Weiss waited. The waiting was the worst part. That and living with her utter stupidity. She was glad her father couldn't see her now. He was surely rolling over in his grave at what his idiotic daughter had gotten herself into. Her mother would have simply wept.

It still seemed unreal to Weiss that she had believed Badr. Believed that all that would have happened was a couple of months in jail. She had never been that gullible before. She had always treated every single offer with suspicion, even offers as simple as running a hot bath. But then she had met Ruby.

Ruby had changed her for the better. There was no doubt about that. The untrusting, abused girl she had been was dead. She had discovered what it was like to have friends. To be liked. To be able to talk about inconsequential things. And to be loved. Ruby's love had made everything worth it. Even dying.

Before Ruby, Weiss would never have believed Badr capable of telling the truth, but she didn't regret knowing her. Not one bit. She could only regret that she would never see her again. At least, not until Ruby passed from this life.

Weiss had never been religious. She still wasn't, but her impending death made her think. She wanted to believe there was somewhere after. Somewhere where no one had to worry about the Grimm or bad people. Somewhere where Amber and Lyra were happy together. It was a hopeful dream, and one that worried her.

If a place like that was only reserved for good people, where would she end up? She wasn't good. She could see her blackened soul in the mirror now. In the indomitable wait for her death, she'd had a lot of time to think back over her life, and particularly the past two years.

Starting from the day she had taken command of ADRG, she'd done an awful lot of wrong. She had killed an awful lot of people who didn't deserve to die. Her moral defence had always been that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. It had been mathematics to her. It hadn't been easy, but it hadn't been that hard either.

Even now, she didn't know whether she had been right or not. It was impossible to tell how the world would have ended up without her actions. Maybe the White Fang would still be in power. Maybe Atlas would have been rent and split into warring kingdoms. She just couldn't tell. The vast majority of the people in Atlas were happy. That at least gave her the courage to say she hadn't been a brutal dictator. Maybe a misguided one, but not needlessly cruel.

It didn't excuse the deaths—or the disappearances—all in the name of stability. If she had the chance again, she would do so many things differently. Not rule with an iron fist, but with a velvet tongue. Had people sit down and reach amiable solutions. She should have done it that way from the start. Maybe then none of this would ever have happened, and Ruby wouldn't have left her.

After days and days of self-contemplation, there was no doubt in her mind that Ice Queen deserved to die. Maybe she had killed the Vacuan citizen as she was accused, or maybe not. In the end, it didn't matter. He was only one on a long list of people who tugged on her conscience. She couldn't even remember them all. The list was too long.

The Ice Queen deserved to die. Weiss wouldn't fight it in any way. Not that it would have made a difference. Her future was set in stone. She had accepted it and, it was her hope that in doing so, she would appease the ghosts who undoubtedly haunted her. That maybe, just maybe, her atonement and punishment would be enough to cleanse her soul. To allow her to see Lyra and Amber again and, when the time came, Ruby as well. It was an idle hope, but it was all she had to cling to.

Weiss looked out her window at the sun. At least she had a window now. After her confession, she had been moved. She no longer sat in chains on the hard cold floor. Instead she was in a bedroom; it was one with bars on the window, but it was infinitely preferable. She had a bed, a toilet, a shower, a desk, clean clothes. Badr had at least kept that side of their bargain. The room was comfortable.

Her hands were free as well. They'd removed the gloves after seeing she'd accepted her fate. She could probably use her Semblance, maybe even break out, but it would have been useless. She couldn't fight her way through an army, and there was something in her food that kept her Aura weak. It was probably for the best. It removed any false hopes that might have lingered, that might have driven her insane.

Weiss sat before the small mirror she had requested in her pristine white dress and combed her hair. In long sweeping strokes, she returned it to the glory that had been lost in her time in the cell. Pampering herself had always helped her relax and, as she counted to one hundred, it didn't fail now.

It was the strangest feeling. She had always thought that she would fight tooth and nail to cling onto her life. Yet, here she was, just meekly accepting it. Trying to make herself look presentable for her death. She pinned her hair up into a delicate bun, leaving her long neck entirely bare. She didn't want any complications.

Her face came next. The makeup set was primitive, but it was functional. The only section that remained untouched were the eyeliners and shadow. They would only accentuate any tears that managed to slip out past her barriers.

Weiss smiled at her reflection and checked the sun. She was ready. Now all that was left was the waiting. The hands in her lap shook just slightly. The smallest tremor. She tried to still them. She couldn't. Not quite.

Winter had been furious with her of course. They had been allowed to talk. Weiss could only be glad that Winter had been given the chance to freshen up as well. It would have broken her to see someone as normally well-presented as Winter chained up in a dungeon. Winter had urged her to escape, even if they both couldn't.

Weiss had been the big sister then. She wouldn't put Winter in jeopardy. At the moment, Winter was safe. Weiss realised now that both she and her father and kept Winter isolated from the more incorrigible parts of their business. Winter's conscience was clean. Maybe they would release her, or maybe they would continue to hold her, but Vacuo had no grounds to press for execution. All of their family's crimes died with her. She had made sure to include that in her confession. It would be her parting gift.

If there was one last wish that could have been granted to her, it would have been to see Ruby again, even for a moment. Just one last glimpse of the person who owned her heart. She could only hope that Ruby would understand why she was doing this. That it was her way of saying sorry to all those she had wronged. That she accepted Ruby had been right about so many things. Weiss had written her a letter; whether it would be delivered or not, she didn't know.

Weiss sat in the chair before the mirror, clasping her hands, her stomach fluttering. Strangely she had felt worse waiting for a big exam. There were nerves, but they weren't terrible. She supposed that came with acceptance.

From outside in the corridor came the sounds of heavy boots. It was a familiar noise, but an unfamiliar pattern. Rather than the lone guard on patrol, there was more than one pair. The locks on her door rattled.

Weiss stood, smoothing her skirt, checking her reflection one last time. If there was one thing Weiss was certain of, it was that she wouldn't beg. She wouldn't struggle. If the people coming to watch expected entertainment, she wouldn't give to them. She would face her death with her head held high. She would face it as a Schnee, with honour.

The door to her cell opened and two guards entered. Weiss took a deep breath. She was ready.

Ruby's lungs burned. That wasn't entirely true. They were a long way past burning. Her entire body was on fire. Her feet were swollen and bloody lumps with ruined leather attached to them. She had run… she didn't rightly know how many miles. All she knew was that she had beaten the sun across Vacuo. It was higher in the sky than when she had left Ozpin's corpse.

She didn't know what the people who'd have seen her were thinking. She had run fast. Faster than she had ever run in her life. Fast enough that if had felt more akin to flying. It had been luck more than anything that had brought her to the first town. She had stolen a bike. It hadn't been close to fast enough, but it had allowed her to rest. She'd redlined the engine until it had run out of fuel. The moment the bike stopped, she had started running again. The cops chasing her along the desert road had been left behind in the blink of an eye.

The cars on the road had been just a blur to her. Even at their top speed they'd be barely moving. Her passage had rocked them on their wheels and shattered windows. At any other time the collateral damage would have horrified her. At this moment, she didn't care in the slightest.

Through a combination of running and theft she had made it to Alfurat, praying that she wasn't too late. The crowd-filled streets under the burning sun told her she wasn't. It hadn't been hard to find where the execution was to take place. She just had to follow everyone else.

In the throng her going was slow. She couldn't run, and was forced to roughly push people aside, ignoring their protests. They made her sick. Not a single thread of her body could make her understand why someone would choose to watch a spectacle as grisly as this.

They weren't just watching it though. Everyone she passed was in good cheer. One person had even been selling t-shirts. The slogans and images on them had made her want to vomit. She wished she could have spared a few seconds to set the stall alight. But she couldn't. Not now when she was so close.

In the main square before the palace people were packed shoulder to shoulder. They could barely move. The smarter ones had brought hats or umbrellas for shade. The others baked in the sun.

Ruby dove into the crowd. From where she was she couldn't see anything. Her extra muscle came in handy as she powered her way through. The stench of sweat and body odour was nauseating. A cheer welled up. Jeers quickly followed. People shouted out slurs and insults with a venom entirely misplaced. She was running out of time.

Stuck in the mix, she brought her elbows into play. She jabbed them into ribs and slipped through the gaps they created. She picked up speed again. And now closer to the front, she caught glimpses of a wooden a stage. Of lots of figures. And of one in bright white.

Ruby's heart stopped before the sight of Weiss was lost to her once more. Her elbows became more active. Anything that was being said on the stage was drowned out between the blood pounding in her ears and the crowd's shouts of detest.

She fought her way right to front, her desperation giving her one last burst of energy. Weiss knelt. Despite everything Ruby had gone through to get here, she couldn't help feeling Weiss had never looked more beautiful than in this moment. In her white dress, with her long blemish-free neck bared, her hair done to perfection. The sight took the last remnants of Ruby's breath away. It was only then that she realised why Weiss was kneeling, or why a figure in black stood behind her.

Ruby leapt the waist-high metal fence. One of the guards grabbed her. She punched him straight in the nose. Bones shattered. She flared her Semblance, putting everything she had into one last burst of speed as she crossed the open ground before the platform.

Time slowed. The guards behind her shouted, their cries strangely elongated. Some of those on the stage began to react to the intruder, raising their fingers ever so slowly. Weiss' eyes widened. She opened her mouth.

A blade flashed in the sun.

A red line blossomed along her neck.

Ruby stumbled, mere feet from the stage.

Her world ended.

The clarity provided by her Semblance was awful. She saw every spurt of blood. Every twitch in the vein at Weiss' temple. She saw as gravity took its hold. As the head began to slide. As the body fell.

A weight hit her from behind, bearing her to floor. She didn't care. Didn't fight. What was the point? She was still numb. She had raced all the way across Vacuo, and she'd been too late by a fraction of a second. For the first time, her Semblance had let her down. Life held no meaning anymore.

A shape fell from the stage. It rolled towards her, coming to rest inches away. As bodies piled on top of her, Ruby could only stare sightlessly into sightless eyes. They were still brilliant cerulean, but they didn't contain a hint of the warmth, or love, or compassion, or the million other things Ruby had seen every time she had looked into them before. Instead they were cold and dead.

Weiss was gone.

There was no point in existing anymore. She wanted to die. Wanted the people on top of her to crush her so they could be together again. There was so much Ruby had wanted to say to Weiss, but one thing most of all; she loved her and wouldn't leave her again. They'd find a way to make it work.

Now they couldn't. She had left too late. The future was set in stone. She had chosen to kill Ozpin rather than save Weiss. She could only hope her own execution would follow soon after. She didn't deserve to live anymore. She was the lowest kind of person. She might have saved the world, but it didn't matter.

Looking into Weiss' glassy eyes, Ruby only wanted to die.

The days of repentance are full of sinners, and in betraying the love of her life, her soulmate, she had sinned most of all.

Ten Years Later

Ruby knelt by the gravestone. With steady hands she removed the wilted flower from the simple vase and replaced it with a fresh one. A single white rose. She stroked the petals. They were so soft, and she made sure to avoid the thorns.

It was a bittersweet experience coming back here. She wanted to pay her respects to the person she had loved so much, but it was also painful. A reminder that they were gone. That she would never see them again.

Even so, she tried to make the trip every year. She couldn't always, sometimes her other commitments conspired against her. It was for that reason she started with an apology.

"Sorry I haven't come by in a while. Things have been... well, things have been, pretty busy. I'm sure you understand though. I know you're still watching over me." Ruby smiled down at the rose. It might have been an expression meant to convey joy, but instead it was filled with sorrow and regret.

"Yang and Blake say they're sorry too. They really wanted to be here, but Blake couldn't get away from the Council. She actually won the election! Can you imagine that? A Faunus? People actually voted for her, humans too. It's fantastic. But I don't think I've ever seen her so stressed. She sent Yang running for the hills out of fright more than once." She couldn't help but give a small giggle. "But I've never seen her so happy. She's the first Faunus Councillor in history, but she swears she's not going to be the last.

"I don't think she would have been able to cope without Yang beside her. Things got pretty nasty. You should have seen some of the ads her opponents were running. They were disgusting… They didn't matter in the end. She won fair and square. So I hope you can understand why they're not here at the moment. But they both promised to visit when they get the chance.

"Dad's doing well. He and Raven are thinking of getting married. I'm happy for them. I know it wasn't an easy decision, but I think they deserve it. Uncle Qrow's good as well. He's really enjoying Beacon. It's a big step up from Signal when it comes to what he can throw at the students. Of course it helps that Doctor Oobleck is the headmaster. He's smoothed over a couple of… umm I guess you could call them misunderstandings on proper forms of discipline." Ruby laughed. It was a laugh tinged by sadness, but a laugh all the same. Even if Qrow was making the fresh hunters' lives hell, it would be worth it in the end. He was a great teacher.

"Umm… what else has happened?" While she thought, Ruby spat on her handkerchief and cleaned some of the grime from the stone. "Oh yeah, Velvet published another book. I'm not sure I've forgiven her though. Who knows how many kids are going to have to suffer their way through it in lessons? It's not fair. But I've been told it's really good. So I suppose they'll learn something. Coco made her model at her latest fashion show again. Velvet's used to it by now, but she still blushes. It's kind of cute really. The press thinks so too.

"Ren and Nora opened their second orphanage last week. It's not too far from the first. I don't have a clue how Ren manages to cope with Nora and all those hyper-active kids. I guess he meditates or something. They've asked me to pay them a visit soon.

"I saw Penny the other day. That's still a little weird. She looks exactly the same as before. She and her dad." Killing the dragon on Menagerie hadn't done permanent damage to the members of the Pantheon. Penny's dad was still around, as were the rest of them as far as Ruby knew; she hadn't seen Aurora since that fateful day.

The Pantheon was all but silent. Even Yang's grandmother. Ruby still didn't quite know how to feel about Cinder. Part of her wanted to see her charged and imprisoned for what she'd done, but the other part recognised they'd never be able to hold her.

Cinder had tried to change too. Bereft of the plan for revenge which had consumed the last fifty years of her life, she had floated from place to place before settling down near her daughter. She still wasn't exactly warm, but she was no longer cold either. It must have been hard on her, seeing everyone around her growing older, but it must have been hard for Penny as well. At least she had her father to keep her company.

"I think that's everybody. Oh… I suppose you'll want to hear what I've been up to. Well, you know how last time I said I had a couple of possible sites where Elysion could be? I was right! I managed to find it. Afterwards, a whole team of us went. We managed to excavate so many awesome artefacts. It's so much better than it was before when I was alone… We set up a big dig. It's still going on now. I left it in Sun's hands. Him and his team are keeping the Grimm away. They're very good. I barely needed Crescent Rose. She's still doing ok too. Getting a bit long in the tooth now, but she still work fine. That was why I couldn't come last time. I was in the middle of nowhere in a pit with a paintbrush. It was fun. I wish you could have been with me."

Ruby stopped talking. She really did wish that. With almost her entire heart. The world just hadn't meant it to be. It had torn them apart far too soon. She couldn't quite think what to say. She just knelt there, eyes wet, lamenting what had been lost. The wind rustled the forest behind her.

"Mummy!" The sharp high-pitched cry broke her silent contemplation.

Ruby looked around and her gaze was greeted by the two loves of her life. Dawn pulled against Weiss' restraining hand. Weiss leant down shushed her gently, conscious of Ruby's need for solace, but Ruby had always been weaker when it came to the wants of their daughter. She opened her arms and Weiss let go.

Dawn rushed over, only just managing to keep her balance in her eagerness. Ruby embraced her, cradling her daughter's head against her breast. She loved Weiss with all her heart. Nothing about that had changed, even after the years that had passed. But it paled in comparison to how much she loved Dawn.

If someone had asked her before she would have said it was impossible to love someone so much. It physically hurt to be a part. Even dropping her off at preschool, knowing that she would see her again in a few hours, was agony.

Dawn was perfect, utterly perfect, and ultimately she had come from the darkest moment of Ruby's life. Staring into the glassy eyes of Weiss' severed head she had only wanted to die. For it all to end. She had never managed to rid herself of that sight. Nightmares still haunted her even now.

She hadn't cared as she been handcuffed or hauled away. It had probably been for the best. If her hands were free she dreaded to think what she might have attempted. And she hadn't cared that someone had paid her extortionate bail a few hours later. She'd been in a complete daze.

Roman had met her in reception, his face powdered to hide the burns. She hadn't cared why he was there, or how he had found out about her arrest, or why he had bothered to bail her out in the first place. She had only followed his instructions to sign the appropriate paperwork numbly. She hadn't cared about anything. But she had certainly cared about who'd been waiting in the car for her.

In that moment, after sliding into the backseat, seeing who was sitting next to her, she'd feared that grief had broken her mind. It hadn't been all fear though—despite the screaming—Weiss was worth insanity.

It was only later ̶ after they'd managed to calm her down and convince her she wasn't sharing a ride with a ghost ̶ ̶ that they'd explained. Torchwick had put it simply; he wouldn't be in debt to anyone. Neo had nodded her agreement. For thieves and criminals, they had a strange concept of honour.

It had taken a while for her to learn the full story of how Weiss had saved the pair of their lives back in Atlas, paid for their hospital stay, treated them with kindness. Upon hearing of her arrest and subsequent execution, they had both decided to repay the favour.

Apparently it had been easy for them. Though they were probably the only ones who would call breaking the most wanted person in a country out of jail 'easy'. They hadn't just done that though; they had done it in a way that no one was any the wiser. They had made everyone think the execution had been real. They had made her think it was real.

That had apparently been down to Neo. She hadn't said a word, but she had mimed with great enthusiasm all the blood and Weiss' rolling head. Her illusion had been so detailed that even Ruby had been entirely unable to tell the difference between the fallacy and the person she'd loved. There hadn't been a hair out of place.

As far as the Vacuan authorities were concerned, Weiss had been executed and her body buried in full view of thousands. Roman and Neo had saved her life. They'd repaid the debt. Ruby knew that she would never be able to repay them back.

Weiss could have left the city then. With the protection of one of Neo's disguises she could have walked right out of one of the gates. She hadn't. After a night spent in a cheap hotel ̶ ̶ where she and Ruby had just clung to each other tightly without a word, marvelling in the miracle ̶ ̶ Weiss had persuaded them to help break Winter out as well. Persuaded with a fair bit of money, a reminder that she'd saved both their lives whereas she had just one—and the promise of another challenge.

From the expression on Winter's face as she was delivered to the hotel, Ruby got an idea what she must have looked like. After the shock, Winter had done her best impression of Yang and tried to break all of her sister's ribs at once.

They had left Alfurat that same day and, after making it to an SDC facility, were back in Atlas a short while later, intent to reclaim what had been stolen from them. Ruby had been nervous about that. Both Weiss and Winter had been furious as they read what had happened in their captivity.

Ruby had tried to make Weiss give her word not to hurt anyone. She hadn't given it. She had only promised that she'd changed. That everything would be ok.

Along with Winter and flanked by soldiers, Weiss walked straight into the main chambers of Tintagel Castle. The rumours of who'd arrived beat her by mere seconds. With a crown on her head she had thrown open the heavy doors right in the middle of the debate to find her successor, interrupting Coco as she listed her own virtues. Even if then Ruby had been terrified of what would happen, the shock on everyone's faces could make her smile now. Only Weiss would think to walk in on what amounted to her own memorial service.

Weiss had taken her position at the lectern, brushing the disbelieving Coco off the stage, and looked out at all those who had betrayed her. The nobles. The politicians. The business leaders. Most of whom had sworn their loyalty. Few dared to look back. With the soldiers around the walls they all knew the motto of the Schnees. They all knew they had played the game and lost.

In that moment, as Weiss regarded them, the world changed. Ruby was proud to say she had been right there. That she was in the photos. The video. Instead of threats and bullets, Weiss had delivered what was widely regarded as the best orated speech in living memory. It hadn't been written down and planned. She'd given it off the top of her head.

It was while listening to the rising and falling of Weiss' voice, that Ruby knew she'd made the right choice in loving her. Weiss had spoken of many things: of prejudice, discrimination, and racism; of hate and the blight it was on the world; of the innocence of every civilian who deserved so much more from those meant to serve them; of the fight against an overpowering desire for vengeance, she spoke from experience there, while spilling herself and her guilt into the room of captured listeners; and Weiss had spoken of her own repentance, and her desire to right her past wrongs.

She had spoken uninterrupted for hours, and not one person left. In fact, by the time she had finished, the room was filled to bursting. By the end there had been tears on Weiss' face, but steel in her spine.

Her words had lain down decrees that stood until this day. The laws she had passed were revered for their fairness. Her first act had been to return Atlas to a monarchy and ratify herself at its head.

Her second had been to release all the political prisoners that had been held across Atlas. Not only those whose only crime had been speaking out against her, but even those who had done more. They were freed and pardoned by her royal authority.

The forces under her command were mobilised. The fledgling war between Vale and Vacuo was halted by the threat of Atlesian firepower. Many had expected her to order her forces onwards towards Alfurat and those who wronged her so badly. She hadn't. Even before they had found out the truth of Badr's identity from Yang and Blake, Weiss forgave Vacuo. She forgave the people who had cheered for her execution and all those who'd had a hand in organising it.

Instead of war, she had offered them peace and assistance. The Quadripartite Agreement she'd made in the following weeks still stood. In each country a union of forces battled against Grimm. No one stood alone any longer, and they could achieve so much more together. With all their combined skills and knowledge, with the Dust from the Schnee quarries, the world had never been safer. Valesh soldiers saved Vacuan civilians, Mistralis took tours at the Atlesian Wall, and Vacuan soldiers fought in the jungles of Mistral. The world was united.

Not content with declaring a monarchy, Weiss had torn down the original Atlesian Council. For too long the three members had only been mouthpieces of the Great Houses. They didn't speak for the common folk. From three the number of Councillors was increased to three hundred. All Atlesian citizens well eligible to run and to vote. The Faunus had been guaranteed a quarter of the seats, enough to veto any bill that would have discriminated against them. In one fell swoop, Weiss had given them a voice. Vale hadn't yet followed suit. They still only had three Councillors, but Ruby knew Blake was going to try and change that.

In that speech, Weiss had changed the world, and for the better. Since that time, as the world began to run more smoothly, she released more and more of her power to the people. These days her role as the queen was almost purely ceremonial. She could still annul any unfair laws that slipped through the cracks, but that was about it.

Ruby preferred it that way. Weiss was still a workaholic, but she had so much more time available for her family. She'd even been with Ruby every step of the way on her expedition to Elysion. She'd been able to take a month out to see her wife's passion for archaeology first-hand.

It was still strange to think of Weiss as her wife. They had been married to much fanfare in the Great Hall of Tintagel Castle. It wasn't perhaps what she would have chosen, but then it was a royal wedding. Tens of thousands of cheering people had lined the streets waiting for them to arrive.

It had been the second happiest day of her life. Yang, Blake, and Penny had been her bridesmaids; Winter, Starling, and Lily were Weiss', and Ayashiel—Lobelia's young daughter—their flower-girl. The toddler had made her way carefully down the aisle, a perfect tribute to a father whose loyalty could only be ended by death at the hands of a god. The ceremony had been truly beautiful, but then she should have expected it when it was the brainchild of Yang and Winter.

It was only fitting that Weiss should know what it was like to have a big sister like Yang. To know what Ruby sometimes suffered through. That was how Yang thought of her sister-in-law these days.

Yang had been given the same gift the rest of them had been, but perhaps Yang had needed it more than most. During a rare night of drinking, Yang had confided in Ruby how she had felt when she'd thought Weiss was dead. What she had done to Weiss in spite.

Yang had had a second chance, and she hadn't wasted it. After that drunken revelation, Yang's greeting of Weiss that first time after her resurrection, had made a lot more sense. She'd barely said anything, only clutched Weiss to her as if both of their lives depended on it. And then she'd spent the next two months apologising almost nonstop. It had gone on long enough that Weiss had considered flying to another continent just to get away from her. It hadn't mattered how many times Weiss had said she'd forgiven her, Yang hadn't been able to forgive herself. She had made up for it by treating Weiss just how she treated Ruby, and it showed.

Their wedding planners had clashed heads over the details numerous times, but only because they both wanted to make their sisters' special occasion that bit more special. And it had been. At the end of the day Ruby had been the happiest person in the world. In their bed back at the Schnee Estate she'd slept with a queen who was also her wife, even now that was still hot to her. It was beyond her wildest and most childish dreams.

Technically she was the queen consort, and of course Dawn was an actual princess. She looked the part with her long alabaster hair. She would grow up to be staggeringly beautiful, and that wasn't just her motherly bias saying that.

Ruby had never considered having a child with Weiss. Never thought it possible. But medical science had advanced an awfully long way, and for someone with the resources of Weiss, possible was just a technicality.

Dawn was genetically both of theirs. Ruby could see parts of herself in her daughter—mainly the eyes—but she mostly looked like a miniature Weiss. That was fine by her. Weiss was perfect and Dawn doubly so. After several long discussions she and Weiss had decided that she should carry their baby. Their doctor had warned them that the birth would likely be easier on her than on Weiss' petite frame and slender hips.

To feel another life growing within her had been one like no other. Weiss had pampered her constantly and to such an extent if had been an annoying. But she had recognised that Weiss had just wanted to do whatever she could to make it easier.

The birth had been hard, by far the most painful experience of her life, but the result worth it. Their little princess had been born, and both their lives had changed. Between them they were the perfect family.

Before the tombstone, Ruby hugged her daughter to her, and when Weiss came within range she pulled her down as well. She still loved how Weiss squeaked when something unexpected happened, and she also loved her glare. She knew it wouldn't last. They kissed over the top of their daughter's head before finally breaking apart.

"Do you want to tell your grandmother about your painting at preschool?" Ruby asked, setting Dawn off with a rushed speech of everything she could remember about the picture that had pride of place on their mantelpiece.

Ruby still missed her mum, but she knew Summer was up there, watching over everything that was going on. Ruby was so grateful for everything her mum had done for her. Her goal had always been to make the world a better place, both as a hunter and mother. She'd achieved it. That was ultimately the only gift that anyone could leave in their life, to leave the world a better place than they'd found it.

Ruby and Weiss each held one of their daughter's hands and stared off into the forest-filled valley below the cliffs. As they shared their collective warmth and love, they knew it was their turn now.

There was still much to do before they could call this world a utopia. One where all were equal and free to pursue their dreams. Where no one was disadvantaged. That was the ideal. They weren't there yet, but they were on the right path. For the first time in decades, all the peoples of the world were in harmony with one another.

A/N: So I wasn't completely evil. Overall, it was a happy ending just like I'm sure you wanted. They got married. Weiss is a Queen. And Ruby and Weiss even had a daughter (yay science!). Who just happens to be a princess as well. Things are going well for Blake and Yang as well. Blake is continuing her parents' work in a way they would have been proud of.

I'd just like to take a few moments to thanks some people who made this trilogy possible. First and foremost my editor rebkos. She has been completely invaluable for this entire process, putting up with all my first drafts which thankfully you never got to see. I'd also like to thank u/Menolith for catching any typos that slipped through the gaps. Also much gratitude to Numbnut10 on here who I have bounced countless ideas of and who is also responsible for an awful lot of the names in the story. Go read his stories if you have a chance.

And finally there is you, who have read all these hundreds of thousands of words up to this point. Pat yourself on the back. And if you can please take a few minutes to tell me what you thought of the trilogy as a whole. I would never have imagined so many people would have followed this story when I started my very first book, but here you are. Thank you.

I've received a lot of interest on what I'm planning to do after finishing. I plan to do two things, get a book published and the other is some more immediate good news—or at least I hope it is—I will be starting an entirely new RWBY story in a couple of weeks. It will be a large departure from this trilogy so it might not be your cup of tea. But have you ever wondered what Jaune would be like as a Private Investigator? Probably not, but if you have, here's your chance to find out.

If you liked the story, please follow/favourite it if you haven't. It really helps me out. And for the last time, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the complete trilogy.

The Last Sonata signing off.