Ruby was an overgrown puppy, and Weiss could barely handle it.

It wasn't that bad, no. Ruby had a lot of flaws, but that was her perfection. She was so free; Weiss was so jealous. How had the loneliest, most proper girl in the world gotten such a wild child? When even the heiress's rebellions were small and barely noticed, how had she found someone whose very existence seemed to be all about breaking the rules and following the heart? Weiss sometimes felt bitter that Ruby had grown up in a way that allowed that. Sometimes (secretly) that bitterness got so bad that she considered breaking up with Ruby, just so the younger girl had a taste of loneliness.

It was probably lucky for both of them that Weiss could never do that. Pulling Ruby into that awful loneliness would pull Weiss back in, too, even deeper than before. She didn't really want to, anyway. It was only jealousy and sadness and the feeling that maybe she would never be loving enough for Ruby...

Ruby was so loving and Weiss could barely handle it.

The redhead was so touchy-feely. After the first kiss, alone in the dorm room, when Ruby had asked so meekly and Weiss had almost shyly agreed, she never considered it would be different later. That her girlfriend would sneak up behind her and wrap arms around Weiss's small torso, kissing the smaller, paler woman on the back of her neck. An affectionate gesture, a sweet, secret hug. When Ruby did this, Weiss would suck in a deep breath as the feelings came.

They should have been good feelings, not panic. Why was she so panicked?

She'd hated touch all her life, she'd adored touch all her life. It was an overwhelming sensation, having something or someone unexpected graze her skin. Light touches were the worst, which seemed strange, but was true. Light touches made her want to run away or punch someone... to do something so childlike, so irresponsible, that it made her even more afraid than the actual touch.

Hugs were better, but they still weren't great. Weiss tolerated them, just for Ruby. Not that the girl would ever realize.

Or at least... Weiss thought she never would.

"Weiss, we need to talk," Ruby said one day. It was two weeks after their first date.

Weiss's blood ran cold. She knew that phrase. Countless girlfriends had said some variation of it to her, just before they left her. She bit her lip, very slightly, almost unnoticeably. "Oh?" she asked, her voice icy.

"You're kind of... um... weird about touch? Aren't you?"

The pale woman stiffened. "I don't know what you're touching about."

"Well, I mean..." Ruby shuffled her feet and looked down. Nervous. She was nervous. "You freeze up a lot when I hug you or kiss you, but only when I don't ask you or tell you first. It's like you don't enjoy it. But I mean, if you know, you seem to... um... really enjoy it."

"I like it when we kiss," Weiss admitted. "Kissing you is good."

"Do you just need me to ask, then? Before I kiss you?"

Weiss opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Nobody had ever really asked before. Nobody had noticed her touch thing at all, not really. The closest someone had ever come were her parents, who stopped touching her completely when she would cry after they did, back when she was very small. Nobody had bothered to understand.

Then again, ever since her parents, nobody really bothered to touch her much at all.

"I... asking is fine. If you just want to alert me, that's also fine. I just need a moment to compose myself beforehand."

Ruby smiled. "Alright! I can definitely start doing that! I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable, Weiss. I want to make you feel comfortable and take good care of you, like a good girlfriend!"

Weiss smiled. She had a feeling that Yang might have told Ruby that was what being a good girlfriend meant, considering how the blonde woman treated her Blake. It was almost humorous, though, seeing young, innocent Ruby so intent on making sure Weiss was okay, trying to be the dominant, strong one.

Weiss had always taken that role. Letting Ruby take it shouldn't have been easy, not really. Somehow, though... it felt right.

"Uh, Weiss?" Ruby asked.


"Can I kiss you?"

Weiss blinked. Then, she smiled, very slightly. "I would like that."