AN: Okay! So! The episode just ended here and I was right, wasn't I? Definitely need some cheering up. I worked my butt off on this chapter and I still don't know if it's good enough. Oh well, it'll have to be good enough.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of the characters.
Written by Becks Rylynn
Chapter Four: They Call It A Cliche
Ruby had been to hell. She had endured hundreds of years of torture in the pit and then she had done the torturing herself. She was a demon who remembered being human, which sometimes really sucked by the way. She had been poisoned once, which was a horrible experience. She had been dragged through a hell of a lot of crap during the war. Oh yeah and there was a small possibility she might have fallen for a Winchester somewhere along the way too. But she would prefer not to talk about that.
All in all, she had been through a lot.
None of that compared to this. This was hell all over again. It was official. Mia Karpentar was the devil. The girl - oops. Sorry. The woman (pfft!) had been talking nonstop for fifteen minutes about her dress. Okay, so maybe your wedding was supposed to be the happiest day of your life, but was it really necessary to describe your dress six times? Ruby didn't think so.
''...And it really is the most beautiful thing you'll ever see,'' Mia was saying as she scribbled happily in a thank you card. Another thing! Who send out thank you cards before the wedding? Humph. Maybe she was a witch. Which would mean it would be best to get rid of her while there was still time. Ruby nearly smiled at the thought but kept her lips drawn into a careful line as she put card after card into envelopes. Her fingers were becoming seriously damaged from all the paper cuts.
''Ruby?'' A feminine hand invaded her line of vision, engagement ring sparkling in the sunlight. ''Ruby, are you listening to me?''
The blonde looked up sharply and smiled a smile that was so obviously fake. Anyone could tell it wasn't real. Anyone but Mia that is. ''Sorry, what? I must have zoned out there for a second.'' Licking her lips nervously, Ruby attempted to make her smile a little more real and pretended she wasn't thinking of bad things. ''I haven't had enough coffee today.''
''I said you'll have to come and see my dress. Maybe after we're done here we could stop by the dress shop and I could try it on for you.''
'Yeah, 'cause that sounds like a romping good time.'
''They're still making some adjustments,'' Mia continued, ''but I'm sure they'll let us - ''
''Oh, no, Mia, really that's okay. I...'' Ruby swallowed hard and tried to think of an excuse around the slight panic lining her brain. ''I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.'' When Mia seemed accepting of her answer, Ruby barely managed to stifle a relieved sigh. The last thing she wanted to do was see Mia in a white wedding gown, looking more beautiful then she ever would be. The last thing she wanted to think about was Mia walking down the aisle towards Dean, ready to start forever.
The word rolled around in her head and she momentarily froze, hand slipping, earning her finger another paper cut she could barely feel. Stubbornly, she pushed away the slight feeling of grief and jealousy and told herself none of the other wives had been forevers. Maybe Mia wasn't either. A girl could hope.
''Can I ask you something, Rubes?'' Mia spoke suddenly and Ruby's heart constricted. She was glad the gi - woman wasn't looking at her or she would see blue eyes flash black. No one was allowed to call her that. No one except Dean.
''Sure,'' she managed to get out through gritted teeth.
The young bride-to-be looked up, face suddenly serious, eyes narrowed in suspicion. ''Have you and Dean ever...you know...have you ever....?''
Ruby paused for a brief second, but carefully avoided acting like that question hadn't totally hit her like a slap in the face. Her hands carefully placed an envelope down onto the table and slowly, a smirk formed on her lips as she looked up to meet the other woman's eyes, glad Mia was too dense to see the danger hidden behind blue eyes. ''You mean have we ever slept together?''
Mia blushed and looked away like she was ashamed of the question. Slowly, she nodded. ''Yeah.''
Ruby did not like to think of herself as a very emotional person. However...when she thought of that night a few years back - and thinking about it was pretty much inevitable - she felt an array of very much unwelcome emotions spiraling through her head and heart. She would have loved to say to the ditz ''yes, we slept together and guess what, honey? I'll bet you can't make him scream like I can.''
But she didn't say that.
Instead she quirked the smallest smile ever and concentrated on enveloping. ''No. We're just friends.''
You dirty little liar, you.
''Oh,'' Mia's face clouded with relief and she drew in a deep breath, placing a hand over her heart. ''Good. I was really worried there for a second.'' Only a second? 'Come now, Mia, surely you're not that stupid. You have to see everything hiding between Dean and that.....blonde,' a tiny voice in her head drawled in a silky smooth voice. Mia shook the thought away easily and smiled again. Very wide, very white, very fake. ''You know, Ruby, I'm really glad we're spending time together.'' She paused and waited for a ''yeah, me too,'' but it never came. Ruby's eyes remained blank as she blinked at Mia like she had two heads. The younger girl simply shrugged and carried on talking.
And boy could she ever talk.
''I've always liked you, you seem so nice and kind....''
Really? Which Ruby are you talking about?
''...And you're really great with Ben, which is a relief because honestly, I'm not real sure about him. He doesn't seem to be very interested in anything at school. You know, important stuff, like football and...other...boy stuff. I don't want him to end up being unpopular. Nobody likes the unpopular kids. And I never understand him. He barely speaks to me. When I first met him I thought he was mute.''
There was a letter opener on the table. It would be real easy to do her in. Ruby closed her eyes and imagined what could happen if she gave in to animal instincts and leapt across the table, stabbing until the young woman was dead, dead, dead. And she smiled.
Mia continued to talk like she couldn't see the murderous smile on her blonde 'friend's' face. ''I'm glad you're here because truthfully, I don't think I would be able to put up with Ben if it was just me and Dean.''
Ruby's eyes snapped open and her lips twisted into a scowl that Mia didn't see. ''He's been through a lot,'' she snapped, defensively. Oh, hell no. Mia could bash anyone she wanted. Except Ben Winchester. That boy was off limits. ''He doesn't trust people that easily.'' With good reason.
Mia shrugged again and refused to lift her eyes from what she was doing. ''Whatever. Where was I? Ah, yes. I think you and I could be great friends, don't you? I think we have a lot in common.''
'Not bloody likely, barbie.'
''Trust me,'' Mia lifted her gaze briefly to shoot Ruby a grin that looked....a little bit psychotic. ''We're going to be BFF's by the time this wedding is over.''
What the hell did BFF mean?
''Ohmigod!'' Mia's voice suddenly turned high and shrill and most unpleasant, causing Ruby to jump in surprise. The brunette looked up, eyes alight with excitement. ''I just got the bestest idea ever!''
She did not just say the bestest idea ever. Yeah, she did. Well...that was just...that was just pathetic.
Before Ruby could snicker (and she felt one coming on) Mia reached out and grabbed Ruby's hands, ignoring her hiss of pain when Mia's rough grip agitated all the paper cuts. ''Guess what?! Guess what?! Guess what?!''
'You happened to take a whole bunch of drugs before I got here?'
''One of my friends can't make it to the wedding - her mother's, like, in the hospital or something - I know how rude, she couldn't go see her after my wedding? Anyways, she was supposed to be one of the bridesmaids and now I'm one short! Isn't that great?!''
This must be the way the world ends.
Fighting very hard not to let her face contort in horror, Ruby bit back a nasty comment that would make Lucifer himself blush and pulled her hands free of Mia's surprisingly strong grip.
''Ruby, you can be my bridesmaid!''
Yep. This was hell alright. ''Uh....listen, Mia....'' Ruby grimaced and bit down hard on her lip, searching the room desperately for some sort of distraction. Should she say she had to go somewhere? Should she politely decline? Or should she snarl, show Mia her black eyes, and proceed to rip her heart out through her throat? Personally, she was leaning towards the last one.
Luckily, the sound of the front door opening and Ben's voice calling out ''I'm home!'' prevented the crime from taking place.
''Oh!'' Ruby was on her feet in less than a second, distancing herself from Mia. ''Ben's home!'' The kitchen door swung open and Ben entered looking slightly flushed and a little nervous. ''Ben! You're home!'' Relief coursed through her and she grabbed the kid in a tight hug before she could stop herself. She had never been so happy to see that Winchester boy in her life.
Ben groaned against her strong grip and started to question what the hell she was doing. ''Ruby, what are you....'' But then he saw Mia and it all clicked. ''....Oh.'' If you asked Ben to name one person who could stand Mia Karpentar he wouldn't be able to answer.
The blonde pulled away with a bright smile that made it look like she was auditioning for Leave It To Beaver even though her eyes looked just a little dangerous. ''So, how was school?''
He blinked. ''Ruby, you're scaring me a little bit.''
''Ruby's helping with the wedding!''
Ben grinned, a mirror image of his father's and looked in between the two girls. ''Oh, she is, is she?'' Ruby gave him a look that clearly said ''Get me out of here''. He could understand that. Mia was not easy to be around. ''Hey,'' he smiled and reached out, latching onto Ruby's arm. ''Can I talk to you for a second?'' She let out a breath and shut her eyes in relief, Ben shot Mia a look over her shoulder. ''Excuse us for a second.'' Without waiting for Mia's response, he pulled Ruby out the door, rolling his eyes as he did so.
''Alright,'' Ruby smiled and folded her arms. ''Who's my favourite kid?''
''I'm not a kid.''
''Whatever you say.''
Instead of responding, Ben remembered his own problems and started to pace. There were a lot of things he should have been focusing on right now, but he could only think one thing at the moment; Franny Morelli was a siren. That was the only explanation. Ben knew what sirens did, he had seen first hand a few years back when his father and uncle had been infected. It wasn't pretty. It was a memory Ben would prefer to forget. Seeing his father go after Sam with an axe was not....oh....holy crap. What if he did that? Winchester eyes widened in panic. Sirens were bad. And Franny had to be one. He was sure that was what was happening to him. The weird tingling and the strange and unpleasant feeling in his stomach. He was under a spell. That was all.
''You know, Ben,'' Ruby sat down on the couch casually and crossed her legs, looking up at Ben with a raised eyebrow. ''It's pretty easy to see there's something wrong. You're not exactly a closed book, Benjamin. Now, are you going to keep pacing? Or are you going to tell me what's going on?''
''I'm gonna keep pacing.''
''Don't be difficult, I get enough of that from your father.''
He stopped, turned and resisted the urge to smirk, wondering if she realized how much she made them sound like an old married couple. Either she didn't see the humor glinting in his eyes or she was working hard to ignore it. Whatever she was doing, her gaze was completely steady as she stared at him, waiting for him to back down. He actually lasted about three minutes - two minutes more then his father would have lasted - before he broke, drawing in a deep breath and raking a hand through his hair. ''I need you to tell me about sirens.''
Her posture changed, body stiffening slightly, mouth drawing into a thin line. But..if you looked close enough, you could see slight hope dancing through her irises. It would be wrong to say she was hoping there was something supernatural out there, but...Jesus...spending time all alone with Mia really made her want to kill something. Why had she even come? Oh, right. She wanted to scare Dean. Well, that was fun, but this...was not. ''Why?'' She questioned as Ben sank down next to her. ''Do you think there's a siren somewhere?''
''Mmmhmm,'' he nodded, ''at my school.''
She frowned and leaned back against the couch as Ben slumped farther down in his seat like he was trying to disappear. ''See, there's this...'' He cleared his throat nervously and tried to look anywhere but her eyes. She arched an eyebrow, trying to remember the last time she had seen Ben so nervous. ''...There's this...girl...and...and I just...feel....weird whenever I'm around her.''
No way! Ben couldn't have a...a...crush. He was only thirteen, he was still a little boy!
'Except he's not a little boy anymore and you know it.'
She bit the inside of her cheek to keep from sighing and tried to decide whether to laugh or cry. She could smile in amusement at the slightly panicked look on his Winchester features. Or she could frown because he was growing up way too fast for her liking and she wasn't sure she was ready to let him go just yet. Settling for a passive expression that gave nothing away, she cleared her throat and licked her lips, deciding calming him down would be the best thing to do in this situation. ''Ben, what exactly are these weird feelings?''
''You want me to...'' His lip curled in disgust. ''...Talk about my feelings?''
''Jesus Christ,'' she groaned and dropped her head into her hands. ''You really are Dean Winchester's son, aren't you?''
Ben pursed his lips. ''Was that an insult or a compliment?''
''You decide.'' She looked up and tried to meet his eyes, but he once again wasn't looking at her. ''Tell me about this girl, Benny.''
Keeping his gaze firmly on his hands to keep the blush creeping up his cheeks hidden, Ben made a non committal noise in response, but when she used her mother voice on him, growling out his name, he decided the safest option would be to talk. ''Okay, okay, geez, don't go all mommy on me. That's scary.'' He sighed and bit his lip slightly. ''Her name is Franny and she's....different then all those other girls. When I'm with her, I feel....like...lighter and....happier and she...she makes me smile and my skin feels all tingly and itchy and there's this weird feeling in my stomach, like...fluttering...like...like...''
His head snapped up at the sound of her slightly breathless whisper and he fully expected to see her piercing, look-right-through-you gaze that only Ruby could pull off, but her eyes were focused on something else. She looked different...almost...sad.
''Y-Yeah,'' his face scrunched up in confusion. ''How'd you know?''
She smiled softly and turned her gaze back to him momentarily. ''There's no siren, kid, this isn't a spell, this is very normal. You have a crush.''
Ben frowned and crossed his arms with a small huff. A crush? How disgustingly normal. He hated when he was like all the other kids. He'd rather stand out. ''Well, how do I make these stupid butterflies stop fluttering?''
'When I find out, I'll let you know'. ''You don't.'' Her eyes moved back to whatever she was staring at so intently. ''You can't drown butterflies, can't ignore then, you can try, but they're always going to be there. If it's not Franny, it'll be someone else.''
He quirked an eyebrow. ''Speaking from personal experience?''
Her gaze fell back to him sharply and there it was; the look-right-through-you Ruby stare. ''Absolutely not.''
Sure. Whatever you say.
Ben tried not to scoff. This was getting tiring. But back to his problems. A crush. A crush! That was all this was? Well, you know what? He did not like it. Nope. In the future, he was going to have to steer clear of crushes.
''Ben?'' Ruby waved a hand in front of his face. ''Anyone home?''
''This is bad.''
''It's not that bad.''
''I don't have time for crushes.''
''Look, kid, no one ever has time for crushes. But you're a thirteen year old boy, thirteen year old boys have feelings.''
''Yes, Ruby,'' he rubbed at his forehead, tiredly. ''I know, I've had the talk.''
Her eyebrows shot up in surprise and she couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corners of her lips. ''Your father gave you the talk?''
''He tried. But he kept stuttering and blushing. I think he was about a half step away from giggling. He had to take an asprin and go lie down. Uncle Sam gave me the talk. He was actually pretty good at it. Apparently though,'' the teenage Winchester grinned up at her and thought about the night of Rosie Winchester's birth. ''He's all talk.''
The smile was brutally wiped off Ben's face when he thought of Franny and those annoying butterflies reared their ugly heads again. ''Are you sure this is just a crush?'' His voice sounded impossibly small and childish and he winced, clearing his throat. ''Because it's not...it's not very fun.''
''No.'' Was it his imagination or did she sound a little wistful? ''It's not.'' Definitely not just his imagination.
Ruby wet her lips and pushed a strand of blond hair out of her face as she smiled a smile that was more gentle than any other smile that had graced those lips. ''Ben, everyone's been through crushes and puppy love. That's just the way life works. You can't fight it and you certainly can't ignore it. It just happens. Usually at the wrong time, but it happens. It means you're growing up.'' She wouldn't admit it, but...the thought of Ben growing up scared her just a little. Showing uncharacteristic emotion, she stood and bent down to press a light kiss to his forehead. ''Just don't grow up too fast.''
''Ruby!'' Mia's voice floated into the room, cruelly breaking the sweet moment. ''Are you coming back or what?!''
Ruby drew in a deep breath and pinched the bridge of her nose. ''Fuck.''
''Aw,'' Ben smiled a little goofily as he rose to his feet. ''You ruined it.''
''I do not want to go back in there.''
''Do you think Dean would mind if I got a stripper for my bachlorette party?!''
Ruby's eyes lightened considerably and she smiled, tilting her head to the side. ''Although, on second thought....''
''You're very bad.'' Ben shook his head in amusement.
''Damn straight, kiddo.'' Ruby let herself have a moment to prepare herself for more endless blabber about things that had no importance and took a few deep, calming breaths. Mia Karptentar was someone who had the power to make even the most patient person want to commit a thousand sins. Not that Ruby was a patient person...at all. Finally, she let out a breath. ''Okay, I'm going in. Time to deal with the harpy. Wish me luck.''
''Good luck. Don't kill her.''
Ruby muttered something under her breath that Ben couldn't quite manage to decipher. If he had to guess, he would say it was, ''No promises.''
Ben stared after her for a moment, mind reeling with thoughts of that somewhat uncomfortable conversation and Franny and Operation: Whatever He Was Going To Call It. Blowing out a sigh, he turned his gaze around to peer at whatever she had been staring at so intently. When he saw it, he scoffed and rolled his eyes. He really should have known.
It was a picture of his father.
''You can't drown butterflies, can't ignore then, you can try, but they're always going to be there. If it's not Franny, it'll be someone else.''
''Speaking from personal experience?''
''I think you should ask her out.''
''Of course you do.''
Surprisingly, Ben didn't roll his eyes at his friend's comment, just kept his eyes trained on the drawing of himself, studying it closely as if he were trying to find a flaw. He came up with nothing. It was perfect. It looked exactly like him down to every last detail. And Franny had cranked it out in less than fifteen minutes. The girl had talent, that much was true. Alright, so this could be an unforseen problem in his plan. How could he sabotage a wedding when all he could think about was Franny?
Love was not in the game plan!
And now he was giving himself a headache. Super. Just what he needed.
''I asked if you were listening to me, which obviously you were not. What's goin' on in that head of yours, Winchester?''
''I was just....thinking.''
''About the plan?''
Ben was glad Lucas couldn't see him, because if he could he would see the way dark eyes shifted nervously around the room. ''Uh...yeah...right. The plan.'' There was a pause and in his mind, Ben could see the slow grin spreading across his best friend's face.
''Oh my dog! You're thinking about Franny, aren't you?''
Ben blinked and replayed that sentence in his head. ''Did you just say 'oh my dog'?''
''Ben,'' Lucas said seriously, ''what is God spelled backwards?''
''Oh, for the love of - ''
''So-ry. Look who's Mr. Cranky.''
He drew in a deep breath and ran a hand down his tired and worn face. ''Sorry, I'm just....''
''Which is why you should ask her out and get it over with.''
Usually, that would be the part where Ben rolled his eyes and made a flippant, witty remark. Not this time. This time he merely sighed and placed the drawing carefully on his desk as he collapsed backwards onto his bed. He was supposed to be thinking about Dean and Ruby. Shaking his head, the dark eyed boy licked his lips and tried not to think about Franny. It was shockingly hard not to think about her gorgeous eyes and shiny hair. Oh...god, he was turning into a lovesick puppy, wasn't he?
''Okay,'' Ben shook it off and tried to focus his mind on the plan. ''I need to get my mind off this Franny thing. Do you have any plans?''
''Plans for what? Tonight? Well, I was going to stay home and watch Smallville but my Mom and Eddie want to take me out to dinner, so - ''
''No, you big doofus,'' Ben slapped his forehead with a groan and shook his head. Geez. ''I mean for Operation: Get Dad and - Oh! You know what I mean!''
''Oooohhh...welll....actually, yeah, I do have an idea. You said you wanted to sabotage the wedding, right?''
The young Winchester sat up abruptly and his eyes clouded with fascination. Every once and awhile, Lucas did have his genius moments. Of course whatever he was planning could turn out to be stupid and pointless but still.... ''Right.''
''In my experience - and by experience I mean the things I learn from television - seating charts are very important. And if someone happens to accidentally screw one up....all hell is going to break loose.''
Yeah. Ben definitely underestimated Lucas Barr sometimes.
Getting past Mia would be easy. Lord knows she wasn't the sharpest tack on the board. Ruby on the other hand....Well, now, she was just plain frightening with the way she seemed to know everything. It was like the woman had eyes in the back of her head.
It wasn't like she was all motherly and all that crap, she was like the cool aunt or something but...sometimes.....
...Let's just say it was very clear that the woman had the instincts of a mother. With her and Dean around, Ben never got away with anything.
Point was; this was a good plan, it had the potential to be very entertaining....if Ben could get past Ruby. Well, all he could do was try.
Moving quickly and quietly down the stairs, Ben told himself this would work. He could be quiet, he could get past Ruby no problem. Giving himself this pep talk did not seem to be working. Attempting to stay perfectly calm, Ben crossed the living room and silently poked his head in the kitchen. Neither one of the women noticed him. Mia was standing with her back to the door, reaching for the cupboard. There. Half done. Mia wouldn't notice. But Ruby was still slumped in a chair at the table. However, her eyes were focused on the ceiling...and....Ben leaned closer....oooh. Her eyes were dialated black.
That wasn't good. Hmm. If anything, he could at least stop her from killing Mia.
Curiously, he leaned closer still, trying to hear what Mia was saying that seemed to be letting Ruby's black eyed demon free. He couldn't quite make it out but he was sure he heard the words ''flowers'' and ''frills.'' No wonder Ruby looked ready to kill. And she really did. Her hands were curled into fists, her chest was rising and falling unsteadily like she was trying to keep from screaming, her mouth was drawn into a thin line and then there was the black eyes. Cautiously, he leaned even closer and caught the end of Mia's sentence.
''....But enough about that. You know what we should really be talking about? The wedding night!''
Ben raised his eyebrows at Mia's cackling laugh. Who exactly did she think she was talking to? For a split second, he wondered if that brunette ditz was doing this all on purpose, trying to scare Ruby away. But he shook that thought away and decided she was too dumb to even attempt an evil scheme like that. Ben watched closely as Ruby's chest froze for a fraction of a second as her breath caught in her throat. Her eyes crashed back to blue and something flashed in her irises before she closed her eyes. Her mouth - which had twisted into a scowl - evened out and she remained completely still, looking totally calm and composed.
Her voice didn't waver once as she spoke, ''I don't think that's a very good idea.''
''Oh, why not?'' Mia's hands - more like claws - dug deeper into the kitchen cupboard as she searched for something that obviously was not there. Her voice was impossibly bright and chipper, but Ben was sure he heard something else behind all that cheeriness. ''I know you're just friends or whatever but come on, girly, you have to see how hot he is.''
What's a moment that isn't a moment but isn't quite a second either? What's an inbetween? Is there a word for it? Some kind of title? Because for an inbetween, Ben swore he saw pain flicker brightly like fire on Ruby's features, but it was gone so fast he wasn't sure what he had seen. Fascinating.
Ben took a deep breath, and decided to make his move. Mia's back was to him, Ruby's eyes were closed and her focus was clearly somewhere else and what he needed was right there on the table. Perfect time to move. And he thought he did a pretty good job. He snuck carefully into the kitchen doing his best to ignore Mia's prattling and he had just reached for the seating chart when a hand clamped down on his wrist in a grip like steel. His eyes moved upwards and he found himself starting into blue eyes that felt like they were cutting right through him. He took a risk and snuck a look at Mia but she was too busy talking to notice anything out of the ordinary.
Ruby's gaze moved to the seating chart in his hands and she smirked, raising her eyebrows in question. He gave her a sheepish smile and shrugged his shoulders, hoping he looked charming with his impish grin and innocent eyes. He fidgeted under her gaze and tried to get free, but her grip was too strong and her eyes wouldn't let him look away. She remained locked in an intense eye gaze with the boy for several seconds before she let him go and gave him a look that said, ''Get out of here before I change my mind.''
He smiled in relief and thanks and darted out of the room, seating chart in hand just as Mia turned around. She didn't even notice.
Ruby shook her head and let a small smile wash over her features. Way too much like his father. She didn't even want to know what he was planning on doing with that seating chart.
Mia's exclamation of frustration had Ruby's amusement dying away as she turned her gaze to the brunette. Who said 'drats'? And, oh, was she ever going to hate herself for this, but - ''Is something wrong, Mia?''
''We're out of - ''
''I'll get it!''
'' - Sugar.''
Holy crap! Freedom. Barely managing to contain her glee, Ruby scrambled to her feet and smiled a 100 watt smile at her new 'friend'. Friend. Yeah right. Her new friend who she would like to disembowel. ''I mean,'' she cleared her throat, ''I could go and get some more if you...if you want.''
Mia turned to smile at Ruby like she was her personal savior. ''Would you?''
'Believe me, if it gets me away from you, I'd do anything.' ''Sure, it's no problem.'' Really.
''You're so sweet!'' Mia moved a hand to Ruby's shoulder and didn't notice the way the other woman stiffened immediately. Sweet? Ruby? ''You really should think about my offer, Ruby. Think about it,'' she laughed, a high twinkly laugh, like glass shattering. ''When are you ever going to get the chance to be a bridesmaid again?''
'You can take your friendly offer and shove it up your - '
''Right,'' Ruby smiled, bright and fake. ''I'll think about it.''
''I'm a very bad person and I should be shot.''
''Hmmm, I'm going to take a wild guess and say you did not have fun with Mia.''
''Oh, god,'' Ruby moaned loudly as she slowly walked through the brightly lit aisles of the supermarket, ignoring the way people glanced at her at her loud moan. ''Why did I do that, Dean? Was I high or something? Why did I ever agree to go over there?''
On the other line, Dean chuckled and in turn, she felt her own lips twitch in a smile. ''You wanted to piss me off, remember?''
''Ah, right. Did it work?''
''Great. Mission accomplished.'' Deliberately, she ducked into the wrong aisle, trying to prolong this trip to the grocery store. In all honesty, it should have been a five minute trip. She had already been here for fifteen minutes, safe under the flourescent lights, safe away from Mia. Gi - Woman was a bloody menace. ''So, what did you do today?''
''Did you really just ask me what I did today? Do you have a fever?''
''I'm trying to drag this out. I do not want to go back there. Your fiancee sure is a talker.''
''You just don't want to sleep on the couch.'' She grinned and looked up. As soon as she did, her eyes fell on the man a few feet ahead of her. He was very clean cut, preppy looking, late twenties, early thirties, he was...kinda cute. Yeah, so sue her. Just because she was Ruby didn't mean she couldn't notice a cute guy. But that wasn't what made her raise her eyebrows in interest. She had seen a lot of cute guys. He was different. No, not for the reasons you'd think. It wasn't like she could see into his soul or something Shakespeare like that. She could simply see he was having a conversation.....
....With a bag of frozen peas.
What was it with Lawrence and crazies? It was like an epidemic.
Before she could stop herself, she had let out a bark of laughter. Stranger looked up, she turned away.
''What's so funny?''
Oh! Right! Dean. She was talking to Dean. Geez, Ruby, don't go all schoolgirl. ''Nothing. I just...nothing. Listen, Dean, I think you need to have a talk with Ben when you get home.''
''Why? Did he get in trouble at school? I told him not to get caught.''
She rolled her eyes and tried not to think about the fascinating man behind her. ''No, Dean, he didn't get in trouble. He has a crush.''
''Jesus, now that's starting? Aww, hell. I hate the teenage years. Do you have any idea what I went through during Sam's teenage years? The kid was like the antichrist.''
''I just realized that wasn't funny.''
''Back to Ben. Who is this girl? What's her name? Is she pretty? Is she good enough for him? He's not going to go and make a fool of himself, is he? Is he going to brood, because I don't - ''
During his little speech, she was trying to find the will to move. Her feet wouldn't let her. She was pondering this when she felt a tap on her shoulder and had to choke back a gasp as she whirled around to face the newcomer. ''Dean....'' She cut off his ramblings without a moment of hesitation. ''I'm going to have to call you back.''
''Ruby, we were in the middle of a - ''
''And we'll finish it later,'' she explained patiently.
''But - ''
''Bye, short bus.'' She flipped her phone shut with an exaggerated snap and arched an eyebrow at the handsome stranger. ''Can I help you?''
He sighed and stuffed his hands into his pockets. ''Look, since there's only two of us in this aisle, I think it's pretty safe to say you were laughing at me.''
''You don't know that,'' she snapped, crossing her arms. ''I was on the phone. For all you know, I could have been laughing at something my friend said.''
He blinked and stared at her like he was trying to stare her down. She stared right back, meeting his eyes, unwilling to back down. From where she stood, his eyes looked hazel, but the lighting sucked ass so who knows? Whatever. Just as long as they weren't green.
''You were laughing at me, weren't you?''
A wide smile broke out on her face and she couldn't help but laugh. ''What'd you expect, guy? You were talking to a bag of frozen peas.''
''Eh,'' he shrugged carelessly and his eyes grew slightly arrogant as he rose a hand to pick at his nails absently. ''Makes me all the more special.''
''It sure does,'' she agreed. ''Stop-eating-the-paste special.''
He frowned at that, eyebrows knitting together in displeasure. ''Yeah, well, I bet you've never met anyone else who can talk to peas.''
''No. But I know someone who can talk to angels.''
''Huh.'' He blinked a few more times and stared at her, most likely trying to decipher if she was kidding. When her eyes gave nothing away and her face remained blank, he worked his mouth like he was trying to say something. She didn't even crack a smile....even though she really, really wanted to. Finally, he shook his head and waved a hand dismissively. ''Fine, you win.''
''Yeah, I always do. Now, run along,'' she sneered, eyes darkening with lethal amusement. ''I hear the frozen pizzas have really great gossip. Bet they're just dying for someone to listen.'' She started to brush past him, but he grabbed her arm, spinning her back around. Hm. Brave, wasn't he? That was a good way to lose an arm.
''Wait. I..I feel the need to say that I am not crazy.''
''Whatever you say.''
''No. Seriously,'' he sighed and ran a hand through dark hair. ''I don't usually...talk to frozen vegetables, I've just...had a really bad day.''
She scoffed, unimpressed. ''Are you trying to gain my sympathy? Because, sweetheart, I don't do sympathy.''
He rolled his eyes. ''I'm not trying to get sympathy. I just don't like it when people think I'm crazy.''
''Yeah, well....'' What the hell was she doing? Was she flirting? Was this flirting? She had never done that before, she didn't do flirting. That was just so...so...human. In the years that she had been topside, she had been on a total of two dates. Count 'em. Two. And they had both been pathetic attempts to think about anyone but De...someone. She was not a dating person. She was not a relationship person. She wasn't a freaking person to begin with. Not really. So...what the fuck was she doing? ''...Trust me, it takes a lot more then some veggie tales to make me think you're crazy.''
He laughed, eyes crinkling slightly. ''Veggie tales, that's a good one.''
Despite her better judgement (which she knew was lurking somewhere in there) she smiled. ''I try.''
''So,'' he tilted his head to the side and gave her a look. ''The frozen pizzas have good gossip, huh?''
''Oh yeah,'' she nodded seriously and leaned closer to him, whispering conspiratorially. ''See, the frozen waffles are with the frozen yogurt but I hear they're messing around with the ice cream.''
She laughed. An actual, real laugh. ''Very.''
He smiled at her and...and it was nothing like the way Dean smiled at her. She wasn't sure how that made her feel. But...you know what? She had dedicated her whole life to those Winchesters. And now Sam was married with a baby daughter and Dean was...she swallowed...Dean was getting married, hell, even Ben had the whole puppy love thing going on. And what did she have? Absolutely nothing. She had no husband, (not that she ever would) no kids, (ew) she had...what did she have? A friend? No. It was her turn. She wanted a little something.
''I figure I should introduce myself,'' he said, unaware of her thoughts, ''just so you don't start calling me Pea Guy. That would be a horrible nickname. I'm Eric.''
He held out his hand and she paused, for just a moment, as she thought of Dean and Ben. But, Dean had Mia and Ben was growing up and for once...she wanted something to be about her. Was that too much to ask for? She didn't think so. So she took his hand and smiled wider. ''I'm Ruby.''
And you know the best thing about this Eric guy so far?
He was nothing like Dean Winchester.
Snip, snip, snip.
When Mia Karpentar was a little girl, her mother used to tell her this nursery ryhme. It went like this:
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away
At first she hadn't liked the poem. Hadn't really understood it. What the hell was a tuffet and why was this chick sitting on one? What exactly were curds and whey? And why the hell had this girl been so afraid of a teensy little spider? Slowly, as she grew older, became a teenager, she began to see a different side of the story. One she liked much better.
This spider had obviously wanted those curds and whey so much that he had been willing to do anything to get them. Even scaring a poor, defenseless girl half to death. At this point in her life, Mia could identify with that spider.
You see, Mia Karpentar liked to play dumb. Liked to act innocent and bubbly. In reality, she wasn't like that. Not at all. She saw what everyone thought she didn't, she knew Ruby hated her, she knew the way that blonde bitch felt about her fiance. She saw the way Dean looked at Ruby. And she didn't like it.
You know what they say; keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Snip, snip, snip.
Head tilted to the side, lip curled in disgust, Mia looked at the picture in her hands. The picture of Dean, Ben and Ruby. She was really going to have to do something about that, because that just wouldn't do. That wouldn't do at all. Carefully, she cut across the picture and watched as Ruby fell down, down, down. She smirked and plucked the photo from the table, bringing the blade of the scissors to the blonde's neck.
''Watch out Little Miss Ruby...'' She smiled. ''....Along came a spider.''
....Can anyone say issues?
end chapter four
AN: Oh, dear. Did you honestly think Mia was just going to be the only problem? Oh no. There's a whole lot more drama coming up! So, Mia's a little crazy isn't she? Yeah, well, it was just too good to pass up. She was originally just going to be a ditz but the whole bad girl thing seemed too fun to pass up. And this whole Eric thing? I've got big plans for that boy. Kinda. While he is going to be a roadblock for D/R, I did sort of love that cute meeting. It's been in my head forever and I had to put it in something. This chapter ended up a whole lot longer then I had intented and I honestly have no idea how it got so long. Dean wasn't even in it! And yes, there was going to be more of Mia/Ruby interaction but I opted for some Ruby/Ben family fluff instead. I promise to get Dean and Ruby in the next room in chapter five.
So far, I'm not sure when the next chapter's going to be up but I'm already working on it!