Just a little bit of Faunus friendship for a dear friend of mine. Happy birthday, Jinn!
Disclaimer: I do not own RWBY.
Books And Bunnies
Apprehension. It was all Velvet could feel as she entered the lecture hall that morning.
Due to a previous engagement with another professor, she would be missing Oobleck's lesson today, and therefore needed someone to take the notes for her. Unfortunately for her, that would mean having to request someone else take them for her.
Which meant talking.
Which she was not very good at.
Velvet swallowed hard, clutching her books to her chest as she carefully stepped toward the one person in the class she felt most comfortable with approaching.
Blake had always been a rather quiet girl, usually preferring to bury her nose in a book as opposed to constantly chatting with others. Even now, before class has started, she sat with an open volume laid out before her, back straight as she scoured the pages with ease. Velvet liked her, not only because she was a fellow Faunus, but because Blake was quite taciturn, such as herself.
But that was why Velvet was so hesitant about asking her the question.
She managed to make it to the end of the aisle where Blake sat, reading intently, but Velvet felt bad about disturbing her. P-Perhaps I shouldn't...
But almost as though her acute hearing could pick up on Velvet's thoughts, Blake's head suddenly lifted, ears erect, eyes wide with surprise as she jumped a bit. "Velvet?"
"Ah-!" The shyer girl made a motion to hold her hands out in apology, but as she did so, the books came tumbling out of her hands onto the desk and floor. "Oh, my! I-I um... I-I'm sorry if I startled you!" She chirped, quickly ducking down to gather her books once again. "A-Are you okay?"
"Am I...?" Blake blinked. The corners of her lips curved slightly upward. "Of course I am. What about you?" Her amiable, golden eyes reassured Velvet about what she needed to ask; the thoughts were clear enough in her head, but when she tried to speak, everything was a jumbled mess.
"I... me? Y-Yes, I'm fine. Ah, b-but I have a um... ah..." Her dark eyes flicked around the room, not confident enough to meet Blake's.
But the other girl had given her her full attention, and Velvet felt it would be incredibly rude not to say something to her now.
Blake could tell Velvet was struggling – it seemed to be what she did best, after all. But she sat patiently, her eyes calm and her smile encouraging as she waited for the other girl to ask her question.
Upon seeing Blake's inviting expression, Velvet relaxed a bit and tried again to make her voice obey her. "Ah, I-I'm sorry to ask but... do you think you could possibly, um... is there any way you could... you could take the notes for me... for this period?" She finally let out the breath she had been holding in so desperately all this time. But as she finished asking, her apprehension kicked in again. "B-But it's alright if you can't! I understand you're busy with a lot of things and you may not have the time to-"
"Of course I'll take the notes for you." Blake agreed happily.
Velvet felt elation wash over her then, drowning out the dread that had almost threatened to consume her earlier. Her eyes lit up unbeknownst to her, but it made Blake suppress a chuckle.
In her excitement, Velvet placed her books onto the desk and swiftly reached forward to grab one of Blake's hands, shaking it a little. "Oh, thank you, thank you so much!" But her smiled quickly faded as she realized what she was doing. "O-Oh! I'm sorry..." She was about to release Blake's hand that she had so blatantly touched.
However, the other girl's ears twitched in amusement as Blake cupped her free hand over Velvet's.
"It's okay." She said. "I'd be happy to help."
Velvet's eyes sparkled again. "T-Thank you so much, Blake!" She bowed deeply.
"Don't mention it."
Blake released the other Faunus's hands and Velvet hastily gathered her books. She dipped her head one final time to Blake before scurrying out of the room. I did it! She thought proudly. I spoke to her, and she said yes! I actually spoke to her!
Feeling both amazed and surprised with herself, Velvet continued to very nearly skip down the hall.
Ah... b-but perhaps I should have specified a place for her to meet me afterward...
It was evening now, and Velvet was presently back in professor Oobleck's lecture hall, which was completely vacant. After her appointment, she had returned to her classes as per usual, but Blake was not in any of them aside from this one.
Oh, I hope this didn't cause her too much trouble...
Naturally, there was a part of her that was so bold as to believe Blake may not even have taken the notes for her at all. Velvet had lost count of how many times she had asked someone to do something for her and they had failed to do it. It was either, "I forgot" or "Oh, you thought I was serious?" or "Yeah, I couldn't figure it out".
Aside from constantly being taunted about her Faunus heritage, those kinds of responses were what had eventually caused Velvet to clam up over the years.
So many times, she had been consumed with faithless thoughts. Why even bother to ask when it's certain the answer is going to be no? Why put her trust in someone so eagerly, only to be so dreadfully disappointed in the end? Why make herself suffer that crushing sadness again and again?
All of these were thoughts that persuaded Velvet that there was no one she could trust but herself. She usually ended up doing project work entirely one her own, whether because she was bullied into it, or because she knew for a fact no one else was going to do their part. She would work for hours, sacrifice her scarce free time and health for the sake of their grades, and get not a single word of thanks in return.
This morning, Velvet had been too content with herself having finally been able to ask someone a question and receive a positive response that she had forgotten about those issues; just because she had gotten herself to speak did not mean the results she received now would be any different than they used to be.
She had used to be quite a talkative girl, but after being taken advantage of one too many times, even by the people she once considered friends, it had begun to eat away at her, causing her to build a defensive barrier around herself. Hence her painful shyness. Hence her inability to convey her thoughts properly.
It was all a very vicious cycle founded by broken trust and deception, and it had turned Velvet into the hesitant girl she was today.
Presently, she sighed to the empty room, realizing she had gone and gotten her hopes up again, whereas the most probable outcome would be to have them shot down. But she was used to that by now.
She turned, heading back toward the dorm rooms. But as she passed the library, the alluring scents of old tomes caught her attention, as it often did, and she spared a moment to slip inside.
Velvet loved the library. She loved the silence of the books that never insulted her, loved the scent of the pages and the carpet fuzz, loved the presence of the other Faunus who seemed to gather there for the very same reasons.
She lingered for several minutes, walking near the windows to gaze outside into the scenery of orange the setting sun provided.
But just before she could turn around to head back for the exit, her gaze drifted over to the quiet study tables. A familiar bundle of long, onyx hair and two small furry ears made Velvet blink in surprise.
Velvet was nervous about going up to her; what if Blake snapped at her or laughed at her? She did not want to live believing that all people were like that, but she simply could not help it.
However, her hesitation was quickly overpowered by concern when she realized how the other girl was sitting. Blake was hunched over onto the table with opened books strewn about before her, but her head was not up for her to read them, nor were her hands moving to flip any pages.
Panic instantly overtook Velvet as all her fears about being chased away with harsh words were replaced with fear for her classmate's health.
She quickly dashed over, coming to a halt beside Blake's chair. Velvet put a hand on her shoulder and shook her gently. "B-Blake?" She whispered. "Blake, a-are you alright?" When she received no reply, Velvet was about to rush out to fetch help.
But before she could go, she heard a faint sound coming from the other girl's lips. "Mm..."
It was not a pained sound nor was it a sound that called for alarm. When Velvet gave herself two seconds of calm, she realized Blake's shoulders were rising and falling gently as she breathed.
She was... asleep.
"Oh, thank goodness..."
Velvet let out a relieved sigh. She slowly removed her hand from Blake's shoulder before darting off toward the main desk; it was not a rare occurrence that students fall asleep here, therefore somewhere along the lines, some person of authority had decided to provide blankets to the library. The secretary smiled amusedly as she slid a blue bundle of wool toward Velvet, and the Faunus girl bowed her thanks.
She returned to Blake and unfolded the blanket before carefully draping it over the other girl's shoulders. As she did so, her gaze glimpsed the papers and books Blake had evidently been working on before she had fallen asleep.
Her eyes widened when she realized Blake had been copying her own notes from class onto a fresh page, the top of which read: Velvet.
Feeling both guilty and flattered at the same time, Velvet quietly took a seat in the chair beside Blake's. The guilt crashed over her first, and she felt awful for ever doubting Blake in the first place.
However, whenever a favor was asked, Velvet herself was usually the one in Blake's position right now. Therefore, she was flattered, not only due to the fact that Blake had actually taken the notes for her, but also to because she had been so intent on copying them by hand that she had tired herself out enough to fall asleep in doing so.
Velvet could not remember the last time someone had gone out of their way for her sake, and briefly wondered if that time even existed at all.
But she shook her head, realizing that none of that mattered; all that mattered right now was the fact that Blake had done this much for her, and Velvet could not suppress the rare happiness she felt bubbling within her chest.
She waited patiently for about ten minutes, the only sounds being the murmurs of other students and Blake's soft breathing. But Velvet's ears twitched as she heard a change in her companion's breath, and not a moment later, Blake groggily lifted her head, blinking in puzzlement. Her ears swiveled about a bit before perking up as Blake recalled where she was, however the warmth on her back was new.
As Blake straightened up, Velvet realized she did not know what to say now.
Blake's golden eyes flashed in recognition when she finally looked at Velvet sitting beside her.
"Velvet!" She said, surprised. "The machine is broken, so I was copying your notes by hand. I guess I fell asleep..." She hastily picked up her pen. "I'm sorry about that. I'll have them finished in just a few more minutes."
"N-Not at all!" Velvet gasped a little more loudly than she intended. "I-I mean, you've already done this much for me..." She looked over the notes Blake had copied, realizing there were about four full pages already. "You're obviously tired! You should rest! I can get the last of it some other way."
But Blake shook her head. "No. I told you I would do this for you, so I'm going to do it. It's nice to be able to rely on someone else for once, isn't it?"
Velvet was silent. Had she ever heard those words before in all her life? She did not know how to react.
Blake could tell Velvet was amazed that someone had actually gone through with their task for her for once. It made Blake's stomach twist a little in knowing it had taken seventeen years for someone to treat her like a person, but Blake felt there were plenty of people who would do just that here at Beacon. She could not wait to see the look on Velvet's face when people started coming to her to compliment her or truthfully offer assistance...
Blake smiled again. "I'm almost done." She said, as she commenced writing.
Velvet shifted a little in her seat, bashful and thankful.
"Then... I'll at least stay with you until you're finished." She flicked her darker gaze up to meet golden eyes. "Thank you... Blake."
The other girl's smile widened just a bit, her eyes soft and kind. What she said next brought tears to the shyer girl's eyes:
"No, thank you, Velvet."
Never before in all her life had she heard those words.
Velvet wiped her eyes briefly before she scooted a bit closer to Blake, her face blessed by a beaming smile.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed! I feel we've all been Velvs at one point or another, or even right now. But there are Blakes out there, believe me!