AN: So, this is a very unusual story using Dean Winchester, Ruby, Trish Wellington (Katie's character in Harper's Island) and Jason Teague (Jensen's character in Smallville, 'cause he was awesome until the end). It was kind of a challenge I gave myself to find out if I could do it and it was supposed to be a oneshot but I enjoyed writing it so much it turned into a threeshot and now I believe the story is awesome and strange and wonderfully weird. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and the second part should be up sometime before next Thursday (that is, if work doesn't get in the way, because I am a working girl now. Be proud).
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, Harper's Island, Smallville or any of the characters.
Title: I'll Wake Up My Body
Summary: They just want their bodies back....
Fandom(s): Supernatural, Smallville, Harper's Island
Pairing(s): Trish Wellington/Jason Teague (eventually), Dean Winchester/Ruby (past), Trish Wellington/Henry Dunn, Jason Teague/Lana Lang.
I'll Wake Up My Body
Written by Becks Rylynn
[part one, lonely girls]
''You're beautiful,'' Daddy says and she can tell he means it, he always means it. She always smiles a brilliant smile even though all she can see when she looks in the mirror is the face of someone else. Not her. Never her. ''You're always beautiful to me,'' Daddy says, but Trish doesn't believe him.
She remembers that day, when she was nineteen. When she was still her. She used to have red hair, the colour of fire and eyes like chocolate. And then it happened; the crash that changed everything. Don't drink and drive, they all say, but she had been young and stupid and she thought she was all right, she thought she was okay. There was smashing and crashing and screaming and bright, bright, bright lights and she is one hundred percent sure she died on the side of that road in the middle of nowhere, her blood everywhere. But then Daddy was there and he was talking to her and making promises and when she woke up in a fluffy bed with silk sheets, she wasn't her anymore.
The mirror showcased blond hair and blue eyes and when she screamed.....her eyes turned black.
''What did you do to me?'' She whispered when Daddy shushed her and said it was all okay. ''What did you do?'' He shook his head and moved closer, smiling that half smile of his that used to comfort her when she was in the dark. She shook her head and moved away, because all of a sudden, it wasn't that comforting. Daddy was always the hero, always saving her, taking care of her, but that was when she first realized that nothing is ever as it seems and sometimes you really can't trust anyone. ''What did you do?!'' She screamed and it pierced the air like a blade. ''Daddy, what did you do to me?!''
''I saved you,'' he said and that was when she knew deep inside that he really would do anything for her.
She learns to control the black eyes, she dyes her hair dark, and the screaming gets louder.
''Who do you think you are, you spoiled bitch!'' The voice tears into her and she trembles at every word. ''That is my body! Get the fuck out!''
She tries not to listen, tries to listen to Daddy, tries to remember that without it she would have died. And she almost manages to convince herself that it's all hers now because she is Trish fucking Wellington and she always, always gets what she wants.
But then she looks in the mirror and there's a blonde spewing curses and threats and banging on the glass and she realizes she doesn't really want this at all.
Henry falls fast, she falls slower.
He tells her she's beautiful and she shakes and cries and throws things and screams at him until her voice is gone. She bleeds every ketchup bottle dry and doesn't leave any for him even though Trish doesn't even like ketchup. Whenever there's a noise in the dark; she finds herself twirling a knife in her hands like she's been doing it her whole life. The first time he kisses her, her head pounds so painfully she passes out because that voice in her head is screaming for someone named Dean.
Henry takes it all and simply wraps his arms around her. He tells her he loves her and doesn't pester her to tell him about The Voice. He's nice and kind and funny and sweet and maybe he's not rich and maybe his friends are a little flawed and 'dude' each other a little too much and maybe he's not a prince, but he's all she could ever want and he wants her even though she's damaged and broken and a tangled mess of wreckage and that makes her love him even more.
She's pretty sure he would be better off with someone, you know, sane....like Abby, but she just can't find the strength she needs to let him go.
She wakes one night and there are tears on her cheeks and in her mouth that taste like sulfur. There's an arm around her waist and crying in her head. She blinks blurrily and sits up, careful not to wake Henry beside her. ''Ruby?'' She whispers and a sob that isn't her own escapes her lips.
''W-What's wrong?'' She wonders, for a moment, why she's trying to comfort the person who likes to make her life miserable but she does it anyways.
''Why do you care, body snatcher?'' Ruby stifles a sob, but it's Trish who makes the strangled, gulping sound and puts a hand over her mouth when Henry begins to stir beside her.
''I...I don't know.'' She brings her knees up to her chest and looks up, towards the mirror at the end of the bed. The blonde she sees is crying, her eyes red and bloodshot. ''You're part of me, Ruby.''
Ruby doesn't say a word, but the bitter smile that plays across her lips before she turns away says it all. Trish swallows and pretends she doesn't notice the black tint of the world. Ruby's angry and now it's all dark. That's how it works. That's how it always works.
''You took me away from him,'' her mirror image whispers, voice laced with bitterness and hurt. ''That is my body, Trish, you don't deserve it. You know you don't. I want to go home.'' In the mirror, she turns around to face her and there's desperation in her eyes. ''Please let me go.''
Trish breathes, slow and steady, and changes the subject. ''Who's Dean, Ruby?''
A sigh, a strained and strangled sob and shaking voice as the blonde meets her eyes through the looking glass. ''He was...He was mine once. And I loved him...even though I shouldn't have.'' And her eyes are on Trish, but she gets the feeling that her blonde counterpart isn't looking at her, but somewhere in the past. ''He loved me back, I know he did. You know,'' her voice turns from soft to sharp just like that and Trish finds Ruby's bitterness tastes like ashes on her tongue. ''I still remember that day your father came and took me away from him. I kicked and screamed and tried to fight back but your daddy had done his research and he knew what to do with me, how to torture me in all the right ways. I still remember the way my insides burned and sizzled when your dear ole' dad injected holy water into my veins, I remember how....carefully...he cut me with my own knife. Said it was my absolution, that I should think of it as a blessing. I was saving his daughter, he said, and that would make up for all of my sins.''
Ruby moves closer, as close as she can get and leans her hands on the dresser in the mirror. ''He screamed for me, you know,'' she says in a silky voice and suddenly, she doesn't look that sad anymore. ''My Dean. He screamed right along with me when your daddy came and took me away. So,'' she smirks and her eyes sparkle and even though there's fear running through Trish's veins, all she manages is a matching smirk because for a moment, it's Ruby who's in control. ''Tell me, Trish Wellington,'' she nods to the sleeping Henry and runs her tongue over her teeth like she's a predator waiting to pounce and Trish tries not to think about that because it sounds awful and horrible and a lot like the truth. ''Do you think he'll scream for you?''
Trish looks at Henry, so peaceful when he sleeps, and when she looks back, Ruby's gone and all she sees is dark hair and tortured eyes, but the blonde's words still echo loud and clear.
That night when she goes to sleep, she tries not to think about Daddy cutting Ruby away.
Ruby's talk of sin and absolution gets under her skin and crawls like a black cancer until she can't breathe around the screams in her throat. What if she goes to hell because of what she's done? What if when she dies, she'll be forced to dance with the Devil for all of eternity because she took something that was not hers?
She voices these concerns to Daddy once and he looks at her with dark and piercing eyes. ''Baby,'' he says softly, ''we have done nothing wrong. She was a sinner, she was an unholy creature spawned in the depths of hell. She was damned anyways.''
She looks at him with black eyes and growls, ''Don't talk about her like that.''
Daddy arches an eyebrow and smiles.
He places a hand on her face and she doesn't flinch, even though she feels like she should because his hands feel so cold and he scares her just a little because he can do things she never dreamed of. ''You are not going to Hell, Trish. Not if I have anything to say about it.''
She smiles, but knows he's wrong. Ruby knows too. ''The hellhounds will come for you, Patricia, and he won't be able to do a damn thing.''
She believes that.
She ends up in a church one day and can't remember how she got there.
In her head, Ruby cackles and Trish trembles. ''A church? You really are a good little girl, aren't you, honey? Just remember; it's the good little girls who end up taking their clothes off in dark and dirty clubs for money.''
She wraps her arms around herself and with every step she takes, her heels click, clack and echo throughout the entire church making her wince. She keeps walking and keeps her head held high until she reaches the front and finds herself staring at a stained glass window. Jesus stares back at her and she looks away. Her shaking fingers light a candle and she closes her eyes. She whispers, ''I don't know what to do now.''
Ruby says, ''Hey, don't look at me, I'm a demon, remember?''
Trish sighs. And then her eyes spot flimsy blue curtains and it looks dark in the corner so she moves. Her fingers pull the fabric back and she steps into the tiny room. It's too small and too hot and she can't breathe but it's too late to turn back now. Telling herself to calm down and take deep breaths, she sits down and closes her eyes and when the small window opens, she does not startle, but speaks instead. ''Forgive me, Father,'' she whispers, ''for I have sinned.''
''Oh, please,'' Ruby huffs, ''stop being so melodramatic, Trish.''
She tries not to listen to the voice in her head and keeps her gaze locked on her hands, trying to remember everything about what she's supposed to do now. ''It's been...'' She smiles wryly. ''....A long time since I've done this. Actually, I...I can't even remember the last time I did this. But...I really need help and I didn't know where else to go.''
''God listens to all, my dear.''
''Liar,'' Ruby hisses.
''What troubles you?'' His voice is soft and kind and it almost reminds her of an older, rougher version of Henry's voice. Trish swallows and thinks it should make her uncomfortable that the man who she is about to confess her sins to reminds her of the one person she cannot tell. But it's dark in her head and Ruby's too loud and all she wants is a little comfort.
''I...'' She has to stop to clear her throat and take a moment to try and swallow the lump in her throat. ''I don't think I believe. I...I never really have. I've always wanted to but...this world...my world...how can I believe that something better will come from this?''
''You're a bit of a whiner, aren't you?''
The tears well in her eyes and she hears Ruby scoff in disgust, but she pretends she doesn't notice. ''See, a few years ago something happened to me. I...I think...I think I died, and...when I woke up I wasn't me and that's when I learned everything my father is willing to do for me.'' There's a brief silence and through the small holes in the grate between them she sees him rub his chin like he's deep in thought. He doesn't say anything, so she continues. ''He said he was saving me.'' She chokes on her words, but somehow manages to get them out. ''But really, all he did was damn me.''
And now the silence is longer and more painful and she suspects it's because he doesn't know what to say. For some reason that scares her most of all and a cry works its way out of her lips before she can stop it. ''I feel scared all the time. I don't want to go to Hell, I don't deserve the flames and the heat and I don't deserve the Devil's torture. All I want is to be me again. I don't want to be damned.''
This time there is more than silence, but the words he speaks are not the answers she has been hoping for. ''Nobody wants to be damned, my child.''
She shakes her head and tears drip slowly down her cheeks as she hides her face away in her hands, closing her eyes and letting the darkness wash over her like rain. ''So, what am I supposed to do?''
His voice drops lower, to a comforting lilt, almost like a lullaby. ''People believe God has all the answers, people believe He can give them miracles just by answering their questions, but the truth is, child, even God cannot answer all questions. That is why there is faith.''
She allows this to sink in and finds herself surprised when Ruby does not comment. Maybe the words have reached her too. Sniffling, she swipes at her eyes and nods weakly, blue eyes begging for something more to hold onto. ''Okay,'' she looks away from the grate that hides him from view and studies her hands. ''But what happens when you lose your faith and all you have left is fear?''
A pause and then he looks at her and she can't see him, but she can feel his piercing eyes on her. ''You believe there is someone out there who can restore it.''
And she swallows, because she does not know what else she can do.
Henry proposes one day and it's a fairytale moment, it's her perfect ring and she loves him. But she says no anyways and that's the end of that.
She wants to say yes, she really does, she wants to chase after him when he walks away, his eyes broken and aching. She wants to kiss him and tell him she loves him. She wants to live Happily Ever After. Because she is Trish Wellington after all and she was born to love Henry Dunn.
But...Ruby....Ruby was born to love Dean. How can she spend her life happy with Henry when she knows Ruby is supposed to be with Dean?
''I'm going to find him,'' she says one day, after Henry has gone and left her with only memories and the sky is gray and she can smell the rain that will inevitably come. ''I'm going to find Dean for you.''
She doesn't expect a sobbing thank you or a squeal of glee, neither of those are Ruby's style, but she expects something more than what she gets. She expects something more than silence.
She looks anyways.
It takes her five days to track down someone who might be able to help. When Ruby hears who they're going to see, she speaks for the first time in five days and her voice is hoarse, but Trish thinks she can hear the gratitude hidden somewhere in there. ''Why?''
She toys with the necklace around her neck, the other hand gripping the piece of paper. ''Why what?''
''Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to find him?''
And she thinks of Henry and faith and love and absolution and she looks at a picture of her and Henry, sees the smile, closes her eyes and remembers. ''Because he screamed for you.''
She is a princess. Raised in a castle with the King and Queen. She got the finest things in life and didn't touch the life of normal. And never in a million years did she ever think about going near the life of Below Normal. But that was all before Ruby and this is now and now, sometimes, when she wakes up, there are smudges of dirt on her skin that she doesn't remember the origins of.
When she rolls up to Singer Salvage Yard in her rental, the princess in her screams and backs away in disgust but the Ruby in her is willing to walk through dust and gravel for days, weeks, months, years, just to find him.
So, Trish opens the door and steps into the dust.
Bobby Singer opens the door and pales and she knows it's because he's just seen a ghost.
She smiles weakly and raises a hand in a small wave. ''Hi.''
He steps outside and circles her slowly, like he's inspecting a new car for dents. Uncomfortably, she wraps her arms around herself and waits for it to be over. ''Um...'' She licks her lips nervously and he stops to stare at her and it's almost as if he had forgotten she could speak. ''...My name is Trish Wellington and I...I may have some information about someone you used to know.''
''Oh, real good, Trish,'' Ruby drawls, ''he's not going to trust you now.''
That comment couldn't be more true because as soon as the words vibrate through her head she finds the barrel of a shotgun held to her chest. Fear rises quickly, like water rising up, she draws in a sharp breath, and Ruby takes over.
''Stay calm, take a deep breath, and listen to me. Look him in the eyes.''
Trish listens because she can't do anything else. He still hasn't said anything to her, not one word apart from the surprised 'holy hell' when he opened the door and found himself face to face with the past, and he's looking at her like she's the Devil Incarnate. But she meets his eyes and pretends she's not afraid.
''You're not going to shoot me, Bobby.''
''She…She says you're not going to shoot me, Bobby.''
He falters and the shotgun lowers ever so slightly. ''And why wouldn't I?''
There's a moment of silence and she waits with growing anxiety for Ruby to say something. When she does, she makes sure to listen very carefully because death by shotgun is not how she wants to leave this mortal coil. ''She says...'' She frowns and looks at the older man with confusion. ''...Call it an educated guess.''
That's when he believes and puts the gun away. She breathes slowly and deeply and her racing heart slows down as he looks at her closely, a small smile dancing its way onto his dry lips. ''Well,'' he removes his ball cap and scratches the back of his neck. ''I'll be damned.''
She doesn't know why, but she tells him everything while she sits at his kitchen table. Everything she couldn't tell Henry and everything she doesn't understand. He lets her talk and listens close, offering her kind smiles whenever she feels she can't go on.
And she finds herself wishing Daddy was more like him and Listened instead of Telling.
When she finishes, there is only silence. She waits and waits and waits for him to speak but he doesn't and she worries he's mad because he thinks it's her fault. ''I'm sorry,'' she says softly, looking at her hands. ''I'm so sorry I took her away.'' There are tears in her voice and cries in her throat and when she looks at him her eyes plead for forgiveness and understanding. ''You have to believe me, if I had any say....'' But that's where her voice breaks and she can't seem to say any more because the sorrow won't let her.
He shakes his head and reaches out, gripping her hands. ''Darlin', don't think for a second that this is your fault. You didn't take Ruby away, it wasn't you.''
She closes her eyes and feels tears drip down her face. ''Then why do I feel like a killer? Why do I feel like a murderer?''
He's about to answer, she can see his mouth open like he's about to say something, about to comfort her, but the door opens with a gush of air and suddenly her eyes are locked on a tall figure who Ruby recognizes.
''Bobby, I took a look at the car, but - '' He stops suddenly and looks at her like a ghost. For a moment, she is. For a moment, it's all Ruby and there's only the ghost of what she used to be and what she used to mean to this man.
He doesn't move, stands perfectly still and silent and she has to wonder for just a second, if she broke him. But then he speaks and something in her thrills at the sound of his voice. ''It's...you....oh, god...is it really you?''
And she can't remember her name, but she remembers his because Ruby's whispering his name like it's the best thing she's ever said and the next thing she know he's crossed the room and he's holding her close. Maybe she doesn't know him, but Ruby does, so when her eyes dilate black and the tears come all at once, she blames it on Ruby.
''Sam,'' her voice comes out sounding strangled and wrecked. When she pulls away from the warm embrace that her body craves, she smiles a watery smile and touches his cheek gently because that's what Ruby wants her to do. ''You're Sam.''
His eyes are closed and she can see the longing etched onto his face. ''You're not...You're not her, are you?''
She feels the pain rising up and shakes her head slowly, swallowing down the cries that are not hers. ''I'm not.'' She thinks for a moment and then a small smile washes over her face. Slowly, she turns to look at Bobby. ''Do you have a mirror?''
Ruby does not look happy. In the mirror, her eyes are black and she's pacing but she still shines brighter than Trish ever could.
''Ruby,'' Sam's saying and his voice sounds desperate and strained. ''I don't understand. Why you? Why did Thomas Wellington pick you?''
''I don't know!'' Ruby throws her arms out and stops pacing. And her eyes, like black oil puddles fall on Trish and it's easy to taste the bitterness. ''Why don't you ask her?''
''I already told you, I don't know anything! I know what you know, Ruby.'' It's easy to get frustrated with Ruby; she's not the easiest person to get along with. She's mean and cold hearted and jaded and bitter and for some reason she's got a whole lot of people who love her. To be honest, Trish is starting to think she may be one of those people.
''I don't believe you,'' Ruby says simply. ''I think you're keeping something from me, Patricia. I think you know exactly why your father chose me and not some druggie bimbo who didn't have a life.''
''And how the hell would I keep something from you, Ruby? You're my fucking conscience!''
Ruby looks at her, lets out a long breath and suddenly she feels like a piece of dirt. There's just something about Ruby. Blondie can look at you, sigh and make you feel about this big. Without another word (and the look she gets is worse than the word, so Trish almost wishes Ruby would yell at her some more) the blonde in the mirror turns her eyes to Bobby. ''Can you fix this? Can you get her out of me?''
He sighs wearily and there are secrets in his eyes so the answers must be pretty bad. ''Ruby, the only way to free you is to kill Trish.''
Trish winces but doesn't utter one word. Tries not to think about just how much hatred and desperation it took to say that.
''We are not killing her,'' Sam spits out through clenched teeth. ''Look, Ruby, I love you, but you need to grasp the fact that this was not Trish's fault. She's innocent.''
Ruby scowls, ''No one is innocent.''
''We're not killing her!''
She thinks she should say something to Sam, thank him for trying to save her, protect her from Ruby, but her mouth is dry and she can't speak. She keeps her head down low and clasps her hands.
''What happened to you, Ruby?'' Sam murmurs, softly. ''You didn't used to be like this.''
''What happened to me?'' She laughs and her laugh is like acid, burning and dangerous. ''What happened to me was I was dragged away kicking and screaming just so I could get my body snatched by some princess!''
''This was not her fault.''
Ruby laughs again and turns away briefly, pushing a hand through her hair. ''I had a life with your brother, Sam,'' she whispers, turning slowly. ''We were happy! I didn't deserve this! You know what?'' She stops and tries to calm down. ''Where's Dean? I want to see him.''
The room seems to grow colder and Trish watches as pain burns bright in Sam and Bobby's eyes like candle flames. Oh no. She breathes slowly and waits. Ruby grows inpatient quickly as she stalks closer like she's trying to get out. ''Where is he, Sam?'' There's fear in the blonde demon's voice, it's shaking, but she hides it well.
Trish wants to say something but bites her lip because this moment isn't meant for her.
Sam and Bobby look at each other and it's not hard to see the pain and remembrance and pity and fear, it's not locked away, it's right there up front for everyone to see and that can only mean one thing. Bad news. ''Ruby,'' Sam starts and all of a sudden his voice sounds different, softer, tinged with scars of pain someone so young shouldn't have. Trish almost laughs at that because she's younger than him and she has the same scars. ''After you disappeared, Dean was...he was in a really bad place. Always drinking, picking fights. It was like the alcohol and violence numbed the pain he was feeling. I tried to help him, we tried to help him, but he was just...just too far gone.'' Sam swallows and looks away now because there's a strange and unfitting heartbreak sliding over Ruby's features and all Trish can think is that she's never seen Ruby look so lost.
Bobby takes over; his voice is rough like sandpaper and gentle like a father's. ''One night, he went out and got drunk and....on the way home, he was attacked. It was a...a werewolf and he couldn't...the alcohol...it was too much....he couldn't fight back. Not like he should have.''
''No,'' Ruby shakes her head and backs away. Trish starts to shake because all of a sudden she can feel it all, all these emotions and it's just too much. ''No, you're lying.'' Ruby's eyes are darkening steadily and narrowed into slits. ''I don't believe you!''
''Ruby....'' Sam's voice is directed towards the blonde but his eyes are on the brunette. She's shaking and shivering and she can barely breathe because all of Ruby's emotions are suffocating her.
''No! You're lying! He's not dead, he can't be!''
''Ruby - ''
And it all happens so quickly, like a roller coaster veering off the tracks, there's nothing anyone can do about it. Ruby screeches and moves forwards. The glass cracks and then Sam's arms are around Trish's waist and he's pulling her away from a shattering mirror and Ruby's gone but Trish can still hear the anguished screams in her head that quickly turn into fractured sobs. The misery tastes like blood and tears in her mouth and on the ground, she can see out the window.
It's still gray outside but there's no rain even though she can smell it in the air.
She wishes there was rain.
The moon casts a soft glow on the front porch as she stands, quietly with her arms crossed and eyes closed. A breeze ruffles dark hair away from her face but she doesn't move an inch. And you can try and reach her but she won't answer because she's not there.
She's somewhere deep inside, trying to make it all better.
It's dark here and she should be scared, but it feels like home. Like rain and ashes and Henry and smiling. It's okay. She's not afraid of this dark. She walks slowly and carefully as if there's broken glass on the floor.
She hears crying in the air and it reminds her of the night she first learned about Dean. She goes farther and deeper and wishes this hallway would end. The crying gets louder; she rounds a corner, the crying stops. Just like that, like someone's pressed the 'stop' button, like the tears have simply run dry.
It comes with a whimper not a bang and she breaks into a run. Fear. Panic. Worry. ''Ruby!''
Because Ruby is bitter and cynical and mean and she's made it clear that if she had a choice she would choose herself in an instant but...she's a part of her...you know?
The air is thick and the sorrow comes in waves as she runs, hitting her like physical blows. ''Ruby!'' It feels like forever passes, long and weary, before she reaches her. And there she is. Slumped against a dark wall, eyes staring vacantly ahead as if she isn't in there at all. ''Ruby....''
Trish moves slowly and carefully, believing Ruby will pounce if she's not careful. A frown stretches across her face as she gets closer and closer and still Ruby doesn't move. ''Ruby?'' She's right in front of her now and the blonde still hasn't moved, hasn't acknowledged her presence. She tries to be gentle, doesn't want to scare the poor girl as she bends down to her level. ''Ruby?'' She reaches out a hand to touch her skin and it happens in slow motion. Seconds before her hand makes contact, Ruby jerks and her eyes flash as she turns her head to glare at Trish in the darkness.
Trish falls back in surprise, landing on her bottom on a cold, cement floor.
''What are you doing here?'' Ruby means to sound angry, Trish can see that from the look in her eyes; anger and heartbreak. But she simply sounds tired and her voice is hoarse from all the screaming and sobbing she's done.
''I....'' She swallows nervously and tucks a strand of dark hair behind her ear as she cautiously moves beside Ruby, awkwardly drawing her knees up to her chest. ''I was worried about you.'' She pauses and licks her lips, trying to figure out something to say to make this better. Who is she kidding? She has no idea what to say, she's never lost anyone like Ruby lost Dean, there's really nothing she can say to make this better. ''I'm sorry,'' she whispers, even though she knows that won't ever mean much. ''About Dean.''
''Don't.'' Ruby's eyes go black like the darkness surrounding them and she leans back against the wall, sorrow etched onto her face. ''Just....don't.''
Trish swallows but does not speak. It's a long moment that passes in silence and it feels like eternity before one of them speaks. ''Ruby, I wish...'' She feels a lump grow in her throat and studies her hands so she won't have to look at Ruby, so lost and heartbroken. ''I wish...that things had been different...with me...and you. I wish my father had chosen someone else, but he didn't. Not a day goes by where I don't think about you and the life you could have had with Dean. But I can't change what he's done.'' She looks up now and meets blank eyes that feel like bullets shooting into her. ''All I want is for you to understand that I did not choose this. It was chosen for me.''
''I know that, Trish!'' Ruby's voice sounds hard and sharp as she rises to her feet in a moment of frustration. ''Don't you think I know that?! But who else am I supposed to yell at? Who else can I blame? You're all I have!''
Trish opens her mouth to say something, anything really, but the words she's searching for aren't there so she closes her mouth and squeezes her eyes shut tight.
''But this isn't about me anymore, Patricia,'' Ruby says firmly, as if she's scolding a small child. ''This is about Dean. What your father did to me killed him, you know that. Because I was taken away from him, he became a drunk and he wasn't strong enough to fight off those damned beasts! It all leads back to your father, Trish, and I just don't understand how you can let him get away with this!''
Trish tells herself to breathe, shaking her head against the words she knows are true. ''He's my father.''
''He's a murderer!''
The Wellington stands and her own eyes darken. Truth is, she knows exactly what her father is, but he's still her daddy. ''He takes care of me.''
''Yeah, I am well aware of that.'' The blonde demon spits out the words like they're poison, folding her arms across her chest. There's silence next, passing between the two women who could pass as identical twins. One shifts nervously while the other looks away, emotions clouding blue eyes. ''I just...don't understand.'' Ruby chokes out at last and Trish can tell she isn't talking about her father anymore.
''What don't you understand?''
''He believed,'' Ruby's voice shakes as she closes her eyes. And there's pain on her face, aching and raw and it's easy to tell she's thinking about Dean. ''Dean. He believed in God. He didn't used to, he didn't want to, but....then he met an angel and he....he started to believe that maybe there was someone out there taking care of everyone. He wanted so badly to be redeemed, to be looked after, to make it to the pearly gates and I....'' She laughs lightly but there's tears hiding somewhere in there. ''I wanted that for him, even though I knew I would never make it to heaven with him. And I just don't understand...how could God turn His back on Dean when he needed saving? I mean, Dean...he died all alone.'' Ruby dissolves into tears now and she breaks and cracks like a porcelain doll. ''He didn't...He didn't...deserve to die like that.''
Trish isn't sure what makes her do it, but soon, she's stepped forwards and gathered Ruby into her arms, pretending for just a second that this is just a normal person who needs help and not the person she's doomed to this inky black prison. Instantly, Ruby stiffens and her body goes rigid like stone. ''What are you doing?''
''Sshh, don't ruin it.''
The embrace lasts exactly ten seconds before Ruby pulls away sharply because she had been so ready to melt and she just can't have that. Trish studies the other woman carefully. There are things about the blonde she's never noticed before. Like for instance, she has a habit of crossing her arms over her chest like she's trying to protect her heart, her blue eyes shine brighter than they ever have in the mirror and she may be a demon but she's almost the only light in this darkness. Is this what Sam and Bobby see when they look at her? Is this what Dean saw?
Before Trish can ponder this more, Ruby speaks, her voice slightly hoarse. ''You should go,'' she says, ''this isn't your prison. Just mine.''
''Go. I'll be fine.''
Trish hesitates before she leaves and asks a question that seems to hang in the air like smoke. ''Do you believe in God, Ruby?''
Ruby looks at her for a moment and the look she gives her is indistinguishable, strange and foreign, but when she speaks it's the same smooth, slightly bitter drawl it always is. ''He turned his back on me when I needed Him. Why should I believe?''
And Trish looks at her and thinks of that priest and his faith, she thinks of Henry and happiness and she says, ''Even in the darkest hour, in the darkest place, in the woods, in a place like this, the valley of death...there is always faith.''
And she opens her eyes.
''So, you're heading out?''
She's standing in the dust, with her back against the rental car and there's sorrow in her heart that isn't hers but she's dealing. Swallowing, she nods and smiles but it comes out weak and distorted. At least it's a smile. ''Yeah, I should probably get back before my father sends out a search party.''
Sam smiles a lopsided smile. ''All right, well...take care of yourself.'' He moves forwards, almost cautiously, and pulls her in for a hug. She closes her eyes and hugs back tight even though she knows it's not her he's hugging.
''Call me if you need anything.''
She nods. ''Promise.''
''Oh,'' he pulls away suddenly and reaches in his pocket. ''I almost forgot. I wanted you to have this.'' He retrieves a photograph and his calloused, rough hands touch her smooth skin as he hands it to her.
She looks down at the smiling faces of two people in love and tries not to think of Henry. ''Wow,'' she laughs and her fingers trace the woman's face. ''I've never seen Ruby look so happy.''
Sam shrugs and smiles softly. ''She was always happiest when she was with Dean.'' He looks at her carefully and she can practically see the wheels turning in his head. ''Is there someone in your life who makes you that happy, Trish? Because you shouldn't hold back because of Ruby.''
For a second, she feels like crying because - man, she really could have used that advice before she gave Henry up. She smiles calmly, shakes her head and lies. ''No. No, there's no one special.'' But she's not looking at him and her eyes are on the picture and she has a feeling he knows she's lying.
''Trish,'' Ruby's voice breaks through, full of sorrow and regret as she makes a desperate plea. ''Put it away. Please.''
Quickly, she slides the picture into her pocket and her smile turns just a little more fake and unconvincing. ''I should get going.''
Sam draws in a breath and nods, even though Trish can see clearly all he wants to do is keep her with him and never let her go. ''Right. Uh...Trish, you'll....you'll take care of her, won't you? Ruby, I mean.''
''Good. That's...That's good. See, my brother....he...he really loved her...with all his heart. Swore he was going to marry that girl.''
Ruby lets out a strangled sob and Trish shifts, willing the burning behind her eyes to go away.
''And I know....'' Sam pauses to take a breath and his eyes shine in the sunlight but she doesn't say anything. ''I know he would want her...to be taken care of, to be...okay. I want that too. We all loved Ruby.''
There's feelings piling up inside of her and she wants to keep control of them but it's so damn hard when she keeps seeing Ruby, happy and alive and with Dean, when she knows it's all her fault that Ruby will never have that life. ''I'll take care of her,'' she murmurs, ''I promise.''
''I know you will.''
''Trish,'' Ruby says and her voice is on the verge of cracking. ''Will you do something for me?''
Trish nods and listens close and then the burning becomes too much and her eyes overflow with salty tears as she focuses her gaze on Sam. ''She says...She says don't forget me, Sammy.''
He laughs, but it's strained and raw and he lets his own tears fall as he takes a step forwards and presses a soft hand to her cheek. ''Oh, Ruby, you should know by now; you're absolutely unforgettable.''
She makes it halfway to the airport before two sets of emotions explode inside her and she has to pull over. She cries for what seems likes hoursdaysmonthsyears and she cries for Ruby and Dean and Sam and Bobby. She cries for Henry and her father and herself and she thinks about home and feeling safe but all she can see is Henry.
And outside, the rain falls finally.
Hunter Jennings is charismatic and fun and he takes her to al the nicest bars and clubs and he takes her dancing. Henry never liked dancing. Ruby doesn't like Hunter.
''Oh, sure he's nice, Trish. But it's the nice guys who end up beating you to death. Or worse, they turn out to be drug dealers.''
Trish pauses in her attempts to do her makeup and wrinkles her nose. ''How is that worse than being dead?''
''I'd rather be dead than high.''
She scoffs and continues layering on the eyeliner. You know, Henry always said he liked her better without much make up because then he could see her. It never mattered to him, she was always beautiful. Hunter's never called her beautiful.
''You've got strange views on things, Ruby, have I ever told you that?''
''I'm just saying, I don't think Hunter's the right guy for you. Hey, you know who you should call?''
Trish scowls and her heels click on the bathroom floor as she leaves the room and hastily grabs her jacket. ''If you say Henry - ''
''What? He was a nice kid.''
She rolls her eyes and snatches her purse off the table. For the most part, she manages to cope with Ruby's presence but there are times when she wishes she could just leave all this behind.
''Come on, Trish, you know this guy is a sleaze. First of all, what's with the hair? He uses more product than you. Second of all, he's never going to marry you if that's what you're waiting for. And third of all, he's lousy in bed.''
Trish blushes and chokes back an indignant screech. ''Ruby!''
''He is! I should know, I'm part of you. Whenever you two have sex, you end up making a grocery list in your head.''
''Will you please just stay out of my love life?'' Truthfully, she thinks about Henry every day. She thinks about that day when he asked her to marry him and she said no, she thinks about what she would have done if she had said yes. She could have been a wife by now. Henry's wife. Mrs. Dunn. But when she thinks about him, she always swallows and tells herself Happily Ever After is nothing but a fairytale.
''Whatever,'' Ruby's saying, jolting her back to the here and now. ''I don't give a damn if you ruin your life. I still don't like you.''
On her way out the door, Trish sighs and rolls her eyes, biting back a smirk. ''I know.''
As it turns out, Ruby's right about Hunter. He is scum. She learns that the hard way when she walks in to find him on top of some slut. Ruby offers no sympathy when Trish drowns her sorrows in a pint of Ben and Jerry's.
''Hey, I told you he wasn't good for you. But do you ever listen to me? Nooo. FYI, if you get my body fat with all that ice cream I swear on everything unholy, I'll put you out of your misery myself.''
After Hunter, Trish stays in bed for two days crying her eyes out and no matter what Ruby does, nothing can snap her out of her funk. Except it's not really Hunter she's crying for, it's not really him she's sad about.
Every single time she closes her eyes she sees Henry and she cries because she knows it's too late.
It's a warm day, crisp and clear, there are no clouds in the sky and it's almost as if you can see straight to heaven, when she runs into Henry Dunn. Literally.
She has a meeting with Daddy (they're supposed to discuss Ruby and ''she's not causing you any more trouble, is she, darling?'') and she's late and she's rushing down the street, coffee cup in hand when he turns the corner and she walks right into him. Coffee spills and she tumbles and almost falls but suddenly there's arms around her waist that make her feel safe and she holds on tight because she's sure this is just another dream.
But then he looks at her and she looks at him and they smile and that's that.
Three weeks later, they announce their engagement.
Because she is Trish Wellington and she was born to love Henry Dunn.
end part one