Dance Partners (part 1)

I wrote this a few years ago while still experimenting with dialogue-free storytelling. This is a tale of two best friends and the build up to a moment between them.

Part 1

Whenever anyone asked either of them, each had a different story about how they met. If answering together, they’d bicker over the particulars. As they disagreed for the umpteenth time, their eyes would stay locked and their faces would reflect one another’s smile. Despite differing details, they’d tell the story in tandem, sentences stacking like hands in a children’s game.

Best friends since their late teens, Penny and Zachery shared a comfort they couldn’t find with others. They didn’t know one another’s friends and instead only knew about them through one another’s stories. Their friendship was its own world and it was all theirs. Zachery was Penny’s dance partner. She could never let herself move with such abandon with anyone else the way she could with him. Penny was Zachery’s fashion buddy. No one was as honest with him about how he looked as she was. They would spill to one another about their dating misadventures, their family conflicts, their hopes, and their fears. A teasing humor bonded them, but so did an emotional connection. If one needed arms to cry into, the other was there.

They hadn’t expected to become roommates, although they had joked about it. When Zachery’s roommate bailed and Penny finally had enough saved to move out of her parent’s house, the opportunity was prime. Neither thought it would feel weird. They were too excited about the prospect of living together for any sense of weirdness to settle. Months after they had established the routines of cohabitation, neither felt annoyed by the other. Nothing surfaced that they couldn’t work out, even if some hysterical laughter was needed to aid the process.

Throughout the years, they’d known the details of one another’s relationships. After dates, they’d debrief together. This was a ritual. They’d spill every nuance about their respective partners. Gossip wasn’t all they shared, though. They advised one another and confided in one another. He’d vent about guys not wanting to commit to a real relationship. She’d assure him straight guys behaved the same way. On many nights, they stayed in and swore off men together, deciding neither needed to date. Their fondness for one another’s company reinforced this. They always had more fun with one another than they had with others.

Before they started living together, Penny had been talking with a new guy. Maybe out of some instinct for protection, Zachery disapproved of this new guy from the start. At first she heeded his advice, but in the weeks before their move-in, she started seeing the new guy regularly. She valued Zachery’s approval so much that she considered keeping this new relationship secret. That could never work. Instead, she pleaded with Zachery to understand. Over and over, Penny told him this guy was different. He wasn’t what he appeared to be. Getting to know him better had proven this to her. Still, her best friend wasn’t convinced and he held her poor choice against her while quietly worrying about her.

As Zachery feared, tension grew between Penny and the new guy. She’d complain about him but then defend him. The complaints began to outweigh the defenses. One night, she returned from an evening with the new guy crying and angry. Everything Zachery had been telling her exploded in front of her that night and she felt as foolish as she felt hurt. Of course, her best friend was there for her. She tried to tell him everything in one wet, sloppy mess of a sentence. He let her go for as long as he could before embracing her, leading her to the sofa, and holding her as she cried it out.

Physicality had existed between them throughout their relationship. They were completely comfortable with one another. This allowed a special kind of intimacy. Some nights they cuddled the way only two best friends lacking any sexual tension between them could. Penny was naked around Zachery frequently and this was comfortable for both of them. Although there wasn’t sexual tension the way some might think of it, there was a particular kind of sexuality. She’d never developed breasts of any noticeable size and opted to get implants. His input—whether or not to do it, the size, the shape—was vital. After the procedure and healing, they took several playful photographs together. He covered her new breasts with his hands in a few of them. The relationship and history included other risqué dynamics and moments. They shared a running joke about who gave the better blowjob. What they needed was a bisexual test dummy—or maybe several—who would let each of them go down and then offer an impartial review. Lacking a test subject, they critiqued one another’s technique using a dildo they bought solely for practice. Zachery had even given Penny tips on how to have comfortable anal sex, which she came to greatly appreciate. Sex was a playful and matter-of-fact commons between them.

The night after her crying spell, they had one of their two-person dance parties. Penny usually wore nothing but panties and socks for these. She started the party in skimpy panties Zachery helped her pick. She’d intended to wear this pair for the new guy, who was now the old guy. Upon realizing this, she shed them for another pair. They drank, they danced, they sang, and they laughed. Penny was the one who really needed this, but Zachery liked it, too. Dancing had a sexual undertone for them, but it remained friendly and fun. Wearing socks made dancing on the hardwood better. They would exaggerate their movements together, often grinding and mimicking the rudest, crudest dance floor antics that came to them. It was always more funny than sexy. Penny felt sexual when dancing and tossed herself into her movement, but her sexual feelings never transferred to her dance partner. Nothing occurred to her as they moved together that night. The dancing was healing for her. It was emotional, but not arousing. Eventually exhaustion brought the night to a close. They cuddled briefly, but she wanted to be in bed alone. In her bed at the end of that night was when it hit her.

Part 2 in a few days…

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