Spoilers: Yes, through 4.10
Summary: Ruby wants.
Notes: Written for thehighwaywoman, who wanted Sam/Dean, outside POV. When I saw the prompt, I immediately wanted to write this fic from Ruby's POV. I'd been thinking of this for some time, and after one of the episodes, ninhursag and cormallen made some comments about why Ruby went to hell, and some of those ideas were similar to what I was thinking.
***HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!*** I hope it's close to something you wanted. :)
****I somehow managed to delete the original story and the comments. Thanks to everyone who replied--I appreciate it, and I apologize for my idiocy! :S
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. -Revelations
Clear as Crystal
They tell her it's been five years. Five years since they dragged her under, five years since she was alive.
Five years since she was human.
The largest one, the one with red eyes, grabs her by the elbow and shoves her forward. "Since you've been such a good little witch, we are going to give you a break."
The other one, the one with the Spanish accent, leers. "You'd like a break, yes?"
She doesn't answer immediately. She's learned quickly enough that helpful doesn't cut it in hell. She works to conjure up what they want: sarcasm, hostility, biting rage.
They shove her forward, push the image in front of her face, and just like that, the façade fades away. She can't hide her reaction. "Nicholas," she says, reaching out.
The red-eyed demon makes a noise, a cruel sound, a perversion of a laugh. "He has moved on. Rather well, I must say. Look at him. Look how happy he is, having you out of his life."
She can see him clearly, as if she were standing in the meadow with him: his broad shoulders, his tan skin, his bright smile and dimples. Nicholas pauses and turns, smiling as a little boy runs toward him—a little boy with hazel eyes and light brown curls.
"Think he's enjoying your sacrifice?" The demon squeezes her arm. "Enjoying the children that you couldn't give him?"
After that day, she doesn’t have to pretend. She sneers, she hates, she loathes, and she punishes.
"We have something special for you," they say and she rolls her eyes, undaunted. She's been here before, with them taunting her, goading her, and she survived that. She survived it, and she flourished. "A project of sorts. Some of Azazel's unfinished business."
They flash the image before her, and just like before, she's not prepared. Six hundred years should be more than enough, but she's not ready for it. "Nicholas." She whispers his name.
"No," they say. "But close enough."
Of course it's not him. He's long dead, moved on to heaven, enjoying all those pure white blessings that she'll never have.
"Why me?" she asks. It's true that she's learned, that she's gotten hard and ruthless, capable of making things happen, getting results, but she's not exactly high-ranking.
"Because." The demon's glee fills the air. "Because of him, the way he looks. We know you'll do whatever we ask." The demon grins, showing its hideous teeth. "If, and this is a big if, you get it right, then maybe we'll let you out for good."
She doesn't believe them, not at all, but it's a chance to prove herself worthy, to stand out.
She can't say for sure when it happens. When she abandons hell's plan and creates her own, a plan that helps Sam Winchester. She can't say for sure when she falls in love with him. At first, she doesn't notice. She's too busy: fighting, arguing, researching, making sure that Dean doesn't ruin everything.
Then she's trying to figure out why the hell Sam fascinates her so much, and how she's gotten herself into this position again, ignoring what's best for her, and worrying about what's best for him.
Even before he touches her, she sees him look, sees him appreciate her body. She's glad now, that she took the time to find this particular girl's body—the voice is softer, face less harsh. She's seen it before in men, even the ones who know better. How could anyone who looks like that be evil? She suspects it gets to him, even to Sam, who understands that demons choose the face they wear.
It hurts to see him like this, aching for his brother. It hurts like losing Nicholas all over again, so she's glad to be able to give him something, some small comfort.
She knows Sam doesn't love her. She knows he'd rip her apart himself to get his brother back. But she hopes that in time, he'll get used to her. That he'll be fond of her, even if he never quite trusts her.
She didn't know that Dean would be coming back.
So what, she tells herself. Dean's his brother; he loves him. But there's still room. Room for me.
She keeps on working with Sam, warning him, being his friend, waiting.
In November, she's reading research notes in the motel's kitchenette until after midnight. She sees movement and glances up, watching as Sam stops what he's doing at the computer and gets up, unfolding a blanket. He throws it over Dean, who's passed out on the bed, and then arranges the blanket. He collects his laptop and papers from the desk and spreads them out, right next to his brother, and keeps on typing.
Ruby watches, fascinated. Sam is a different person when his brother's around.
So it becomes a habit, a secret indulgence that she allows herself. She watches Sam, watches him with Dean, trying to understand him. Even while they're resentful and arguing, bitterness seeping out through every word, she can see it. The sheer relief in Sam's eyes, in the set of his jaw, his expression of pure joy, however diluted while they're fighting, that Dean is back. It screams from every cell in Sam's body: happyhomeloveDean.
One night while they're searching for Anna, Ruby pauses in front of Sam's motel room. There's a gap at the bottom of the blinds, an inch of space that lets her peek inside, unnoticed.
She watches as Dean dumps a box of Doritos into a bowl and props it on his knee, watches as Sam reaches for a chip, biting into it without looking. The chip breaks and crumbles, half of it falling onto the brown motel carpet. Sam huffs, a tiny sigh, and reaches for another, just as Dean moves the bowl out of his reach. While Sam's grasping for the bowl, Dean grabs Sam's Coke out of his other hand and tips it back, drinking nearly half the can.
Sam is indignant. "Hey. I just got that."
Dean shrugs, unrepentant. "Your point is?"
"You've slobbered all over it before I had a chance to take a drink."
Dean licks the edge of the can, wiggling his tongue. "Ooh, scary germs."
But Sam doesn't gag or yell gross! or yank the can away. Sam just throws his head back and laughs.
One week later, Anna is gone, exploded into a big fucking ball of light, and Ruby expects to find Dean guilty and moping, and Sam regarding him carefully, placating and cajoling about noble sacrifices and heavenly duty. She finds the cabin where they're hiding out, and looks through the front door.
What she doesn't expect is this:
Dean in front of the cabin's fireplace, no shirt. Sam sitting barefoot, legs crossed, his neck bent forward while Dean rubs his hands all over Sam's shoulders.
They've always been close. Understatement. But. This is something else. She doesn't leave, doesn't want to.
Sam murmurs and groans, twisting his head around. "Yeah, right there."
Dean pushes harder with his thumb. "That feel good?" he asks.
"Mmm. I need a permanent masseuse."
"I'll get right on that, princess." Dean spreads his palms out across Sam's back, presses into firm muscle. "Maybe get you a spa membership. You can get your fingernails done."
Sam swats at him. Dean shoves back and they're wrestling. Strong legs locking, arms pushing and shoving until Sam's got Dean pinned to the floor, and then. Then.
Ruby's mouth opens.
Dean lets his head fall back, and Sam licks the skin along his collarbones.
Sam's hands, his perfect hands, the ones that can type and pull a trigger, run down Dean's bare arms.
Sam kisses down his chest, back up again, bites Dean's jaw, and just like that Dean's arms are grabbing at Sam, and then they're tumbling again, rolling over, arms and legs tangling.
There is nothing new here, no fresh discovery. As they strip their clothes off, it's obvious that this is years old, comfortable. Passionate, but familiar.
It all makes sense now. Sam's desperation. His single mindedness. His determination.
She can see the sentiment, broadcasting as if Sam's saying it out loud: thank god he's here. Thank god we still have this.
She watches as they move together—they really are beautiful, all long lines and hard muscles, broad shoulders and strong jaws. Tough. Fierce. Loyal.
If she were human, she'd be throwing up right now, sick at her stomach over everything she misunderstood. But she doesn't need her body to remind her that she's not human—Sam's done that well enough.
She waits until Dean steps out—likely on his way to some mundane location to pick up clean laundry or greasy fries—and beats on the cabin door. Sam steps out, still looking dazed and content, and she corners him. She tries for righteous indignation, but it falls flat. She really hopes she covers up her heartbreak. "How could you?"
Sam is not paying attention. "How could I what?"
"I saw you. I saw you."
"Saw me what?"
"With." She gestures inside the cabin. "With Dean."
She watches it wash over him, sees that he gets what she's saying. He doesn't flinch like she expects him to. He doesn't lie, or deny it, or try to hide. He meets her eyes. "You don't understand."
"What about Anna?"
"What about her?"
This clearly isn't going her way. She changes directions. "He's your brother."
Sam shrugs. "It's bigger than that. We don't put a label on it."
"How very existential of you!" She is trying really, really hard to keep the hysterical edge out of her voice.
"Why do you even care?"
"It's just." She flounders. She can't let him know. Demons aren't supposed to fall in love. She hasn't been following orders from hell for a long time now, but she still has her pride. "It's wrong."
"So now a demon's giving me lessons on morality." Sam scoffs. "Ruby, I appreciate everything you've done for me, I really do. But this is none of your business."
She opens her mouth, but Sam cuts her off, clearly wanting to finish his tirade. "Dean is not your business. What we do, what we are, that's ours. It always has been, it always will be." Sam shifts to the other foot. "Is it a problem for you? You want to quit working with us?"
He's easy, casual when he asks. She realizes. He doesn't know. He doesn't know her at all. There's nothing between them, nothing, nothing more than Sam's appreciation for her help, his somewhat diminished loyalty now that Dean's alive again. He fucked her and Dean fucked Anna, and that's all it was, sex. When it matters, it's Dean and Sam, Sam and Dean, and no one else.
"No." Her voice comes out flat and hollow. "It's fine. Just a momentary freak-out."
"Wait." His forehead wrinkles, and he looks genuinely confused. "Are you upset?"
"No." She nearly spits the word out. She will never admit this, never let him know. She doesn't think she could stand to see him pity her. "No."
"Okay. I know it's weird." His mouth quirks, but doesn't look sheepish at all. "But we usually keep a lid on it. So." He doesn't invite her in. She can hear what he's not saying, can read it in the way he's holding his body. Yeah, it's screwed up and sick and twisted and against all the rules, but you know what, heaven and hell and the world in general have fucked us over and I don't give a shit what anyone thinks anymore.
She doesn't tell him that they really don't cover it that well. She has a feeling she'd get the same response.
He gives her one last look, then turns and goes back inside.
She walks away, but doesn't leave, hiding around the corner of the cabin until Dean pulls in and goes inside.
There are many who'd say a demon can't love.
Ruby knows the truth.
She creeps back to the window; she stands outside in the snow, watching them in front of the glowing amber flames. She stares at them trading insults, flipping through channels, finally settling on Scrubs. They sit on the couch, shoulder to shoulder, skin to skin, watching the television, warm and cozy in the firelight. Together.
****I somehow managed to delete the original entry and the comments--and I still hadn't replied to everyone yet! So thank you everyone, for your lovely comments. I appreciate it. I'm such a goober, omg. :S