"You're not very good at this whole vampire thing, are you?"
Weiss glared at the young huntress in front of her. If only glares could kill. "I'll have you know that I am a perfectly capable vampire. I come from a long and distinguished line of vampires that have struck terror into the hearts of your kind for millennia."
"Right…" the silver-eyed huntress nodded slowly and then gave Weiss another one of those strangely adorable smiles. "It's just… I've been watching you, and you've been skulking around this village for a week now, and you still haven't, you know, eaten anybody."
"Vampires do not eat people!" Weiss brandished her rapier at the impudent, would-be vampire slayer. The girl looked distinctly unimpressed and responded by hefting a ridiculously large scythe. "We drink people's blood. We don't eat them. There is a very big difference." Weiss huffed. "Honestly, what kind of huntress are you, thinking that vampires eat people?"
"Sure, whatever you say." The girl zipped over to a rock with a speed that even Weiss would have struggled to match and then sat down. It had to be the girl's magic at work. "Say, you've never actually had to hunt down your own prey before, have you?"
"What?" Weiss stammered. "I refuse to answer that!" What really hurt was that the girl was completely right. Weiss had always received blood from her family's human servants. But now that she had come of age, it was time for her to hunt down and kill her first human. Unfortunately, she'd stumbled across what had to be the only village in the world filled entirely with good, decent people. She did not relish the thought of killing one of them.
"Well, if it helps," the huntress said. "You're the first vampire that I've ever had to hunt down on my own before."
"What… why would you even tell me that? Is this some kind of trap?" Weiss looked around. She didn't sense anyone else in the clearing, but this was too strange for it to be anything but a trap.
"Normally, I hunt werewolves. It's easier to go after them. Once the curse gets a hold of them, they're not really even people anymore. They're just wild animals." The huntress fidgeted and fumbled with her big, red cloak. "But vampires are different – you're different. I saw you watching those children earlier. You could have taken one of them, but you didn't. In fact, I even saw you scare that wolf away before it could find them."
"Well, I couldn't very well let it eat them, could I?" Weiss growled before she realised how ridiculous she sounded.
The huntress laughed. It was a warm sound, bright and sunny. "We're pretty hopeless at this, aren't we?"
Weiss's lips twitched. The huntress's laughter was infectious, and she was right too. They were bad at this. Normally, they'd already be trying to kill each other, not talk. "Yes, I suppose we are."
"I'm Ruby." The huntress smiled and extended one gloved hand. "Nice to meet you."
Weiss raised one eyebrow. "Are you serious?"
"I am." Ruby shrugged. "I don't think you're going to try to kill me, and I'm not sure I can actually bring myself to try to kill you. Well, I guess I could if you went off and ate a baby or something. Are you going to do that anytime soon?"
"Of course not. And I already told you. Vampires drink blood. We do not eat people." Eating babies? What did Ruby think Weiss was? The vampire sighed and reached out to shake Ruby's hand. "I am Weiss Schnee."
"Ah, you're a Schnee!" Ruby rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "That would explain why you feel so powerful even though you're so young. Your family is one of the oldest in the world." She laughed again. "You guys are kind of like the bogeymen to people like me."
"Thank you – I think. But you didn't give me your last name."
Ruby blushed and scratched the back of her head. "Oops. It's Rose… which makes me Ruby Rose."
Weiss frowned. "You wouldn't be related to Summer Rose, would you?"
"She's my mom, actually." Ruby made a face. "She is going to be so mad when I get home without actually killing a vampire." She sighed. "I don't suppose you know of any vampires nearby that need to be killed?"
"No, but do you realise how famous your mother is? She's the only huntress to face my father and live. She's become something of a bogeyman to vampires."
"Yes, which just means I've got a long, long way to go." Ruby sighed dramatically. "Look, I don't think you want to eat any of the villagers…" Weiss glared. "I mean I don't think you want to drink their blood, and I don't really want to kill you." Ruby pursed her lips. "So, how about a trade?"
"What kind of trade?" Weiss's eyes narrowed.
Ruby ran her hand across the blade of her scythe. The heady scent of blood filled the air. "You must be hungry, so you can have some of my blood to tide you over, and then you can go find a criminal to eat. It should be easier that way, right, if you think they deserve it?"
A criminal? Weiss wanted to slap herself. Why hadn't she thought of that? She wouldn't feel bad about her first kill if they actually deserved it. And in these lawless times, there was no shortage of criminals. "Very well."
Weiss almost groaned as she lifted Ruby's palm to her lips. The huntress trembled, and Weiss took a moment to savour the heady scent of her blood before she could begin to drink. Heat shot through her. The huntress's blood was hot and sweet, far better than any blood she'd had before. Was it her heritage as a huntress? Was it her magic? Was it the fact that shed given it willingly? Whatever it was, Weiss wanted more of it.
It would be so easy to shove Ruby onto her back and bite her neck, but Weiss had already taken enough, and she was a vampire of her word. Slowly, she pulled away, licking Ruby's palm clean. The world was somehow more real now, more vibrant. She ran her tongue over her lips, unaware of the flush on her cheeks and the way her eyes had darkened, pupils dilating.
Ruby swallowed thickly, cheeks a rosy red, and Weiss's eyes were drawn to the slender column of her throat. "So… uh… what now?"
Weiss shook herself. "I will be leaving now."
"Okay." Ruby nodded. "Let's hope we don't run into each other again. I'd hate to have to kill you."
"Please. I'd like to see you try." Weiss turned and vanished into the night.
X X X
Weiss was drawn to the clearing by the sounds of battle. True, it wasn't inside her family's territory, but it was close enough to be worth investigating. If there was trouble at their borders, they needed to know sooner rather than later. She had also just fed, so her powers and senses were at their keenest.
She gestured and a series of Glyphs appeared and spirited her to the clearing at break-neck speed. There, hidden amongst trees at the edges of the clearing, she watched and waited. It had been two years since she'd seen Ruby, and a lot had changed.
The huntress was less of a girl now and more of a young woman. But she still had that ridiculously large scythe of hers. The weapon was a blur of motion as she sliced her way through a pack of werewolves in spectacularly gory fashion. The beasts were clearly in the full grips of the curse, little more than ravening animals, incapable of coherent thought. If they had been able to think clearly, they would have used a strategy instead of trying to overwhelm Ruby with their numbers.
But Ruby was more than equal to the task presented by their superior numbers. Watching her carve through them also gave Weiss time to study her more intently. Ruby was taller than her now, and her features had lost much of their childish roundness, taking on the more mature lines of a young woman's face. It was a pretty face too, Weiss thought, strong and determined but with a hint of gentleness as well. It looked especially pleasing now, drawn into an expression of grim determination.
Ruby cut the last of the werewolves down and then turned to fling a knife in Weiss's direction. She caught the weapon out of the air and then tossed it back to land at Ruby's feet. The huntress brandished her scythe and then lowered it as Weiss stepped out into the open.
"Oh, it's you." Ruby grinned. "Weiss, right?"
"Yes, and you're Ruby."
They stared at each other for a long moment, and Weiss was impressed by how easily Ruby held her weapon. It couldn't have been easy for a human – the scythe was huge.
"You've gotten better," Weiss remarked as she stepped daintily over the corpse of one werewolf. Ruby's weapon must have been incredibly sharp – the werewolf had been sliced in half. Her nose wrinkled in distaste. Werewolf blood was foul, riddled with a vileness that offended her vampire sensibilities. Yet beneath the acrid smell was a more pleasant scent – one that came from the cut on Ruby's cheek. "Did one of those werewolves cut you? If so, you should do something about that. You wouldn't want to turn, would you?"
Ruby shrugged. How she managed the gesture with such a heavy weapon, Weiss would never know. "It's fine. I took some wolf's bane earlier, and I've got more with me. Every huntress carries some." She frowned. "Weiss, could you not look at me like I'm food? Besides, you look like you've eaten recently."
"I have." Weiss fought the urge to lean over and lick the blood off Ruby's cheek. "So… have you killed any vampires lately?"
"As a matter of fact, I have." Ruby grinned. "There was a coven a few days south of here. They were pretty tough, but I went in there and – oh… they weren't any of your people, were they?"
Weiss shook her head. "No. But at least I know where they went now."
Weiss glanced up at the moon. It was large and full – a perfect night for a werewolf, unless it ran into someone like Ruby. "They were rogues. I've been searching for them for the past week. You beat me to them."
"And I'm guessing you weren't going to just talk to them." The huntress wiped some sweat off her brow and picked a bit of gore out of her hair. "Right?"
"No. Vampires have rules, Ruby, and they broke those rules. I was going to deal with them in a more permanent way." Weiss watched a drop of blood trickle down Ruby's cheek. Her hand twitched, wanting to grab Ruby by the collar and drag her closer. "It's part of being an aristocrat. When the riff-raff steps out of line, we have to put them back in their place."
"Oh." Ruby nodded. "Well, I've got to be going. I need to report in before dawn, or they'll send out a search party."
"I see." Weiss turned to go and then paused. "Ruby, your advice about the criminal was good. It was much easier." Then she was gone.
Ruby chuckled. "Thanks, I guess."
X X X
It was another year before Weiss saw Ruby again. However, it was under far less pleasant circumstances. Unaffiliated vampires rarely lasted long in a world dominated by a handful of ancient, powerful vampire families, so it wasn't the least bit unusual for prospective members to reach out and offer a gift upon entering the area controlled by Weiss's family.
The gift that this particular group had brought her was nothing so paltry as a human peasant or noble – they brought her Ruby. The huntress was still alive, but she'd very clearly been drugged. Her eyes were glazed and unseeing, and the wild fluttering of her pulse sent a pang of old desire mingled with unexpected fury through Weiss. One of the fledglings even had the audacity to wave around Ruby's scythe although he could barely lift it.
"This is our gift," the leader of the newcomers said. "A huntress."
He bowed deeply, and the others brought Ruby forward out of the shadows. What a foolish and theatrical gesture. Weiss could see perfectly well in the dark. At least she couldn't smell any blood. They hadn't fed off Ruby yet. That would have been the height of stupidity – offering her a tainted gift would have been an insult of the highest order.
"How did you catch her?" Weiss let no trace of emotion colour her voice or her expression. Instead, she glided forward, calling up the regal, aristocratic grace that had been drilled into her since the day she'd been born. "A huntress would not have been easy to catch alive."
"Not in combat." The leader made a signal and another vampire appeared. "We used her."
Weiss's eyes drifted to this new arrival, and she had to stop herself from growling. This new vampire was holding someone in his arms – a child, a young rabbit Faunus. She was newly turned too, if her dilated pupils and erratic breathing were anything to go by.
"You turned a child." Weiss allowed the barest trace of a frown onto her face. The ancient families had spent centuries studying the impact of turning on humans and Faunus. It was well documented that the vast majority of children who were turned never stabilised. Almost all of them eventually had to be put down for their own good after going mad with blood lust or going insane with grief. If a child showed signs of being suitable for turning, then they were sheltered and protected until they were old enough to handle the transformation properly. This was a rule common to all the ancient families, and breaking it was a crime punishable by death. Everyone knew that.
"Yes," the leader replied. "We had little Velvet here stumble into the huntress's path. The naïve fool thought Velvet was sick and dropped her guard. We were able to catch her by –"
He died without finishing his sentence or even realising what had happened as Weiss blurred forward and put her hand through his chest. She ripped his heart out, and his body came apart in a cloud of burning ash and dust. The others hissed and prepared to fight, but they were wasting their time. They were all going to die. True, Weiss wasn't as old as some of them, but her family had existed for millennia. The blood that flowed through her veins was incredibly potent.
"You turned a child and kidnapped a huntress. Fool! Do you have any idea who that is? That is the daughter of Summer Rose. Her mother will come looking for her, as will her whole family." Weiss's eyes narrowed ominously. "To prevent that, you are all going to die. Your deaths will be the restitution that Summer Rose demands." She reached into the minds of the other vampires and ripped the location of the antidote from their minds. One of them was carrying it, how fortuitous.
Weiss killed them all except the child. Velvet stood stock-still, trembling as Weiss leaned in to examine her closely. Yes, the Faunus was newly turned. There was still hope for her. Weiss went over to Ruby and tried to pour the antidote into her mouth. When that failed, she put some of it in her own mouth and then locked lips with the huntress, holding the position until Ruby finally swallowed it.
"Weiss?" Ruby blinked and stumbled away. Weiss reached out to steady her. It was strange how fragile the huntress felt against her, and it was probably for the best if she did her best not to remember how soft Ruby's lips had been. "What's happening… did you kiss me? Where am I?"
"You were drugged, and I was giving you the antidote." Weiss growled. "And you, Ruby, are far too trusting. The young Faunus was a trap." She got the impression that Ruby wouldn't think twice about pushing a dog out of the way of a speeding carriage, even if that meant getting run over. "Those who did it were not affiliated with my family, and they have been punished accordingly."
"They're dead." Weiss gestured at Velvet. The Faunus had slumped to the ground. "Her name is Velvet, and she is newly turned. I want you to take her. I know that your people have ways of stopping the transformation when it is new – you may still be able to stop her from turning completely. If that fails, then send her to me. My family will see that she is raised properly."
"Weiss…" Ruby's voice hitched. "Thank you. I mean it." Then she leaned over and kissed Weiss on the cheek before smiling impishly and giving Weiss a quick kiss on the lips. "I'll look after Velvet."
Weiss watched Ruby go, the Faunus cradled in her arms. Only when Ruby was gone did she lift her hand to touch first her cheek and then her lips. She'd never felt so warm.
X X X
"You're not quite what I was expecting."
Weiss drifted down from her position on top of the ruined building. Such theatricality was a bad habit of hers. She supposed she got it from her father. Tongues of flame licked at her heels, and she pursed her lips. A circle of Glyphs formed and doused the flames, and she moved to stand in front of the huntress responsible for all the ash and fire. Even without trying Ruby's sister radiated enough magic to set Weiss's nerves on edge.
"How will I recognise your sister?" Weiss had asked the last time that she'd run into Ruby. It had been another werewolf hunt.
Ruby had grinned. "Oh, you'll know when you meet Yang. Look for fire. Lots of fire."
Weiss pushed the memory aside. She was becoming far too friendly with Ruby, and either the huntress was deliberately taking missions that would bring her near the area Weiss oversaw, or it was simply fate that made them meet so often.
"And what were you expecting?" Weiss asked. Yang was grinning at her, her long, blonde hair billowing in the breeze.
"Well, Ruby always said that you were pretty nice – for a vampire – but you've got this horrible glare on your face right now."
Weiss's eyes narrowed. "I have this glare on my face because I do not appreciate being called out to the middle of nowhere by someone who may very well try – and fail – to kill me. Get to the point."
"Confident, aren't you?" Yang shrugged. "I guess you've got good reason to be. You're strong – much stronger than a vampire your age should be. Anyway, I'll get to the point. My family and our allies would like your family's help."
"Oh? And what would huntsmen and huntresses need my family's help for?" Weiss reached out with her senses. Yang had indeed come alone. "And why are you asking? If Ruby has told you anything at all about our… encounters, you would know that I am far more likely to grant her such a request. I know her. I do not know you or the rest of your allies."
"Ruby is a little busy. She's taking Velvet with her on an observation mission – nothing too dangerous, just some scouting."
"Velvet… the Faunus. She is well then?"
"She's been doing great since you handed her over two years ago." Yang laughed. "She's one of us now, and she follows Ruby everywhere. Anyway, both our families have been having problem lately – related problems. My people think we can help each other out."
"Continue." Weiss frowned. Just how much had Ruby's family learned about hers? Weiss had always been careful not to share any information that could be used against her family, and Ruby had done the same. They each understood the other's reasons for secrecy. It was one of the many limits they'd placed on their unusual friendship.
"We know that the vampire world is ruled by a handful of ancient families. Yours is one of those. We also know that those families – again, yours amongst them – have long enacted a policy of stability and order. This applies not only to finding sources of blood but also to turning others. However, we know that recently, there have been problems."
"Yes." Weiss studied Yang's face. The grin was gone. In its place was the hard gaze of a seasoned huntress. "So you know then."
"The White Fang," Yang said. "They have already seized control of one of the ancient families and wipe out another. They're Faunus vampires that want to obliterate humanity. Most of them are young, but there are a lot of them – and they're turning more every day. There are also a few ancients amongst them. They've been waging war on not only your family and the other ancient families but also my family and the other huntsmen and huntresses."
"And you propose some kind of… alliance to deal with them?" Weiss laughed. "Are you serious?"
Yang's expression was grim. "We know your family and the other ancient families have already taken heavy losses. We have too. And while we don't agree with all of your family's policies, the White Fang are far worse. We can live with your family existing – the White Fang wants to kill all of us. What do you say?"
Weiss considered the offer for a moment. Yang's information was right. Her family had taken heavy losses fighting off the White Fang. Her father had even taken the field for the first time in decades. "I will inform my father of your proposal. I expect you shall have an answer within a week." Weiss turned on her heel. "Say hello to Ruby for me and… tell her to stay safe."
X X X
Weiss darted back to avoid her opponent's blade. This cat Faunus was incredibly skilled with a weapon, and she was a vampire as well. Although all vampires shared certain powers, each vampire also received several unique powers as well. This vampire had been given the gift of illusion. Weiss not only had to deal with her opponent's blade she also had to deal her opponent's illusions – shadows that danced at the edges of her vision and images that filled her mind.
Still, Weiss had been born a vampire, and she knew how to handle illusions. She slammed one palm into the ground, and Glyphs sprawled across the cobblestones. The ground exploded upward, torn apart by a maelstrom of magic. Weiss stood alone, untouched in the eye of the storm. The other vampire dropped to her knees, barely managing to hold onto her weapon. She was badly burned and although she was already healing, it would be quite some time before she was ready for combat again.
Weiss strode forward to end the fight when she caught a flash of movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned, rapier at the ready and a Glyph already forming, and then stopped. It was Ruby.
"Relax, Weiss. It's just me." Ruby was covered in a light layer of ash and dust. "We've broken through. The leader of the White Fang is dead, and the others are in full retreat."
The castle around them shook, and Weiss blinked as a plume of flame rose from one of the castle's ruined towers. A year of unrelenting warfare had thinned the ranks of both her family and the huntsmen and huntresses. Yet the White Fang had fared little better, and now their leader was dead. It was over, or it would be soon.
"Very well." Weiss nodded. "Let me finish this one, and I will help you deal with whatever forces they have left."
Ruby stepped between Weiss and the cat Faunus vampire. "No. You can't kill this one."
"What?" Weiss's scowled. "Why not?"
"I recognise her. She… she let Yang go once." Ruby sighed. "So I can't let you kill her – a life for a life. That's how it has to be, Weiss."
Weiss snarled and bared her teeth. "She is the enemy, Ruby –"
"Please." Ruby held her gaze. "Please."
It was the first time that Ruby had ever said that word to her, and Weiss was powerless to refuse. Her jaw clenched. "Fine. But she is your responsibility now."
X X X
In the aftermath of the war against the White Fang, Weiss's father left her in charge of dealing with the huntsmen and the huntresses. The alliance had proven beneficial during the war, and her father was keen to see if it would also prove beneficial during peacetime. A continued alliance between them would also provide her family with a powerful advantage over their rivals.
Naturally, the huntsmen and huntresses decided that Ruby – and occasionally Yang – would be the one to deal with Weiss. In the years following the war, Weiss spent much of her free time in the neutral zones that served as a buffer between her family and their allies, handling a range of matters with Ruby and accompanying her on hunts to ensure she did not get rusty.
It was fascinating to see how the huntress lived up close. Weiss saw firsthand how Ruby often took on difficult missions for little pay, so that she could help as many people as possible. Velvet often accompanied them on these missions, slowly growing into a competent, young huntress under Ruby's watchful eye.
Weiss also heard about what had happened to the cat Faunus she'd fought. Yang had taken her on, and the vampire – Blake was her name – had agreed to serve as Yang's partner on missions. Weiss wasn't sure how much she believed the other vampire's change of heart, but Yang could handle Blake if she stepped out of line.
It was on one particularly difficult mission involving a dragon that Weiss first truly realised how much she cared about Ruby. The reckless idiot had shoved Weiss out of the way and taken a hit for her. It was a miracle that Ruby had walked away from it with only a broken arm. Weiss had killed the dragon and then immediately turned her ire on Ruby as Velvet busied herself with talking to some of the local villagers about what to do now that the dragon was dead.
"You little twit!" Weiss grabbed Ruby by the scruff of her cloak. "Why did you push me out of the way? I am much better suited for taking a hit than you. You know perfectly well that the dragon could have cut me in half, and I'd have been fine in a few minutes."
Ruby winced and cradled her arm, and Weiss stopped shaking her long enough to shove a healing potion down her throat. Ruby almost choked and shoved Weiss away. "That's not the point Weiss. You might be able to heal, but I know it still hurts. I don't like you getting hurt."
Weiss scowled. "Well, I don't like you getting killed." She froze, shocked by what she'd said. "I mean…"
Ruby smiled cheekily. "It's okay, Weiss. I don't want you getting killed either although I'm not sure how that works since you're a vampire – do you already count as dead?"
Weiss allowed a ghost of a smile to cross her lips. "Idiot."
X X X
Weiss would always blame it on the fact that she'd been remiss in feeding. Velvet – not that Weiss cared what she thought – always looked squeamish at the mere thought of Weiss drinking blood. There was also a part of Weiss that would rather not remind Ruby of the fact that she wasn't human – that she was one of the monsters that Ruby's family had hunted down and killed for centuries.
In any case, Weiss had gone a week without feeding when Ruby asked her a question that she had absolutely no business asking, especially not when the two of them were alone in one of the safe houses that Ruby's family maintained. Velvet was with Blake. The two Faunus had formed a connection of sorts despite the latter being a vampire.
"What did you just say?" Weiss's gaze snapped up from her rapier, which she'd been polishing with more enthusiasm than was strictly necessary. Or perhaps it was necessary. She could hear Ruby's heart beating, and the thought of all that hot, sweet blood running through the huntress's veins was almost enough to drive her mad. "Well?"
"Uh… Yang might have mentioned that vampires can alter the way it feels when they bite someone." Ruby blushed. "And I was wondering if that's true. Can you really… you know… make it feel good?"
Weiss stared. She had a good idea of how Yang had learned about that particular ability, and it would certainly explain why Blake was so loyal to the blonde huntress. Still, she should stop this conversation right now. She should not be thinking about how good it would feel to tilt Ruby's head back and drink her fill. But it had been a week since she'd fed, and her lips were moving, the words spilling out of her.
"Come here, Ruby, and I'll show you."
Ruby was in her arms before Weiss even knew it, and that, as Ruby was so fond of saying, was that.
Things were different after that. Weiss had never said the words, but now she knew she loved Ruby. Why else would she spend the nights watching the huntress sleep, pressing soft, gentle kisses along her throat? It would have been so easy to kill the huntress, to latch onto her throat and drink Ruby dry. But she couldn't – she wouldn't.
They would have to be careful. Her father was pleased with all the benefits the alliance had delivered, but she doubted he would appreciate her being so foolish as to fall in love with a huntress. Weiss would manage somehow. She always did. And Ruby was worth it.
X X X
The years passed, and Weiss continued to spend as much of her time as she could with Ruby. It wasn't hard. The alliance between her family and the huntsmen and huntresses only deepened with each year. No one hunted her family and their followers anymore, and they had expanded their influence and power. In return, the huntsmen and huntresses found themselves enjoying her family's support – money, weaponry, and access to her family's priceless archives.
Yet Weiss remained careful about her relationship with Ruby. The huntress was in her prime now, so magnificently gifted in combat that she took Weiss's breath away. But no one was invincible. Even if her family chose not to take any action, Weiss had enemies of her own that would not hesitate to go after Ruby, especially since her father had confirmed her as his heir. She was young by vampire standards, but her family's blood flowed more truly through her veins than through anyone else. It made her strong – so much stronger than most other vampires.
And then everything changed.
Remnants of the White Fang assassinated her father.
Weiss did not call for her followers. She did not announce another war. She hunted her father's killers herself – and Ruby came with her. Weiss did not kill them when she found them. Instead, she captured them. And only when she had all of them did they die. She staked them out in the fields in front of her castle and watched them burn when the dawn came.
It was a warning to her enemies. She would answer death with death.
When they finally died – and it took a long time for vampires that old to die in the sun – Weiss retreated to her chambers, deep in the heart of her family's castle. Only Ruby had the courage to follow her then, and not one of Weiss's followers questioned why the huntress was permitted into their mistress's private chambers.
"I miss him." Weiss buried her face in Ruby's shoulder. "He wasn't supposed to die!"
And then Ruby was tilting her head back, offering her throat to Weiss.
"It's all right," Ruby whispered as Weiss began to drink. Her eyes drifted shut. "It's all right."
X X X
Weiss's years with Ruby were the happiest of her life. It wasn't always easy. Ruby had her duties, and Weiss had more and more responsibilities of her own. But somehow, they made it work.
Yet as the years passed, a sense of dread crept over Weiss. Ruby was mortal, and each year, there were a few more wrinkles, and the huntress was just a little bit slower. Eventually, the time came when Ruby had to stop going on missions. She simply wasn't able to fight the way she used to be able to.
Weiss, however, looked exactly the same.
During one particularly harsh winter, Weiss could do nothing but stand there and watch as Ruby hacked and coughed, a thick cloak wrapped around her thin shoulders. It was unfair, Weiss thought. It was completely unfair that someone like Ruby would die while so many others who were unworthy lived.
Weiss cut her palm open. "Ruby, I want you to drink my blood."
Ruby coughed again and turned to her. Her eyes were the only part of her that was the same – still so full of life and warmth. "Weiss, I am not going to become a vampire."
Weiss tilted Ruby's chin up. "You have to drink my blood Ruby. If you don't, you will die. You can't leave me. You can't!"
Ruby's eyes were sad. "No, Weiss." Softly, she pushed Weiss's hand away. "No."
"Why?" Weiss asked. "Why not?"
"You know why."
And Weiss did. None of Ruby's friends or family was immortal, and none of them would ever allow themselves to be turned. If she stayed with Weiss, Ruby would have to watch everyone else she loved die. And Weiss knew what that could do to someone. It was the same thing that broke so many of her family's fledglings.
Weiss never asked Ruby to become a vampire again. Instead, she did her best to make Ruby's remaining days as happy as she could.
Ruby was eighty-four years old when she died, and there was only one living huntress older than her – Yang.
Weiss stood with the blonde as an honour guard of huntsmen and huntresses laid Ruby's body to rest on a funeral pyre and set it alight. Yang had been kind enough to let Weiss keep Ruby's scythe. As the ceremony reached its end, Weiss locked eyes with Blake. There was a quiet desperation there that Weiss knew all too well. Blake had offered to turn Yang, and the blonde had refused.
Yang did not live much longer. How could she when Ruby was gone?
It was Blake who delivered the news to Weiss. They had never been close, but Weiss held the other vampire as she wept. She understood better than anyone how Blake felt. After Yang was cremated, Blake chose to stay with Weiss. If they had to be miserable, at least they could be miserable together.
X X X
Centuries passed. The world changed.
And Weiss grew older and stronger. She was one of the oldest vampires now, and one of the most powerful too, even though she didn't look a day over twenty-five. Blake had been at her side for centuries now, no longer an enemy, but a dear friend.
The humans had advanced too, building great cities across the world. The vampires had advanced with them, and the alliance between her family and the huntsmen and huntresses had endured. There were vampires amongst the police now, and even vampire teachers and politicians. Ruby had always spoken about how great it would be if everyone could just get along. Weiss had done her best to make that happen. She only hoped it was enough.
Weiss looked up as the door of her office opened. It was Blake. The other vampire squinted as sunlight poured through the windows. They'd tried to kill themselves once, when the memories of what they'd lost had grown too great. They'd burned in the sun – oh, how they'd burned – but they'd lived.
Weiss couldn't understand it, but Blake was certain it had to do with the huntress blood they'd drunk. Yang and Ruby had come from one of the oldest bloodlines amongst the huntsmen and huntresses, and there was magic in their blood as potent as anything Weiss could summon. Both Weiss and Blake had drunk that blood regularly – and that blood had been given willingly. Perhaps it had combined with their age and power to make them more resistant to the sun's power.
"You're brooding again," Blake murmured. She had just returned from one of the classes she taught – their fledglings needed to know how to look after themselves whenever they accompanied huntsmen and huntresses on a mission.
"You're one to talk." Weiss sighed. It was the anniversary of the day she'd met Ruby. "How much do you remember?"
"Was it worth it, do you think?"
Blake nodded. "Yes. Yes, it was."
X X X
That night Weiss received a call about an unaffiliated vampire. That wasn't too unusual even though most vampires were now created under highly controlled circumstances – they had to be very careful, after all, to manage their population. What piqued her interest was the fact that the unaffiliated vampire had been a student at one of the academies for huntsmen and huntresses.
Weiss dismissed her attendants and made her way to the neighbourhood where the unaffiliated vampire had been spotted. She wasn't worried. She could more than handle one vampire. It was almost midnight before the other vampire appeared. Weiss's eyes narrowed. There was something strangely familiar about the red cloak the vampire wore.
The unaffiliated vampire stalked several victims, but she seemed unable to actually attack anyone for their blood. It was the strangest thing, and it reminded Weiss of another vampire who hadn't been able to make her first real kill. Weiss's lips thinned. This had gone on long enough. She darted out of the shadows with impossible speed – and the young vampire almost managed to dodge despite the speed that Weiss's age granted.
Weiss pinned the vampire against the wall of the alley and then froze as she found herself staring into a very familiar pair of silver eyes.
"Hey! Let go!" The vampire looked to be about fifteen years old although it was hard to be sure since vampires aged much more slowly once they turned and then stopped once they looked to be in their mid-twenties. "I haven't even done anything yet!"
Weiss was so shocked that she let go and stumbled back. That voice! The girl glared at her in a way that was hauntingly familiar, huffing as she tried to get her dark hair into some semblance of order. She made a face and tried to dart away – there was no way a vampire so young should be that fast – and Weiss just barely managed to catch her.
"What? How did you catch me?"
Weiss scowled. "Do you have any idea who I am?"
The girl looked at her – really looked at her – and then gaped. Her cheeks flushed, and her jaw dropped. "You – you're Weiss Schnee! Oh crap! Please don't kill me! I swear I haven't broken any of the laws! I couldn't even get myself to eat anyone!"
Weiss found herself chuckling. She even babbled the same way. "Vampires do not eat people. We drink their blood. There is a very big difference."
"Oh." The girl winced. "So… you're not going to kill me?"
Weiss smiled faintly. That was the absolute last thing she would do. The girl fidgeted, and Weiss was struck by the urge to glare. Ruby had always been fidgeting, no matter how much Weiss asked her to stop. It was something to do with her magic – she simply couldn't stand still. "No, I'm not going to kill you."
"Oh, that's good."
"Still, why are you having so much difficulty?"
"Um… about that…" The girl sighed. "My sister and I were training to be huntresses. We were on a mission together when were ambushed by a horde of vampires. We managed to fight them off but not before they turned us. I think they wanted us to join them. We got back to the academy but…"
"The academy is for humans and Faunus, and they weren't able to stop you from turning completely." Weiss nodded slowly. "Vampires have their own training due to their aversion to sunlight and unique abilities although they do participate in frequent training exercises with huntsmen and huntresses. Yes, I'm aware of how the system works. I helped put it in place."
"Anyway, my sister and I didn't know what to do, and I promise we were going to join one of the vampire families, but I haven't drunk any blood since I turned, and I was so hungry, and –"
"It's all right." Weiss smiled. "I understand. And if you're having so much trouble finding someone to drink blood from, it might help if you picked a criminal. It's easier that way."
The girl laughed. "Yeah, that does sound easier."
Weiss tilted her head to one side. "What's your name?"
"Ruby." The girl smiled sunnily. "Ruby Rose." She laughed again. "My sister and I grew up as orphans, but she always said that we'd been named after a pair of famous huntresses from the past."
"Is that so?" Weiss felt a broad smile slipping over her lips. "Ruby, you said you haven't joined a vampire family yet. How would you like to join mine?"
"Really?" Ruby gasped. "What about my sister? Can she join too?"
"Of course." And if Ruby's sister was whom Weiss thought she was, Blake would definitely want her around. "What's your sister's name?"
"Yang." Ruby grinned. "She's got blonde hair and stuff, so we don't look that similar, but we are sister."
"You sound like you're very close." Weiss guided Ruby out of the alley. "I'll help you find a criminal. And by the way… what's your favourite weapon?"
Ruby reached out and took Weiss's hand before realising what she'd done. Uh oh… but Weiss didn't seem offended. In fact, the older vampire actually wrapped her fingers around Ruby's hand. "Well, I know it's going to sound old-fashioned, but… I like scythes."
"Scythes?" Weiss had no trouble finding a criminal amongst the crowd of people on the street. It was child's play to ease the thoughts of the people around them, so that he found himself alone on a deserted street. "I might have something that you'd like." She nodded at Ruby. "Go on, now. I'll be waiting for you."
After all, Weiss had waited centuries. She could wait a little longer for Ruby to enjoy her first real meal as a vampire.
X X X
As always, I do not own RWBY, and I am not making any money off of this.
Well, here's my Halloween story – it's got vampires and werewolves in it, so hopefully it counts. When I first started this story, I thought it would be a quick one shot, perhaps a few hundred words long. As you can see, that's not what happened. In fact, the story doubled in length with each draft until I ended up with what you've just read.
I wasn't sure, at first, how I would end this. I decided to go with the happier route since it would have been a bit hard for me to wish all of you a Happy Halloween (Happy Halloween, people!) if Weiss had walked into the sun and burned to death (and trust me, that was one ending I considered). I'd also considered moving this in a more humorous direction (e.g., by making Weiss a vampire who doesn't know how to drink blood and who has to learn by drinking Ruby's blood), but I decided to keep it more serious. Oh well.
I also write original fiction, mostly fantasy. You can find links to it in my profile. If you're looking for something fun to read for Halloween season try Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf, or, if you want something more serious, try The Last Huntress.
As always, I appreciate feedback. Reviews and comments are welcome.