Obviously, this hasn't been updated in some time. However, I've recently gotten some very encouraging review. (Thanks so much you guys!) At the last review I recieved, (Thanks, CrocodileTears98!) I decided to finally write this chapter.

No rights to Supernatural.

"Swanky," Ruby commented.

"As if you could afford better," Jo retorted. "Our room is on the second floor. Hope you don't mind climbing some steps in those boots of yours."

"I hope I don't step on a prostitute on the way up."

Jo rolled her eyes. She climbed the steps of the sleazy motel, rapping against the door she and her mom were checked into.

"Mom, open up," she called inside. "I have a long-winded request for you."

They waited a moment. No answer.

"Are you two fighting or something?" Ruby frowned.

"Constantly," Jo replied, "but she should still manage to open the door."

She fished the key card out of her pocket and inserted it into the slot above the door handle.

"You didn't think to use that first?"

"It's less effort what your mom opens the door for you," Jo responded, realizing her card was flipped the wrong way, turning it over, and hoping Ruby didn't notice.

"Does co-dependency run among hunters?"

"I thought you were one. Shouldn't you know?"

"I'm more of a lone wolf," Ruby replied as the door opened.

Jo trudged inside, laying her card on the motel desk close to the door. "Mom, didn't you hear me—"

She froze.

"What? What is it?" Ruby inquired, stepping inside behind her. Peeking past Jo, her eyes widened. "Oh, crap."

Ellen Harvelle's dead body was sprawled peacefully on the bed, her eyes lightly closed. She could've been sleeping, if not for the gaping, bloody wound across her stomach.

"I guess you get to borrow the car," Ruby commented.

Jo shot her a look, which Ruby cringed at. The look was stunned, appalled, shaken, and Ruby didn't think it suited her.

"What happened?" Jo asked no one in particular.

"Someone sliced a hole in your mom," Ruby replied.

Jo gave her another mortified expression. "Okay, I'm glad you're having fun with this, but please keep the retorts to yourself."

Ruby bit back another comment.

Truthfully, Ruby was capable of sympathy. She was, however, inexperienced in expressing it.

Jo trotted up the bed her mother was on and shook her shoulders.

"Mom? Mom!"

Ellen's head tilted back as her shoulder were heaved upward, her jaw falling closed. Clearly dead. But Jo kept shaking her.

Ruby watched the exchange, her expression deadpan, not knowing what to do with herself. She absentmindedly slid her hand across the motel desk, back and forth.

Tears brimmed to Jo's eyes, and Ruby turned away. When she dared a glance back up at her, tears were streaming down her face.

What should she do? Should she comfort the grieving girl bent over her dead mom? Or continue to pretend not to notice what's going on?

She went with the latter, and kept sliding her hand over the desk.

Jo dropped her mother back on the bed and ran a hand through her hair, leaning against the other bed to support her shaky body.

"Who could've done this?" Jo said, again to no one in particular. "The door was locked. My mom has skills. Who could've gotten the drop on her?"

Ruby noticed the very obvious open condition of the window, but maybe you weren't supposed to point out the obvious the people who were upset.

In her absent hand-sliding, she nudged something. A paper pad, common in motels. A note was scrawled on it in messy, black ink.

Her eyes widened as she scanned the note, read over its contents three times over.

And she realized exactly who could've done this to Ellen.

Taking advantage of Jo's distracted condition, she tore the note from the pad and stuffed it into her jacket pocket before Jo could notice.

"It's because of Sam and Dean," Ruby blurted.

Jo turned her splotchy, red face toward her. "What?"

"Her murder," Ruby said, nudging her head towards Ellen. "You guys were close to Sam and Dean, right? Dean's capture, now this? It's probably trying to get some sort of message across to Sam."

"What message?"

Ruby fumbled. "I . . . maybe just some group of monsters who feel wronged by them."

Jo looked unconvinced.

"Or," Ruby tried again, "maybe someone intercepted your phone call and did this to discourage you from saving Dean. Maybe the demons that have captured him."

Jo thought about this. "Then, maybe we shouldn't save Dean."

"Who else have you got to lose?" Ruby pointed out. "Besides, I don't think these demons will ever be convinced that you're not going to go after him. They might come after you next. I'd say the best way to end all of this is actually save Dean."

Jo leaned against the bed.

"And not to be insensitive," Ruby continued, urgency creeping into her voice, "but they're probably close by. They could come back if they know you're here. You probably don't have time to burn the body."

Jo nodded forcefully. "Yeah, I get it," she said. She rose to her feet, taking once last glance at her dead mother's body. "We should go."

Ruby waited nervously for her to come strutting out the door like the fierce chick she'd heard so much about in the hunter circuit, but she just kept gazing at the body.

"You know what?" Jo said, a break in her voice. "The keys are on the desk. Why don't you go start the car?"

Ruby gazed at Jo for a moment, wanting to say something, but having little clue where to start. She finally plucked the mass of keys from the desk, struggled with herself for a moment, but ultimately, left the motel room without a word.

She shut the door behind her, stuffing her hands in her pockets. The edges of her fingers brushed the note there, and she swallowed the lump that formed in her throat.