Disclaimer: I own nothing
A/N: This came from a prompt in the WR Discord for, essentially, a 500-1200 word flashfic with RWBY/Dark Souls crossover elements. Written in a minimalist fashion, everything else was open to your own creativity. I don't normally write in this way, but thought it turned out okay.
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A Spark in the Dark
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You never truly get used to the dark.
Eyes adjust to shadows, footing becomes fleet and sure, and fingers more nimble and dexterous. But humans are inherently creatures of light - they crave the illusion of safety, and the warmth it provides. And the Dark is home to others not altogether human.
You never truly gets used to the dark, after all.
It was those rare times when one could bathe in the light - and the warmth those slight embers provide - and gain respite from the Dark and the Horrors that call it home, that make the danger worth it.
The crack of steel on flint. A short, shuddering spark in the Dark. The flare from the fire and heat licks your face; it's enough to keep away the Horrors… but they will come back, slithering up from their holes to resume their silent vigil, as they always did when you strayed away from the Bonfire.
You sit, the assurance of safety from the fire steeling your nerves, and curl your arms around your legs, tucking your knees into your chest. You take a deep breath of salt and decay and death, only barely masked by the musky smell of burning wood. You're tired; so very tired. But you know there is no way to move but forward. There is nowhere to go but down - down into the dark, dark of the shadows.
With nothing but the Horrors and the fire to light your way.
As the air around you shimmers and shines with the presence and safety of fire, you feel your belly writhe and twist with the familiar knot of hope; with hope that she will come.
Ah… there she is...
As if she was a mist rolling in from the mountains on a cold morning, she appears. Blurry, like one would see through the haze of sleepiness, and ghostlike, the apparition of a girl appears before you. Her snowy white hair not altogether unheard of, especially with the constant presence of magic in the air, and her skin is pale, the girl looks as she always did. Drawn, haggard, as tired as you feel; her phantom rapier clattered soundlessly to the stone floor as she collapsed beside you, her pale eyes searching your face hungrily, as though she hadn't seen you for weeks.
She hadn't, though time was a harsh master in the Dark.
You smile wanly, forcing a small shake of your head in response to her silent question. You have made no progress since your last meeting, and it had begun to eat away at you, gnawing at your spirit like a poison. It is these short, fleeting glimpses you caught of each other, by the light of the Bonfire, that keep you sane - that keep you going.
You don't even know the sound of her voice or the touch of her ghostly fingertips on your forearm. You don't even know anything about her, save for that little you can gleam from your soundless interactions in the flickering light. But you take comfort in the fact that she is there, somewhere, fighting the same fight you are; suffering the same Horrors.
You are the same. Both trapped in an endless maze of death and fear, with on the slight sliver of hope the other brings to you, every time the fire is lit.
Its enough to make you press on, through the endless Horrors and Dark of the world.
"I never said thank you," you say, canting your head to look at her. She watches you silently, her eyes sliding over your face, as though it might be the last time she ever gets the chance to do. You can almost imagine the color of the sky in her silvery pupils, and it reminds you of clouds and sunlight.
"For being here for me." You continue, your voice barely a whisper. You know she can't hear you, as you never hear anything from her, no matter how much you have grown accustomed to her lips move around imagined syllables. But you take comfort in the idea of her listening all the same. "I wanted to thank you. I don't think I would have made it as far if you weren't here with me."
She blinks again, her brow furrowing slightly. You have the feeling she doesn't know exactly what you said, but the tired smile that creeps across her lips a moment later settles any lingering doubt in your mind. Her lips move soundlessly, but you can imagine her reply,
"Thank you, as well, for being here for me."
After all, you are the same.
"You know… I came up with a name for you." You say suddenly. Her eyebrows lift to her bangs, and she tilts her head to the side in question. "Well, I came up with it a while ago… but never said anything. But, the more I think about it, the more I think of it when thinking of you."
She stares at you, waiting patiently as you lick your lips and point directly to her face.
"Weiss." You say. "You name is Weiss. Is… that okay?"
She blinks again, this time, her lips moving slowly as if trying out unfamiliar sounds.
"Weiss," she forms the words, and then tries again. "Weiss." She smiles, able to sound out the name, and then nods, smiling softly. You are surprised, then, when she points back to you and her lips form a distinct, "Rose."
You were just named, you realize. And for the emblem that is pinned to your cloak. You can't help but smile, and tilt your head down to rest on your knees. "I like that name. Thank you Weiss."
The smile - tired and brittle on her pale, sallow face - was enough to drive away the fear and despair eating away at you, and instil the smallest ember of hope in your breast.
Because, after all, you and she are the same.
"I'll see you at the next Bonfire, then." You say, climbing to your feet and brushing off your skirt. She does likewise and sends a last, lingering look your way, memorizing every bit of your face before she leaves. You step forward, reaching out to brush your fingertips across her ghostly face. "Don't worry, Weiss," you say, "We'll see each other again. Just keep thinking of the sun, and you'll find your way."
Weiss' lips twitch and she nods silently, her face blurring as she steps away from the safety of the fire. Moments later, she is gone, and you are alone.
"After all," You say, gathering your weapons and flask. "We are the same."
And, with a final look at the drying embers of the Bonfire, you enter the Dark once more.
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A Spark in the Dark
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Thanks for reading :D