Title: Zodiac Life
Fandom: 7th Heaven
Pairing: Martin Brewer and Ruthie Camden
Table: Chinese Zodiac Table
Prompts: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar.
Rating: pg
Summary: Martin and Ruthie head to the zoo for the day. What will happen between the friends? Then take place in season 10, after Martin leaves to take care of Aaron.
Author's Notes: This is the hardest challenge I've ever done!

Rat

Ruthie laid in bed reading a book. She was bored beyond belief, with no hope of anything changing that. Her phone rang, "Hello?"

"Ruthie, it's me Martin."

"Martin? Hey how are you?"

"Good, I was wondering if you would like to hang out at the zoo with me."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I wouldn't have called if I wasn't sure."

"True, ok I'll be ready in a few minutes."

"Cool, I'll pick you up in a minute, just have to cross the street," he laughed slightly.

"Ok, I'll be ready."

She hung up the phone and sat up placing the book on the dresser next to the bed. She put her shoes on, checked her hair and makeup before heading out the door of her bedroom. She was excited to see Martin again. She hadn't even heard from him since he left to go be with Sandy and their son.

She made it to the door just as Martin knocked, "Hey."

"I'm ready, let's go," she said with a smile. What she really wanted to do was hug him and never let go, but she wouldn't embarrass herself like that.

"So how have you bee Ruthie?"

"Good, you?" she asked as they headed for Martin's car.

"I've been doing well."

"Good, how is Aaron?"

"Growing like a weed," he smiled.

"That's good."

At the Zoo…

Ruthie and Martin walked past the cages of the smaller animals. Ruthie hated the big rat she saw and Martin laughed at her face. "You scared?"

"No, I just hate rats," she groaned, "thought you knew that about me

Ox

Martin walked ahead of Ruthie slightly until they reached the pen for the ox. She had been silent ever since he made the comment about her being scared of the rat. He couldn't take it anymore.

"Did I do something?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, you've been giving me the silent treatment every since the rat cage."

"Sorry, I was just thinking."

"About what?"

"I'm trying to figure out why you called me today. You haven't exactly stayed in contact with me since Aaron was born. I only hear things when Simon tells me! How could you just walk out of my life without so much as a goodbye?"

"I thought it would be easier for you that way. I knew how you felt about me and I thought goodbye would hurt more."

"Well you thought wrong, it wasn't easier for me, and goodbye would have been nice Martin. I deserved that much!"

Tiger

Ruthie took off walking toward the tiger cages and Martin rushes to catch up with her.

"Wait up!"

"Why?"

"Don't you want to hear why I did it?"

Ruthie stopped, "Yeah, I do, so why did you leave like that?"

"Cause I couldn't say goodbye to you."

"What?"

"All I ever do is say goodbye to people I love and I didn't want to say goodbye again. I said goodbye to my mom and I just couldn't do it again."

"But I wasn't dying," she said softly, "I was just losing the man I love."

"I know, but for me it was deeper, wait did you just say you love me?"

Rabbit

Ruthie turned and rushed away. She could not believe she had just said that to Martin.

Martin followed Ruthie as fast as he could run, but she was running as fast a rabbit. He finally caught up with her and grabbed her by the arm, "Stop!"

Ruthie tried to break free from Martin, but he held her arm firmly in a grip.

"Let me go Martin," she cried.

"No, not until you hear me out."

"I don't want to hear you say that you don't love me like that. I don't want to hear you say I'm too young for you, just let me go!"

"I love you too!"

"What?"

"I love you too and I have for a long time."

"How long?"

"Since the day you broke up with Vincent and you hugged me."

"Then why did you sleep with Sandy?"

"Cause I was stupid, I didn't think I had a chance with you and I made a mistake."

"Why did you think you had no chance with me?"

"Cause you're perfect Ruthie."

Dragon

Ruthie and Martin sat down on a bench in front of the Kimono dragon cage.

"I'm not perfect Martin."

"But you are to me, you're my best friend and I've never seen you let anyone down. You believe in God and you're a good Christian. You're beautiful Ruthie, inside and out."

A tear rolled down Ruthie's cheek. Martin reached over and wiped it off for her, "Don't cry Ruthie."

"Don't tell me not to cry, you are all I've wanted and now everything is so messed up. How can we be together now? You're a father Martin; I can't take you from your little boy."

Snake

"Well Ruthie, you don't have to take me from my son, because I don't have one."

"What?"

"Sandy told me last night that she was pregnant the night we had sex."

"That snake in the grass!"

"Yeah, it's part of the reason I called you. I wanted someone to talk to about this. I love Aaron Ruthie; I can't believe he isn't mine."

"You have any idea whose son he is?"

"Yeah, Ruthie that's the other thing, Simon is the father."

Ruthie gasped, "Simon!"

"Yeah."

"My parents are going to freak out, so is Simon. Rose is going to freak out for sure!"

Horse

"No Rose is going to have a horse," joked Martin.

"Does Simon know yet?"

"Sandy is telling Simon and Rose right now."

"Does this mean we can be together?" asked Ruthie.

"If you'll have me," smiled Martin.

"As if you have to ask," smiled Ruthie. She leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips. "So can we finish our day at the zoo now boyfriend?"

"Sure can, girlfriend," said Martin as he pulled Ruthie up from the bench.

Sheep

Martin and Ruthie walked hand and hand through the rest of the zoo. Ruthie stopped and pointed out a small little sheep next to its mother.

"How cute is the little sheep?"

"He is adorable, kind of short, but he'll grow," smiled Martin.

Ruthie slightly punched him, "He's a baby; they're supposed to be small."

Monkey

As Martin and Ruthie neared the monkey cage, Martin busted out laughing. Ruthie looked at him, "What's so funny?"

"That monkey, reminds me of Mac," he snickered.

Ruthie looked at the monkey, it did resemble Mac, she laughed.

Rooster

From behind them the rooster crowed and scared both Ruthie and Martin. Martin hugged Ruthie close and kiss her gently. He loved the feel of kissing her and never wanted to stop. He pulled away slowly, "I like kissing you."

"I like you kissing me too," joked Ruthie.

Dog

While hugging Martin, Ruthie felt something hit her from behind. She jumped and turned to see a dog at her feet. She knelt down to pet it. Martin looked around and didn't see anyone coming for the dog. "There doesn't seem to be anyone here with him."

"Let him follow us around, maybe the owner close."

"If not we can make an announcement over the PA system," said Martin. "Ok, he can follow us if he wants."

Boar

When they got to the boar cage, the dog started barking at the boar so they left the cage before the dog could scare the boar.

Someone from the zoo security came over to them, "You can't bring a dog into the zoo."

"We didn't bring it, it found us over there. It's not ours," said Martin.

"I'll make an announcement, you two come with me."

After 20 minutes, no one came for the dog and the security guy came over. "Do either of you want a dog?"

"I can't my parents would kill me," said Ruthie.

Martin said, "Are you sure the owners are here?"

"Everyone is gone kid, if you don't take the dog, then it will go to the pound tonight and probably be put down tomorrow."

"I'll take it," said Martin. "I've always wanted a dog."

The security guy brings the Golden Retriever to Martin on a leash, "Here you go kid."

"Thanks."

Martin and Ruthie headed to his car with the dog. Ruthie smiled, "So what are you going to name him?"

"I'm thinking Chance."

"Why Chance? You mean after that movie, Incredible Journey?"

"No, I mean like today I got a second Chance to make things right."