Fumbling Defenses

Since Ruby had been freed from her cast, she had been walking around and helping with smaller projects- mostly just bringing some fabrics and tools to others really; but it made her happy and nearly bounce for joy to be moving again. Yang and Weiss still didn't let her go outside to start parkouring or even teaching Nora little tricks yet until she had built up the lost muscle mass from being unable to walk for so long. She agreed with that, and didn't make a fuss when they enforced it either.

Right now, however, she was resting in the office with her feet propped up. The doctor told her about straining herself and how easily it could be done so every few hours Weiss would get her to rest. That didn't bother Ruby so much, since it gave her time to scribble down some ideas for new art.

It was exploitative and wild, mostly of beasts or women running and ruling over jungles and forests; even abstract landscapes of stone and shapes. It was art that expressed her newly found freedom in movement and with each piece, Ruby wanted everyone that gazed upon it to feel that wild burst of energy that running gave her.

As her pencil scratched at the surface of her sketching paper, Yang came into the office and sat down in a chair next to her. She looked like she had something on her mind so Ruby had stopped her work and looked over to Yang. "What's wrong, sis?

"I just...keep thinking about that bitch." Yang sighed out. "I mean, I was never there to help you when she first started this shit up but I'm here now and I still can't help." She growled as a hand ran through the golden locks she loved so much. "I know she's sitting in jail and she's getting fired and served the papers and blah, blah, blah, but that doesn't make me feel better about this."

Ruby sighed along with her sister, her eyes falling to the floor as she thought about the past few days. They had been busy for sure, Heather getting out of the hospital and into a jail cell til she made bond- which was just a few hours really, and then served restraining orders from the whole company as well as her last paycheck and a notice of her firing.

She had called many times, leaving nasty messages on everyone's voice mails; however, Ruby got many different kinds of voice mails. The first were of her begging for help- that her friends attacked her and she was only trying to defend herself. Then she started to say how everyone was insulting her behind her back- calling her sorts of slurs and things. When this failed, Heather started to insult her, herself; using times and events from school and saying every name in the book. There were even threats made to her and warnings of what she was going to do to hurt her and her family.

It left Ruby in tears, sobbing with her face in her pillow as she lay upon her bed. It was all becoming too much! There was just too much for her to handle right now! Weiss was constantly trying to patch up any holes to keep Heather from doing anything to the company like suing for wrongful firing and the like while Pyrrha was still tending to her black eye and wasn't talking as much for the time being. Jaune was the same, staying close to the other and picking up more of her work load since she couldn't see the fine stitches as well as she could with both eyes; after all the strain on one eye was leading to headaches and the redhead was sat down upon a sofa to rest for most of the time.

Ruby did blame herself for all of this. How could she not? It all started over her, didn't it? Heather joined while she was at home healing but she never caused problems like this until she got here. Rather what Ren said was true or not, Ruby claimed ownership to some of the heartache caused by the vile woman and there was no changing her mind on that.

Looking back to Yang, Ruby opened her mouth but found no words could leave her. They died in her throat, leaving it tight and dry. She closed it, swallowed, and tried again with mild success. "I'm sorry."

"What?" Yang asked, lifting her head up to look at her sister.

"I'm sorry all this happened." Ruby said again, this time her voice a bit more steady. "I shouldn't have hid behind you guys."

"Rather you told Weiss to fire her that day or not you know she couldn't. This isn't your fault Ruby and blaming yourself is just giving her more power." Yang said with a held back snarl. "The bitch picks on people like you to get away with shit. You're too kind and analyze things too closely. You didn't control her actions or thoughts, so you have no fault in them."

"Yeah but I knew-"

"You knew and warned us. That's all you needed to do and you did." Yang pointed out with a firm finger. "If I hear you take blame for her one more time I'm going to snap." Yang warned before she moved to sit beside her sibling, who was now shaking and trying to hold back tears. "Listen, Ruby, I'm sorry you had some really bad times without me there for you. I'm so sorry for that, but you can stand up for yourself now. You don't need to cower from people anymore. You need to stand up for yourself now. You have support now so when things fall through, know that we'll all catch you."

Ruby was crying now, sobbing in Yang's arms before she felt the warm hand of her sibling rubbing her back. Crying like this felt exhausting, but it relieved a lot of pressure she had been holding onto. They were right- she knew this deep down. She was afraid to stand up for herself, with anything really. With online games, you could block and mute people, art would always love you, and running was something you did to get away from something or someone.

She was the best at running away.

"It's okay, Ruby." Weiss cooed, shocking the sisters because they had both been too engrossed in the hug. "Everything will be okay."

"Weiss...how long have you been there?" Yang asked.

"Maybe half way through your speech?" Weiss offered with a tad smile. "I didn't mean to intrude but I could see you both starting to tear up and well, I had to step in." She said before she moved to rub both their shoulders. "Listen, everyone wants to have some lunch together- even Pyrrha and Jaune."

"Really?" Ruby asked softly. "But Pyrrha is-"

"She's needed some time alone but she's ready to mingle again. She never blamed you in the first place Ruby." Weiss said before leaning down and kissing the tear laced lips of her girlfriend. "Now, both of you dry your tears and go home. Get dressed to go somewhere nice, alright?"

"Huh? We're not eating here?" Yang asked. "I could have made us all something." She offered as she wiped a stray tear away from her own cheek. "I mean, I'm a bomb cook."

"Don't worry Yang, you'll be taking the night off this time." Weiss smirked before she leaned down to give Ruby one more, lingering kiss. A kiss that made Ruby blush and Yang groan to shake them out of it. "Ahm, well, yes, go home and clean up." Weiss said before she walked over to the door and gave them a brief smile before closing the door behind her.

Yang sighed, rubbing the back of her neck, then looked to Ruby who was still blushing and gave her shoulder a small nudge. "Come on, let's go. Don't want to keep our ladies waiting." The older sister gave a huge grin as Ruby smiled back up at her before they both stood and started to head home.

Once they made it, they showered and looked through their clothing. Yang, of course, chose something flattering though simple-a graphic tee shirt that fit her well but not too tightly, with a pair of studded blue jeans that hugged her form correctly.

Ruby, at first, simply threw on a large shirt and baggy pants before Yang pushed her back into her room and picked out her clothing. She ended up in a thick, long sleeve shirt and some pants that fit the hips well but not too form fitting so she was still comfortable.

"I just don't get why this is hard for you." Yang teased as she stood outside her sister's room as she dressed into the newly gotten clothes. "I mean, you work for a fashion line, Sis. Your sister is head model and you've even designed a line by now!"

"Yeah but, you're the model, Weiss does all the designing, and I simply did what I love to do and that was drawing. I have no hand in the clothing department." Ruby huffed as she dressed and sighed. "I just like easy clothes." Walking out of her room and looking to Yang. "You get, right? I mean, just something to throw on?"

"Oh yeah, yeah. Some days I mean." Yang gave a shrug before she tilted her head. "But not most days. Come on, you look good; you feel good. That's just how it is! You gotta have some love for yourself to get some happiness!"

Ruby rolled her eyes before she sighed and ran a hand through her hair before she shrugged. "I won't fight against that. Guess I haven't learned it yet."

"Don't worry. You got the best teachers around you and if that doesn't work I'll just play doll with you." Yang snickered before she felt her sister give her arm and small whack in jest. "I'm so serious! Look at all the clothes Weiss has gotten for you! She must love seeing you in all these threads! I do too, really. It's nice seeing you all cleaned up."

Ruby rolled her eyes and sighed, but she couldn't really fend off what Yang was saying. She knew Weiss liked her dressing up and looking better but she herself saw no difference in it. Well, if it gave Weiss a smile then it was worth it, wasn't it?

Walking out of the hotel and back down to the street, the two found Blake waiting on them in her sports car, dark shades on and a smirk on her face as she gave Yang a whistle, which made Yang blush but strike a quick pose and blow a soft kiss before she opened the passenger door and slid into the dark vehicle. Ruby climbed into the back, of course, and huffed as she strapped herself in. "Hey to you, too, Blake."

"Heh, hey there Ruby." Blake smiled as she revved the engine and started to take off. "We'll be going back to the warehouse to eat."

"Wait- what?" Yang asked as she turned to look at Blake. "Weiss said to get all dolled up to go out!" She huffed with a cross of her arms. "I could have cooked us something if we were staying in!"

"That would have been a lot of work, Yang." Blake said with a quick glance to her partner. "I mean, don't you want to enjoy the evening with us?"

"Yeah, Sis, I know you love to cook and it's amazing but it's a lot of work on you." Ruby added before she leaned in between the seats and flashed a grin. "Plus, you've nearly cooked everything we have at home! We would have had to go shopping!"

"Oh right..." Yang sucked in a breath from between her teeth. "I forgot about that. Damn."

As they drove up to the warehouse, Blake parked her beloved car in her space and turned off the engine. "You know, with everything that's been going on, I'm a bit excited for a small gathering with friends over some food."

"What food though? Please don't tell me it's like, super messy and stuff. I don't want to ruin my clothes or makeup." Yang huffed as she looked to Blake. "I'm all for a messy plate of some good food but not when I'm wearing designer clothing and stupid expensive makeup."

"I'm not sure what we're having, really. This was all Pyrrha's plan." Blake said with a click of her tongue. "Weiss had made mention of Ruby's feelings and she instantly wanted to try and make it up to you. She was never mad at you, Ruby, so she was going to invite you over her place and you and Jaune could play that game, but Weiss said it might be best if we all supported you here."

"Huh?" Ruby asked before looking to Blake. "but I hadn't told her any of that! The only one I mentioned that to was Yang!"

"I didn't mention it either." Yang said.

"She's watches things, remember? It's a reason she became a clothing designer, you know." Blake explained before she got out of the car. "Come on, I'm starving."

The three left the car and was making their way to the large warehouse, the smell of fried foods and roasted vegetables hitting their noses. Sweet, spicy, and savory; these were all things making the three drool as they opened the door to see their common tables lined together with all sorts of different foods laying their and everyone helping themselves to all sorts of things. There were pastas and rice, fried chicken and juicy burgers and they all looked so good!

"Wow!" Ruby said, walking forward once the shock wore off and moved to Weiss; who offered her a plate to fill up for herself. "This must have cost a fortune!"

"Well, not really." Weiss said with a gentle thumb pointing to Ren. "Ren and Nora have this food delivery app that cuts the cost on large orders. Turns out they use the service a lot."

"Man it was so funny to hear them repeat everything back to us!" Nora laughed as she waved them in. "But they were happy to have such an order! It's good business!"

"We got everything we thought anyone would like." Ren added as he used chopsticks to gather a bit of rice. "Please enjoy and if you don't like anything be free to ask for something new."

"I'm going to gain so much weight!" Yang whined as she got her own plate and began to pile different foods on it. "Oh, woe as me! What ever shall I do with all these choices?! How is one lady expected to deny such temptation?!"

"Oh, can it Yang. You are no 'lady'." Blake snickered before she started to gather her own favorite assortments.

"Please, I'm a Lady on the streets and a freak in the sheets, Blakey. You know this first hand." Yang purred, her eyebrows wiggling as the whole group groaned and the photographer blushed deeply.

"Okay, wow, no." Ruby said as she filled her plate and turned to see Pyrrha walking over to her and smile. "Oh! Hi, Pyrrha. Uh, listen I-"

"I'm sorry to have been absent from everyone lately, Ruby. Even more sorry I have down so and made you feel responsible for it." Pyrrha spoke calmly as she placed her plate down on the table and hugged the younger- though her natural height along with her heels had her bending over to do so. "I was simply avoiding what I thought would be anger from you."

"Huh? Why would I be angry at you?!" Ruby asked in shock, looking up to the now towering woman. At times, she wondered why Pyrrha never became a model herself.

"Well, I did...beat up Heather. I know she was a nasty piece of work but you two did date at one point." Pyrrha explained as she rubbed the back of her left arm.

"that's true, but I didn't like her back then. I used her as much as she used me." Ruby admitted as she cleared her throat. "You don't have to worry about any of that. I'm glad you beat her ass and stood your ground for everyone. You did something I've never been able to do."

Pyrrha blushed but grinned, stammering a thank you and that there was no need for such praise. It seemed the two were on good standings once more; which made Jaune happy because he needed Ruby's help with hunting a large group of Orcs on their online game. He'd been trying to gather the things he needed by himself but was having trouble.

As they all ate and talked, Ruby showed off some of her small tricks she was able to do again all while trying to teach Nora- who tried her hardest but just didn't have the peed down yet to help her spin and flip like she needed to.

"It all comes with practice!" Ruby grinned at the ginger. "You have great balance though all you need is to work on your running!"

"Please don't encourage her." Ren sighed as he already saw the stars sparkling in his lover's eyes. "Uh, I should see how well our medical is."

"I'm gonna become so awesome!" Nora laughed as she placed both hands on her hips. "I'll be flipping and spinning all over this place with all my flashing lights. Yeah! We can make a movie outta how awesome I'll be!"

"I can be the villain! The old master, turned from her own ways." Ruby added with a smirk and a hum. This made Nora jump with glee at the idea of it all and even asked Weiss a few times for the studio and some lending of some of her equipment. Needless to say; the idea stayed just that.

As the day wore down, everyone was cleaning up and leaving, saying their farewells and groaning as they held their filled stomachs. It was a great evening and it seemed the air had been cleared of the foulness that Heather left. It was when Ruby was getting ready to head for Blake's car was when Weiss stopped her; touching her arms and blushing as she asked her to spend the night at her place. Ruby blushed as well, happily agreeing and telling Yang she was going with Weiss.

The evening was lovely, but the night; had just begun.

A/N: Hey guys it's Demi here! Next chapter is up fast huh? It's a nice lil 'clear the air' after we got rid of Heather! Man, nobody liked her, I wonder why? Did I write her wrong? Was she too close to a personal friend or foe? Heheh, Well, she got what was coming to her, that's for sure! Anyways, enjoy the chapter and remember! I got a with some awesome stories up! Wishes Untold is one of them and will be updated at least once a month1 If you wanna get it first and become current on it faster, join up! The support is awesome and I try to give back with some commissions and other things! Hope to see you there and until next time! Peace!