DISCLAIMER: I do not own Once Upon a Time, or any of its characters or storylines. It belongs to ABC Television and/or related companies. I won't make any money with this story and no copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place after the season 2 finale, but in an AU, where everybody returned safely to Storybrooke (or at least every person mentioned in the story). This story is a sequel to my other OUaT stories Dinner Invitation and Emma's Decision.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To gxtw[at]gmx.de
The Day After
"Hi Ruby. Can you get me the usual, please?"
"Yep, coming right up."
Ruby started to work, while the sheriff went for a corner booth. A few minutes later, the waitress brought the cocoa and sandwich over. She placed them on the table and without a prompt sat down opposite of her friend.
"Okay, Emma, spill. How was your date?"
The sheriff smiled at her friend's antics, but she had wanted to talk to somebody anyway.
"It was nice. But it's maybe more important what it was not."
"No, it actually was a bit awkward for the first few minutes. But it wasn't boring. Well, meeting Regina has never been boring, has it, even in the beginning, when we were enemies."
"Probably especially not while you two were enemies." Ruby smirked.
"Yeah, you are right. She always kept me on my toes."
"So, you said it was nice. How nice?"
"Very nice. We had a good time. She made some of her fabulous lasagne."
"That lady knows how to woo you."
"Yeah, she does. Otherwise, we talked a lot and in many ways it was like one of our usual meetings, but then it was also more."
"You already know each other. That is always good. But you say there was a vibe?"
Emma thought it over.
"Yes, you could call it that. We do get each other, I think, despite coming from different worlds. But there was always a tension, and I think I finally understand where it came from."
"You got feelings for each other? In a not-just-friendly way?"
"Yes, I like her." Suddenly Emma smirked. "And of course she is hot and a great kisser."
Ruby sputtered, but then quickly recovered.
"Wow, way to go, girl! And I agree on the first part, but I don't know about the second."
Both women laughed, but then the sheriff asked with what almost sounded like jealousy in her voice.
"Have you ever thought about ...?"
Ruby was quick to assure her.
"No, don't worry. I simply agree that she is beautiful, anyone with eyes would, but she is not the woman I am looking for."
The sheriff was quick to pounce at this offering.
"So you are looking for a woman?"
"Hey, this talk is about your love life, not mine."
Ruby answered defensively.
"Okay, okay. And for the record, I wouldn't use the l word yet. But as I said, I do like her and I want to see, where this might lead."
"So you are going on another date?"
"Yes, next weekend. Which reminds me, you are Red, as in Little Red Riding Hood, aren't you?"
"I prefer to be Ruby, but yes, I guess I am also Red. Why?"
"Well, Little Red Riding Hood always had a basket. And I could use one for the weekend."
Ruby shook her head at her grinning friend.
"Your jokes are awful. But yes, I can give you a basket, if you need it. So you want to invite her to a picnic?"
"Yes. I am not a good cook, but I don't want our next date somewhere in public either. We are not at a point yet, where we could ignore the scrutiny. So a picnic seems like a good compromise."
Ruby sensed that her friend was not as sure as she tried to project.
"It's a lovely idea. If you want, I can help you with the food as well."
Emma looked relieved.
"Thanks, Ruby. I think I have most of it covered, but some of your granny's sandwiches would be great."
A few minutes later, Emma left to return to the station. Ruby's eyes followed the retreating form of her friend.
'You don't want to use the l word yet, but I think it might already be the correct one.' She thought.
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