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The Date Not Date and Ice Cream

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It was their Uncle Qrow who told them about the ice cream parlor that had just opened in the city. He had gone there because he’d been told the cashier was cute, but it was the quality of the ice cream what convinced him to become a regular and tell his nieces about it.

When Yang and Ruby heard about it, they thought at first that it had to be some kind of family business. After all, it was not heavily promoted, because it had managed to go unnoticed by Nora for months. If Nora, the greatest pancake lover in the entire universe had no information about a place that sold them, why would that place be recommendable?

Still, Uncle Qrow said it was good, so they also considered it was worth a shot.

Since bringing Tai along would be unnecessarily embarrassing themselves, Yang and Ruby decided to go on their own. They would tell Weiss and Blake about it later if they liked it. If any of them got food poisoning, they would never be able to forgive themselves.

 

The place was small, just like they had expected. There was a sign on the top of the door, which said NEOPOLITAN AND TORCHWICK’S ICE CREAMS. When Yang saw it, she started laughing and wondering why someone would choose such a long name for their parlor and wondered what it meant.

As the elder sister, it was her job to question the safety of the establishment. Not Ruby’s. She was only there to test the ice cream.

They walked in and went straight to the counter, where a man with orange hair greeted them and took their orders. It seemed he was only there for interacting with customers, because he passed the orders to the chef.

Said chef being a really tiny girl that had pink, white and brown hair. She seemed to be purely concentrated on the ice cream, yet, there was elegance in even the single movement of scooping it. When she finished Ruby and Yang’s orders, she handed them over to them.

No words left her mouth. She just smiled at them, as if she genuinely enjoyed her job instead of feigning happiness to attract more customers. While Ruby simply smiled back without thinking much else, it ruffled Yang’s feathers a bit.

As if to tempt fate, Yang ordered a pancake with ice cream. Once Ruby and her were sitting down in one of the tables, she shared her thoughts on the chef with Ruby. She just said that she thought it was kind of strange she did not say anything.

Her younger sister was not one to judge people on their first meeting. Sure, they still called Jaune Vomit Boy, but it was a term of endearment. There was no reason to complain about the fact the girl did not talk to them.

In fact, she did not talk to anybody, not even her workmate.

Ruby and Yang chatted while they ate, but Ruby found it hard to keep track of their conversation when the ice cream tasted so good. Yang seemed vigilant.

She was watching when a woman, accompanied by two teenagers, walked straight to the counter to chat with the man behind it. Yang recognized the boy as Mercury, a guy that had cheated on a competition and made her look bad. She did not like the guy, so her mood was absolutely ruined as soon as he walked in.

It seemed that they knew the owners of the place, because they were having a really nice chat. Yang was about to blacklist the parlor and deliver the news to Ruby, but just when she was about to, she saw something.

The girl and the man started making imitations of Cinder, Mercury and Emerald. The girl tossed her hair to the side to make her hairstyle look like Cinder’s and started acting all high and mighty. The man was saying something Yang could not hear, but she saw both of them just giggling like crazy without actually making noise.

When Cinder turned around, they immediately straightened themselves and pretended they were doing important stuff.

‘’Ah’’ Ruby sighed, making Yang turn to look at her. ``This ice cream is amazing! We should come here more often! And tell everyone about it!´´

Yang agreed. If those two disliked Cinder, even though they were pretending to have a good relationship with her for some reason, they were OK.

 

After they told their friends, Nora also became a regular in the establishment. However, she didn’t want to go alone (because it would be boring, she had said) so she asked Ruby, another person with a bottomless stomach, to accompany her. That was how Ruby ended up spending most of her afternoons in the parlour, whether it was because she was babysitting Nora or hanging out with the rest of her friends.

Blake didn’t particularly like that hang-out spot, since there wasn’t any fish in the menu, so she frequently visited the shop next to the parlour with Yang instead. Then Nora was banned from the parlour because she ate too many pancakes and then caused a ruckus when one of the owners (the only one with the capability to speak) told her she had to wait until they were restocked. Ren, Jaune and Pyrrha weren’t too keen on leaving Nora alone, so they just looked for another spot to hang out.

That left Weiss and Ruby alone. At first, Ruby had been surprised to learn that Weiss was really fond of ice cream and other cold meals. Apparently, she had some kind of party with Winter on weekends that consisted of watching films while eating gross amounts of cones and sprinkles. It was usually Klein who bought the food for the parties, but Weiss decided to take that charge off Klein’s shoulders and purchased the ice cream on her own, once she got confirmation that Winter approved of it.

It was up to Ruby to accompany Weiss in her weekly endeavours to fill her fridge. Seasons in which Winter visited her home were rare, so she enjoyed them as much as she could.

Weiss begrudgingly accepted Ruby as her company, frequently making comments about preferring to get Blake or Yang instead, but she never said anything of the sort in front of the aforementioned girls. In fact, to Ruby, it seemed as if Weiss actually enjoyed spending time with her, even if it was just to shop together.

The owners were starting to get familiar with their regulars. So much so, that they started giving out discount cards. Ruby was one of the first clients to get one, thanks to her visits with Nora and her friends, and she did not doubt to compare hers with her Uncle Qrow’s once she learned he also had one.

Then something strange happened. When they were at school, Weiss suddenly asked Ruby if she wanted to have brunch with her on Saturday. Right after their weekly meeting on Friday’s for restocking the Schnee’s fridge. Noticing Ruby’s face of surprise and confusion, Weiss explained (feigning annoyance) that it was because Ruby had her discount card and they could get a cheaper deal.

Even if Weiss had used a very stupid excuse (considering she was rich, good Gods), Ruby still excitedly agreed to the plan. Yang hid her second-hand embarrassment poorly after seeing her sister bounce all over the house for the entire afternoon.

Ruby’s secret crush on Weiss was a secret in the Xiao Long household that only the four members knew. Yang and Tai didn’t even need to ask after hearing Ruby ramble on and on about whatever little thing Weiss did at school, while Uncle Qrow just guessed it out of sheer luck. Or so Ruby had said, but Qrow only needed to see Weiss acting all tsundere to know what was going between his niece and the Schnee heiress.

Even Neopolitan and Torchwick, the famous parlour’s owners, thought they were dating. Roman even game them nicknames (which he used when taking their orders) and a ship name, while Neo just thought they looked adorable together.

 

That meant that when Ruby and Weiss met up on Saturday for a date even if only one of them was aware of it, they had an entire group of people spying on them. Said people were only Yang, Blake (who had been dragged there by Yang), Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora and Ren. The last three forcibly added by Jaune, with varying degrees of resistance (Pyrrha, none; Nora, little after being promised pancakes; Ren, high, but Nora convinced him). It had been Yang’s idea, to make sure her little sister’s first date went smoothly, and no one ruined it. That included their Uncle Qrow, who was casually there because he was a regular.

When Yang saw him sitting alone at a table she started making signs at him to leave and not distract Ruby, but Qrow was drunk and he didn’t understand a thing. Yang was sweating while watching over her uncle, as to make sure he didn’t notice Ruby and ruin her date. When a tall, brunette man with blue eyes that was seemingly there with his friends, Yang grabbed him by the arm forcefully and suggested amicably that he should sit with Qrow.

The man agreed, but when Yang called him `bait’ he argued saying his name was Clover and he was not a bait. Nevertheless, Yang managed to convince him to keep Qrow busy so he would leave Ruby alone.

Everyone congratulated Yang for a good work by the time the date seemed to be about to end, because without her big sister meddling, Qrow would have undoubtedly broken the atmosphere. They left to celebrate, but they did not stay for the last minutes to see the disaster unfolding. They turned around and did not see Weiss leaving angrily behind them. Her mood was so bad that she didn’t even notice her friends around, furious tears just slid down her cheeks as she walked as fast she could to Winter’s car.

 

Ruby’s face collided against the table and by the time she got her head up and looked around, there wasn’t anyone in the parlour, but the owners. Torchwick, whose name Ruby had learnt because he actually got a name tag for himself months after the opening, walked cheerfully to the back of the store while Neo realized that there was one client that hadn’t left.

It was closing time. They usually closed around 13.00 to 16.00 to clean a little before people started flocking in during the afternoon. Neo knew that she was supposed to go to the door and flip the sign that said `CLOSED/OPEN’ but she didn’t have the heart to do so when she saw Ruby.

The poor girl looked completely devastated. She still had her plate under her, and her face was smeared with chocolate and vanilla. Neo grabbed a napkin and offered it to Ruby, unable to guess why Ruby looked so sad.

She uttered a meek thank you and kept sobbing exaggeratedly, seemingly unaware of the fact that Neo was sitting beside her. Worried for one of her best customer’s health, Neo snatched a pen from Roman’s `cup of pens’ (that was how he called it, it was literally a cup full of pens) and wrote a message that she slipped under Ruby’s face, hoping she could see it.

Momentarily, Ruby lifted her face to focus her gaze on the handwriting, and then let it drop dramatically on the table.

``I am as good as I could be with a broken heart.’’ Ruby mumbled sadly, giving her answer to Neo’s question: Are you OK?

Feeling bad for Ruby and already guessing what could have happened, Neo wrote another message, this time saying: Did something happen with your girlfriend?

It was not Neo’s business, but she felt like Ruby needed someone to talk to. Even if was just her, the owner of Ruby’s favourite hang-out spot. Also, less importantly, a person that physically could not speak. She found solace in the fact that Roman frequently said she was a great listener, which was what Ruby needed.

``Why are you writing instead of speaking?’’ Ruby asked at last and Neo just smiled at her awkwardly, hoping Ruby would understand she could not do it.

She liked Ruby, despite how obnoxious and dense she could be, so she wrote the explanation for her. I’m mute.

Ruby nodded in understanding, briefly. Then she told Neo the story of how she monumentally messed up by not realizing she was in an actual date with the girl she liked and Weiss had thought Ruby was just playing her. She had inadvertently hurt Weiss’s feelings and she felt horrible for doing that. It was all a big misunderstanding, but Ruby felt too bad to even try to do anything.

You should tell Weiss how you feel. Neo said at last, after hearing the entire story. Ruby grimaced once she read it and started making up excuses to not do it, but she realized that it was probably the only way to reconcile with Weiss.

‘’Are you sure it will work?’’ Ruby asked hesitantly, waiting for Neo to reassure her and get the confidence boost she needed to confess her feelings to Weiss.

Neo nodded with a little smile on her face, glad that she could contribute to making the relationship that she been stanning real.

With a huff and a shrug, Ruby tightened her fists and got ready to either get the girl of her dreams or fail spectacularly. She would demonstrate she was not a coward and that she really loved Weiss, despite being a bit dense at times.

By the way, can you flip the sign when you get out? It’s closing time! Neo wrote a last message to her, with a smiley face at the end. Ruby apologized for making Neo waste her free time, despite Neo making gestures as to say that she didn’t mind.

Using the speed, she was known for in her group of friends, she left the parlour. She made sure to do what Neo had asked her to do before leaving. Hopefully, the next time she saw Neo, Weiss would be her girlfriend.

 

Weiss agreed to see her again, in a private setting, with no friends watching them or drunk uncles threatening to step in and ruin everything. Ruby was shaking and trembling as she explained that she had not realized they were on a date, but if she had, she would have been even more nervous. Her voice was almost gone as she mumbled something that sounded as if she were saying: ‘I like you’, but underwater.

Fortunately, Weiss understood Ruby’s gibberish. A blush appeared on her cheeks as she tried to think of a way to respond, but Ruby’s impulsiveness got the best of her and she leaned forward to kiss Weiss.

Weiss supposed that if she kissed back, that would be saying she had feelings for Ruby too, right?

Well, no, and Ruby needed everything spelled out.

``I like you too, dummy.’’ Weiss said sweetly, as it became clear that her usual sarcastic remarks had an undertone of fondness in them.

 

To thank Neo for stepping in and saving the day -or rather, saving her love life-, Ruby got her a gift. She visited the parlour a week or so after confessing to Weiss, with her girlfriend beside her. Ruby had told her how Neo had listened to her and gave her advice, which ultimately fixed everything.

Neo was a bit surprised to see the gift in front of her, but Roman poked her and told her to open it. After shooting a playfully annoyed glare at him, Neo unwrapped the present and found that Ruby had bought green eyeshadow for her.

It was extremely thoughtful, and it showed how Ruby could be very perceptive at times. Neo had started wearing it a little while ago, but it had been her favourite colour so far, so she sometimes put on more than what was necessary. She really liked it and she appreciated the gift. Smiling at Ruby, she leaned over the counter to hug her.

Once Weiss and Ruby had already ordered and were enjoying their date -at last, a real date-, Roman inspected the eyeshadow and asked Neo what she had done to get it. Neo scribbled words on a piece of paper, but Roman already knew so he started laughing.

``I didn’t know you liked playing matchmaker, Neo!’’ He cackled, but Neo rolled her eyes and she eventually started giggling too.

Maybe she did like playing matchmaker. Or she liked life outside crime and making people happy.