Adventures with Lemurs is something of the past as Ruby begins to remember her past life as none other than Little Red Riding Hood, who's struggling to make it through the pain of discovering her werewolf side and losing Peter...and accept a new love in her life.
A/N: Don't own OUAT! Red/Belle (FRIENDSHIP), Red/Baelfire, Ruby/OC.
Just a side note, this is a couple of years after Rumpelstiltskin became "The Dark One", which means Baelfire is about 19, 20 years old, same as Red. Enjoy and please, R&R!
Also! Massive shout out to Anscombe, who helped me with this story sooo much! THANK YOU!
Happily Ever After, Fairtytale World
Two weeks she spent looking out the window for any sign of Prince James and Snow White.
Two weeks since she had woken up in the middle of the snowy clearing with dead guards surrounding her...
Two weeks since the full moon.
She bit her lip anxiously and sighed, getting up and walking out of her room.
Granny looked up at her as she approached.
"Still nothing?" She asked. Red shook her head.
"Nothing..." She watched her Granny fold more clothes and said what was on her mind.
"Maybe...Maybe I should go to the dwarves cabin and see if she's there..."
Granny shook her head immediately.
"Absolutely not! There are guards all over the place ever since you attacked King George's men the other week!" She said, folding her dress beneath her and sitting down. Red narrowed her eyes. Attacking King George's men was something she was not proud of.
"Granny...Snow might be in trouble!"
"And what can you do to help her? You only turn at the full moon, Red."
"If I could just KNOW if she's okay..."
"Red...you are not going!" Granny said, slamming her hands on the table. Red sighed and looked at her angrily.
"Granny...you can't expect me to stay in solitude forever! Snow is the closest thing I've ever had to a friend and she helped me so much after finding out what I was! I can't just abandon her!" Red said fiercely. Granny looked at her sadly.
"I just don't want you getting hurt." She whispered. Red's face softened and she hugged her Granny, sighing.
"Granny, I'll be fine. I just..." She pulled away and looked at her.
"I need to know." She whispered. Granny nodded, but grabbed the bow and arrow hanging next to her own crossbow.
"Take it. For protection."
Red slung the bow and arrow case over her shoulder and smiled.
"I'll be back before night falls."
"I hope so. You stay off the roads, and keep yourself hidden in the trees and for god's sake, please be careful!"
"I will." She kissed her Granny's cheek and left the house, walking as fast as she could through the snow.
She did as advised and used the trees to her advantage, although she didn't see why.
Her smell and hearing sense were more advanced than any humans. If guards were coming, there was no doubt in her mind she would be able to hear them from miles away.
Her emotions were racing as she walked in silence, avoiding branches hanging from the trees.
She was worried about the fates of Prince James and Snow White. She'd heard nothing from either of them and was scared that King George's men may have caught up to them and either taken them hostage, or killed them.
She was still grieving over murdering those men. But she had no choice.
She had to become the wolf. She had to let Prince James get to Snow White. She owed Snow that much after everything Snow had done for her.
And she was still hurting over Peter, her lost love who SHE had murdered.
How could her Granny have kept all this from her?
A wolf. Her. All those innocent people who had turned up dead...
They were killed by HER.
It made her sick. She was a monster. Nothing more, nothing less.
Doomed for a lifetime of loneliness with nothing but a red hood to keep her company.
She wiped the tears from her eyes-
But stopped in her tracks at the sound of a twig breaking, followed by thundering footfalls.
She could hear it a mile or so north of her and she contemplated turning back. She could still make it back safely...
But when she pricked her ears and listened again, she heard only two sets of footsteps.
And one pair belonged to a woman.
She concentrated even more, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths.
"Come on, we must move! They're gaining on us!" A man's voice exclaimed.
Red opened her eyes and took off, running as fast as she could toward the two travelers.
They needed her help.
She listened while she ran, hoping the two people hadn't gotten caught.
"They're not far!" The girl yelled anxiously.
"Go! I'll hold them off!"
Red sprinted faster. They were not far away.
She came across a hill and looked down on a main road to see a girl hiding behind a tree and a man fighting guards in black armor off with his sword.
Red reached for the bow on her back and nocked an arrow in it. She took aim and breathed in, then released.
One of the guards dropped to the floor and she nocked another arrow, aiming once more.
The girl looked up at her and smiled widely, running up the hill toward her.
"Get her out of here!" The young man yelled. Red took a closer look at him and saw he, too, was wearing armor. However, it was not black like the guards, but silver.
And all too familiar.
One of King George's men.
Red's heart dropped and she loaded another arrow.
"I'm not leaving you!" The girl yelled to him. Red hesitated.
If this man stayed alive, he could find out she was the one who murdered those other men in the clearing...
She sighed and changed her aiming to one of the guards and released the arrow. There were no more guards as the final one dropped, Red's arrow in his back.
The soldier looked up at her.
Red heard more footsteps coming down the road and called out.
"There's more coming! Hurry!" She held her arm out to him and the man took it, climbing up the hill. They ran off together as Red slung the bow on her back again.
"Thank you." The man panted.
"Let's get to safety first, then you can thank me!" Red exclaimed. The three off them raced back to Granny's cottage, as far away from the guards as they could.
Granny looked up in surprise as Red came through the door and shut it behind them.
"Red? What on earth-"
"They're friends, don't worry!" Red whispered.
"What is going on?"
"Guards. We managed to escape." The man said. Granny looked at Red incredulously.
"What did I say, Red!"
"Everything's fine, Granny." The young man and woman sat down on chairs and Granny went to get them food and water.
"What are your names?" Red asked.
"Baelfire." The young man said. The young girl smiled.
"I'm Belle. I was on the main road, heading back home when those guards tried to arrest me. I fought them off, but...I was losing. Then Baelfire came and saved me."
"But, if those guards wanted to arrest you, wouldn't you help them? You're a soldier of the Kingdom as well." Red said, nodding at Baelfire's armor.
"Those guards were no men of the Kingdom...they're armor represents that of the Queen in the Dark Castle."
"The Evil Queen? Regina?" Red asked, surprised. He nodded.
"Wait...Queen...Why would she want to take me prisoner? She tried to help me before!" Belle said, looking shocked.
"I don't understand?" Red and Baelfire said at the same time. Belle sighed.
"Our town was suffering greatly from the Ogre war and my father knew we needed help. So he asked a powerful magician, The Dark One, for help."
"Rumpelstiltskin?" Red asked. Baelfire grew stiff and he cleared his throat, standing from his seat.
"Excuse me. I need air."
He left without another word, and Red looked at him in wonder.
Why was he suddenly acting so strangely?
"Anyway...He made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin that we would win the war, but that he would have me to serve him forever."
Red gasped in shock.
"No, no...I thought it would be at first...but I wanted to defend my town! But...Rumpelstiltskin...he was sweet and gentle and kind and...amazing! I...I fell in love with him. I went into town to get provisions for him and I met the Evil Queen. She told me True love's kiss can break any curse, so I went back to Rumpelstiltskin's castle and I kissed him and the curse was beginning to break! But...the minute I mentioned the Queen, he grew angry and told me to leave the castle and never return!"
"And you were on your way back home when the Queen's men tried to arrest you?" Red asked. Belle nodded.
"Yes...I don't understand!"
"The Evil Queen...she's up to something. I need to tell Snow White about this!" Red said, getting up.
"She's a friend of mine, and an enemy of the Queen's! If anyone will know what she is up to, it's Snow White! We must go!"
"Wait, where is Baelfire?" Belle asked. Red looked outside the window and saw Baelfire sitting alone on a seat outside, his head bowed down.
"I'll go talk to him. Ask Granny if she can provide us with a basket of food...we're going to see Snow White and find out what the Evil Queen is up to." Red said.
"Ruby! Come on, keep it together!"
Ruby glared at her elderly figure, who smirked at her reaction and winked at her.
"I'm trying my hardest, Granny, but I have a headache! I've been telling you that all day!" Ruby sighed, popping a Tylenol pill in her mouth and drinking water.
"Well, headaches don't get people's meals to them! Come on, chop chop!"
Ruby growled under her breath and picked up a platter of food, putting a fake smile on her face. She walked over to Leroy and slammed his plate of food in front of him.
"Here you go!" She said through gritted teeth.
"Geez, and they say I'm grumpy, sister." He said, his eyes wide.
"Oh, whatever!" She growled. She walked back behind the counter and saw Henry and Emma, who were talking about Henry's book of fairytales.
"What is so special about this book of yours?" Ruby asked, leaning against the counter to get closer to Henry. He grinned at her.
"It's true!" Ruby rolled her eyes.
"Right. Of course it is."
"It is! Everyone in this town is from this world!" Emma sighed loudly, but smiled and Ruby winked at him.
"Cool, which one did you make me?" She asked him, looking at the book.
"I didn't make you anything! You are Red Riding Hood!" Henry said, opening the book, where it landed on a cartoon picture of a girl with raven black hair and a red hood on. Ruby chuckled.
Henry's imagination was known to run wild. It made her wish she was a kid again.
"Well, that would explain my love for the color Red!" Ruby said, laughing. Emma laughed with her and Henry crossed his arms.
"I'm being serious!" He said crossly.
"Aw, I'm sorry kiddo. I'll make you a hot chocolate, how about that? Make you feel better?" Ruby asked him, feeling bad for making Henry angry. He shrugged.
"Free of charge?" He said, looking at her with a smile.
"Henry!" Emma scolded. Ruby narrowed her eyes at him.
"You are good." She said, nodding. Henry grinned widely and Emma shook her head. Ruby went back into the kitchens and rubbed her head, trying to stop the throbbing in her temples.
"Hey, Ruby! I'll be back in five." Tony the chef said, taking his apron off.
"Go smoke your cancerous sticks, Tony. But don't cough all over the food when you come back!" Ruby said, rolling her eyes.
"Ha ha." Tony said sarcastically. He walked and Ruby flipped the burgers over, then began walking over to the kettle where Henry's mug was.
But she stopped half-way and gasped in pain.
It was as if her entire brain was forcing itself out of her skull. Her vision blurred and her mind was filled with images of things she'd never seen before in her life.
The wolf ran through the forest, pounding on the first guard it saw. It's teeth sunk into the guard's arm and ripped. The guard's screams ripped through the night, but were concealed by the wolf's own howls as it's neck arched up, facing a full moon.
The floor seemed to give way before her and before she knew it, she collapsed on the floor, hit her head on the table and everything went black.
Emma's attention turned to the kitchen at the sound of china breaking. She ran into the door, pushing it in and saw Ruby on the floor out cold.
"SOMEONE CALL AN AMBULANCE!" She shouted to the people in the diner. She ran up to Ruby and checked for a pulse. It was beating steadily.
"Come on, Ruby. Wake up!" Emma slapped her lightly, but she didn't wake up.
"Ambulance is on their way!" Leroy said, running into the kitchen and leaning down beside her.
"Ruby! Come on!"
Ruby's eyelids fluttered and she looked up at Emma in shock and confusion.
"You fell! Or something! Do you remember?" Ruby looked at her, her eyes wide.