A/N: Written for the prompt "Ruby comes through and gets Dean out of his deal. Now what?" So, yes, Sam/Ruby, but not romantic in any way (is it even possible to make those two romantic?)
The Demon's Smile
Sam pulled up outside the motel and turned off the engine. He glanced over to the room, the only one with the lights still on. He couldn't see inside but he didn't need to; he knew well enough what was waiting for him in there. He looked away and ran his hands over the steering wheel, gripping it hard and wondering briefly what would happen if he just turned the engine back on and drove away, left everything behind.
Of course, it would all catch up with him eventually. Things had a habit of catching up with him.
Instead, he picked the Colt up off of the seat next to him and checked it was loaded. He knew it was loaded, he'd made sure it was, but he checked one last time anyway. He looked back up at the motel room. The Colt gave no comfort, but he held it tighter and breathed deeper. There was a sick feeling in his stomach he couldn't will away no matter how hard he tried, and he knew he had to get a hold of himself. He had to be in control. If he walked in there so obviously afraid he wouldn't have a hope of coming out on top.
He took more deep, calming breaths and wiped his clammy hands on his pants. It wasn't much, but it would have to do; he didn't have time for anything more. He reluctantly opened the car door and stepped out into the clear night air. He took a few more steadying breaths and slipped the Colt into the back of his jeans. The familiar weight resting at the small of his back reminded him what he was here for. He wasn't here to be scared, he was here to rid himself of a problem. This was no different from any other hunt. Only that he wasn't allowed Dean as back up.
He slammed the car door shut and steeled himself, let his face show just how much hatred and rage was boiling inside him. He covered the parking lot between him and the motel room in four long strides and didn't hesitate before throwing the door open. The sight before him made his lips thin into a tight, angry line.
It surprised Sam, every time they met, just how much he was able to hate her. Ruby raised an eyebrow at him from where she was slouched comfortably in a chair across the room. She checked her watch before fixing Sam with a hard stare.
"You're cutting it a little close there, Sam." Sam said nothing, not trusting his voice or his words. He just wanted this to end. He pulled the Colt out and pointed it at Ruby, and even staring at her down the barrel of a gun, she didn't seem any less powerful. It had been too many months of her mind games and trickery leaving him so turned around he didn't know which was up. God, he just wanted her gone. Or at least for her to stop smiling.
She stood up and sauntered over until the barrel was pressing against her sternum. Still smiling, always goddamn smiling. They'd been here before, Sam pointing the Colt at Ruby, Ruby smiling at him. He almost wished he had shot her that first time. "Going to shoot me?" She raised her eyebrows at him in question and Sam sneered.
"Give me one reason why I shouldn't." The moment the words were out of his mouth, he wished he hadn't said them. He didn't want a reason to not shoot her and he was sure she had one, demons always had their own twisted reasons.
"You shoot me," she licked her lips, "And Dean takes a one-way trip straight to Hell."
"You're lying." Ruby gave him a knowing look, because she did know, she knew more about Sam than Sam did and it infuriated him, always being the one in the dark, never having the high ground.
"You wish." His finger tightened around the trigger. "But what if I'm not, Sam? What then?" She leaned closer, still held at bay by the gun pointed at her chest, but that wasn't going to last long; Sam could already feel his resolution slipping. "Are you willing to risk it?" She slowly reached up to Sam's hands and pushed the Colt away to the side and Sam let her. She sidled up to him and rested her chin on his shoulder, mouth so close to his ear, he could feel the heat of her breath. "Are you willing to gamble with your brother's soul?"
She slipped the Colt out of his hands, and he didn't protest. They both knew he wasn't willing to endanger Dean in any way. Sam dropped his head and sighed, all his resolve leaking out of him and away. Ruby stepped back, all business now she had what she wanted.
"Good, are we done with your little hissy-fit?" She walked away, back towards where she'd been sitting when Sam had come in. "Because we've got work to do.
Sam returned to his and Dean's room with a thumping headache. The room was dark when he entered and he didn't turn the light on. He wanted to put off facing Dean for as long as possible.
"You didn't do it, did you?" Unfortunately for Sam, Dean was awake and waiting for him. Sam placed the Colt down on the one old and scarred table that came with the room and rubbed his forehead.
"No, Dean, I didn't." Sam clumsily felt his way to his own bed and fell down on it. He didn't have the energy for this talk, he barely even had the energy to stay awake. He pulled himself up so his head was resting on the pillow and closed his eyes.
"What's the excuse this time? I suppose she had some bullshit reason you couldn't do it." Sam could picture Dean frowning at him across the room.
"She said you'd go to Hell," he mumbled, already teetering on the verge of consciousness.
"Of course she did. And you believed her like the idiot you are." Sam rolled over to face away from Dean.
"I couldn't take that risk, Dean, you know that." Sam could practically feel Dean's eyes boring into him, so he pulled up his knees and curled inwards on himself, ignoring Dean as best he could. He was exhausted enough that it barely took another minute before he was lulled into sleep by his brother's angry mutterings.
"We're going to have to work together on this one," said Ruby. She was sat on her bed sharpening her knife, but she peered sidelong at Sam to see his reaction. Sam sat back in his chair and huffed a sigh.
"Isn't that what we're already doing?" Honestly, Sam was working with her more than he'd ever envisioned himself working with a demon before. Working even more together would be asking a lot of him. Except that it wouldn't be, because Sam would do anything to get his brother out of the hole he'd ended up in and the whole damn world seemed to know that. Ruby definitely knew it and loved to remind him of it from time to time.
Working with Ruby was only getting more and more frustrating. He felt like an eight-year-old being led around a museum by the hand and not given enough time to read about the exhibits. This whole new world of demons and their hierarchy, which seemed simple on the surface, but when you had to get right down to the intimate workings was confusing as all hell. No pun intended.
"If you call you going out and picking up the groceries while I do all the actual hard work working together, then yes. We're already working together." She went back to concentrating on her knife. Sam watched the movements of her hands for a moment, so familiar, but entirely different at the same time.
"Picking up groceries? That's what you're calling it?" Picking up groceries didn't usually leave that uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach that Sam got after doing something Ruby had told him to. Ruby placed the knife carefully down on the bed beside her and turned to face Sam, annoyance plain on her features, though you could never tell with demons which emotion was the real one, if they even decided to show it at all.
"You're working with demons, Sam, you're going to have to get your hands dirty," she said with a glint in her eye. Sam smiled sarcastically back; he'd come back from that last errand she'd sent him on completely caked in blood, dirt and ash. Getting his hands dirty, physically at least, was not the problem. Ruby smiled disarmingly, apparently tired of that subject. "So, what do you say to working together, just you and me?" Like there was anyone else left for Sam to work with.
"Do I have a choice?" Sam's previous experience suggested the answer to his question would be no, and Ruby's grin affirmed that.
"Oh Sam, don't go all doleful-eyed on me." She stood up and stalked over to him. Sam watched her warily. "You could be enjoying this." She lowered herself into his lap, straddling his legs, and slipped closer so that their bodies fit together. "You're the one choosing to be all moody about it." Sam schooled his features into something completely void of all feeling and watched the ceiling as Ruby leaned forward and bit a trail down the side of his neck. When it seemed that she wouldn't be stopping any time soon, Sam sighed deeply.
"Are you honestly this bored?" he asked. Ruby pulled away so she could look him in the eyes. Her mouth quirked slightly.
"Fine," she said nonchalantly, getting up, but making sure a hand slid right the way down his chest before she did so. She walked towards the door, picking up the knife on the way there. She stopped with her hand on the doorknob and turned to face Sam once again, raising her shoulder in a half shrug. "We can start with killing things together and work our way up from there."
The motel room was dark when Sam returned to it, which wasn't particularly surprising considering the hour. Sam couldn't be bothered with fumbling around in the dark after the night he had been through, and honestly? He didn't care if he disturbed Dean. Dean was so infuriatingly ungrateful for everything Sam was doing for him, Sam would get a nice sense of satisfaction from disturbing his beauty sleep. He flicked the light on. Dean wasn't sleeping.
Dean was sitting in a chair, staring at the blank wall. He hadn't even flinched at the sudden light; he just kept staring. Sam walked into his line of sight but Dean looked right through him. It was creepy, to say the least.
"Dean?" Sam approached his brother. "Dean? Are you in there?" He waved his hand in front of Dean's face. Dean blinked, which was either a reaction or a reflex, though both would have been good. Sam grabbed his brother by the shoulders and knelt in front of him, shaking him slightly. "Dean, snap out of it." He shook harder, but Dean kept staring. "Dean! Come on, man. Don't do this." Dean still wasn't responding, so Sam sat back and slapped him.
He was rewarded with a great intake of breath, Dean rubbing at his sore cheek, and Dean finally looking at him. Looking at him in annoyance, but still looking at him.
"What did you do that for?" Dean spat at him.
"You were completely out of it. Like, on a different planet."
"I know," said Dean, anger quite apparent, "That was the point. And you come back and fuck it all up. Like you always come back and fuck everything up. Jesus, Sam!" Sam concentrated on the first part of what Dean had said and ignored the accusation of being a fuck-up. Dean was throwing out insults more and more often. At first Sam had taken them to heart – he couldn't ignore them – and the guilt had eaten away at him. It still did, of course, but by now, he took what Dean said in his stride. Dean was just tired of being stuck in one place for so long and he was letting his frustration get the best of him.
"So, you don't want to be here? You can leave the room if you want." Sam gestured pointlessly towards the door and Dean glanced at it but then sank back in his chair.
"No, Sam, I don't want to be here. At all. I don't want to be." Sam was stunned. He let Dean's words sink in for a moment and then shook his head, partially to clear it and partially because he didn't want to believe it.
"Are you saying you're suicidal?"
"Yes!" Dean burst out with, and then, "No! I don't know!" Dean wiped a hand over his face and seemed to shrink into himself. "I don't have anything to live for, Sam." Sam put his hand on Dean's knee and waited until Dean looked at him.
"You've got yourself." Dean snorted. "And you've got me."
"I don't care about you."
"What?" Sam tried to find the joke in Dean's eyes. Anything about Dean's posture that said 'only kidding!' but he couldn't see it. He knew his brother, he knew when he was joking and he wasn't. But that meant that Dean was seriously saying he didn't care about Sam, which just did not make sense. There had to be something Sam was missing.
"I'm sorry, Sam." Dean didn't sound particularly sorry. "I've tried to care about you. I remember what it was like caring about you, but I just can't. I... I..." Dean turned his face away from Sam. "I can't laugh any more, and music just sounds like noise. I can't even sing. The Impala's just another car, and the supernatural is an annoyance at best. I can't care about anything. I've got this gaping hole inside me that I can't fill. It hurts so bad and I want it to stop. I'm not all here, Sam. I'm not me."
Sam's mind was reeling. He didn't know what to think. The words Dean had said and the way he had said them with so little emotion were just too much to contemplate. But Sam had a good idea who was behind it.
"Ruby," he growled, "She's done something to you. She's made you like this." Sam stood up, anger bubbling under his skin. "I'm going to find out what she did, Dean. Don't you worry, I'll find out and I'll make it better. Don't worry." Sam was back out the door almost before he finished talking and only just remembered to pick up the car keys in his hurry. He shut the door behind him, leaving Dean alone in the room, staring at the blank wall.
"What have you done to him?" Sam growled. Ruby didn't even look away from the infomercial she was watching on TV.
"Seeing as it's you talking, I'm guessing 'he' is Dean, but apart from that you're really going to have to be more specific." She sounded bored. Sam stalked closer until he was standing over her.
"There's something wrong with him. You've done something." Ruby finally looked up at him, eyes searching his in the way that made it felt like she was reading his mind. She couldn't, though, Sam knew that; he'd recently made sure of it. Ruby laughed like Sam had told an incredibly funny joke and when she finally stopped, she grinned up at him. Sam waited her out in stony silence.
"Of course there's something wrong with him; he hasn't got a soul!" Ruby pushed herself up and sat on the edge of the bed, Sam moved away, staying out of her reach. "Sam you can be so naïve sometimes. You can't expect someone to be all hunky-dory when they don't have a soul." Sam was so tired of having these titbits of information thrown at him, and so tired of seeing Ruby's smile while she did it.
"Before, Dean still had his soul. Right up until the moment that demon came to collect. Then it got bounced back and forth a few times before it finally made its way into my care. The rest, as they say, is history."
"How is Dean still alive?" Ruby grinned and stretched, then leant back on her elbows.
"He's alive because I am very good at what I do. Not every demon can work magic like that." Sam took another step back. "Of course, a human without a soul can only last so long before he goes completely insane, but we'll be done with all this long before that becomes a problem." She fixed with a hard stare. "Won't we." It was more a threat than a question and Sam nodded. Ruby smiled at the lack of fight Sam put up. "Good. Now, if you don't mind, I was watching TV."
Sam, quiet and subdued, backed out of the room. He slowly shut the door and leaned against it for a moment. He'd seen Ruby's smirk just before the door closed and rather than the anger he usually felt at that facial expression, he felt happy. Ruby thought he was backing down. That was exactly what he wanted her to think.
Sam's mind was already turning over all the possibilities as he got back into the Impala and made his way back to Dean. He needed Dean's soul back, and he was going to get it back at any cost, though, that wasn't new. But there was a whole new time limit to this game now; get Dean's soul back before he slips off the edge of sanity. Plainly, it was happening faster than Ruby wanted him to believe. Now that Sam was able to hold back information from Ruby – and he better be, he'd practised enough – he could start gaining the upper hand.
Doing things Ruby's way was not an option any more. She'd just lead him along until Dean's time ran out or she had all the power she wanted and could just toss Sam aside. Sam should never have expected more from a demon.
First thing he needed to do was to explore these powers of his that she kept insisting he wasn't ready to control yet. And Sam had contacts, contacts he was sure (as sure as he could be) were loyal to him, and not to Ruby. He'd start there and see where that lead him.
Same grinned and shivered in anticipation. He was done working with Ruby.
"Hey, Dean," said Sam quietly. He threw his things on the bed and carefully approached Dean. Dean was staring at the wall, which had recently become his favourite pastime. The wall was no longer blank, at least, Sam had put up his own decorations to try and remind Dean that there were things to live for, like having his soul back. Sam had no idea if it worked, but he had to try.
"Dean, look at me." Dean blinked. Sam smiled slightly as he knelt down next to his brother. He used a finger to turn Dean's head towards him. Dean's eyes stayed on the wall as long as possible but he did finally drag his gaze to Sam's face. He blinked again. "Dean? Are you with me?" There was a flutter of eyelids and a slight jerk of the head that Sam took to be a nod. It was a good sign. Aside from eating and drinking (because, apparently, the survival instinct doesn't come with the soul), Dean spent his whole time inside his head. Or perhaps outside of it, perhaps nowhere at all, Sam wasn't quite sure, but it usually took a lot to reach Dean through the apathy.
"I've been working hard, Dean, and I've learnt a lot. That's why I've been going out so much, remember?"
Dean's eyebrow twitched.
"You wouldn't believe the things I can do now." Sam paused, he sounded too much like he was talking to a dead man. "You i won't /i believe them when I get you back."
"I think I'm finally ready, Dean. You don't have to wait any more." Sam couldn't hold his grin back and was almost bouncing on the balls of his feet with excitement.
Dean's lips tightened briefly.
"Yes! I can do this, I really can. I'm going to get your soul back and then we can finally get out of here and do whatever we want. Go wherever we want. There'll be no deal, no demons on our trail, no eternity of Hell... Dean, it'll be perfect, you'll see."
Dean turned back to watch the wall.
"Dean? What's wrong?" But Dean was gone. That fucking wall, Sam wanted to tear it down, but he suppressed the urge. He had to concentrate on tearing down Ruby, an act which promised to be far more productive.
Sam sighed and moved over towards his bed. He sat down on it abruptly, the bed frame protesting before it settled. Sam wiped a hand over his face. All he wanted at that moment was to hear his brother's voice. Not just something from that shell that sat in the chair across the room doing nothing but staring, he wanted to hear his brother.
Sam hadn't been lying when he said he'd do anything for Dean. He had already done anything and nothing would stop him from going further. Just, sometimes, he wished he didn't have to.
"Sam!" said Ruby with a delighted smile, "I didn't expect to see you here so soon!" Sam came further into the room, head hanging. He was good at playing the kicked puppy.
"Ruby," he said, putting every ounce of energy he had into sounding like he had none left, "Ruby, I can't do this any more." Ruby's smile widened. "It's too much, all this fucked-up shit you're making me do." Sam let some anger slip into his voice. "And for what? What do I have to show for it?" Ruby got up off the bed and sashayed towards him. She ran a hand across his back; a sick parody of comfort.
"You've got some pretty awesome telekinesis," she said. Sam suddenly turned and grabbed Ruby's arms, holding them against her sides.
"What the fuck use is that?" he yelled right into her face. "My brother finds a wall more interesting than he finds me. A wall! When are you going to let his soul go?"
"All in due time." Ruby was the epitome of calmness.
"When the fuck is that? He's slipping away, he's already almost gone!" Sam's eyes filled with tears. "He's... He's..." Sam let his knees buckle and he collapsed to the floor, he could practically feel Ruby rolling her eyes as she followed him down. "Please, Ruby." He looked up at her, using his most pathetic expression that he knew would get Dean, or anyone with half a heart, obeying his every whim. "I just... I need..." He slid a hand up to cup her chin and softly pulled her towards him. He caught what might have been a flash of triumph in her eyes, but she quickly replaced it with her usual cockiness.
Their lips were pressed together for barely a second before Ruby's tongue wormed its way out and Sam opened his mouth to let it in. Sam suppressed the urge to gag at the taste of sulphur, death and ash. It hit the back of his throat hard and he had to pull away, pretending to be breathless for an entirely different reason. He looked into Ruby's eyes and saw the demon, rather than the human packaging, the human in there was dead, or as good as. "Bed," he breathed, undoing the buttons of his outer shirt to really make the point. Ruby did as she was told, smiling all the while.
"What made you change your mind?" She lay back, one hand behind her head, eyes fixed on Sam.
"Shut the fuck up," was all Sam could think to say, and the emotion behind those words, at least, was entirely sincere. He threw his shirt aside and stood at the side of the bed. He took a deep breath to collect himself and then crawled on top of Ruby, face to face, his legs either side of hers. Sam looked down at her and his mouth quirked slightly. Ruby's eyes narrowed in suspicion but Sam pressed his mouth over hers before she could do anything. He forced her mouth open then shut his eyes and pushed himself, his essence, up and out and into her body. Ruby immediately pushed him right back.
"What the--" was all she had time to get out before Sam roughly invaded her mouth again. He pushed himself into her body again, this time far more prepared for her to fight back. He found himself surrounded the swirling blackness that was familiar to all demons. He stared around at it for a moment before an almighty shove pushed him back into his own body.
Both of them were breathing heavily and Sam wiped the sweat off his forehead with his arm. "How do you...?"
"I've been taking lessons." Sam grinned at the look on Ruby's face as she tried to catch up with Sam's abilities.
"Now, that would be telling," said Sam before he pushed his way back in.
He was standing in the dark swirling mass again, though it looked more agitated now, if that was possible. He forced a way open in front of him and started his search. Sam wasn't entirely sure what a soul looked like, but he was pretty sure he'd know one when he saw it. Sure enough, it wasn't long before he caught a glimpse of something considerably brighter being tucked away from him whenever he got too near. It appeared to his right and he lashed out with a hand and caught hold of it, but it was wrenched out of his grasp as he was forced out of Ruby once again.
"You can't, you can't take him by force." Bloody saliva dripped out of Sam's mouth and onto Ruby's face. It looked like a grotesque beauty spot, but it went well with Ruby's teeth and lips, covered in blood as they were. Sam raised an eyebrow.
"And why not?"
"You'll damage his soul. They're delicate. You'll hurt Dean." Sam didn't even give that statement the time of day. A damaged soul was better than no soul at all. So Sam had no guilt at all when he dived back in and ripped the bright fluttering light out of Ruby's harsh grip.
Sam pulled back, both physically and mentally. He could feel Dean's rescued soul inside him, filling him up and warming him, and he couldn't help the laugh the escaped him. Then he looked back at Ruby, who was still breathing and had blood leaking out of the side of her mouth. Sam got up off the bed and moved towards the door. Ruby's eyes followed his every movement, though she did nothing else and just lay there on the bed, pulling herself back together.
Sam cast a glance back at her and spat a mouthful of blood on the floor before he left the room.
Ruby watched the door, listened to Sam climb into his car and start the engine, licked her lips, and smiled.
Thank you for reading! Also, no, I don't know Ruby's plans exactly. It's something evil though.