Thaw 2.10

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“Why do heroes always let you down?” Yang lamented once again from where she stood in front of Ruby’s seat on the train. 

She was taking the Hatotaun Heroes’ loss pretty hard. 

Honestly, Ruby hadn’t paid too much attention to the game. She’d been busy running around the stands with Nora, and when she hadn’t been doing that she’d been inhaling sugar–either in cotton candy or soda form. Yang and Ren had tried to get them to stay in their seats, but… 

LUL, nope. 

“At least Pixy played well,” Jaune sighed. Apparently he was a big Heroes fan too. 

Pyrrha sat quietly smiling to herself, trying not to draw attention to herself and the fact that she was the only Danto Dancers fan in the whole world. Or at least the only one in Vale. Apparently she was actually from Mistral, which is where Danto is, but evidently it was still terrible to be a fan of them, if the hour long argument she and Jaune had had about it was any indication. 

“Yay,” Yang said flatly. “One player of seven wasn’t a complete invalid. Woot.” 

“Hey, I’m just saying!” 

Ruby tuned out their conversation. They were heading back to Beacon. Ruby and Yang had cotton candy sticks for their partners, Weiss’ blue and Blake’s pink. Yang was casually holding hers and not really paying attention to it. Ruby was having a hard time ignoring hers, though. 

It looked so fluffy! And tasty! And blue!

Weiss wouldn’t eat the whole thing, right? She ate, like, super tiny amounts of food. For real, she never finished her plate! Except her morning grapefruits. She somehow managed to eat those whole things, which were just giant gross balls of bitter. 

But she definitely wouldn’t finish the whole wad of cotton candy! In fact, getting rid of some of it might be a kind thing to do, so she wouldn’t feel obligated to eat too much…. Right?

That totally made sense! 

So really, if Ruby were to take one or two teensy weensy bites, it would be a service! They would be selfless bites. Friendship bites!

It all added up. Ruby should have some cotton candy.

She pinched some off with her fingers–Weiss probably wouldn’t like her just biting into it like she normally would. Her fingers would be a lil’ bit sticky, but that was a sacrifice she was willing to make in the name of friendship! And sugar.


Ruby froze, the tuft of cotton candy a meer nanominitiny-meter from her mouth, her eyes going wide and darting up to Yang, who was frowning down at her. 

“I think you had enough ot that today. Isn’t that supposed to be for Weiss?” 

Pouting, Ruby pulled the cotton candy away from her face. “Yeah, but she’s not gonna eat all of it,” she whined. 

“How do you know that? You get a future sight semblance from all the sugar you had today?” 

“No, it’s Weiss!” 

Yang frowned. “Hm.” 

“Wait, is that a thing? Can I get another semblance if I eat enough sugar?” 

Light left Yang’s eyes looked like she died on the inside as she hung her head and sighed. “No, Ruby. That’s not a thing.” 

“Darn,” Nora muttered sitting next to Ruby. “I was so ready to eat all the sugar.” 

Ruby beamed at her friend. “Me too!” 

Nora was awesome. She was a lot like Ruby! Super energetic and happy. And it turned out they liked a lot of the same things! She was kinda super competitive though. Like, even more competitive than Yang, and somehow more energetic than Ruby. She challenged Ruby to a “how fast can you eat this cotton candy” competition, and of course Ruby accepted, ‘cause… duh. But it turns out Ruby enjoyed cotton candy a lot more when she was actually able to taste it, not just trying to vacuum cleaner it into her stomach. And then after Nora had won she’d challenged Ruby to a soda drinking competition and a hot dog eating competition in the same breath, and at that point… it was a little much. 

She was still super nice though!

“Don’t you think Weiss would be upset that you’re eating the cotton candy you got for her?” Yang pressed.  

“Um… no?” Ruby wasn’t actually sure about that. Weiss did seem to like her things and could get pretty possessive, but on the other hand she seemed to enjoy indulging Ruby’s sweet tooth. So which one would be more important here?

The answer didn’t really seem to convince Yang. She raised a dubious eyebrow. 

“I don’t know!” Ruby squeaked. 

“Hmph. When she gets all Weiss-y and yells at you for eating her gift, I will say ‘I told you so’.” 

“Yeah, well… pbbt!” Ruby blew a raspberry at her sister, then nommed on the cotton candy sticking her fingers together. Embarrassingly, it took a couple licks to get the stuff off her fingers. Kinda diluted the dramaticness of the moment. 

There was a good chance Yang was right and that Weiss would yell at her when they got back, but at this point Ruby was committed. 

…. Was she, though? 

Well, that’s what she was going with, ‘cause that meant she got to have more nibbles of cotton candy. 

While the others talked to each other, Ruby zoned out a bit. She’d always found train rides–and even car rides, sometimes–to be incredibly relaxing. In fact, she was getting a little sleepy. She’d eaten a bunch and run around a bunch and might be having one of those mythical “sugar crashes” that Dad kept trying to convince her were a thing. 

Blinking blearily, Ruby smiled and took another bite of yummy cloud as she thought about how good this day had ended up so far. They’d had fun pancakes, which were great, then board games, which were also great, even to salty Weiss. Then Weiss’ dad had called and kinda spoiled the mood. But Ruby had talked to Blake, and felt like things would get better! And Weiss seemed okay. And then she and Yang had gone to the game, which was great! And Yang had sent Dad a video of Ruby semblancing across the seats of the stadium to go get more stuff to eat, which had gotten about ten “lolol”s from him, so that was kinda cool. And apparently Weiss and Blake were coexisting in a room together from the way they’d both requested cotton candy from their partners within a couple minutes of each other. 

And when they got back they could watch the videos of their fights from Friday! Ruby loved watching fights–that was something she and Uncle Qrow would always do together whenever he came by. Yang and Dad also enjoyed them, though they preferred boxing exclusively for some dumb reason. Something about an “even playing field” and “winning on prowess alone” or some such nonsense. So dumb! Different weapons and semblances and Dust casting is what made fights so interesting! 

And Weiss and Blake both had fighting styles that were very different from Ruby’s and Yang’s, so they’d be super cool to watch! And she hadn’t gotten to watch Weiss’ fighting from the outside, which would be a really different perspective from where she’d stood before getting stabbed repeatedly by Myrtenaster.  

That had kinda sucked. Yet that fight had still been mega fun! Seriously, Ruby wanted to spar Weiss again. And Blake! Maybe the team could play a special game of tag where they had to see who would be the first one to hit Blake. 

Ruby would probably win. She was super fast. Unless Yang used her shotguns. Or Weiss might just bury the world in ice. Could Blake dodge a sniper rifle, though? Maybe Ruby could tag her. 

Maybe there should be a melee hit only rule…

“Escyooze me, miss.” 

Ruby jerked her eyes open and head back. “Wha? Who, me?” She looked toward where the voice had come from on her left to find a little girl standing there. She had pink hair done in cute little pigtails and was wearing overalls over a purple shirt. She probably wasn’t any older than six. Maybe four? Ruby had no idea how to judge age…

“Hi,” she said in a tiny voice. 

“Hey!” Ruby greeted her with a smile. “What’s up?” 

The little girl pointed at the cotton candy. “Where you get that? Mommy says she’ll get some th-th-the next time we go shopping.” She’d run out of breath in the middle of her ‘the’ and tried to power through it. 

“Oh! We got these at Vale City Stadium. There was a game today.” 

The little girl smiled and nodded quickly, then ran away, down the train car and into the arms of a woman that Ruby assumed was her mother, who was watching attentively with a smile, some shopping bags in the seat next to her. The girl babbled something to her and her face fell a bit. She scooped the girl into her lap and said something that made the little girl frown, which quickly devolved into her whining and pouting. 

The mom had probably just told her they wouldn’t be able to go get cotton candy from the stadium while they were shopping…

Ruby looked down at her cotton candy. Maybe… 

She stood and walked over to the two. 

“Miss?” she asked the mother. She held up her cotton candy. “I can give her mine, if that would help.” 

The little girl’s eyes lit up, but the mother quickly shook her head. 

“No, thank you so much though. She’ll be okay.” 



It was then that Ruby felt somebody behind her. She turned to find Yang smiling down at the little girl too. 

“She can have mine,” she offered. “It doesn’t have random chunks taken out of it.” She teasingly squinted at Ruby at that. 

Oh. Huh. There was quite a bit missing from Ruby’s stick. Hadn’t she only taken, like, two bites??? Why was almost half of it gone?!

“It’s okay, really,” the mom said again. “You’re both very sweet, but she’ll be fine.” 

The little girl crossed her arms and pouted. 

“We used to bring her to Hazel’s Sweets after we did our shopping, but we’ve been having trouble finding another spot since they closed down.” 

“Valesie Estaydum!” the girl squeaked, kicking her legs. 

“That’s not a candy shop, sweetheart,” the mom sighed, putting a hand on top of the girl’s head as if to subdue her. 

“Are you sure you don’t want this?” Yang asked, holding up her pink waft of candy. “I’m happy to–”

“Yes peas!” the girl chirped, extending her arms out. 

The mom sighed and pushed the girl’s hands down with a kind smile. “I’m sure. Thank you both, really truly.” 

“You know, there’s a really awesome cookie shop that my friend brought me to,” Ruby mentioned. “It’s over b–” 



“That place is really expensive.” 

“Oh, right.” 

“What’s it called?” the mom asked. “We could try it for a special treat sometimes.” 

“Cookies!” the girl agreed.

Ruby looked to Yang for permission and received a nod. 

“It’s called Wafer’s Treats! The baker’s name is ackshually Mister Wafer, and he’s super nice.” 

“We’ll check it out, thank you,” the mom said with another smile. 

Ruby gave her a big grin. “No problem!” 

“C’mon, Rubes,” Yang said, turning slowly back to their spots. “Bye, lil’ cutie,” she added, giving the little girl a tiny wave. 

“Bai!” the girl replied with a wave of her own. 

Waving back, Ruby headed back to her seat. That girl was pretty cute, she definitely deserved some super awesome cookies. Hopefully she had her own Weiss as a best friend. 

Speaking of Weiss!

Ruby checked her scroll to see if Weiss had sent her any more messages. 

None. Pooey. 

She reread Weiss’ first message, with its adorable ‘Hello, Ruby.’ So formal! Like anyone else would have Ruby’s scroll anyway. 

Weiss’ texts were so cute. All punctuationy and capitaliz…ationy? And apparently Winter wanted to see their fight together! That was pretty neat! And… also kind of embarrassing. Weiss kinda clowned on her. At least a little. 

And there was that slappy bit…


Maybe the video could use some editing before the sent it to Weiss’ super powerful special ops ninja assassin warlock mage fighter sister. 

Now that Ruby thought about it, she had no idea how Weiss’ sister fought. Was she a ninja assassin? Weiss definitely wasn’t. She was more mage-fightery. So maybe Winter was the same? And hadn’t Weiss said Winter can summon armies of spirits or something? That was kinda warlocky. 

Maybe they could trade fight videos! Weiss versus Ruby fight for a video of Winter fighting someone so they could see how cool she is! 

On that topic… 

“Hey guys, how did your sparring matches go on Friday?” she asked Team JNPR. 

Jaune, who’d been talking about something Ruby hadn’t been paying attention to with Yang and Nora, immediately slumped forward. 

“No, guys,” he grumbled. “Don’t answer her. We’re passed the statute of limitations on that.” 

“That bad, huh?” Yang smirked, extending a hand out to fist bump Pyrrha. Pyrrha just blinked at the fist in front of her, blushing like she was embarrassed but wearing a proud little smile. 

“Let’s just say it went exactly like you think it did,” Nora answered with a big grin. 

As she said that, Ren absent-mindedly rubbed his side with a grimace. 


“So Jaune flexed on Pyrrha and Ren slapped Nora around with a giant pancake?” Yang teased. 

“Totally,” Jaune muttered at his lap. 

“For the record, I wouldn’t mind Ren slapping me around with a giant pancake,” Nora quipped, shoulder bumping Ren. 

“But why would I attack you with a weapon you would just eat while I was hitting you?” Ren asked with his typical chill voice and demeanor. 

“I’m not trying to explain it, silly! I’m just saying I’d be happy if it happened! Dreams usually don’t make sense.” 

“So you’re gonna dream about me beating you with a pancake?”


“Nora?” Jaune interjected. 


“You’re very strange.” 


Ruby tuned them out and went back to reading through the messages from her bestest bestie. Had it been long enough for her to send another? Probably. 

Ruby: whatchu up to?

Seconds passed. Five. Ten. Thirty. Ruby’s foot started anxiously tapping. Was she not supposed to message again so soon? She’d sent the last message, so was she supposed to wait for Weiss to say something back before messaging again. She didn’t want to get annoying…

Just then, her scroll dinged and she excitedly pulled it open again. 

Weiss: Not much. Blake and I are just talking and waiting for you two to get back.

Ruby kicked her feet in a little dance. Weiss and Blake were talking! And not killing each other! Woohoo!

Weiss: How fares my cotton candy?

Ruby giggled a little bit at Weiss’ wording again. ‘How fares?’ So adorkable!

Then she froze as she realized she was munching on the cotton candy in question. 


It wasn’t her fault! It was natural instinct to eat sweets that were in her hand! And now… now there was only half of the stick left… 

Dang nabbit. 

Ruby: Good! Really good. Very blue.

All true! The cotton candy was quite good. And quite blue. 

She still felt a little guilty though…

Fifteen minutes later the little girl and her mom got off at a stop, both giving Yang and Ruby friendly waves as they departed. 

Ten minutes later and the train reached the end of the line–Beacon. 

The six of them hopped off together, the only ones on the train here for this stop. Once again, Ruby was struck by how awesome Beacon looked, with it’s towers and archways and domes and stuff. It was like a palace out of a fairy tale! And she got to live here!

Before too long, both teams were at their doors across the hall from each other. 

“See ya, guys,” Yang said to Team JNPR as she unlocked their room. “Thanks for inviting us.” 

“Yeah!” Ruby agreed. 

“No problem. Thanks for coming,” Jaune replied. He turned to Ruby with a serious expression. “And thanks for keeping Nora busy.” 


Ruby let out a little giggle and a wave before busting open the door to their room. 

Weiss and Blake were both sitting on their beds, backs against pillows against the wall. Weiss had her laptop on her lap while Blake was, of course, reading a book, though she had homework pages and their Dust Theory textbook arrayed around her. They both looked up at her expectantly with raised eyebrows–it was actually kinda hilarious how similar their expressions looked. 

“Hello, Ruby,” Weiss greeted her in her typical princessy manner. 


Ruby skipped over and plopped herself down next to Weiss on the edge of her bed and faced Blake, who was greeting Yang. 

“Is that my cotton candy?” Weiss asked in surprise. 

Grinning, Ruby held it out to her. “Yep! Have at it, m’lady.” 

Weiss’ eyebrows seemed to be permanently stuck in an arch of surprise, but she reached out to gingerly grab it with a narrowed squint. 

“Is it supposed to be so much smaller than Blake’s?” 

Okay, so one, crap. Ruby was caught! But two, did Weiss not really know how big a stick of cotton candy was supposed to be?

“Oh, ya know,” Yang started answering, “‘cause Ruby–” 

“Got you the small one!” Ruby butted in. “‘Cause you don’t eat much.”

“Why is it all lumpy?” Weiss asked as she looked down at her gift, referring to the spots where Ruby had taken bites out of it. 

“Um… Becaaaaause…” 

“Because Ruby ate some of it,” Yang the Traitor said as she sat down on Blake’s bed and handed her partner her big, pink, unnibbled tuft of cotton candy. 


The maniacal grin Yang shot her was one of Pure Evil. “What?! What happened to ‘always tell the truth’, huh?” 

Ruby gave a fake sniffle and patted Weiss’ knee. “I was trying to protect her from the truth!” she replied, making her voice sound like she was crying. 

“You’re a dolt,” Weiss sighed next to her. 

A happy wiggle shot through Ruby, and she scooted over and pulled her legs up onto the bed to sit next to Weiss. It was kind of awkward ‘cause she was hanging over the edge a bit, but Weiss, after giving Ruby an annoyed glare, scooched over a bit to give her room to sit. 

“Whatcha workin’ on?” Ruby asked. 

Weiss had some super wordy document open, two pages displayed side by side on the screen in Blank Slate Word. Ruby didn’t even know you could do that. 

“Oh, just looking over the papers my father sent me to read.”

She didn’t seem all that happy about it, but she was apparently on pages seven/eight of twelve, so she was making good time on it anyway. 

She was also pretty distracted by the cotton candy in her hands. 

“How am I supposed to eat this? Is there… did you bring a fork?” 

The deafening snort into bellowing laughter that Ruby let out startled everyone in the room–Weiss particularly. 

“You don’t–what? Bahahaha! You don’t need a f-fork, Weiss! Snnnckt-ahahahaha!” 

Yang started laughing too. “She asked for a fork?” 

Ruby nodded her head, unable to breath enough to make more words because of her laugher. 

Yang kept laughing, and Yang’s laughter made Ruby double over and laugh even harder, leaning into Weiss because the alternative was to fall off the bed. 

Weiss huffed, her eyebrows pulling together and her lower lip puffing out a bit. 

“Well, I don’t want to use my hands! It’s all… sticky!” 

The sisters’ laughter renewed at Weiss’ disapproving tone at her observation, but Blake cleared her throat. 

“Stop bein’ bullies, you two. She’s right.” Blake poked at her pink puff of candy, then pulled her finger away with a grimace and a small hissss. “This is grossly sticky.” 

“But it’s delicious!” Ruby reassured her. Stickiness is a small price to pay for sugary goodness. 

“It just smells like sugar,” Weiss argued. 


“I’m gonna have to wash my hands a billion times before I can touch a book again,” Blake bemoaned. 

“Oh no,” Yang drawled sarcastically. “That would just be the worst, wouldn’t it. Having to pull your nose out of a book for a lil’ bit and say hi to your partner.” 

Blake’s eyes narrowed and her lips pursed as she and Yang glared at each other, one suspicious, the other playful. 

“But we already said hi.” 

Golden locks splayed around as Yang shook her head vigorously. “Nuh-uh, I said hi. You just blinked at me and then took held your hand out for the cotton candy.” 

Blake frowned a tiny bit. “But it was a long, slow, ‘hello’ blink.” 

“Words are nice too, sometimes, ya know,” Yang said. “You read ‘em so much. Try usin’ them a little.” 

With a sigh, Blake rolled her eyes and tossed her book onto the bookcase, grasping her cotton candy with both hands and crossing her legs, scooting around a bit to give Yang more space on her bed. 

“Okay, fine…” She covered half her face from Yang’s view with her tuft of pink sugar and batted her eyelashes. “… Hi.”

Now it was Yang that narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “Now you’re just mocking me.” 

“I would never!” 

“How am I supposed to eat this?!” Weiss wailed suddenly. 

Another giggle slipped out of Ruby again, and she bumped Weiss’ shoulder with her own. “Just use your fingers, silly!” 

Weiss’ cute little nose scrunched up in disgust, then she timidly poked the cotton candy with a slender finger. 

“Uggh,” she muttered, pulling away as soon she made contact. She stared at the tip of her finger like it was a worm growing out of her hand or something. “… Ugh,” she repeated. “I need a napkin. A wet one.” 

“Just lick it off your finger, Weiss!” Ruby suggested. It was a really obvious and simple solution. 

Weiss’ eyes widened and she looked at Ruby in horror. It made Ruby giggle again. 

Turning away, Weiss shook her head disapprovingly. “Absolute heathen,” she muttered under her breath. 

Ruby rolled her eyes at her partner’s dramatics. “You can always just bite out of it without touching it, ya goofball.” 

Weiss grimaced again. “Fiiiiine,” she sighed, as though she’d been expecting that sort of answer but just didn’t want to hear it. 

Scrunching up her nose again and closing her eyes, Weiss leaned forward to take the tiniest bite in the world, making sure to not let any of if touch the sides of her mouth. After the bite, she squeezed her eyes shut even tighter and just sat there frozen for a long moment, then started slowly smacking her lips together like she was trying to get the taste off her tongue. Her nose wasn’t unscrunching. 

Which was weird, right? Sure, cotton candy might be an un-Weissy thing to eat, but now that she’s tasted she should be, like, all ‘Wow this is so yummy! Thanks for getting this for me, Ruby!’

But she looked even more grossed out than before. 

“Bleck!” Weiss spat. “It’s just sugar!” 

“… Yeah!” 


“But… I thought you liked sweets!” Ruby whined. She’d really wanted Weiss to like the cotton candy. She wasn’t really sure why, though–maybe it would be something that Weiss didn’t like that Ruby convinced her to like? Kinda like what she hoped to do with faunus. 

“Sweets are fine, Ruby. But there’s a difference between sweets and just straight sugar! Sugar’s fine when combined with other things, but this… this is just too much.” 

Ruby blinked. 

“…. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” 

Chuckling, Weiss rolled her eyes. “You’re ridiculous,” she said softly. “Here, you can finish the rest of this. You already ate most of it anyway.” She handed Ruby back the cotton candy, but Ruby didn’t take it. 

“But… I got it for you! You asked for it!” 

Weiss’ gave her a guilty grin. “Well… I didn’t really want it. I just wanted to see if you’d be able to get it back here without eating it. And Blake and I decided to see which of the two of you could bring us a cotton candy.” 

Ruby’s jaw dropped in disbelief. The dishonesty! They were being experimented on! 

She looked over at Yang, who’d cut off whatever quiet conversation she was having with Blake to look back at her.

“You lost, by the way,” Weiss added in her sing-song voice. 


Blake nodded with a smug smile. “I have the best partner,” she declared. 

Weiss huffed, but didn’t argue. Why didn’t she argue?!

“Weiss, don’t let her say that!” Ruby squeaked. 

“Well, the criteria we set up for determining the best partner was ‘who will manage to bring back a cotton candy for us’, and Yang did better.” 

“But I did bring you back a cotton candy!” 

“Yeah, half of one.” 

“But you don’t even want it!” 

“That’s not the point!” 

“Yang is basically twice as good a partner as Ruby,” Blake pondered, still with that smug little smile that made Yang beam. 

“Heehee,” Yang replied, kicking her feet, then she stuck her tongue out at Ruby. 

Ruby pouted. “Ya’ll suck.” 

“Did you guys think I’d eat the cotton candy before we made it back?” Yang wondered aloud. 

“No, we just thought you might hit somebody with it,” Blake answered simply. 

Yang blinked at her partner. “That’s just rude.” 

Blake let out a little giggle and poked Yang’s ribs with a toe. “C’mon, you saying you wouldn’t smack someone in the face with a wad of cotton candy?” 

“Not for no reason!” 

“She tried to give her cotton candy away!” Ruby blurted. 

“What? Why?” Weiss asked. 

“There was a little girl on the train that wanted some, and Yang tried to give hers away!” Ruby tattled. 

“What?! You did too, ya doof!” Yang shot back. 

“Yeah, but you tried harder.” 

“Yeah, ‘cause I didn’t want you giving your half eaten cotton candy full of Ruby germs to a stranger!” 

“Your face is Ruby germs!” 

Weiss sighed loudly next to her. 

“Whatever!” Ruby yelled, not giving anyone a chance to say anything else. “Gimme that candy!” She grabbed her wonderful, unwanted gift out of Weiss’ hands. 

“Hey! Don’t be whiny,” Weiss chastised her. 

You don’t be whiny!” 

“Ruby, it’s just a joke. You’re obviously the best partner.” 

“Hey!” Yang protested. 

Ruby squinted suspiciously at Weiss. She was just saying that. She didn’t mean it. And she definitely didn’t joke. At least, not on purpose. Sometimes she was funny, but on accident. 

And this wasn’t even funny!

But Weiss reached out to give Ruby’s back a little rub and gave her a small smile. 

Okay, maybe she did mean it. 

“The best partner?” Ruby clarified. 

Weiss nodded, keeping that small smile that was super cute and friendly. 

“Now, would you mind being the best best partner and getting me a napkin?” Weiss held up the pointer finger she’d poked her cotton candy with. 

“Sure!” Ruby chirped. “Hold this for me.” She handed back the cotton candy stick, the slipped into her Rose Form and darted for the kitchen. She grabbed a paper towel, ran it under the water real quick, then sprinted back to their room before the door had even swung closed, then skipped back to her spot at Weiss’ side. 

“Thank you,” Weiss said graciously. “See? Best partner. Yang would’ve taken way longer to get this.” 

“Heehee,” Ruby beamed, giving Weiss’ arm a hug. 

“How ‘bout you just bring your finger over here and let me punch it off,” Yang threatened. “Won’t be dirty then.” 

“Wouldn’t it still be dirty, but just off her body?” Blake asked. 

“… Semantics.” 

Anyway, you guys want to watch the fight videos?” Weiss asked. 

“Yeah!” Ruby agreed readily. 

“I’m down,” Yang said. 

Blake sighed. “Wooh. Let’s all watch me get demolished again. Yayyy.” 

“We could, um, only watch my and Ruby’s fight?” Weiss offered. 

“No!” Ruby immediately countered. “We have to watch them bolth!” 

“Both,” Weiss said with a weird tone. 


“No, it’s pronounced ‘both’, Ruby.” 

“I… what did I say?” 

“You said bolth.” 

“Right, bolth.” 

“There’s no L in it!” 


“Say it with me. Bo…” 

“… Bo…” 



“Well, no ’uh’ sound, but yes. Now put it together. Boooth.”

“Booolth. Crap. Booo…eth.” 

It was so hard not to add the extra sound! What the heck?!

“No, Ruby!” 

“Waaah! I didn’t make a llll sound!” 

“Yeah, but now you’re just adding an extra syllable! It’s just ‘both’. Boooth.”


“Yes! Just like that.”

“Bolth. Crap. Boeth. Boeth? Both? Both.” 

“Yes. Okay, just stop before you mess up again.”

Ruby pouted. “… Yeah, that’s fair.” 

“Send me the video?” 


Ruby sent the video to Weiss’ scroll ID, and both Weiss’ scroll and laptop pinged with the received message. Oh neat! Weiss had synced her laptop to her scroll. Yang had done that too. 

Dang, Ruby really wished she had a laptop. Maybe that was something she could get with her hunt money! After getting Weiss those super pretty earrings, of course. 

Weiss did some typing on her scroll and it let out the whoosh noise of sending a message. 

“Sent them to Winter. Thanks.” 

“Mhm! Yang, Blake, c’mere!”

“Fiiine,” Blake droned, as the two got up and approached Weiss’ bed. 

“Weiss, scooch over,” Ruby ordered. 

“But I’m already scooched over!” 

Ruby leaned forward to look around to Weiss’ other side. There was easily a foot and a half of space between Weiss and the wall. She gave Weiss a Look. 



She scooted over. 

Ruby scooted over too, so now there was enough for Yang and Bl–

Well, okay, only one of them, really. Hm. 

Yang sat down next to Ruby, stretching her legs out, then held her arms out to Blake with a teasing grin. 

After rolling her eyes with a hint of a smile, Blake sat on Yang’s lap. Yang happily wrapped her arms around her partner and pulled her close, snuggling her nose into Blake’s back and peeking at the laptop screen over Blake’s shoulder. 

“Try not to enjoy yourself too much,” Blake muttered to her. 

“I’ma enjoy myself juuust the right amount, thank you very much,” Yang quipped back. 

Blake rolled her eyes again, but her lips twitched. She looked pleased as punch about… something. 

“Here,” Ruby said, gesturing to Weiss and her laptop. 

Weiss squinted at her. 

“What?! I’m in the middle.” 

It made sense for her to hold the laptop. Plus, she was team captain…

With a light huff, Weiss picked up the device and placed it on Ruby’s lap. 

Ruby gave a happy little wiggle. Laptops were so cool! And Weiss’ was fancy–skinny and sleek and cool. 

The video was pulled up. 

“Ready?” Ruby asked her team. 

She got nods. 


Ruby hit the space bar. 

Dang. Watching her and Ruby’s fight from outside, it was crazy how much faster they seemed. Everything looked so much faster than it had from inside the fight. Tiny Ruby was a red and black blur, her scythe swings so quick they looked more like flashes of silver arcs than they did attacks. And Tiny Weiss… well, Weiss was amazing, of course. It was kinda crazy how she somehow kept her back straight pretty much the whole fight–she had crazy perfect posture! And Myrtenaster was moving just as fast as Crescent Rose, but it was so much smaller it was almost impossible to see, only becoming easily visible when it stopped moving after a strike. And watching her swish her sword and cast super awesome Dust spells out of it was so cool! She really was basically a wizard. Wizardess? What was a female wizard? A witch?

Nah, Weiss wasn’t a witch. That just sounded wrong. 


‘Oh no.’

They were coming up on the slappy bit. 

Weiss leaned in and whispered, “I think you can skip ahead a bit.” 

Biting on the inside of her lips to keep from smiling, Ruby reached over to press a key when Yang growled in her ear. 

“Don’t you effing dare, Ruby Rose.” 

Ruby let out a little whine. 

They got to The Part. On the screen, Tiny Ruby and Tiny Weiss looked at each other for a long moment. Ruby’s cloak was off, pinned to the ground with Myrtenaster, Crescent Rose lying on the ground several feet away from them. 

Then Tiny Weiss slapped Tiny Ruby. 

Yang let out a snorting little chortle. 

“That was so rude,” Ruby jokingly muttered to her partner. 

“Sorry,” Weiss said sheepishly. 

Tiny Ruby tackled Tiny Weiss to the ground, and the two of them started slapping at each others hands. 

With a groan, Weiss buried her face in her hands while Yang and Blake cackled at them. Ruby was pretty sure her cheeks were as Atomic Red as the hot wings Yang loved to eat. But even redder. And hotter. 

“Look at you!” Yang huffed through her laughter. “Just… slappin’!” She playfully swatted in mockery at Blake’s hands, but Blake was on her lap with her back to Yang, so it didn’t really work all that well. 

“Shudupwe’retrynawatch!” Ruby ordered, in a totally cool, collected, Team Captain voice. 

The rest of the fight wasn’t as flashy as the start. Both Ruby and Weiss were a bit slower than they had been, and Weiss didn’t have Dust anymore. It was a lot more technical weapon fighting though. This time through, Ruby noticed what Professor Awesome had meant about how Weiss looked like she was using training combos.

But those training combos totally whooped Ruby’s butt, so they couldn’t be that bad. 

The video ended on a frame with Weiss standing over Ruby, rapier pointed at Ruby’s dumb face. 


Like, Ruby knew she was two years behind these other students, but she got let in to Beacon early because she was supposedly super duper good. Though to be fair, Weiss was one of the best. Maybe even the best! Ruby kept hearing about how amazing Pyrrha was, but after both experiencing and watching Weiss be super powerful and skilled and cool, she couldn’t imagine any of the other first years beating her. 

Well, maybe Yang if she was mad enough. 


“So what now?” Weiss piped up. 

“Um… now we analyze stuff all super smartical-like,” Ruby answered. “Then we have some crazy revelation on how to be perfect fighters and we ascend to godHOOD AND GRADUATE EARLY TO GO KILL ALL THE GRIIIIIMM!” Ruby raised a fist in the air and waved it around as her voice got louder and louder. 

Everyone was quiet. 

“Ruby, you’re ridiculous,” Yang said.

“I know.” 

“My ear hurts,” Weiss grumped. 

“Okay, whatever! Let’s do some… analysisizing! Analysizing? An…”

“Analyzing?” Blake and Weiss said together. 

“Yeah,” Ruby said. “That too.” 

“So I saw what Professor Rustheart meant about Weiss doing the practice moves or whatever this time,” Yang said. 

Weiss sighed. “Yeah, I did too.” 

“Hey, me too!” Ruby chirped. 

“Okay, I get it!” Weiss blurted. 

“What? No, I just meant, like, it’s cool that we all saw it.” 

Weiss glared at her. 

“‘Cause we’re all smert,” Ruby clarified. 


“I also think Weiss might want a way to reload her Dust faster,” Blake offered. 

Weiss tilted her head. “Maybe, though most enemies aren’t as fast as Ruby. I can just reload normally against… anybody else.” 

Blake shrugged. 

“What about me?!” Ruby chirped excitedly. She wanted tips to be a superhero!

“You should try to hook more,” Yang suggested. 


“Yeah,” Blake added. “Like, when you when you were swinging at Weiss and she blocked and stepped inside your guard, you coulda pulled backwards and hooked her.” 

“Ooooh, maybe if you kick on your semblance you can drag her behind you as you zoom around!” Yang said, eyes bright. 

“Or you could not do that,” Weiss countered. 

“You should totally do that,” Blake confirmed. 

Ruby looked over at Weiss. 

“No,” Weiss told her flatly. 

Ruby looked away with a pout, then leaned closer to her sister and Blake. 

“That’s a good idea,” she whispered. 

When Weiss pinched her side, she let out a little yelp and jumped a bit, jostling everyone and the laptop. 


“Waaah! You can’t pinch me and then yell at me for reacting!” 

“If you break my laptop, you’re paying for the replacement.” 


“H-how much is it?” 

Weiss’ eyes went wide at that. “Oh, um… Nothing, don’t worry about it. I was just… kidding.”

Ruby frowned at that pause. “Really?” 

“Yes,” Weiss answered with a nod. “I’m just not used to saying that. It was… weird.” 

Ruby giggled. “Okay. So what have we got so far? Weiss should try not to follow practice maneuvers, and she doesn’t want to be hooked, and she’s not used to making jokes. Is that everything?” 

Weiss narrowed her eyes.

“Yeah, sounds like it,” Yang chuckled. 

“Anything else?” Weiss asked haughtily. 

“Okay, so Weiss,” Blake started. 

“Mm,” Weiss grunted, clearly expecting more jokes. 

“At the beginning, you know how you made that big wall of ice?” 


“That worked really well for cutting Ruby off. I feel like you should do more of that, like, battlefield terraforming.” 

Weiss nodded slowly. 

“Not that the attacks you did with the Dust didn’t work, but the wall worked better for you to even the playing field against Ruby’s super mobility.” 

Ruby grinned from ear to ear at that . 

“And Ruby?” 


“All I’ve got is that the professor was right. You just gotta want to hit your opponent.” 

Ruby frowned a bit. 

“And I suppose you gotta… like, Weiss kept closing in on you, so I feel like you should have taken bigger steps away to keep her at the right distance. Maybe use your semblance more in short bursts to create space?” 

“Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. But it’s kinda hard to blip in and out of the Rose Dimension really quickly. Like, it can make me a little dizzy. And nauseous for a bit.” 

“Maybe something to train on?” Blake said. 


“She doesn’t want to,” Yang informed her partner. 

“It just feels terrible, okay?!” Ruby yelled at nobody in particular. 

“We can give you the same deal Dad did,” Yang placated her. “Cookie for every blink.” 

… Darn, that was tempting. 

“… Weiss’ strawberry cookies?” 



Ruby turned her smile to her partner, who was looking at her with a confused little smirk. 

“You need to be bribed with cookies to train?” 

“Well, I don’t need to be. But… training and cookies is way better than training and no cookies… Duh!”

It seemed pretty obvious. 

Weiss frowned deeper. “I’m going to go bankrupt buying you cookies, aren’t I?” 

“I dunnooo, that would take a loooot of cookies.” 

Weiss sighed and her face fell. “I totally am.” 

They spent a couple more minutes talking about the fight, then watched Blake and Yang’s fight. There wasn’t really much to say beyond what the professor had. Yang needed to chillax. Blake needed to unchillax. 

Though they both seemed pretty chill sitting together right now. It was pretty cute. 

So now they had some tips on how to improve, and a fight coming up on Tuesday! Against new opponents! Ruby wondered who she’d end up fighting. What if she fought Nora?! That would be sweet. Hyper super strength versus hyper super speed? That would be a sweet showdown. Or someone on Team KORL or CRDL? Ruby wasn’t even sure what they did. Maybe that would make the fight even cooler! 

She’d just need to sit through Dust Theory and Grimm Studies tomorrow. Ugh. 

But then, super hero fights!


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