Hunting – 3.7

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Ruby woke up on her own, a weird experience after the past couple weeks of being woken up by Weiss getting ready for the day. She rubbed the sleepy goobers out of her eyes and just spent a good long while enjoying laying in her bed. She flipped and moved her pillows around a bit to get to the cold, comfy parts, and restacked them so she had two under her head again. For whatever reason, the top pillow always seemed to wander off at night. And of course she hugged her third pillow, and squished the fourth between her knees. 

Pillows were nice. 

Her muscles were still sore from yesterday, though now that she was awake and her aura was mostly back, they’d probably get better soon. 

After a little while, Ruby felt like she’d gotten enough resties that she could get up. Rolling around to find her scroll–today it was somehow inside the pillowcase she’d been hugging–she checked the time. 

9:44

Early. Sooo early. Why was she waking up so early nowadays? 

Dumb Weiss and her ridonculous schedule!

Speaking of which, Weiss totally should have woken her up already! What de heck! She was probably off playing music on the roof like an edgy princess.

Ruby hopped down from her bunk, cracked her knuckles in preparation for waking up Yang, and–

The sound of shuffling sheets announced itself behind her. 

‘Huh?’

Ruby turned around. 

… Weiss was still in bed!

What kind of cruel world was this where Ruby was waking up before Weiss now? 

She knelt down in front of Weiss’ bed. Weiss was on her side, facing the wall, breathing quietly, bein’ all princessy even in her sleep. 

“Hoy!” Ruby whispered, reaching over to give Weiss’ shoulder the lightest shake possible. It would probably take a lot less to wake up Weiss than it does Yang, who always took at least three almost-punches. 

Sure enough, the little shake was enough to make Weiss roll over. Ruby froze, waiting for Weiss’ eyes to open, but they didn’t. She just kinda smacked her lips together a couple times and settled back down into her pillow. 

Ruby gave her pretty, pointy nose a poke. “Weiss!” she whispered. “Hey!” 

Weiss’ eyebrows scrunched up and she puffed out her outer lip ever so slightly, slowly opening her eyes about ten percent. 

“Hmm?” 

“Hey, Weiss!” Ruby greeted her, still whispering. 

“.. Why you wakin’ merrup?” Weiss mumbled back at her. 

Sleepy Weiss was so cute! Hearing Weiss be all mumbly and unrefined was really funny. 

“It’s almost ten,” Ruby answered. “You sleep through your alarm?” 

Rubbing at her eyes, Weiss gave her another princessy pout. “… Nooo. I jusss… wanna sleep. I’m… slehppy.” 

From the way her slow blinks were getting smaller and smaller, it seemed like Weiss was falling back to sleep. Ruby couldn’t help it, she giggled. 

The noise apparently disturbed Weiss, though, because she opened her eyes back up a bit to give Ruby a squinty glare. 

Ruby smiled back, which just made Weiss pout at her again. 

“So no going running today?” Ruby asked. 

“I shaid I’m tiiiired,” Weiss whined at her, making Ruby giggle again. 

“Ugh,” Weiss grumped. She pushed herself up on one arm, but then seemed to give up halfway through and slumped back down on her side. She let out a dismayed, “Hnnngh.” 

“Same,” Ruby agreed. 

“Whadoyou want, dolt?” Weiss groaned. 

“Nothing,” Ruby said, giving Weiss’ hand a pat and standing back up. “I’ll let you schlep.” 

“Mm hrmph,” Weiss replied, closing her eyes again. 

Ruby headed to the bathroom and brushed her teeth, humming as she scrubbed her chompers with Toothy von Brushmeister. She’d also given Weiss’ toothbrush a name, Mr. Bristles, but she kept forgetting to tell Weiss about it. And maybe Weiss already had a name for her toothbrush. 

… Probably not, though. 

She’d already showered last night after their hunt, and a quick sniff confirmed that she still smelled like Ocean Spray soap and roses, so she headed to her desk. Being extra careful to be quiet, she pulled out a notebook and started sketching the latest conquest of General Flappy Feet! In this episode, he and Pengu Squad were going to bring down two Nevermores and a Deathstalker all by themselves, all while Admiral Zymdood was being evil and nefarious in the background shooting at them with a shrink ray. 

Although… when she got to the first Nevermore, she realized that maybe drawing giant birds was harder than she thought. Where… where did the feet go again? Like, obviously at the bottom, but like… where did they go between the wings and the tail? More on the tail side or more on the wing side?

Screw it, they’ll go here! Sure, that looks right.

As she continued drawing the Nevermore, the feet started looking less and less right. 

Whatever, it was a cartoon!

… Maybe only one Nevermore though.

She also decided that General Flappy Feet and the Pengu Squad were due for some weapons upgrades. Perhaps, before mission debrief, they got outfitted with new, uber, experimental weapons! 

The general was given the best weapon, of course, a giant mega epic scythe that was also a sniper rifle. And… also had epic Dust ports in the blade so it could do awesome wind slashes and fire slashes and lightning… does lightning slash? 

Hm… Maybe Weiss could help her figure that out. 

Speaking of Crescent Rose! 

Ruby tiptoed over to her bunk and grabbed her scroll and sent a message to Dad. She and Yang had bragged to him for like a billion hours about how awesome their Hunt had went last night, but when Ruby had asked him to send the blueprints of Crescent Rose so she could fix it, he said he’d been out on a walk with Zwei and would send them when he got home.

And of course he’d forgotten. ‘Cause he was Dad, and dads do be like that sometimes. 

 

Me: Hey, DaddyO. Can u send pics of the blueprints when u wake up?

 

That done, she went back to her drawing, giving the members of the Pengu squad their own cool weapons: a rapier with a revolver cylinder full of Dust (that was really freaking hard to draw), a double… sword… hand scythe… machine pistol… whip… thing… (?), and fancy metal gloves. With shotguns. 

She made sure to give the shotgun gauntlets to the Pengu getting hit with the shrink ray, because tiny, grumpy, penguin Yang was funny as heck. 

Ten minutes into Ruby’s doodles, Weiss woke up for real for realz, shuffling into the bathroom and brushing her teeth and doing her fancy girl face wash ritual thing. By the time she came back out, Ruby was on the Deathstalker, which wasn’t any easier to draw than the Nevermore was. 

She walked up behind Ruby’s chair and peeked over Ruby’s head to check out her drawing. “Oh no, General Flappadoodle stole Crescent Rose!” she exclaimed softly. 

When Ruby giggled this time, tilting her head back to look up at her partner, Weiss gave her one of those tiny, wonderful Weiss smiles back before settling down in her seat next to Ruby’s. 

“First of all,” Ruby stated matter-of-factly, “his name is General Flappy Feet.” 

“Ah. My apologies. I did not mean to offend the general,” Weiss replied, totally straight-faced. 

“Yeah, and second, this isn’t Crescent Rose, silly. It’s a duplicate, obviously. His reward for valorous conduct in combat. They were all like, ‘General Feet, sir, we’d like to give you this medal of honor,’ and he was like, ‘I’m honored, Mister… Whoever, but I’d much rather have the weapon that one super awesome huntress, the Great Ruby Rose, uses,’ and they said… ‘ok.’” 

“Obviously,” Weiss nodded. 

Ruby nodded back. 

“And who’s the penguin with that very stylish cycling rapier over there that’s poking that alien in the face?” 

“Oh, uh… I haven’t actually given the Pengu Squad names… yet.” 

Weiss made a hitched snorting-laugh noise. “Pengu Squad?” she grinned. 

“Yeah! I was gonna name them Team PNGU — you know, P-N-G-U — but coming up with names is hard.” 

“Especially if you’re trying to come up with names as extravagant as ‘Flappy Feet’,” Weiss commented. 

“Exactly!” It was nice that Weiss understood. 

“And is that supposed to be a Nevermore?” 

“… Maybe.” 

Weiss nodded and looked at her currently empty desk for a moment, then looked back over at Ruby’s drawing. “What’s going on with its feet?” 

Ruby thumped her pencil down dramatically. “Look! Birds are hard, okay?!” 

Weiss raised her hands innocently. “I’m just saying, if it has some kind of medical condition or something…” 

Ruby pouted at her, but that just made Weiss give her an adorably mischievous grin in response. 

“Maybe you should try drawing one,” Ruby challenged her. Then an idea popped into her head. “Gasp! Can you make, like, a fancy oil painting version of my doodle?!” 

For a second, Ruby thought maybe Weiss didn’t understand her from the blank look she was getting. 

“… That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said to me.” 

Ruby balked. “What?! No way! I’ve said way more ridiculous things… I think.” 

Weiss ‘hmmed’ thoughtfully, tilting her head like a birdy. “You’re probably right. I’m sure I’m forgetting something.”

“Nani?!” Ruby exclaimed, giving her best horrified face. “You? Forget things?! That’s impossibru!”  

Weiss nodded solemnly. “I know. It sounds crazy. But you just say so many dumb things, it’s probable I’ve lost track of some of them.” 

“Wow, dat’s so rood,” Ruby grumped, giving another pout that, again, just made Weiss smile. 

She sat in silence, looking all thoughtful for a second, and Ruby waited because it seemed like she was going to get a response. 

Then Weiss sorta nodded to herself like she’d come to some big decision and said, “You know, I have painted something with the paints you got me.” 

“Whaaat?!” Ruby squealed. “No way! Lemme see–aaack!” 

Ruby tilted sideways as a pillow hurtled into her face at comet speeds. 

“Too loud!” Yang grumbled from her bed, rolling back over. 

“Whaaat?!” Ruby whisper-squealed at Weiss again. “Lemme see!” 

Weiss frowned a little bit, looking like she regretted where this had gone. Then she sighed and reached down to the space between her desk and the wall. 

Ruby filed that spot away as ‘place Weiss might hide cute things’ for later. 

When Weiss showed her the painting, though, ‘cute’ was not one of the words that came to mind. ‘Gorgeous’, ‘incredible’, ‘perfect’, sure. ‘Cause… holy crap. 

It was a painting of Beacon! It was set like Ruby was standing at the far end of Beacon Bridge, looking at the school that stood on its island in front of a bright, lightly clouded sky. 

And it. Was. 

AWESOME!!!

“Holy crap, Weiss!” Ruby once again whisper-squealed. “This is amazing! When did you make this?!” 

The compliment made Weiss beam a little bit before she wiped the expression away and replaced it with her ever-so-slightly scrunched eyebrows. “While you and Yang were at the windball game. And it’s just okay. I messed up a bunch.”

“… Where?” Ruby asked, completely miffed. This painting was amazing!

“Beacon looks flat,” Weiss grumbled, frowning at her art. “I need to add more shadows but I know I’ll just mess it up. And the clouds look like cotton balls that got brutally murdered on top of the canvas.” 

Ruby couldn’t help giggling at that description. 

That prompted a slight smile from Weiss before she continued hating on her awesome work. “And this spire isn’t symmetrical,” she sighed. “And the island looks terrible. The colors are literally all wrong.” 

“Weiss! Stahp it! The colors are amazing. The whole thing is amazing. You’re amazing!” 

Weiss pouted at her. 

Ruby wasn’t sure Weiss knew what pouts were supposed to be for. 

‘Screw it.’ 

Ruby settled for the tried and true Cheer-’Em-Up method: a good ol’ hug.

A surprised “Hngh!” got squeezed out of Weiss, but she didn’t try to push Ruby away or tell her to let go.

“… Thanks,” Weiss said quietly. 

Ruby let her go to give her a big smile, then turned back to the painting. She pointed to the top of Beacon Tower. “You should put a tiny huntress silhouette right there. Maybe one with, like, a cape or something. And maybe a scythe. You know, something super cool like that.” 

When she turned back to Weiss, she found Weiss playfully glaring at her. 

“You’re dumb,” she stated flatly. 

“No you!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes halfway and looked back at her artwork. “You’d be too small to show up though.” 

“Just make me bigger!” Ruby answered. “Or, you know, make the mysterious, supercool huntress with a cape and scythe bigger.” 

Weiss blinked at her. 

Ruby’s laugh turned into a yawn, and she stretched her arms over her head. She tank top pulled up, but when her yawn was done and she reached to pull it back down, she froze as her stomach growled at her. LOUD. 

She looked over at Weiss, who–yep. Weiss’ eyes were wide and she was fighting down a grin, glancing at Ruby’s stomach, then face, then stomach, then face. 

“You… okay over there?” she asked. 

“I might be a lil’ bit hungry,” Ruby answered. She reached down to pull her–

Her stomach growled again. 

“Or maybe my tummy just wants to be free and shirtless,” she concluded. 

“The logic is undeniable,” Weiss drawled. She stood up. “C’mon then, let’s get you some breakfast.” 

“Are you hungry too?” Ruby asked, hopping up to follow. 

“A little bit. I could eat some fruit. We still have some of those avocados we got on Wednesday, right? Or did Blake eat them all already?” 

“Uh, Weiss? Avocados are vegetables.” 

“What?” Weiss exclaimed as she held the door open for Ruby. “They definitely are not.” 

“But they’re green!” Ruby said, skipping ahead and down the hallway. 

Weiss stopped abruptly to stare at Ruby with a ‘for real?’ face–or at least, the very subdued Weiss version of a ‘for real’ face. Then she shook her head and fell into step beside Ruby. 

“You’re right,” she said. “I forgot about that. Like how green grapes are vegetables.” 

“Yeah! Wait…” That didn’t sound right. 

Weiss snorted a laugh as Ruby contemplated her views of fruits and vegetables. 

They got to the kitchen and there were indeed a couple avocados in the bowl tucked in the corner of the counter that had survived Blake’s ruthless purge. Ruby rosed over to them and grabbed one, and came back to Weiss, bowing a little bit and holding it out like a ceremonial offering. 

“Your fregetable, your highness!” 

Weiss made her bottom lip puff out and the corners pull down a bit like a frown, but it looked like a goofy smile more than like she was actually grumpy. “Thank you, dolt,” she said, taking the avocado gingerly. “Could you get me a knife and spoon?” she requested, taking a seat at the counter. 

Ruby obliged, rushing around in a flurry of rose petals. 

“Oh, and the salt?” 

Another rose-splosion. 

Weiss smiled at Ruby and patted the hand that Ruby held the salt shaker in. 

“Thank you!” she sang. 

Woohoo! Happy Weiss was so nice. 

Ruby got herself some breakfast (big ol’ bowl of Admiral Munch and milk, of course) and joined Weiss, sitting on the tall barstool next to her and kicking her feet happily. 

“So we’re going for cookies before clothes shopping, right?” she asked. 

Yang had apparently really liked the outfits Weiss had gotten Ruby last weekend and wanted to do some fancy clothes shopping of her own. Before, Ruby wouldn’t have wanted to go shopping again so soon, but she’d actually had a lot of fun picking outfits with Weiss! And Weiss had enjoyed it a lot. So doing it with the whole team just seemed like an awesome upgrade! Especially since Weiss and Blake were getting along better now. 

Weiss rolled her eyes a little. “Sure, Ruby. Cookies first. We–what time is it?” A quick check with her scroll told them it was a bit past ten. “Oof, I slept in,” Weiss muttered to herself. “But yes, we could get to Wafer’s Treats by noon again. Keep a consistent schedule and whatnot. 

Ruby wrinkled her nose at that. She was happy to go get cookies at noon, but if it was part of a schedule? Noooo. Now it felt like an obligation instead of a treat!

“Why are you doing that?” Weiss demanded. 

“Doing what?” 

Weiss pointed a princess finger at Ruby’s nose. “That.” 

Ruby crossed her eyes trying to look down at her nose. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

“You’re wrinkling your nose!” Weiss proclaimed incredulously, like she actually believed Ruby didn’t know what she was talking about. 

“That’s not possibru, Weiss,” Ruby explained gently. “Yang still has my nose.” 

Weiss just stared at her, blank-faced, for a moment, then huffed and rolled her eyes, turning back to her avocado. 

They’d only been eating and chatting for a bit when Yang and Blake shuffled down the hallway to join them. Yang gave Ruby’s hair an obligatory earthquake with her hands as she passed by, mumbling “Myernin, goobers.” Blake lingered at the counter and seemed to be internally debating what she wanted to eat, if anything. 

She glanced at Weiss’ avocado, then over at the last survivor in the bowl across the kitchen. Weiss noticed and narrowed her eyes at the ninja. 

They had a little glare-off for a long moment. 

Finally, Blake pointed at the last one. “You gonna eat that?” 

Weiss narrowed her eyes even more. “I’m sure I will eventually.” 

“But, like, are you gonna eat it now?” 

“I might.” 

One of Blake’s eyebrows quirked up. “You’re not just saying that so that I won’t eat it now?” 

Weiss acted all offended. “No! I’m actually very hungry! Yesterday was exhausting.” 

They were interrupted by the clatter of a pan from Yang. “You need protein for that, Ice Queen. Not more froo-froos.” 

“It’s pronounced ‘fruit’,” Weiss replied, deadpan. 

Yang pointed a pair of tongs at her. “It’s pronounced ‘not gonna give you any muscle mass or help your body recoup from the muscle tearing it received yesterday’.” 

“… Seems like a mouthful,” Blake commented dryly. 

Weiss laughed, one of those real laughs that sounded like really happy wind chimes. 

“Yeah,” Yang snarked back, “so you might as well eat some meat instead. Easier to say. So whachu girls want today: bacon or snausages?” 

“Snausages!” Ruby cheered. She’d finished up her Admiral Munch, now it was time for the real breakfast. The Yang breakfast.

“Snausages it is.” 

“What if you don’t want either?” Weiss grumbled. 

“Well then that sucks,” Yang answered. “Still gotta eat ‘em.” 

“No I don’t!” 

“Yeah you do. Ruby said so. And she’s captain, you gotta listen to her.” 

“No she didn’t!” 

You don’t even listen to her half the time,” Blake pointed out to Yang. 

Yang shrugged. “Yeah, well, she talks a lot. I miss some stuff.” 

“Hey!” Ruby chirped. 

“Tell you what, Weiss,” Yang continued, “I’m gonna make you a delicious breakfast snausage and put it on a plate in front of you. If you smell it and don’t like it or you want to just let my hard work in the kitchen just go to waste, then you don’t have to eat it. But the rest of us will, and you’ll look like a total dork if you don’t.” 

“Are you guilt tripping her and peer pressuring her into eating food?” Blake asked. 

Yang shrugged again. “Gotta go for the shotgun approach. Still not sure what works on her. I’m not the Weiss Whisperer like Rubes.” 

Ruby smiled brightly at that and looked at Weiss, who frowned back at her adorably. 

“That’s not a thing,” she huffed. 

“Ruby, tell her to eat her protein,” Yang ordered. 

“Weiss,” Ruby declared, straightening her back and raising her chin to speak with officialness, “I promise you’ll like the snausages and they’ll be good for you and also delicious and also Yang is good at cooking and also they’ll be very yummy.” She finished with another big smile. 

Weiss just looked at her for a long moment, thinking, then sighed and half-rolled her eyes, going back to her avocado. “You basically said the same thing three times.” 

“That’s a yes!” Ruby cheered to her sister. 

“If you say so,” Yang replied. 

Sizzles and pops soon filled the air as Yang cooked breakfast. She added some toast to the menu, spreading on the fancy peach jam that Blake had wanted to get on their shopping trip. 

“Sorry, you should really have hash browns with breakfast sausage, but I’m way too sleepy to make that right now,” Yang told them. 

“Yang, you’re making us breakfast,” Blake said kindly. “Don’t apologize.” 

“Oh. It was a figurative sorry. I’m not really sorry.” 

Blake’s throat hitched with a laugh.

“Wadabout oatmeal?” Ruby asked, perking up. Oatmeal (with lots of sugar) was awesome! 

“I don’t think we have anyyy…” Yang answered, starting to search through the cupboards as she spoke. “Oh hey, that’s a thing,” she said, pulling a big tub of oatmeal down. “This isn’t ours, is it?” 

“Pretty sure it’s Sky’s,” Blake told her. “Or at least, I saw him making some.”

“Not ours,” Weiss concluded. 

“Mph,” Yang agreed. “Sorry, Rubes. Maybe we can pick some up today.” 

“Assuming you don’t spend all day trying on different crop tops and checking yourself out in the changing room,” Ruby grinned. She’d been shopping with Yang enough to know how today was gonna go. 

“I don’t do that!” Yang protested, turning rosy red in the cheeks. 

“I swear, if we go to Cerise Moran’s and you ask for all their crop tops, I’m gonna make you into a sausage,” Weiss threatened. 

“But there were a couple cute crop tops there!” Ruby protested. She hadn’t wanted them because, you know, crop tops seem scary to wear, but Yang would like them.

“Sssshh!” Weiss hissed at her. 

“Wow, Weiss. Hating on true fashion, are ya?” Yang teased. 

“She’s just jealous of your abs,” Blake deduced. 

“As if,” Weiss shot back. 

“It’s okay, Weiss. It’s understandable,” Yang teased. She patted her stomach proudly. 

“I hate all of you,” Weiss grumbled to her avocado. 

“Not me, though!” Ruby sang out. 

“No, not you,” Weiss agreed. 

Woohoo! Ruby was no longer getting blacklisted for being related to Yang! That means she was Weisslisted! xD

‘… Okay, maybe don’t say that one out loud.’

Not too long after that, Yang was serving them all plates with toast and snausages (Weiss cut her toast down the middle and gave one half to Ruby, muttering something about carbs). 

And lo and behold, even after all her grumping, Weiss did indeed like the sausage. Not that she admitted it so bluntly. 

“It’s okay,” she admitted before quickly taking another bite. 

“Uh huh,” Yang said, clearly not impressed with Weiss’ bluff. 

“… Mehbe a lil’ be’er than ohckay,” she amended, covering her mouth with her hand as she spoke. 

Yang crossed her arms triumphantly, then held one hand out to fist bump Blake.

“Mm, that smells good,” someone said from the far end of the room. Ruby turned to see Remus walking into the room with Orianna. “You make any for us?” Remus added. 

“That’s a negative, Ghost Rider,” Yang told him. 

“Darn, shoulda come out earlier,” Ori muttered. 

“Good morning!” someone new said from the other end of the room. Ruby turned her head upside down to see Pyrrha and Nora entering the living area too. 

“Ah!” Ruby chirped. “So many people! There are huntresses coming out of the walls!” 

“Could you imagine if there were, like, Grimm termites?” Remus mused, opening the fridge to grab a couple bananas for himself and Ori. 

‘People keep bananas in the fridge?’

“Maybe there are and we just haven’t seen them,” Nora said, skipping in and leaning over Blake’s plate to inspect her breakfast. “That smells good. Can I have one?” 

Pyrrha grabbed the back of Nora’s shirt and dragged the girl towards the table. “Stop pestering people for their food, Nora,” she sighed. 

“But I wanna pester!” she protested, waving her arms as she was dragged across the floor. 

“That’s the most Nora sentence I’ve ever heard,” Blake quipped, making Pyrrha and Yang laugh. 

“Ooh, nobody told me there was a babe convention in the kitchen,” yet another new voice drawled from the other other side. 

Cardin. 

“Are you physically capable of not being a pig?” Weiss sneered at him. 

He just snorted. “Fine, you’re not a babe.” 

“Oh no.” 

He shrugged and muscled his way into the kitchen to get a Pop-Tart from the cabinets. 

“Hey, I like Pop-Tarts too!” Ruby chirped. 

Cardin stared at her for a moment. “… Okay,” he said dismissively before walking away. 

… Ruby wasn’t sure what she’d said wrong. She just thought it was neat they both liked Pop-Tarts. 😦

“Ignore it, Ruby,” Yang told her while Cardin was still in earshot at the edge of the hallway. “There’s nothing good to be gained from talking to it.” 

Cardin paused for just a moment to turn and glare at Yang, who raised a challenging eyebrow back at him. 

“You’ll pay for that when our teams fight in Rusty’s class,” he threatened, then walked away. 

Yang snorted. 

Weiss hopped down from her stool. “I’m going to go get cleaned up and ready to go. Let’s try to leave by eleven,” she told Yang before heading towards their room. 

She seemed upset. Ruby recalled her dad had told her to make friends with Cardin, which definitely seemed… not fun. 

“I guess we’ll get your dishes then!” Yang called after Weiss. 

“Thank you!” she called back. 

“I’m sure she’ll get it eventually,” Blake told Yang dryly. 

“Prolly not.” 

“How did your hunt go yesterday?” Pyrrha asked Team RBY as she started making a sandwich. 

“Great!” Ruby chirped. “We killed two Nevermores!” 

Halfway to placing a slice of cheese on her bread, Pyrrha paused to look up at them. “What?” 

“Yep! At the same time!” 

Pyrrha looked at Yang and Blake in disbelief, but Yang grinned cockily back at her and Blake just nodded. 

“We didn’t believe ‘em either,” Remus said to her. “But Professor Goodwitch confirmed it.” 

“Wow. Great job guys,” Pyrrha said. 

“Thanks!” Ruby accepted. “How ‘bout you guys?” 

Pyrrha sighed. “Oh, we let Jaune lead the way. I thought it would be good for him to get some exper-” 

“We got lost as heck!” Nora yelled at nobody in particular. “Professor Rustyboi had to point us in the right direction four times!” 

“Oof,” Yang grinned. 

“Bet you guys wish you had an Orianna on your team, huh?” Ruby joked, shooting Ori a smile. 

“No, she’s ours!” Remus immediately piped up. 

“An Orianna would have been nice to have,” Pyrrha admitted. “How’d you guys do?” she asked Ori. 

Orianna shrugged lightly. “We got there easy-peasy. Chose to pick a couple fights with Grimm along the way to show Oobles we don’t totally suck in a fight.” 

You don’t suck, Ori,” Remus sighed, sounding like they’d talked about this before. “You’re the best swordsman… swordswom–swordsgirl?… I’ve ever seen!” 

“Damn, you really gonna say that with Pyrrha-freaking-Nikos sitting right here?” Yang teased, pointed a forked bit of snausage at Pyrrha. 

“Oh,” Remus blinked. “I haven’t seen her fight. Are you good?” 

Even Ruby had to laugh at the innocence of the question. 

“She’s the best,” Nora proclaimed proudly. 

Pyrrha blushed and focused on her sandwich. “As far as sword skill goes, Weiss is also very good. And Blake looked great fighting Ren.” 

That made Blake preen a bit. “Thank you,” she purred. 

“Well I’m the best fist fighter here!” Yang declared, apparently unhappy that she wasn’t receiving any of the many compliments being tossed around. 

Pyrrha laughed at that. “And I suppose Ruby is the best scythe wielder,” she pointed out. 

“Heck yeah!” Ruby chirped. “You sheeple need to wake up and see the truth. Scythes are the coolest of weapons.” 

“Your weapon is pretty cool,” Remus agreed. 

“Not as cool as Lyre,” Orianna mumbled. 

“I know,” Remus whispered back, patting her hand. 

Sacrilege! These heathens dare disporridge the name of Crescent Rose?! 

… Wait, no! Disparage. 

These heathens dare disparage the name of Crescent Rose?!

“You named your weapon ‘Liar’?” Yang asked. 

“Like the instrument, not a lying person,” Remus replied for Ori while the girl put her head in her hands like she’d heard the question a lot. 

That was funny. And she’d probably experience something similar soon. Once they started doing licensed huntress work, Ruby bet they’d be getting a bunch of confused responses to “Team RWBY, led by Ruby” when they were introducing themselves. 

Blake stood and began cleaning off her plate, grabbing Weiss’ as she passed. “I’m gonna go get cleaned up too,” she announced. She looked at Yang. “So you should have your hour to get ready.” 

“I do not take that long!” Yang protested, giving a classic Yang Arm Flail. 

“Yes you do,” Ruby and Blake both said at the same time. 

Yang glared at them both. “The Yang will remember this,” she growled. 

“Well thank you for breakfast, ‘the Yang’,” Blake grinned. She walked back to their room, giving Yang’s head a pat as she walked by. 

 Still playing a dangerous game, touching Yang’s hair. 

And yet Yang still didn’t seem to mind. 

The two sisters stuck around chatting with each other and the others for a bit. Ruby gave it about ten minutes, about how long it would take for Weiss to get done doin’ the shower stuffs. As she was walking back to the room, Dad also responded to her message. 

 

Popsy Wops: sure hun. sorry. forgot last night. I blame Zwei. where r they?

 

Ruby gasped. Blaming Zwei for anything other than good stuff was illegal! He was the goodest boi! ‘Oh Father, what has happened to you in our absence?’ Ruby lamented to herself, then saying a silent prayer to the goddess of cookies to save Dad’s soul. 

The goddess of cookies obviously being Mom. 

 

Me: under my bed n the lockbox. the code is 1031

 

Her birthday!

She didn’t mind giving dad that code, but this was another reminder of how bad she goofed not bringing the blueprints for Crescent Rose with her to Beacon. 

 

Popsy Wops: I’m not gonna find anything i dont want to in there am i?

 

Me: no dad. I’m not Yang

 

Popsy Wops: thank the light for that. 2 would be 2 too many

 

Ruby grinned and headed into their room. Her and Weiss’ bathroom door was open, the princess herself standing in front of the sink mirror touching up her blushy cheek makeup. She was wearing a loose, pretty pretty pink blouse with a white tube top underneath it to protect her modesty and fancy long skirt thing that looked flowy and royal. 

“Greetings, My Majesty!” Ruby chirped, skipping in. 

Weiss gave her a tiny smile in the mirror. “Greetings. How is my favorite loyal subject?” 

Ruby’s jaw dropped. “I’m your favorite?!” 

At that, Weiss blanked out her face and tried to play it off. “Well, you’re my only subject, ‘cause you’re the only one that thinks I’m a princess. So… you’re my favorite by default. But you’re also my least favorite. By default.”

“Uh-huh,” Ruby acknowledged, not buying a word of it anymore. She was totally Weiss’ favorite! 

She walked over to their giant walk in closet and inspected her not-quite-so-empty side, with its rack of fancy Weiss-level clothes on hangers. “What should I wear?” she asked. 

“Hmmm…” Weiss hummed thoughtfully. “How ‘bout the black top with the roses and the pleated skirt?” she suggested. 

Ruby wandered over to look for those things. The top was easy enough–they’d only gotten one black top with roses printed on it. 

“This one?” she asked to confirm, holding it in the doorway for Weiss to inspect. 

“That does appear to be your black blouse with roses…” she answered coyly. 

Ruby ignored the tease, just happy to have pretty clothes to talk about with Weiss now. “And which pleated skirt were you talking about?” 

“You only have one pleated skirt, dolt.” 

“Oh.” 

Ruby looked at her skirts. Before, she’d had two, and one was her combat skirt. Now, after her and Weiss’ shopping trip last weekend, she had six. 

And she had no idea what ‘pleated’ meant. 

“Do you need help?” Weiss asked from the doorway, a bemused grin on her face. 

“Yes please,” Ruby said in a tiny voice. 

Weiss gave a breathy chuckle and walked over to Ruby’s side, reaching out to pull on one of the two red skirts they’d gotten last week. “This one. See how it has these sections of cloth running down that are folded in on themselves?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Those are pleats.” 

“Oh. Neat! Learning.” Ruby gave her partner a big, grateful smile that Weiss actually returned! Although it was a small, Weiss-sized smile. “What kinda skirt is that?” Ruby asked, pointing down at Weiss’ legs. 

“A drape skirt.” 

“Ah. ‘Cause it… drapes?” 

At that, Weiss gave her another smirk. “Look at you, Ruby. You’ve practically solved fashion.” 

“Woohoo!” Ruby cheered. “What about this one?” She pointed to the other red skirt Weiss had gotten her. 

“That’s a ruffle skirt.” Ruby opened her mouth, but Weiss cut her off, continuing, “Yes, because it’s ruffled.” 

Ruby closed her mouth, at which Weiss let out one of her tiny wind chime giggles. 

“Get dressed, dolt,” she said gently, patting Ruby’s arm and turning to walk back to the mirror. 

“Should I wear an undershirt?” Ruby asked before Weiss could leave. 

Weiss paused, placing a hand on the doorframe as she looked back at Ruby. “You could. Maybe just a tank top, so you can show off those shoulders. Either a red if you have a tank top that matches the skirt, or a white one if you don’t, which I don’t think you do. But if you wear a white one then you have to wear white socks or shoes.” 

… Alright, there were a lot of rules to this, and Ruby didn’t really understand any of them. Kinda the norm when it came to rules though. “Ummm… I don’t have white shoes…” she said. At least, she was pretty sure she didn’t. They’d bought a lot of stuff last week though. But none of the shoes were white, she was pretty sure. 

“No,” Weiss agreed, apparently having memorized Ruby’s wardrobe already. “But you have white socks, don’t you? The over the calf ones? Pretty sure they’re in the second drawer.” She pointed to emphasize. 

“Oh yeah!” Ruby remembered. She opened the drawer and triumphantly pulled out the pair of socks Weiss had somehow had mapped in her head. 

“There you go,” Weiss grinned, then headed back to the mirror, beginning to put on some earrings.

Ruby nodded and got to work. She had no idea what all Weiss was considering with these fashion decrees or why they were right, but she knew they were. ‘Cause of course they were! They were from Weiss. 

Right before she started getting undressed, she paused, realizing the closet door was still open. Should she close it? No, that would be awkward, right? ‘Cause Weiss left it open, so clearly, she didn’t mind… Or maybe she just expected Ruby to close it because Ruby was the one getting dressed. 

Ugh. Ruby had no idea what the Normal Knees answer was here. 

She ended up leaving it open and just trying to get undressed and redressed as quickly as possible. It didn’t matter too much, though, as Weiss didn’t turn to her until a bit after she’d gotten everything on and was tying her shoes. 

“What did you do to your hair?” Weiss asked, standing primly in the doorway with her hands clasped together. 

“Uh… I may have blown it up trying to get dressed really quick,” Ruby confessed, reaching up to try to pat down whatever had gone wrong. 

“There’s no rush, silly,” Weiss said gently, walking over to brush her fingers through Ruby’s hair to fix the troublesome strands she saw. Ruby’s heartbeat felt a little arhythmic at the gesture, though Ruby had no idea why and Weiss didn’t seem to notice as she finished saying, “We have plenty of time. Would you like to borrow some jewelry?” she asked, indicating her box of fancy rich people jewelry on top of her cabinety thing. 

“Oh, uh…” Ruby blanched. Being responsible for expensive stuff like that seemed… spooky. Besides, Ruby wasn’t sure Weiss’ pristine jewelry should be used on Ruby’s grubbyness. 

Weiss didn’t wait for an answer though, instead walking over to her jewelry box and thinking aloud. “I don’t have any red rose earrings, which is a shame, because they’d compliment that outfit perfectly. I have some white rose ones though! Or, I guess, white flower ones. They’re not really roses. But they’re cute! And would sorta work since you’ve got some white accents in your look now.” She rifled through the contents of the box as she talked, pulling out two small, simple white flower earrings and holding them out to Ruby.

“Uh huh,” Ruby replied, robotically accepting the offering. 

“We should look for some red flower earrings for you while were out. It would just make sense for you to have them. Roses are your thing.” 

Ruby blinked. “This doesn’t seem like too much?” she asked. 

“Too much what?” Weiss worried, suddenly looking very alarmed. 

Ruby shrugged. “I dunno… I feel like you’re making me very… pretty… and I don’t think I look right to pull it off?” 

Weiss looked at her blankly for a moment, then, without a word, grabbed her hand and dragged her to stand in front of the big floor to ceiling mirror Weiss had on her side of the closet. 

“Ack! What?!” Ruby squeaked. 

Weiss pointed angrily at the mirror. “Look,” she demanded. 

Ruby looked. 

She saw a very very pretty, somewhat grumpy Weiss and a Ruby wearing color-shifted Weiss clothes and looking very weird in them. 

“See?” Weiss said like she’d just won the argument. “You are pretty. If the clothes make you uncomfortable, that’s a different story, and I’m sorry, we can get stuff more like the clothes you like. But don’t ever say you don’t think you’re pretty again… ‘cause that’s stupid.”

Ruby wasn’t sure what to say. She wanted disagree and say she looked goofy as heck right now, but to do so would be saying Weiss was wrong about fashion and prettiness, which… was wrong. 

They both looked at the Ruby in the mirror for a long moment. 

Then Weiss frowned. “Sorry, that was… I’m not great at this. I just meant to say… you are very pretty, Ruby, and maybe you’re just not used to seeing yourself like this. But I think you look great! And if you give yourself a bit of time to get used to it, you might too. Like the button down outfit! You liked how you looked in that once you got used to it, right?” 

Her reflection in the mirror showed Ruby a worried, hopeful expression. Was Weiss afraid that Ruby decided she didn’t like the clothes they’d gotten together?

That’s no good!

“Of course!” Ruby agreed, giving Weiss a beaming smile. “You’re right. Sorry. Guess I’m not used to seeing myself look… I guess I’m just used to being a little tomboyish.” 

The relieved smile Weiss put on told Ruby should done well. “Yes. Well, you look cute as a tomboy too,” she said, patting Ruby’s shoulder. “You don’t have to just be one thing.” 

“What about you?” Ruby asked, an idea forming in her head that made her grin uncontrollably. 

“What about me what?” Weiss asked, taking a half step back at the look on Ruby’s face. 

“How do you look as a tomboy?” Ruby clarified. 

Weiss went pale, an impressive feat for her. “Oh, uh… no.” 

“No? What do you mean ‘no’?!” Ruby squeaked. 

Weiss shook her head vehemently, her earrings and ponytail swishing side to side. 

“Have you tried?” Ruby asked. 

“No, and I don’t need to,” Weiss declared in a tone of voice that seemed to be her trying to end the discussion. 

“C’mon, Weiss! All this talk of how I can have more than one style and you haven’t even tried others?” 

“I have too!” Weiss shot back indignantly. She started counting off on her fingers. “I have the… casual fancy look that you call ‘princess’, I have, like, actual princess where I where dresses and do up my hair and stuff for formal occasions, and I have business formal with my dress shirts and pants and stuff!” She held up her three fingers in Ruby’s face. “See?! Plenty of styles.” 

That might have been the most Ruby had ever heard Weiss say ‘and stuff’, like, ever. She seemed pretty flabbergasted. 

Ruby blinked at Weiss’ fingers, unimpressed. “Uh-huh. And I had tomboy, casual tomboy, fancier tomboy, and pajamas.” 

“Ruby Rose!” Weiss squealed in protest, making Ruby laugh. 

“Tell you what, Weiss,” Ruby offered. “Last Saturday we went out and picked a bunch of clothes that you said looked good on me. How ‘bout today we get you some stuff that I think looks good on you?” 

Weiss’ eyes went wide with horror, then started scanning side to side. She was trying to think of a way out of this. 

“… That sounds ridiculous!” she declared. 

“Why?” Ruby challenged. “It sounds totally fair!” 

“Because… you’re a dolt! You don’t know anything about fashion!” 

“Didn’t you just say I look cute as a tomboy? I must know something to do that, right?” 

Weiss frowned at herself in the mirror. “Crap, I did say that, didn’t I?” 

Ruby grinned maniacally, the argument now 100% in the bag. This had worked before too. Ruby might have not be able to argue against Weiss, but neither could Weiss! 

You know, sometimes Ruby could be truly brilliant. 

There was silence for another long moment. 

“So?” Ruby prompted. 

“Hold on! I’m trying to think of another excuse,” Weiss muttered back at her. 

Ruby had to giggle at that. 

“Oh shut up,” Weiss grumbled. She sighed heavily. “Fine.” 

“Woohoo!” Ruby cheered, throwing her arms up. 

“Ssshhh!” hissed Weiss, flinching away from her. “I’m literally right next to you!” 

“Which means you get to hear the full power of my excitement!” Ruby beamed back at her, making Weiss roll her eyes. 

“Full power of your idiocy,” she complained quietly. 

“That too,” Ruby agreed, taking a page out of Yang’s book. 

Weiss half rolled her eyes and stomped out haughtily, telling Ruby without turning around, “Just put those on and get out here.” 

Ruby bounced up and down a bit in anticipation of her new mission for the day before she could settle enough to get the earrings on. They were, like everything Weiss owned or even touched, very pretty, and Ruby did like the way they looked on her…

Maybe Ruby could get used to looking like this sometimes. And if she could do it, then Weiss could definitely get used to looking like a normal, mortal, non-angel princess sometimes!

Hopefully. 

Ruby should recruit Yang for help picking clothes for Weiss! Although… maybe Weiss shouldn’t know the ideas are coming from Yang, ‘cause then she’d just default reject them. 

It took her a lil bit to get the earrings one because, well, she didn’t usually put earrings on. She poked herself in the earlobe a couple of times before she could find her piercing, but aura is neat so it didn’t hurt. 

When she meandered back out of the bathroom to find Weiss on her laptop at her desk and Blake sitting in the back corner of her bed with her pile of pillows stacked against the wall, book on her lap. She had on a simple but nice looking black blouse and a pair of white jeans. Apparently Blake was just allergic to colors or something. And Yang was… 

“Yang in the bathroom?” she asked. 

“Yep.” 

“Mm-hmm.” 

Ruby flopped down in her chair. “Well, guess we have time to finish our papers for Ooble’s class,” she sighed. “Or just write them from scratch.” 

Not that she’d do that right now. She checked her scroll. Yay! Dad had sent pics of the blueprints! And actually gotten good quality photos so she could read the measurements! Woot!

She sent a quick, joking thank you back. 

 

Me: Thx Zwei! ❤

 

She flipped to a clean sheet of paper and started sketching out a copy of the main blueprint. If Weiss was really following through with her offer of getting Ruby the best steel ever–which of course she would, ‘cause she was Weiss–then Ruby would have to figure out how the thinner blade would effect things. But first she needed to get down what she had at the moment. 

… How would she have the ports activate? There wouldn’t be a silver trigger and wire to send her aura through like there was for the rounds from her magazines… would there? Maybe she should put in another trigger? Somehow? 

Wait, how was that supposed to work? Would… crap. Ruby had no idea how that was supposed to work. 

“Hey, Weiss?” 

She glanced over to see the corner of Weiss’ lips twitch. “Yes, Ruby?” she replied, still looking at whatever smart person newsy article she was scrolling through. 

“If I wanted to put Dust ports in Crescent Rose to add elemental attacks to the blade, how would I do that?” 

That got Weiss’ attention, and she looked away from her screen to inspect what Ruby was doing. “Hm,” she stated simply to announce that she was thinking over things. Squinting, she leaned over to look at the pic Dad had sent. 

“It’s so tiny,” she commented. “Send that to me so I can pull it up on here.” She tapped her laptop screen with a fingernail. 

“Okay!” Ruby agreed excitedly. If Weiss wanted a closer look, that meant she was actually interested! Woohoo! Weiss superbrain help!

A couple of scroll taps and keyboard clicks later and the blueprints were pulled up on Weiss’ laptop. She was right, of course; it was way easier to see like this. 

“I’m… not really all that familiar with what I’m looking at, sorry,” Weiss confessed. “So your magazines go here…” She pointed at the part in the diagram where the white arrow on the diagram was drawn from a magazine to the mag well. 

“Mhm!” Ruby affirmed. 

“But don’t you have to have silver wire running to it to focus your aura at the Dust?…” 

“It’s there,” Ruby pointed, indicating the grey trigger and the grey line flowing from it to the chamber. “I send my aura through the trigger and into the hammer so it’ll trigger the round when it hits.” 

“Ah. Right.” Weiss nodded slowly. “And you want the Dust powers to be here in the blade well?” 

“Yep! Although I’m not sure how to trigger it. And… especially ‘cause I kinda wanted to have a sustained Dust blade, but I can’t think of a way to do that when crystals are consumed in one go.” 

“You can use pressurized flow dispensers instead of standard crystal cases,” Weiss murmured slowly, looking over the diagram while speaking. 

“Uh… what’s that?” 

“… Mh-hmm.” 

Ruby blinked. “Uh, Weiss?” 

Weiss startled a bit, pulling back from the screen she’d been leaning closer and closer to. “Hm? What?” 

Okay, focused Weiss was adorable. 

“What’s a pressure… flowy… what’s-it?” 

“Oh! It’s, hmm… It’s what most mechanical Dust devices use, like engines and city power cores and things like that. The… hm. Grab my sword?” She twisted around to point at Myrtenaster’s fancy awesome case that was resting against the bookshelf next to their bunk. 

“Sure!” 

Ruby rose-sprinted over and grabbed it, bringing it back and kneeling dramatically next to Weiss’ seat and offering it up to her. 

“Your sword, your majesty!” 

“Stop doing that, you dolt,” Weiss sighed, but she was smiling to herself as she unclasped the case, so Ruby took that as a definitely-not-serious request. 

Weiss didn’t get her sword out like Ruby had been expecting, though. She just pulled out one of the cannisters of Dust she kept there, then closed and locked the case. 

“Put that back and come over here, you goof.” 

Ruby quickly rosed around, slowing for a moment to gently and carefully place Myrtenaster’s case back down, then rushing back to her seat and bouncing eagerly in anticipation of her Weiss Lesson. Weiss took a moment to watch some of the rose petals falling around her, wide-eyed in the way she had like she belonged in a vignetted sunset painting, then turned back to Ruby. 

“So this is a standard Dust cylinder for huntress weapons, right?” She held it up, pinching it between two dainty fingers. 

“Looks like a really high end one, but yeah,” Ruby agreed. 

Weiss glanced down and considered that for a moment. “… Fair. But the design is the standard for small scale implementations like in our weapons.” 

“Right.” 

She tapped the one end. “Typically there’s a silver plate here, but the way Myrtenaster’s designed that’s actually in the hilt, right before the cylinder. We design things so that our aura flows here, triggers the Dust inside, and the magic flows out here.” She turned the top towards Ruby, indicating the opening. 

“Uh-huh. And the whole cannister gets activated all at once, which is what I want to avoid. I think.” 

Weiss nodded. “Yes. I mean, technically you can force the bursts of magic out separately, like how I double water slashed you in our spar last week, but it takes a lot of training and concentration and wouldn’t work for what you want. But…” She trailed off to type a search into her laptop and pull up a diagram of what looked like an engine. “So this is a carrr… engine… yeah, car engine. So it looks a little different from what you’d want to use because it’s big enough to use full pistons and it uses a primed yellow crystal to activate it instead of aura, because… you know, it’s a car.” 

“Right. And how is it different from that one?” Ruby asked, pointing at the cylinder Weiss had placed on her desk. 

“Why, I’m glad you asked, young student,” Weiss grinned at her. Ruby beamed back, happy that Weiss seemed to be enjoying this teacher moment so much. “So look at how these silver wires–er, well they’re lines of silicon because that works a bit better at carrying yellow Dust electricity a little bit better for some reason, but just imagine for your weapon that they’re silver.” 

Ruby squinted and leaned forward to look at what Weiss was talking about. Although she got a lil’ bit distracted by… 

“You smell nice,” she said quietly. 

Weiss blinked wide. “Oh, thank you… You do too, as always. Like roses, for some inexplicable reason.” She offered a small, joking smile that Ruby answered with a giggle before focusing back at the task at hand. 

It was hard to tell exactly what was going on, mostly because it looked like there were four separate Dust cylinders on this engine, and… it was kinda confusing which way they were going. 

“Ummmm… which way does the Dust flow out?” she had to ask. 

“Ah, yes. That could be a little confusing. It’s flowing in, actually. The input into the cylinders is on the outside here and the Dust’s magic flows into this… big… engine… block… thing, whatever it’s called. Then that gets pushed to the… stuff that turns the wheels.” 

“‘Whatever it’s called’?” Ruby teased. “Aren’t you supposed to know that?” 

Weiss huffed impatiently. “I study Dust, not Dust mechanics. I haven’t gone in depth on the engineering side of stuff because I don’t need to. It’s not relevant to how I use Dust to fight.” 

“So… you’re a Dust wizard, not a Dust engineer?” Ruby grinned. 

Weiss blinked at her a couple times. “Yes, that sums it up rather well.” 

“Teehee.” 

Weiss half-rolled her eyes. “Anyway, the system flows this way.” 

“Mkay.” Ruby leaned in again to inspect. “… It… has… two lines of silver going to the cannister thingy?”

“Exactly!” Weiss got a bit animated, her delicate hands fidgeting around as she tried to figure out how she was going to explain. “It’s-there’s a pressure plate here… Actually, let me show you on this.” She picked up the cylinder from earlier. “So…imagine, if you will, that here on the aura input end, there’s a piston here, right?” 

She looked at Ruby, apparently wanting some response before she continued. 

“Right,” Ruby said. 

“Right. So when your aura hits the silver plating, instead of triggering the Dust, it pushes the piston up. Or down. Whatever. Towards this side.” She tapped the opening end. “What that does is push the Dust in the cylinder towards the aperture. Then there’s another line of silver running over here–” she tapped the opening again “–and that’s the aura that triggers the Dust. The effect of this is your aura is only making contact with and triggering a little bit of Dust at a time, so you get a sustained stream of magic out of it as more is pushed out.”

“Neat!” Ruby bounced. “So you could make, like, a flamethrower? Gasp! You could make a frostthrower!” 

The corner of Weiss’ lips twitched. “I could, yes.” 

“Why don’t you use this kinda Dust cylinder instead?” Ruby asked. Weiss could definitely afford it. 

Weiss gave one of her head tilt shrugs. “There are downsides. For instance, there’s not a way to control the speed the piston pushes at, so you can’t get a burst of magic if you need it. That’s why car engines like this one have multiple cylinders. As you need to go faster, it needs to feed in more Dust, and it does so by activating more cylinders. Some newer engines have more complicated feed systems that have differently sized cylinders to smooth acceleration, but older models don’t and that’s why old cars feel really jerky with their speeding up.” 

“Ah.” 

“Yeah. And I’d rather just have strong bursts of magic. There’s also the issue of space economy. Like, because of the need for the piston and the second line of silver, you need more space in order to have an equal amount of Dust to a standard cylinder, and Myrtenaster can’t really support that. And reloading pressurized flow cannisters would take a lot more time because the way they’re designed, there needs to be a clip mechanic at the aperture end to connect to the second silver wire.” 

“Hm…” Ruby said thoughtfully. “So… if I used flowy cannisters, I could have a flame blade but I could flame slash?” she asked. 

Weiss subdued an amused smirk. “What… exactly do you mean by ‘flame slash’?”

“Like, I swing Crescent Rose and then a big wooshy line of fire flies out from it like… woosh.” Ruby mimed what she meant. 

Weiss’ eyes twinkled as she nodded in understanding. “Ah, I see. Woosh. Well you’re correct, a pressurized flow system wouldn’t be able to create a big enough burst of magic for something like that.” 

“Poo,” Ruby pouted, deflating and slumping down. 

Weiss shook her head. “You could always put in both. It looks like you have more than enough space in this blade well. It would just be an issue of making sure your lines of silver for the two systems don’t run too close together so you can’t accidentally trigger both. You’d probably need lead lining separating them. It would add a bit of weight, but if you’re getting thinner, lighter steel for the blade then it might balance out overall.” 

Ruby’s excitement built right back up at that. “Really?! Do… would you help me figure that out?” 

Weiss give her a big, real, Ruby-sized smile. “Of course! This is… very enjoyable.” Her hands got fidgety again.

“Woohoo!” 

“I wasn’t really part of the technical aspects of Myrtenaster’s design, but this is making me wish I was. A project like this–a puzzle like this–seems very… engaging to try to solve.”

‘Enjoyable’. ‘Engaging’. It was like Weiss was making a conscious effort not to use the word ‘fun’. But it seemed like that’s what she meant, and if she was going to have fun designing upgrades for Crescent Rose then this was a total win-win!

“One issue you might have though is being able to… flame slash–” she rolled her eyes a lil’ bit as she said the words “–and lightning slash and wind slash, like I remember you saying you wanted to do before.”

“Why would that be an issue?” Ruby worried. 

Weiss frowned thoughtfully. “Well… different Dusts need different diameters of apertures to flow through… Oh, but you don’t need it to travel down a barrel, it can just dump onto the blade. Okay, that won’t be an issue. Although you’d still face the difficulty of reloading. I imagine you’d need several ports running down the blade for the whole thing to be covered–” 

“Yeah, I was thinking two ports on each of these two blade sections and one on the smaller end section,” Ruby said, pointing. 

Weiss nodded. “Right. So that would mean reloading would take a really long time, so if you want to have the versatility of having different elements available at once, you’d… um… I supposed you’d need to set up synchronized cyclers on each of the ports.” 

“Like a bunch of little Myrtenasters in the blade well?” Ruby cooed. 

That made Weiss grin. “Yes, though there’s not quite enough space here for us to pull off… I mean, I guess it depends on what size cylinders we end up using, which… I can’t really predict. We’d just have to test a bunch of options . I suspect we’ll only be able to have up to two slots in the cycler, but I’m just guessing at that, honestly.” 

Ruby really liked how Weiss was talking about ‘we’ and ‘us’ now, like she really was thinking of it as her project too. 

“Does that mean I should build a new Crescent Rose instead of sticking upgrades on her now?” Ruby asked. It seemed like too many things about the infrastructure of the weapon would need to change for her to be able to just slap this system on. 

Weiss nodded absently, lost in looking at the diagrams again. “Maybe just the blade well,” she mumbled. “I don’t think the… handle staff part would need too many changes. Depends on where the silver plating to feed to the ports would go and how it would work.” 

“It’s called a snath,” Ruby said matter-of-factly, happy to have a fact to give Weiss in exchange for all the edjamucation Weiss was giving her. 

“I’m not sure,” Weiss murmured. 

“Huh?” 

“Mm-hmm.” 

Ruby held back a giggle. “Weiss?” 

Again, Weiss startled a bit and blinked, eyes darting around before meeting Ruby’s. “Huh? What?” 

Ruby grinned. “I was just saying the ‘handle staff part’ of a scythe is called the snath.” 

“Ah,” Weiss nodded. “Good to know, thank you. I felt ridiculous saying ‘handle staff part’ out loud.” 

Ruby had thought it was cute, so she shrugged the worry away. “It’s not wrong though.” 

“True, b–” 

Yang and Blake’s bathroom door flew open, and Yang jumped out into the room and spread her arms out wide. “Dun duh-duuuuuuh!” she trumpeted, heralding her own entrance. 

“Why on Remnant did it take you half an hour to put on shorts and a t-shirt?” Blake teased, pushing herself from her corner. 

“Listen here, Belladoofus,” Yang declared. “I will chew you up and spit you out like… uh… something that you chew up and spit out.” 

“… Tobacco?” Blake offered. 

“Ew, no.” 

“Is that really what you’re wearing?” Weiss griped. 

Yang was just wearing a white t-shirt with one of her boy band album covers printed on it and a pair of denim short shorts. Ruby didn’t think it was terrible or anything, but Yang definitely did look less fancy than everyone else. 

“Hey man, I don’t want to wear a bunch of fancy layers or buttons or crap when I’m gonna have to take stuff on and off a bunch in changing rooms!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes and stood. “I’d be surprised if you even have something with buttons.” 

Yang opened her mouth to respond, but Blake cut her off. 

“Yang, at least wear a nice blouse. Like that orange one with the tassels on the hem! That one’s cute.” 

Yang regarded Blake for a moment, then sighed and conceded. “Fiiiine.” She shot a glare at Weiss before she headed back into the bathroom. Thankfully, it only took her about twenty seconds to come back out. The blouse Blake had mentioned was definitely a cute one, orange with dangly tassels at the bottom and along the back and at the shoulders. The neckline was also cut pretty low, letting Yang adequately show off her super weapons. 

Blake seemed to really like the look, and when Yang noticed, she gave the girl a wink. Blake turned pink and jumped to her feet. 

“You guys ready to go?” 

“Yeet!” Yang agreed at the same time Ruby bounced out of her chair with an excited squeak. 

Weiss being Weiss, she summoned another rich people car for them to ride in, which was totally fine with Ruby because that meant she got to mess with all the buttons again, and Weiss seemed resigned to let her. This trip, Ruby got to sit next to Weiss and across from Yang, who she made sure to poke with her toes to be annoying whenever it looked like Yang wouldn’t catch her. 

As she was making the little TV screen move up and down, something Weiss had said earlier caught up with her. 

“Hey, Weiss?” 

“Yes, Ruby?”  

“What did you mean when you said I should show off my shoulders?” 

Weiss tilted her head, confused. “Just… what I said. You have nice shoulders. You should, you know, play them up, display them, whatever.” 

Ruby looked down at her shoulders. They just looked like normal shoulders… “What’s nice about ‘em?” 

Weiss frowned and looked at Ruby’s shoulders too. “Um… I don’t know? They’re a good shoulder… shape?”

“What’s a good shoulder shape?” Blake asked. 

At that, Weiss shrugged. “Ruby’s? Yours too, I suppose.” 

“Yours are nice too!” Ruby chirped. 

Weiss inspected her own shoulders. “… They are, aren’t they,” she remarked. 

“Ahem!” Yang cut in, crossing her arms grumpily. 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “Yours are all big and blocky!” 

Yang scoffed. “Yeah, because they’re good, strong, useful shoulders! With muscles in ‘em!” 

“But they’re not pretty!” Weiss said with a pout, though the pout conveyed guilt more than sadness or grumpiness. 

“Pbbt!” Yang raspberried. “Haven’t you ever heard ‘form follows function’, Weiss?” 

Weiss blinked a couple times. “I… have. But where have you heard that?” 

“Oh… umm… I think it was Comm Skills? The teacher was talking about, you know, not putting a thousand special effects on our SlateSlides presentations.” 

“But those are the best part!” Ruby frowned. 

“That… sounds more like an eighty-twenty rule issue. Or Ockam’s Razor.” 

“Oh! She mentioned that too!” Yang nodded. “I don’t remember what it means, though. I just thought it sounded like a cool name for a video game.” 

“Ooooh, yeah!” Ruby agreed. “Kinda like Mirror’s Edge, but instead of a mirror… it’s an ockam… What’s an ockam?” 

“Weren’t we just talking about shoulders?” Blake grinned.  

Fishing for more compliments over there, Blake?” Yang said with a devilish smile, putting on emphasis on ‘fishing’ that Ruby didn’t quite understand. 

Blake seemed to, though, because her eyes went wide and she gave Yang a look that Ruby couldn’t really describe. “I… I will… I’ll…” 

“You’ll what?” Yang teased. 

“I dunno, tie your shoelaces together or something,” Blake huffed, turning away and making Yang laugh. 

“Shush!” Weiss shot to Yang. “I’m on the scroll.” 

Ruby hadn’t noticed Weiss pull out her scroll and was wondering who she was calling, but she had to stay quiet because that’s what you’re supposed to do when someone’s on a call. 

“Hello, Mister Wafer?” Weiss said after a moment. 

‘Oooooh,’ Ruby realized. 

“Yes sir, it’s Weiss, the, uh, strawberry shortbread cookie girl?” Weiss turned a little pink in the face at the words, and Ruby and Yang both stifled snickers. “Yes, would you be able to make a dozen of those for us? We’ll be stopping by later today after some shopping.” 

“Baker’s dozen!” Ruby whispered. 

“Yes, tha–oh, what?” Weiss turned to Ruby, looking a little flustered now at having two people talking to her. 

“M-make it a baker’s dozen,” Ruby repeated, now worried about the interruption and Weiss getting mad at her for it. 

“Oh, right,” Weiss agreed easily. “Could you make that a baker’s dozen, sir?” 

‘Phew.’

“Fantastic, thank you, sir. Yes, we look forward to it too. And we’ll probably be getting some more things when we stop by too. We’ll see you then, thank you.” Weiss snapped her scroll shut and gave Ruby a little smile. 

“Our cookies are… cooking,” she announced. 

The way she said that made Ruby laugh. “Awesome! Wait, cookies… seems like a weird name for them, doesn’t it?” she pointed out. “Like… shouldn’t they be ‘bakies’ or something?” 

“Did you just custom order cookies?” Yang asked, ignoring Ruby’s perfectly good question. 

“Ruby likes them!” Weiss shot back, huffing and crossing her arms to gaze out the window. 

“It’s true!” Ruby came to her rescue. “They are probably the best cookies. Not that I’d ever want to have to choose amongst cookies.” 

“Unless it’s to hate on oatmeal raisins,” Yang amended. 

“Yeah, those are lame.” 

“What is this place we’re going to again?” Blake asked. 

Ruby stayed quiet, expecting Weiss to answer, but it appeared Weiss had zoned out again looking out the window at the city. She tended to do that. Once they got onto Beacon Bridge, she left the conversation, and tended to stay that way even when they got into the city unless someone nagged her. 

That someone tended to be Ruby. 

But no need to disturb her now! “It’s called Cerise Moron’s,” Ruby answered. She knew that was wrong, but it was funny! Also, it was a test. Weiss didn’t correct her, so she must be well and truly checked out. No way she wouldn’t scold and correct Ruby if she was listening. “It’s very pish posh,” she added. 

“A Zwei kinda establishment?” Yang joked. 

Ruby nodded solemnly. “Yes, it’s very Zwei. Like, if animals had spirit animals, Zwei’s would probably be Cerise Moron.” 

“Wouldn’t an animal’s spirit animal just be… them?” Blake asked. 

Yang pretending to look offended. “Wow, Blake. That’s so racist.” 

“I–what?”

Yang snickered. “Honestly, some people,” she lamented dramatically. 

“Are you ever not trolling everyone around you?” Blake sighed. 

“Nope. Never.” 

“She do be like that s–all the time,” Ruby told Blake. 

“Well, if she’s my punishment for what I’ve done, I guess it could have been worse,” Blake said, giving Yang a little side glance from under her eyelashes. 

What… what did that mean? What did Blake need punishing for?

Ruby was about to ask, but in her confused pause Yang got a word in first. 

“Heck yeah it could be worse! You could have to bunk with short, pale, and AFK over there,” she quipped. 

They all turned to look at Weiss, who was now craning her neck around to try to look up at the tops of the skyscrapers that were flanking them. . 

“… She’s really out of it, huh,” Blake remarked. 

“Whatchu daydreaming about, Weiss?” Ruby asked. “… Weiss?” 

“Hm? What?” Weiss snapped back to reality and blinked at Ruby. 

So cute!

“Whatchu daydreaming about over there?” repeated Ruby. 

That got her a frown. “I’m not daydreaming! Daydreaming is for children. I’m just… thinking.” 

“Uh-huh,” Yang said, crossing her arms and looking altogether unimpressed. 

“Well what are you thinking about?” Ruby asked. 

“Oh, not much,” Weiss dodged. 

Ruby gave her a grumpy face. 

“Just… life and what we’ve accomplished as a race and what I can do to take us further and… stuff,” Weiss explained. 

“Ah, yeah, the classic ‘not much’,” Blake grinned. 

“Mmhmm,” Weiss nodded absently, missing the sarcasm as she turned to gaze out the window again. 

 The rest of them looked at each other for a second before they cracked up. 

“You’re a pretty weird dudette, Weiss,” Yang laughed. 

Though she hadn’t reacted to their laughter all that much, she apparently heard Yang’s joke, because she responded, not turning away from the window, with a dismissive, “Something, something, your face.” 

That made them all laugh again, and Yang conceded. “Damn, you got me.” 

‘This is nice,’ Ruby thought to herself. Nice, relaxing break day after an awesome Hunt, laughing with her sister-friends-teammates. About to do some shopping! With a Weiss-sized budget! This easily went into her Top 1000 Saturdays list. 

Wait, had Ruby even had a thousand Saturdays yet?

Hm… 

This would take a lot of fingers to count. 

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