With the dance over, John and Alexey held their finishing pose as the crowd applauded their performance, staying perfectly still bar their laboured breathing as the claps and cheers from the crowd washed over them, creating a cocoon they let wrap around themselves to shield them from prying eyes and ears as they shared a special moment.
From the outside, it could be speculated that they were only holding the pose from fatigue or to create that winning moment with the judges, but from the inside the reasons were much more obvious. Locked in each other's gaze, these few seconds became for them an intimate and everlasting moment.
"Oh Alexey..." John managed to say to Alexey with his eyes, or managed to utter between heavy breaths. From which source the words came, it didn't matter to Alexey; he was caught in that moment, and in it both he and John were operating at the same wavelength; the words they've been saving for each other, long trapped in their heads, were now open to the other as they developed a form of mind-reading throughout their dance that seemed to continue through to the now.
"Oh John..." Alexey managed to say back, only mouthing the words with his lips. Even without any volume to them, John heard the words loud and clear.
The perspiration was evident on both of them – the bright lights keeping everyone in the building warm, and the warm costumes not doing anything to help keep either of them cool – and a bead of sweat escaped from under John's shirt and down his right arm to the grip he shared with Alexey. It was then he noticed how slippery their hand-hold was. Without breaking his gaze, he let go with that hand and leaned closer to Alexey, one half of him thinking that he'd wrap an arm around Alexey to pull him back on his feet, the other half thinking it would use this opportunity to do something more daring; something he'd been harbouring in the deep corners of his mind for far too long.
He leaned closer...