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True Believers

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Ruby was hunkered down in a no-name bar in some no-name town, mentally picking off the juiciest fruit in the place and slitting their throats one by one, when she realized she'd been made.

It took her a minute to recognize the demon picking her way casually across the sticky floor. She'd found a new ride, but that was nothing to a demon. Thing was, Ruby hadn't run with another demon since she came topside, and even on hell's playground she'd never palled around with this one. They met once or twice, years ago. Meg, she called herself now, named after her favorite pony.

Meg settled herself down on the stool next to Ruby's. "Hi, there," she said. Her grin was a baring of teeth, if wolves bared their teeth and enjoyed it. "Why aren't you out there aiding and abetting, traitor?"

Ruby shrugged and turned back to her beer. Let Meg make of that what she would. "Turncoating's hard work. Thought I'd take a breather." She sipped on her beer and watched from the corner of her eye. If Meg wanted to throw down, Ruby'd meet her more than halfway; she hadn't had a real brawl in months. How pretty would that be, trussing up the Winchesters' first little demon nemesis and dragging her to them on a chain?

Not that that'd go over so great, Dean realizing Sam was seeing her again. Maybe Ruby could play independent agent, just dropping by with a treat. An act of good faith, say.

Meg reached towards her. Ruby tensed, waiting, but Meg only gripped Ruby's wrist and turned her arm over. On the tender underside, the wound Sam sucked on only hours ago was barely closed. The pressure of Meg's fingers made it sting.

"You know what that is, right?" Ruby asked. "Just a little pick-me-up for my boy. Has to get all his vitamins if he's gonna be strong."

Meg snorted and pushed Ruby away. "I don't get it." She sounded honestly bewildered. "We're freeing Lucifer. This is not some half-ass demon con here."

"What, like Azazel? Heard that plan went a little FUBAR."

Meg's eyes burned. Ruby waited, but Meg surprised her. The blow didn't come. "Lucifer, Ruby. The big kahuna. Does that just mean diddly to you?"

"Pretty much."

Meg waited.

Most of the hellspawn Ruby met nowadays jumped straight to the killing. Attempted killing. Shame; Ruby'd spent a good long time on this cover story, and hardly anyone even bothered to ask. "You forget what Lucifer is?" she asked. "I'm not talking about freaking our father who art in hell, okay? He's an angel. What does a freaking angel care about us?"

"He created us. We're his."

"Yeah, you really believe that. Lucifer, heaven's brightest, gives a hot damn about scum like us."

For a moment there, Meg was hers. A shadow doubt flickered past and was gone. "Like you," she says.

"I picked my horse, and I'm backing him." And when he got to that winner's circle, look out, world. Ruby could taste the power in him as thick and heavy and hot as she tasted her own blood on his lips every time she let him kiss her.

Meg stared at her with revulsion.

Ruby drank down the last of her beer and slammed the mug to the table with a thunk. "So, we gonna pull each other's hair or what?"

Meg leaned forward, voice rough with feeling. "Lucifer's gonna rise, and hell's gonna rule the whole freaking popsicle stand. Except for you."

"An angel," Ruby repeated. "Think about it."

She doubted Meg would; Meg was the stuff true believers were made of. Took one to know one.

Ruby shoved to her feet, watching still, waiting for the first punch. When it didn't come, she strode casually towards the door. "Ciao," she said over her shoulder, smirking in Meg's direction. Meg just sat and watched her go.

When Lucifer rose and all these damn yippy dogs figured out who'd engineered the breaking of that last lock, they were in for a hell of a surprise.

Lucifer'd know what a good little demon Ruby had been, and she'd get her reward.

She would.