Author's Note: Let's just say this week's episode gave me all the feelings for all three of these and many ideas spontaneously manifested inside my head. One of them actually became something more - this. I'm not a native English speaker, didn't proofread and am on a laptop which happens to be as old as time itself, just so you know.
Something about Ruby made this unspoken agreement so much more enjoyable. Usually Emma didn't go past that one night ending with a note saying coffee's on the table; see you never xoxo, but she kept coming back to Ruby, and Ruby kept coming back to Emma. What started out as a heated (and practical) way to blow off steam in times of distress ended up in something akin to a shoe shopping session with a best friend. Maybe it was the general friendliness or the fact that both kept things as simple and open as possible. They could read the newspaper in bed in the morning when they actually made it through the night and laugh together at how painfully stupid Santorum was, and joke about the only worse possible candidate for president being a certain Regina they knew, and it didn't feel awkward. They could meet at Granny's and chat about all the weird happenings in Storybrooke (with some shameless flirting on the side) before Ruby had to get back to her job. They could say no and there would be no hard feelings - but neither ever did, really.
Maybe it was the fact that they knew the other down to the last freckle on their bodies, and at the same time they knew nothing at all. Maybe it was their shared ability to read the other's mind and identify things to say and things to not say and when. Maybe it was the fact that they didn't act like strangers outside of their little encounters, but spontaneously decided to remain friends without ever needing to discuss anything. What should have been complicated and thought-provoking and an act of regret was nothing more than a simple deal. And simple suited them perfectly. They cared and they didn't.
Thus, Emma didn't object the least bit when Ruby's lips glued themselves to a pulse point on her neck; instead she tangled her hands in dark hair and let out a quiet 'hnng' of approval. By now, Ruby knew exactly what Emma liked best and she smirked against hot skin, pinning the blonde to the wall of the always unoccupied room upstairs at Granny's.
"Was there something you wanted to tell me?" she giggled, referring to how Emma walked through the front door earlier, wet from the pouring rain, with shoulders hunched forward and looking completely defeated - to which Ruby knew just the cure and a want to go upstairs cut it. Simple.
Emma struggled to compose a reply, visibly distracted by a certain brunette trailing sloppy kisses down her neck and to her collarbone. "Not important," she muttered before yelping as a rogue hand slipped into her jeans without warning.
"I'm gonna conduct a little experiment here," Ruby said during a short pause she used to pull Emma's shirt over her head and throw it into a whole other realm where everything was frozen in time and none of it mattered. Ignoring the low growl of 'Ruby…' that suggested her buddy was not in the mood for yet another one of these (why yes, Ruby was a very curious young woman, as Emma got to experience time and again), she continued. "Kiss me every time you like what I'm doing. For scientific purposes." Because we wouldn't want the lovely Sheriff, in whose hands lies the safety of us all, leaving this place as grumpy as she seemed before, would we? Or leaving on her own two feet anytime soon, for that matter, she thought, an impish twinkle in her eye.
Rest assured, that was a lot easier rule to obey than some of her other quips, and Emma didn't think she could not do as instructed when two of Ruby's fingers dived into her heat. Emma's breath caught in her throat and she wrapped her arms around Ruby's neck and her legs around her waist as Ruby sat her on the cupboard, kissing wherever possible when it seemed too inconvenient to go for the teasing culprit's mouth. She only pulled back and slammed her lips against the other woman's when Ruby's fingers curled and uncurled inside her repeatedly at just the perfect angle (that had taken a good few weeks to master), moaning and gasping into the kiss. Not like Ruby minded; much the opposite, once it had become clear just how loud Emma could be, it was greatly encouraged. The walls were the only ones to hear, anyway.
She closed her eyes and everything went dark. There was nothing but ragged, quick breaths, warmth to soak in, rain water dripping off her hair and down the smooth curve of her back, mixing with beads of sweat. The creak of the cupboard. Ruby's shoulders underneath her fingernails digging into them harder than either of the two realized. Ruby's other hand unclipping her bra and then wandering across her breasts. Needy whimpers. Raindrops drumming on the window. Soft lips. The only softness Emma had ever known. Walls crumbling under it. And then, just like that, there were tears.
It took a whole lot more oxygen than Emma could provide for her lungs not to pass out as Ruby licked and bit down on her neck like a famished animal - a wolf, perhaps - and twisted Emma's clit between her fingers, sending the blonde Sheriff into a dizzy haze with a glass-shattering cry. Ruby.
They stayed like that for a while, wrapped in an embrace while Ruby waited for Emma to stop shaking. "Better?" Ruby untangled herself from her arms, smiling with accomplishment and pride. Her smile faded quickly when she looked up to see tears streaming down Emma's face. That wasn't part of the deal. Sure, they both had reasons and were honest about them, but they had agreed not to seek the other's company for the sake of comforting oneself only. It was meant to be fun. A side route to their friendship, because they could talk if a need for comfort were to ever spring up - which, in this case, was much more efficient. And Emma never broke her promises, which meant that something had gone terribly wrong. "Did—Did I hurt you?" stammered Ruby, reflecting back on her actions in detail to try to recall anything potentially harmful, even though deep down she recognized the pain in her eyes. This was worse than any pain in the flesh could ever be.
Emma laughed through her tears and it was about as sincere as when she laughed at Dr. Whale's lame jokes whenever he appeared at Granny's at the same time. "No. You didn't."
Ruby's mouth formed a wordless 'oh'. She reached for the shirt and jacket on the floor and helped Emma dress, processing the new information. She feared those three words were more than enough to determine what had driven Emma to the edge tonight. As soon as Emma put all her clothes back on, Ruby yanked her off the cupboard and shoved her on the bed, straddling her. She couldn't help but smirk at the shocked expression on Emma's face. "So, are you going to put the moves on the mayor, or are you just going to back off at the last second every time?"
"W-what?" Emma blinked in confusion. How did—when did—who, what?
Ruby rolled her eyes. "Your gayness for each other can be seen from space. From space," she repeated slowly and loudly to make sure Emma caught every word. "I just think that I should know beforehand if you're going to fire me soon."
"Emma," Ruby purred, lying beside her and snuggling up to the blonde. She nuzzled her chin and circled her waist with her arm and Emma had to smile despite herself. In bed, Ruby was all kinds of teddy bears and fluffy plushies. "My instincts never lie. You of all people should know that."
Emma pondered the situation for a while before turning to face the other woman. If Ruby was simple, Regina was the total opposite of that. And lord knew Emma and Ruby liked simple. And… well… "What if she's…" Emma paused, realizing how ridiculous that suggestion would sound. "I don't think I can trust her," she corrected herself.
"You didn't think you could trust me," Ruby cleverly pointed out.
"Why would you want me to put the moves on her? You know what the phrase 'committed relationship' means, right?"
"Well, I know it would be kind of an unfortunate inconvenience for me, but for one thing, it brings up the prospect of a potential threesome, you know, if you ever mention any of that to madam—"
"Ruby!" Emma silenced her rambling with a firm smack of a pillow to the face.
"What?" Ruby whined, glad to see Emma laughing again as she sat up on the sheets. "I'd take good care of your future wife for you."
Emma shook her head in disbelief and narrowed her eyes. "You're so going down," she threatened, one hand already gripping the other pillow.
"Hey, I'm just saying," the brunette started innocently, moving slowly towards one end of the bed and smirking devilishly when her fingers found the first pillow next to it. "Not if I get you first, my dear friend."
Lying awake in the same bed after what would later become known as The Great Post-coital Pillow Fight of 2012 (for Ruby, anyway), Emma stared at the ceiling, stroking Ruby's hair. This wasn't going anywhere and surprisingly enough, Ruby was often full of useful advice. Maybe she should go for it. Maybe she should fight for her happy ending. And if it were to be complicated, well then - she had learned a lot about simplicity from the woman asleep in her arms.