A.N: I have been writing this story since I first heard, Hundred More Years, which was a year ago, almost to the day. It just took me forever to finish it, and now that it finally is, I am so excited to post.
Something I wanted to tell you all, my dear readers, is that I feel so strongly about this fic. I just really, really love it, and I'm very excited to share it with you. I LOVE this song and pairing it to together with Eric and Ariel, which is my very first and most beloved, OTP, it's a match made in fanfiction heaven!
-I've always imagined that Eric and Ariel would have more children, and so they had two twin boys, Andrew and Daniel, about a year after the end of TLM II. They're mentioned and talked about at the end, so I wanted you all to be clear on that.
And well, you'll see what happens with Melody. : )
-This story visits Eric and Ariel at three different, distinct times in their lives.
1. Their wedding day- pretty self explanatory.
2. Melody is three- Daddy Eric feels!
3. Eric and Ariel are sixty- they look back on their family and what lies ahead for them.
-Hundred More Years by Francesca Battistelli
"Oh, Ariel, wait!" Carlotta called.
Ariel turned to see the matronly maid bustle up to her. She placed a bouquet of red roses in her hands.
"You forgot your flowers."
She blinked in surprise at the flowers, "Oh," and then looked back up at her, "Thank you, Carlotta."
"No problem, dear."
"No, Carlotta," Ariel placed a hand over the maid's. "Really, thank you," she repeated earnestly, in regards to Carlotta helping her get ready for the wedding all afternoon, coupled with her guidance and patience, as well as her input in the wedding plans.
"I mean, if my sisters or even my mother could be here, they would've helped me and I'm just grateful that you were here. I just-"
"Ariel," Carlotta interrupted the soon to be bride, gripping Ariel's hand with a wistful smile, tears brimming in her brown eyes. "Dear, I'm more than happy to be here for you, today. I've always wanted a daughter of my own and well . . . after his parent's died, Eric's been like a son to me and I am so happy to welcome you into the family, Ariel."
Ariel was trying to hold back tears of her own and she leaned forward to hug Carlotta tight, muttering a heartfelt, "Thank you," in her ear.
Carlotta pulled back out of the hug. "Now, go, go!" She pushed the red headed beauty in white down the hallway. "You've got a handsome Prince waiting for you."
Ariel smiled eagerly in being reminded of her imminent marriage to Eric. Just a short walk away he was waiting, ready to walk down the aisle with her. She couldn't wait to become Mrs. Anderson, Eric's wife. She practically floated the entire way to him, feeling as light as a feather.
Soon enough, they would be the putting on wedding rings and exchanging vows, and then the priest would finally say . . .
Diamond ring and twelve red roses, everything she ever wanted
All those dreams and now they're finally here
"You may now kiss the bride."
Those words felt like music to Ariel's ears. Finally, after all this time, she and Eric were married. They shared their wedding kiss; it was sweet, tender and sent shivering tingles down both of their spines.
But then, they were rudely interrupted by Max, who had somehow escaped Grimsby and bolted straight to the marriage platform, almost as if he wanted to be the first to congratulate Eric and Ariel.
Max nosed his way in between them and then stood up on his hind legs, giving Eric's cheek a very slobbery kiss.
They shared a laugh, not all bothered by the dog. When Max dropped back down to the floor, Eric and Ariel turned to the crowd with wide smiles, to which they responded with loud, overbearing cheers. Their beloved Prince had finally found his Queen, the very love of his life, and they couldn't have been happier for him.
Ariel turned her head and caught Eric's eye, and immediately they were locked in each other's gaze, their blue eyes mirroring love and joy.
Eric sighed happily as he gazed back at his new bride. She took his hand and gave him an even wider, more elated smile, telling him without words that she loved him and couldn't wait to spend the rest of their lives together, to which he responded with a slight nod and a squeeze of her hand. Finally . . .
As they descended from the marriage platform and walked back down the aisle, still holding hands, the crowd continued to cheer happily.
She's so young and he's so perfect, they waited for love and it was worth it
She wants to feel like this for a hundred years
When King Triton gave his daughter and new son-in-law a proper send off with a beautiful glittering rainbow over their wedding barge, the reception was officially kicked off.
Eric and Ariel first enjoyed socializing with their guests and other visiting dignitaries, receiving many congratulations, well wishes and even some commenting on an heir to the throne.
After dinner was served and finished, they cut the wedding cake and respectfully fed each other small pieces of it, although Ariel accidentally got a bit of white frosting on her nose while biting into her piece of cake. Eric laughed and then she playfully took a finger of frosting and put some on his nose.
It wasn't long after that when it became time for Eric and Ariel to partake in their first dance as husband and wife. The moon was just beginning to rise in the sky and the stars were twinkling brightly as they took to the floor. The wedding guests made a bustling ring around them, but immediately became hushed once the music began to play.
"You ready?" Eric grinned as he took Ariel's hands in his gloved ones.
She smiled excitedly, "Yeah, I've been practicing."
"So, no more stepping on my toes?"
Ariel shook her head with a slight smirk, yet her blue eyes danced with joy.
They then began their waltz as the music picked up. Stepping and twirling together, they moved gracefully and elegantly. Eric lead as Ariel followed obediently, the music swelling around them.
Dancing with him, she felt her heart would burst with joy. There was just so much, she couldn't contain it all. Dance was something she'd always dreamed about fervently as a mermaid. Her dream of being human had first sparked to life by the desire to dance. She'd never forget the day she saw that lovely ballerina, dancing so effortlessly and flawlessly, like she was as light as the air itself. She wanted to be like that, to dance like that.
And now, here she was, waltzing with her Prince. She was human, Eric was her husband, and she was even granted the chance to share a special dance with him.
All of her dreams were finally realized and fulfilled; she felt she was the happiest, most blessed girl on both land and in the sea.
All this life still yet to live and they can hardly wait
They can laugh, they can cry
The future looks so beautiful and bright
They can dance under the moonlight
'cause God is smiling down on them tonight
And she wants to stay right here
make it last for a hundred more years
Eric watched as his three-year-old daughter toddled about the back palace garden, Max bounding happily along beside her. Melody picked up her pace and started running, as the sheepdog took chase after her.
She laughed loudly and screamed in delight as the large dog rounded about in front of her and bowed, enticing her to play. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and his little stub of a tail shook his entire behind. She turned around and he took after her again, barking.
But then, for some reason Max lost interest in Melody and suddenly changed directions, rushing over to the little bit of water that came up from underneath the wall. Melody turned and followed him, lighting up as she realized where they were headed.
As the dog sniffed at the water's edge, the child charged right into the knee deep water, grinning from ear to ear. She didn't go far; the water only washing over her feet, but it was still just enough to make Eric's heart nearly jump in his throat, and with a couple quick strides he was at her side.
She turned to face him. "What, Daddy?"
"Sweetheart," he sighed, unable to deny those large blue eyes of hers. Did they have to be the same exact shade of blue as her mother?
"Just . . . don't go too far, okay?"
She nodded in understanding and then turned back around to the sea. She bent down, cupping some water in her hands. As she straightened back up, Melody threw the water over her head with a loud, "Yay!" making it sprinkle back down on her in light drops.
Eric smirked as he watched her. Melody loved the ocean. Even at such a tender age, he could already tell they were going to have a hard time keeping her from it when she actually learned how to swim. There was no denying her love for the sea; she was as enamored with it as Ariel had been with the dry land up above. Any blind man could see that.
And so, he wanted to grant her this small moment with her beloved ocean, even if just for a little while. It's not like Morgana was going to reach up under the wall with one of her long octopus tentacles and suddenly nab Melody right out from underneath him- at least, he hoped not.
But, he figured the chances of such a thing were very low.
So, with a playful gleam in his eye, he nabbed his unsuspecting daughter in his arms, lifting her high in the air. "I got you, Melody!"
"Daddy!" she yelled, her legs flailing.
He swooped her down, angling her body so it was parallel to the water. She brushed a hand over the surface, dipping her fingers in. When he swung her back over his head, she was laughing in excitement.
"I'm flying, Daddy!"
A couple more passes by the water and soon Eric's arms were getting tired. He set Melody back down on her feet at the water's edge.
Not wasting any time, Melody ran right back into the water and before Eric could react; she splashed him with a quick thrust of her hand. She was only able to reach his legs, wetting his pants.
"Oh, you're gonna get it now, Melody!" With a sharp slap, he sent a sheet of salty water in her direction.
Shrieking with a mixture of both fear and excitement, Melody tried moving out of the way, but was too slow and ended up getting drenched instead.
This playful exchange went on for a matter of minutes, both father and daughter trading splashes at each other, before Eric was soon chasing Melody out of the water.
She was soaking wet, dripping on the grass, her dress was beyond ruined. And Eric couldn't have cared in the slightest. He was only focused on making Melody laugh, on seeing her smile. Knowing it was him, who able to elicit such a happy, glowing response from his daughter, it made his heart swell overwhelmingly with joy. He loved seeing her so happy, he cherished it.
He valued their time together immensely. He wouldn't miss it for the world.
She's got blue eyes just like her mother, three years old; he's crazy for her
He wants to freeze this day before it disappears
Then again, maybe there was one person who was able to put a stop to their fun.
He immediately stopped and straightened up, looking up to see his wife standing at the edge of the lawn. She bore a curious frown, which was instantly replaced with worry and panic as Melody started towards her. The little girl was babbling on and on about playing with Daddy and Max and then getting to play in the water, too.
But Ariel didn't hear a word of it, only focused on her daughter's drenched state.
"Eric, what happened?"
"We were just having a bit of fun in the water, don't worry," he said, having now reached her side.
"She's soaking wet."
"We might've had a bit of a water fight."
Melody pulled on Ariel's dress skirt. "Mommy, it was so much fun! I got Daddy AAAlll wet!"
"Looks like he got you wet too, Mel," she responded, a light smile on her face.
All seemed forgiven in that instant and Eric couldn't help but breathe a small sigh of relief.
Ariel reached down an outstretched hand for Melody to take. "C'mon, we need to get you bathed and ready for the gala tonight, Melody."
"No. I don't want to go to the party, they're stinky."
"It's only for a little while, and then you can go to bed."
"Bed time?" Melody complained.
Eric followed behind them, as unwilling as his daughter.
Later that same evening, the family enjoyed a Spring Gala put on by Eric and Ariel. There wasn't much of a special occasion; it was more of a simple social gathering than an actual party, but the King and Queen enjoyed it nonetheless.
After eating and socializing with their guests, Eric couldn't help but notice a certain little Princess standing next to Grimsby off to the side.
Poor Melody looked bored out of her mind, picking at the tile on the floor with her shoe.
Eric crossed the room and approached her, a wide grin on his face. A song had just started playing, one he particularly loved to dance to. While he normally would've asked his wife for such a dance, his daughter seemed to call a little louder.
As soon as she spotted him, her blue eyes lit up. "Daddy!"
He bowed to her, and when he straightened back up, offered her a hand. "May I have this dance, my sweet Melody?"
Her responding giggle and something of an accepting curtsey was answer enough. She eagerly took his hand, and soon enough father and daughter had entered the dance floor.
But before they started dancing, Melody had to show off her dress first. "Daddy, look!" She did a quick spin on her heel, making her dress skirt fan out all around her, the sparkling pink fabric catching the candlelight in a magnificent way.
"You look beautiful, Melody," Eric appraised her, smiling fondly down at her.
She beamed at him and finally they began to dance.
She's spinning like a little princess, makin' sure he's gonna notice
He could watch her twirl for a hundred years
He held each of her hands in his and together they simply bopped and weaved to the beat of the music, sometimes spinning around, but mostly staying in one spot. Both were completely focused on the other, Melody watching him for signs that he was going to move so they could spin and Eric simply basked in the glow of her bright smile.
This moment with her, no matter how small or insignificant, was something he would forever cherish. Just seeing her smile made his heart squeeze tight with love and joy, while sometimes stopping it altogether. He could swear there were times when Melody smiled at him, her grin so wide and her entire being so bright that his heart would skip a couple beats, simply stunned by her beauty.
To think he had played a part in making this wonderful little girl before him, that she was such a vibrantly healthy child and simply loved everything life had to offer her right now.
Eric was awed by the blessing of his daughter, and thanked the God above that he was allowed to be her father.
And so, they continued to dance oblivious to the world, lost in each other.
She'll grow up and she'll leave home, but until that day
They can laugh, they can cry
The future looks so beautiful and bright
They can dance under the moonlight
'cause God is smiling down on them tonight
And he wants to stay right here,
make it last for a hundred more years
Eric and Ariel walked down the beach, hand in hand, enjoying a sunset stroll after dinner. They were both in their early sixties, and no matter how much Eric tried to deny it, their reign as King and Queen was coming to a close. Not that either of them had any debilitating health problems associated with old age to force them from the throne, but that it was simply coming time to retire.
Their eldest son, Andrew, was thirty years old, finished with his monarch training and was biting at the bit for his coronation.
Eric kept saying they would step down after Andrew was married, but it looked as if that might be coming up soon, for he had been courting a lovely young Princess from Wales for about three months now, and Ariel was fairly certain that she would the one for her son.
Their other son, Daniel, the second born twin, had long since departed home. He'd been married to Princess Vallerie of Gascony for six years, and they were expecting their second child.
Their eldest child, Melody, lived in Atlantica with her husband, Dyllon.(1) At age nineteen, he had proposed to her and seeing as the throne was secured with her then six-year-old twin brothers, she'd chosen to live with him under the sea. They were married on a wedding barge like Eric and Ariel, but after the ceremony was finished and they'd shared their kiss, King Triton had changed them both back into merpeople and they'd dove into the ocean, having the reception in Atlantica with Dyllon's family and friends.
Eric, Ariel and the boys had joined them for the party, but when the night came to a close and the newlyweds were to embark on their honeymoon, Ariel was forced to say a final goodbye to her daughter.
Melody was an adult, starting this brand new journey in life, without her parents. She was completely on her own now, and they'd had to let her go. It was harder than Ariel had ever expected.
She remembered coming home after the reception and crying in Eric's arms. She was joyous for Melody and also crushingly sad, all at the same time. It felt nearly impossible to let her go, not only to Dyllon, but to Atlantica as well.
Eric shared in her pain and they'd spent that entire night wrapped up in each other's arms, murmuring soft words of comfort to each other, sharing memories and tears together.
It had been a long, very hard night for the both of them, but they'd woken up the next morning with a sense of hope and renewal, despite the loss they had suffered.
After all, they had two other little boys to raise, and so they'd turned their focus onto them, raising them to be model Princes.
When Daniel was married, they were prepared for the pain and dealt with it much better than they had Melody.
Ariel was jarred back to the present when Eric tugged on her hand, trying to gain her attention, "Ariel?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Eric. I got lost in my musings."
He smiled, "It's fine, my love."
She gave off a heaving sigh, to which Eric granted her a curious look.
"What's on your mind?"
She shrugged. "The kids mostly, you know Andy is closing in on Princess Maeryn, I'm sure we'll be hearing wedding bells soon."
"Maybe," he nearly grumbled.
Ariel frowned, this was a very old discussion, but she had yet to get a straight answer out of him.
"Eric, why are so stingy with the crown? Andy is more than capable of taking over; you've overseen his studies yourself. You know how much he cares for Maeryn. He actually looks just like you when you met me."
This statement surprised him, Eric was slightly taken aback. "Really? You think so?"
"Yes," she nodded her head eagerly. "Andy has that same goofy smile, the way he talks on and on about her. We invited Maeryn for dinner and he couldn't stop staring at her. He's exactly like you."
Eric chuckled, remembering those first days with Ariel when she couldn't speak. He'd fallen head over heels in love with her and he hadn't even been aware of it, still hung up on the mystery girl with the beautiful singing voice. Who knew the girl who'd stolen his heart so quickly would be the one and the same.
"I suppose he is," Eric finally admitted.
Ariel smiled at him, satisfied with this for now.
But then he pulled her right back in with an even bigger, more startling confession. "I think I'm so unwilling, because Andy is our last one, Ariel. Melody and Danny are both married off and living out there lives. That's a great thing and all, but now we only have Andy left. And I guess . . . I'm just scared to let him go, too."
"Oh, Eric," Ariel stopped walking, turning to her husband. She framed his face in her hands, making him look her right in the eye.
"To be honest, I'm just as unwilling as you about this. But I'm not afraid of it anymore. It'll be sad, you're right. But it's a part of life, my love. They grow up and start leading their own lives and we, as their parents, must let them go so they can grow their wings."
"I know, dear, I know."
Ariel wrapped her arms around him in a comforting hug, and he squeezed her back tight, whispering, "I love you," in her ear.
She smiled at him as she pulled back.
And its only time, but it flies right by
and today is sweeter than we know
But Eric then took her hands in his, drawing her back to him, forming a position that she knew all too well.
Ariel's smile grew wider and the familiar sense of excitement fluttered in her belly. Even after forty some years of marriage, he still affected her in the exact same way. She giggled, feeling sixteen again.
Without a single word, only a nod of his head and a gentle, loving warmth in his eyes, Eric began their waltz.
The gentle crash of waves along the shore was their music and the full moon above their light. Their bare feet brushed across the sand in a worn, comfortable pattern.
They danced, quietly and effortlessly, a seemingly silent conversation passing between the two of them. A slight nod of the head or pointed gaze, even a warm smile was all that they needed to convey to the other.
Their reign as King and Queen was ending, true. They had to let go of their last child, yes.
It was an unknown new adventure, this thing called retirement, another venture on the long, windy road of life.
But it was one they finally felt prepared for; they could let it all go, resting in the full confidence that they had raised Andrew to be a great Prince, a good son, and hopefully, a wonderful husband as well. It was time to let Andrew have his go at the throne, to hand it over to the next generation.
Eric finally accepted that and made his peace with it all, looking into his wife's lovely face.
He stopped their dancing and leaned forward, resting his forehead against hers. Losing himself in her wide blue eyes, he then kissed her soundly on the lips.
Pulling back, Ariel took his hand back into her own and they resumed their walk down the beach.
Whatever awaited them in the future, no matter if it was good or bad, they would face it together, just as they'd always done and always will.
And so they dance under the moonlight,
while God is smiling down on them tonight
And they want to stay right here,
for a hundred more years
1) I finally settled on a name for the blonde merboy Melody meets in the second movie, that being Dyllon. And my head canon is that they were best friends for a good while, then started dating when they were sixteen and then got married at nineteen.
And another thing, since Melody wanted to live in the ocean, she gave up her birthright to the throne, leaving it to Andrew. Since Daniel is the second born, he's out of race.
Oh, and something else, this story is the longest story I've ever posted. It stands at over 3,000 something words! It's crazy! All together, it was nine pages; I've never posted anything that big before. Whoa!
Hope you liked it!