i’ve gotten really addicted to Red Beauty lately okay i ended up writing a thing too
"You had better not be messing with me again like with the sled." Belle still remembered how bizarre she must have looked and how the Charmings, in between giggles and laughter, told her that dogs (most of which looked like wolves anyway) usually did the pulling while the humans were the passengers.
"I thought it was genius!" Ruby kept her hands clasped with Belle’s and brought them further into the frozen lake, farther from the safety and comfort of solid ground. "Didn’t you see the pictures Henry took?"
Belle couldn’t think about those pictures right now. Her mind was on something more pressing.
It was hard not to imagine the ice beneath them cracking under their combined weight, plunging them into freezing water. Ruby might get out of it relatively unscathed, given the above-average toughness lycanthropy did to her body. Belle on the other hand was one hundred percent human and one hundred percent at risk of hypothermia if anything went wrong today.
Nervousness and anxiety made Belle’s knees weak and unsteady. The absurd shoes and the overall strangeness of this activity wasn’t helping either. She tightened her hold on Ruby’s hands, the only source of stability.
They were almost at the center of the lake now.
As much as Belle liked to fantasize about going off on adventures, fighting dragons, defeating monsters, conquering evil, saving lives, this did not seem like an adventure she was going to enjoy.
"I swear, if this is another trick,” Belle rifled through her mind for some way to get back at Ruby for last time, indadvertedly putting an awkward pause in between the two clauses. “I’m going to-“
The diverted attention caused Belle her balance. She felt herself tipping forward and flailed, mind already jumping through image after image of drowning or freezing or-
“Relax.” Ruby’s grip remained firm. In contrast, her voice was soft, soothing, almost singsong. “I’ve got you. You’re doing fine.”
Clinging to Ruby’s hands for dear life, Belle managed to regain control of her breathing, and eventually, her legs. She allowed herself to be pulled closer to Ruby. The amused spark was still in her eyes, but there was also an undercurrent of concern.
Neither of them were dead yet, so that was something. Belle also survived (sort of) skating to the center of the lake with Ruby. That in itself was a feat to be proud of.
Belle managed to relax herself enough to be able to smile up at Ruby. “Yes.”
The wide grin that was just so Ruby lit up her features. “Told you you could trust me.”
"I’m still getting back at you for the sledding incident though.”