Red Riding Hood and the Woodsman

Now that the curse is broken, Ruby has been noticing some…changes. Can an old ally help, even if it means putting his children in danger from a wolf?

Author's Note: Yes, I totally ganked the title from Snow White and the Huntsman, but definitely not the plot. The idea came to me in a bolt of lightning: What if Hansel and Gretel's father is the woodcutter who saved Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf? How would that fit into Once Upon A Time world? This is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I affiliated with the television show Once Upon A Time, the ABC network, nor Disney escept as a viewer. No copywrite infringement is intended by this work of fiction.

By the way, I came up with the idea before finding out that 11/11/12's episode, "Children of the Moon," would feature Ruby's re-emergent wolf. Darn! The writers were ahead of me. But they didn't bring in the Woodsman, so I'll keep my fic going.

Storybrooke, Maine—normal font

Enchanted Forest—italicized font

Granny woke with her arm twinging, as it always did around full moon. The dull throb was the first thing she noticed as her dream-fogged thoughts re-formed into consciousness, slowly pulling the two memories of her lives into a single reality. The next thing she noticed what how quiet it was.

Ever since Ruby took a break from waitressing to work at the sheriff's station with Emma, and had gotten a bigger dose of reality than her Storybrooke-self had ever dealt with, the girl had gladly taken a bigger part in running the diner. Ruby was the first to get up now to put on breakfast for herself and Granny and then go down to let in the first deliveries and their wonderful short-order cook so that Granny could sleep in a little later. Today, however, there were no sounds of brewing coffee and Ruby's muttering as she tried to scramble egg-beaters and fry turkey bacon (which had been proscribed for Granny after her heart attack, and while they were no longer sure there really was anything wrong with the woman's heart aside from Regina's curse making it a little weaker, she was edging into her seventies, and both Ruby and Granny figured it couldn't hurt keeping a low-fat and sodium diet.) There was no creak of the floorboards as Ruby moved around their little apartment attached to the diner and bed-and-breakfast they ran. Absent was the sound of Ruby's radio playing the hard rock that even post-curse the girl insisted on listening to. There was nothing.

Slowly, listening carefully in case she'd simply missed her granddaughter being unusually quiet this morning, Granny sat up in bed. When still she heard nothing, she slid her legs out from the blankets and stepped into her slippers.

"Ruby?" she called.

No answer.

Granny went out and knocked on Ruby's door before opening it a crack, calling her name.

The bed was empty and un-made, though that wasn't unusual.

Granny's senses were no longer as sharp as they had been when she was young and aided by the Wolf's instincts, but even now, she could smell the musky tang of wildness in the room where there had been none last night.

"Oh, lord," she breathed. "It's starting again."

She rushed downstairs and looked all though the diner calling Ruby's name, her worry increasing.

"Ruby! Rub—"

She chocked the word off when she opened the back door into the service alley. On the ground near the trashcans, Ruby lay curled up, her hands dirty and scraped, still wearing her pajamas, her hair tangled around her shoulders. Granny moved closer to the girl careful not to make too much noise and frighten her. She remembered how disorienting the shift could be at first. She crouched next to Ruby, steadying herself with a hand on the gritty pavement and reached out with her other hand to touch her granddaughter's shoulder.

"Ruby? Sweetheart?"

The girl groaned as she came around.

"That's it," Granny crooned. "Come on."

Ruby frowned up at her grandmother. She pushed her hair out of her face and had to detach a sleep-swollen tongue from the roof of her mouth before she could ask, "What happened? Why am I outside?"

"Do you remember anything from last night?" Granny asked. "Anything at all?"

Still muzzy, it took Ruby a moment to understand what she was asking?

"Do I remember…?" she said. "I remember getting ready for bed, brushing my teeth…then nothing."

Ruby met Granny's eyes, her own darkening as she realized what her grandmother was not saying.

"It's happening again, isn't it?"

Granny pressed her lips tight, refusing to even voice it here, in Storybrooke, in the daylight.

Ruby was braver.

"I'm shifting again." She sighed. "And we don't know where the Hood is."

Please review! If you noticed any errors, they are all mine, as this story is un-beta'd.