acatwhowrites: (fanfiction)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2011-03-12 10:08 pm

[Fanfic] Dance of Worlds

Title: Dance of Worlds; one-shot
Fandom: Hetalia
Genre: general
Rating: PG
Warning(s): human names
Once upon a time I asked for prompts to write. I believe [ profile] kecen suggested Germany and China dancing. I ended up rambling really bad, unfortunately. This is all I could come up with for Germany and China dancing together. They're not the easiest characters to write with and keep in character, but I tried. I hope it's not too out of character.

Dance of Worlds

Wang Yao glowered at the groups of energetic politicians, celebrities, and media reporters. Heads of government weren't difficult to pick out; they each had their nation nearby. Whether the nation was playing bodyguard, date, or moral support, Yao didn't know. His own boss had wandered off to the buffet, having complained to Yao for a good twenty minutes that there was nothing good to eat.

"Nothing to eat, no one to talk to, nothing to do..." Yao sighed. He never really understood European culture. Everything seemed upside down and backwards, from their speech to their customs to their very appearance. To add to it, he was still recovering from the main battles between his Communists and Nationalists.

A formal ball, to Yao, did not mean Western three-piece suits and slicked-back hair on the men and women showing more cleavage and wearing more jewels than a single person should be allowed.

Even Kiku Honda, his beloved Japan, wore a Western suit. Yao was silently pleased to note that he looked very uncomfortable, although that could have been from the bandages that still covered his hands and one of his eyes. He nodded when he noticed Yao's attention. Their relations had improved greatly since the end of the war, but Yao had never stopped caring for him.

At the far wall from Yao, Wang Jia Long, the young Hong Kong, mingled with the English, probably at Arthur Kirkland's prodding, having been returned to the British government after the war ended. Yao wasn't certain what the boy's feelings about his Western outfit were; the boy never showed much emotion or interest in anything.

"Hyong!" Im Yong Soo called in delighted greeting. He hugged Yao from behind, groping his chest.

"Yong Soo!" Yao crossly detached the overly affectionate hands and turned in his seat. "Did I not teach you how to behave, aru?"

"Sorry, sorry," the Korean laughed. "I just got excited." He sat down in Yao's boss' vacated chair. "So how do you like this party? It started out in my..."

"Don't you start with that, aru!" Yao interjected. "You've never even been to Europe!" He took a calming sip of his Jasmine tea, imported from his own country. He ignored Yong Soo's prattling about dresses and dances and foods that he claims to have invented. His attention was caught by a pair of legs in dark Western dress pants that stepped up to his table. He looked up and greeted Ludwig Beilschmidt with a raised eyebrow. "Good evening," the German nation stated in English. It was the only language the majority of the nations had in common since Latin died in Europe. Those who didn't understand English had interpreters, often the nation themselves.

"Wan shang hao; good evening."

"I still haven't forgiven your brother for that treaty in '61," Yao said lowly.

"You don't have to," Ludwig responded. "It was my boss who started gaining influence in your country, not Gilbert's."

"So you'd rather I hate you, aru?"

"We just ended a world war; I didn't approach you to ignite it again."

Yao nodded and looked down at the white tablecloth. The war had been devastating for most of the northern hemisphere, particularly Europe and Japan. "So you come to chat instead, aru?"

"Actually, my new boss is urging everyone to build better relationships with one another, so he told me to..." Ludwig sighed. His cheeks flushed to a pale pink. "Would you dance with me?"

Yong Soo snorted and choked on his tea. Yao blinked at the German nation. From behind Ludwig, he could see his boss watching him from the buffet table. He nodded and motioned with his hands.

Even if his boss wanted him to, Yao would still be stubborn. "I never learned your Western dances."

Yong Soo smiled. "Oh, go on, hyong. It's one of my best dances, after all."

"You just shut your mouth, aru...!" Ludwig took his hand and pulled him to his feet. "What do you think you're doing?!"

"The waltz is easy. Children learn it at an early age. I learned it in the later 1700s." Not moving too far from the tables but not going to the dance floor, Ludwig turned Yao so they were facing one another. "The name of the waltz comes from the Italian volver, which means to turn or revolve. The dance came from German folk dances, and it was quite a scandalous change. I am still surprised Roderich performed it so early, but then again he has always been conscious of music and dance."

"This is ridiculous," Yao protested. "There is no way I can dance with such a huge person, aru!"

"It's just one dance. Do it for your people; we don't want bad feelings amongst us any longer." Yao sighed his consent and glared at the floor. "The first thing about the general waltz is the position. The lead puts his right hand on his partner's back and holds her right hand in his left..."

"What is this, aru?!" With Ludwig's hand on his back, Yao's face was barely inches from Ludwig's chest. He smelled like beer and spices. "I can't dance like this, and why am I the woman?"

"The close proximity of the dancers is why the waltz wasn't accepted right away," Ludwig explained. "And I will lead because I know the dance and am taller than you."

"What kind of reasons are those, aru...?" He stepped back when Ludwig stepped forward. Backwards, he was lead onto the dance floor.

"The waltz follows a simple 1-2-3 beat. Step back as I step forward and just follow my lead."

It was surprisingly simple once Yao got used to walking backwards. Each step forward for Ludwig prompted a step back from Yao, and when he felt pressure on his back, he turned. Looking around the room, he got dizzy from spinning and seeing the other dancers rotate, so he kept his gaze on Ludwig's chest.

The final strains of the piece echoed throughout the ballroom. Ludwig raised his left hand in the air, prompting Yao to turn underneath. He took six walking steps forward in a small circle, returning to his original place, toe-to-toe with Ludwig, by the sixth step. The song ended, and Ludwig lowered his arm.

"See? It's easy."

"It looks like you were having fun, Yao-san," Kiku stated softly from beside them. He smiled softly, a quiet laugh. Yao's face blushed red as his tunic, and he returned to his seat with a self-conscious huff.

"I'm too old for this."


More Notes:
Hyong = big brother; Korean [형]
Wan shang hao = good evening; Mandarin Chinese [晚上好]

As far as I can find, East Asia was never taught European dances like the waltz, and if they were, it didn't catch on.

I know ballroom isn't for everyone, but we've all seen a waltz at least once, maybe not knowing what it was. Personally, it's one of my favourite dances. In this story, I had the English Waltz/International Standard Waltz in mind, where the couples don't break contact.

It started out in the 16th century as part of a larger dance, but it could be done by itself. It was considered to be a very controversial dance, especially by religious advocates, as it was one of the first to have couples in close contact and have fast turns. The French accepted it first, and it slowly gained popularity from there around the 18th century.

The word "waltz" comes from the old German word "walzen" meaning "to roll, turn", or "to glide". There are three main forms: ballroom [slow with lots of figures], Viennese [fast], and folk [what most people recognise].

The waltz, in general, has a distinct one, two, three rhythm. [3/4 time] It's really very easy as long as the beat is kept in mind and the dancers can relax but stay focused. The woman's part mirrors the man's, so there's no need to worry about any special steps. [Not in classic waltzing, at least. Some contemporary versions get more complex to keep things interesting.



Left Turn [men]: