AUTHOR'S NOTE:

This is a little oneshot I thought of while watching last week's episode... you know how it goes.

Not really anything special… just one of those things that kept bugging me until I agreed to put it to paper. It's a bit angsty, but there you go.

TOO MUCH OR NEVER ENOUGH

Ruby was one or the other, Sam realized. Maybe both, he always ended up thinking if he thought about her long enough.

And he did. He always thought about her just long enough to hate himself more by the time he stopped than when he started. Ruby was good at that, Sam thought. She was too good at making him hate himself, though she wasn't entirely to blame. All the soft skin or "recycled" bodies in the world couldn't make him as miserable as he could make himself. In the end, Ruby was just another excuse… just another way for him to self-destruct. He wanted to call it quits, this time for good, and Ruby had been an eager outlet for every ounce of rage and despair that kept a bottle of whiskey in his hand for most of every day.

That night, he was ready. He was ready to be psychic again. He was ready for Lilith, ready for himself, and ready to die. What he wasn't ready for was her… the fleeting glances of her skin beneath supple leather and the way her lips pressed into a thin line when she wanted to say something she didn't feel like she should. Sam was never blind, as much hell as Dean gave him once upon a time. But Dean was gone, and Ruby was kneeling in front of him with a look in her eyes that made him want to get the hell out of her way and crush his lips to hers, all at the same time.

He would never understand why, he didn't think he wanted to, but he chose the latter of the two. Against all his better judgment and the morals he held himself to so long before, he let himself pull her up to meet him on that decrepit old couch in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Ruby had been right; the body she'd commandeered was soft and warm. More than warm… she felt like hellfire. In a way, Sam thought she was. The description was fitting; maybe too much so. He couldn't help himself after the first flicker of flame that flew from her skin to his own… he was gone, lost in her, long before the last of their clothing had collected on the dusty floor.

Remembering her, the way she was that night, made his fists clench. The same fists he'd once wrapped her hair around were now taut and begging to be used in a far less giving manner. He'd punch a wall later and pretend it was something that could actually bleed; maybe then he would feel better.

Who did he want to bleed? The thought made him grimace. Perhaps it was himself he wanted to hurt… completely self-destructive behavior had slowly become his favorite hobby over the last few months, before Dean had come back from Hell. For four of the longest months of his life, the only thing he wanted to do was end it all. Himself, Ruby, Lilith... the world. He wanted it all gone. Hence the drinking, the recklessness, and… her. She'd wrecked every suicidal idea he'd ever had, and managed to seduce him into the ideas using of his powers as well as the idea of using her. Self control, it seemed, hadn't been a problem until he had lost all sense of self.

He still tasted her, if he didn't think to consciously suppress it. All the showers in the world didn't erase her smell from his scalded flesh; some days he wondered if it ever would. When his mind wondered, he could still hear her ragged breathing in his ear blocking out every other sound in the world. The sensory overload always shoved him into depression, laced with regret and aggression, and punctuated with resignation regardless of the fact that he owed her his life. Unfortunately for both of them, the good rarely outweighed the bad and he always ended up agonizing over her for hours that stretched out ahead of him in a long history of sleepless nights. Ruby always seemed to have that effect on him.

Ruby: the demon, the liar, the bitch… his downfall and his saving grace. She was too much… and somehow, never enough.