Take a Walk (On the Wild Side)
A new fic based on my head canon of Ariel and Red being good friends in Fairytale and also Storybrooke. It's set a couple of weeks after Emma breaks the curse but I've chosen to leave out Rumplestiltskin bringing magic back for reasons. Normal text are Storybrooke scenes and italics indicate Fairytale Land scenes. Title is cheesy as, but other than that I hope you guys enjoy :)
The young red haired girl rushes into Granny's diner, thrusting her jacket onto the back of a chair at the bar before slumping into. She then sighs loudly before bumping her head onto the counter a little too dramatically.
"Ow. Milfcake. Strawvberry. Pleave." She grumbles into the counter, causing Red to raise her eyebrows in amusement.
"Milkshake? You look like you could use something a little stronger." Red teases, before starting the order.
"Oh, trust me, I could," She replies, lifting her eyes up to meet the waitresses in front of her. "If I could afford it, that is." She adds sheepishly.
Red tuts and rolls her eyes, "What have I told you? You don't have to pay for drinks in here."
The young red haired girl lifts her head up properly at this and smiles at her friends offer but then shakes her head.
"Yeah, the mood I'm in, I'm likely to drink you out of house and home." She counters.
"Hmm, that's true," Red muses. "I forgot you drink like a fish." She adds, biting her bottom lip to stop the hint of a grin from slipping over her lips.
"Ha ha, de ha. Very funny, teen wolf." She shoots back.
Red gasps and clutches her right hand to her chest in faux appal. "So, what's got you all wound up today, anyway?" Her tone slightly serious now.
"I'll give you one guess." She sighs, scratching a single fingernail over a stain on the counter.
"The Evil Queen?" Red guesses.
"Nope, the other one."
"Ah, Rumplestiltskin." Red says, nodding her head slowly.
"Uh huh, I'm a month behind on my rent and to say he's not happy is quite the understatement. Thanks." She adds, as Red nudges the milkshake towards her.
"Hmm, there anything you want me to do? Put the fear of God into him?" Red suggests waggling her eyebrows, leaning her elbows onto the counter, resting her head on her palms grinning ear to ear.
"Ha, iv onwy," The young girl says through a mouth full of milkshake, causing Red to scrunch up her nose. Her friends eating and drinking habits had always been somewhat lacking. "No, I think I'm just gonna have to think of something else. Something a little less violent anyway. "
Red pouts at that, "Spoilsport."
At the entrance of a certain Storybrooke resident however Red's head jerks up and a broad smile forms on her lips.
"Hey Sheriff Swan," Red chimes. "Can I get you your usual, grilled cheese sandwich?"
The young red haired girl rolls her eyes and sighs at Red's eagerness to serve the sheriff. Red's lack of subtlety had always given her endless opportunities to tease her in the past but she was well aware that her friend could also give as good as she could.
"My usual?" Emma repeats, a slightly concerned look on her face. "Am I really that predictable?" She adds laughing, taking a seat one down from Red's friend.
"Oh! No, no no. I'm just really good at remembering people's orders, that's all." Red explains, a light blush appearing on her cheeks, causing the girl with the milkshake to snort at her friends sudden flustered state, earning herself a swift scowl from the waitress.
"Ah, right." Emma says, nodding slowly, as she eyes the two younger girls suspiciously, "Well, how's about I mix it up a little today then? What else you got on the menu? Sandwich-wise that is, I don't wanna go too crazy. It is only a Tuesday after all."
"Oh, well, we have ham and pickle, ham and salad, chicken salad, turkey and cranberry or tuna melt." Red says, counting them off on her fingers. "Oh, although, I guess you probably won't want tuna melt…" Red trails off glancing at her friend with the milkshake.
The sheriff looks at Red expectantly after her rather vague discouraging of the tuna melt.
"It's fine, really." The young red haired girl says laughing. "The sheriff can have what she wants, I'm off now anyway, I've got an appointment with the Devil himself." She announces, grabbing her jacket off the back of her seat.
Emma shoots a worried glance at Red, who simply mouths 'Rumplestiltskin'.
"Ah." Emma nods. "Hey, if he's causing you any bother, I could always have a word." Emma suggests.
"No no, it's fine. But that's very kind of you to offer Sheriff. I can see why Red likes you so much. I'll catch you both later." She chimes, grinning ear to ear, before swiftly exiting the restaurant leaving a beetroot-red Red and a bemused Sheriff behind.
"Who was that?" Emma asks, indicating towards the door with her thumb.
"Well," Red sighs. " You might have known her as Amelia Maris but more likely you'll probably know her as…Ariel."
Emma's eyebrows shoot up in disbelief at that admission, "Ariel? As in The Little Mermaid, Ariel?"
"The one and only." Red chimes, grinning.
"Jeez, now I'm really glad I didn't order that tuna melt." Emma says, shaking her head, smiling as Red laughs.
"Yeah, that would have been a little awkward." Red says grinning. "You might have seen her shop actually. It's the little pet store just past Archie's place, 'Under The Sea'?"
"Under The Sea? Really?" Emma replies almost sceptically.
"Uh huh. Regina may be evil but she sure has a wicked sense of human when it comes to screwing with people's lives." Red says.
"I don't know about that." Emma replies quietly.
"Oh Emma. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…" Red starts, before Emma interrupts, waving her off. "How are Snow and James?" Red adds tentatively.
"Honestly?" Emma says, looking up into the brunette's eyes opposite her. " I…I don't know. I mean, I'd love to say that they're back to normal but I have no idea what normal is anymore."
Emma flinches slightly at the sudden unexpected contact as Red gives her hand a squeeze. Normally the sheriff would have brushed any sentimentalities off but instead she lets the waitress keep her hand on hers. Emma smiles then as she notices the unordered hot chocolate, complete with cinnamon sprinkles, standing on the counter in front of her.
"Does anybody in this town." Red says, with a sad smile. "You know, if you ever need anyone to talk to about…all this, or Snow or James ever need anything you know you only have to ask. I'm always here."
Emma looks up from her hot chocolate and smiles, regarding the brunette in front of her for a moment.
"Thanks, Rub-, gah, Red…I really appreciate that, I do." Emma says, stirring her hot chocolate absentmindedly.
"You're very welcome." Red says, before indicating to another diner who's ready to order. 'Go on' Emma mouths before taking a much awaited sip of her hot drink.
The young mermaid watches in complete awe from her favourite spot on the shore at the sight of the bright and colourful showers raining in the nights sky, never flinching once at the foreign sounds of whooshing and banging from above. She listens eagerly to the singing from the sailors as they pass by, sighing heavily at their obliviousness to her existence, despite the fact that she has made this a yearly ritual of hers. She longs to join in with them, to sing with them, to do anything to end this agonising segregation. But that, Ariel knows, is out of the question. Her father has warned her many a time of the cruel men above sea but Ariel cannot fathom from the sight in front of her, that these men, so high in spirits and full of joy could ever mean her any harm.
"Quite the display, isn't it?" A voice Ariel doesn't recognise asks.
Ariel gasps at the sudden appearance of a rather flamboyantly dressed stranger, although it is not his attire that almost causes her to slip from her favourite rock but his sudden appearance itself. Nobody, not one person has Ariel ever seen at her 'spot' as she refers to it to her friends.
"Oh my," Ariel starts to say, laughing nervously. "You startled me!" She adds, placing a hand over her racing heart .
The stranger smiles in apology, "I'm very sorry, deary. I didn't mean to scare you! I only thought you looked like you needed some company." He says, his voice high and dramatic.
Ariel places both of her hands flat onto the rock to steady her as she feels her whole body trembling at the thought of actually spending time with someone from above sea.
"Oh! That's ever so kind of you but I don't even know your name." Ariel says frowning slightly.
"Oh, we'll have time for proper introductions later." He says, with a flamboyant waver of his head."But first things first, deary, I think I may have a little something to turn that frown, upside down." He adds with an emphatic shake of his head.
Ariel cannot help but laugh at his enthusiasm, "Well that's very kind of you but you already have, see?" She says, grinning.
"Oh, that was nothing my love. I mean a real solution. A solution to your, er, fishy problems." He adds, wrinkling his nose and indicating to Ariel's tail, as she begins to frown again in confusion.
"I…I don't understand what you mean." Ariel says naively.
The stranger smiles at her innocence, "What if I told you, deary, that I could make all your dreams come true?" He says, a small turquoise tear-shaped bottle appearing in his hand. "With just two swigs of this. Imagine it, lovely, you could have adventures beyond your wildest dreams out here in the real world."
Ariel's eyes flick up from the bottle to his face, "You mean, on land? I'd be like a, a real person?"
He smiles down at her and nods his head up and down in a dramatic fashion, "A really real person. So, I'll take that as a yes then?" He says, leaning down to hand the bottle to Ariel.
She reaches out to take it before hesitating, "But, if I'm up here, that means I can never go back to the sea, can I? I'll never see my family again or my friends."
The stranger stiffens slightly at her sudden reluctance, a false smile plastered across his face, "Then you make new ones!" He announces."But if you don't want it…" He trails off, pulling away from the mermaid, "I know of another mermaid or two that would snatch this up before I could say…"
"Really?" Ariel interjects.
"Really, really. So if you don't want it I better be off, I've got merpeople to see and places to be, this is a onetime thing you know."
"Then I'll take it!" Ariel says frantically, reaching up to take the bottle from the stranger. He smiles down malevolently at her but Ariel is oblivious, staring in wonderment at the tiny bottle in her hand.
"This will really do it? I'll really able to walk and everything?" She asks earnestly.
"Of course it will!" He replies, as a hand flies to his chest, sounding almost offended at her slight scepticism. "What do you take me for?"
But his words are wasted on her as she pops off the cork stopper and licks her lips before take a delicate sip of the potion in her hand.
"Bottoms up!" The stranger sing songs, as Ariel swallows the first mouthful.
At first Ariel feels nothing but then as sudden as the strangers arrival, she begins to feel a tingling at the end of her tail.
"Oh, oh it's tingling. Is it supposed to do that?" She asks, her concern evident in her voice.
"Absolutely! All the best things in life start with a tingle." He replies, with a wolfish grin. "Now the second swig and we're all done." Nodding to the bottle still in her hand.
"Oh, of course." She says, before draining the last of the bottle.
The water around her starts to change from blue to purple and Ariel's eyes widen in fear, as her mouth falls open.
"This that supposed to happen too?" Ariel cries.
"Yes, yes." He replies, barely containing the annoyance in his voice at having to reassure her again. "That just means it's working."
"Oh, it is, it really is!" Ariel says, as she starts to tread the water with her newly formed feet. "Ha ha, feet! I have feet!"
"Well, I should think so, deary. You wouldn't get very far without them now, would you?" The stranger says, tutting and rolling his eyes.
The transformation is almost complete when Ariel opens her mouth to thank the stranger, but no words form. Ariel's brow knits in confusion at her lack of ability to speak.
"Oh deary, didn't you know? All magic comes with a price."Rumplestiltskin says with an impish grin, before vanishing, leaving nothing but a swirl of purple smoke behind him.
A/N: 'Maris' is a variation of the Latin for 'sea', just in case you were wondering where I got her surname from, cause I'm extremely nerdy like that :)