Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: Happy Birthday, tellshannon815
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Word Count: 1,079
Date Written: 8 August 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Surprise flickers across Leroy's face as he enters Granny's to find the cafe deserted. He edges forward, expecting anything from Wicked Witches to a Werewolf to lunge at him from the shadows at any moment. His fingers itch for his axe. He's tired of leaving it behind at work; tonight will be the last night he makes that mistake.
He proceeds to the bar and is surprised to find a single cupcake with blue frosting on a saucer and a coffee cup already filled and waiting next to the saucer. He touches the cup; it's still hot. The cupcake looks scrumptious, but he knows the food is probably a trap. "HEY!" he hollers out. "ANYBODY HERE?"
No one answers him. He continues on to the back, but Granny and Red are gone. No one's moving about anywhere. He reenters the main room and sits down on the stool next to the cupcake which is, after all, his regular seat. As he glances at the frosting this time, he makes out a single word, a name, written in it: his own.
The Dwarf frowns as he contemplates who could have left the cupcake. He has a plethora of enemies, but he's made most of them through helping Snow and her Prince. He can think of no one who should be targeting him alone. The door opens. He spins around on his seat, but as his hand closed on his pocket knife, he sees who's entering and stops, freezing in place for the second time that night.
Astrid looks every bit as beautiful as she always does whenever he sees her, if not more so. Her feet fall silently on the bare floor. "Leroy?" she asks hesitantly. Her voice seems to ring with music, but then, Grumpy reminds himself, that's how most Fairies sound. "Or, hum, should I call you Dreamy?"
"Ain't Dreamy any more, sister. Ain't been for a long time." He eyes her warily. "What's this all about?"
She's blushing and looks like she'd turn tail and run if he makes a move, so he doesn't. He stays seated firmly, not daring to move. He hasn't seen her since the curse lifted. He figured she was avoiding him, but now, it's just the two of them. Now, maybe he can get some answers.
"Hum, Snow White -- hum, I mean, Mary Margaret told me today is your birthday."
"Dwarfs don't have birthdays. We aren't born."
Astrid smiles, but her very lips seem to tremble. "She said you might say that, that, hum, you have hatch days instead, but she insisted on each of you and your brothers having a birthday back in the Enchanted Forest after you made her celebrate hers." Her smile turns warm. "Which was very kind of you, by the way," she adds.
"Get to the point, sister," Grumpy, feeling very much his namesake, huffs.
"I . . . Hum . . . Well, I . . . I wanted to say 'happy birthday', and I, hum, I made you that." She nods toward the cupcake.
"A cupcake. For one." He huffs again and finally turns his back on her.
He must be hearing things, because it sounds like she's now hurrying toward him. "I didn't mean it that way," she tells him apologetically. "I just . . . I don't have very much . . . "
"You have everything I wanted." The words are out of his mouth before he realizes what he's saying. He clamps mouth shut so hard and fast that his teeth rattle, but when he dares to look back at her, she's smiling and blushing.
"Do you mean that?" she asks. "Really?"
He hesitates only a moment before nodding gruffly. He's already said it, and it is the truth. He might as well stick by it. "Oh, Dreamy, I was afraid you wouldn't want me any longer! I was afraid after everything that happened -- you -- you didn't love me!"
She's on top of him now and looking so bright and joyful. He could dash her hope to bits as their bosses once did his. "You know we can't say the world now," he speaks softly, realizing he can not give her what he once promised to.
"I don't need to see the world!" Astrid exclaims and clasps his hand in hers. She squeezes him with surprising strength. "I just want to love you!" She blushes brighter and hurries to add, "If -- If that's what you want still?" Her question ends on a breathless note of anticipation, but Grumpy's already nodding and, for the first time in a very long time, beaming.
"I never wanted the world," he admits quietly. "You were always what I wanted."
"Oh, Dreamy!" She kisses his cheek.
This time, it's his turn to blush. "It's . . . It's not Dreamy any more," he murmurs, reminding her. "It's . . . " Grumpy's on the tip of his tongue, but that name no longer rings any true more either. He is neither Dreamy or Grumpy. Their dreams are limited in this new world, but he can't be grumpy if he truly has her love. He grins up at her. She's still beaming down at him so brightly; it's clear he must truly have her love. "Call me Leroy," he says at last, and she nods.
She moves forward again. He starts to turn his head, expecting another kiss on his other cheek, but instead she summons all her courage and kisses his mouth. He bolts upright against her in surprise. His tongue slides up into her mouth, and their kiss deepens as applause erupts.
They break apart again, both blushing fiercely. "What the -- ?!" Leroy demands angrily.
The whole blasted town is emerging from the kitchen where they weren't just a few minutes earlier. Mary Margaret and his brothers lead the group with David, Ruby, and Emma not too far behind. They're all clapping, and Leroy wants to smack every one of them. But then Astrid squeezes his hand.
He looks sharply to her. "They're happy for us," she whispers, smiling sweetly, and as the whole town erupts into "Happy Birthday", Leroy finds himself smiling, too. Let them happy for them, he decides. They should be, because he's never felt happier.
Mary Margaret catches his gaze. His adopted sister winks at him, and he knows she's behind this whole setup. He knows. He laughs, and he smiles back, happy and feeling truly loved at last.