Author's Note- Another chapter of Icy Rose, hope you guys aren't getting sick of the story. Thank you to AmbidextrousLion for editing, I greatly appreciate the help and I recommend you all read her story Layer of Ice which is really good. The art contest for the Icy Rose cover is still going on until the end of the month, I know some of you guys are pretty good artists and I'd like to see what you guys can draw. Leave a review and tell me if you see any mistakes or just to tell me what you think of the story, I always read your reviews and I appreciate everyone, they and the PMs I get give me the motivation to keep writing. Remember Read, Review, Favorite, Follow, and most importantly Enjoy!
Weiss slowly opened her eyes, afraid of what she would see, but not sure why. The first thing she saw was the mop of red and black hair that belonged to her girlfriend. Weiss sat up, studying Ruby and the entire room around her. Everything seemed normal, so why did she have such a knot of tension in her stomach?
"Go back to sleep," Ruby said drowsily as she reached around trying to find Weiss. Weiss felt the knot loosen as she looked at the mostly asleep girl next to her.
"Everything is fine," she thought with a sigh of relief.
"It was all a dream... Just a horrible dream," Weiss said to herself as she lay back down next to Ruby. The other girl wrapped her arms around Weiss' waist and pulled her close, resting her head against Weiss' shoulder.
"Don't worry now my Princess, you are safe with your crimson knight," she murmured, making Weiss smile as she realized Ruby was still dreaming.
"You dolt," Weiss muttered with a happy smile on her face as she placed her hand over Ruby's, "Just go back to sleep."
"As my Lady commands, although if she has any other commands..." Ruby didn't finish her statement and Weiss felt her face flush hot.
"Are those the kind of dreams Ruby has? Unless..." Weiss thought as she turned around to look at Ruby.
"Ruby Rose are you..." Weiss didn't finish her statement as she screamed upon seeing Ruby's face. The normally smooth skin of her girlfriend was marred by cuts all across it. The cuts were still fresh and angry red as they bled. "RUBY!" Weiss yelled at the unmoving girl before her. Suddenly Ruby had gone from perfectly fine to a mess of injuries. "Oh god no!" Weiss shouted as she hopped out of the bed, taking the blanket with her without thinking about it. Ruby was crumpled in the bed, her left leg bent in a direction it shouldn't have been and her right arm was clearly broken with the bone breaking through the skin. Weiss could feel the acid taste of bile rising in her throat "What could have happened?" Weiss thought with panic before she felt something wrap around her neck.
"I'll tell you what happened," the new occupant of the room answered as they tightened the head lock they had Weiss in, "You let Ruby get hurt." The attacker, Yang, growled as she constricted her arms tighter, cutting off Weiss' access to air. Weiss clawed at Yang's arms trying to escape, but she couldn't and she could feel herself getting weaker as black spots started dancing on the edge of her vision. Weiss could only look at the broken form of Ruby still lying in the bed. Weiss' vision was tunneling on Ruby as her brain was deprived of oxygen. Her hearing was muffled, like someone had stuck wool in her ears, but through this she could make out Yang's voice perfectly clear. "You are a terrible person. You don't deserve Ruby."
Weiss just slumped in Yang's grip; even if she could speak she wouldn't have been able to refute what the blond girl was saying. Weiss was about to go unconscious from oxygen starvation and she didn't care. The last thing in her darkening vision was a red heap on the bed and she had only one thought:
"I don't deserve Ruby."
Weiss jolted up from the bed covered in a cold sweat. It had all been a nightmare. The girl looked to the spot next to her in the vain hope that Ruby getting injured had all been a dream. She knew even before her eyes stopped in the empty spot next to her on the master bed that it was reality. The crushing reality of it almost stopped Weiss from breathing as she recalled everything that had occurred that day, from the early morning and waking up to… to…
"You failed Ruby."
Weiss screwed her eyes shut. She just wanted to forget. Forget her dream; forget the day—she wanted to forget everything. It didn't matter though, her thoughts just went on and her memories flooded back. All she could think of was the way Ruby had been laying in the snow, broken as she bled out on the ground and the look of anger or distate, Weiss was not sure which, that Yang had given Weiss. The tears welled up in her eyes unbidden, streaming past her closed eyelids to run down her cheeks. She brought her knees against her chest, rocking back and forth as she let the tears roll down her face.
"You had one job… one job…and you failed."
"I'm sorry Ruby. I'm so sorry," Weiss muttered to herself. In her mind she was the only one to blame for Ruby's current condition. A gentle rapping at her door broke Weiss from her tears, always true to her Schnee heritage the snowy-haired girl was trying to hide her feelings as best as she could.
"Weiss?" Blake asked from the other side of the door.
"Yes Blake?" Weiss answered as calmly as she could force her voice. She knew there was still a tremor in it that Blake's enhanced hearing would most certainly be able to hear. If she did hear it Blake chose not to say anything.
"The limo is here. Are you ready to go?" Weiss heard Blake tell her from her spot in the hallway. Looking at her phone she saw that it had indeed been several hours since she had called Archibald.
"I will be ready in a few moments."
"Alright, I'll start packing our stuff," Blake said. Weiss did not respond and after a moment Blake left.
Weiss slowly pulled herself out of bed. Her limbs seemed to take ages to respond and she just wanted to stay there. Eventually she got herself moving and changed her clothes as fast as she could. Even in her current state of mind she was still a Schnee, which meant that she must always be presentable. Weiss changed into a pair of nice jeans and a blouse before covering up with a stylish jacket. She took a breath to try and collect herself before she left the confines of her room to face the world and the cruel reality it held.
"Why bother?" Weiss tried to shake this thought as she turned the handle on the door and walked out into the hall. Blake was waiting at the end near the front door.
"You ready Weiss?" she asked, concern coloring her voice as well as her amber eyes. Weiss just kept walking and stepped past the taller girl.
"Perfectly fine, now let's go," she said, her voice clipped as she stepped out into the cold air. Archibald was standing outside the limo in a heavy winter jacket with the back door open.
"Ms. Schnee," he said in a respectful manner as he bowed slightly.
"Thank you for coming on such short notice, Archibald," Weiss replied in thanks as she stepped inside the limo, Blake following behind her.
"It is no trouble Ms. Schnee, where will we be heading?"
"Vale General Hospital," Weiss said after a moment of hesitation that only Blake took note of.
"Understood," was all Archibald said as he closed the door before going to start the car.
As soon as the door was closed Blake turned to Weiss." Weiss, how are you holding up?"
"I'm fine Blake, I've told you so already," Weiss answered, refusing to make eye contact. Blake was skeptical at this answer.
"Weiss, you don't have to bottle it up, I'm here for you" Blake offered sincerely
"Blake, I told you I'm fine. Now drop it," Weiss snapped her voice a bark as she turned away from Blake.
"Alright," was all Blake said. She felt hurt, but she knew at the same time that Weiss was too proud to show any weakness. The previous night had been a rare occurrence.
"Wake me when we arrive at Vale," Weiss said as she lay down on the long limo seat and turned her back to the raven haired girl across from her.
"Thank you Blake," Weiss said, her voice softening slightly, making Blake smile as the Faunus pulled out a book to read on the ride home.
Weiss wouldn't admit it, but she felt terrible about lashing out at Blake. The other girl was only trying to help. Weiss just felt scared and helpless, and when she was unsure of what to do her Schnee upbringing reasserted itself and caused her to act incredibly inhospitable. Weiss stared at the leather of the seat, sleep eluding her, though it wouldn't be a blessing even if it came to her. She knew if she fell asleep she would only dream of Ruby, but she did not know what else to do.
"Why are you going to the hospital? Yang doesn't want you there and when Ruby wakes up she won't either."
Weiss could not argue against this. Why would Ruby want to see her? Weiss had failed to keep her precious rose safe. "I'm sorry, Ruby," Weiss whispered to herself before she fell into a fitful nightmare plagued sleep.
"Weiss, wake up," Blake said as she gently shook the other girl's shoulder. Weiss slowly opened her eyes. Sitting up she turned around to look at Blake, the other girl had a small smile on her face.
"How far are we from the hospital?" Weiss asked a hint of nervousness in her voice.
"About 25 minutes."
"Alright," Weiss said as she started fixing her hair and straightening her clothes, anything to keep her mind off of the visit ahead of her. Try as she might though it loomed in her thoughts, building up until it made her head spin just thinking of it.
"Ha! You think Ruby wants you there? You're the reason she is there! She probably hates you!"
"No, no Ruby doesn't hate me," Weiss thought weakly as she strived to shut out her own thoughts. They wouldn't be ignored, as they wanted Weiss to know it was all her fault.
"Going to the hospital? Just going to finish the job you started on the slope?"
The more that Weiss thought the worse the problem seemed to get. At first she had only been nervous to go to the hospital, but now she was downright dreading it. Even more than seeing Ruby's injured body she was afraid to see how Yang would act, or even worse how Ruby would treat her.
"What if she does hate me?" Weiss thought with worry. She did her best to hide her facial expressions. She was mostly successful, but some of it showed in her eyes and Blake noticed.
"Weiss, it's okay. You don't need to be nervous."
"I'm not nervous," she answered in a neutral tone. Blake knew the conversation wouldn't go anywhere and let the car descend into silence.
After several moments the car came to a stop and was parked. Archibald opened the door to let them out.
"We have arrived at Vale General Hospital," he announced to the two girls as Blake climbed out. Weiss looked at the door as her mind was plagued with self-blame and fear.
"Take me home, Archibald," Weiss said quietly after a moment, much to the surprise of both Blake and Archibald.
"Weiss, what are you doing?" Blake asked. Weiss couldn't bring herself to make eye contact with the girl outside the car.
"I'm going home Blake. Now step away from the car, please," Weiss weakly told Blake. The other girl was going to argue before Archibald closed the door and walked around to the driver's door.
"How can you just listen to her?" Blake asked the stoic man as he started getting in the car
"I may not agree with Ms. Schnee's decision, but it is not my place to decide when to listen and when to ignore her," was all he said before he got in the car and started it. Blake watched the limo pull away from the hospital before she turned to the building and walked in to go find Yang and Ruby.
The hospital was non-descript. It was your average hospital with nurses and doctors moving about to attend to their patients and other duties. Blake looked at the directory on the wall to find the reception desk. After locating it Blake made her way to the desk where a middle aged woman sat at the desk typing away
"Excuse me, ma'am," Blake said politely to get the woman's attention.
"Yes, how may I help you?"
"I'm looking for a patient here. She was brought in late yesterday night."
"What is her name?" the receptionist asked.
"Ruby Rose," Blake quickly said. The receptionist typed on her computer and looked at the screen for a moment before looking back at Blake.
"Ms. Rose is in intensive care on the third floor room 343. Just take the elevator. It's around the corner on the right."
"Thank you," Blake said gratefully as she nodded her head before heading to the elevator. Stepping inside Blake hit the button for the third floor and waited as the doors slid closed. She felt the small start that indicated the elevator was moving. Blake stared straight ahead at the door preparing herself for what she would find and thinking on what Weiss was doing. The doors slid open and Blake walked out of the elevator and looked at the plaques on the wall to find room 343. It was left at a four way intersection and at the end of a hall. Blake was nearing the room when the door opened and a familiar mane of blonde hair stepped out of the room.
"Yang!" Blake called making Yang turn her head and startling Blake with how her purple eyes were rimmed red from crying.
"Oh no," Blake thought as she rushed to Yang and pulled her into a fierce hug.
Weiss looked out the window of the limo as it drove away from the hospital, which grew smaller and smaller as she put more distance between herself and it, her loathing for her actions growing at the same rate.
"Now you are a coward."
Weiss cried, it was one of the few things she could do.
"Are you sure this is what you want Ms. Schnee?" Archibald asked from the other side of the limo divider. Weiss stifled her tears to answer the driver.
"No, not at all, but I can't face Ruby or Yang," She answered weakly.
"I can't force you to do anything, but you should be at the hospital."
"How can I bring myself to go there?"
"You need to ask yourself, do you love Ruby?"
"Yes… yes I do."
"Then shouldn't you be with the girl you love when she needs support?" Archibald left it there, letting Weiss think.
"Not when you are the reason she needs the support," Weiss thought with contempt.
"Just take me home, Archibald."
"As you wish, ," he answered.
Weiss slumped down in her seat. "I don't get to see Ruby, she'll be better off without me," she thought with a bitter laugh to punctuate the anguish she felt, "Yang will be happy that I left Ruby." Her bitter laugh went on as she continued to cry and one thought recurred to her again
"You don't deserve Ruby."
Weiss sat in her kitchen, staring straight ahead of her at an object that sat on the counter within arm's reach.
Weiss had gotten home three hours ago. Archibald had dropped her off and left, not without giving her a concerned look. Weiss had entered her house and had been immediately been struck by how silent the empty house was. The silence was deafening in its intensity
"Ruby could cheer this place up," Weiss thought sadly as she slowly trudged through the house to get to her room. The door had swung open silently to reveal her room in the pristine condition she had left it in before they had gone in their trip.
"Ruby would have already messed the bed up," Weiss ruefully thought as she set her bags down. She didn't have the energy unpack so the bags stayed right where they were. As she left her room all Weiss could do was think. Every room, every hall, everything held memories of the one person Weiss missed the most yet at the same time couldn't be with.
"It's your fault."
Weiss just wanted to forget. She felt like she was drowning in her sadness and guilt, she wanted to forget even if only for a short time, just long enough to let her breathe again. Weiss snapped out of her thoughts as she looked back at the object on the counter. "I just want to forget," she thought as she picked up the bottle and examined it: a bottle of vodka. She didn't remember where she had gotten it or when. The clear liquid inside sloshed around invitingly as she turned the bottle around in her hands to examine the label on it. After deciding that it wouldn't kill her Weiss opened the bottle and noticed aside from the slight smell of alcohol the drink in her hands didn't have much of an odor. Weiss debated about getting a glass to pour the alcohol in before she realized it didn't matter as she put the bottle to her lips and took a pull from it.
The clear liquid felt like fire as it passed her lips, and the taste made her eyes water. She pulled the bottle from her mouth and coughed. It was one of the strongest things she had ever tasted. Weiss wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she stared at the bottle. It wasn't foul, but it was definitely an acquired taste. Weiss took another drink from the bottle, this time the fire burned a little less as it went down Weiss' throat. Weiss was already feeling a bit light-headed from the liquor and so she kept drinking to keep that feeling. It felt so much better than the crushing weight of her guilt. "Anything is better than that feeling," she thought as she kept drinking from the bottle.
The bottle Weiss set down was empty; she had drained the bottle after an hour and had just sat in the kitchen before crying. The booze had only masked her pain and now it was coming back with a vengeance. Her head was swimming, and everything just felt so light as she sobbed in her seat.
"Ruby… hic... why… hic… why aren't you here?" Weiss cried, and even in her drunken state she still felt the self-loathing. "It's because of you that she isn't here." Weiss shakily stood up. Her legs felt like they were made of jelly as she stumbled through her house. She just wanted to go to her bed and sleep. She frequently leaned against the wall to regain her balance. As she neared her room Weiss felt bile rising in her throat, and she stumbled her way into the bathroom that was near her room. She made it there not a moment too soon as she felt the bile climbing steadily up towards her mouth. Weiss dropped to her knees with her head hovering a few inches above the toilet bowl as she felt the bile pass her lips and she threw up into the toilet bowl. It was acidic and watery her stomach had been empty when she had started drinking, so she was merely throwing up the poison she had been ingesting.
Weiss sat there for the longest moment of her life. Even after she had finished vomiting she remained by the toilet. Standing up, she flushed the toilet and looked at herself in the mirror. She was disgusted by the person she saw looking back at her. Her hair was a mess. The normally neat ponytail was a disaster, with hairs sticking every which way, and her eyes were bloodshot and they had bags under them. Just looking at herself made Weiss' hate for herself intensify.
"Look at yourself, even if Ruby didn't hate you why would she want to be with a mess?" Weiss didn't even cry at this, her eyes felt like they were dry and her head was still swimming, but the lightness she had felt was going away. Leaving her with the smothering weight of reality. "This is my penance for hurting Ruby," Weiss thought sullenly. She couldn't find the energy to get to her room and so she slumped to the floor of her bathroom and just passed out. Her anguish and revulsion for herself were the only things keeping her company in the quiet, lonely house.