Disclaimer: I don't own them, I don't know who does but it isn't me. And I'm certainly not making any money off of this. Also note that this is SLASH Ruby/Ada, nothing graphic though.

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Sometimes Ruby thought that she'd give anything to have the sort of fine china beauty Ada had. She'd get so enamored with the idea that it would eat her up inside and she would find her eyes fixing firmly on the perfect creamy curves and planes of her friend's face, the way Ada's flaxen hair brushed silk smooth cheeks that gave way to a firm delicate jawline, strong perfectly straight nose, wide blue eyes that sparkled with good humor and intelligence. All crowned with the perfection that was her mouth, rosy red and ripe for kisses.

Yes, sometimes it got so bad that Ruby found herself staring so hard and so long that Ada began rubbing at her cheeks thinking she had made a mess of herself. That's when Ruby forced herself to save her looks for night when Ada was distracted by her books and her music and memories. Because she had long ago figured out that Ada would never be so vulgar as to smear jam on her chin or get gravy on her fingers and it wouldn't be long before Ada herself realized it too and took to giving Ruby strange nervous looks.

It took months before Ruby realized that the strange yearning inside her heart had everything to do with wanting to _have_ Ada and not a thing to do with wanting to _be_ Ada. It only took a rooster's crow or a reticent cow to set fear and nervousness blazing to life in Ada's eyes. Ruby had survived to hard a life to ever want to trade her round plain lowclass looks in for neverending fear of such silly things.

Ruby would never suffer the sort of softness Ada embodied in herself, she would ruthlessly snuff it out before the world took notice and did it for her, but it was different on Ada. It was okay. And Ruby found herself wanting to protect that tender belly that Ada couldn't help but show.

Of course that didn't mean Ruby was going to let the silly girl sleep the day away when she needed a hand building a fence...but it did mean she would let Ada go bathe and primp and fritter away an early evening instead of helping weed the garden. Fence building left your hands rough for weeks, weekly weeding along with a hundred other little chores that Ruby forgot to mention to Ada left your hands rough for life.

So in a way Ruby turned herself into a servant, though Ada never noticed. And she felt herself well paid when Ada's milk soft hands brushed her cheek or her arm casually as she spoke of some poet or other that Ruby could have read but never wanted to.

One day she'd likely let it all slip to Ada because Ruby never was the type to keep secrets, not even her own. She knew she'd find herself telling Ada about the way her lips tingled the day the other woman did the unthinkable and spilled the gravy and licked it from her fingers with a fluttery laugh at her own daring. Or the evening Ruby had woken restless and snuck down to settle on the stairs in the dark watching Ada's clever fingers dance out the slow sweet melody of better times on ivory piano keys.

And she'd lose it all when she did, because Ada was waiting for her Inman not some plain bossy little girl with a sharp tongue and broken past.

But that was okay, Ruby Thewes was used to losing things.