Here it is, everyone! The finale of Love is Soundless! Short, sweet, and to the point. Despite the bumps and bruises it took to get here, I'm really proud with the overall outcome. Even with my motivation basically gone (now that this is finished), I was still able to crank out this chapter and have it end exactly like I had planned since the beginning. I tried something a bit new here, so please bare that in mind when leaving your final reviews. I won't say anything up here so I don't spoil it, but hopefully you'll get it once you read.
Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you. It's been over a year since this story's beginning, and yet never once did any of you give me hell when updates became few and far between, when I put the story on hiatus as I basically rewrote its first five chapters, or for me going back and forth between what stories I'm going to start and then cancelling them all in one fell swoop. Again, if anyone missed that, I'm taking a long break from writing. I hope to one day come back to it, but we'll see. Maybe I'll see you all in a few oneshots here and there, but anything longer than that is currently out of the question. X Marks the Heart will remain on here, but for now, it is on indefinite hiatus.
Last thing, this is now my most successful story on this site, and I just want to thank you all again for making it so popular. Maybe I should try publishing this one now instead of Sucker Punch, huh?
Anyway-anyway, I've kept you all long enough. So long, farewell, final thank you, and please review!
A loud, incessant buzzing in her ears finally roused Weiss back to consciousness. However, upon waking up in an empty white room, her panic spiked.
She shuddered at the echo that carried her voice, and ended up having to cover her ears as the noise persisted, like it was taunting her with no answer. Her body was sluggish and heavy and she pulled herself to her feet, yet she persevered, her goal the sole door on the far side of the room.
Her legs gave out once finally reaching the exit, and she all but tumbled through the doorway. The hallway she ended up in was the complete opposite of the room: pitch black, the droning buzzing having cut off.
Gathering herself back up, Weiss started slowly down the hallway, stumbling every other step on legs made from lead.
"Ruby?" she tried calling out.
She immediately fell back to the floor, hands covering her ears once again as a loud, terrified scream assaulted all her senses. The sound invaded her entire being, her hands doing nothing to keep the haunting noise at bay. Tears began to leak from Weiss's eyes.
That scream belonged to Ruby.
"P-Please…" Weiss cried, hands now clawing at her head as the scream continued. "Please stop."
Her plea worked as the cries tapered off. Weiss remained curled in a protective ball until the silence lasted a full two minutes before peering out uncertainly.
A doorway at the end of the hallway was now emitting a comforting light; nothing like the aggressive white that had greeted her in this realm.
Nerves shaken and body still laden with weight, Weiss trudged onwards. Stopping in front of the doorway, she couldn't see in past the beaming wall of light, and so she barreled on through.
This time she collapsed out of relief.
The girl was sitting with her back to Weiss, hunched forward over the lone bed that otherwise occupied the room.
Ruby didn't turn at the sound of her voice.
Struggling to her feet once again, Weiss cautiously approached the girl. Before she could reach her however, a familiar voice had her stopping.
"Ruby, you need rest," Glynda Goodwitch spoke as she entered the room through the light barrier. "The doctor said she's stable."
At the woman's words, pain flared at the back of Weiss's neck, she started choking on her breath, and a repetitious beeping filled her head. Stumbling forward, she let out a strangled scream at just who occupied the bed.
"Wiss…" Ruby mumbled, taking the Schnee's hand as she continued to lay unconscious before her.
Weiss's hand began to burn, and she screamed.
"Weiss. Weiss, wake up, dear."
She was scared to open her eyes. What was to greet her now? The unfamiliar voice gave her pause as well, though a gentle touch to her forehead seemed to send her worries running as an overwhelming sense of calm washed over her.
"Weiss," the voice repeated lovingly.
Hesitantly, Weiss opened her eyes again, only to find herself staring into an all-too-familiar silver.
The red-tinged hair, the cherubic smile, that youthful beauty…
She flinched, waiting for that dreadful wail to return, but when a gentle chuckle sounded instead, she looked back to the angel before her.
"I'm flattered, dear, but I'm afraid I'm not who you wish."
Weiss blinked, and the image before her contorted into what was truly before her; though the differences were so minimal, Weiss had to truly study what even changed.
Facial features hardened, silver eyes darkened to mercury, hair grew longer, yet kept its reddish color, and aura matured. Weiss gulped.
"Summer Rose," the woman finished, helping Weiss to sit up. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Weiss."
Weiss rubbed her temple as she looked around. The room she was in now was unfamiliar once more, but this time it was decorated. Bed sheets pooled at her stomach, and Summer occupied a large, comfy-looking chair to her right. The light was natural, and she could even hear birds chirping from the window to her left.
Summer's smile simply softened as she handed Weiss a glass of water she procured seemingly from nowhere.
"I know you have many questions, dear, and I hope I can answer them all in due time, but first… How do you feel? How's your neck?"
Weiss reached a careful hand to the back of her neck, and gasped at the pain that shot through her from the touch. Pulling her hand back, her stomach rolled at the sight of blood.
"W-What… What is this?!"
Summer immediately leaned towards her, taking her bloody hand in her own.
"Sssh, sssh…" she soothed. "You're fine, Weiss; I promise, okay?"
"But I'm… I'm bleeding!" the frantic heiress exclaimed frightfully. "What happened? Where am I? And what was all that before?"
"What do you last remember, dear?" Summer asked.
Weiss clenched her eyes shut as she thought.
A dark room smelling of mold.
Ruby tied to a chair.
Red eyes hungry for blood.
"Nice try, princess."
That haunting scream.
Gasping, blue eyes shot open.
"Qrow!" Weiss cried. Looking to Summer, she searched the woman's eyes for answers after each question fired. "What happened to him? What happened to Ruby?! Am I d-dead? I can't leave her! I need to get out of here!"
She was halfway out of the bed before Summer gently pushed her back to the mattress. Not once did that tender, loving smile flicker.
"I can show you," the woman answered, "but first you need to calm down, Weiss. Your situation is delicate; we cannot risk your heart failing again."
"My situation? My heart failing again?"
Sighing, Summer nodded. When the woman made eye contact with Weiss again, however, the room around them changed. Weiss immediately recognized the scene, namely, the figure with her head downturned in the middle of the room.
"Just watch," Summer soothed, her hand reassuring upon Weiss's shoulder.
And watch Weiss did; though the dissociative feeling upon seeing herself barge into the room and interact with Ruby in the very same way she had a short time ago almost caused her to lose consciousness once more. She surely would have, were it not for Summer's presence at her side.
Her stomach lurched as she watched Qrow emerge from the closet behind her, and she yearned to call out, hoping her other self would hear and not suffer the same fate.
Her wish was futile, however, as she was made to endure the sight of herself being stabbed in the back of the neck, of her collapsing to the floor in front of a now viciously struggling Ruby, of Qrow stomping onto her head and sending her into the world she now found herself trapped in.
Yet the scene didn't fade out then; it kept playing. Though the other Weiss continue to lay motionless on the floor, Ruby continued thrashing, screaming, wailing.
On nothing but adrenaline and fear alone, the brunette broke free of the ropes binding her, all but collapsing onto the floor and crawling towards Weiss's prone form. She was babbling nonsensically, though Weiss heard syllables of her name amidst the tears. Her throat burned as she felt tears of her own trail down her cheeks.
Lionheart and his crew finally barged in then, guns aimed at Qrow as they shouted for him to get on the ground. Qrow resisted initially, taking a brazen step towards Ruby, the knife still dripping Weiss's blood poised threateningly, but the warning shot that grazed his leg had him on the floor the very next second.
As Qrow was escorted out of the room, Lionheart approached the unconscious Weiss and crazed Ruby, the brunette now having pulled Weiss into her lap, bending over her body protectively as she continued to lay her heart bare.
Weiss couldn't hear the words Lionheart spoke, but they obviously did little to calm Ruby as she instead only clutched Weiss tighter, even going as far as angling her body away from the officer.
More futile back and forth took place before Lionheart eventually looked over his shoulder to a paramedic and nodded solemnly. The medic walked over behind Ruby—completely unaware in her grief—before she pulled out a needle, whatever fluid it contained released to flood Ruby's system.
Even though Weiss was watching the replay on mute, she could still hear the deafening silence as Ruby fell forward, completely unconscious.
"What did they do?!" Weiss frantically asked Summer, her voice raw from her tears as she looked to the woman for answers. "What did they do to her?!"
Summer continued to watch with a sad smile as more paramedics came onto the scene, loading both Weiss and Ruby onto stretchers.
"They had to sedate her," she eventually replied. "As soon as you fell unconscious, she snapped. The paramedics couldn't get to you, and so the only way to help you, was to put Ruby to sleep." The scene before them changed to the rig of an ambulance as Summer continued, "They were able to stop your bleeding in the ambulance, but you lost a lot of blood in Ruby's arms. You flat-lined on the way to hospital, but luckily they were able to revive you." The scene changed to an operating room, Weiss on the table face down at the doctors poked and prodded at her neck. "The blade of the knife hit your spinal cord, so the doctors went in to assess the damage."
Weiss gulped, remembering the higher the injury to the spinal cord, the more damage occurs, from her Biology class.
A final scene change to a private hospital room, Weiss in the bed, hooked up to various machines and an air mask, Ruby asleep in the chair next to her.
Summer shook her head and spoke, "We won't know the damage until you wake."
"And how do I do that?" Weiss asked next. "I'm not awake right now? Then where am I? What are you, and how am I able to do all this?"
"You should be more concerned about waking up, Weiss," Summer's motherly tone turned serious all of a sudden. It still had a calm undertone, yet it was firm, resolute; like a mother scolding her child. "Don't leave her, Weiss; not like this. Not when you've helped her come so far. To leave her life now will destroy her."
Weiss felt another wave of tears gather behind her eyelids.
"I don't want to leave Ruby!" she cried. "I love your daughter!"
Summer's smile turn loving once more as she stepped closer to Weiss.
"Then reach for her, Weiss," she explained. "She's grasping at you, all you need to do is connect. Close your eyes, search for her, and never let go."
Weiss immediately closed her eyes tight, her entire body tensing as she searched, looking for anything to bring her back to Ruby.
Just as she was about to ask Summer how she would know where Ruby was, she saw it. Or more…she felt it. An amazing warmth encompassed her, similar to Summer's, but this time familiar; so familiar. Love filled her entire being, and she knew it was Ruby's love. This was Ruby calling out for her, her final plea for Weiss's return. Weiss was beaming as she reached out in her mind. She could almost feel their fingers brush, she could almost see Ruby's smile, hear her breathless giggles.
Finally, they made contact, grasping at each other and promising to never let go again. As Weiss felt herself begin to fade, she heard Summer's final wish.
"Take care of my baby girl."
Weiss wanted to reassure Summer, to thank her for walking her through the realm of her unconscious, but she couldn't. All she could do was feel herself rushing back home.
A repetitive beep slowly roused her, and though it seemed less ominous than before, Weiss was still fearful to open her eyes. What if she had failed? What if she still wouldn't truly be awake?
The gentle breathing beside her, and the warmth surrounding her hand, however, said otherwise.
Cracking bleary eyes open, dazed ice blue immediately zeroed in on a blur of red.
Weiss almost burst into tears.
Ruby was asleep, both her hands encasing Weiss's left. Her head was bowed, her bangs covering her face, but Weiss grimaced at the telltale frown on her face.
She smiled coyly. Time to fix that.
Unfortunately, her plan didn't go as expected. As she tried to gather her voice, she choked on air, the tight mask still helping her breathe. As she was sent into a coughing fit, silver eyes shot open, Weiss's hand being squeezed instinctually from fear.
A shocked, yet absolutely ecstatic squeal is what brought her coughs under control, and when she could finally open her eyes again, she found watery silver staring back.
Reaching for her mask, Weiss moved it aside.
"H-Hey…" she rasped.
Ruby choked out a sob before she was nearly on top of Weiss in the bed trying to hug her. Weiss chuckled, paying no mind to the pain it sent down her throat, instead choosing to bask in the bliss and wrap her arms around Ruby as best she could.
"You…d-dolt. Did you r-really think I…wasn't c-coming back?"
Ruby's shoulders shook from both laughter and tears as she pulled away from Weiss's neck. Weiss didn't let her get too far in her drawback though, pulling her close before Ruby could react and kissing the girl on the lips.
Another sob broke free from the brunette before she feverishly returned the kiss. Weiss only let her pull away when they were both out of breath.
"I love you, Ruby Rose," she spoke clearly and seriously, though a few tears still leaked from the heiress's eyes. "I'm not going anywhere."
Matching tears continued to fall from Ruby before the girl was squeezing her hand, another telling grin lighting her face.
"What?" Weiss asked, smiling in sheer reaction to seeing Ruby so elated.
Ruby wiped the tears from her eyes before she leaned close to Weiss, the grip on the silverette's hand only strengthening. Hot breath tickled her neck as Ruby's nose nuzzled right beneath her ear. Weiss was entranced, and her stomach lurched pleasantly as Ruby opened her mouth.
An angel finally spoke.