a/n - light white rose (ruby/weiss) content.
There was nothing out of the ordinary that night. Nothing at all. Each of their teammates sat upon their respected beds - arranged in pairs according to partners - and did things that were typical of them. Across the room, Blake had a book in her lap and appeared grossly absorbed in it, seeming to move no muscles except the ones that let her trail her eyes from side to side and breathe. Above her, Yang's arm hung off the side of the bed and her face was embedded in her pillow, thankfully, obscuring the hideous snores that passed her lips. She would reserve comment for her terrible sleeping posture for now, but resolved to vocalize it to the blonde tomorrow morning.
And Weiss, well, Weiss was thumbing through her textbook, expertly reading over the glossy pages and picking out key points of information worthy of note for her studies. As a representative of Beacon, no less could be expected.
The only mystery of the night was poised directly above her in the bed that dangled from the ceiling. She could not see through the mattress and take in what Ruby was doing, but she could infer, based on the normalcy of everyone else's evening activities, that it was just the same as it always was.
As if summoned, Ruby's face came into view somewhere off to her side, said girl hanging down from her hazardous perch and searching out Weiss's eyes.
Unfortunately, she lent them to her.
Ruby broke out into a smile.
"Weiss! Best teammate! Friend!" The many manners of address came out in a roll from out her mouth, not ceasing even as the heiress stared at her while intensely chanting "shut up" in the confines of her own mind.
Blake chuckled lowly, blocked from her view by Ruby's head.
"What," Weiss cut her off sharply, before anything else dared spill out, taking in how Ruby's mouth closed back to her smile easily despite the attitude, "do you want, Ruby?"
Her inquiry became horribly misconstrued as an invitation for Ruby to climb down and sit on her knees in Weiss's bed. The way she balled up her hands in her lap and vibrated in her spot was highly suspicious.
"Actually, I wanted to ask you a favor..." Ruby rarely asked anything of her - and rightly so - but it made her inclined to listen. "Um, you see, I might be a little, just a teeny bit... wired on coffee."
Weiss didn't know exactly what that meant for her, but she put aside her text and regarded her with arms folded.
"Well, I don't plan on sleeping for a while so..." Ruby clapped her hands together then and lowered her head. "Please stay up with me! I don't want to be awake all by myself!"
Oh no. No.
"Why don't you ask Blake?" Weiss attempted to divert her caffeinated partner off to someone else. Yang would have been the ideal scapegoat, but she had to go and fall asleep; she half expected, though, that she'd awake in the middle of the night from a near-death experience of almost drowning in her drool.
Both girls stared at the faunus when she was mentioned, but Blake had taken the initiative before she had even become a factor of the conversation. Her book had been put away somewhere and she was tucked under her covers. Unresponsive to the sound of her voice. She could very well be faking, but the escape had "your partner, your problem" written all over it.
Ruby looked back to her, eyes puppy-dog wide and pleading with Weiss's inner nice person. True, she had nothing to do tomorrow due to it being a weekend. Also true, that she was not at all tired at the moment and wouldn't be sleeping for at least an hour or two from now.
"Fine, but I won't be staying up all night." Her better judgement had screamed no, but her mouth gave an entirely different answer. "This is a one-time thing; next time, you'll suffer on your own!"
That was all it took. Ruby gurgled happily, flopped down on Weiss's mattress and grabbed hold of her pillow, hugging it to herself. The mattress bounced and the heiress wrinkled her nose - not that anyone noticed.
"Thank you, Weiss!"
The otherwise ordinary night illusion shattered, Weiss sighed and shook her head. This favor would eventually be called in by Weiss, punishable by a two hour drill followed by a rigorous study session. In good time...
The heiress had picked up her book again and began reading through it as Ruby simply kicked her feet back and forth and laid next to where she sat. At times, she could feel the younger girl's stare upon her, but for the all in all, this favor involved no effort on her part. Ruby seemed content to simply share her company; perhaps she just wished for a warm presence to be near and awake.
And thus, the two hours ticked by. Weiss had lost track of time, but the way that a supposedly wired Ruby simply passed the time by in silence pricked at her as atypical.
Much like this night was shaping up to be.
She placed her book aside, done with it for the evening and turned around, still seated, to take in her partner who was now humming an upbeat tune to herself. Ruby glanced over to her and appeared pleased to see Weiss had turned her way, propping herself up to sit as well.
"What's up, Weiss? You done?" She chirped, the heiress's pillow still snug in her arms and held close to her frame.
"You've been rather quiet. I had expected, for someone who couldn't sleep, that you wouldn't be able to shut up." Wary of her words, she added, "Not that that is an invitation to start."
Ruby let her chin fall on top of the pillow in her grasp.
"I didn't want to bother you..."
Oh, how considerate of her.
Spoke too soon.
"I did want to ask a question." Ruby lifted her head and concentrated hard on Weiss's face. "Weiss, what do you think romance is?"
It had never been her personal experience, but she had heard that people had a tendency to think about strange things late into the night. The question seemed highly out of place and truly somewhere out of left field so she attributed it to this phenomenon. She furrowed her brow, wondering if this was going to turn into the dreaded "girl talk" she had thrown around mockingly.
"Why do you ask?"
Ruby pursed her lips outward, rocking back and forth.
"I'm just curious." A silence punctuated her words. "If you answer, I'll go to bed!"
Or Weiss could just kick her off her bed, but she didn't know if she had the energy to combat an energetic Ruby physically.
"The usual would suffice, wouldn't it?" Weiss started, her eyes traveling somewhere other than Ruby's face. There hadn't been any experiences in her life to speak of, but she could say what she had seen and heard. "Going out to a respectable dinner and attending other classy affairs. Sharing gifts. Only putting forth the best for the other person. Poetry?" She scowled. "... and such." There was more than she could possible collect and list. The rich girl part of her persona associated a certain sort of pampering with affection. Nothing excessive, but not entirely absent either. The answer seemed rather fabricated, though. It was mere repetition of what romance looked to be.
Ruby chuckled nervously and mumbled something to herself that Weiss could not catch.
"And what about you?"
"For me, it's more like... staying in on a cold day and sharing a blanket!" A dreamy look came over her expression then as if imagining said scenario right that moment. "Watching a movie and eating popcorn sounds totally cool. Haha... as long as you put your heart into it, anything goes!"
Weiss scoffed. Such simplicity.
Her partner rattled on:
"I always thought... that as long as you like the person, you could do absolutely nothing and just sit around in silence and be happy. If you really wanted to."
If there was an implication there, Weiss did not catch it. She shrugged her shoulders and ran her fingers through some of the white hair that tickled against her arm.
"We were obviously raised in different environments. It's natural that we'd have differing opinions." At the same time, the heiress could see where she was coming from. There was something tantalizingly uncomplicated to her approach. "But I suppose you aren't necessarily... wrong."
"Your stuff all sounds so..." Ruby lowered her voice and frowned to herself, squeezing her pillow tighter. "... impersonal, though."
"What about flowers?"
Weiss exhaled, suddenly more exhausted than she was a few minutes ago.
"What about them?"
"Do you think they're romantic?" Ruby asked again, with a few bats of her eyelashes. Weiss's brow twitched.
"They can be... in the right setting." Weiss had never given it much thought, but something about flowers seemed fleeting and impermanent. She was aware, however, that they held behind them much sentimental meaning for many people.
Ruby seemed to perk up. She released Weiss's pillow and took up one of the heiress's hands with both of her own.
"I can't magic you up any flowers, buuut..." The glow of her companion's semblance made Weiss bring up her free hand to block out some of the light; her eyes, having just adjusted to the dark, offended by the brightness. There was a soft press in the open palm of her captured hand and when she lowered her arm, she looked down at the tiny pile of rose petals therein. Ruby smiled and closed the fingers of Weiss's hand upon the gift. "Rose petals are pretty romantic too - I think."
Weiss could not find her words. Either Ruby was teasing her or this was an indication of something much more intimate. The petals came directly from her semblance; it was like Ruby had just placed pieces of herself into her hand. And with the subject of their conversation in mind that was a rather daring thing to do.
Ruby relinquished contact and removed herself from Weiss's bunk, standing up and stretching her arms as if refreshed. A yawn tumbled from her lips.
"Well, you answered the question so I'm off to bed like we said!" There was a cheerful glance thrown her way then. "Thanks for staying up with me, Weiss."
The girl disappeared up into her bed, leaving Weiss to gather up the dregs of her thoughts and piece together carefully guarded emotions. The subject of romance and the gesture could have very well simply been a spur of the moment thing. Fueled by sleeplessness and coffee on the young girl's part. Her fingers pressed harshly into the fragile petals in her hand, the petals already beginning to fade away within her grip. Dismissing the foolish thoughts that crossed her mind, she pulled up her covers and slipped under them with a haughty huff. There was no way she would entertain such childish fancies. It had been a whim and that was all. She brought her pillow under her head and hooked her arm around it. The scent that surrounded her then smelled highly of Ruby.
And if only for a moment she considered reevaluating her idea of romance.