Category: Dancing With the Stars RPF, Hines/Kym
Summary: Kym gets her island vacation. Hines gets sentimental.
Warnings: If you don't know this is RPF, you haven't been paying attention. Also: sappy.
Bibliography: Inspired by this adorable post-semi-final-results interview.
It isn't until he's here, until he's watching her breathe next to him, that he thinks about what he really wanted from Dancing With the Stars.
It'll take time, he knows, to integrate everything that happened, the entire experience that was nothing at all like he expected. He went in wanting a challenge, a fun diversion during the off-season, some unmatchable national publicity. It wasn't until the fourth or fifth week that he even thought about the trophy, when he started getting used to the lights and the judges, when he found himself looking forward to Kym's arms around him when they finished dancing, when they got their scores, whenever Tom said you're safe to dance next week.
When Brooke or anyone else offered him a microphone, he avoided saying he wanted the top prize, instead giving diplomatic answers about consistency and how they just hoped to make it to the final three. In private, though, he started telling Kym we're gonna win this fucking thing, just because it always made her laugh.
(Maybe he should have wondered why that mattered so much to him, why he worked so hard to keep her smiling, but he didn't think about it. They were friends, teammates, competitors. Professionals. When they rehearsed late and he started to lose himself in the feel of her skin as they danced in hold, he reminded himself about Monday, about polishing the routines, about not letting her down. He was there for a reason. He wanted to win.)
(When she fell, when she looked at him with the utter panic he might never get out of his head, when she dug her nails into his hand in the hospital and babbled nonsense apologies about how her nearly breaking her neck might affect him in the competition, winning was the farthest thing from his mind.)
It turns out this - she - is what he really wants.
He can still see the lingering bruises between her shoulders, highlighted in the afternoon sun spilling across her bare skin. She's pale without the fake tanner she sported all season, without hair extensions and stage makeup and the everpresent camera lighting, and she might be the most beautiful woman in the world.
He notices the change in her breathing when she wakes up, even before she stretches her legs toward the end of the bed and turns toward him. Her body has become so familiar to him over the past few months - he could trace the shape of her muscles and curves from memory - but he's never seen her like this.
He should be used to her smile after so many weeks in the dance studio together, but it still makes him catch his breath.
"Told you," she says dreamily, touching his calf with her toes.
His hand goes to her waist. He brushes his thumb over her ribs and smiles at how she moves into his touch, probably without even thinking about it. "Told me what?"
They didn't talk about this, didn't plan aloud that they'd fall into each other once the competition was over, but maybe they didn't need to. Right through the end they promised only friendship - he even has a separate suite booked down the hall that he hasn't seen yet – but looking back, he wonders how he fooled himself. He hasn't been able to stop touching her since they got on a plane this morning (since the finale, since her accident, since they first went back to Pittsburgh, since she became his coach and his friend and the kind of partner he's never had). He thinks this may have been inevitable from the first time he saw her smile.
She has slid closer to him on the bed, and he can feel the heat from her skin through only inches of air. He kisses her because he can now, memorizing the taste of her that he feels he should already know. She's still smiling against his lips, soft and sexy and Kym.
(This, kissing lazily like they have all the time in the world, isn't anything like how they got in this bed. She closed the door behind him when he put their bags down, interrupted something he was saying about scuba diving with a touch to his face, and they kissed like it was choreographed, like they'd been planning it for three and a half months, three and a half months of waiting and learning and sharing everything and not knowing he wanted only this.)
The kiss ends on its own, and he pulls back just far enough to see her.
"Told you the Bahamas would be better than Disneyland," she reminds him with an impish smirk. Her hair is a mess, tangled on her pillow, not show-ready in the least. He likes her like this.
Her comment surprises him, because he forgot about his repeated threats to drag her on roller coasters and how he joked about making Mickey Mouse give her a massage. "You haven't even been down to the beach yet."
She wraps her leg around his in a move that should feel familiar from a tango or a cha-cha - one dance or another. It's been less than a week, but the vocabulary is fading fast. The memory of how it felt to dance with her, though, when she was dancing her heart out and he was swept along for the ride, is only getting stronger.
"The beach will be there," she brushes it off.
He agrees. There are always beaches, but this-
He spent three months learning how to move with her, following her lead, watching and feeling for the slightest silent cues to let him know how she wanted him to partner her, where she wanted him to move next. He didn't even know he could be that aware of another person before her, and with that wealth of intimate knowledge, the sex... he really thought, when he first slid into her, when her legs wrapped around his back to pull him in deeper and he couldn't even breathe for how incredible she felt, that he might die right there.
"You should have told me dancing makes the best foreplay."
Kym laughs, pokes him in the ribs. "Going to keep that in mind for the next girl, are you?"
He swats her hand. "Not likely." He can't really promise there won't be a next girl, can't pretend he knows the future of this so soon, but he's sure he'll never dance with anyone but her. His hand finds its way to the back of her neck, delicately touching the line of vertebrae she swears feel fine now despite her occasional wince of pain. Her lips curve into a contented smile.
It's because she's breathtaking in the island sun that he has the fleeting thought of retiring right then, of abandoning the East Coast and moving into her condo, of taking her up on her running joke of joining her on a dance tour (or maybe she's serious - not even his mother looks at him with as much faith and confidence as Kym does). She almost died, and that must be why he's having such a hard time thinking about saying goodbye and returning to the rest of his life, why he bought two tickets to the islands when he should by all rights be tired of her constant company, why he was so relieved when she said of course I'll go with you without even checking her calendar. Her eyes are drifting closed as he trails gentle patterns on the skin of her neck, and his chest feels tight with too many emotions to name. It's too soon to be imagining how her name would look inked on his skin.
He pulls her onto his chest, smiling when she relaxes into him without hesitation. She knows his body as well as he knows hers. He could stay like this, drift off to sleep with her weight on his chest until he's rested enough to love her again. Dinner, scuba diving, whatever other activities fill the brochures they got at the front desk - all of that can wait. No matter how much he thought they were friends when he boarded the plane with her this morning, this is really what he came for.
He feels the growing tension in her body before she says anything. She asks it without moving, breath brushing his skin. "Where do we go from here?"
He has that thought again, just for a moment, of never letting go. In reality, of course, he'll have to - he has training camp coming up, things he needs to take care of first, and his home and his son are a long ways away from this island and just as far from Kym's life in L.A. It's not practical, but it's possible: she's entering her hiatus before her show returns in the fall, he has some time left before football season, there's plenty she still hasn't seen in Georgia and Pittsburgh-
He's miles ahead of himself, but it feels important to think, to himself at least, that he might not have to let go completely.
He kisses the top of her head. "Where do you want to go?"
She trails a finger along his arm, tracing his bicep. It's a long time before she speaks, and he wonders if he took the coward's way out, putting the question back on her. Just because she's here, because she brought him to bed with her, because she came above him an hour ago breathing his name and looking more beautiful than the cameras ever get to see - he doesn't want to make assumptions. This is his first time through the emotional highs and lows of this grueling show; as usual, she's his guide here.
"I don't want this to be it," she finally says, and maybe no one else would hear it, but he feels the vulnerability in her voice.
He saw her cry enough when she was in pain. He'll do whatever he can to keep from seeing that again. "It's not it." That he can promise her. "This isn't even close to the end."
He can't see the anemic smile he feels against his skin, but he knows she's not convinced.
"You turned me into a dancer, remember?" He pinches her side. That earns him a upward tilt of her head so he can see her face. "I go as far as you take me."
He watches her take that in, his heart beating faster as her tentative smile turns into a real one. "No choreography this time," she points out, winking.
He can take that challenge. He rolls her over, hand supporting her head (she says her neck is fine about eight times a day, but it's been less than two weeks - he's not about to take chances). She grins up at him, slowly shifting underneath him until he sucks in a breath, and he wonders how they held out this long.
He gives her his best suggestive look. "You can still prep the routine ahead of time, as long as I get to watch."
She laughs, then pauses in exaggerated thought. He moves his hips against hers, his plan for rest from a few moments ago pushed aside by the look on her face, by the catch in her breath, by her slim hand sneaking between them to brush down his stomach. He's crashing off Dancing, hasn't slept in months, but he'll do this all day if she lets him. She's pushed him to his limit before. He suspects he'll like this even better.
Everything about her feels incredible, makes him want to close his eyes and just feel, but he doesn't let himself look away.
"I don't do this for everyone," she says with a devilish smirk as she runs her hands up his ribs, driving him crazy with just the touch of her fingers and his new memories of what comes next. "This isn't part of the winner's prize pack."
He laughs. "Only for those who take you on vacation?"
"Exactly." She grins, and he realizes he cared about the championship, cares about winning in general, but not like he cares about this.
In the end, this is what he wants.