Thank you for the reviews! They keep me going. Sorry this chapter's short.
ONE MONTH LATER
Dean woke up to Ruth sitting in the lamplight, newspapers spread all over the desk, open to the obituary. "Watcha doin'?" Ruth jumped. She turned and playfully punched Dean. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm finding us a job."
Dean sat next to her. "Anything good?" "Yeah, three "accidental" deaths in this one neighborhood south of here." Dean decided to test her. "What do you think?"
Dean watched Ruth's concentrated expression. "Changeling maybe? All the deaths are happening in the same neighborhood and all of the victims have kids."
Dean nodded and stood. "You know," Dean remarked. "Seeing as you figured out what we're dealing with, I think it would be only fit to have you help us hunt it." He watched as Ruth's face lit up and she began to jump up and down. "Just when I thought you were actually slightly mature…" He looked at Sam, still sleeping. "Why don't we wake sleeping beauty over here and get on the road?"
Ruth smoothed her skirt and adjusted the sash hanging across her shoulders. She pulled the red wagon full of cookies behind her as she approached the front steps. Smiling cheerfully, she knocked on the glass door.
A small child answered the door and stared at her with a serious face too sullen for a boy of that age. "Hi, want some Girl Scout cookies?" Ruth put on her most innocent looking face as the child turned back inside.
"Mommy! I want cookies, now." Ruth watched as a woman in her mid-thirties came to the door. "Jimmy, we already have ten boxes inside from the last Girl Scout."
"I want more cookies, Momma." The boy hugged onto his mother's leg, an act that seemed to surprise her in its abnormality. "Uh," she stuttered. "Uh, yeah, uh, we'll take two boxes."
"Five, Mommy!" Came the boy's muffled cry from his mother's leg. "Okay, five then." The boy got off his mother's leg and stood in the doorway, hand out for cookies as his mother gave Ruth money.
She handed the boy the boxes of cookies and watched closely as he closed the door. "Thank you!" She shouted through the door before turning back to the car behind her.
Dean got out and walked towards the trunk, opening it to make room for the wagon and cookies. "I never thought I would ever agree to put Girl Scout cookies in the back of my baby." He muttered.
Ruth got in the back seat while Dean started up the Impala. "Well?" Sam asked, turning to face his little sister from the passenger seat.
"Definitely a changeling." Ruth replied. "Couldn't have been easier, they had a glass door! The kid's reflection was right there."
The tires squealed as Dean speeded towards the abandoned house Dean had seen on the way to check the little boy's house.
Dean pulled into the driveway of the deteriorating building as Ruth jumped out of the car to help a still weak Sam out of the front seat. He had refused to stay home from yet another hunt and "let you and Dean have all the fun."
Ruth handed out flamethrowers and the three headed towards the ramshackle house. Sam quietly opened the front door and motioned for the other two to enter. They split up and Ruth tiptoed towards the back. She heard Dean whisper for Sam. They must have found the real kids, but Ruth decided to continue, knowing they could handle that by themselves. The mother changeling had to be around here somewhere…
Suddenly, Ruth heard a shriek and ducked as a knife whistled past her head. She turned to see the mother changeling right in front of her, legs wide, obviously ready to pounce. She turned on the flamethrower, determined to show Sam and Dean she could kill, too.
She remembered the research she had done earlier.
Changelings are killed with fire, but the easiest way to injure one is to slice it's throat or other major organs.
Ruth pulled out her prized possession- Ruby's knife. Quickly, she slid between the mother's legs and turned, stabbing the monster through the throat. Sam came skidding around the corner, fear in his eyes as he looked for his sister.
His mouth opened slightly at the sight before him. Ruth was standing with one hand holding the knife, still in the changeling's neck. Using the knife to hold up the mother changeling, Ruth held the flamethrower up to its neck before setting the creature on fire.
She watched it burn and turn into ash, screaming, before facing her brother. She grinned and walked up to him. "Thanks for the help." She joked, hooking her hand around his back as the two headed out towards the Impala.
The scared children were all heading back towards their houses as Dean put the flamethrowers back in the trunk.
"I hate to admit it," Dean said as they drove back to the motel. "But you did really god back there, kiddo."
"Always the tone of surprise." Ruth complained, beaming.
Sam smiled. Dean would rather face thirty demons alone than admit it, but the brothers both knew how useful of an addition Ruth was. Whenever a witness wasn't telling them the truth, they pulled Ruth in. When a child wouldn't talk to adults, they brought Ruth to play and talk with the kid. She had inherited Sam's puppy dog eyes, and Dean thought that no one would ever do it just as well as his brother, but if it was that convincing on a 24 year old, it looked even cuter on a thirteen year old girl.
Ruth got out of the car when they pulled into the parking lot and practically ran into the motel room. "Where's the fire?" Dean called after her as she sat down to finish the weekend's homework.
The girl was still going to school and seemed to like it almost as much as Sam had, but when they had agreed to let her go to college she had just laughed and squealed something about vampires and wraiths and the "greater good" before collapsing on the bed in fits of laughter.
Ruth was like a perfect mix of her older brothers. She was loving, kind, and smart like Sam, but had the eagerness to hunt and the love of food like Dean.
Other than a couple scars and some disappearing cuts, nothing remained of the scared girl that had taken Ruth's place a month ago. She was a kid- energetic and playful and eager to learn. But most importantly, she was aWinchester, and she would never give up on her brothers.
Thank you so much for all the feedback. I'm thinking this is the last chapter, unless anyone has any objections or suggestions. Check out the new story I'm writing- a sequel to Nothing Else Matters. Reviews are always welcome!