Jewel Thief Turned Heart Thief Chapter 1
Blame my friend Qley for this. Or thank her. Please thank her, she's a cool lady.
Summer had wanted to just first airship out of town and cut down on the distance to where her mission was, so she could get it done as fast as possible and get home soon after. She trusted Tai with her life, and with the house. She didn't trust him to look after children for an extended period of time.
But the storm had picked up out of nowhere, so Summer found herself in a tavern close to the airship port, wiling away the hours. She pitied anyone caught outside right now, which included the travelers just arriving. Summer was just thankful that she got the last room, at least.
The place was filling up now, people looking for either warm food in their stomachs or just shelter from the storm. Summer herself was waiting for a steak, maybe a little dressing-
Her hand shot out to grab the wrist snaking into her pocket. She twisted, pulling the pickpocket in front of her while thumbing the safety on one of her guns. But instead of hardened eyes seeking money or even frenzied, she saw desperation, loneliness. Fear. Summer relaxed, safety clicking back on as she took in the child in front of her.
Red eyes, vibrant compared to the dull crimson of Qrow's own orbs, mint-green hair hanging loosely. Sunken cheeks and a far too thin stomach spoke of someone who had lived rough. What made Summer's breath catch in her throat was the age- she couldn't have been older than Yang.
That thought made her think of her Sunny Little Dragon, who she'd taken in after Raven left. The thought of leaving this child sat poorly with her, and Summer made a snap decision.
She caught the barkeep's attention. "I need a second plate of what I just ordered for this kid," she said quickly. "Also, do you have a cot I can borrow for the night?"
The barkeep nodded. "For the kid? Sure. I'll bring it up to your room when this place dies down. It'll cost ya, though."
Summer flashed a lien chip. "Money's no objection."
A quiet snort of "Huntsmen," was the only response as they left. Summer turned her attention back to the child, who was looking between the Huntress and the door.
"If you're going to run," Summer murmured, "mind waiting until after you eat? I'm hungry, but not enough for two full portions."
The kid froze. "What, uh... what do you want?"
Summer shivered as a chill ran down her back. Odd, given that the place was so warm. "Nothing," she eventually said. "You just look hungry. What's your name?"
The kid seemed confused at the first half of the sentence, like goodwill was an alien concept. "Emerald. Emerald Sustrai."
"Emerald, where's your mother?" No response. "Your dad?" A shake of the head. "Where do you live?"
Still nothing. Summer could imagine Raven now, telling her to stop looking at every stray the world threw at her and hoping to make their lives better. The weak needed to be culled for the sake of the strong.
Summer told that voice in her head where it could fuck off, since she wasn't in the mood to hear about who was worth what from a deadbeat partner.
"Emerald, if you have nowhere to go, do you want to come with me? I can help you."
"Why?" Emerald looked at her like it was a trap.
"Because I became a Huntress to help people. You're people in need of help. Is that not enough?"
The meal arrived, and Emerald's reply was cut off by her tearing into the meal like a starving vulture. Summer couldn't complain, she wasn't much better at table manners.
Summer later called in that she couldn't take the job and that it should be passed to another Huntsman. Something had come up, she said quickly, which was accepted. She changed her flight, getting one heading to Patch and getting a second ticket after a conversation with Emerald. She hadn't wanted to be forceful, but she'd be damned if she was going to leave this kid behind (If nothing else, Summer was ready, willing and able to call social services the first chance she got).
She gave Qrow a quick call after landing. "Hey, something came up, I'm coming back home."
"I'm not complaining," came the raspy response, "but what's this thing? Anything I need to worry about?"
Summer chuckled lightly. "It's easier to show you." Just to be a jerk about it, she hung up as Qrow began to question that sentence.
She turned back to Emerald, who was still clutching the seat like she'd never flown before. Summer chided herself- of course she wouldn't. "You ready to go Emerald?"
Emerald nodded and they left the airship. Summer did much of the talking as they made their way through terminals and to her car, letting Emerald soak in the sights of Patch while she talked about Ruby and Yang.
Qrow was outside when she pulled up, using his scythe to cut grass. He shot a smile at her as she got out. "Hey there Short-Stack. You're back quickly-"
He saw Emerald, jaw snapping shut. "You weren't gone that long, were you? I know we did some funky stuff a few nights ago, but..."
"Qrow, I couldn't leave her. Besides, you did want another kid. But do you really want to go through pregnancy again?"
Qrow shivered as the memories of being used as a portable scratching post 24/7 came back to his mind, alongside the exclamations Tai had heard during his efforts to hide at Tai's place.
"Men aren't built that way Tai! There is no sleep, just friction!"
"Yeah, avoiding that would be nice... if we wanted another kid. Aren't you already looking after Yang on top of Petal?"
"We have room, don't we? And we make enough from being Huntsmen." Summer help up a quick hand. "No, I don't care about your Semblance, Ruby surviving as long as she has with us as her parents is proof you're not a bad luck charm."
"OK, fine." Qrow crossed his arms. "How about said Huntsmen duties? We're not invincible Summer, one day there'll be something that could beat us and your daughters will be without a mother." He looked behind Summer. "How old even are you, kid?"
"Exactly. Seven year olds are a pest, Short Stack. No offense."
"Qrow, I couldn't leave her there, she had no home!" Summer ducked her head. "I didn't want to leave her there like Raven left Yang."
"And I love ya for caring. But we can't take her with us." Qrow sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I'm sorry Summer. It's just too risky. We can call a social worker."
Summer reached into her arsenal for her most dangerous weapon. One that had seen her through many a battle within STRQ. One that she dared not use normally for fear of destroying the world with it.
Summer broke out the puppy-dog eyes.
"No, no!" Qrow's hand dashed in front of his eyes as he turned. "They don't work if I don't make eye contact!"
"I can wait, Qrow."
And wait she did, for five minutes, nearly stretching into ten before Qrow turned back, a low-set growl in his throat. "Fine. We'll keep the mint-haired-kid. Don't say I didn't warn you if and when this goes south."
She hugged him, smile growing. "Thanks Qrow." She turned back to Emerald. "You ready?"
"Let's go meet your new sisters then." Reaching out a hand, Summer guided Emerald inside, Qrow following with a shake of his head.
OK, so I was going to at first write an Emerald/Weiss smut focused on their anniversary. But then this idea comes to my head- what if Summer didn't go on the mission that killed her and instead came across Emerald?
I'm gonna continue this, I can see between three and five more little snips for it unless something goes haywire. But I am gonna write at least one of Emerald Sustrai/Branwen/Rose meeting Weiss.
Hope you enjoyed. If ya did, comments are love and so on and so forth. But one quick omake for the road:
Qrow frowned as he took in the mint-haired kid before him. "We really shouldn't take the kid," he drawled. "What if you die? You wanna scar three kids for life and leave them with no one responsible to take care of them?"
Summer scoffed. "Like I'm gonna die," she smirked.
Five years later
Qrow stood in front of Summer's grave.
"I fucking warned you."