Seeding – 1.2

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Man, Beacon is beautiful!

Ruby looked around the courtyard, heart filled with pride and gratitude to the universe that her life had brought her here.

These buildings were so tall! And that fountain looked soooo pretty! And that girl’s bunny ears are adorable!

Ruby could have stayed there bouncing up and down in excitement forever, but then her tummy grumbled. Like, loud.

“Okay!” Ruby announced. “Before we go find our room, who wants to get something to eat? I’m reeeeeeeally hungry!”

Did she need to ask her teammates for permission? Could she just invoke the executive powers of Team Leader and order the team to go get food? Did she need to?

Yang clapped her on the back (a little too hard, but telling her that only ever made her grin and flex and kiss her bicep like an absolute weirdo). “Food sounds great!” she agreed. “Let’s find the cafeteria!”

Blake spoke up quietly from behind her. “We do still have not one, but two maps of campus on us.”

Ruby snorted. “Yeah, or we could not cheat and just go on an adventure to find it!”

Weiss turned around and gave her The Glare. “We literally just figured out where we are and where we need to go, and you want to get us lost again?”

Hmph, that was a good point. But there was no way Ruby could admit defeat already!

“Yeah!” she said, giving Weiss a big smile to try to get her to relax. “We already know we can get ourselves un-lost, so why not?”

“But if you’re really hungry, wouldn’t you want to find food as fast as you could?” Blake asked, her forehead creasing like she was really confused.

Durn, another good point.

Ruby narrowed her eyes in thought, trying to figure out a good argument against that. Was there one? She was sure there was. Yang told her all the time that her greatest superpowers weren’t her semblance or her wicked Crescent Rose skills, but actually her Cookie Annihilation and the ability to argue about anything!

Before she could come up with anything, though, Weiss sighed dramatically and drawled, “Well I don’t feel like wandering around all day, so I’m just going to tell you the cafeteria is that building.” She pointed at the building just to the left of the main tower at the end of the courtyard.

Stupid Weiss. She must have cheated and looked at the map!

“Well you’re no fun,” Ruby grumbled at her as she trudged off in the direction she’d pointed.

She’d just meant it as a joke, but Weiss huffed. “Some of us aren’t here to just have fun, Ruby,” she declared in her ‘I’m better than you and you’re just dumb’ tone of voice.

Does Weiss just not want to have fun? That wouldn’t make any sense though, would it? Was Ruby not supposed to be having fun? Did having fun make her a bad huntress?

Yang seemed to sense something from her silence, because her sister put her arms around her and shot Weiss a glare. “She’s not here just to have fun, Ice Queen. She’s here to save the world! Doesn’t mean she can’t have fun doing it!”

Ruby smiled up at her big sister. She was right! What would be the point of saving the world if everyone in it was just grumpy all the time?

What if everyone in the world was like Weiss?

Yikes.

“Fine,” Weiss finally grumbled at Yang. “Fun is okay. But getting lost for no reason when we should be unpacking is not fun.”

“Perhaps Weiss would like to go get started unpacking while the rest of us eat?” Blake offered, her eyes flicking back and forth between everyone’s feet.

Weiss nodded once. “That sounds lovely,” she declared.

Yang dropped her arm from around Ruby’s shoulders. “Yes, yes it does,” she growled.

“Wait!” Ruby stopped walking, causing Blake to almost bump into her. “No! That’s not okay!” She can’t let one of her teammates–her partner!–be by herself on their first day as a team! “I can go with Weiss!”

“But weren’t you the one that wanted food?” Blake asked.

Durn. She was hungry. But Weiss was her partner!

Yang grabbed Ruby’s hand and gave it a light tug. “Come on, Ruby. Ice Queen probably just wants to be alone.”

Ruby looked up at her sister again, confused. “Why would anyone want to be alone?”

She turned and looked back at Weiss, who met Ruby’s gaze with wide eyes and an expression that Ruby couldn’t figure out. They locked eyes for a long moment, Ruby doing her best to smile and make Weiss feel like she was wanted.

Weiss glanced down at her scroll and frowned, then looked back at Ruby. “I’m sorry.” Her gaze dropped to her feet and her voice dropped to a whisper as she said something else that Ruby couldn’t hear.

“What was that, Weiss?” Ruby asked.

Weiss cleared her throat, raised her eyes to Ruby’s again, and squared her shoulders with a deep breath. “I said you’re right, Ruby. We’re a team now. I should… we…” She frowned as she couldn’t figure out what she wanted to say. “Let’s go eat,” she finished, giving Ruby a forced smile.

A strange sadness crept into Ruby’s heart. She wasn’t sure why, but something about the way Weiss seemed to be having to force herself to be a teammate made Ruby want to frown.

She didn’t, though! She gave Weiss a big smile. Maybe if Ruby gave Weiss enough real smiles, Weiss would find some of her own.

“To the food!” She pointed to the cafeteria with a superhero pose, then dashed ahead of her team. She let herself slip into that bright core she held within her that she always visualized as a glowing red rose, and her semblance took over. The world turned red and her body felt like it fractured, no longer physically there, but she still felt like she could move herself around. She tended to think of it like her body was on another layer of the world right now, and on this layer she was nothing but a bunch of rose petals.

She ran to the cafeteria, her pseudo-legs pumping as she cut through physical space. As she moved, she both released waves of wind around her and felt the air flow through her. She was, quite literally, lighter than air right now.

Man, her semblance felt awesome.

It only took her five seconds to blitz across the courtyard, and when she reached the building she jumped up in excitement. When she was airborne while in her semblance, she couldn’t technically “run” because her pseudo-legs couldn’t touch the ground, but she could will herself to move by pouring her Aura into the movement. It was slower than running by quite a bit, but she had much more control over her direction this way because she was basically moving with her mind.

She flipped over in the air and dove back to the ground. Before she hit the stone, she reached out with a pseudo-hand, briefly marveling at the weird, disconnected feeling it brought her, like she was touching the ground through layers and layers of tissue paper. She dropped her feet down and threw her other hand out to the side, just like in the comic books.

Epic three point landing!

She pulled herself back out of that core and rematerialized into the world. The weird whoosh through her limbs as she displaced air made her huff in discomfort. It wasn’t super uncomfortable! It just felt really weird, and sometimes Ruby wished she had enough Aura to stay in her semblance forever instead of dealing with that strange itch inside her body.

She opened her eyes, the red tint on the world now gone. Rose petals were slowly spiralling down around her from the spot she’d jumped up to.

“Whoa! That was awesome!” came a female voice with a really cute accent from behind her. Ruby hopped to her feet and turned around to see the pretty girl with the cute bunny ears she’d noticed before.

“Thanks!” Ruby chirped happily. Should she introduce herself? Say ‘Hi, I’m Ruby’ and, like, shake her hand or something? That’s what you’re supposed to do when introducing yourself, right? Unless she shouldn’t introduce herself. Maybe cute bunny girl just wanted to say Ruby’s semblance was awesome and then go back to her day. What if–

“Nice to meet you! I’m Velvet,” bunny-girl-Velvet said, reaching out a hand.

Phew! When the other person went first it was soooo much less stressful!

Ruby shook the outstretched hand enthusiastically. “Meet to nice you! I’m Ruby!”

Velvet giggled at something about that (though Ruby wasn’t sure what she’d said that was funny, but she smiled anyway), her bunny ears bending and straightening out like they were laughing too. “I remember seeing your team getting announced. Ruby on Team RWBY. That’ll get confusing. You guys got the white knight pieces, right?”

Velvet’s accent was awesome. It was so fun to listen to!

“Yeah! Yang liked the cute little ponies!”

Velvet laughed again at that. “Yeah, the relics for our class were tiny Grimm statues. We got the Death Stalkers.”

Tiny Death Stalker statues? “That sounds awesome! Can I see them?”

Velvet smiled. “Sure! We’ve got them on the bookshelf in our room. I’ll show you some time.”

Wow, making friends here was super easy!

“Hey, Velvet, right?” she heard Yang greet her new friend behind her.

“Yes!” Velvet said with a wave. “We met on the ship here, right?”

“Yep! Sorry if Ruby ran into you or something. We haven’t installed a brake system on her yet.”

“Yang-uh!”

Velvet giggled again. “No, no. I just thought her semblance looked really cool!” She looked back at Ruby. “That is your semblance, right?”

“Of course! What else would it be?”

Velvet gave a big shrug. “Who knows, man? They’ve been doing some crazy stuff with Dust lately. Have you seen hard-light Dust?”

Ruby blinked. “No, I–”

“You’ve used hard-light Dust?” Weiss asked, clearly interested.

Velvet smiled and nodded excitedly. “I’ve been using it to make my new weapon! Or, trying, at least. It’s pretty confusing to use and they haven’t discovered and published all it’s properties yet, so I’m mostly just experimenting. It’s, like, really expensive, though, so I can’t do much yet.”

Weiss nodded thoughtfully at that.

“I’ve gotta run, but have fun on your first day, guys! Remind me to show you those figures later, Ruby!”

Ruby bounced and gave her a wave. “For sure! Thanks!”

As Velvet sauntered away, Ruby turned to her sister. “She’s really nice!” she stated simply.

Apparently, Velvet was still close enough to hear–darn those bunny ears!–because she turned and flashed a shy smile at Ruby as she continued on her way. Awkward!

What happened to normal knees, Ruby Rose?

Yang wrapped an arm around Ruby’s shoulders with a chuckle and guided her into the cafeteria.

WOW! This place was huge!

The floors were an off-white tile with streaks of reds and yellows and blues trailing across that looked like a marble pattern. The ceiling reached waaaay above their heads, like, 20–no, 50!–feet, and spiraling twists of metal dangled and spun from said ceiling, casting some bright reflections across the entire room. There were two levels of tables. The first, that they were standing in, was the lower level, a circular area with twelve round tables that sported four chairs at each. This area was rimmed with a small set of stairs to the second level of the floor, where in one section was the food line, and in the other was a long rectangular table that looked like it was meant for the professors.

Yang let out a long whistle of appreciation. Blake’s mouth was slightly open in surprise as she took in the sights. Weiss didn’t seem all that impressed with the sights, though Ruby thought she looked at least a little satisfied or happy because the corner of her glossy lips seemed to be pulled up in tiny smile.

“Well, Cap,” Yang said, giving her a shake. “Let’s get you fueled up!”

“Woohoo, food!” Ruby skipped to the food line, her team behind her. When she saw what was being served, her excitement doubled! She didn’t even think that could be possible, but it was!

Pizza! Cookies! Macaroni and cheese! Cookies! Fish sticks! COOKIES!

Ruby loaded up one plate with pepperoni pizza and some mac and cheese, and then piled a mountain of cookies on another. Snickerdoodles the most, of course, but also lots of chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and a couple white chocolate cookies and of course some double choc–

“Ruby!” Weiss griped. “All that food probably weighs more than you do! How on Remnant are you going to finish all that?”

Ruby laughed at that. “Annihilating cookies is my secret second semblance! Just ask Yang!”

When Weiss turned to look at Yang, disbelief written all over her face, Yang just nodded solemnly. “All of that food is going to disappear into the lil’ pipsqueak.”

Weiss shook her head as she grabbed a single slice of veggie pizza. “That sounds incredibly unhealthy.”

“I think you mean awesome!” Ruby countered.

Weiss snorted. “I most certainly did not.”

Ruby pouted, but then shrugged it off because who cares?! She has cookies! She grabbed a fork and skipped down to the eating area to claim a table for her team.

She got to munching on her appetizer cookie and sipping the chocolate milk she’d grabbed as her teammates joined her. Weiss had water and just that single slice of veggie pizza–that she was eating with a fork and a knife for some reason. Blake had iced tea and a pile of fish sticks almost as big as Ruby’s pile of cookies, and was chewing contentedly on them while she people watched. Yang had orange soda and pretty much every slice of meat supreme pizza and was eating them like tacos.

“Hey, Weiss?” Ruby decided to start the meal conversation–what meal with friends wasn’t complete with lots of talking?

“Yes, Ruby?”

“What’s hard-light Dust?” Ruby hadn’t actually known what Velvet was talking about, and from how curious Weiss was and the fact that she’s apparently, like, the Princess of Dust, Ruby figured she’d know.

“Oh!” Weiss set her fork and knife down–seriously though, why?–and turned to Ruby with a smile. “So, you know how Grimm pools can only be destroyed with white Dust, right?”

Ruby nodded. The pools that spawned the Grimm had weird properties. They didn’t seem to have a bottom, no matter how shallow they seemed. They couldn’t be blown up because then the dark, goopy stuff would just go everywhere and create new pools. The only way humanity had found to deal with them is to drop white Dust crystals into them, which made them go poof!

Or something. Ruby had never actually seen it happen.

“Well,” Weiss continued, “a couple years ago the Schnee Research Division developed a more efficient way of creating white Dust, and the process created a weird byproduct. After some experimenting, they figured out they could refine that byproduct into hard-light Dust. It’s not actually “dust”, it’s a weird liquid thing that comes in batteries, basically. I haven’t figured out a way to incorporate it into my fighting style. It’s pretty strange. It has to be… programmed, kind of.”

“Wow. That’s so cool that you know all that!”

Weiss smiled shyly. “Thank you. It was kind of unavoidable, but I’m glad I learned about it. Once we figure out how to use it, I think it could do a whole lot of stuff.”

Ruby nodded at that. A new Dust! The stuff they could do with all the other Dust was already awesome. Imagine a new one! The last big Dust discovery was white Dust almost ten years ago, and all they’d figured out how to do with it is blow up Grimm pools and make glorified flashlights. Hopefully, hard-light Dust wasn’t a repeat of that…

“What kind of explosions does it make?” That seemed like the most obvious question.

Weiss frowned in confusion. “Explosions?”

“Yeah! Like when you shoot a hard-light Dust round, what kind of explosion does it make?”

Understanding flashed across Weiss’ face. “Ah,” she said with a small grin before putting her thoughtful face on again. “You know… I’m not sure. I don’t know that it explodes at all.”

“But then what do you use it for?” Yang asked.

“Well, like I said, it’s different from normal Dust.”

“Right. It’s a liquid,” Blake chimed in.

Look at that! Ruby’s whole team was talking together without fighting! Miracles were real.

Weiss nodded, taking a dainty little sip of water before elaborating. “It’s properties are also wildly different from normal. The presentations that the private researchers and military contractors gave were mostly variations on shield technologies.”

“Shields?” Yang asked with a frown. Ruby understood how she felt. If it couldn’t be used to blow up the evil Grimm, what was the point?

“Indeed. Like hard-light barriers that were basically force fields. There were some personal shields that were facsimiles of Aura protection that they were trying to put on mechs, but they were struggling to figure out how to make the generators small enough. There were also some prototypes of projection weapons. A scientist showed us a big club made of light that he smushed a watermelon with.”

That made Ruby laugh so hard she almost choked on her chocolate milk. She could just imagine a bunch of old dudes in lab coats standing around whacking watermelons and then taking notes on clipboards.

Blake smiled from ear to ear, which Ruby was pretty sure was the Quiet Person version of laughing really hard.

Yang was laughing too, though Ruby had the feeling she was laughing more at Ruby that what Weiss had said.

Weiss seemed rather proud of herself. Ruby guessed she probably didn’t get to make people laugh very often, and she knew it was a pretty good feeling.

She made sure to finish swallowing her drink and making sure she could breath, but then she hiccuped! Darn hiccups! The sound set Yang into hysterics. She was so loud Ruby noticed the other teams eyeing them with raised eyebrows.

“Yang! Shut up! *hic!*” Well that didn’t help.

Yang clamped her hands around her mouth and tried to get a hold of herself.

After few seconds of suppressed giggles and wiping away tears of laughter, Yang waved her hand at them and said, “I’m alright, I’m alright.”

Ruby rolled her eyes at her ridiculous sister, then turned back to her partner.

“Hey, Weiss?”

Weiss raised an eyebrow at her in amusement. “Yes, Ruby?”

Ruby cleared her throat. “What does facsimile mean? *hic!*

Weiss bit down on the inside of her lips to stop herself from laughing, but the corners of her lips gave it away.

“It means a copy or duplicate,” she explained.

“Oh. *hic!*” Why didn’t she just say ‘copy’ then? Fancy pants Weiss and her twenty letter words!

“Anyway, I’ll see about getting some hard-light Dust sent to us,” Weiss mused. “Maybe we can figure out some cool stuff with it.”

Ruby clapped her hands, letting the cookie she was currently working on hang out of her mouth. Experimenting! That could be so much fun! Ruby had brought the tools she’d used to tweak Crescent Rose with her, too. Maybe they’d help. They weren’t much, but they were something. And Weiss probably knew, like, everything about Dust, so they could probably create some really cool things.

“Mrph mph mr-rurf mrrfrr-rr,” she said through her cookie.

Weiss raised her eyebrows and blinked at Ruby.

Blake leaned forward and fake-whispered, “You may need to repeat that one, Ruby.”

“Why?” Yang cut in. “She clearly said, ‘Who needs Dust when Yang can punch things?’”

Blake took another bite of fish stick. “Weird, I feel like that sounds like something you would say, Yang.”

Yang nodded seriously. “You know what they say” great minds think alike!”

Weiss rolled her eyes and glanced over at Ruby. “What did you say, Ruby?”

Ruby held up a finger. Chew, chew, chew, swallow.

“I said,” she shot a glare at Yang, “that we can make cool upgrades! What if we could give Crescent Rose a force field or something!”

“But… why, though?” Yang asked before shoving a massive amount of meat pizza in her mouth.

Ruby threw her hands up in the air. “Look, I don’t know what we can do with it, okay?! Isn’t that why we’re in school?! To learn?!”

“Alright, calm down there, Pipsqueak,” teased Blake, her eyes narrowed playfully as she hid the rest of her face behind her cup of tea.

“I’m warning you,” Ruby growled, pointing a cookie at her teammate, “I bite.”

“I believe you,” Blake replied simply.

After a few more minutes of banter and eating–Yang somehow finished her twenty pizza slices before Weiss finished her one–Ruby decided it was time to get back to it. She hopped up and pointed to the door. “Alright, Team RWBY! Recommence Operation Find Our Room!”

Yang stood and stretched with an exaggerated yawn, and Ruby noticed that a lot of the boys and even some of the girls in the room gave her a lookover. “That’s a terrible name for the mission,” she muttered as they headed outside.

“Well, you do better!” Ruby challenged her sister.

Yang rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “Operation Dorm Strike? Operation Bed Time? Operation Homebound?”

Durn. Those were better.

“Those suck!”

Yang tousled her hair as she squirmed to get away. “You just stuck the thing we’re doing after the word ‘Operation’,” Yang argued. “That’s, like, not even a mission name!”

“Yuh-huh it is! And with my name you know exactly what the mission is! Yours are just silly.”

“I think Dorm Strike has a nice ring to it,” Blake the Traitor interjected.

Ruby spun on her. “Blake, as Team Leader I order you to side with me!”

“No.”

“Wow, you suck.”

Blake chuckled at that. She pointed at one of the nearby buildings, and Ruby started heading that way.

She turned to Weiss. “Hey, partner, back me up here.”

Weiss instead inspected her fingernails and said, “I refuse to have an opinion on this. On principle.”

Ruby groaned loudly. “Gosh, you all suck.”

Yang punched her lightly on the shoulder. “It’s okay, Rubes. You just need to accept that I am superior at the skill of coming up with cool names! You still have other skills. Like, now we all know if we ever need a really, really dumb name, we’ll come to you!”

Ruby glared at her sister, who gave a goofy grin and stuck her tongue out in response.

“Yang, you’re grounded.”

Yang laughed. “I don’t think that’s how the whole Team Leader thing works, Pipsqueak.”

Ruby shook her head. “No no, I mean I’m messaging Dad and telling him you’re being mean, and then he’s gonna ground you.”

She’d do it, too! Just watch! Dad would probably just laugh at her and make fun of her too, but Yang can just try to call her bluff!

“Pfft,” Yang said with a dismissive wave. “Dad’s on the other side of Vale right now. No way he can ground me.”

Welp. Her bluff had been called.

“Well, back to the unnamed mission at hand, what room number are we again?”

Yang pulled out her scroll. “It’s on your scrollkey if you uploaded the program chip they gave us.”

“I did!” Ruby realized. She pulled out her scroll and found the little silver key icon that the chip had uploaded. A big ‘RM 204’ filled her screen.

“So, second floor?” she asked, wanting to make sure she knew where she was going.

Blake nodded. “Most likely.”

They got to the entrance, two big, tinted glass doors standing between them and what looked like a wide open, marble-tiled foyer. It looked so pretty!

Ruby pushed at the door as she walked up, but it didn’t budge, and she ended up smacking her face into the glass.

“Ow! What?…” Her cheeks flushed red as she looked down and saw that the door handles had “PULL” written on them vertically.

“Heh, heheh… Good one, door!” she said, trying to play off her blunder. “Almost got me there!”

She yanked at the handle and held the door open for her team, her heart jumping into overdrive at the excitement of seeing where she was going to be living for the next year. And man, was it awesome!

Giant marble tiles like in the cafeteria, but instead here the lines in the pattern were black and gold. There was a square of long, burgundy couches in the center of the room that surrounded a short glass table decorated with a silver statue that was a model of Beacon Tower. A rug with a curving pattern of reds and oranges and black sat under this centerpiece. Off on the left, a small set of stairs led up to a circular platform where a giant, beautiful darkwood grand piano stood proudly. At the far side of this grand lobby, a double set of stairs spiralled up to a curved landing on the second floor. A massive, crystalline chandelier hung from the ceiling, ornamented by carved shards of white Dust.

“Wow,” breathed Ruby, at a loss for any better, more eloquent words.

She looked over to her teammates to see how they were reacting to the view. Yang was just standing there with her mouth gaping open. Blake’s eyes were darting back and forth, taking in everything with wide eyes. Ruby swore she saw the girl’s bow move once… Weird.

Weiss had her hands clasped to her chest and was staring at the piano with wide eyes and a small smile.

Ruby was about to ask Weiss if she played when a shiny service mech marched up to them with a whir.

“Welcome, students,” it projected with its funny robot voice. “I am Bob, your dorm custodian.”

Ruby and Yang both snickered at that.

“Beep boop, hello Bob. I am Ruby,” she replied, moving her arms around like a robot.

The mech paused and looked at her, its faceplate emitting a soft blue circle as it scanned her. “Ruby Rose, Leader of Team RWBY,” it confirmed.

Oh sweet, it knew them! No need for awkward introductions with a robot, then.

“Students, your belongings have been brought to your rooms. Should you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to ask. We hope you enjoy your stay.” Bob turned and walked back to the counter tucked in the corner to the right where Ruby guessed his station was.

“Beep boop,” Ruby said.

Yang smirked. “We have a robot butler named Bob, Ruby!”

“You think he’d make me cookies?” Ruby asked excitedly. If a robot could bake her cookies with super robot efficiency, maybe even she wouldn’t be able to eat them fast enough to keep up!

Maybe…

“Perhaps a question to ask him another time?” Blake suggested. “I’d like to actually get to our room at some point.”

“Yes, please,” Weiss grumbled, heading toward the spiral staircase.

Ruby skipped ahead, unable to contain her excitement. Their room! She was going to get to spend a whole year in a room with super awesome huntresses! And one of them was Best Sister! (Yeah, get out of here, Weiss’ sister!) And with three teammates in the same room, Ruby was pretty much guaranteed to always have a friend around to hang out with! This was so awesoooooooooome!

She slipped into her semblance and flew up to the landing on the next floor, lacking the patience to take the stairs. Reaching the top, she turned around to tell her teammates to hurry up. The trail of rose petals she’d left through the air floated lazily down onto them, and added a nice splash of color to the lobby.

“Ugh, Ruby!” Weiss whined. “Could you not throw flowers everywhere in this amazing, clean living space?”

Ruby waved a hand. “Don’t worry about it! They’ll disappear in a couple hours. Now c’mooon, hurry up!”

She turned and skipped down the hallway that the landing led into. In the middle of the hallway on either side were doors that sported plaques reading “RM 201” and “RM 202”. That meant their room would be next!

The hallway opened into a large, rectangular room that Ruby immediately fell in love with. There was a large kitchen in one corner, featuring shiny granite countertops, a fridge, a stovetop with four gas burners, an oven, and an island that held a small hibachi grill on one end. The outer countertop had four tall bar stools situated in front of it, and there was a large circular table with eight seats in the open area next to the kitchen. On the other side of the room, the floor was carpeted, and a long couch and a couple fluffy chairs provided seating for six in front of a big television. It was a living room!

On the other side of the room, the hallway continued on. Ruby guessed it would lead to the other two rooms for the freshman class teams. To their room! Team RWBY’s!

Ruby dashed over to the entrance of the next hall, but then she stopped. Maybe seeing their room should be something they do together as a team? Yeah, that made sense.

But uggggggh, that meant waiting. And her teammates were so slooooow! Look, they just reached the landing, and they were walking! WALKING!

For not the first time, Ruby thought about writing to the Vale Council to try to get walking outlawed. At least when there was exciting stuff to get to!

She waved at her team to hurry up, to which Weiss rolled her eyes, Blake smiled and held up a hand in a “be patient” gesture (not like Ruby wasn’t already being incredibly patient), and Yang grinned and broke into a quick skip to reach Ruby. When they crossed into the living area, their eyes all went wide.

“Wow, this is awesome!” Yang exclaimed, looking over the kitchen.

Ruby bounced. “Yeah! Now we can keep having your Super Saturday Sister Special Breakfast!”

Yang smiled and tousled Ruby’s hair. “Durn straight!” She glanced down the hallway and saw the two doors that mirrored the other two rooms they’d passed. “You excited?” she asked Ruby, to which Ruby nodded super fast.

Blake walked up, a bright smile on her face. “Shall we?” she asked, gesturing ahead.

Ruby looked to Weiss, making sure she was ready, who was standing with her fingers weaved together in front of herself like a princess, head lowered, an inexplicable look of anxiety on her face.

“Weiss?”

Pretty blue eyes filled with worry looked up to meet hers.

“You okay?” Ruby asked.

Weiss looked down again. “Yes,” she said slowly. “This all just feels very… public.” She waved at the living room.

“Well yeah!” Ruby said. “We’ll have each other and tons of friends to hang out with all the time!”

For some reason, that seemed to make things worse, Weiss’ pencil thin eyebrows creasing in a frown. But she seemed to force a tight smile and nodded at Ruby.

“You’re right. Let’s see our room.”

Excitement crashing back to Ruby, she gave a whoop and dashed to the rooms ahead. “RM 204” was stenciled into the door on the left. Their room!

“Lead us through the breach, Cap,” Yang said as she walked up, placing a hand on Ruby’s shoulder.

Ruby pulled her scroll out and waved it in front of the keypad on the door. There was a click and a small light on the lock flashed green. This was it!

She pushed open the door.

“Woohoo!” she shouted.

Bunk beds!

Weiss groaned at her side. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

 

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