“Great,” Ruby whispered.
“Out of gas?” Belle guesses. Ruby nods. An hour ago, they had been on their way back into town after going out into the woods to look for a lost dog (the one thing Ruby enjoyed doing as Deputy was helping find lost animals) when they hit a patch of black ice and skidded off the road, deep into the woods. Naturally, it was also snowing, and it quickly progressed into blizzard conditions and neither woman could even see the trees around them in the white swirl of snowflakes.
“We’re going to freeze out here,” Ruby mutters mutinously. “Didn’t even need to find the stupid dog,” she grumbles. Just when they had gotten out to the woods, Emma called and told her that the dog was back home and to be careful coming back as a snow storm was moving in.
“They’ll find us, Ruby. It’s what the Charmings are best at,” Belle replies, smiling even as she starts to shiver. Ruby bites her lip, thinking about something she had read, wondering if it was true.
“Belle… I read somewhere that… that the best way to keep warm in a snowstorm is to share body heat,” she says hesitantly. Belle smiles teasingly at her.
“Where’d you read that, Ruby? In Twilight?”
“I wouldn’t laugh, Belle. You were the one who suggested them to me! But… yeah,” she shrugs.
“That is t-true,” she stutters slightly. Ruby sighs, rubbing her arms with her hands to try and create heat friction, or something.
“G-get in the ba-ack with m-me,” Ruby stutters, climbing into the backseat, grateful for once that she and Belle had taken the Animal Control van. The back of the car was basically just a big open space with a collapsible cage for the animals, and the floor was carpeted, so it wasn’t completely freezing.
“Why?” Belle asks, though she climbed back with Ruby anyway.
“Sharing b-body heat,” Ruby replies simply, gesturing for Belle to climb onto her lap.
“Take your coat off,” Belle orders, stripping her own jacket off. Ruby flushes, and Belle smiles. “If you r-read Eclipse, you remember they said sharing b-body heat is m-more effective i-if it’s, uh, skin-on-skin,” Belle explains.
“If you w-wanted to get me n-naked, French, you didn’t have t-to fr-freeze us to d-d-death,” Ruby teases, quickly shucking off her boots, her socks, her coat, even her hat. Belle was more hesitant as she kicked off her boots. Ruby just arranged their coats on the ground so that they made a nest. Once both women had stripped down to their underwear, they were shivering so violently they could barely speak.
“G-g-get ov-ver he-here, B-Belle,” Ruby whispers. She nearly sighs in relief as Belle crawls onto her lap, and their skin is flush against each other. She lays back onto the nest, pulling their other clothes on top of them like blankets.
“A little b-better,” Belle admits, nuzzling her head into Ruby’s neck.
“Don’t sleep, Belle,” Ruby whispers. She doesn’t remember much from that stupid first aid class Emma made her take when she first became deputy, but she does remember not to let freezing people go to sleep. Or was it people with a head wound?
“I wasn’t,” she mumbles.
“Then tell me a story. T-talk to m-me.”
“Ruby, I d-don’t know how long we c-can last out here,” she whispers. Ruby wraps her arms around Belle’s waist, intertwining their legs.
“Don’t talk like that. Em-ma’s got a t-tracker on th-this van, I think. Even though, uh, our ph-phones wo-won’t work, the GPS signal should t-transmit,” Ruby responds. She can feel Belle shivering gently, so she hugs her tighter, rubbing her hands up and down Belle’s body, creating friction. Just creating friction, she reminds herself, don’t be a perv. But she knows she’s at least a little turned on by this.
“Ohhh, this is better,” Belle whispers.
“Tell me something about yourself, something I don’t already know,” Ruby whispers, her lips pressed against Belle’s ear. “Keep me distracted.”
“You are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” Belle replies.
“Oh, but I knew that,” Ruby grins teasingly.
“When I was fifteen, I had a best friend, the daughter of one of my family’s maids. She and I were very close, always studying together.” Belle pauses.
“And,” Belle replies, “she was my first kiss.” Ruby chuckles, a deep, throaty laugh, trying desperately not to picture Belle with her tongue shoved down some other girl’s throat. Because that makes her jealous, makes her want Belle’s tongue shoved down her throat, makes her wolf angry, and fueled with lust. “Your turn.” Ruby hesitates. She’s never told anyone this before.
“Red was a virgin,” she finally says. “She still would be, if Ruby hadn’t rolled around.”
“What do you mean?” God, this is mortifying, but the embarrassment makes her warmer, and she appreciates it.
“The only boyfriend Red ever had was Peter, but I ate him before we could do anything beyond kissing. And then, with the curse came Ruby. Ruby was never really a slut, that was mostly rumors. She, uh, she got drunk once and slept with some random guy, still don’t know who that is. He told everyone Ruby was an easy lay, and people started treating her like one. Eventually, she just rolled with it. But in reality, Ruby only ever slept with three people: the random dude, Billy, and, uh, and Morgan, the baker’s daughter.” Belle shifts, and Ruby rolls over onto her side so the two women are facing each other. Belle shifts her body infinitesimally closer, rubbing her hands up and down Ruby’s body, serving both to turn her on and warm her up.
“Lacey and I had a similar problem,” Belle admits. “From what people were saying, it sounds like I slept with everyone.”
“That’s just talk. Half the guys who say they slept with Ruby, who can swear I was the best lay they ever had, I never even went near them. Guys talk, they make up stuff to sound better. It happens,” she shrugs. They lay there for a while, neither one speaking, just holding each other.
“I’m so tired,” Belle whispers. Suddenly, there’s a noise outside the van. They sit up, still holding each other, and see the snow has stopped falling, but the sun has gone down.
“Ruby? Belle?” they hear a voice shouting.
“In here!” Ruby shouts. There’s a banging on the back door, and then it’s pulled open. Emma, David, and Regina are standing there in the snow, holding blankets and flashlights. Their eyebrows rose in surprise as the blankets fell away and Belle and Ruby were shivering in the cold, clinging to each other, practically naked.
“Naked snuggling helps conserve body heat,” Ruby shrugged, pulling on her clothes as quickly as possible. David just shut his mouth, averting his eyes. Emma looked a little stunned. It was Regina who spoke first.
“If you say so,” she grins slyly.
“Let’s, uh, let’s go home,” Emma responds. Regina nods and purple smoke envelops all five of them as they reappear in the library. When everyone else departs to go home, go to bed, get warm, Ruby stays.
“I’m still a little cold,” she says shyly, looking up at Belle from her perch on the librarian’s couch. Belle just smiles.
“Snuggling helps conserve body heat,” she replies, pulling Ruby into bed.
“Naked snuggling,” Ruby corrects her, pulling Belle close to her.
“Oh, of course,” Belle replies, slipping out of her shorts. As she drifts off to sleep, Belle finds herself thanking that freak snow storm.