"So, um, I'm Jaune. As you probably knew already. Uh, wh-what's your name again?"
Ren struggled not to roll his eyes as the chatty blonde boy who would be leading his team for four whole years continued to jabber on. Though it should have only taken them a few minutes to find their room, the team leader was not doing a great job of leading at the moment—they had been wandering for what could have been anywhere between five and ten minutes, and it wasn't getting any lighter.
Of course, Nora was perfectly content to wander forever; her limitless energy never failed to quietly amaze the more exhausted Ren. Pyrrha, meanwhile, seemed loath to point out that Jaune was leading them in the wrong direction—judging from the affectionate glances Ren noticed she threw in Jaune's direction, she had quite a 'thing' for him. That'll make the team dynamic interesting, Ren added to himself as they continued wandering aimlessly.
"I-I'm sorry," stammered Jaune, evidently half-correctly assuming Ren's characteristic silence to be a pointed one. "You're right. I should know your name by now, shouldn't I? Professor Ozpin said it was something like… like—"
"Ren," interrupted Ren, before Jaune could butcher his name, and continued walking, ignoring Pyrrha's reproachful expression. It wasn't as though he knew where they were going any more than Jaune did, but at least Ren wasn't expected to know. I have to deal with this guy for four years?
"Right," sighed Jaune, sounding utterly defeated, and stopped in the middle of the hallway, causing Pyrrha to crash into him—not entirely on accident, Ren thought with a wry half-smile as they straightened themselves up. "I have no idea where we're going," he added eventually, eyes downcast. "As you guys probably guessed. Any ideas?"
"There you are!"
A voice sounded in the distance—that girl who had beheaded the Nevermore, thought Ren, glancing over to see the girl racing towards them at top speed. As Ren instinctively flattened himself against the wall, Ruby Rose—or whatever her name was—skidded to a halt, breathing hard. "Just thought I should look for you guys, since you weren't with the rest of us," she panted. "Come on, follow me!"
Nora was more than happy to oblige, skipping along behind Ruby; Ren jogged after her, taking it on faith Jaune and Pyrrha would follow. At least someone knows where we're supposed to be.
As they reached their destination, Ren groaned under his breath: they had passed that hallway three times in their wanderings.
"Well," grinned Ruby, gesturing with awkward bravado towards one of the many doors in the corridor—roughly dead center—"here's your room! It's right across from Team RWBY's," she added as an afterthought, scuffing her foot against the floor and again looking just like a fifteen-year-old girl instead of Team JNPR's guiding light.
"Our room," repeated Pyrrha, looking somewhat surprised. "You mean… our entire team's room? All of us, male and female together?"
"Yep," responded Ruby, regarding the older girl with some curiosity: her cheeks had turned slightly pink, and Ren was surprised Jaune didn't take in the fact that she was looking directly at him. He's a bit slow, isn't he?
"Yay!" exclaimed Nora, beaming around at the rest of her teammates; Ren stared stonily back. "It'll be like a sleepover every night!" she added, wiggling in place with excitement—Ren reached around her back and grasped both her wrists firmly and reflexively to keep her as still as possible.
"Uh, right," responded Ruby, looking somewhat unnerved. "Well, good night," she added, turning and opening the door to her team's room just a crack. An audible gasp and incoherent yelling issued through the crack, and Ruby slammed the door again, cheeks flushing with embarrassment.
"That sounded like Weiss," frowned Jaune, before his eyes widened. Maybe he isn't so slow after all. "Did you just…"
"G-getting dressed," stammered Ruby, staring at the floor with a shellshocked expression. "The last thing I need right now is for her to find another reason to yell at me…" she added miserably, before slumping to the ground. As Jaune moved forward to comfort her (Pyrrha's bright expression shifted to one of disappointment), Ren sighed and opened the door, dragging Nora inside with him so she wouldn't cause trouble without his interference.
"I thought it would be bigger!" exclaimed Nora, with no trace of disapproval in her voice; Ren smiled slightly: she sounded as happy to discover she was wrong as anyone would be to discover they were right. Maybe that's part of why I like her so much. Ren had always had trouble, ever since they were very small, pinpointing why he put up with Nora's presence in his life, but—slowly but surely—he was finally beginning to find out. It's about time. I've known her for the better part of ten years.
Nora bounced onto the nearest bed, lying flat on her back and giggling: Ren could not suppress a small smile at her contented expression, rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes. Seeing that his luggage lay at the foot of the bed across from Nora's, Ren sat gingerly down, relieved to find his worries of an uncomfortable bed assuaged. To have comfortable resting places should be the first rule of a combat school, decreed Ren mentally, closing his eyes and flopping backward.
"Hey, Ren!" exclaimed Nora; Ren stirred himself reluctantly out of pleasant half-wakefulness and propped himself up on his elbows to find Nora sitting up and hugging her knees in a way even he would describe as adorable. "What are you doing all the way over there, anyway?" she added, tilting her head like a confused puppy might.
"I don't know, Nora," sighed Ren, again lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. "What do you think?" He grit his teeth after asking the question, knowing she would end up tossing quite a few nonsensical answers at him in response.
It occurred to him as Nora replied that neither Pyrrha nor Jaune were in their room yet: Ren was about to interrupt her ridiculous monologue to ask what had happened to them when Nora, whom he found was suddenly leaning over him, cheerfully interjected, "Jaune-and-Pyrrha"—pronouncing the names of their teammates as one entity—"went to go take showers. Aren't you going to take one?"
"Aren't you?" responded Ren, frowning, and placed his hands lightly on Nora's shoulders, pushing her gently away from him. Predictably—Ren's muscles tensed in preparation—Nora, rather than be deterred by Ren's reaction to her presence, fell on top of him: Ren was alarmingly aware of the way her face pressed against his chest. Only because of his extensive training to regulate his breathing and heart rate did the various effects she may or may not have had on him remain hidden.
"I take my showers in the morning, silly! You know that!" exclaimed Nora, voice muffled in his chest, and Ren struggled not to laugh, eventually succumbing and letting slip a chuckle… just as Pyrrha walked through the door, of course.
Peering around Nora's head, Ren saw Pyrrha raise her eyebrows and, as Jaune wandered in behind her, noticed her cover his eyes before turning him around and escorting him back outside. Rolling his eyes, Ren sighed. "You should probably let me go take a shower now," he muttered. "This looks bad."
When Nora made no response but to attempt to blow a raspberry on his stomach, giggling all the while, Ren sighed. Time to bring out the big guns. Without further ado, he pinched her side lightly, and Nora flinched with a shriek of laughter: Ren nimbly clambered off his bed, leaving her facedown on the mattress, and darted across the room to open the door.
Pyrrha regarded him with some mixture of alarm and embarrassment, unable to meet his eyes. "It's not what you think," explained Ren tonelessly, seeing her expression. "Really. She's just… like that. You'll see."
"Are you two…" began Jaune, frowning confusedly.
"No," interrupted Ren, and swept down the hall, leaving the door ajar. They could take the issue up with Nora for all he cared; he had a shower to take, or Nora would never let him hear the end of it—and it was her opinion he cared about, above anyone else's. Even his other teammates.
Ren had never thought it was a crime not to wear pajamas, but walking back from the showers wearing the same clothes he had worn on his way in (albeit minus the shoes), he received more dirty looks than he would have thought probable. Fortunately for him, he didn't much care for other people's opinions on his nonexistent pajamas.
Striding back through his team's open door, he initially thought he had entered the wrong room, almost walking out again: two of the beds had been shoved together, the other two remaining separate. Pyrrha was hardly recognizable without her ponytail, fuchsia hair hanging far past her waist as she brushed it (she wore a modest and simple white nightgown that nonetheless flattered her shape); Jaune wore the most juvenile pajamas Ren had ever seen, and he fought the urge to smirk. I don't even have pajamas, and they're better than his.
Nora, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found, until she popped out from behind the open door—startling Ren enough that he took a step backwards. Nora, wearing something blue—Ren couldn't see in her blur of laughter—glomped him suddenly; he gasped for air. "I thought you'd drowned!"
"…I take long showers," responded Ren dryly, when he could breathe again. "You know that." He noticed his hands rested on her waist and immediately removed them, disentangling her arms from around his neck a moment later and taking in the nightgown she now wore (wishing he hadn't as soon as he had). Low-cut and high-hemmed. Though it does suit her. Closing his eyes for a moment, he walked over to what used to be his bed—and which was now an unholy amalgamation of two beds and two sets of bedclothes that looked like they'd fall off if anyone so much as prodded them.
"…That was Nora's idea," spoke up Pyrrha, sounding apologetic.
"Of course it was," murmured Ren, and added to himself, I wouldn't have it any other way. Pyrrha and Jaune couldn't possibly know that Nora had harbored a fear of the dark for as long as Ren had known her, and needed someone else close by.
Nora, meanwhile, bounded across the room and somersaulted onto the adjacent bed, then sat up and gazed into Ren's pink eyes with her sky-blue ones. They maintained eye contact for a short time, but then Nora sneezed; Ren couldn't help but laugh—the sound strongly resembled that of a kitten.
"Aw," sighed Nora when she straightened up again. "I lost…"
But Ren was already undoing his ponytail, which he had put up after his shower out of habit. "No, you didn't," he corrected her, handing her the loop. "I blinked. Didn't you see?" Without further ado, he collected his hairbrush from his admittedly small bag, handing it to a beaming Nora a moment later: she snatched it and, almost before Ren had turned around, softly ran it through his hair, massaging his scalp as she went.
Even if it didn't need much brushing, who was Ren to deprive Nora of one of her favorite hobbies?
Closing his eyes contentedly, Ren allowed himself to relax into their nightly routine. On the rare occasions Nora lost their staring contest, he would invariably pretend she had won anyway—he wasn't one to mess with tradition.
Pyrrha and Jaune were staring at them, Pyrrha's mouth slightly open. Ren gave them a cold, challenging gaze, and they immediately turned back to their activities, cheeks slightly pink—Jaune was writing in some kind of a diary, and Pyrrha was reading in bed. How are they even still awake…?
Ren must have nodded off again—getting tossed into a wall by a giant scorpion took a lot out of him—because when he opened his eyes, his head was resting in Nora's lap.
Not that he minded, really, but he was concerned about the effect this would have on his other two teammates. Sitting up, and ignoring Nora's feeble sound of protest, he noted that the lights had been turned out, but Pyrrha was still engrossed in her book (reading by flashlight), even if Jaune was asleep. Good. So no one saw that and came to the wrong conclusion. …Again.
"Time for bed, Nora," sighed Ren.
Nora nodded somewhat nervously. "Ren, we're sleeping in a strange place," she mumbled, in a voice almost like a whimper. "In the dark," she added. "What if the Grimm come to get me?"
Ren suppressed a laugh with difficulty. "Nora, you fended off a fully grown Nevermore today and smashed a Deathstalker to kingdom come. I don't think Grimm will be much of a problem for us tonight."
"Us," smiled Nora. "That's more like it. Not just me against the Grimm. You and me, together." But not together-together, finished Ren mentally, surprised when Nora didn't add her habitual amendment alongside his thoughts.
Ren lay back on his pillow without further ado, deciding not to dwell on her omission too much, and shut his eyes, but was quickly cheated out of any sleep he might have gotten in half a second when Nora poked his nose. Turning to glance at her, doing his best to be annoyed at her (and failing miserably), he muttered, "What, Nora?"
"Aren't you going to get into your pajamas? Come on, Ren, I wanted to see what they look like!" Ren could almost imagine a disembodied grin shining through the darkness from her direction before it shattered as he responded.
"Nora… I don't have pajamas."
Nora's eyes widened, as though this truth was shocking. "You're going to sleep in the same clothes you fought in today?" she asked, sounding mildly confused—or perhaps a little bit disapproving. "You can't," she added disbelievingly.
"Just watch me," mumbled Ren through his pillow.
"Nope," responded Nora, a bit more loudly than he would have preferred, though still with a cheerfulness to her words. "You change clothes right now, or you're not getting any sleep tonight. I'm not sleeping anywhere near someone who wears the same clothes he fought in earlier the same day!" There was a smile in her voice, but Ren knew she was serious.
"Sleep with someone else then!" exclaimed Ren, knowing it would only be another few moments before she did something to weaken his willpower still further. At this point, Nora had it down to a science—just looking at him with the right emotion in her eyes could get him to do almost anything for her.
"Please?" asked Nora quietly, just the right amount of pleading hoarseness in her voice to get Ren's heart to melt. I knew it. The moment was ruined, however, as Nora continued, "And, if you don't have any alternatives, then I heard Jaune mention he accidentally packed an extra set! You could always borrow his. I think it'd look cute on you!"
Ren groaned softly as he slid off the bed, mind officially made up, and dove into a dark corner as yet unilluminated by Pyrrha's flashlight, where—as quickly as possible—he stripped off his outer layers. Better boxers than Jaune's pajamas, I guess.
It wouldn't have been the first time he'd worn that little around her, after all; it was really because of his other two roommates that he had been so reluctant to take advantage of the only other alternative to pajamas that he had—though he was perfectly comfortable with his own body, he doubted very much whether Jaune and/or Pyrrha would be.
That, and there was always the more practical concern of whether he'd be warm enough—though that had gone flying out the window, along with all the other sense in the room, when Nora had insisted on sleeping in the same bed as him.
Crawling back under his covers, and jumping slightly as his foot touched Nora's before finally relaxing, Ren sighed, looking forward to a good night's sleep.
Ren's dozing was momentarily interrupted when Pyrrha clicked off her flashlight: Nora's arm clutched Ren's torso automatically in a comforting and familiar grip that nonetheless stirred him out of his rest, elevated heartbeat pressed against his back. However, Ren (squeezing Nora's fingers with his own sleepily to console her) quickly managed to drop off to sleep again, looking forward to a new day tomorrow… and hoping very much Pyrrha was on top of things enough to know when Team JNPR was expected to awaken.
((I hope this wasn't as incoherent as I think it is. Regardless, here's how I think their first night probably went… Ren/Nora, yay!))