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“I cannot believe you talked me into this.” 

“Aw, come on, Weiss! It’s gonna be so much fun!” 

Weiss wanted to argue. Every fiber in her being told her to argue that this was not about fun, it was a mission. But she knew better and she really didn’t want Ruby to think that she was against them spending this time together. 

After all, it had been presented to them as a mission-slash-vacation. One that, according to Qrow and Oscar...or...Ozpin or whatever he was going by now, that they had earned. 

So instead, Weiss merely kept quiet and stared out at the never ending rows of trees and grass that made up the seemingly endless void of nature that was Patch. 

She’d never actually been here before, but being Ruby’s partner meant she’d heard thousands of stories about it through the years. Yang and Ruby spoke of it with such great joy and reverence that Weiss all but expected the hills to be made of ice cream and the rivers to run with chocolate syrup. 

Even if Weiss didn’t always (or hardly ever) share Ruby’s endless optimism and delight in the simpler things in life, she had long since passed the point where it bothered her. In fact, it was in the rare moments where Ruby wasn’t this happy that Weiss would genuinely worry about her. The years together had trained Weiss well in Ruby Rose 101. She could, better than probably anyone outside of Yang, tell how Ruby was feeling just by the way she said hello. 

Today, Ruby was teetering just between happy and obnoxiously joyful.

Weiss couldn’t really blame her though, it’d been years since she’d been home. 

“Your father is going to have a small stroke when he sees you, you realize that?” 

She turned to watch Ruby’s grin nearly split her cheeks. It was still a little strange to see Ruby driving. But better her than Weiss. “I’m counting on it!”

“You’re counting on your poor, retired father to have a stroke?”

Ruby laughed. “Just a small one! And he’s not retired, things!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “How long has he been ‘in-between things’?” 

“Like five years or so,” Ruby flipped on the blinker and turned off the main road onto a much more narrow and rough road. “He keeps himself pretty busy with his garden and still helps ata the Signal.” 

Weiss could barely hear Ruby now, this gravel road sounded like they were driving over a sheet of broken glass. Not to mention it was trying to bounce her out of her seat. “Well he’s going to be…” a big bump made her sunglasses fall off. She already hated this. “He’s going to be busy trying to keep you fed the next two weeks.” 

“True,” Ruby seemed so delighted. More so than Weiss could remember her being in a long time. “Don’t worry though, he already has the list of Weiss approved foods.”

“What?!” Weiss screeched. “You did not send your father a list of approved foods for me? Ruby, I don’t want to be a hassle like that!” 

Like the absolutely absurd human being she could so often be, Ruby shrugged off Weiss’ frustrated squeaky tone as if it didn’t mean anything at all. “It’s not a big deal, Weiss.”

“Not a big…” Weiss rubbed her suddenly throbbing temples. “Ruby, this is the first time I’m meeting your father in person. He’s going to think I’m…”

“A Schnee?” Ruby teased and Weiss began contemplating how long it would take the Patch police to find Ruby’s body in this seemingly empty little town. “Weiss, you’re spending two weeks in a place you’ve never been to, in my father’s home. I know...I know it’s not exactly what you’re used to. But you agreed to come with me anyway and...I want you to actually enjoy your time here. So...I want you to have some good food too. Food you like. Even if it’s mostly rabbit food.” 

Then, just like that, Ruby could be the most thoughtful person Weiss had ever met. All the frustration and anxiety faded away. Even this Gods awful road felt less rough. 

“Thank you, Ruby. didn’t have to do that.”

“Of course I did! This is going to be an amazing two weeks!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes, but couldn’t stop her own smile. “Mission. Don’t forget, fearless leader. This is a mission.” 

“Pfft, a few beringals is nothing to worry about. We’ll be done with that by Monday! Then it’s rest, relaxation and fishing!


“Yes! There’s an amazing pond a short ways away from my house. Yang and I used to go there all the time and fish and play and stuff. It’s where I unlocked my semblance!” 

“Oh?” Weiss was suddenly curious. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard that story.” 

“It was nothing super special. We were playing catch with a ball that was pretty much the last one we had, because we’d lost so many over the years and stuff that my dad made us start really taking care of our stuff. Yang threw it like...way too far, because of course she did, and I couldn’t let it fall in the lake, you know?” As she spoke, and drove, Ruby used her free left hand to gesture as if she were drawing a diagram of the entire event in the air. “And so I just kinda...jumped, you know, and suddenly it was like the whole world slowed down and I was in the air and the ball was coming at me. I caught it and realized I could probably shift my momentum and maybe make it back on the shore.” Ruby started laughing. “When I landed, you should have seen Yang’s face. She was freaking out! Though I bet it looked pretty weird. Then all the rose petals started falling from the sky too. It was super cool.” 

It did sound pretty cool, and maybe a little scary, and far better than Weiss’ semblance story. Her’s wasn’t so much discovered as it was beaten out of her through years of struggle and failure. 

The one thing Weiss couldn’t help but notice is how long they had been driving since they arrived in town. She hadn’t seen any real buildings or businesses in at least ten minutes and they were still driving. 

“You do know where you’re going, right?” 

Ruby waved Weiss off. “Of course I do, we live a bit out of the way, but not too bad. We’re almost there.” Ruby pointed forward with one hand as they made their way up a very steep and unpaved hill. “That house at the end of this road, that’s us!” 

Following Ruby’s finger, Weiss’ eyes were drawn to a large, two story wooden house set in the middle of a wide array of trees and the greenest grass Weiss had ever seen. No matter how far she looked from left to right, Weiss could not see another house anywhere near this one. 

Eventually, the road leveled out and softened as they drove closer. This place honestly looked like it fell out of some kind of magazine. 

Ruby was practically bouncing in her seat as the car rolled to a slow stop. Weiss reached over and put a hand on her shoulder, drawing her eyes as she stopped. “You’re going to hit your head on the roof if you keep this up.” She said and Ruby laughed. 

“It’s just so good to be back! I’ve missed it so much! There’s so much I want to show you! So many things we can do!” 

Once the car was fully stopped, Weiss couldn’t speak another word before Ruby was out of the car and taking a deep breath. 

She breathed in so hard that she started coughing and Weiss couldn’t stop herself from laughing. “You dolt.” She said, unbuckling her seat belt and climbing out as well. She couldn’t deny it though, the air here was different than anywhere they’d been recently. Not to mention how quiet it was. With the car turned off, all you could hear was the wind rustling through the trees. 

There were so many trees. 

Just as Ruby was about to race to the front door, Weiss knew she had to stop her. “Ruby!” She snapped, pulling those silver eyes in her direction. “We need to unload our bags and bring them in.” 

“Oh right!” Ruby wasn’t about to leave Crescent Rose in the car. Ruby burst in a rush of rose petals and the back door was suddenly flying open. As Weiss made her way to the back at a normal, human speed, Ruby already had both their suitcases out and was trying to stack Myrtenaster’s holding case on top. 

“I can carry some.” Weiss said, stepping in and taking her weapon case off Ruby’s tower of luggage. “Ruby,” Weiss spoke a little more sternly as she watched Ruby trying to pull out her own weapon carrier. She was one bad step away from dropping everything. Her teammate froze, looking at her like a child who had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. “I know you’re excited, but you need to relax a little, all right? We’re here - we’ve got plenty of time. Let’s not dump all of my good clothes in the dirt.” 

With a bashful smile, Ruby nodded and put her weapon back into the car. “Right, sorry...I’m just...really happy we’re here.” 

This girl was impossible to be upset with. “I know, so am I. We’ll take this in and I’ll come back and get the rest.” 

“Okay,” Ruby grinned even more than she already was. “Oh! Did you tell Blake we were here?”

Weiss nodded. “I texted them when the airship landed. Blake said Yang was stressed and went to exercise with Ren.” 

“Yang stresses too much,” Ruby said, but Weiss knew Ruby would be calling her sister when she found some free time to, once again, reassure her that they would be fine. 

This wasn’t Ruby and Weiss’ first mission without Blake and Yang, but it was the first one they’d taken without them on a completely different continent. Blake and Yang wanted to come, but the truth was that they weren’t really needed. It was a fairly simple mission and though she didn’t know it, Ruby’s team had put their heads together and decided that their leader desperately needed a vacation. 

It had been almost five years since they’d last seen Salem. A brutal fight that nearly tore Mantle to the ground. Yet somehow, they’d pushed her back and she just...vanished. She didn’t die, they didn’t win - but she was gone and the world kept moving. 

All of them knew she would be back, probably stronger than ever, but the waiting was all that remained and for five long years, it weighed heavily on all of them. 

Especially Ruby. 

She worked so hard in the wake of Salem. Not only to help restore Mantle and the people who’d lost homes and loved ones, but everywhere they went. Ruby treated this war as if it was her own personal burden - as if Salem and everything else was her fault.

The worst part was, Ruby had a very bad habit of internalizing all of her guilt and pain. Instead of dealing with it, she would harder, push herself more and do everything she could to avoid it.

After all, you can’t hurt if you don’t ever let yourself stop working to fix the world. 

So, the plan was made and it was fairly simple. Take Ruby away from all of this and let her rest. Granted, Ruby would never truly rest and she would have never come without the guise that she was at least doing something productive. So when Taiyang reached out with a very simple mission in Patch, the team presented it to Ruby like they would any other mission. Only this one was an extended stay, in the home she grew up in, and thankfully Ruby couldn’t deny how nice that sounded. 

Of course, one of Ruby’s stipulations was that Weiss come with her. Weiss had always planned on coming along, but Ruby’s insistence and then decision that they would not stay in a hotel, but instead at her childhood home, made it a bit more daunting than originally planned. 

Still, Weiss couldn’t completely deny the beauty of this place. 

“Come on, let’s get all of our stuff in and then we can start making food for Dad!”

“Your father isn’t here?” Weiss asked, following Ruby to the door. 

“No, he’s taking small shifts at Signal - he enjoys being around the kids and gets him out of the house.” Ruby started to reach up to one of the lights set on either side of the door. She fumbled around near the left one, clearly searching for something. “He better not have moved the spare key on me.” 

“He knew we were coming, right? Why would he hide the key from you?” 

Ruby stuck her tongue out as she continued to search. This was one of the rare times Weiss was thankful that Ruby had grown a few inches taller than her because if not neither of them would be able to reach that high. 

“My dad is a little forgetful. He kinda gets all caught up in his head sometimes and doesn’t remember little things.”

“Oh,” Weiss smirked. “So it runs in the family then?” 

“Shush,”  Ruby shot a glance at Weiss, this time sticking her tongue out directly at her. Then suddenly, her eyes lit up. “Ah-ha! Found it!” She pulled down a key and had the most satisfied look on her face. “Can’t keep me out of my own home!” 

As soon as Ruby opened the door, there was a bark that erupted from inside. Weiss couldn’t help herself from getting a little excited. She hadn’t seen Zwei in so long. It felt like another lifetime. 

“My boy!” Ruby cried as the door opened and Zwei came racing towards them. He was a little slower, a little heavier and a little grayer, but it was still Zwei. When Ruby knelt down, he jumped into her arms and started licking her face and making her giggle. It was one of the cuter things Weiss had ever seen. 

And while it wasn’t as if Weiss was holding all of her future self-confidence on this one exact moment, but when Zwei looked at her and started barking happily and trying to wrestle out Ruby’s arms to get to her, Weiss felt like maybe the world wasn’t as awful as it seemed to be. 

He’d remembered her. 

She took Zwei into her arms and hugged him, enjoying the way he rustled around in her grip. She looked up at Ruby, who was smiling at her in a way Weiss had never really seen before. It was a strange thought to have of someone she’d seen almost every day for the last five years, but Ruby had never looked more serene. 

“Welcome home, Ruby.” Weiss said, so glad her friend... best friend, was happy. 

Ruby took a step towards her and pulled Weiss and Zwei into a hug. “Thanks for coming with me.” 

Weiss decided not to tell Ruby that she had already committed herself to following Ruby wherever she went for as long as Ruby would have her.

Chapter Text

“Did you really think you wouldn’t have to call me?!” 

Ruby threw her head back in distress as she listened to her sister’s displeasure. She loved Yang, so so much, but gosh she could be overbearing sometimes. 

“Yang, I’m twenty-three years old, I don’t have to…”

“You’re still my baby sister. What if Salem came back and captured you, huh? How would I know?”

“I texted you!” 

Yang scoffed on the other line. “Salem could have stolen your scroll and texted me pretending to be you!”

Ruby contemplated just hanging up and let Yang sit down and think about how silly she was being. “I don’t think Salem knows how to text. Also she wouldn’t know the passcode to my scroll.”

“Well regardless, I’m glad you made it in. Dad back yet?” 

“Not yet, but he called and said it wouldn’t be long.”

Yang hummed on the other line. “How’s Weiss?” 

The question was already unsettling. Ruby knew where it was going. “She’s fine. She’s taking a shower.”

“ are good.”

“Yang…” Ruby pinched the bridge of her nose. Looking around the bedroom the two of them once shared, she could remember when they were little and Yang would bother her like this, she’d just pick up one of her pillows and hurl it across the room at her. If only there was an app to send a pillow at Yang from across Remnant right now.  

“Did you about stuff?” 

Ruby didn’t answer right away. Instead, she stood up from her bed and walked to the door. Listening carefully, she heard the sound of the shower still running down the hall. She then carefully shut her bedroom door. 

“We’ve been together all day, of course we talked.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

“Well that’s the question you asked, so ha! ” 

“Rubes,” She really needed to hang up now. “You need to tell her.”

“No,” Ruby had made this perfectly clear, multiple times, that she was not on this trip to confess anything . “Are you crazy! That’s the last thing I should do! It would ruin the whole trip!”

“Counterpoint, it might make the trip so much better.” 

The sudden sound of a door opening in the hallway grabbed Ruby’s attention. This whole conversation was over. “Yang, Weiss is done in the shower and so are we. I’m good, Weiss is good. I’ll call you guys when we go out on our hunt, okay?”

There was a slight pause, and when Yang spoke again the tease was out of her voice. “I know I give you a hard time,’s too short to keep this to yourself, Rubes.” 

Closing her eyes, Ruby let the words sink in. She knew that, she knew how short life was. She’d seen lives taken away right in front of her. Lives she cared about so much. 

But things with Weiss were good now. They were so close and took care of each other. It was far better than anything Ruby could have imagined when they first met. The thought of losing that was way scarier than any Grimm. This was Weiss Schnee , who was this actual princess that lived in a twenty five thousand story mansion and probably had bath towels that cost more than the tuition at Beacon. Not in a million years would she ever want to date her partner who read comic books, cried over weapons she saw in magazines and once (regrettably) tried to eat a cookie through her nose. 

Not to mention that whenever Salem returned, Ruby would be on the front line and, if the last fight was any indication, might not even make it back alive. 

No...she couldn’t do that to Weiss. 

No, no, no. 

“I know, Yang. I--I’ll think about it.” It wasn’t technically a lie. She’d thought about it for the last three years.

“Love you, little sis.”

“I love you too.”

Ruby exited her room just in time to find Weiss in the hallway. She had just blow dried her hair, which made it look all puffy and adorable. Weiss’ hair was shorter now that it used to be - but still went about halfway down her back. 

She looked incredibly comfy, all decked out in her big, fluffy white robe with blue trim. She was petting Zwei who was eagerly seeking Weiss’ attention by standing on the back of the couch. His tail wagging back and forth.

That little flutter in her stomach struck again. It had become a pretty regular occurrence around Weiss the last few...months...years. 

This one though, this one was almost painful - because of how easy it would be to slide up behind Weiss, wrap her arms around her and kiss her on the cheek. 

Would it really be so bad to take the leap? What if Yang was right? What if it worked out and Weiss felt the same way and they fell madly in love with each other? 

Maybe, just maybe, there was some kind of cosmic karma that would let Ruby at least have this . She was already destined for a life where she was basically just a really fast and glowy weapon meant to fight a war that started way before she was even born. So maybe, Weiss was like her gift through all this. The one, magical thing she was given to carry her through and reward her for all the things she’d sacrificed. 

Of course, that thought made Ruby feel bad because it wasn’t right to look at Weiss as some kind of prize. No, Weiss was so much more than that. She was a treasure to the world. A girl who had changed so much and had such a big heart, the biggest. It sometimes amazed Ruby how much Weiss could care about people, people she’d never even met. For all the things people used to say about Weiss Schnee, the fact was that she had turned into the exact opposite of every nasty rumor ever said about her. 

She was amazing, and she was Ruby’s best friend and whenever the war did come back, Ruby would need her then.

So why risk what they had now? Why break the bond they’d formed? They were here, now, together. Sure, Ruby couldn’t walk over and hold Weiss in her arms and tell her how amazing she was and how pretty she was and do all those cheesy things she’d read about that sounded so incredible. She couldn’t do that , but she could spend time with her right now, as friends - and that could be enough. 

It was far more than she ever thought she would have when she was lying on the ground in pain, staring up at Salem. 

No, bad juju, Ruby. Don’t go there tonight. 

“You hungry?” Ruby asked, drawing those blue eyes to her. 

Weiss had a big smile on her face, one she always seemed to have when she was around Zwei. “Shouldn’t we wait for your father?” 

“He’ll be here by the time we’re finished!” Ruby was starving . If one thing could get her mind off of Weiss, it would be food. She already had a plan in place for that. “Besides. I have to show you how to make my super special grilled cheese sandwich!” 

“Super special?” Weiss seemed doubtful, her smile fading a bit as her eyes narrowed. “The last time you made something ‘super special’ it was undercooked cake batter and it kept the both of us up all night.”

Ruby waved Weiss off, not at all wanting to relive that nightmare evening. “That was just one time. I’ve made good stuff...almost every other time I’ve tried.”

Making her way into the kitchen, Ruby opened the refrigerator door and started to search. She was a little surprised at how little food was actually in here. Maybe she was just used to the overstocked kitchens at the base where they had to feed so many huntsman and huntresses. 

Still, she’d need to go shopping for her dad before she left.

“How can I help?” Ruby jumped, startled by the closeness of Weiss’ voice. She jolted upright to see Weiss standing just beside the open fridge door. She was close and smelled so good. Ruby had no idea what shampoo Weiss used but whatever it was it was the best smell in Remnant. 

What was even worse, was that Ruby was taller than Weiss now. Which meant that she had just the right angle to see through the slight opening in Weiss’ robe - where her neck and collarbone were on full display and taunting Ruby like some kind of soft, pale bully. 

Knowing Weiss was there, waiting with a question Ruby could barely remember, she looked up and met blue eyes watching her. She had to say something. More importantly, she had to stop staring. 

“Bread,” she said, pointing blindly behind her. “I uh...bread for the grilled cheeses! Could you get it for me?” 

Weiss tilted her head to the side a bit, curious. “Sure. Are you...okay?” 

Think of something, Ruby. You’re the leader of the best team of huntresses in Remnant. Just come with something, anything that doesn’t make you look like a lovesick puppy. 

“My dad’s fridge is a little empty. I might have to go buy him some food tomorrow.”

Not bad.

“Oh,” Weiss peeked into the open fridge and nodded. “It does look a bit bleak in there. We’ll go in the morning?” 

“You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

“Yes I do,” Weiss said with a laugh as she stepped away to retrieve the bread. “Otherwise you’ll bring him back four pints of ice cream, six bags of cookies and about twelve chicken breasts and call it good. You can’t just live on protein and sweets, Ruby Rose.” 

Ruby felt her smile returning. She loved bantering with Weiss. “I know that,” she said, reaching into the fridge and grabbing the large bag she knew her dad would have. “You have to have cheese in there too!” She said, holding up the bag of shredded cheese proudly. 

Weiss rolled her eyes, a move Ruby had seen her do probably six thousand times since they’d met. It used to frustrate Ruby, because at first Weiss would do it when she was being dismissive of something Ruby would say. Over time though, the eye roll became a sign of affection, almost something Ruby would try and draw out of her partner.

“So what exactly makes this a super special grilled cheese?” 

“I’m glad you asked,” Ruby gave a wink before picking up a pan and placing it on the stove. “Now you see, with most grilled cheeses, it’s just a simple pattern. Bread, cheese, butter and boring. You know?”

Weiss carried the bread over and shrugged. “You forgot to mention bubbling with grease, but go on.” 

Ruby stuck her tongue out. “Welllll, the key to a super special grilled cheese is using good cheese. Mainly,” she held up the bag again. “Shredded cheese. Also forget butter, that’s for rookies.” 

“As opposed to you, a veteren in the field of cooking cheese and bread.”

“Exactly!” Ruby then moved in a burst of her semblance, opening the fridge door and closing it so fast that it bounced and moved off it’s spot a bit. When she returned, with only a few rose petals trickling behind her, she held up her prize for Weiss to examine in awe. 

Weiss stared at the item for a moment, then back to Ruby, not one bit of awe present. “Mayonnaise?” 

“Mayonnaise!” Ruby popped the bottle open and started squirting it onto her bread. “This is it, Weiss, the key ingredient. It makes the bread have so much more flavor and it gets all brown and crispy. Plus, plus I have this thing I do where I put cheese on top of the bread too, and let it get all crunchy. Weiss, it’s incredible. My dad is going to be so excited.”

Weiss sighed, that same sigh she gave when she was beyond trying to argue and Ruby knew she’d won. Glancing over as the stove heated up, Ruby watched Weiss tug at the tie on her robe. Despite not wanting to be such a terrible person with these terrible thoughts, Ruby couldn’t help but wonder if Weiss was actually wearing anything underneath that robe. 

She didn’t want to stare, she didn’t even really want to look. So instead she stared down at the black, empty pan in front of her and waited for literally anything to happen so she could have something to do other than thinking about what may or may not be under Weiss’ robe. 

Life was so much easier before, when she just wanted Weiss to be her friend. When her mind wasn’t filled with these thoughts of how much fun it would be to kiss her and hold her hand and touch--

“You made it!” Her dad’s voice matched the sound of the door opening almost perfectly. Ruby turned, seeing him come in with a bright smile on his face and a bag slung over his shoulder. 

“Dad!” Ruby squealed, nearly knocking over her entire setup for dinner as she raced over to him. 

He was ready, just like always, to catch his speedy little girl as she jumped into his arms. Ruby hugged her dad tighter than she probably should, but she hadn’t seen him in so long. 

“Okay but this is a problem,” He pulled back, still holding Ruby at arms length. “You’re getting way too big. You were still a kid the last time I saw you. Now look at you!” 

Ruby, brushing away the tears in her eyes she wasn’t ready for, didn’t want to be reminded of how long she’d been away from home. “C’mon, Dad. You see me all the time in the video chats.”

Dad shook his head. “That’s not the same.” He said, before pulling her in for yet another hug. 

Ruby couldn’t disagree - this was so much nicer than the video chats, plus…

“Oh, Weiss,” she said, almost mumbling into her dad’s chest. She pulled away and gestured to her partner, who was standing closer to the kitchen door than before with a soft smile. “Dad, you can finally, officially meet my partner.” 

Shy Weiss was probably the most adorable Weiss. Because she would always blush - with her pale skin it was so darn noticeable. She stayed back just a bit, offering a very small wave in Ruby’s dad’s direction. 

“Hello, sir. It’s nice to meet you.”

Ruby knew she needed to help this along. Her dad was as bad as Yang with the lame jokes and Weiss had issues with her own father that had kind of bled into every relationship she had with fatherly figures - it was Ruby’s job to bridge the gap. 

Breaking away from her dad, Ruby zipped to Weiss’ side and placed a hand on her back, slowly guiding her forward. 

“I was just showing her the secret family grilled cheese recipe!” 

He laughed, and Ruby felt herself having to push Weiss more and more the closer they drew. “Ahhh, well I don’t know how much of a secret it is, but you can’t find a recipe any cheddar than that!.” He winked, the man winked and Ruby swore that Weiss was now pushing against her. 

“Dad, please. You’ll scare Weiss off.”

This made him laugh and he extended his hand out to her. “Nah, she’s put up with Yang for years and her puns aren’t nearly as gouda as mine.”

“DAD.” Ruby practically barked, she knew he was just playing up for company. He made bad jokes, but never at this rate. 

Putting up his hands in surrender, he sighed with a smile. “Fine, I’ll tone it down. Cheese is just really easy to work with. Weiss,” He reached out again, this time Weiss was close enough to accept the shake. “It really is nice to meet you. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every conversation I’ve had with my daughter since she left for Beacon has involved you in some way.”

Well, now it was Ruby’s turn to blush and she knew she was because her whole face felt like it was on fire. She didn’t talk about Weiss that much. 

Did she?

“Well considering how much she talks, I’d be a little upset if my name didn’t come up every once in a while.” Weiss spoke evenly and gave Ruby a steady look, but she had the slightest hint of a smile that made her words almost feel like a compliment. “It’s very nice to meet you, sir. Thank you for letting me stay in your home.”

He nodded, shaking Weiss’ hand with a grin. “Of course. I’m thrilled for the company, to be honest. As much as I love Zwei, he’s getting older now and sleeps all the time and as funny as I am I can’t keep up conversations with myself every day.”

“You know,” Weiss put her hands in her robe pockets and laughed softly. “I feel a bit underdressed for dinner. I think I’ll go change while you two catch up and get those...super grilled cheeses ready.” 

As her dad nodded and turned his attention to the food, Ruby watched Weiss start coming towards her. Without really thinking, Ruby reached out and pulled Weiss into a hug. She had absolutely no idea why she was hugging Weiss or if it was appropriate, but she was just so happy to be here with two of her favorite people.

The girl she had an insanely annoying and all-consuming crush on had just met her dad and it wasn’t a complete disaster. 

“Oh,” Weiss said, caught off guard by the embrace. “What’s gotten into you?” 

Ruby drew back, smiling brightly as she stared into Weiss’ eyes. “I’m really glad you came.” 

With a roll of her eyes, Weiss grinned. “Dolt.” 

“Everything okay here?” Ruby asked as she stepped into the room. The door was open so she figured it was okay. 

However, when she came in, Weiss jumped and quickly sat something down on the dresser that she had been staring at. 

“Yes, it’s fine.” Weiss had her hair in a ponytail, so much of her neck revealed now between that and her loose fitting nightshirt. Ruby hated how much she noticed these things. 

Taking a few steps in, she looked at what Weiss had been studying. “What’d you find?” 


Ruby smiled. “Weiss, it’s okay. I’m not worried about you uncovering any dark family secrets.”

“No Grimm skulls in the closet?” Weiss teased. 

“They disintegrate when you kill them.”

Weiss rolled her eyes. “You’d find a way.” This made Ruby laugh. “I apologize for snooping, I was just admiring the view and I saw...this.” Carefully, she picked up the picture she’d had before and showed it to Ruby. 

It was an old photo of her mom holding a very little Yang in her arms.

“I’m pretty sure that was Yang’s first ponytail. Even that little Yang was super proud of her hair.” Ruby could feel Weiss’ eyes on her. She wanted to look, but she couldn’t stop staring at her mom. “I’m right...there.” She said, pointing at her mother’s round belly.

“Quietly building up all of your energy.”

Ruby laughed, the backs of her eyes burning just a bit. “My dad...after mom died, he put a lot of these photos in here. Didn’t really want to see a lot of them. Over time he brought more and more of them out. I...I guess he wanted to keep a few in here too. Just in case.”

As she spoke, Ruby felt a hand fall across her back. “You look so much like her. If I could ever convince you to grow your hair out it’d be like looking in a mirror.” 

“If I grow my hair too long I’m pretty sure I’d just cut some of it off with Crescent Rose.” Ruby said with a smile. “But...thank you for saying that...about my mom and me.”

“I know you miss her,” Weiss rubbed her back gently. She could be so darn sweet. 

“I do, but’s not a bad thing, you know?” She finally looked up at Weiss, who had a bit of confusion on her face. “I mean it is, of course. Missing her means she’s gone and that stinks. But...I was so little when she died that missing her is kind of all I have, you know?” Weiss frowned and Ruby knew she wasn’t doing a great job explaining herself. “Of course I wish she was still here. I wish...she could have greeted us with dad and met you. She would have loved you.” Weiss looked away. “Hey, I mean that. Just because your parents weren’t smart enough to truly appreciate how amazing you are doesn’t mean you’re not amazing.” 

Weiss blushed and Ruby adored every single bit of it. “We’re talking about your parents, not mine.” When Weiss’ hand fell from Ruby’s back, she decided to reach down and hold it.

“I like that I miss my mom. I like the feeling because it’s all I have of her. It has been long as I can remember. I don’t have all the memories and stuff that my dad or Qrow have. Even Yang has more than me. Missing her is a painful feeling,’s mine, you know? It’s what I have left of her and I don’t ever want to not miss her.” 

Weiss watched her, studied her, and a few heartbeats later, Ruby felt Weiss squeeze her hand. “I guess that makes sense.” Weiss reached up and took the photo from Ruby’s hand, gently setting it down on the dresser. “You should ask your dad if he has anymore photos. Maybe one you could take with you when we leave.” 

Staring at the photo, Ruby agreed that was probably a good idea. Something like this, a moment captured in time, was one of the few remaining memories of the woman Summer Rose was and the moments she shared with her family. 

“H-hey Weiss?”

Those blue eyes stared up at her. “Hmm?” 

“Can…” Ruby took a deep breath, reaching into the pocket of her pajama bottoms and pulling out her scroll. “Can we take a photo? To...remember this? Us being here together?” 

Just in case

With a nod, Weiss moved in a step closer to Ruby and carefully laid her head down on Ruby’s shoulder. 

Holding out her scroll at arm’s length, Ruby looked at the image of the two of them on her screen and smiled. 

Yep, the dolt went and fell in love.

Chapter Text

Weiss was never entirely sure if she believed all the stories about what happened to you after you died. 

How, if you were a good person, you went to the world of light, living among the clouds and feeling nothing but joy and serenity - surrounded by people who loved you. It all sounded so simple and convenient. 

On the opposite side, there were stories of what happened if you were a bad person. You were sent to the world of darkness below. A desolate and empty place, where eternity was torment and there was no place for hope. 

Weiss couldn’t exactly comprehend what that kind of existence might be like, but if she had to guess, she’d have to assume it wasn’t much different than grocery shopping in Patch at nine in the morning.  

She was given cart duty, because Ruby could not be trusted with it. Ruby had far too much energy and loved to zip around from shelf to shelf throwing in whatever she might find. 

The cart she was pushing was useless and had a defective wheel that essentially worked against her no matter what direction she tried to go. 

As was becoming the norm, Ruby had wandered off ahead of Weiss and now Weiss was pushing this anchored down sled around a corner trying to find her. 

She really did hate this place. It smelled, it was over capacity and people were so rude. They would just... stand there like sheep. Completely in the way and staring aimlessly at a jar of pickles as if it might start talking to them. Weiss knew what people thought of her and her past. Growing up in money was certainly not all it was cracked up to be, but darn it if she didn’t miss having a personal shopper right now. 

When she finally did find Ruby, she was surprisingly standing still. Her face was buried in her scroll by a shelf full of rice bags and seasonings. Ruby wore a small smile on her face, clearly pleased by whatever was on her scroll. 

“What are you looking at?” 

Ruby jumped, clearly caught off guard, but her smile didn’t waver as she held up her scroll towards Weiss. 

“Penny’s trying on hats.” 

So she was, in the photos, Penny was wearing a very large, black cowboy hat. “Why is she trying on hats?” 

“Yang’s been showing her some of her favorite movies. Apparently Penny really likes the western ones. She wants to be a gunslinger.” 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “Your sister is a terrible influence when it comes to fashion.” 

“This, from Weiss ‘belt buckles’ Schnee.” Ruby teased and Weiss pointed a finger directly at her. 

“Don’t you start on my buckles. We both had them.” 

“And we both looked awesome.”

Weiss smirked. “Yes we did, but that,” she gestured to Ruby’s scroll. “Does not. Tell Penny to stop listening to Yang and that I will take her clothes shopping when we return. I’ve always felt Penny could use a more...modern look. We’ll turn her into a sharp dressed hero in no time.” 

Tapping on her scroll, Ruby finally started to move again which meant Weiss had to wrestle the cart to go forward. 

“Oh! After we get this food home we should probably train, right?” Weiss nodded. Ruby was the leader, she set their training times. “Well there’s a gym down by the docks where we can workout and then afterwards we can get some food by the beach. It’ll be--” 

“Ruby Rose?” 

A few steps in front of her, Ruby stopped dead in her tracks. Weiss heard the call of Ruby’s name, but did not expect Ruby to stop functioning entirely like that. 

Weiss felt this person was behind them, but she was far more interested in Ruby’s reaction. Slowly, her partner turned around, a much different expression on her face than the one of joy and excitement from before. 

She looked back beyond Weiss, at whomever was making their way towards them. Weiss could hear the sound of heels clapping against the tile floor. 

“I cannot believe what I’m seeing! I never thought I’d see you back here!” 

Ruby didn’t look right, her confidence was gone. She was timid and had on the most insincere smile Weiss had ever seen. 

“H-hey Cherry. It’s good to see you.”

Cherry was a red haired, tall and very thin woman who sauntered up to Ruby as if they were old friends. She reached out, with her perfectly painted nails and bracelets hanging down her wrists, and gave Ruby a hug. 

Ruby did not return the embrace, but Cherry didn’t seem to notice. 

When Cherry pulled away from Ruby, she looked her up and down and laughed. “You look exactly like I remember you. All scraggly hair and still wearing that ratty old cape.” 

Weiss waited for Ruby to correct her, as she always did. When Ruby instead cast her eyes down with a self-deprecating laugh, Weiss knew she had to do something. 

“It’s a cloak actually.” Weiss said, and Cherry seemed startled as if she hadn’t just walked past Weiss to get to Ruby. 

“My goodness, I didn’t even realize you were with her!” Cherry laughed, Weiss hated the sound. “All I’ve ever known of Ruby was her being alone. Either that or hanging following her sister around like a puppy. We used to joke around with her so much about how she’d talk to herself and play on the playground by herself as if there were actually monsters in the jungle gym.” Cherry was quite pleased with her story as she turned back to Ruby. “You remember that? You’d run around that playground by yourself all day!” 

Ruby nodded, but Weiss noticed how disconnected Ruby seemed. She clearly needed this reunion to end. Whatever memories there were with this person, they weren’t good ones.

“It’s really nice to meet you, Cherry.” Weiss said, taking a few steps forward to put herself between Ruby and Cherry. “But I’m afraid we have a busy day. We’re here on a mission.”

Cherry’s eyes lit up. “Oh my gosh! You actually became a huntress! Ruby that’s so cute!” 

“She did,” Weiss spoke again, this needed to stop. “I’d love for the two of you to have more time to catch up, but as her partner, I think it’s best if we finish our shopping and get back to work. We really don’t have much free time here.”

“Oh of course!” Cherry started fumbling through the bag on her shoulder. “Here, if you’re in town for a while, call me and we’ll get dinner or something and catch up!”

“Thank you,” Weiss took the small card Cherry was handing out. It was baffling that Cherry hadn’t even noticed that Ruby wasn’t responding to her. 

“Take care, Ruby!” Cherry said, walking by and giving Ruby another hug. 

It took every ounce of strength Weiss had not to put her foot in this woman’s backside. 

Her heels quieted with each step she took as she left them standing in the aisle, Ruby with her eyes cast down and Weiss quickly stuffing Cherry’s business card into one of the shelves underneath a can of beans. 

Turning back to her partner, Weiss moved in close and touched Ruby’s shoulder. “You okay?” 

Ruby smiled, still not her real one, but better than before. “Yeah...sorry I...I don’t like that person very much.” 

“I’ve known she existed for all of three minutes and I want to see how far I can throw her with a glyph.” This made Ruby laugh and Weiss took that as a victory. “Let’s finish up here and go work out the frustration, okay?” 

Ruby nodded, still clearly somber, and Weiss suddenly wished she could go back five minutes and prevent that entire interaction from happening. 

The workout was...intense, to say the very least. What made it even more so, was how quiet it was. 

Ruby loved her fitness, so much so that working out with her was usually a constant stream of encouragement and laughter. It took Weiss years to adjust and learn to appreciate it. There were still times that it bothered her. 

But today, to not have that from Ruby, was upsetting. 

However, seeing Ruby angry and using that anger to drive her exercises was a little bit spectacular. It was the first time Weiss could really say she’d seen just how...physically powerful Ruby was. 

She had lifted Crescent Rose enough times to know that it was heavy, certainly so compared to her own weapon. Years of spinning and throwing and slicing up monsters with her scythe had no doubt made Ruby strong, but Weiss was not prepared for just how strong. 

It was not the worst sight in the world. 

Unfortunately, Ruby’s surprising muscle and attention grabbing strength, wasn’t enough to erase the fact that Ruby had been somber for most of the day. 

They found themselves at a delightful restaurant, just along one of Patch’s many beaches, with a seat right next to the window where they could see the water and sunlight spilled in through the window beside them. 

As beautiful as the ocean view was, Weiss couldn’t focus on it. Instead, she found herself watching Ruby. 

“Are you okay?” 

Ruby’s gaze dropped from the view. “You remember how awkward I was in the early days at Beacon, right?”

“Like when you blew us both up when we met?” 

There was a ghost of a smile, a start. “Yeah...well imagine that but for like...eight years of school. I didn’t really have any friends. A few here and there, but they would always like...outgrow me, you know? They’d be my friend until they found something better or...until my silliness became too much for them.” Ruby put her hands on the table, clasped tightly together. Weiss fought the urge to tell Ruby that she didn’t grow up with many friends either - but this wasn’t about her. “At first, people just kinda left me alone. I’d play by myself and eat lunch by myself, or with Yang but she had so many friends and I always felt uncomfortable. Plus she was older so…” Ruby sniffled a bit, Weiss felt her heart shattering in her chest at the image of little Ruby sitting alone at school with no one to talk to or share her experiences with. “I’ve known what I wanted to be since I was little and that was all I cared about. Eventually, Cherry and her friends stopped ignoring me and started kind of picking on me. I never really told anyone because I didn’t want more attention, you know?” 

Weiss didn’t know, she craved attention from her family growing up, but she knew loneliness. She could relate to that. 

“And if you’d told Yang…”

Ruby laughed softly, it didn’t take a scientist to figure that one out. “Cherry would probably have a hole in her face.” 

Reaching across the table, Weiss put her hand on top of Ruby’s. This made her partner lock up just a bit, a bashful look on her face as she met Weiss’ eyes. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Being so alone and...picked on. It’s not fair.”

“It’s okay.” No it wasn’t. “I mean, it was super sucky at the time, led me where I needed to go, you know? Kept me focused on what I wanted and eventually led me to Beacon you.” She smiled, it looked different than her normal one. It certainly wasn’t forced. It was, somehow, prettier than Weiss had seen before. “And Blake...our team. Our friends and this...crazy life we have now.” 

‘Thankfully you were patient with me, given that I wasn’t much better than those girls you went to school with.” 

Ruby quickly waved Weiss off. “No, it wasn’t the same. I knew you were different.”

“How could you have known that? I called you so many horrible things.” 

“I did,” Ruby shrugged. “But they just...didn’t feel the same. It was like I could tell you were dealing with the same stuff. A little bit lost, like me.” 

Weiss sighed. “I certainly was that. I still feel that way some days.” 

“Me too, but...I don’t know. You seemed worth the effort.” There was that smile again. “Now look at us.” 

Weiss had admitted defeat years ago. 

“BFFs.” Weiss said, even though it had been true for a long time now. Ruby was pretty much the most important person in her life. 

Ruby nodded before slowly pulling her hand back and picking up her menu. “Yep, my BFF.” She sighed, and before Weiss could say anything else, the server came to take their order. 

By the time they made it back home, Ruby seemed to be in better spirits. It was hard not to when you spent your night sitting on the Rose/Xiao-Long back deck drinking tea and watching the sun go down. 

“It’s really beautiful here.” Weiss said, placing her cup down on the little table sitting between them. “And the quiet is a welcome change.” 

“Just wait till Dad brings the lawnmower out.”

Weiss winced. “I remember my father once firing one of his employees because they started up the lawnmower before eight in the morning. It was too early and woke him up.” 

“Yikes, sounds like your dad’s as cranky as you in the morning.” 

“Ruby Rose,” Weiss pointed a finger at her. “I am not cranky in the mornings.” Ruby stared at her silently, with judgement in her eyes. “Not as cranky as I used to be.”

“I mean, it’d be pretty hard to be as cranky as Beacon Weiss. Beacon Weiss was like a tiny little bomb waiting to go off.” Ruby was pulling back in her seat with each word she said. Being ridiculously dramatic.

“Will you stop saying ‘Beacon Weiss ’? I was not that bad at Beacon!” 

“That’s the Beacon Weiss voice!” It was Ruby’s turn to point. “All squeaky and cute! But also kinda scary.” 

Giving up, Weiss picked up her cup and readjusted in her seat. “I feel like you would understand Beacon Weiss a lot more if you had to put up with Beacon Ruby.” 

Ruby gasped and looked completely offended. “Beacon Ruby was adorable.”

“Beacon Ruby was a rule breaker, trouble maker and didn’t do enough homework.” 

“Maybe that’s because Beacon Ruby was too busy trying to draw out the soft side of her cranky partner.” 

Oh, so that’s what they were doing? Weiss could play this game.

Weiss tapped her chin and looked off into the distance. “If I remember correctly, Beacon Ruby’s partner was probably dealing with a lot. What with carrying her entire team on her back through all of their studies and making sure they didn’t get themselves killed in train crashes or anything like that.” 

“Train crashes they wouldn’t have even been on if not for Beacon Ruby!” Ruby raised both her hand in victory, but when Weiss looked over at her, she watched Ruby’s smile turn to a frown. “Wait…”

“Ha! See, I win again.” Weiss held her hand up just above her chin. “Beacon Ruby is here.” Then moved her other hand slightly above it. “Beacon Weiss is up here.” 

Ruby stuck her tongue out. “Fine, Beacon Weiss wins. But I think we can both agree that we’re ahead of Beacon Blake and Yang.” 

“Oh of course. At least we were being fun and productive. Those two were so tangled up in each other I don’t think they even registered what was going on around them.”

This made Ruby smile. “Glad to see things haven’t changed much.” 

“They’d be lost without us.” Weiss said with mock arrogance before taking another sip of her tea. If she were being honest, she was really missing Blake and Yang right now. She might just have to call one of them tonight before bed. 

The following silence from Ruby was surprising. Weiss glanced over to see Ruby in heavy thought. Her brow furrowed and her gaze looking at the trees in the distance. “Something on your mind?” 

Ruby seemed surprised at Weiss’ question. “No, no...I mean...I guess. Just...we joke but aren’t you ever...I don’t know...kinda jealous of Blake and Yang?” 

That was unexpected. “You mean...their relationship?” 

The sudden flush in Ruby’s face was surprising and kind of adorable. Weiss had never really known Ruby to have any sort of romantic itch in the years that they’d known each other. She was always so driven by her work and her passion to help people. 

“I guess so, it’s silly.”

“It’s not silly. It’s perfectly natural to want someone to share all of the amazing things in your life with.” 

Ruby nodded and looked up at Weiss. “I mean...I have you.” 

This made Weiss smile. “You do, but I meant romantically. Someone who can share all this with you and then also cuddle with them at night.” Weiss made sure to use the word cuddle. Cuddle seemed like the right word for this conversation. 

“Right,” Ruby nodded, an almost sad smile on her face. “Sorry, I guess I’m just a little thoughty on a bad day.”

Weiss furrowed her brow. “I don’t think ‘thoughty’ is a word.”

“It’s totally a word.”

“Hmm,” It wasn’t, but Weiss didn’t feel any need to argue. Instead, she sipped her tea, the sound of Ruby’s father watering his flowers in the lawn filling the empty air around them. “Well regardless, don’t apologize for being... thougthy.” Actually saying the word was painful. “Remember, best partner ever. If you need anything, you can talk to me.” 

This time when Ruby smiled, it was the best one of the day. The one Weiss always seemed to strive for when she wanted to let Ruby know she was there for her. It was so easy to forget that Ruby was dealing with so much. She handled it better than anyone possibly could. 

Weiss admired that about her, her strength and ability to press on - no matter the circumstance. It was part of why Weiss felt so strongly when it came to protecting her. Ruby dealt with enough, it was Weiss’ job to make sure she was taken care of.

Chapter Text

My research says, and I quote; you need to stop being a coward and tell her.

Ruby had to read the message three times to actually believe what she was seeing. The little smiley face that Penny added on the end of her message didn’t help, either. Who’s dumb idea was it to teach Penny how to send messages anyway?

It was Ruby’s, specifically for the purposes of talking to her while she was gone, but that didn’t change the fact that it was a bad idea. 

Penny texted her early this morning, so much so that the sun had barely come up. Ruby was, unfortunately, already awake when the message came in. She didn’t get out of bed, she knew Weiss would still be sleeping and her dad was off today so he would be too. Instead, Ruby laid in bed, watching the sun come up slowly through her window as she waited for responses from Penny. 

This one though, this one was pushing it. 

What kind of research told you that?!

Ruby sent her response back, shocked face added and all. 

Penny’s message always came almost immediately. Ruby was pretty sure she’d figured out a way to send them without actually typing them out. 

I asked your sister what her opinion was, this is what she told me. When it comes to romantic endeavors, I trust her opinion. 

Of course it was Yang. Ruby had half a mind to call Yang right now and wake her up - just for the satisfaction of waking her up. 

Though if she did that, she’d be waking Blake up too, because those two shared a bed now. Just like Ruby wished she could do with Weiss. 

Now all Ruby could think about was how amazing it would be to have Weiss cuddled up beside her right now. To be able to reach down and run a hand through Weiss’ hair. To feel Weiss roll over and cuddle into her as she tried to steal just a few more minutes of sleep. 

Wanting that, and not being able to have it, made Ruby’s tummy hurt. 

Ruby’s scroll suddenly vibrated in her hand, it was the alarm she’d set the night before. This was when she was supposed to wake up. They had actual work to do today. The goal was to find the Grimm they were contracted to kill, handle it and spend the next two weeks relaxing and enjoying themselves. 

She wasn’t naive, Ruby knew this whole mission was more about her than it was about hunting Grimm. Sure, she probably was pushing a little too hard lately - but that was so much easier than stressing about Salem’s impending return or how they hadn’t heard anything out of Atlas in almost six months - or that Grimm attacks were on the rise in Vacuo. 

Add all that on top of the fact that Ruby couldn’t go to bed at night without thinking about how badly she wished her partner and best friend was in that bed with her, then maybe she was a little overwhelmed. 

Thankfully, she still had this job and it never seemed to stop. 

Sending out a quick message to Penny, Ruby climbed out of bed, somehow feeling more tired than she was when she climbed in the night before, and stared at herself in the mirror. 

Her hair was...sort of doing it’s own thing at the moment. It had grown, a lot, but more in thickness than in length. If she leaned her head one way, her mess of hair would fall from atop her head and into that direction. Running her hand through it, Ruby settled it to one side, feeling it tickle her shoulders. She didn’t mind having more hair, even if it did make showers take a little longer.

There were so many little things that made a hunt day one of Ruby’s favorites. Like, not having to worry about picking out an outfit. Instead, she could just throw on her boots and gloves, a nice comfy shirt, a combat skirt and her cloak. Ruby would never understand why someone would want to wear anything other than this. You never knew when a Grimm might show up to try and ruin your day and it was best to always be prepared. 

Once Ruby had her gear out of her suitcase and neatly placed on her bed, she made her way to the bathroom for a much needed shower to wake herself up. 

Standing under the warm water, Ruby pressed her hands against the wall and leaned into them. Maybe this wasn’t the best place to stretch and try and loosen her muscles up for what she certainly hoped was an action packed day, but there probably wasn’t going to be much time to do it anywhere else. 

She twisted her neck from side to side, feeling it crack and pop. The workout yesterday had been a bit...intense, but Ruby had a lot of anger to try and release and she did all she could to forget about what happened at the store. 

It was one thing to have those memories of the awful things Cherry and her friends used to say to her - how they used to treat her. But to have her do it in front of Weiss was infuriating. She was thankful that Weiss was who she was because she handled it so well, she certainly handled it better than Ruby did. 

If she were being honest, Ruby was probably more frustrated with herself yesterday than anything. She’d been pouty and needy and probably the worst kind of friend. Certainly not anyone desirable. 

Not that she was trying to be desirable. She wouldn’t even know how to do that anyway. 

It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. She was tired of pining for Weiss. She was tired of feeling this way. Today was going to be a good day. She was going to make sure of it. As she squatted down in her shower, trying to stretch out her leg muscles and not slip and smack her head against the wall, Ruby vowed to make today a good day. 

Standing back up, Ruby quickly went through the actual shower part of her shower and kept trying to send herself as much positivity as she could. She was gonna be hunting Grimm today. With her partner who she loved - even if they couldn’t have everything she wanted, they still had this and Ruby knew Weiss cared about her. 

That was enough. 

By the time she was finished, she’d hyped herself up so much that she was practically dancing as she turned the water off. 

As she stepped out of the shower, Ruby used her towel not only to dry off, but as a weapon to fight invisible Grimm. While it wasn’t as sturdy as Crescent Rose, it did the job as she dried off her hair before whipping it towards a Grimm leaping at her from over the shower curtain rod. 

“Is everything alri - Ruby!” Weiss’ voice made Ruby jump. Her semblance kicked in, almost out of instinct and she zipped behind the shower curtain. 

She leaned against the wall, clutching the towel to herself and hoping that she just imagined Weiss’ voice through all the fake Grimm she was absolutely destroying. 

The room was silent for a good five seconds before her fears were finally confirmed. “I’m so sorry, Ruby. I heard thumping and the door was open.” 

Dang it, she must have knocked it open during her invisible hunt! 

“I...I was just dancing a little. I must have accidentally hit the door and opened it.”

“Oh...well that’s okay.” Weiss sounded strange, not that Ruby could really blame her. “I didn’t see…” she cleared her throat and Ruby heard the door start to close again. “I’ll wait out here in the hallway until you’re finished.” 

With that, the door shut and Ruby sank down to the ground, still clutching the towel and wishing she could go back and not try and spin-kick that invisible beowulf. 

Ruby found herself at the kitchen table in her full combat outfit, minus the gloves which sat next to her bowl of cereal as she ate breakfast. Weiss had been in a shower for... a while. Ruby could only hope she wasn’t in there trying to avoid seeing Ruby again after this morning. If so, that would make this whole day they were about to spend together all the more awkward. 

“Is your rental car gonna be able to make it into the mountains?” Her dad came into the kitchen, looking very underdressed in his fuzzy slippers and brown tank top. He didn’t have to work today and Ruby imagined he’d be taking advantage of it. 

“Probably not. We’ll park it at the bottom of the mountain and probably just semblance the rest of the way up. Weiss can basically make stairs with her glyphs.” 

Dad nodded, setting his coffee down at the table next to Ruby. “You two will be careful today, right?” 

Ruby smiled up at her dad. “Of course.” 

“Good.” He nodded and Ruby went back to her breakfast. However, she soon realized he was staring at her. When she looked up at him again, he smiled. “ just...remind me of your mom right now. Battle ready but not before breakfast.” Her stomach did that painful knot tie and she sat her spoon down. “Aw damn, Ruby I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”

“No,” she waved him off quickly. “Don’t apologize. I like hearing it. I just...miss her. I think being home kinda makes me feel it a little more” Ruby glanced around their kitchen. The same kitchen she grew up in. It was funny, this room more than any brought back memories of her mother. Yet, she’d spent so much more time here without her mom than with her. “I wish she could have met my team.” 

He laughed. “Trust me, she would have approved. Seeing the way they’ve brought you out of your shell. How much you’ve grown and the leader and huntress you’ve become. Yeah, she probably would have tried to adopt the other two.” 

This made Ruby smile. It was strange to think that her mother would never meet two of the most important people in her life.That she’d never know of team RWBY or the things they had gone through and experienced together. 

Yet, in a strange way, whenever she had that cloak on, she always kinda felt like her mom was right there with her. 

“What about you?” She decided to deter the conversation and play the role of concerned daughter. “I worry about you. You’re...kind of alone out here. And no, Zwei doesn’t count!” She cut him off as soon as his mouth started to open. “There’s like...a whole base of operations in Vale, you know? We could always use the help.” 

His eyes cast down just a bit, looking at the cup of coffee he held between his hands. “That part of my life is over, Kiddo. I train aspiring hunters and huntresses. I don’t want to be one again.” 

“You don’t have to be, though. You can work from the base and train with us there.”

“Ruby,” he said a bit firmer than before. “I appreciate the concern, but I’m okay. I like my job, I like my home. I also like it when I see you girls like this.” Ruby was still unsure. She always hated thinking of him here by himself why she and Yang were so far away. That wouldn’t really change much if he moved to the base in Vale, but at least he’d be around Qrow and some of the others. “I promise, I’m okay. I’m comfortable here and I do feel like my work matters.”

Even if she didn’t totally feel at peace with it, she couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. “Okay,” she smiled, just glad that he seemed comfortable. “I’ll do my best to call more though. After we go back. I’ll make Yang do it too!” 

“Please do,” he laughed. “I want to know more about Yang’s girlfriend but she’s always so wrapped up in everything I never get any long talks out of her.” 

“The everything Yang is always wrapped up in is her girlfriend. Blake is pretty much Yang’s whole world now. It’s pretty cute and only occasionally nauseating.” 

He seemed pleased at this, but Ruby saw a hint of mischief in his eyes. “What about you?” 

Ruby’s brow furrowed. “What about me?” He gestured to the door behind them. Ruby had no idea what that meant. “Huh?” 

“You know, Weiss .” He whispered, far too loudly. 

“What?!” Ruby shouted, far too loudly. “Of course not!” She denied it immediately. She had to, Weiss was literally in the house. “She’s my partner and best friend. She’s...there’s” Ruby gestured ‘no’ with both her arms for emphasis. 

He put his hands up in surrender. “Okay, forgive me for asking. She’s cute.” 

“Dad.” Ruby pointed a finger at him. 

“And she clearly adores you.”

Oh gods. 

This made Ruby flush, furiously. She could literally feel her face heat up. 

She picked up her bowl, wondering why she would ever want this crazy old man at the base in Vale, and abruptly ended the conversation. 

“Morning Weiss!” Her dad said, standing up and waving at her with a cup of coffee in hand. “You know girls, I was thinking.” Ruby turned around, dreading whatever was coming. Though her mind eased a little at the sight of Weiss in her combat gear. A nice, familiar sight. Myrtenaster at her side. “When you two get back from your mission, you should take a trip to the hot springs in town!” 

Ruby was ready to fist fight her father. 

“Hot springs?” Weiss asked curiously. “That...actually sounds quite delightful.” 

“Oh they’re awesome. And they’re great for relaxing muscles after a hard day of Grimm hunting. Summer and I used to go there all the time!” 

When Weiss looked at Ruby expectantly, she knew the decision had already been made. Ruby was the leader and made all the hard choices - unless Weiss wanted something badly enough. 

“Sounds like a plan.” Ruby said with her best smile. The hot springs were amazing, but the thought of being there with Weiss was terrifying. “Did you want to eat anything before we go?” 

Without a word, Weiss reached into her dust pouch and pulled out two of her super gross and super chalky protein bars. They said ‘chocolate’ on the package, but they were not chocolate. 

“I hope you’re planning on eating both of those.” Weiss answered her with an unamused look. “Aww, come on, Weiss!” 

“It’s going to be a long day and you need the sustenance!” 

“I had cereal!” Ruby turned to her dad who was simply watching them with delight. “Dad! Tell her I don’t need it!” 

He shrugged slowly. “I don’t know, Rubes. You had Pumpkin Pete’s, those aren’t exactly healthy.” He grinned widely. Obnoxiously so. “I think getting something solid in your system will help get you through the day.” 

She had to get out of this house. “Okay, you know what. We’re leaving. Weiss.” Ruby opened the door exiting the kitchen and gestured towards the outside. “I love you, Dad.” She said, more like a formality. “We’ll be careful and let you know when the mission is done.” 

As Weiss walked by her, she waved the protein bar in Ruby’s face, clearly delighted with herself and looking adorable the entire time. 

Once Weiss was gone, Ruby ran a finger over her throat and glared at her dad. 

He winked at her, never wavering. “I love you too, Ruby!” 

“Is it dead?” Ruby asked, though it kinda hurt to talk, or breathe, or think. 

It hurt to exist - that was the best way to describe it. 

Though judging by the glare in Weiss’ eyes, her pain might just be starting. “Yes it’s dead! You absolute... dolt ! What the hell were you thinking?” 

Ruby grimaced, Weiss was really upset. “I thought I could make the jump.”

“You thought you could…” Weiss sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. Maybe it wasn’t Ruby’s best plan and maybe she’d drained her aura a bit fighting the first one (he was old and really tough), but she definitely didn’t think her aura would give out on her in midair like that. 

“I’m sorry, okay? I messed up.”

Weiss, for all her bluster and frustration, looked unsettled too. It only added to Ruby’s guilt. “You scared me.” With exhaustion in her own voice, Weiss sat down against the same rock Ruby was currently leaning against and laid her weapon down at her side. 

Despite everything - all the gunfire and monster roars and violence, it was still a beautiful day. 

“Are you okay?” Ruby asked, looking over at Weiss who seemed a bit frazzled. Not that Ruby could really blame her, she’d gone through a ton of glyphs. The Beringels weren’t any harder to fight once you reached them, but they knew the area better and used the trees. Chasing them down was a nightmare. 

Thankfully, Weiss nodded, brushing away the sweat on her forehead. “I’m fine. Tore my combat skirt and I think one of my dust chambers is misfiring. Other than that, we did what we came to do.” 

Reaching out, Ruby took Weiss’ hand - needing a little contact. “I can fix your weapon for you.” 

Weiss squeezed her hand. “Thank you.”

“I think I broke my butt.” Ruby said, because that’s what it felt like. Her butt hurt, badly - the hard ground she was sitting on probably didn’t help but draining her aura made it hard to stand.

“You fell hard, I tried to catch you with some glyphs but…”

“You did,” Ruby smiled. “I definitely slowed down. I know you did what you could. You were going crazy with them in the sky!” Ruby threw her arms up, ignoring the aching in her muscles. Weiss’ efforts deserved hand gestures. 

Weiss huffed, frustration in her face. “They really shouldn’t be allowed to use the trees. Swinging around and throwing things at me. I was almost hit by multiple branches.” 

“Just be glad they weren’t flinging poop at you!” Ruby saw Weiss’ face go from disgust to confusion. 

“Where would they get poop?” 

Suddenly Ruby was curious. “I don’t know. Grimm poop?” 

“I don’t think I want to know.” 

“Well I do!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “If Grimm defecated, I’m fairly certain we would have stumbled across it at some point on a hunt.” 

“Weissssssss,” Ruby whined. “Don’t use that word.” Ruby cringed dramatically for good measure. “Also maybe know...turns to dust. Just like they do!” 

Ruby suddenly felt Weiss drop her hand. “Okay, we’re done here.” Weiss stood up, brushing at her torn combat skirt and picking up her weapon to slide back into it’s holster. She stood over Ruby, her head blocking the sun in the sky from Ruby’s eyes. At this angle, with the light glowing behind her, Ruby had never seen anything so…

“Beautiful,” she said, not really meaning to but also not really able to control herself. 

Weiss’ blue eyes went wide in surprise. “Wh-what?” 

Ruby sat in the dirt, her butt still super sore and her pride hurt even more. She could have died today. She could have died a thousand times. She could very easily die before she ever got the chance to express herself. 

Maybe she wasn’t ready for a full reveal of her feelings, but she could at least give Weiss honesty. 

“You’re...beautiful.” Weiss still looked shocked, but Ruby was glad to say it. To at least say something about her feelings. 

“You’re just delusional from the fall and your sore backside.” Weiss ran a hand through her hair and shook her head. “I’m sure I look terrible, covered in sweat and clothes torn to shreds. Like some kind of Vacuan street rat.” 

Ruby was too tired to argue, instead she just smiled and extended her hand. Weiss reached down with both of her own, grabbing onto Ruby and dragging her to her feet. 

All the joy and fun she’d had from telling Weiss she was beautiful vanished when she stood. Her head spun from her recharging aura and the pain her butt suddenly traveled up her lower back and made her body seize up. 

“Oh no,” Ruby cried, stumbling to gather her feet beneath her. “Weiss, it hurts.” 

“I know,” Weiss didn’t coddle her much, but she did pull Ruby in close and hold her up with an arm around her waist. “That’s nothing to the pain we’re about to feel.” 

Ruby looked at Weiss with a mixture of confusion, discomfort and worry. “Why?” 

Weiss just looked angry. “Because now I have to drive us home.” 

Brothers help us.

Chapter Text

Aura was a pretty incredible thing. It was certainly something Weiss never took for granted. However, when it broke, it took a lot out of you and took a long time to fully recover. It was also not a cure all. When it did come back, even if it repaired every scar and healed every wound, you still hurt. 

That’s where Ruby was right now, sitting in the passenger seat, waiting for her aura to restore and grimacing at every bump they went over in the car. They were almost back home, at least, Weiss was pretty sure they were. She remembered this horrendous gravel road and how awful the bumps were. She couldn’t imagine what it was doing to her partner. 

“Almost home,” Weiss said, reaching over and patting Ruby on the knee. 

To her credit, Ruby smiled at her. “You’re a good driver, Weiss.” That was a damned lie. “A little heavy footed on the brakes, but still good.”

“Your injury is making you delusional.”

Ruby shook her head. “ press the brakes kind of hard.”

“I know I do,” Weiss sighed, turning on her blinker. “I meant about the good driver part.” Refocusing on the road, Weiss felt the car start to shake heavily on the new surface. “How are you feeling?” 

“A little better,” Ruby said, but the wince on her face said otherwise. “Glad we’re going to the hot springs tonight.” 

“As am I.” Weiss just wished they could get their right now. Instead, she was driving on the longest road in all of Patch, trying to figure out if she should go fast to get there sooner but at the cost of slinging Ruby all over the car. Or if she should go slow to make the ride easier but have it take forever. 

Eventually, thankfully, they made it back to Ruby’s home. 

It was empty, because apparently Taiyang worked more than Ruby realized - which meant that Weiss had to help Ruby inside. 

As soon as they walked through the door, they were greeted with Zwei’s happy barks and his little feet pawing at their ankles, desperately wanting to be picked up. 

“Not now, buddy,” Ruby waved him off as Weiss moved her to the couch to sit down. Ruby let out a loud, exaggerated groan as she sank into the cushions. “That’s the stuff.” She threw her head back. “Scroll, call Yang.” Ruby shouted.

Weiss pinched the bridge of her nose. “For the thousandth time, Ruby. Our scrolls aren’t voice activated.”

Ruby sighed. “How cool would that be, though?” Weiss didn’t answer, instead, picking up Ruby’s scroll off the floor where it had fallen during their entrance and handed it to her. 

A strong feeling of compassion washed over Weiss as she looked down at Ruby who leaned forward with a grimace to grab the scroll. Seeing Ruby fall like that was terrifying. There was a moment, so brief she barely felt it, where she imagined what it might be like if Ruby had been taken from her in that fight. In any of their fights.  

It was an emptiness she did not care to ever approach again. 

Leaning down, Weiss placed her lips gently on Ruby’s forehead. Taking a moment to linger before drawing back and looking into those silver eyes. 

Ruby looked up at her and Weiss felt a strange twisting in her stomach, like food poisoning but more mild and kind of incredible. 

“I’m glad you’re not dead.” Weiss said, unable to form a better sentence. She ran a hand through Ruby’s messy hair, feeling an uncontrollable need for physical contact. The feeling was too much, to say the least, and Weiss forced herself to step away. “I’m...going to go get ready for the hot spring. You call your sister and rest . Understand?” 

Ruby nodded, a distance in her eyes. 

Weiss quickly retreated to the guest room. 

It took her a long time, but at this point in her life, Weiss was pretty comfortable with her sexuality. 

Growing up, she always knew she leaned a bit more towards being attracted to girls. It was something she fought against for years, because all she was ever told was how wonderful it would be when she found a man to marry and carry on the Schnee legacy. That was her job, that was her role. She was, for all intents and purposes, the heiress to her father’s throne. 

The throne he stole from her family in the first place, but that didn’t really matter now. He was in jail and she never wanted to see that throne again, but the point was, Weiss really liked girls and tried like hell to repress it. 

Unfortunately, that whole plan was shattered the first day she actually saw Pyrrha Nikos in person. Pyrrha, so tall and well put together. She looked as if she were carved from granite. Nothing but broad shoulders, strong arms and the most magnificent red hair Weiss had ever seen. 

Sadly, Pyrrha was painfully heterosexual and was, for reasons Weiss still didn’t entirely understand, madly in love with Jaune Arc. Not that Weiss would have ever made any sort of move. She was still very much convinced that she had to find a boy to bring home and please her father. 

Long past that notion and long past pretending she wanted any boy to be a part of her future, Weiss hadn’t really given much thought to romantic interest at all. She simply didn’t have the time to worry. There was too much work to be done, too many obstacles to overcome and lives to save. It was nonstop and endless. 

Romance was simply that thing Blake and Yang did all the time. It was never anything she’d even considered for herself. She was a young woman, surrounded by physically gifted huntresses and certainly she’d spent a few nights lying in bed thinking of “what if” scenarios, but those thoughts came and went and were gone by morning. 

Never once had any of those thoughts ever been about her partner. 

Ruby was...Ruby. She was untethered and silly. She read comic books and obsessed over weapons. She was also strong and determined, as righteous as any person could ever truly be and she was, without question, the most important person in Weiss’ life. 

But Weiss’ mind had never taken the leap to consider Ruby anything other than a friend. 

So why, all of the sudden, was Weiss thinking about her best friend and wondering what it would be like to kiss her?

The thought alone was absurd and ridiculous and Weiss couldn’t help but feel a little pathetic that these feelings seemingly showed up the moment Ruby called her beautiful. Maybe it wasn’t Ruby at all, maybe Weiss was just desperate for a little attention. 

Still, she could only hope that this would be like every other passing attraction she’d had over the years and would be gone the next day. 

The problem was, unlike everyone else Weiss had ever been attracted to, she couldn’t actually get away from Ruby. 

On the contrary, she was once again in a vehicle with Ruby (who was now feeling better and currently driving) on the way to a hot spring. 

All of the sudden, Weiss was furious that Ruby decided to wear an open sided shirt over her bikini top so that whenever Weiss looked over at her, all she saw was well defined oblique muscles and arms Weiss wanted to lift her up and carry her around. 

“This place is really cool. It’s one of Patch’s biggest tourist attractions. People come from all over the world to experience the healing powers of our hot springs. Also they’re just super fun.” 

Ruby looked over at her with a goofy smile, one Weiss was glad to see after the fall today. “I can’t believe I’m wearing Yang’s childhood swimming attire.” 

“Aw, it fits you though. She wasn’t that young when she wore it, it was just before she, you know…” As she slowed to a stop, Ruby used both hands to gesture at her chest. 

This, this was the person Weiss was suddenly fawning over?

“You’re a child.”

“I’m just saying! She had a growth spurt and couldn’t wear it anymore, but because my dad never gets rid of anything it’s benefiting us now!” 

Weiss was struggling to see how Yang’s teenage swimwear fitting her at twenty-five helped anyone, but it did fit and it was better than coming to this place in a t-shirt and shorts. 

The Spring itself was actually quite large. There were multiple hot tubs of all shapes and sizes scattered across a massive hillside area. The tubs were, literally, at the foot of downtown, meaning you could see the entire town in the distance from each one. 

It was a magnificent view, one Weiss would have never imagined in a place like this, but she now understood why tourists would be drawn to it. Though tourists would not also have the pleasure of Ruby Rose’s shoulder muscles adding to that view. 

Stop it, Weiss

She really hated this.

After paying for their visit, Weiss found herself staring at the map of pools and trying to figure out which one would be the best fit. They all seemed to have various benefits of heat and location, some even boasted about their amount of geothermal mineral water. 

It was all very daunting, but Weiss wanted to make sure they had the right spot for…

“Come on!” Ruby suddenly grabbed Weiss’ hand and dragged her away from the map. “I’ll take you to the one me and my sister used to hang out in all the time! It overlooks the park and if you come in the summer you can watch people tube down the river.”

Sometimes Weiss felt like a passenger on Ruby’s journey through life. Quietly letting herself be dragged along from place to place. 

But at least Ruby was feeling better. 

“See!” Ruby gestured her arms out towards the pool. It sat a few yards away from the others, up on a rock and, as advertised, it was right above the river running below. “Wow, this brings back memories. The only thing missing is Yang throwing me into the pool and begging my dad to let her run down and jump in the river.”

Weiss sighed. “Your sister is a lunatic.”

“Oh for sure. That river is freezing.” Weiss watched, probably too hard, as Ruby removed erh shirt and shorts, revealing her black and red bikini. It wasn’t anything too outlandish, just a two piece with a subtle flower pattern on it. It was nothing compared to the towel Weiss had caught Ruby in this morning in what was officially becoming the longest day of her life. 

Still, there was something about seeing Ruby like this, all of the sudden, that had Weiss’ heart racing. 

It didn’t help that every time Ruby looked at her, she wore the most adorable smile. “You ready?” She asked, her feet already in the water. “It’s pretty hot.”

Yes it is…

“I have to use the restroom.” She said, even though she really didn’t. 

“Oh,” Ruby stopped about halfway into the pool. “I uh...I think they’re next to the check in place.”

“I know where they are.” Weiss said, still not entirely sure why she was making this up. She just...needed a minute to compose herself. 

Ruby stared at Weiss for a moment, no doubt waiting for Weiss to leave. Instead, Weiss just stood there like the absolute fool she was. 

“Do you...want me to come with you?”

“No!” Weiss answered, too quickly. “No, you stay, you’re already in the water. I’ll be right back.” 

Furious with herself, Weiss stormed off back to the lobby. This was Ruby Rose. This was the same person she’d been partners with for almost a decade. They’d gone swimming together before. Weiss had seen Ruby in a swimsuit before, so it didn’t make sense that all of the sudden it was too much for her to handle. 

As Weiss stepped into the bathroom, with absolutely no urge to use it, she stopped at the sink and stared at herself in the mirror. 

She didn’t like this. She did not like being uncomfortable around Ruby. This was her best friend, the single most important person in her life and the one person she needed more than anyone else. 

That was when it hit her. Ruby was all of those things. Ruby was her favorite person. She was, more or less, the first thought Weiss had in the morning and the last face she saw before she went to sleep. Even after this trip ended, it wasn’t as if Weiss and Ruby wouldn’t see each other. They shared a room at the base. They had missions scheduled together beyond this one. 

Ruby was, in an unintentional way, Weiss’ other half. You did not get one without the other, and that was exactly how Weiss wanted it. 

So what if all this she was feeling now was no different than any of the other passing crushes she’d had before? Was it really worth making things weird between herself and Ruby if there was nothing real to all of this?

Of course it wasn’t, Weiss knew that. 

She also knew that she was strong willed and patient. So she decided, in front of this bathroom mirror with some really disgusting stains in the corner, that she would give it some time and see if all of these new feelings stuck around, or simply passed as they always did.

But she knew that in doing that, she couldn’t ruin this trip for Ruby - who needed this time to relax and not stress about the fact that her partner was acting like a lunatic.

With a renewed sense of purpose, Weiss left the bathroom and made her way back to the pool where Ruby was waiting for her. She was going to do her absolute best to make sure Ruby enjoyed the next two weeks. 

If, by the time they went back to Vale, she still had these feelings. Then, and only then, would she take the leap and tell Ruby how she felt. 

Which probably wouldn’t even be an issue by morning anyway. 

“My apologies,” Weiss said as she rounded the corner, only to be met by the sight of Ruby with her back to her, leaning over the edge of the pool and staring down at the river. 

“Check out this view, Weiss!” Ruby said, even though her very defined back muscles were blocking most of the view. 

Weiss fought the urge to use any sort of Gods awful pickup line that suddenly came to her, and waded back into the water to stand beside her partner.

Though she could not deny the view - it was beautiful. The lights from the town were on full display, just above the hill that rolled down to the river below. Those lights reflected off the water in a beautiful display of color. It felt as if Weiss was in some sort of painting. 

“I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this place on a postcard somewhere.” Weiss joked, making Ruby smile. 

“It probably is, we are a hot vacation destination.” 

“Well,” Weiss looked over at Ruby who was still staring out at the view. “Now that our mission is done, we can actually start our vacation. Ruby finally glanced at her. “What do you want to do, Ruby Rose?” 

Ruby’s hair fell over her face just a bit, Weiss felt her hand moving to brush it away, but stopped herself. It was too intimate, too much contact. She had to be strong. She had to know for sure. 

So instead of torturing herself by getting lost in Ruby’s silver eyes, Weiss pushed off the rock and settled back onto one of the seats indented in the side of the pool. She watched Ruby move to the other side and do the same. 

“I guess I haven’t really thought about it.” Ruby said, thankfully moving her own hair out of her face because it was killing Weiss. “I did promise to take you fishing.” 

Weiss felt a bit of dread wash over her. “I’ll go fishing with you, but I refuse to touch any of the fish.”

This made Ruby laugh. “That’s okay! You can be the catcher and I’ll be the releaser!” Ruby then suddenly clapped her hands together, making Weiss jump. “Oh! The new Grimmslayer movie is playing at the theater here too! We could totally go see it!” 

“They made another one of those? Everyone died in the fifth one!” Weiss hated that she knew that, but Ruby had dragged her to enough Grimmslayer movies that she knew far more about that abysmal franchise than she cared to. 

“No, this is the one we saw before, it’s just...movies take a little longer to get out here to Patch. So things we get in the city right away are here like...two months later.” 

Weiss frowned. “They really go out of their way to make you feel isolated from the rest of the world here, don’t they?” 

Ruby chuckled. “It’s a great place to grow up, but I do like that the city actually, you know, has stuff.”

As she spoke, Ruby adjusted on her seat and her upper body came out of the water. Of course, now her upper body was dripping wet and glistening under the lights of the hot spring. 

“Patch has its benefits.”  Weiss said out loud, not really meaning to. 

Fortunately, Ruby didn’t seem to catch her staring as she settled back into the water. “It totally does! Just wait till the carnival comes to town next week!” 

What had Weiss gotten herself into?


Weiss’ eyes opened at the sound, she couldn’t even remember when she’d fallen asleep. 

She felt like she was floating, her body moving, the sky above her filled with stars as it passed by, but she had no idea how. As she turned her head, she saw Ruby’s face above her, looking down with an apologetic smile. “Sorry, the car door was a little louder than I thought.” 

“Mmm what’s going on?”

“You fell asleep.” She remembered growing tired in the pools, but didn’t think she’d actually drifted off. “We’re back home.”

“Are you...carrying me?” 

Ruby smiled, Weiss could see the porch light getting brighter as they moved closer to the door. 

“You looked really peaceful, I didn’t want to wake you up.” 

Weiss started to move out of Ruby’s arms. “I can-”

“I got you,” Ruby said, holding Weiss even tighter. 

Being swept up in Ruby’s arms like this, carried so easily through the front door of her home, Weiss had no reason to argue. 

If anything, she tucked herself into Ruby’s embrace even more. 

It was a surreal feeling, one Weiss really couldn’t place. She, more so than she had in years. Maybe it was just the exhaustion of a very long day catching up with her, but she kind of wanted to sit in Ruby’s arms for the rest of her life. 

Between sleepiness and the ethereal feeling of being in Ruby’s goddess like arms, Weiss had no idea how they made it up the stairs and into the guest room. However, far sooner than she ever would have liked, Ruby was gently placing Weiss in bed. 

She looked up, staring at Ruby who had a mess of hair in her face, and smiled through the hazy fog of her mind. 

“You’re my favorite.” 

Ruby flushed, somehow making her even prettier than before. She took a deep breath and glanced at the clock on the dresser against the wall. “It’s pretty late. I’m gonna go unload our gear from the car before heading to bed.”

“I can help,” Weiss wanted to sit up, but the bed was so comfy. “You were the one who lost their aura today.” 

“It’s all better now.” She took a step away from the bed, breaking Weiss’ heart a little. “Get some rest, I have to call Yang anyway and tell her we’re back safe. Tomorrow, we fish.” 

Weiss desperately wanted to tell Ruby to join her in bed. Cuddle with her and let Weiss fall asleep in her arms. 

But she wasn’t ready to take that leap yet, she had to be sure. 

“Goodnight, Ruby.” Weiss said, rolling to her side and nestling into the pillow.

Ruby was halfway out the door when she responded. “Goodnight Princess.”

Once she was finally alone, Weiss fell back onto the bed and sighed, her mind racing as she tried to figure out what the hell was happening to her.

Chapter Text

“Ruby Rose.” Weiss’ voice was sharp, annoyed and her expression matched every bit of it. 

But boy oh boy was it hard to take her seriously when she looked as adorable as she did. “Y-yes, Weiss?” Ruby bit her bottom lip, trying to stop herself from giggling. 

“Why am I wearing this…” Weiss gestured up and down her body. “Nylon pants slash suspenders monstrosity. I look like a butcher.” 

“I think you look adorable!” Ruby said, racing quickly to the coat rack to grab something and darting back to place it atop Weiss’ head. “There! Every fisherman needs their fisherman’s hat!”

Weiss looked up, her eye catching the fuzzy yellow fishing lure hanging from the hat like a cute little friend.

“When you said we were going fishing, I assumed we would be on a boat.” 

“Pfft! We don’t have a boat!”

“We should totally get a boat!” Dad came into the room, three fishing rods in hand and a proud look on his face. When he looked at Weiss, his expression delighted even more. “We match!” He said, pointing at his own waders and then back to Weiss’.

This didn’t seem to impress Weiss nearly as much. 

“How come you’re not wearing a pair of these...hideous pants.” 

“I don’t fish,” Ruby said as if Weiss should know this already. “I don’t really like it. Fish get the hooks in their mouths and sometimes they swallow them and it’s...not my thing. So I just kinda hang out on the shore and when you guys catch stuff, you bring it to me and I set it free!” 

The memory of the one and only time Ruby ever fished would always be ingrained in her memory. She caught a fish, the cutest little green and pink colored thing she’d ever seen. When she brought it over to her father, he asked her if she wanted to keep it. At the time, she just thought he meant she’d have a new friend that they could put in a tank and name it Harold. 

Then, he took poor Harold and smashed his head against a rock. 

From that point on, fishing trips were catch and release only. 

“So let me get this straight.” That sentence starter from Weiss was never a good sign. “You’re going to sit on the shore, completely dry and free of this whole,” Weiss waved her hands up and down her legs. “Outfit, while your father and I cast ourselves into the water, where who knows what might be living. Then whatever fish we do actually catch, you’re just going to...throw it back in the water?” 

Ruby sent a glance to her dad, who shrugged just a bit. She then looked back at Weiss who’s expression had not changed all morning. “I mean...I’ll be sending you guys encouragement!” 

Somehow, Weiss’ frown deepened even more. Ruby didn’t think that was possible.

“I’ll go bring the car around!” Dad said, leaving the two of them alone in the living room. 

“Hey,” Ruby took a step towards Weiss, finding it very hard not to admire how cute she looked. Despite all her arguing and complaints, Weiss still put on all of this stuff and went way out of her comfort zone just to make Ruby happy. “If it’s too much we can hop in the car and go get fish at a restaurant. I mostly just wanted to show you the lake. Dad’s the one who likes the fishing part.”

Weiss’ expression softened. “It’s fine, Ruby. I do feel like an idiot in this outfit, and I’m fairly sure I don’t need to wear it and you’re just making me because you’re secretly evil.”

“Maybe a little,” Ruby winked and Weiss rolled her eyes. “You don’t have to wear this though if you don’t want to. My dad can fish on his own and I already got to see you in it so my day is made.”

Suddenly, Weiss broke out into a smile. “Thank you,” she stepped forward and hugged Ruby. “I’m going to go change.” 

Weiss hugs were better than just about anything else this world they lived on had to offer. Ruby was far too self aware of how long she held on and how tightly she squeezed. She didn’t want to give away just how much she loved hugging Weiss. 

“Wait!” Ruby called out as Weiss was nearly at the stairs. Weiss stopped and looked at Ruby just in time for the camera on Ruby’s scroll to go off. “There,” she smiled triumphantly. 

“If you send that photo to your sister we will be fighting to the death.”

“I would never!” Ruby placed a hand over her heart in feign shock before quickly setting this as her scroll’s background picture.

If Ruby were being honest, she was kind of glad Weiss had decided against fishing. Instead, Weiss and Ruby were sitting out on a towel laid in the grass, watching as Dad stood waist deep in the water. 

It was an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was high in the sky, not one cloud anywhere near it. The trees danced with the occasional passing breeze and Ruby’s chocolate drink tasted extra sweet. 

Ruby knew the weight of responsibility would return soon. Eventually they would go back and have more work to do. There was always work to do and until Salem returned, that was all they could do. For now though, Ruby was doing her best to actually enjoy this time away. 

The sudden sound of a cap popping open drew Ruby’s attention, she turned, pulling down her sunglasses and watched as Weiss squeezed out a good amount of sunscreen into her hand. 

Her blue eyes found Ruby. “I burn very easily.” She said before she started rubbing down her arms and shoulders. “You’d be smart to use some of this too.”

There was an answer on the tip of Ruby’s tongue, but her whole mouth suddenly went dry when Weiss started to rub the sunscreen on her leg. She was wearing shorts, because Patch was humid and it was a warm day, but the act of watching her do this was way too much for Ruby. She forced herself to look away, to instead watch her dad struggling to catch his floating duck drink holder as it coasted away from him in the water. 

“Ruby?” Weiss called, her tone suggested this wasn’t the first time she’d said Ruby’s name. 

Turning back, she was met with a bottle being held to her face. “Can you do my back, please?” 

Her mind went blank. “You want me to…”

“I’m flexible, but not that much.” 

She swore Weiss was doing this on purpose. But she wasn’t going to be weird. She told herself she could fight through this and be okay. She was Weiss’ friend and this was the kind of thing friends did. 

“O-Of course.” Ruby took the bottle, it slipped from her hands and fell on the blanket. She laughed, much too loudly. “Slippery.” She said, picking it back up as Weiss faced away from her. Weiss was wearing a shoulderless top. It was frilly in the front and back, and on the arms. Ruby wasn’t entirely sure how it was actually staying on her, but it was and as she dumped sunscreen onto her hand she was thankful for that. 

Carefully, Ruby placed her hands on Weiss’ neck and started to rub. 

“Gods, Ruby how much did you pour out?”

“I don’t know! I didn’t squeeze it very hard!” Weiss didn’t say anything, just and moved more of her hair over her shoulder. 

Weiss’ skin was, without question, the softest surface Ruby had ever touched. It made sense, Weiss knew how to take care of herself and went to great lengths to pamper her body, especially after hunts. 

Ruby could remember rolling her eyes at all the work Weiss put into her personal care. Some of the things she bought didn’t even make sense and were so expensive. Now though, as her hands pressed into Weiss’ back and shoulders, Ruby was prepared to write thank you cards to every manufacturer of the products Weiss bought. 

A job well done.


She said that out loud.

Ruby rubbed hastily a few more times before pulling away. “I said, job done!” 

Turning back to her, Weiss nodded in thanks and reclaimed her bottle. She held it back to Ruby. “At least do you arms and legs? You’ll be complaining all week if you get sunburns.” 

Taking the bottle again, Ruby was more careful as she squeezed and this time only used enough to cover what needed to be covered. She wasn’t nearly as thorough in applying it on herself because it wasn’t nearly as much fun. 

However, as she finished and had a little bit left on her finger, an idea ran through her head. 

“Hey Weiss?” When those blue eyes found her, Ruby booped Weiss - leaving a dollop of sunscreen on her nose. 

Weiss’ brows furrowed, her eyes crossing to stare at the offending goop on her nose. It was absolutely adorable. “Ruby Rose!” She refocused on Ruby. “What on earth was that for?!”

“Don’t want your nose to burn, Weiss! It’s so tiny and cute.” Ruby booped her again. 

“Will you stop that!” Weiss’ voice squeaked, making Ruby laugh so hard she snorted. “Oh you think this is funny?” Ruby didn’t have time to answer before Weiss picked up the bottle and squeezed a massive amount into her hand. “You need some on your face too! Can’t have those silver eyes getting any color from the sun.”

“Weiss,” Ruby drew back, seeing just how much she had in her hand. “Think about this.” 

“You started it.”

“Yeah but that was just a tiny little bit. A cute bop on the nose! 

Weiss started to move towards her, crawling on her free hand and knees. “That’s all I’m going to do, Ruby. Just a cute little bop on your nose.” 

“No,” Ruby scooted backwards. “That’s not a cute bop amount in your hand. That’s a messy bop amount.” Weiss inched closer. “I’m faster than you.” 

“With your semblance, sure. But I’m quicker.” 

They stared at each other. Ruby stopped moving, it was a competition now. As soon as Weiss was close enough, Ruby was ready. 

Weiss moved first, reaching out with her lotion covered hand. Ruby snapped to grab it, but Weiss quickly avoided the first attempt. Suddenly, her hand had a free path to Ruby’s face. She leaned to the side, just out of the way of the oncoming attack. 

That was when Weiss used her other hand to grab Ruby by the arm, pulling her in close and causing her to lose her balance. Ruby started to fall, needing some way to protect herself. She reached out with both hands, grabbing whatever she could. 

As she fell onto her back, she heard an audible squeal and felt something thump against her chest. 

The next thing she knew, Weiss was right above her - their bodies pressed together. When Weiss pushed up, her sunscreen covered hand now planted in the grass, their noses were almost touching. 

Ruby had never been this close to her before. She could literally count all of Weiss’ eyelashes if she wanted to. She looked into those blue eyes, the ones she thought she had fully memorized - only to realize now that there was so much more detail in them. 

If there was ever a time to kiss her, this was it. She glanced at Weiss’ lips, they were so tempting and she wouldn’t even have to move that far. She kept waiting for Weiss to move, but she didn’t, she just...stayed on top of her. It felt like they’d been locked in this position forever. Certainly long enough for Ruby to study every inch of Weiss’ face. 

“Uh,” the sudden voice startled them both, Weiss jumping off Ruby and somehow immediately onto her feet. 

Ruby felt a painful emptiness wash over her with Weiss no longer being so close, but she looked up at her dad and smiled. 

“H-hey Dad.”

He held up a deflated, yellow piece of vinyl. “My drink duck popped.” He looked to Weiss, then back and Ruby with a brow arched. “What are you two doing?”

“Just messing around.”

“Right,” Dad nodded slowly, dropping his popped drink duck next to the towel laid out in the grass. “Well I’m gonna head back out there. If you two are bored, Rubes, you could take Weiss to The Malt Shoppe for some ice cream.” 

Ruby felt her mouth fall open, she had completely forgotten about The Malt Shoppe.

“Oh my gosh! Weiss! We have to go get some ice cream! It’s the best ice cream you will ever eat in your life!” She looked at Weiss expectantly, Weiss, who was red in the face and had created quite a bit of distance between herself and the other two. 

“That’s fine.” She was not nearly as excited as Ruby was, which made Ruby fear that their moment together had been too much. Maybe Ruby stared too long or held her too tight - now Weiss was uncomfortable. The exact opposite of what Ruby wanted. 

“Just make sure you bring me back a swirl cone,” Dad said, grabbing another drink from the cooler before heading back out to the water. “And don’t forget I’m here! You’re my ride home!” 

Ruby turned back to Weiss, but noticed she was already walking towards the car. 

Dang it, Ruby. 

“Did you get a cone for your father?” Weiss asked, holding her cup of cookies and cream ice cream in one hand and her sunglasses in the other. 

“I’ll get one before we leave. I-I figured we could eat ours here. Dad’s not kidding when he says he could fish all day. There’s no hurry.” Weiss nodded, not saying anything, but Ruby was thankful when Weiss followed out the door and over to one of the tables set up outside. “If you’re hungry they serve really good burgers and stuff.”

“No thank you.” Weiss spoke with her head down, staring at her cup. The teasing they’d done on that blanket at the lake had been too much. She’d pushed it too far and made it weird. Ruby was so bad at this. She didn’t know what was too far anymore and worst of all, she didn’t know how much she was projecting her feelings. 

She’d never been in love before. 

“Sorry about the lake, with the sunscreen.” Apologizing felt like the only thing she could do. “I got a little carried away.”

Weiss looked up at her, but now it was Ruby’s turn to stare at her cup. Chocolate, with syrup and sprinkles - it looked like a cup you’d give a child but...she loved sprinkles. 

“You don’t have to apologize for that, Ruby. We were only teasing.” 

Ruby nodded, still lacking the courage to look up. “You’ve just...been kinda quiet since.” 

“That has nothing to do with you, Ruby. Just me...lost in my own head.” 

Finally, Ruby looked up at her partner. “Are you okay?” 

“I am, I’m...really enjoying our time here.”

“Oh,” Ruby was confused. “What’s going on in there?” She asked, tapping her own head. 

Weiss’ mouth twitched a bit, the hint of a smile. “I’m not really sure. It’s hard to explain I suppose. I’m happy to be here, but...thoughtful. I promise you, I’m not angry or anything.” 

Ruby understood. Having been partners with Weiss for so long, there were days when Weiss was more reserved. She’d never met anyone who spent as much time in their own head as Weiss did. 

Well...maybe Blake. Those two were way more alike than either one of them would ever admit. 

Still, Ruby was relieved that her awkwardness hadn’t pushed Weiss away. Now she just had to do that good partner thing and make it all better. 

“I’m really glad you came here with me, Weiss. It means a lot to me.” 

This drew out a much bigger smile. Those pangs of longing struck her hard - making her chest tighten and her stomach flip, but it was worth it. 

“What else was I supposed to do?” She scooped up a bite of her ice cream and dipped just a bit of it into her mouth. Ruby realized she was paying way too much attention to this. “I don’t know if you’ve figured it out yet,” she swallowed - thank the gods. “But we are a package deal. For all the work I put in trying to keep myself away from you at Beacon. You’ve clawed your way in and now I’m fairly certain I’d be lost without you, Ruby Rose.” 

If Ruby’s heart wasn’t fluttering while Weiss ate her ice cream, it was practically hammering now. 

“Even though I made you wear the fishing outfit and booped sunscreen on your nose?” 

“Even still,” Weiss said, taking another spoonful. “Okay,” Weiss spoke, her mouth was full so Ruby knew she had something important to say. “This is the best ice cream I’ve ever had.” 

“Right?!” Ruby threw her arms in the air. “Yang and I used to come here every day after school once Yang got her license.” 

“What do you think those two are up to?”

Ruby appreciated the question, it was an easier topic to discuss. “I talked to Yang a little this morning. Sounds like Robyn is taking them on a mission. Something about bug Grimm in Anima 

Weiss shivered as Ruby mentioned it. “Well that sounds horrible.”

“I know, when I told her what our day plans were compared to theirs she sent me a picture of her middle finger.”

“Of course she did.” Weiss rolled her eyes. “We’ll be back in the fight soon enough. Besides,” Weiss picked up another torturous bite. “We’ve earned this.” 

“Ruby Rose?!” A raspy, obnoxiously familiar voice called out Ruby’s name. She froze in her seat, unable to believe just how awful her luck really was. There was no way this was really happening. Not really, it couldn’t be. Eventually she’d wake up back in her bed at the base and none of this would be real. “As I live and breathe I never thought I’d see your wild mess of hair here in Patch again!” 

She looked up at Weiss, who was staring at her with concern. After what happened in the store the other day, Ruby did not want a repeat performance of her complete emotional shut down. 

Turning back, Ruby put on her best smile. “Hey Chloe,” she said through a smile that felt like it was going to tear her face in half. “Never thought I’d see you either.” 

Hoped, at least. 

Chloe Verdall was as beautiful as Ruby remembered her in school. She stood out, with bright green hair that she’d split into two separate braids that hung over either shoulder. Though it was hard to pay attention to that with her top cut so low that Ruby was pretty sure she could map out a battle strategy on her cleavage. Not that she would. 

“Look at...your shoulders. My goodness.” Chloe’s eyes went wide. “Cherry did not mention that when she told me she’d seen you at the market!” 

Ruby glanced at her shoulders with confusion - was there something wrong with them?

Apparently not because all of the sudden Chloe was touching her. “Well you’ve certainly grown up, haven’t you?” Chloe smiled at her, in a way Ruby had never really seen before. 

“I uh...I mean I drink a lot of milk.” 

Then she laughed, really loudly. So loud in fact that it made Ruby jump. “You’re funny! I don’t remember you being that funny.” Chloe was still touching her. “You know, Cherry left out a lot of details about you when I talked to her the other day. She definitely failed to mention how good you looked.” Ruby wasn’t entirely sure when it happened, but Chloe was right next to her. “How long are you in town for?” She asked with a tilt of her head.

“We’re here through next week.” 

Weiss, Ruby had forgotten to introduce Weiss!

Chloe’s hand froze on Ruby’s shoulder, she looked across the table at Weiss sitting on the other side. “Oh, my apologies, I didn’t see you had anyone with you. With the white hair and all you just kinda wash out here in the sun.” Chloe laughed at her own joke. 

Ruby assumed it was supposed to be a joke.

Weiss smiled, but not the good one. “I guess you were having a hard time focusing on anything other than Ruby’s arms.”

“Well can you blame me?!” Chloe laughed again. This time even more aggressively than before. “Chloe Verdall, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She did finally stop touching Ruby long enough to extend her hand. Weiss accepted it but only after a slight hesitation. 

“Weiss Schnee, I’m Ruby’s partner.”

“Oh?” Chloe sounded curious, and almost...disappointed. 

“Not like that,” Weiss said, a little too fast for Ruby’s liking. “We’re huntresses.”

Chloe’s eyes lit up. “Ruby? You actually went through with it? After all the joking and fun we had in school about you and your weapons you went and did it?” 

Ruby cast her eyes down a bit. She didn’t remember it as joking and fun. “I did. Got my license and everything.”

“Wow,” Chloe was right next to her again. Ruby looked up at her, she wasn’t much taller than Weiss. Thicker though, kind of like Yang with less muscle and more...other stuff. “Listen, I would love to catch up and hear more about you two and your adventures. We’re having a cookout at my place tonight, I’m actually here gettin’ ice cream for the desserts. You should come! A lot of people from school will be there, Ruby.” 

For some reason, the idea of it didn’t sound completely horrible. It was...nice, to be able to look at these people who used to tease her constantly and show them that she’d actually done what she said she was going to do. Would it really be so bad to show off a little? She’d worked super hard and Chloe was being really nice. 

Maybe a little too nice, but Ruby didn’t much mind. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t entirely her decision. “I’d have to see what Weiss wants to do.” 

“Oh she can come, of course!” Chloe gave Weiss a big smile, Weiss’ expression didn’t really change. “Plenty of room and we’ve got the Three Hole boards set up and plenty of drinks.”

Weiss looked at Ruby and when she did, Ruby gave her best hopeful look. They didn’t have to stay long, just long enough for Ruby to show everyone what she’d accomplished. 

“We still have to pick up your father from the lake.” 

Oh yeah...Dad.

“Hey there’s plenty of time, festivities don’t start until seven. Listen, come if you can, I really have to be going.” Chloe then reached into the pocket of her very tight pants and pulled a pen. She grabbed the napkin next to Ruby’s ice cream cup and started writing on it. 

“This is my number, if you decide to come, call me up and I’ll give you directions.” Ruby took the piece of paper, there was a little heart by the number. “It’s really great to see you, Ruby.” Chloe was suddenly hugging her and Ruby panicked a little. She reacted as best she could, putting the one arm she had available around Chloe’s waist. Extremely careful of where she touched. “I hope to see you two tonight!” 

With that, she walked into the restaurant and left Ruby and Weiss sitting at the table. Ruby stared at the number on her napkin and looked up at Weiss. 

“I can tell you want to go.”

Ruby shrugged. “It’s selfish. I just want to show off my license and make them all jealous of all the cool things I’ve seen and done.”

Weiss let out a long, exaggerated sigh. “We can go for a while if you’d like.” Ruby pumped her fist in the air. “ But , if that Cherry woman is there I can’t promise I won’t send her into oncoming traffic with a glyph.” 

“You’re the best, Weiss.”

Chapter Text

Weiss wasn’t sure she could ever remember being less excited about something. The only thing comparable she could think of was traveling back to Atlas after having just escaped, and at least then there was the prospect of seeing her sister. Not to mention she had the pleasure of sending her own father to jail.

Tonight, there would be no such joy. No, tonight she would be spending her evening with the leftovers of Patch’s questionable school system. 

Weiss did not trust these people. It wasn’t as if she was afraid they were actually agents for Salem wanting to steal Ruby away and take her to their dark goddess - nothing that dramatic. She simply didn’t like the way they spoke to her, or looked at her or...touched her. 

It didn’t seem right. Ruby was a hero - a righteous leader who had overcome so much and fought so hard to do things these people could never even imagine. 

Yet, somehow, they had this power over her that made her fall back into the fifteen year old girl who just wanted to impress everyone, even at her own expense. 

Not to mention it was fairly obvious that Chloe wanted far more than to just be friends. 

Weiss couldn’t blame her entirely, and she also couldn’t sit back and dictate who Ruby could and could not spend time with. Just because she was waiting to see if this newfound crush she had on her partner was anything more than a passing fancy, didn’t mean she had, as Yang would so crudely put it, dibs. Ruby was a very attractive woman, clearly Chloe saw that too. 

Still, Weiss would always be Ruby’s partner and that meant having Ruby’s back - which meant she was going into this event tonight prepared. 

She decided to wear a simple black skirt and a white button down top. She had a very compact clutch purse to take with her tonight, filled to the brim with dust vials just in case these people were agents of Salem. 

You could never be too careful. 

As she was tying her hair into a loose ponytail, she heard a knock on the guest room door. 

“Can I come in?” 

“Yes,” Weiss said, still holding a hair tie in her teeth. 

She watched the door open through the mirror as Ruby came in. The hair tie Weiss had between her teeth fell when her jaw dropped at the sight of her partner. 

She was wearing a dress, black with red rose designs on it - Weiss had no idea where it had come from or how it fit her so well. Her hair was loose and free atop her head, but it almost seemed to be on purpose, as if she’d spent time putting every strand in just the right place. The straps of the dress were thin, held up on her strong shoulders, arms fully on display. The skirt was loose and wavy, but also a bit shorter than Ruby usually wore during combat. To go along with it she had white shoes and black choker around her neck. 

Yes, Weiss had taken the time to study every single detail. That’s how incredible Ruby looked right now. 

“Ruby you’re...I...where’d that dress come from?” 

Ruby blushed a bit, Weiss still unable to actually turn around. She just stared at her through the mirror - still holding her hair in her hand. 

“It was my mom’s. I...might have called Yang and asked for a little advice on what to wear tonight. I know it’s silly but I kinda wanna shove it in their faces how far I’ve come, you know?” 

Weiss was fairly certain Chloe would love to have a few things shoved in her face tonight, but this wasn’t about her. 

If Ruby needed this night to overcome the way she was treated growing up, then Weiss was going to help her as much as she could. 

“You look amazing, Ruby.” 

Again, Ruby bashfully looked down and shrugged - she never could take compliments well. “You look really nice too.” Weiss saw her smile through the mirror, her own stomach fluttering a bit. “Want some help tying your hair?” Ruby was already walking towards her. 

Reaching down with her free hand, Weiss grabbed the fallen hair tie from the dresser and handed it back to her partner. 

Ruby gathered up Weiss’ hair, their hands touching for a moment, one Weiss quickly pulled away because she swore the contact shocked her. Instead of tying it immediately, Ruby ran her fingers through it a few times. 

“Your hair is always so soft.” She laughed, her fingers lost in white strands of hair. Weiss could feel her pulse quickening, the view through the mirror almost torturous. Ruby was so close to her, her strong hands somehow so careful as they played through her hair. 

She wanted...she wanted Ruby to wrap her arms around her and hold her. Maybe even pick her up and carry her over to the bed next to them and…

Stop it. 

“Can you stop playing with my hair, Ruby?” She asked, a bit sharper than intended. 

Thankfully, Ruby just smiled and did as told. “There,” Ruby dropped her hands to her side, Weiss felt herself relaxing a little. “We look like a couple of party people.”

Weiss stared at her through the mirror. “How badly are you missing your combat boots right now?” 

“So much,” Ruby groaned. “I feel like these things are gonna fall off with every step I take.” She shook her sneaker covered foot for good measure. 

Finally, Weiss turned around to face Ruby, really taking in the sight of her. “That dress is gorgeous though. Your mother had good taste.” 

“She probably wore it better than me.” Ruby glanced down at herself. “Mom was always beautiful.”

Reaching out, Weiss lifted Ruby’s chin to look at her. “Trust me, Ruby. You are wearing the hell out of that dress.” 

Weiss was miserable. 

That wasn’t surprising, she knew she would be. She’d prepared for it and, to be frank, she didn’t care what any of these people thought of her. 

What Weiss hadn’t been expecting was how not miserable it was for Ruby. In fact, Ruby was the absolute center of attention. 

As it turned out, people from Patch were quite enthralled with even the simplest tales of Ruby’s life. She’d been careful, of course, not to give away any massive details about Salem and Maidens and Gods - not that Weiss imagined any of them would believe her. But simply telling stories about the hundreds of monsters Ruby had slain had everyone at the party hanging on her every word. 

The party wasn’t overly full - nothing like any party she’d ever attended in Atlas. The setting was different and the class of people was certainly different, but overall it was mostly the same. Everyone here was seemingly on a mission for something. They would do whatever they could to look better than they actually were. Whether it was for attention or attraction or simply because they wanted the biggest meat patty on the grill.

It was all the same. 

Weiss found herself standing near the entrance to the kitchen. She watched from a distance as a few people surrounded Ruby, the closest was Chloe who had been all over her since they two of them showed up. As much as Weiss wanted to walk over there and create a little distance between them, it wasn’t her place. She was, after all, just Ruby’s partner and best friend. 

She was not Ruby’s girlfriend, because she’d told herself she wanted to be sure. That didn’t mean she was invulnerable to jealousy, because that was most definitely what she was feeling right now. 

“Then all of the sudden the train just went completely off the tracks. Fell right down a mountain!” Ruby threw her hands in the air as everyone around her went wide-eyed with shock. “We probably all would have died if not for Weiss and her glyphs - Weiss!” Ruby pointed at her, a bright smile on her face. “Come here!” 

Suddenly, there were five sets of eyes on her and Weiss wasn’t about to ignore an opportunity to reclaim her position at Ruby’s side. “Ruby is every bit the hero she says she is,” Weiss started as she made her way into the kitchen towards the storyteller. “But what she sometimes forgets when she’s flying around killing monsters is to protect herself. If I have to use the occasional glyph to keep her feet on the ground when a train is sliding down a mountain, then that’s what I’ll do.” 

“You two are awesome!” One guy said, shaking his head in disbelief. 

“You see stuff like that on TV during the Vytal festival, but to fight actual monsters - I can’t believe it.” This was Chloe, who was not about to give up her spot. “Say Ruby, I have some boxes in my garage with yearbooks and stuff from school, I think it’d be fun to bring them out and show your friend. Can you help me get them down?” 

“Sure!” Ruby beamed, she really was enjoying her time in the spotlight. Weiss found herself drawn to that smile she had on her face. Having seen Ruby struggle and suffer through so much, this was what her vacation was supposed to be. 

Even if Weiss wasn’t thrilled about Chloe acting the way she was, Weiss couldn’t deny how much fun Ruby was having. 

So she said nothing. She stood silently, watching as the crowd dispersed and Ruby followed Chloe out of the kitchen and down a narrow hallway that led to a door going out into the garage. 

Chloe put her arm through Ruby’s and Ruby didn’t pull away from her or resist at all. 

“Want a beer?” A man with a brown hat and an unbuttoned blue shirt with trees all over it held a can up at her. 

Weiss waved him off. “I don’t drink.” 

“Smart,” he said with a chuckle, cracking open the beer he’d offered her and taking a drink. “Pretty crazy seeing little Ruby Rose all grown up like this. I’m not sure I ever heard her say anything in school.” 

“Did you never hear her speak or did you simply never try talking to her?” 

His brow furrowed. “Fair point,” he took another drink. “She stuck pretty close to her sister, Gods she was hot.” He sat his drink down and Weiss felt her eyes rolling. She was ready to simply walk away when he just...kept talking like she actually cared. “It’s pretty cool though, Rose was always a good person. I remember she used to walk all the kids that rode the special needs bus out of school every day. She would help them off the curb and make sure they crossed the street okay. Some of them were like...ten years older than her, didn’t matter. She took care of them. Always thought that was pretty badass.” 

This wasn’t helping Weiss’ growing crush and lingering jealousy. 

“She is a badass.” 

As Beer Boy nodded and faded away into another conversation, Weiss found herself feeling a little lost in the kitchen of this place. She was here for Ruby, nothing more than that - without her around Weiss had no real interest in anything else. So, as curiosity got the better of her, she decided it might be time to make sure everything was okay and that Ruby didn’t need any help getting down Chloe’s pesky boxes. 

However, as soon as Weiss took a step down the hallway, the door opened and she was greeted with the shriek of Chloe’s laugh as Ruby carried in a pretty large box filled with an assortment of things that clearly didn’t mean much to Chloe because they were in her garage. 

It was probably just an excuse to make Ruby show off her arms in that dress and if Weiss were being honest with herself, she could respect that. 

For as much as they fussed over getting the yearbooks out of the garage the entertainment from them only lasted a few minutes before everyone went back to yelling at each other over the loud music. 

Weiss was about two hours past being ready to go home, but Ruby was still having fun and talking to anyone who would listen. 

It wasn’t until someone started throwing up in a trashcan in the same room as Weiss that she decided it was time to go. Ruby had had her fun and told her stories, they needed to go. 

Moving through people at a party in Patch was exactly the same as moving through them in Atlas - you just push them out of the way and apologize later. Weiss shifted and slid through the partygoers, making her way to the couch where Ruby was currently sitting next to Chloe and a few others whose names Weiss didn’t care to know. 

As soon as Ruby saw Weiss, her eyes lit up. “Weiss! My best friend!” She threw her hands in the air and when she tried to stand up, she swayed a little. 

A million different alarm bells went off in Weiss’ head at that moment. “Have you been drinking?” Weiss almost couldn’t believe she even had to ask. 

“Jus’ the punch!” She held up her little blue cup. “It’s really tasty, like candy!” 

Weiss’ gaze turned to Chloe, who was smiling up at Ruby. “Did you give this to her?” 

“I mean, I got it for her,” Chloe shrugged. “It’s a party, she wanted a drink.”

“Ruby doesn’t drink alcohol.” Weiss bit, her tone sharp enough that it made Chloe draw back a bit. 

“Alcohol?” Ruby whined, frowning at her cup. “Oh no,” she sat down with a thump on the couch, her drink spilling all over her in the process. 

“No,” Weiss reached out and grabbed Ruby by the arm. “We’re going home.” She pulled her up as carefully as she could, Ruby’s body weight nearly knocking her over. 

“I don’t understand the problem?” 

Weiss shoved her finger in Chloe’s face. “The problem is that you gave her this without telling her it had alcohol in it. If you had asked her if she wanted anything like that she would have said no. Her Uncle…” Weiss bit back the rest of her sentence. Chloe didn’t deserve to know Ruby’s story and it wasn’t Weiss’ to tell. “We’re done, we’re leaving. Sorry to ruin your plans.” 

“My,” Chloe started, but Weiss was already taking Ruby out of the party. “Wait! I can help.” Chloe stood up and started to follow them. Unfortunately, Weiss couldn’t move fast enough with Ruby hanging off of her to get away. “I’m sorry, okay? I really am. It didn’t even cross my mind that she wouldn’t want it.”

“Of course it didn’t,” Weiss used her foot to kick open the screen door and make her way outside. “All that crossed your mind tonight was that you wanted to sleep with her. Why not make the conquest a bit easier for yourself, am I right?”

“No,” Chloe protested, running ahead of Weiss. “I didn’t know, I promise.” Weiss stopped, Ruby still hanging off of her, and stared into Chloe’s eyes. The look on her face and the way she spoke seemed sincere. It didn’t make Weiss feel any better, but at least the intent didn’t seem malicious. “You’re not wrong, I think she’s attractive, but I would never do that to her - to anyone.” 

“Perhaps not, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m taking her home.” 

“Nooooooo,” Ruby tried to pull away from Weiss. “If my dad sees me he’ll freak out!” 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “It’s past eleven, your dad is asleep - I won’t let him see you.” 

“You’re the best,” Ruby fell into Weiss again, causing her to groan audibly. “I love you so much.” 

Drunk ‘I love yous’ were not new to Weiss, she just never imagined she’d hear one from Ruby. Turning back to their car, she saw that Chloe had the door open for them. Weiss shook her head, but pulled Ruby over and helped her climb inside. 

Weiss didn’t even protest when Chloe gave them a hand. 

Once Ruby was finally in the seat, Weiss pulled the seatbelt over her and reached across Ruby to snap it closed. As she did, Ruby wrapped her arms around her. 

“My tiny little protector,” Ruby said, squeezing Weiss quite hard. 

As she latched the seatbelt in, she drew back and stared at Ruby. The look in her eyes was so painfully distant and cloudy. 

The image of Ruby like this, so much like her own mother, made Weiss want to cry. 

“Let’s get you home,” she said, moving a mess of hair out of Ruby’s face. 

Ruby smiled, nestling her cheek into Weiss’ hand. For a moment, Weiss let her stay that way, hoping a little contact might bring her down a little. 

When she did finally leave Ruby in the seat and close the door, she turned again to find Chloe still there, and a few others standing at the doorway watching. 

“I really am sorry, Weiss. I didn’t know.” She sighed.

“Ruby is one of the most extraordinary people in the world. She deserves every bit of attention she received tonight, to make up for the way everyone in this place treated her when she was a child.” Weiss spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “If you really like her - if this truly is more than just a conquest to you, then please, take the time to get to know her.” 

Chloe nodded, crossing her arms gently over her chest. “Will you...have her call me?” 

“I’ll tell her about what happened tonight and when she’s of a clear mind, she can make that decision for herself.” 

“Okay,” Chloe didn’t argue. “Thank you, Weiss. You’re a good friend to her.” 

Those words felt like a knife in her heart. 

Weiss was exhausted. She wanted nothing more than to find a bed, any bed, crawl inside of it and sleep for hours. 

Sneaking Ruby into their house was harder than it should have been, if only because Ruby wanted so desperately to play some kind of airplane game with Zwei as soon as they walked through the door. 

As expected, Taiyang was asleep by the time they made it home and as Ruby had told Weiss before, he was a very heavy sleeper. 

Still, Weiss was fully prepared for him to wake up as she dragged Ruby up the stairs to her bedroom. 

The problem wasn’t that Ruby was too drunk to function, if anything, that would be easy. Instead, she was just drunk enough that everything she saw was a distraction. 

Eventually, Weiss wrangled Ruby into her room and shut the door behind them. She watched, her heart breaking, as Ruby laid down on her bed. 

“Sure do wish the room would stop spinning.” Ruby laughed a little. “I’m sorry, Weiss,” Ruby rolled her head to the side to look at her. “I’m sorry you didn’t have fun.”

“It’s fine, Ruby,” Weiss smiled at her. “I’m sorry the room won’t stop spinning.” 

“I didn’t mean to drink. I didn’t want to but it tasted so good!” Ruby threw her arms up. “Uncle Qrow’s cute little sippy cup thing always smells so bad - this one smelled like candy!” 

Weiss couldn’t stop herself from giggling. “I’m going to tell him you called it a sippy cup the next time we see him.”

“Nooooo,” Ruby sat up, probably too fast. “Uh oh…” she tried to stand, but her feet wouldn’t cooperate. Weiss was fast enough to catch her as she started to slide off the bed. “Stupid spinny room…” 

Suddenly, Weiss was holding Ruby and both of them were sliding to the ground. Now sitting on the floor, Weiss propped Ruby’s back against the bed and held her. “Okay, close your eyes.” Ruby nodded and did as directed, a goofy smile on her face. Weiss bit back the burn in her throat, trying not to remember the nights her mother would stumble into her room, drunk and sad - leaning on her twelve year old daughter for emotional support. “I used to do this with my mom, she always said it made her feel better.” Ruby nodded, nestling in closer to Weiss. Carefully, Weiss placed the backs of her fingers on Ruby’s forehead. From here, she slowly dragged them down her face, brushing over her eyes and nose. 

“That tickles .” Ruby said through a laugh. 

Weiss nodded to herself. “Just concentrate on the feeling, okay? Take deep breaths, don’t think about anything spinning and focus on me.”

Ruby let out a sigh. “That’s easy to do.” Weiss froze for a moment. “You’re right here,” Ruby hugged her a little tighter and Weiss melted. 

“Be quiet, dolt. Let me work my magic.” This made Ruby laugh, but she didn’t say anything else. 

Slowly, Weiss traced her fingers all over Ruby’s face. Down her jaw and gently over her closed eyes. She ran her fingertip through the creases in Ruby’s forehead and even let her hands lose themselves in Ruby’s hair. 

The longer she went, the more Weiss felt Ruby sag against her. Before long, Ruby’s breathing steadied and she fell asleep, leaving Weiss stuck between Ruby and the side of the bed. 

For a long time, Weiss just sat there, holding Ruby in her arms and trying to pretend this night hadn’t brought back countless bad memories of watching her mother slowly slip away from her. She knew she wouldn’t have to worry about that with Ruby, nobody would regret this night more than her partner would in the morning. That didn’t mean Weiss was going to stop worrying about it just a little. 

She didn’t want to risk waking Ruby and she wasn’t entirely sure she could get Ruby into bed now without waking her or hurting the both of them. So instead, Weiss reached up with her free hand and grabbed at the blankets on the bed. She dragged them down, a pillow falling as well, and started to drape them over herself and Ruby. Placing the fallen pillow in the right spot, Weiss guided Ruby down to lie on the floor beside her, the two of them sharing one pillow, before laying the blankets down on top of them. 

It was going to be one of the worst nights of sleep of her life, no doubt about that. This floor wasn’t exactly forgiving, but she didn’t care. She wanted to stay close to Ruby, protect her still even if she didn’t need it.

Chapter Text

Everything hurt. 

As soon as Ruby opened her eyes, she knew where she was - the night before blurrily rushing back to her. 

Her head throbbed and her stomach felt like it was revolting against her, but she felt so warm and comfortable. 

When she moved just a bit, something around her waist tightened. Ruby looked back over her shoulder and was met with the sight of white hair. 

Carefully, both to not wake her sleeping partner and to protect her sensitive head, Ruby rolled over to face Weiss.

Ruby couldn’t remember everything that happened last night, just that she’d drank alcohol, but it didn’t taste bad like she’d imagined. It was like candy - sneaky, secret candy flavored alcohol that should be illegal. Then suddenly they were back home. All of the details were fuzzy and parts of it were missing entirely. One minute she was looking at old yearbooks with Chloe and the next they were sneaking up the stairs of her own house. 

The only thing Ruby knew for certain, was that Weiss was there the whole time. 

Weiss, who had spent the night on the floor with her just to make sure she was okay. 

Her heart ached at the idea of making Weiss go through a night like that. Weiss, who had told Ruby of the awful nights she’d spent with her own alcoholic mother. Where her mother would come into her room and linger around all night, making Weiss feel guilty for things that couldn’t possibly be her fault. Being so out of it that she’d blame Weiss for the current state of her own life. 

Guilt wracked her heart, how could she have put Weiss through that again? Especially here, when they’re supposed to be on vacation and resting? 

Unable to control herself, Ruby reached out and put her hand on Weiss’ cheek. She brushed the hair falling over her face out of the way and ran her thumb over Weiss’ jaw. 

A moment later, those blue eyes were peeking out at her, fluttering behind long lashes as she woke up slowly. Weiss swallowed thickly, her hand moving out from under the blanket to grab Ruby’s, squeezing it a little. 

“You okay?” Weiss asked, her voice raspy with sleep. 

Ruby nodded. “I’ll survive.” 

“Good,” Weiss smiled tiredly - Ruby’s heart hurt even more. 

“I’m so sorry about last night.” She whispered.

Weiss’ eyes closed for a moment, like she was falling back asleep. When they opened again, she shook her head. “It wasn’t your fault, Ruby. You didn’t know.” 

“But I took us there. I made us go there - so I could show off and impress people who don’t matter to me.” Maybe it was the headache, or the stomach ache that made it worse, but Ruby felt tears spring in her eyes. “I’m so sorry.” 

“Shush,” Weiss soothed her, leaning over and placing a kiss on Ruby’s forehead. She could be so darn sweet. “You’re just hungover and miserable - punishment enough if you ask me.” Ruby closed her eyes and moved a little closer to Weiss. “You’re allowed a little selfishness, Ruby. I do not blame you for wanting to show those people how amazing you are.” Ruby’s heart fluttered in her chest. Weiss compliments were the best compliments. She realized now that they meant way more than any of the random people she grew up with complimenting her. “What do you remember from last night?” 

Ruby shrugged, wiping at her eyes. “I remember sitting on Chloe’s couch looking at yearbooks. Being annoyed at how many people had signed hers. Then she gave me a drink and it was really good. Then I had another one and...then it all kinda went fuzzy and the next thing  I remember was you and I sneaking up the stairs.” 

“I don’t think sneaking is the proper word - we were just lucky your father sleeps like a hibernating Grimm.” As Weiss moved, her face grimaced in pain and she sat up slowly. “Speaking of sleeping, can we please move back to the bed now?” 

Ruby could not agree with that plan more. “Why were we on the floor?” 

“Because I was not about to try and lift you up into bed.”

“Aww, I’m not that heavy!” Ruby whined, her own voice hurting her head. “Besides, you’re strong.” As she sat up, Ruby was thankful the room was no longer spinning like she remembered last night. Instead, it just felt like the walls were pressing down on her. “Ouch,” she pressed her fingers into her temples. “Oh gods this is awful. Why do people do this?” 

She felt Weiss grab her arm and start to pull her up to her feet. “I’ve been asking myself that question for two decades.” Once she was up, Ruby grabbed the blankets on the floor and sat them on the bed. As she tried to make her head stop screaming, Weiss fluttered the blankets across the mattress before putting the pillows back in place. “Come on, it’s only five, we can sleep for a few more hours.”

Ruby looked at Weiss, who was climbing onto the bed, still wearing her clothes from the night before. Somehow, after all of the chaos from last night and a sleeping on the hard floor, she still looked incredible. 

Even though Ruby wanted to get over these feelings and knew Weiss didn’t feel the same way. Knowing that holding onto this idea that it would all magically work out was unhealthy - seeing Weiss sitting in bed, holding open the blankets for her, Ruby could let reality go for just a few more hours and cuddle up next to the girl she loved. 

So she did exactly that. Lying down next to Weiss, who immediately rolled over and wrapped her arm over Ruby’s waist and held her. 

It was torture, but Ruby had never enjoyed suffering more than this.

Ruby felt better, not 100% better, but closer than she was a few hours ago. 

Thanks to the advice of her Uncle Qrow, she had gone out and bought the greasiest fast food burger she could find (and a not so greasy chicken sandwich for Weiss), and brought them home for lunch. 

According to her uncle, the greasy mess of a meal would help with the hangover and he was right - she didn’t feel perfect, but she felt better. 

Her dad had agreed to join her in her hangover meal, even though he wasn’t hungover at all, he just loved greasy burgers. Dad still had no idea what had happened last night and Ruby was in no hurry to tell him. In fact, she was hoping to keep it between herself, Weiss and Qrow if possible. 

She felt embarrassed, she didn’t like the idea of losing control of herself in that way. Even if nothing terrible happened, it wasn’t a fun feeling to know that parts of that night were just...absent to her. 

Not to mention that Weiss didn’t need to be dealing with anything like that ever again. 

As she sat on the couch, watching whatever sporting thing her dad had on the TV, Ruby heard her scroll jingle and glanced down at it. It was another message from Chloe. 

Weiss had told Ruby everything about last night. That Chloe had given her the drink, but didn’t tell her it was alcoholic and that she said she didn’t mean it and she felt bad. 

Ruby had enjoyed spending time with Chloe last night, if only because it was nice to have someone so interested in all her stories. Chloe was pretty and made Ruby feel attractive with all the extra attention she gave her, but it felt so one-sided. Even last night, and the conversations Ruby remembered, it was just her talking and Chloe listening. 

Except when Ruby was climbing the tiny step ladder to grab those yearbooks and Chloe called her sexy. That was...unexpected. 

It was so forward and blunt and nothing Ruby had ever heard about herself before. It made her feel good and confident and glad she had worked out so hard the day before. 

Yet, even hearing that so firmly told to her in such a way, it still didn’t make her heart flutter the way Weiss’ compliment had earlier that night. When she walked into the guest room wearing her mother’s dress. 

The only problem was, Weiss didn’t see her that way, not the way Chloe did. She supposed she could spend the rest of her life waiting, hoping that one day Weiss might suddenly wake up and see her as more than just her partner and friend. 

If she never did though, Ruby could end up spending the rest of her life waiting and never really experiencing what it was like to be with someone. 

Not to mention how badly it would hurt to watch Weiss eventually find someone and fall in love. It was inevitable, she was too amazing to not find someone special. Then Ruby would be left alone again, watching from afar as someone else swept her dream girl off her feet. 

“Okay,” Ruby said aloud, making her dad jump in the seat next to her. “Sorry,” she smiled at him as he turned down the television. “Just gotta do something.”

He smiled. “You never were one for sitting around quietly.”

“Never,” she laughed. Ruby scooped up her phone and headed for the door. “When Weiss gets out of the shower tell her I went for a run, okay? I’ll be back soon.” 

“Will do, kiddo.” He said, once again watching his game. 

The crisp afternoon hair hit Ruby and she took in a deep breath of it. She’d missed this. It was so quiet and open out here. Ruby loved the convenience of the city, but her home gave her the freedom to go out and escape for a little while. 

Unfortunately, she wasn’t running just yet, she had something she needed to do. 

Opening her scroll, Ruby found Chloe’s message and read it over again. 

Really sorry about last night. I should have asked you about the drink first instead of just assuming. I’d love to see you again, even if it’s just to buy you a meal and make up for everything. Hope you’re feeling okay! 

Taking a deep breath, Ruby let her mind race to the idea of actually agreeing to that meal. Would that be a date? She had no idea what would even be considered a date. Still, Chloe had made it pretty clear last night that she was interested, even if Ruby didn’t exactly feel the same way, maybe she could if she just stopped thinking about Weiss for one night. 

It was hard, she didn’t want to leave Weiss alone with her dad all night and go out with a girl she used to think very little of just a couple days earlier. Still, Chloe had changed, just as Ruby had, she was nice and pretty and seemed to actually be interested in Ruby in the romantic kind of way. 

She was exactly what Weiss had told her she needed to go out and find. The kind of relationship Ruby couldn’t have with Weiss. 

Not wanting to overthink too much, Ruby typed as fast as she could. 

It’s okay! No way you could have known! We can definitely meet up and get some food! Just tell me when and where and I’ll be there!!!

Ruby sent it away, internally berating herself for the overuse of exclamation points and the fact that it rhymed in the end. 

Too nervous to wait for the response, Ruby silenced her scroll and put it in her pocket, she’d check for messages after she ran a few miles. 

Ruby could smell the chocolate as soon as she stepped through the door. 

She was sweaty and exhausted and felt leagues better than she had all day, and now she came home to the delightful smell of chocolate? Her day was quickly improving. 

Of course, her dad was right where she left him - right where she expected him to be. He was an extremely productive and conversational person, who would talk to you about anything and everything, but on game day, he really focused in and watched. 

So if he wasn’t the one putting that delightful smell through the house, it had to be…

“Is Weiss cooking?” 

Her dad glanced at her with a smile. “Yeah, said she wanted to do something for you. I told her I always had chocolate chip cookie ingredients in the house.” 

Ruby’s heart fluttered. “Cookies!” She raced into the kitchen, ready to sink her teeth into a delicious treat. She zoomed towards the counter where a tray of cookies sat, waiting for her, not even taking the time to focus on anything else. 

She grabbed one, moving it as quickly towards her mouth as she possibly could - hoping it was still warm and gooey inside. 

“Stop!” Weiss shouted and Ruby froze with the cookie halfway in her mouth. “Don’t, they’re not good!” 

As Ruby drew the cookie away from her lips, she took in the sight of her adorable partner. Weiss has on a white apron that was way too big for her. She had flour on her cheeks and arms, and cookie dough spots down the front of her. It looked like she’d been working just as hard as Ruby had on her run. 


Her partner sighed and sat down the bowl she was holding. “I mixed up salt and sugar in the first batch.” Weiss rolled her eyes. “You would think with all the advancements in technology, we would be able to fix these kinds of problems.” Weiss again started to stir her batter angrily. “We can summon weapons lockers to an exact location on our scrolls but we cannot make sugar a different color than salt?” 

Ruby found herself laughing, despite the glare being sent her way. She felt bad, Weiss was doing something so kind for her, but she just got so upset about these kinds of things. 

“Aw, don’t feel bad,” Ruby started when Weiss stopped stirring. “I promise, it happens to all of us. My first cake was a disaster that nearly burned our house down.”

“It’s true!” Dad shouted from the couch. 

Weiss pouted, the most adorable pout Ruby had ever seen. “Do you want some help with batch number two?”

“No,” Weiss sighed. “I - these are supposed to be for you. A treat to make up for last night.” 

Ruby’s stomach did that weird flippy thing again. “Weiss, you’re the one who had a rough night. I should be making you treats!” Weiss was so kind and thoughtful. It still boggled Ruby’s mind that this person was buried inside of Weiss the whole time, just waiting to escape and love people. 

“You don’t owe me anything, well...perhaps a shower because you’re quite sweaty and ruining the very nice smell I have made in here.” 

“Oh right,” Ruby laughed, running a hand through her damp mess of hair. “I guess it wouldn’t make sense for me to be cooking like this.”

“It would not.” 

Ruby sighed, knowing Weiss wanted to do this on her own. “Okay, I...I’ll go shower then. Just...just know that you don’t have to go through all this trouble for me.” 

Weiss stared up at her, blue eyes soft and her smile back. “It’s no trouble, Ruby. It’s for you.” 

Unable to control herself, Ruby raced around the counter and pulled Weiss into a hug. There were some very squeaky protests, but Ruby couldn’t resist. 

“I’m sorry, you deserve all the hugs and I’m sorry!” 

Weiss sighed in Ruby’s ear, the feeling of her breath against Ruby’s skin felt like tiny little shockwaves were running down her spine. A moment later, Ruby felt a pair of hands press against her back, returning the embrace. 

“Thank you, Weiss.” Ruby whispered, feeling so lucky. 

“Go shower you dolt.” 

Drawing back slowly, Ruby stared into Weiss’ eyes and smiled. “Yes Ma’am.” 

Weiss rolled her eyes. “Go,” she laughed, wiping off her hands on her apron. 

Doing as directed, Ruby practically sprinted upstairs to clean up. She was throwing clothes off left and right when she first heard something thud against the floor. 

“Oh shoot,” she’d forgotten her scroll was in her pants pocket. 

She retrieved it from the ground, inspecting to make sure she hadn’t broken anything. When she turned on the display, a message was waiting for her. 

I’d love to! How about tomorrow night at The Peachtree? Say around 7:30?

Ruby studied the message for a long time. She’d all but forgotten the message she’d sent before her run and had pretty much forgotten the rest of the world when she’d seen Weiss in the kitchen making her cookies. 

She had a date. Her first real date. That was pretty awesome and exciting. 

So why did she feel so terrible about it?

Chapter Text

Weiss was never good at handling her moods. For the most part, she hadn’t had a really bad night in a very long time. The kind of night where she questioned her place in the world and wondered how she’d allowed herself to wind up so miserable and upset. 

Her life, especially since Salem retreated, had been pretty amazing for the most part. She had her team, she had her job and she had a place in the world she could truly call home. 

So naturally, like all Schnee’s that had come before her, Weiss grew impatient and wanted more. 

In this case, the ‘more’ that she wanted, was her best friend and partner. 

She kept waiting for these feelings to pass. Kept waiting to wake up one morning and chuckle at the idea that she wanted to kiss Ruby. It wouldn’t be the first time Weiss had developed a crush on someone she was friends with. It had happened with Pyrrha, with Coco, and even for one infantesimal second she’d wondered what it might be like to see what all the fuss over Blake was about. 

But all those were just crushes, and she knew that when they were in her head. She knew there was nothing solid to those ideas  - just a girl discovering her sexualiy and letting her mind wander. 

Ruby was different, because Ruby was more than that. Yes, Weiss was attracted to Ruby physically. That had been there for some time - the difference was that Weiss had a connection with Ruby she didn’t have with anyone else. Ruby was her home. She was Weiss’ number one - the person on Remnant that Weiss felt the most connected to. 

Falling in love with your partner was certainly nothing new. In fact, Weiss had been surrounded by partners in love for as long as she’d been a huntress. If anything, she and Ruby felt like the exception - if only because they were both so incomplete as individuals when they met. Each of them had a lot of growing up to do and they did that together - supporting each other through it all. 

Now, Weiss was there. She knew exactly who she was and what she wanted and where her life was going. She also knew that she wanted Ruby there with her every step of the way. 

This wasn’t a crush like the ones she’d had before. She was in deep, in love with her partner and probably had been without knowing for much longer than she’d ever care to admit. 

And tonight she was alone, while her partner was off on a date with some woman who barely knew Ruby, but had more guts than Weiss and actually took the chance to do something about it. 

So Weiss did what she always did when she was frustrated - she trained. 

She’d set up a bevy of glyphs all around Taiyang’s front yard. She’d spent the last hour leaping from glyph to glyph, practicing her strikes and summoning attacks - careful not to actually do any damage to his home. 

Currently, she stood atop Myrtenaster, which was implanted in one of the trees. Her muscles were sore, her heart was racing, but she didn’t want to stop. Instead, she summoned a beowolf on the ground below her and plotted out another move. 

Leaping from Myrtenaster, she flipped, grabbing her rapier and yanking it out of the tree. From there, she threw it into the air as hard as she could before summoning two glyphs that turned the beowolf upside down, hanging by it’s feet. As she was cascading back to the ground, her blade caught up with her and Weiss grabbed it with both hands before driving it downward directly through the torso of her summoned enemy. 

She landed with so much force that her weapon sunk deep into the ground, her feet slammed into the grass, knees buckling just a bit but Weiss held steady. 

All this practice and effort to make her mind shut off and yet, as she knelt down in the dirt after another successful move, her heart felt like it was breaking. 

Falling onto her butt, Weiss left her rapier sticking up out of the ground and laid back on the grass. It was dark out, Ruby had been gone for almost an hour, but it felt like she’d been gone forever. 

Weiss had done her absolute best to be supportive. She certainly couldn’t be upset that Ruby had done exactly what Weiss had told her to do and explored the option of dating someone. It wasn’t Ruby’s fault that Weiss was as dense as brick and didn’t realize how she felt until it was too late. 

She helped Ruby apply some makeup, helped her pick out an outfit and made sure to tell her ten or so times just how amazing she looked. Perhaps that last one was for her own benefit, but Ruby deserved to hear it and saying it to her made Weiss feel better. 

Ruby did look amazing through, so much so that Chloe would probably notice and throw herself and her absurd cleavage right at Ruby. For all Weiss knew they weren’t even at the restaurant anymore. Maybe they were back at Chloe’s place looking at old yearbook photos or cuddling on the couch or naked in her bed with Ruby’s hand…


Weiss growled, kipping up from the ground like the trained fighter she was and landing on her feet. She yanked her weapon out of the dirt and summoned as many beasts as she could to fight. 

Taiyang was staring at her when she came back inside. She wasn’t surprised - she’d made far too much noise to go unnoticed. 

“That was quite a lightshow you put on out there.”

Weiss looked back, glancing out the window where she’d been training. “M-my apologies. I may have trained a bit too hard.” 

Tai chuckled. “It’s fine, that front yard has seen its share of battles.” He was so nice, like nothing ever bothered him. “You’re not what I expected.” 

That was something Weiss had heard a lot in the last few years. She always took it as a compliment. “I believe I have your children to thank for that.” This made Taiyang laugh. “They’re terrible influences.” She tested a joke and was happy to see him nodding with a smile. 

“Tell me about it. I can’t tell you how many nights homework was replaced with fort building and healthy dinners were ignored for ice cream and cookie sprinkles.” 

Weiss took a few steps inside, she wasn’t going to sit on any of the furniture, she was a sweaty mess, but it was...nice to talk to Tai like this. “Ruby has tried the ice cream and cookies trick on me a few times. So far I’ve managed to withstand her sad eyes and make her eat properly.”

“You’ll have to share your secrets with her old man then because I’ve failed every time.” Weiss smiled, deciding it was best not to tell him about the thousand or so times the sad eyes had worked on her. “Ruby talks about you all the time. I wasn’t kidding when I said I hadn’t made it through a conversation with her in the last few years without your name coming up.” Weiss’ heart felt like it was slowly coming back to life, hammering in her chest. “Yang is the same way with Blake. Finding the right team is...important.” 

There was more to his words than just casual conversation with his daughter’s partner. Weiss knew she wasn’t nearly qualified enough to dive into that with him and he probably didn’t want to talk about that with her anyways. 

Still, he was being far too kind. “Your daughters are very important to me. It job to make sure they come home after every mission.” Tai smiled up at her. “Because they are extremely reckless and don’t pay attention to their surroundings. Thankfully I have glyphs that keep their feet planted to the ground when they decide to send a train off the rails, crashing down a snowy mountain.”

“That sounds about right. Their mother’s, both of them, were the same way.” It was strange to hear Taiyang talk so casually about Raven and Summer - maybe because it was so hard to get Ruby and Yang to talk about them at all. “It’s funny, they ask me all the time why I don’t run off and join their mission. I talk about my work here but honestly? It would be way too hard to sit around and watch my girls run off into danger the way they do over and over again.” 

Weiss had not expected him to start opening up to her like that in any way. Though a part of her understood it and even recognized that it probably didn’t have anything to do with her at all. This was a man who spent a lot of his time alone - he probably had many things he needed to get off his chest. 

“I think that’s understandable.” Weiss said, proud of herself for saying anything at all. She could have easily kept quiet and let him vent, but she wanted to offer something . “As someone who grew up with a father that cared nothing about them, it’s envious, even - to see a father act like a father.” 

He offered her a small smile, even if he didn’t really seem to believe he was anything to be envious of, he accepted the kind words. “Judging by the way you’re pacing around tonight, it looks like I don’t have to worry too much about who’s looking after Ruby.” 

Weiss wasn’t sure why, but she found herself laughing. She was so overtly exposed in her worry for Ruby that Taiyang could tell without having really spoken to her all day aside from this. 

“With all due respect, sir. Your daughter is a handful.” Weiss pinched the bridge of her nose. “She’s spontaneous and far too brave for my anxiety. She eats like a vacuum and if I have to hear one more story about the weapon of some hunter that I’ve never met I may lose my mind.” 

“Ha! Well I’m glad to hear Ruby hasn’t lost her spark. She’s been raving about weapons since she was little. We knew we were in trouble when she asked for a sword on her third birthday.” Tai settled back against the couch. “Anyway, if I leave you standing there any longer you might stain my carpet with sweat.” Weiss flushed profusely, she’d forgotten the state she was in. “Go wash up, then we’ll figure out what to eat while we wait for our girl.” 

Weiss nodded, racing up the stairs. The words burning in her ears. 

Our girl.

“Hello?” Weiss answered her ringing scroll as she stared at herself in the mirror and ran a brush through her hair. 

“I miss you,” Blake’s desperation made Weiss laugh, she knew what that was about. 

“One more week and we’ll be back in our cafe.”

Blake sighed. “I tried to take Yang this morning but she’s too restless for cafes. And I can’t go alone because when I do I just get hit on all the time.”

Weiss’ brush caught in a rather tough little knot. “You poor pretty little faunus girl.” 

“Shush, you know you miss it.” 

Once Weiss finally got through the tangle, she continued her usual brushing routine - reaching out to wipe away the steam from the mirror. She’d taken a very long shower. “I do miss it, you and Yang and Penny too.”

Blake was quiet for a moment. “Not having the time of your life?” 

“No, I’m having a good time,” Weiss answered quickly, too quickly. “It’s...different than I expected.” 


The brush froze in her hair, she wasn’t sure how much she should actually say. It was difficult for her to keep anything from Blake though. They entrusted each other with so many secrets. “Ruby’s on a date.”

This time, hesitation in Blake’s response was significant. “I’m sorry, I think all four of my ears are going out. Did you just say Ruby is on a date?” 

Hearing someone else say it somehow made it worse. “Yes, Blake. A girl here named Chloe saw us at a restaurant and she...approached Ruby to go to a party. We did, it was horrific, but this Chloe woman is more relentless than a Deathstalker and she asked Ruby out to dinner.” 

“And Ruby said yes?” 

Weiss was suddenly brushing very aggressively. “Yes, she did.” 

Despite the fact that I made her cookies and we hugged for far too long and both slept on the floor together. 

“Wow,” Sometimes Blake’s short answers could be incredibly frustrating. “And you’re okay with that?” 

Stopping her brushing, Weiss glared at her phone sitting on the sink. “Why wouldn’t I be?” 

“Because you’re into her.” 

“What?” Weiss was genuinely shocked. Wracking her mind to try and remember if she texted Blake about all this. She was fairly certain she hadn’t. “What are you talking about?” 

Blake had a smile in her voice. “Calm down, Weiss. It’s just an assumption. You’re always with her, you always gush about her to new people and I have eyes, I see the way you look at her.” Weiss didn’t answer, she didn’t know how to. To her, these feelings were new and something that had just happened. Apparently, she’d been projecting for much longer than that. “Plus, I’ve been there. After all, I fell for the other one, and they’re not that different.” 

“Hang on, are you telling me that you knew about my interest in Ruby months before I did?” 

“Denial is a pain in the ass, Weiss.” 

Defeated, Weiss put her brush down and sat on the edge of the tub. “It’s all irrelevant now. I’ve missed my chance.” 

“Weiss,” Blake tried, but Weiss wasn’t done feeling sorry for herself. 

“She’s on a date at this exact moment, Blake. With a woman who I’m fairly certain will try everything she can to get Ruby into her bedroom.” Just saying it made Weiss’ stomach turn. The idea of Ruby with someone else in that way was harder to cope with than she’d ever imagined. 

“One date does not mean Ruby has found her soulmate.” 

Weiss stared at Blake’s contact picture on her scroll. “Perhaps not, but it means some random woman from Patch has more courage than I do...and I’ve faced down Salem.” 

“It’s never too late, Weiss. I can’t speak for Ruby, but I can tell you that she thinks you hung the moon in the sky.”

“The moon is broken, so I’ve done a terrible job.”

“Weiss,” Blake groaned. 

Now she just felt bad. “I apologize, it’s been a very taxing day.” The sound of a car door shutting outside the window drew Weiss’ attention. She stood up, racing over to peek outside. It was Ruby. “She’s back.” 

“Probably just coming back to get her lacy underwear.” 

Weiss nearly had a stroke. “ Blake Belladonna! ” 

All she heard was a laugh on the other end. “Sorry, bad joke.”

“You’re spending too much time with Yang.” 

“Yep, and I can tell you from experience, taking the risk was absolutely worth it.” 

Weiss watched through the window as Ruby made her way towards the house. “I’ll take that under advisement.” Weiss picked up her scroll. “I have to get dressed and see how her date went.” 

“Okay, keep me posted. Yang and I have some mission stuff to talk over with you two, so call tomorrow sometime.”

She was racing down the hall towards the guest room. “We will, goodnight, Blake.”

“Night, Weiss. Love you guys.”

“You as well,” Weiss said, hanging up the call and tossing her scroll on the bed. She dressed quickly, so much so that she was fairly certain her socks didn’t match. 

Still, she didn’t care, she had to know how the date went. By the time Weiss made it to the stairs, Ruby was already halfway up them. She studied her, looking for any signs that might tell her. Tears in her eyes if Chloe was mean to her, a red mark on the neck if Chloe was aggressive - anything she could find. 

Instead, all she found was a smile. “Your socks don’t match,” Ruby pointed as she stopped a few stairs short of the top. 

Weiss glanced down at her feet, as feared, one was white and the other was blue. “Perhaps that is what I was going for - an eclectic approach to footwear.” 

Ruby’s grin doubled. “Bold of you to assume I know what eclectic means.” Her partner then made her way up the stairs the rest of the way. “How was your night?” Ruby asked. 


That’s what she wanted to say, but tonight wasn’t about her. “It was fine. I trained a bit outside - your father tried to teach me about Gunnery but it was too confusing.”

“Ha, yeah,” Ruby walked down the hallway, Weiss in tow like a lost puppy. “You wouldn’t think professional, competitive shooting would have so many rules.” 

Now or never, Weiss decided. “How was your date?” 

Ruby stopped again, this time right in front of her bedroom door - Weiss was certain she was wanting to get out of her dress. “It was okay, Chloe’s nice.”

Well, that’s vague and annoying. 

“Do her?” 

“I do, but...I don’t think it’s the same way she likes me.” 

Weiss’ heart was racing. She’d once arrested her father in front of Atlas’ entire political structure, yet this was somehow the most anxiety driven conversation of her life. “Oh?” Was all she could say.

Ruby nodded, “she kissed me.” 


“How was it?” Weiss had no idea why she asked that. For starters, she didn’t want to know, at all, yet the words fell out of her mouth like rocks down a mountain. Also it wasn’t really any of her business. 

Fortunately, Ruby didn’t seem all that deterred by it, she simply shrugged. “Okay I guess, not...really like the kisses and stuff I’ve read about in Blake’s books.” 

Weiss frowned, Ruby seemed a little sad. “No sparks?” She shook her head side to side, hair swaying along for the ride. 

“I think she knew it too, she was really nice about it. Nicer than I remember her in school.” 

There was a lump the size of Professor Port’s midsection in Weiss’ throat. “People change.” Weiss took a deep breath. “The way we feel about people changes too.” 

Ruby seemed distant, Weiss didn’t blame her. She’d probably gone through a lot of different emotions. First dates were a big deal, even if they weren’t everything you’d read about in fairytales. 

Weiss knew how much Ruby loved fairy tales. 

“The food was good, though.” Ruby said, her smile returning a little. “And she paid so,” she pumped her fist slightly for good measure. 

“Dolt,” Weiss said, almost in reflex. Taking a step forward, Weiss pulled Ruby into a hug. She just...looked like she needed one. 

Thankfully, Ruby didn’t resist. The hug lingered, Weiss taking in the smell of Ruby Rose that was so definitively her. She couldn’t place exactly what to compare the smell to, but she’d recognize it anywhere.

Finally, with as much internal strength as she could muster, Weiss pulled back, staring into those beautiful silver eyes. “Go change, I’ll head downstairs and make us some ice cream.” 

Ruby exhaled, as if she’d been holding her breath all night. “You really are the best partner ever.” 

“I told you I would be.”

Chapter Text

Ruby sat with her back pressed against the hard stone behind her. Her feet close to the slope of the cliff. It was the best view in Patch, maybe even the best in all of Remnant, to watch a sunrise. 

Sleep had been pretty much impossible last night - her mind running as fast as she could. The date with Chloe had been more or less the softest disaster of Ruby’s life. Chloe was very nice, and seemed like she’d really grown up and changed. She even seemed like she genuinely enjoyed Ruby’s company. 

The problem was, Ruby’s heart was still back home. Still with the girl she came here with in the first place. When Chloe kissed her and told her she wanted more, Ruby knew then and there that she had to put a stop to it. 

It wouldn’t be fair to lead someone on just because she was trying to get over her best friend. 

So, Ruby made an executive decision; today was the day, win or lose, she was going to pour her heart out to Weiss. Life was too short to wait to tell someone you loved them. As she sat here watching the sunrise, leaning against her mother’s gravestone, she knew that for certain. 

“You’d love her, Mom. She doesn’t put up with anyone’s nonsense.” Ruby stretched out her legs, feeling a cool breeze flutter through the air. “I’m pretty scared, I don’t want to lose her,’s Weiss, you know? I feel like I owe it to her to tell her. Even if nothing comes of it, I want to tell her and then we can get through it together.” Ruby’s anxiety was already making her tremble just a little. She was nervous and unsettled, but she knew once she did it she would feel better. “Then maybe Yang will leave me alone about it.” 

Reaching into her pocket, Ruby pulled out her scroll and quickly thumbed to her photos. There, she pulled up the shot she and Weiss took in the guestroom. 

It was strange to think back to a time when a photo like this with Weiss would have been impossible. Weiss was so uninterested in Ruby from the very beginning but Ruby never wavered. She wanted friends, and when they were made partners she knew she needed to make it work. 

So she fought, and the more she fought and the more walls she broke down, the easier the fight became because Ruby realized just how worth it the battle was. Weiss had so much heart inside of her, it was almost bursting out of her chest. She’d simply been trained to be cold, scolded for caring too much and taught that love was a weapon. 

This picture was so different from the girl she met that first day at Beacon. Instead of cold and distant, Weiss was pressed against her back, head on Ruby’s shoulder, smiling so comfortably.

That mean girl who yelled at her for falling over into her suitcases had somehow become the most important person in the world to her. 

You’re not in your room, are you okay?

It was a message from Weiss, it made Ruby smile. 

I’m okay. Went for a run, visiting with my mom

The little bubble popped up, showing that Weiss was replying. Ruby could only imagine her all cuddled up in her robe, probably sitting on Ruby’s bed wondering where she was. 

Okay, just remember Yang and Blake wanted to speak with us today at some point.

Ruby was about to reply when another message came through. 

Tell your mother I said hello. 

This made Ruby smile. “Weiss says hi,” Ruby said aloud, tapping out a response on her scroll. 

She said….

She sent the message and waited, knowing already what the response would be. It took Weiss a moment, but she eventually came back. 

What did she say?

Ruby already had an answer waiting.

Nothing, Weiss. She’s dead

The answer came back at her furiously. 


She laughed out loud, startling a few crows in the trees. Another message came in from Weiss. 

Just come home when you’re finished, you dolt.

Something about Weiss telling her to come ‘home’ made Ruby’s stomach twist into the most wonderful knots imaginable. 

“What do you mean, missing?” Ruby and Weiss were both hovering around the kitchen counter. Weiss’ scroll was lying down on the table, as they listened to Blake and Yang tell the story of their last hunt. 

“I mean, we got there and the entire village was missing.”

Ruby and Weiss shared a look. “No deaths?” 

Blake answered. “None, there wasn’t even a sign of struggle. Granted, it was a very small village. They weren’t even the ones who called us, the neighboring village did because they were concerned about the quiet over the lake.”

“It’s like everyone there just up and vanished in an instant.” Yang said. “Some of the homes had plates of food still on the table and water still running. It was creepy.” 

Ruby really didn’t like the sound of that. “Do we need to come back early?” 

“No,” Yang was quick to answer. “I mean, we’re looking into it. Penny’s doing a flyover to see if she can find anything in the surrounding area and we’re going to go back in a few days and talk to the other village - see if we can figure anything out. You two are still on vacation.”

A hand gently touched Ruby’s back, only then did she realize how tense she’d become. It had been too long since something significant enough had happened to make her feel this way. 

“We can come back early if we need to,” Ruby’s voice betrayed her growing angst. 

Blake spoke up quickly. “It’s fine, Ruby. Really, there’s nothing to do until Penny comes back and we’re working on it.”

“They can handle it, Ruby.” Weiss said to her with a smile. “You still have to take me out on a boat, remember? You promised.” 

Ruby knew she was being irrational - it was just really hard for her to not always be front and center when things were happening. She also knew that was the basis of this trip in the first place, to help her relax and stop stressing out so much. She owed it to her team to try. 

“You’re right,” she nodded. “Plus the carnival is coming to town and I have to win you all the prizes.”

Weiss scoffed. “Please, I’ll be the one winning the prizes.”

“You don’t even know the games,” Ruby teased, making Weiss glare at her. 

“That doesn’t matter, I’m very good at adaptation.”

“Is that so?”

“I’m your partner, aren’t I? It’s adapt or perish with you.”

Yang suddenly and very loudly cleared her throat over the call. Ruby and Weiss both jumped a little, having lost themselves in their playful argument.

“You two be careful, okay?” Weiss said. “We’ll see you in a few days - and keep us posted on anything.” 

“Will do, enjoy yourselves.” Yang said, a bit too knowingly for Ruby’s liking and Ruby was quick to send her love and hang up the scroll. 

Now wasn’t the time for that. People were disappearing - they might be dying. Ruby could feel that familiar anxiety creeping back in. 

“Hey,” Weiss’ voice was soft and closer than Ruby expected. She turned to see blue eyes staring at her with concern. “It’s going to be alright, Ruby. They’re handling it.” Ruby nodded, she didn’t doubt that Yang and Blake would take care of this. She was more concerned about what this meant. If it was signs of Salem’s return. Just the beginning of something bigger. 

If it was Salem then they would have to start really grinding again. Daily training and more missions. That means they’d be out on the road again - needing to ahead of Salem to prevent her from taking more lives and causing more destruction. Destruction that they’d barely started to put a dent in repairing. If…

“Ruby,” Weiss spoke again, startling her a little. “Let’s go get some food, okay? You can take me out to one of your favorite restaurants. Even if it’s greasy and unhealthy, I’ll give it a shot.” Then Weiss smiled, the kind of smile that helped Ruby forget the path her life felt like it was destined to crash into. “I’ll drive,” Weiss said and Ruby tightened her grip, stopping Weiss from grabbing the keys. 

“I’m not that distracted.” Ruby said with a soft smile, seeing Weiss roll her eyes in that way that showed Ruby’s response was exactly what she was hoping for. 

Weiss took a step towards her. “We’ll get through it, Ruby. I promise, when we get back we’ll dive head first into whatever is happening - but we still have some time rest and have fun. I’d like to do that.” 

As she stared into Weiss’ eyes, Ruby remembered what her mission truly was today. If her world was destined for tragedy and war - she wanted to capture at least one treasure along the way. She knew today was the day to try.

“Okay, I know just the place to start.”

Ruby had never been more smitten. She had taken Weiss out for burgers, but once they had them, Ruby drove Weiss to a lookout point up in the hills where you could see the whole town from a distance, including the lake and cascading hot springs. 

That view wasn’t what had Ruby’s attention though. Instead, it was the sight of Weiss picking at her burger trying to figure out why in the world it tasted so good. She had about ten napkins scattered in her lap, trying to keep her clothes from being attacked with smoke sauce. She was struggling a lot to keep the burger in it’s ever shrinking wrapper and not make a mess of her hands. 

Meanwhile, she had the tiniest little dollop of sauce on her bottom lip that Ruby couldn’t stop staring at. If she were bolder, she would lean over and clean it off for her - but she knew well enough than to touch Weiss without at least a little warning. 

“It’s good, isn’t it?” 

Weiss snapped a glare in Ruby’s direction, clutching her half eaten burger tightly. “It’s terribly unhealthy.”

Ruby smiled. “That’s not what I asked.” If Weiss glared any harder, her eyes would be closed. Instead of answering with words, she instead took another bite and Ruby started laughing.

I love you.

Then suddenly, Weiss froze mid bite and her blue eyes went wide with shock. 

She’d just said that out loud. She one-hundred percent just said that out loud. 

Oh no no. meant to do this anyway. 

You meant to tell her. 


Her hands were shaking, her stomach was in knots, but she had a moment right now to do what she’d wanted to do for so long. She thought of her mother, the fact that she didn’t get enough time with her mom and all the things she wanted to say. If Salem really was coming back, she didn’t want to waste any more time. 

“Weiss, I love you.” She could barely look at her - poor Weiss with her mouth full of food. “I’m in love with you. I think I have been for a really long time. I’m really bad at handling it sometimes too and I still can’t really tell if I’m actually saying this out loud or if it’s just some kind of dream because I’ve dreamed about telling you so many times and I always wake up before you answer so if this is that then that’s okay because I think it’s just practice for when I actually do tell you. Unless this is it, but I can’t really tell because I just keep talking and talking and…”

“Ruffffy,” Weiss tried to speak, her mouth still full. Ruby knew it was serious if Weiss was talking while eating. 

“Right, sorry, I...I’m sorry.” She sighed, running a hand through her hair. “I’ll finish before you finish.” She pointed at Weiss’ puffy cheeks. “If...if you don’t feel the same way, it’s okay. It won’t change how I feel about you. It won’t ruin what we have, I won’t let it.’re kind of the only thing in the world these days that I can really look at and know that I can depend on. I know Blake and Yang are on our team too and I love them too, but...they have each other and everyone has someone, you know? And I...I have you and even if I don’t always feel like I deserve it you’re here and you’re…”

Weiss swallowed sharply. “Oh for the love of…” a moment later, Weiss put her burger on the dash and closed the distance between their seats. 

The napkins on her lap went everywhere.

A moment later, Weiss was kissing her and Ruby could taste the smoke sauce on her lips. It was intense, way more than when Chloe kissed her. Ruby could actually feel her heart racing and her chest tightening. Weiss was, quite literally, taking her breath away. A pair of soft hands climbed their way up Ruby’s neck and into her hair, making her gasp into the kiss. 

When Weiss finally pulled away, just enough to give them both room to breathe, Ruby tried to compose herself. 

“This never happens in the dreams.” 

To Ruby’s surprise, Weiss seemed just as flustered as she felt. “I’m so mad at you.” Weiss said, and Ruby frowned just a bit. “I’m mad at us both.” 

Weiss was so close to her, Ruby could make out the details of her face almost perfectly. “Because…?”

“Because,” Weiss sighed, her lips dangerously close again. “If we’d have had this conversation four days ago then we could have been doing this the entire time.” 

Ruby still wasn’t sure how real this moment was. “So you...have feelings for me too?” 

“Have you ever seen me kiss anyone else like that?” Ruby shook her head. “It all happened very suddenly. One minute you were my adorable partner who I cared about and wanted to spend time with - then the next moment you were this...strong, sexy, incredibly kind hearted huntress that I wanted that to.” 

Ruby swore she was floating on clouds. “You think I’m sexy?” 

Weiss’ grip on her hair tightened a bit. That’s when Ruby realized Weiss’ hands were still in her hair. “Don’t push your luck.” 

“It was the bikini at the hot springs, wasn’t it?” 


“Yang was the one who told me to wear it. She’s so smart, how did she know?” 

“Can we not talk about your sister right now?” 

“Oh,” Ruby nodded. “Right, sorry.” She kept Weiss close, moving her hand up to Weiss’ face. Ruby let her fingers trace over Weiss’ skin, almost as if she was trying to convince herself this was real. “I’m scared.” She admitted, the passion of the moment fading just a bit as reality crept back in. “If Salem comes back and everything starts up again I...I don’t…”

“Ruby,” the way Weiss could calm her just by saying her name was a skill no one else possessed, not even Yang. “Us having this ,” she gestured between the two of them. “Doesn’t change how hard the war will be. It does not change the fact that the thought of what might happen is the most terrifying thing I could possibly imagine. If we never had this, if we just remained friends, you’d still be in possession of my heart and it would shatter regardless.” Slowly, Weiss leaned in close again and kissed her. This one more reserved and gentile - the kind of kiss Ruby wanted a million of during the remainder of her life. “At least now, we can go into the rest of this battle together, like this, with many more... perks along the way.” 

“Mmm,” Ruby kissed her again, it was already her favorite thing in the world. 

“Now,” Weiss said, her cheeks a hazy pink as she broke the kiss. “How about we finish our food and then climb into the back seat and continue this...reacquaintance?” Ruby’s heart started to race again. “Because if I have to continue leaning over this center console I might end up doing permanent damage to my legs.” 

“Oh, right,” Ruby noticed Weiss was in a very awkward position. Her legs were still in the passenger side of the car while the rest of her was twisted towards Ruby. As Weiss pulled away, the loss of contact and closeness was painfully noticeable. “We can go in the back and you can sit on my center console.” Ruby winked, because she was an actual disaster in human form.

Weiss immediately shook her head. “What does that even mean?”

“I’m...not really sure.” 

Those blue eyes rolled with affection. “Dolt.”

Chapter Text

“So, this is still kinda weird right?” Ruby’s voice broke through the quiet of the morning. 

Weiss, who was quite enjoying the peace, knew it was coming because she knew who she was currently cuddling up next to. She looked up at Ruby, who she was lying on, and nodded. 

“That I spent the better part of last night making out with my partner who is also a human food vacuum? Yes, I suppose it’s a little weird.”

“Hey, I am not a human food vacuum,” Ruby put on her best pout, one that only made Weiss want to kiss her again. It was like a sickness, this new change in their relationship. Sure, Weiss had feelings before, but now that she’d actually done something about it, she mostly just wanted to pass off all her other responsibilities and lie in bed with Ruby forever. 

“You are,” Weiss smirked. “Unless there’s anything green on your plate.” 

“Foods are not supposed to be green,” she defended and Weiss had to bite her tongue. “Brown is the better color for food.”

Weiss cringed. “That might be the worst sentence you’ve ever said.”

“No,” Ruby was quick to defend. “No, chocolate is brown. Cookies are brown. Uh... gravy is brown.” 

“When do you ever eat gravy?”

Ruby shrugged beneath her, the motion making Weiss move because they were cuddled up so tightly. “I mean it’s been a while, but if someone puts gravy in front of me, I’m gonna eat it.” 

“Just gravy? Just a big bowl of gravy?” 

A nod. “Yes, like rich, delicious soup.” 

“I’ve made a terrible mistake.” Weiss said, making no effort to move. “Of course Weiss Schnee, highest in all her classes, dignified and elegant former heiress, would fall for someone that thinks a bowl of gravy is a meal.” 

Very suddenly, Weiss felt Ruby’s arm snake down her back. It went lower and lower, eventually finding the bottom of her shirt. From there, Ruby’s fingers crawled up her back, making Weiss shiver. “You know what? For you,” Ruby used her other hand to tuck under Weiss’ chin and make their eyes meet. “I’ll throw a piece of bread in the bowl.” 

Weiss wanted to snark and roll her eyes. Every instinct she had told her to do that, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t concentrate on anything other than the look in Ruby’s eyes and the hand on her skin. 

This was a problem. This was a weakness. One that Weiss couldn’t even find the strength to be angry about. Instead, she moved like a tiger on the hunt and crawled up to Ruby to kiss her. The moment their lips met, the hand on Weiss’ back curled and Ruby’s fingers dug into her skin. 

She was so warm. Weiss had been close to Ruby before, but never like this. She never knew how warm and comforting Ruby’s presence truly was to her until she was able to experience it like this. Even when she realized she wanted Ruby, she never dreamed it would be this passionate. 

A heartbeat later, that hand on her back was suddenly grabbing her, turning her over and placing her on the bed. Now, Ruby was above her, messy hair falling in her face and silver eyes looking down at her. Ruby was flushed, her face pink with color and her smile soft but confident. Weiss reached up and moved the hair from her face. “You’re beautiful,” she said, mirroring what Ruby had said to her on that day of the hunt. The words that set off all of Weiss’ alarms and started her down this path. 

Ruby leaned down, placing a very soft kiss on Weiss’ cheek. She then shifted and kissed her  nose and forehead - any spot she could find. 

“This is fun.” She said, still looming over Weiss, the blanket over them like a shield from the rest of the world. “I’m kinda sad we haven’t been doing this for the last seven years.” 

Weiss sighed. “I couldn’t pry you away from Crescent Rose long enough to actually do any of this.” Ruby laughed, only loud enough for the two of them to hear. Weiss pushed herself up enough to kiss Ruby on the lips. It was becoming harder and harder to not do that every chance she was given. “How do you want to go about this?” 

Ruby raised a curious brow. “What do you mean?” 

“I mean...are we going to tell the others? Are we official? Do we hold hands in public and go to the same bunk each night after work?” Weiss knew what she wanted, but it was easier for her. While she considered her team her family, Ruby’s real family was far more present in their day to day. From Yang to Qrow, even Taiyang right now. She was the one who had more pressure.

The way things were going lately, she might never even see anyone in her family again. 

Ruby seemed thoughtful for a moment, sliding down and putting more weight on her elbows (and Weiss). Instead of complaining that Ruby was heavy and uncomfortable, Weiss ran a hand through Ruby’s hair and settled in. 

“I don’t want to pretend,” Ruby said, her answer so matter-of-fact. “I don’t think I really could. To have you right there and not hold your hand and sit next to you and then go to bed with you! That’s just...madness!”

“Absolute chaos.” Weiss’ heart was soaring. “So this is official? We’re...a couple?” Just saying the word out loud felt like some kind of fever dream. She was dating Ruby Rose. 

“Hang on,” Ruby was suddenly gone, leaving Weiss buried under her blanket, with a few rose petals now resting on her face. A second later, Ruby was back, right where she’d been before, only now she had her scroll. “I want another picture. Lots of pictures so we can always remember this.” 

Weiss barely had time to process what was happening before Ruby was lying beside her, scroll held out above them with the camera on and ready. “I’m sending this one to Yang and Blake so..” Just as Ruby went to take the picture, Weiss yanked her down and kissed her. Ruby wasn’t the only one who could be spontaneous. 

“Send that one,” Weiss said, breaking the kiss slowly. “Leave no doubt.” 

Ruby swallowed sharply, but Weiss watched her press send and knew now, it was as official as it could possibly be. Not a chance Yang would keep this to herself. 

I have a built in camera feature, would you like me to send you random photos of you and Ruby now that the two of you are, as Yang put it, sitting in a tree?

Weiss had read the message from Penny three times. Word traveled fast, but with Yang it felt more like lightspeed. They’d barely made it through breakfast before their scrolls started to explode. 

Ruby’s father had asked, multiple times, what all the fuss was about. Eventually, Ruby told him that she and Weiss were suddenly together and he simply joked that it felt like they were together the moment they showed up. He was happy, didn’t give Weiss any weird looks or looming warnings to protect his daughter. 

At that point, Weiss thought she was perhaps in the clear - then the messages started coming in. She didn’t have nearly as many as poor Ruby, who was no doubt taking the brunt of Yang’s jokes. Still, this one from Penny was curious. It also gave Weiss an idea. 

Yes, thank you Penny. Not too many, just the occasional photo would be nice for documentation purposes. 

The answer came back almost a second after Weiss hit send.

Tremendous! I shall create a folder!!

With a soft sigh, Weiss looked up to see Ruby over the sink cleaning the plates they’d eaten their pancakes on this morning. She was wearing a red and black flannel shirt and had rolled the sleeves up to do her work. It was...incredibly distracting to watch her forearm muscles tense and twist with every action she made. Years of handling Crescent Rose had made Ruby’s hands incredibly strong. Yet, she could be so delicate with them. 

Setting her scroll down, Weiss stood up and walked over to where Ruby was working. Ruby, who hadn’t said a word when they’d finished eating, just stood up and took the plates to be cleaned. 

Weiss came up behind her and decided to take a chance - she could do this now, couldn’t she?

Slowly, she wrapped her arms around Ruby’s waist, feeling her partner’s breath hitch at the touch and her body tighten up for just a moment. 

“Is this too much?” Weiss asked, unsure. They had just recently been making out in bed not an hour ago. 

“No, it’s awesome, I’s still kinda crazy. Weiss Schnee is my girlfriend!” 

Wanting to see Ruby’s face, Weiss snaked around under Ruby’s arm, putting herself between Ruby and the sink. “She is, and she wants payback for that picture you took this morning.”


Weiss kissed her, grabbing onto the collar of her shirt and pulling her down. Ruby stumbled a bit, the plate in her hand almost sliding out. It hit against the counter, but not hard enough to break. Weiss had never felt like this before. She’d had feelings for Ruby for only a few days (or longer than that if you asked Blake apparently) but right now all she wanted was this. Forget training, or the mission, or any of her past insecurities. In this moment, all she wanted was to do this forever. 

Unfortunately, they didn’t have forever right now. They only had however long it might take for Ruby’s father to take a shower. 

Breaking the kiss, Weiss stared up at Ruby who still had her eyes closed. She was breathing hard. When those silver beauties finally fluttered open to look at her, she smiled. “You okay up there?”

“Ye--yeah,” Ruby nodded, her face flushed. “You’re really good at that.” 

Weiss really wasn’t, she knew she didn’t have much more experience than Ruby. It just mattered more because it was them. Because they’d been so close for so long and now they’d finally shifted into this. It was absolutely weird to be with Ruby in this way. To hold her close and kiss her and touch her with such intimacy. Weiss knew it would take a little time to adjust, but she wanted to dive in head first. 

Carefully, she placed another soft kiss on Ruby’s lips, this one more chaste and simple. “What are we doing today?” 

Ruby blinked at her a few times, it was rather adorable watching her brain functions turn back on. “Whatever you want.”

“Oh? Is that all it takes to get my way? A few kisses?” Ruby nodded, a small smile on her face. “Hmmm,” Weiss kissed her cheek. She really could get used to this. “I want to go see Grimmslayer.” She didn’t, but she knew Ruby did and when those silver eyes lit up, she knew she could survive that two hour debacle. 

“I love you,” Ruby wrapped her arms around Weiss, lifting her off the ground and making her squeal into the quiet of the kitchen. When she put Weiss back down, she somehow managed to rest Weiss onto the small edge of the counter. Weiss now sat with Ruby standing between her legs, staring down at her. “I love you.”

“You said that already,” Weiss put her arms around Ruby’s waist. “Your father could return at any moment.” 

Ruby shrugged. “He and my mom were never shy about this stuff. Serve him right to see me making out with my girlfriend for a change.” As Ruby moved in a bit closer, Weiss was pushed back a bit. Far enough that she suddenly slipped down and felt something not so great. 

“Wait,” she called, making Ruby stop mid lean in. “I’m wet.” When Ruby’s eyes went as wide as Weiss had ever seen them, she realized what she’d said and how she had phrased it. “Gods, no, Ruby...I mean the sink. The water from the sink.” Ruby’s train of thought made Weiss blush. “No more of Blake’s books for you!” Weiss pointed a finger at her as she removed herself from the counter and brushed at the back of her now damp pajamas. 

“You know, I am twenty-three. They let me buy the dirty books at the store myself.”

Weiss was not prepared for where this conversation was going. “ I’m going to go wash up and get ready, just stay here and...okay.” Weiss turned to leave, her mind completely flustered.

It was only when she was halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d left something unsaid. She stopped, stomped back downstairs and when she returned to the kitchen Ruby was back to cleaning dishes. 

Weiss kept her distance, she had to otherwise she might start kissing her again, and cleared her throat to grab Ruby’s attention. 

“I just wanted to say, and I’m not coming over there because I do need to shower and prepare for the day. I just wanted to say that...I love you, too.” 

Ruby smiled at her and Weiss lingered in the doorway, she found it hard to leave when Ruby was standing there looking at her in such a way. It felt strange to say I love you to someone, even if the words simply took a few years to catch up to the feelings she’d had for so long.

“Are you still wet?” Ruby asked and Weiss swore her heart stopped. 

“Ruby Rose!” As Weiss stomped off, she heard Ruby’s laughter fill the kitchen. 

What had she gotten herself into?