Disclaimer: I do not own RWBY nor any holdings associated with the title.

This work may contain moments of dark/dirty humor, Language and canonical divergences.

Problematic Ploys

Deep breaths, happy faces, and lots and lots of hugs.

As Velvet and her Team got ready for their classes, she found that formula absolutely necessary. Without it she'd just end up staring at Coco out of the corner of her eye. And why wouldn't she? Beyond the fact that Coco's photogenic nature meant even right out of bed Velvet felt as though she was watching a hair commercial, yesterday they'd... well, Coco had made her...

Velvet's cheeks warmed up at the thought, and once more she took deep breaths before straightening her uniform more. Coco made her kiss her yesterday, but it wasn't on the lips! She'd pecked at her, and it had been absolutely magical. She wasn't even able to focus on their training afterwards since she kept thinking about what going further would feel like. Even though Coco had offered, Velvet knew they couldn't just jump straight to real kissing. It... it was supposed to be for the second date. Velvet had been hesitant to trust in the words of her books ever since the initial ear-problem, but she had motivation beyond them for this specifically.

More than just stories, Velvet often heard people talk about how their first kisses went. Even with someone like Coco, Velvet couldn't rush it... no matter how much she wanted to. In fact, the only person she knew who mentioned having a less-than stellar first kiss was Coco herself. If anything, that meant Velvet had to make theirs even better. If Coco didn't have an amazing first kiss, then Velvet was more than willing to give her's to make up for it. That very idea made Velvet warm up again, the idea that their first kiss could be so good that Coco could look back on it in place of her own with fondness.

And what better time for such an experience than their second date?

But since Velvet set up the first one, then should she wait for Coco to set up the second?

That though had consumed her throughout the day, whether she should wait for Coco to indicate a second date or set it up herself. She's never heard of some kind of rule where they had to go back and forth, but she didn't want to seem pushy. It was all because Coco had shown her just how good it felt to kiss someone she loved, now she couldn't help but want to go further. She'd found herself staring at Coco's lips through most of their classes together for this specific reason. They weren't overly plump or anything, but whenever Coco turned to her and they shifted into a smirk which oozed confidence they looked like the most inviting things in the world.

Velvet told herself over and over that that first kiss would feel even better as long as it was properly timed, not helping this was the fact that Coco didn't seem like she'd mind if they just went ahead and locked-lips at any time. So Velvet was torn, only able to properly think about this once she was alone in Dr. Oobleck's class. In between her regular notes she wrote down the pros and cons of simply setting up their second date herself to get to the kiss quicker.

She went through the points she already had. At first she though this idea would work since she'd gone through a fair amount of points on both sides. However, when she reviewed her list and found that in the 'Pros' section she'd merely written Kissing Coco six times, she threw out that idea in its entirety.

It was official, she'd need some outside help with this.

What were her options? The most obvious would be the rest of her team. Well, Coco was the subject of discussion and Fox was admittedly poor in terms of emotional stuff... so her only actual option there was Yatsuhashi. Once more Velvet was forced to realize she had nowhere near enough options when it came to topics like these. Despite Coco's best efforts, there just weren't many students in Beacon Velvet felt confident talking with about personal stuff.

That thought led to her sighing as Oobleck dismissed the class and she paused near the doorway as the Doctor sped out like he usually did. She leaned against it for a moment, once more trying to think over the pitifully small list of friends she had when an agitated voice spoke up behind her.

"Move it."

Immediately her rabbit ears stood tall as she stepped out of the classroom and slid to the side as Cardin stomped by. She tried not to act too perturbed by his presence, forcing her eyes to the floor as he continued on his way. Only once he was gone did Velvet release the breath she didn't realize she was holding. As she watched him disappear down the hall, Velvet couldn't help but once more marvel at how much better things had gotten with him. Back before the confrontation with the rest of her team, Cardin would've had no issue taking the time to shove her out of his way.

It was the little things.

"You okay?"

Velvet's head snapped to the side to find Yatsuhashi standing beside her, following her gaze. She gave a small yelp at his sudden appearance, absolutely positive that he wasn't there a few seconds ago. He raised an eyebrow at her reaction, only for her to quickly wave her her hands in front of her.

"Sorry! Sorry Yats, I just... you k-kinda snuck up on me." she stuttered before glancing back to find Cardin gone "No, it's all good but... I guess I was a little distracted."

Yatsuhashi gave a low hum before gesturing down the hall.

Moments later the two found themselves on one of the paths between school buildings, with Velvet reclining on a bench whilst trying to explain her recent troubles.

"-and I know that she'd be okay with it, but I feel as though I need to make our first kiss really really special, you know?"


"And I'm sick of making her have to talk me down whenever I start worrying about something! I-I was so happy when she reassured me at first but... I feel like I'm annoying her."


"I mean, wouldn't you feel annoyed if your girlfriend kept making you have to talk her down? that sounds pretty annoying to me!" she sat up and looked to her Partner, meditating in the grass not far away.

Yatsuhashi broke his carefully maintained position to look back at her, "I must admit to not feeling adequate enough to properly answer such a question due to to lack of insight."

Velvet deflated, leaning back in her seat and staring up at the sky as Yatsuhashi resumed meditating, "I'm sorry for dumping all of that on you, big guy. I don't really have enough friends I feel like going to with this type of thing. I'm sure Coco'd have no problem finding legions of people she could talk things over with."

"You are not Coco." Yatsuhashi stated "I'm positive that with enough forward-thinking, you shall discover a method of handling such issues in your own manner without compromising-"

He paused for a moment before repeating himself, "You'll find a way."

"Easy for you to say, Yats." Velvet leaned up again "You never let anything-"

Velvet's words died as she spotted a squirrel which had perched itself atop his head. Yatsuhashi still maintained his meditative sit, seemingly unfazed by the critter loudly cracking open a shelled nut above him.


"If you intended to imply I let nothing affect me, I assure you that you are mistaken." he stated without even acknowledging the animal on his head


"I am merely fluent in the maintenance of my own composure." he continued "Believe me when I say that I have many problems of relatively low importance that I am unable to simply let go of-"

"There's a s-squirrel..." Velvet tried again

"-the key difference being that I was always led to believe that a properly stabilized emotional response will allow a solution to be more effectively constructed-"

"...right on your head..." she raised a finger to point.

"-giving me incentive to stifle whatever immediate reaction may come to mind in the name of a well-crafted resolution."

Once Yatsuhashi finally stopped speaking, Velvet waited several seconds more before raising her finger back towards the squirrel and trying once more to bring his attention to it. Before a single syllable even left her mouth, a large bird dived towards the Squirrel and snatched it right off his head before sailing off into the distance.

Velvet blinked once, then again, then a few more times before mumbling, "It was just...It was eating just a second-"

"Or in Coco's terms," Yatsuhashi looked back at her "I'm keeping my... Cool."

Velvet sighed, dropping the squirrel issue in favor of twiddling her thumbs together in thought, "Even if you say that, there's no way I could do something like that..."

Just as she was trailing off, she felt a vibration coming from her pocket. Pulling out her scroll, she looked over the caller ID before sitting up straight and snapping her eyes open.

It was Coco.

"H-Hey!" Velvet answered, having not prepared for her girlfriend's call

"Sup Vel?" Coco asked casually over the sound of footsteps

"U-Um, nothing. Just hanging out with Yats." Velvet explained "Um, y-you called for something?"

"Oh? Can I not call up my GF for some mid-day sweet nothings?" Coco cooed before giving a short laugh "Nah, just wanted to know if you wanted to do something tomorrow night?"

Velvet bit back a gasp, giving a deep breath before asking "And by something, you mean?"

"Well I guess you could call it a date, I hear about this really good ice cream stall just by that park in east-"

Coco paused as barely restrained squealing reached her, "Vel? You okay over there?"

Velvet had to catch herself, shaking her head ferociously before replying "Y-yes! Ice cream, tomorrow! Ice cream Date! A date for Ice cream. I-I'd love that."

"Sweet, I gotta go get something right now, but how about you and I hash it out a little more later?"


"Cool, see ya hon."

The moment the call ended Velvet shot off the bench and finally released the deep breaths she'd been holding.

"And so the hands of fate swing in your favor today." Yatsuhashi noted

"I-I have to put together an outfit!" Velvet finally stated

"Isn't the date tomorrow? And just for ice cream?" Yatsuhashi looked back to find that Velvet had already sped off.

The moment she was back inside the halls of Beacon, Velvet tried remembering which way led to the dorms. She knew Yatsuhashi was right, that she shouldn't get so flustered by a little night out for sweets, but it was more than that. Coco was asking her out this time, meaning she had to bring one-hundred and ten percent. And she felt that nothing would make their first kiss better than wearing a grand assortment of the clothes Coco herself had gotten for her. She could see it now, hand in hand strolling through the park with some sweet treats. They'd pause near a pond as Coco noticed she had a bit of ice cream on the side of her mouth and then lean in to clear-

Velvet was snapped out of her fantasy by voices coming from around a corner that she was approaching. She recognized those voices, and immediately skidded to a stop before pressing herself against the wall. Sure enough, two of Coco's fans finished descending a set of stairs, Dio and Briz if memory served well. Velvet held her breath as they finished their descent and continued down another hall, sighing in relief once they turned a corner.

She felt a bit ashamed to be hiding from Coco's fans of all people, but she wasn't sure if she was prepared to get involved with a group so... so loud. Plus their first interaction had been less than stellar, even if Coco managed to smooth things over in the end. Velvet knew she'd have to interact with them eventually. Who knew? Maybe they'd be just the people she needed to talk with over Coco-related issues, that way she wouldn't have to throw everything Yatsuhashi's way. Maybe that was just hopeful dreaming, but now that they were gone she could-

"Well, look who we find cowering today."

Velvet spun around to find Dove leaning against the wall not too far behind her. But even with the distance, she threw herself away, much to his humor.

"Easy there, rabbit girl." he raised his hands to his sides "You go hopping and scampering like that and I'd feel inclined to throw a carrot your way. I thought your kind wanted to break stereotypes?"

"Dove?" Sky leaned out from behind him before casting a worried look around.

"In a second, Sky." Dove waved him off

"I-" Velvet shook her head before trying to stand tall "I wasn't hopping.. You just snuck up on-"

"Oh? So it means something different to you, got it." he threw her a big thumbs up before placing his hands on his hips and looking around as he approached "Doesn't matter, here I was just voicing a bit of confusion... you and that other girl have been so glued to the hip lately that finding one of you on your own is pretty damn difficult."

Velvet frowned, "Well... I don't believe that that's any of your business," she glanced back to the stairs "so if you could just-"

"Oh I know that," Dove shrugged "I just don't care."

"Dove!" Sky hissed "We're supposed to be picking up Russel's order."

"Yeah, you guys seem busy." Velvet would take anything to get out of this conversation, so she gestured to the stairs "So how about I..."

"Oh Russel's waited a week, he can wait another few minutes." Dove declared before waving towards Velvet "Besides, shouldn't classmates be curious about their friends?"

Now that gave Velvet pause, "Friends?"

"Of course, we're people who know each other deeply and spend a higher than ordinary amount of time in each other's presence. Isn't that the literal definition of friends?"

Velvet narrowed her gaze "I-I think you left out the affection or feeling of companionship."

Dove tilted his head to the side with a smirk, "Did I? How strange."

Realizing she wouldn't be able to just talk her way out of it, Velvety consigned herself to her fate and looked away "What do you want, Dove? I saw you trying to mess with Coco a few days ago outside the training room, s-so don't think I'll let you try using me as some kind of pawn against her!"

"Must you really have such exaggerated opinions of me?" he raised an eyebrow before leaning back "I've just been curious lately as to how someone like you managed to bag a dime like her. It's not really consistent."

"Seriously?" Sky sighed "That's why we're here?"

"I mean look at her Sky!" Dove exclaimed before leaning back towards Velvet "I'm sure you yourself have noticed some immense disparity here. It almost seems comical! As you've seen, Coco's not really adamant to explain why she'd think you'd be even somewhat of a good partner, so here I am asking you."

It stung, Velvet swallowed, ignoring how much his words stung. She didn't have to put up with it, she knew that Coco loved her!

"I... Coco's nowhere near as shallow as you!" she replied "She cares about me, and I care about her. That... that should be more than enough!"

"You know when you stutter like that," Dove tilted his head to the side "it makes everything you say lack conviction."


"It makes it seem like you don't really believe that, like you aren't actually anywhere near good enough for a nice piece like her." Dove leaned forward a bit and gave her another once over "But that's not gonna stop you from taking advantage, am I right?"

Velvet backed up, uncomfortable with just how close Dove was getting "What do you mean-?"

"Oh well," he gave a small hum before smirking "It's just that if I were an underwhelming faunus perfectly aware of my lack of redeeming qualities I'd latch onto whoever felt bad enough to offer some pity and leech off of their success as much as possible."

"I'm not-! I would never-!"

"And that would be the exact same thing that I would say if someone finally called me out on my bullshit and threatened my easy ticket." he shrugged "But hey, it's not like I've much of a good rep around here. So even if ya came clean right here and now there's not much I could do about it."

"There's nothing to come clean about! You just-! Just-! I'm not-!"

"Dove!" Sky shouted "Can we get back to it now?"

"I'm in the middle of some very important questioning, Sky." Dove replied before taking another step forward "I'd hate if we left Coco with someone who'd try to use her so selfishly."

"Selfish?" Velvet reared back


All three of them paused and turned back to find that down the hall from them stood an extremely irate Coco. Dove recovered first, laughing and waving in greeting.

"Coco! What a surprise." he said as he turned to face her "Who would've thought we'd run into each other like this a second time? Although, I get the feeling you and the rabbit girl were reversed."

Velvet took a moment to shake off all of Dove's accusations before calling out to her, "Coco! Look, he was-!"

But Coco raised her pointer finger up in Velvet's direction, not even turning to look at her as she began approaching, "Hon, I'm going have to ask you to give me a minute."

The low tone she maintained throughout that demand urged Velvet to follow it.

Dove cooed, "Oh, seems like you're really rearing to go this time. Maybe overheard our little discussion? Or perhaps something else has put you in a bad mood?"

Velvet noted the way he stretched that word, but she couldn't draw her attention away from the furious manner with which Coco approached.

"Oh it put me in a bad mood, alright." Coco admitted "And I just can't believe you."

Sky nervously glanced between them for a second before turning to Dove, "What's she talking about? What'd you do?"

"Well why not ask her?" Dove shrugged at him before turning back to Coco "Go on then, what do you think that I-?"

He didn't get to finish, as Coco's fist sent him flying back to the ground midway through his next word. Velvet yelped a bit at the suddenness, but still found herself shifting out of the way as Coco released a long breath before whipping her sunglasses off and glaring down at him.

"You! What the hell is wrong with you?" she demanded with an intensity Velvet wasn't used to seeing.

"Well, besides the sore jaw." Dove leaned back up as he massaged the side of his face "I'd have to say it's my honest nature."

"Don't screw with me, Dove! I saw what you did to her locker! The things that you wrote were absolutely disgusting!"

And at that moment Velvet saw it, a single second where Dove's cocky smile was replaced with confusion, "Wait what?"

"Dude, seriously? We can't go to Cardin with a Vandalism charge!" Sky shouted "The hell were you thinking!?"

"But I didn't-" once more Dove was interrupted as Coco hauled him off the ground.

"Oh you won't have to worry about charges." she stated "Because you're gonna march your ass to the lockers right this goddamned second and Clean. Up. Everything."

"Seriously though, Coco," Dove raised his hands to his sides "it wasn't-"

"And then!" she continued as she drew him closer and tightened her glare "We're not gonna have any trouble from you ever again! Do I make myself clear?"

"But..." Dove trailed off for a moment, going silent for several seconds as he glanced to the side at Velvet. His gaze went off for a moment before Coco shook him.

"I said, Do I make myself clear?" she asked, her grip on him visibly tightening as a sudden look of happiness spread across his face "Dove?"

"Absolutely," he nodded as his expression shifted back to his smirk. He raised his right hand a bit higher "I promise that you won't have any trouble from me."

"You're damn right we won't." Coco muttered before tossing him back and nodding behind her "Better get to cleaning that locker before someone else spots it."

"Yes," Dove nodded as he stood and pressed his hands to his hips "Wouldn't want that to happen."

"But what about Russel?" Sky asked

"I'm sure you can lug it on your own." Dove said before placing a hand on his own chest "If I don't get this done, Cardin will have far more than a late package to be angry about."

With that he walked by a still irate Coco, who yelled after him "And if it isn't spotless the next time we need to pick out our weapons, I'm sure Glynda'd be happy to roast you over a spit!"

"I'll keep that in mind~!" Dove waved back at them.

Sky started cursing under his breath as Dove walked off, "Shit man." he cautiously looked to both Coco and Velvet before turning and jogging the other direction.

Only when both of them were out of sight did Coco's shoulders relax. She gave a groan before pulling off her beret and wiping at her forehead a bit. She took another moment before moving to put her sunglasses back on when a sound drew her attention away.


She looked back to Velvet, who shook a little under her gaze. Face-flushed red, Velvet shivered a bit before repeating, "Wow Coco, I... I've never seen you so..."

She didn't know how to describe it, but seeing Coco actually lose her cool like that wasn't something she was used to. Even under the most stressful situations, Coco always seemed ready for anything the world could throw at her. But seeing that veneer of chill responses devolve into blatant fury somehow seemed... even more cool?

Velvet had no idea what it was, Coco had stood up for her before many times but never with such outright animosity.

Coco sighed as she turned to face her girlfriend "Vel, sorry for hushin' you like that but-"

Velvet lunged forward and wrapped her arms tightly around Coco before she could finish. A few moments of confusion later, Coco just shrugged and reciprocated by doing the same, "Okay... okay we're doing this now. Nice."

"Sorry..." Velvet pulled away a bit and failed to meet her gaze for a moment "You were just... really, really cool and..."

She trailed off for a moment, found herself stuck staring at Coco as she tried finishing, "And..."

Coco gave a curious look around before raising an eyebrow, "Velvet?"

That snapped Velvet out her dazed expression, only then did she realize she'd leaned in whilst trying to speak. Realizing what she almost did, Velvet froze under Coco's gaze.

But Coco merely gave another shrug before finally ending the hug and walking past Velvet towards the stairs, "So the exchange rate around here is helping to hugs." she commented before pausing on the first step and glancing back to her girlfriend while sliding her shades back on "I wonder how much credit I've got built up?"

"Uh... lots!" Velvet blurted out before swallowing and trying again "I mean, c-calculated at least."

Coco snickered.


Dove approached Coco's locker with a critical look, eyes immediately going to something that seemed stuck in the side. Reaching for it, he pulled a torn off book cover which had been defaced thoroughly. It wasn't from a book of much importance, at least not to most. But it had been the favorite read of a particular rabbit-faunus. Almost anyone who knew her personally probably took note of the frequency with which she read this trashy romance novel, and had perhaps taken note of the fact that she'd stopped carrying it around a while ago.

Alas, the novel had been a casualty in the campaign of cruelty that Dove and his teammates had waged against the faunus some time ago, but even after said campaign ended she'd never once tried recovering it. Dove had been the one to snatch it during one of their sessions, as it had truthfully been one of a series he'd read once. After having a good laugh at the ridiculous myriad of plot conveniences and impossibly campy characters, he'd forgotten about the novel for a while, until now.

Everything had started off according to plan, but in hindsight he figured that it's success was indicative of something coming out of left field. He managed to slip a note into Coco's seat in one of her classes claiming to wish to return something to Velvet that he'd stolen before, writing about how guilty he was to still have it even though he was fairly certain she wouldn't buy it. She was supposed to come to the locker room, find the cover of Velvet's once prized book savaged and ruined, then track him down for some good old retribution. Of course the Faunus had to lay witness to his comeuppance, but keeping track of her on top of everything else would be impossible. That had been the greatest risk here, and Cardin needing Sky and him to play delivery men wasn't helping.

But then they just ran into her en route to pick up Russel's delivery. Even better she was willing to contest with him, albeit pathetically. The stage was set, characters in place, tensions high, and suddenly the faunus girl's hero was to stride in and save the day, scene, fade to black, the whole shebang.

But she came far more furious than he could've anticipated, and now he knew why.

He examined the cover in his hand, then Coco's locker. It was in exactly the same place he'd left it, she probably never even noticed it. Not that he blamed her.

With a smirk, Dove turned his attention to Velvet's locker.

Red shades of burning spite painted a portrait of absolute revulsion across the Faunus's locker. Dove was actually impressed, given the space offered and the estimated size of whatever they'd used to write, there were dozens upon dozens of enraged scribbles declaring Velvet everything from a murderous terrorist to a conniving slut. Of course, these near maddened ravings couldn't hold a candle to the expertly crafted insults Dove knew he could develop with the material offered, but he will allow the culprit their moment.

Reaching out, he wiped at one of the markings and was relieved to find it smudging away. That meant he would need no more than water and a lot of towels to clean it.

"Hn?" he leaned down and sniffed at the red which stuck to his finger "Sweet?"

He leaned down and read through the various writings again, smile widening as he did so, "Cowardly bitch... back to the streets you whore... lying little waste-basket." if he didn't need this cleaned before anyone else came for their weapons, perhaps he would've stayed and analyzed these writings more. As it were, he set about for the bathroom linked to the locker room.

As he collected as many moistened cloths as he could carry, Dove once more thought to just how good today had gone. The moment he came across Velvet he was sure his ploy would succeed, but this went beyond all expectation.

Honestly, he had expected to more slowly kick this production into third gear, but this...

...this was exactly what they all needed.

AN: Hope you enjoy, any and all criticisms positive or negative are welcomed in full so leave a review or comment if you are so inclined to do. Things you enjoyed about it? Things you hated about it? Any ways you feel I could improve? Expectations for the next chapter? Follow or Favorite at your leisure and I will see you all in the next installment of Trying Chocolate.