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Home: Part 2

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Over the last few weeks, Clover had been spending quite a bit of time with Qrow Bronwyn, whether that is during missions or at Atlas academy. Clover learnt a lot about the newly sober, overly sarcastic, lone wolf, huntsman from Beacon and with each new piece of information made him fall slightly more for the red-eyed man. The thought made him smile as he wiped down the counters in his standard military issued apartment, he’d seen Qrow less than a few hours ago when they’d parted ways after a supply run with a promise from Clover to lend the older man the new book he’d just finished. The book in question sat ready by the door for tomorrows briefing but Clover suddenly had the urge to deliver it…

 

General Ironwood had set Qrow up in one of the teachers dorms in Atlas academy, the huntsman preferring to stay close to the kids. When Clover reached the small apartment the door was open and the sight that greeted him was not one he expected. 

 

On the bed sat Weiss Schnee, her legs crossed under her, facing perpendicular to the door. The man he was looking for sat behind her running a brush through her long pale hair. Stunned Clover found himself watching from the doorway.

 

“Thank you for doing this Uncle Qrow, none of the others can do it right and it’s too long for me to do myself.” The young huntress said her voice quiet and calm as if the brushing soothed her.

 

“I told you, princess, it’s no trouble I used to do it all the time before Ruby cut her hair.” Came Qrow’s reply, his voice also had relaxed in a way Clover had never seen before.

 

“Did you ever do Yang’s hair?” Weiss asked and Clover shifted a bit so he could see her face.

 

She wore her nightdress and that combined with her hair down made her seem younger than usual and it was a sharp reminder to the ace-op of how young these kids really were.

 

“Oh brothers no,” Qrow chuckled. “Summer was the only one who was allowed to touch Yang’s hair, I never had the guts to try.”

 

They both chuckled but the mood in the room quickly went from calm to sombre.

 

“Mother never did my hair.”

 

Clover saw Qrow’s shoulders slump at that.

 

“Don’t give up hope Princess. If I can turn it around so can she.” He tried to convince her but she just sighed.

 

“She’s not as strong as you Uncle Qrow. Even when you were in a bad place you were still there for us when we needed you… you just needed a push.”

 

“And your mum?” Qrow prompted never stopping with the brush.

 

“We tried to push her, Winter and I. Once she moved out Winter even snuck her the papers to divorce father but she wouldn’t, even when she saw what he did to us.”

 

Clover frowned at that, he knew Jacque wasn’t exactly father of a year but he never knew the extent of it.

 

“The only time I’ve ever seen her smile was when I sang. It became an escape from our lives, when I sang everything was okay again… just for a second. I stopped after father…”

 

Qrow cut her off.

 

“Hey don’t think about that. You’re safe here with your team and the others, Oum knows those girls would move Remnant to stop you going back there again.”

 

“And you?” Her voice was even smaller and it almost broke Clover's heart to her the strong, powerful huntress he knew so… vulnerable.

 

“And me,” Qrow answered after a second, pausing with the brush. “Maybe you should start singing again, Princess. Maybe it doesn’t have to be an escape but instead a reminder of where you are now and what you’ve overcome.”

 

There was silence for a moment and the hair brushing continued as Weiss thought.

 

“You know… Ruby taught me the lullaby Summer used to sing.”

 

Qrow tensed and Clover held his breath; he’d heard about Summer Rose and what she meant to Qrow's family.

 

“Go ahead, Princess.”

 

The sound that followed was soft and sweet, like a summer breeze with a hint of sadness but also something profoundly safe.

 

“Hush your cries, close your eyes,

Stay with me

Let's just dream

Quietly

Of what might be”

 

Clover was enraptured but his focus was broken by a cloud of rose petals. Ruby materialised in the room tears in her eyes, mouth open slightly in shock. Weiss smiled up at her leader and held a hand out to her which Ruby accepted holding on tightly as she dropped to sit on the floor resting her head in her friend's lap.

 

“Calm your fear

I'll be near

To you I'll cling”

 

Next came Yang a similar look of shock on her face as she pulled Blake into the room, both brushing past Clover without a second glance. The blonde brawler smiled at her sister and teammate before sitting down in the armchair across from Weiss pulling Blake in to sit on her lap.

 

“Rest my friend

Time can mend

Many things”

 

Nora entered the room without her usual fanfare, Ren nodding to Clover as he followed her. The normally bouncy girl simply sat on the floor cross-legged watching Weiss with wide eyes and her partner smiled almost imperceptibly at her before taking his place on a chair behind her that Yang had passed him.

 

“I don't know the answers

Tomorrow's still unknown

But I can make this promise 

You won't be alone

 

I don't know 

Where we should go

Just feeling farther from our goal

I don't know

What path we will be shown

But I know that when I'm with you I'm at home”

 

Jaune smiled as he walked past glancing into the room before deciding to join them, patting Clover on the shoulder before he did, leaning against the wall behind his teammates.

 

“Yes, I know that when I'm with you I'm at home

 

There's a quiet place

In my embrace

A haven of safety where

I'll dry your tears

Shelter here

In my care”

 

Oscar had clearly been looking for the others but when he found them he was unsure whether he was welcome. He glanced nervously to Clover, who shrugged, but then caught Jaune’s eye and grinned at the older boy’s gesture to join them and quickly went to stand next to the blonde.

 

“But even when we stumble 

And someday when we fall

What I will remember

That I had you through it all”

 

Clovers eyes strayed back to Qrow who was staring intently at Weiss’ hair, still brushing it even though he’d been through it all twice already.

 

“I don't know

Where we should go

Just feeling farther from our goal

I don't know

What path we will be shown

But I know that when I'm with you I'm at home

 

Yes, I know that when I'm with you I'm at home

 

Yes, I know that when I'm with you I'm at home”

 

No one spoke as Weiss finished. Yangs face was buried in the crook of Blakes's neck and the Faunus ran gentle fingers across her girlfriends head almost sleepily. Nora was leant back against Ren who in turn was openly staring at her, though Clover was sure that he didn’t mean to be so obvious. Jaune had a casual, almost brotherly, arm across Oscar's shoulder as the two boys stayed leant against the wall.

 

All of a sudden a soft snore was heard from Weiss’ lap making everyone chuckle.

 

“Oh, you dolt,” Weiss said softly, smiling fondly down at the younger girl.

 

“I think that means it’s a good time for bed don’t you Uncle Qrow?” Jaune said punctuating his question with a yawn.

 

This made Qrow chuckle once more.

 

“Yeh I think you’re right kid, go on you lot out of my room before you find out I sleep naked.”

 

A couple half-hearted sounds of disgust were made as the young huntsmen and huntresses began to move.

 

Yang stood up a half-asleep Blake in her arms then glanced down to Ruby.

 

“Umm… I can't carry them both.” She said quietly looking to Qrow who nodded and moved towards his youngest niece.

 

“Don’t worry, I’ve got her,” Jaune whispered helping Ren get Nora standing and directing a wavering Oscar to follow Yang before reaching for his friend.

 

“Careful you don’t wake her,” Weiss said managing to sound harsh and soft at the same time, a Schnee talent no doubt.

 

Jaune nodded, successfully lifting Ruby and following Weiss out of the room. Only Ren and Nora were left, the latter leaning heavily on her partner, her eyes practically closed.

 

“Uncle Qrow,” she mumbled as the man in question moved his chairs back to their places.

 

“Yes, Nora?”

 

“Clover’s here.”

 

Clovers eyes widened and he stood up straight having almost forgotten he was actually there and not watching it all on his scroll.

 

“I know.”

 

Clover panicked, that was definitely a family only moment and he was definitely intruding. Maybe he could say he just arrived?

 

“He’s been here a while.”

 

“I know.”

 

Dang it.

 

“You should talk to him.”

 

“I know.”

 

Clover’s face was red as he looked at the floor preparing for the earful he was going to get for eavesdropping.

 

“You should tell him you like-like him.”

 

“I know.”

 

Clover almost got whiplash with how fast his head flew up. Ren had lifted a now sleeping Nora into his arms leaving the room with a small smile. 

 

Qrow was staring at Clover, that incredibly sassy and incredibly attractive smirk on his face and a mischievous glint in his eye. It took a few seconds for Clover to remember who and where he was but when he finally did he smiled.

 

“You’re really good with those kids.”

 

Qrow sighed and glanced at his shoes.

 

“Haven’t always been, I’m trying to make up for it though. They’ve been through a lot and the least they deserve is someone to trust after so many have failed them. Besides they’ve helped me as much as I have them if not more.”

 

“You deserve someone you can trust as well, someone who won't let you down.”

 

Qrow looked up again a genuine smile on his face and though the smirk could knock Clover to his knees he decided he liked the smile better.

 

“You offering Luckycharm?”

 

“Well, you do like-like me don’t you…”