I don't own anything. RWBY is not owned by me. It is owned by talented people. I'm a nobody. Please don't sue me.



Weiss snuggled against her mother. The woman smiled down at her, eyes warm with affection. It was something she saw so rarely, but it filled her up inside, making the little girl feel as though she could burst.

"Weiss?" her mother asked.

"Yes, mom?" Weiss answered, voice soft.

"I know your father and I are often busy," she said.

"It's okay!" Weiss interjected. "You do important work. Without the Schnee Dust Company, people wouldn't be able to fight against the monsters."

"That's right," she answered with a sad sigh. "You do know we love you though, right? I know we can't spend time together often, but I love you and your siblings more than anything in the world."

"I know," Weiss whispered, tears in her eyes as she hugged her mother tighter. "I love you too."

Her mother opened her mouth to speak again, when she was cut off by a bang. The car flipped over, tearing a scream from both of their throats as they were tossed around. The windows shattered as the vehicle broke, and Weiss felt a line of hot fire burn her face as she screamed again. Then suddenly, it was quiet.

Everything was upside down. Weiss frowned in confusion, trying to make sense of what she was seeing. Eventually she realized that she was being held upside down by her seatbelt, the car sitting on its partially collapsed roof. A moan from beside her drew her attention.

"M-mommy?" Weiss whimpered. Her mother was hanging limply beside her. "Mommy?"

She heard footsteps from outside the car, and Weiss painfully turned her sore neck to look out of the broken side window. Kneeling on the ground was a thin, hard looking man who carefully examined them. Weiss blinked in confusion as she spotted goat-like horns on the top of his head. It took her scattered mind long moments to remember what he was. A faunus.

"H-help," Weiss whimpered. "Mommy isn't moving. It- it hurts. Help..."

The faunus didn't change expression at all. Instead he turned around and spoke to someone behind him. Weiss could hear him clearly, but his words didn't make any sense to her. Not for a long, horrible moment.

"They're alive," the faunus said. "Guess they care about safety for themselves. I'll finish 'em off."

He turned around and stuck something through the window. It was a handgun. Weiss had only seen them carried by her family's bodyguards occasionally.

"W-what?" Weiss whispered. "Why?"

"Die, Schnee," he snarled, pulling the trigger twice.

Weiss had never experienced anything like it in her eight years of life. Physical pain had been tripping while running, or over exerting herself while learning to dance. Winter had always been distant but caring, and the constant nannies and maids would never have permitted roughhousing between the sisters. Whitley was too young for her to really interact with. Nothing had prepared her for the terror and pain of a car crash. Nothing could've prepared her for the agony of a gunshot wound.

For a time Weiss blacked out. When she came to it was listening to voices. They murmured indistinctly, impossible to make out at first. Only when she recognized the sound of her mother pleading did she force her eyes to open, swimming to consciousness through a blanket of pain.

"Please, not my daughter," her mother begged. "Take me, just please, not her. Please."

"Death isn't so terrible," a voice tried to soothe. It was calm and gentle, but implacable. "She will know peace and rest, until she becomes one with creation."

"She hasn't even had a chance to live," her mother sobbed. "She's just a little girl. Please, please don't take her."

"I'm sorry," the woman said. Weiss could tell that she truly meant it. "She awakens into death even as we speak. She is already in my realm."

"No," her mother moaned. "Please, she's still breathing. Please don't take my baby."

Weiss finally opened her eyes to find herself in a dim room. Machines hummed all around her, one beeping out the steady, slow beat of her heart. Something was down her throat, but for some reason it didn't hurt.

"She only breathes because of the machine," the stranger explained. "The best healers and finest doctors in the world have worked past the point of reason, and still she fades. I'm sorry, child. There is nothing I can do. She passes before our eyes."

"There has to be something," her mother sobbed. "Please."

"I'm sorry," the strange woman repeated.

Weiss looked around the room. Standing on her right side was her mother. She looked desperate and sad, and for some reason Weiss could see through her, like she wasn't really there.

On her other side was a strange woman wearing a white hooded cloak. She was also translucent, but Weiss found her gaze drawn to the enormous scythe she held with a gentle grip.

"I will pay the price," her mother begged. "Wouldn't you for your daughter? Wouldn't you want her to have the best chance?"

"I-," the woman said, looking away. "Is this for the best? She's in my realm now. She would be changed forever by this."

"It's better than never living. She's never really had friends. Her father and I... we were always so busy. With things that seemed to matter at the time. But nothing – nothing – matters more than my daughter. I just want her to live. To have a life of her own."

"She will always be connected to the other side," the woman said. "She will be different. It will be hard for her."

"But it will be a life," her mother said fiercely.

"Yes, I suppose it will be," the strange woman said. "Say goodbye to your daughter, Ms. Schnee. Your family has long been involved in the arcane arts. You know what this will require."

"Yes," she said, looking down at Weiss with a sad smile. "I freely sacrifice my soul to guide her back to the land of the living. Weiss... I love you. More than my own existence. Live. Grow. Be your own person. And always remember... I love you."

With that her mother leaned down and kissed Weiss on the brow. A strange sensation flowed from the kiss, like an icy warmth that spread across her whole body. She closed her eyes against a bright, blinding light, and slowly the pain returned, spreading across every inch of her person as she was dragged down into the darkness of unconsciousness.

Author's Notes

I started watching RWBY shortly before the end of season 3, and this was one of my original ideas for some fanfiction based on it. This story has been a long time in the making, and I've already written more than any previous story I've ever written. I've decided to start posting in the hopes of getting feedback to help keep me writing; it's hard to keep my momentum when the story is so long.

Please, enjoy this Urban Fantasy AU, with very slow burn White Rose.