The students of Beacon are trained to hunt and destroy creatures of unimaginable horrors, to stand valiantly against the encroaching shadow, seeking to cast mankind back into the dust it crawled from so many years ago. They represent the very best that Remnant has to offer. And yet, nothing could prepare them for the horrors that would unfold this night, the eve before second-year students take their Applications of Dust final. For this night, the silence of Team RWBY's dorm had been shattered by a game of Remnant the Game.
The dorm was immaculate, save a table dominating the heart of the bedroom. Yang and Ruby had set up the game board, splitting the world in half. Ruby had claimed Mistral and Atlas while Yang controlled Vacuo and Vale. Ruby had managed to lose Mistral to a failed Giant Nevermore, leaving Atlas surrounded and friendless. While Yang was thrilled to accept the victory, breaking an hour-long stalemate, she wasn't sure there had been no outside interference; Blake was awfully quick to snatch the coin once it hit the floor. But at last, the moment of victory was nigh. "Rubes, your armies are shattered. Atlas is mine! Mwahahaha!", the loudest member of Team RWBY cackled, revelling in the pleasure of conquering the world.
"Not so fast, sis! I activate my trap!" Ruby turned from the table to look at Weiss. "Wwweeeiiissss! Save me from the foul dragon who dares besmirch your homeland!"
Blake, merrily lost in a book of love and war, had been watching the game over the top of her book. At her leader's whine, she attempted to sink deeper into the bed. Sensing such an act would end in failure, she curled into a ball and braced for the coming explosion.
Silence reigned over the dorm room as Ruby's summoned savior slowly turned in her chair, visibly swelling with rage. "RUBY, YANG! We have our last final in the morning. Will you please just shut up and let me study! This will be our most difficult test yet."
Ruby somberly walked to her partner, though those who knew the young Rose could tell it was exaggerated, and said, "I'm sorry Weiss. I just wanted to have some fun, and you already know all this stuff. I'm sure the smartest girl in the whole world will easily ace that test. Come on, let's play another game. You could use a break and as leader, I order you to -"
"I need to study in silence. I'll be at the library. You two have fun." Weiss, in a blur that would make Ruby proud, grabbed her books and ran out the door before the sisters could act. Her mind racing, her feet carried her along the familiar path to the library. Maybe she should have just played. She knew her dust better than anyone else in this school. No, Goodwitch's dust test is infamous for its difficulty. Beacon's library was one of the one of the largest buildings on campus, standing five stories tall. During ordinary times, the library was fairly busy, often requiring one to climb to the top floor to find a free table. Given the time of year, she expected to have to study in some long forgotten corner. But given the choice, it was still better than trying to ignore the antics of her partner or her sister.
Finding a place to sit proved to be far easier than she expected. The library crowd was reduced to a handful of stragglers, likely due to the late hour and beautiful weather. After respectfully greeting to the aged librarian, she began to study once more. Over the past year, Team RWBY had earned library privileges other second year students hadn't. They were even trusted with locking up the library's main entrance although the floors with more precious books would still be locked before the librarian left for the night. While Weiss was humbled by the incredible trust they placed in her team, she was confident it was Blake's fault. Her faunus teammate had proven numerous times her White Fang training was just as useful for snatching the next book in her current series as it was for stealing a train of dust.
While her mind tried to focus on the material at hand, her heart kept racing back to her team. She had thought she had moved past her all-consuming need for perfection, her actions earlier this evening proved her wrong. She would study for another hour, then return to her dorm and apologize to Ruby for snapping at her. Just because she was under immense levels of stress didn't give her the right to take it out on her partner. She didn't deserve the abuse. For a moment, she considered sending Ruby a message but decided against it. This was something she had to deal with directly.
A loud snap pulled her from thoughts. Looking down, she realized she had snapped her pen in half, leaving a rapidly drying pool of ink on her freshly written notes. In a rush, she wiped out a specially embroidered handkerchief and dabbed at her notes. "Lovely, just lovely," she muttered under her breath. "Now I get to start over." Glancing at what remained of her legible notes, she quickly realized her notes were worthless to begin with. "'While rare in most faunus breeds, a mutagen linked to allergies to Ruby Rose have been discovered in increasing rates among humans,'" she read aloud. "Well, that explains a lot," she said, sighing. No one was ever around to appreciate her jokes. Weiss removed a fresh paper and started to rummage in her bag for a fresh pen. Yet, because nothing was fated to go her way, the second pen was nowhere to be found.
As Weiss began to frantically look for her misplaced pen, a tall young man approached her table. The man was easily taller than Weiss, perhaps 6'2", dressed in black leather pants and a black jacket bearing the insignia of a moon passing in front of a burning sun. "Lovely evening, isn't it? Forgive me for my intrusion but I can tell you need some help. How may I be of assistance?"
Startled, Weiss bit back her initial desire to chew into him for assuming that a Schnee needs help. "I'm fine, just trying to find my pen. Thank you very much."
The man reached into his pocket removing a small ink pot and a quill, made from a dark feather gleaming of bronze and ruby. "I know it's not a traditional pen, but I do have a quill and some ink you can have." The man placed the quill and ink pot on the table next to Weiss. "I wouldn't worry too much about your test, miss. I have it on good authority everyone will pass tomorrow. May I offer a piece of advice? If you are troubled, it can help to write in a journal." He began to walk away before stopping, calling back, "The written word has power, Miss Schnee. It's good to see someone taking it seriously. Perhaps I'll see you at the Umbraporium?" Without waiting for a response, the man walked out into the shadows.
"What just happened?" Weiss muttered to herself. "And now I'm talking to myself. Do I just attract dunces and dolts?" Weiss opened her book on dust usage, only to discover her missing pen was hidden within the book. The hours trickled away as Weiss crammed before the final. Professor Goodwitch had earned a reputation for hands-on tests. The upper-classmen whispered of a previous test which required students to create fire from an ice dust crystal, a feat her books claim to be impossible. Perhaps that was the test? To prove an impossibility would be no mean task, even for one such as her. Weiss stifled a yawn, finding herself reading the same line twice. While a strong will was crucial for manipulation of dust, a good night's rest was just as important and it was late. Weiss packed her bags and headed for her dorm.
The racket from the RWBY dorm could be heard down the hallway. Weiss pinched the bridge of her nose. "Oh, for the love of dust, is it possible to get any peace and quiet?" she muttered to herself. For the briefest moment, she considered asking Pyrrha if she could join JNPR for the night. She quickly quashed the idea, however. Jaune has been acting far more civil in the past year and didn't want to do anything that could draw his attention once more. When will he see what is right in front of his eyes? Within the dorm, she was greeted with a disaster. The sisters were wrestling on the floor, spreading the pieces of their game across the floor. Blake was sitting on her bed, wearing Ruby's headphones reading a book on dust. "What on Remnant are you dunces doing?" she yelled at the two sisters.
"Weiss, we were… umm.. settling a tie," Ruby sheepishly answered, scratching the back of her head.
"Ugh, I don't want to know anymore. Just clean it up and keep it down. Some of us have a test in the morning." Weiss walked over to her desk to place her bag down. Weiss unlocked a drawer in her desk which hid her most secret belonging: her journal. She removed the quill and its ink from her bag, her fingers finding what appeared to be leaf insignia on the ink pot. A familiar thrill of having something or someone to talk to without fear of reprisal coursed through her. Her team was amazing at times, but nights like tonight made such a conversation a terrifying thought. Yang, she was sure, would make some horrible joke. Ruby would want to hug the problems out, and Blake was just as likely to hand her a self-help book, as to offer advice.
'Dear diary, the team reminded me that some days I want to commit sororicide. I just wish they would be silent at night. I know they mean well by encouraging me to join their games, but I need to prepare for the future. I need to be the best to restore my family's legacy. They are so frustrating some days. But I still tolerate them. Thanks for listening.'
The words slightly glowed fuchsia as she wrote them, darkening to black once she capped the ink pot. She paused for a moment at the unusual sight then closed the journal. Novelty inks were becoming popular among the students. It was possible this was one such ink. "Good night," said Weiss, as she climbed into her bed. "And thank you for being you," she mouthed towards the closet.