Ruby was stretched out on Weiss's lap when Tai called from the kitchen.
"Ruby, Yang – I need you two to go down to the store and get me some berries for our pie! They're closing in a bit, so Ruby's Semblance might come in handy." Tai snickered at his own joke.
Ruby stood up and followed Yang to the kitchen. The blonde had been showing Blake her old bedroom, and had emerged a bit glassy-eyed. Tai dropped a few Lien into Yang's outstretched hand, and smiled at them.
"Ruby, be careful running around. We don't want you blasting a hole through that stop sign on Gild Street."
"Dad, that was one time!"
"C'mon, Blake!" Yang called, but Tai held up a hand.
"No, no, no. I need Blake and Weiss to help me with setting the table. Now off you go, my darling daughters." Blake and Weiss exchanged a frantic look with their respective girlfriends, but when Ruby and Yang left, they smiled a bit sheepishly.
"What can we do for you, Professor?" Weiss asked.
"Please, call me Tai." He retrieved a stack of thick ceramic plates from a cabinet and handed them to the girls. "Now let's get to know each other."
"Weiss, how long have you and Ruby been together?"
Tai was sitting across from Blake and Weiss while Ruby and Yang were out, and both of the girls were fidgeting under the protective father's eye.
"About five months." Weiss spoke carefully.
"How about you, Blake?"
"We've just crossed eight months. Weiss and Ruby took a while to figure out they liked each other, but with Yang and I… it was instant."
Tai smiled and set his jaw on a curled fist.
"Listen, girls. I've never wanted anything more than my daughters' happiness. And it's more than clear to me that you make them smile. I trust that you'll take care of them. And if you ever need anything, please, let me know."
Weiss and Blake smiled warmly at Tai.
"You're part of the family now."
Dinner had been chock full of comfort food, plates of fried chicken and bread rolls and braised vegetables lining the table. Tai had baked a pie from scratch with the berries that Ruby and Yang had bought. The filling was Ruby and Yang's favorite: lemon cream with the slightest hint of vanilla. The berries had been folded into the airy concoction, the dark tang of the fruits mixed with the sweet filling.
Every plate had been cleared away, and all of the girls were groggy from the massive dinner. Night was falling faster, and the tide was rising outside their window. Blake had borrowed a book from Tai's expansive library, and was already engrossed with it. Weiss had taken a shower, and Ruby and Yang were on the floor, trying to see who could get each other in a headlock first.
Tai was putting away a load of laundry and fixing Ruby's room so that her entire team could stay there for the night. The team spent the rest of the night talking, enjoying their first day in a while without classwork or training.
Tai joined them in the living room after a while, wrapping his arms around his daughters. Weiss smiled a bit sadly at the way he was loving and affectionate, the polar opposite to her father.
Blake checked the clock on her Scroll and announced that it was thirty minutes to midnight. The moon would be at its full power in just a few minutes. Ruby's hands knotted together instinctively, and screwed her eyes shut. She made a noise of pure anxiousness, but Weiss brushed her palm against her cheek.
"You'll be fine, dunce. We're taking care of you."
Ruby's childhood bedroom was less embarrassing that Weiss had thought it would be. The walls were painted a soft shade of pastel pink, and the bed was large and plush. She had a view of the beach below, and a few pictures were tacked against her walls. Friends, family members, most were with an older man with an impressive sweep of silver hair who held a scythe that looked alike to hers.
Team RWBY had changed into their pajamas, and Ruby settled into her bed, pulling the covers tighter around her. The room was quiet for a while, until Ruby let out a heavy sigh.
"I can't sleep. I'm nervous."
Yang gave a light little laugh.
"Then why not call Dad in here? He can tell us a bedtime story, for old time's sake."
Ruby grinned at her sister.
"And then, boom! Cookies everywhere!" Tai gesticulated as the fairy tale came to a dramatic close. "The End." All of the girls gave him a round of applause, and the Professor bowed extravagantly.
"Bedtime for all of you. You may all be Huntresses-in-training, but rest is important."
"Night, Dad!" Ruby and Yang yelled as their father closed the door.
The girls rested for a moment before Weiss made a little noise.
"Ruby, set this to record on your nightstand. We need to show you the footage when you wake up in the morning." Ruby followed her partner's directions, and yawned loudly.
Weiss woke up with a start, and poked her head over the foot of Ruby's bed. The small dog was there, whimpering as the moonlight spread through her room. Weiss woke up her teammates and set to comforting Ruby. The puppy nuzzled into her neck and she smiled while petting her.
Yang opened the door and called for her dad. Tai came rushing in, glasses slammed precariously onto his face. When he caught sight of the small dog, he gasped despite himself.
He reached out for Ruby, and carried his daughter in his arms.
"Poor thing." He patted Ruby's head, her downy black fur soft under his large hands. "But she looks cute as ever, doesn't she, girls?" The rest of team RWBY hummed their agreement.
Tai handed Ruby back to Weiss, and pulled his Scroll from his pockets. He began to type out a few notes, looking inside Ruby's floppy ears, and checking her sharp little teeth.
"Well, girls. I've taken all the notes I can get." He smiled at the small pup dozing in Weiss's arms. "She'll change back when the sun rises. And because I'm a father, I'm inclined to tell you all to go to bed. You'll all be in terrible moods if you don't get enough sleep."
"We will, Mr. Long."
Tai arched a brow at Blake.
"Sorry. I mean, Tai."
Tai smiled at them.
"Sleep well, girls. We'll all talk in the morning." Tai gave Ruby one last pat on the head. "And good night, my darling canine daughter."