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The Art of Losing

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The Art of Losing

Chapter One: Destruction and Repercussion

How? How did it come to this?

Rage and furious frustration caused the heiress' arms to tremble. The fact that Gambol Shroud was an inch away from her face had nothing to do with it. Despite her small frame, Weiss was as much a huntress-in-training as Blake was and she was a lot stronger than her stature would suggest. Add in the fact that she was a hell lot more stubborn than oh, 99.99% of the population all contributed to her defiantly holding Myrtenaster in place in spite of Blake's own anger and what in theory should have been her more superior strength bearing down upon Weiss. Her Schnee pride refused to give in.

Blake's face was unrecognizable. Her normally calm and unflappable nature and perpetual mild disinterest has been replaced by an explosion of emotions, so much that Blake looked as if she would burst from the strain of it. Amber eyes blazing with anger and hatred, she bared her teeth and renewed her effort to bear down her entire weight and slashed Gambol Shroud down on Weiss.

Weiss' breathing calmed, her heart rate slowed and her entire concentration narrowed to that of holding Myrtenaster as her literal last defence against Blake's attack. While Blake's golden eyes blazed with rage and determination, Weiss' azure eyes were frozen pinpricks of ice, her animosity and fury rivaling Blake's own as she snarled at her teammate.

"Stop it! Stop it both of you at once!"

The familiar high pitched voice sounded like it came from far away but they both heard and ignored their team leader's pleading. Ruby's voice sounded small and desperate.

Neither Weiss nor Blake so much as flinched in spite of the anguish in Ruby's tone. Just as both girls readied to use their semblance, another sound rang out, this one a lot more ominous and demanding attention.

Well, "sound" probably didn't quite do it justice. It was instinct and a keen sense of self-preservation that finally broke the impasse. Weiss and Blake both tensed and at the same moment, jumped aside to look towards the north end of the training arena. Blue and amber eyes widened in alarm as they faced the new and more immediate threat.

"H-hang on, don't – hey!"

Weiss yelped as Blake grabbed her arm urgently, flinging her ribbon out and hooking it onto the podium as she swung them both to safety before Blake instantly launched her shadow clones around them and threw herself on top of Weiss as they both hunkered down from what sounded like an unending barrage of shots and explosions.

Panting from adrenaline and terror, Weiss was shocked to realise she had both her arms around Blake's neck and that Blake was holding her tightly around her waist, their faces mere inches apart. Blake's own agitation was obvious from the sweat that beaded her face as they stared at each other, faces grim.

"Blake, why -," Weiss started when a series of booming crashes sounded around them.

Weiss had never been this close to her teammate before but with Blake holding her flushed against her, Weiss was suddenly aware of several things. She could feel Blake's racing heart…and noticed that Blake's golden eyes were framed by thick eyelashes…and her scent smelt of something that was at once sweet and mysterious…and the bow atop Blake's head twitched and –

Wait, what?

Before she could think about it, a tremendous crash sounded to their immediate left and the walls collapsed into piles of rubble as something crashed through. No, not something.

Someone.

Even as chairs continued to topple and cracks appeared both on the floor and ceiling, the dust seemed to suspend in the air as a blazing golden fire stalked towards the dumbfounded pair.

Yang's eyes were glowing bright red, her entire body tensed with rage as she gritted her teeth in anger.

"Yang –," Blake tried.

"NO. Don't you dare. Either of you! What is wrong with you two? Why do you always have to be at each other's throats!?"

Tremoring with fury and hardly able to speak, Yang bit her lips hard and clenched her fists tightly in an effort to calm down. Tried and failed. Ember Celica clicked ominously as she glared at her two teammates.

"It's one thing to behave like stupid children. I don't care if you both hate each other to the end of time! But you went too far when you upset Ruby and made her cry!"

Yang flared bright golden once again as she stomped her foot against the floor and both Weiss and Blake flew into the air from the impact. It would have been comical if it wasn't for the death glare Yang leveled at the two of them, pinning them both into uncharacteristic silence.

"The next time you two make Ruby cry…I swear I will personally drag you both to Forever Fall and throw you off the cliff." Her voice was soft but neither Weiss nor Blake doubted her violent promise for even an instant. Yang shot them both another look of disgust then smashed her fists onto the one remaining wall before stomping off.

Weiss and Blake watched wordlessly as Yang gently picked Ruby up and carried her out of the training arena before they heard another almighty crack and watched resignedly as the entire roof of the building fell all around them, chunks of concrete freefalling everywhere but somehow missing them as if even the stones and bricks were ashamed of them and avoided them like the Grimm. In silence, they stood up and in muted horror realised that the training arena was nothing more than rubble and empty space what with the collapsed roof, uprooted seats, smashed podium and literally no walls.

"Ohmygod," Weiss whispered, staring at the destruction all around them.

Blake squeezed her eyes shut and bowed her head but her eyes snapped open instantly as she heard heels clicking towards the pair. Angry heels clicking could only ever mean one thing.

"Prof-Professor Goodwitch," Weiss stammered.

Death by falling concrete would have been more merciful and a lot less painful.

The God of Irony must be having a field day.