Pyrrha had been dead for two years before Salem had brought her back as, as a Grimm. Everything was a blur of rage and despair and bloodlust until suddenly there was a flash of blinding silver and suddenly she was human but her legs were so weak and she crumbled to the floor. Or at least, she tried to, but her team and Ruby caught her. All of them looked scared and overjoyed, all at once. They took her to the place where they had been staying, in Vacuo. They had told her about Beacon, and Haven, and Atlas. About how Yang was now the Spring Maiden, and about how Professor Ozpin was now part of a boy who was the same age that Ruby had been back when Pyrrha had died.
They had then left her alone, to rest, and to heal. To think about just everything that had changed.
Pyrrha pressed her lips together, pulled the collar of the shirt she was wearing away from her body, and stared down at her chest.
She suppressed a shudder, looking at the scar in the center of her still-too-pale chest. She dropped her shirt and gripped the sides of her head. She didn’t even have the comforting weight of her circlet, not when it was now a part of Jaune’s shield. She had tried to kiss him again, now that she was no longer getting ready to run off and sacrifice herself, and Jaune had told her that while he loved her, he didn't feel the same way.
She understood, she really did. It had been two years since she had kissed him and pushed him into a locker. She had become a monster and she still wasn't herself again. She may never be herself again. However, the heartbreak was just one more thing making her scar ache.
Pyrrha ran her fingers through her long hair. It felt far more course than it had before, before her death. There was a sickly light-grey streak running through it, yet another scar from all that had happened to her.
There was a knock at the door, and Pyrrha jumped slightly. The door opened, slowly, and Ruby walked in, carrying a tray with two steaming mugs on it.
Ruby’s appearance was still surprising. She had grown taller, not by much, but enough that the decreased height difference was one more thing that Pyrrha would have to get used to. Her hair was shorter, an undercut, and it suit her well.
They were the same age now, and Ruby had become beautiful in those two years that had left Pyrrha a ghost of her former self.
“I made hot chocolate, and I thought you might want some,” Ruby said, a soft smile on her face. “How are you feeling?”
Pyrrha gave a halfhearted shrug. Weak. Helpless. Defiled. Lost. So very confused. A little infatuated.
Ruby sat next to Pyrrha, setting down the mugs in front of the two of them.
Pyrrha leaned her head on Ruby’s shoulder, and Ruby stiffened slightly.
“I’m sorry,” Pyrrha said, pulling away, but Ruby pulled her into a fierce hug.
“It’s okay,” Ruby soothed. “You just startled me, slightly.”
Pyrrha snaked her arms around Ruby, and began to cry.
“I’m so sorry,” Pyrrha said in a choked voice. “If I’d been stronger...”
“None of it was your fault,” Ruby said. “Not back at Beacon, and not now.”
Pyrrha could still remember people screaming at the sight of her as a Grimm. More clearly, she could remember Amber dying, and Penny too, even though the latter had gotten better.
“I can’t promise that everything’s gonna turn out okay,” Ruby said, and the scar so very close to Pyrrha’s heart ached, because it felt like just yesterday that Ruby was the youngest Beacon student who honestly believed that everything had turned out okay, and Pyrrha knew that she must be a reason why Ruby had lost her optimism.
Ruby rubbed Pyrrha’s back. “But I do promise that I will do everything I can to make sure that you’re going to be okay.”
“But, what if I’m never the same?”
“I mean, it’s been two years. None of us are the same, but that’s okay. We can’t just stay stuck in the past.”
“I’m sorry,” Pyrrha said, wincing at the sound of her own voice. Was that all she could do? Apologize? “I, I hurt you.”
“We’ve had worse,” Ruby said. She sounded like she was only half-lying. Like she was only being truthful about the physical side of things. “Besides, because of you, we realized that there might be a way to defeat Salem.”