Dissonance in Cut-time

“What on earth are you up to?”

Francis leaned his head back to stare at Arthur upside-down, standing in the doorway with his arms crossed and his hair sticking up on one side like it did when he slept on it funny. A song, quick and lively, echoed softly in the empty room; the name of it is not important. “I taught you the gavotte to this one, do you remember? You were terrible.”

“You were just a terrible teacher.” Arthur sat in the chair opposite, near the fire. “Anyway, it was a stupid country dance in the first place.”

Francis grinned. “Good enough for the Sun King, but still not enough for you? How very typical. Was there not enough glitter, young men tarted up like women?” Francis paused. “Actually, if I recall, there was an awful lot of that going on, I don’t know what your problem was. Should’ve been paradise for you.”

“Come off it,” Arthur launched a pillow across the room, “Just because I had a couple experimental decades…” He rose angrily to his feet. “I don’t know why I even bother trying to have civil conversations with you.”

“Is that what that was? Come here,” Francis stood. “Do you remember any of the steps, have gotten any better? Prove it to me.”

Arthur frowned that crooked little frown of his, but he held out a hand for Francis to take, rested the other on his shoulder. “I can’t believe I never realized back then that this was just a flimsy excuse to feel me up,” he said.

“That was only part of it.” Francis gripped Arthur by the waist. “My favourite part, of course. Listen, it’s a waltz now, do you think you can still count to three?”

Arthur kicked Francis in the shin.

“Still so feisty,” Francis said, his eyebrows wriggling, “I love it.”

“If you let that hand wander any lower, I’ll aim higher next time.”

Francis smiled and pulled Arthur around the room in steady rhythm. “I think maybe it’d be worth it.”

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