What the Doctor Ordered
Summary: Crossover universe. Doctor Archibald Hopper isn't sure how to react when he finds a stowaway on board the U.S.S Storybrooke, particularly one tied to his past. Hilariously AU RedXCricket one-shot.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ruby or Archie (ABC/Disney does). But I wish that they had one another! ;D Also, Star Trek and Babylon 5 don't belong to me.
WARNING: This is so AU it's not even funny. Okay. It's kind of funny. In a, "what were you smoking?" sort of way. ^^
Doctor Archibald Hopper was rather content with his position as assistant medical officer amid the U.S.S. Storybrooke. He wasn't the primary physician, and thus did not have to deal with nearly as many crises as Doctor Victor Whale, and with his secondary background in psychiatric therapy was able to assist the crew in retaining their sanity and wellbeing on a ship that could be a tad too small sometimes.
It was this second skill which had retained him the position, actually, what with the nature of the ship's deep-space voyages. Much of the crew were orphans, estranged from family members, or simply loners, accustomed to the emptiness of the universe and constant travel. This cocktail mix of emotional issues, baked at a standard 73 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time sometimes exceeding six or more months, led to a variety of different interventions.
Mary Margaret, communications officer, frequently had flashbacks involving the hijacking of a rogue ship, The Black Queen, from when she was a child, for example. While Ashley Boyd, a cook who had hired on last-minute, had found out only after the fact that she was most definitely pregnant. Currently he was helping her accept her future status as a single mother aboard a starship.
Then there was Rumpelstiltskin, their Romulan ambassador who preferred to go by the name, 'Gold.' The cantankerous official was currently dealing with the death of a loved one and the loss of his son, revealing a side of himself that Hopper hadn't expected to see.
And last on his immediate list was David Charming, their captain, who was dealing with a dying mother back home and a commitment to see their crew through to the very end of their destination, despite the very real desire to turn back the way that he had come.
There were other day-to-day issues to be dealt with, and mediations to work through, but he rolled with them as best he was able. And in the meanwhile the unofficial ship therapist was the recipient of job security. He could only thank the stars that he himself had few issues to deal with, beyond that of finding answers for his patients.
So while he was only slightly necessary in the medlab, in comparison to the ever-efficient Whale, he was an overall asset in case of emergencies.
One such emergency involved the head Security Officer, one Emma Swan, giving Doctor Whale a concussion during what was scheduled to be a routine checkup. Neither would fully explain what had occurred, but he had a feeling that sexual harassment may have been involved.
Hopper sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose as he saw the decimated sickbay. One of the biobeds had had its mattress torn off and was now halfway across the room. Various instruments had found new homes, and a stack of towels and blankets had been removed from their place in the cabinet.
Starting on the cleanup first, in anticipation of a new patient walking in when he least expected it, the assistant medic quickly filed objects away. Refolding the fabric, which should probably be washed again just in case, he reminded himself, he then carried it to its designated cabinet. But the stack tumbled back to the ground as he jerked back in surprise, tossing his burden in the air in the wake of wide, curious green eyes peering out at him.
The cabinet door slowly swung shut. And Doctor Archibald Hopper swallowed his startlement as he processed what he'd just seen.
Bright eyes and dark hair, longer than any of the crew members (Swan excluded) would dare to pull off (due to dress code violations). He was fairly certain that there wasn't supposed to be anyone in that closet, much less an unknown female. And that the only way she could have gotten in was during Whale and Swan's altercation.
Forcing down the alarm creeping up his throat and sending tingles down his spine, the redhead grabbed for whatever was closest and came up with a tricorder. It would have to do in a pinch, and the very worst which would occur was its use as a blunt object followed by its official use via scanning for blunt force trauma.
Creeping slowly forward, he reached out of for the door with careful fingers, before throwing the thing open and stepping sharply back. Those green eyes blinked, surprised, but soon settled as the two strangers found themselves face to face. And the reserved physician found himself dumbfounded.
She was the most exquisite female he'd ever seen.
The stowaway was wearing a white bodysuit, thick red stripe running from across her shoulders to her cuffs, and dark boots that looked like they were made for forest walking. Meanwhile around her shoulders hung a long brown cloak, frayed and well-worn. But it was her eyes and hair that really caught his breath, causing the doctor to stumble back in surprise, as vivid as the Earth that they had left behind them and framed in a face full of barely-softened angles.
Eyes that were currently trained on him, taking in his form and seemingly measuring him against some mental image.
But that didn't last long, as the strange woman was suddenly standing before him, removing the tricorder from limp fingers and examining it once before tossing it over her shoulder. He winced, hoping that it hadn't been harmed (never mind his own intent for the object). Then she was everywhere, rotating around him and touching shoulders and hair and briefly cupping his chin in long, calloused fingertips. The strange, silent woman seemed fascinated with his glasses, especially, and he felt her touch the curls at the back of his neck at least twice before she was again standing before him, a quizzical expression on her face.
"I-I'm afraid that I'm going to have to ask you leave the s-sickbay, Miss," he stumbled in an attempt at some sort of official response to what was most definitely not in his usual job description. The green-eyed brunette must have snuck on during their last refuel, which meant that their unexpected guest had been with them for a little over a week without being spotted. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that, really, and so let go the floating questions of where she'd been sleeping and what she'd been doing on the ship in the first place took back seat to his current predicament.
She just examined him further, picking up one of his freckled hands in hers and folding the two together. Only then did her response vary, a smile widening from cheek to cheek as though she had just come to the conclusion that they fit together very well indeed.
The stranger straightened to stand before him, touching her heart, before touching his. And then he could have sworn that…
Red blossomed in his mind. Red the color of tulips in spring and roses in full bloom. The red one might find in the brightest, most brilliant firework of summer. Red staining the autumn leaves in the canyons back home, and the red of a hearth fire on a long winter's night. Red as rich and deep as blood, as vibrant as a beating heart beneath his healing hand. Red the color of the sun, hot and life-giving and brilliant. The red of passion and of love, untarnished by age or time.
"R-Red," his lips blurted out, blue eyes blinking. And she just shook her head slightly, looking slightly disappointed in him. That's when the strange woman laid her hand flat upon his chest.
He felt as though he'd been speared through with a laser, a million tiny images crystallizing into a perfect, vibrant form. A gemstone, cut by rock and time and heat.
"Ruby! You're…you're name is Ruby?"
She smiled triumphantly at him and nodded, raising her hand just high enough to brush his jaw. But the doctor could only swallow awkwardly. He still didn't know…that still didn't explain…
A faint image of blue butterfly caught the edges of his vision, and he turned to follow it but as he did so it disappeared. Instead bringing to mind the image of a woman in blue, with a warm expression and long curly hair…
"My…my grandmother?" the words were whispered, but she still nodded, smiling to herself, and waited for him to continue, "but I haven't seen her in years. Not since I left, um, went to medical school. They said that she had died, I-."
There was a sharp denial in her eyes this time, and he was almost struck by the way that her lively expression had suddenly flattened. And then when he couldn't frown any more, confused, the images in his mind cleared into…
He blinked, "pardon?"
Her fierce, determined expression told him that the last two messages were not just his brain playing tricks on him. But rather the topic of his senior thesis, a passionate, in-depth paper covering a topic that was more than just mere curiosity. A certain fascination that he just couldn't quite explain away…
Untrained telepathy and empathy and the link between animalistic traits and latent human cognitive connections.
She beamed as though having received the world, looking at him through eyes as wide and curious as a puppy's. And then with no further ado the telepath wrapped her arms around his neck and planted her lips on his.
The world exploded into imagery and a cacophony of voices, memories unearthed from childhood torment and censure.
"That boy, he's too much like his grandmother for his own good. Spends all his time in the forest or the field." "She was a queer one, that's for sure." "Never did see her age." "Too kind by half." "Disappeared one day. More'n likely ran off with the milkman." "His grandpapa never did remarry." "Broke his heart, she did." "Fey kind, the grandmother and the grandson both. They give me the shivers something terrible."
But it was his parents' voices that rose above the rest.
"The old fool, never did tell us where he put her dowry." "That old man's always telling stories. First its werewolves and fairies and the next its butterfly wings." "You better not listen to him and his foolishness, Archie my boy. No man got anywhere by dreaming." "You'll never be any better than our son; you're one of us and you can't change that." "Dreams of changing? Put those out of your head and help us with this plan of ours. The Federation Officers are coming and they can't see anything suspicious, you hear?"
"No!" he tore himself away, but the girl just held on tight, looking determined, and this time when she tried to kiss him he attempted to turn his head. But was ultimately unsuccessful.
Instead there were wolf howls. Color. Silver was equated with familial love, security, stony strength. Pink petals equaled friendship. And Blue allegiance. He saw faces and creatures overlap, an aged wolf guarding something and a pink hummingbird leading the way. But they all came back to the Blue butterfly, centered in his vision.
The young woman drew back, looking satisfied, and in the wake of her actions came another series of messages.
Grandmother Blue calls. Puppy Ruby hunts, bring home. Puppy, puppy no longer. Green one sent for, the words whispered from the edges of his vision, like lovers words from another room. But matched with such closeness he couldn't doubt where they were coming from.
"P-puppy?" he repeated, startled, and something made him look deeper into her eyes as her green eyes shifted slightly more yellow. Which, of course, must've been a trick of the light. There was no possible way that she could be, well, the obvious…
"…first its werewolves and fairies and the next its butterfly wings."
But she was looking at him with a question in her eyes again, and he couldn't seem to look away. She placed her fingertips on his heart again.
Puppy, puppy no longer.
And this time the imagery was softer, more soothing. A wave of green grasses and noisy, homey forests filled with chirping…
Green one sent for…
It was like the last piece of the puzzle had been found, his analytical self washed away amid a storm of memories. Of himself as a boy, hiding from his parents and finding solace among the long summer grasses. And his grandmother had come then, after disappearing for years, and showed him…she showed him…
How to shift.
He could shift if he wanted to, but had locked the memory up tight where no one could find it and where his parents couldn't tarnish it. He'd hidden it in the back of a cabinet full of medical diplomas and all the secular knowledge and reason of the world. And yet he'd still been unable to fully forget.
"Untrained telepathy and empathy can be linked directly from animalistic communicative traits to latent human cognitive interactions, based on the social mentality of animals, most especially mammals, as an interacting social group," a younger self intoned the thesis statement that he had stood so staunchly by, despite scoffing to the contrary.
The woman in front of him couldn't have looked prouder, and with all the bounding enthusiasm of a wolf she leapt forward in order to wrap her arms around his form, arms trapped with her dark hair thrown slightly into his face. But then came a kind of tenseness he otherwise wouldn't have been able to sense, had they not been limb to limb.
Sad Man coming. Tell friend Ruby wolf kin.
'Sad Man'? What was she talki…erm…thinking about? And 'kin'? Did she mean that she wanted for him to cover for her?
Then came two more clear words.
Husband. Wife. Kin. Tell Sad Man!
He couldn't have been more shocked.
That is, until the sickbay door slid open as none other than the Captain himself barreled into the room at full speed, "Doctor Hopper, we've got a reported shape-shifter on board who's claiming to be your wife. And-."
His words were cut off as Captain Charming came to a full and complete stop, feet skidding on the polished floor in the process.
"I…see that you've discovered this for yourself."
Doctor Hopper somehow felt it unnecessary to respond, her hair unfortunately in his mouth and his arms trapped at his sides. Meanwhile Ruby-Red continued to burrow her head into his neck, breathing deeply and serenely as she did so. Whether it was a ruse to add truth to her demand or in fact an act based on real affection, he couldn't know. As the only conclusion he could come to was that he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the whole situation.
"Ah, yes. Captain meet my…kin. My wife!" he nearly shouted as her grip tightened around him, almost warningly, "Ruby. Meet my wife, Ruby. It's an arranged marriage…apparently."
AN: Raphael Sbarge played on Star Trek for about 5 episodes. This is kind of a tribute to that. :3 Also, if I've been mixing my metaphors and phrases, please don't mind me—lately my friend has been corrupting me with episodes of Babylon 5 and the strangeness of alien interactions in that has somehow leaked into this. And I don't seem to mind all that much. XD
The "information transference" aspect of a kiss is being blatantly ripped off of an episode of Teen Titans, in which Starfire kisses someone in order to learn the local language (actually, this happens twice).
Her way of communicating is based off of the way my roommate has described American Sign Language (she's going into sign language interpreting as a degree). When forming a sentence structure in ASL, it typically goes Time, Subject, Action/Description. So instead of, "my birthday is in two weeks," it would be, "two weeks birthday my."
Obviously I didn't strictly stick to this format, but it definitely gave me a lot of inspiration.
Lastly, there is fanart for this one-shot. ;) I promise you this.