Paso Doble

by Viviana

'Look out!' he yells, as the sleek black sedan halts, screeching, across our path, and I brake lethally hard. Instinct ingrained, we spring, each from our doors, crouch, draw and fire.

They return full force, bullets pinging metal round our heads, burying in concrete. I glimpse the flash of gold from the corner of my eye as he dives for the railing and vaults, aiming to circle around the enemy.

I give covering fire, pinning them hard. My heart is with him now, beating harder with every step, every chance he takes. My heart is all I can spare.

'Clip!' he shouts, and I throw it, arcing, hearing it hit. I know, without seeing, how he loads, rolls and fires, and coolly takes out his mark.

No signals required, for this is like breathing—he's cleared a path for me. My mark's gun jams—I break for the ramp side, drop and round the pillar, chopping down the gunman with a blow, and covering the men inside.

This is us. This is how we work. One day it simply happened—rehearsal evolved into becoming, and we were partners. Impressive apart, together... we danced.

No words, few signs. A glance perhaps, if there's time. An instinctive awareness, each of the other's body, and the shape of the spaces between. Knowing each other's abilities like our own, how to bend and stretch them without breaking, the nature and thrill of tension and release. Faith, that where one leads, the other will follow. That when there is a fall, there will be a catch.

I accept it, accept him, as part of myself, the grace, the force, the agility. Everything fits, even the mistakes, the style and swiftness of recovery somehow better than preparedness. Wit and character beat stale perfection—our connection is pristine, and that's what matters. We both know, after this, there is no other partner.

We dance around the world and each time the dance is new. We have our favourites, though, and when we execute them well, we smile, secretly, inside. It's drama, alright, carnal and ruthless, pulsating with the desire for life, redolent with the smell of gunsmoke and the taste of blood.

Our agents converge to mop up. We take their breath away, I know it. They can't see how we mesh so perfectly together. Neither can I.

For too much awareness of one's partner spoils the symbiosis—the dance is all. And so we make our moves in silent trust, never looking for the other, until the end.

From nowhere, he appears at my shoulder and we exchange quips—a final flourish. The dance is over now, the move complete.

Not until we are safely alone do we truly look at each other.

The look does what a kiss does.

DISCLAIMER: Not for profit. All characters are the property of their rightful owners.

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