#ruby x weiss
Weiss: I don't fall in love easily
Ruby: [smiles at her]
Weiss: [in awe]
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Cus when you said jump, I said how high
Weiss, to Ruby most definitely.
(You can't tell me otherwise)
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Ruby, on stage: We took a chonce
Weiss: WHAT THE FUCK IS A CHONCE
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Cinder gets the most extravagant and Extra wedding dress ever.
Ruby smiled a bit as she put a hand on Yang’s shoulder. “You sure you’re ready for this? Its a big step to be taking.”
Yang nodded, adjusting her tie as she took a few deep breaths. “Its my wedding, of course I’m ready for this. I’m getting married to the woman I love while my friends and family are here to support me.”
Blake rolled her eyes a bit. “Dont tell me you’re going to get all sappy on us.”
“You know you love it when I’m sappy.” Yang turned around, facing her friends. “So… how do I look?”
Weiss walked around Yang, inspecting every inch of her tux. “Seems a little tight on you, and I’m still not sure that orange really works for you.”
“It was Cinder’s idea.” Yang looked at the clock above the door, starting to feel a bit nervous. “Speaking of, its almost time. I guess I should get myself ready.”
“Just take deep breaths and you'll be fine.” Blake gently took Yang’s hand. “And the rest of us will have your back.”
“But what if Cinder says no o-or what if I cant say I do? Maybe I’ll just freeze up and then the ceremony will be a waste-”
“Yang. Breathe.” Ruby quickly hugged her sister. “You’ll do fine. You and Cinder have known each other for years. If she didnt want to do this, she would’ve said no when you proposed. Or when you started getting everything set up. Or when you picked out the actual ring-”
“Okay, okay, I get it, Rubes.” Yang pulled back from her sister and took a few deep breaths. “I know I’ll be fine, I just get… nervous in front of crowds. I know we’re keeping things small to friends and family, but its still enough to make me worry.”
“And as we’ve told you, you’ll be fine.” Weiss quickly grabbed Yang’s wrist and started pulling her out to the main chapel. “Now lets get moving or you’re going to be late!”
Yang nodded and followed after Weiss, Ruby and Blake tailing her. For once, she wasnt regretting asking Weiss to be her best man and was glad she was pushing her to do this. Even as confident as Yang was, getting cold feet was still something she had been trying to work on, especially since she’s never been one to like being in front of a crowd. Sure, it was different with her boxing matches since she could focus on just the match, but this was different.
Music started to fill the room as everyone got in place, Yang’s eyes glancing around the chapel and seeing all the friends she had made filling the seats along with her family. She took a deep breath as she watched the door open, her jaw dropping once she saw Cinder finally walk in.
Cinder smiled as she walked down the aisle, wearing a red and black dress with red feathers starting at her waist and running down her dress. Rhinestones dazzled in the light, bringing attention to the faint, yellow embroidery of a dragon running from the back of her dress, around her side and stopping at her waist. The black veil she wore made her golden eyes stand out as she looked towards the woman she was about to marry.
Yang could only utter a single word in a hushed whisper, her eyes never leaving Cinder as she made her way to the pastor. “Wow…”
Cinder smiled as she stood face to face with Yang, her grip nervously tightening around the stems of the yellow rose bouquet she held. “Wow to you too. You look better in a tux than I imagined.”
A blush ran across Yang’s face as Cinder spoke, her eyes finally meeting with Cinder’s. “And you look as beautiful as ever.”
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Ruby: You said bake the pie at 300 degrees for an hour, and I figured I'd save time and bake it at 600 degrees for a half hour. Math!
Weiss: [opens the oven to see that the pie has been burnt to ashes]
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Motion Sickness Chapter 45
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I cut down the Grimm in front of me. It was green where it should have been white. The discoloration a sign of the modifications Merlot had subjected it to. I spun the broadsword with one hand easily.
Neo was by my side and she tore through the Grimm with grace enough for two.
I wasn't quite sure what the point of the modifications were. Were the Grimm stronger or faster? Maybe. But not enough for it to matter. At least to me.
We'd left the horse back in town. Godo had given his word it would be safe in Wutai while we worked our magic. I sliced and cut into the creeper's flesh. I put out a boot and crushed a green one like it was a child's toy and not a ravaging killing machine.
Neo had her stiletto in one hand and the umbrella in the other. She worked methodically covering my flank as we marched further into the Grimm infested territory.
We'd yet to see the humanoid Grimm I'd been wary of. Just these modified Creepers and Beowulfs. I spun my sword around my body and brought it down, crushing a Beowulf as much as slicing it.
Lately I've been fine in my ruminating state but it felt good to blow off some steam against some enemies which definitely deserved it. Grimm weren't like people and for a moment I was able to remember the light.
I cut down monsters left and right, conserving my energy as we pushed deeper into the woods. I spent my Limit Break on blade-beams when I got it and held onto the strength and speed as long as I thought I could manage before I threw it away and started on the next one.
I once Finishing Touched an Ursa Major we'd come across. The whirlwind of attacks stormed the beast until there was nothing left of it and it dissolved away into grime and smoke.
I wouldn't even need to clean my blade after this. It had been so long since I'd fought these. The true enemy of humanity. I had forgotten. I was a slayer of monsters, truly.
I heard Mother's voice even through the fighting. It was beckoning me to the kingdomless lands. To take the relic and fly to her. I could pull it off too. If I just gave in to that alien goddess it would all be fine. The voices and the bugs would stop.
Instead I marshalled myself and pressed on. Neo flickered out to one side and stabbed through two Beowulfs with a refined ease. She was acrobatic as she accompanied me. Flickering out from the wedge I was driving and destroying and Grimm which dared to get close.
I reached out and crushed a Beowulf's neck with my left hand. I easily strangled it until it was naught but dust and ash.
I would have taken a smoke break a while ago but the Grimm had been unrelenting. It was like disturbing an ant hill as we pushed deeper into enemy grounds. The more we killed the more we seemed to aggravate the whole until I at last caught a glance of a lopsided creature.
I thought it was a Beowulf but it moved more raggedly. It was entirely bipedal with one arm disproportionately larger than the other and ripped with barbed white claws. It was fast but slower than I had been expecting, than I had been afraid of. It's face was the least human thing about it. It had a looming maw in place of a head and seemed to detect me without any eyes.
I blocked it's strike and riposted hard. It went down, bisected by my enormously wide blade. The six feet of range never allowed it to get close to me.
I stepped nearer and looked at it as it dissolved. Neo and I shared a look and I could only hope that she felt the same disgust I did over the monstrosity.
How had Merlot made these monstrosities? How had he made me? Was I like them? Godo had called these ones failures… was I a successful model? Who and what was I really? Time could be my only guide as I pursued the truth.
Neo and I held the line together as we moved apart and chopped away at the Grimm that was swarming us. It was possible I was in a bad mood thinking about my origins.
Oh well. Godo-Dono would be appreciative of us killing more Grimm and so far these weren't threatening. It was the sheer number of them that made them dangerous. They were trying to swamp us. I Cross Slashed two Beowulfs at once. The strikes, the same ones that had killed Ren, demolished the Grimm bodies. Tearing away chunks of red and black Grimm flesh the same way they'd torn into my friend's aura.
It had a sort of sickening familiarity to it.
It wasn't good, I'd spent the last week nearly constantly wasted on greens to hold back my psychosis and it was biting back at me now, as if to punish me.
I blinked rapidly trying to get the bugs out of my eyes and ignore the sweet whispering call of Mother's voice.
“Child, my child…”
“Obey me… come to me…”
I fought through it. Whatever it was I was born with it. I could beat this. I rubbed my eyes and stuck a finger in my ear. I changed the motion and rubbed my earlobe. As though I'd be giving her power if I acknowledged the hallucinations.
I heard Mother... Salem- laugh softly.
I couldn't go back. I'd gone too far for that. Besides, I wasn't the sort to listen. To Salem or Ozpin, Ozma she'd called him. I climb-hazard a Beowulf and slammed it back into the ground in a brutal action, releasing some pent up rage. I Limit Broke and became an absolute wall against them, spinning my blade around me and slicing any Grimm foolish enough to come into my long-long range.
Another two 'human' Grimm approached me and I blocked their long claws and stepped back. I swiped low and took off one's leg at the knees. I thrust forward into the other's chest and it died. I brought the blade down on the still crawling one's head.
The person-like Grimm came at us enforce then and we had to give ground to take ground. I jabbed, thrust, and bit my way through them. I was a terror with my weapon and though I backed up, the enemy kept dying around me.
Neo stood with me. Lashing out from behind me when she saw the opportunity and alerting me when we were going to be overwhelmed at our position.
I front flipped and brought the blade down in a massive Limit Breaker attack and it shattered the ground along with a half dozen of them.
I normal Cross Slashed when I saw the opportunity and danced with my blade all through the enemy.
I removed limbs with a casual ease and beheaded the fast Grimm with a casual calm. They were driving us back but they couldn't keep this up forever.
The only advantage they had was numbers and they started to thin out as I bust the cuts out on them. I opened deep gashes in the enemy, ones which would never heal and I smashed them under my foot.
I lacerated them with the massive blade, crushing Grimm white bone at the same time I opened up that red inside. I clipped heads off and rolled my wrists making my weapon a blur as I worked my way through them.
I panted as the last of them died and leaned against Crocea Mors for a moment to catch my breath.
We'd arrived at a steep cliff and there at the bottom sat a white metal roof. It was stained and bullied by the Grimm who constantly attempted to undo the work of humanity. Godo-Dono was right. This place had been built to withstand assault.
Assault by the Grimm perhaps, but not by trained huntsmen like yours truly.
The whole place was giving me a sick sense of Deja Vu. I'd been here before. I knew it like I knew the feel of my own heartbeat, like I knew the long red padded handle of Crocea Mors.
I charged Limit to absolutely full. Then I just jumped and before I hit the ground I climb-hazard the wall, rising back up after falling without even hitting the ground. I stood on top of Crocea Mors, embedded in the rock. I pulled it free of the cliff face and then I landed and simply took my weight on my legs.
I looked up to witness Neapolitan drifting down with her parasol. She looked peaceful, relaxed.
The structure looked mostly clear and I stood still, charging Limit Breaker while I waited for her to land. I left it a hair away from being charged and resumed my patient waiting.
I searched my way around the sides of the building, looking for a way in until I found a set of blast doors on the Eastern side away from the cliff. They weren't made of Titania, forged of some kind of cold steel instead. That meant I'd be able to cut my way through.
I activated Limit Breaker and Cross Slashed the doors. The steel fell away to reveal another set of blast doors into which I'd partially cut. I just charged my semblance again and came down with a massive overhead strike and two horizontal swings to pry it open.
Neapolitan landed on the roof above me as I finished breaking my way inside. There was a fury in my heart I couldn't quite place. I was pissed off at being born somewhere wretched like this.
I hovered my way inside. The light I cast from Limit Breaker shed a fine shifting glow over the walls.
I closed my eyes and focused on holding onto the Limit as long as I possibly could. I didn't want to be in the dark in here. I needed the light.
Wisps of my semblance washed over the ceiling as I paced my way inwards. Neo teleported beside me and gave me something like a reassuring smile. I just frowned. The genius loci of this place hated me and I hated it. The feeling was totally mutual. We came across rows and rows of… pods I guess you'd call them. Inside each came a soft greenish glowing light which was familiar to me. Like some distant fever dream.
I could hear Salem's voice whispering louder now.
“Bring it to me… come to me child… my beloved son…”
I didn't buy it. It was getting annoyingly distracting, though. Shadows loomed from every corner of the place along the thick tanks. I walked up to one and peeked inside. There was one of the humanoid Grimm in there. For all the world lifeless and floating, naked and shameless.
"Is this what I am? Just one of these… these clones too?" I asked.
Neo didn't answer. She looked distinctly concerned though. I breathed and tried to relax. I cast light with a wave of my arm upwards. At the top of the rows and rows of tanks there was a larger one. With an inward blue light emanating from the glass window. I walked up to it and traced my fingers across the glass. Nothing floated inside.
"This… this is where I was born. Where I was made. This tank right here. I remember being on the opposite side. The blue light… all of it. It seems surreal to see it from this side now."
True enough I felt almost a sense of vertigo to be looking in from the outside.
I walked down the steps and Neo followed, skipping to keep up, umbrella at the ready.
"If I'm supposed to be comforted by the feeling of having a special tank amongst these cloned monsters I'm not. Let's see what else we can find."
I paced downwards away from the rows and rows of tanks. There was an office there. It had a wide chalkboard… and rows and rows of books.
There was a security terminal too. I booted it up but it asked for a password. I hadn't the slightest clue what the password could be. I turned to the books.
"Let's see… Jaune Arc, perhaps. No… it seems he only gave model numbers to successes. If I'm a true failure I won't be in here. Perhaps it's this one."
I pulled a book from the shelf and breezed through it. Notes on the DNA of the creatures in the tanks. And graphic illustrations of those monsters.
"One of these will be about me. Or my line of models at least…"
I tossed the book behind me and grabbed another. It was full of details on a vivisected Beowulf. I leafed through it and tossed it aside. I was beginning to make a bit of a mess.
"You want to help?" I asked Neo.
She gave a slow cautious affirming nod.
"At that terminal, try variations on Jaune Arc. What with caps and spaces and all. Maybe it'll work. I don't know."
She nodded and began typing away at the computer with resounding mechanical clacks .
I tossed another book over my shoulder. Adding to the growing pile. I ransacked the shelves but whatever labeling system Merlot had used didn't agree with me.
Eventually Neo stopped typing.
She shook her head.
"I thought not… Did you try 'password?'"
She gave me a flat look and did. No dice. Just that same login screen.
"Hey wouldn't you? If you were me?"
She sighed heavily but she did nod.
I tossed a book on Creepers over my shoulder. It landed haphazardly and I found I didn't much care. If Merlot ever returned he'd find his collection in a state of miserable disarray.
"Wait this is it." It was a vitruvian man which kinda looked like me. It was in the cheekbones and jawline and around the eyes. It had my tank's label to it.
"I was… I was made from Salem's cells. And some donor's. It doesn't say who. How in the world did he get his hands on Salem's cells? Doesn't she like… live on a kingdomless continent? I feel a pull in her direction but I cannot tell how far."
"I was grown here from a fetus. In that tank until I was nearly an adult. The tank educated me, I think. There are vague impressions..."
"Salem's cells… it must explain her control over me. How she's able to get in my head. Why I still hear the whispers. I can still hear her now."
Neo pantomimed smoking.
I nodded, relieved at even the thought and pulled my pipe out. I packed it from the grinder with some Lemon Drop Haze and took a long pull using my lighter. My semblance died out around then. I sighed and started to recharge. I took a long pull as I did and the only thing I could see was the glowing red embers in the pipe, slowly growing, then slowly dying out as I roached the entire thing in a single pull.
I exhaled and like a light switch my semblance turned on. I breathed out in Neo's direction by accident and she waved a hand through the smoke, looking annoyed.
"Sorry," I breathed. "Sorry."
"It says here… it says I was a partial failure." I wasn't sure what to make of that. At least I had a face unlike the humanoid Grimm and he counted those as...something I guess. I felt something bitter rise up in me. Something howling.
A failure without so much as a birth.
I couldn't even be a failure from birth.
I had no model number. My father… Merlot...
Instead on through the notes. "This explains my fake memories. They were given to me by the tank. And my… and my sisters. There's no mention of them. I wonder if they were successes." I put the little book in my pocket and perused the rest of the shelf. "They'd have a different model number if they were successes…"
I searched through every last book but found no mention of them, my sisters and no more references to me, myself, either.
"She said I was Merlot's. Could my sisters have come from somebody else? The more questions I have answered the more questions I have!"
I swung out with Crocea Mors and shattered the glass on the tank nearest the office. Neapolitan shot up, looking alarmed. The Grimm thing stirred but I reached through the broken glass and strangled it with my bare hands. Liquids from the tank dripped over me and the green light dimmed. It fell apart into a disgusting black fluid.
I growled and wanted to scream.
"Nothing about this makes sense. Nothing about this is fair . I'm going to get my hands on Merlot for real. I'll make him pay for ever creating me. Every ounce of agony I have ever suffered I shall inflict upon him ten-fold."
I laughed madly and shattered another tank. I stabbed straight through it and the Grimm thing inside. Malformed. A reject. A bad batch and nothing more. That's all my existence was. My entire life and every emotion I'd ever felt.
The only people who could answer my questions were Salem and Merlot and lords only knew where Merlot was. I had no intention of going near Salem. Just so she could control my mind again? I wanted nothing to do with that.
I skewered another tank and this time I did scream. I pierced the thing inside and it died a bubbly, gurgling death.
Neo watched from the sidelines, transfixed. Her face was ashen white.
With shaking hands I pulled my pipe out again and set up another hit. I pulled hard and long and coaxing.
I fell to my knees with it and for a minute or two I just let myself be fully and truly mad. My semblance evaporated and I was in total darkness.
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Fast and Furious Edition
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Whiterose- Weiss asks for help
Weiss: Ruby! I need your help!
Ruby: *emerges from around the corner* you need MY help?
Weiss: That’s what I just said *annoyed*
Ruby: oh well how can I help?
Weiss: the zipper to my dress is stuck
Ruby: you want me to take your dress off? *gay and confused*
Weiss: if you dont help me right now ill go find blake instead
Ruby: no no! I got it *undoes zipper, *flustered, covers her eyes with both her hands*
Weiss; you’re such a child, I have a bra on. * rolls eyes and walks away*
Ruby: *yells after weiss* you COULD say thank you!
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Ruby: Oh wow, a present? I didn't get you anything! I'll make it up to you
Weiss: Ruby, it's your birthday
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Weiss: WHOEVER CAUSED THIS MESS IS GOING TO-
Ruby: It was me
Weiss: -be forgiven because everyone deserves a second chance
Yang: If it was me I'd be dead by now
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More of that "To Woo A Rose" AU, please?
Ruby silently watched Penny, trying to figure out what was going on with her. She had never seen Penny act so forcefully before, nor had she ever considered seeing dressed like this, even if the outfit looked great on her. “Penny? Are you sure you’re doing okay?”
Penny nodded, smiling a bit at Ruby. “I’ve never felt better!” She removed a small panel from her arm, letting Ruby see the wires that were underneath. “You dont need to worry about me, I’m not a kid.”
“But you’re not quite acting like yourself.”
Ruby moved closer to Penny, gently moving a few of the wires with a small piece of plastic. “For one, I’ve never seen you be so forceful with me. And then there’s the way you’re dressed-”
Penny frowned a bit. “What’s wrong with how I’m dressed?”
“N-nothing! Its just… unusual for you.”
“Maybe I like it.”
Ruby sighed and grabbed a screwdriver to loosen a couple screws in Penny’s arm. “And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I miss you. The real you. The you who is excitable and different.”
Penny rolled her eyes a bit. “Well, this is the new me. And to prove it, I want to go on a date with you.”
Ruby paused at the words, looking up at Penny with a blush. “A… a date? Like, a real date?”
“Yes, a real date. What other kind of date is there?”
“W-well, I dont know… I’ve never thought about it.” Ruby started rubbing the back of her head nervously. But I’m not sure I’m ready to go on a date date right now. I have a few things I need to take care of, and I still need to study-”
Penny interrupted Ruby with a kiss, pulling her in quickly. She grinned a moment as she looked into Ruby’s eyes. “Does that change your mind?”
Ruby’s blush deepend as she got up and ran off with her semblance, feeling a bit embarrassed about everything, not quite sure how she felt. The feelings she had for Penny seemed to make everything… complicated. Especially after Penny told her she was only built a few years ago. So, she wasnt really old enough to date, right? But she was built to be a teenager, one that was supposed to be older than Ruby anyway. So that made things better, right? Everything was starting to confuse her and she just needed some time to think.
Penny sighed with a little pout as she watched Ruby run off, not sure what she was doing wrong. “I’m doing everything she likes, why isnt she saying yes? Maybe I need to step everything up…” She quickly closed the panel on her arm and started heading back to her own dorm, already searching up the next steps she should take to make Ruby hers.
Weiss blushed hard as she watched everything happen between Ruby and Penny, slowly biting her bottom lip. “I dont know what’s gotten into Penny, but I like it.”
Yang shook her head. “That’s my sister she was coming onto. And clearly she doesnt like it!”
“That’s fine. I can have Penny all to myself.”
“Can we please focus on keeping Ruby safe? I know Penny would never hurt her, but you have to admit, she’s acting weird now and I’m not sure how safe she is for Ruby.”
Weiss shrugged and started messing with her dust again. “Then maybe we should get Penny’s eyes onto someone else. I know I would love to have the attention that Ruby’s getting.”
Yang’s eyes lit up with an idea as she smiled and stood up to rush off. “That’s it! We get Penny to fall for someone else! You’re a genius Weiss!”
“Of course I am. So you’re going to help me get Penny’s attention, right?” Weiss turned to watch Yang rush off, hesitating for a moment. “You’re going to help me with this, right?!”
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Ruby: I know two things
Weiss: Which are?
Ruby: I love you
Weiss: I love you too. What's the other thing?
Ruby: You just said it
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Weiss: Whatever. Nothing matters
Weiss, after Ruby comes home from the mission that night: Except some things
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Motion Sickness Chapter 44
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Jaune Arc was a bit like Roman. Not much but it was there. They both had a similarly loose moral code. One I found I'd be able to live inside of.
They were both smooth with their heists. Jaune Arc had proven that, in and out, nice and easy. He got what he needed. He got what information he needed. He got the job done.
Jaune Arc, or Cloud Strife if he prefered, it didn't matter to me, had shown that he knew the stakes when he tortured and killed people to get what he wanted. That proved he was trustworthy. He knew what the world was like.
It compelled me to follow him, more than the money had and as much as the promise of revenge against Cinder Fall, the woman who had set up my Roman Torchwick. Who got him arrested. Who undermined his authority. The list went on.
She'd set up Roman to die and for that I needed my vengeance. Cloud Strife got that. He understood. So even with this little detour if he still got me in a position to watch her die, then I could live with it. Hell, I'd even help with it. He made it sound important, even necessary. What with tales of how he was being mind controlled by Cinder's own boss.
There was always a bigger fish. Everyone always had a boss.
I watched him smoke. Roman Torchwick had been a heavy smoker, too. Nicotine, instead of Marijuana. Same-same but different.
What was with me and metrosexual men? Cloud Strife's piercings were as bad as Torchwick's mascara. It was a good look though. There was no denying that.
They both tried to control me. Which was fine, I guess. Cloud Strife played things fast and loose unlike Torchwick. Cloud was also a tad mad. He spouted about his mother controlling his thoughts. His mother being Cinder's boss. He was a touch insane, he rode sanity like a knife's edge and I wasn't sure whether he was going to end up cutting himself on it. He was on board with my more sadistic pleasures. He even, dare I say it, appreciated them. Roman never did that. Roman preferred to leave all the torture to me. Cloud got his hands dirty with it. It was like a change in scenery. In the end it was not so different.
I held close to him as he rode. The trees slowly went by to the steady beat of the horse's hooves.
Unlike Roman, Cloud Strife was a competent warrior. In fact, he was mostly a fighter first and a criminal second. It had been the reverse under Roman.
Cloud clicked his tongue and the horse came to a slow stop.
"And who are you little lady?"
I thought he was talking to me for a second. I peeked out around him. There was a little girl in the middle of the road. She might have been thirteen, maybe fifteen. What? I didn't know kids' ages. She was armed though. A massive shuriken in one hand and a sort of shield-gauntlet down the other arm. Her posture was one that indicated imminent violence.
"I'm a dust thief."
"I'm sorry," Cloud sounded bemused. "We don't use dust." I knew he had some pure crystals on him and that he knew how to use them. He was lying. He did so easily enough.
"Yeah right. A couple hunters like you. I bet you're loaded with it."
"You're mistaken, little lady."
"I'm not a lady."
Cloud tapped his pipe out and dismounted. He pocketed the pipe at his belt near the blue and gold lamp he carried. I watched from my seat, even this was giving me flashbacks to another little girl and another criminal mastermind. He took calm steps towards her with heavy boot falls. "You're a bandit, then?"
"Yeah. So what?"
"Couple a huntsman types like me are supposed to get rid of bandits like you. You got support in these trees?"
"No it's just me. I'm going to take your dust."
"Just you," I heard the frown in Cloud's voice. "I don't buy it."
"It doesn't matter. I'm robbing you!"
"Seriously, where's your back up? I'm not playing around, kid."
"Neither am I. I'm a huntress, I don't need back up."
Cloud rocked on his heels. "I'm being pranked."
She let out a battle cry and rushed him and he swiped her shuriken to the side and knocked her into the dirt. He didn't even draw his weapon.
Tan aura flared over the little girl when he swept her leg with one of his. I just watched from where I sat sidesaddle on the horse.
"Look kid I'm looking for a place called Wutai, you heard of it?"
She rose back to her feet with a fire. "Shut up. I'm not a kid. And of course I've heard of it."
"Good, you can lead us there."
"I'm not doing that. We-we're fighting!"
"At best I'm fighting you. And I feel bad the entire time I'm doing it."
"I bet you're scared of me!"
"What?! I'll show you!"
She flung the shuriken at Cloud but he just spun so it bounced off his shield on his back. The little girl caught it again when it rebounded.
"Come on kid, I'm trying to take it easy on you. Don't make me get violent, now. What's a helpless kid like you doing this far from civilization? There could be bandits out here."
"I'm a bandit out here."
"You're really not," Cloud said, pityingly.
She tried to swing her shuriken at him but he stepped in and caught her by the arm. He kicked her legs out from underneath her again.
He ripped the shuriken out of her hands once she was on the ground.
"Hey! You spikey haired jerk!"
"Let me guess. You got aura so now you think you're invincible. You think you're hot shit." Cloud was teaching her a lesson it seemed. Well, he seemed sane enough for the moment. Cloud had moments where the crazy in him shone through. Moments where I wasn't sure he'd kill me just for the sheer pleasure of it.
"I have a semblance!"
She tried to rise and he put a heavy boot in the middle of her back.
"Give it up, kid," Cloud said calmly. He watched her struggle for a few moments.
It was like watching a pinned ant. And I thought I was cruel.
I'd never tortured a little kid before. Some young people sure but never anyone as young as this girl seemed to be. I'd killed some pretty young people too but again not as young as her.
Not that what Cloud was doing was violent or even torture. He was just holding her down until she gave up. He was sparring her life because he was strong and she was weak.
"Neo," he called out. "Catch." He tossed me the shuriken. I caught it easily enough.
"What was that?"
"I said fine! You win or whatever!"
Cloud took his boot off her back. "You'll take us to Wutai, then."
"Um-" she glanced over at me where I held the weapon. My parasol was propped against my shoulder to ward off the sun. "Can I have my weapon back."
"Ask me nicely and I'll consider it."
"Ugh! Can I have it back, please?"
"After you take us to Wutai, sure. You can even think of it as payment."
Cloud walked over and grabbed the horse's reins. The whole confrontation had been so nonviolent the horse hadn't been disturbed.
He began to lead the horse beside the kid. "Well go on. Lead the way."
"It's not like it's far or anything. I'll show you."
The girl began to stride alongside Cloud.
"Have you been a hunter long?"
"Just a couple of years," Cloud answered her. I filed that information away. Cloud really hadn't been at this all too long. Some people's semblances and powers developed even more. Cloud's was definitely the type that was nebulous enough to do so.
I took the girl in now that she was closer.
She wore a white headband with a green sleeveless turtleneck which showed her stomach not unlike my new clothes. She wore orange fingerless gloves and bright orange shoes.
She watched me lash the shuriken to the horse's side. I wasn't going to carry it the whole time and Cloud didn't seem to mind in the slightest. He was pragmatic, like Roman.
"You're really strong. Like my father."
"Your father eh?"
"He's the leader of Wutai."
"It's a good thing I didn't rough you up too much, then. You got a name kid?"
"It's Yuma. Yuma Kisaragi. Not kid."
"Sorry Yuma. Well, you steal from hunters often?"
"Not really. I try and it never seems to work."
"Probably for the best."
"That's what my dad always says."
Unlike Roman, Cloud had a way with kids, it seemed. Some women liked that but I couldn't really get it.
"So what's your name?"
"And who's the lady with you?"
"This? Oh this is Neo. She doesn't talk much."
Ever. She doesn't talk ever.
"What kind of weapon do you use?"
"Just a sword and shield."
"That's pretty plain."
"I'm a pretty plain guy."
"I use that shuriken."
"I saw. You're not so bad with it."
"You really think so?"
Cloud nodded. "A few more years and you'll be in a pretty good place."
"That seems like forever."
"You'd be surprised how fast time goes. Keep at it."
"Ugh, you sound even more like my dad. Do you have a semblance.
Cloud gave her a slow nod. He seemed wary of talking about his semblance. That was wise of him. To prevent anyone from figuring out his weaknesses.
"Can you show me?"
"I wouldn't. It's pretty lackluster."
I snorted. Cloud had won the superpower lottery. Limit Breaker made him damn near unstoppable. I had yet to see him really use it in force. He beat me by standing still and his weapon had another form. I was sure of it though he had yet to use it against me.
"She doesn't seem to think so. I bet your semblance is pretty great."
"Well thank you kindly." Cloud did a southern Vale accent. "But you know a semblance is only as good as it's wielder."
"Then I'm going to have the best semblance."
"I thought you said you had it already."
"I well-" the kid stammered. "I haven't quite unlocked it yet."
She didn't have it, then. Didn't have a clue. Damn, kids were a bother.
"Bluffing, were ya?"
"Maybe a little.
The kid was annoying. I wish he'd dump her already. But I guess he must have some kind of plan in mind for her. Maybe for getting in the leader of Wutai's good graces.
"You ought to be more careful. If I was somebody else I might have hurt you."
"Yeah, yeah. I'd have managed some way or another. I'm a huntress," She repeated.
"Even hunters die."
"Hunters like my dad always seem so strong, though."
"Until they fight another hunter. The matchup could be bad for them and when they lose it's for keeps."
"Really?" She sounded like she couldn't believe it.
"Only all the time."
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"Dad, dad!" Yuma went running out into the village.
"Oi! I thought you wanted your weapon back!?" Cloud called out to her.
"Oh that's right."
Reminded, she came running back in those bright orange shoes for her shuriken. An elderly fellow came out from the largest house to see us. Middle-aged and with the gentle thrum of aura and nothing to prove.
Cloud handed her her weapon back, unstrapping it from beside the horse.
"Payment done. A pleasure doing business with you."
She beamed up at Cloud.
"Hail stranger. What are you doing with my daughter?"
"She tried to ambush us on the side of the road. Something about taking our dust. I'm not really sure." Cloud smiled easily.
"Yuma…" The man growled. He bought our story easily enough to make me wonder about the young girl's habits.
"Dad this is Cloud. He's a hunter. He's really strong!"
The kid didn't know the half of it. Cloud was cunning and he was brutal. I remembered him snapping that guy's fingers like pretzels. Plus he shattered aura and killed without hesitation. Roman wasn't like that.
"Hush now Yuma. I apologize for the trouble my daughter caused you."
She loudly humphed but did as her father bade.
"No harm, no fowl," Cloud replied easily.
"I appreciate you taking it easy on her. I am Godo Kisaragi."
"I'm just glad I found her before some bandits did," Cloud said, an easy smile on his lips. "I'm Cloud Strife. This is Neapolitan, just Neapolitan," he introduced us to the Dono of the town.
"I must ask since we don't often get strangers this way, what brings two young hunters out here?"
"I'm looking for Merlot's laboratory. Do you know of it? Do you know where it is?"
"I do. It's a place of true abominations. I must ask what ever for? No one has been out to see the laboratory in years. What business is it of yours?"
"He and I have unfinished business. I'm looking for him and I have to start somewhere. I got wind of this lab and made it a part of my agenda."
"What of the little miss on the horseback, Neapolitan was it?"
"Oh, she doesn't talk." Cloud went on with that same relaxed smile. I suppose he and Roman both had a way with people. "I've been her mouth piece, I suppose."
It was a good skill to have in our business.
"Indeed, you treated my daughter well. That's reason enough for me to like you. Why don't you come in for tea and we can discuss Merlot and his laboratory. Yuma, go get tea started for our young guests."
Cloud tied the horse off and helped me down off the horse's back like a gentleman. He left his weapon at the door meanwhile I folded my parasol neatly and attached it to my waist such that the blade of the sword-stick was in easy drawing distance. Cloud gave me a warning look but said nothing about it. No doubt he was slightly happier with one of us armed but he wanted me to start no trouble.
Fine by me.
Godo led the way inside and Yuma disappeared into a kitchen to put water on to boil.
"What do you intend to do with his laboratory?"
"Destroy it, probably. Along with the Grimm he left behind."
"No mean feat. There's a reason the laboratory is mostly abandoned and left alone by us. We tend to skirt the edges of it when we need to go near it at all."
"I take it he's no longer here, then."
"No one has seen him in months. It's likely he left some time ago, leaving only augmented monstrosities behind and a building."
"He augmented the Grimm?"
"Some. Others are vaguely human, creations of his laboratory that were deemed failures in his eyes. He set them loose on the landscape. We've been dealing with them for years now."
Cloud's eyes narrowed. Yuma came in with hot water and poured some tea.
"Sorry," she murmured after she spilled some. She wiped it down with a spare cloth she was using to hold the kettle.
"You're doing fine," Cloud returned.
I drank some of the sweet tea. It tasted fine, even if tea wasn't quite my, well- my cup of tea.
"I need to get in there and find out where he headed next," Cloud said. "Know thy enemy and all that jazz."
"Why? If you don't mind me asking."
"I- he hurt me. His work did me harm. It's a touch personal. He got some of my friends killed, it was in a roundabout way but he's still at fault."
"Ah- forgive me then."
"There's nothing to forgive." Cloud took a sip of his own tea. "It's good. You did well, Yuma."
She blushed like a school girl under his praise. Cloud was good looking I suppose. And he didn't even need Roman's makeup to pull off his looks. The earrings made him look a little effeminate but it was countered by his wide shoulders and arms. His frame simply wasn't that of a woman's. With wide shoulders and narrow hips.
He cut a dangerous figure.
"Well, I never thought hunters would come out to help us with our little problem."
"Don't get my motivation twisted."
"I shan't," Godo said. "You are out for vengeance. At least your motivation is understandable. And who better to be the target of your rage than Merlot? At least in my eyes. All the same, if you can remove this looming threat, I shall sleep better at night."
"I suppose. Tell me about the laboratory."
"It's built to withstand punishment. It's crawling with green Grimm. Modified by Dr. Merlot. The humanoid Grimm lurk deeper into their territory. They are fast with wicked claws and a sort of malicious intelligence."
"Are they self aware? Do they plan and communicate?"
"No. And not to my knowledge. Anything is possible with old Grimm but I do not see them as capable of such."
"Always good news. I'd hate to fight them if they were truly person-like."
"They are not. They are wretched, desperate things. Could you imagine a human Grimm?" Cloud took a long drink of tea. He'd mentioned the possibility that he had Grimm to his nature himself. Talk of this lab only seemed to back that up. Well, it certainly explained his psychosis. "Capable of walking amongst us? Of talking?"
"Terrifying," Cloud agreed. "It's what I had been afraid of when you mentioned human Grimm."
"They are nothing like that. Though they are dangerous. They are more like Grimm in the shape of a person rather than person-Grimm." Some Grimm took on attributes of the creatures they looked like. Cloud seemed content that this wasn't the case with these artificial Grimm.
"It sounds like they're monsters all the same. I can destroy them if that's all they are."
"I would warn you not to be arrogant but I can tell you are confident in your abilities. Many people have underestimated their speed and suffered for it. They occasionally make their way North here to the village."
"Just wandering? Or in real groups?"
"Sometimes one and the other."
"I can't promise to kill them all, just to cut a path through them to the lab."
"That's more than I could have asked a sane person for. I'm not as fit as I once was. I was slowly dwindling their number as they splayed out and little more. Your presence and assault will be a great boon to us. Wutai will be in your debt."
"I wouldn't sweat it. You don't have anything I want. Except those directions to the lab."
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Motion Sickness Chapter 43
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We were sitting in the train-car on the Argus Unlimited together. All of team RWBY reunited again.
My little sis was wearing Jaune's old hoodie over her usual clothes. It was a little distracting.
I really wasn't sure how to feel about that because on one hand I'd been kinda right about Jaune. On the other hand I'd been kinda right about Jaune.
I was right to try and keep him away from my sister. My instincts had been confirmed. But it broke my little sister's heart to have him as a traitor.
She'd been wearing that hoodie for two days. Like a flag of warning on where she stood on the subject. She firmly believed that Jaune was somehow a victim in all this. I… I was less convinced. I knew Blake was too. I mean the way he snuck into Beacon counted for something in all this.
I wasn't sure quite what all it counted for but it counted for something.
Weiss, meanwhile, believed in Ruby. And by extension she must believe in Jaune. I wouldn't have thought it from the Ice Queen but there she was standing beside Ruby. Metaphorically, of course. We were all sitting.
And I wasn't sure what to say. What could I say? What would get through to my sister at this moment?
There was nothing. She believed in Jaune despite everything. The wounds on Nora and Ren's bodies. The missing relic. How he ran.
All of it.
She believed in Jaune through all of that.
And besides, how could I really fault it? It was that same thing which allowed her to believe in me when I'd faltered in my course to the mission. It was that same sort of quiet patience that believed in him now that was once supporting me.
"Ruby… you need to wash that. It's starting to smell," I managed.
"It still smells a little like Jaune, though," she protested weakly. "If I wash it… it'll stop and I'll have nothing left to remind me of him."
"Ruby you'll find other things." Weiss supported me, her voice gentle. "And the hoodie won't be gone."
"His smell will be, though." She buried her nose under the collar. Her voice came out muffled.
"Ruby it's unhygienic," Blake said. "You have to give this up."
"Come on. Take it off and give it to me," Weiss said. "We'll just be putting it away for now."
Ruby whined but took it off. Progress of a kind was good. And Weiss was on our side.
Ruby managed to look even more depressed without the enormous hoodie on her. Somehow. She managed to look cold.
Weiss stood up with the hoodie and deposited it in her case. She carefully folded it and set it with the bunny face up. From there she clacked the case shut.
"Ruby you have to know obsessing over him isn't a healthy coping mechanism." Blake warned. "Look where obsession always got me."
"That's different. You were obsessing over the White Fang. Jaune's a friend."
"I know you still believe that Ruby but-"
"But what? You weren't there either with Tyrian. You didn't see him put his life on the line for me like it was nothing. He would have died for me like his own life meant nothing to him."
"But he took off with the relic," I said.
"What if he didn't? What if he had to run?"
"Ruby you're just coming up with scenarios now to break your own heart. He's gone." I went on. "You're ruminating. And it's not healthy."
"We're not trying to attack you, Ruby. We just want what's best for you," Blake said.
"You believe me about him," Ruby mumbled. "Don't you Weiss?"
"I- I didn't think it was in his nature to turn on us." Weiss said when we all turned to look at her. "But the evidence against him is compelling. I saw the wounds on Ren and Nora's bodies."
Ruby let out a low whine.
"But I believe you Ruby. If you said he's a victim in this, I'll believe you."
"Weiss…" Blake trailed off in frustration.
"Come on." I said. "You saw how violent he was."
"He was no more violent than the situation called for," Weiss returned easily. "The rest of the time, in training, he took it so easy on us. You must have seen how laid back he was."
"It's hard to believe you guys." Blake intruded. "The way you all talk about him as a great fighter. It's hard to match up with my image of him from Beacon."
"He wasn't the same person," Ruby mumbled. "He changed so much and he… he did it all with me in his heart. Do you know what that's like? To watch that happen?"
"I do." Blake said. "With Adam it was slow. And everything he did was for the White Fang and me and our mission but soon… soon he was killing people. Soon he had destroyed himself and my love for him. I do know what it's like Ruby. To watch somebody change like that. The only difference is instead of him running, I did."
"My Jaune isn't like your Adam," Ruby protested.
"No?" Blake asked. "From where I stand they seem pretty similar. Even their semblances from what you told me. Adam's has a charge to it too. One that he spends on a massive final attack. Wasn't Jaune's Limit Breaker like that?"
"A little. I mean right?" I asked Weiss and Ruby.
"And it started out small. He killed one person here or there because 'the situation called for it.' Then he was killing because it pleased him. Wasn't Jaune just the same way, just before the end?"
Weiss and Ruby said nothing. Ruby looked away and Weiss reached out and took her hand and rubbed it gently. "We never got to talk much before… before it happened." Ruby mumbled.
I sighed. That was my fault. She'd felt like she'd had to hide what she felt from me. It was my fault Ruby and Jaune didn't get to talk as much as she would have wanted. And maybe that would have changed things. That was on me. It was my bad. My little sister couldn't trust me with the truth.
"But he couldn't have been a traitor the whole time. What about Pyrrha? What about when Tyrian attacked me? It meant putting his life on the line when he should have turned."
"Adam protected me too. He would have killed and died for me once," Blake said. "People change. Maybe Jaune just snapped. Maybe Salem made him an offer and he just took it up. It happened to Lionheart."
"But Ren and Nora were his family..."
"And he still killed them. Ruby…" I sighed again.
"At the end of the day, whatever reason he had for doing it, he killed Ren and Nora. And they were fighting back too, Leonardo's office was littered with evidence of it. Nora's hammer, Ren's bullets, all of it." Blake continued. "It wasn't sneaky. It wasn't fast. He looked them in the eye as he did it."
"Then he left. With the relic." I finished.
"Ruby I know it's hard. Believe me. I know what you're going through. I swear. I went through it too with Adam."
"Jaune isn't a monster."
"And Adam didn't used to be. Do you all really think I would have loved somebody who was as monstrous as Adam is now? People can change and not always for the better, Ruby."
"It hurts more your way."
"Maybe," Blake said. "But it's more true that way. Jaune was a killer."
"Is." Weiss said quietly. "Ruby's right, you all do talk about him in the past tense. He's out there somewhere right now."
"Probably on his way to Salem, relic in tow. I know it's hard Ruby. Hell, Adam is even older than me. Like Jaune is for you. And all of it from what you've told me is so similar it's scary."
"Jaune was so nice to us," Weiss muttered. "He looked after all of us."
"Adam used to feel that way about all Faunus." Blake countered. "About the White Fang. Until…"
"Until he didn't." I said. "Tell us more about Adam's semblance."
"He would stand still and charge it," Blake began. Ruby whined again. "I take it Jaune's was the same way? Anyways he'd stand still until he had the energy to unleash a devastating attack. You don't want to be caught up by him when he unleashed that energy. Yang knows." I flexed my arm. "He could also absorb other energy into his weapon and release it."
"Jaune's was a lot like that. He'd charge by standing still, forcing you to approach him." Blake nodded along with my words.
"Then it would make him change states. He'd enter a higher plane where he'd be both faster and stronger and he could spend the charge on an attack or movement option." I went on. "It was scary to fight against it, it made him better in every possible way."
"See Ruby?" Blake finished. "They're so similar it's frightening. Do you know the first time he killed someone?"
"It was so fast…" Ruby murmured. "He just spent his Limit Break and killed him before I could blink. It was over in a flash of blue. It looked like an accident."
"But you're not so sure now, are you?" Blake went on. She was relentless. "Adam's was like that too but his flavor was red, a flash of red and it was just over. He fell into pieces."
Ruby curled up, wrapping her hands around her knees in the fetal position. She looked so pathetic I just wanted to die. I felt like I was watching heartbreak in stereo.
"We couldn't have kept that many prisoners. With the bandits. A-and he was covered in blood so often." Ruby mumbled. "He came back soaked in it all the time."
"Adam was like that after his missions. And at the time I thought I was doing everything I could for him… maybe I could have done more. I probably could have done more. But by the time I knew it was too late."
"He looked… he looked more scared about what I thought about it than what he was actually doing. He said I was his moral compass. He said he did things he wasn't proud of," Ruby muttered. "I thought everything was alright but it was all collapsing."
"No, no. No. No." Ruby repeated. She shook her head. "It can't be. It just can't. He was so sweet."
"Blake… maybe you should settle down," Weiss said.
"What?" Blake wondered bewildered.
"You're upsetting her."
"It's the truth."
"Oh. Now we're good enough for the truth." I shot.
"I… I was wrong to keep this from you all. Maybe if I would have shared it at Beacon things would have been different. And not just with Jaune. Ruby… just...think about it. I won't tell you Adam was ever a sweetheart. He was never as… soft as Jaune was. At least when I knew Jaune. But from what he all told me he was a hard man after Pyrrha died."
"If only you had been there with me. We could have saved him," Ruby muttered.
"Ruby, it's nothing you did. Nothing you could have done. I used to torture myself about Adam. Wondering if I led him down that path. In the end he chose that. And so did Jaune."
"Unless he was a sleeper agent." Weiss said. At our looks she went on. "What? You don't know what happened between him and Salem and he walked into that fight willing to kill and die for Ruby. Not Salem."
"Weiss…" Blake murmured. "Don't get her hopes up. Sleeper agent or not he's dangerous and he's our enemy."
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"Hey." I cornered Blake by the train-car bathrooms.
"Oh. Hey Yang. What's up?"
"Do you think you could slow down with Ruby."
"Not you too…" Blake trailed. "I just don't want her to make the same mistakes I did."
"I know. I know. I agree with you. I do. I just want you to slow down. You're overwhelming her."
Blake looked away. "I see."
"Yeah. She still sees Jaune as a victim. It won't do her any good if she can't process it."
"What about you, Yang?"
"I think you're making a strong case. Especially when you talked about his semblance. You were getting through to her then."
"I can't believe how similar they are. It's honestly freaking me out a little."
"I hear you…"
"And Yang I should have told you. About Adam. He… well I was embarrassed by it. I was ashamed of how far I let him fall."
"And now Ruby's in the same boat."
"Yes… I wish I could save her."
"One way or another she's going to beat herself up over it."
"I beat myself up over Adam for the longest time. Wondering if I could have done more. What else I should have done."
"Well Ruby's pretty hard on herself. I'm worried about her."
"You're a good sister to be."
"Not good enough…"
"What's that mean?"
"Jaune… Ruby felt like they should hide what they had. From me. For the first time she couldn't trust me with what was going on in her life. And then this happens."
"It's not your fault, Yang. Jaune made his choices."
"I know, I know. I just wish I could have been there for her. When she needed me. That's what hurts. I wish talking to me could have been the right call for her."
Blake reached out and embraced me.
"Ruby made her choice too."
"When I caught them together I flipped out. Overreacted, maybe. He was on top of her and I slammed him against a wall. That was back when we thought he was on our side. It made me wonder if she was right to hide it from me."
"I freaked out without even thinking. She knew I'd do it too. I alienated my own little sister. She felt like she couldn't share it with me and she was right."
Blake was quiet for a long time. "I don't know what to say."
"Nothing you say will make me feel better about it. I just wanted you to listen. And I want you to trust me like that. To share things with me that are bothering you like you never did at Beacon. I can't track you down like I did when we were at school. I need you to come to me. This can't work if we can't all get along. Team RWBY will be as finished as JNPR."
"I… I understand."
"Then we're square."
"I, too, have been bothered. I worry constantly about my father and mother. The White Fang won't leave them alone, especially now that I forced them back into the limelight."
"We were attacked. In my house in Menagerie, I was trying to set up a peaceful alternative to the White Fang and they attacked us. They shot at my mom. My dad was almost killed. I ran into some old compatriots in the White Fang. A girl named Ilia and a few others. They ambushed me in the streets after agreeing to a peaceful meeting. They backstabbed us at every turn. And Sienna Khan is dead. Adam was in control of the White Fang until we ran him off at Haven."
"That's a lot of business." I whistled. "You've got a lot on your plate. You're not alone, though."
"I know. I know."
"This is good Blake. This is progress. Sharing things with one another is the first step."
"We should be better at it considering we're partners." She smiled.
"Well we can get better." I smiled at her. "Thank you for what you told my sister. I was worried about getting through to her. I think you really helped."
"The way she was still wearing his hoodie… it reminded me of all the time I spent hung up over Adam."
"It's not the only thing that reminded you of him."
"No. It's not. It really is freaking me out. The similarities between him and Jaune… they're really cutting at me."
"Well hopefully we can get my sister out of this crisis."
"I know Weiss thinks she's helping but she's not. She's only drawing out the wound, making the injury worse."
"I think she is. Ruby needs both. She needs the support."
"If you say so..."
"I do. We'll get through this. We're team RWBY."
We went back to our seats. Ruby was exhausted and napping against Weiss's shoulder.
"Did you two have a nice chat?" She didn't ask with any kind of vitriol and went about stroking Ruby's hair gently.
"We did. Maybe I was too hard on her. Maybe I pushed too fast." Blake said apologetically.
"Maybe she needed to hear it." Weiss dismissed her apology. "What you told us about Adam was concerning."
"You see her point, then."
"I see everyone's points. Jaune really did seem mostly the same to me. He seemed… I don't know- better, in many ways. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he was turning and I just couldn't notice it. If only you'd been there, Blake."
"If only." Blake echoed in a chorus of quiet agreement. "I had other things to take care of."
"My family. It's hard."
"I know a thing or two about that."
"My family isn't like yours Weiss. They truly deeply care about me. Wait I meant-"
"I know what you meant and it's fine. Team RWBY is my real family. I thought JNPR was too."
"They were." I said. "They definitely were."
"How'd we get so broken up?" Blake asked.
"Beacon's fall. Haven's near miss." Weiss listed. "History will remember them. "
I couldn't help but wonder if history would remember us, this team RWBY, for all the wrong reasons.
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Winter decides it's time for Lonely Workaholic Weiss to have a girlfriend, so she accidentally asks every member of team RWBY to date her instead of asking only one of them. Now, every member stands in front of Weiss' bedroom's door very confused, looking at each other, each with a bouquet of flowers on their hands.
Winter sighed as she peeked into Weiss’s office, watching her sister work the day away. It had been like this since she had graduated: Weiss immediately arrested Jacques for all the trouble he caused and then took over the SDC the next day without any hesitation. Normally, Winter would be happy for her, but watching Weiss now just made her feel awful. Her sister shouldnt have to worry about keeping things together, but spend time with her team.
Winter perked up a bit with an idea, slowly pulling out her scroll and looking through the contacts that she had. For once, she was glad she had managed to get the contacts for Weiss’s team. She finished dialing and smiled as she heard the line pick up. “I need you to do a favor for me.”
Ruby paused as she saw Yang and Blake standing outside of Weiss’s place, white lilies in their hands. She looked at the flowers in her own hands and hid them behind her back. “S-so, is something wrong with Weiss?”
Yang shook her head. “No, I dont think so.”
“Then… why are you both here? With flowers?”
Blake sighed. “Actually, Yang and I were talking about that before you showed up. Seems that Winter went a bit… overboard on trying to get Weiss a date.”
“Look, to be fair, I did tell her I had to check my schedule to make sure I actually was going to be free.” Yang fiddled with the stems of the flowers she was holding, slowly making a small flower crown out of them. “I… didnt expect that she’d reach out to the two of you as well.”
Ruby relaxed a bit, starting to feel a bit less nervous once she saw how nervous Yang was. “That makes me feel a bit better now.”
Blake looked between Ruby and Yang before looking at the door to the manor. “So… I’m… not wrong to think that you both have feelings for Weiss too, right?”
Yang blushed a bit, working a bit more on her flower crown. “I mean… the thought of asking her out had occurred to me, but I ended up putting it off and was-”
“Nervous?” Ruby blurted out her own answer, looking away from her teammates as her own eyes focused on the pink roses she carried. “I… cant say I wasnt the same way. I just… I was so nervous to try to ask her before. I didnt think that Weiss would actually… you know… want to say yes. To any of us.”
Blake and Yang both looked at each other before nodding in agreement. In truth, the two of them had both planned to try to ask Weiss on a date before they all graduated. But then Beacon was attacked, Weiss took over the SDC, the team went their separate ways for a bit, only asking for help when they ended up in trouble or if they couldnt solo a mission on their own…
Yang sighed. “Yeah, nervous. And… maybe a bit self conscious too. Among other issues.”
“So… how do we want to handle this?”
“Maybe we could… all try to date her?” Blake was the one to answer with a question, starting to move her own feet nervously in front of the door. “I have no issues with trying to date the two of you too. But… I understand if you both have issues with any of this being sisters-”
“I have no problem trying to share Weiss,” replied Ruby. “I’d… probably only date Weiss though. I’m not… exactly up for trying to date multiple people at a time right now.”
“As long as Ruby’s okay with it, I dont see a problem with giving it a try.” Yang finished with the flower crown she was making, smiling a bit. “Besides, we’re all pretty close already, right? This would be the next step that we could try.”
Before Blake could put her two cents in, Weiss opened up the door, wearing a white dress and staring at her teammates before walking past them. “If we’re going to go on a date together, then we might as well get going now. I hope you dont mind, but I’ve taken the liberty to make reservations at a restaurant down in Mantle. Figured that if Winter is trying to get me a break from my work life, then I should try to get back down with the people I’m trying to help.”
Ruby, Blake, and Yang all shrugged before following Weiss, trying to catch up to her. This wasnt exactly how any of them thought the date would start, but knowing Weiss, they were already starting on a good foot.
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Motion Sickness Chapter 42
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I tapped the ash of my pipe in an alley. The glass made a soft tong sound as I tapped it against the brick. Then I stepped out with a boot and quashed the still-burning greens.
I already felt like a pro with it.
My head clear of distractions like bugs or the sound of Mother's voice I could finally get to work. The slight spinning the greens caused was not unlike alcohol but it was minor. I felt like I could focus through it. I even felt like I could drive, or ride as the case may be.
Gods it was good to be off that stuffy train. There were 'no smoking' signs everywhere and fire alarms in every bathroom. I'd maybe checked a couple.
"Well Neo, let's buy some horses."
She held up one finger.
"One? One horse? For the both of us?"
"So what? You'll just ride bitch on mine?"
She frowned at my phrasing but still nodded again.
"Huh. And feminism marches on."
She kicked me in the shin. I deserved it too so I managed a muted, "ow. Alright. Alright. Fair cop."
I rubbed at one of my piercings, fondling the earlobe around the metallic diamond stud.
"You know I could probably teach you how to ride. It's easy enough for someone like me to figure out so you could probably do it."
She shook her head. Probably thinking something like 'why would I do that when I have you to ride me around?' To which I'd say, 'yeah, fair enough.'
I found a merchant and paid him. It came out to a few thousand Lien but it was no skin off my back. Just one aura-driven horse and we were good to go.
I saddled up. Putting my bag of loose possessions over the horse's back (spare clothes, toiletries, the bare necessities) along with Neo's own duffle. Then I mounted. The horse grunted slightly under the suddenly added weight of all my weapons and armor and me. I was something like two-hundred and thirty pounds by myself. Probably a little more.
I reached down to Neo. She looked away as I easily swung her onto the horse's back. The horse hardly stirred under the addition, she was smaller than Ruby or Weiss. Neo popped her pink parasol to shield us both from the Anima sun.
She rode side-saddle. And managed to look ever so lady-like on the horse's back but I knew the truth. I turned my head back to face forward. This thing was no lady. She was as much a beast as the horse we rode on.
Like that we were off, hooves beating a steady rhythmic clip-clop down a beaten trail. It had the marks of being a real road for cars with four wheels.
"You don't do tactile stuff do you? Just auditory and visual illusions right?"
I felt her nod her head against my back.
"And you haven't been hazing me, have you?" It would be convenient if all my hallucinations were caused by Neo messing with me. Convenient. Not likely or comforting or anything like that.
She shook her head.
"Then I think I'm a little fucked up."
She snorted a little, still managing to be lady-like still. It reminded me a little of Weiss.
"I didn't use to be like this. Mother got to me. Salem, that is. She haunts me like an evil spectre from the end of time. I'm not sure if you believe me about her but she's bad news. Has all kinds of magic besides being old as hell and probably basically unkillable."
She snorted again. I felt her wipe her pink and brown hair back. It brushed against my sleeveless arm. It tingled against my free skin there.
"That's what I'm saying. She's fucking bullshit. I didn't really believe it myself until I ran into her, or her shadow at least. It was almost enough to unmake me, that alone. She made me kill two of my friends. Made me. Like I was a puppet."
She just listened that time. She put an arm around me to hold on as we rode out of Shumi and on to Wutai. It was the first real touch another person had given me since everything went down.
Since I'd killed Ren and Nora.
Since I'd tried to kill myself.
It was oddly reassuring even if it was light and meaningless. Gentle against my arm. Just enough to hold on from where she sat in our double saddle.
I was choking something back as she did and got settled in a little more. I could feel her aura. The cruel cold was a mellow comfort to my own heat. Like I was burning up and hadn't noticed it. Like I had a fever and didn't know.
"That's why I have to go and find Merlot. Salem could make me kill you too, I'm not sure what will make me snap next. That would be bad, for both of us."
She tensed up a little at that. I wasn't sure she took it as a threat but it kinda was. Salem's reach was long and I wasn't sure what we'd find at the laboratory.
"Not right now. Captain of my own ship at the moment. Just… be careful around me. Be ready once we get to the lab. The report was all about modified Grimm. Not like me, maybe, depending on what the fuck I am. Salem mentioned that I do indeed have sisters. How could I forget that? Oh my gods she has my fucking sisters."
I stewed in that. Listening to the rhythmic beat of the horse.
"Depending on how false my memories are. Most of them are fake. Inconsistent when I really look at them. I have to save them, though. And myself of course. I won't get anywhere as her puppet. All the more reason to get to the lab and find Merlot."
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I set up the tent and tied the horse to a tree. Setting out the horse the graze. That was what was great about horses. It was a grass fed engine. They could go anywhere there was grass with excellent mobility. That was why they were a staple of mankind.
I didn't ask Neo for anything as I set up the camp. Which was fine. She sat on a fence looking at the road forlornly. Like she'd made a deal she wished she could go back on.
My legs were cramped from riding and I was sure hers were stiff, too.
"Let's fight." I said, standing up straight from the tent. I took a hit off my pipe at the same time and exhaled.
She gave me an odd look.
"What? Cinder is stronger than both of us. You think you'll reach her level by not sparring? By not practicing?"
She hopped off the fence and stalked towards me. She rubbed her chest as she looked at me.
"I'll take it easier on you than before but we really can't afford to get out of practice. We'll be out here for a week or so. That's two, back and forth to really get to know each other. Plus if we'll be working together it will help if we know the others' style."
She pulled her dolon on me and pranced closer with that otherworldly grace people who'd had their aura unlocked for a long time possessed.
"What's your weapon's name, by the way?"
She made a shushing gesture, a finger to her pink lips. A confident grin on her face.
"Uh, okay then."
She shook her head and pointed at her weapon.
"Oh the weapon's name is Shush."
She shook her head.
She pulled out her scroll and typed like she did when I was having trouble guessing. She didn't seem to use any real sign language and sometimes it was nearly impossible to determine what she meant. It was 'Hush' typed on the screen on a note word processor.
"So close! Well then it certainly suits you, Hush."
She rolled her eyes, exasperated that she'd had to pull her scroll.
I tapped out the ash from my pipe on a tree and squashed it. I put the pipe away in a bouch on my belt beside the relic. I wasn't sure how the damn thing worked and I hadn't really messed with it. I was willing to bet if I took the top off the lamp it would do something but I wasn't sure what it would do or even what for.
Sure something related to knowledge but that wasn't exactly a narrow topic. All of knowledge that is.
I still felt like my head was clear enough to fight despite the greens. I drew the longsword from my back. I held it with both hands on the long handle.
I rested my left beneath the right and breathed in. I activated my semblance with a little sigh. I felt good. I felt right.
Neo approached me and poked at the rising wisps of light.
"My semblance? It's called Limit Breaker. It makes me stronger and faster and there's a charge I can spend on an attack or movement."
She counted down with her fingers at a steady pace.
"How long does it last?"
"I'm not really sure. It used to only be fifteen seconds or so. Fifteen seconds to spend it or use the mobility and strength buffs. Now I can hold onto the charge for longer. Minutes, maybe." Fifteen seconds was short as fuck but minutes were long as Hell in a real fight.
It used to be a lot of pressure but now I had time to think and to trap my opponents with the superior speed and resilience.
"You ready?" I asked.
She shook her head, hiding a smile and I realized she was waiting for my semblance to evaporate away.
"Hey," I protested. "If you wanted to go without it you could have just said something."
She frowned at me. I threw the Limit away in the form of a blade-beam against a tree. It blended away against the bark, throwing out chips of wood and with a groan the tree fell.
"Fine. Alright? You ready?"
She grinned and vanished.
I stood still and listened. I watched carefully but couldn't see any indication of her movement. She reappeared on top of me. Bringing the sword-stick down on me, trying to breach my collar bone in what I was figuring was a favorite move of hers.
I had to raise Crocea Mors upwards to deflect the blow to the side. I tried to riposte but by the time I brought the weapon around and down in a counter attack she disappeared.
She reappeared behind me and kicked my right leg in the back of the knee. Now I don't care how strong you are and firm your balance is. You get kicked like that, you're dropping to at least one knee.
I did. I swept the sword around my body to ward her off and get back to my feet. As I tried to rise she came at me from the left and I struggled to bring the blade around in time to block the smaller, more lithe cane sword. I leaned on my blade like a knight as I rose to my feet.
I swiped at her and nicked her and sent her tumbling. She growled at me. She cartwheeled back to her feet and vanished.
She stabbed me in the chest, tearing out chunks of my aura as she did. I reached out with my left hand and grabbed her. Her eyes widened in surprise before I bounced her off the ground and tried to reach her by dancing my blade down in a large forward swipe.
I caught her and comboed her forward in four more strikes.
Once she was out of tumble she vanished and kicked me in the chest with both heels. I reeled backwards. She stabbed me from the right. Then reappeared on the left, further away from my sword.
I was sort of intentionally handicapping myself without the shield. I traded mobility for defense and I stepped back with her and tried to block, both hands on my long red hilt.
I caught her across the stomach with a touche and pushed her back with a tiny grimace from her. It activated my charge and I flew towards her. I jumped and brought the sword vertically around my body to deliver a punishing falling upwards swinging aerieal that launched her up in the air at a perfect middle height.
She broke the combo by teleporting in front of me. She jabbed at me with the umbrella and expanded it right in my face, pushing my sword to the side as a matter of course. She then flickered towards my throat with the thin blade. It caught me and I tried to grab her but my grab was slow and she twisted back away with a side flip.
I flew at her, holding my semblance, still. She dodged in place, leaning to the side. She jabbed at my face with her blade and it caught my aura and left a shallow cut on my cheek.
I grunted and in a flash spent my semblance I climbed her up in a massive upwards swing. The Limit Break attack made her aura flash and flicker in a tide of bright pink.
She rolled away from me. She slammed one arm in the dirt and vanished again. She reappeared with her legs around my head and used the momentum to try and slam me into a tree.
I jumped then backflipped off the tree instead of being rammed into it.
She still managed to bring me to the ground and tried to put me in an arm bar at the same time she stabbed down with her cane-sword. I dropped my blade and with pure main strength peeled her off of my arm and tossed her.
She landed neatly on her feet. Her eyes switched colors as she blinked at me.
She reappeared before me and stomped on my foot. I leaned forward unconsciously and she hooked me with her umbrella and used my momentum to throw me to the ground. I frontflipped in place to counter and whipped my sword around and knocked her off her feet.
She attacked me with an illusion. Making me see a flash of white before she went low and stabbed at me. I blindly swung downwards and she slid on her knees beneath the cut and stabbed up at my thigh. She pierced my aura and when I swung at her she vanished and shattered like a glass pane.
Our weapons clashed as I chased after her and she backed up. Three times they met with solid clanging noises as we did. Her blade was fast and it whipped through the air as I chased her.
I kicked out and our legs met. She rolled over it and kneed me in the face. I tried to grab her but she vanished.
I took a guess at where she would reappear and Cross-Slashed her. It was less serious without the broadsword. Even still, I tried to be light about it but she bounced off the ground and lay still.
"How you holding up?"
She frowned and tried to vanish but collapsed.
"Don't push yourself too hard, now. It's just training. To get better."
She glowered at me.
"Why don't we call it there. No reason to over extend until one of us is without aura. How does dinner sound, besides?"
My heart was racing and I could feel the high from my greens up top, really in my head.
She gave me a suspicious look.
"Don't worry. I'll cook."
She giggled a little. I walked over and pulled her to her feet. I rested my sword against my shoulder before I sheathed it.
"Hey I can cook."
She snorted as though to say 'sure you can.'
"I can. You just watch. I'll whip something up. I mean it won't be five stars but it'll be edible." Eggs and rice? Eggs and rice.
I pulled out my pipe. "You want some?"
She sat and shook her head. She was giving me a hard to read, soft smile.
"Suit yourself. I'll get us a fire going and everything will be fine. It'll even be delicious, you'll see."
I wasn't Ren but I could put something together. Ren… nope bad thought. Didn't like that. I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to eat a breakfast burrito ever again.
He'd forgive you, Jaune. He would.
I reminded myself.
It was Salem. It was all her.
In the end, we sat back and ate in companionable silence.
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Weiss: Why the fuck would you tell Ruby BDSM stands for burgers drinks and salsa music?
Weiss: She just invited me to a bdsm party tomorrow. We are not done talking about this.
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Hello! New blog ok I'll get this started with Team RWBY headcanons with a fem s/o who's shorter than them :)
Ruby is only 5’4 so her s/o must be pretty short for her to tower over them. Setting that aside, she’s absolutely delighted to have a girlfriend who’s shorter than her! She likes to tease, but not in a malicious way. Gosh, she’d never been mean to her partner, buuuut playful teasing isn’t off the table. There’s also some curiosity mixed in as well; how can someone be so short? If she was any shorter, she could be picked up like a doll!
With all that said, Ruby is pretty protective when it comes to her girlfriend, especially from anyone who thinks that being small means one can be picked one. Unlike her sister however, she isn’t as frightening but she can hit quite hard so any unsuspecting targets who dare to pick on her s/o will receive a full force headbutt to the gut. She knows she shouldn’t do it, but it really does tick her off when her s/o is treated like the butt of the joke. However, she will try and use her words more to solve these types of situations.
Weiss wonders how short her girlfriend must be to be shorter than 5’3. She always thought she’d end up with someone taller than her thanks to her height, but is nonetheless excited to have a partner so vertically challenged. To tell the truth, she tends to...let out her height frustrations onto her understanding girlfriend. To have someone that relates to her problems makes her so relieved that she can’t help herself. Unless it’s an issue, then she’s more than happy to stop.
Watching the two together is like watching a short power couple walk throughout the campus. If it were anyone else, perhaps there would be mockery of some sort, but because it’s Weiss Schnee, no one interrupts because they know what would happen if they mess with the heiress’ girlfriend. Most of the time anyway. The poor unlucky sods who mess with her partner won’t be able to feel their kneecaps any time soon.
In contrast to the other two, Blake is around average height at 5’6 so while still uncommon to have a smaller partner, it’s not something she’s surprised to have either. There’s a refreshing neutrality to how she sees her partner; being short doesn’t mean anything in a relationship as long as both parties respect and help each other out. She doesn’t mind reaching up to the top shelf to get something for her girlfriend, as long as she can bend down to get stuff from the bottom shelves from time to time too.
She’s hesitant to admit this, but she loves spooning with her s/o. Her girlfriend is so small and short in her arms that it makes Blake swoon just a bit. While not quite ready for intense moments of affection, Blake more than loves the feeling of her smaller partner cuddled up to her, huddled in her arms. She feels like she has the entire world in her arms and...she loves it.
Yang is 5’8 and is the tallest of all the girls so having a shorter partner than her is only natural. She’s a tease for sure and isn’t afraid to make fun of her s/o’s height, but not in a malicious way. More in a good natured ribbing sort of way, like how one would tease their friends. However, she doesn’t like it when others do it, feeling that it could get messy fast .Others would not have the restraint like she does and would throw out words that could hurt her girlfriend. So she will start picking fights if this happens.
She’s a natural cuddler and loves hugging her small girlfriend to her chest. Being a very touchy feely person, Yang always loves to hang her head on her s/o’s head or shoulders and pick them up and spin them around. That said, she will back off if told and will try to restrain herself when told to...but it’ll be hard for her. When it comes to cuddling, she loves to be the big spoon but can and will be the small spoon if that’s what her girlfriend wants.
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Whiterose- Ruby has an issue
*all the girls periods sync*
Ruby: Weiss!… Weiss! *Yells increasingly louder* WEISS!
Ruby: I need your help WEISS!
Wiess: *peaks around the corner of the door* I am understanding you’re in need of my assistance?
Ruby: yes! I only need you to hand me a tampon. I just started my period.
Weiss: uuuh… alright
Ruby: *calls to wiess* hurry up I want to lay in bed and eat chocolate with Yang!
Weiss: *hands over the tampon* can I join you guys? *twists her foot in the ground*
Wiess: I like chocolate! Plus maybe her semblance can work as a heat pack.
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