Author's Note: What you are about to read is a product that has been carefully salvaged out of the author's shattered hopes and dreams. And what I mean by that is working through a fourteen hour work day with the bare minimum of sleep that's supplemented by too many of those new Kickstart energy drinks. A combination of which allows the sane and insane to reach equilibrium and the unimaginable is conveyed through this zombie of a vessel that continues to go on through the use of what sugar and caffeine is left pumping through his veins by a rapidly-beating heart.
There's also a side of chocolate chip cookies involved because you can't possibly be expected to write a RWBY fic without a couple of them at your side being consumed as you write.
The following has also been inspired by a number of recently-finished animes that the author has seen; especially one in particular that has completed its first season not too long ago with a second already on the way. If you have seen it, you will understand because there will be pretteh obvious hints sprinkled around here.
That all said, you have been warned. Read and enjoy.
Friday tends to hold a special place in the hearts of the people. The final hurdle, the last obstacle, the fifth of the total five gates that keep the individual contained within the weekdays while the sweet solace of a two-day weekend lies just beyond.
Sure, in the end there is to be only another week for said individual to suffer through but that's a concern that does not exist for the here and now; that is for Sunday.
Of course, in order to achieve that small – and brief - reprieve, one must get through Friday. And as leader of Team RWBY, it was the job of Ruby Rose to make sure that her teammates would not allow their resolve to be so easily weakened with the promise of the coming Saturday. She must be vigilant to be sure to spot any weakness in the chain that held the team together. As like any other team, Team RWBY was only as strong as its weakest link.
And right now Ruby was looking at it.
It had been like any other morning. At the crack of dawn which was accompanied by the sound of the alarm, the team was roused from their slumber so that they may start the day. Sleepwear was traded in for school uniforms, bags were packed with textbooks and assigned homework that had been completed the night before, and morning rituals for cleanliness were conducted which left only breakfast to be consumed before they would all be ushered into the classroom to begin their daily studies.
With a flashy twirl, Ruby's signature red cloak fell over her shoulders and down her back as she clasped it in place, acting as the finishing touch to the brown, white, and red of her school uniform. A glance around the dorm room revealed that the others were finishing dressing as well with Yang running a hand through her long, golden locks to smooth them out while Blake straightened her headband and bow. As for Weiss…
…She was still in bed, the heiress having yet to even leave it and it didn't look like she planned to get up anytime soon as Weiss had her pillow firmly planted over her head, her body curled into a ball beneath the covers.
This could not be allowed and Ruby had the perfect tool to enforce her ruling. Though she had been lenient ever since their first day, the silver whistle she now plucked from her person still needed to be used now and again. Apparently its shrill cry was to be sounded today.
As she leaned over Weiss's bed, the whistle coming to her lips, Ruby took note out of the corner of her eye of how Yang was openly grinning at what was to come while Blake turned away, focusing on getting one of her novels to fit into her bag to take with her for personal reading material. Encouraged by the display, Ruby took a deep breath and blew hard, the whistle letting out a screech-
Which was then silenced a second later when its owner took a slap across the face from a pillow.
Half of the reason Ruby found herself dropping to the floor was due to surprise. The other half was the fact that the blow actually hurt, the pillow having been delivered with enough force that she actually felt pain despite being hit by cloth and feathers. The whistle flying from her lips, Ruby sat there, her sense of mischief being replaced by fear as she beheld Weiss Schnee.
A very angry Weiss Schnee. Her soft weapon held in a vice-like grip, the teen's pale face was red with anger, her limbs shaking with the emotion, her breathing heavy, and ice blue eyes narrowed dangerously at her team leader. Her long white hair, currently free form its usual ponytail, was slightly frazzled which only contributed to her frightening appearance. The fact that she was still dressed in her night gown did nothing to contract from it.
"You idiot!" Weiss snapped and Ruby was actually taken aback by the heat in her words. "Do you have any idea how absolutely aggravating that is? Is it so hard to get just a little bit of sleep without you…you…"
Having been in the midst of cowering, Ruby suddenly noticed something. The red face, shaking limbs, heavy breathing; all of that could be easily attributes to anger. However, before Ruby's silver eyes, she saw her partner waver, her gaze becoming unfocused, and just when Ruby took note of the sheen of sweat on her face, Weiss dropped back onto her bed.
"Weiss!" Leaping to her feet, Ruby was at Weiss's bedside in a second.
Having been the model of intimidation just a moment ago, the heiress now looked positively weak. The shaking limbs and heavy breathing that Ruby had mistaken for anger was actually a struggle against the weakness that plagued Weiss and the red face, as Yang would come over and take note, was due to fever.
"Woah!" Placing her hand on Weiss's forehead, the blonde immediately pulled it back a second later. "You're burning up there, princess."
"She certainly looks ill," Blake added, leaning over from the other side of the bed to examine the panting and flushed Weiss.
"I don't get sick," Weiss breathed out though how weak her voice sounded said otherwise. "I'm fine. Just give me…a few minutes…" The rest of her words trailed off into a whimper as she curled back into a ball, burying her head into her pillow.
"Well she has me convinced," Yang spoke sarcastically.
"Weiss…" Reaching out with one hand, Ruby gently slid her fingers along her friend's snow-white hair in an attempt to give some form of comfort. "You look really sick. I think you should stay in bed today."
"I'll go inform a nurse just in case," Yang volunteered and stepped away from the bed.
"But my classes," came Weiss's voice, muffled by the pillow but just barely understandable. If she was about to say more, she was interrupted by a sudden cough that initiated a small fit as her body shook with the motions.
"We share most of them," Blake cut in. "I can always collect notes and homework assignments from the professors. It's Friday so you can just take the day off, rest, and catch up on the work during the weekend once you get better." She gently rubbed Weiss's back, patiently waiting for her cough to settle. Eventually it did and the shaking seemed to lessen as well. Enough so that it was clear that the sick girl took some comfort from Blake's touch.
It was probably a mix of how increasingly clear it was that she was sick and Blake's own logic that seemed to convince Weiss. Silenced from making any further argument, she blindly reached for the covers which had been tossed aside during her counter attack. Ruby quickly realized what her friend wanted and brought the covers back up to tuck her in.
Weiss didn't even mutter a thank you. Instead, she silently buried herself within the soft comfort of the mattress and blankets, another cough issuing from her throat.
To Ruby, it was a heart-breaking sight to see. The usually strong and composed Weiss was reduced to a shaking, whimpering ball that tossed and turned in her bed in an attempt to get comfortable. This hardly seemed to be the same girl that had once stood so confidently against the Grimm. Whether it had been the pack of Beowolves that ganged up on her in the Emerald Forest or the lone Boarbatusk that had come charging at her in Professor Port's classroom, Weiss would stand poised with her reliable Myrtenaster in hand, ready to dish out pinpoint accurate stabs or strokes that went hand-in-hand with her ridiculous speed for devastating results.
That was the best way to describe Weiss Schnee: elegant but lethal.
There was none of that here.
"Weiss." The seconds had ticked away into minutes when she finally spoke, having spent the whole time staring sorrowfully at her partner. She could hear the sound of footsteps approaching from outside their dorm room and Yang's muffled voice as her sister returned with a nurse in tow. "Is there anything I can do?"
A long pause stretched between them, enough time for Yang to reach their dorm room and open the door. At the end, Weiss shifted once more, the blanket sliding down to expose one blue eye that, while displaying weakness and pain, also held a sudden coldness that sent a shiver down Ruby's spine.
"Yes," Weiss replied, her voice matching the temperature. "Stay away and let me sleep."
With a miserable groan, Ruby's forehead connected solidly into the surface of the table with an audible thud. Fortunately she managed to avoid crushing the small, green basket of strawberries she had picked out for herself which would've created a sticky, juicy mess in her red and black hair.
Not that that could've possibly made her feel any worse than how she was now. Her voice slightly muffled, Ruby miserably proclaimed, "She hates me. Again."
It seemed to be a constant thing between her and Weiss; a see-sawing relationship of respect and hate that had started ever since their first meeting. Nearly blasting the two of them into a crater had begun their relationship with hatred. This was then countered by their forced team-up during their initiation and a demonstration of their individual skills that blossomed into a degree of respect for one another. That, unfortunately, didn't last long with Ruby's promotion as team leader that caused Weiss to become bitter…and said bitterness was resolved by the next day.
Ruby hoped that had been the end of it but then she had to go and blow that whistle…
As if reading her thoughts and attempting to mock her, Blake decided to verbally repeat, "Well you did blow that whistle right in her ear when she had a fever." The amber-eyed member of Team RWBY was currently sitting next to her team leader and doing what she always did: reading with her face completely hidden behind a hardcover book.
"I didn't know that she was sick!" With a groan, Ruby lifted her head up enough from the table so that she was resting her chin upon the wooden surface instead of her forehead. Sighting her comfort food, Ruby plucked a strawberry from the basket. The stems had been precut so there was no need to pull anything off before she was allowed to eat one. Chewing slowly, Ruby added, "I thought she just didn't want to wake up."
"To be fair, I don't think you'd want to wake up with a whistle in your ear sick or not," Pyrrha interjected. Considering she was sitting across from Ruby – thus putting the basket of strawberries between them – it was only after Ruby had eaten her third did the red-haired amazon give the younger girl a silent, questioning look. It was only after Ruby nodded her head in affirmative did she take one of her own. "Thanks. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself though as I'm sure things will be back to normal once she's better."
The three girls were currently seated within Team JNPR's dorm room which had quickly become one of the main hangouts for the three healthy members of Team RWBY. The nurse that Yang retrieved had confirmed what they all knew: Weiss was sick. Nothing life-threatening which came as a relief – just a simple flu – but the room had been effectively quarantined with Yang, Blake, and Ruby rarely venturing in unless they needed textbooks or some other supplies. This was partly because neither of them wanted to be infected…but it was mostly due to the fact that Weiss had strongly implied that she wanted none of them around her. For obvious reasons, that had done nothing to improve Ruby's mood as she tended to just sit and sulk despite being in the company of friends.
The fact that it was now Saturday and Weiss was still constrained to bed just made it all worse.
The only one who seemed happy about the occasion was Nora who had let out a happy squeal at the idea of a huge slumber party. And taking a page from Team RWBY, she used the opportunity to pile JNPR's beds into bunk beds to make room for their guests, the results of which had been…better. Well, once Jaune and Pyrrha managed to stop the overeager girl from attempting to establish what she declared would be quad beds for even more room. When she had been enlightened to the fact that the room's ceiling was too low for such a construction, Nora's usual cheery smile had taken a subtle transformation.
Even as she replayed the moment in her head, Ruby couldn't believe how such a smile could turn so malicious with just a fraction of movement from her lips. The appearance of Magnhild didn't help at all, the revolver-like cylinder of the grenade launcher spinning before an audible click signaled a loaded grenade. The sound had been deafening due to the dorm room having gone silent as the gathered trainees realized just what, exactly, Nora was planning. It was fortunate that Ren arrived so timely from his movie run to calm her down.
As fun as the actual night was, the three sleeping bags that were rolled up in the corner of the room only reminded Ruby of Weiss's predicament.
"You'd think that Huntresses couldn't even get sick," Ruby complained. "I thought once we honed our control over our Aura, we'd be protected against something like a flu!" She looked across the table to their Aura expert who was chewing on her strawberry thoughtfully.
"It can," Pyrrha confirmed and swallowed the juicy treat. "Aura is an energy source for us Huntsmen and Huntresses; it can be manipulated to perform a variety of uses. The most common of which are enhancing our attacks and defenses that can range from boosting our attributes and projecting an actual shield to charging our weapons or even random objects with that energy to allow us to use them for more devastating attacks."
Ruby nodded. This was simple, basic stuff that was taught to her even as far back as her time at Signal Academy. During her time at Beacon, the fifteen-year-old had been able to see extraordinary examples of how the various students have come to use their Aura. Lie Ren was a good one, able to project his Aura through his bare hands to perform attacks that would be devastating even to Grimm.
"And you can use it to heal yourself," Pyrrha continued. "In extension, protect yourself from sickness. I suppose if your Aura is strong enough you could even combat poisons. Now the problem is that, like any other energy source, your Aura can run low after too much use. And it's these moments of weakness that you can become vulnerable." She helped herself to a second strawberry. "Let's not forget, this is Beacon."
Ruby sighed, agreeing with Pyrrha's diagnosis. This certainly was Beacon: the most renowned combat school with a goal to forge gifted students into powerful warriors to ensure the survival of humanity. Such warriors needed to be pushed to their limits to see how far they could go before they would learn to eventually exceed them. Duels and class field trips - aka incursions into Grimm-populated zones like the Emerald Forest - could certainly exhaust the trainee physically but even something like their studies and exams could put mental stress upon them to further decrease their Aura levels.
And there's Weiss Schnee, Ruby thought. Destined to inherit one of the largest exporters and producers of Dust but is nonetheless training to become a powerful Huntress on the side. She gets good grades, is an accomplished fencer, expert in the usage of Dust, and is even a great singer!
Thinking about it, it only now dawned on Ruby that as amazing as it was that Weiss could do all that, it also sounded pretty exhausting. Small wonder she got sick. This only made her more depressed about her friend's state.
Actually... Struck with a sudden thought, Ruby turned her head to Blake which, really, was her laying her cheek against the table so that she could look at her quiet teammate. It seemed that the heavy weight of guilt was keeping her sufficiently pinned to the table. "Hey Blake, have you been checking up on Weiss?"
At first the only movement Ruby could see was the slight shaking of the black bow that adorned Blake's head in negative before she elaborated, "Last I saw her was when I was getting a change of clothes and dropping off my schoolwork in the room."
"Yeah same here." Ruby suspected something similar from Yang, especially as her sister held certain, strong feelings at the idea of being sick which clashed harshly with her ever-active self and strong fighting spirit. If one wanted to drive Yang Xiao Long insane, they only had to tie her to a chair and lock her in a room for an extended amount of time. Reviewing their childhood, Ruby took note of the few times that she had gotten sick as a little girl, Yang had been strangely absent.
"Besides, can you even imagine how horrible I'd look?" Yang had asked when they had been on the subject before, one hand instinctively caressing her golden locks. Yep, typical Yang.
Pyrrha looked from one girl to the other and seemed to come to the same conclusion as Ruby. "So no one has been looking after her?"
"Well I'm sure the nurse has." Ruby rolled her head back onto its chin to meet Pyrrha's inquisitive green eyes. "She did come in this morning to report that Weiss was still ill even if she improved somewhat. " At the look that Pyrrha gave her next, Ruby hastily defended, "She said she wanted me to stay away from her!"
"But she's part of your team." Pyrrha had narrowed her eyes in clear disagreement, forcing Ruby to squirm beneath her gaze. "You're her partner and team leader. You have a responsibility to her, especially if she falls ill. How can any team trust a leader who isn't willing to look after their well-being? You have to earn your position."
Ruby grimaced at the lecture, especially as she found this to be painfully familiar. Pyrrha didn't possess nearly as much of the anger and patronizing tone that Weiss had unleashed upon her on that day outside Professor Port's classroom but the words and the meaning behind them were very similar.
"That's just it!" Weiss snapped, thrusting a finger towards Ruby who shrunk back from it. "You've done nothing to earn your position!"
When Weiss had spoken those words, Ruby remembered that they had hurt. But it was those words – and the kinder, gentler ones from Professor Ozpin – that had gotten her to understand what her position demanded from her and got her to work on meeting it as she threw herself at her studies. At the same time,Weiss had had a change of heart, the heiress having said that she believed that Ruby could be a good leader and that she would focus on becoming the best teammate she could be.
And I'm just sitting here enjoying strawberries while she suffers. Alone. Just right across the hall too. Another thunk as Ruby planted her scalp back into the table. "Some team leader I am."
She felt a gentle pat on her lowered head as Pyrrha did her best to offer some support. "I'm sure you'll get the hang of it eventually. This is our first year after all and when you consider you've been given such a responsibility after being sent here two years ahead, I think you're doing rather well."
"Thanks, Pyrrha." Letting out a long breath, Ruby finally relented. "I suppose I should at least check up on her. I mean this is Weiss Schnee we're talking about; she probably had a dozen or so maids and butlers at her beck and call if she needed anything."
Pyrrha offered a small, humored grin at that. "Probably. She couldn't exactly bring them with her though."
"And I'm certainly no maid." Regaining some of the strength that had been strangely absent during the entire discussion, Ruby finally lifted her head from the table and straightened in her seat, rolling her shoulders as if preparing for an assigned duel. "I'll see what I can do then. I can probably get some soup made up by the kitchen staff or make it myself if needed."
Unnoticed by the two girls, a strange reaction had just taken over their quiet – and possibly forgotten – friend. If either Pyrrha or Ruby had been paying attention, they would see that the tips of the ever-present black bow were stretching high over the novel that Blake held, akin to a cat's ears that would suddenly spring to attention. The novel, which had held Blake's attention 'till now, was lowered enough so that two amber eyes could be seen focusing on Ruby.
The red-cloaked girl was completely unaware of the attention she had inadvertently drawn to herself. Not until she tried to stand up and walk away for when she tried to do so she was suddenly jerked back due to a sudden grip on her wrist, forcing her to let out an "Eep!" as she was pulled. The small cry was due to a mix of surprise and how near-painfully tight that grip was. Suffice to say, Blake had Ruby's attention and the younger girl turned to see what she wanted.
Uh… Ruby immediately found herself wanting to inch away from her teammate, her instincts tingling with alarm, but for obvious reasons she couldn't.
For when she turned to Blake, she found the other girl staring at her. That shouldn't have come as a surprise but what caused this growing sense of nervousness she felt was a glint that she noted in Blake's amber eyes which seemed to be thoroughly appraising her. Though Blake's face remained mostly neutral, for just a fraction of a second Ruby thought she saw the corners of her lips twitch upwards in a smile.
A smile which, for some odd reason, made Ruby think of a stray cat that had frequented her neighborhood back in Vale where she had been growing up. A cat that she had always thought was cute until that one day coming home from school she had witnessed it corner a mouse and bat at it like a toy, a smile just like Blake had on its face before it had decided to give its game a grisly end.
Ruby currently felt like that cornered mouse.
Pyrrha was just looking between the two of them, confused and unable to help her.
"You want to help Weiss?" Blake asked after a moment of silence. Her face remained neutral but those eyes were bright with badly-hidden mischief. "I got an idea that'll help your chances of getting her to forgive you."
"O-oh yeah?" Ruby squeaked nervously.
Although her coughing had lessened after a day, Weiss Schnee was still truly and utterly miserable. The headache which had sent her head swimming when she retaliated to Ruby's childish antics was still there and her body continued to just ache while fatigue plagued her. Ever since the onset of her sickness, the young Huntress-in-training had hardly gotten out of bed and she certainly didn't want to now.
The only time she moved was to wet her parched throat. The nurse had brought not only a box of tissues but a glass and pitcher of water which now stood upon a small table that had been unfolded next to her bed. Every now and then she would pour herself a glass which she would immediately down, finding some relief when the clear liquid soothed her throat. Once she got her drink, she would place the glass back on the table, curl up, and continue to be miserable.
There was a mirror nearby but Weiss didn't need it to know that she probably looked as bad as she felt: frazzled white hair, sunken, bloodshot eyes, flushed face. It was a stark contrast to the usual prim and proper heiress to the Schnee Dust Company.
Not that she cared: there was no one around to witness her in this pathetic state. That thought brought on another ache…but this one being slightly different than the ones that affected her limbs. More painful too.
Quite frankly, she was surprised by it. When she first came to Beacon, she had done so with one thing in her mind: perfection. The choice to train to become a Huntress was strictly her own but it still fell into the Schnee doctrine that if you were going to do it, you were going to do it perfectly. Her physical training, her Dust control, her studies; not for an instant would she allow herself to slack in either of the needed categories to become the perfect Huntress.
This included her team. To supplement her own impressive skills, Weiss had already screened for the perfect candidates that would become members of her team before she had even arrived to Beacon. Pyrrha Nikos was her top choice of course with Lie Ren being a close second. It had been a bit of a toss-up with the fourth member – though, as annoying as she was, Weiss probably would've been fine with Nora - but she had assured herself that as long as she had those two, she would have an impressive line-up to rival anything that Beacon had ever formed before. Under her leadership, it would be perfect. That's how she saw them: the tools needed to reach perfection. She hadn't been looking for friends.
She didn't get her team though. Jaune Arc got her team which left her with…Team RWBY.
A childish, red-cloaked dolt, Weiss thought miserably, sniffling all the while, with her brute of a sister and a disrespectful nobody.
That was her team. It was far from her perfect line-up as could be and, as if to mock her, it was named after the leader that wasn't Weiss Schnee. In fact, it was a perfect disaster.
Despite the fatigue, Weiss found it difficult to just lay there and sleep with these thoughts of plans that had gone so horribly wrong. Staring at the still half-full pitcher, Weiss watched one of the wet drops of condensation slide down the container and drip onto the small table. Her ice blue eyes were narrowed and particularly frosty as she thought of what could've been but wasn't. Slowly, however, the look softened, her eyes became downcast, and her head nuzzled into her pillow.
…I wonder where they are. If they're even thinking about me…worried about how I'm doing…
She had hardly done anything else other than sleep yesterday once the nurse had advised her to do just that. When she was conscious, she desperately wished that she wasn't with how terrible she felt. In those few moments of wakefulness, she had rarely seen her teammates. She thought she remembered seeing Blake as well as the brief appearance of a red cloak but, other than that, nothing else came to mind.
Well, except that one moment when she woke up late last night. She had expected to see her team sleeping in their beds but when she looked to the bed across from hers – Blake's – she saw no sign. Confused, she forced herself out of bed, keeping the blanket wrapped tight around her as she looked to the top bunks. Ruby and Yang's were similarly deserted.
That was when she heard them. Standing in the middle of the dark dorm room – alone, confused, trying to suppress the chills from the cold night air as she clung tightly to her blanket -, Weiss slowly cocked her head to the door. With the silence of the dorm, Weiss was able to barely pick up the voices which she deduced was coming from across the hall from Team JNPR's dorm. At first she thought it was solely JNPR but then she heard Yang's loud boasting of some random thing followed by Ruby's giggling.
The ache had started then, like a deep puncture aimed at her chest. Her shoulders taking on a visible slump, Weiss had silently crawled back into bed to go back to sleep. Alone.
She wasn't stupid. She knew that they had gone to JNPR's dorm so that they would lessen the chance of catching what she had. She also did say that she wanted them to stay away and let her sleep. They certainly weren't doing it to hurt her.
Beneath the covers, Weiss pressed her hands against her chest as if that would dampen the pain that radiated from within. Even with her fever, the weakness in her limbs, her stuffed nose, the headache, this discomfort became most prevalent in her mind. Why did it hurt so much there? Really, her current situation was nothing new as, at home, her parents had hardly been around when she had been ill as a child. That's what servants were for after all.
It was becoming too troublesome to think about. Banishing anymore of these pesky thoughts from her mind, Weiss pulled her blanket over her head before burying her face in her pillow as if to force herself to sleep right then and there. It didn't come right away like she hoped but, soon, she drifted back to sleep.
She awoke sometime later to outside stimuli. When she opened her eyes, Weiss only saw the white interior of the blanket that she had thrown over herself. Her stuffed nose made it difficult to detect but a pleasant aroma nudged at her sense of smell as well as her hunger she soon realized when her stomach let out a cry of distress, having barely been fed anything since yesterday; Weiss having been too ill to even think about food until now.
There was movement that her ears could detect, hinting to someone else being in the room. As if she needed another clue, Weiss heard humming. Assuming that it was just the nurse, the heiress tugged the blanket down just enough so that she could see.
The assumption was a mistake and Weiss felt a strange mix of dread and jubilation at who she realized was in the room. Jubilation because, other than the nurse, who else could be in the room that wasn't one of her teammates?
The dread was due to the fact that there was only one person who wore that long, red cloak that she spied. The proclaimed hazard to her health which had been put into effect when Weiss had been awakened to the shrill cry of the whistle that had caused her head to nearly split open with the pain it caused. The heiress was still obviously sour about that.
The annoyance she directed at her team leader softened somewhat when she spotted the source of the smell. Ruby was currently standing over one of the desks that had come with the dorm room where, on its wooden surface, a steaming bowl of what Weiss assumed was soup was resting. Ruby herself had a spoon in hand which she dipped into the bowl and, after blowing on it, took a test sip.
"Still a bit hot," Weiss could barely hear her whisper.
The painful ache that Weiss's heart had been afflicted with relaxed before there came an odd warmth that was so unlike the uncomfortable heat of her fever. It was pleasant and managed to lift her depression as she realized what she was seeing.
Did she get that for me? Despite the one sip, Ruby wasn't eating anymore, the soup momentarily forgotten as she busied herself with whatever else she brought. And who else would the soup be for considering it was one of the most obvious things to give to a sick person?
Although it became increasingly clear that Ruby's reason for coming here was due to her sickness, Weiss debated on revealing that she was awake. As kind-hearted as she admitted her team leader was she could tend to be…well…a dunce. Ruby may be looking to help but with their history together when it came to her 'helping' – rushing into her line of fire, riding a Nevermore, going solo against a Death Stalker, that dreaded whistle -, Weiss could only wonder when she would slip up and become another hindrance to her recovery that she really didn't need right now.
With that mountain of evidence in mind, Weiss prepared to pull the blanket back over her head to pretend that she was still sleeping and hope that Ruby would just go awa-
Wait. She stopped and squinted at her team leader, finding something off. Because of her cloak and Weiss's own weakened condition, the heiress hadn't noticed the white cloth – really a frilly band - that was on her partner's head despite how it so badly clashed with her usual red and black attire.
Except she wasn't wearing her usual clothing, Weiss realized. She only came to that conclusion when she noted discrepancies in Ruby's usual attire that wasn't hidden by her red cloak, specifically her sleeves. Usually the sleeves of her blouse were long and black, the edges colored red. While the sleeves were in fact black, there were white cuffs wrapped around her wrists, not the usual red edges. And peeking out at the bottom of her red cloak, Weiss can see that Ruby's skirt had somehow gotten longer, the edges dropping nearly to her ankles. She could also see another hint of the white, frilly material.
Caught up in her investigation, Weiss didn't notice that she had slowly straightened and sat up in her bed, intent on uncovering more clues to her partner's strange attire. Ruby must've heard the shifting of sheets because she turned around to face her.
"Weiss, you're awake!" Producing a smile that was genuinely pleased, Ruby started coming to her. "How are you feeling? The nurse said you were-oh-aaaaah-woah!" Apparently being tripped up by her long skirt, Ruby had pinwheeled her arms comically in an attempt to steady herself and stop from falling.
Her collision with the floor was testament to her failure. With a groan, Ruby laid there on her belly for a moment before she pushed herself up, sitting on her knees as she checked her outfit to make sure nothing had been ruined.
Weiss just stared with wide eyes, her jaw dropping as she beheld the leader of Team RWBY.
The white band in Ruby's hair had been the first thing she noticed along with the white cuffs around her wrists. But that black skirt, she discovered, was actually part of a long, one-piece dress that was topped with a white collar at the pale girl's throat. And the frills? That was due to the white, frilly apron that was worn over the black dress with the ends draped over Ruby's shoulders and around her waist where they were all tied together at her back. The only oddity was the red bow that had been clasped at the collar which had probably been added to match with the red streaks of Ruby's hair.
It was a maid outfit. Ruby Rose was wearing a maid outfit. The conclusion ran through Weiss's mind half a dozen times but it took half a dozen more attempts before it actually stuck.
By then her partner had realized that Weiss was staring at her. The embarrassment of her fall and now Weiss's intense stare and her slack-jawed expression caused a shade of pink to color Ruby's usually pale cheeks and her silver eyes looked away, embarrassed and unable to keep eye contact.
Weiss felt her heart skip a beat. She tried to form a response, a question, anything to break this uncomfortable silence that had taken over. She couldn't. All she could do was stare at this maid Ruby with only one word that, while suitable, was something she hardly expected to describe her partner with such sincerity
Author's Note: I had tended to do this all in one go but my continued, hectic work schedule was constantly delaying me until I had gotten frustrated enough to the point where I just wanted to get something up. Fortunately, one of the reasons why I am deciding to do this is the fact that my work schedule is going to let up in a few days and I'll have all the time in the world to get the next chapter completed (especially as I do have about a third of the next chapter already typed up). And yes, I do only expect this to be two chapters long.
Anyway, this was my crazy idea that just slapped me over the head in the midst of my work hours. A nice, cheery, and humorous piece to add to the growing pile of RWBY fanfiction and fanart. I hope you've been sufficiently entertained and that you'll be sticking around to read the second chapter once I get around to completing it! Until next time!