Ruby's worst fears are realized when she begins to feel the affects of a transformation at the full moon. Desperate, David and Henry turn to Regina for help...and the outcome shocks them all. Don't own OUAT. Fluff, and kind of like emotional friendship stuff. Red Queen (Regina x Ruby), bits of Regina x David and Regina x Henry. Enjoy! R&R! ONESHOT.
She ran her fingers through the red tinges that have begun to fade in her hair. She gazed down at them nostalgically, letting out a loud sigh. She remembers the effort she used to go through every week to make sure they never lost their color...the effort she went through to make sure the bright red tinges separated her from the rest of the stereotypical town of Storybrooke, Maine. Now, none of it matters. Now, she's staring at the faded strips with anger that this was once something that preoccupied her mind incessantly. Childish thoughts about her hair, her body image, her clothes...
How could she have forgotten who she was? How could she forget that she was a young woman that an entire land once feared? The Big Bad Wolf, they called her. Her howls would sound through the night, tearing open the flesh of the evil, protecting the innocent...
Of course, none of this was true. Because when she became the monster, she had no control. The monster became her. Something she knew all too well. Something that endlessly haunted her. She'd killed a lot of innocent people because of the monster...
She scratched absentmindedly at her arm as goosebumps erupted on her skin. She checked the calendar again and felt a shiver go up her spine. It was a full moon tonight...the first full moon since magic had been brought back to Storybrooke.
She had no idea what was going to happen. And it scared her more than anything. David, Henry and Granny continuously tried to reassure her that just because magic was back, didn't mean she would change again. Magic had been gone for twenty eight years, which meant she hadn't changed in twenty eight years...everything was going to be fine.
But it wasn't. She knew it wasn't. What if she killed someone? What if that someone was Henry? Or David? Or Granny?
"Ruby!" She heard a bang on the counter and spun around sharply, blinking in shock. David grinned at her widely as he took a seat at the counter, lifting his palm off the table.
"I've been calling you for a whole minute. Are you okay?" He asked. She nodded slowly, and his grin faded.
"You don't seem okay." He said, sighing.
"I'm fine. Excuse me..." She walked away before he could call her back, entering the kitchen and walking to the bathroom. She splashed cold water on her face and rubbed her eyes, feeling the beginnings of a headache in the front of her brain. She looked in the mirror, trying her best to ignore the dark circles under her eyes. She was stressing way too much...
Three sharp taps sounded against the door.
"Yeah?" She called.
"Ruby, are you alright?" David called. Ruby sighed and lay her back against the wall, sliding down slowly.
"Fine." She called again. She pressed her forehead against the sink, sighing happily as the cool metal relieved some of the pressure building behind her eyes.
"You're not still worried about changing tonight, are you?" He said through the door. She didn't answer.
"Ruby, everything's going to be fine. You won't change. It's been so long since you did...I highly doubt it!" He said, chuckling. She rolled her eyes and stood, walking over to the door and opening it. David stumbled a little when she did, his eyes wide in shock.
"I said I'm fine." Ruby said sharply. She walked past him and back to the counter, rubbing her temples slowly as she went.
Loud, boisterous laughter sounded throughout the entire diner and Ruby gazed up at the table where Leroy and the other dwarves stood with David, Archie and Henry, all of them arm wrestling each other. She popped two pills of aspirin in her mouth and drank them, rubbing her temples again as her head pounded. She looked outside and saw the sun beginning to set. She bit her lip anxiously. What if she changed right now? The second the sun went over over the horizon? What if-
"Ruby?" She felt something touch her elbow and she turned. Henry was smiling up at her. She smiled warmly at him, not wanting to turn her worries into HIS worries.
"Hey, kid. Want another milkshake?" She asked.
"If it'll take your mind off the moon, then yeah, sure." He said, grinning. She chuckled, ruffling his hair. So much like his mother...cheeky, but comforting at the same time.
She missed Emma. And Snow. She hated the fact that they were gone, but David kept reassuring them that he was getting closer to finding the answer of bringing them home...
She hoped so. Apparently Regina had lied to them when she said their old land no longer existed. It was more than likely that Snow and Emma were there, stuck with no way home. At least Snow would know what she was doing, where she was...but poor Emma would have no clue.
Ruby stifled a laugh as she walked over to the blender and poured some milk inside it, then added three teaspoons of Granny's chocolate mix that she'd made earlier in the day. She began blending as Henry sat at the stool behind the counter, watching her.
"Do you think Snow and Emma are okay?" He asked. Ruby grinned, nodding proudly.
"Trust me, Snow's probably got Emma tied to her. She's not gonna let go of Emma so easily. Not when she just got her back. I'm sure Emma's driving her crazy with questions, though." She said, giggling. Henry grinned.
"Probably!" Ruby took her hand off the button and the machine stopped blending. She poured the mix into a cup and went to hand it to Henry.
Her vision blurred and she came to a stopped, clutching her head tightly and moaning in pain. She realized a second too late that she had let go of the cup and it shattered at her feet.
"Ruby!" Henry said anxiously. The laughter ceased and she felt large hands wrap around her waist instantly.
"Ruby, are you okay?" David's voice sounded in her ear. She nodded slowly.
"A head spin. I'm fine." She breathed, her vision slowly returning to normal.
"You should get some rest, sister. You and David have been working pretty hard lately..." Leroy said, frowning. She nodded, smiling at him reassuringly.
"I'm fine." She lied. He nodded.
"If you say so. We better take off and get some rest of our own. We're gonna keep digging for fairy dust tomorrow morning. See you guys later."
"Bye." Henry and David said. Ruby stayed silent, her heart racing.
"Ruby, Leroy's right, maybe you should-" Ruby pushed David away gently and walked toward the door just as Leroy closed it shut behind him. She barely moved a step when her head pounded again and the room spun. She clutched the counter for support, breathing heavily.
"Ruby?" David whispered.
"Stay back." She said, lifting her hand to stop him from advancing. She finally made her way to the door and opened it, walking outside.
The full moon shone brightly ahead of her as the stars began to shine brightly, the sun completely disappearing from view over the horizon. She gasped as pain wracked her whole body and she collapsed on all fours, gritting her teeth.
"Ruby!" David's arms wrapped around her shoulders as he bent down beside her.
"Ruby, what's going on?" He said anxiously. Ruby shook her head and tried to move away from him.
"I-" Pain zapped up her back and she cried out, gripping the pole of the metal bin in front of her for support. The metal crushed under her fingers and she gazed at it in shock.
"Oh my god..." David whispered.
"I'm changing." Ruby breathed, tears falling down her cheeks. She knew it. She knew it was going to happen. But it was different...magic was different here, which meant her transformation was different, too.
She had a feeling this wasn't going to be pleasant. She was going to feel it. And she was going to remember everything.
"Ruby-" She heard a loud snap before she felt the pain. Her shoulder felt as if someone had just smacked a metal chair right into it, smashing the bones to pieces. She screamed in pain, gripping her shoulder tightly.
"STAY AWAY!" She roared, pushing David back as he advanced. She pushed through the pain and stood, making her way to the only place she knew had a good cage to keep her in.
David followed his friend all the way to the Sherriff's Station, Henry following close behind him. He saw Ruby enter the station and slam the door shut behind her.
"Henry, stay here!" David demanded. But even as he entered to see Ruby slamming shut a cell door, he heard Henry's footsteps behind him.
"GET BACK!" She shouted, collapsing to her knees and panting wildly.
"Ruby, what is happening?" David said, running up to the cell which Ruby had looked herself in.
"I'm changing! It's different here, magic is different! You have to stay away from me, I don't know what's going to hap-" She stopped abruptly and screamed in pain and David heard a loud crack as she bent forward.
David rushed forward to open the cell, desperate to get inside and comfort her. Ruby glared up at him and David saw her eyes flash gold.
"DON'T! GET OUT OF HERE!" She screamed.
"Ruby, I am not going to sit here and let you suffer!" David said angrily, reaching for the door again. Ruby let out a guttural growl and David looked at her in shock. Her growls turned into whimpers as she collapsed on her side, wincing.
"Please...just go." She begged. David watched her tearfully, his hands wrapped around the bars in anguish.
He had no idea what to do...
"I'm gonna...I'm gonna go to Gold, he can help-"
"My mom!" Henry said suddenly. David turned and looked at him.
"She has magic! Maybe she can help!" David shook his head.
"She won't help us."
"She told me she wants to redeem herself! She'll help us, David! I know she will!" Henry said, tugging on David's arm lightly.
"As much as I hate her, I don't want to hurt her, either! Just...leave!" Ruby said. David looked at her desperately.
"I can't do nothing." He whispered.
"David-" She started. David grabbed Henry's arm and led him out, making his way to the Mayor's house.
Regina flicked through the pages of her mother's spell book, every cell in her body boiling with rage at what she was doing.
She had cast that curse with every ounce in her being relishing in the fact that she was finally getting her revenge. That Snow White would finally pay for what she did. Then that ridiculous daughter of hers had come along and ruined everything. And now? Now, they were both stuck in a different world, separated from their loved ones...another terrible curse.
And she was looking for a way to bring them back. All for the son she loved more than anything else in the world.
"This is ridiculous." She snapped at herself, closing the book angrily.
Of course she wanted her son to love her. Of course she wanted to redeem herself for the horrible crimes she had committed. But bringing those two back? One had taken away her true love, the other had taken her son. Two people she hated beyond belief, and she was trying to bring them back! If that didn't redeem her...
Regina jumped in shock as loud bangs sounded against her door. She spun around from her seat at the table, her hands enclosing around the book.
"MOM! OPEN UP! IT'S AN EMERGENCY!"
"Henry?" She whispered. She shoved the book into its hiding place in the cabinet and ran to the door, opening it.
"What-" Henry wrapped his arms around her waist tightly and Regina stumbled back in shock, tears instantly flooding her eyes.
He'd never hugged her like this before...
She instantly wrapped an arm around him tightly, protectively, the other ruffling his hair gently.
"Henry, what's wrong?" She said softly.
"It's Ruby." Regina looked up at David, noticing him for the first time.
"What's happened?" Regina asked. David pointed up at the sky and Henry let go of her. She moved forward and saw the full moon shining above them brightly. Regina's heart dropped.
"You have got to be kidding me." She said angrily, stepping back.
"Magic is different here. This is her first full moon transformation in this world and it doesn't look good. Things are cracking, and she's in pain and...I don't know what to do." David said, his voice breaking with emotion.
"What do I have to do with this?" Regina said, genuinely confused.
"You have magic! You can help her!" Henry said. Regina exchanged glances with David, then sighed and bent down, gripping his shoulders.
"Henry...I don't know if I can." She said softly. Henry's face fell.
"But, you have to!" He whined. Regina shook her head.
"I...her curse...it's genetic, Henry. I have no idea how to stop something like that." She whispered. Henry shook his head.
"You have to try! You told me you wanted to redeem yourself. This is your chance!" Regina opened her mouth to tell him that she'd spent the last two days fawning over a magic book, trying to find a way to bring back his relatives, and that THAT was redemption enough, but he continued. "Please...she's my friend! I don't want her to go through this!" He said. Regina took a deep breath and looked up at David. He raised an eyebrow and she held her head high.
"Alright...I'll try to help. On one condition."
"Anything!" Henry breathed. She gripped his shoulders tightly, because she knew he wasn't going to like this.
"I want you to stay here, in this house and safe, for the rest of the night."
"No way!" Henry said, shaking his head and fighting against her.
"Henry, you can't expect me to concentrate on helping Ruby when all my concentration will be on keeping you safe if you're there!" She said.
"David can keep me safe-"
"Actually, Henry...your mother is right." Regina and Henry both stared at David, gobsmacked.
"It's not safe. Ruby...isn't safe. And I know she won't want you there when she could be a danger to your life. She will never forgive herself if something happens to you."
"I'm sorry, Henry. But I agree with Regina. You need to stay here where it's safe." Henry's shoulders crumbled as he sighed, realizing defeat.
"Fine..." He said, his eyes downcast.
"Get inside. I promise I'll do everything I can." Regina said. David nodded.
"Call us if you need anything." Henry nodded slowly, scuffing his foot on the floor as Regina closed the door behind her.
"He's gonna find a way out." David said instantly.
"I know." She said, sighing. She waved her hand and the entire house glowed softly. David's eyes went wide.
"What did you just do?" He asked.
"I locked every single door and window out of this house so he can't get out at all." She said. David raised an eyebrow, impressed as Regina smirked slightly.
"Now...where is Ruby?"
Regina entered the Sherriff's Station cautiously, David's footsteps loud and obnoxious behind her. She rolled her eyes and glared at him, but he barely even noticed, swinging his sword in his hand, prepared for an attack.
"Stop swinging that sword around like a fool. You know you won't use it." She hissed.
"Of course I will." David said through gritted teeth. Regina laughed despite herself.
"Really? You'd hurt your best friend?" She said. David winced.
"To protect myself...yes." Regina laughed coldly.
"You and Snow really are each others true loves. Betrayal seems to be the first thing that runs through your minds in a sticky situation."
"I-" David was cut short by a loud scream echoing throughout the station. They both exchanged glances before running as fast as they could to the cells, where Ruby was curled up in a fetal position, tears falling down her cheeks.
"Ruby?" Regina called. Ruby glanced back at her and shook her head.
"DON'T! I-I might hurt you!"
"Then you'll be doing the town a favor." Regina said hollowly. She walked into the cell without hesitation, opening the door and slamming it shut behind her before David could walk in. She cast a spell on the door and as David reached for the cell door, it zapped him.
"Henry would never forgive me if you got hurt." Regina said, glancing up at him as she bent down in front of Ruby.
"Regina, let me in!" David demanded.
"Go find Gold. He may have her hood." Regina said, not taking her eyes off Ruby.
"What?" David said, shocked. Regina ignored him and touched Ruby's shoulder gently.
"Ruby...how are you feeling?" She asked. Ruby looked up at her, a sheen of sweat covering her forehead and her whole body shaking.
"Peachy." She said. Regina smiled sadly. Ruby glanced back at David.
"Go...see Gold. See if he-he does have my h-hood." She said. David grimaced and looked at Regina cautiously.
"I'm trying to help her, remember? Go!" Regina said angrily, standing up. David grit his teeth, but nodded and left, his feet picking up into a run as he rounded the corner. Regina took a deep breath and looked back down at Ruby, who got up slowly, wincing in pain.
"Why are you helping me?" She whispered. Regina sighed.
"Henry asked me to." She said bluntly. Ruby's lips curled up into a small smile.
"That whole family has a way with word-" She stopped talking suddenly, her eyes growing wide. Regina barely had time to ask her what was wrong before a loud crack echoed in the cell and Ruby bent forward, screaming in pain.
"Ruby!" Ruby collapsed into her arms and Regina fell to the floor with her, clutching her tightly. Regina was about to whisper words of comfort when she gasped, jumping back in shock. She felt it. She felt Ruby's bones break and crack beneath her fingers. Felt them...
"Oh god..." Regina squeezed her eyes shut, but nodded to herself. She never put anyone's needs in front of her own, but right now, Ruby really needed someone. Anyone.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and lifted Ruby into her lap slowly. Ruby's head lay against her knee as she whimpered, her whole body twitching.
"Shh..." Regina whispered, brushing her hair back softly.
"It hurts..." Ruby moaned. Regina winced, but lifted her right hand and nodded to herself.
"This...might help." She brushed her hand slowly and carefully down Ruby's spine, small purple rays of magic trailing with her, and Ruby gasped in shock, goosebumps erupting on her arms. Regina's hands grazed against Ruby's hand and brushed up to rest at her arm, laying there softly. Ruby continued shivering, but a small smile formed on her face as some of the pain was taken away.
"Thank you." She whispered. Regina nodded slowly.
"Gold!" David burst into Mr. Gold's shop without even knocking, his whole body aching with the pain of leaving his friend behind. Mr. Gold looked up at him as he entered.
"To what do I owe this pleasure-" David dropped his sword and grabbed Gold by the collar, shoving him up against the wall.
"She's changing because of YOU! Because you brought magic back!" He hissed. Gold chuckled softly and shook his head.
"Perhaps I can help, if you would just calm yourself." He said calmly. David glared at him, but let him go. Mr. Gold straightened his jacket out and looked at David blankly, hiding the anger in his eyes.
"Now...what has caused you to burst in so mightily?" He said.
"None of your business. Do you have a red hood among your...collection of objects?" David said angrily. Mr. Gold frowned and shook his head.
"Not...that I can recall. A red hood you say?" David sighed in frustration, but nodded.
"Yes. It's a full moon tonight and Ruby...she's changing in a wolf. We need her hood, it was the only thing that prevented her change in the other world."
"Well magic is different here, dearie. I'm afraid I can't help without seeing her myself."
"Then come with me. She's at the Sherriff Station, locked in a cell with Regina watching her-" David said, beginning to walk out.
"Hang on. Regina is with her?" Gold said, frowning. David stopped and turned back.
"Yes! We need to-"
"Regina is stuck in a cell with Ruby, who is turning into a wolf?" He said, his eyes gleaming. David didn't realize.
"Yes, we have to go, now!" David turned around, his hand on the doorknob-
And he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and everything went black.
"Where the hell is Charming?" Regina said angrily. Ruby shivered and moaned and Regina touched her arm lightly.
"Th-thank you." She whispered. Regina looked at her in shock.
Ruby swallowed and turned over in Regina's lap to face her.
"I'm Snow White's best friend. You probably hate me just as much as you hate her. And yet you're here, helping me through this...when at any moment, I could change. I could attack you. But you're still here. I know you're only doing it for Henry, but you could've pretended. You could've pretended you help me. But you're here. And you're not pretending." She breathed. Regina brushed her forehead softly and smiled sadly.
"Ruby...you're in a lot of pain. Just try and rest..."
"I'm t-trying to be n-nice here. I should h-hate you. But I d-don't. Because for t-twenty eight years I was free. Free of t-this. Part of me hates you, but part of me l-loves you for it. The wolf...it's like a disease. A disease I c-can't get rid of. And it breaks me apart every single time. But I never felt it. One minute I was Red, the next...the wolf. No pain, nothing. I wouldn't even remember my time as the wolf. It was both a blessing, and a curse. One time, I woke up in the snow, stark naked, with six dead bodies around me. One of them was a child." She whispered, horrified. Regina closed her eyes, her heart clenching.
This poor girl...no control over herself...
"Maybe this is my punishment...for taking so many lives..." Ruby whispered. Tears rolled down the corners of her eyes and she shook her head.
"It's not meant to hurt...I'm not even supposed to feel it." She moaned, rolling over onto her side again. Regina was so entranced in Ruby's story, she didn't realize Ruby's body had grown hot. She touched Ruby's arm lightly and it felt as if someone had set fire to her skin.
"Oh god...Ruby! Turn around..." Ruby groaned as Regina turned her slowly. She leaned forward and pressed her lips to Ruby's forehead lightly, feeling for a temperature. Ruby's skin was burning beneath her lips.
"Ruby, you're skin is hot. Really ho-" Regina heard a loud crack and Ruby screamed in pain, lurching forward. Regina's eyes went wide and she couldn't contain a scream as Ruby's arm bent back, snapping loudly. Ruby screamed so loudly, Regina had to cover her ears from the pain. She reached forward to touch her, to help with the pain-
"GET OUT! QUICKLY!" Ruby roared. Regina shook her head.
"I can't leave you!"
"GO!" Ruby's eyes flashed gold and Regina gasped in shock. She stood and ran to the door, opening it and slamming it shut behind her just as Ruby let out a guttural growl and slammed against the cell door, her arms clawing at Regina in vain. Regina felt hot tears build in her eyes.
"DAMMIT, DAVID! WHERE ARE YOU?" She screamed.
The screams had faded. The banging had stopped. Regina was still plunged in darkness, and she refused to leave the small closet she'd taken refuge in. She had no idea if Ruby was okay, or if she'd escaped. She had used magic on the cell to keep it shut...but what if it wasn't enough?
She sucked in a breath and nodded to herself. She opened the door slowly, wincing as it creaked. Sunlight was filtering through the room slowly and Regina blinked in surprise. How long had she been stuck in here for?
"Ruby?" She called out softly.
Silence. And then-
"R-Regina?" Regina flung the door open and saw Ruby was lying in the cell, completely naked, her whole body shivering and covered in bruises.
"Oh god..." Regina whispered, covering her mouth in shock. Ruby looked back at her, then winced and coughed loudly. Blood sprayed from her mouth and Regina grabbed a blanket lying on one of the tables and ran forward, releasing the magic on the door and entering the cell. She covered Ruby in the blanket gently and lifted her into her lap.
"It's okay...I've got you." Regina said softly, brushing her hair back. Ruby nodded slowly...
Then burst into tears, her body wracking in sobs. Regina felt tears of her own build in her eyes and she rocked Ruby back and forth softly, cooing gently. Regina had no idea where this compassion was coming from. Never once did she care for this young girl laying in her lap. She only ever saw her as the insolent little do-gooder who was Snow's best friend...which meant she was HER enemy.
But going through the transformation with her...seeing the pain she went through, the memories the wolf robbed her off...Regina felt a shiver go up her spine. She realized why she sympathized with her.
Because Ruby had two sides, just like she did. One was a monster, spawned from a family who kept the truth from her, who did it 'for her own good'. One was evil, and manipulative, and had no emotions, no compassion. And the other was this girl laying in her lap, compassionate and kind, and loving...
Just like Regina used to be. Just like she was trying to be again.
I want to redeem myself.
"I'm s-sorry..." Ruby whispered, shaking her head. Regina hugged her tightly, wrapping her arms around the young brunette.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. You can't control the monster, Ruby." She whispered back. She looked down at the bruises covering Ruby's skin and she sighed, touching her lightly. The bruises slowly began to disappear from all over Ruby's body and she looked up at Regina with puffy eyes covered in tears.
"Thank you..." She whispered. Regina smiled warmly.
"Come here..." She moved over to the wall, resting her back against it and Ruby curled up in her lap, resting her head on Regina's knee.
"Try to sleep." Regina said softly. Ruby shook her head.
"I c-can't." She said, her voice shaking. Regina leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Ruby's temple gently.
"I'm here. I'm right here, and I'm not gonna let anything happen to you. And I'm also not going anywhere, no matter how hard you try to get rid of me. So sleep...because I'm going to keep you safe, okay?" She whispered. Ruby nodded slowly, her eyes closing gently as Regina lay back against the wall, sighing softly and closing her eyes tiredly.
David winced and opened his eyes. The sun was hitting him in the face brightly, his skin burning from the heat.
Memories flooded back and he sat up sharply.
"RUBY!" He got up, realizing he was in the back dumpsters of Gold's shop. He seethed angrily, but cast his anger aside. He'd deal with Gold later...right now, Ruby was his priority. He ran to the Sherriff's station, praying that both Regina and Ruby were okay. He saw Regina's car was still outside, and his heart dropped.
"I can't believe I'm about to say this, but please don't let her be dead..." He whispered desperately.
"RUBY? REGINA?" He called, running into the Station. He came to a stop around the corner of the cells-
And saw Regina fast asleep against the wall inside the cell, Ruby curled up in her lap, also asleep. David thanked all the gods he knew that they were both safe and ran to the cell.
"Regina!" He called softly. She frowned and turned her head, moaning softly.
"Regina!" He called again. She opened her eyes slowly and looked up at him.
"Open the door!" He whispered. She glared at him angrily.
"Where the hell were you? Why is there blood on the side of your face?" She said, a hint of concern in her voice. David touched his face and felt dried blood caked to his cheek.
"Long story. Gold double crossed me...kind of. He knocked me out." Regina seethed angrily.
"Son of a-"
"Is Ruby okay? Did she change?" David asked. Tears filled Regina's eyes, to his surprise, and she nodded.
"Yes...but she stayed inside the cage. I hid in the closet for hours...when I woke up, she was in the cell, naked and covered in bruises. I healed her but...she's exhausted. She needs rest." David nodded.
"Was she in a lot of pain?" He asked as Regina lay Ruby down softly and walked over to the cage, opening it. She nodded sadly and David sighed.
"We can't let her go through this every full moon. We need to do something."
"I know." Regina whispered. David walked in and lifted Ruby into his arms. She moaned softly, her forehead crinkling, but she did not wake. He carried her to Regina's car and she drove them back to her place.
"She can have my bed for the day." Regina said as David lifted Ruby again.
"Aren't you exhausted?" He asked her. She shook her head.
"I'll sleep on the couch, it's fine." David lifted an eyebrow. Regina, showing compassion? How strange...
Regina opened the door-
And Henry came running up to them.
"What happened? Is Rub-"
"Shh!" David said, carrying Ruby inside. Henry looked at her sadly and then looked at his mother.
"Everything's fine, Henry."
"Did she change?"
"Yes, but we managed to keep her in the cell at the Sherriff's Station. She didn't hurt anyone." Regina followed David upstairs as he carried Ruby to her bed, making sure the blanket was still wrapped around her tightly.
"Wait." Regina opened the blankets and David lay her down softly. Regina covered her with the blankets and nodded.
"I'll keep an eye on her." She said. David nodded.
"Thank you for helping." He said warmly. She smiled softly.
"There's...something else I might be able to help with, too." She said. David looked at her suspiciously and she rolled her eyes.
"Come on, both of you." She said, nodding to Henry as well. She led them downstairs and showed them her mothers spell book.
"This is a spell book. It belonged to someone very powerful. I've been combing it for the last two days, trying to find a way to bring Emma and Mary Margaret back. I haven't been able to find anything, but I will admit, only half of my heart was into searching. Maybe you'll have better luck." She said, handing it to David. His eyes gleamed with excitement.
"I-I...thank you!" He breathed.
"This book doesn't leave my house, by the way. There's snacks in the fridge, if you need me, I'll be upstairs with Ruby."
"Got it!" David sat down with Henry and both of them began reading the book intently. Regina tried her hardest to let go of her anger at letting them see the book.
You're trying to redeem yourself. She reminded. She entered her bedroom-
And found Ruby sitting up in it, tears falling down her face.
"Ruby..." She stepped forward and Ruby smiled sadly up at her.
"I'm...kind of naked." She said, chuckling. Regina nodded and held her hand out.
"Come...I've got clothes in here." Ruby stood and took her hand softly as Regina led her to her closet.
"Take anything you like. I'll get you something to eat-"
"I'm not hungry. But...a glass of water would be nice." Ruby said softly.
"Are you sure?" She nodded and Regina walked down to the kitchen, rolling her eyes at David and Henry, who were whispering excitedly over the book. When she got back upstairs with a glass of water in her hands, she found Ruby looking at a framed photo of a baby Henry in Regina's arms, wearing a buttoned white shirt and short shorts Regina never even knew she owned. Ruby saw the expression on her face and chuckled.
"Yeah, I was just as surprised to find these as you are, Madam Mayor." She said, tugging on the shorts. Regina cleared her throat as Ruby set the photo down.
"Here..." She handed her the water and Ruby drank it thirstily, gulping it down like it was a lifesaver.
"You can rest for as long as you like...you've had a hard night." Regina said softly, pointing at her bed. Ruby winced and her eyes crinkled as she tried not to cry.
"Thank you...for being there for me." She whispered. Regina smiled warmly.
"No problem." She left the room, walking downstairs. Henry and David were still fawning over her book, and when he saw her at the top of the stairs, he frowned.
"Is she okay?" He asked. Regina nodded slowly.
"I...think so." Henry ran up the stairs and wrapped his arms around her tightly.
"Thank you. I kind of was mad when you locked me in the house, but...it looks like its better that I stayed here...you and Ruby look like you went through some really bad stuff..." Henry said sadly. Regina blinked back tears and nodded.
"Yeah..." She said hoarsely. He smiled up at her and she kissed his forehead lightly.
"I love you." She whispered, smiling. He kissed her cheek.
"I love you too, mom." He whispered back. Tears fell down her cheeks as she chuckled happily and Henry walked back down the stairs, sitting with David again, who smiled warmly at Regina. She nodded at him happily, then walked back up the stairs. She entered her room to check on Ruby-
And found the young brunette curled up under her covers, sobbing loudly.
"Ruby?" She whispered. Ruby looked up at her.
"Shh, it's okay." Regina walked toward her without a second thought and lay down on the bed next to her. Ruby curled up against her, her head resting on Regina's lap, just like in the cell. Regina brushed her hair back softly, and kissed her temple once more.
"Remember what I said? I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere. Nothing is going to hurt you anymore. Especially not the monster, okay? I'm gonna find a way to fight it even if it takes all the magic in the world to do it." She whispered.
"Really?" Ruby choked out, looking up at her. Regina nodded.
"You and me...we're two sides of the same coin. We both have a monster inside of us that we're trying so hard to tame. And we have to beat it, Ruby. But something tells me in order to beat it...we need each other. And we need...friends. And loved ones." She said. Ruby smiled softly and nodded.
"You're right." Regina chuckled.
"Mhmm...but right now, you need rest. So sleep. Nothing's gonna hurt you anymore. Get some rest..." Regina continued the pattern of brushing Ruby's hair back and in no time, Ruby was fast asleep, breathing in and out softly. Regina smiled down at the young brunette.
She couldn't believe what had just occurred in the past twelve hours, but she was glad it had passed.
Despite Ruby's pain...Regina had gained Henry's love...and a friend.
And with that thought in her mind, she closed her eyes, falling asleep instantly with her fingers curled softly in Ruby's auburn and red streaked hair.