Pyrrha liked her personal routine.
It was slightly different from the one she was used to back when she was still in Mistral, but it was essentially the in Beacon: Wake up, breakfast, go to school, lunch, attend to the afternoon lessons, dinner, break, train for the entire afternoon, snack, few hours of free time afterwards, and a small snack before going to sleep. Tournament fights every few days during the main tournament season, a practice tournament fight every few days otherwise.
Beacon offered her far more free time than she had been given back in Mistral, and she had planned on using it to further her understanding of her Semblance, but it looked like that she might have to put that time to some other ventures, namely her...
'...Boyfriend.' Pyrrha was still somewhat amazed that she had found someone she could call so in Vale. Granted, the entire reason she had chosen to attend Beacon in Vale instead of Haven in Mistral had been because she wanted to find friends, real friends and not the ones after her fame and money, and because she had harbored a secret hope that perhaps she could find someone who would see her as a girl, and not as a Pyrrha Nikos, the Invincible Girl… and would not just plainly lust after her body, like so many had done in Mistral.
'Jaune…' Pyrrha wiped sweat off her forehead as she prepared to exit the Simulation room, now configured to appear like a combat ring with grass floor, which was now covered in trashed combat bots. 'I'm glad that he's not like one of those 'fans'... But I'd kind of like if he was a bit more assertive from time to time.'
She huffed as she thought about the recent relationship triangle she'd get caught into, and she couldn't quite stop herself from feeling a bit rejected. 'After all, Jaune would have chosen Blake instead of me, if I had pushed him into choosing…'
Pyrrha shook her head to rid herself of those thoughts. 'It worked out in the end, somehow. And Blake deserves someone who loves her, she's gone through so much drama...'
Her musings were broken as someone literally crashed onto her as she opened the simulation room's door, causing both of the participants of the crash to fall back into the simulation room in a tangle of limbs.
"R-Ruby?" Pyrrha asked as she recognized the girl that was currently smothered between her breasts. Ruby's signature red cape, which was now coiled around the two, made the recognition simple even while she struggled to extract herself from the tangle the two of them had made.
"Ouh…." Ruby complained slightly as she climbed off Pyrrha, and the redhead blushed bright as Ruby somehow managed to unconsciously grope Pyrrha's breasts as she did so. "Er… Sorry Pyrrha."
"It's alright. It's alright." Pyrrha said as she tried to get her bearings straight, and noticed that Blake and Jaune were standing in the doorway, looking at the two redheads. "Umm… Hi?"
"Hello." Jaune waved at her somewhat awkwardly. Pyrrha responded in kind by waving at Jaune, which caused both of them to smile while Blake was busy burying her head in her hands
There was something in that simple, innocent interaction that caused Pyrrha to feel warm inside her chest. 'Friends and people I can love… This is what I came to Vale for…'
"So uh… Hi Pyrrha." Ruby's somewhat nervous voice shook Pyrrha out of her thoughts and she focused her attention on the smaller girl. "I… er, We were kind of wondering where you were, and Yang sent me a message saying that you had gone here, so we were uh…"
"We wanted to cheer you on and then talk about something." Blake finished Ruby's stuttering speech.
"Erm… Sure." Pyrrha tilted her head, confused. "I'm done here so if you want to talk about something..." she motioned towards the wrecked combat bots.
"..." Blake opened her mouth, and then closed it. She gave Jaune a glance, before sighing at Ruby, and it looked like her words failed her.
"So…" Ruby picked up as Blake clogged up. "We were talking. I mean Jaune and I, and Blake as well."
"So uh… We sort of… well, I sort of had a wrong conception about a thing…"
"What happened? Are you alright?" Pyrrha was starting to get more and more worried as Ruby vibrated on the spot while sweating rivers.
"So uh... I thought Jaune and I were dating."
"And I confessed to Jaune… and now Jaune, Blake and I are dating!"
Pyrrha promptly un-froze.
'She what? Jaune?' Pyrrha turned her attention back to the boy that looked somewhat awkward as she looked back and forth between Ruby and Pyrrha. "Jaune."
"Jaune…" Pyrrha felt odd as she walked, or more accurately stalked closer and closer to Jaune. It was almost as if she was someone else, occupying a familiar body but not truly in control of it. "Jaune…"
"Ruby, well... sort of came and…"
"E… erm… I… Well…"
Pyrrha felt as both her hands creeped up Jaune's shirt until they reached his face and she cradled it softly while looking into his wide, blue eyes. 'I wonder… Nora told that if I took Jaune with me and disappeared somewhere, we could be together… That she planned on doing that with Ren if something didn't happen soon…'
"Pyrrha? Pyr?" Jaune asked somewhat nervously and Pyrrha glanced to the side to see that Blake and Ruby looked really, really scared for some reason with Ruby's face being pale and Blake's hair standing on ends.
"Jaune… Do you like me?" Pyrrha heard herself asking. "Am… Am I being replaced?"
"N… No! I mean yes! I mean that's not at all what is happening!" Jaune waved his hands wildly to stop Ruby and Blake from interfering as the two girls looked like they were about to come and stop Pyrrha from caressing Jaune's face for some reason.
She didn't know why they would want to do that. Jaune was also hers after all.
"Jaune... " Pyrrha wanted to control herself. She really did. Something guided her actions though, made her more… direct… than usual. 'I shouldn't have listened to Nora…' "Jaune… do you like me?"
"...Y- yes!" Jaune said nervously as Pyrrha's face was mere inches away from his, and she saw as the two other girls sent a glare at Jaune. "I… I mean I…"
"Shush." Pyrrha put her hand on Jaune's mouth. "Shush now… We'll be together… forever…"
"Uh… Pyrrha? You're kinda creeping me out…" Ruby pointed out nervously from the side and Blake nodded her agreement while she looked like she'd seen a ghost as the black-clad faunus stared at Pyrrha the way a kitten would stare at a hungry dog.
"Jaune…" The emotions that Pyrrha radiated made Jaune increasingly uneasy. 'Is… Is Pyrrha alright?'
He didn't mind Pyrrha's caress, but it didn't match the maniacal, insane look in her eyes nor the intimidating miasma that seemed to radiate from the red-haired girl.
"Pyrrha? Are you alright?" Jaune gulped as Pyrrha leaned even closer to his face. "You're sort of…"
"You're adorable…" Pyrrha whispered- but was cut off mid-sentence as Blake squeezed between the two.
The two girls glared at each other while Ruby wrung her hands nervously beside the two of them, and Jaune tried to get into grips with what was happening.
"C… can we calm d… down?" Ruby suggested very, very carefully and let a small 'eep' as the two other girls turned to glare at her.
"I never agreed to this." Pyrrha said quietly as she once again stepped in front of Jaune, squeezing past Blake, and this time she had her back towards him almost as if the red-headed girl was trying to block the two other girls from reaching him.
Jaune sighed inside his head as he realized what was going on, and cursed his own thick-headedness. 'Pyrrha's feeling threatened... I should have known beforehand.'
He pondered for a split second what should he do in order to persuade Pyrrha into calming down, and came across a potential way to solve the situation.
Or he at least hoped it would solve the situation. It had worked in a book at least.
'Well… here goes nothing.' Jaune braced himself internally as he tied his hands around Pyrrha's waist from behind and drew her closer to him. 'So… in that book, the protagonist did this and then…'
The red-headed girl let out a surprised gasp as her back touched his chest, and that gasp was followed by her freezing up completely as Jaune reached to kiss her neck carefully. "I want you."
'Please let this work... please work…'
He glanced up nervously to see that Pyrrha's maniacal glare had disappeared, but it was replaced by massive, raging blush. Even more careful glance towards Blake and Ruby revealed to him that the two of them looked somewhat relieved as the oppressive miasma had disappeared- and it was replaced by frustration as they looked at Jaune who was now closing towards Pyrrha's cheek.
"Wait wait wait!" Pyrrha turned around swiftly and pushed Jaune away while her face was as red as her hair. "Y… You skipped a few steps!"
"Haah…" Blake sighed deeply while looking at Jaune. "Figures that's how you'd disarm the situation... "
"Well, it worked, right?" Ruby tilted her head at Blake, and she nodded mutely.
"Um… I can hear you two?" Pyrrha said somewhat nervously as she helped Jaune up from the Dust-created grass with shaky hands while she was blushing so hard that steam almost rose from her hair. "S… Sorry…"
"It's alright." Jaune waved Pyrrha's concern off. "I'm just glad you're back to normal."
"N-normal?" Pyrrha blinked.
"It was… well… nevermind." Jaune figured that it was better not to provoke Pyrrha's somewhat disturbing side and dropped the issue. "But… well… about our relationship."
"H-has it changed?"
"No!" Jaune denied. "Er… unless you want to change it somehow…"
"Jaune… Are you dating Ruby or not?" Pyrrha ignored him.
"Yeah." Jaune nodded. "Well.. It's a bit more complicated than that."
"Make it less complicated."
"She wanted 'in' on our arrangement." Blake came to Jaune's rescue. "Jaune said yes, and I agreed too… although reluctantly." she added with a sigh.
"Um… So… um… It's my first time and I'm experienced so please take care of me?" Ruby entered the conversation as well, and got a wide-eyed stare from Blake as a response- before she realized what Ruby was intending rather than implying.
"Ruby… Haven't I told you not to read my books?" Blake asked with no small amount of dread and exasperation in her voice. "Also, please don't use that particular sentence…"
"I didn't read your books!"
"Really now." Blake lifted her eyebrow while Pyrrha just looked back and forth between the two girls, completely confused.
"I read Jaune's book!" Ruby defended herself.
"Jaune, what are you making Ruby read?" Blake turned towards Jaune. "She's fifteen!"
"Sixteen in like, two months!"
"I'm sorry but…" Pyrrha tried to get into the conversation as well, but Blake was having none of it.
"Still underage!" Blake glared at Ruby, and Ruby glared back at Blake.
"I'm legally adult!" Ruby argued, but Blake just crossed her arms.
"Not in that way!"
"In what way then!"
"So… what is going to happen to us now?" Pyrrha turned to ask Jaune as Ruby and Blake continued to argue what was proper age and how it was important when it came to literature.
"Well… I didn't want Ruby to be sad, and… well…" Jaune rubbed the back of his neck. "I didn't really think it further than that."
Pyrrha sighed. "Somehow I am not surprised. Still, you did it so that no-one would be unhappy, right?"
"Yes." Jaune agreed adamantly. "I don't want anyone to be sad."
"You didn't do it because of some… other benefits?"
"Nothing, don't think about it too much." Pyrrha sighed again at Jaune's confusion. She however seemed to cheer up a second later and looked up at him with a faint smile on her lips. "However, trying to make everyone around you happy is definitely the Jaune I know…"
"Nothing. Shush now." Pyrrha put a finger on Jaune's lips briefly before she leaned closer and gave his cheek a quick kiss.
"Sheesh!" Qrow grumbled as he dragged a tied-up and gagged but fiercely resisting woman by a rope into a dimly lit room deep under Beacon's halls. "This has got to be one of his worst ideas…"
Qrow had spied Winter Schnee exiting one of the Beacon's study rooms after her little sister, and he had followed elder of the Schnee sisters for a while after their departure, waiting for a time to strike when there would be no witnesses… and when Winter had lifted her Scroll, Qrow had struck.
A direct aerial bombardment in his bird form swiftly disabled the woman's Scroll, and while she was still mentally recoiling after seeing her military-grade Scroll literally explode from the power of precision bird droppings, he had transformed out of his bird form mid-flight and drop-kicked the back of her head.
That had not been enough to disable the woman, only disorient her, and Qrow had swiftly continued the assault on the confused woman by tying a chloroform-dipped cloth over her face and mouth.
After what had seemed like an eternity of struggle, Qrow had managed to tie up and gag the now-unconscious woman (while feeling incredibly stalker-ish) and dragged her to a nearby elevator, intending on riding it down and stuffing the woman into one of the underground rooms that lined the secret basement of Beacon while he was figuring out what he was going to do with her and how to get her to not reveal the Arc brat's ability to the entire Atlesian military.
Ozpin had been fairly straightforward with his orders, but Qrow wasn't quite ready to just off the woman just yet. Qrow was fairly sure that if the incident came to light somehow, it would instantly sour the relations between Atlas and Vale, and would lose any and all support Ironwood would have for their cause.
The classes had been in session so he had managed to pull it off without being seen, which had made Qrow incredibly nervous since being lucky was not a regular occurrence for him.
The next problem that had risen was that Winter had woken up during the manhandling, and calling her 'furious' would have been a serious underestimate.
"Right…" Qrow sighed as he dumped the gagged but still somehow loudly hissing woman into what appeared to be a janitor's closet and pressed his back against the door for a moment as he gathered his mental strength. "What the hell am I supposed to do now? Just keep her there until Ironwood moves out of Vale?"
'Am I going to have to keep Winter in Oz's basement… except unlike her, she'd be just a prisoner…' Qrow felt incredibly dirty as he thought about it. 'Did I just condemn Winter to a life-long imprisonment? In Oz's dungeon? Shit...'
"...Ozpin will know what to do." Qrow sighed while pulling up his Scroll. "Oz?"
"I got her."
"You convinced Specialist Schnee not to speak of mr. Arc's ability?"
"C-Convinced?" Qrow did a double take. "What do you mean convinced? You told me to…"
"I asked you to take care of her." Ozpin's voice was somewhat confused. "Glynda tells me that the two of you have been acting somewhat closer lately, so I figured that you might be able to convince her not to reveal mr. Arc's secret."
"Wait what?" Qrow almost dropped his Scroll.
It seemed that Ozpin sensed the change in his tone and his voice grew slightly more concerned. "Is there a problem?"
A loud pang came from the janitor's closet, and he pressed his back harder against the door while coughing loudly to mask the banging. "No, no, not at all…"
"Qrow, I'm sure you know that I can tell when you're not being entirely truthful."
"Right uh…" Qrow cursed internally as he realized that his Semblance, Misfortune, was once again rearing its ugly head… and once again, it was working against him. "I might have kidnapped the ice queen, gagged and tied her up, and stuffed her into a janitor's closet."
A loud slurp of coffee mug being drained empty was heard from the other end of the Scroll conversation.
"In that case it looks like you have your work cut out for you." Ozpin said with a remarkably calm tone. "I must confess that I am not entirely convinced if your method works to ensure Specialist Schnee's loyalty to our side, but I'm sure that you know her… preferences... better."
"Right…" Qrow sighed as he cut off the call. "Shit…"
'At least it can't get worse… Oh no.' Qrow cut himself off mid-thought as he realized what he was thinking, but it was too late.
A massive crash and boom caused Qrow to be thrown off the door.
"I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD!" Winter Schnee howled as she hopped awkwardly out of the completely demolished janitor's closet, stained in soot, ice flakes and covered in some golden yellow liquid after somehow managing to detonate what must have been a spare Ice Dust round inside the cramped room. "Qrow! I knew you were behind all this!"
"Oi! Oi! Ice queen! Time out!" Qrow tried to wave his hands in universal truce signal but it seemed that Winter had gone well beyond such petty concepts as rational conversation. "We got off on the wrong foot!"
"I'll tell you where to stuff that foot!" Winter growled as she tried to futilely find her weapons while keeping a eye on Qrow, however to her misfortune the crow-shapeshifter had remembered to disarm the woman and strap her sabre to his own belt. "Return my weapon to me at once you swine!"
"Nuh uh." Qrow said while backing away very slowly. "Why don't we talk this out? Wait, hold on, what's that liquid on you? Is that booze?"
"What? You pretend like you don't know what's happening like the last time? You got me drunk and took advantage of me!" Winter hissed while advancing towards the retreating man like some sort of furious valkyrie despite her lack of weapons and the fact that the man she was currently aiming to strangle was armed to the teeth, and she was positively drenched in liquid that smelled distinctly of alcohol. "Was that your plan this time as well? To just kidnap me and have your way with me while I was bound and drunk?!"
"Er.. " Qrow looked past Winter to see, to his personal horror, that the closet he thought had been janitor's closet had actually been someone's private stash of expensive whiskeys, brandies and other very strong, high quality spirits. "Oh… No… No…"
"Y-You pervert, rapist!" Winter seemed to pause for a second before her face gained slight blush and her eyes flashed with fury, clearly not persuaded by Qrow's despaired whispering. "Don't tell me you are stalking me like some sort of... horny stalker!"
"Oi, don't lump me with one of th…"
"Did the first, and definitely the last time you took advantage of me turn you into some sort of sex-obsessed deviant?!"
"...What?" Qrow squinted his eyes at the woman while keeping his hands up in a non-aggressive stance. 'I'm too sober for this…'
"You would have tried to use me until I had broken, wouldn't you?!" Winter hissed drunkenly while her blush was gradually starting to spread over her face. "You'd have tried, but someone like me, a proud daughter of Schnee family, will never surrender to a piece of filth like you!"
"Er… No? What?"
"Not even if I am disarmed, disoriented from the accidental explosion and from the chloroform and from the alcohol vapor…"
"Ice queen, are you quite alri…"
"Silence, dog!" Winter threw a haymaker towards his face, which connected, much to her apparent surprise.
"Argh!" Qrow picked himself off the floor while rolling away from the white-haired woman. "Sheesh calm down! I got my orders wrong!"
"Orders?" Winter paused for a while before her eyes widened drunkenly. "Ozpin! Of course!"
Qrow froze. 'Shit.'
"Ozpin sent you to break my will to resist and make me defect to your side!" Winter deduced, although not entirely correctly and her pointing finger was wobbling visibly. "Weiss told me about Jaune Arc! You have been harboring someone with a illegal Grimm-eating tentacle monster Semblance in the same room with a group of young, very easily impressionable and innocent female students!"
"Er, the brat's Semblance is kinda mystery to us as well…" Qrow tried to alleviate the situation, but it didn't seem to help the Specialist's mood.
"You stuffed a highly volatile subject into same team with my sister!" Winter howled. "I saw as he… he took advantage of her mid-combat! Aren't you concerned that he's going to do the same to your niece, who is in the same team?! Have you no shame!"
"He did what?"
"I had to watch as he stuffed his tentacles deep into poor Weiss and… and… and then I had to see as she was overcome with the depravity of the act and was broken…" Winter's voice shook with what Qrow assumed to be barely restrained fury before she shook her head and snapped her eyes to his while she wobbled drunkenly on the spot. "Just what were your orders!? Why have you taken me here?"
"To talk! Just to talk!" Qrow took a quick look at the surroundings and realized that the omnious Dust-torch lit hallway of Beacon's secret underground system didn't exactly look like the most welcoming place for a casual talk, and his kidnapping attempt probably didn't make it appear any better. "I swear! I just got part of it wrong! We were just going to..."
"Don't tell me you were planning on using him to ensure my cooperation with your vile scheme?" Winter's eyes widened as her logic took a leap. "You knew that you alone couldn't break my will, so you were planning on taking turns with me! You'd throw me to that tentacle monster's vile grasp and just observe as it violates me!"
"Uh… Ice queen?" Qrow lowered his hands as Winter's advance stopped. "You alright?"
"Wh- what kind of question is that?" the woman hissed at him.
"...You're making helluva lot of assumptions." Qrow grumbled as he looked suspiciously at Winter whose face was now almost completely red and her furious snarl didn't quite convince him.
"Wha- do you deny that you were planning on taking advantage of me? After you gagged me and tied me up?!"
"Er, yes? I mean, no I'm not!"
Qrow tried to ignore the look Winter sent him, which was somewhere between suspicious, disbelieving, disappointed and somehow let down.
"You're telling me that you aren't going to try to force me to… to… 'engage' with that Grimm tentacle monster of yours?"
Qrow tilted his head as Winter seemed to deflate for some reason and she seemed to be grasping straws. "Y-you're saying that just to lower my guard!"
"You're a closet pervert, aren't ya." He rubbed his eyes as he realized what was going on. "Also, are you Schnee's just naturally good at jumping to conclusions or is that a family trait of yer's? Old Jacques keeps doing that as well."
"Wha- I most definitely do not want to get violated by a tentacle monster! How dare you insinuate such depravity!" Winter shook on the spot, although her angry blush didn't exactly convince Qrow. "This- this is already the second time you insinuate that!"
Qrow sighed in exasperation.
Winter glared at him.
Qrow lifted his eyebrow at her.
Winter bristled drunkenly.
"Jeez, fine." Qrow finally gave up and reached to take the woman's sword from his hip, and he threw it at her, pommel first.
"Wha- are you trying to finish me off with my own weapon or what?" Winter dodged the pommel and grabbed the sabre mid-air before lifting it to point at his face somewhat uncertainly.
"No, just thought you'd be more open to talk if I returned yer weapon." Qrow grumbled before taking a look around. "Figures that Oz's secret man-cave wouldn't have any tables or seats…"
"His what?" Winter seemed even more confused as Qrow turned around and opened one of the hidden doors that lined the walls of the dark hallway and saw a unlit room that seemed to have a table and chairs.
"Eh, this'll work." he nodded as he stepped in and motioned for Winter to follow, which caused the woman to blink before she followed after him, although with her sabre still pointed directly at Qrow's back.
"Right. I'm going to be frank with you." Qrow started, but was left speechless as he flicked the light switch and saw just what the room contained. And the object he thought was a table was definitely not a table. "Wait, why the hell does Oz have that in his basement?"
A glance to the side revealed few other objects that most definitely did not fit into a secret underground conference room.
"Is this Glynda's secret S&M lab or something?" Qrow asked aloud as he looked at the walls that were positively bursting with different types of sex toys, very suggestive outfits, and what appeared to be magazines relating to the subject.
He looked up at a somewhat dusty sign at the wall of the room.
"W- what!" a shrill shriek altered Qrow to the fact that Winter had stepped into the room as well and had seen what he had already observed. "Y- I knew you were lying! You were pla…"
"Wait wait hold up!" Qrow waved his hands wildly around while taking a step back, which caused him to collide with the 'table', that was actually a rack designed to hold exactly one person tied to a very suggestive position, and he fell on top of it, causing the metal locks to snap shut around his wrists and ankles.
"Oh fuck me." Qrow cursed as he saw the signs of his Semblance going haywire with the presence of so many things that could go wrong, and froze immediately afterwards as he remembered that the Atlesian Specialist was still very much in the same room and pointing a sabre at him with a loose grip.
"I- wha- to you? Egh?" Winter stammered while her eyes seemed to bulge out of her head as she stared at Qrow, and Qrow realized just what his outburst might have suggested to the apparently delusional woman.
"Er… not that way?" Qrow tried very, very carefully to disentangle the situation, but froze still in the rack as Winter grabbed a whip from nearby shelf.
Qrow did not like the way Winter's face gained a maniacal gleam which overtook the confused fury in her eyes.
"I will make you pay your crimes!" Winter growled way, way too enthusiastically as she approached him while unfolding the whip and cracking it few times with practised ease.
"Penny, what exactly was that conversation?"
"Sir, you heard remote surveillance device 2912 attached to Specialist Schnee's uniform recording and transmitting a conversation between Winter Schnee and according to voice recognition, Qrow Branwen that happened at..."
"I know who, Penny, but… what happened?"
"I have no conclusions as of the subject, sir."
"...Delete the recording and halt the surveillance for now. I think I should not privy into their… private affairs any further."
"Very well. Done."
"...And bring me something to drink. Make it strong."
Weiss walked, no, skipped through the Beacon's hallways.
She could barely help it now as she had managed to unload the weight on her shoulders to her dear sister, and Winter had been nothing but supportive of her, despite her earlier lie coming to light.
Weiss knew that there was only a very, very small chance that she could resume her life as a Heiress, but at that moment she could care less. She had a loving sister, a potential job as a huntress, and that was enough for her- at least for the moment.
Naturally, she was already setting plans to overtake the Schnee Dust company- and perhaps buy it from her brother Whitley as soon as his ineptitude and inflexibility would cause the company to crash and burn soon after taking over the role of its CEO.
Of course that would require that her father would be dead or in so poor health that he couldn't continue as the head, but fortunately no-one was immune to the passage of time- or some other means that she quickly curb-stomped out of her head.
'Thank you, but now is not the time for those means, Jaune.' Weiss discarded the idea of pointing Jaune at the general direction of her father and telling the blonde-haired boy to go nuts, but not before humoring it for a while.
Thinking of Jaune caused Weiss to cringe internally. 'I just assaulted him in the broad daylight before Winter stopped me… Just what came over me?'
She thought about it for a while and sighed. 'Blake must have filled my head with nonsense, and it affected me more than I thought. Still, I need to apologize to him.
'...Although I doubt that he would have disliked that. He might as well have confessed his 'love' to me, despite him dating two girls already.' Weiss sighed internally. 'Just how can Blake and Pyrrha do that? To share someone they hold dear? Do they even hold Jaune dear, or are they 'in' just for the sex?'
'Still, it isn't very good for Pyrrha's reputation if the rumor spreads that she's indulging in 'that' sort of activities.' Weiss paused as she realized how close she had been to discovering what might have attracted Pyrrha and Blake to Jaune... when she had tackled the boy in question into a bush and had started to… started to.. 'Nope. Next thought, please.'
"So… What should I concentrate on next?" Weiss half-hummed to herself to distract herself away from her own imagination. She had visited the infirmary after her talk with Winter, and the nurses had removed her bandages and declared her fit for duty which meant that there wasn't any physical impairments holding her back. "Hm… Library perhaps?"
She took a look around her, and noticed that her 'walk' had led her close to the dining hall, so she tilted her head slightly before deciding to get a pack of juice or something while she decided on her next action.
The dining hall was unusually quiet as she walked through the somewhat crowded room and reached a counter at the end that had pre-packed meals and desserts the students could buy, and she ended up picking few small strawberry and vanilla cakes before turning around while trying her hardest not to think why she had picked that particular set of flavors.
The oddly oppressive feeling that she had felt the moment she had stepped into the room didn't let up though, and Weiss ended up glancing around the dining hall just in time to see some of the students turning to look away from her.
Weiss lifted her eyebrow while looking at few other students that were still openly staring at her, some warily, some with open hostility, almost as if they were expecting her to attack at any moment. 'Oh… I see. Great.'
She internally debated for a moment if she should say something, but she realized that nothing short of a miracle would help her salvage her reputation in the eyes of the students- at least when the memory of the earlier incident was still fresh.
After all, she had managed to demonstrate that she could 'control' Grimm… which probably wouldn't endear her to the other students who would be tasked with killing Grimm- and would likely eventually end up either dead or crippled, perhaps losing teammates, friends or loved ones to the Grimm during their career.
It would probably be hard to not blame someone who could 'control' Grimm for it...
'Haah… Well, it was a long shot…' Weiss sighed internally as she exited the dining hall warily, constantly hounded by the stares of the other students as she turned away from them. 'I should have known that I'd end up as a outcast amongst the students no matter whether I was successful in salvaging my reputation or not.'
A somewhat fluffy and uncharacteristically girlish thought entered Weiss's head as she imagined herself saying her thoughts aloud in the presence of a certain red-hooded girl, and she imagined that Ruby would just puff her cheeks threateningly towards the other studens before hugging Weiss so hard that she'd risk cracking ribs, and then telling Weiss that she'd never be an outcast in her eyes…
'Okay, I'm not crushing on Ruby.' Weiss told herself, and herself told Weiss something completely opposite to her statement in the form of small but pleasant feeling in her chest. 'No, I'm definitely not! And I definitely didn't buy these cakes so I could eat them with Ruby! Stop thinking things that are completely untrue! We're both girls, too, so it wouldn't work out either way! What would Winter say?'
Weiss froze mentally as she remembered that she had told Winter about her feelings towards Ruby in a moment of panic- and then blushed bright red. 'Winter knows… My life is over.'
'But there's nothing to stop you now…' a treacherous part of her mind told Weiss. 'You can just confess… tell Ruby you like her…'
'But what if she says no?' Weiss asked the voice inside her head that definitely was not a worrying sign about her mental health. 'What if Ruby just says… that… that she's not interested? Could we still be friends and teammates… No, could I still be her teammate after confessing?'
The thought bugged her all the way to her dorm, where she sat on her bed to think after depositing the small dessert cakes into the dorm fridge. 'I… I'll do it. I'll have to apologize to Jaune, again, and… and I'll have to tell Ruby just what I feel towards her.'
A small creak of door being opened caused Weiss to almost jump out of her skin, and she turned around to look at the doorway, completely taken off guard.
"H- hi?" Weiss called with uncharacteristically weak voice as she saw who was standing in the doorway, and she realized that she was completely unprepared for whatever might happen as Cinder Fall walked, no, slid into the room.
"Good evening." Cinder smiled at Weiss. The smile was honest, but Weiss didn't quite trust Cinder's eyes. They were too much like her father's- social, apparently caring, but too calculating. Just like one of his Dust-powered machines... "Is this a bad time?"
"No, no. I was just… making decisions." Weiss broke out of her thoughts to respond to Cinder and the red-clad woman sat down elegantly in one of the chairs in front of the room's two studying desk while facing Weiss.
"May I ask what those decisions were?" Cinder asked easily.
"I see." Cinder nodded as she saw that Weiss wasn't in the mood for idle banter, and moved on. "I am here to ask about your goals- and your intents- for our team. I was a leader in my own team, until the recent events that led me teamless, so I would like to know what goals you had set for what would be now my team as well?"
"You'll find that I am the leader of this team." Weiss bristled as she saw what the red-clad woman insinuated. "I appreciate your council as you are- were- a second year student but you'll find that team SABR might do things differently."
"I hope that they will. After all, team CEM- ugh… 'my team's history was quite brief, and not entirely pleasant." Cinder smiled while Weiss looked suspiciously at the woman that was unfazed despite Weiss's own insinuations. "I hope it will not repeat itself."
'Oh, that's the barb then. Either she's here to just trash-talk, or she's here to make sure that SABR won't end up like team C- argh… why did Ozpin name her old team like that? That's so juvenile and…' Weiss cursed now-disbanded team CEMN's name internally as she maintained calm and friendly exterior. "I appreciate your concern, and I assure you that the bonds of my team are not so easily broken..."
"I made the mistake of distancing myself from my own team earlier. You are aware of what it led to." Cinder told her before sighing. "I aim not to repeat the same mistake. We may not share a long history, but I hope we can become more than just comrades-in-arms."
'...Wait.' Weiss froze still while she felt as sweat started to form in her forehead. 'Don't tell me that she's… she's confessing to me?' "I appreciate your… uh…"
"I hope we can become friends." Cinder offered her hand to Weiss, which caused the white-haired girl to sigh in relief and Cinder to lift her eyebrow.
"N-nevermind. I mean yes, I would like that." Weiss stammered as she shook Cinder's hand briefly. 'Don't tell me that Blake was correct… I am not jumping into conclusions… I am not!'
Her resistance lasted for about a second before a creeping sensation overcame Weiss. 'Oh Oum. I am jumping to conclusions... What would Winter say if she knew?'
"Is something wrong?"
"No, no, I'm not having an existential crisis…" Weiss mumbled half-heartedly and Cinder clicked her tongue in annoyance which drew Weiss back into their conversation. "However, I'm sure you had something else in mind when you came to talk to me. What do you want?"
"Quite blunt way to put it, but fair enough. There was one more thing. I'm sure you know this, but there will be a dance just before our… well, your first missions. The entirety of Beacon is invited to the dance, both staff and students included." Cinder said as she adjusted her position on her chair. "I came here to ask if you had plans for the dance."
'No, she's not going to ask me out.' Weiss took her 'dark' side by the throat and shook it around inside her head. 'Stop jumping into conclusions!' "I had a plan, but unfortunately it appears that… I mean, no, I do not have plans."
"I see. Were your perhaps still intending to attend it?"
"Yes, as part of team SABR." Weiss felt somewhat suspicious as she looked at the red-clad woman who had what appeared to be a encouraging smile, but to Weiss looked more like a self-confident smirk. "I doubt any of us are planning to skip it. Were you?"
"I had planned to attend, but I feel that perhaps I should not."
"Why is that?"
"I have a feeling that my presence would sour the mood." Cinder said simply. "After all, I was the team leader in a recently-disgraced team- and my old teammates were disgraced for assassination attempt on a fellow student, no less!"
"I am aware, but how is that…"
"I fear my presence would likely cause people to be suspicious and perhaps even paranoid around me should I attend their party." Cinder told her. "I aim to prevent any further strife, and I would like for the dance to be a relaxed and enjoyable occasion, unmarred by paranoia or fear."
Weiss felt somewhat suspicious as she listened to Cinder's reasoning. 'It feels almost as if she doesn't want to attend the party? Not wanting to attend is understandable, but why is she trying to make it sound like it wouldn't be the case… Unless she wants to avoid questions about why she didn't attend. But why would she do that?'
"I see. However wouldn't your disappearance make the paranoia even worse? After all, enemy known is better than enemy unknown." Weiss countered.
"I would rather not be viewed as an enemy, thank you very much." Cinder's eyebrow twitched in annoyance- although it was hard to determine whether it was because of Weiss's words, or her questioning of Cinder's statement.
Weiss felt as her more paranoid side went into overdrive and conjured up a conspiracy theory. One where Cinder was be trying to make a alibi for her disappearance from the dance so she could instead execute some sort of plan or illegal act while the students and the staff would be distracted by the party- but she dismissed it almost immediately. 'Blake was right. I'm jumping into conclusions. I need to stop doing that...'
However, Cinder's almost too encouraging expression did not make dismissing Weiss's internal concerns any easier.
Or the fact that Weiss had planned to get information about outgoing flights from CCT during the dance to find out where White Fang and Torchwick were transporting the Dust they had stolen from Dust stores and SDC- and her investigation might not be exactly legal since the flight information was very much restricted, making her plan very close to the 'illegal activity' she had already almost projected into Cinder.
'Thinking of that, I still need to find a way to get the illegal Dust trafficking revealed… which would also drag Torchwick off his high horse.' Weiss huffed internally. She had planned to have someone, which most likely would have been Jaune, to infiltrate the CCT that would be lightly guarded during the upcoming dance or, if their headmaster's aloof behaviour would be any indication, the CCT would likely be completely unguarded.
"I'm sure that the attractions of the dance will be enough to put such trifling concerns like me being absent out of our fellow student's heads as long as I don't remain as a visible reminder." Cinder's voice shook Weiss out of her plans.
"Very well, I understand if you don't wish to attend the dance." Weiss sighed. "I'll let the rest of the team know."
"...Do you think I should do so as well?" Weiss asked half-heartedly, before shutting herself up as she realized that she had spoken aloud.
"What do you mean?" Cinder tilted her head, confused.
"W- well… there's been some rumors circling the student population…" Weiss stammered.
"I heard few of them, but I dismissed the majority as mere rumors." Cinder lifted her eyebrow at her. "Or are you having your team… perform a certain activity? If so, I must respectfully decline..."
"No, I am not having orgies with my team, thank you very much." Weiss's tone was bland enough to make porridge look like a veritable rainbow of flavors.
However Cinder didn't look too convinced.
'Is this what it feels like when someone doesn't believe me… Oh no. Have I been doing this to Blake all along? Is she not… what if she didn't do 'that' with Jaune in the dorm, and I've been falsely accusing her all along?' Weiss started to feel lightheaded as the revelations of the day started to press on her. "A-anyway, do you have anything further to ask?"
"In fact, I was wondering if I could borrow your knigh- I mean mr. Arc." Cinder turned her attention to her fingernails. "I was hoping that I could perhaps have a spar with him… in private."
"...Why do you need my permission to do that?" it was Weiss's turn to lift her eyebrow. "Jaune is more than capable of making his own decisions."
"Oh, I was merely wondering. The two of your… our teammates, Ruby and Blake I believe, seem to have something against me so maybe they would attempt some juvenile prank on my person should I ask their… I would guess 'boyfriend' for a friendly, private spar." Cinder seemed to find the palm of her hand incredibly interesting for some reason as she spoke. "After all, such occasion might be mistakenly taken as me attempting to… hm, 'advance myself' upon him, which I assure you is not the case."
"So you're asking me to get Ruby and Blake off your back." Weiss summarized somewhat dryly. "What makes you think that I would do that? And why do you want to train with Jaune privately?"
"I was hoping to spar with each member of the team one-on-one, and I chose mr. Ar- Jaune to be the first. There's no specific reason for him to be the first though." Cinder answered easily to Weiss's confrontive words. Too easily. "I planned to do the spar in private, since I am interested to see how well each of you fare individually and what you specialize in so I can figure out what place I will take in our team combat-wise."
"Is that how you trained with your old team?" Weiss wasn't entirely convinced by Cinder's reasoning, and it must have shown since the red-clad woman's amber eyes darkened slightly.
"Yes. I did." Cinder's tone was cold. "That is how I built my old team's combat doctrine... For what good it did to them."
"I am sorry. I shouldn't have brought that up." Weiss realized that she was just twisting the knife in recently made wound, which made her feel somewhat bad for Cinder even despite the fact that it had been Cinder's team who had attacked her. "Haah… Fine. I'll help."
"Just… Don't make me regret it." Weiss somehow felt almost as if she was signing someone's death warrant as Cinder had gained a sly smile on her face after hearing Weiss' words. It reminded her too much of a like a predator who had managed to corner her prey.
"You won't. Trust me."
Cinder's words did not fill Weiss with confidence.
"...And that's what happened." Qrow grumbled as he tried his hardest to ignore a particularly stinging whip-mark on his butt while sitting in Ozpin's office.
"You mistook my orders, kidnapped Specialist Winter and managed to convince her not to take further action towards us by making her believe that it was a foreplay for… some sort of deviant play?" Ozpin lifted his eyebrow at his agent. "Also, this is the first time I've heard that we had a room like that in our underground vault."
"Huh. I guess I was right afterall…" Qrow mumbled something under his breath, and Ozpin swiftly moved on before he risked learning something he did not want to know.
"Were you able to convince miss Schnee not to reveal her findings to Ironwood?"
"Well… sort of." Qrow said after a pause. "After the haze lifted she made me swear that neither of us would tell anything about what happened to anyone else. She accused me… er, us, of harboring what she termed to be a 'illegal Grimm-eating tentacle monster Semblance, or something, so I just told her to stay quiet about it."
"Or I'd tell everyone what happened. I don't think miss prim-and-proper-on-the-surface wants that kind of information to go around." Qrow finished while scratching one of the whip-marks on his chest through his clothes. "She wasn't happy."
"So you deliberately had Specialist Schnee perform those… questionable actions upon you so you could extort her to stay silent?" Ozpin nodded. "Very good. It seems that you were the right man for the job after all."
"Right… All that was deliberate…" Qrow grumbled. "Anyway, we dodged that bullet, but the magazine's still almost full. What's our next step?"
"Our bait is still in place and it has already caught one fish." Ozpin mused in his usual style, which meant cryptic and vague. "I suggest we wait to see what miss Fall does, and if she is one of her allies, leads us to their nest."
"So sit on our hands and wait, again?" Qrow sighed. "Oz, maybe Ironwood had a point. We can't just keep reacting. We need to act."
"There is time for that, but for now we need to unravel the recent events rather than trying to charge when we don't even know our foe." Ozpin lifted his eyebrow at his agent. "After all, having strength is worthless if you are not truly in control of the hand that wields it. Knowledge is what separates us from our enemies."
"No, I mean that we must know our enemy's motive before we act or we risk playing into their hands." Ozpin finished theatherically, although to not very enthusiastic audience as Qrow had ignored the headmaster completely and instead opted to start drinking heavily. "...Nevermind. However, you might be interested to hear about a proposal Ironwood sent me few hours ago…"
"...And that's what happened. Ozpin's agent tried to extort me!" Winter exclaimed scandalously to Ironwood and Penny who continued to listen silently to the Specialist above the Atlesian General's air-cruiser that was now in Beacon's air-dock. "He… He got me forcibly drunk and then had me have my way with his body! And then he told me that he'd tell everyone if I didn't comply to his orders, and submit to his perversions..."
"..." Ironwood rubbed his eyebrows tiredly. "Specialist Schnee… Winter, I'm not sure I want to know the details."
"Ah… I'm sorry, sir." Winter seemed to calm down, although her blush remained. "Still, something needs to be done, sir. Ozpin is clearly delusional if he had ordered his agent try to kidnap me!"
"Are you absolutely certain that it was Ozpin who gave this order and not say, Qrow… 'acting' on his own?" Ironwood looked somewhat despaired.
"Sir, I'm certain. Qrow said that he had orders from Ozpin to bend me to his will." Winter seemed slightly uncertain, but she shook the uncertainty off her mind like swan would shake water off its feathers. "I am unsure if Beacon is led by a suitable person."
"I see. Have you managed to find out more about mr. Arc's Semblance?" Ironwood changed the subject suddenly, which took Winter by surprise.
"I- Well… No." The Specialist stammered slightly, and Ironwood gave her a stern glare. 'I promised to Weiss that I wouldn't talk about him… Damn.'
"I know mr. Arc has tentacles?" Winter tried to supply after a pause, but it didn't seem to endear her to the general who just sighed once more.
"I see. That's how it is." Ironwood took a stack of papers and offered it to Winter.
"Transfer orders? Sir, what is this?"
"I am transferring you to Beacon, effective immediately." Ironwood told the confused woman. "You will be working as assisting combat teacher to Glynda Goodwitch…"
"A infiltration mission?"
"...And to Qrow Branwen."
The stack of papers slipped through Winter's fingers while her face went completely pale. "S- sir?"
"Your mission is to infiltrate Beacon's staff, and find out just what is going on in here. Penny will be taking over observing mr. Arc." Ironwood motioned towards the android who struck a crisp salute while smiling absentmindedly.
"Also, you are to use your standard issue outfit while doing so." Ironwood added almost as an afterthought. "I hope it will help you gain authority amongst the students and staff."
"Also, white suits you."
"T-thank you sir." Winter stammered while gathering the fallen papers, unsure of the implications of Ironwood's speech. 'He wants me to keep my uniform on? B-but why should I take it off? Unless... Unless Ironwood is thinking I'm 'that' kind of woman... Damn you Qrow, this is your fault!'
"I look forwards to studying under your leadership, professor Schnee!" Penny chirped happily, and Winter mentally prepared herself.
'I have to work with Qrow… Oum, why have you forsaken me…'
"Ehehe. Hehe..." Ruby positively tittered as she walked between Jaune and Pyrrha while holding Jaune's hand and bearing a distinct resemblance to a overly excited puppy, even while Blake was stalking behind the three of them while shooting somewhat suspicious glances at just about everything. The group was on their way back to the dorms after they had filled themselves up in the dining hall. "I got a boyfriend! Before Yang too! I can't wait to tell her about it!"
"Uh… Ruby, can you perhaps… not tell Yang about us?" Blake tried to very carefully bring Ruby back to reality as it seemed that the red-hooded girl was walking on clouds. "I'm not sure she'd approve of… us, I guess. I'm not even sure I approve of us."
"Ehh… But I can't just not tell Yang about something like that!" Ruby protested.
"I'm sorry if this sounds like me trying to snoop into someone's private affairs, but... Yang doesn't have a boyfriend?" Pyrrha joined the conversation somewhat carefully. "From what I've gathered she seems to be someone who would have no trouble getting herself into a relationship…"
"Nah. Yang's not like that." Ruby denied. "I mean she's going to dances and parties, but she hasn't brought a boy home or anything like that." She paused to think before blinking once. "Come to think of it, Dad would have probably gone nuts if Yang brought a boy with her so that might be the reason…"
"Your father sounds like… an interesting person." Pyrrha sweated slightly.
"Eh, he's not bad. He teaches in Signal, the Beacon prep-school, and is full-time dad after that." Ruby waved Pyrrha's concerns off. "He tries really hard at being good dad too."
"I see." Pyrrha didn't look entirely convinced and Jaune chose not to comment as Ruby had told him more about her dad- it would be up to Ruby to decide when she wanted to open herself more to Pyrrha and Blake. "W-well, anyway... uh… its a nice weather?"
"A bit hot, yeah." Blake tried to join on Pyrrha's conversation to turn the tide away from overprotective fathers and other family members.
"Neh." Ruby just poked her tongue out at Pyrrha before continuing to bounce beside Jaune as the four of them entered the dorms.
"So… The dance is coming up soon." Pyrrha restarted the conversation as the four of them poured into the dorm's shared living room.
"Yep." Ruby and Jaune said at the same time, before looking at each other and looking away with suddenly red cheeks.
"Yes." Blake sighed as she looked at the two. "We know. What about it?"
"I was wondering… Who were you planning on inviting as your dance partner?"
"Jaune." Ruby and Blake answered at the same time, before turning to glare at each other with Blake's bow twitched aggressively and Ruby hugging Jaune's hand against her chest while puffing her cheeks threateningly.
"Well… I was planning on that too…" Pyrrha said weakly. "W-well. Jaune? Who do you want to accompany to the dance?"
"Er… About that." Jaune scratched the back of his head. "I don't know how to dance."
He wasn't sure if he liked the way all three girls suddenly gained a predatory look in their eyes.
"Oh, would you like if I taught you?" Pyrrha asked with overly friendly tone while taking his hand and intertwining her fingers with his.
"Is it because of your… journey from Mistral? There was no-one who could have taught you to dance?" Blake asked quietly while latching onto his arm. "I can help you recover… and teach you how to dance."
"I can dance too!" Ruby stomped her feet as it looked like her prey was getting snatched away by the bigger fish, and she latched possessively onto his arm. "I should teach Jaune since I'm his partner and all!"
"Err…" Jaune tried to stay in one piece as all three girls were pulling him to seperate directions. "C-can we calm down and think about it?"
"No!" Came from three mouths at once, and Jaune felt as the grips became even tighter.
"Hm… Excuse me, but what are you doing?" a far more elegant voice caused the small group to turn their attention towards team SABR's dorm, and they saw as Cinder exited the dorm-room.
"Nothing!" Ruby said instantly while Blake and Pyrrha just glared at Cinder warily. "Where's Weiss?" Ruby added warily as she noticed where the woman had come from.
"She's in your dorm. Rest easy, I haven't eaten her." Cinder answered easily, and lifted her eyebrow at Ruby as she looked at the dorm-room's closed door, clearly worried. "I just wanted to talk with her."
"Uh huh…" Ruby narrowed her eyes at Cinder, which didn't seem to do much to intimidate the woman who just rolled her eyes and focused her attention on Jaune who was currently being flanked by Blake and Pyrrha, both of whom looked at Cinder with varying degrees of suspicion.
"Regardless, I was just talking to miss Schn- Weiss about the upcoming dance." Cinder said, which for some reason caused the grips both Blake and Pyrrha had on Jaune's arms to tighten to painful levels. Cinder noticed that, and smirked at Blake. "Nothing too threatening, I assure you. You don't have to torture him."
Jaune sighed in relief as Blake loosened her grip, which earned him a glare from the cat faunus, but Cinder's verbal poke didn't seem to work on Pyrrha whose face had started to slowly gain the maniacal look from before. Luckily enough Ruby noticed it and waved her hand in front of Pyrrha's face to break her away from whatever disturbing thoughts she might have had.
"I heard that you were planning on teaching Jaune to dance." Cinder's words however caused the three girls to form a protective wall between Jaune and the scarlet-clad woman. "Would you mind if I helped?"
"Why are you so eager to help Jaune?" Ruby narrowed her eyes at the woman. "And no, we're already teaching him!"
"She's right." Blake added her opinion to Ruby's and Pyrrha nodded as well, which caused Cinder to sigh and give Jaune a undecipherable look.
Jaune blinked as he tried to use his Semblance to feel around the room, and caught the emotion that radiated from Cinder. It felt like… pity? 'No, more than that. It's like she's feeling bad for my sake. Odd.'
He shook his head to dispel the after-effects of his ability and focused his attention back to the woman. 'Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt... Perhaps it'll help Ruby, Blake and Pyrrha to get more used to Cinder since they seem to be pretty hostile to each other...'
His voice caused Blake, Ruby and Pyrrha to freeze in place while Cinder's lips curved to a sly smile, which made him a bit hesitant to continue. "I mean, we could use more team exercises, right?"
"Quite so." Cinder's voice was positively purring while the three girls looked mortified. "I look forward to our dance lessons. And perhaps we could also train together soon…"
"Uh, sure…" Jaune felt almost like he had betrayed Ruby somehow as she sent him a look that made him feel like he had kicked a cute puppy while Blake was hissing quietly and Pyrrha's grip on his arm threatened to cut blood circulation to it. "I mean uh…"
"I'll see you soon then." Cinder smirked once more before sashaying out of the dorm, leaving Jaune alone in the presence of the three girls who he was 'dating'.
Although it was hard to tell at the moment since if looks the three of them gave him could kill, Jaune would be six feet under the ground already. 'Crap, did I mess something up?'
"Jaune… we're going to have to have a talk about proper timing." Pyrrha's voice was overly polite, and he didn't quite trust the warm smile she had- not when it was backed up by the intimidating miasma that had grown around the girl in full strength.
"And not accepting everything some long-legged women offer to you…" Blake added while glaring at the door that Cinder had closed behind her almost as if it had done her a grave personal insult.
"And! Not accepting dance lessons from them!" Ruby voiced her opinion as well while tapping her feet against the floor at rate of approximately thousand taps per minute which had fairly good chance of leaving a permanent mark on the floor. "Whops..."
"No buts!" came from three mouths at once with such force that team RYNN's dorm-room door opened and Yang peeked her head out of the door-frame to look curiously at the small group, soon followed by somewhat resigned-looking Ren and excited Nora (who didn't miss the chance to rest her head on top of Ren's).
Team SABR's dorm-room door opened slightly after RYNN's, but it didn't stop Weiss from poking her head out in much the same way as Yang to investigate the ruckus.
'Yep, I screwed up…'
"Oh, hi Yang!" Ruby waved energetically at her big sister, momentarily forgetting the issue of the scarlet-clad woman in order to deliver a mission-critical message at all costs. "I'm dating Jaune!"
'Oh no.' Jaune saw as Yang's curious gaze turned suspicious, but more importantly, Weiss's face went completely white- followed by her turning around and slamming team SABR's dorm-room door closed. 'Oh come on…'
"...Why is this happening to me?" Roman Torchwick finished his grumble as he stepped out of a stage after delivering a 'inspiring and rallying' speech to a group of Faunus who had expressed interest in becoming members of the White Fang. "I never wanted to be some justice figure or… or a sodding wanna-be superhero!"
"..." A woman tilted her head at him from the shadow of the backstage, and Roman sighed at Neo.
"Yes, I know. We had little choice." Roman growled. "Still, I didn't sign up to be a poster-boy for faunus rights or something like that. I'm just in for the money… and not dying."
"..." A small sigh escaped Neo's lips, followed by a shrug.
"Yeah, true. It could be worse. She could have sent us on that suicide mission…" Roman acknowledged. "I kinda feel bad for those two kids she sent on that mission in our place… but then I remember that they are part of why we're in this shit in the first place."
"...You did give the wounded emo kid enough meds to last the journey when you helped them out of Vale, right?"
"...Of course you didn't. Fuck."
"..." Neo tilted her head while she had a innocent smile on her lips, but Roman knew better than to trust it.
"Ha… Fine. Fine." he laughed before reaching to pat Neo on the head, and then pulled his hand back before the woman managed to sank her teeth in his hand. He smirked as she glared at him while holding to her head. "You know I plan for us to survive the coming shitshow, right?"
"..." Neo didn't look too convinced, but she sighed and gave up by shrugging her shoulders theatheritically, turning around and shattering into thousands of tiny glass shards that vanished soon after hitting the floor.
"Heh, I like you too…" Roman chuckled to now empty backstage before checking his ornate wristwatch. "Haah… Another speech in what, ten minutes? Give me a break…"
Next chapter: Soon(™)- With more action!
Not dead btw. Just delayed thanks to some legal troubles not related to this story.