No. If she didn’t learn to say that word, she was going to be in a lot of trouble. Deunan paid the bartender for the drinks and turned to Hitomi.
“Here you go.” She couldn’t help but smile at the look on Hitomi’s face. The Bioroid was obviously happy.
“Let’s have a toast.” Hitomi clinked her glass against Deunan’s. “A toast to my first date.” She tapped her glass lightly. “I’m so glad it’s with you.”
“Hitomi- to be honest, it’s my first date too.” Deunan cast her eyes down at this confession.
“What? But I thought you and Briareos were lovers!” Hitomi’s eyes widened in shock.
“We were- but it wasn’t from dating. We were just… together. All the time, every day. And after father died….I was…well, Briareos was there for me.” Deunan shrugged her shoulders. “It was just something that happened. We didn’t think about it.”
“So we’re both new at this?”
“Definitely.” Deunan downed her drink and placed the empty glass on the counter.
“Oh, I love this song!” Hitomi grabbed Deunan’s arm. “Let’s go dance!”
Dance! I don’t know how to dance- I was raised to be a soldier, not a-” Deunan broke off hopelessly as Hitomi’s giggles turned into laughter. She let herself be pulled onto the dance floor.
No. She had to learn to say that little word….

“Deunan, you’ve got two left feet!”
“Well thanks for the encouragement.” Deunan huffed, trying to imitate Hitomi’s motions.
“No, no, you’ve got to move your hips, not just keep hopping like that! You look like the floor is on fire!” Hitomi laughed and Deunan scowled down at her own feet.
Once the song was over, Deunan gratefully ran back to the bar and quickly downed another drink while Hitomi went to the restroom.
Dancing. No such thing in the badlands, but people here seemed to like it. Deunan watched as they started to form lines across the dance floor.
“Now what?” She muttered. “Are they going to march or something?”
“Oh Deunan, come on- you’ll like this one, it’s a line dance!” Hitomi’s voice was in her ear and she was once again pulled out onto the dance floor.
The line dance was more tolerable, with the exception of the silly clapping. Deunan found her self shaking her head in amusement at the whole spectacle before her.
“Having a good time?” Hitomi elbowed her.
“I’m getting the hang of it.” Deunan smiled back. The music faded and the lights dimmed. “Is it over?” Deunan started to walk away, but Hitomi grabbed her hand.
“Slow dance.” Hitomi’s arms went up around her neck.
“Oh…” Deunan lost her breath as Hitomi pressed into her body.
“Well just don’t stand there Deunan- move with me.”
Deunan let her hips follow Hitomi’s as they moved slowly together.
“Think of it like we’re swaying in the wind.” Hitomi looked up at her and smiled.
The wind never felt this soft and warm and…Deunan suddenly remembered something Hitomi had said that morning. Softness isn’t weak- it just feels good. She let her chin rest lightly on Hitomi’s head and closed her eyes. It did feel good- so good, in fact, that it made her rather nervous.

“Deunan, that’s rude!” Hitomi’s voice was both shocked and reproachful. Deunan belched loudly again, the sound echoing down the apartment hallway.
“Shouldn’t have had that last drink.” In reflection, she shouldn’t have had the last three drinks, but dancing with Hitomi had started to make her nervous. The more they had danced, the more nervous she had become. Now she was staggering down the hallway to her apartment, holding onto Hitomi for support.
“I’m so glad Bioroids are unaffected by alcohol.” Hitomi pulled Deunan away from the wall. “Your apartment is on this side.”
“Yea- I knew that.” Deunan gave another belch, feeling her stomach spin. She fumbled with the door, in a hurry to get in to use the bathroom.
“Deunan- did you have a good time tonight?” Hitomi’s hands took over and unlocked the door for her.
“Sure.” The nervousness was overwhelming now, and she wanted to get inside, but Hitomi wouldn’t let go of her hands.
“Then- aren’t you supposed to kiss me goodnight?” Hitomi said softly.
“Oh, that.” The dreaded moment had come, and Deunan’s voice was not much more than a squeak.
No. Struggling to say that elusive little word, she failed utterly and with a small groan, leaned forward and closed her eyes. She felt Hitomi’s hands on her face, and then a full softness on her lips. Her already churning stomach flipped into a tailspin of excitement. It was incredible, it was overwhelming and she was…going to throw up.
“I’m going to be sick.” She pushed Hitomi back and slipped inside the door, slamming it shut as she staggered to the bathroom.