...So don't kill me! I've been really busy the past couple of weeks, and I've been managing to get little parts of this story done, until now! I finally finished it. I'm hoping the final chapter will be up soon, but with my crazy schedule, we'll have to just wait and see!

Thank you guys, for being so patient and understanding! Without further ado, here is the second last chapter!


Chapter Twelve


She closed the library door behind her tightly, gently removing the key from her pocket and entering it into the door to lock it. She sighed, her breath coming out misty in the night air as she glanced up at the moon. It was full this evening, illuminating the whole street with its glow.

Belle grinned and looked across the street at Granny's Diner to see that there were still a few people inside. She nodded to herself and walked across the street, barely bothering to look for cars at this time of night.

The tiny bell above the door jingled softly as she opened the door and a few people turned their heads to look at her, only one person smiling at her.

Mary Margaret, who was sitting opposite Doctor Whale.

"Hey, Mary Margaret." Belle said politely. She waved lightly, a slightly exasperated look on her face.

"Hi, Belle. How's everything going at the library?" She asked. Belle nodded once, looking at Doctor Whale, who was barely paying attention to them, his eyes somewhere else.

"Good, I suppose. A lot of your students came in today. Big project coming up?" Belle asked, raising an eyebrow in amusement. Mary Margaret laughed.

"Yeah, I've got them doing a little bit of research on Leonardo Da Vinci. I told them to try to not use the internet...I didn't think they would listen!" She said, surprised.

"They definitely did. The art section was a mess!" Belle said, letting out a small chuckle. Mary Margaret laughed again.

"I'm sorry!"

"Oh, it's okay. I enjoy the company. They're good kids!" Belle said, grinning. Mary Margaret's smile faded as she glanced at Doctor Whale and sighed.

"Well, I should probably get back to my date." She mumbled.

"Hmm?" Doctor Whale said, finally bringing his attention back to Mary Margaret. She sighed again.

"See you later, Belle." She said.

"See you." Belle chuckled under her breath and walked over to her favorite booth, sitting down and picking up the menu in front of her. She rarely ate at the Diner, preferring to stay home and cook dinner for herself, but today had been a hard day, and she was tired.

Besides, Granny's food was absolutely amazing.

She heard the sound of glass breaking, then raised angry voices behind the kitchen. She looked in shock, along with everyone else at the Diner, as the kitchen door was slammed open-

And Ruby came out, wiping tears away and basically running toward the front door.

"Ruby, get back here! Your shift's not done!" Granny appeared at the kitchen door, her grey hair a mess and her face pained, but angry. Belle looked back at the door to see it slam behind Ruby loudly. She exchanged glances with Mary Margaret, who excused herself from Doctor Whale and walked outside after her. Belle sighed, considering running after her, but deciding against it.

She didn't know Ruby all that well...she didn't really know anyone in town all that well. She preferred to stay in the library and read her books all day. Best let Mary Margaret help Ruby out.

Belle glanced up at the clock and saw it was almost 9:30, and was just about to consider going home and making herself dinner when Ruby walked back in, a small smile on her face as she thanked Mary Margaret.

Belle wondered why Ruby was the only waitress on staff, but realized it was pretty late at night...it would make sense for her to be.

Belle offered her a small smile and Ruby stopped at her booth, groaning internally.

"How long have you been waiting?" She said, sighing.

"Not long." Belle lied. Ruby shook her head.

"I'm sorry. She just, ugh! She frustrates me so much!" She growled. Belle chuckled as Ruby took out a pad and a pencil.

"What can I get you?"

"Just a chicken burger, I think."

"With fries?"

"Uh...No thanks. It's a little late. Don't want to each too much." Belle said, chuckling. Ruby sighed again, but smiled at her.

"Anything to drink?"

"A coke?"

"Sure thing. I'll get it to you as fast as I can. Sorry again."

"It's okay." Ruby turned around and walked back into the kitchen, stopping before the front door and taking a deep breath before walking in. Ten minutes later, only Leroy and Belle were left in the Diner, and he had just started stumbling his way to the front door, waving to Granny as he went when Ruby stepped out of the kitchen and practically ran back to Belle with her burger.

"I am so, so, so, SO SORRY." She said, placing the burger and drink down in front of her. Belle sighed.

"It's alright." Granny glared at Ruby angrily before walking back into the kitchens and Ruby sighed, sitting down in front of Belle.

"She's always doing this. Getting all angry over nothing, and then taking it out on me." She huffed, laying her head on her hands. Belle swallowed the first bite of her burger and shrugged.

"I suppose parents are like that."

"Yeah well, she's not my mom...no matter how bad she wants to be." Ruby grumbled. Belle winced at the remark. She'd grown up without her mother, who had passed away from illness, and was currently estranged from her father, who worked at the local flower store and disapproved of her working in the library.

"She loves you. She just...has a strange way of showing it." Belle said, nodding to herself. Ruby sighed again.

"Sometimes I wonder." She muttered. They were silent for awhile and Ruby shook her head.

"I just...she's really over-protective. And I don't know why..." Belle laughed, taking the last bite of her burger and sipping her coke.

"Because she loves you. And I mean, look at you. She probably has to keep guys off you 24/7." Belle said. Ruby looked at her in shock.

"What?" Belle realized what she had said a second too late and she winced.

"Well, I mean...you're really attractive...she probably just wants to keep you safe." Ruby's cheeks were bright red and she looked down at the table, grinning.

"You think I'm pretty?" She asked. Belle felt her own cheeks turn red.

"Sure..." She muttered. She practically gulped down the rest of her drink, then stood.

"Well, I should get out of here so you guys can clean up. Thanks for keeping me company."

"Yeah, right..." Ruby said, a small smile still on her face.

"See you."

"See you later." Belle hightailed out of the Diner, her mind racing.

Well, I'm never eating there again. She thought to herself.