Notes: Spoilers for 2x07, Child of the Moon, though this puts a bit of a non-canon spin on the events.
I posted this on Tumblr a while back, so some of you have probably already read this! There is a second part to this, which I'll probably post tomorrow or the next day. :)
There is fanart (by the lovely critter-of-habit) from this fic, and it is pretty amazing in every way.
If you could only see the beast you've made of me
I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart
(Howl by Florence and the Machine)
She tries to control it. She truly does.
Belle is an innocent. A marvel. The last wholly good thing in this world—the only one Red hasn't yet ruined with her own particular taint.
So Ruby avoids her—avoids the woman who had, without anything other than faith as validation, believed in an innate goodness in the werewolf that Ruby herself had always had such a difficult time seeing. Ruby avoids her because she cannot bear the thought of destroying the naïve and pure trust of a naïve and pure woman.
But what was it that was said about the best laid schemes of mice and men?
"You know, I think the least you could have done after leaving me locked up in the library was come to release me yourself."
She senses Belle before the woman even opens her mouth to speak—before she even enters the closing diner. Ruby knows the brunette's footfall, her scent, her pattern of breathing; she knows when the woman is near because the wolf in her howls and begs to be let loose.
Still, she spins around in shock at Belle's words, because the woman's voice travels through her ears and burns at her brain; the Pied Piper's song in its level of intoxication, but in a way entirely inappropriate for the children the musician so bewitched.
The woman laughs, her falsely stern countenance immediately disappearing, replaced by crinkling eyes and a bright smile. "I'm only joking, Ruby. Honestly! I'm sure you were quite busy last night. And you had plenty on your mind."
Belle's right, but not at all in the way she thinks; there had been many things on Ruby's mind last night, but nearly every one of them had involved the woman standing before her now. Nearly every one of them had featured Belle chained up in that library, completely and utterly defenseless, and all the things the wolf in Ruby had hungered for in an entirely different way than the inhabitants of the town had so feared.
So Ruby had run.
She could keep the wolf from slaughtering innocents, this was true, but she had found that, in very particular cases, controlling its bloodlust was not nearly as difficult as controlling the bare lust the beast's senses invoked. And if she had gone back to that library, where Belle waited with her kind and trusting face, Ruby would have been swallowed whole by soft rosy scent of her hair, the smell of leather and parchment on her fingertips, the sweet sheen of light sweat at her temples. She would never have been able to resist. For once, she had been safer in the body of the wolf.
"Yeah," Ruby swallows, some of those very same thoughts flashing through her mind once again. "Plenty. But still, I—I'm sorry, Belle."
Belle takes another step forward, closer to Ruby, and the werewolf nearly growls.
"I was just worried, is all," she admits, her head tilted sideways as she observes Ruby carefully. "I wanted to know that you were alright." Another tiny step brings her fully into Ruby's personal space. "You are alright, aren't you?"
No. No. Nononono.
She's not alright—not at all—not even a little.
She'd been immediately aware of her attraction to Belle, even after a half-hour of conversation in the diner; the woman reminded her of Peter, in a way—sweet and kind and in possession of a thirst for greater things. But the attraction grew as she spent more time with her, and as the moon grew as well, so too did her ability to ignore the lust that ensnared her senses.
It's how she had known her control of the wolf might not have been as resolute in this world as it had eventually become in the last. And it's why she had asked Granny to lock her in the freezer.
A shuddering breath escapes her lips as Belle steps impossibly closer. Nails dig into the flesh of her palms (she can taste the scent of the blood that collects in the crescent shaped tears in the skin).
"You're flushed! Are you…"
Belle's hand comes up to press against the heated skin of her forehead, and she reacts instinctively, knowing that if that soft skin comes in contact with her own she will never, ever recover. But it's too late, because her response is to grab the wrist of the hand that reaches for her—keeping it from its intended target, but bringing herself nearly flush against Belle instead.
"Don't," Ruby says. Her voice is low and gravelly. Her eyes flash gold.
"Ruby!" Belle's eyes dart around; the diner is empty, but the seemingly panicked action itself is enough to return Ruby to her senses, if only for a moment. She practically shoves Belle away from her, retreating back several steps until her back slams against the counter (the pain brings another small dose of clarity, but not nearly enough).
"You—you need to leave," Ruby gasps, her eyes shutting tight (if only her other senses were as easy to block).
"W—what's going on? Are you—you're not about to… shift?" The librarian isn't leaving—Ruby can hear her stepping closer again—closer to the woman who she thinks is transforming into a blood-thirsty beast.
Ruby wants to laugh at the absurdity of it all, but the hysteria bubbling up gets stuck in her throat, and a whimper is the only noise that escapes.
"No. No. Please. Belle. Stop. You don't understand. You have to stop."
"You won't hurt me, Ruby."
"You don't understand!" Ruby's eyes fly open to find Belle is just as close as she had feared—close enough for her to reach out and grab the woman—to place her hands on every inch of her—to scrap her nails against the pure white skin—to bite at the exposed neck and feel the pounding pulse under her lips.
"Then make me!"
Ruby lunges forward then.
Her lips collide with Belle's in a way that's almost biting, but the groan that erupts from her lips is anything but pained. Teeth scrape, fabric crumples in her fists, and Belle lets out a noise from the back of her throat that cannot be understood; the sounds cut to Ruby's core. But not nearly to the same degree as when Belle suddenly responds—her hands coming up to Ruby's face, fingernails cutting into her jaw. There's none of the woman's typical sweetness present now (aside from, maybe, the taste of her cherry ChapStick, or that of her breath—infused with the sugar of some sort of candy she had last eaten); her actions match Ruby's—rough and desperate and fast. Her teeth latch on to Ruby's bottom lip and bite down. Hard.
Ruby growls, spinning them around so that Belle's back is the one pressed into the counter, though it doesn't remain there long; her hands slide down to cup at the woman's backside, easily lifting her onto the grey Formica surface. Something slides off the counter and crashes to the ground (the tray of dishes she had been collecting?), but Ruby has never cared about anything less. Belle's teeth still clamp down on her lip, but as the werewolf presses herself in-between the woman's legs, she releases it with a groan, her head tilting backwards. It gives Ruby access to the slender neck she had been obsessively fantasying about for the past week, and her lips latch on to the brunette's pulse point, the rapid beating of the woman's heart calling to her in a way that makes her legs feel unsteady.
But it's the whimper that really causes her to come undone.
It's soft and trusting and exposed, and not even the way Belle's fingers come to interweave in her hair, tugging sharply at the strands, can keep the flash of awareness from tearing through the haze of her lust—lighting up the small part of her that is screaming at her to stop.
She rips herself away with enough force to cause her to stumble backwards into one of the stand-alone tables.
"Oh, god. I—" She's breathless and lightheaded and scared. The words barely come out at all, and when they do, they're disjointed and confused. "Belle—oh, god—I'm—sorry. I'm—I'm so sorry. I didn't—I'm s—sorry."
Belle's breathing heavy and Ruby can already see the mark she's left on her neck—can see the way her skirt bunches and the way her lips shine. There's never been a sight more seductive, and it takes every ounce of self-control she's ever cultivated to not move forward and once again and press herself up against the woman's heat.
She pushes herself off of the table, knocking over a chair in the process, and takes several shaking steps backwards.
"I—I can't—Belle, I'm sorry—this isn't—" This isn't what you need. This isn't what you want. This isn't something that will ever, ever end well for you. "I'm sorry."
She's out of the diner before another one of Belle's enticing words can reach her ears, where the blood already pounds in a rapid and heavy staccato. It doesn't take any thought at all for her to transform, fluidly shifting into the wolf's body with something akin to relief.
And Ruby does what the wolf does best.
And she howls.