Tumbling Down the Way

By Shahrezad1

Summary: On Tumblr I asked for Red Cricket prompts and this was the result. A mix of drabbles and longer one-shots, courtesy of mostly DJRocca87 and ACoupletShort's imaginations. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own these guys—you should know that by now. I've been a fan for how long? XD

Chapter 1:

DJRocca87-Red Cricket prompt: the town is having a charity ball and everyone is surprised when they show up together.

The fact that Storybrooke was having a ball wasn't a surprise to anyone who knew them—sans Emma, of course, who had protested vehemently and had eventually been forced into choosing either her mother's old purple ballgown or her trusty red dress. She'd chosen the latter, with her jacket on top—it was just a part of their culture. At least, the culture of royalty. It was how they made peace, found love, and put on a face of civility when really all they wanted to do was drag each other through the mud.

Dancing at least gave some form of structure to the evening's entertainment without the inclusion of a mud bath.

And as for those who once had been, and still were, regular townspeople, there had always been their own equivalents—festivals, feasts, and instances in which an entire village might come together to raise a barn for a single household. They were community events, meant to draw people together.

So when the decorations were strung up, a hefty buffet was organized by both fairies and dwarves, and certain well-known couples made their stately way in no one was surprised. It was just the way things were.

Until a certain unexpected couple walked in.

Mary Margaret had first smiled at the appearance of Archie-slash-Jiminy Cricket. Having him by their side at community events made the whole procession feel like home, so when she saw a second figure sidle in from across the room she wasn't sure what to make of it. Had he given someone a lift that couldn't make it on their own? That seemed like the charitable thing to do, and wouldn't that be in-character of him?

But then out from the shadows came a red cloak and Snow had to re-evaluate the situation.

Oh! Red. Well, it made sense that he might bring her. After all, the Diner was right across the street from his office and—

Across the way Archie had removed her cloak, like a true gentleman, and beneath the young woman's trademark cloak Ruby wore what could only be termed the ballgown equivalent of a ballerina outfit. The color of crushed petals, her hair pulled up into an elegant bun and a rose in her hair, the Princess' friend looked everything elegant and poised.

With exception of the shy smile on her lips. Lips she kept biting as her eyelashes fluttered up at a sheepish, adorable Archibald Hopper.

The teacher didn't know what to think.

Especially when her best friend—her first real friend—took the therapist's arm with a beaming smile and they made their way in unison to the dance floor. His blue eyes never moving from her green ones as the band began to play.