Author's Notes: It's been a long time since I've written a fanfic, but I've been inspired by this awesome new series. RWBY is an anime-styled CG-animated web-series created by Rooster Teeth Productions. If you haven't seen it then you can check it out on Crunchyroll, YouTube, or Rooster Teeth's own site. I would highly recommend watching the trailers first as they're like mini-episodes of their own.
This story will fill in the gap between episodes 7 and 8. While I enjoyed seeing Weiss bury the hatchet with Ruby I thought her change of heart was a little abrupt. I'm sure others felt the same way. This is my attempt to show what Weiss may have been thinking.
I'm Not Perfect - Not Yet
"You don't even know me."
Ruby's soft words echoed through the seemingly empty forest. Weiss faltered for a moment before she regained her footing and continued walking as if nothing had happened.
She had wanted to laugh off those words as the whining of a petulant child, but she couldn't. Because those words were not tinged with frustration or resentment as one would expect. Her voice simply sounded sad. And Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, didn't know how to respond to that.
The red-cloaked girl trailed silently after her. Weiss was grateful for the quiet because it gave her time to think. Now that the adrenaline from their near-death experience was wearing off, Weiss was starting to feel a little bad about how she snapped at Ruby. Yeah, it was her new partner's recklessness that had caused Weiss to set the Emerald Forest ablaze (and to almost kill the idiot girl), but what was the point of constantly berating and yelling at her?
You keep accusing her of acting like a child, but you're hardly being the paragon of maturity yourself here...
Weiss had felt unsettled from the pained look in Ruby's eyes when she basically told the other girl that she sucked. Ruby was so hyperactive, exuberant, and annoying. Even her fear of Weiss was exaggerated and over the top. All these things had caused Weiss to forget that the younger girl was a real person with real feelings that could be bruised. Ruby was right. Weiss didn't know her. Because she had never given her a chance.
From the first moment they had met, all Weiss had done was belittle the other girl. She was reluctantly coming to the conclusion that she was being overly harsh. Weiss knew her own faults very well. She would never succeed in her goals if she was blind to her flaws and weaknesses.
Self-improvement as a warrior was just as much mental as it was physical. Weiss knew that she could be arrogant, judgmental, and overbearing. She wasn't easy to get along with. She could be abrasive and downright bitchy.
She knew she wasn't perfect, but it wasn't from lack of trying.
Ruby Rose was definitely not her first choice for a training partner. Weiss also hadn't planned on wandering around lost in the Emerald Forest on her initiation mission like an idiot.
But, for better or worse, Ruby was her partner now for the rest of her student life at Beacon. It was a miracle that the other girl didn't hate her. That would most likely change though if Weiss didn't lighten up on her. Things were so awkward and tense between them right now. Weiss couldn't imagine going through the rest of her time at school like this. If she didn't want that then she had to stop slapping down the friendly hand that Ruby kept putting out to her.
It was just so frustrating though. How had her life come to this? Nothing had gone her way since she had arrived at Beacon Academy. Things were supposed to be different for her. She had promised herself that she would change. That she would stop struggling in her father's shadow. Yet the first thing she did after stepping onto campus was berate some complete stranger for accidentally knocking her luggage off her cart.
But her anger had been completely justified! Those suitcases had been filled with Dust, a highly volatile substance. They had both been lucky that Ruby's jostle hadn't set off a chain reaction of explosions!
That didn't happen though. There was only one explosion that happened that day and it wasn't entirely Ruby's fault...
Weiss gritted her teeth as she remembered how she had stupidly shook a bottle of Dust in the younger girl's face while scolding her. Weiss had been so angry that she hadn't even noticed that the seal on the bottle had loosened and that she was releasing Dust into the air until Ruby sneezed and ignited the cloud. The ensuing smoke-filled crater had left her at a loss for words.
Her Aura protected her from any physical harm, but emotionally, Weiss felt like she been hit over the head by the bottle she'd been holding. Her father would have killed her if he had seen how careless she had been. Weiss had been so mortified by her amateur mistake that she immediately pushed all the blame on the other girl before storming off.
That should have been the end of it. Weiss should have simply brushed off the incident and resolved to stay out of that klutz's way as best she could. Yet she kept finding reasons to track down the brat. First, it was to thrust a Dust safety pamphlet in her face to prevent Ruby from being a menace to others in the future. Then later it was to tell her that her loudness was disturbing Weiss's beauty sleep. Weiss had told herself that she was simply looking out for the safety and well-being of the other students. But she knew those excuses weren't the real reasons why she couldn't stay away from that Ruby Rose girl.
Wasn't it because you felt guilty? DIdn't you want to give her a fair shot at telling you off?
That may have been part of it. Weiss considered herself a fair person and since she couldn't actually bring herself to apologize she thought she'd give Ruby a chance to vent. Then they would be on equal footing and could become proper school rivals. Or something. Weiss wasn't quite clear on what was supposed to happen at that point.
If that had been the plan then it had failed miserably. Ruby had simply kept apologizing, and she had seemed more interested in becoming Weiss's friend than in telling Weiss to stop being a horrible person. Weiss did not understand that at all! And it didn't seem like Ruby was simply sucking up to her because of her family name. Weiss knew all the signs for that and she didn't see any of that here. Also, quite frankly, she couldn't imagine Ruby with that much guile.
Weiss was driven out of her thoughts by the sight of a mud puddle on her path. She wrinkled her nose as she carefully stepped around it. Ugh, nature's beauty was over-rated. She turned her head to warn Ruby to be careful and her voice died on her lips.
Ruby's head was bowed and her hood was covering her face so that Weiss couldn't see her eyes. Her slouched shoulders were practically radiating depression. Weiss felt her insides tightening. Seeing Ruby so down didn't feel good. It was such a contrast to how she normally was.
"You're about to see a whole different side of me today, Weiss, and after it's all over, you're going to be like, 'Wow! That Ruby girl is really, really cool...and I wanna be her friend!'"
Ruby seemed so happy when Weiss came back for her. Weiss didn't understand that. Ruby should have thanked her lucky stars and went looking for someone else to partner with. Instead, she had simply stood there until Weiss grabbed her by the cloak and dragged her off into the forest.
Weiss didn't understand Ruby. She certainly was not moved by Ruby's confident and optimistic prediction of how their partnership would go. And she certainly didn't have to repress the urge to smile at Ruby's antics.
Weiss clenched her fists in irritation. Why was Ruby taking her snappish words so personally anyway? Why did the red-clad girl want her approval so much? They barely knew each other!
It suddenly occurred to her that maybe the other girl was simply lonely.
Don't be stupid. How could she be lonely? She has her sister and she's so… bubbly and energetic. She doesn't have a legacy or a family reputation holding her back…
"Mirror… tell me something…" Weiss sang softly. Tell me who's the loneliest of all?
The old lullaby had risen unbidden to her lips, and Weiss flushed in embarrassment when she realized what she had said.
Ruby raised her head but then she quickly looked away when her eyes met Weiss's. Their eye contact hadn't even lasted as much as a second.
But Weiss saw enough.
She recognized the loneliness and insecurity in those eyes. She saw it in her mirror all the time. Whenever her father failed to acknowledge one of her achievements because he was too busy running his company. Weiss didn't want to be a person who inflicted that feeling of worthlessness on someone.
Weiss sighed to herself. There was no point holding onto stupid grudges. She could be the bigger person here. She was the one who chose to accept Ruby as her partner. Yes, the alternative had been unthinkable and she was really just choosing the lesser of two evils, but the fact remained that she had made a choice. It was time to move forward with that decision.
From what little Weiss had seen, Ruby was actually quite talented for her age. She had agility, speed, and strength in spades if the way she handled that scythe was any indication. That shouldn't have been surprising since getting into Beacon at the age of fifteen was no small feat.
Her fighting style showed that she would be effective at fighting multiple opponents - something that Weiss herself still had problems with. Ruby's biggest drawback was that she was obviously not used to fighting alongside other people. She was also way too reckless and impulsive. Honestly, the one time Ruby Rose decided to stop her yammering and she almost died from friendly fire!
This was going to be a challenge, but Weiss Schnee didn't back down from challenges.
Ruby's head snapped up so quickly that her hood flew back and Weiss could see her widened, startled eyes.
"Do you have any ideas on how we can find the relics and make it back to the school before it gets dark?"
It was almost frightening how quickly Ruby perked up at her question.
"Um… Let's see… We don't know where we are so we need to get to a high point to get a view of the land! We could climb a tree or find a cliff… Or we could snag a ride on that giant bird over there!"
Weiss looked in the direction that Ruby was pointing at and she had to forcibly keep her jaw from dropping.
"You mean the Giant Nevermore?"
"That monstrous Grim with the glowing eyes of doom?"
Weiss put her hands on her hips, gave Ruby a cold glare, and asked, "Are you insane?"
"What better way to get a bird's eye view?" Ruby responded, completely ignoring Weiss's concerns. She then grabbed Weiss's hand and started dragging her toward the creature whose feathers were longer than Weiss's entire body length.
Weiss was about to yell at Ruby that this was a moronic idea, but then she saw the excited glint in the red-clad girl's eyes and she held her words back. Ruby wanted to prove that she could be useful. And Weiss understood that desire and need to prove oneself.
Weiss still didn't know if she could be friends with this strange, childish girl, but she wanted to show her that they weren't enemies.
"Just so you know, this is a terrible idea. I'm doing this against my better judgment!" Weiss informed the maniac girl who had already jumped on the giant bird of death and was currently trying not to get thrown off. She quickly followed suit so as to not be left behind.
"Come on! This is going to be awesome!"
"Famous last words," Weiss muttered. She tightened her grip as the Nevermore, apparently realizing that it wouldn't be able to shake them off, took off into the air.
This would probably be the stupidest thing she had ever done, but she had to admit there was a warped logic to Ruby's madness. They had a very good chance of finding the relics this way.
That's assuming we don't plummet to our deaths first...
"Wait… how are we going to get down from here?" Weiss asked.
There was a long pause.
"Working on it!"
"RUBY! YOU DOLT!"
Weiss: "You are so childish. And dim-witted, and hyperactive, and don't even get me started on your fighting style. And I suppose, I can be a bit... difficult... but if we're going to do this, we're going to have to do this together. So if you quit trying to show off, I'll be a bit... nicer."
Ruby: "I'm not trying to show off. I want you to know I can do this!"
Weiss: "You're fine."
Episode 8 - Players and Pieces