Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy IX.

The Little Blue Dress

Ruby grins, unable to stop herself from the giddiness bubbling in her stomach. After tireless days of working with a skilled, old woman on creating the perfect dress made of satin and silk, she can finally see the end result, and the blue dress looks simply divine on her. Sure, they ran out of material and had to shorten the dress a little more than the glamorous actress is comfortable with, but it complements her body perfectly.

She spins around, pretending that she is being twirled during a dance. Not just any dance, either. The Regent and his wife were celebrating their reunion, and only the most prestigious of guests were invited to attend. This would be her moment to meet some of the best theater directors and actors in the industry! Her little blue dress would capture her unique talents and skills, and her little theater in Alexandria would certainly earn the attention and donations it has for so long deserved.

Dizziness mixes in with her happiness, and Ruby quickly opens her eyes as her balance falters, sending her plummeting to the floor. Instead of hitting the hard wood, though, she finds herself falling against something soft, warm, and clothed.

Blank stares down at her with a raised eyebrow, and Ruby at least has the audacity to blush.

"I'm guessing you like the dress," Blank comments, still giving her a bemused look. The brown belt that usually shadows his eyes has been replaced with a black cloth, and his usually bare chest is covered by a rather expensive-looking suit. Needless to say, Ruby is impressed, but she is still much more impressed with her dress.

"I love it! Ain't it the most beautiful thing ya ever did see?" she gushes, stepping back from Blank to allow him to have a better look at the masterpiece that is her dress.

"It's too short."

The mood is shot dead, and Ruby looks up at him with hate-filled eyes. "W-Why you—it ain't too short!"

"Is too," Blank shoots back, staring at her until she's uncomfortable. "Why not wear that purple dress that you had made for Dagger's birthday?"

"Nuh-uh, no way! That ain't the right color ta wear at a royal party!" She flips her blonde hair over her shoulder. "This dress is, an' I repeat, is perfect, and it ain't too short!"

Blank shakes his head, unconvinced. "Ruby, if you dance, your dress will ride up, and everyone will laugh at you. Including me."

"It will not!" Ruby screams, taking his words as a challenge. "See for yourself!"

In an instant, she is jumping and twirling around the room in no specific rhythm or fashion. Of course, this brash movement leads to her stumbling over one of the many props Ruby has left on her dressing room floor. No quick footwork can save her from falling to the floor this time, so she braces herself for the harsh impact and guaranteed laughter from Blank when two strong arms loop around her waist and swing her back into a standing position.

"I see," Blank murmurs, still unconvinced. Before Ruby can retort or even thank him for catching her a second time, Blank pulls her into another position, keeping his hand on her hip and the other entangled in her hand. He then proceeds to dance with her, moving at a fast pace with rather complex footing, causing Ruby to unceremoniously stumble more than twice to try to keep up. Her inner actress pushes forth and she quickly memorizes the steps, allowing her to easily keep up with his pace and dance with him.

Blank suddenly stops dancing, jerking Ruby to an abrupt stop. She glares up at him, about to ask what in tarnation has gotten into him when the hand he has on her hip slowly moves down, dragging her dress back down with it. A heated blush covers her cheeks a nice rosy red, and she stares down at her feet in complete and utter embarrassment.

Blank leans forward, whispering into her ear, "How about that purple dress?"

Ruby looks down, her blush heating her face even more. She mumbles something inaudible, causing Blank to lean closer to her face and ask for her to repeat herself.

"It's purple," Ruby mumbles a bit more clearly with a slight crack in her voice. "Y'all know only members of the royal family can wear purple."

"Seriously?" Blank nearly scoffs. "C'mon, Ruby. No one will care if you wear purple. Zidane will be there, and he considers you to be a sister. I think that counts enough to be considered part of the royal family."

"But I'm not royal! It ain't right for me to wear it, Blank!" Ruby protests, hugging herself protectively. "This dress was perfect..."

An exasperated sigh escapes Blank's lips, causing the grief-stricken woman to look at him. "Just dance on the slower dances," he tells her, coughing a bit to clear his throat. "Or—Or just with me. I'll, um...watch for you."

Slender arms quickly wrap around Blank as Ruby hugs him tightly. "Thank you, darlin'!" She pulls back in order to face Blank and softly pecks him on his lips, smiling into the kiss. "One more round for practice?"

Blank gives her a genuine smile, resuming his position and leading her in a slower-paced dance, allowing his hand to drift down her hip whenever her dress started rising. Ruby, in return, smiled appreciatively, glad to be able to wear the little blue dress after all.

Author's Note: This is my first fanfiction, and I really hope it isn't too bad. I love Ruby and Blank, so I wanted to dedicate a short piece to them. Thank you for reading!