Title: No Way to Stop It
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Pairings: Red Queen.
Spoilers: Yes, for Red-Handed
Summary: "Fine. Let's say that it is true." She raised an eyebrow when a moan of discomfort sounded in the car from Red's side. The car pulled to a stop and Emma shut it off to turn around and address Henry completely. "If it is true and she's turning into a wolf, who kills people from the sound of it, what can we do that will stop her from murdering the townspeople?"
Author's Note: I was writing my other Red Riding Hood story when this thought came into my head. Enjoy this story about Red Riding Hood.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but goddamn I want to.
She was working as usual, that much she remembered, enjoying the lack of leering men that had left the diner, despite her recent change in wardrobe and going about her day. She remembered the feel of her head lightening and her feet stumbling beneath her. She remembered weakly calling to Granny.
A dark veil was drawn over her eyes as the fuzziness pasted and her body collapsed to the floor with a resounding thud. Before the dark fully took her, the dark haired waitress heard another thunk and the swinging door hitting the wall behind it.
"Can we go get dinner Emma?" Henry asked his blonde Mother. Emma Swan tried to fight the grin creeping at the corner of her lips, a losing battle mind her, and rolled her eyes. The little boy grinned right back at her and let his eyes open earnestly to convey how much he didn't want to eat the food that Emma had brought for his week with her .
"What's wrong with my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?" Emma raised an eyebrow, no longer fighting the twitch in her lips.
"Nothing," He shrugged, glancing to the side for a second. "But when you have them everyday? It gets boring. Come on Emma, it'll be fun! We could go to Granny's and talk to Ruby."
Her other eyebrow matched the first one up on her forehead. "Got a little crush there, kid?"
The brown haired boy vehemently shook his head, his eyes widening in horror. "No! I don't have a crush on her!" At his birth Mother's laughter, he shot her a half glare and continued what his train of thought. "I was going to say we should talk to her because I think she's starting to remember."
"That she's Little Red Riding Hood?"
"Yes." He stated simply, nodding his head and grabbing his jacket at seeing Emma move towards the door to leave the station. "You said she found Mr. Nolan in the woods? That she heard him and you didn't? That has to be Red Riding Hood coming through." He ran forward to open the front door open.
"Thank you." Emma said, pulling out her keys. "How do you know that Ruby doesn't just have really good hearing? Besides, how does her better hearing have to do with her being Little Red Riding Hood?" They got into Emma's yellow bug and began the short drive to Granny's diner.
"I don't think you're ready to know about who Red Riding Hood really is." He answered cryptically, saying no more until they arrived at their destination. Getting out of the car, Henry skipped a little to the door of the empty diner.
He dashed inside with Emma hot on his heels. Catching up with him, the blonde put a hand on the young boy's shoulder. "Henry, you shouldn't run into a building like that, what if someone was walking out?" When he didn't look up at her or apologize, she shook him a bit. "Kid?" Henry lifted his arm and pointed.
Emma followed his gaze and couldn't hold the gasp that fell from her mouth. "Oh god." She rushed forward, pushing Henry back to indicate that he should leave. He didn't move.
Next to a toppled over chair, Ruby lay on the ground, face down with her arms at her sides showing no signs of trying to catch her fall. A considerable sized bruise colored her pale forehead from the table and chair she hit on her way down. Emma pushed Ruby's hair away from her neck and placed her fingers on the artery that pulsed there. She held her breath so her own breaths wouldn't give her a false reading.
Letting out a sigh of relief when she felt it thudding gently under the tips of her fingers, Emma looked around the diner. She quickly rose to her feet at seeing the old woman who owned the restaurant on her side in the doorway to the kitchen. Doing the same thing she did with the younger woman, Emma called to Henry to call the hospital.
"But Emma, she's waking up!" His voice had her tear her gaze away from the surrounding area to look at Ruby who was shifting and squeezing her eyelids closed in discomfort. A groan fell from bare lips and light blue eyes blinked open sluggishly. Henry was beside Ruby as she looked around the room in confusion. "Ruby, are you okay?"
She briefly took in Henry's presence. Swallowing and let out a breath of air and whispered out a "Ruby?" before trying to push herself up. Her arms shook under the little weight she carried on her body, but she managed to get to her knees, eyes closed again as she breathed heavily.
"Hey, hey, take it easy." Emma told her from her spot next to Granny who was beginning to move as well. "Are you okay? What happened?" The blonde sheriff questioned the old woman softly when she blinked and looked around, nearly identical to her granddaughter's reaction a moment before. She tried to help Granny sit up, but her hands were slapped away.
"Granny?" came a breathless whisper from the girl next to Henry. She was breathing hard, like she couldn't take in the oxygen that the air was offering her. She crawled away from the little boy over to her Grandmother, placing a hand on her arm, giving her help that the woman refused from Emma. Granny pat her hand gently and eying her face.
"What is this red in your hair?" Her aged fingers curled around unusually straight hair. Ruby let out small chuckle with a smile that had something click in Henry's mind. He jumped up and tried to get Emma's attention, but she was too focused on the pair on the floor.
"What happened?" She asked again, getting Ruby to look at her. She tilted her head, narrowing her eyes as she tried to identify the blonde who spoke to her, recognition swirling in her light eyes at a snails pace.
"Emma! Emma, can I talk to you? Really quick." Henry promised, pulling her off to the side. Emma kept her gaze on Ruby and Granny until Henry started speaking. "They remember!"
Emma shook her head and let out an almost frustrated sigh. "Henry, now is not the time for the curse. We need to figure out what happened." She tried to walk away, but Henry yanked on her arm with a small glare on his young features that was identical to his adoptive Mother.
"Now is the time because that's what happened. They remember. Look at them." Ruby's breathing became softer as she helped her Grandmother stand, both on wobbly legs. They had bright smiles on their faces as Granny ran her eyes over Ruby's body, checking for something out of place and quietly making a comment of her clothing in this world. "It's Red Riding Hood and her Granny."
Before Emma could formulate a response, Ruby ran over to Henry and spun him around, laughing happily in his ear. He began to laugh as her joy over took him. When she finally became too dizzy to spin him anymore, Ruby placed him down, but kept her hands on his shoulders. "Look at you! Granny look at him."
"I see it. He has Snow's nose." The old woman smiled at him, walking over to stand next to her granddaughter. Henry blushed and grinned as Red poked the tip of his nose. Granny turned to look at Emma who stared at them with distrusting eyes. "And you…" Granny smiled again. "You've gotten so big, Emma."
Emma was watching her funny, uncomfortable look and Henry seemed overjoyed. "I'm sorry, but-"
"Of course, you don't remember us." Red nodded, wincing at the feel of the bruise on her forehead. She smiled disarmingly and stuck out her hand. Emma looked at the hand, but didn't put her hand into it. The woman's smile fell slightly and she nodded. "My name isn't Ruby. People call me Red and this is Granny."
The old woman began to say something, but stopped. With horrified, wide eyes, so stared at her granddaughter. "Red, you're cloak." Henry frowned at Granny's voice. It wasn't terror, but it was close. He widened his eyes and ran to the window to look out. The sun was almost completely set and a full moon hung in the open, clear night.
Red immediately reached around her and on her head, fear crossing her face when she felt nothing. Henry came back to them, worry in his eyes. "It's a full moon." Emma watched the three of them watch each other, hoping someone would come up with a good idea.
"The woods." Red said.
"You can't." Henry shook his head. "People go out there. There's a hiking trail." He reminded her.
"There are people here. If she turns here, in the middle of town, we're all doomed." Granny told him with a quick shake of her head. "If only I had my crossbow." The old woman muttered angrily under her breath. Red placed a calming hand on her Grandmother and turned to Mother and son.
"The woods are the best bet."
"For what? Turn into what? What are you three talking about?" Emma huffed, throwing her hands in the air. They weren't answering her and she'd had about enough. She needed to know what was going on and she needed to know now. Red smiled tightly at the blonde, all earlier friendliness now gone.
"Emma, the curse-"
"Oh no, not you too! It's bad enough that Henry-"
"-is right!" Red stepped forward and dropped her hands on Emma's shoulders. "The curse happened, it's true. I'm Red Riding Hood. Mary Margret is Snow White. Regina is-" The young woman stopped herself, but Emma didn't know if it was the mention of the Mayor or the fact that her eyes flashed gold. She backed herself up and threw a look at her Grandmother whose face became cold in warning.
"It doesn't matter." Granny cut in, breaking her eye contact with Red to look at Emma. "All that matters is that you get her to the woods at once. You must leave now."
Henry took Red's hand and dragged her to the car with Emma not far behind them, being pushed by the old owner of the diner. Emma got in the car and drove with Henry telling her were to go. "So, you think you're Red Riding Hood?" She started, noticing Henry shaking his head in the back with a roll of his eyes.
Red held on tightly to the edges of the car and tucked her chin to her chest. "Yes." She breathed out in a hiss. "I know I am and if you don't drive faster, you're going to find out the hard way what I am."
"Are you threatening me?" Emma glared at the waitress next to her. She never had a problem with the bubbly woman, but the words she spoke brought forth a side of her she developed in foster care. Red groaned and clutched tighter, turning her knuckles white.
Henry interjected, "Emma, she's the wolf."
"The what?" Emma asked, shooting a look toward the shaking woman next to her. Red's eyes were clenched.
"In the tale of Red Riding Hood, there is the Big Bad Wolf, but everyone tells the story wrong. Red is both! It's a curse that's been in her family for a long time. She turns into a wolf during a full moon. You have to believe me!" The boy was close to tears. How could she not believe when it was happening right in front of her?
"Emma. Trust me, please." Henry pleaded as they neared the drop off point. Emma made the mistake of looking into the rearview mirror and meeting his eyes. They swam with honesty and desperation. She sighed and eased her foot on the brake pedal.
"Fine. Let's say that it is true." She raised an eyebrow when a moan of discomfort sounded in the car from Red's side. The car pulled to a stop and Emma shut it off to turn around and address Henry completely. "If it is true and she's turning into a wolf, who kills people from the sound of it, what can we do that will stop her from murdering the townspeople?"
"Actually," Red grunted, opening an eye with a great amount of effort. Emma noted that the hazel eyes she was use to seeing were now a sharp gold. "There is one person who-" She arched her back with a sudden gasp. She fumbled to find the door handle."-one person who can calm me in my wolf form." Red got the door open and rolled out of the yellow bug onto the damp grass of the woods.
"But Graham is dead." Henry told her gravely.
Red gave a short laugh and shook her head. "No, not the Huntsman." She began to crawl away, pushing herself to her feet, yelling back at them, "Regina. Regina can do it." She moved to fast for them to stop her. She disappeared within the trees and almost as soon as she vanished from sight, a wolf's howl echoed hauntingly back to them.
Emma didn't hesitate to start the car and zoom away with Henry flipping through his book for answers. "Well, anything?" The blonde asked, going down the street to the Mayor's home. Henry didn't say a word for a moment.
He gave a frustrated huff. "No, nothing. When did Red meet my Mom?"
"I don't know, kid." She shrugged. "Do you want to stop by your house? To ask her?"
She didn't want to go to the Mayor's mansion, truth be told. The woman was still a pain in the ass, even if she was allowing Henry to stay with Emma every other week. Henry saw the passing houses and recognized the neighborhood as his own. He nodded. "Yeah. We don't have any other choice."
"There's always a choice."
"Not when an entire town is at stake." The boy told her absolutely. Emma felt pride for her son blossom in her chest and that made it more bearable to visit Regina Mills.
"And what brings you to my house, Miss Swan?" The tone was clipped and Emma bit her tongue as she stared at the Mayor who stood in the doorway to her home. The woman glanced at Henry and warmth laced her voice. "Hello Henry."
"Hi Mom." He smiled, making Regina smile wider. He walked in and grabbed her hand, pulling her down to his height. "Mom, we need your help."
Regina's eyes flickered to Emma who shrugged and motioned for her to listen to Henry. The brunette met Henry's eyes and nodded. "Anything. What do you need, dear?"
Henry took one deep breath before blurting out, "Red is a wolf in the forest and she needs your help."
Regina's face was blank. Emma was sure that the older woman was going to comment on it being Ruby, not Red, that she was going to tell Henry that the stories in his book weren't true and she wasn't the Evil Queen. When Regina straightened her back, Emma was more then prepared to defend their son, but Regina turned and walked swiftly back inside and up the stairs, Henry hot on her heels.
"What are you doing?" Henry cried. "Red needs you Mom!"
"I need to take a shower first." Regina told them not slowing down. She entered her room and began stripping herself of her clothes, not caring that Emma and Henry were watching her. Emma covered her eyes with a blush on her cheeks, but Henry had seen his Mom before.
Regina walked into the bathroom, leaving Henry a small space to talk to her through. "The wolf side of her won't recognize my scent in this world. I need to scrub my skin clean for her to smell me and notice I'm not a threat." Water started and Regina stepped under it instantly.
"So it's true?" Emma called to the showering woman. It was silent for a few minutes and the water shut off. Regina walked out of the bathroom, dripping wet with a towel hastily wrapped around her body, and moved past Emma without a word. "Regina."
Walking into her closet, she said quietly, "Yes." Pulling on clean dress pants and panties over her bare legs, Regina moved back into her bedroom, turning her back to the two in her behind her, she clipped her bra around her breasts. Regina spun around and ripped a drawer open to get a shirt out. She started out the door with Henry and Emma in tow while bringing the shirt over her head. "Where is she?"
"I'll take you there-"
Henry cut her off. "We'll help you find her."
Both Mothers turned to glare at him. "No," Emma told him.
"Absolutely not." Regina emphasized. The three piled into the bug, much to the chagrin of the Mayor, and drove to the place where they left Red in the woods. Regina shifted uncomfortably in her wet clothes, regretting not drying herself properly. Hearing a wolf in the distance had Regina frown at her thoughts guiltily.
Emma drove to the shoulder where she saw Red roll out of the car and race into the woods. Regina stepped out and walked purposefully through the underbrush to find the wolf, not bothering to talk to her son or his birth Mother, trusting the blonde woman enough to keep Henry in the car for his safety. She winced when a stick poked her foot, making her jump with a hiss.
"Godsdamn it Red, you better thank me for this." The Mayor, stepping much more carefully now, moved further into the woods. She smiled at the thought of seeing the usually hooded girl. She hadn't seen Red in twenty eight years. Ruby, yes, almost everyday, but not Red. Not the woman who Regina had taken care of when she found her in the Enchanted Forest, injured and barely clothed.
Red and Regina, while opposites in nearly everyway, had found that their personalities had meshed together well, making them friends and later in life, more than lovers.
When she cast the curse, she had hoped that she would know Red in the next life, maybe be friends with her, but that's not how it worked. Regina was cursed herself with the knowledge that her lover was eye candy-and more-to other people. She was forced to see Red-Ruby flirt and flounce and take strange men home for one night flings that had Regina feeding her green eyed monster.
Knowing she was this close to her other half, even the dangerous other half of her other half, had Regina's stomach filled with butterflies. The small smile that snuck onto her face fell when she heard a crunch behind her followed by curses that she would know from anywhere. "I thought I implied that I didn't want anyone following me."
Henry appeared from behind a tree. When he ran to his Mother, Regina could see Emma right behind him with a few twigs in her blonde curls. "Well I didn't want to, but Henry went running after you. Couldn't just leave him to his own devis-"
A large growl from beyond the trees had Regina pushing Henry back to Emma. "Hide behind that tree, the big one. Stay there until she changes back" She turned and walked into the small clearing before her. A shadow darted in front of her and she was met with Red's wolf eyes and a snarling mouth that dripped salvia. She stood tall with a relaxed pose. "Hello Red."
The wolf crouched on her back hind legs, flattening her ears, and growling louder, more threatening to scare Regina away. The brunette lifted a hand, not flinching back when the wolf leaned forward and snapped her teeth. Regina took a step. The wolf moved to the side and began a slow circle of her, looking for a weak spot in the woman.
Regina slipped her fingers under the hem of her shirt and brought it up carefully so that the wolf could catch every movement. The Mayor threw the shirt to the ground and went to remove her pants. The fabric pooled at her ankles and as she kicked them to the side, Regina stood in nothing but a bra and panties, waiting for the wolf to get closer to her.
When she came around Regina's side, the wolf lunged, bringing Regina to the ground in a split second. Her body bounced off the leafy floor and was held down by the large, monstrous paws that belonged to Red as a wolf. Regina bit her lip to keep the cry of pain to herself. The brunette heard a sharp gasp come from where Henry and Emma were hiding and what's worse was so did the wolf.
As the wolf moved to turn her head, Regina managed to get the paws off her shoulders and her arms around the beast's throat. Sliding her knees to her chest under the wolf's body, Regina spread her legs out to circle the wolf while locking her ankles above her. She pressed the wolf's nose into her neck, struggling to hold the wolf as it fought to move away at the sudden entrapment. "Red. Red, it's me. It's Regina." She spoke softly in soothing tones.
The wolf growled warningly, but Regina didn't let go. She forced the cold nose to touch her skin and made the animal breathe her in. "Smell me, dear. You remember this." She said. The wolf tried to pull away one last time before letting her furry body fall onto Regina's, though still tense. "That's right, baby." The animal heaved in her scent with each lung full of air it sucked in.
Regina could feel the wolf relax slowly against her and a smile eased onto her features once more. The heavy weight of the creature on top of her was familiar and she was sure if she hadn't told Emma and Henry to stay hidden, they would have run out, thinking the wolf was eating or suffocating her. Regina released the wolf's neck from her hold. The brunette curled her fingers behind the wolf's ear, scratching the sensitive skin and gaining a whimper.
"There you go. It's just me."
The wolf moved her head away from the beauty's skin, sniffing the surface of the olive toned flesh, causing Regina to giggle at the small tickling sensation. The ragged breathing blasted across her face as the creature stared at her with a gaze that seemed to recognize her. The woman buried the fingers on one hand into the brown coat that hugged the wolf.
She stoked the beast's fur, occasionally allowing her blunt nails to gently sweep across her sweet spots that caused a reaction of sleepiness. Little whimpers sounded louder than they were in the quite, empty forest and Regina was sure that Emma and Henry were watching her, wondering what the hell she was doing.
Loosening her ankle lock, the brunette began to relax her legs to let them fall back into the mushy leafs that caressed Regina's half naked body. The wolf's muscles rippled as they became rigid once more. Regina quickly put herself back into the position that she was in and the animal fell back into her embrace. With a pleased sigh, the woman lay still and pet her for at least an hour.
Moving her head to Regina's other shoulder, the wolf sighed with content and drifted to sleep atop the warm body of the woman who loved her. "Sleep well, darling." Regina whispered, continuing to pet the animal to keep her calm and soothed.
Red felt the blackness that accompanied the wolf pull back from her mind, giving her control once more. Her memory was fuzzy and she usually remembered more from her time as the wolf, but as she shifted through the images of the night before, she only felt a familiar comfort. Before she could think about it anymore, a cold morning breeze danced across her bare skin.
Shivering, Red buried her face closer to whatever was keeping her front so warm. A few birds chirped in the distance and Red was sure she would have killed them for being so pleasant in the morning had the thing underneath her not moved.
The half human woman counted to ten before opening her eyes, wanting to be at least slightly prepared for the sight before her. She had woken to many things, blood and guts stuck to her person, with flesh that she didn't even remember tearing in her teeth, but as she opened her normal hazel eyes, she smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.
When she opened her eyes, she saw a neck that was still attached to both the head and body. It wasn't bloody, it wasn't scratched, it wasn't even bruised. It was a healthy neck that belonged to a woman who took her maidenhood and her heart without even trying many years prior. Red felt Regina's arms, around the wolf woman's throat and the other on Red's back. Red could feel the warmth of Regina's bare thighs encircling hers and it made the woman want to fall back asleep.
Before she could, however, Regina shifted to the side and Red finally lifted her head from where it was hidden away from the world, but not before kissing the fair skin with a tenderness that she always had for Regina. She watched as Regina yawned with her dark eyes still covered before stilling once more.
"I know you're awake, Regina." Red spoke in a whisper into her lover's ear. She spoke low, though not as low as the woman under her, and seductively. A perfectly shaped eyebrow rose good naturedly, but Regina did not open her eyes. "C'mon baby, I haven't seen your beautiful eyes in a lifetime."
A honey brown eye popped open a sliver to stare at Red in her human form. "We both know that is a lie, my love. I've made sure to stop by the diner everyday so you could see me." The woman opened her other eye as Red laughed.
Leaning down so that their lips were pressed together, Red whispered into Regina's mouth, "See, but not touch. That's worse then not remembering you at all." The woman sighed wistfully into her lover's mouth, tasting the same apple flavor that she had many years ago when the Evil Queen first kissed her. "The curse, it didn't work out like you had hoped."
Regina tightened her hold on Red, both legs and arms, and did her best to keep the younger woman close to her. It had been twenty eight years since she had been this close to this body, to this woman. She wished she could say that it was the first time since the curse was enabled since she had lain with anyone, but that was not the case. The Huntsman was almost wolf enough, but he wasn't her wolf, not like Red. "No, it didn't." She finally answered. "We're going to have to go back into hiding."
"Is that what you want?" Red asked her, moving away from her lover's kissable lips and back to her throat, dropping a few lingering kisses at her pulse point while her hands found purchase in Regina's much shorter dark hair.
"No," The older brunette shook her head and sucked in a breath when Red easily reacquainted herself with Regina's sensitive spots.
"Then we don't."
"But what about Snow." Regina couldn't help but ask. That was the whole reason she cast the spell in the first place, so she and Red could be together in a place where Snow wouldn't care. Some plan that turned out to be Regina thought bitterly. "She'll find out."
"Regina, I spent the last twenty eight years without you because I was too scared to stand up to my friend about who I loved." Red pulled back and stared directly into Regina's eyes, finding the pain and sadness that the Mayor hid under a mask. "I don't care anymore. Let Snow think whatever she wants. I'm in love with you and no one, not even Granny, is going to stop me from being with you."
Dark eyes rolled. "Now you figure this out."
"So I can be a little slow, it happens." Red smiled widely before leaning into her lover's touch.