Ruby stretched her neck out side-to-side before unclipping Crescent Rose from her back, letting it hang by her side in its compact form.
Over by the shooting booth, the same one where Weiss and Ruby had shot each other repeatedly the other day, Weiss was skimming through that mysterious page in her notebook that she’d written in all last night and refused to show anybody. She closed it with a snap and walked–no, marched, really–out into the open space across from Ruby, flexing her fingers.
“Alright!” Professor Awesome announced with a clap of his hands. “I want a good, clean fight. No biting, hair pulling, toe-stubbing, blah blah blah. Fight’s down to thirty percent aura or first to yield. Don’t hit hard enough to cause a flicker, ‘cause that’s mean. You two ready?”
Ruby glanced over at the super teacher, who was standing on the other side of the shooting booths with Yang and Blake.
“Yep!” she chirped.
“Yes sir,” Weiss replied formally.
With a smile, Ruby looked at her partner, who was… really intense. She was watching Ruby with a calculated look, being super duper serious. Doubt started to creep into the back of Ruby’s mind. She had thought this was going to be a fun chance to show off some cool moves and have a sweet fight with her partner, but… Weiss looked like she wanted to win.
“Then get ready…”
Ruby quickly tried to shift mental gears. This was a fight fight. What should she do? How was she supposed to beat Weiss? Her glyphs were like super magic and she could probably do some silly nonsense to one shot Ruby as soon as the fight started…. She hadn’t mentioned something like that yesterday, but maybe she’d been planning on showing off a super cool Surprise Attack glyph today….
Ruby pushed a tiny bit of aura into Crescent Rose, flipping the white Dust switch that would trigger the transformation. With a series of loud, super cool sounding clanks and whirs, the scythe unfolded. Once it was fully in Scythe Mode, she slammed it into the ground, a satisfying crack! sounding as it chunked into the dirt.
Weiss’ eyes flashed ever-so-slightly weirder at Crescent Rose’s transformation, and Ruby smiled. Yeah, her weapon was really awesome. Intimidating as heck. It even spooked Weiss.
In response, Weiss drew her sword–the super skinny blade barely even visible from where Ruby stood twenty feet away. It was a strange motion because Weiss was left handed and had her weapon sheathed on her left hip. She kind of tipped the point up behind her and then pulled down, her forearm facing outwards because she was holding it backwards. There was a tiny click click click sound as she cycled through the Dust vials in the rotatey revolver bit. She stepped into the same stance she’d used back in the forest, feet shoulder width apart and perpendicular.
‘Crap, what’s my plan?!’
Ruby started walking to the side, thinking they’d do that thing in the movies where the fighters circle each other and wait for the other guy to make a move.
Weiss launched herself forward with a glyph, flying right towards Ruby, Myrtenaster’s pointed aimed to hit Ruby in the chest.
Ruby wasn’t expecting that at all. Weiss didn’t seem like the type to be the all-out aggressor as soon as the fight started.
The point of the rapier crashed into Ruby’s chest and she went stumbling back, both from the impact and the surprise. She felt the heavy whoosh of her aura leaving her, like her muscles building up lactate acid or whatever it was called even though she hadn’t done any exercise.
“Ack!” Ruby squacked.
She dropped low, bending her knees and pushing herself to the side, slipping into her Rose Form. She needed to get away, get space, figure out what to–
A wall of ice sprung up in her path, flat, crystalline growths of cold-given-form erupting into existence to tower a foot over her head and at least a Yang-and-a-half to either side. She slammed into it with an “oof!” that was inaudible to the world. It stopped her movement and forced her out of the Rose Dimension, because it was really hard to stay still and stay in there.
She felt more than she saw or heard Weiss appear behind her. She lashed backwards with Crescent Rose, dashing away at the same time. Her blade didn’t connect with Weiss, though it did slam into the wall of ice and drag across its base as Ruby moved away.
She turned to find Weiss ten feet away, at the other end of the conjured barrier. A series of loud cracks precipitated the collapse of the half of the wall Ruby’s scythe had cut through, shards of ice falling into the space between the two fighters. The spray of frost that erupted into the air made her lose sight of Weiss.
She needed to keep moving.
Before she could even pick a direction, she caught sight of her opponent again. Weiss rose into the air behind the cloud of crystallized air, her ponytail flapping from the rush of wind. When she reached the top of her arc, she paused in the air. She raised her empty hand, fingers bent like a claw, like she was casting a sp–
Yep. Four glowing, spinning white glyphs appeared mid-air, two on either side of her.
‘Dang, she’s so pretty and cool,’ Ruby thought in the brief moment her partner hung in the air and the glyphs charged up for whatever the heck it was they were doing.
The glyphs turned a light shade of blue, and there was a similar glow from the revolvey thing in Weiss’ sword. Ruby realized what was happening just in time.
She jumped up into the air as four giant knives of ice speared toward her, impaling the ground where she’d just been.
She was airborne now, and maybe that was something she could work with. When Weiss summoned a grey glyph underneath her to stand in the air, Ruby quickly disconnected the magazine on Crescent Rose and loaded the gravity round magazine she had ready on her belt, then let out a shot at Weiss to get rid of the normal bullet still in the chamber.
Weiss blocked the shot with a swish of her sword.
‘Daaaaaaaang, that was cool.’
Ruby turned her weapon down and pulled the trigger again, the gravity round serving to launch her way up in the air, over Weiss’ head. Maybe she’d be able to outmaneuver Weiss in the air with her semblance, force her off her platforms.
She popped into the Rose dimension and propelled herself to the side as two geysers of water erupted from two dark blue glyphs that appeared underneath and beside her.
Gravity being so weak on her in this form meant she didn’t have to spend much aura to stay airborne, only really needing to spend it to push forward. She looped around Weiss and waited until the girl sent another Dust attack, a diagonal wave of water that swooped from the blade of her sword with a broad swing.
With a burst of effort to change direction, Ruby zoomed straight at Weiss, avoiding the water. Weiss had tried to lead the target to intercept Ruby, so Ruby switching to move straight at her made it ineffective, and Weiss was still winding down from launching the attack.
Ruby trailed to a spot in front of and above her opponent and deactivated her semblance. As gravity took a stronger hold of her again, her speed and direction changed again, and Weiss wasn’t ready for it.
Ruby came hurtling down on her with a massive overhead swing. The princess let out a gasp and threw herself off the glyph she stood on, creating another one a little ways away to land on, though she didn’t move quite fast enough. Crescent Rose’ blade clipped her calf before shattering the glyph she’d been standing on, and Weiss let out a tiny shriek as she was knocked off course. She crashed into the side of the new glyph with her stomach, bending almost ninety degrees at the impact before plummeting toward the ground fifteen feet below her.
Ruby slipped back into her semblance and trailed down after Weiss to catch her, but it turned out she didn’t need to.
Two clicks rang out as Weiss switched Dusts, and then a light green glyph appeared down on the ground and a pillar of air rushed up, slowing Weiss’ fall. She landed awkwardly still, having to drop into a roll when she couldn’t find her balance.
Ruby did a three-point hero landing, Crescent Rose’s long handle at a diagonal behind her back like a total bad-A, a bit away from and behind her partner.
“You okay?” she called out.
Weiss, head still down, swung her sword blindly behind her, a dozen tiny ice daggers appearing in its wake and flying in Ruby’s direction. Ruby was in Battle Mode now, so she was ready to react quickly. She smacked aside the two daggers that were actually going to hit her with the broad back of Crescent Rose’s blade.
‘Right. This is a fight fight.’
When Weiss rushed at her, Ruby met her blade with her own. They traded back and forth, Ruby’s wide swings and slashes countered by Weiss’ parries and stabs.
Swing. Sweep. Jump, kick. Backstep, block. Backstep, dodge. Dodge, dodge, dodge.
It wasn’t going in Ruby’s favor.
Weiss kept pressing in, getting inside the reach of Crescent Rose, too close for Ruby to make proper use of the weapon. When Ruby used a burst of her semblance to try to get some space, she ended up slamming into a giant white glyph as large as a doorway, too wide to go around. It sent her back into the physical world and reeling back into Weiss, who swept Ruby off her feet with a swing of her sword and a graceful spin.
Knowing that landing on the ground with a straight up cryomancer two feet away from her was a bad idea, Ruby pulled the trigger on Crescent Rose. The gravity round sent her tumbling off to the right.
Sure enough, the spot she’d just vacated was encased in spears of ice with a shringgg!
‘That was close.’
Ruby planted the blunt end of Crescent Rose, where the barrel opened, into the ground as she rolled, and her momentum carried her up into a sort of pole vault. When the snath was completely vertical, she pulled the trigger, launching herself backwards into the air just in time to dodge the newest attack.
Weiss had summoned another giant white glyph behind the cage of ice spears, and she must have done some dusty magic crap because the spears shattered apart, the shards of ice hurtling underneath Ruby as she spun in the air.
Before she could stabilize or even breathe, Weiss launched herself at Ruby in the air, the point of Myrtenaster once again aimed to skewer Ruby through the middle. Ruby batted the sword aside with the flat of Crescent Rose’s blade, then they traded a quick one-two-three of blows in the air. The engagement broke when Ruby landed a kick into Weiss’ side, pushing the girl away and herself into the ground.
She landed hard on her back, hard enough that it damaged her aura a bit. With a flex of her abs, she flipped herself up on her back, right when Myrtenaster stabbed into the ground where she’d been…
And pinned her cloak to the ground.
“Ha!” exclaimed Weiss, standing over her.
Ruby tried to look up at her partner, though it was awkward because she was down on one knee and couldn’t stand up because her cloak was pulled over her head and pinned down in front of her.
Weiss blinked. She seemed to realize she couldn’t do anything to hit Ruby with her sword in the ground.
“Uh…” Ruby said, the noise sounding slightly strained due to her scrunched positioning. She swung Crescent Rose up clunkily at her partner, though the blade was facing the wrong way so she didn’t expect it to do much other than hopefully knock Weiss b–
Weiss kicked down at Crescent Rose with a pretty high heel, and Ruby’s awkward grip meant it got sent spinning into the dirt.
That was embarrassing. In a hypothetical “who would win?: Crescent Rose or one dainty shoe”, Ruby didn’t expect the footwear to win.
With a growl, Ruby reached up and unclipped the cross-shaped pins–gifts from Uncle Qrow–that bound her cloak to her shoulders.
The cloak no longer inhibiting her movement, she stood up and crouched low.
She and Weiss stared at each other for a moment, then looked at their weapons on the ground, then back at each other.
“Uh…” Ruby said again.
And then, in a flash of movement, Weiss slapped her.
It wasn’t very hard slap, but the surprise of it still made Ruby’s chin yank to the side.
Weiss’ eyes widened, like she was surprised too. She blinked.
Weiss flashed her a nervous, guilty grin that looked suspiciously… Ruby-ish.
“Why, you little!” Ruby growled, throwing herself forward to tackle her partner
“Aaah!” Weiss yelped as she got dragged to the ground.
They both fell into the dirt, and Ruby giggled a bit at Weiss’ little noise of surprise while she crawled up to sit on top of Weiss’ torso.
“Ruby, get off–!”
Ruby and Weiss both started slapping at each other, neither really trying to hit anything other than each other’s hands. While Weiss let out incredulous noises of protest, Ruby just giggled.
“Ruby, you–ow!–absolute dolt! Get. Off!”
Weiss pulled her left hand back and made a petite-fingered claw out of it. For the briefest of moments, Ruby thought Weiss was about to scratch her face (which probably wouldn’t do too much with her aura being, like, a thing). Then she heard a now familiar, high-pitched hum.
The glyph Weiss had summoned behind her sent Ruby flying away with a loud “Eeeep!” She managed to keep herself oriented, though, and when she hit the ground again she fell into quick roll, ending in a crouch and turning.
Weiss was rushing toward her weapon.
Ruby figured she should do the same.
Weiss was much closer to Myrtenaster than Ruby was to Crescent Rose, but Ruby’s awesome super speed semblance meant the two of them both got rearmed and into fighting positions at the same time.
Ruby thought this would be an ideal moment for another brief, cinematic pause for them to look at each other, but Weiss had other ideas. She blitzed forward and launched into a devastatingly fast combo of slashes and thrusts
Weiss was so fast. She might not be able to keep up with Ruby in a foot race, but her attacks were just too quick for Ruby to keep up with, which was a distractingly weird feeling that definitely wasn’t helping.
It didn’t help that Crescent Rose was so poorly suited for this kind of fight–not that it was bad in any way! Crescent Rose was perfect! But it was definitely not at its best in this close, one on one fight with another huntress, too heavy and large to effectively trade blows with a compact weapon like Myrtenaster. It excelled at giant, sweeping attacks that wiped out entire clusters of big dumb Grimm at once, not… this.
Swing. Block. Dodge. Ow! Spin. Double butterfly. Duck. Ow, sweep. Ow. Ow! OW!
Weiss kept landing hits on her–though luckily the individual strikes didn’t do too much damage. The last one, though, was a full on stab to Ruby’s stomach that landed squarely, chunking out her aura and causing her to stumble back.
She couldn’t take much more of this.
It felt like she was below half her aura now, though she couldn’t be sure. She silently lamented the fact that she hadn’t been able to figure out how to install the myAura sync bar on Crescent Rose so she’d be able to track how beat up she was on her weapon instead of needing to pull out her scroll, which Weiss certainly wasn’t going to give her the time to do.
After a brief moment for them both to catch their breath, Weiss and Ruby dove back at each other again. This time, Ruby focused more on pushing herself further with each step, trying to get just a little bit more space for full swings. It seemed to work.
Weiss started landing less hits, and Ruby realized that the two of them had fallen into a bit of a rhythm. One-two, one-two, one-two-three; trading back and forth in a strange, asymmetrical dance. Ruby, with her wide, sweeping attacks that were clear and bold from Crescent Rose’s massive blade, was a stark difference from Weiss’ calculated, precise strikes, the thrusts and stabs of the skinny sword difficult to track with the naked eye.
Ruby was gaining a bit of momentum, though, as Weiss was starting to tire from parrying the heavy hits from Crescent Rose. Ruby started to gain ground, and she realized she was pushing Weiss towards the ruins of the wall of ice from earlier.
Was that a good thing? It might surprise Weiss and trip her up, make her slip, but it might also give her another avenue of attack–Ruby knew a caster’s influence over a Dust summoned element greatly diminished once it was out in the world and the Dust was expended, but there was still some level of influence.
That thought cause another to pop into Ruby’s head. ‘Why did Weiss stop using Dust?’
She jumped to the side to avoid a slash.
Ruby was keeping up in the fight much better now that Weiss wasn’t taking advantage of her incredible skill with Dust casting. Why was Weiss… letting her?
She knocked aside a stab, then followed up with an upwards spin of her scythe that forced Weiss back.
Maybe Weiss was trying to lull her into a false sense of security? Catch her off guard with a Dust attack when Ruby had forgotten about the threat?
Noooooooo way. Ruby was way too smart for that.
She dashed forward and planted her feet, throwing her strength into a swing that Weiss caught on Myrtenaster and forced the blade of Crescent Rose to sail over her head with a guiding push, then lunged forward to stab Ruby.
Ruby was ready for it. She stepped back, twisting Crescent Rose so she could hook Weiss from behi–
“Aack!” Ruby shouted out, as she tipped back, her right foot stuck to the ground. Her ankle twisted painfully, and she let herself fall onto her side instead of trying to continue her backward dash.
She hit the ground, slamming her elbow into the dirt with a painful thud, and raised Crescent Rose to try to block whatever–
A white glyph appeared underneath her weapon’s blade and it spun out of her hands.
Ruby tried to get up to run away, but…
‘WHY can’t I move my foot?!’
Her leg was twisted uncomfortably, her foot forced to stay straight while she was laying partially on her side. The foot itself was starting to slip out of her boot, but the boot itself felt like it was glued to the gr–
There was a still, black glyph underneath Ruby’s right foot, keeping it attached to the ground.
The shining point of a needle-like blade came into view, coming to a stop a couple inches from Ruby’s neck.
“Yield,” Weiss’ imperious, slightly smug voice commanded.
Ruby looked up. Weiss’ expression was the calm, emotionless mask, but it looked like her eyes were happily twinkling. Although maybe that was just Ruby’s wishful thinking. Either way, she was beaten.
She raised her hands in surrender, adding in some sad puppy-dog eyes for effect.
Weiss’ smile spread to her lips, and she reached a hand down to Ruby.
Ruby accepted it, letting herself get pulled to her feet as Weiss cut off the glyph that had tripped her.
“That was a good fight,” Weiss said, her eyes leaving Ruby’s to inspect her weapon.
“Yeah!” Ruby agreed readily. “That was so much fun! And you were so fast! And your Dust casting was so sweet, I wish I could do that! And hmmffr–”
Weiss reached up and covered Ruby’s mouth with her hand.
“Shush,” she said lightly. “Postpone the ramble for a couple minutes and go pick up your stuff.”
Ruby noted that Weiss told her to postpone the ramble, not skip it. So she still wanted Ruby to ramble! That was pretty cool, ‘cause Ruby liked rambling.
She skipped over to pick up Crescent Rose, then retrieved her cloak. It took a couple seconds to find and pick up the pins for it, but soon Ruby was walking back over to Weiss with her weapon holstered on her back and her cloak hanging from her shoulders, sporting a new Myrtenaster-sized hole along the edge that Ruby would treasure forever.
“That was so sweet!” she cheered to her partner, resuming her ramble. “You can just, like, stand in midair and look all wizard-princessy! And you stabby stab so fast! You just kept throwing yourself at me and I didn’t know what to do and I really wasn’t expecting it and…”
As Ruby talked, she walked beside Weiss, who led them over to Professor Awesome and their teammates. The professor was standing with his arms crossed, looking thoughtful, while Yang and Blake talked to each other and laughed about something.
She pulled out her scroll to see exactly how much aura she had left.
Thirty-nine percent. Yikes. There was almost no point in her yielding. One more jab woulda done it.
“How much aura you got left?” she asked Weiss, curious how well she did.
Weiss checked her scroll. “Sixty-five.”
“Whaaaaaa?” Ruby whined. “I only did… thirty-five percent to you?” That sucked.
“Less,” Weiss replied with a cocky grin. “I spent a lot on my glyphs and Dust casting.”
“Hnnnngh,” groaned Ruby.
She quieted down as they reached the others.
“That was a good fight,” Professor Awesome said, echoing Weiss. Ruby and Weiss both smiled proudly.
“Yeah,” Yang agreed. “That was a good… catfight!”
Blake let out a snort that morphed into a full on laugh part way through the noise, and the professor was clearly biting down on the insides of his lips to stop from laughing himself.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Weiss demanded, putting a hand on her hips.
Ruby crossed her arms and angry pouted. “Yeah! What’s that supposed to mean?”
Yang let out a little giggle. “That little… slappy bit you two did there…” She and Blake mimed out the hand slapping Ruby and Weiss had resorted to when they were deweaponized.
“Yeah…” Professor Awesome sighed. “That was a little… curious.”
“What were we supposed to do?” Weiss asked, turning the palm of the hand not on her hip up in the air in a very princessy ‘what?’ pose.
“You realize you can, like, make a fist–” Professor Awesome made a fist, then mimed a punch “–and actually hit each other, right?”
“I don’t want to punch Ruby!” Weiss protested.
“Yeah! Me neither!” Ruby agreed. She then realized it probably sounded like she was saying she didn’t want to punch herself, when she meant she didn’t want to punch Weiss. She moved on, hoping her intent was obvious. “Punching is mean!” She shot Yang a playful glare as she said it.
“Oh, sure,” Yang sneered. “But whacking at each other with sabers and death scythes is a-okay, right?”
Weiss seemed to take that point a little more seriously than Ruby, frowning slightly in thought. Ruby gave her arm a light tug to get her attention.
“It’s totally different,” she assured her partner. “Our weapons are like paintbrushes, and when we fight we make art! Punching is just you trying to hurt someone else.” She glared at Yang again.
“You sound like your uncle,” Professor Awesome muttered.
Ruby gasped. “Oh right! You know Uncle Qrow! Isn’t he the coolest? Does he ever talk about us? Did he tell you he helped build Crescent Rose? ‘Cause he did, and he had a lot of fun. And–”
She tipped sideways a bit as Weiss yanked on her hand.
“Shush!” her partner hissed.
Now the professor snorted humorously. “Yes, he mentioned he had some nieces that were aspiring huntresses. That was about it, though. Anyway, good fight. What were your thoughts, before I give you mine?”
Ruby and Weiss looked at each other.
“Well… “ Weiss said slowly, “I feel like Ruby wasn’t quite ready for the fight at the start.”
Ruby grinned sheepishly at that. Yeah… it was true.
“Though towards the end there she seemed to get into it.”
The sheepishness left Ruby’s smile, and she beamed proudly. That had sounded like a compliment!
“Though she didn’t even try to take advantage of her range.”
Aw. Ruby’s face fell. “What do you mean?” she asked.
Weiss took a breath. “I was expecting you to use your semblance to just zoom away and then snipe at me from afar, but you didn’t.”
Ruby blinked. “Well, yeah! Of course I didn’t–that wouldn’t be any fun! Plus, Professor Awesome said not to cause flickers!”
Weiss crossed her arms like she was offended. “I would not flicker from that.”
“Yes, you would,” said Professor Awesome, Yang, and Blake all at the same time.
Weiss huffed indignantly and tilted her chin away, then side-eyed Crescent Rose suspiciously.
The professor waved his hand. “That was fine. There are better ways to practice sniping than here in a duel to test your fighting styles.” Ruby smiled, and he smiled back. “Anything else?”
“I have a question!” Ruby shouted, looking at Weiss and raising her hand.
Weiss quickly pulled her hand down with a roll of her eyes. “Yes?”
“Why’d you stop blasting me with ice magic?”
Weiss closed her eyes and hung her head while their two teammates laughed.
“I ran out of Dust, Ruby.”
“And you wouldn’t have given me time to reload.”
“Right. Yeah. Of course. I knew that.”
Weiss rolled her eyes.
“That’s something you should be mindful of, all of you,” Professor Awesome said. “When your opponents use resources–Dust, bullets, anything–count. Weiss, you’ve got seven rounds of Dust in that sword of yours?”
“Six,” she corrected.
The professor frowned. “Wait, which–”
“The two casts of water Dust came from the same vial.”
“Oh. Huh. They wouldn’t have hit very hard then, huh?”
Weiss shrugged and glanced back at Ruby. “I was expecting her to dodge them. I was just trying to force her to the ground.” She squinted at Ruby. “I was not expecting her to just rush at me.”
“Hey!” Ruby protested. “That’s, like, all you did to me!”
“I didn’t want you sniping me!”
“I wasn’t going to!”
“Well I didn’t know that!”
“Alright, shuddup you two,” Yang grumbled. “It’s our turn now.” She vaulted over the barrier.
Weiss and Ruby filled the spots their teammates vacated while the professor gave some more teachery advice.
“Weiss, that was very good. Excellent form, powerful casting, and you approached the fight well. I will say that you need to work on putting more aura into your weapon. You were doing very little damage when you hit. Other opponents won’t always let you land so many attacks.”
Ruby was going to frown, feeling a bit snubbed, but the professor didn’t seem to mean it as a criticism of her.
“Yes sir,” Weiss said.
“And don’t stick so closely to the movesets you’ve learned. They’re meant to help you practice movements, not to be attack patterns that you’re hardstuck to in a fight.”
“Was I… doing that?” Weiss asked, frowning.
The professor nodded. “There were at least two instances there at the end of the fight and one in the middle where you two were dueling and you followed what looks very much like a practice maneuver instead of going in on an opening. I can point them out to you in the video later.”
“Yes sir,” Weiss said, slightly dejectedly.
“What about me?” Ruby chirped, excited for her own Super Awesome Pro Huntsman Teaching Moment.
“You, Ruby, mostly need to work on actually attacking the enemy.”
Ruby pouted a bit. Weiss wasn’t her enemy!
“You also need to take more advantage of how hard your weapon hits. It’s heavy. Weiss’ sword arm was getting battered every time she tried to block. Focus on throwing attacks that your opponent can’t evade–force them to block and take that beating.”
“There were some other little things for both of you, but we can go over it with the video.”
They focused on Yang and Blake, who were lined up in the same spots Ruby and Weiss had been. There were still icicles scattered about the flat plain, and the half of the wall of ice Ruby hadn’t cleaved apart still stood, the chunks of the other half laying around it.
“Alright!” Professor Awesome clapped again. “Good, clean fight. No biting, hair pulling, nipple twisting.” Blake let out a little giggle while Yang glared at her, and Ruby got the feeling there was an inside joke she wasn’t on the inside of. “Fight’s down to thirty percent aura or first to yield. Don’t hit hard enough to cause a flicker, Yang.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault I’m jacked as fuck, okay?”
‘Yes it is,’ Ruby thought to herself.
“Just… don’t punch your partner’s head off, alright? You two ready?”
Ruby wondered how their professor knew Yang could hit so dang hard–seriously, the phrase ‘hit like a truck’ didn’t even cover it when Yang landed a punch with her semblance. ‘Hit like a freight train with a drill head’ was more accurate.
“Yep!” Yang replied excitedly.
Blake gave a solemn, focused nod and dropped low into a fight position.
“Hey, Weiss?” Ruby whispered quietly to her partner.
“Yes, Ruby?” Weiss respond with a hint of a smile.
“You’re pretty awesome.”
Weiss’ looked away. Ruby half expected her to just say ‘I know’ and leave it at that, but then Weiss turned to her with a very unhidden, very pretty smile. “Thank you, Ruby. You’re prett awesome, too.”
Ruby’s heart did a happy little flip. Weiss thought she was awesome! That must mean she was super duper awesome, ‘cause that’s what Weiss was.
She let out a happy wiggle and turned back to watch their teammates.
“Get ready!” Professor Awesome shouted.
Yang clicked out Ember Celica, keeping her arms loose at her sides.
Blake drew her sword–and the sheath, too, ‘cause she’s weird like that.
Yang fell into a relaxed boxer’s stance, arms up, on the balls of her feet, bouncing back and forth.
Blake drew her sword, keeping her single-bladed sheath in her off hand, and gave them each a twirl.
Yang rocketed forward with a gravity blast from her gauntlets–much the way Weiss had but way, way louder and scarier. Ruby smiled and wiggled happily a bit because she’d been the one to make the modifications to Ember Celica to let them fire gravity rounds a little over a year ago.
She’d also come to regret that decision, because it meant Yang could now chase after her fairly well when she ran away with her semblance. She silently prayed for Blake. She’d been sparring with Yang as far back as she could remember, but it was never any less terrifying to see the blur of gold that was Yang’s fist meteoring towards her face. And this would be Blake’s first time.
When Yang landed a punch right on Blake’s chin right off the bat, Ruby knew it would be over soon. No way Blake could take many more of th–
Yang’s fist passed through thick, black shadow, and Blake was suddenly at her side, spinning to land one-two-three quick hits into Yang’s rib cage.
Yang seemed similarly surprised, coming to a full stop to stare down at her side incredulously, then blinking at Blake.
Blake blinked back, like a deer in headlights, as she realized just how close she was to a now peeved Yang.
She backflipped away just in time to dodge a right hook, leaving a shadow behind that dodged the other way. Yang spent an extra second to punch it before growling as it drifted away like smoke.
Okay, Blake was really good at dodging.
Yang blasted away in pursuit of the ninja girl, and the fight fell into a pattern of Yang swinging three or four hit combos that Blake somehow managed to perfectly dodge, then Blake trading back a couple of light blows to Yang’s back or side.
Ruby watched Yang’s aura tick down by ones and twos with growing trepidation. Yes, Blake was doing well, but Yang would be building up her semblance, and she was due to release it soon. The tiny hits were good, because it meant Yang wouldn’t store up so much energy, but she could also hold onto it longer.
Fighting Yang was always so hard because doing what you’re supposed to do–hitting your opponent–made the fight more dangerous for you instead of less.
All it would take is one slip-up from Blake…
There it was.
Blake did another shadowstep to the side, but this time Yang was ready for it, and the resulting fist-to-stomach impact knocked Blake on her butt and made her let out an “oof!” that Ruby could hear all the way over here.
And… yep. Blake’s aura went from ninety-four (she was right yesterday, her semblance was cheap) to seventy just like that. One hit. It wasn’t even a very big one by Yang standards.
Yang was scary.
Diving forward, Yang tried to tackle Blake while she was on the ground, but crashed into nothing but dirt and shadow. But… where did Bl–
Blake reappeared on her feet several yards away, her aura taking a seven point drop at the same time.
‘Right. She can teleport.’
This time, Blake changed tacts. She started running diagonally away from Yang, turned backwards to fire her pistol at the charging blonde.
Two seconds passed like this. Three. Four. Someone might wonder why Yang would keep trying to run Blake down when she was taking pointless damage for it, but Ruby recognized that Yang was just building her semblance up again. She’d realized that she wasn’t going to land too many hits this fight and was just trying to hit like a freight train when she finally got off a punch.
Apparently Yang decided she’d built up enough energy, fourteen points of damage later. She launched herself forward with a gravity round, then another while she was still in the air that put her in a path to land in front of Blake.
Blake stopped and changed directions, moving back in the direction Yang was coming from. In response, Yang shot of three rounds of regular shells while she sailed through the air, two of which caught Blake in the side and leg, causing her to stumble.
Yang landed and quickly jumped forward to cover the ten-ish feet of space between her and her target, bring her fist back to land a devastating punch full of momentum…
Her hand passed through shadow as Blake just barely sidestepped in time, but it seemed like Yang had expected to land the blow, because when she hit the ground her semblance caused a tiny eruption. The ground was left cratered, and the explosion was big enough that it caught an unprepared Blake in its radius.
She let out a yelp as her feet were knocked out from under her, and Yang brought a fist around. Blake clearly saw the fist coming and tried to twist out of the way, but it seemed like her semblance was still “on cooldown” because she didn’t disappear with a shadow clone. Yang’s fist tracked her attempted dodge and cracked right into the side of her face.
The force of the blow sent Blake spinning in a half circle as she fell, and she landed on the ground with a small bounce. Ten percent of her aura gone with that one, non-empowered punch.
Blake was down to fifty-five while Yang was sitting at seventy-two, and a good chunk of the damage she’d taken she’d wanted to take.
Yang tried to quickly stomp down on Blake’s back, but the girl rolled away on her side, then somehow pushed herself up with an arm and a leg, spinning sideways into a standing position and dropping into a battle stance.
‘What a freaking ninja.’
Too bad it probably wouldn’t matter. Yang gave her partner all of half a second to get her bearings before firing into another furious chain of jabs and punches and kicks and one attempted headbutt that didn’t connect by a hair.
Blake started to get tired, moving slower and slower, while Yang continued to go full throttle. She led the fight to the edge of the pile of ice from Weiss’ wall. She tried to dance around the ice crystals laying on the ground and lead Yang into them, but Yang was too sure-footed, either stepping to the sides or just stomping on the shards of ice and not slipping at all. The end of the fight wasn’t a climactic finale like it had been with Ruby and Weiss. Instead, Yang landed another quick series of blows into a battered Blake that dropped her to twenty-eight percent and Professor Awesome immediately yelled, “TIME!”
Yang stumbled to wind down mid swing while Blake just collapsed onto the ground and held her sides. She groaned something that made Yang laugh, and Ruby really wanted to know what it was. She liked laughing!
“Geez, she’s a machine, isn’t she?” Professor Awesome muttered to himself.
“Yup! Yang’s the best!” Ruby replied, assuming that the professor was obviously talking about her super awesome powerful scary big sister.
Weiss huffed and crossed her arms. “I could take her,” she grumbled, to which the professor snorted a laugh.
“Didn’t mean anything by it, Weiss,” he said. “That would be a great fight to watch.”
“Oooh, yeah!” Ruby agreed, clutching Weiss’ arm with both hands and jumping up and down excitedly. “I wanna see you fight Yang!”
Weiss pursed her lips disapprovingly at Ruby. “I’m not a jackhammer, Ruby. Stop it.” Ruby stopped jumping. “I’d be happy to fight her…” Weiss continued before trailing off to glance down at her myAura numbers. “But maybe later.”
Off in the ‘arena’, Yang pulled Blake to her feet. They walked back together, Blake leaning on her partner’s arm every few moments to stay steady. They talked quietly to each other, Yang with a wide grin and Blake with her subdued, but genuine, smile. It seemed she wasn’t too bitter about having the crap beaten out of her.
“Whachya think, Captain Rubes?” Yang called out when they were closer.
Ruby bounced up and down again. “That was awesome! You’re awesome. All punchy and super fast and strong! And Blake! You’re so ninja I bet you can out dodge other ninjas! And your shadows are so cool! You made that one that tricked Yang move! And–”
Weiss tugged on her arm again. Ruby stopped talking immediately, not needing to be told to ‘shush’ now.
“Well shucks, thanks Peanut,” Yang said with an even bigger grin.
“Yeah, that was… something,” Professor Awesome added. “Thoughts?” he asked the pair.
“Blake’s so annoying!” Yang bursted out, prompting a startled laugh from the girl leaning on outstretched arm. “She’s so freaking hard to hit! It’s like trying to grab… smoke.”
Blake patted her on the arm. “You seemed to manage anyway,” she grumbled.
“Well, yeah! But I had to work for pretty freaking hard.”
“Oh, boo hoo,” Blake teased. “Poor Yang, having to put in some effort to beat to a pulp the partner that didn’t even get a chance to touch her.”
“What do you mean?” Yang protested. “You hit me a lot!”
“Fat lot of good that did.”
Yang laughed. “Yeah, well you still hit me. No complaining!”
“I had to be on defense the entire fight. I didn’t once get a chance to attack you, other than some cheap swings while running away.” She seemed genuinely sad at that last statement.
Yang threw her arm around her partner and rubbed her shoulder. “It’s okay, Blakey-Blake. You just need to be scarier!”
Blake grunted and folded her arms around herself.
“Well… yes.” Professor Awesome took a breath, preparing to deliver more teachery wisdom. “You had some opportunities to try to turn the tempo of the fight in your favor, Blake. You need to take those when they’re presented to you, otherwise an opponent like Yang will just run you into the dirt.”
Blake grimaced. “Sorry. I just kinda… panicked and wanted to get away.”
Yang frowned at that and looked down guiltily, dropping her arm from around Blake’s shoulders.
“Understandably,” Professor Awesome consoled lightly. “Just something to work on. And Yang, the inverse for you.”
“Once you got into the rhythm of the fight, you clearly stopped expecting Blake to really attack you. Your guard dropped ‘cause you kept going in. Granted, it let you catch Blake out of a couple of her dodges, but other opponents might take advantage of it.”
Yang nodded slowly, though her face skewed up like she wanted to argue. “But… but how am I supposed to catch her, then? I tried to be clever but she dodged anyway, so how do I hit her without just going faster?”
The professor smiled. “The trick is to be clever and quick.” When Yang frowned deeper at that response, he bobbed his head back and forth. “It’s… Look at it this way: you were already ahead in the fight and wearing her down. Waiting for that one hit like you did at the start was working. So no sense it giving your opponent an opening, yeah?”
He smiled again. “I know you probably felt like you were losing ‘cause you weren’t hitting her. I was the same way.”
“You were?” Yang questioned, her eyes going wide.
“For sure! Except for me it was worse, ‘cause I really was losing if I didn’t land hits. My semblance is backwards from yours–I build up big hits from dealing damage, not taking it. It took me a long time to learn that patience was better than power, and even longer to actually get good at implementing it.”
Yang frowned again. “I don’t wanna wait a long time to get good.”
Professor Awesome chuckled at that. “You probably won’t have to. You’re already lightyears ahead of where I was as a fishy.”
“Yeah?” Yang’s eyes were both doubtful and hopeful.
Professor Awesome nodded enthusiastically. “Oh yeah. You’re all way ahead of where my class was at your age. It’s kinda nuts. Ruby and Blake woulda beat the crap outta most of us.”
Ruby gave a happy hum at that. That was pretty awesome! The training she and Yang had been doing for years was paying off!
“You girls want to go through the videos now?” Professor Awesome checked his watch. “We’ve still got… twelve minutes before Team JNPR’s time slot. We can go over a bit now and finish up on Wednesday, or just do it all Wednesday. Up to you.”
“I wanna watch it now!” Ruby chirped immediately.
Blake let out a soft groan, and everyone turned to look at her. She blinked in surprise at the sudden attention.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean t–now’s fine.”
Ruby really wanted to watch it now, but… Blake looked really battered. Her head was hanging slightly, and her shoulders were slumped forward. Ruby knew how she probably felt, having taken a good hundred thousand billion punches from Yang herself.
“It’s okay,” she said. “We can wait. Rest up and watch it later.”
Blake shook her head quickly. “No no! Really, it’s okay. We can watch it now. Don’t mind me.”
It was Yang who responded, giving the girl another one-armed squeeze. “It’s okay, Blakey-Blake. I kinda want to chill out too.”
Blake raised an eyebrow at her. “Oh yeah? Feeling a little beat up?”
Yang tried and failed to hide a grin. “Yeah, my knuckles are.”
Everyone was startled when Weiss burst out laughing. Yang and Blake both looked at her in shock while Ruby beamed brightly. She quickly covered her mouth with a fist, cutting off her laughter and flushing with embarrassment.
“Sorry,” she whispered.
Ruby giggled and hugged Weiss’ arm, earning a disapproving frown that she pointedly ignored. “Yang’s right though, Blake. We’ll get some rest and watch it later.”
“Any chance you could send us the videos to watch ourselves before Wednesday?” Weiss asked the professor.
“Sure! I’ll ping them to Ruby after I get done with the last class today.”
“Woohoo!” Ruby cheered. “Yang, you wanna watch them for movie night?”
Yang wrinkled her nose at that, but Weiss spoke up before she could respond. “Movie night?”
“Yeah!” Ruby turned to her partner. “Friday night is movie night! And then Saturday is Super Awesome Yangcake Breakfast Day!”
“Yeah, that’s not a mouthful at all,” Blake joked.
“Yeah it is!” Ruby replied. “A mouthful of pancakes!”
“You’re such a dolt,” Weiss told her.
The professor cleared his throat loudly. “You four derpwads go finish this conversation somewhere else. I gotta clean up this dumb ice wall before JNPR gets here.”
“I am not a derpwad,” Weiss retaliated indignantly.
“Fine, you three derpwads and Ice Queen over here.”
“C’mon, guys!” Ruby ordered, tugging Weiss behind her as she headed out. She grabbed Weiss’ notebook and handed it to her. “It’s lunch time, then game time, then movie time!”
“When is study time, Ruby Rose?” Weiss asked pointedly.
“Pfft. Study time, shmudy time.”
“Rubyyy…” Weiss intoned, a disapproving edge to her voice.
“Ugh, fine! Lunch time, then study time, then game and movie time. Happy?”
“Happiness is for dummies. I am, however, content.”
Ruby frowned in confusion at that, not knowing how she was supposed to respond.
“You’re so weird, Weiss,” Yang said for her. She wouldn’t have worded it exactly like that, but… well, yeah, she would have, actually, but she decided not to say anything rather than say something kinda mean.
“That’s fresh, coming from you,” Weiss quipped back, lifting her chin away.
“It’s okay, Weiss,” Ruby consoled her partner, giving her arm a rub. “It’s a cute kinda weird.”
“I’m not cute either!”
“But Wei-eisss! Being cute is good!”
Weiss rolled her eyes. “Sure, but I’m not cute. You’re cute. I’m…” she trailed off, trying to come up with a good word to describe herself.
Ruby had some!
“Pretty? Beautiful? Princessy? Majestic? Regal?”
“Ooh, I like regal,” Weiss grinned. She gave Ruby’s hand a pat where it was wrapped around her bicep.
“Dork,” Yang whispered as she and Blake came up to walk beside Ruby.
“I will stab you.”
“Do it, I dare you.”
Weiss looked away with a huff. “I will! I’m just… gonna wait until I have all my Aura back.”
Yang laughed happily at that. “Probably a good call.”
When Weiss took a deep breath to launch some kind of retort, Ruby felt it was best to intercede. “By the way, Weiss!” she chirped.
“What’s in the notebook?” She pointed to the blue spiral notebook in Weiss’ non-Ruby-hugged hand.
Weiss pulled the notebook, putting her body between it and the rest of the team. “It’s a secret.”
Ruby gave her partner a pout. “But Wei-eissss! I wanna knooow!”
Weiss squinted in thought for a little bit, then glanced at Blake and Yang. She turned back to Ruby. “I’ll show you later.”
Ruby’s eyes went wide. “Ooooh, okay. Sure!”
It was going to be their secret! And then Ruby could lord her Super Awesome Weiss Secret over Yang and make her jealous!
Although Yang might not care…
“Well now I’m curious,” Blake said, leaning past Yang to peer suspiciously at the corner of the notebook that was visible tucked under Weiss’ armpit.
“Well, too bad!” Weiss huffed, moving a little bit to the right to get some more space from Blake and Yang. Ruby, being now surgically attached to her, was dragged along.
“Careful, Blake,” Yang said teasingly. “You know what they say: curiosity killed the cat.”
Blake’s eyes went SUPER wide. Her bow wiggled a bit, even though there wasn’t that much of a breeze.
Yang and Ruby looked at each other, confused. “It’s just a saying, Blake,” Ruby said.
“Y-yeah, but I’m not a c-cat.” She looked… scared.
‘What the frickity frack?’
“You can still use the saying to apply to people, Blakey-Blake,” Yang said, softly and consolingly. “Otherwise it would be a pretty useless saying. It would only apply to, like, cat faunus. Or actual cats.”
Yang frowned. “What’s wrong? I don’t underst–”
“Just forget about it!” Blake quickly interrupted her. “I’m sorry. I’m just beat up and confused, okay? It’s your own fault, really, ya big bully.” She gave a smile that was definitely forced, then stared intently at her shoes.
Yang blinked in confusion, then looked at Ruby for answers Ruby didn’t have. She shrugged.
“So, who gets to pick the movie tonight?” she asked to movie the conversation away from Blake’s weirdness and into more comfortable territory.
“Me!” Yang immediately decreed. “You picked last time!”
“No, Dad did! And we have two new people to add to the cycle now, so where should we start?”
“Still me!” Yang easily.
“Ugh!” Ruby turned to her partner. “What do you think, Weiss? Would you like to pick a movie?” She said she didn’t watch movies much, probably ‘cause whatever princessy upbringing she had didn’t let her. But now she could!
Weiss pursed her lips and shook her head slightly. “I wouldn’t even know where to start, Ruby.”
“Well I can help with that! I super highly duper recommend the Wonder movies. You could start with the first one, Titanium Man, which was pretty cool. Captain Vale had some cool movies. Revengers is the team up series and it’s awesome and the new one comes out next month and I’m sooooo excited but they might confuse you if you don’t know the characters. There’s the–”
“Hold up!” Yang shouted, cutting her off. “You can’t just get her to pick your movies for you, Ruby. Then that’s just like you getting an extra pick!”
“I’m just trying to help her with ideas!”
They were in the cafeteria now, settling into the line for food–something that looked and vaguely smelled like lasagna was being served up ahead, but Ruby couldn’t trust the sketchy cafeteria foods that much. It would be safer to call it Cafeteria Brand Lasagna ™ .
“Why don’t we just go in team order?” Blake suggested. “We’re team RWBY, so Ruby picks first, then Weiss, then me, then this angry blonde Ursa that’s glaring at me like I just put gum in her hair.”
Yang definitely looked pretty grumpy. “Why would you suggest an idea that makes me go last?! We’re partners, we’re supposed to be on the same side!”
Blake smirked. “We’re teammates Yang; we’re all on the same side.”
Weiss leaned close to Ruby and fake whispered, “Don’t listen to her, Ruby. It’s us versus them.”
Yang wheeled around and pointed at Weiss, her arm crossing in front of Ruby’s face. “See?! They’re plotting against us! We have to band together or we’re doomed, Blake! Soon we’ll be doing nothing but eating cookies and doing homework all day!”
The other three girls all laughed at that.
“I just think it makes sense,” Blake deflected with a light shrug.
“I do too!” Ruby chirped, coming to Blake’s defense.
“Shut up, you,” Yang muttered, tousling Ruby’s hair. “You just like it ‘cause it lets you go first.”
“Nuh-uuuh! It makes sense!”
Weiss joined in the argument. “Yang, it’s a cycle. After the first rotation it literally won’t make a difference who was first or last.”
Yang gave an angry pout. “Your face is a cycle.”
“What is it with you two and calling my face random objects?!” Weiss cried out, throwing her hands up in the air, consequently loosening Ruby’s grip on the one arm.
Ruby, giggling, took that as a good sign to let go. They were about to grab food, anyway. Or, as Weiss called it, “food”.
“It’s settled, then,” she said. “I’m picking the movie tonight!”
Yang grumbled something to Blake that made the girl roll her eyes and smile.
Weiss looked at Ruby with a surprisingly forlorn expression. “Do I have to join movie night?” she half-whined.
“Yes!” Ruby answered immediately. “It’ll be fun, I promise!”
They were gonna have movie night, which was always awesome, but this time it would have Weiss and Blake too, so it would be even more awesome!
Ruby settled onto the middle seat of the couch, as was tradition, and Yang sat to her right, one arm on the armrest and one around Ruby’s waist, as was tradition. Weiss decided to sit off on the big single person poofy chair by herself, unfortunately, but at least she was still here! Blake sat to Ruby’s other side, curling her knees up to her chest and watching the faces of her teammates as much or more than she was watching the movie on the screen.
Ruby had picked Titanium Man. She wanted Weiss to see some of the Wonder movies, and maybe if she liked them they could go see the new Revengers movie together in the theatre!
Of course, Yang had whined and moaned about how lame it was that she was forced to watch such a “lame action flick” again, but her version of good movies was horror thriller zombie ghosty crap, so what the heck did she know? Besides, she always falls asleep halfway through most of the movies they watch anyway, just like Dad.
Ruby did her best to fill Weiss and Blake in on some of the universe while the movie was starting, but Yang kept squeezing her and saying “Don’t talk during the movie!”, so she eventually stopped with a pout.
Every once in a while, Ruby would check on Weiss to see how she was enjoying the movie. She spent the entire time watching attentively, pupils wider than normal from the bright tv in the dark room. Her pretty blue irises were almost invisible because the whites and blues from the screen’s light made them blend in with the whites of her eyes. Whenever something surprising would happen in the movie, like Titanium Man getting kidnapped from a convoy by the White Fang, Weiss would let out a little gasp that was so adorable.
Ruby decided right then and there that watching Weiss watch movies was one of her new favorite pastimes.
She laid her head on Yang’s shoulder and snuggled a little closer, her body finally catching up to the exhausting fight from earlier today. She wondered how Bl–yep, Blake was dozing off. Ruby smiled at the cute sight of the girl leaning off to the side, her head occasionally dipping low enough that she’d startle awake, blinking rapidly, before relaxing and doing it again.
After the third time Blake blinked herself awake, Ruby tapped the girls foot with her own.
“Hey,” she said quietly, “pull the footrest out.”
Blake jumped a little bit when her foot got touched, before calming back down and shooting Ruby an embarrassed smile and nodding, kicking out the footrest and laying down mostly flat.
It didn’t take her long to fall asleep after that.
There were only three of them left watching now, and Yang was starting to blink heavily. She rested her head on top of Ruby’s where it layed on her shoulder and yawned deeply.
They were getting to one of Ruby’s favorite parts, when Titanium Man busted out of the cave he was being kept prisoner in with his awesome super suit, flame throwing people with fire Dust and flying away with gravity Dust.
“Keep in mind,” she whispered to Weiss, “that this movie is over ten years old, so the Dust flame thrower and rocket hands and feet were a bigger deal back then.”
Weiss nodded slowly, eyes still on the screen. “We still haven’t made a personal flight suit,” she said absently.
Yang inhaled a deep breath and shifted around a little bit, leaning a bit more heavily on her sister. Ruby slowly–slowly–turned her head, trying to get a peek at her sister’s face while not disturbing her.
Yep. Her eyelids were fluttering a bunch. She was probably in that weird pseudo-sleep state where the things that were happening around her were getting mixed into her dreams.
Soon it was just Ruby and Weiss left watching. Ruby stayed relatively quiet, but she did provide some super helpful and absolutely necessary explanations for some stuff now that Yang wasn’t awake to tell her to shut up.
Luckily, Weiss didn’t seem to mind. Ruby wasn’t quite positive her partner heard everything she said because she was so engrossed in the movie.
How freaking awesome was that?!
When the movie ended, the room went a dark, the black end credits screen the only source of light. Durn, they should have turned on the kitchen light behind them or something.
Weiss sat there quietly, forehead ever so slightly creased as she mentally digested the movie. Ruby waited for her to say something, really really curious what her first thoughts were gonna be. Of course, waiting patiently was hard, so Ruby had to focus her energy on bouncing her leg up and down quietly until Weiss spoke.
“…. Huh,” the princess finally said.
Ruby took that as an invitation. “What did you think? Was it awesome? What did you think of the super suit? And the AI guy, Jerome? What was your favorite part? Did you like the sci-fi Dust stuff they did? Do you think any of that would actually work? *gasp!* Do you want to try to make a Titanium Man suit?!”
She got a little too excited at that last part, and Yang stirred a bit. She paused her barrage of questions to wait for her sister to settle down again, and Weiss took the opportunity to get a word in.
“It was… a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting,” she admitted.
Ruby beamed at that.
“I liked the… relatable outlandishness of it all?” Weiss struggled to figure out how to phrase her thoughts. “As in, I can’t see this kind of story actually happening to someone, but I can also imagine being in that situation and how I would react…”
“Oh yeah? What would you do if you were Ronny Lark?”
Weiss let out a breathy laugh. “Oh, I probably would have gotten myself killed at the very beginning when the White Fang tried to kidnap me.”
“Whaaaat? No way, you could totally have taken them!”
Weiss gave her a smile. “I’m glad you think so.” Her expression turned dark. “But yeah, there’s no way I would let those animals take me alive.”
Something in the way she said it made Ruby think there was something more there than just not wanting to get kidnapped. “Do you, like, extra not like the White Fang or something?”
The smile Weiss gave her this time was another one of those weirdly sad ones. “Let’s just say those creatures have a… history… with my family.”
“Oh.” What was Ruby supposed to say to that? From what she knew, the White Fang were an faunice activist group, the biggest one, that started being a little aggressive in the past couple of years with their campaigning. But that didn’t seem bad enough to explain the anger and… hurt (?) on Weiss’ face right now. Should she ask? Was that too sensitive?
Weiss didn’t give her a chance to decide, moving the conversation along.
“Anyway,” she said, “that was… nice. Fun. There are more of these?”
“Yeah!” Ruby immediately shifted back to excited again. “Titanium Man Two and Three weren’t all that spectacular, but he’s also in the Revenger’s movies and one of the Captain Vale movies and those are super duper awesome.”
It occured to Ruby in that moment that she used ‘super duper awesome’ to describe a lot of things, but… it was accurate, right?
“Well…” Weiss said slowly. “I suppose I could stomach watching those with you.” She said it begrudgingly, but the way her lips pursed to the side to contain a smile let Ruby know she wasn’t all that against the idea. “Now… how do we get these two buffoons to bed?”
Ruby followed her gaze to Blake and Yang, both still fast asleep.
“I think we’re gonna have to wake Yang up…” she answered apprehensively. At home, Yang and Dad fell asleep watching movies all the time, and Ruby just left them in the living room–or, if she was feeling extra cuddly that night, she’d just fall asleep next to Yang. But they couldn’t do that here, right? This was a public living room. Sleeping here was probably not okay.
“And ask her to carry Blake?” Weiss asked, finishing the idea Ruby had started.
But waking Yang when she was really tired could be… dangerous. She really didn’t like getting woken up.
Ruby reached out and got a grip around Yang’s wrists. She definitely wasn’t strong enough to stop Yang from flailing her arms, but hopefully it would be enough to keep her from getting hit in the face.
“Yaaa-aaang,” Ruby sing-song whispered gently, nudging Yang’s head up with her own. “Yaaa-aaang, wake uuu-uuup.”
Another head nudge did the trick.
Yang snorted and woke with a start, eyes going wide. “Hruh?!” she grunted, swinging her arms up to… it probably would have resulted in an elbow to Ruby’s nose if she hadn’t been ready for it. Her death grip on Yang’s wrists meant that the girls arms just jerked around a little bit.
“Oh shit, did I fall asleep?” Yang muttered. She lifted one hand to rub at her eyes, and Ruby let go of her arms to let her.
“A lil’ bit,” she replied, giving Yang an arm to lean on as the girl pushed herself to her feet.
“Movie done?” Yang asked.
“Yep!” They hadn’t gotten to the end credits scene, but it wasn’t that important.
“Do you think you could carry Blake to bed?” Weiss asked, standing herself with a graceful, princessy motion.
“I’m just a pack mule to you two, aren’t I?” Yang grumbled, but she didn’t seem to mind all that much. She walked over to and picked up Blake like she had Ruby the other night.
Ruby tried to copy the way Weiss stood up, but it didn’t really work. She ended up almost tripping over her crossed feet and had to use Yang to catch herself.
“You alright?” Yang asked, confused because she hadn’t seen what Ruby had just done behind her.
“Yep! All good!” Ruby chirped back, trying to hide her embarrassment. She glanced at Weiss, but the girl’s expression didn’t indicate that she’d noticed either.
“Yyyang?” Blake’s sleepy voice sounded out from Yang’s arms. Ruby couldn’t see Blake’s face from where she and Weiss were behind Yang, but she could bet it was probably cute and sleepy.
“It’s a-ight, Blakey-Blake. Just bringing you to bed.”
Ruby smiled at the interaction and glanced at Weiss next to her to find the girl also smiling a bit. When Weiss caught Ruby looking, though, she wiped the smile on her face and rolled her eyes. It was one of those half eye rolls, though. The one that meant Weiss was actually smiling.
Ruby rushed ahead of Yang to unlock their bedroom with her scroll and opened the door for her sister to carry Blake through. She held it open for Weiss, too, who gave her a princessy nod of appreciation.
Yang settled Blake gently into bed and tucked her in just like she’d done with Ruby a billion times in the past, then climbed up to her own bed and collapsed in it, not even bothering with pajamas.
Weiss took the time to actually prep for sleep, so Ruby did too. They took turns brushing teeth and changing into pjs in the closet. Weiss spent some extra time washing her face with some fancy face soap stuff and scrubbing it with a little circular pad. That was probably why her skin looked so perfect.
“Are we still going to the cookie shop and sushi place tomorrow?” Ruby asked. She was pretty certain Weiss wouldn’t go back on that, but maybe she forgot?
“Of course!” Weiss answered as she scrubbed her nose. “I promised, didn’t I?”
With a smile and a nod, Ruby left the bathroom and got comfy in her bed, Weiss following shortly behind her.
“Good night, team,” she said to the room.
It appeared Blake and Yang were both knocked out, because it was only Weiss who responded with a soft “Good night, Ruby.”
Ruby smiled and nuzzled into her pillow. Her last thought before she drifted off to sleep was that today had been such a good day. And tomorrow was going to be amazing too!