Ruby's Doubt Archie's Indecision
Ruby entered the sanctuary of Storybrooke Trinity Church on her break as a waitress at Granny’s Diner.
She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but for some reason, she felt more at ease while at the Church, than attending Mass at Storybrooke Abbey.
She’d only gone to the Abbey once, and quickly walked out. The nuns were prim, proper, and perfect.
No one who was in a 'life of sin' was 'good enough'.
She hadn’t found a real church home, until Mr. Bracings told her about Storybrooke Church.
The town had attended the church for the memorial service held for Ruby’s former boyfriend, Peter.
She had thought she’d never attend the church again, but found herself returning each time she could.
Perhaps it was the warmth and friendliness of the Church’s staff.
Abel and Marie Valleyson, their son Connor, and Marie’s mother Teresa were much more loving and welcoming compared to the staunch ferocity of the Abbey’s chief nun, Mother Superior.
Mother Superior was kind when it suited her, but Ruby couldn’t say that the nun held a dear place in her heart.
One person whom did hold a high respect for the nun, was also a friend of Ruby’s- Dr. Archibald J. Hopper.
He never attended Mass that Ruby remembered, but he did have words with MS from time to time.
With her judgmental stares at others, including herself, Ruby didn’t feel very comfortable in the nun’s company, but ah well... to each their own.
Ruby fingered the Bible and offering plate, smiling fondly at the envelopes.
They reminded her. She needed to pull some money from her check.
“Hi Ruby” said Abel, as he came up behind her.
Ruby nearly jumped out of her skin.
The pastor chuckled. “Sorry if I scared you” he grinned, his green eyes twinkling.
He was dressed conservatively in black slacks, shoes, belt and a dark green button up. His white shirt was viewed by the button left undone on his neck.
Having been Storybrooke’s Pastor for the last twenty-eight years, Abel had always cut a stunning figure with broad shoulders, near shoulder length blonde hair and stunning green eyes.
Ruby imagined that there were many women who found the pastor charming and handsome, but to them he was somewhat aloof.
Ruby understood without a doubt that his aloofness came from the love that exuded from him every time his wife Marie was around… which was often.
They were a couple who not only took their marriage vows seriously, but lived them out to the best of their ability.
They shared the love of Christ with others in a compassionate manner, and it showed.
Ruby wondered curiously who would take over should Abel step down from service…
Ruby smiled sheepishly, trying not to blush.
“It’s ok” she answered. “Still having nightmares?” the pastor asked, a genuine look of concern etched on his blonde features.
Ruby tensed slightly. Marie had told Abel about her nightmares?
The ones where she felt as if she were someone or something else, blood everywhere?
And the one where she sees a man motionless on the ground, never to awaken?
“Mm. Yeah... same ones every night... never seem to go away” she stretched, seeming to shrug it off.
Abel nodded skeptically. “Hmm... well, have you considered seeing someone about them?” he asked.
Marie, dressed in a modest yellow sundress and white sandals threw him a look. He winked.
“Err- you mean like a... shrink?” Ruby asked, her cheeks beginning to turn red.
There was only one shrink in Storybrooke that she knew of... she’d had a crush on said Psychologist in flutters... since they met.
Teresa and Marie noticed Ruby’s cheeks redden even more. Hmmm...
“N-no- I haven’t... that is- he’s really busy with... um-”
Just in time it seemed, Marie came over with baby Connor.
“Abel, there you are! Mum would like a word...?” Marie shifted her head.
Ruby was totally oblivious to the loving looks and blush that passed between pastor and bride.
Abel winced. He was in for it. “It was good seeing you Ruby... if you’ll excuse me”
Ruby nodded, deciding she might as well go back to the Diner, when Marie came over with Connor.
Marie hugged her as tightly as she could while holding Connor in her other arm. “Hello Ruby” she said in a soft voice.
Ruby smiled at the pastor’s beautiful wife. she had long brown hair and big brown eyes. there was a sort of... other worldly beauty about her...
“How are you?” she asked.
“I’m...doing ok... I guess” Ruby smiled, wanting to shake the woman and her husband for ‘gossiping’. The nerve!
Noticing Teresa gesturing her to come over, Marie offered Connor.
“Would you like to hold ’im?” she asked, her accent light.
“Oh, sure! Thank you” Ruby grinned, genuinely excited to hold Connor again.
Ruby turned her attention to the baby. “Hi Connor!” she grinned, holding out her arms.
She didn’t have much experience with kids... but she liked the few she knew, like Henry, the little girl, Juniper, and baby Connor.
Marie nodded, handed the baby to her, and walked away.
Ruby, once Connor was in hand coddled and cooed at the six month old infant, sitting down with him in her lap.
She couldn’t explain it, but she felt a sort of kinship with the child... as if she were holding her own little one...
Ruby looked up just as Dr. Archie Hopper himself came into the sanctuary to say hello.
“So, doc... What brings you here? Shouldn’t you be with a patient?” Ruby asked curiously.
Archie, who had had a crush on Ruby ever since they met, tried his hardest not to blush.
“I..uh do, s-soon, but I u-um” Archie took a deep breath and concentrated on looking into Ruby’s eyes, her delicate features making his fingers itch…
I-I actually came to um speak with the Pastor...if you’ll excuse me”
“Oh, um, ok...” Ruby said, fighting the urge to frown. Did he not like her? Was it something she had said?
She turned her attention to the baby, falling asleep in her arms... Maybe hanging out with Billy later would make her feel better...
Regretting already his stammering, Archie was even more upset that he chose to run away from the most beautiful girl in the world, with his tail between his legs.
Abel watched the two in interest, raising a blond eyebrow. He then turned to his wife Marie who was trying not to giggle. Faking a frown, the pastor shook his head at her, smiling as he turned to Archie.
“How are you, Dr. Hopper?” Abel asked, happy to see the Psychologist.
“I’ve been better, but thank you, Mr. Valleyson” Archie said, stealing a quick glance at Ruby with the baby
“I see. How may we help?”
Abel gave a not so subtle look in Ruby’s direction, giving Archie a questioning look. Archie shook his head.
“May I speak to you in private? Something has happened and I’m not sure what to do about it.” the two men walked back to Abel's office.
Ruby looked around for Teresa and Marie, but they weren’t around.
“What’s wrong?” Marie asked.
“If I had to guess, because of who her daddy is, she might know something... then again, she might be as oblivious as everybody else. The good doctor wouldn’t know what to do with her if she bit him” Teresa grinned.
Marie glanced at Teresa, then at Ruby.
“But can’t she say something?” Marie asked with a wistful look in her eyes.
Teresa looked at her sympathetically.
“Love here doesn’t work that way sweetheart. It takes more action than words... And right now, neither one is ready or able to understand what the other had to say. Especially with Miss “I rule the world” telling everybody what to do”
Marie giggled. “so with Dr. Hopper talking to An...er Abel, that will help?”
Teresa glanced at her with the same look Marie had given Abel.
“Yes...his talking with Abel causes a ripple” Marie nodded in agreement.
“Aye, because saying something needs to be done, is not doing it.”
“Exactly!... Now go get my grandbaby... He’s hungry”
Ruby smiled halfheartedly as Marie came in to get her son.
Maybe it would be better to go back to the diner...
She’d see Archie again...
“So what is it you needed to see me about?” Abel asked, curiosity evident in his light features.
It wasn’t every day the town Psychologist came in for advice, but Abel would count his blessings when he found them.
“I-I need some advice...” Archie said., nervously.
“Oh?” Abel asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes... I’ve been ordered by the Mayor to stop treating her son”
Abel was confused and said: “What do you mean you have to stop treating Henry? Why does he need treatment?”
Archie gave the pastor a frustrated look.
“She blackmailed me into making him think I think he’s crazy!”
“I see; and do you think he’s crazy?”
Archie was nervous as if he didn’t want to answer that question. It was as if he were unsure about the answers laying deep down inside his heart and spirit.
“In medical terms I don’t believe he’s insane. I do believe he does have a wild imagination; however, I’m not sure using his imagination against him would be for his benefit.”
“It sounds like you know what to do already” Abel surmised.
Archie looked uncertain. Abel looked at him sympathetically, but it was up to the doctor to make the decision for himself.
“I’m not going to tell you what to do, or make the decision for you; that’s up to you, but let me ask you this: if you stand up for what’s right what is the worst thing that could ever happen to you?”
Abel could tell that he was already fighting a losing battle. Archie Hopper’s will was not strong enough to overcome the will of the so-called Mayor.
Abel turned his attention to Teresa, who shook her head, giving him the signal he needed.
it was time to pray there was nothing more that could be done...
“Before you leave, I want you to think about what I said and pray about it before you take action. Your actions could have very bad repercussions that could be irreversible”
Archie sighed after leaving the pastor’s office wishing his heart didn’t feel so heavy and burdened with guilt.
Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give thee rest…
Archie stood silently behind Ruby as she bottle-fed the youngster, unsure of how to approach her after earlier.
Watching her feed the baby seemed familiar for some reason, but he wasn’t sure why. It was as if he’d seen her do that before...
Thinking back over the past twenty-eight years of his life, he couldn’t remember much, such as how or when he had become Storybrooke’s Psychologist.
He did remember events like meeting Ruby for the first time, and feeling jealous over her deceased ex-boyfriend Peter.
Thinking about the youth, though he was dead, brought the anger back all over again
Despite that, he felt at peace watching Ruby care for a young child not her own.
He wondered what she would be like as a mother, and then blushed.
Ruby was humming Sleepsong to Connor. It felt familiar, as if she had sung the song before...
Abel and Marie grinned...
Watching her, Archie was amazed how sufficient God’s grace had been over his life; he was a believer in the Bible, even if he couldn’t make it to church every Sunday.
Save himself there were few others... all in all there were about ten people who showed up to service on Sundays, including the Hoggits and Mr. Bracings, their farmhand.
What excuse did he have not to go to church, and yet he willingly would to go to the Diner to see Ruby?
That was wrong, and Archie knew it, yet he felt right and natural around her...
He sighed shaking his head- he didn’t know anymore.
Ruby was in quiet contemplation as she fed the bottle to Connor- he was such a quiet child- she loved kids.
Maybe someday she’d meet someone special and...
No- what about Peter? If she went on to someone else, did that make her disloyal? A...monster?
She wasn’t sure...
Teresa frowned as she watched the doctor and the young lady.
“This is sad. Here you have two people who love each other and are forced apart by circumstance.”
Abel frowned. He knew for a fact it wasn’t by circumstance that this man and his wife had been torn apart.
“Can’t they tell each other?”
Marie nodded. “Aye, Te- Teresa...”
Abel raised an eyebrow at her slip of the tongue and grinned.
“No, babies” Teresa smiled at Marie, placing an arm around her children.
’Not everyone is as blessed as you and Abel are, sweetheart- the people of this town have been deceived and blinded for twenty-eight years. The Father has decided to use Ms. Swan to open their eyes, so to speak”
Abel nodded. Much prayer would be needed, especially in the coming weeks.
“And these two?” Marie asked. Teresa smiled.
“The Father has a special plan for them and it may take Connor to help them realize what’s at stake."
Marie nodded, her heart going out to the couple before them.
“Help them Father” she prayed- as she was suddenly snuggled warm and safe in her husband’s embrace.
As she burped him, Archie smiled a little, watching Ruby’s smile light up her face and eyes, making her green eyes sparkle.
What he’d give to keep that smile on her face...