Weiss opened her eyes. For a few seconds, she didn't recognize her surroundings and she immediately started to panic. Then she remembered and slumped back into her bed. Just like every morning for the past two months.

Rolling over, she picked up her phone and stared at it.


No new messages.

Of course not. She frowned at the time though. She used to wake up naturally at eight every day. Her standards were slipping. Not that she ever had any reason to get up early anymore.

She should still get up though. For one, it was far too hot to stay in bed. The single ceiling fan spun slowly and Winter didn't have the money to pay for air conditioning all day just for her benefit.

Peeling herself out of the covers, Weiss rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She frowned, feeling like she was forgetting something. Oh well. It would probably come to her eventually.

She opened the door to the rest of the apartment. Somehow it was even hotter. On the floor in front of her bed sat a note from her sister.

"No one else will make your bed."

She scowled. Not for the first time, Weiss considered phoning her father and going home. Back to an air conditioned mansion. Back to a bed with more than one pillow and a double mattress instead of a single one that was half as thick as it needed to be.

But it would mean accepting defeat. It would mean apologizing and admitting to her father that he was right. That she couldn't handle life without his money and couldn't make it on her own.

So like she did every day, Weiss sighed and walked back into her room. She made her bed, badly but she still made it. Then she went to go shower in lukewarm water.

The apartment wasn't really that bad. It was just basic. The military contractors Winter worked for owned a dozen or so places like it. The fact that it even had a spare room for Weiss to stay in was a miracle. She wasn't sure she could have survived two months on the couch.

Finishing up in the bathroom, Weiss hung up her towel to dry. That had been two weeks before she had finally learned to do that. Even then it had mostly been because Winter had snapped at her, the third time they had ran out of dry towels. Still, she had beaten the note and she would take that as a victory. No matter how shallow it was.

Now dressed, she headed to the biggest cause of stress in her day to day life. The kitchen.

Winter's notes littered practically every station. Instructions or warnings to help her overcome the grueling trials of making breakfast. Or lunch. At this point it was about twelve.

Before walking out on her father, Weiss had considered herself above average in terms of competence. Top grades at some one of the best high schools in the country. A talented singer and a professional fencer, Weiss Schnee felt like she had earned the right to be slightly cocky.

Living with Winter had shattered that illusion almost immediately. Weiss had discovered that far from being perfect, she was actually horribly incompetent.

Winter told her it would pass and that she had gone through the same thing when she had left home. Soon she would adapt and then she could finally stand on her own. It just took a little time.

It wasn't really her fault, Weiss reasoned. She had been the heiress to the Schnee business and as a result had a large amount of servants and people making sure she was looked after.

Regular people had never had that, so regular people didn't realise how hard it was to adapt. Regular people were taught how to look after themselves. Weiss never had been. It wasn't fair.

Biting her lip, Weiss reached out for the fridge. She could do this. She was Weiss Schnee and god dammit she was going to make breakfast.

Three pans, two whisks, four eggs and a near miss with the smoke detector later, she ate cereal.

Weiss Schnee was useless.

The dishes were scattered around the kitchen, surrounded by various stains, burns and spills. Tomorrow she would cut her losses and start with cereal. Even though that had been soggy and rather unpleasant...

Maybe if she got up early enough she could catch breakfast with Winter. Though Winter probably didn't need breakfast. Half the time it didn't seem like she needed anything.

Her sister would be annoyed if she left all these dishes though. That note she had actually remembered on her own. Mostly because there was normally so much to do that it was hard to miss, even for her.

Dumping the pans in the sink, she turned on the tap and was met with a torrent of cold soapy water splashing straight into her face. With a shriek, she jumped back almost slipping on the wet floor, hands flailing as she struggled to regain her balance.


The glass smashed against the tiles and milk spilled everywhere. Standing alone in a mixture of milk, dish water and glass, Weiss sighed.

After the initial mishap, she managed to clean the rest of the dishes without further incident. And it only took her half an hour. Plus another five minutes to change into dry clothes.

She checked her phone.


No new messages.

Well that just left her six hours until Winter got home. There must be some way to fill the time until then. She could just go for a walk. Explore the town a little.

Despite being here for two months, Weiss still hadn't seen a lot of the sea side village of Vale. She told herself that it was because Winter had promised to show her around and her sister had been busy working.

The door to the apartment stood over her. Daring her to open it.

Maybe she should just stay in. It looked kinda cloudy and Winter would probably be a better tour guide anyway. There was probably something good to watch on TV in the meantime.

The door to the apartment opened with a click. Lying on the couch, Weiss didn't move.

"Hey Weiss."


There was a pause.

"Oh my day was fine Weiss. Thanks for asking."

The sarcastic words snapped Weiss out of her crappy drama induced trance. Leaning up from her spot on her couch she found her sister looking at with an amused look on her face.

"Winter," she said. "You're home early."

"Actually I'm an hour and half late but good to see that your private school education didn't go to waste."

"Shut up."

"Oh." Winter held up a bag and Weiss felt her mouth water as she recognized the smell. "Guess you don't want dinner then?"


"That's what I thought," her sister said with a smirk. "Set the table."

Five minutes later and they were eating Thai food. Not exactly what many people would expect a family of their wealth would eat but it had been Weiss's favorite for years. And now the two sisters could barely afford rent, it was a luxury Winter would sometimes indulge them in. It just wasn't handmade anymore over the course of four hours. .

"Why were you late then?" Weiss asked.

"Same as always," Winter muttered. "Colleague was hungover again and it delayed us most of the morning."

"You're always complaining about him, how is he still working there?"

"He's a consultant for a partner company so Ironwood can't do much. He hates him as much as I do. Maybe more"

Winter sighed.

"Drunken asshole."

"A drunken asshole you talk about nearly every day."

Winter glared at her.

"Careful sister."

"Hmm?" she said innocently.

Her sister put down her chopsticks, giving Weiss a look that made her suddenly nervous. She had a feeling that this next conversation was not going to go well for her.

"So the place I usually go for coffee was closed today."

"Really?" Weiss said standing up quickly. "Well that's interesting but it's late-"

"Sit down." She hesitated. "Now."

There was no room for augment in her sister's voice and reluctantly Weiss obeyed. Winter smiled.

"Anyway," she said as she continued eating. "I tried this place down on the pier and I happened to notice they were hiring..."

Weiss almost choked on a prawn. Whatever she had been expecting it hadn't been that. Only after a few moments of near death did she manage to splutter out a response.

"You want me to be a waitress?"

"Would that be so bad?"

"Yes," she said incredulously. "I'm a Schnee."

"And? So am I. and I still work."

"It's not about working. It's..." Weiss floundered trying to think of an excuse. "Someone might recognize me."

"We were rich, not famous," Winter countered. "People will only know if you tell them."


"Weiss, when you moved in with me, you told me that you wanted to live your own life."

"I do but-"

"For the past two months you have laid on the couch and done nothing."

"I know but-"

"You are my baby sister, Weiss. You can stay as long as you need to." Winter smiled reassuringly. "But you can do more and you know it. Please just consider it."

Weiss didn't reply and thankfully her sister didn't push the subject.

They resumed eating in silence. Well, Winter resumed eating. Weiss just kinda moved her food around. She had lost her appetite.

"I'm going to bed," Winter said standing up from the table. "Clean up here, will you?"

And then she was left alone. Sighing again, Weiss started trying to tidy away the dishes. She even managed to do it without spilling anything this time.

Practically a domestic goddess. Who wouldn't want to hire her?

Weiss couldn't sleep. The ocean waves, normally so soothing sounded harsh and threatening. And the bed which was usually so... Actually the bed was always terrible.

Her sister meant well, and was probably right. She needed to do something with her life. Something besides watching terrible television shows.

Letting out a growl of frustration, she rolled over, hoping her pillow could block out the crashing waves. It didn't work.

This was so typical of her. After the argument with her father, she had sat on trains for three hours with nowhere to go. Somehow Winter had found out about the fight with their father and practically ordered her to Vale. If she hadn't reached out, Weiss would still be on that train. Five years with no contact and Winter hadn't even hesitated.

She had looked exhausted at dinner. Weiss didn't know how much she had used to work but in the past month, it seemed like Winter had doubled her overtime hours. Her sister would never admit it but Weiss knew it was her fault.

Atlas might subsidize the housing of their employees but the wages were meant to be for a single employee who didn't do much else besides from work. They weren't really meant to stretch to said employee and her sister who doubled each bill. Weiss was straining her sister both physically and financially. Any decent sister would have jumped at the chance to pay her back or at least ease the burden.

Winter didn't understand though. Weiss honestly didn't think she was too good for the job. Weiss was scared she wasn't good enough. The last few months had been a bitter wakeup call and she wasn't sure she could handle the rejection right now.


Weiss stared up at the neon sign. It looked more like an ice cream parlor than a cafe. She wasn't sure if that was better. It might be simpler. Teas and coffee came in so many forms. They had history and a rich heritage. Ice cream was just ice cream. How complicated could it get?

On cue, a waitress with dark red hair practically bounced by, holding a tray with the most complex looking ice cream- wait, was that a milkshake?

"Excuse me," she asked curiously. "Um... What is that?"

"This? Oh this is a Crescent Rose-" How was she so happy about a drink? "-And it comes highly recommended."

That didn't answer anything. Were there flowers in that dessert? Was it even a dessert? Was it a decoration? An art piece?

"I seeā€¦"

The girl smiled before heading off to deliver the... Crescent Rose.

Sighing, Weiss reluctantly headed into the parlor, the air conditioning a welcome relief from the beach town sun. She wasn't built for this weather.

It wasn't that big, with most of the room taken up by a long counter showcasing a variety of different flavors of ice cream. The other two walls were lined with booths and the rest of the floor taken up by smaller tables.

It seemed a tad excessive considering the amount of customers they currently had. Then again, it was ten o'clock on a Tuesday. Hardly peak times. Wait, who would have ordered that monstrosity of sugar and cream at this time?

Glancing out the window, she saw the waitress from before gorging herself on the dessert that was bigger than her. What was this place?

Straightening her skirt, Weiss walked up to the till where a black haired girl was standing reading a book. After a few moments of not being noticed, Weiss coughed.

"Excuse me."

"Hmm, oh sorry," the girl said sounding bored. "Can I get you anything?"

"No thank you. I... Uh." Her confidence suddenly vanished under the girl's disapproving gaze. "Umm."

"Are you alright?" The girl asked and Weiss panicked.



Dammit. No this was fine. She could still recover this. Remember what Winter told you. Polite but professional.

"May I inquire as to whether or not your fine establishment is looking for further employees?"

The look she was given made Weiss wish she could just melt into the ground and vanish forever. She had been given speech lessons since she was seven so that she wouldn't embarrass the family. How was this so hard?

"Right... I'll go get Mr Xiao Long."

The other girl walked away and Weiss had to resist the urge to groan. Maybe she should just cut her losses and leave before embarrassing herself further.

"Hi, I'm Yang."

Too late. In front of her stood another waitress. How many people worked here?

"So you looking for a job?"

"The other waitress said I would be talking a Mr Xiao Long."

"Yeah my dad technically owns the place but he normally tells me to handle the employee stuff," the older girl said causally. "He prefers to stay in the background. You wanna get started then?"

"Oh. Yes of course."

Yang looked at her, arms crossed and eyebrow raised.

"Are you alright? You look kinda nervous. Did Blake say something?"


"The waitress who you talked to you before. You know, the one who looked kinda annoyed you were interrupting her reading?"

"Oh. No she was perfectly civil."

Yang laughed. Weiss didn't know why.

"Yeah she is that. Come on, let's go grab a seat."

Weiss forced a smile - she hoped seemed confident and not creepy.

"Lead the way."

Sitting in the booth while Yang read over her resume felt like the second longest experience of Weiss's life. And considering how short her resume was, that was saying something.

It consisted of her high school grades and some extracurricular activities Winter had made up to pad it out. Well, exaggerated more than made up. Maybe her singing hadn't been a part of the school choir but it still counted. And fencing was kind of a sport.

"So," Yang said after what seemed like an eternity. "You're new to Vale?"

"Yes. I just moved here recently."

"You going to college here or anything?"


"Really? With these grades." Yang shrugged. "Living with your parents."

"No, my older sister. My father is... It's complicated."

"I know that game," Yang murmured sadly. "Doesn't really matter but I take it that means you can work anytime?"

"Yes, my hours are flexible and I am a very punctual person."

"That's good," she said. "We don't really mind if you are a little late."

"That will not be a problem. I only live on the pier."

"The Atlas apartment? Oh my uncle lives there when he's is town."

What does that have to do with anything? Probably not the best response though. Professional but polite remember. What would Winter say?

"That's..." Pretend to care. "Nice?"

Perfect. Luckily Yang didn't seem to catch it.

"So your availability is good. Probably will get you screwed on the rota though. Shouldn't have told me that."

Yang laughed at her own joke. A second later, Weiss did too.

"Have you ever been convicted of any criminal activity?"

Weiss laughed genuinely for the first time that day.

"No, of course not."

"Don't be so quick to judge," Yang smirked. "Everyone makes mistakes when they're young."

Hmpf. Not everyone. Though what should she really expect from people of this background.

"Really? Like what?"

"Oh you know, hypothetically, underage drinking," Yang coughed. "I think Nora used to steal gum. Hell even Blake-"

Suddenly Yang paled. Clearly she had said too much.

"But enough about me," she said hastily. "No criminal record, check."

"Can you tell me about a time you overcame great adversity?"

She blinked.

Her rapier hit the floor with a clang and she yelped, clutching her hand in pain.

"Again Weiss."

She scrambled to pick up the blade, trying not to look at her father. Thankfully the safety mask prevented her from seeing the look of disappointment etched on his face.

"This time, do it right and do it faster."


Weiss jumped and found herself staring at Yang's slightly unnerved face.

"Hmm. Sorry what?"

"Are you alright? You kinda zoned out for a minute... Or five."

Face reddening, she quickly tried to recover. Her hand brushed over the scar that marked her face, freezing as she saw Yang's eyes flicker to it.

"Sorry," she said. "Can you please repeat the question?"

"You know what? Never mind," Yang said, shuffling her papers around. "It's a stupid question anyway."

"What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?"

"That's an actual question?"

"Yup," Yang said spinning the paper around to show the note pad. Glancing at the other questions, she noticed she was nearly done. Unfortunately, she couldn't tell if she was doing well at all.

"Not the greatest question I'll admit but Ruby made me put it in."


"She's my sister." Yang pointed the red haired waitress with the strange dessert. "You'll be working with her if we hire you."

"The one eating that umm..." Crap what was it called. "Moon Flower drink?"

"Moon flower... Oh you mean the Crescent Rose." Yang laughed. "Yeah she made that herself. It's sorta a tradition we have here. Newbies have to make up their own creation. We add them to the specials board every now and then if they're popular."

"What's yours called?" She asked genuinely curious for some bizarre reason.

"The Ember Cecilia."


That didn't help at all.

"Anyway, favorite flavor?"

She paused for a few moments. The best ice cream she had ever tasted had been a honey blend, hand made by a chef that had also been imported. Not the honey, the chef.

Probably not an exceptional answer. Keep it simple.


Yang tisked.

"The correct answer was Mango sorbet but whatever."

"Okay that should about do it," Yang muttered with a pen in her mouth. "Any questions."

Crap. Winter had told her to prepare for this but she didn't think it would actually come up. Think fast.

"How many other employees are there?"

Generic but it seemed to do the trick. Yang leaned back, relaxing now the formal part was apparently over. Weiss remained tense.

"There are eight of us including my dad but you'll never see him. He'll either be in his office or working from home. He handles the actual business stuff and leaves us to the shop."

Holding up her hands, Yang started counting off names,

"Apart from him there is me, obviously, Blake and Ruby." She jerked her thumb up to the desk. "Jaune, Nora, Pyrrha and Ren. Shifts are divided into days and half days. Three people during the week, four on weekends. We work 7 to 4. Breaks are sorted on the day, depending on how busy it is."

Weiss blinked, struggling to keep up with the rapid fire burst of information. Though the fact she being told all this had to be a good sign, right? Suddenly, Yang groaned, covering her face with her hands and Weiss felt her heart-rate going into overdrive.

"Wait no, what did I do?"

"I just realised I never asked your name," Yang said with an embarrassed smile. "That should really have been my first question."

"Oh, my name is Weiss Schnee. It is a pleasure to meet you."

She held out her hand, and Yang shook it eyebrow raised.

"Uhh... Nice to meet you-" The blonde froze, eyes widening. Weiss felt her heart begin to pound. How could Yang know the name? "Wait, Weiss Schnee?"

"Is that a problem?" she said trying to appear calm.

"No it's perfect." Yang's eyes were filled with wonder. "Your name is literally perfect."

Yang bit her lip as though struggling not to contain a grin. Weiss felt like she should question on it. What was funny about her name?

"Well, I was going to call you later to seem professional but screw it, you got the job."

Her eyes widened in shock. She couldn't believe it.

"Really? Oh my god, thank you so much. I promise that you won't-" Weiss froze. Polite but professional. "I mean, I humbly thank you for this opportunity."

"No problem..." Yang said bemused. "Just fill in these forms and emergency contacts while I got get you a uniform."

Face still slightly pink and not trusting herself to speak, Weiss nodded. Only when Yang was out of ear shot and she was sure she was alone did she finally let out a squeal of glee.

She had a job. They had said yes and she had a job. A job with coworkers and wages and shifts and uniforms and- wait uniforms?

This could not be happening to her.

"Weiss, come out."

"No," she squeaked. "Go away."

"Not a chance. Let me see it."


"I am not leaving until I see it."

Weiss whined inside the bathroom as she stared at her reflection. Her own reflection that couldn't possibly be right because Weiss Schnee would never suffer this- this abomination. They couldn't really expect her to wear this, right?


She stomped her foot in frustration.

"Promise not to laugh?"

"I promise."

Letting out another whine, Weiss reached for the door and, half hoping it would break. Disappointingly, it was still functional. Staring at the ground, she shuffled out.


"You look very... professional?"

Snapping her head up, Weiss glared at her smirking sister.

"I hate you."

"What? I think you look very smart in your little-"

"Please don't say it."

"Uniform," Winter finished.

When Yang had given her the outfit, she had almost quit on the spot. She looked like some diner trash. With her pin striped dress and apron with pockets. At least she was given a choice of colour. White with silver stripes wasn't so bad. She couldn't have handed pink.

"I think she gave me a size too small," she said trying to recover some dignity.

Winter just laughed.

"I don't think she did."

Weiss reddened even more.

"What? But it's so tight."

"You really know nothing about advertising, do you?"

"But why would you make a skirt that sho- oh."

This was even worse than she thought. She tried to pull it down and it still didn't reach her knee. Whining again she looked up to see her sister biting her lip.

"You're enjoying this aren't you?"


Winter's eyes widened suddenly making Weiss's stomach drop.

"Surely any waitress working at such a fine establishment would require some sort of headgear?"

Weiss glared at her sister's smiling face before pulling out the sun visor. There was a moment of silence. Then Winter snorted into her hands.

Letting out a final whine, she threw the stupid hat at her sister and stormed into her room.

"Wait, Weiss I'm sorry."

"You promised."

"I know. I'm sorry. Let me make it up to you."

There was a pause.

"I can do your hair in pigtails if you want?"

She slammed the door as her sister dissolved into laughter. Sliding down the door and onto the wood, the former heiress held her head in hands.

A year ago, Weiss had been a prom queen. She had four walk-in closets, an elite social circle and a bright future.

Now she was dressing like a two-bit whore at a Halloween party.

It wasn't fair.

Group Text

Yang - "Hey guys. Even if you aren't working can you come in on Saturday? I hired a new girl and I want everyone to meet her."

Blake - "You hired that weird rude girl?"

Ruby - "Pot calling the kettle black."

Yang - "More like pot calling the kettle Blake. :D:D:D"

Blake - "..."

Blake - "Thanks."

Ruby - "Oh she was the one who liked the Crescent Rose. She seemed nice."

Ruby - "What's her name?"

Yang - "Weiss Schnee."

Blake - "Please don't tell me you hired her just so you can make 'Weiss Cream' jokes?"

Yang - "Yes."

Yang - "Yes I did"

Blake - "..."

Yang - ":D"