"What?" She was doing it again. Just staring and Ruby didn’t understand what was so interesting.
"Your eyes," Belle smiled, looking into them like they were something she’d never seen before. "They’re like a…" She paused to laugh at herself, "Like a book. Or a story."
Raising an eyebrow and laughing slightly, Ruby tilted her head to the side. “I’m not sure I follow.”
"They’re just…" Belle’s thumb moved in a slow, easy curve along Ruby’s cheek, comforting and relaxing. "There’s just this depth to them. They talk of joys and pains. Dreams and fears. A haunting past that won’t go away. A promising future being treasured and guarded and nurtured."
The way Belle was looking at her… gazing at her… It was as if Ruby was the most enchanting thing ever to be seen. Like she was something that was amazing. Like she was special.
"They show scars that haven’t fully healed, yet they also show the strength it takes to keep going despite that." Belle kept going, her face still holding that wonder and appreciation, "They show fears that are powerful and crippling, and the immeasurable courage it takes to move past those. They show unwavering loyalty. They show me this… this beautiful soul and sometimes I just can’t believe you’re real."
Ruby felt her face growing warm and flushed. Biting her lip, she looked to the side, torn between feeling giddy at Belle’s words and feeling like they weren’t true at all. “Real?”
"That you’re real and you’re here." Belle continued, carefully guiding Ruby’s face until their eyes were meeting again. "And I’m grateful for that." The kiss that followed made Ruby’s stomach flip and her skin heat up and world spin and slow down at the same time and all of it just felt so… right.
lol for the phone screenies on this, the only one where i used a text generator was for belle’s, but even that i kind of tweaked and edited a bit, but emma’s and ruby’s were from screenies on my own phone that i edited and messed around with
also lol i kinda wanted to give one of them an android but i didn’t wanna bother with having to bug my brother for screenies from his phone so blargh let’s just say they all have iphones because regina decrees it because apple products because apple
also snow’s joke was one i came up with while lying on the floor and it was funny at the time but idk if it’s still gonna be funny to anyone else oh well
As far as her health went, Regina was feeling significantly better. She’d recovered enough to walk short distances and heat up her own food. The journey down the stairs had been draining and dizzying, but it was rewarding to accomplish getting to the kitchen in one piece.
What soured today’s little victories was the fact that her magic was still severely limited. Lifting small objects still required effort and made her head and lungs hurt with the strain it caused.
Tonight, Christmas Eve of all nights, she was reduced to sitting on the sofa with Henry resting his head on her lap while holiday-themed Disney cartoons aired on the television.
"I miss Emma," Henry sighed, "I wish I could hug both my moms for Christmas Eve."