Written from the perspective of Cinder Fall
Summary: Cinder's favorite past time is taking bubble baths, which she takes very seriously. Every detail must be in perfect order from petal fragrances to drops of soap solution. But when Emerald wastes Cinder's ultra-expensive-and-rare bubble bath solution, there's only one other person in all of Vale who has a bottle.
"You used my ultra-expensive-and-rare bubble bath solution to do what?"
Emerald shivered before my fury. "T-to blow bubbles, m-ma'am."
I couldn't believe what she was telling me. My mind just couldn't process it. My fingers instinctively lit up with the glow of dust-empowered fire as I had the thought of burning her throat in. All the petals in the tub were perfectly arranged and every scented candle ready to be lit. My favorite robe, towel, and ducky were in place. Everything was set for a bubble bath except the bubbles because some streetrat pickpocket wanted to blow bubbles.
Holding Emerald in the air by her throat, my eyes glowed with rage. Nobody, and I mean nobody, messes with Cinder Fall's bubble baths.
"I think she wet herself," Mercury observed leaning against the wall. "Hey now, don't glare at me. I told her to stop but she insisted on blowing bubbles. Still, think she had enough?"
But still, it'd be a problem if they found a burning corpse in the dormitory. Releasing Emerald, she dropped to all fours, gasping for air. Clutching her throat, she coughed and hacked her lungs out.
"Remember this," I said making my way for the door. "Do not touch my things," and with a snap, the hinges burst into flames the door fell. Walking through, I began my journey into town to the exotic goods shop to purchase another bottle. Another expensive bottle.
And they were out.
Just my luck. Just my pitiful, terrible, luck.
"Ma-ma'am. We only had one other bottle… a young gentleman from Beacon like yourself actually purchased it… maybe you could ask him if he would be willing to sell?" The shopkeeper bowed for his poor service of my generous patronage.
Wait. There's another bottle? "Who?"
The man scribbled a name and handed it to me.
I know this person… I know this boy… Ha, I have you now.
Knocking on the dormitory door, I was greeted by none other than Jaune Arc.
"Um… Hello? And you are…"
"Cinder. Now shut up and hand me the bubble solution."
His eyes lit up with fear as he slammed the door on me. Oh, is that how he wants to play it? Fine. I prefer firepower to diplomacy any day. I raised a hand and channeled my fiery power through it before the door opened.
And he poured a bucket of ice cold water on my head.
"No! Shoo, shoo!" He took a broomstick and started poking me like I was some kind of backyard racoon. "I'm not taking any sale offers!"
Steam was boiling on the top of my head. My dust-empowered fire spell had been negated. But seriously, did he honestly think he could ward me off with a bucket of ice cold water?
"A...Achoo!" I rubbed my nose of the mucus.
Did I just… catch a cold?
Jaune Arc stared at my dumbfounded. "Did that actually work? Shoot, shoot, shoot… you might have caught a cold from that. Okay, okay come in," he said pulling me into his room. He dropped a fluffy towel on my head. "Sorry about that but… I really didn't want to share. I love bubble baths."
"So do I."
"Yeah but I only got enough bubble solution for one bath…"
A predicament I thought. Holding the towel closer to me, I began drying my hair and neck. I could feel most of my dust was ruined by the ice water… meaning I couldn't take the bubble solution by force… I've been successfully ice-bucketed to the negotiating table.
Therefore, I must compromise.
"How about we take a bath together?"
Jaune raised an eyebrow. The offer clearly shocking.
Well that was simple.
"I have the bath set up, and you have the bubble solution… the tub is big enough if we both keep to our sides," I explained. "Okay, this is how it is going to work, you will be blindfolded…"
"Disappointed you won't get to enjoy the view?"
"How will I see the bubbles? I like to play with them…"
"You… never mind. Blindfolded understood?"
And so, we agreed to meet in my private dormitory bathroom which was properly prepared for my bubble bath. I lit the candles and spread the petals. I slipped out of my uniform and slid on a soft velvet red bathrobe. There was a knock on the door. Jaune had arrived in a blue bathrobe with the bubble solution.
Pouring the bubble solution into the perfectly water at a perfectly pleasant temperature, Jaune took out a piece of black cloth and tied it around his eyes. "Uh… so how do I get in after this?"
I grabbed his bathrobe and pushed him into the tub. Tossing his bathrobe aside, I slipped off my bathroom and rubbed some oils on my skin.
"Be a dear try to not spoil the water," I said finishing up.
"I could have drown!"
"In a bathtube?"
"I'm weak as a kitten…"
I shook my head in disappointment as his blindfolded head looked around. "I'm coming in," I announced and he resigned his form into a ball into a corner. Taking a toe at first to test the temperature, I found it acceptable and entered the bath.
"So… how am I going to play with the bubbles blindfolded?"
"You don't play with bubbles in a bubble bath," I said as I grabbed Mr. Ducky. "You relax and let your thoughts go free… quack quack," I said giving Mr. Ducky a squeeze.
"Did you bring a ducky into a bathtub?"
I splashed some water at his face. "Hey! No fair! I can't even see where… argh! That's not cool! Totally not cool!"
"You're taking a bubble bath with one of the most beautiful woman in all of Remnant. How is that not cool?"
"I'm blindfolded and I just want to play with the bubbles okay, woman? I got priorities. I can get all the ladies I want any day but I can't get to play with bubbles forever. Do you realize how expensive that bottle of bubble solution was? It was like, three months allowance."
Dear diary, today I, Cinder Fall, met the biggest idiot of them all.
"Oh please pray tell how you're going to get the ladies."
"I've got seven sisters and a lady-killer dad that's a walking encyclopedia of pick up tips."
"Have you even held a girl's hand?"
This kid. "Does your father realize he has a eunuch for a son?"
"What's a eunuch?"
Sighing, I leaned my wet form over to him. My lips to his ears, I explained to him what a eunuch is. Or rather, what a eunuch lacks.
"H-hey! I got a pair."
"Sure you do."
I could tell he was glaring at me. "Well, take a load of this!" Standing up, I raised an eyebrow. So is that what a dragon looks like?
"Thank you for the anatomy lesson of microscopic organisms attached to the human body. Could you please sit down?"
"Y-Yes ma'am…" Jaune sat back in the water defeated. "You know what though, thanks. I think this is probably the longest conversation I've had with a girl before she you know, threw me off a bridge or something. Or tossed a spear at me."
"We're getting close to that point, dear."
"...heh," he said as his mouth sunk before the water line. He blew a bubble with his lips.
"Just trying what you said. Letting my thoughts go. Maybe I've been doing bubble baths wrong all this time. I've always tried to make things a game. Hence, the bubbles during bath time."
"Ah, the games we play," I said with a smile. "What thoughts pervade your mind?"
"I keep wondering if the Arc line is going to end with me."
"I'm the youngest in my family. Dad had a daughter and another and another… kept begging mom to try for one more kid because the next one's got to be a son, you know? Well, it took seven daughters but he finally got me. And guess what? Growing up in a house with a dad way past his prime and a bunch of sisters making you play tea party and dolls with them ends up turning you into a pretty sissy coward."
The thought of my childhood flashed through my eyes like embers in a flame.
"Unfortunate," I commented. "But you can still change who you are. You'll always be an Arc, but whether your tombstone will read 'Coward' or 'Hero' is still a matter of choice."
"Heh, I'm no coward. But my tombstone will probably read 'Dunce'. A no-talent dunce at that."
"Your self-esteem is most lacking."
"Self-esteem comes easy to a girl who's hotter than a sun in the middle of July."
"I'm beautiful, but not that beautiful."
"Are you kidding me? Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? You're like… a thirty-four on a ten scale. Woman, I might be blindfolded right now but your voice by itself makes you a sixteen."
He snorted. "Nothing you haven't already heard a thousand times I bet."
"You'd be surprised," I said. My thoughts drifted to a dark cellar and stoking coals in the fireplace. "You know, we all have our own problems."
"And is being born beautiful one of them?"
"Being born is my curse," I said. Sinking deeper into the bubble bath, I blew on the bubbles gently to float them to the air. "When I was little, all I had to play with was embers from the coals. My mother was always sick and she felt cold. So I had to make sure the hearth was warm enough. Always."
"So, being a little girl, all I had to play with were cinders and embers. While I stoked the hearth, I drew pictures in the fire," I explained.
"Are you sure you want to tell me this?"
"Why not?" Other than, this is the first time I've told anyone this.
"Just… go on then," he said as he sunk his body deeper into the water and leaned forward to listen attentively.
"My mother always told me I was the daughter of a prince. And one day my father will take the throne and become king and I'll be a true princess. I would have dresses and tea sets and maids and servants and we wouldn't ever go hungry again. Every night, I dreamt of being a princess. I use to draw castles and gardens I'd live in from the soot onto a shovel plate."
"You're lucky to be born into the Arc Family," I said. "As the heir to something greater. Having ancestors being proud of you."
"I'm a bit of a disappointment."
"At least you aren't a bastard."
"My mother was a prince's lover. An illicit relationship, forbidden by the rites. And the product of that forbidden union was… of course, me."
There was a thought that wouldn't go away. My mother laying on the bed, diseased and bedridden. Half a lifetime of backbreaking work has left her body exhausted and spent. She drank soup and ate whatever medicine my father had sent us. But nothing. My father never visited us. It was always a secret liaison or merchant or agent. Never him in person. Just letters.
Letters I burned the day she died.
"I-I… Miss… I…" I looked at Jaune. He said could say nothing. I continued.
"You know what the nobles called my mother when they rode their carriages by my house?" He shook his head. "Ha. Never mind. Never mind…"
You aren't a shameless whore.
"I suppose I am royalty though," I mused. "I stopped thinking myself as a princess long ago… but still that dream never faded from my heart."
That desire to be a queen.
To run fire and steel through my kingly father's heart and his children and his shameless whore noble wife. Oh yes, his kingdom and everything he has built will be burned. And from the ashes I will raise a new queendom, one that rejects the rigidity of royal customs that brought my mother to destitution.
"Do you miss your mother?"
"Yes," I smiled.
The only time I didn't play with embers or cinders was during baths. On my birthday, as a treat, my mother would sprinkle some cheap bubble powder and I'd blow bubbles for her. She wipe the dark smudges of soot and ash from my face and make me white and pale. She said a girl looks beautiful with a clean, pale face and long hair.
Mother, am I beautiful?
"You're a beautiful person you know."
"Thank you," I said as I stepped out of the bath grabbed my velvet robe. "You can remove the blindfold now. Enjoy the bath for as long as you'd like," I said tying the sash to fasten the robe.
"H-Hey… if it's alright with you… not to sound weird or anything…"
"Mind if we take a bath together some other time?"
I laughed. "That's rather bold of you to ask."
"I'm not hearing a 'no'," he said with a smile. Still blindfolded.
Leaning towards him, my lips were inches from his. Jaune Arc, was an interesting person. Perhaps, I won't exterminate him with the rest of his huntsmen classmates. When I become Queen of Remnant, I do suppose I'll be needing a King Consort...
"Be a good boy and next time you won't need a blindfold."
Bubble Bath Fin
Author's Notes: Cinder's pretty hot. Heh. HEH. That was punny. But that's my headcanon for Cinder; an impoverished girl who grew up being told she was a princess only to find out and realize she was actually an illegitimate child. Hates the idea of noble-royal classes and etc.
Did I mention she's hot? Holy hell, she's hot.
AND I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT HER.