Author Notes: Hello, everyone! RWBY is one of my daughter's favourite anime (girl power!) so of course I got pulled into watching it as well. Unlike her, one of my favourite characters is Professor Ozpin. No, it has nothing to do with how dreamy he looks with those slanted eyes, funny little glasses perched on his nose and that ubiquitous mug in hand. Just like how one of my favourite characters in Naruto is Kakashi Hatake. And no, it has nothing to do with how cool he looks with that slanted headband, face mask and... well, never mind.
Anyway, here's my first (and very likely only) one shot for RWBY. I know, the age gap between Ozpin and Ruby is even bigger than the one between Severus Snape and Harry Potter, but I've been very careful. Enjoy :)
Warning: Fluff. Spoilers for up to Season 2 Episode 7 (Dance Dance Infiltration).
Disclaimer: RWBY belongs to Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth.
- Story Start -
The very first time Ozpin saw Ruby Rose was on Glynda's Scroll, wielding her huge scythe-like weapon with ridiculous ease. She fought off Torchwick's goons without breaking a sweat, switching between utter stillness to crimson blurs in the blink of an eye, crimson rose petals dancing in her wake.
Ozpin wanted to meet her and was captivated the moment he saw her, sitting under the bright light with her red black hair and her large silver eyes. She looked even younger than in the recording, but those eyes pulled at him, striking a chord deep inside his heart. He didn't let it show, merely slid a plate of chocolate chip cookies over to her as he talked.
She ate and chatted like a child; much too fast, all bubbly enthusiasm and disarming honesty. But there was no denying her skill with her weapon, the fact that Qrow was her teacher, her passion for becoming a huntress, and her ardent wish to join his school, Beacon Academy.
Despite her young age and Glynda's silent disapproval, Ozpin decided there and then to fulfill Ruby's wish and enroll her in Beacon. He was the Headmaster, after all... and truth be told, he wanted to see her again.
- o -
The second time Ozpin saw Ruby in person was outdoors, on Initiation Day. Her silver eyes were almost mirror-like in the sunlight, but he showed no indication of that. Instead, he gave a brief speech to the new students before they were launched into the Emerald Forest for their first test. It was almost amusing to see Ruby worry about who her teammates would be rather than the dangerous test before her, but he was confident she would do well no matter which team she ended up on.
(Jaune, on the other hand, might not live past the next hour.)
The next time Ozpin saw Ruby in person was later that same day when he announced the teams. He wasn't surprised at her shock when he named her leader of Team RWBY nor at the confrontation between her and teammate Weiss Shnee the very next day, given the latter's obvious disappointment.
Ozpin prided himself on his hands off approach, but the bewildered hurt in those silver eyes tugged sharply at him, prompting him to offer a few words of comfort. He assured her that he didn't think appointing her leader was a mistake and he hoped to see her make the most of it.
He was pleased to see her grow into the role with the full support of her team, wearing the mantle of leadership with ease and that childlike grace of hers.
- o -
The fourth time Ozpin saw Ruby in person was at the aftermath of the food fight in the school canteen.
While Glynda set things to right with a wave of her weapon and a few well chosen words, Ozpin chose to enjoy the sight of Ruby, laughing happily with her friends amidst the ruins of their meal. Glynda might have expected more exemplary behaviour from the budding hunters and huntresses, but Ozpin was satisfied seeing Ruby's silver eyes sparkling with mirth.
His only regret was that he had missed seeing the actual fight.
- o -
The fifth time he saw Ruby in person was tonight, at the Vytal Tournament Festival Ball. He wore his usual outfit, not bothering to put on a more formal one. It was an opportunity for students, rather than staff, to relax and have some fun. They had all dressed up for the event, even Ruby Rose.
Ozpin took in the sight of her in a red sleeveless dress and black heels with an outward nod of approval, a silent sigh of appreciation for how pretty she looked, and an inward snicker at how she tried to hide behind the punch bowl. Capable leader she may be, but an awkward teen still.
A heavy frown or two from Yang soon flushed her out from her hiding place. Ozpin wanted to smirk when Ruby moved his way with a sheepish smile, no doubt deciding she would be safe from sisterly censure if she stood beside the Headmaster.
She greeted him and Glynda with a cheerful 'Good evening, professors!' and stood there with her hands behind her back, seemingly content to watch the dancers for the rest of the evening.
Ozpin surveyed the same with casual indifference, but all he could think of was how Ruby had come alone and that no one had asked her to dance so far.
James soon came up to tap Glynda on the shoulder and offer a hand which she accepted with a put on sigh of resignation. Ozpin immediately made a note to cut James some slack the next time he did something rash. It would happen soon enough, he was sure.
He glanced at Ruby again, wondering if he dared to ask her for a dance. Compared to who he truly was, she was just a babe. Even if he were the age his current body looked right now, he would still be old enough to be her father.
But surely there was no harm in a dance between professor and student?
Before he could talk himself out of it, Ozpin gave a small cough.
"I hope you're not planning to spend the rest of the evening craning your neck at your friends, Miss Rose?"
"That's alright, I don't plan to dance anyway," she replied with a shrug, still looking at the dancers.
"Because no one has asked you?"
She gave a small laugh as she turned to him, silver eyes twinkling.
"Yep! But also because I don't know how," she admitted without hesitation. "I'd be a total klutz."
Ozpin tipped his head to one side, right hand holding his mug, left hand in his pocket.
"Well, what if someone asked you to..."
"Wouldn't solve the second issue, would it?" she countered.
"... and offered to teach you at the same time?"
Handing his mug to a passing waiter, Ozpin held out his hand with a slight bow. Ruby stared at him and then at his hand and then his face again.
"Oh," she said before asking in a small voice, "Are you... asking... me?"
"I am," Ozpin replied gravely. "Would you do me the honour, Miss Rose?"
"I wasn't joking when I said I don't know how to dance."
Ruby's face scrunched up for an instant before she shrugged and placed her left hand in his.
"OK, but don't say I didn't warn you when I step on your toes!"
"I won't let you," Ozpin assured her. He tugged lightly on her hand until she turned to face him fully.
"Right here?" she asked in surprise.
"Right here," he answered, "unless you wish everyone to witness you stepping on my toes?"
Ruby chuckled as he took her right hand and placed it on his left shoulder before putting his hand at her waist.
"I thought you weren't going to let me?" she shot back.
"Touché. Here we go, right foot forward."
She almost stepped on his left foot then, but he adroitly moved back.
"Don't be," he said and smiled down at her. "You're doing fine."
He could tell she didn't believe him, but at least she didn't say that aloud. He could also tell she felt awkward, but was determined to see this through.
She was a quick learner. Just a subtle tug of his hand holding hers, and the smallest push of his other hand at her waist, and they were moving smoothly together.
She held his gaze at first, but her cheeks soon turned pink and she looked at his mouth. When he smiled, she looked lower still to stare intently at the purple pin on the cowl of his green shirt. He steered her with faultless grace around the confined space, taking care to keep an appropriate distance between them, taking pleasure in her nearness.
When the song ended, Ruby looked up and smiled.
"That was nice, professor. Thank you," she said.
"My pleasure," Ozpin replied, keeping her hand in his, but letting his other hand fall back to his side.
She was slender and petite, an entrancing mix of lean muscles and slight curves. Her small hand in his had the expected calluses from wielding Crescent Rose, but the young curve of her cheeks and lips looked enticingly soft, the sweep of her eyelashes against her skin longer than he had expected.
She didn't pull away, but seemed content to wait for his next move, whether it was to dance with her again or to excuse himself. That was all the encouragement he needed, especially when the next song was an even slower ballad than the one before.
Throwing caution to the wind, Ozpin quirked an eyebrow at her.
"Do you trust me, Miss Rose?" he asked.
When she nodded, he took a step back and pulled lightly at her hand.
"Follow me then."
He led her to the nearest French doors and stepped out onto the darkened balcony, leaving the doors slightly ajar as a nod to propriety. He was confident they wouldn't be interrupted in any case.
Turning back to Ruby, he held out his free hand. When she extended her own, he took it and raised both her hands to his shoulders, taking a step closer to facilitate the move.
She froze at once, a frown of uncertainty pulling her eyebrows together.
"Relax. I promise not to eat you," he said with an easy smile.
She gave a soft laugh only to still again, frown deepening when his hands went to her waist, resting lightly on either side.
"This dance is even easier," he told her, keeping his voice steady over his uneven heartbeat. "No lessons needed."
She blushed. He didn't expect her to keep his gaze, but she did, those silver eyes showing wariness.
"But isn't this more... intimate?" she asked. "We're standing so much closer than before."
"It is, and we are," he agreed. Up close like this, he could feel the warmth of her body and smell her scent of roses. He could also see the rapid pulse jumping at the base of her white throat and hastily sought to reassure her. "So bear in mind, Miss Rose, that it isn't a dance you should have with just anyone."
He realised his mistake even before her fingers tightened on his shoulders.
"Does... does that include the Headmaster of Beacon?" she asked.
Ozpin closed his eyes for a pained moment before looking down at her.
"It does," he admitted.
Ruby's eyes widened and she took a step back at once, her hands slipping from his shoulders.
Ozpin had to stop himself from reaching for her, knowing it would only make things worse. He cursed his impulsive words which had caused their conversation to take a turn he knew Ruby wasn't expecting. She was biting her lower lip now, eyes darting from side to side as if wondering if she should escape... or deck him one first.
The pang in his heart intensified. He should let her go now, but if he did, it would mar all their future encounters. He... couldn't abide that.
"Do you trust me?" he asked again, almost wincing at how bleak his voice sounded.
Ruby looked at him and he could see the instant her wariness just... vanished. She took a deep breath and nodded before stepping close to him, arms lifting and hands resting on his shoulders before - wonder of wonders! - creeping around his neck.
Ozpin released a breath he wasn't aware he was holding. Slowly, he placed his hands at her waist again and blinked in surprise when she moved even closer, gingerly resting her cheek against his chest.
"Thank you, Miss Rose," he said in a low voice.
"Ruby. Since we're dancing."
Ozpin couldn't help a wry smile at that. It was both an invitation and a reminder.
"Then thank you, Ruby."
Very slowly, he slid his hands around to the small of her back and linked his fingers together, holding her carefully against him. He focused his thoughts, causing a private bubble to enclose them, rendering them invisible to prying eyes. He was careful to continue moving them to the music coming from inside the hall, because if they weren't moving at all then it wasn't dancing, but something much, much more.
For the next few minutes, Ozpin lost himself in the nubile young form in his arms. Closing his eyes, he bowed his head and stored each moment in his mind, from the faint music filtering through the door, to the soft night sounds around them, to the sweet scent of Ruby Rose and the trusting way she leaned against him.
It was one of the very few perfect memories in his very long life.
He lost track of everything else until Ruby stirred against him, and with a soft sigh, took a step back. Opening his eyes, he saw her looking up at him almost apologetically, her silver eyes reflecting the glow of the moon above them.
"It's been four dances," she told him and frowned a bit. "Or maybe... five?"
He blinked, taken aback.
"Has it? Ah. Forgive me, I was... distracted."
She looked a bit put out by that and he smiled, tracing the curve of one young cheek with a fingertip before he could stop himself.
"By what?" She wanted to know.
"By dreams, thanks to you," he told her and saw her eyes widen in surprise. Before she could say anything, he shook his head and took a step back.
"Thank you for the dance, Miss Rose," he said formally and caught her right hand, bending his head to press a kiss to her fingertips. She blushed, but didn't pull away, so he brushed aside her bangs with his other hand and kissed her forehead, hearing her quick intake of breath.
When he straightened up, her eyes were wider than ever.
"I bid you goodnight, Miss Rose. Enjoy the rest of the evening."
Turning on his heel, Ozpin cancelled the invisibility spell that had cloaked them and exited the balcony before he could steal more than a few minutes of her time, before he could steal her first real kiss.
What he had allowed himself was nowhere near enough, but it would have to do.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review if you enjoyed it :)