Disclaimer: No money being made, purely for enjoyment of fans, etc.
Note: This story ties in with my story Having a Ball (particularly Chapters 18 and 22), but is stand-alone – you don't have to read that to follow this, and you don't have to read this to read that, etc. However, I suggest that BEFORE reading this one-shot, you read the Author's Note at the bottom of this page.
GIVE AND TAKE
Oh…ack…Ruby just managed to not gag in disgust as Ted Piven's sly hand slid under the hem of her skirt and found the edge of her stocking top, his already gross leer becoming positive repulsive as he rubbed that small gap of bare thigh between her panties and the top of her stocking.
Did he seriously think she'd worn them for his benefit? Oh, next stop Barf City…she wore stockings a) because pantyhose hadn't been invented back when she was alive and human and b) because pantyhose were an instrument of torture – restrictive, constrictive, itchy, bothersome, overheating and damn it no matter how careful a gal was, one leg always ended up laddered just after you'd finally managed to pull them on and get something like comfortable…Unlike the wimpy, put-up-with-it modern women who had been made soft and flabby and meek by a couple of generations of too many labour-saving and plug-n-play inventions for 'convenience' – although okay, steam shower, yes, waterproof make-up, yes, and vibrator – oh yes – but other than that, if pantyhose had been invented back in Ruby's day, women would have done the sensible thing and strung the inventor up from the nearest tree-branch with a pair of the damn things…
Speaking of which, she could pull over and – no. Bad, bad, bad. I will not snap the neck of this lecherous a-hole with only the power of my mind, I will not snap…
And now they were hitting traffic bunching too, which made Piven the Skeevy's fingers start working overtime, apparently oblivious that her goose bumps were due to being grossed out, not turned on. Piven's fingers were…perfectly manicured and pink, perfectly smooth and soft…like a jelly donut being mashed into her leg…yuk! A man's hands should be…Not bony or meaty, but firm; not grime-caked or jagged fingernails but just neat and clean rather than cuticles more pampered than Paris Hilton. They should be muscular and flexible, not fat and squishy, they should be strong, decisive hands, they should have a callous or two, maybe a little nick here and there, the hands of a man who could briskly change a car tyre, competently fix the leaking pipe under the sink and deftly slide those fingers inside a woman's secret place, and stroke and tease…
No, Ruby! She lectured herself. You cannot yank his intestines out from his mouth in the middle of traffic in front of a score witnesses. Be the bigger person, take the moral high ground…
Besides, it was her own fault; this job had been jacked from the start – one of those where you know it's all going to go wrong from the moment you get out of bed and stub your toe on a bit of furniture that wasn't in the way the night before. Instead of listening to her own experience she'd persevered at the chance to take out one of her chief tormentors – Celestine fawned over Lillith like a damn poodle and had always had it in for Ruby. Oh how she would have loved to have sent the whining bitch back to the pit…but Celestine had long gone, if she'd ever been here, and the small-time imp that had been disporting itself had also apparently cleared out of Dodge.
A day spent in the increasingly obnoxious company of Ted Piven pretending her coy flirting was gonna end up with him getting laid, in the confines of this small car in this late summer heat had been about as much fun as the recurring plague outbreaks had been back in the day, and after she ditched Octopussy here she was still going to have to pull off an epic drive to get back to Pukesville, Illinois, also known as Pontiac, where Mr Petulant 2008 would no doubt be sulking and start trying to pick a fight the moment she stepped out of the car…
Not that that could be helped. It was about time Sam Winchester was kicked up the ass and told to get over his pity party. So he was locked into a spiral of devastating grief, fuelled by too much booze that he used to sublimate his real, unquenchable thirst – for revenge on Lillith. He wasn't the first, he wouldn't be the last; she of all…beings…knew that.
And so far all he's done is throw temper tantrums at me about it…Skilfully she took advantage of a gap to glide onto the off ramp back towards her motel, trying not to look at Piven's gross face as he practically drooled, his mind clearly already ahead on what he fondly imagined would be the outcome of their arrival.
Nope, it was definitely time to lay the tough love smackdown on Sammy. She had been far more tolerant than anyone could reasonably expect. Sam's sexual ferocity hadn't been a surprise that night – she had seduced him in full knowledge of how on the edge of control he was, though it wasn't a decision taken lightly.
There had been no other option – for all he'd laid off the Scotch, his abilities had been stifled and suppressed by his grief for Dean, his rage at himself for failing to save Dean, his rage at Dean for making the damn deal in the first place, his self-loathing for being angry at the brother he adored, his self-hatred for using his powers, something which Dean would not have approved of, and his despair at the knowledge of what Dean would eventually become as his humanity was burned away in the basement.
A wicked devil's brew of traumatic emotion topped off with a surprise ingredient of a dollop of basic lust, aimed at Ruby, which had taken her off-guard at first. She'd seen a faint hint of it back when she'd been blonder and shorter, but had dismissed it as a reflex action based on the fact that Sam's beloved Jessica Lee Moore had been a pert, nubile blonde girly, just like Dean's 'type' of babes with long chocolate tresses and dark velvet eyes were sublimations of that woman…Cindy? Lindy? Lara? Lisa? Whatever…in Indiana he'd really been wanting to get it on with for years.
But because Sam's a guy…he had to complicate the issue…and men are supposed to be able to separate sex from intimacy into a purely physical function…half the time they're more 'emo' about it than any female I've encountered…which, okay, wasn't entirely fair but she was faintly embarrassed it had taken her so long to get a clue after she'd occasionally she caught a glimpse of Sam's reflection in some mirrored surface and saw that he was staring at her rack, or her ass, at the juncture of her body between her legs with the expression of a starving junkyard dog having a raw sirloin steak dangled in front of it.
I handled it, I handled it with style and class and I gave him some leeway because I understand how lust and grief and despair can all boil up inside you until it comes spurting and spattering out, scalding whoever is in range…and Sam was still throwing his rattle out of the pram every five minutes. The second time, when he'd just grabbed her and rutted like an animal, she'd tolerated and forgiven…that time in the forest when he'd forced her to the ground and done the same…she was not Sam Winchester's personal sex toy, nor was she some bizarre sex-therapist-come-grief-counsellor. Her aim was to keep him alive long enough to have a realistic chance of taking out Lillith, and to train him to be able to fight the big beasts Lillith would unleash after them. And what had his response been so far – to dash off half-cocked like a headless chicken – after slamming her against a wall and putting that knife against her favourite jugular – nearly getting himself and an innocent little girl, not to mention Ruby herself, slaughtered in the process. If she hadn't gone after his inept ass he'd have been shish-kebabed in a flat second.
And what did I get afterwards. Nothing but more attitude…
And she couldn't afford to indulge him any longer. This busted hunt was proof of that. Some days Ruby longed for those uncomplicated, straightforward days of being a hunter, alone, just her and her knife, batting her eyelashes at some egomaniac hell-fiend who was so busy patting her on the head it never saw the knife that killed it. But nothing stayed the same…But one thing that needs to is my hunting practice…there was no doubt about it, she was getting rusty. She'd spent too much time last year running around pulling Dean and Sam's admittedly delectable asses out of the fire and getting them on the various clue buses instead of taking care of business as she should…
And it cost the life of the best host I've ever had…damn, I miss you, Kitty-Kat. That's what her friends had called her, that beautiful, bright, brave blonde gal who had looked in the mirror at Ruby's inky black gaze looking back at her and laughed inside her head and challenged her to 'bring it on'. She'd paid the price for Ruby's distraction, for Ruby getting complacent about being able to pick up a hunt and drop it again on a whim, for her hubris in thinking that because she possessed the host, she couldn't be forced out unless she wanted to leave...
Not this time. This time Ruby was going to stay in shape – honed and toned, no letting things slide because she had a giant baby on her hands who screamed the place down if she left him alone for more than one damn minute…this host was too good to lose…no inhabitant, no girl to engage with, no girl to actually start to feel for, no girl to grieve for.
No, Mr High and Mighty Winchester, he had no idea what it was like to grab desperately as the soul of your host flickered and faded, that precious life ebbing away no matter how you tried to drive away the reapers. At least this time she wouldn't have to go through that, if anything happened to this meat suit…and I'm taking good care of it…mostly, she sent the thought despite not being entirely convinced it had gone any further than the sun visor of the car roof, or that there was any…entity…interested enough to care. After all, when a girl as attractive as what had looked back at Ruby in the mirror ended up as Jane Doe Coma Girl without any of the usual caveats – needle marks on the arms, booze addled liver, biker tattoos – it was not likely anyone would be missing her.
So, quick revision of the To Do List – ditch Piven, pull off Heart's 'I drove all night/To get to you' and brace for impact when she lay down the New Law to her boy. and by the time she arrived back Ponty, he'd have had a day and a night to stew and do the patented Sam Winchester brooding over the way she'd sent him packing with an entire flea circus in his ear…Continued in Chapter 2…
The Cat's Whiskers
Author's Note: In Season 4, it has never been explained when or how or why Sam first got a yen for the ruby red – or Ruby's red – to be precise. Given Sam's previous personality traits in Seasons 1-3 and his obvious battle against himself in the flashback scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer before he gave in to what he wanted and had sex with Ruby, it occurred to me that it was probably accidental when Sam first tasted Ruby's blood – I hardly saw him deciding on a whim, apropos of nothing, to ask her to slice open an artery just to see what it tasted like. Particularly since Ruby was never enthusiastic in the episodes that imply or even show the drinking – she's certainly up for the sex, but it always seems to be Sam who instigates/asks for the haemoglobin as a side order (particularly as his addiction to it takes hold later on in Season 4).
'Accidental' got me how, which led me to thinking of why and when. Again, given Sam's personality, I guessed it would be something done in 'the heat of the moment', something that occurred when Sam was in the middle of some extreme or powerful emotional experience – great rage, deep joy, extreme lust, terrible grief – or a combination of several intense feelings that made him irrational and not thinking clearly – or at all; which took care of why.
The when was a little bit trickier. By the episode 'Criss Angel…' the audience knows what Ruby and Sam's obliquely-worded little spat is about. He has stopped, temporarily, she knows he won't be strong enough to keep sucking out demons like a vacuum cleaner for much longer without her blood – but the episodes before that are a little coy about it.
However, just before the confrontation between Sam and Dean in the opening scenes of Metamorphosis Sam happily tells Ruby, 'no more headaches'. We can infer from this that he had probably recently started the Ruby-juice drinking. Logically, the 'when' could only have been some time during those four months that Dean was dead – remember, as far as Sam knew (and Ruby for that matter) his brother was lost to him forever. He had no hope left of rescuing Dean, and from his perspective, nothing left to lose in his quest to 'gank' Lillith before killing himself, probably why he also cut off contact with Bobby.
In the "timeline" of the show, Dean was killed in May and resurrected on 18th September, and Ruby seduced Sam in late July or probably early August, because enough time had to pass from mid-May when both a) Sam was still trying every opportunity to rescue Dean to when he went sinking into drunken despair and not caring and b) for Ruby to be tortured by Lillith in hell and trick her into releasing her for 'one last chance' – that would be about late June 08 or the beginning of July.
From the beginning of July, Ruby and Sam also had to work together on his powers for a few weeks at least before they got to the point where Sam was actively fighting his own lust for Ruby sufficiently for her to be able to seduce him in the first place – say from early July to early August, and Ruby seduced Sam about the first or second week of August.
That fit to me because their sexual relationship had to have been going on for enough weeks to be 'routine' by 18th-19th September for that scene in Lazarus Rising - where Dean and Bobby knock on the motel room door and Ruby answers in just a vest and panties, expecting pizza delivery, and clearly sharing one room and one bed with Sam, who is completely casual about her undressed state, so say 5 or 6 weeks from early August to 20th September - the third week or end half of that month.
(NB - It did throw me when she didn't appear to recognise Dean or Bobby despite being familiar with both of them as blonde Ruby (Katie Cassidy) and also when Sam called her Cathy and she corrected 'it's Chrissy' as she hurriedly left – it seemed to be a jarring continuity error given that the storyline of I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was episode 9, all supposedly pre-dated 18th September and the events of Lazarus Rising (the season premiere)…Unless of course you work on the assumption that Ruby was quick- witted enough to hide her identity when she opened the door and clapped eyes on Dean, and that she clued Sam into the need for deception when she deliberately asked, 'are you two together?', since Sam knew she was Ruby and also knew she knew perfectly well who Dean and Bobby actually were. Since Sam equally didn't want to admit - five minutes into welcoming back his resurrected brother - that the hot gal-pal standing a foot away was actually their old 'frenemy' Ruby in a new body, he deliberately played along by calling her a fake name ('Cathy') that she ran with by correcting him (it's Chrissy) like she was just a one-night stand. That presumption nicely turns 'continuity error' into deliberate and rather neat 'plot device', so I'm sticking with it).
The one final thing I will say is that if you cannot stand the character of Ruby no matter which actress plays her, then this is probably not the story for you. I know that there are some fans of the show who have been pre-emptively vociferously opposed to any introduction of recurring female characters into the show, and it is unfortunate that with Jo Harvelle, the first attempt, it didn't work. Dean was 27 to Jo's 18 and there are ways of describing a grown man of approaching 30 lusting after a girl – not a woman – barely out of high school; happily neither Alona Tal nor Jensen Ackles ever went that route. The character would have worked well as an 'honorary little sister' role, which was what they changed direction and made it into.
But having met Alona Tal and found her to be funny, friendly, kind, bright and professional in the face of what can only be described as mean-spirited and childishly spiteful attacks (as with Genevieve Cortese), I found myself apologising because I was rather ashamed to admit I was a female Supernatural fan when I'd read some of the silliness out there – Supernatural is a wonderful TV show, but still a TV show, not researching to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.
Given that female characters played by women such as Megalyn Echikunwoke, Katie Cassidy, Laura Cohen, Julie McNiven, Cindy Sampson, Emmanuelle Vaugier, and Genevieve Cortese are the catalysts that enable us to periodically see our boys at least partly in the yummy buff, surely they can be tolerated or even useful for facilitating that? I am also a writer, and much as I dislike some things about the show's mythology (indeed all my favourite shows), I want the show's storyline to progress, and the characters to develop in meaningful and satisfying ways if I'm going to continue giving an hour of my week to this show – doesn't sound much, but if Supernatural lasts five seasons, then I will have spent almost a week of my life watching this show, time I can never get back – never mind time spent reading fan fiction and browsing sites like , etc.
In line with that, Supernatural is not like Prison Break, where the brothers are separated for considerable periods and can therefore each do the 'expo' (i.e., explaining to the audience) when they meet up again. Sam and Dean are rarely apart from each other for very long, and therefore you need some recurring characters who have some familiarity with what's going on to be the 'deus ex machina' that allows the plot to develop without having to come up with some convoluted way of explaining to the audience what's going on because Sam and Dean, having been together for the denouement, are supposed to already know without going over it with each other.
Both Katie Cassidy and more so Genevieve Cortese, who has had to put up with a lot of vicious and quite uncalled for malice from some quarters, has done huge and sterling work in moving the storyline along in Season 4 and yet all she gets is hostility – and quite frankly, some of the vitriol poured out against Laura Cohen, Katie Cassidy and Genevieve Cortese in particular as well as Alona Tal before them has been scarily almost unhinged – I feel embarrassed to be a female fan of Supernatural sometimes; it's a great TV show, yes, but we all had lives that weren't empty of 'fandoms' before it first aired and after it ends we shall move on to be fans of other great shows not yet being broadcast, just like we did with Angel, JAG, Stargate, etc. Therefore, if you would prefer not read this story, I repeat, it is a one-shot standalone; it is not necessary to read this to understand Having A Ball (in which Ruby does not appear in person anyway) and nor is it necessary to read Having A Ball to understand this.