Title: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Spoilers: Yes, for Red-Handed
Summary: The other woman's eyes fluttered closed at the feel of her Grandmother. It was something that always brought the woman comfort and Granny could only hope it would still have its same affect after all that had happened. "I'm so sorry."
Author's Note: After watching last night's episode, I was hit with the crazy urge to write something and I needed to do this. (For those who read my story Princess of Darkness I think that the episode of OUaT last night may have broken my writer's block. I'm not promising anything, just keep your hopes up for an update by the end of the week.) Enjoy this story about Red Riding Hood.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but goddamn I want to.
When Granny returned home the first thing she noticed was the girl her granddaughter befriended sitting in her rocker, the pink shawl wrapped loosely around her shoulders, in a restless sleep. She was still in the clothes from the night previous. Granny could only guess that she fell into her slumber on accident. The second thing she noticed was her granddaughter's figure crouched by the dimly lit fire.
"Red?" The red hooded figure didn't move, she didn't even flinch at the sudden sound in the otherwise silent room. Granny moved closer to the young girl and sat gingerly on the floor beside her. From this angle, the old woman could see dried tear tracks from eyes that had long since stopped running. Her young face was blank, void of any and all emotion that might plague her.
"Red." Granny sighed sullenly. She knew it was a bad idea to keep such a secret from her granddaughter, she knew that keeping something this big from the young woman would be problematic, but she had hoped that the girl would stay as she was a child, listening to her every word, never questioning.
That was her fault.
And now the man her granddaughter cared for very much was dead. Among others, many others.
"I'm sorry Red. I never meant…" The old woman trailed of and turned her gaze to the glowing embers in the pit of the wooden logs. "I thought I would never have to tell you. I never wanted you to be like this. To be what your Mother was, to be what I was. I never wanted this life for you and now, because I didn't tell you…Peter is gone." Moving her old eyes to her granddaughter's young face, she reached up and placed her aged palm against Red's smooth cheek.
The other woman's eyes fluttered closed at the feel of her Grandmother. It was something that always brought the woman comfort and Granny could only hope it would still have its same affect after all that had happened. "I'm so sorry."
Lazily blinking open her pale blue eyes, Red slowly turned her head to face her Grandmother. Seeing the old woman as she had always been, a source of rightness in a world so wrong, Red felt her tear ducts fill to the brim to fall out over her lids and down her cheeks next to salty tracks made just hours earlier. The young woman let her body slump forward into her Grandmother's rounded waist, crying once again.
"I killed him." She managed to sob out, burying her face into weathered cloth. "I killed everyone."
Rocking as much as she could, Granny pulled Red closer, rubbing her red cloaked back and gently pushing dark locks from her tearful face. Saying "I'm sorry" and "You didn't know" were the only things she could come up with to calm the girl down. She knew what her granddaughter was thinking about. She knew the young woman wasn't only thinking about the men she had killed, but the stories about her and her family.
Red was part of the reason people hid away and why no one was ever to go in the forest for the Big Bad Wolf would surly snatch them and never bring them back. She was used to scare children into doing chores by older siblings or into eating their greens by tired or cruel parents. She was the reason people feared the set of the sun and the reason people felt their hearts race at any usual or unusual sound in the night.
And she hadn't even known it.
All the old woman could do for now, though, was to cradle the young woman and sooth her pain long enough for her to rest her eyes and fall into a fitful slumber. If that means sitting on the cold wooden floor next to a barely-there fire, then Granny would sit there for an eternity, rubbing her shaking shoulders and murmuring soothing nothings into her granddaughter's ear.