Summary: What if the Trickster hadn’t given Sam what he wanted.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Kripke owns all.
AN: I’m thinking of making this the prologue to a longer work that’s going to be a SPN/DA x-over, but I figured it worked as a stand alone, so that’s what it is right now. It’s my first time writing either Sam or Ruby. Hopefully, they didn’t turn out too bad.
A car drove by, its high-beams sweeping in through the window and illuminating the very spot where moments before, his only hope for getting Dean back, had stood. The snap of the Trickster’s fingers still rung in Sam’s ear, but the demon - demigod - whatever - had vanished.
The room was empty. The Trickster had not returned his brother.
Sam was alone.
The cold numbness of rage against the demon that he had felt since burning Dean’s body was replaced quickly by crushing heaviness that literally brought him to his knees. Falling back, Sam leaned against the wall behind him, drawing one knee towards his chest while letting his other leg twist in a slightly painful angle. He didn’t noticed, just stared blankly at the empty space that his prey had just occupied moments before.
He wouldn’t find the Trickster again. He knew that just like he knew that there was no possible way for him to ever be able to save his brother’s life or soul now. Dean was dead.
Sam was alone.
He wondered if this what Dean had felt when he himself had died the previous year, this maddening grief. He must have. He had literally made a deal with the devil in order to save Sam. When it was Sam turn, however, he couldn’t save Dean.
Sweeping his hand over his face before leaving it cover his mouth, Sam choked on something that he wasn’t sure was meant to be a scream or a sob.
He was pathetic. Useless. What good was he in this damn war that they started when he couldn’t even save his own brother?
“Oh, great,” a familiar, annoyed female voice said. “You finally find the Trickster and what do you do? You go from scary, Rambo, brooding Sam to weepy, brooding Sam. Which, I might add, is a whole lot scary.”
He saw her come into the room, tall and proud and sashaying more than walking. Her steps were muffled and light. He wouldn’t have heard her walking up on him, but he could see her out of the corner of his eyes. Sam was watching her move across the room, but he gave no indication that he saw her, even when she was standing before him. Her arms were crossed and she was looking down on him. There was no sympathy there; not that he expected there to be.
“Is this how it’s going to be from now on?” Ruby asked. “Because if it is, we might as well go find Lilith now and tell her we give up. Who knows, maybe she’ll make our deaths quick and painless. Doubt it, but you never know.”
“What do you want?” he asked, his voice sounding oddly distant.
With a quick twist of her head, Ruby flicked her blond hair over her shoulder. Sam thought it looked oddly bright in the dimness of the room.
“Well, we can start by you actually looking at me,” she said. Crouching down, she forced him to look at her. “There. Isn’t that better?”
“Leave me alone, Ruby,” Sam said.
“Right, because you been doing so well on your own for the past couple of months,” she said. “Remind me again. How many times have you managed to get yourself stab or shot since Dean died?”
Sam’s eyes narrowed.
“And for what?” Ruby asked. “To find the Trickster? I don’t see a body anywhere, so I’m guessing Sammy’s little revenge plot didn’t exactly go as plan. You should have spent that time trying to get the Colt back or trying to stop this big ass demon war. But hey, empty, bodiless room was the obvious choice when it came to finding the Trickster or actually fighting the war.”
Jumping to his feet, Sam nearly knocked Ruby over, but her own quick reflexes kept balanced. Stalking past her, he said, “Shut up.”
“What did you expect to happen, Sam?” she asked, ignoring him and rising to her feet. “You’d find the Trickster and just ram a wooden stake through its heart and everything would be hunky-dory again? You and Dean have already ‘killed’ the thing once that way. Little tip. Wooden stake doesn’t really work that well on a creature with god-like powers. Well, usually, anyway. I don’t care what your Daddy’s book says.”
Sam gritted his teeth, his body tense. He could feel his fingernails digging into the flesh of his palms, and he wouldn’t be surprised to find little crescent moon-shaped cuts there later.
He hadn’t been ignoring the war. He had been taking down demons and vampires and any other creature he could get his hands on. He had been fighting.
Yes, finding the Trickster had been his top priority, but not for the reason she thought. If he would have done as Sam asked, gave him his brother back…Dean was the soldier. The war needed him in it, fighting. Sam was trying to make it happen.
And she thought it was about revenge.
“This wasn’t about revenge,” he growled darkly.
He could feel her eyes burning a hole into the back of his head. “You were trying to get Dean back.”
Sam’s body grew so tensed that he felt his shoulders begin to shake. That heaviness was once again being replaced by rage and he wasn’t so such that Ruby wouldn’t be the target of it this time. Even if she was on their side, she was still a demon. Demons deserved to die.
And she didn’t know how to keep her mouth shut.
“Dean’s dead, Sam.”
“You think I don’t know that?” he screamed, taking a step towards her.
She didn’t move or look impressed and continue to talk even as he screamed. “And he’s not coming back this time.”
They stared at one another, hard and long. Sam was bristling. Ruby was unimpressed. Who knew how long they stood there like that - could have been days for all Sam knew - but she wasn’t backing down. And, now that some of his rage had been vented by that short outburst, Sam was just too damn tired to care anymore.
His shoulders went from overtly tense to slumping. Shaking his head, he once against turned away from her. “That’s it, then. I’m done.”
To his surprise - or, really, not, considering that it was Ruby - he could hear her roll her eyes just as loudly as he heard her sigh. “Stop being such a drama queen. You can’t quit.”
Gathering up his things, Sam gave a humorless snort. “Watch me.”
His hand stilled when an iron grip seized his wrist. He forgot, sometimes, how strong and fast she really was. Her eyes were still blue, but something dark swirled beneath that clear color. Sometimes, it was easy to remember what she really was and he wondered how he could ever forget, even for a moment.
“You can’t quit and you know it,” she said.
He tried to shrug her off, to pick up his things and go, but she held on tight. Sam had no doubt that in the morning, he would have bruised there. With one last quick jerk of his arm, he freed himself from her and walked towards the door. “I’ve done it before.”
“Before you didn’t have every demon lookin’ for the bragging rights of killing the
Sam Winchester. And then there’s the war. And, oh, yeah, Lilith. Not the best time to being thinking about retiring, Sam.”
Pausing at the door, Sam drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Of course she was right, but that didn’t change anything. “I don’t care.”
“You can’t fool me, Sammy,” Ruby said, moving closer to him. “If you didn’t care, you’d have stopped a long time ago.”
Sam listened to himself breathe in and out. It would be easy now, to walk away. Ruby wouldn’t stop him, or he didn’t think she would. He could just leave. Forget everything he had been taught and just let things play out as they will. Just leave everyone to fend for themselves in a war.
But he had helped start that war. It was his responsibility.
Besides, what would his dad say if he left? What would Dean say?
“I can’t do this alone,” Sam said.
She was moving again and brushed past him with an air of indifference to his pain. That was a demon for you. “You’re going to have too.”
And, as usually, she was gone.
And Sam was alone.
AN2: So, what do you guys think? Should I continue on or just give it up?