Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Ruby POV. (early S4) She doesn't want to, she has to.
Ruby saw five falling stars in a row that night and all she could think about was some guy named Lucifer.
“I like it when you’re mean,” she said. “It reminds me why I stick around.”
The wind off the lake was eating her cigarette but she wasn’t all that interested in the stale tobacco she’d found in the pick up’s glove compartment. The pier’s uneven planks creaked as she turned to look at Sam and expel a lungful of smoke just to the right of his face. The beat up pickup was something she jacked back in the last town the Winchesters had been required to leave behind in the usual hurry. Besides a few confused witnesses and a small fortune in small firearms, they’d also left Ruby and her newly acquired pick up in their taillights.
“You shouldn’t have followed, Ruby.”
“Last I checked it’s a free country.”
Rudy let out a long exhale and amused herself watching Sam nervously work his hands on the splintered wood railing. It was from guilt mostly. For leaving her behind. For not getting in contact with her. She relished watching his guilt as it forced his hands into fists and made him radiate power from his skin like a sick humid heat.
"I thought we agreed."
"Maybe we did," she answered.
It made her heart pound to be this private witness at how defective and how utterly human the boy was. When she had first found him all she used to notice was the reek of his nervous sweat. All she noticed were the atrocious holes he’d squat in with out even candles for light. But now she could see the golden light that gleamed just under his fragile surface. She used to think she knew what grief was but now the fiercest agony she could imagine was him ordering her away forever.
“You think it’s a good idea leaving it parked out there?” Sam gave up with a sigh. “Deputy’s station is just a couple miles down the road.”
Flicking the cigarette butt into the dark ripple of the water, Ruby shrugged. Everybody and their dog owned a flatbed around here and another one rusting on the side of the road wasn’t going to call any attention.
“We both thought it would be a good idea for you to stay away for a while, Ruby,” Sam leaned down on the railing next to her. “Thought you were going to wait until we had a better shot at--”
Sam blinked at her uncertainly.
“Work, work, work,” she chided. “Is that all you ever think about?”
“Don’t come inside,” Sam glanced back at the cabin behind them. “You’ll just get Dean started and I’m…I’m just…”
She studied his downcast eyes, dark with the dim glow of the porch light. You don’t know what tired means, Sam. Her fingers twitched before she drew back a lock of sweaty bangs that were hanging down into his eyes. He didn’t move away but he didn’t reach up to greet her touch either. Her heart pounded a little harder when she saw his eyes focus on hers, hard and flat, daring her to graze his skin with her flesh one more time before he did something about it. She used to despise this half-breed mistake a demon made in a last ditch effort to win back the dark.
This man made of weak skin and bone. This child that cried at the injustice of the fates even as the universe itself bent its rules to keep him alive. Agents of of Heaven and Hell clashing unseen to keep what wanted to obliterate all traces of him and his family from the world he cherished so much.
Sam terrified her.
He thrilled her.
The thought of him made her stare into mirrors until the edge of her smile made them shatter.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
Every time her adoration of this man dissolved into weak kneed terror she reveled in the pride for having aligned herself to His side. To His purpose. To all the nonsense and mindless slaughter that would sear a way down the road she was meant to clear so that the man named Sam Winchester could move unhindered.
“M-Maybe if I talked to Dean he’d let you stay the night, maybe--”
“Don’t worry,” Ruby tapped out another cigarette from the pack. “I got that comfy truck and all the Scat porn a girl could read.”
“Have you eaten?”
“Just one toddler,” she said. “And it was on its way out anyway.”
His gaze softened for a moment, his immunity to her sarcasm no longer irritating but expected. One of his concerned looks and lopsided grins that he was either unaware of its power to force her to forgive him for anything he said or did, or a horribly subtle set series of gestures that he knew how to use exactly. She didn’t much care either way anymore. Ruby wasn’t sure when her sense of forbearance at his presence had shifted for her need for him, but it had happened so insidiously and unexpectedly that thinking about it too much made her jaw clenched until it cracked.
There was a light dusting of snow on the ground as morning came gray and cold.
It reminded her of the sickening sweet sugar powder put on donuts or the delicate sprinkle of the mold that sprung over the dead tissue of an undisturbed corpse. Ruby didn’t cringe when his hand settled on her shoulder, warm and reassuring. She wasn’t sure when her sense of tolerance at his presence had changed to worship but it had done so in such an sinister and effortless way that made a pain flash behind her eyes. But that pain faded when she reminded herself that she still had all the control.
After all this was her game.
Sam just happened to hold all the cards.