After Dark

It seems danger lies around every corner for Luke and Ruby. Quite literally. It seems alleyways are dangerous places. One shot, not AU, Luke and Ruby POV.

Ruby POV

How many times had people told me not to walk home after dark? My mum, teachers, the copper who came into talk about Stranger Danger, and they all went on and on about how men would take kids if we spoke to them. As I grew older, I realised why these men would want to take them. It creeped me out, but it didn't stop me walking around after dark. Why should it? Half the time I couldn't help it. My mum didn't own a car, and no matter how many times Luke and Jenny offered me a lift, I never accepted. They lived in the opposite direction to my flat, and no matter how much time we spent in each other's company, I hated putting them out. So every night, I pretended that my mum was waiting around the corner. Jenny still didn't know that my mum had never owned a car.

"Oh crap," I complained, as I felt the first droplets of water hit my hair. I swung my shoulder bag over my head, and gathered my psychology files up, and shoved them in the bag. The last thing I needed was any of my scribbled coursework notes getting wet. Rain was the last thing I needed, especially as it was dark, and this area of town wasn't lighted. Well, there were streetlights but they had flickered and died years ago, and the council had never done anything about them. The pubs in this area had already kicked out, but any trace of the drunks had long gone. Good. I'd stick out a mile as a skinny, vulnerable student, and I'd probably be in A and E before I got home.

My phone buzzed in my jeans pocket. I pulled it out and checked the screen. There was a message from Luke waiting to be opened. It was strange. Luke was the ┼▒ber- popular type, and I would have expected him to be clubbing until three, and then I wouldn't hear from him until about one in the afternoon. So I was pretty surprised when I saw the text asking me Wt r u doin now?

Its almost midnight, I replied, Where r u?

I saw u leave uni. Do u want 2 meet at the coffee shop? Pass up an opportunity to meet up with my favourite boy? Never.

See you in five, I replied. I turned on my heel, and started to walk back down the street to Costa Coffee, the only one nearby.

The rain was sleeting down more heavily now. My hair was now plastered to my head. Not a good look when I was going to meet a guy I had had a crush on since I was eleven. I turned left and spotted the Costa sign about halfway down the street. It was a pretty crap place. We were barely off of the council estate, and rubbish was littered in the gutters. Half the shops were boarded up, and the shutters were graffitied.

I made my way down the empty street. Costa was the only store with lights on. It was freezing by now, and I hurried towards the warmth.

But before I reached the Costa coffee sign, I heard something strange to my left. It sounded like crying. A girl was crying, great, wracking sobs echoing into my ears. I turned my head. It was the opening to one of the alleyways.

"Hello?" I called warily into the opening. "Are you OK?"

"Help me, please help me." She sounded younger than I was, maybe about fourteen, fifteen. I couldn't see her, but the alleyway was unlit, and I could barely see two metres in. Cautiously I walked inside.

"Where are you?" I asked. The sobbing had stopped, and I heard the sound of someone scrambling to their feet. "Hello? Where are you?" I asked again. This time a different voice echoed from the brick walls either side, more guttural, scraping, like the speaker had a nasty cough.

"I'm right behind you." I turned, and screamed.

Luke POV

What was taking Ruby so long? She'd left the college only a few minutes before I did, and she couldn't have been more than three minutes up the road. I sent another text, more urgent than the last three I had sent in the last fifteen minutes. Crap. Maybe I should walk back to her flat. Maybe she hadn't taken her phone to uni today. Maybe her brother had it and was prank replying again. He'd done it before, and Ruby had belted him round the head with one of her pillows. Sighing, I grabbed my polystyrene cup, and left the shop. Ruby's flat was about ten minutes away, and it was pouring with rain outside. I could wait here, in the warm, but there was no point. Clearly Ruby wasn't coming. Maybe I shouldn't go to her flat. Or I could go home. I'd see her tomorrow anyway. But before I could head in the direction of the Tube, my phone buzzed. I already had my thumb hovering over the reply button to tell her I was going home, when a chill spread through me as I read the text. It was misspelt, like the sender hadn't managed to hit the right buttons.

In alyway nxt to costa. Help.

I was already running, my trainers splashing through the puddles, round the corner of the shop and into the alleyway.

"Ruby," I shouted, struggling to see through the drenching rain.

"H-here," came the weak, stuttered reply. I moved a little further down, using the light of my phone to guide me to Ruby. She was lying curled up on the ground, face dirty, hair rumpled. She was still wearing the red long sleeved T-shirt she had been wearing earlier, but now, parts of it were a darker red, and there were slits in the material, like a knife had sliced through the cotton and torn the skin below. Her leather jacket was gone, and her jeans were coated in dirt. She was shaking; shivering and her face had grazes on it, like someone had scraped her face along the bricks.

"Rubes! Oh god... What happened to you?" I gasped, pulling off my jacket, and laying it over her. She was struggling to sit up, and I slid my arms underneath to support her.

"There was a girl," she managed to gasp out, "Crying. And I went down to help, and it came up behind me, and..."

"Shh..." I said, pulling my phone out of my pocket. "Shh, Rubes, it's ok." I slid the phone open and dialled the emergency number. But before I could hit call, Ruby raised a weak hand onto my shoulder.

"No Luke... it was... it was a demon." she managed to choke out. I froze, wondering if I should call Galvin, or Ruby. The ambulance would ask too many questions, wouldn't they, before I snapped out of it, and told myself not to be stupid. Ask too many questions? Small skinny girl attacked in an alleyway? They would expect it, and they wouldn't ask any questions at all. I hadn't seen the attack, and Ruby was smart enough to lie about her attacker. I tightened my arm around her, as she laid her head on my arm. Stupid, stupid half-life. I hit call.

A/N: Thanks for sticking with it :) okay now you press the little green button because it will make me feel all warm and fluffy inside :) xx reviews are love. So is chocolate xx P.S. you can private message me as well, because it gets me through maths on Mondays if I know there are lots of lovely people talking to me about something other than mascara :) thx Sophie :)