She could taste the traces of wine on her lips as she sat, legs swaying back and forth, on the ledge that overlooked the city of Atlas settled beneath the cascading hill that the Schnee manor stood upon.
Growing up, Weiss Schnee felt like a princess in a castle up here. Of course it was a dangerous place to be, so high up on the tallest tower of the manor, but the view was magnificent. She could see the entire city and yet nobody could ever see her.
She was untouchable – a trait her father would claim as a gift. One Weiss soon realized was far from.
The rain continued to fall above her, though she was protected by the cover of the roof just above her as it sloped overhead. The air was cold, but Weiss never much minded – it was isolated and serene up here, a far cry from the party going on a floor below.
They'd purchased one of their competitors today – won another big fight against a young, upstart dust company that had used some dirty tactics to try and make Weiss' company look bad.
Weiss enjoyed the competition, she liked having other dust manufacturers out there to push her – so she was reluctant to flex her muscle (money) and stomp them out. But when they started to slander her and her past, she put her foot down and drove them out.
As a crack of thunder sounded overhead, Weiss sighed and picked up her glass for another sip. The wine was delicious. Though after her third glass she really wasn't tasting it anymore. Instead it slid down her throat just like the rain off the roof above her.
She found herself feeling dramatic and wondered what might happen if she slipped off this balcony and plummeted to her death. That's not to say she wanted to die, she absolutely didn't – but she wondered what would become of her world if she did.
Certainly Winter would be furious and that was reason number one why Weiss would never jump. They had a lunch coming up in two days and Winter would kill her if she missed it. They so rarely got to spend time together anymore – these rare meetings were the highlight of Weiss' weeks, months…years.
The company would most likely be broken apart and sold, because Winter had no interest in running it and after their father passed away it was all given to Weiss. She had her partners, certainly, but she'd put it in writing that only a Schnee could ever control this company as long as their name was on the front of the tower in Atlas. So it would deconstruct, probably splitting into smaller companies meant for specific things – not the power it was now.
There were days Weiss considered doing just that. Minus the death of course, but splitting the company simply because it would make her father roll over in his grave.
Of course if she did die then the hardest part would be her team finding out. That would be awful. Blake would be the first know because Blake was always the first to know everything. That girl had a knack for information, even if she struggled to keep it from her partner. So Yang would know next and Yang would be a disaster. As often as they clashed, Yang loved Weiss just as much as Weiss loved Yang.
If their time during the war taught Weiss anything, it's that Yang did not handle loss well.
That left Ruby and Weiss had no idea how Ruby would learn of it – or if she would at all. Weiss hadn't spoken to Ruby in six years and that number alone was enough to warrant Weiss downing the rest of her drink.
The pounding rain only increased as she sat her glass down and leaned back on her elbows. Soon enough someone would realize she wasn't downstairs with the others and they would come looking for her.
Violet would know where she was, Violet always knew – that's what Weiss hired her for. So long as Violet came alone, that'd be well enough. Perhaps she would even join Weiss for a drink.
It was if some of the higher ups came with her that Weiss would be in trouble. The last thing she needed was her business partners seeing her out here. The sad and lonely CEO, drinking by herself and teetering on a high balcony thinking about what the world might be like if she died.
The thought made her chuckle out loud as she picked up her empty glass and twirled it in her hands.
It was time to go back and be the person everyone needed her to be.
Carefully, she pushed to her feet and peered down over the edge to the ground below. Yep, the fall would absolutely kill her – at least then she wouldn't have to shake anymore hands or deal with anymore sexist old men who thought they could control her with intimidation or flattery.
That was one of the perks of the job, actually, putting them all in their place and showing them that she was still a Schnee and still better than them.
"I'm Weiss Schnee and I don't need any of your bullshit." She said to no one before chucking her glass over the edge and listening for the shatter as it hit the ground below.
"Are you having fun, Miss Schnee?" The voice made her jump and Weiss nearly slipped on her but before a hand grabbed her shoulder to keep her upright.
Looking up, she met the purple hair and light green eyes of her assistant. "Violet, you startled me!"
"Not hard to do, ma'am. It's raining pretty hard and you're, well…drunk."
Weiss scoffed. "I am not, Violet. That's nonsense!"
"Oh?" Violet lifted one leg up onto the step that led to the balcony so she could help Weiss get down. "Does a sober Weiss Schnee throw her expensive wine glasses away with no care at all?"
"Of course I do," she stumbled through the window and into her bedroom where the temperature was much warmer. "I'm Weiss – hic – Schnee. I do whatever I want without a care in the world!"
Violet nodded as she guided Weiss to sit down on her bed. "Is that right?"
"Yes." Weiss nodded for emphasis as she eyed Violet who began digging through Weiss' drawer and pulled out a robe before moving to the adjoined bathroom.
"So that's why you danced with Mr. Paddington? Because you wanted to?"
Weiss curled her lip at the memory of dancing with that old codger and his wandering hands. "I want his shipment vehicles to get my dust through Vacuo safely, so yes – it was my choice!" She spoke with pride and raised up her chin for good measure.
Violet merely chuckled and brought Weiss a towel before returning to the bathroom and starting the tub. "Semantics, Miss Schnee."
"I built my life around semantics, Miss Young. Means to an end, if I can reach that end then I will do whatever is necessary." Weiss then watched as Violet stood at the bathroom door, tub running behind her and smiled. "What are you doing? Are you taking a bath right now, in my room? There's a party going on."
Violet rolled her eyes. "You've been up here, drinking, for an hour. The party is over and guests are all gone."
"What?!" Weiss stood up in a rush, only to have the room spin around her. "I—I didn't mean to…be gone so long. What did you tell them? Did they ask questions?"
"No," Violet was at her side, as she always was, and helped Weiss sit back down. "I told them you were worn down from the hectic day and overwhelmed with all the support and needed to rest. They understood. Everyone understands that you work hard. So when you decide to drink your night away by yourself, those kinds of lies work pretty well."
With a heavy sigh, Weiss rested her head on Violet's shoulder and nodded. "Th—thank you, Violet. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Hire someone else, probably. I'm quite replaceable."
Weiss shook her head sharply. "You're not – you're important."
"My vacation package says otherwise."
Weiss pouted and pulled back angrily. "I offered you more days and you refused!"
Violet smiled at that and stood back up. "I was kidding, Miss Schnee – you're very easy when you're drunk."
"I am never easy." Weiss crossed her arms and looked away. "So what are you doing?"
"Well," Violet picked up the robe. "I've gotten out your favorite robe, I'm running you a very exquisite bath and the staff are cleaning and the cooks have began making you a meal to help soak up the alcohol. You're going to take a bath, and not drink anymore –" Weiss pouted and Violet ignored her. "Then you'll eat, go to bed and hopefully be up early enough for your morning meeting."
"Is Paddington going to be there?" Weiss asked as Violet guided her to the bathroom and started to undo the countless pieces of jewelry Weiss was wearing.
Violet plucked the earrings from Weiss' lobes and set them gently on the sink. "I'm certain – probably with bells on considering how friendly you were."
Weiss rolled her eyes. "I'll dropkick him in the funbags before I let that man near me again."
"Yes," She shrugged. "I learned it from an old teammate of mine. If you get the tip of your boot right between both the little peas you can really put them down for the count. And I'm certain that Paddington doesn't know a damn thing about aura so he wouldn't be ready for it."
"Well, you are the only billionaire CEO I know with combat training and actual military service."
One thing Weiss always appreciated about Violet was how non-judgmental she was. Weiss' past was often frowned upon by most people in the business world. They heard the stories of the war and of Weiss' part in it. The battles she'd been a part of, the things she done and tragedies she'd seen. It was unsettling to people who were raised in high rise buildings and went to fancy, quaint academies.
Weiss had seen war, she'd taken lives and watched loved ones die – it was what set her apart. She intimidated a lot of them and unsettled the rest.
Violet though, she never backed away from talking about it and when Weiss told her stories, Violet listened intently.
Violet was, in fact, a wonderful girl. She was built like Yang with the personality of a very docile Blake Belladonna. Her hair was a shimmering purple, almost a color of it's own that Weiss couldn't define. Her eyes green, so much so that they reminded her of Pyrrha.
She was beautiful and she was here in Weiss' bathroom and – maybe…
"Violet," Weiss reached up and thought about touching her assistant's shoulder, but hesitated. She didn't touch anyone without permission – given how much she hated it (unless she was about to fall off a balcony). Instead she decided to be blunt. Weiss never received anything by being shy. "Join me." She said and Violet pursed her lips, clearly understanding the statement.
"Miss Schnee," the way she spoke said everything – she was not interested. "You are my boss and you are lonely and also, you were the one who told me not to sleep with anyone you work with."
Weiss frowned and nodded, suddenly feeling very embarrassed. "I—I know, I apologize and I certainly hope I haven't made things awkward. I just…I'm lonely."
"Couldn't be because you isolate yourself from everyone and sit on your balcony throwing things into the garden."
With an irritated glare, Weiss shakily sat down on the edge of the tub. "Listen, I asked you sleep with me, not psychoanalyze me."
Violet chuckled. "Well I am flattered, Miss Schnee, but I'm afraid psychoanalysis and running baths is all my salary covers." Weiss looked up at her assistant and smiled – glad that there was no discomfort between them. "Your bath is nearly ready, I'll lay some clothes out for you and there should be food waiting for when you finish. If that's all, I'll take my leave and see you tomorrow?"
"Yes, enjoy your night and I'll only need you in the morning so you can take the afternoon off tomorrow."
"Thank you," Violet nodded before taking her leave and Weiss exhaled.
She was lonely, incredibly so and as great as Violet was, she had zero interest in anything that wasn't physical with her. Violet wasn't even the point, it was just another body – another heartbeat to make the night less empty.
Weiss traced her fingers through the warm water before standing up to remove the constricting dress.
Her eyes fell to the jar of rose petals sitting on the edge of the tub and she reached across to pick it up (nearly falling over as her jelly legs wobbled a bit). She opened it, met with the scent of roses and smiled. It was such a familiar and welcoming smell – one she missed dearly.
Picking out a few, Weiss scattered them in the water before turning off the faucet and climbing inside. One day she'd confront the memories of Ruby Rose that haunted her so much. One day she would settle it. For now, she would lie in the water, get lost in the aroma of roses and try not to think about tomorrow.
Weiss woke up with a scowl as her alarm blared and she tried to break it when she turned it off. To the surprise of no one, including herself, she was woken with a headache and a disposition that if anyone made any loud noises in her home they would be fired immediately.
She slowly opened one eye and groaned as the sunlight poured in through the window directly onto her face. Quickly, she jerked the blankets up over her head and tried to shield herself from the treacherous light.
Last night was a mistake – one she'd made a bit too often these days. Weiss was not a fan of drinking but lately it had become a bit of an escape from the usual doldrums of her role as SDC CEO. It was easier when she had the parties at home, she didn't have to drive anywhere and her staff along with Violet were quick to send everyone home when Weiss grew tired of them.
It was a role she still hadn't mastered, being the boss. She was, in fact, the face of the Schnee Dust Company and anyone and everyone who came to her parties were there to impress her. She would admit that she enjoyed the power just a little – growing up a Schnee she was taught to be a leader and to command respect. Yet, when it came to placating all those people who expected so much of her, Weiss was quick to revert back to the crowd and let them speculate.
She'd done more than enough in her short time as CEO to garner admiration. The company had thrived and with better business practices and a slightly improved relationship with the Faunus, Weiss was moving things in a direction that made working at the SDC more bearable.
Still, she found herself drinking to replace the emptiness of this mansion and the mundane of her every day – in a sickening sort of way she almost missed the war. At least then she had people she cared about around her all the time.
"Oh that's just depressing." Weiss groaned as her head throbbed before she sat up and let the sun beat down on her.
Weiss did love mornings – more so than she did when she was younger. The morning used to be a time when Weiss would attack anyone who looked at her funny before she'd had her coffee. While she still needed the coffee, mornings had been changed for her because that was Ruby's favorite time of day.
The first thought of Ruby on this day hit her hard, but she decided to go with it considering that today was, in fact, Ruby's twenty-fifth birthday.
She could remember Ruby's eighteenth like it was yesterday. It was a morning, just like this, one of the many that they shared together that made this Weiss' favorite time of day.
During the war there wasn't much free time at all. Except early in the morning before anyone else was awake. There was never a moment. No sit down to discuss true feelings. It just built from a quiet need to be in the same room together. At first it was just because they were teammates at Beacon, but when the chance came to partner up with someone else, as more and more people joined their fight – Weiss and Ruby never broke away from each other.
In fact, it took Weiss a long time to learn how to sleep alone again after Ruby left.
Running a hand through her hair, Weiss reached to the bedside table and grabbed her scroll. She didn't actually have Ruby's number, the one she did have had been disconnected years ago. It had been offered to her multiple times but unless it was offered by Ruby herself Weiss was never going to take it.
She was too damn stubborn to be the first one to reach out.
Still, she had means to contact Ruby in a roundabout sort of way. Pulling up Yang's contact, she quickly typed out a message.
Do you think your sister would
"No," she muttered to herself before erasing and starting over.
Tell Ruby that I am thinking about her on her
Again she deleted and groaned in frustration. There was just no proper way to do this – no right way to tell Ruby that she hoped her birthday was good. That her life was good.
With a self pitying sigh, Weiss turned off the scroll and dropped it on the blanket before lying back down with a whimper.