Ruby cleaned up the diner with a mad passion… She couldn't be late… She was almost late last month and she almost ripped him apart… almost. She checked and made sure everything was off then made a mad dash out of the diner.
"Oh hey! Rubes… why are you closing so early?" Emma asked as she and Mary Margaret walked up to the diner door.
"Oh… Umm… I was the only one here for the shift and I am super sick." She didn't even try to act it, she was more focused on walking around the two of them and making her way to the station.
"Well, hey!" Emma and Mary Margaret caught up to her, "If you're sick why are you headed to the station?" She asked.
"Oh? Is that where I'm going?" She looked at Emma, "See? I've already lost my mind…" She turned and started toward her and Granny's.
Emma and Mary Margaret looked at each other and shrugged, "So…" Emma started, "What do we do now?"
"Grocery store?" Mary Margaret offered, "Looks like we're eating in…"
They headed the opposite direction then started talking again, "She was acting really, really weird…. Not like she was sick…"
"Yeah… She seemed to be in a hurry of some sort." Mary Margaret said then gasped, "You don't think that she and the Sheriff…?"
Emma raised her brows and started chuckling, "I have no idea, but I do know that they'd be one sexy couple…" She laughed at Mary Margaret's stunned face, then watched her think before nodding along and laughed again, "I just hope I don't have to see anything if I walk into the station and they're…. playing cop and robber…" She shivered.
"Emma Swan!" Mary Margaret scrunched her nose and hit her best friend's arm.
Ruby made sure that they were good and gone… and not going to turn around before she darted back out from her hiding spot and hauled ass for the station… She was going to be late again… the sun was almost set and the moon was already out, hiding behind clouds.
"Graham! Graham!" She yelled from down the hall, "Open it! Get it open!"
Graham quickly ran for the jail cell and opened the one she always went in. She dove into it and he shut it then pulled the key from the lock, "There has to be another way to handle this…" Graham said as he wrapped his hands around the bars and looked into the cell sadly.
"Yes, well… until we can figure it out, I'd say this is the only way… I don't know what will happen if I'm loose… the first time…. when you found me… I almost killed you."
"But you didn't…" Graham insisted.
"But I almost did!" Ruby was on her feet and she placed her hands over his, "You know how grateful I am that you do this for me… don't you?"
"Yeah…" He looked down then back over to her, "I just wish I didn't have to…" He stared for a moment, "The look in your eyes… when you're changed… it's the same lost look I see everyday… Why are you so lost?"
Ruby, who had taken to pacing, turned to him… She started feeling the change, but tried to answer him, "I…AHHH!" She knelt down on her knees and looked at him, "I don't know…" She held his stare through the entire change.
He didn't budge when she started growling at him, "I know that you're in there. I know you don't want to do this… to be this… You might have to give into the change, but you don't have to let the change control you." He knelt down and stared at her pleadingly as she continued growling, "Don't let it control you, Ruby."
Ruby growled some more then howled.
Emma and Mary Margaret were walking back to their apartment after grabbing the necessities for dinner, "Did you hear that?" Emma whipped her head towards the station.
Mary Margaret was already staring that direction, "Yes…"
"Come on." Emma started for the station, "Let's go check it out."
They were walking quietly down the hall and peered into the station to see Graham sitting cross-legged right up next to the cell…. With a giant ass wolf. They both stayed outside for a minute, scared stiff at the sight, and much to curious to bother him.
Ruby came up to the edge of the cell finally, her fur flat on her back once more. She nuzzled his hand. He laughed and pet her head a moment then held her face, "See… I told you, you could control it… You don't have to give into it." He stared into those lost eyes that he'd grown to love.
Ruby whimpered before she heard something from the hall. Her eyes left Graham's and she began growling angrily which quickly turned into barking, and the hair on her back was standing up.
Graham took his hands from her immediately and backed up, "NO! Fight it!" He pleaded quietly, but she starting charging the cage she was in, biting at the metal.
"Graham!" Emma came in the room with Mary Margaret, "What the hell?"
"No, it's okay." Graham put his hand up to them to not come any closer, "She's fine, she just… doesn't like people…. Doesn't like anyone but me… that's why I have her in the cage."
"You know that there's an animal shelter right down the street, right?" Emma asked him, then knit her brows, "How the hell'd you get that thing in the cage anyways?"
Graham turned to both women and faced them square on, "I told you. The forest is my territory, not cyberspace… This is my territory. Now, if you please; you're really making her mad…" He started shooing them with a purpose.
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?"
"Yes! Everything was fine until you guys came in. Please." He pleaded.
"Alright…" Emma and Mary Margaret both said as they took one more frightening look to the cage, then headed downstairs.
"Is it me or are the people in this town getting really I-need-a-straight-jacket-crazy?" Emma asked once they were outside. "First Ruby now Graham? Lord help us when Regina flies the coop…"
Mary Margaret simply nodded, "Let's get back inside while it's still safe…" She joked, "And before our dinner gets cold… err.. warm…" She gestured to the frozen lasagna they bought.
Emma nodded and they walked off, turning back every so often to look at the windows.
"Ruby." Graham said after he locked the station door. He stared at her, "Ruby!" He walked back over to the cell. He stood on his knees and stood right up against the bars, "Ruby…"
She had taken steps back and kept growling, "I know that you're in there. I know you are." He looked at the ground then reached his hand as far as it could in the grave. "I've never told you this because I didn't—I don't know how you're going to react, but… I think I'm falling in love with you." He gave her a pleading look, "In fact… I'm sure of it." He gave the wolf a lopsided grin.
Ruby's ears perked and she sat down at the far end of the cell.
Graham dropped his hand, "You know what you do to me, right?"
Ruby cocked her head and whimpered as if asking 'what?'
"There's this thing that you can do with almost everyone… all you have to do is smile and everyone is happy…. But when you look at me and smile… Ruby, it literally brightens my day. I haven't felt…. Anything. I haven't felt anything but lost for so long… And when I saw the same look in your eyes ever since the day after I found you…" He shook his head, "I feel… whole."
Ruby picked herself up and walked over to him. She laid down in front of him and sighed.
He pet her head and she looked up at him, "You make me feel whole. I'm not lost on the nights that you come here. I'm not lost on the nights I go to the diner because you have the late shift… I'm not lost when I'm with you…"
Graham laid down and stared into her eyes until they both fell asleep.
The next morning, Ruby woke up first. She reached through the bars and started tracing his face and petting his scruff. His eyes fluttered open and he grabbed her wrist, rubbing it with his thumb.
"Did you mean what you said?" Graham hesitated a moment, "Did you mean it when you said you don't feel lost when you're with me?"
"I don't feel lost when I'm with you either…" She swallowed hesitantly.
Graham stared at her a long moment, then finally to a breath to speak, "…Would it be alright… Can I… Can I kiss you?" He couldn't look at her when he said it; he was much too embarrassed.
Ruby grinned and nodded, "Of course you can, Sheriff… except… would you mind letting me out of the cage first?"
"Oh! Right! Yeah.." She stood on his knees and unlocked the cell.
Ruby was on her knees too. She inched closer until they had nowhere else to turn. She placed her hands on his face and he wrapped his arms around her middle. They leaned in and let lips touch lips.
As soon as this happened, they both felt an intense boom burst throughout their bodies… of course, they both thought it one hell of a first kiss and couldn't pull away. Graham stood up with Ruby and walked them to his office. He slammed the door shut with his foot and turned them around to press her against it.
As he let their bodies meld together he finally pulled from her, and stared at her with a strange intensity.
"Oh wow….." Ruby breathed out as she tapped his chest, then traced the edges of his vest.
"I think I like the kissing…" He admitted with his boyish grin.
"Oh hell yes." Ruby nodded. She bit her lip, "So listen, um… I need to go home and change… and you need to go home and change… but maybe… when you're done changing, you can come to the diner for breakfast?" She asked with a small bounce and a bite of her lips.
"Will you join me for breakfast if I come?" He didn't look her in the eye, scared of her response.
Ruby smiled at his shyness. She took his chin and waited until he looked at her, "I would love join you for breakfast." She nodded.
His grin grew wide and he leaned in to kiss her cheek, "I will be at the diner in say 20 minutes?"
Ruby gave the cook her and Graham's order after he got there. She also decided to get them some hot cocoa. As she was doing this, Emma and Henry walked in.
"Oh hey… Graham…" Emma walked over and sat across from him, Henry following suit, "I uhh… Went by the station… where's the pooch?"
"She's back in the wilderness… she calmed down and I let her go." Emma cocked her head and scrunched her face, obviously feeling something wasn't quite right. Before she could respond though, Graham started speaking, "Uh… Emma, I'm kind of expecting someone… Would you mind giving us some alone time?" He looked over to Ruby, who saw the whole thing and bit her lips to hide her grin.
Emma gave him a surprised, happy look, "Graham! Do you have a date this morning? A breakfast date?"
Graham ducked his head and didn't look at the blonde, "Yes, now… Do you mind?"
Emma grinned and she and Henry silently chuckled as they got up to move tables.
Ruby was on her way back over, "Oh Rubes! How are you feeling?"
"Much better, thank you." She smiled.
While they were talking Henry walked back over to Graham, "You and Ruby… you're supposed to be together… just like Mary Margaret and David… They're Snow White and Prince Charming, but you're the Huntsman and she's Red Riding Hood… you were raised from wolves and she turns into one…" He grinned at the scruffy man, "I'm glad you guys finally found each other here."
Graham knit his brows, "Thank you…. Henry…" He nodded.
Henry walked up to Emma, who at that moment was still talking to Ruby and cocked her head behind her, "Graham has a date… make sure to tell me what she's like."
Ruby smirked, "Oh, now…" She grinned and took a couple steps further, "I think you already know her…" She sat down in front of Graham and gave him his hot cocoa.
Emma's jaw dropped before she turned to the door to see her roommate. She sat down at a table and waited for the schoolteacher to join her. Mary Margaret sat down in front of her; she saw the look on Emma's face and leaned in, "What? What's going on?"
"Don't draw attention to them, but Graham and Ruby are on a breakfast date… I don't know what the hell happened after the wolf, but somehow…" She trailed off as Mary Margaret jumped and turned with excitement.
When the black haired woman turned back around she had her hand covering her mouth, "They're holding hands!" She whispered. "Their fingers are laced! Laced!"
Emma laughed at her friend, "Yeah… I know." She whispered back, then went off to her thoughts, "I wonder how it happened… I mean… It had to have been before last night… 'cause of the whole… fake-real sickness and giant wolf in the cell thing…"
Mary Margaret bit her lips, "You're right… We'll have to get it out of them somehow… You take to Graham today, and I'll be sure to drop by here after school and see if I can get anything out of Ruby!"
Henry only shook his head at his mother and his grandmother, "It doesn't matter how… it only matters that they're together… it means the curse is breaking… Somehow it's breaking… I just know it."
Ruby brought Graham dinner from the diner. She left early so they could eat together before she went back in the cell.
"Hey." She said quietly as she knocked on his open office door. She didn't want to disturb him, he seemed engrossed in something.
"Hey!" He grinned as she came in and sat down.
"I brought dinner…" She began setting the to go boxes and drinks out.
Graham only nodded his appreciation, then said, "How was your day?"
Ruby shrugged, "Mary Margaret was hounding me trying to figure out when we got together…"
"Emma did the same thing…" He sat forward, "What did you say?"
"I said it was none of her business when or how we got together, just that we decided it was high time we went public…" She shrugged. "Why? What did you say?"
"I told her it was none of her business… but she's very good at being a pest, so… I told her we'd been together in secret for six months…" He looked up and gave her his, 'I'm sorry!' sad smile.
She grinned, "That's fine… we'll just have to keep it at that… no more than that.."
They finished their meal and Graham asked for more kisses, which Ruby was happy to give. It was sunset when they noticed the time. Ruby ran to the cell and shut it herself before Graham could even try to stop her.
They were both holding their breaths and waiting… they both knew what was a bout to happen, even thought they both felt like something different was coming.
Ten minutes later, Graham looked outside… the moon was fully exposed and the sun was completely gone… she should have changed.
"I should have changed by now…" Ruby was also looking at the door. "What's happened?"
Graham shrugged, "Maybe the curse broke a little…"
Ruby cocked her head, "What?"
Graham unlocked the door and took her hand. He led her back to his office, "Henry told me today that I was the Huntsman and you were Red Riding Hood and that we were meant to be together because we were together in fairytale land…" He flipped through pages in the book Emma kept in her drawer, "Now… in this version, Red Riding Hood is the wolf… she turns into one at night the week of the full moon…" He looked up at Ruby, "Sound familiar?"
"A little." Ruby swallowed.
"Well… at one point, our paths collide and in the end, after we kiss for the first time, you stop turning into a wolf because it was your own personal curse… so once true love's kiss happened you stopped turning, but you kept all your senses…"
Ruby looked up in thought, "So… basically why your saying is that since we've started the kissing," She looked at him and winked, "that they have been true love's kisses?"
"Yeah!" Graham nodded excitedly, then realized his admission, "I mean… well… it's the only thing that makes sense….?"
Ruby smirked and walked over to him, "I liked your first reaction more." She gestured for him to stand up and wrapped her arms around him, "I think I'm gonna like not having to worry about changing…"