Boredom was a far worse curse than anything Regina could ever have thought of. Beautiful in its simplicity and every bit as maddening as any loss of love or form of torture. The day-to-day life in this land was tedious and repetitive – there were no grand feasts thrown for visiting dignitaries or magic-induced winter weather in the middle of summer. There was nothing but paperwork, feigned civility, and the diminishing joy of inside jokes she told herself with each encounter of people she used to know. Even that was starting to border on pitiful for the unknowing people involved, so Regina had begun to taper off that subject.
That night she found herself at Granny's when the deafening silence in her own house had become too unbearable. The diner was no refuge, but it was the only place she could go, as her only other option was The Rabbit Hole – an experience she could go two lifetimes without partaking in and feel just fine about. Besides, she wasn't the only one who preferred the restaurant to the town pub; it was the established drinking hole of many of the residents in Storybrooke. And Regina would stick out like a sore thumb anywhere regardless, so it might as well be somewhere cheap.
She watched from her chosen table in the corner as the people in her fake town milled about throughout the evening, her glass of warm brown liquid steadily disappearing until Ruby arrived at her side out of the blue, asking if she wanted a refill. Regina nodded but said nothing as she watched the waitress lean over to pour another tumbler full before walking away to attend one of the patrons also sitting by their lonesome.
That night Ruby was dressed in something that vaguely resembled a human outfit while still managing to leave little to the imagination despite it all. The jeans were dark and form-fitting, sticking to Ruby like a second skin and accentuating those impossibly long legs of hers. Her shirt was just as tight, the short-sleeved white blouse thin enough to gave a sample of the cherry red bra it barely attempted to conceal. Her heels were the same painfully tall ones she always wore, but when combined with pants instead of short-shorts, they gave Ruby the appearance of her actual age rather than that of the young party girl she attempted to be.
It was an odd transition of character, Regina thought as she brought her glass to her lips once more. From what the former queen could tell, Red had always been stoic and noble and, well, Regina didn't ever recall a man at her side. "Virginal" was the word she was looking for but it seemed too much of a blanket statement for a girl who she only knew through a glance in a mirror, steadfast and loyal to Snow even when she turned into a snarling beast.
Ruby was wolf-like enough, she supposed as a particularly sudden sip had her eyes watering at the bite. Stalking her prey, bold and volatile, while still managing to border on domestic and coy. Fascinating young woman her curse had managed to come up with, Regina mused, watching the white blouse ride up as she bent forward, revealing the toned muscles of her back. Red had always been gorgeous, all sharp angles and chocolate hair that starkly contrasted her with the round-faced princess she had accompanied for all those years. Ruby was hot though; all sex appeal and a certain level of swagger in regards to it. This girl was aware of how beautiful she was and made no attempt to hide it.
Regina's brown eyes narrowed a little as she reviewed the girl more thoroughly. It wasn't as weird here as it had been back home – the two women thing. Even in the other land it wasn't demonized so much as just not expected when the gender roles provided little else for women to do other than raise children. This world, from what Regina could tell, didn't care quite as much about keeping up their population rates. It could do with some thinning out as far as she was concerned. And if ever there was a specimen to go for, Ruby seemed to be an appropriate choice in the sanitized town she had created. The young waitress always seemed to be one of the few people around who was willing to create a blemish in the pristine surroundings. Though whether the girl was all that willing had yet to be determined. She usually approached most everything with a smile (save for Whale and Regina, at least), but that night her usual playful banter with her customers seemed to have disappeared.
"Kitchen's closing," the waitress announced over her shoulder as she walked back to the counter, grabbing empty glasses off tables she passed. Regina watched her with pointed interest from then on, twenty minutes passing and leaving only one other straggler in the diner and another empty glass for Ruby to top off, brushing her long hair over one shoulder as she leaned over Regina to do so. The older woman caught her wrist as she started to pull back, softly but it startled the girl nonetheless, so much so that she nearly dropped the bottle. People weren’t used to being touched by Madam Mayor, after all. Regina allowed her hand slide up just a fraction of an inch more, slow and deliberate as she met Ruby’s eyes.
“I think it’s safe to say that you can leave the bottle, dear,” she murmured, letting her hand loosen its hold. The container in question only had two or three drinks left at the most anyway.
“Let me know if you need anything else, Madam Mayor,” the waitress responded after a prolonged beat, her words easy and low. The only other patron in the diner was the town dentist – And who were you in the other land? Regina asked herself as she took a greedy sip. The tooth fairy? – who was finishing up a cold meal and warm drink while he tiredly read the paper. Within the next five minutes he put a bill down on the table and took his leave, and the two women were left by themselves as the lone member of the kitchen staff retired for the night.
Ruby began her preparations for closing the diner down, wiping down the surfaces, stacking the chairs, and drawing the blinds. Regina watched her once more with idle interest over the rim of her tumbler, nails tapping against the glass.
“I can leave.”
The young woman shrugged in response as she stepped around Regina’s table to turn the shades before heading back behind the counter, heels clicking against the linoleum floor. Brown eyes watched as Ruby sighed and balled up her short apron, tossing it by the register and allowing herself a deep breath. She rolled her neck back and forth before reaching under the counter, glancing behind her before she turned to Regina, not quite looking at her as she held up a package of cigarettes.
“Do you mind? It’s freezing outside.”
“It’s your restaurant,” Regina replied in an even tone. “And who am I to tell you how to live?”
Ruby’s eyes surveyed her as if checking to see if this was some trick on the mayor's part, but the brunette evidently decided to take the plunge, pulling out a single cigarette and holding it between her lips as she fished out an intricately designed lighter from a drawer. It’s case was a bright, shining red, designed with engraved dark spots that made the metal seem like vines overtop. The smell of a particular lighter fluid followed by burning tobacco filled the room immediately, the static-riddled radio station echoing in the near empty establishment, the buzzing from the lights taking a close second – only to be interrupted by the harsh click of her lighter closing. She imagined Ruby smoked menthols, but it was the rich, earthy aroma of unfiltered tobacco that approached her as the waitress did, taking the seat kitty-corner to her rather than the open one across, both of them facing the covered windows as if there were a beautiful valley laid out beyond the glass. The young woman tossed a red ashtray down on the table, her free hand spinning the lighter she held between her fingers. It seemed odd to Regina, Ruby’s placement; next to her but not, able to look her in the eye but not at all required to. Strategic.
“Long day,” Regina remarked casually, resting her glass on the shining tabletop.
“Every day in Storybrooke is a long day,” Ruby countered, red lips puckering to blow out a stream of smoke. “Too many hours in the day here. And absolutely nothing to do to fill them.”
“You seem to make do.”
Ruby shot her a guarded look, waiting to see if she was being judged. She leaned over, all green eyes and straightened, dark hair, to take Regina’s glass from her. She took a sip, undoubtedly thinking her stalling to be some sort of build to intrigue on her prey’s part. She wasn’t far off. “And what do you do to get through the day, Madam Mayor?”
“Self-approbation can go a long way, dear.”
“And yet, here you are.” She proved her dexterous worth after years of service, simultaneously flicking the end of her cigarette in the red plastic astray and reaching for the bottle of whiskey to refill her stolen glass. She nudged it back in Regina’s direction as she crossed one leg over the other.
“I’m getting a feel for my voters. Makes me seem more approachable.”
“Sitting in the corner and drinking by yourself is you being approachable? Real belle of the ball, aren’t you?”
“And yet, here you are.” Ruby flushed a little at the quick reply, seeming to feel a certain level of satisfaction at the challenge. It must be so easy for her in this town, Regina thought as she reclaimed her drink as her own and took a gratifying sip. So easy to bat her eyelashes and get what she wanted. Regina wondered why Red had never thought of using that striking face to her advantage in such a way, but she seemed to stick too closely to that old world morality. What a waste. “Seems those reelections weren’t all just left to chance, now were they?”
“I don’t vote,” Ruby replied with a renewed glint in her eye, turning in her chair just so until she was facing Regina a little more.
“The democracy is surely lesser for it.”
“I only get involved in politics I’m passionate about.” Her teeth are sharp and dangerous, glinting when she leaned forward on her elbows, cigarette forgotten for a moment. “And wasting a day to vote for our mayor who runs unopposed seems ridiculous. I don’t think there are going to be any write-in candidates that aren’t some sort of joke.”
“And yet you complain about there not being enough to do. Poor little Red.” It’s a dangerous line to dance on, she had always known that. But she had to get her kicks somehow. And that flush had returned to the girl’s cheeks, that challenging gaze Regina had seen across the battle lines so many times had returned and it was a welcome sight in her mind.
“I’m not afraid of you,” she declared, reminding Regina painfully of that haughty young princess she had spent years with. So adamant in her convictions about the woman she thought she knew.
“I gathered. We’re practically breaking bread after all.” She slid her glass over to the painted red nails resting nearby, making her move to steal the cigarette upon Ruby’s distracted reach for the beverage. It was never a habit that had appealed to her, but after a dozen years of no consequences in her life, she’d been lying if she said it had been her first indulgence. Besides, it was worth it to watch hazel eyes narrow in as her own red lipstick overlapped the stain already on the filter. “I’m sorry, did you want me to paint you the rebel?”
It was delightful, the way Ruby’s spine straightened as she attempted to make herself seem more intimidating, even as a nervous tic left her picking up her lighter once more. “I don’t care what you think. Self-satisfaction and all that.” She stood, seeming pleased with herself, but her stride stopped immediately when Regina grabbed her wrist once more.
“You really are wasted on this town.”
“What a ringing endorsement from the mayor,” she tried in vain, but she knew full well that Regina heard her breath catch in her throat.
“Perhaps I just want what’s best for my citizens,” subjects, “and I’m not afraid to admit when this town hasn’t been giving them all they deserve.” She stood as well, on unsteady legs as the volume of her drinks began to weigh down on her. But it was getting late and the nagging reminder that her speech was a falsehood was tiresome on her blackened heart. Her fingers smelled of nicotine as she stamped out the cigarette, breathing out her last smoke-laced breath. “I wish there was more I could do to help.”
Her hand curled around the jacket she had draped over the back of her chair, but she held Ruby’s gaze just long enough to border on the inappropriate. In her defence, the younger woman never blinked, never took her own scrupulous eyes off Regina. And it wasn’t as weird here, the two women thing. Ruby stepped up to her, daring her to flinch and looking slightly disappointed when Regina remained nonplussed. She’s grown a taste for being in charge, unlike that lapdog Red turned out to be. All that devotion had weighed her down, Ruby had no such leashes holding her. How could anyone view that as a bad thing?
She kissed with that undignified sloppiness of this new world, that appealing eagerness not lost on Regina as the girl grabbed her hips and pulled her close. Sharp angles and soft curves created a dizzying contrast as Regina leaned into the warm body wrapped in cotton and denim. She waited for that masculine energy to come barging in, anticipated it as strong hands slid around to the back of her thighs and lifted her. But Ruby’s lips, tasting of whiskey and cigarettes, remained dainty and elegant, even as her lipstick smeared against Regina’s chin.
Impatient hands were pawing at her stockings, nails catching and ripping at the thin material and making Regina’s heart beat in a once familiar way. It was nice to be wanted again. To feel something new and exciting after dormant years of blandness. Judging by Ruby’s earnest reaction she had definitely grown tired herself, of the lack of thrill in her chase. Public servant, that’s what Regina was. Dutiful. She doubted Snow would show half so much loyalty to her subjects.
Her hands fell from Ruby’s back to the top of her jeans, sliding into the pockets that provided little space to do so and kept the brunette close. The girl countered as her teeth dragged over Regina’s lower lip, her fingers dancing along the skin of her thighs, stumbling a little when they brush against lace. She gave a small moan to match and it irked Regina a little to imagine the girl thinking she’d be in anything less. How judgemental these citizens of hers were. How simpleminded. And here she had been setting higher standards for Ruby.
She remained awfully enthusiastic though, and Regina couldn’t fault her for how much exuberance made up for her ignorance. She was desperate to please, desperate to prove some worth to Regina, the poor little thing. So easily goaded into attacking when she had only shown indifference before. She wondered what else boredom had led the girl to do on easier targets. Regina hoped this bravura performance was at least a little specialized in its excitement.
Her hands grew restless in their position flattened over Ruby very not-flat ass, itching to slide up to the exposed strip of skin between her shirt and her jeans, taut muscles straining under her skin with each push and pull her lithe body gave as she tugged on Regina’s lips with her own. She was so overstimulated, the energy practically palpable through her skin, her kisses unruly as they dragged down her jaw and neck, settling rebelliously on a single spot on the mayor’s skin to bruise as she saw fit while her hand slid over the front of Regina’s underwear. Two long, graceful fingers pressed against her, curling while her teeth worried her flesh purple, and Regina countered by tangling one hand in that mass of long, dark hair while the other slid across the rippling muscles of Ruby’s stomach.
“Ruuuby.” It shocked them both into straightening, leaving the two women to jump at the accompanying bang on the door. Whale, that fool, could turn his head half an inch and probably spy them through the gap in the blinds and the window frame, but from what Regina could tell by his garbled voice, he wasn’t firing on all capacities. How silly of her to think she would get her way even this once, this break in the mundane, Ruby’s sweet, over-excited lips. “Ruby, I know yer in there. Lights‘re on. Bet yer having an end-uv-the-day smoke.”
Regina waited for the mumbled apology Ruby would undoubtedly offer as she slipped off the shining tabletop and straightened her dress. She’d never been fucked on a table, would have been nice to cross that off the bucket list. Maybe she could slip out the back door, god only knew she could barely tolerate the doctor on a good day, she wasn’t about to meet him all riled up–
“My room’s the attic suite.” Her head snapped up, unable to disguise the surprise on her face, eyeing up the woman standing before her. The waitress had slipped into that girlish coy attitude as she twisted her hands in front of her, but she remained steadfast with her gaze, her predatory look having not left her despite her now visible anxiousness. Poor thing really was wasted on this town, on the men like the one leaning heavily on the door.
“Ruby, I need my badge. Lives depend on it.” Regina could see the plastic laminate badge glinting in the fluorescent lights overhead on a table in the middle of the room. He probably left it on purpose. Grabbing her things, she left without another look in Ruby’s direction, walking towards the back exit, the one near the doorway connecting to the bed and breakfast attached to the diner. She had always run into trouble when she pushed her luck, but fuck if it hadn’t been a boring couple of years in Storybrooke.
She took the familiar path up the stairs, careful to watch her steps on the first few floors, knowing Granny’s room to be on the ground level. Clever Ruby, picking the room farthest away from her. Perhaps clever Granny for having the foresight when nonexistent teenager Ruby had grown too restless to be kept nearby, let alone so close to an exit. She’d never had the courage to really delve into the fake memories her curse created, too afraid to deal with the fallout of a citizen getting trapped in their own fog. The door was the only one on the top landing and it gave way when Regina pushed through into the surprisingly undestroyed room of Ruby Lucas. A few extra outfits thrown over a plush chair, a vanity full of makeup and hair products, a shelf full of... thick, uneven stacks of books. Maybe Red had been an avid reader. Maybe her curse just had a few surprises of its own.
Ruby had joined her by the time Regina had tossed down her purse and jacket, a small smile on her lips as she burst through the door and found the other woman standing there. She seemed out of place in Regina’s mind, her form and the diner backdrop so ingrained in the mayor’s head. She rarely saw her around the town, though that wasn’t much of a surprise considering their paths didn’t cross much. There were some instances though, snapshots in Regina’s mind of the girl kneeling in the middle of the road to greet Pongo with a bright smile, and, more strikingly, the figure of her in the early morning fog as she took violent, visible breaths while she stood on the docks in jogging clothes with her hands on her hips, looking as if she hadn’t yet gone to bed rather than just rolled out of it.
“Take off your clothes.” She felt more at peace when giving orders, felt her spine straighten and her heartbeat calm as she stepped into her former role. That flush of excitement creeping up Ruby’s neck was just marvellous to watch, in her defence. That visible debate that crossed over Ruby’s features as she tried to decide whether or not to give up her former lead in order to take commands. What a poorly trained pup. Not that she expected much more from Snow White.
Even when she stepped out of those impossible heels, she still had a few inches on Regina. As the older woman watched Ruby's nimble fingers undo the buttons on her shirt one by one, she waited once more for that air of masculinity to seep into her moment, to be reminded of dutiful Graham who took to his task with half as much enthusiasm as the girl who stood before her. It didn’t come though; Ruby’s taut muscles are as defined as her other wolf’s, but the flush in her cheeks was all her own, as sharply feminine as the cherry red bra brandishing her pale torso.
She should be modelling in New York, Regina thought as she stepped forward, losing her own heels in the process. Ruby would like that, the attention, the spotlight. She’d lose that sweetness though, undoubtedly Red bleeding into her new world creation. And it would be a shame, as loathe as she was to admit it. Not every day dragged Ruby down like that day had, not every smile that came from her was a forced attempt to be semi-professional in regards to her job. There was a naiveté in this girl as there had been in Red, one that had lost the pain and suffering but embraced the wolf without knowing it was even there. Still, what a waste of a pretty, young face.
Standing toe-to-toe, Regina pulled the young woman closer by the belt loops of those oh-so-flattering blue jeans, taking it upon herself to pop open the button. She held Ruby’s gaze and Ruby held hers, a sharp breath her only reaction. She looked a little afraid now, wary and excited in some combination that practically made Regina salivate. She really did do better when there was a certain level of fear mixed into her situations. But Ruby, that sweet girl, she wouldn’t drag it out for her. Not when she was being so hospitable. So Regina surged forward, yanking the zipper down and pressing a warm kiss against Ruby’s clavicle. The wolf let out a pant, fingers scrambling around to the back of Regina’s dress as her jeans are yanked down.
“You should only ever wear jeans,” Regina commanded, breathing against Ruby’s neck just to watch the goosebumps rise before she forcefully pushed the younger woman back against the wall, her fumbling hands not living up to Regina’s standards. Ruby kicked away the aforementioned piece of clothing, left in a strip of lace that the mayor assumed was supposed to pass as underwear. She had managed to at least rid Regina of her dress, proving to be the slightest bit useful and giving her value once again. Her hands had grown more confident, undoing the clasp of her bra with ease, but her eyes still looked at Regina for some sort of indication to continue and it irritated the woman. Where was the defiant Red who stared her down after Snow called off her execution?
It turned out that Ruby was more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing than she let on, reaching under Regina’s thighs and lifting her without so much as a bat of an eyelash as she returned her lips to the older woman’s. The waitress began to walk, her movements slow but filled with purpose once more as she stalked towards her bed, pressing Regina back against the duvet when she arrived. She crawled over her, her long brown hair falling like a curtain around them as they pressed with equal fervour to bruise each other’s lips. Ruby sat back however, much to Regina’s chagrin, her long fingers holding down the brown-eyed woman’s hips as she scanned her body with pointed interest.
It’s flattering she supposed, but Regina was far more interested in getting off than being worshipped, as the two seemed mutually exclusive. She didn’t care about Ruby’s approval or hungry eyes, she wanted her mouth, and when she reached up to grab Ruby’s hair to demand her attention once again, she made her needs clear with a vicious look and a shake of the girl’s head. Ruby responded at once, grabbing Regina’s wrists and pinning them to the mattress to show the defiance Regina craved, while obeying the former queen’s command by dropping her neck to bite at the skin covering her hipbone. The mayor hissed at the sting, violently jerking her arms at assault, not settling until the first swipe of Ruby’s tongue at her heated core.
The groan she heard was unfamiliar to her but uniquely her own, and her legs spasmed in a belated reaction, curling around the younger woman’s hips and drawing her even closer. Ruby remained nonplussed, letting go of her arms to return her hold on Regina’s hips, smoothing her hands over the skin and up her ribs while glancing at Regina through her eyelashes. And who taught you that trick, Little Red? Regina wondered as she allowed her head to fall back. There was some skill behind Ruby’s gestures, or supreme confidence at the very least, because she moved at a languid speed that was making Regina’s stomach tighten at an alarming rate, her tongue sliding against the mayor in deliberate strokes and teeth grazing at painstakingly perfect intervals.
One of her roaming hands grabbed Regina’s spasming one on the bedspread next to her hip, fingers intertwining in a moment that felt weirdly intimate, even given their situation of Ruby’s tongue being inside Regina. But it was nice, at least a little, to feel a connection with the person she was sharing a bed with, having spent an entire marriage as well as the past few years in Storybrooke with men who could have been sleeping with anyone as far as they seemed concerned. Ruby was gaining a conquest, maybe one she had coveted before, and she was fully immersed in claiming it, in enjoying the experience of who had come to her room that evening. Her eyes remained on Regina every moment they were open as far as Regina could tell, as hers continued to snap shut in intervals, her view of the girl below becoming obstructed by her own chest when her back arched off the bed.
It was a dizzying relief she hadn’t felt in ages, her only sound given a desperate gasping until her body succumbed and collapsed back on the bed, eyes still closed as the once queen caught her breath. She wasn’t one to dole out praise, but she had to commend Ruby for living up to everything she seemed to make her revealing clothing imply she was. When Regina opened her eyes she wasn’t surprised to find the girl sitting back on her shins and enjoying the view she had created.
“I suppose you’ll be wanting some sort of compensation for your time spent.”
“I can’t imagine you’re going to start letting your constituents down now, Madam Mayor.”
Regina could appreciate a quick comeback, could appreciate even more that Ruby has stripped herself of her last piece of clothing at some point unbeknownst to her. Regina sat up and kissed her hungrily in return to show her good will, pulled the girl into her lap and tasted the bitter flavour of herself on the waitress’ lips. Ruby was eager and restless against her, already wet when Regina’s hand slid down between her legs, unwilling to censor her groans as she pulled away from Regina’s mouth to press her forehead against the mayor’s temple. She was wanton and completely unapologetic in her movements, another desirable feature as far as Regina was concerned, allowing her every bit of power she craved while demanding in her own right. Yes, she thought as she pressed two fingers into the green-eyed girl and listened to her keen in reply, I think my curse has done you wonders, pup.
Ruby rocked against her with abandon and inflicted her share of damage on Regina’s neck in return, leaving spots that would surely bruise for days and give the woman hell in the morning, but Regina couldn’t care less at the moment. She twisted her fingers in the hopes for more and was rewarded with straight, sharp teeth digging into the tender flesh above her collarbone, so Regina countered by wrapping her free hand more firmly around Ruby’s waist to dig her fingers into the skin there. She wanted to leave a scar and Ruby didn’t seem to have any objects to the scratches trailing across her lower back, so Regina got her fill as the pumping fingers inside the girl curled forward and left her moaning.
Ruby doesn’t smoke in her room, which seemed like an odd concession for a girl who willingly lit cigarettes in her grandmother’s establishment when the woman was in her room twenty feet away. But she watched Regina with brazen interest as she redressed, the sheets pulled up to her waist while she leaned back against the wrought iron bars that made up her headboard. Ruby looked thoroughly disheveled and Regina couldn’t imagine she fared better. As she slipped on her heels, she glanced back at the waitress, grabbing her jacket as she straightened her stance.
“I meant it about the jeans. I expect to see them on tomorrow.”
The day was far too warm and far too bright, and Regina was loathe to admit that perhaps she was indeed a little hungover, as pedestrian as it seemed to be. But the cure in this world, as it had been in the last, was to face the day with breakfast and tea. And so the mayor found herself back at the diner during the brunch hour, seated in the same table she had been in the night before, an empty cup in her hands as she debated the merits of chamomile verses a strong cup of black coffee. As her waitress made her way to Regina’s table, pot in hand, Regina knew she had her answer.
Ruby grinned as if it were a normal day between the two, bending slightly at the waist to fill up the mayor’s cup before announcing that she would be back to take the mayor’s order in a minute. She turned without another look, her red short shorts hidden by the edge of her small apron as she sashayed towards the nearest empty cup. The move was as deliberate as the message the shorts sent; a clear indication that despite how much she had enjoyed being claimed by Regina and doing the same to her, she would wear jeans when she damn well wanted to, no matter who told her otherwise. Because Ruby was a wolf, not a kept pup to be trained and domesticized at some master’s will.
But, oh, Regina was going to have fun trying.