Word Count: 2 282
Characters: Anna Milton, Dean Winchester, Ruby, Sam Winchester
Pairings: Anna/Ruby, past Anna/Dean
Tags: Graphic Violence
She’s grappling with a murderer in the isolated shadows of a supermarket parking lot, switchblade in hand and firearm remaining holstered, when she hears the click of a gun’s safety being switched off. A sneer paints her opponent’s face as she seems to pale, realizing what could well be her fatal mistake. Somehow, she’d managed to forget about the man’s partner, dismissed the bastard as not being there, except now he is and she’s suddenly outnumbered two-to-one and might be close to death.
She manages to slice open his throat before the gunshot sounds and she flinches, except that the thump that follows and a lack of sudden excruciating pain told her it wasn’t she who’d been shot.
Whirling around, she draws her own revolver, pointing it at the unknown woman who stands watching. Her rescuer indifferently drops her gun to the ground and half-heartedly throws her arms up in the air, appearing totally apathetic to the fact that she’s just shot and killed a man she knows nothing about.
“Who are you?”
“The girl who just saved your ass.”
“Well, thanks for that. Now give me a name. Five seconds or I shoot you.”
“Whoa there, aren’t you appreciative.”
The brunette crosses her arms, leaning against the side of the dead men’s car.
A raised eyebrow, daring her to go on.
“If you’re gonna pull the trigger, hurry up with it already. ”
“Just give me your name.” The pistol remains with its barrel aimed at the stranger.
And then she springs into sudden movement, and before Anna knows it her gun is on the ground and she’s pinned, arms above her head and legs thrashing uselessly, beneath the weight of a body and a cold smile on a face that’s all too close.
“Since you asked so nicely— Ruby.”
“What are you going to—”
“I’ll be seeing you ‘round, I expect.”
Only after strong hands lift her by shoulders, making to slam her head back into the filthy pavement, do words begin to come again to her lips, and by then unconsciousness has already begun to claim her.
“Anna? Is that you? Holy crap— Hey, Dean, it’s Anna on the phone—”
“I don’t have the time for a casual chat right now. Just tell me if you’ve heard of anybody calling themselves Ruby.”
“I might have somewhere; I can look up the details for you and get back to you later.”
“You won’t be able to contact me.”
“Don’t you have a cell phone? Email? Anything? What are you—”
“Sorry, Sam, but I told you and your brother I’m not going to tell you anything about what I’m doing now. I’ll call you back in two days to ask if you’ve found anything.”
“I’ll be done in one.”
“One then. Talk to you tomorrow, Sam.”
The voice on the other side has yet to blurt out his own goodbye when Anna slams the receiver of the payphone back and surveys the people around her, before disappearing into the crowd.
“Sam. Tell me what you’ve found out.”
“It’s Dean, Anna.”
A pause. “Oh. Dean, then.”
“First answer me a question— just this. Why do you want to know about this woman?”
“It’s none of your business.”
“I won’t tell you ‘til you spill.”
“She’s just… somebody I encountered a few days ago.”
“What the hell are you doing, messing around with people like that?—”
“What I’m doing isn’t any of your business.”
He sighs. “So forget it. But listen here, she’s a real nasty bitch, contracts for the mafia and all that. Not your friendly neighbourhood psychotic serial killer type; smarter than that, from what I’ve heard. She takes out people they aren’t so fond of, things like that. Also pretty damn well-connected, from what his contacts told Sammy. Woman apparently scares a lot of people I know shitless. That kind of person you should stay away from.”
“If you’re trying to warn me away, you should remember that I can handle myself.”
“She’s dangerous.” There isn’t a single hint of chagrin in his voice, only undisguised worry that almost makes her feel a stab of guilt.
“I don’t need you to tell me that, Dean.”
“Can’t help but be worried for you, that’s all.”
“You should be more worried about your own well-being. The last time I checked, you’re the one whose head is wanted by half of this city’s major criminals.”
“Look, just— stay outta trouble, won’t ya?”
She chuckles darkly before replying. “I’ll do my best. You too, Dean.”
“Sure. So uh, talk to you later?”
Footsteps ring out in the mouth of the alley where she’s conversing with a frail-framed homeless man, huddled beneath the shelter of a cardboard box. She drops the bagel she’s holding, hand darting instead to her gun as she sees the face of the new arrival.
“Nice to see you again, angel.”
“You’re like some avenging angel, aren’t you? Killing the bad guys in their beds, sending their victims flowers baskets and Hallmarks to tell them that their personal boogeyman’s dead.”
She spares a cautious glance at the man she’d been speaking to, sighing quietly in relief as she sees that he’s much more occupied by the food than the conversation being held mere metres away from him. “How the hell do you know about that?” She’s good at what she does; it’s why she hasn’t been arrested yet. That, and her police connections, but friends can only do so much when you’re being tried for multiple murders. But there should have been no way for anybody to find out who was behind the disappearances she causes, not when she’s so meticulously careful to clean up after herself.
“Didn’t your cop friend tell you? I’m dangerous, Anna Milton.” Ruby leers at her, tone mocking as she speaks that word. “And I know things about you, your pretty little boyfriend — Dean, isn’t that his name?— everybody you care about, really.”
Her breath catches as she feels her blood run cold. “I swear, if you try to hurt any of them—”
“Oh, don’t kid yourself there, because you won’t be able to do a thing. But don’t fret so much; I’m not planning anything. I just want to have a little chat with you.”
“How about I decline that invitation?”
“Don’t think you have much of a choice, pal.” There’s a threat there, one that needs no elaboration, not when she’s already shown that she knows too much for Anna to feel at all safe. “So why don’t we go up to your apartment and talk there?”
“If you really think I’m going to lead you right up to where I live—”
“Like I don’t already know that?” She rolls her eyes in exasperation. “Just move it already, girlie.”
Her car, a few-years-old Honda, is parked by the curb a few blocks over, and Anna looks questioningly at Ruby — are you coming with me in here? It’s probably not the best idea to have a vicious killer in the car with her, but Anna figures that no matter how she approaches the situation it’ll still be way too easy for Ruby to take her down. She’s under no illusions, not after their first meeting where she’d been incapacitated fast enough that she isn’t sure even now what had happened back there.
Ruby does climb into the passenger seat, and the half hour it takes for Anna to drive home is populated with a lengthy, tense silence that makes her feel as though the trip is five times that length.
When they reach her unit Ruby strides in and spreads herself onto the couch like she owns the place, and the redhead who actually does own the place pins her with a disapproving stare but doesn’t voice her complaints.
“So was there something in particular you’re looking to say? Because it sounds like you already know my entire life story and I can’t think of anything else relevant to your interests.”
“Casual conversation just not your thing?”
“Not with wanted killers, no.”
“Thought you’d be a lot more open-minded than that, you being one of those wanted killers yourself.”
“I don’t kill people who don’t deserve to die.”
Ruby shrugs nonchalantly. “Wouldn’t call anybody the mafia wants dead real undeserving of it.”
“You do it for money. I do it because it’s right.”
“You and me both, we kill people. Splitting hairs all you want, but it’s simple as that.”
“Don’t try to make it sound like I’m so— morally corrupt like you.”
She’s frustrated, Anna can tell. “Of course you’re not. You’re neck-deep in denial and suppress anything that’d tell you that you actually enjoy what you do. Terrified of turning into somebody like me.”
Anna doesn’t answer that — can’t, for some reason she can’t name. “Are you done now?”
“See you soon, sweetheart.”
Her next two targets are left in pieces strewn across their bedrooms, a mess of organs and viscera and the scent of scorched flesh. She pins the crime on a third felon she caught next to his daughter’s corpse once upon a time.
“It would be nice if you showed more respect for my privacy.”
“Sorry.” Clearly not.
“Why are you here? Did you decide that you want me dead after all?”
“Cool it, sugar. I have a job for you.”
“A job? Is the mafia really outsourcing to people who want them all dead now?”
“It was up for grabs. Thought it sounded like your kind of fun.”
“Why do you even care so much about— well, me?”
“I’m trying to help you, dumbass.” She acts as though it’s the most obvious reason in the world. “You have promise, but you’ll be rotting in a jail cell before long if you’re working on your own.”
“You know,” Ruby chews on a fry from the package in her hand, “most people can’t slit somebody’s throat without blinking or puking all over the ground after.”
“He deserved it.”
“Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. That’s beside the point. You’re good at this.”
“I went to police college.”
“It's more than that, Bourne, and you know it. Just give it a chance. I’ll hold your hand and guide you through all the way.” She smiles. “You’ll love it.”
“And what if I say no?”
“If it makes you feel better about yourself, I’ll pretend to be the big bad wolf ‘bout to snatch up and tear into your friends. So what do you say, angel?”
She knows she should reject it, shove Ruby away and tell her to get out and never come back or else. But almost against her will, her head nods. Yes.
“Now that wasn’t so hard. Oh, don’t worry— we’ll have a thriller of a time.”
Her hair’s tied back, face painted with makeup, and she feels like somebody else when she walks up to the target in the middle of the crowded bar. “Well hello there, mister.”
Annoyance flashes over his face before he takes in her form, and then he gives her an appreciative smile. “And what can I do for a girl like you?”
“There’s something I’d like to show you,” she simpers, reaching for his face, “if you’ll just come with me for a bit.”
Flirting isn’t her forte, but the fool’s drunker than either she or Ruby had predicted, which meant the hit would be far easier than they’d planned for. It’s not obvious in his movement, still fluid with an edge of menace, but in his right mind he would never have allowed himself to be lured away so easily.
Before too long, they’re locked in the women’s bathroom where Ruby waits, tossing an excruciatingly sharp knife from hand to hand. She can’t help the split-second pause as she admires Anna’s outfit while her hand snatches it out of the air and returns it to her side. The woman’s dressed for seduction, low-cut blouse and short skirt a far cry from her usual low-key attire, and maybe Ruby’s falling for the trick. But she’s professional and if Anna hasn’t lost her head, she can’t either.
The interrogation is the most efficient she’s ever sat in on, swift and near-silent, and it hasn’t been much more than a half hour before they’re already cleaning up the bloodstains and wrapping the corpse up to drag out.
As they ready themselves to leave, Anna turns contemplatively to Ruby.
“That— flirting with him. I feel dirty.”
She doesn’t know what it is, but then she’s compelled to grab the other by the shoulders and pull her towards her, pressing their faces close and locking their lips. It’s five seconds later that they part, ever-so-slightly short of breath.
“Better?” Ruby laughs.
When all the work is done, they slide again into Anna’s car.
“You were right, you know.”
“Of course I was.”
“That was fun. And we should do it again.”