Dancing

Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:27 pm
janebecomes: (lost at the ball)
[personal profile] janebecomes
Jane found herself moving through the ball with far less joy than she wished as her thoughts seemed to circle ever around what it means to be sensible.

Mister Wisley was a fair dancer but he did nothing to make her enjoy her time on the floor, but she would give him the dances that he asked for.

She knew that it would be sensible and profitable to accept his offer of marriage but Jane was not sure if she truly could.

So she moved around the floor, not truly hearing or seeing simply walking the steps and wondering if perhaps Mister Lefroy had decided he had no wish to attend the ball.

Date: 2010-03-24 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
- ah, no.

(It would be, in fact, that Tom had arrived earlier than she.)

And there he is, suddenly by her side as though he'd always belonged there, his hand over hers, his heart beating quickly, his steps in tune to hers.

It suddenly feels like the world belongs to only them.

Date: 2010-03-24 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
The music buys him time.

There are things he wants to say, words he ought to voice to her before -



As part of the dance, he must separate from Miss Austen and return to his original dance partner, and so he does.


(If reluctantly.)

Date: 2010-03-24 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
Like the push and pull of the current, the next stanza in Henry Purcell's hornpipe brings them back together.

Soon, he is facing Miss Austen once more for three turns - his eyes never leaving hers.

Date: 2010-03-25 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
True enough.

It doesn't.


Soon the music ends, and they part for the last time - Tom, moving to stand across from his dance partner.

He bows, sparing a quick glance in Jane's direction, before he approaches the other woman - a lady he'd only just met prior to the dancing.

"You dance beautifully," he says to her - when he wishes he could tell Jane, instead.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
Slowly, the crowds begin to gather as people mingle after the first dance is - well, danced.

Tom knows he ought to continue as he had before - and engage this group of people in polite, intelligent conversation - but he inclines his head ever so slightly, curious as to Miss Austen's whereabouts.

Luck would have it that her back is to his.

And finally, he can say something to her. (Anything.)

"You dance with passion."

Date: 2010-03-25 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, it is what society demands of women.

(Of men, too, in some cases - really.)

Tom glances from Jane ... up to the incredibly tall man to her left - Mr Wisley is his name, from what he heard.

(And what he's heard among other things ...)

"As opposed to a lover?"

It might explain the hint of a bite in his words.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
"- I did not mean to offend or hurt -" he starts to say, realizing now that it was exactly what he'd meant.

(Or he would not have said it at all.)

Date: 2010-03-25 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He silently curses himself for his idiocy.

Why did he have to go and -

Turning back to the company he'd gathered around him (deliberately ignoring Wisley's looming form close by) he mutters a polite, "Excuse me" and parts from them.

He wants nothing more than to apologize for his impudent behaviour - but when he reaches the grand hall, he spots John Warren by the bottom steps, he remembers Mr Wisley still within the ballroom, and he remembers that for all of his affection, this - none of this - would ever work.

Date: 2010-03-25 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
And in the mean time, Tom must bear even more talk of Jane and Wisley's impending engagement as he later watches her stride out towards the gardens, looking less than pleased.

"Mr Wisley is a good opportunity for Jane," his aunt had said.

"She should accept him at once," Lucy responded innocently. Because it would have made sense, wouldn't it?

It was so incredibly simple, this logic, that even a girl as young as cousin Lucy could figure it out.

(So why can't he?)

Despite all better judgment, only moments after his relations leave for refreshments, Tom finds himself in the gardens as well.

His steps are quiet, and he soon finds Miss Austen by the fountains, alone.

Date: 2010-03-25 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He strides up to her, keeping a comfortable distance from her.

Out of respect for her, really. But also: there is (as always) the matter of propriety.

Still, he feels the need to clear a couple of things up. There are questions he must have answers for before he leaves for London in the 'morrow.

"I have learned of Mr Wisley's marriage proposal," he starts, before swallowing the bitterness in his throat. "My congratulations."

Date: 2010-03-25 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
Her words hurt, too.

(And the ache in his heart - it could easily match hers.)

Before he can control himself, he blurts out, "How can you have him?"

He can't look at her; not yet. He stares across at the water gurgling before them.

"Even with his thousands and his houses - how can you, of all people, dispose of yourself without affection?"

Date: 2010-03-25 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
Now, he turns to her.

How did she know he was leaving? He hadn't exactly told her. (But it occurs to him, that news in the country spreads quickly.)

He frowns and says nothing.

The guilt, the apology - it's all there.

(I'm sorry.)

Date: 2010-03-25 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
The sudden shortening of distance between them surprises him a little. He hadn't expected such boldness from Miss Austen -

(and suddenly, he realizes he admires it - her - all the more)

- nor did he expect to feel the warmth of her breath so close to his mouth.

He knows this is entirely out of bounds - but then, when had he ever followed rules?

(And when did Jane, for that matter?)

Date: 2010-03-25 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He almost doesn't believe this is real.

(Because it can't be.)

But the touch of her lips against his is no trick of the mind, certainly no fantasy. It's real and it's causing every last scrap of logic to disappear as though it never existed.

A hand reaches up to graze her jawline with the barest of touches.

He returns the kiss earnestly, hungrily, but all the while - gently.

Date: 2010-03-25 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
"Very - very well," he says, finally managing to let a breath out.

(For she had, in the most cliche of ways, quite stolen it from him.)

Date: 2010-03-25 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He returns the smile.

It's likely the first genuinely happy one he's managed to make in a long time.

His hand slowly moves down to graze tenderly at her neck. There are consequences to this, but right now he could not be forced to care.

The sound of a group of men chattering beyond the distance makes him turn - just briefly - towards their direction.

Decisions must be made.

He turns back to Jane, a hopeful smile on his face. His hand moves to take hers and he starts off - away from the fountain and the approaching men.

"I have -" he starts, "no money, no property. I am entirely dependent upon that bizarre old lunatic, my uncle."

He leads her towards the trees, excitement and joy rising in his voice.

"I cannot yet offer you marriage. But - you must know what I feel.

"Jane, I'm yours."

He can't believe that he's confessing this; and yet it is exciting to admit it.

"God. I'm yours. I'm yours - heart and soul."

He watches her expression, half-joking as he concludes with, "Much good that is."

Date: 2010-03-25 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He would not fight to let go, either.

"What will we do?" he asks, because though he'd laid his heart out for her to see, he didn't exactly think beyond it.

Date: 2010-03-25 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
He laughs too.

It's relieved and happy, and there's a little bit of disbelief thrown in too. Because whatever it is they must do, they'll do it. He'll do it.

"Do you?"

Date: 2010-03-25 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tom-lefroy.livejournal.com
How could this not be an invitation to bring her face towards his for another kiss?

Never mind that there are parties within the Gresham Manor awaiting them. Never mind the looks he will receive from his relations later.

When he kisses her this time, he thinks he understands - more than ever - why his parents did what they did.

(They married for love.)

(He can too, can't he?)

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