Word Count: ~3100
Warnings: Deals vaguely with issues of consent that are implicit in demon sex.
Summary: Jo gives her French fries the first time they meet.
Notes: This was written for likewinning in the spn_fs_exchange. I owe HUGE thank yous to my betas, strangeallure and coyotesuspect. Thank you for kicking this into shape! Title from Vienna Teng’s “Watershed.”
ETA: froggyfun365 has recorded a podfic for this fic! You can find it posted at podfic_project here or at the podfic archive here.
now i will unsettle the ground beneath you
Jo gives her French fries the first time they meet. If demons had hearts, that would be the way right to Ruby’s. Admittedly, Jo’s behind a bar with a dishtowel tucked in her belt, so it’s not completely unexpected as a first move. But she smirks at Ruby with a glint in her eye and says, “On the house.”
Ruby doesn’t trust free gifts—she’s a demon, she knows all about hidden price tags—but she also doesn’t turn down fries.
Besides, she thinks she knows what Jo wants.
Ruby eats the fries slowly, slathered in ketchup that looks garishly like blood, and watches Jo out of the corner of her eye. She moves confidently through the bar transactions of a slow Tuesday night, the swing of her hips unconsciously sexy—or maybe not so unconsciously, Ruby thinks, as she catches Jo glancing in her direction. She lets Jo catch her in turn, just as she’s licking salt off her lips. She winks; Jo turns away before Ruby can see if she flushes, but Ruby likes to imagine she does, rosy pink and dusky over her pale cheeks and throat.
She sits there longer than she intended. It’s only been three days since she ate French fries off of Sam Winchester’s plate in a diner in Indiana, and all her plans are gaining momentum. There are still things to deal with, though, and moves to counter, and that’s why she’s here in this dusty, deserted bar; she’s heard all about Jo Harvelle and her interactions with the Winchesters, and Jo is too valuable a pawn to be ignored. Especially when Ruby needs to keep Dean good and distracted to give her time with Sam. There’s emotion between Dean and Jo—between the three of them, really—complicated and twisted and useful. It would be so easy to pluck out the messiest strings and tangle them further.
She watches the way Jo reaches for a pint glass, her shirt gaping a little at the front to reveal a small flash of skin and a hint of cleavage. Her muscles bunch in her arm. Ruby finishes her drink. It’s been a long time since she’s taken anything for herself. But a demon’s best weapon is her adaptability, and Ruby’s a demon through and through.
“Closing time,” Jo says, and any embarrassment that might have crossed her face isn’t visible anymore. The smirk is in her voice now, too, a confident, smoldering lilt that makes Ruby think changing her mind is the best idea she’s had in a long time.
“You aren’t from around here, are you?” Jo asks just before she kisses her. Ruby doesn’t bother to respond; there are questions and then there are questions, and Jo doesn’t seem to realize how close to the line she’s toeing.
Though she wouldn’t, of course.
Ruby’s been topside for longer than she’d care to remember, but her current meatsuit is still new and she hasn’t had the chance to take it for a ride yet. She runs her fingers over Jo’s body, loving the way the skin softens under her hands. She loves the thrill of sex, the raw neediness and messy desperation of it. Jo is already making noise, pushing herself tight against Ruby and cupping Ruby’s breasts (which are fucking awesome, if she has to say so herself). Ruby feels the nipples tighten under Jo’s rough fingertips and grins.
Sex is so much fucking fun.
She slides her hand up until it’s pressing between Jo’s thighs, just resting there, not quite enough. Jo gasps and tries to buck up into the pressure. Ruby evades her, watching with delight at the way she writhes under Ruby’s hand and grasps at her arms to try and pull her closer. Ruby allows herself to be tugged down, their bodies pressing together, skin against skin. Jo’s breasts rub against hers, making Ruby’s stolen flesh feel flush and alive. She flicks her tongue into Jo’s mouth and Jo takes it, gives it back to her, slick and messy and tasting of whiskey and salt. Jo clenches her hands tightly into Ruby’s back and then lower, onto her ass.
“You like getting fucked, little girl?” Ruby hisses into Jo’s mouth. She curls her right hand down and in, and rubs circles with her thumb onto Jo’s clit. Jo cries out and arches up, her pale neck flushed and bared to Ruby’s eyes.
She comes like that, clutching fingerprints into Ruby’s shoulders, shaking and shuddering around Ruby’s fingers.
When Ruby pulls away, Jo grabs her hand and meets Ruby’s gaze. She licks across the fingers, her tongue warm and slick-rough, and Ruby can’t take her eyes off the way her fingers disappear into those pink lips as Jo sucks down her own taste.
Jo grins, smug and sexy, and releases Ruby’s hand. She ducks her head, blonde hair falling over her shoulder, and slithers down Ruby’s body, her nimble hands mapping curves that still feel this side of unfamiliar to Ruby. She spreads Ruby’s legs carefully and nips at the soft skin of her thigh. Ruby feels tremors spreading through her body at the touch of Jo’s tongue to her thigh, her clit. She lets it rush through her, sparks bursting and zinging through the veins she doesn’t need and making her stiffen and arch and cry out, shuddering against this unexpected girl’s mouth.
Demons don’t sleep, even after sex. Jo doesn’t either, apparently, because when Ruby blinks her eyes open, still tingling with orgasm, Jo says, “I hope you aren’t expecting to cuddle.”
Inwardly, Ruby grins. She knew she liked this girl.
She stretches, pressing her hands to the wall above her head, pointing her toes, and arching her back. Jo’s eyes snag on her breasts.
“I am not, as a rule, very cuddly,” Ruby says lazily, and Jo flashes her a look that Ruby can’t quite parse. It’s gone in the next instant, anyway, lost behind her brown eyes.
“Well, isn’t that just rosy,” Jo says.
Her eyes are steady on Ruby, calmer and more collected than Ruby recalls of post-orgasmic expressions. She would be offended if she didn’t know about Jo’s extracurricular activities; hunters have years of reasons to remain on alert, and Jo is steely underneath that layer of sexy bartender. Anyway, she’s already pinpointed Jo’s knives—at least two of them, easily accessible. Not that the knives are particularly worrying in Ruby’s case (though the holy water she suspects Jo keeps in the bedside drawer is another matter) but it still shows a certain strength that, well, turns Ruby on, in spite of its futility.
She bares her teeth in a grin and rolls over, reaching for her clothes. Jo doesn’t say anything as she walks out the door.
Two weeks later, she waits for Jo after work, leaning casually against the brick of the alley wall. It’s rough and prickly at her back and her ribs still ache a little where Bobby Singer shot her before she fixed the Colt for him. But it’s worth it when Jo’s eyes widen a little as she catches sight of Ruby. A smirk crosses her face and she looks so sexy Ruby wants to bite her in two.
“Came for a nightcap, did you?” she drawls.
Ruby winks, and knows the dull streetlight catches it when Jo’s lip tugs upwards. “Something like that,” she says.
Jo kisses her in the oily yellow glow and then takes her home. Jo spreads herself out on the bed, and Ruby kisses her way down Jo’s body. She’s gorgeous like this, trembling and open and vulnerable. Like she trusts Ruby. Ruby can’t keep her hands off Jo’s skin, thinking of that. After Jo comes, she lays Ruby out in turn and fucks her slowly with her long pale fingers and her hot slick tongue. It’s different this way, Ruby thinks, but she doesn’t say a word as Jo sets the pace and only lets her have it slow and burning. The pressure builds steadily inside her, throbbing nerves and rushing heartbeat, all of it rising to a crest and then pouring out of her, burning out of her skin as quickly as the Colt’s ineffectual bullet.
Jo bites Ruby’s throat, a stark bruise on the smooth skin that’s not hers. Ruby presses fingertips to it afterwards, digging the phantom pain in deeper, keeping the reminder on her body just a little longer.
She’s being selfish, she thinks, as she walks into Jo’s bar again. Every time she shows up here she thinks it will be the last time, but it hasn’t been yet. It may turn out to be her downfall, her fatal mistake. She can twist Sam as much as she likes but his brother is twisting him too, and Ruby hasn’t managed to keep Dean otherwise engaged.
She could still do it; the opportunity is still ripe for plucking. As Ruby watches from the doorway, Jo appears through a door in the back and puts down a tray of glasses for the guy behind the bar. She’s wearing a plaid shirt cuffed to her elbows and unbuttoned at her throat, and her hair is tied up off her shoulders. Ruby’s eyes linger on the pale length of her neck; it looks almost ethereal in the dim light of the bar.
Jo pauses when she sees Ruby, her eyebrow raised a little, and she turns to say something to the other bartender. When he nods, she tilts her head in Ruby’s direction. Ruby follows her without hesitation into the back room, her skin already itching and prickling for the heat of Jo’s body.
Jo pushes her up against the door of the stock room—sawdust and stale beer in Ruby’s nostrils—and kisses her, her mouth wet and warm. It’s starting to feel and taste familiar and Ruby really doesn’t want to think about that. She tugs the elastic out of Jo’s hair to let it fall onto her shoulders, her hands weaving into it as she sucks a bruise onto the pale skin of Jo’s neck.
Jo slides her fingers to the waist of Ruby’s jeans and unbuttons them with one hand. She moves down further, fingers cool and confident against Ruby’s hot skin. Jo rubs a rhythm into her, fast and hot and possessive. Ruby grips Jo’s arms and lets herself fall against the wall.
“Beg me for it,” Jo breathes into her ear.
Ruby chokes out a laugh, but can’t help herself arching up. “You wish,” she says.
“You will,” Jo says, her voice dark and smoky, and for a second Ruby believes her.
After the showdown with the coven, two demons come after her.
They’re Tammi’s, of course (cute name, Ruby snickers), and they want her blood for supper and her body for kicks. They’re uneasy without leadership, running a little wild and drawing too much attention, so Ruby doesn’t exactly expect them to sniff her out with such diligence. She’s been a little busy herself; the apocalypse doesn’t organize itself, especially once you’ve been outed to your marks. She’s had to make a few unexpected plays.
The demons are easy enough to deal with, though. She’s been missing this kind of fight: easy and uncomplicated, messy and exhilarating.
After she dispatches the two of them, she hears an unexpected noise behind her. She whirls, her knife ready in her hand, eyes black and mouth snarling, and there’s Jo. Standing behind her with her lips parted and her eyes stunned. She’s holding a knife in her hand too, fingers white-knuckled and tight on the handle. Such a pretty picture, Ruby thinks, even as her stomach drops. She’d have preferred to orchestrate this moment of revelation a little better, a little cleaner, but it’s sweet like this all the same: Ruby bloodied in the heat of battle and Jo so appealing in her shock and betrayal and anger.
“Get the fuck out of her, you demon bitch,” Jo says, and it’s holy water in her other hand now.
“Sorry to disappoint you, sweetheart,” Ruby says. She lets her eyes stay black: keep Jo uneasy and off-guard. “But I’ve been walking around in this pretty little meatsuit for longer than I’ve known you.” She strokes her hand down her own side: the same path Jo’s mouth traveled, once.
Jo glares at her and feints to the left. Ruby follows her easily and grins, though the smile stretches her mouth uncomfortably tight. Jo’s tough, Ruby thinks, but she’s not great under pressure and she’s surprised and off-balance. She’s trying too hard to think.
“Why should I believe you?” Jo demands. Click-click-click. Ruby can practically hear her mind whirring away.
“Why would I bother to lie about that?” she says. Jo’s eyes are still faintly unsure, unguarded, despite the confident way she holds the knife in her hand. She moves again, still circling, and Ruby mimics her: parry and thrust, parry and thrust. “You always knew, little girl,” she says, her voice echoing mockingly in the wreckage of the room. “You can’t tell me you didn’t know. Not deep down. Heart of hearts, right?”
“No!” Jo says, but her voice cracks a little.
“You don’t fancy a fuck right now, do you?” Ruby continues, smirking. Back on offence. She lifts her left hand to her mouth, gaze fixed firmly on Jo, and licks a splatter of blood from her thumb, thick and metallic on her tongue. Jo’s eyes narrow at her. “Wasting demons always makes me hot.”
“And why would you waste other demons?” Jo demands.
Ruby spreads her arms. “Oh, come on, gorgeous,” she says, with fake exasperation. “We’re demons. Infighting’s the name of the game, isn’t it?”
Jo doesn’t say anything.
“Tell me that didn’t turn you on,” Ruby adds, turning her voice smoky and seductive. “Watching me get all hot and bothered from sending these demons back downstairs where they belong—”
“Fuck you,” Jo spits. Her voice has lost all surprise and betrayal; there’s only rage there, pure and simple. Ruby wishes she felt triumph at that. “I’ll send you back to Hell to join them.”
“Bring it,” Ruby says. “I’ve missed the heat of the old Pit.” She twirls her knife in her hand, casual and easy. “Home sweet home.”
She wasn’t lying; fighting does turn her on and the way Jo advances makes her skin prickle and her pulse quicken, even though Jo’s no match for a demon. But there’s something uncomfortable clawing in Ruby’s gut and something in Jo’s eyes—an unfamiliar grimness sharpening her gaze—that Ruby doesn’t like. Ruby has learned to trust her instincts; this is a stupid risk.
She smirks again. “Urgent business. It’ll have to wait till next time,” she says. Jo’s face turns rigid with anger, but Ruby doesn’t stay to watch her eyes grow ugly and her mouth twist. She mojos her way out of there as fast as she can manage it.
She has to slash her way through thirty demons just to get inside the police station where the Winchesters were stupid enough to get themselves surrounded. It’s good; it’s cathartic. Nice, clean kills. She likes the sight of blood on her knife.
The Winchesters are typically stubborn, of course, despite the dissension feathering and splintering between them. Ruby wonders again if she made a mistake keeping Jo for herself. Dean resists her every move; she has fewer cards to play with him, and she gave one up voluntarily at the beginning of the game. But it’s too late now. Ruby walked out of that bar with the salty taste of French fries on her lips and Jo’s hot eyes on her body, and she can’t regret it one bit.
When Ruby finally gets out of there, anger and resentment and frustration are curling in her gut, and her endgame is in fucking ruins. She ends up at Jo’s apartment before she even realizes where she’s going. This will be the last time, anyway, one way or another.
Jo swings the door open with such force Ruby thinks she must have known who was on the other side.
“You fucking bitch,” Jo says, but she’s kissing Ruby so hard and desperate it’s tough to make out the words. Ruby feels the taste of them, though, the vicious vowels and harsh consonants spearing her tongue, souring her mouth. She doesn’t care; she gives it back, letting Jo feel the cut of her teeth, the bite of her fingernails, the scent of demon blood still on her breath.
“Hellfire—demon—bitch,” Jo gasps out.
“Sing me a love song, sweetheart,” Ruby hisses back.
They don’t even get out of their clothes. Ruby gets Jo off with her fingers pinching a nipple, and her other hand caught between Jo’s jeans and her damp cotton underwear. Ruby comes soon after, riding Jo’s thigh, with her fingers clenched painfully tight in Jo’s hair and Jo’s urgent hands bruising her hips.
Someone else in her situation might have been tempted to spend the next day curled up in Jo’s bed. But Ruby’s a demon, in the end, and rumors of her compassion are greatly exaggerated.
She hears about Lilith before it makes the news. So her plans haven’t entirely burnt up, after all. She takes particular pleasure in showing up to force the Winchesters to confront their own stupidity.
She doesn’t go back to the bar or to Jo’s apartment. Things are moving fast, deals are coming due, and there’s a lot Ruby still needs to prepare. As it turns out, her first estimation of Jo’s use value was right; she’s a surefire distraction, and Ruby doesn’t plan on forgetting that fact again.
Not long after, Ruby walks into a house in Indiana with the fucking Winchesters and a couple of hellhounds, and her pretty meatsuit doesn’t walk back out again.
She gets a shiny, fresh new one, of course—eventually. Organic and free range even, with big doe-like eyes and a wide sultry mouth. She twists and coaxes and manipulates, and it’s so easy she can almost taste Sam bending, giving in, giving it up.
She goes to see Jo once. She leans against the brick wall in a pool of yellow light and watches her come out of the bar. Jo flips her hair as she locks up, her feet planted firmly and the bulge of a knife just visible in her boot. When she turns, she sees Ruby and for a moment their eyes lock. Jo’s familiar brown eyes are just visible in the streetlight and there isn’t even a flash of recognition there. Not that Ruby expected one.
Jo turns away and Ruby doesn’t follow her, doesn’t move. Doesn’t open her pretty new mouth to say a single fucking word.