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The Art of Losing

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“Okay, let me see if I got this right…so Blakey, you used to be like, the Chief Ninja – “

“Assistant Chief Ninja!”

“Right, my apologies and thank you baby sis. Okay Blakey, so you used to be the Assistant Chief Ninja in the White Fang which is basically a Super Villain type organisation but when you were growing up there, it was actually a peaceful group that somehow nevertheless peacefully taught you all your fancy deadly ninja moves before sending you on recons and missions until the Super Villains decided to become Super Evil Villains at which point you had a change of heart and left them. Did I miss anything? Oh right! And you happen to be a Faunus so essentially, you’re a Super Human with superior senses and reflexes and cute fuzzy cat ears! All good?”

“They are so cute, Blake! Are they soft? Is it hard to shower with them? Do you have to wear a shower cap?” Ruby stared at Blake’s cat ears in wide-eyed fascination, her silver eyes alight with childlike wonder and curiosity.

“Rubes, better not mention Blakey and showers or Princess might explode judging from how red she has gotten,” Yang stage-whispered while smirking at Weiss.

Weiss gasped in outrage, spearing her blonde teammate with one of her special scary Schnee glares as she blushed even harder. “Have some decency, you brute! I certainly wasn’t thinking of Blake nake – I mean, Blaksho…shoBlake…ugh! Blake and…and…showers!” Weiss flamed bright red in horror as she stuttered.

“Yeah, really convincing, Princess! Maybe you should take a cold shower, Ice Queen,” Yang laughed as Weiss screeched in furious protest and threw a pillow at her, catching Yang right in her face as she guffawed obnoxiously.

Blake sat there quietly, content to just watch the scene unfolding before her with a small smile and tears glistening in her eyes which she quickly wiped away. She felt such a swell of deep affection and gratitude for her teammates at that moment. She had rehearsed her confession a thousand times in her head, each time ending with her teammates kicking her out and banishing her or dragging her to be expelled or…she swallowed hard. It really didn’t matter and she could stop worrying now because her teammates genuinely did not seem to care that she was a Faunus or that she used to be a White Fang member. She offered Ruby a nod in response to her questioning glance and gave Yang a small grin as she caught her wink before Weiss tackled her to the floor and victoriously pummeled the blonde with a pillow.

A loner by nature, Blake never really had any friends previously. The people she knew in the White Fang were more her comrades in arms rather than friends except…she shook her head hard, not wanting to think about her past. She watched the sisters fondly as Yang began to yell at Ruby for help while Weiss continued her vigorous pillow assault against the helpless blonde who was shrieking with laughter which only seemed to irritate and fuel the heiress even more. Ruby stood to the side, a look of terror on her face as she debated the pros and cons of coming to her sister’s rescue against her partner’s explosive fury. She took one halting step forward before Weiss shot her an icy Schnee glare and Ruby completely crumbled while wailing her apologies to her big sister, her arms outstretched as she dramatically begged for Yang’s forgiveness.

Blake felt as if a gigantic weight had been lifted off her shoulders and for the first time since she had arrived at Beacon, she felt she could breathe freely without the constant fear of her secrets being discovered. She had always hoped that Yang and Ruby would not care if she were a Faunus; after all, Beacon had its share of Faunus students and after living together as teammates for a few months, Blake felt that she had a good measure of who the sisters were as people. They may look completely different on the outside but they were both kind, compassionate and loyal so she had hoped that they would accept her for who she was although there was an ever present fear in the corner of her mind because people have a terrible way of disappointing you sometimes, even when you thought you knew exactly who they were.

Blake’s eyes drifted towards Weiss as she watched Yang hurling the screeching heiress into the air only to have Weiss gracefully pivot in midair and dropped herself unceremoniously onto Yang’s back as she energetically smacked the blonde everywhere she could with her pillow. Yang screamed with laughter as she tried to grab the heiress clinging stubbornly to her back as Ruby finally joined in the fray only to have Weiss trap both her feet with her glyphs, rendering her absolutely helpless as the heiress pelted her with pillows, cushions and blankets.

Blake gazed at Weiss with an affectionate smile and a warm glow in her chest that burnt hotter every second she stared at the heiress. Weiss Schnee was the teammate she was the most worried about. She could not believe her awful luck and the terrible timing when she had picked up Weiss’ dust vial on that first day after Ruby exploded. What kind of sick joke was the universe playing on her to have both Blake and the Schnee heiress attending the same combat school at exactly the same time? She had recognised Weiss immediately of course, the pure ivory hair and ice blue eyes were typical of only one family in the whole of Remnant combined with Weiss’ all-white assemble with the Schnee crest had all nearly caused Blake to turn tail and run there and then. And that was even before fate somehow decided it would be hilarious to give Blake an almost heart attack by placing them both in the same team.

Thinking back to their very first meeting, Blake admitted that there was just something about Weiss that instantly drew Blake to her despite her instincts practically yelling at her not to bring any attention to herself. Watching Weiss arguing with Ruby, Blake was struck by the passion and confidence the heiress possessed. She hadn’t actually meant to even speak to Weiss until the vial of dust rolled towards her. She still couldn’t really say why she decided to converse with Weiss and to blatantly provoke the heiress by firing accusations against the SDC…it was just that suddenly, the embodiment of what she had been fighting against almost her entire life was manifested in the flesh by Weiss Schnee and all of Blake’s frustration, anger and heartache just caused her to snap especially as Weiss smugly accepted her recognition of the heiress and the SDC before Blake insulted both. Blake grinned at the memory of Weiss leveling her signature Schnee glare at her for the very first time. Even then, her heart had beat faster as the heiress advanced closer and closer towards Blake until she snatched the vial of dust from Blake’s grasp. Her pulse had raced and her heart skipped a beat when the heiress had leaned in to grab the vial from Blake. At that time, Blake had chalked it down to her valiantly restraining herself in an effort to not react on her hatred for Weiss and what she represented but even so, she wasn’t blind. Weiss Schnee was breathtaking.

Weiss let out an elated celebratory whoop and Blake looked her way, her amber eyes catching Weiss’ azure eyes glowing radiantly in triumph and Blake felt her hands start to sweat as her heart began to hammer rapidly. Weiss shot her a wide grin as she graciously leapt down from Yang’s back, the blonde dramatically on her knees begging the heiress for mercy.

“Your Royal Schnee-ness! Please forgive me for my incredibly uncouth and unfounded accusation of your extremely obvious but totally unproven attraction to my dear partner and friend, the former Assistant Chief Ninja of the League of Super Evil Villains, Blakey!”

“YANG XIAO LONG, you…you barbaric brutish lout!!!!!”

“Ruby, save me! No wait, Blakey! Please control your woman!”

Blake choked and felt her face flaming in embarrassment so much that her cat ears flopped down to hide as Weiss stamped her foot and blushed. Neither dared to look at each other as Blake gave up and let her stupid heart thunder away. Finally, she glanced up and found herself unable to look away as she caught Weiss staring at her, her brows knitted in intense concentration. As soon as Blake made eye contact, the heiress gave her a small smile before she shyly looked away, a tell-tale red staining her cheeks.

“Ohmygod, you two! Just get a room already! Or jump in the shower together! I’ll make sure I cover my baby sister’s ears and eyes and protect her innocence,” Yang playfully teased, her lilac eyes bright with mischief.

Before anyone could say anything else, a firm knock sounded on their front door and they all froze, eyes on Blake’s uncovered cat ears. Blake immediately reached for her bow as Yang shouted to their caller to wait a moment.

“Yeah, sorry! Weiss is completely naked! She uh, just came out from a Weiss-cold shower!”

Weiss shot Yang a brutal Schnee glare before she gave up, groaned and flopped onto her bed as she covered her face with both her hands. As soon as Blake was done with her bow, Ruby threw the door open and stared wide-eyed as Professor Goodwitch strode into their room, gently closing the door behind her.

“Prof…Professor Goodwitch!” Weiss stammered as she immediately sprang up from her bed and smoothed the bed cover hurriedly before sitting down primly with her legs demurely crossed at the ankles as she clasped her hands together.

“Miss Schnee…I am delighted you are able to grace us with your presence fully clothed,” Professor Goodwitch intoned dryly though a slight tug of her lips gave away her mirth. “I trust you enjoyed your…ice cold shower?”

“Ye…yes, Professor, it was ah, refreshing, thank you very much,” Weiss replied politely as Yang proudly shot her a double thumbs up.

“Right ladies, you must be wondering why I’m here…I suppose it probably sounds a little strange although let me assure you that it is not as uncommon as you might imagine but Professor Ozpin had a “feeling” that something has happened and I shall quote his exact words: the cat has been let out of the bag and…,” Professor Goodwitch paused as a huge gasp echoed around the room, the colour drained out of Team RWBY’s faces.

They had all agreed to keep Blake’s heritage and her past association with the White Fang a secret for the time being but that looked impossible now that Professor Ozpin seemed to have somehow discovered Blake’s secrets. Blake immediately locked eyes with Weiss who stood up to walk towards Blake’s bed and sat down beside her as she squeezed Blake’s hand reassuringly before glaring defiantly at Professor Goodwitch who merely arched one of her perfectly shaped eyebrows. Ruby and Yang leapt down from their beds and joined their teammates as they all glared at Glynda Goodwitch. Completely unimpressed by the show of solidarity and sudden hostility, Professor Goodwitch stayed silent and simply waited.

She’s still holding my hand! Really? That is what you’re focusing on? You are about to be expelled, Blake! Are you kidding me? Weiss Schnee is holding my hand! And defying her favourite Professor! Who…she always seemed to have a crush on…Blake narrowed her eyes and let out a loud growl as she frowned fiercely at Professor Goodwitch who to her credit, only bothered to spare her a cursory glance.

Weiss gazed worriedly at Blake, her mind racing through countless possibilities to try and figure out a way to get Blake out of this mess. Just the thought of Blake being expelled from Beacon caused her heart to constrict in pain and she squeezed Blake’s hand gently in an effort to comfort Blake as much as it was to comfort herself. Blake’s entire body was tensed and her amber eyes betrayed her worry and fear. In that moment, Weiss realised how much she hated seeing Blake hurting and she gripped Blake’s hand a little firmer, unwilling to let go of the contact. Blake shot her a grateful look as Yang and Ruby came to join them. Suddenly, a loud growl rumbled out of Blake as she glared furiously at Professor Goodwitch. What on earth? Is Blake actually growling at the Professor? Is she trying to get herself expelled!? Weiss gave Blake’s hand another urgent squeeze until Blake finally tore her furious gaze away from Professor Goodwitch to look at her. The ferocity in Blake’s eyes immediately softened as she looked into Weiss’ azure eyes as Weiss wordlessly tried to convey the urgency and importance of Blake keeping calm and staying cool for the moment. Blake nodded and willed her body to calm down and her heart rate to slow…which she conceded wasn’t happening as long as Weiss was holding her hand. Ohmygod, Blake, this again!? Focus! I am…her hand is so soft…urgh, I give up! Her sarcastic inner voice gave up and facepalmed…repeatedly.

“Miss Belladonna…is there something you wish to tell me?”

“Actually, Professor Goodwitch, there is something I would like to discuss with you and Professor Ozpin…would now be a good time?”

“Very well, if you would like to join me at the Headmaster’s office, Miss Belladonna?”

“Professor, we would like to come with Blake,” Weiss all but demanded. “Please.” She added, her ice blue eyes stormy with worry as she pleaded silently with Professor Goodwitch. It did not escape the Professor’s attention that the Schnee heiress was still holding on to Blake’s hand. One look at Weiss convinced her that she would not willingly let the matter go.

“Alright…you can all come but you’ll have to wait outside the Headmaster’s office while we have a private –“

“No! No deal, Professor!”

“You forget yourself, Miss Xiao Long.”

“We won’t leave Blake!”

“Miss Rose!”

“Professor Goodwitch, please, I implore you, let us stay with Blake.”

“Weiss…guys, it’s fine, don’t worry. You’ll just be outside right?” Blake turned towards Professor Goodwitch who nodded in confirmation. “See? I’ll be fine. Okay?”

“But Blake…”

“Everything’s going to be fine, Weiss. I promise,” Blake said softly, hating the fact that she was causing Weiss to furrow her brow in worry although the heiress looked adorable as hell biting her lip and crinkling her eyebrows. “Come on, let’s go.” Blake carefully laced her fingers together with Weiss as the heiress blushed once more.

Yang turned to Ruby and waggled her eyebrows comically. I told you so, baby sis! She mouthed gleefully as they all walked out of their room with Professor Goodwitch in the lead.