Written at 12AM a while back andnot my best work… I was aiming for "cute romantic comedy", and here's what I got. It's been ages since I played through Eternia, so if I got something wrong, I'm sorry. The setting is the dance hall in Jini. Remember the impossible dancing minigame there?
I posted this originally on the Tales of Series Forums as a sort of gift for the KeelexMeredy Fanclub. It's not my most favorite pairing, but it's cute.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Eternia/Tales of Destiny II.
Dance With Me, Keele?
"C'mon, Farah! Cut us some slack for once! We've been working for weeks. Can't we take a break?"
Farah frowned, putting her hands on her hips for a more effective flair. "No! Reid, I know we've been working, but if we stop now, Celestia and Inferia will-"
He waved a hand, rolling his eyes. "I know, I know. But don't you think we deserve a break for a while? I mean, I haven't had a decent meal in days!"
"Are you saying my cooking isn't decent?!"
He faltered for a moment, realizing his mistake. "Ah...uh, no, that's not what I meant-"
Keele sighed, barely lifting his head from the book he was reading. "There they go again."
Meredy sulked. "Reid and Farah need to stop arguing! Meredy is tired of it!" she said, jumping to her feet. "Please!"
Farah put a hand to her head. "Meredy..."
"Hey, don't you want a break for a while, too?" Reid asked. He knew that Farah was more likely to give in to Meredy's demands than his. "We can go to the dance hall in Jini, if you'd like."
Meredy's eyes brightened with visions of dancing on the multicolored floor beneath red and yellow spotlights. She jumped up and down excitedly. "Meredy wants to go dancing with Keele!"
"No, I'm not going dancing," Keele said, perking up as she said his name.
"It will be fun!"
Farah looked back and forth between Reid's pleading eyes and Meredy's infectious grin. "Oh, all right. Just this once!"
Reid pumped his fist in the air, savoring his silent victory. Meredy danced around the room, already imagining herself on the dance floor.
The dance hall of Jini, the City of Joy, was brightly lit and full of people. Colorful lights flickered across the floor as a few unlucky participants tried unsuccessfully to keep dancing under the red and yellow spotlights. Meredy bounced to the dance floor, dragging Keele along with her.
"Come on, Keele! Dance with Meredy!" she said, smiling as she stepped onto the shining tiles.
Keele quickly pulled himself from her grasp, shaking his head fervently. The thought of humiliating himself in front of dozens of people – Celestian or not – mortified him.
"Please?" she begged, clasping her hands together while she gave him her most innocent, cutest look.
Keele had to turn his head; he knew her eyes could make him change his mind, if only for a brief second. "N-No! I can't dance-"
"What? Keele doesn't know how to dance?" she demanded, grabbing his arm again. "Meredy will teach Keele!"
"No! Not in front of all these people! Do you know how— Meredy! No!" He tried in vain to pull away from her, although she had a surprisingly strong grip for a girl so small. Before he could protest again, she had pulled him up and they were standing together beneath the two spotlights on the darkened stage. From his vantage point, Keele could barely make out the silhouettes of Reid and Farah; Reid was no doubt laughing uproariously at the sudden turn of events, and Farah was probably smiling, muttering about how cute they looked together. A red flush slowly covered his face as the announcer took his place at the base of the stage.
"It looks like we have a couple tonight, folks," he yelled to the eager crowd. "What are your names?"
"I'm Meredy, and this is Keele!" Meredy called, taking Keele's hand.
"Try to keep dancing while you stay under the spotlight! And good luck to the two of you!" the announcer said with a wink. The lights in the room dimmed, leaving them bathed in the lonely spotlights onstage. Keele felt as if he would faint as a fast beat began to blare from the speakers of the room.
"Dance, Keele!" Meredy commanded as she began jumping next to him. He stood still, watching the laughing faces in the crowd before him.
Meredy grabbed both of his hands and began to spin around. "No! Stop, let me go!" Keele protested, still trying to pull himself from her grasp. She only laughed as they spun beneath the spotlights, keeping only somewhat in tune with the loud beat of the song.
Suddenly, the red and yellow spotlights separated. Meredy let go of his hands and ran for the yellow light. "Go, Keele! Keep dancing!" She yelled, trying to keep up with her light. Keele's mind seemed to fail as he stood in place, watching the red spotlight with dumbfounded fear. To his surprise, his legs began moving of their own accord as he took his place beneath the light.
"Just move, Keele!" Meredy called, still spinning around the stage as her spotlight continued to move. He obeyed silently, trying to remember whatever dance steps he had learned as a child. When nothing came to him, he began spinning as Meredy had the first time they visited the dance hall.
The crowd screamed wildly as they kept beneath the spotlights, creating their own dance moves as they went along. Meredy seemed to be enjoying herself as he slowly found that he could successfully keep up with the song...to a certain degree. Before long their spotlights met in the middle of the stage and she took his hands again.
"Is it almost over?" he yelled over the loud music.
"Meredy doesn't know! Keele should just enjoy himself!" she replied, smiling widely as they spun beneath the lights. The yellow light shut off and the red one began moving again, and Meredy pulled him along the stage as it began traveling faster and faster. As they held hands and spun around the stage, Keele felt his inhibitions slowly disappear and he found himself laughing along with her as the spotlight shut off and they found themselves in darkness, trying to locate the opposite light. The song ended much faster than he would have liked it to.
"Meredy and Keele!" the announcer called as they stood in the middle of the stage. Meredy took a bow, pulling Keele down with her as the crowd began cheering.
"You looked ridiculous up there," Reid laughed as they met in the lobby.
Farah punched his shoulder as she grinned. "I thought they looked like they were having fun! Right?"
"You bet!" Meredy replied, leaning against Keele's shoulder. He looked down, smiling as he saw that they were still holding hands.