's probably down to Jonas, who's projecting a more human look than usual and standing behind her with one hand resting on the small of her back. Tommy is smirking, standing next to him, and Eli just plain looks like he wants to die. They're all wearing suits.

Billy opens his window. "What the fuck?" he demands.

"Will you be my date to crash your prom?" Teddy shouts up at him. He looks - good, actually; his face is flushed but he's grinning even though he looks more than a little self-conscious.

"I brought you a suit," Kate shouts too. "No excuses!"

"Just turn off the Peter Gabriel!" Billy calls down, and Teddy does.

"Sorry it wasn't a boombox," he says, loud enough for Billy to hear. "I couldn't find one, and besides, it's not the eighties anymore."

"You really want to crash my prom?" asks Billy. "You can't think of anything better to do?"

Teddy grins wider. "No," he says simply.

Billy just stares at him for a long moment, then hangs his head so that nobody can see how fiercely he's smiling - no matter how hard he tries, he can't stop, and he can feel the tips of his ears turning red.

"Is that a yes?" calls Teddy eventually.

"Get up here," Billy calls back, before shutting the window. He rushes downstairs, and by the time he makes it to the door, Teddy's already waiting there.

Billy grins at him for a long moment, and then says, "Say Anything? Really? Dork."

"Yeah, well," says Teddy, and kisses him.

After a few minutes, Tommy calls, "Get a room!"

They break apart, and Teddy puts what feels like a mass of plastic in Billy's arms. "Put this on," he says.

"This the suit?" asks Billy, and Teddy nods. "Okay, give me a minute - I also gotta call my parents."

Teddy clears his throat. "Actually, they're...kind of in on this." He scratches the back of his neck, and Billy shakes his head.

"I should've known," he says. "Be right back."

He comes outside a few minutes later, fumbling with his tie; Kate steps forward and stops him before he's halfway down the stairs.

"Honestly," she says exasperatedly. "I had to do Teddy's, too. And Tommy's, and Jonas's. Is Eli the only one in the world with a Y-chromosome who can tie a tie?"

"Quite possibly," says Billy, looking around - the limo's still there, but everyone else is gone. "Where'd they go?"

"They're inside," says Kate, finishing with the knot and smoothing the tie down. "There. You look - " She smiles crookedly. "Dapper."

"Dapper?" asks Billy, raising an eyebrow.

"Why not?" says Kate. "Now, come on. We've got dinner reservations."

"We do?" says Billy, as Kate grabs his wrist. He pulls back on her hand. "Look, I - I know how expensive a limo is - "

"You keep forgetting that I'm the team's designated sugardaddy," says Kate, dropping a hand on Billy's shoulder. "Now, come on. Don't keep your prom-crashing date waiting."



"Okay, but the thing is," says Billy, as they're in the limo after dinner, on the way to the dance itself, "I'm pretty sure these things need tickets."

"Yeah, about that," says Teddy. "Remember that time I came to visit you at school and we went out to lunch?"

Jonas pulls seven tickets out of the inner pocket of his jacket. "I was voted least likely to lose them," he says.

"How much did that even cost?" demands Billy.

"We talked it over, and decided that we could all do with some supervillain-free high-school socializing," says Cassie. "After that, it was just a matter of whose prom we'd crash."

"Yours won by default, seeing as you'd never agree to it unless it was a surprise," Tommy adds.

"I might've!" says Billy. He gets back six raised eyebrows in response. "Well, it's true," he grumbles, and Teddy tightens his arm across his shoulders.

"If we don't like it, we can always set it on fire," he says cheerfully.

"Trust me, bad idea," says Tommy. "I've been down that road, and it only leads to tears." He thinks about it for a second, then adds, "But it was totally worth it."

"Let's table the discussion of explosions for a later date," suggests Jonas. "It can stay as a last resort."

"I'm holding you to that," says Billy.

"Come on, it'll be fun!" says Kate. "Bad music, horrible dancing, disgusting decorations, probably a vegetable platter or two..."

"Yeah, that sounds like my definition of fun," says Eli, rolling his eyes. Billy is heartened that he seems to have a kindred spirit, and then Kate smiles coyly at Eli and Billy remembers that he's completely whipped.

"You think you can magic up some good music?" asks Cassie, leaning forward curiously. "Call up some requests or something?"

"I've taken out Skrulls, capekillers, evil government agencies, and God alone knows how many random supervillains," Billy points out. "I think a playlist shouldn't be too hard."

"Then the music might not even suck," Cassie points out triumphantly. "See? It'll be awesome."

"Fine," says Billy. "But I'm warning you all now - I'm a shitty dancer."

"Everyone's a shitty dancer except Beyonce and maybe Justin Timberlake," says Kate decisively. "The trick is to ignore that fact and dance with confidence."

Teddy leans in a bit closer to Billy and whispers in his ear, "If you can get them to play 'Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto,' I bet I can convince Jonas to do the robot."

"How?" Billy replies. "Blackmail?"

"I have my ways," Teddy says.

The limo slows, then stops, and Kate grins. "Moment of truth," she says, and opens the door.

It's the entrance to the gym, as Billy had pretty much expected. There's a loose crowd of kids standing outside, red-faced from dancing and/or alcohol, but nobody notices as they all file out of the limo. The air is hot and humid, making his shirt cling to his chest and back, but apparently it's still better than inside.

Jonas hands over the tickets at the door, and the chaperon at the table, Mrs. Kluge, gives Billy a weird look.

"I didn't realize you were coming tonight," she says, handing them back their stubs.

"Neither did I," Billy admits. "Thanks, Mrs. K."

The gym is exactly as bad as Billy had been anticipating. The music is horrible, the lights dimmed so low that he could barely see the dance floor, but not dim enough that he can't see it - or the horrible crepe-paper decorations along the walls. There's a table set up in one corner with a bowl of punch and, yes, a vegetable platter, and so many randomly sparkling decorations that Billy's half-afraid he'll have a seizure.

"I've seen worse," says Teddy.

"Man, I love public schools," says Kate. "If people danced like this at one of my school's dances, the nuns would put a Bible between then and tell them to make way for Jesus."

"It's gonna be a long night," Billy hears Eli mutter, and has to agree.

The current song ends, and a new one starts up; this one, at least, is marginally familiar, if only in its ubiquity. Kate, however, looks thrilled, and grabs Eli's wrist.

"We're dancing to this," she informs him, pulling him towards the crowd. "Come on, you guys!"

Kate immediately begins dancing as soon as they hit the edge of the dance floor. She apparently even knows all the words, and she sings along as she dances. Billy can't hide his immense discomfort, shifting his weight awkwardly from side to side, and from what he can see a lot of the others aren't faring much better.

It ends up being Kate that makes the difference; something about her dancing style, completely unselfconscious and otherwise best described as "bombastic," loosens Cassie up, and once Cassie's relaxed, Jonas follows, and after that they all fall like dominoes. It also helps that the song is so completely ridiculous, and Kate's still singing along - at one point, Billy turns around and sees Teddy mouthing along with one of the verses, and grins, wide and open.

"You're with a winner, so baby you can't lose - I got secrets, can't leave Cancun," Kate's singing, bumping her shoulders against Eli's.

And it turns out, most surprisingly of all, that Eli can dance like a madman, matching Kate step for step, and once he really gets into it, he's just as energetic. The seven of them end up forming their own little mob near the edge of the dancefloor, and the heat of the gym gets lets oppressive and more liberating, and Billy shucks his suit jacket and loosens his tie.

The song ends, eventually, and Cassie nudges Billy's leg with one foot. "Try getting us some decent music," she says, even though she's flushed and grinning and her hair is beginning to fall out of its stylish updo. Billy is in a good enough mood that he even smiles back, crookedly, before closing his eyes.

"Iwantsomegoodmusic, Iwantsomegoodmusic, Iwantsomegoodmusic..."

The telltale opening harmonies of Queen ring out, and Jonas looks like he's so happy he could die. Billy's magic somehow hit upon the one song that's agreeable to everyone in their gang - Eli starts off looking as dour as always, but then Kate grabs his tie and starts singing into it like a very silky microphone, and Tommy starts riffing on his air guitar, and Cassie's giggling so hard Billy starts worrying about her hyperventilating.

The rest of the people at the dance are less ecstatic about the sudden change in music, and the DJ looks like he's about to cry, but Billy doesn't care when Teddy works his way behind him, slings an arm around his chest, and mouths against his jaw with the music, somebody to love.

The rest of the music for the night follows Billy's own tastes, which is to say, unbelievably scattered and eclectic. There's some headbanging, some energetic flailing, a whole lot of music that's older than anyone but the chaperons. Some of the music choices surprise even him - a few internet memes make an appearance, but Teddy at least grins even if Tommy rolls his eyes.

Domo Arigato, Mr. Robot plays within half an hour play. Teddy does, indeed, get Jonas to do the Robot.

Eventually, Kate is leaning heavily on Eli between songs, Billy feels like he's about to tip over, and even Tommy is winded; they all look at each other, and agree by the special superhero-team rapport that's cropped up after four years of fighting crime that it's time to call it a night. Billy really doesn't want to think about how bad they all must smell.

The gym is considerably emptier by now than it had been when they'd arrived, and Billy can't help but think that the sudden shift in musical genres played no small part in the mass exodus...and yet he can't quite bring himself to care.

"Well," says Teddy, planting one arm firmly across Billy's shoulder as they all walk out of the gym, Cassie with her high heels danging from one hand, "would you say that was the best night of your life?"

Billy pretends to consider this. "I guess I'd rate it a seven out of ten."

"You know, I was under the impression that prom was also where you got laid," says Tommy pointedly, looking at Kate, who just rolls her eyes.

"That part may be yet to come," Teddy murmurs, and Billy looks up at him (how is Teddy so stupidly tall? Billy loves it).

"That could bring it up to a solid seven-and-a-half," he says, and Teddy laughs.

"Can we keep the bedroom-talk in the bedroom?" asks Eli, his tone making it clear that he expects the answer to be 'no.'

"We'll find our own ways home," says Cassie, grabbing Jonas's hand with her own free one.

"I guess we'll see you later, then," says Teddy, as Billy begins to Iwant them back to his room. They appear there in a flash of blue light, and Billy immediately lets himself fall onto his bed.

"Tired?" asks Teddy.

"Oh my God, yes," says Billy. "I feel like I just went ten rounds with Doom."

"That bad, huh?"

Billy frowns at the strange tone to Teddy's voice - almost anxiety, but that doesn't make any sense. He looks at Teddy and yeah, it's definitely anxiety.

He sits up on his elbows. "No," he says eventually. "You know that feeling after we've beaten the bad guy, when you're tired but you know everything's good? It's more like that, only without the beatings." Teddy still refuses to sit down, so Billy leans forward and grabs his hands. "I had a great time tonight," he says. "Thank you."

Teddy looks at him for a long time, then gives him a slow-developing smile, one that grows across his face in its own time. "Don't mention it," he says, leaning forward and forward and...yet more forward, until he's pretty much tackled Billy to the bed. "I told Aunt Margaret I was sleeping over with a friend tonight," he says, his voice somewhat muffled by Billy's shoulder. "Was that wishful thinking, or..."

"If you leave, I may have to kill you," says Billy, wrapping the arm that isn't pinned beneath Teddy around him.

Teddy whuffs out a laugh. "Fine," he says. "Be that way." He levers himself up on his arms, above Billy, and leans in to kiss him. Billy savors the feel of Teddy's lips on his, lets one of his hands rest on Teddy's back and feels the smooth material of his button-down shirt beneath his fingertips. He brings his other hand up to thread through Teddy's hair, and feels one of Teddy's hands clutching at his hipbone.

There's a tightness in his chest that has nothing to do with Teddy's weight, a heat curling contentedly in his stomach. He's not used to this - to being relaxed and happy and danced-out after an evening with his best friends in the whole goddamn world with the promise of a night with what might just be the love of his life.

Teddy tugs on Billy's shirt, plants a trail of kisses across his jaw, and Billy feels the warmth flare in him again, threatening to overflow and consume him.

As Billy kisses back, he thinks maybe he just might let it.

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