Fic: Strictly Taboo
Disclaimer: Jason belongs to LKH, Amy belongs to Joss. Sorry for trespassing; I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes.
Summary: Just a touch of Sinatra to let Jason and Amy find their inner Fred and Ginger.
A/N: This fluff was written for my beta, Cameron, who has been talking about doing something with Frank Sinatra's song, Witchcraft, and Amy for awhile now. She's finishing up her prelims now so she needs all the free fics she can get! Good luck!
All those thoughts about her dad not being as bad as her mom were wrong! As wrong as wrong could be! Sure it sounded nice enough. “Let’s take the summer off, honey. How about we get out of California, sweetie pie? Do you want to see your grandparents, pumpkin?” What he forgot to mention was that he was leaving her with two senior citizens who may as well have been complete strangers while he went off on a “business trip” to Paris. Why couldn’t she go to Paris? Life was not fair.
“Are you sure I should be joining you guys?” Amy asked, praying that her grandmother had changed her mind. This was her one chance to have some time by herself and watch television, but no. No, this had to be some sort of bizarre family bonding ritual.
“Don’t worry, dear. The class is open to all levels.” And then her grandmother, she hadn’t even found a cute nickname for the lady yet, her grandmother had the gall to wink at her. “There might be a cute boy in the class today.”
“I don’t know. I have two left feet.” Amy gazed at the television longingly as her grandmother grabbed the car keys from the hook by the door.
“Honey! Time to go!” Her grandmother called into the living room.
“Eh?” The muffled shout returned.
“I said it’s time to go!” She shouted back into the room.
“You don’t have to yell woman, I heard you the first time.” Her grandfather replied, coming around the corner, giving Amy a conspiratorial wink. When she got home, she’d have to see if eye-ticks were mentioned in the family medical history. Amy followed the older couple out of the house, wondering how many Sunnydale coolness points she would be losing by getting into the back seat of this Lincoln town car. Sure her mom had resorted to spells and hexes to try to get her on the cheerleading squad, but at least that would have been cool. Her dad leaving her in the Midwest with a pair of senile people who thought taking their granddaughter to social dance class at the Fred and Ginger Studio was a valid sign of love, now that was just cruel.
“Class? You think I need more class?!” Jason practically shouted at Asher.
“Oui. That is why we arranged for these lessons.”
“You can’t teach class! You either have it, or you don’t. And I have it, in spades! Come on, my tips are some of the highest in this place. The ladies love me. I don’t need to change my act.”
“Monsieur Schuyler, as an employee of this establishment, you agree to abide by the recommendations of the management. If you are asked to form a classier act, you will make a new act.”
“Aw, come on! My act’s good; you know it.”
“You’ve been doing the same act for half a year. There are younger wolves who can thrust their hips just as blatantly as you. We at Guilty Pleasures strive to provide quality shows, and that means everyone must be constantly looking for ways to improve their acts.”
“Can’t you make Nathaniel do it?”
“Nathaniel has added two new routines in the past month.”
“I’ll take his cowboy schtick. Make him do the class.”
“Monsieur Schuyler, this is not negotiable.” Asher stared Jason down.
“I’m going to tell Jean-Claude.” Jason pouted, pulling out his trump card.
“Really, my dear wolf, I thought you were smarter than that. Who do you think wanted to see you in a top hat in the first place?”
“Damn.” Jason had to admit defeat. If Jean-Claude insisted he strut out onto the stage in nothing but a top hat and white spats, there was no saying ‘no’.
“Here is the class information. I expect to see this in your next act.”
Jason picked up the piece of paper with the class hours and directions. “The Fred and Ginger Studio! Asher, that’s an old people hang-out! My grandma goes to Fred and Ginger.”
“Yes, and I hope your grandmother has more class than you, but we shall soon fix that.”
Amy nervously followed her grandparents into the large dance studio. In the car, her grandmother had assured her that it was perfectly normal for people of her age to come to the Tuesday night dance class, engaged couples trying to practice for their wedding reception, nervous teens practicing for prom… there were lots of reasons a perfectly normal young girl would be spending Tuesday night learning to dance. Unfortunately, when they arrived at the studio, it was clear by the number of Lincolns, Cadillacs, and Volvos that this was no Bronze. Her grandparents brought her to the sign- in table where the instructor cooed over Minnie’s little granddaughter as though Amy was a baby, not half a foot taller than most of the old biddies in this place.
“So Linda, have you seen any eligible bachelors for Amy to dance with tonight?” Minnie asked hopefully.
“Well, not as yet, but there’s still another five minutes before class starts. If we don’t have an even number by then, she can dance with me. I haven’t danced with such a young partner in weeks.” Linda grinned at Amy, who fought the urge to recoil at the sight of cracks in the woman’s caked on makeup. Sure, Amy could appreciate trying to hide a few wrinkles, but there came a point in every woman’s life when she had to admit that makeup didn’t solve all ills. Evidently this point had come and gone decades ago for this woman, and yet she kept adding layers to the losing battle. If Amy had to spend two hours dancing with this woman while her dad was off in Paris, she might just have to find her mom’s spell books for her dad’s welcome home gift. She grinned falsely, trying to imitate Cordelia’s artificial poise. “Thanks. That would be great.”
“She’s so cute.” Linda patted Amy on the arm then moved on to the next old couple in the check-in line.
“Don’t worry, dear, I’m sure some nice young man will show up.” Amy’s grandfather whispered sympathetically.
“I don’t know about this.” Amy tried not to pout, but it was hard.
“Well, let’s just put our shoes on, and worry about boys later, hmm?” Her grandmother asked in that way that meant it was a command and not a question.
“Yes, dear, of course.” Her grandfather followed her grandmother over to some benches where they could switch into their dress shoes. Amy followed reluctantly, eyeing the door for any sign of single guys.
Five minutes later, there was no sign of salvation, not that Amy expected any. Linda left the card table in the front and started herding all the senior citizens into the main dancing area, like a good mother hen. “Now, last week we focused on the Latin dances, so I thought today we’d start with some of the European steps. For a special treat I thought we’d listen to Sinatra once we’ve gotten started.” The couples tittered with excitement over the announcement, as though this was some sort of treat. Of course, Amy mused, for most of these ladies, Frank Sinatra probably was some teenage heartthrob from their past.
Just then the bell at the door jingled. In rushed a blonde man holding a shoebox in one hand. “Am I late?” He asked, not at all frightened by the twenty pairs of eyes focusing on him.
“We were just starting.” Linda smiled at the newcomer. “Let me check you off the list right quick. What’s your name?”
“Jason Schuyler.” The man replied as he hurriedly slipped into a pair of black patent leather dress shoes that looked like they were straight from the store. In fact, judging from the tissue he was yanking from the toes, they probably were.
“Jason, Jason, Jason…” The instructor scanned the list. “Are you sure you’re registered for Tuesday night? What’s your last name?”
“Schuyler. S…C… H… U…”
“Ah, I see. We had you under Jessica.” Linda answered with a cheerful giggle.
“Oh, is that going to be a problem?” Jason asked looking for any excuse to tell Asher it wouldn’t work.
“Actually, we have a guest today, so it will work out perfectly. Minnie? Minnie, where is your granddaughter?”
Amy was pushed from the back of the room to the front where the newcomer was standing next to Linda. “Honey, would you mind dancing with Jessica, I mean, Jason tonight?”
Oh God… maybe a Greek god, maybe Adonis? Amy lost all ability to speak, staring at the man who had rescued her from two hours with Linda the Loony. He was gorgeous, built, graceful, and wonderfully under fifty. She nodded eagerly.
“Well, it looks then like we can get started. Everyone, we’re starting with a basic box for the fox trot…” Linda began instructing in that voice reserved for dance instructors, Spanish teachers, and people high on prozac.
As Jason glanced around the room, he realized just how lucky he had gotten off. Everyone else in the room had clearly passed their mid life crises and were now heading for their three-quarters life crises. Instead, his dance partner was a young girl. She was rather plain looking, brown hair, an inch taller than him, made worse by her heels, too thin probably from some fad diet, but at least she was born within a decade of him. He offered her a hand and led her out onto the floor, where it looked like everyone else knew what they were doing.
He held her right hand in his left and wrapped his right hand around her back. “I love you.” She whispered, as he took a step forward.
“I was going to start with ‘hi, my name is Jason.’” Jason answered with a cheeky smile. “But if you’re into that love at first sight stuff, more power to you.” He kept glancing over her shoulder to see what the instructor was demonstrating. So far it didn’t seem that hard. Left. Right. Slide to the left and together. He could do this.
“I meant….” The girl blushed. “I’m glad I didn’t have to dance with her.” She nodded lightly toward the instructor who was helping a couple across the room where the woman kept insisting on leading.
“Ah. I can see how that could inspire love.” Jason grinned. The girl smiled, and actually looked rather pretty. “So, do you have a name, or do you just go by Minnie’s grand daughter?”
“Amy. I’m Amy.” She blushed.
“That’s a nice name.” Jason offered. “So Amy, are you ready to try a turn?”
“Oh I don’t…” but Jason would hear none of her protests. He slowly turned her out to the left and turned her back in without missing a beat. “Wow. You’re really good at this.” Amy couldn’t help but smile. She knew it was dorky, that the foxtrot was something people only did at country club functions, and that it was completely uncool to admit you hadn’t been doing this since you were five. Still, there’s something to be said for having a gorgeous man dance you around the room like he’d been doing it his whole life.
“You seemed to handle that turn pretty well yourself.” He watched over her shoulder as the instructor introduced a new step. “So, do you have any interest in trying to turn the other way?” He asked making sure that the instructor’s four count was engrained in his head.
“Well, I sup…” Jason quickly turned Amy in before she had a chance to finish the statement.
“Ooh.” Amy whispered, finding herself suddenly much closer to her dancing partner. Jason twirled her back to the box position, unwilling to admit that he seconded the ooh. He had gotten a whiff of the girl’s scent, and he had to admit his wolf wasn’t disappointed at all. Of course, he was used to dealing with his wolf’s attraction to anything female by now, but it made it tempting to twirl her in closer again.
“Ooh.” Amy repeated as Jason did just that. He grinned, twirling her out again. “You’re very good. I’m sorry I’m not so good.” The girl blushed again.
“You mean you’re not a regular?” Amy couldn’t help but feel lost as those blue, blue eyes looked into hers.
“Oh no. I’m just visiting.”
“Let me guess. You’re here with your grandparents.”
“How’d you… nevermind.” Amy rolled her eyes. “Yeah, my grandparents are the ones across the room there.” Jason glanced in the direction Amy nodded her head to see one of the elderly couples wave encouragingly at the young couple. “Oh gosh, how embarrassing.”
“Nah, they look cute together.” Jason offered, and it was true. He hoped if he ever got married he would still want to take his wife out dancing once a week when he got to their age. The conversation suffered the standard seven minute pause as Jason tried to follow Linda’s new instructions into a promenade position.
As Amy tried to watch what was going on, she found herself tripping over her feet and nearly stepped on Jason’s foot a few times. Jason saw the girl bite her lip in frustration. He was about to interrupt the silence, but Linda called the room to a halt.
“Alright everyone, I think you all have mastered the basic foxtrot. How about we work on the waltz for a few minutes…” They group watched as Linda demonstrated both the man and woman’s part to the various waltz steps. Amy tried to pay attention but it was hard to focus on the footwork when there were so many other things to think of, such as what was her dad thinking of sending her here, and why did some women think it was okay to wear leotards after puberty, let alone menopause. Of course, most of her thoughts were drifting towards the gorgeous man who was still holding her hand despite the fact that they had stopped for instructions.
“Ready to try waltzing?” Jason asked, his eyes twinkling in that playful manner that earned him so many tips.
“Um, o…” Jason was already to the second beat by the time Amy got out the “..kay.” Amy’s eyes were glued to her feet, causing her to stumble a bit.
“You know, I heard that dancing is a bit like climbing the Arch.” Jason remarked.
“Oh? How’s that?” Amy asked. Her grandparents had already brought her to the Arch on the first day, before they had run out of all other entertainment options in St. Louis.
“It’s best if you don’t look down.” Jason chuckled. Amy’s head snapped up. “See, much better. Ready for a turn?”
This time Amy didn’t even try to answer as Jason turned them around in a small circle before resuming course. As Amy’s eyes began to drift back to her feet, Jason resumed the conversation. “So I take it you’ve been to the Arch? Are you from around here?”
“No. I’m from California.”
“Oh, really? I had a cousin who went to Davis. Do you go to school there?”
“You could say that.” Amy offered a tentative smile. “I’m going to be starting my senior year at Sunnydale High in the fall.”
“Oh, that’s great.” Jason smiled while thinking of the many ways he could kill Asher. Here he was flirting with a girl, and she wasn’t even out of high school. He said a brief prayer thanking God that he hadn’t tried any moves on the poor girl yet, even though the wolf had been tempted. Her grandparents would have killed him, and then his ghost would have haunted Asher forever.
“You think I’m a total dork, don’t you?” Amy asked before she could stop herself.
“No, not at all.” Jason quickly replied. “You’re a wonderful dance partner.”
“Anything is better than Loony Linda, eh?” Amy muttered as Jason turned her out and back in.
“I’d go as far as to say you are the prettiest lady in this room.” Jason answered. “By leaps and bounds.”
Amy snorted a laugh, causing several of the couples nearby to stare at them for a few beats. “So if you’re not here with your grandparents, why are you here?” Amy finally asked.
“Actually, my boss is making me come to these lessons.” Jason answered, trying hard not to sound too bitter.
“Really?” Amy asked incredulously. “Are you like one of those high powered attorneys that need to woo clients at fancy balls?”
“Not exactly an attorney, although wooing clients isn’t too far off the mark.” Jason said with a smirk.
“So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a stripper.”
Ten elderly couples grounded to a halt as a large crash echoed through the room. Amy lay on her back, half covered by the display of dance instruction videos she had fallen into. “Oops?” She whispered, turning a horrible shade of beat red.
“On that note, I think we’ve gone over enough new steps this evening. How about we turn it over to the free dance part of the evening?” Linda announced, taking the attention away from the poor girl on the floor.
Jason offered Amy a hand up, and quickly picked up all the videos on the floor, stacking them on the card table while Linda messed around with the music. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t think it would be such a surprise.”
“You’re really a stripper?”
“Yes I am. Care to foxtrot a bit?” He offered her his hand as ‘Come Fly With Me’ poured out of the speakers.
“Um, okay.” Amy tried to sound suave while tucking her hair behind her ears. She had spent an hour dancing with a stripper! Wait until her friends hear about this. Of course, that would imply she had girl friends to gossip with. Sigh.
“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away,” Jason sang along to the cheesy lyrics while Amy tried to compose herself. “Are you alright now?” He asked after a few minutes.
“Yeah, I think so. I just… a stripper? Really?”
“Shh, I don’t think your grandma should hear that.” He winked playfully at her.
“Wow.” Amy whispered. “So what’s it like?”
“Well, maybe when you’re older you can come and see for yourself.” Jason shrugged, twirling Amy out. “But most of the time, it’s just like any other job. You clock in, clock out, and make sure all of your supplies are in good working order.”
“Supplies?” Amy choked out, her imagination getting the better of her.
“You know, costumes, props, that kind of stuff.”
“So if you dance for your job, why did your boss make you come here?”
“Well, Asher, that’s my boss, is a bit old fashioned.” Jason figured that was an understatement at best. “He wants a classier number, you know top hat, white spats, walking cane, the whole putting on the ritz deal.”
“Okay.” Amy nodded. “And he thinks learning to dance with a lot of senior citizens would help that?”
“Well, for one, I’m learning to dance with a beautiful young lady, not my grandma, so that does help.” Jason couldn’t help but be charming, even when he knew the girl was off limits. He chalked it up to his professional nature. “Also, when I said old fashioned, I meant it. He’s a vampire. To him, this music is modern.” Jason nodded towards the speaker which was now playing “You Make Me Feel So Young.”
“Your boss is a vampire?” Amy’s eyes bugged out. She didn’t know those kinds of things happened in places outside of Sunnydale.
“Well,” Jason pulled a quick twinkle step, just to see if Amy was paying attention, “I work at Guilty Pleasures.”
“Is that supposed to mean something?”
“Oh, that’s right; you’re not from around here.” Jason wondered if he’d invoke the wrath of the grandparents for bringing this up. “There’s an area of downtown that’s completely owned and operated by vampires. Guilty Pleasures happens to be the premiere establishment for male preternatural exotic dancers.”
“Ooh.” Amy couldn’t help but grin wickedly; this was just too bizarre. “So does that mean you’re preternatural?”
“Oh yeah.” Jason leered. “Just call me the big bad wolf.”
“Really?” Jason smiled at the look of excitement on the girl’s face. It had been awhile since he had someone undress him with her eyes without him actually having to undress himself on stage simultaneously. “That’s so cool. There must be something about wolves that just makes them cool.”
“You think so?” Jason stopped them for a minute. “I think this song is actually a waltz.” He commented, switching rhythms and getting back in step with the other couples.
“Yeah, I think this guy at my high school is a werewolf.”
“And he’s cool?”
“He plays guitar for this band, Dingoes Ate My Baby. They’re pretty cool.” Amy answered, letting Jason turn her around. The two youngsters chatted for the rest of the hour, practicing the basic steps and coming up with funny nicknames for the other couples waltzing around them.
“Alright class,” Linda clapped, stopping all the couples mid step. “It’s almost time for the class to end. I just want to say you guys are doing so well; I’ve seen a lot of improvement since last week, and I can’t wait until next week when we start the tango.” Several of the elderly ladies tittered at that. “Now, one more dance, and remember: no spaghetti arms!” She offered a scarily brilliant smile to the group then moved to the music stand.
“Well, I guess this will have to be our song.” Jason turned back to Amy, just as the music came back on.
“I love this song.” Amy commented as the first chords of ‘Witchcraft’ came on.
“First you loved me, now you love this song… be careful about giving all your love away.” Jason teased.
“It just brings back memories.” Amy smiled, singing along to “Although I know it’s strictly taboo,” as Jason spun her around.
“Wow you really do know this song.” Jason smiled.
“You should do a routine to this song!”
“Um, well…” Jason wavered. Sure the song was nice, and rather appropriate for the blood district, but it was rather short and perky for a strip routine.
“Please. I’d totally come out to see it.” Amy begged.
“Maybe I should hold off until you visit your grandparents for Christmas” and will actually be old enough to get into the club, Jason added in his head.
“That would be totally cool.”
“Well, I’ll consider it… because there’s no nicer witch than you!” Jason sang as he dipped Amy for the final line of the song. Even after the music faded, Jason kept Amy dipped, staring into her pretty green eyes. It was only the sound of the rest of the class clapping that brought them back to the real world. “It was nice to meet you, Amy. Good luck back in Cali.” He shook her hand politely.
“Yeah, you too.” Amy answered, out of breath. They drifted apart, back to the benches where their street shoes were waiting for them.
Jason had slipped his shoes back on and was heading out the door when he heard his name called. He turned to see Amy running up to him. “Yes?”
“I just wanted to say, thanks for dancing with me.” Amy blushed adorably before kissing him lightly on the check. Jason chuckled a bit at the innocent gesture until he felt a hand at his waist. As fast as she had approached, Amy ran back to her grandparents. Glancing down, Jason noticed a twenty tucked into the waist of his jeans.
“Oh yeah, I still got it.” He thought, turning back to the parking lot. “Witchcraft, wicked witchcraft, and although I know it’s strictly taboo…” He hummed on his way out of the door.