Look who's back? Gone again for quite a bit of time but that's life. Worked a ton of overtime at my job before switching careers as I just wasn't happy where I was at and needed a change. So far, I'm actually a lot happier with my new job, it also helps that I'm making more money and have better benefits.
But none of you give a rat's ass about that, you're here to read what is hopefully a fun and enjoyable chapter of this fair story. That being said, I've done a lot of critical review of my past stories and my writing style and after reading quite a bit of an author I deeply respect I've realized a major flaw with how I write. Now that I realize it I can work on fixing it and making my stories even better. Always improving, that's the goal.
Also for those of you interested, I have released a new story, this one is a pure RWBY fic that is Jaune centric. So once you finish up here go check that out if you're so inclined.
Disclaimer: I own nothing besides an ever-dwindling amount of student debt. Only 10 more years of consistent payments and I'll be debt free (cries internally)
Chapter 6: Fairy Tales
With a grunt, Naruto moved the final box of dust crystals into the back room. Normally such a task would have been done hours ago with the use of his clones but not today, he needed the distraction. A solemn expression occupied his face, his eyes not truly looking at anything as he rested his chin on the highest stack of boxes in the storage room. While he had been late and was halfheartedly chewed out by the little old man that ran the shop, that wasn't what had soured his mood.
The image of a passed-out Ruby occupied his mind. He still remembered her tear stained face nestled into his chest from only a few short hours ago. The poor girl had cried herself into sweet unconsciousness after he had found her, the emotional barriers she had carefully constructed for herself were simply washed away.
It was hard to imagine that a girl as sweet and innocent as Ruby would be harboring such emotional scars. She hid it well. It was almost scary just how well the girl could hide it. It made him wonder if anyone else on her team knew what exactly she was going through. Yang of course would know but the rest of her team probably had no idea.
He sighed to himself as he worked his way out of the storage room and to the front counter, the bulk of his duties already dealt with. The clone he had working the counter made itself scarce upon seeing him walk out of the back. Naruto idly waved away the smoke that lingered from the destroyed clone.
After Ruby had fallen asleep he had carried the girl over to her waiting father. There were no angry gestures or cross words exchanged, just a grunt of acceptance when he had handed the smaller girl to the middle-aged man. He made a mental note to check up on her when he got back to Beacon. He had a nagging suspicion that she would try to write everything off as being fine but he still had to try.
A buzzing from his pocket drew his attention away from the completely dead store. Pulling out his scroll a grimace found its way onto his face as he saw who the message was from. And there was his other problem. He took a few moments to look at Weiss' image before sighing to himself and opening the message.
"We need to talk. Can I meet you in your room tonight?"
Short and to the point, he honestly didn't know what else he would have expected from the heiress. Still, not answering her message wasn't an option. He had already skipped all his classes to avoid her, ignoring her any more would just further irritate her. That wasn't something he wanted, he didn't really know what he wanted but he definitely didn't want that.
With a frustrated groan, Naruto fired back a quick response to the white-haired beauty that he had been avoiding.
"Not tonight, I was late to work tonight so I have to stay later than normal. Can we meet up tomorrow?"
With a press of a finger the message was sent. Naruto quickly pressed a few more buttons on his scroll and began going through his contacts. He had spent the better part of the day trying to figure out what he was going to do with Weiss. After all this time, he still didn't have a definitive answer. Well, that wasn't exactly true. He did have an answer, he just couldn't bring himself to act on it.
His finger came to a stop on his scroll before he punched the icon, a familiar visage came onto his screen, emerald eyes staring back in mild surprise. "Hello!"
A small smile worked its way to his face despite himself. "Hey Pyrrha. Do you have a minute? I kind of need some advice."
If the girl was surprised she did well in hiding it. She only gave him a warm smile in response. "Of course, what can I he-"
The red-haired champion was cut off by a loud crashing noise from behind her and what could only be described as a girly scream of pain. Naruto could only raise an eyebrow in question as Pyrrha looked at him with a nervous expression. "Nora?"
"Please! My legs can't take it anymore! I give, I give!" Jaune's strained voice could be clearly heard through the scroll before a thundering laugh broke out. "I told you! You may be our glorious leader but I'm Queen of the Castle! Bow before my majesty!"
With a smile that looked painful to hold, Pyrrha merely nodded. "Nora." Another loud crash and a far more masculine groan came through the scroll and Naruto could only pray for the survival of the male population of team JNPR. "Is this… normal?"
Another loud crash resonated through the phone and what looked to be a chair flew past Pyrrha as the girl laughed nervously. "It happens more than one would expect. Perhaps it would be better if we spoke in person? That way there would be less… distractions. Should I come to your room?"
Naruto let out a sigh and shook his head in the negative. "Unfortunately, I'm at work right now so that's a no go. Don't worry about it Pyrrha, I'll figure it out on my own. Thanks anyway. I should get back to work. Cya."
He didn't give her a chance to respond as he quickly cancelled the call. The frown that was on her face was the last thing he saw but he quickly wiped it from his thoughts. What had he been thinking anyway? Sure, Pyrrha was his friend, maybe even one of his closer friends at Beacon but that didn't mean they were close enough to talk about something like this.
Naruto ran his hands through his hair and roughly rubbed his hands against his scalp in frustration. This entire thing was making him crazy. He couldn't let himself fall for Weiss. He knew this. Every single logical part of himself knew that nothing good would come from getting involved with her.
Then why did he feel awful at the idea of not even trying? Her smile, the rare genuine smile that he had only seen a few times, it made his heart melt. The confidence she radiated was something he couldn't help but admire. And the way she pouted when she was wrong about something was adorable.
Growling at his treacherous mind, Naruto tried to get rid of the thoughts all together by cleaning anything and everything in the shop. Sadly, the tasks were mostly mindless and the shop itself was rather well kept, thus allowing his mind to wander back to the girl in white.
A bell brought his attention back to the front of the store. Working his way out of the back aisle, Naruto quickly made his way to the front counter. "Welcome to Dust Till Dawn, how can I he- Pyrrha?"
True to his words the red-haired girl stood in the doorway wearing her normal combat clothes with her weapons, Miló and Akoúo̱, strapped firmly to her back. She seemed slightly uncertain until her eyes landed on Naruto, her pensive lips instantly turning into a smile. "Hello again!"
Confusion marred his face as he regarded the girl and couldn't stop that from leaking over into his voice. Hadn't he just spoken with her a few minutes ago? He glanced at his scroll and to his surprise over an hour had passed since their conversation. He shook his head at his lack of attentiveness. This was starting to affect him more than he thought.
Naruto looked back to the Spartan girl and could only question as to her sudden appearance. "What are you doing here?"
The girl took a few steps forward, patting the small pouch on her hip. "Well, I realized I was running low on my dust ammunition so I thought I would come to Vale to stock up before classes resumed next week."
Naruto could only raise an eyebrow at her claim. "Beacon has stores of regular dust ammunition, hell, I've seen you stock up on ammunition at Beacon."
Pyrrha looked sheepish at the comment, her hand scratching the back of her head absentmindedly. "Ah, right. Of course, well… I just…"
The girl let loose a weakened sigh, her shoulders slumping slightly. "I was worried about you and I wanted to make sure everything was ok. You've never asked me for advice before so I thought it may be serious. That was just an excuse I gave my team so they knew why I was leaving. Not that I'm sure they heard me with how Nora was acting…"
Naruto couldn't help but smile at her. He honestly shouldn't have been surprised given the randomness of his call. That was just how Pyrrha was. If she thought one of her friends needed her help she would do so. He had seen it more than once at his time at Beacon, though it was mostly directed at her blond partner more than anyone else. "I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to worry you. It was stupid. You really don't have to worry about it. You definitely didn't need to make a trip all the way to Vale. I'm fine."
Pyrrha's guilty look morphed into a concerned one as a frown marred her face. "You know. Even though I didn't necessarily enjoy my time as a celebrity I did learn a few things from it. One of those things was I learned how to put on a fake smile, no matter what I was feeling. I also learned how to notice when someone was giving me one in return."
Naruto watched her as she moved up to the counter and rested a hand on top of his. "You can talk to me about whatever it is that's bothering you. I like to think that we're friends. Let me help you."
Naruto looked at her hand, despite the glove covering it he could still feel the warmth coming from it. Turning away from the glove, he looked into her eyes and could only see compassion in them. He let out a sigh as he shook his head, he didn't really have a good reason to deny her at this point, did he?
"It's… complicated. I know what I should do but I just… I don't know."
Pyrrha nodded in understanding. "Your mind is telling you one thing but your heart is telling you another. I know the feeling. I had a situation like that before I came to Beacon. It was when I was deciding on which combat school to attend."
Naruto moved away from the 4-time champion, pulling his hand from her grasp as he moved to the till to double check he had the correct amount of lien. He didn't however tune her out, his eyes glancing back to her occasionally to let her know he was listening. "Oh? And how did you decide?"
She smiled at him, seemingly pleased that he was listening to her. "Well, my mind told me that going to Haven Academy would be the best for me. I was fairly popular in Mistral and I would have been close to my family. I would have had every single advantage I could have wanted if I had attended the school. I would have been foolish not to."
Putting the lien back in the till, Naruto turned towards Pyrrha again. "And yet you're here."
"And yet I'm here."
Naruto looked at the girl who gave him nothing but a serene smile. He waited for her to continue, genuinely curious as to her reasoning. After a few moments, the girl continued. "Despite that, my heart told me to go to Beacon. What mattered was that I knew that I wouldn't be happy if I had gone to Haven. For me, all those advantages didn't mean anything if I was miserable. So, I decided that I would rather be happy and I would handle things as they came up. So far I feel like I've made the right decision."
Naruto let out a soft chuckle as he remembered something he had overheard the girl say a while ago. "Let the chips fall where they may. Is that it?"
She smiled at him, her emerald eyes shining as she did. "Preciously."
Naruto hummed to himself as he considered her words. Would it really be that easy? To throw caution to the wind and just handle things as they came? "I don't know if it's that simple. I wish it was but it's not just me that would have to deal with this."
Pyrrha nodded her head in understanding but didn't seem to back down. "Then perhaps if you told me a little more about what the problem is I can help you with it."
Naruto scratched the back of his head absentmindedly as a light blush dusted across his cheeks. "It's… there's a girl that I like here at Beacon."
Naruto only blushed harder at the surprised look on Pyrrha's face. The blush intensified even more when a soft giggle reached his ears. He turned to glare at the now laughing girl who could only raise her hands up in defense as she suppressed her laughter. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just didn't expect something like this to have you all out of sorts."
A huff of indignance escaped his throat and he crossed his arms and looked away. "Well excuse me for not being a master in romance. I didn't exactly learn a lot of great lessons from the people who trained me."
And that was putting it mildly. Between Kakashi and Jiraiya his male role models for romance were abysmal, something that Tsunade had told him quite a few times.
Pyrrha waved off his statement with a smile and another soft laugh. "Well, no one is perfect after all. So, who is it if you don't mind me asking?"
Naruto just let out a defeated sigh at the question, he was done beating around the bush, it took too much out of him and it had been a long day as it was. "It's fine. You deserve it anyway since you came all this way just to make sure I was ok. It's Weiss."
He spared a glance at Pyrrha and couldn't exactly make out the expression that was on her face.
"What is it with blonds liking Weiss…"
"What was that Pyrrha? I couldn't quite hear you."
"Oh nothing! I was just mumbling to myself, ignore me."
Naruto eyed the girl suspiciously as she laughed in a not so convincing manner. The laughter ceased though as Pyrrha gave Naruto a comforting look. "I have noticed that the two of you have been spending more time together than normal, though most of that has been training. Are you afraid that she will reject you? I am aware of the reputation that Weiss has here at Beacon on matters such as this."
Naruto huffed with indignance at that. If someone mentioned the title "Ice Queen" there wasn't a person in Beacon who didn't know who you were talking about. Though that mostly came from Weiss' continuous and very public cold shut downs of a certain blond knight. "Honestly no, I think that she may actually say yes if I told her. And that's the problem."
Now Pyrrha just looked confused and he couldn't even blame her. "I'm sorry but I don't see the problem then. You did say it was complicated but I'm failing to see why."
Naruto sighed as he rubbed his face, not at all used to this kind of territory. With Hinata it was easy. There was no guess work, she made is painfully clear how she felt when Pein attacked. And even with the war there weren't any other outside barriers that got between them. "The problem is what happens after. I'm not going to stay at Beacon forever, none of us are. I've been away from home for a long time. I need to go back there eventually, there are things that I haven't finished yet. And I can't have Weiss just waiting around for me while I'm gone. She'll have her own life to live. Her dream is to run her family's company and make it into something everyone on Remnant can look at with pride and respect. I wouldn't dream of tearing her away from that due to my own selfishness."
Pyrrha frowned at the blond's explanation but nodded in understanding nonetheless. "I'm impressed that you've thought this through so thoroughly. Please don't take any offense to this but I never pegged you as someone that plans things out so carefully."
He just laughed at the comment and scratched his head. "You're right, that isn't the kind of person I am usually. Back home I had a friend that was like that. He had backup plans for his backup plans. But when it comes to things involving the people I care about? Well I guess I try and make an exception."
Pyrrha hummed at his answer before shaking her head. "That's very thoughtful of you but I think by doing so you're hurting not only yourself but Weiss as well. We still have four years here at Beacon, there's a lot of time between then and now. If you two really do make things work between you for that long I couldn't imagine something as small as graduating separating you two. If you truly want to be together then you both will find a way to make it work. If you don't even try however, well, would that make either of you happy?"
It wouldn't. At least it wouldn't make him happy. He bit his lip while mulling over her words. Would it really hurt to try? Could he really just ignore the very obvious future problems in lieu of his own happiness? Was it really that simple? "But what if I-"
A slender gloved finger caught his lips mid motion. The smile that was on Pyrrha's face was soft and kind. He felt himself calm through the contact, his mind slowing down as he felt himself relax. "Do you think being with Weiss will make you happy?"
He was silenced again and she forced her finger against his lips once more before removing it. "Do you think being with her will make you happy?"
He stood there for a few moments, his mind coming to a complete halt as an emotion he thought was long buried raised in his chest. His confusion and doubt left him as he gave the girl across from him a genuine smile. "Yes."
Her smile grew as she gave him an approving nod. "Then that is all that matters. Don't worry about the what ifs. Deal with those as they come along. Despite your apparent aversion to it, you do deserve to be happy."
Naruto didn't miss the more hidden meaning behind her words. She meant more than his hesitation with Weiss. His entire tenure at Beacon thus far had consisted of him trying to keep people at an arm's length. He wasn't anti-social per se, it was more to the effect that he never went out of his way to interact with anyone else at Beacon. Team RWBY had wormed their way through his subtle defenses through several means. Be it the situation with Blake, the pranking between Yang and himself or Ruby's love of weapons and helping him with his own. Then of course there was the training sessions with Weiss that had turned into so much more than he had ever expected.
Team JNPR by extension had been added to his list of 'friends' but in all honesty, they seemed to be more friends of friends than anything else. Not for their lack of trying however. Nora was excitable and could probably be friends with just about anyone. Ren seemed to go with whatever direction that Nora dragged him in, ever polite and patient. Pyrrha and Jaune were much the same in the sense that they always tried to be friendly whenever they were in the same room.
But did that necessarily make them friends? Looking at the girl in front of him he couldn't help but chuckle at his own foolishness. If they weren't friends would she have come to check on him at the drop of a hat like she had?
No, he supposed she wouldn't have. He had a feeling if he would have called anyone else in his group of friends at Beacon they would have done the same. It looked like despite his best attempts he still found himself making quite a few friends at Beacon whether he wanted them or not. Why did that thought not seem to bother him as much as it should have?
Naruto let out a small laugh and he shook his head and gave Pyrrha a smile. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I've been over thinking things too much. Not just with Weiss but with everyone at Beacon. Thanks Pyrrha, I'll take your advice. You helped me more than you know."
Pyrrha nodded at him happily with a brilliant smile on her face. "And that makes me happy. If you ever need to talk about anything all you have to do is find me. I would be happy to help with anything that I can."
"Again, thank you Pyrrha. I really appreciate it. Though I can't help but feel you're only helping me so Weiss won't be single anymore and a certain team leader of yours can finally take his eyes off her."
The way her face turned crimson and her eyes widened made Naruto laugh as the girl tried to stutter out a response. "I-wh-what would make you say that? That has nothing to do with it. Anyway I-I should probably go, it's rather late. Goodbye Naruto!"
He could only laugh as Pyrrha quickly made her way to the shop door, almost tripping over herself as she tried to escape. When she reached the door, she pushed it open but stopped in the doorway before looking over her shoulder. "Not that I think you'll need it but good luck with Weiss."
Naruto just gave her a smile as he watched the girl leave the shop. Yeah, he knew what he needed to do. Was he nervous? Undoubtedly. Did he doubt himself in what needed to be done? Not even in the slightest. Planning for the future wasn't his thing. He would deal with whatever came his way like he always did.
With a sigh, he moved to finish what little work was left to be done. Clean this, sweep the floor, refill the dust tubes. He could have finished the tasks in no time with his clones but decided against it. At the very least it would keep him busy until his shift ended.
The sound of a bell chiming snapped his head to the front of the store. He quickly made his way to the front of the shop and took in the sight that greeted him. A few men stood at the front counter. Many of the men looked nearly identical with the black suits, red ties and sun glasses. He also noticed that each of them were armed with a short sword.
His eyes however focused on the man in the middle of the group. He recognized the man of course. It was hard to miss Vale's most wanted criminal. His orange hair and immaculate suit and bowler hat were a dead giveaway. The man was idly twirling a cane in his hand. From what he had heard from the news and Ruby, the item was his weapon of choice.
Coming up to the more than likely thieves, Naruto tried putting on a smile. "Welcome to Dust Till Dawn, how can I help you all?"
He couldn't help his eye from twitching as Roman Torchwick tapped on his cigar, the burnt parts falling onto the floor he had just cleaned. "About time someone showed up. Kids these days just have no work ethic, we were waiting for an entire thirty seconds before you decided to mosey on over here. Now be a good sport and give us all the dust in the shop and we'll be on our way."
Naruto gave a short nod before gauging the distance between the four men. "Of course, but that would come to a hefty amount of Lien, I hope you brought exact change since I don't think we have enough in the till to break anything too big."
"Heh, you're funny kid, I'll give you that." Torchwick laughed before turning to his men. "Take the dust."
They didn't get the chance to as all five men were quickly blown off their feet and through the store window by a sudden gust of wind. Torchwick was the only one that managed to right himself in the air and rolled when his body impacted against the hard asphalt. Surveying the ground, the man couldn't help but grumble at the sight of broken glass and unconscious thugs. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me…"
Naruto quickly leapt through the window, both trench knives drawn and held in his respective hands. "Sorry about that, boss would be real upset if I let you rob the place. That's kinda what I was hired for."
"They don't have aura?" Naruto thought as he noticed that none of the goons were making any motions to stand after being sent flying. At the very least none of them were dead, at least he didn't think so. They may have been criminals but that didn't mean he wanted to kill them.
Torchwick didn't seem to have that problem however as the man looked fairly unaffected by the entire ordeal. "What is it with kids these days? You all are just a bunch of freaks, one after another. First Red, now whiskers over here. I'm getting real tired of this."
If Torchwick had aura, then he wouldn't need to pull his punches as much as he would have to otherwise. With that thought in mind, Naruto charged the man. He heard the man grunt as he brought his cane up to block the slash that he aimed at the criminal's stomach.
Sparks flew as the two steel weapons clashed and grinded against one another. Pumping a little chakra into his muscles, Naruto pushed and felt the man slowly give ground. "You ain't half bad kid, way stronger than Red was. But you're still just a kid."
Roman fluidly moved Melodic Cudgel to the side allowing Naruto's trench knife to slide off the side. The man turned with the motion and brought his elbow around to strike at his temple. The attack didn't connect as Naruto moved his head out of the way before lashing out with another slash across the man's chest.
They continued to exchange blows in a flurry of slashes. The pace was faster than what he had normally dealt with when he sparred with anyone at Beacon. He was still more than capable of keeping up but it didn't seem to be bothering Roman in the slightest.
Twisting around a forward lunge, Naruto grabbed the cane's handle and pushed the offending weapon away before bringing his other hand around and smashing the bladed knuckle against Roman's nose. Aura was great for taking lethal attacks but it didn't stop all damage and he let a smirk come to his face at the satisfying sound of cartilage breaking.
Not letting up, Naruto spun on the spot and delivered a vicious kick to the man's unprotected sternum. The attack knocked the air from its victim's lungs and sent him tumbling across the street. Roman didn't stay down however as he quickly popped to his feet mid roll and glared angrily at the cheeky blond teenager across from him.
Bringing his free hand to his nose, Roman snapped the broken cartilage back into place before blowing out a dark wad of blood onto the pavement. "Alright. This stopped being fun about five minutes ago. I think it's time we wrap this up. Places to be and all that."
He raised Melodic Cudgel and threw a large red dust crystal into the air. Torchwick only took a moment to aim his shot before he released a violent explosive round from his cane. The reaction was instantaneous as fire erupted from the crystal and blinded everyone in the area with its searing light.
Naruto had to cover his eyes at the sight of the explosion. Heat washed over him but the fire quickly died down, the source of its fuel quickly being burned through. Unfortunately, when the smoke cleared Roman was nowhere to be found. Naruto cursed to himself for letting the man escape his sight. Torchwick wasn't some rank amateur that was for certain. The man fought like a trained fighter and knew how to take a hit.
If it wasn't obvious before it was clear as day now. Roman was a huntsman. Or at least he was at one point in his life. That fact did little to calm his growing frustration over the fact that he had let the man escape.
The deafening roar of a Bullhead's engines filled the night air and Naruto turned to see Torchwick jumping into the flying machine from a nearby rooftop.
"I can't say it was fun kid! Hopefully we'll never do this again!"
Naruto could barely hear what the criminal was shouting and the rest of it was drowned out by Bullhead's engines. Naruto paid no mind to the word's being shouted at him however. Instead he broke out in a sprint and ran up the side of the closest building he could find. Flipping one of his knives in the air before him, a chain erupted from his wrist and latched onto the circle at the base of the trench knife.
With a grunt of effort Naruto threw the blade as hard as he could at the metal machine. The throw found its mark as the knife dug deep into the steel plating. A quick tug let him know the connection was secure before he jumped off the side of the building and started drawing the chain links back into body.
He closed on the Bullhead at rapid speeds before he slammed into the side of it. He clung to the slick hull with his chakra before ripping his weapon free from its steel prison. Running up the side of the Bullhead, Naruto then leapt into the open passenger hatch.
"Man, you do not know when to give up do ya kid? Learn to take a hint."
Naruto blocked the overhead strike that Roman threw with his right trench knife, a cheeky grin on his face. "Heh, I've been told I'm a little stubborn before."
Naruto knocked the offending cane away with a backhanded strike and spun on the spot to deliver a chakra enhanced kick to the man's stomach. He flew backwards until he was forcefully stopped by the back of the Bullhead's pilot chair. He hacked up saliva as he gasped for breath. "A little help here!"
Naruto instantly brought up his guard as a pair of long silky legs came out from behind the pilot's chair. Those legs ended as the fabric of her form fitting red dress came into view. The dress seemed closer in design to something that Ren would wear than any of the other people he had met at Beacon. She had long, ashen black hair that reached down to cover her left eye. She had a fair complexion that complimented both her dress and her hair that would normally make her quite breath taking.
Naruto however wasn't focused on any of that. His eyes were firmly locked onto her fierce amber eyes. It was almost as if they were glowing with untamed primal power. The woman radiated an aura of confidence and power, not so unlike Ozpin had done from time to time. On instinct more than anything, Naruto coated his blades in wind chakra as he took a defensive stance. She was dangerous, of that there was no doubt.
"Tell me." The woman purred at him, her velvety voice belaying just how dangerous she was. "Why bother chasing a lowly thief like Roman this far? Surely he's not worth the effort."
Roman's indignant squawk went unanswered as he put more chakra into his trench knives. "He busted up where I work, again. I wasn't going to let him escape this time. He's going to pay for his crimes."
At the end of his sentence Naruto swung one of his blades at the woman, a thin pressurized blade of wind hurtling at the black-haired woman. She smirked at the action as one visible eye glowed and she held up a hand. The wind seemed to struggle against some unknown force before dispersing entirely, leaving nothing but a gentle breeze to hit the woman. "Well then I am afraid we have a problem. Despite his idiocy from time to time, I still have my uses for dear old Roman. I'll have to insist that he stay with me."
Naruto watched as the intricate gold patterns on her sleeves began to glow before her hands ignited with scorching flames. Not a moment later a large torrent of fire was sent his way. He cursed at his limited maneuvering space and opted to cover his body with his arms, the option to dodge robbed from him due to the small quarters of the Bullhead.
Flames engulfed him as he was lifted off his feet and pushed out of the Bullhead. Naruto spun in the air while pumping his immediate area full of wind chakra. A small shell quickly formed around him as his body hurtled towards a hard-unforgiving rooftop. The improvised wind shell took all the damage from his fall and dented the cement rooftop, leaving him suspended in the air for a moment before he released the technique and dropped a few inches harmlessly to the ground.
Naruto turned his eyes back to the Bullhead and watched as the raven-haired woman leapt from the flying machine and landed in a similar fashion to himself, a small pocket of air coalescing beneath her feet to rid herself of any impact from the fall.
"Cinder what are you doing!? Let's get out of here before any more of these freaky kids show up!"
Naruto had to agree with the flamboyant man's logic, if they were trying to escape, why follow him when they could have left? Though he had to suppress a laugh as the orange haired man was quickly cowed by a glare from the woman.
She turned her attention back to him and gave him what could only be described as a sultry look. "You have peaked my interest. You see, I am very familiar with dust and all of its applications for combat. I am also quite adept at spotting… unique abilities."
As she spoke, the intricate gold markings on her right sleeve began to glow again. This time however her left hand ignited into flames with nothing to indicate the activation like before. The only difference seemed to be that her left eye seemed to glow brighter in the dark night.
The woman was clearly trying to make a point, despite the actual meaning being lost on him. Still, he shut his mouth and opted to glare at her instead. He flipped his knives in his hand, letting the blades glide just above his hands as two chains latched out to grab onto them. He spun the short chains in a circle while adding wind chakra to the blades themselves, ready for anything the woman would throw at him.
He didn't have to wait long as the woman unleashed another torrent of flames from her hand. Using his spinning knives as an impromptu shield, Naruto held the weapon in front of him. The fire impacted harshly against the offending weapon but the flames quickly latched onto the wind shield and shot off harmlessly against the cement rooftop. Fire may have been the stronger element to wind but if one knew what they were doing they could use the wind to guide the flames to where they needed to go. Well, as long as the strength of the flames didn't completely overpower the wind.
She didn't relent in her assault with the first failed volley and followed up with another series of searing attacks. Despite the intensity of the attacks themselves, none reached him as he kept his wind defense up, alternating which knife took the attack with every volley.
For most it may have looked like a one-sided onslaught but it was anything but. Naruto knew a probing attack when he saw one. She was looking for something and he was more than content enough to let her look. He didn't need go all out here. Other than the fact that he didn't want to level a city block by truly letting loose, he also wasn't aware of what this woman could truly do.
While he was fairly confident that he could soundly beat this woman, it didn't pay to rush into something he didn't fully understand. He had done enough of that in his youth. He didn't have a protective forcefield to block a lethal attack if he was caught off guard by some strange ability. He doubted that this woman would hesitate to strike him down if given the opportunity.
That was the thing about the people of this world. Every single one of them had a very unique and strange ability. It was almost as if they all had a bloodline. The result being that if you weren't careful a fight may be over before you knew what they could do.
So, he would sit back and let her probe his defenses. He could handle anything she would throw directly at him and if she did pull out a strange ability out of nowhere then he would be ready. He didn't even have to beat her to come out of this victorious. The commotion they had caused must have garnered some attention by now. If he just stalled her then the proper authorities could take over.
The stream of attacks stopped for a moment and Naruto let his chained blades fall to his sides. He scanned the damage to the building and could only wince as large portion of it was either on fire or had been badly burned. Even the water storage unit behind him had been damaged, the water spilling onto the roof from the gash in the side of the metal container. He wasn't going to be held responsible for this, would he? He didn't have the kind of Lien to pay for this! He only had a part time job for crying out loud!
"My, my. You seem quite adept at using the wind as a defense. I'm quite impressed. But I wonder, is that all you can do?"
Naruto didn't like the glint in her eyes, nor the way they glowed with power as she raised both her hands in front of her. The air itself seemed to shimmer as if it was being boiled before a scorching stream of flames was unleashed from her hands.
Unlike the other attacks, there was nothing probing about this. She opted for a more destroy everything in my path kind of approach. He was fast enough to dodge the attack but stayed firmly rooted to his spot. Something like that would probably destroy the building behind him, killing anyone and everyone that was in the building.
Behind the flames, Naruto flashed through a series of hand seals. The water that had been pooling behind him came to life and sprang forth, rushing to form a steadfast wall between himself and the flames.
"Water Wall Jutsu!"
The sound of his voice was drowned out by the hissing of fire meeting water, neither element giving an inch as they fought for dominance. In the end nature won out as the fire died into nothing but steam, the wall of water quickly fading as the threat was extinguished.
Naruto expected anger or frustration on the face of the gorgeous woman he had been fighting. Instead he saw a devilish smile as her eyes danced with amusement. "Wind and water, neither through the usage of dust. Elemental semblances are a Lien a dozen. But having more than one element within a semblance? That is an impossibility. Tell me, where do you draw this power from?"
Naruto couldn't help but swallow the lump that had grown in his throat. He should have known better than to use too many abilities at once. His excuse at Beacon for having so many different abilities was flimsy at best and only held ground due to his friends' trust in him and the fact that the professors seemed to humor his excuses. He knew that the Headmaster didn't believe him when it came to his unique usage of Aura. Why the man humored him he didn't know but he wasn't going to push his luck on that front.
This woman on the other hand was a different story. She would never buy his weak explanation. She was smart, her eyes calculating as she no doubt went through several scenarios in her mind. He didn't know enough about this world to come up with a better excuse. So in lieu of a reason, he simply shut his mouth.
He was beginning to hate that damnedable smirk that woman gave him as her velvety voice filled his ears. "There's no need to be shy. I merely wish to know your favorite story." Almost beckoned by her words, her left eye glowed brightly. "I am quite partial to the story of the seasons myself. So, what is your favorite fairy tale?"
Silence permeated the air, neither combatant moving as Cinder waited for her answer. Time ticked away as the smile on her inviting lips slipped into a frown. "No? Perhaps you need a little more coaxing then."
Naruto watched as Cinder's eyes glowed with power and wind and fire gathered in her two hands. She let the volatile elements fuse before letting the torrent of destructive power go.
The blistering attack barreled down upon him and with a twirl of his hands, the chains disconnected from his knives and he grabbed onto the handles. The blades came to life as his own wind imbued the metal. Channeling his chakra into his knives, the red fire dust he had stored in their hidden chambers ignited. Fire washed over wind and burned brightly on the tips of his weapons. If he couldn't guide the attack harmlessly away, then he would just have to overpower it.
Before he could lunge forward to meet the attack head on a figure jumped in between himself and the attack. He couldn't quite make out the shape due to the blinding bright stream of fire that clashed against his protector's form. The figure held strong however and nearly as soon as the attack had formed it disappeared.
With the flames gone Naruto could clearly see who had interfered. He looked on with surprise as there was only red and bronze in his vision. A long red pony tail flowed in the wind, her body tense and on guard as she gave her undivided attention towards the fiery woman across from them.
The girl in question only glanced back for a moment, Naruto barely catching the harden look in her emerald eyes. True to her training, she refused to let down her guard in front of her opponent. She took off a second later, closing the distance between her opponent in a matter of moments.
Her short sword extended into a spear as she made her lunge at the amber eyed woman. With a tilt of her head, Cinder easily avoided the stab and batted the offending weapon away before the glass imbedded in her clothes flared to life, forming two twin black curved blades in her hands.
Cinder had little time to counter attack as Pyrrha moved to engage her again. Pyrrha slammed her shield into Cinder's body and spun, bringing her transformed sword across Cinder's chest. The blow never landed as Cinder's own blade intercepted the attack, knocking the champion away with the force of the blow.
Pyrrha rolled with the attack, her metal grieves scrapping across the cement rooftop before she landed in a crouch, her shield brought to bear in front of her with Miló resting on the crock of the shield in its rifle form. She rattled off several shots in quick succession only for the bullets to explode harmlessly in front of Cinder's out stretched hand.
The girl took the warning without a second thought and quickly backflipped away from her spot. Not a second later her previous spot erupted in an explosion of fire and cement. She came to a stop next to Naruto; her breath was slightly labored but she didn't look any worse for wear. Naruto spared her a glance before focusing back on Cinder. The woman looked more miffed than anything else as her cold eyes glared at the red headed girl next to him.
"What are you doing here Pyrrha? I thought you went back to Vale already?"
Pyrrha kept Miló and Akoúo̱ at the ready but spared Naruto a look. "I was waiting for a bullhead to take me back to the school when I saw the smoke. I was worried so I came to make sure everything was alright."
Naruto couldn't help the smile that formed on his face as he let out a small chuckle. With how Pyrrha acted she reminded him of a doting mother hen. "You know Pyrrha, I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. You didn't have to come all the way back here to check on me, again."
Pyrrha smiled too and responded with a shrug of her shoulders. "I know but I wanted to. That's what friends do after all."
"You know, it's very rude to interrupt a couples' evening. Did your mother not teach you proper manners?"
Naruto cursed to himself as he quickly grabbed Pyrrha and leapt to the side, only barely avoiding a hail of bullets from the mounted guns on the bullhead that was still waiting nearby.
"I've seen this show before and I'm not a fan of the ending! Let's get out of here before more of them show up!"
Naruto easily heard Roman shouting over the engines of the bullhead and watched as a step ladder descended for the woman in red to grab a hold of. She seemed to hesitate as she turned her smoldering eyes his way. Their eyes met and her scowl turned into a soft smile as she reached for the ladder. "Farewell my blond friend. I do hope we can meet again. Your tale is most interesting to me."
He glared at the fleeing flying machine, taking with it one of the most dangerous people he had met on Remnant. He could have given chase, pursued them both and brought them in. Looking at the recovering Pyrrha he thought better of it and let out a sigh as he sheathed his weapons. With his luck, he would run into her again sooner rather than later. He could deal with her then if need be.
"Naruto, who was that?"
"I have no idea…"
"I'm telling you these kids just keep getting weirder. Who knows what the next one will do. Maybe they'll shoot out lasers that can cut bullheads in half. It wouldn't even surprise me at this point!"
Cinder tuned out the ranting thief in favor of her own thoughts. Her mind racing with possibilities as she replayed the fight with that blond boy. The boy projected an aura of strength so much different than any other huntsman she had ever encountered. It was as if he fought using something other than aura, something that should have been impossible.
A smirk came to her lips as she watched her hand glow brightly before she snuffed it out. She was well acquainted with the impossible. His command over the wind itself was immaculate, his raw strength may even surpass her own and he wasn't hot headed enough to show his true strength at the first sign of adversity.
The boy was an enigma, a mystery for her to solve. One that could not be ignored either. He was friendly with the Nikos girl, which would mean that he was one of Ozpin's children. If Ozpin had pawns such as that boy at his disposal, then she would need to reevaluate her plans. His strength was a cause for concern, even for her.
That was fine however. She was never one to try and fully overpower her opponents. No, all she needed to do was take away what power her opponents held. To do that she needed to understand him, for that she needed information. Luckily for her, despite his failings in other areas, Roman specialized in acquiring information.
A snap of her fingers brought Roman down from his ranting, his attention purely focused on her, as it should be. She moved her legs over each, the action causing her short dress to flutter temptingly. She didn't miss the way his eyes strayed from face to admire her before snapping back. Sometimes it was all too easy. "Roman my dear, I have a new task for you."
The way he groaned and took a long puff on his cigar did little to soothe her annoyance at his cavalier attitude. "If you haven't noticed I'm a little busy robbing the entire city of Vale. Something like that doesn't give me a lot of free time!"
The glare she leveled on the most notorious man in Vale was scathing and the man quickly cowed to her will. "But for you beautiful, I'll make the time. What's the job?"
"It's nothing a man of your skills should have any difficulty with." She purred. "I simply need some information."
A grunt of acknowledgment came from Roman as he dropped his cigar and crushed it against the metal floor. "About the new kid, right? He was pretty weird. Persistent too."
"Precisely. I want his name, his background, his semblance, any of his friends' names. Even his favorite color if you think it's important. I want to know everything there is about our blond friend."
Cinder rose from her velvet couch in Roman's base and made her way to the exit. Roman would do as she asked. He may be a pawn but he was no fool, he knew the consequences of not doing as she demanded. She would have her information and she would soon know all of that boy's secrets, and more importantly, the source of his unique power. "Hide them as much as you want, I will learn your secrets."
Yang let out a tired sigh as she stroked her sister's hair while sitting on her bed. Despite being tired, Yang couldn't help but smile as she watched Ruby sleep. It reminded her of when they were kids. Of the late nights she would stay awake to make sure Ruby could sleep soundly.
It was something that she had done hundreds of times, so much so that it felt to be almost second nature to her. Taking care of Ruby in place of her father, who had become more of a burden than anything else growing up.
Did she hold it against her father that she had to all but give up her childhood to make sure Ruby could have one? She would be lying if she said she didn't. She didn't hate him though, she understood why everything happened the way it did. She just wished that it hadn't, for more reasons than was worth counting.
Ruby stirred on her lap and Yang adjusted the younger girl slightly, laying her on her pillow and covering her with a blanket. Tai had dropped her off a few hours ago, completely passed out and cheeks stained with tears.
It wasn't a completely uncommon sight. Summer's death had affected all of them differently. Her father completely shut down, both inside and out. Ruby instead internalized and bottled up the pain, only letting it out when she would visit Summer's grave. And herself? Well she just had to push past it and take care of Ruby, at least until her father finally pulled himself together.
Yang had carried Ruby home in a similar state more than enough times to know that she had just visited Summer's grave. She had been getting a lot better about it lately though. The last time Yang had taken Ruby she had barely cried at all. Unfortunately, Ruby's sleep suffered for the strong front she would put up. Most nights were restless and fueled with night terrors. Yang would know, she would be up with her sister all night when it would happen.
Tonight was different however, the young girl didn't so much as whimper as she slumbered peacefully. It was why Yang couldn't help herself from smiling. Tai had mentioned that Ruby had a guest earlier. Yang didn't know why or how Naruto had found Ruby but looking at her peaceful face as she slept, Yang realized she didn't really care.
Whatever Naruto had said or done had done more for Ruby than he probably realized. She would have to thank him for whatever it was that he did. She could even forgive him for dying her hair, heh, well, almost forgive him for that.
The click of their dorm room door followed by the soft sound of heels connecting with the floor made Yang look up to see her partner come into the room. They shared a look and Yang carefully crawled off Ruby's bunk bed, making her way over to Blake's bed where said girl was already crawling into.
Yang didn't miss the scowl on her teammates face, even when the girl picked up her favorite book. Someone was in a foul mood. With the bluntness that she was well known for, Yang promptly plopped herself unceremoniously on Blake's bed, knocking the girl off balance and earning her a glower of a look.
"What's up Blakey? Something bothering you?"
Amber eyes glared at her briefly before it went back to the book in the raven-haired girl's hands. Her face going back to her perpetual neutral position. "And who says I'm in a bad mood?"
A very articulate snort came out of Yang's mouth in response. "Right, you're not in a bad mood just like Ruby doesn't have a cookie problem. Come on partner, what's up?"
Blake gave Yang a flat look before sighing to herself and closing her book. It was clear to the girl she wasn't going to be getting any reading done. "It's nothing. I just have some stuff on my mind."
"Yeah, I got that." Yang drawled out as she rolled her eyes. "Let's try again, what's up?"
Blake released another sigh while shaking her head uselessly. "There's really nothing to talk about Yang. I just think a friend is going to make a stupid mistake."
Yang rolled over on her stomach as she hummed in understanding. "You don't think Weiss and Naruto should date?"
Blake's eyes bounced across the room as she bit her lower lip but didn't say anything. "Heh, knew it. You try to act all quiet and mysterious but sometimes you're the easiest person to read." The glower that Blake sent her way did little to deter her. "Well, I know that Weiss is out looking for him. If you're going to make a big dramatic confession you better get going."
Yang didn't even bother to dodge the swipe that came her way courtesy of the raven-haired huntress in training next to her. "I thought you would've learned from the last time, we aren't like that. We're just friends."
Yang smiled knowingly at her partner, clearly not buying Blake's response. "Yeah, just like Ren and Nora."
With a huff, Blake rolled over on the bed and rested her head on her pillow. "You're delusional."
Yang just shrugged in response as she sat up. "Ok fine, I'll play along. You definitely aren't crushing on Naruto. You're just really, really good friends." A growl escaped Blake's pillow which only cause Yang to smile wider at the girl. "So, then why are you against them getting together if it's not because you like him?"
Yang watched as Blake seemed to wrestle with her own reasons. It took a few minutes but Yang was fine with waiting. "It's… for one thing they barely know each other. It's been what? Six weeks? Two months at the most? That's way too early for them to be jumping into something like that."
"Pfft, that's dumb. Back at Signal I knew people who would start dating after only a couple of days, not weeks. Dating in the real world is a little different from that book that you have hidden in your pillow case. Truth be told I don't think anything they do in that book is what it's like in real life. If it is, well damn, Dad definitely didn't go over any of those things when he gave me the talk."
Blake's face heated up as Yang waggled her eyebrows at her partner. It didn't last however as a pillow violently crashed into her face, knocking her onto her back. Yang only laughed as she pried the pillow off before sitting back up. "Come on, we both know that isn't the problem. What's the problem Blake?"
The change in her tone was enough for Blake's shoulders to sag and a sigh to escape the girl. "Fine, you want to know the real reason? I'm afraid she's going to hurt him. Naruto hasn't exactly had a great life up until now and he doesn't need to get hurt by someone he cares about due to something he had no control over at birth."
"But why would Weiss hurt him if she likes him?"
Black and yellow hair whipped to the side as both Blake and Yang turned to the third voice in the room. Sitting up on her bed but still groggy, Ruby looked at her teammates with confusion. Yang winced as she looked at her little sister; she didn't mean to wake her up. Though it wasn't like she could do anything about that now. She turned her attention back to Blake in time to see the apprehensive look on her partner's face.
She fully understood why of course. Weiss was Ruby's partner and despite the heiress' claims, the two of them were rather close. Ruby tended to overlook the negative aspects of her partner and her familiar times. Though that could just be the girl's ignorance on the matter.
Despite how she acted, Yang wasn't so innocent that she didn't know some of the baggage that came with Weiss' family name, she just didn't care about those things.
Blake on the other hand did. Even more so when it involved Naruto and she had a sneaking suspicion as to why. "Is it because Naruto's a Faunus?"
Panic spread across Blake's face while Ruby merely tilted her head in confusion. "Naruto's a faunus?"
Instead of answering her team leader, Blake opted to stare a Yang before muttering a question of her own. "Y-you know? How?"
Yang heard the slight tremble in Blake's voice but didn't comment on it. She merely shrugged in response as she responded. "To be honest I didn't know for sure until you confirmed it. But I was starting to think he was. You remember last month when I had to stay behind with him in Oobleck's class?"
The glare Blake sent her let her know that her partner did indeed remember. "Well we had to talk about the White Fang, the struggle of faunus in general and stuff like that. The way he talked about some of that stuff, the emotion behind it… it seemed like he was talking more from experiencing than anything he might have read about in a book. He just sounded so… resigned to it all."
Yang shivered slightly remembering the look in his eyes when he was talking about the struggles of being a faunus. Those normally bright blue eyes looked so dead. She hated the way he looked back then.
"And then there was how he reacted to Cardin bullying Velvet. That was way over the top for someone that just hates bullies. That seemed far more personal than anything else. Ever since then I figured he was a faunus, or at least part faunus."
Ruby looked towards her sister and then to Blake, her head tilted cutely to the side as she absorbed the information. "So, he is a faunus? But he doesn't have any animal parts unless you count the scars on his face, they do kind of look like whiskers."
Yang noted how Blake recoiled at the mention of Naruto's whiskers. It didn't last however as she quickly schooled her features before shaking her head. "It's a little complicated. He hides his animal features that he was born with. He doesn't want to be defined by what he is. He wants people to judge him based on his actions and who he is as a person, not what he is."
"But why? What's the big deal with being a faunus? Why would he want to hide it? It's not like being a faunus makes you any different from anyone else."
Blake gave her team leader a sad smile while her hand absentmindedly rubbed the front cover of her book. "Not everyone is as open minded as you and Yang. It's great that you don't think of anything when you see an animal appendage but the rest of the world isn't so kind. They see a tail or animal ears and some people will automatically form an opinion of you, rarely a good one." Blake closed her eyes as she let out a small sigh. "Sometimes it's just easier to hide what you are than deal with the hate."
Blake's somber tone made Yang bite her lip to stop the question that was on the tip of her tongue. Her suspicions extended to more than just Naruto. The two of them were so close and for seemingly no reason. She knew that the two of them hadn't known each other before Beacon and Blake was actually hostile towards Naruto for a while before her prank.
She knew that Blake never had a crush on Naruto. The entire reason she played that prank to begin with was to just mess with her partner. Naruto was just the target due to Blake's odd behavior whenever he was brought up. Then after that they were suddenly friends and good ones at that? It didn't make any sense. Not unless they found out they had something in common, something they could relate to one another with.
In terms of how faunus were treated, Blake spoke in almost the exact resigned way that Naruto did. It was eerily similar, in a way that meant they had the same perspective from the same experiences…
But she wouldn't push her partner into telling them everything about herself. If-when she felt like she could trust them with that secret, then her team would accept her with open arms. Well, Ruby and herself would no doubt, Weiss might be a different story.
"I guess I never realized that it was still so bad to be a faunus. Patch is kind of a small town and we don't have many faunus that live there so I guess I never noticed." Ruby's frown lifted as she looked up at Blake. "You two must be really close for Naruto to share all of this with you."
The tiniest amounts of red dusted across Blake's face with how innocently Ruby had said that. Despite herself though she smiled and gave a small nod. "I suppose we are and I'm glad that he's opened up enough to tell me about his past and what he's been through. That's why I don't think he should date Weiss. I don't hate her or anything like that but her family isn't exactly known for their positive views on faunus."
Ruby frowned as she lowered her head in thought. She seemed to struggle with whatever it was before she turned her head back to Blake. "But aren't you doing what all of those other people are doing to him just for being a faunus? Weiss isn't like her family. I've never seen her be mean to any faunus here at Beacon, at least not any more than Weiss being Weiss."
Blake opened her mouth to say something before she shut it with an audible click of her teeth. She looked at Ruby, the girl's eyes filled with confidence in what she was saying. After a few more moments Blake sighed before a strained smile came to her lips. "I guess you're right. Naruto said the same thing when I talked to him about it. I guess I'll have to give her the benefit of the doubt."
Yang couldn't help the smile on her face as she beamed at her sister's words. She couldn't be prouder of her if she wanted to. That smile quickly morphed into a devilish smirk as she redirected her attention back to her partner. "Now that that's decided we can focus on the real reason you don't want them to date. How are you going to confess to him? I personally like the dramatic approach."
She didn't even see the pillow that hit her before her world went black.
Naruto let out a tired groan as he swiped his scroll against the lock on his dorm's door. He couldn't have been happier that his day was finally over. Between his argument with Blake, dealing with Ruby and having to fight off multiple criminals, he was completely spent. All he wanted to do was have a quick shower and collapse on his bed.
As he swung the door open he noticed something a little off about his room. Everything was exactly as he left it, no, what was different was the addition of something. That something just so happened to be Weiss, looking as prim and proper and as beautiful as she always was. He felt his cheeks heat up slightly as the last thought rolled through his mind.
She regarded him from his bed with an even expression, one leg crossed over the other with her hands placed in her lap. Her eyes focused on him, just a hint of anger simmered below an otherwise neutral gaze. He slowly closed the door behind him, the soft click seemingly echoing in the silent room. "Hey…" He tried weakly.
Her complete lack of a response was enough to have him follow up. "Wha-what are you doing here?"
Inwardly he cursed himself for his stutter. Put him in a battlefield with the most dangerous people in the world and he wouldn't miss a beat but put him in a somewhat awkward situation and he would stumble and trip all over himself.
Judging by the way she scoffed as she flipped her pony tail Weiss was none too pleased with his question. "Waiting for you, obviously."
He let out an awkward laugh as he rubbed the back of his head, once more silently cursing how stupid he must have sounded. "Right, of course." He paused for a moment as his brain finally caught up to the present moment. "Wait, how exactly did you get in my room again?"
Her composed face dropped as her eyes widened at the question. She let out a soft cough while her head turned to the side, her face turning red as she refused to meet his gaze. "The door was slightly open when I arrived so I let myself in. Really, you should be more careful. Any vagabond could have just walked in and taken anything, not that you have much here to begin with…"
His raised eyebrow was all he needed to do to let the girl know he didn't buy her answer. Still, she refused to recant the story, steadfast in her answer. With a chuckle, he just shook his head in exasperation. "Of course, it was. I'll be sure to be more careful in the future."
Weiss seemed to accept the answer for what it was and rose from her place on his bed, his gaze following her long milky legs as they sashayed towards him. She moved with a grace that could only be achieved through a lifetime of refinement. She stopped in front of him, her finger poking roughly against his chest as she sent him a scowl. "You're late coming home as well. I thought you may have been trying to avoid me again."
The nervous laugh he let go did little to quell her anger, if anything it intensified it as she deepened her glare. "Sorry about that. For both actually. I didn't mean to make you upset with me over that. Something happened at work that kinda held me up."
His excuse did nothing to relieve the stare she was giving him. That was until her nose crinkled cutely, he could only imagine how poorly he smelled after tonight's events. "You smell like soot."
And just like that her anger seemed to vanish as her eyes took on a more critical element. She scanned him up on down, her eyes going over every little nick and cut, almost like she was cataloging them in her mind. He had to suppress a shiver that threatened to run down his spine as he felt her delicate finger skirt across his exposed skin. "You're covered in cuts and your clothes are singed. What happened?"
If her tone of voice didn't belay her concern, one look into her pale blue eyes told him all he needed to know. He didn't want to worry her, especially when there was nothing to worry about. "Roman Torchwick tried to rob the dust shop I work at. I fought him off rather easily but he had a partner. She was strong, way stronger than Torchwick was. They weren't even in the same league. She really liked fire."
Weiss' hand danced across his torso before it landed on his chest, her eyes locking with his. "Are you all right?"
He couldn't help but smile at the girl in front of him. Her concern washed over him and made him warm, content. He now had zero doubt about what he wanted to do, what he needed to do. He slowly wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to him. "I am now."
He didn't miss the full-on blush that spread across her face nor did he miss the way she tried to look anywhere but at him. He never realized just how cute she could be when she was flustered.
But more importantly than any of that, he noticed how she didn't fight his grip in the slightest. They stood together, bodies close but not quite touching. The silence between them was comfortable, not deafening as it once might have been. It was Weiss though who broke the silence. "Naruto…"
Her pale eyes widened in surprise at his interruption. She tried to process the words but only looked back at him in confusion. "You're sorry?"
He chuckled lightly at her surprise. Perhaps that wasn't the best way to explain himself. "I am. For yesterday. I don't know what came over me. I just…acted. I didn't think at all."
He couldn't quite place the emotion that ran across her face but her voice was gentle and soft, almost soothing. "You did catch me off guard. Truth be told, I was not expecting you to kiss me the way you did." She paused, either to let her words sink in or to gather herself he didn't know. "And what about now that you've had some time to think about it? Do you regret what happened?"
"To be honest, I've been thinking non-stop about what happened and I still don't know what I think."
The way her face fell squeezed his heart and hurt more than he expected it to. He hated how she looked. Taking one of his hands off her hip, he brought it to her chin and shifted her head to look into his eyes. "But I know how I feel. I've never been good at thinking. I always preferred to let my actions speak for me."
She scoffed slightly at his words with a teasing smile on her face. "I've known you for over two months now and that particular aspect of yourself has become painfully apparent to me."
He laughed, a genuine laugh that seemed to make her smile as well. "I might not know how to say it but I can show you instead."
He didn't wait for her response as he titled her head up ever so slightly, his own head leaning forwards. His eyes closed with the feeling of his lips pressing against hers.
He didn't feel her shock or surprise, nor any resistance to his actions. Instead he felt her push back slightly, her body pushing up against his in an attempt to deepen the kiss. He was happy to oblige as he wrapped his arms fully around her lower back and pulled her into him. She welcomed the motion and tried her best to form her body against his.
Their lips parted, the need for air finally outweighing their desire as the two panted for oxygen. With one last deep breath, Naruto lifted her chin once more and stared into her half-lidded eyes. "That's how I feel."
Her eyes fluttered a few times before she could focus them back on his. It was impossible to miss the way they sparkled nor could he miss the unmistakable smile that graced her lips. "I see. You expressed yourself very clearly, for someone such as yourself that is."
Naruto took the comment with a smile. There was no malice in the words, if anything they were filled with affection. "And what about you? How do you feel?"
Her smile turned into a small smirk as she regarded him. Instead of answering, she leaned back into him and pressed her lips back onto his.
Alright so there's another chapter for all of you. Truth be told this chapter was actually done a long time ago but I wanted to wait to upload this chapter until after my new story was published for that sweet self-promotion. So, if you're at all interested in a purely RWBY story then head on over and check out The Last of His Name. I have yet to read a story in the RWBY section that is like the one I have planned so it should be a fun ride.
Like always, leave a review if you would be so kind, what you liked, things I can improve on and everything else in between. Until next time!