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Crash and Burn

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Yet another story-scrap featuring Deathwalker and Ruby. I'm probably going to post quite a few of these...

Anyway, this happens about a day-and-a-half before Love is Human..., and quite some time after The Traitor's Punishment.

Ruby does seem quite friendly for a demon, HOWEVER, she is ONLY that way around Deathwalker. She'll treat most others with indifference or suspicion, and she'll treat her enemies with rage.

Also I couldn't think of a good name for this chapter.................

Also, this introduces Feral Ruby, an alternate form of Ruby (I seem to have tons of characters with alternate forms...)


Crash and Burn

It had been about four hours since Ruby and Deathwalker “borrowed” the semi-trailer truck; Deathwalker didn’t want to resort to doing so but Ruby insisted that there would be no other way to get from El Paso to Dallas in time to meet with Thirteen if they didn’t access some form of transportation. And since they couldn’t Hell-travel, there they were, driving down the Interstate in mid-afternoon while Ruby fumbled with the steering wheel- this was her first time driving such a particularly large vehicle, but she was a quick learner. Thankfully, the road itself seemed to be, for the most part, devoid of other drivers to smash into.




Even with the air conditioner switched to full-blast, the heat made Deathwalker quite drowsy and he slept soundly in the passenger seat. However, heat never bothered Ruby, as she was a demon of Hell. The brightness of the sunlight, however, was an entirely different story, and Ruby was thankful that the sun was behind their backs as they drove along.



For a moment, Ruby glanced over at the sleeping Deathwalker, thinking of the trials that they both had gone through. Having literally gone through Hell, they had been spending the last few days fending off relentless demons with little opportunity to rest. Through all of their misadventures, they had inevitably grown quite close. At first, Ruby had been quite reluctant to work with an “inferior” human; yet time and time again, Deathwalker had proved his worth in combat, and Ruby grew to change her opinion and accept him as an equal, and then as a friend. The two were determined to redeem themselves from Hell, and were trying to become more “human” in order to do so.



Time dragged on slowly; Deathwalker still slept silently, barely having moved. “He sure is sleeping soundly,” Ruby thought to herself. “The poor guy has barely had an opportunity to rest…”

Just then, as if to disprove her thought, Deathwalker began to stir. His head twisted and his body turned about as he began to mumble. “No… no… I didn’t… I didn’t kill you…”



Ruby understood well what was going on; Deathwalker had been afflicted with Hellish nightmares and memories of his previous life ever since he declared his freedom from Lucifer, and from her understanding, they were often truly terrifying visions.



“Deathwalker…” Ruby called out.



Yet no matter how many times Ruby called out his name, Deathwalker continued to stir and mutter, and his reactions were slowly becoming more violent. Finally, Ruby lifted her tail, curled it around Deathwalker, and dragged his sleeping body into the seat next to her. Deathwalker leaned his head against her shoulder, and his spasms slowed down. He suddenly became quite peaceful, and was once more sleeping soundly. Ruby gave a small smile, before extending her wing and wrapping it protectively around her friend like a comforting blanket.



“…thank you…” Deathwalker muttered. Ruby couldn’t tell if the statement was directed at her or if Deathwalker was still dreaming, but she responded nonetheless with a “you’re welcome.”



Night came slowly, and Deathwalker was still sleeping peacefully. The lights of a city were on the horizon- according to the mechanical female voice of the GPS, they were approaching Midland.



Deathwalker suddenly snapped awake. “He’s here.” He said, reaching into his jacket and pulling out his silver gun.



“Who’s here?” Ruby asked, before a large, grey figure with black, skeletal wings and eyes like burning orbs of flame landed on the truck, cracking the windshield.



“SURPRISE!” cackled the demon.



Ruby yelped in shock. Deathwalker fired his gun through the windshield at the demonic figure, who writhed in agony as the bullets tore into its chest. The demon took off and disappeared from view. Deathwalker promptly reloaded his gun.



“That… That was him…” Ruby breathed in shock.



“Malacoda. Good. I’ve got a bone to pick with him.” Deathwalker said. “Keep driving, I’ll-“



Deathwalker was interrupted as a clawed hand smashed through the side window. They could see the demon flying alongside the truck. Deathwalker shot several more bullets, causing the demon to screech and fly back. Deathwalker leaned out of the shattered window, and continued to fire at the figure, who disappeared into the darkness.



A burst of flames hit the ground in front of the truck- it was obvious that this demon was hurling fireballs at them.



“Deathwalker, take the wheel.” Ruby said. “I’ll deal with him.”




“No!” Deathwalker snarled. “Don’t you remember what he did to you?! I’ll deal with him!”



“Now’s not the time to worry about it!” Ruby snapped back. “Unlike you, I can fly, so I think I am better suited to fight him at the moment!” Before Deathwalker could object, Ruby flung open the door and flew out of the truck.



“Shit! RUBY!!!” Deathwalker roared in irritation, leaping over into the driver’s seat and slamming a foot on the brakes.



The tires of the truck screeched on the pavement as Deathwalker pressed down on the brake pedal with all of his might; yet the inertia of the truck was too much for the brakes to handle. The truck skid and fell onto it’s side, sliding a small distance before coming to a stop, blocking the entire street.



The impact with the asphalt stunned Deathwalker and caused him to black out for a moment; he then began to regain consciousness slowly as he pulled himself up from the wreckage, dazed but still in one piece. His vision was blurred as he pulled himself to his feet and began to stagger away from the truck.



“…Ruby?” he called out. “Ruby?!”



The sound of snarling and flapping wings could be heard nearby, and Deathwalker barely managed to leap out of the way as two demons crashed into the downed truck, scratching and biting at each other viciously. One of them was Malacoda, the attacker from moments earlier. The other one was-



“Ruby!” Deathwalker called out, trying to move closer and aim his gun at Malacoda, but he instead staggered and fell, still dazed from the accident.



Yet there was something strange about Ruby’s appearance; she seemed to fight with the ferocity of most demons, but she also seemed to be… darker. Deathwalker thought he could make out thorns growing out of the backs of her arms, legs, and tail. Her hands seemed to have become claws. And Malacoda was certainly having a difficult time fending her off.



"What… happened to her?” Deathwalker wondered to himself worriedly.



Malacoda managed to throw Ruby off of himself. Ruby jumped back and landed on all fours. Deathwalker could see that Ruby’s eyes were glowing a bright red and her teeth had even grown into fangs. She crawled toward Malacoda like a lion stalking it’s prey. Then she lept; Malacoda sprang at her as well. Yet Ruby seemed to be pressing the advantage before Malacoda managed to throw her off again. Malacoda, by this point, had become covered with bleeding scratches, while Ruby had only a few wounds.


Deathwalker used this opportunity to fire three bullets at Malacoda, who writhed an pain as each bullet tore through him.



“Damn you! I’ll remember this!” Malacoda snarled, before taking off into the darkness.



Deathwalker barely had time to move again before Ruby lept at him, and pinned him to the ground, snarling at him like a vicious animal, baring her fangs.



“Ruby! What are you doing?” Deathwalker panicked. “I-It’s me! Deathwalker!”



Yet his words seemed to have no effect on the now-feral Ruby who raised a claw that could tear right through him. Deathwalker, due to the accident, had no strength left to move.



“Ruby! Listen to me! I’m your friend! Your friend, Deathwalker!”



At mention of the word ‘friend’, something seemed to change inside Ruby. Her angry gaze shifted into one of confusion, her snarls seemed to shift back into words.



“D-Deathwalker?” she asked. “What… happened?” Ruby suddenly seemed to notice that she had Deathwalker pinned on the street. She promptly got off of him, looking visibly upset. “I- lost control, didn’t I?”



“Yeah… kinda.”



“I’m sorry!” Ruby moaned. “I don’t know what happened! I was fighting Malacoda and he said that he was going to torture you an inch from death before he gave you back to Lucifer and I… I lost it…”



“It’s fine Ruby.” Deathwalker said. “We just need to worry about moving on. And unfortunately, I totaled the truck…”



“WHAT?!“ Ruby exclaimed, apparently only now noticing the giant vehicle that lay dented and broken on the street. “Oh… Deathwalker, you dumbass!”



It was Deathwalker’s turn to apologize. “S-sorry, Ruby.” Deathwalker said, attempting to stand. He could barely get on all fours before collapsing onto the pavement. “This is embarrassing- the feared assassin from Hell, incapacitated by a wrecked truck…”



“C’mon, you.” Ruby said, lifting Deathwalker’s body in her arms. “I’ll fly you to the next city; it’s just ahead.”



“Wait!” protested Deathwalker. “No-no-no-no-no-AAAAAAAAUGH!”



Ruby took off, soaring through the air.



“Ruby, if you drop me… Christ help me, I’ll kill you!”



“You’d already be dead, you dumbass.”



“Stop calling me that! I’ll crawl out of Hell and kill you!”



“Yeah, good luck with that.”

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