Despite it being the full moon, Ruby was at the Rabbit Hole, having had a few too many after a fight with Belle. She was wearing her cloak, but that apparently didn't matter. Emma was almost out of the bar when some random jerk decided to make a comment about Belle having a taste for the dark side, and needing a real man.
Ruby lunged for him, but Emma was faster and pulled her back, with an arm around her neck. Without thought, Ruby turned her head and sunk her teeth into Emma's arm, through her red leather jacket. Neither realized that the bite had broken through the jacket, not until later that night.
Once at the station, with Ruby securely sleeping it off in Leroy's favourite cell, Emma noticed the burning in her arm. Taking her jacket off, she saw the small amount of dried blood, and the teeth shaped bite on her arm. "Shit."
Cleaning the wound up with the first aid kit that was in the station, Emma went about starting her report for the incident. 'One less thing to do tomorrow. Wouldn't Regina be shocked.' Since she was amped up from wrestling a werewolf, during wolf's time no less, into the back of the cruiser, and she had some time to kill before she could relax, Emma tried to focus on the last of the paperwork from that week.
The burning only got worse through the night, and by 4am Emma was covered in a sheen of sweat, and panting. She couldn't think properly, her thoughts coming out less as thoughts, and more as impulses. Gripping the edge of the desk tightly, she took deep breaths, focussing on remaining coherent.
Around 5am, she noticed that her thoughts started to come easier, the impulses less on the forefront of her mind, and the fever seemed to have lowered. Continuing to take deep breaths, Emma tried to reason why she was suddenly sick, when she had been fine the night before. Before she got the call to the bar, before Ruby bit her…
Lunging for the phone, Emma dialled the only number she could think of to help right now, who could confirm or deny her suspicion. After 2 rings, a gruff voice answered "Granny's Bed and Breakfast. How can I help you?"
"It's Emma. I have Ruby here at the station. She had a few too many last night at the Rabbit Hole." Emma stated as calmly as she could, although her voice cracked on Ruby's name. "She-"
"Is she alright?" Granny interrupted, knowing how quickly things can go badly during wolf's time, especially if alcohol is involved. "Did anyone get hurt?"
"She's fine. Just sleeping it off in a cell. And no one got hurt, not really." Emma said. "Well, almost no one. She may have, kind of, possibly, bit my arm?"
"No." Came the whispered reply. "I will be there in 10 minutes. Don't talk to anyone until I get there."
10 minutes later, Eugenia Lucas was knocking on the front door of the station. Letting her in, and locking the door behind them, Emma made to lead her to the cells, but was stopped by a hand on her arm.
"It shouldn't be possible, but I can smell the curse on you already. I'm sorry." Granny said with sad eyes. "It won't happen this moon, but by next, you will change."
"So, I am 'infected' or 'cursed' or whatever?" Emma replied calmly, too calmly for Granny's taste. "I am going to be a werewolf now too?"
"Yes." Was the simple reply. "Although I shouldn't be able to smell you like this if it happened only a few hours ago. You shouldn't show any signs of it for days."
Emma didn't reply, simply walked into the main office, expecting Granny would follow. She led them into the main part of the station, before gesturing Granny forward. Red was awake in her cell, and had heard everything that had been said.
"I bit you?!" Ruby whimpered from her cell. "God Emma, I am so sorry. I don't know what happened. I never lose control enough to do that when I have my cloak. I'm so, so sorry." Ruby broke down into tears, repeating that she was sorry like a mantra.
Emma knew that she should be more upset, that she should be scared or what was going to happen to her, but instead she merely cocked her head, and then began laughing. It was a deep belly laugh, full of mirth, at having found herself in another life altering situation yet again. Both women stared at her, too stunned to speak, as the blonde continued in her laughing fit.
Finally getting her laughter under control, Emma attempted to explain to the two very confused women. "If it's not one thing, it another here. There is always something in my life that is going wrong, or changing, or completely flipping my life around. I will be fine, I always am. It will take some adjustment, no doubt, but it's not like I'm dead. I will just have get a cloak, or something that helps me like yours, and learn to control the change. And on the bright side, at least now I can track people in the woods too, not just the city!" Emma quickly spouted before bursting into another fit of laughter.
"Are you serious?! You are laughing about becoming a monster who can kill people?!" Red shouted, gripping the bar of the cell and bending them slightly in her anger, without realizing. "You could hurt people! What about your parents? Friends? Henry?!"
At the mention of her son's name, Emma immediately became deathly still. Anger glinted in her eyes as she slowly stalked over to the cell in front of Ruby. Granny watched, shocked at both Emma's movements, but also at the power she seemed to be giving off. 'That's definitely new.'
"You think I don't realize how dangerous this will be? How fast I will have to work to make sure my family stays safe?" Emma's normally smooth voice came out a rough growl from deep in her chest. "You will not speak of them as if I don't care. They are my family. They are All I care about, and I will do whatever I have to to make sure they are safe from everything, not just me. Do you understand?" Her voice dipped even lower at the end.
Ruby released her grip on the cell's bar, and took an involuntary step back. She couldn't help but notice the yellow glow in Emma's eye's, or the way she had her teeth bared at her. Ruby looked down and away, not able to hold Emma's gaze.
"DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!" Emma stepped flush against the bars in a single step, even though it should have taken her two, shouting directly at Ruby, causing her to flinch.
"Yes. I'm sorry for saying it like that." Ruby maintained her position, eyes on the floor.
Granny watched, awed at the display of dominance that Emma had just put on. She knew what it could mean, but how it was happening so quickly was beyond her.
Ruby was an Alpha by blood, and by right. She had challenged her own mother, and won. For her to submit to Emma, who hadn't even completed a full change yet, meant that Ruby, Emma and this entire town were in for a very interesting adjustment in the near future. Especially Emma, if what she guessed was happening was correct.
Ruby had never lived with a pack. She didn't know the old legends and stories as well as those who grew up with their own kind would. She was just a pup herself before the curse happened. But Granny remembered the tales, and she was sure there would be others who would as well.
Shaking her head, seemingly to dispel her anger, Emma took a deep breath and opened the cell. "I think you are good enough to go home. Talk to Belle, work out whatever the issue is. Don't go drinking again, not during Wolf's Time. Ok? I don't like having to drag those I care about around like that."
"Thanks. For getting me out of there before anything really bad happened, I mean. I'm sorry that I did this to you, but I'm not going to say I'm sorry that I'm not alone anymore. I promise to help you in every way I can." Ruby stood beside Emma, still eyeing the floor. Stepping to the side, into Emma, Ruby briefly nuzzled her chin then stepped away, with a blush tinting her cheeks.
'Why did I do that?' Ruby wondered to herself. She wanted the blonde to know she was sorry, and to forgive her, but that was odd, even for her. 'I've only ever seen that done with other wolves. Is this because of her bite already?"
Emma allowed the apology Ruby gave, understanding it immediately for what it was. 'Why do I know that is her way of apologizing?' Lifting Ruby's chin, Emma forced her to make eye contact. "It's ok. I know you didn't mean for this to happen. But really, I am ok, or at least I will be. I don't feel like a monster. I just feel… strong I guess. And I have you to help me through as well." Fixing a serious look into Ruby's eyes, Emma told her with certainty, "We will get through this together. No worries. But it's going to cost you." Breaking out her crooked smile that could make anyone melt, Emma pulled Ruby in for a hug. "Breakfast tomorrow and free cocoa for a week should just about do it. Subject to change to a full week's breakfast if it gets really bad." Emma finished pulling back with a wink. 'It feels so right to just be this close. I can't think like that. She has her True Love, Belle.'
Ruby returned her smile, not moving out of Emma's arms. It was shocking how right it felt for her to be wrapped up in Emma's arms. 'I shouldn't be thinking about Emma like this. I have Belle.'
Emma interrupted her thoughts with a firm voice that was still surprisingly gentle. "Go see your girl. Get some rest, and call me later, and we can go over everything I need to know then. Werewolf 101, 'cause I have a feeling I'm going to need it." Still smiling Emma pulled away from Ruby completely, gently pushing her towards her grandmother who was waiting silently, watching the pair closely.
With a small smile, Ruby moved to join Granny by the entrance of the station. Nodding to the Sherriff, Granny walked out behind Ruby, closing the door behind them. 'I need to find my books as soon as possible.'
Granny had watched the entire interaction in silence. She may no longer change, but she understood the behaviour she was seeing. They were going to all need to have a long talk very soon, as they wouldn't likely understand it themselves. This could be very good, or very bad. Either way, big changes were coming.