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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 Her normally calm and unflappable nature and perpetual mild disinterest has been replaced by an explosion of emotions, so much that Blake looked as if she would burst from the strain of it.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.

Chapter Text

Glynda Goodwitch has certainly seen her fair share of insanity; firstly, as a student at Beacon and later as a huntress and a teacher. But nothing, nothing in all her years of battling suicidal Grimm or attempting to decipher some of Ozpin's craziest "plans" or even the ridiculous arguments she found herself embroiled in with both Qrow and Ironwood could even compare or prepared her for what lay before her.

No one would ever know how dangerously close she came to losing her famed reputation as the cool, calm and collected person she was so well-known for as she stared at the destruction of what was previously the jewel in Beacon's crown that was the state of the art training arena.

Snapping her open mouth closed, she slowly took off her glasses and raised one perfectly shaped eyebrow at Weiss Schnee and Blake Belladonna.

Both girls stood at rigid attention, eyes downcast and wearing an identical guilty expression.

"Well…?" Glynda drawled deliberately slowly. The loaded meaning behind that one syllable was crystal clear. It begged for a damn good explanation for all this.

**

Team RWBY stood in front of their Headmaster's desk with Professor Goodwitch impassively standing behind Professor Ozpin who casually sipped coffee from his mug. No one spoke as the seconds then minutes ticked by.

Finally, Weiss cleared her throat and with her back ramrod straight, she took a step forward before glancing to her right in confusion as Blake also took one step forward. They stared at each other before Blake gave an almost imperceptible tip of her head and they came to a silent agreement.

"Professors Ozpin and Goodwitch," Weiss began, her voice tight but calm, "Please, may I begin by requesting that you excuse Miss Rose and Miss Xiao Long as this has nothing to do with either of them?"

From the corner of her eyes, Weiss felt more than saw Ruby fidgeting and Yang turning her head in her direction. Before either of them could interrupt, Weiss took another determined step forward, followed immediately by Blake as they both stepped in front of the other half of their team.

Professors Ozpin and Goodwitch said nothing and the silence in the room intensified.

Blake spoke next, her voice low and contrite.

"Weiss is right, Professors. Ruby and Yang are innocent. It is Weiss and I that are to blame for this, uh, incident."

Professor Ozpin steepled his fingers as Professor Goodwitch pinched the bridge of her nose. Yang looked like she was ready to mow Weiss and Blake out of her way and Ruby looked like she could not decide if she wanted to yell or cry, her silver eyes tumultuous in her frustration.

"Very well. If Miss Schnee and Miss Belladonna accept responsibility for this...misunderstanding, then you may leave, Miss Rose and Miss Xiao Long."

"But -," Ruby protested and Yang's lilac eyes turned dangerously into a reddish hue before she took a step forward and opened her mouth.

"You heard the Headmaster, Miss Xiao Long," Professor Goodwitch's sharp tone brooked no argument as she leveled a stare so deadly even Yang paused and swallowed a gulp as her eye colour shifted back to lilac.

"Yes, Ma'am," Yang acquiesced meekly before gently nudging her sister out the door. The door clicked shut with an air of finality.

**

To be honest, Blake fully expected Weiss to throw a massive tantrum and a furious tirade over the indignity, no, the injustice of how cleaning the entire ruined training arena was beneath a Schnee. In fact, she was sure Weiss would reject the punishment outright and threaten to bring her almighty Father or the many lawyers the SDC no doubt has on retainer to sue the school for daring to punish her. At the very least, Blake was already resigned to her fate of having to clean everything up by herself but to her surprise, Weiss had turned up every day after class on time and as scheduled to carry out her punishment.

Despite them both owning up to the destruction of the training arena, there was clearly no love lost between the two of them. True, there has not been any fight or even an argument ever since the incident but that could be chalked down to the two of them completely and deliberately ignoring the existence of the other person. Their hatred for each other intensified pointedly but silently.

Team assignments and in particular, team combat training was absolute hell on everyone. The tension ran so high within Team RWBY it was a minor miracle they did not self-combust, what with Ruby optimistically trying to broker peace every chance she had and Yang literally one second away from locking up Weiss and Blake in a minuscule space like the broom closet perhaps and refusing to let them out until they talked and resolved their differences. Nevertheless, in spite of the animosity between Weiss and Blake, there was almost an unspoken promise that they made things up to their teammates.

At the same time though, all that stormy tension and tremendous strain had to be released somewhere, which resulted in every team opposing team RWBY getting savagely and utterly annihilated. The current score of 33 to 0 victories by Team RWBY spoke volume. The last straw came when Pyrrha Nikos of all people was sent flying out of the temporary training gym not once, but twice in victory number 34; firstly, by Blake and then seemingly not to be outdone, by Weiss which sealed the deal and culminated in no one wanting to take on Team RWBY in combat. The collective shocked silence that fell over the training gym was deafening as everyone watched, mouths agape at the incredulous sight of Pyrrha Nikos limping off to the infirmary ward.

Surely it was only a matter of time before reckoning came knocking on the door and it was anyone's guess who would be left standing once the ticking time bomb that was Weiss and Blake detonated.

Chapter Text

No one in their right mind could ever accuse Weiss Schnee of being delicate or fragile. Despite the fact that she was the heiress to the largest corporation in the whole of Remnant as well as her obvious privileged upbringing and her assured status at the top of the most elite echelon of society, Weiss most certainly did not possess the typical countenance characteristic of those who shared her covetous standing in life.

Oh, she hid it very well with her noble Atlesian accent and her exorbitantly expensive clothing and monogrammed luggage and the unmistakably custom-made Myrtenaster, not to mention the subtle haughty way she carried herself or her apparent disdain of anything less than perfect. It did not help matters that she had absolutely no problem voicing her displeasure loudly and often.

Blessed with a quick mind and an equally quick wit, Weiss was intellectually gifted and possessed a natural ability to expertly wield words like a deadly weapon with sarcasm as her shield. The Beacon student population learnt very quickly never to engage the heiress in an argument or battle of wits as they would inevitably find themselves very easily and embarrassingly rapidly dismantled and brutally robbed of any notion of victory against Weiss Schnee.

It was a prevalent rumour that the resident school bully, Cardin Winchester still suffered from nightmares every night after Weiss gave him a dressing-down so vicious every male within hearing vicinity of the incident had to seek counseling to reaffirm their masculinity. Thus, everyone gave the heiress a wide berth and avoided any confrontation with her.

Everyone, except Blake Belladonna.

From that very fateful moment of their first meeting, Blake seemed to live for the occasions when she could needle and provoke the heiress into heated arguments that more often than not, erupted into a spectacular display of flaring tempers and bitter rows.

Blake found it curious that the heiress undoubtedly had tremendous self-control over her emotions – her obviously schooled inscrutable facial expression and nonchalant impassivity made it all but impossible for anyone to try and decipher what the heiress was thinking or feeling. And yet at the same time, the prickly heiress was so quick to anger where Blake was concerned and it took Blake almost no effort at all to bring forth the heiress’ ire and temper.

“The SDC employs tens of thousands of Remnant’s work force and we have won the prestigious “Best Company to Work For” award again for the 10th consecutive time so of course I am very proud of what we have achie-”

“I believe the SDC and your family have both also been investigated for the umpteenth time for slave labour and extreme brutality towards the Faunus workforce – is that also something you’re very proud of?” Blake lazily countered as she subtly bumped her shoulders against Weiss’ on her way out of the classroom.

“How dare you!” Weiss instantly retaliated, her fists clenched tightly as she glared furiously at her teammate.

Teammate! She couldn’t believe how unfortunate she was to be paired with that bumbling exploding fool but worse still, to also be stuck with the fool’s brutish lout of a sister and the ridiculously rude and arrogant pest who dared to insult and disparage her family’s name to her face.

Weiss stalked angrily towards Blake whilst everyone else wisely fled the classroom leaving the two alone. With every step she took, Weiss could feel her temper rising as Blake slowly and deliberately raised one eyebrow as she openly smirked at her whilst slouching without a care in the world against the classroom wall.

Weiss knew Blake was purposely goading her and she knew she should not have taken the bait but there was just something about Blake that really pissed her off and ignited her temper in seemingly seconds. Blake knew exactly what to say and precisely which buttons to press to send the heiress into fits of apoplectic rage and Weiss hated that she fell for it every time.

So much for her Schnees never show any emotion training! Clearly no one in her family had ever had the misfortune of having to deal with the infuriating ingrate known as Blake freaking Belladonna before. Weiss challenged any Schnee not to show any emotion against the toxic lies spewing from Blake’s lips.

Weiss reached the bottom of the classroom and she stomped her way towards Blake until they were practically nose-to-nose.

“Cute,” Blake sneered before drawing herself to her full height and looking down at the red-faced heiress.

Weiss absolutely loathed that Blake was so much taller than her but she wasn’t a Schnee for nothing. She knew very well the rules of physical intimidation which had been drummed into her ever since she was a toddler facing a standoff with her Barbie dolls so she stood ramrod straight to her full height with her shoulders back and head held high.

Unimpressed and looking totally bored, Blake fake-yawned and refused to budge one single inch as she stared impassively at the heiress.

Weiss scowled and in a titanic effort to control her fury, she unclenched her fists and considered taking a half step back before her Father’s scornful words echoed in her mind that Schnees do not retreat or back down. Ever.

So Weiss stood her ground and a silent glaring match ensued between the two teammates.

Finally, Weiss spoke and asked what had been bothering her since her first day at Beacon. She was so angry she did not care that she had just broken one of her Father’s cardinal rules of never speaking first as that would render her weak to her enemies and whatever battle she had been engaged in was thus infinitely lost.

“Just what is your problem with my family and the SDC? What have we ever done to you to warrant that kind of slander and lies? You do know we have Remnant’s best lawyers –“

“Oh please. Save your empty threat for someone who could be cowed by it. Stop embarrassing yourself by revealing how pathetically unaware you are of the great SDC or how little you understand the Schnees!” Blake growled, her amber eyes glowing with a sudden menacing light.

“I am a Schnee!” Weiss shot back. Any effort on her part in trying to stay civil and calm dissipated the second Blake’s finger came at her. Weiss did not hesitate as she grabbed the offending finger before it could jab at her shoulder as was clearly Blake’s intent.

Blake’s reaction was swift and immediate. The moment Weiss’ hand closed around her finger, her right hand was on Gambol Shroud, her entire body tensed and her expression shut down to mirror an empty mask robbed of any emotion. Only her golden eyes betrayed her true feelings…the fear and utter helplessness shone with abject despair. It was not a look Weiss ever associated with Blake who normally projected an air of disinterest and perpetual indifference and not…this.

Weiss was so distracted she missed Blake swinging Gambol Shroud directly at her and it was only at the last moment that her Aura tingled and her ice blue eyes shot up and widened in fear as they followed the arc Gambol Shroud took.

Too late, too late! Move!

Weiss’ Aura flared out and the temperature in the classroom immediately dropped to below freezing and icicles started forming on the ceiling, a bright and unnatural shine glinting off them. Weiss knew it was too late but it was not in her nature to give anything up without a fight so she reached for Myrtenaster. Let it never be said that Weiss Schnee went to her death without giving it a hell of a fight first.

The glacial biting cold however, finally seemed to snap Blake out of her trance and Weiss could see, could almost hear the thoughts thundering at the speed of light through Blake’s mind as horror and shock warred in Blake’s golden eyes even as she desperately grabbed onto Gambol Shroud with both hands in a herculean effort to thwart the path it was travelling on…with the heiress the focal point of Gambol Shroud’s deadly arc.

Chapter Text

People often say that their life flashes before their eyes before they die.

What utter and complete nonsense!

The only thing Weiss Schnee saw flashing before her eyes was her obviously deranged teammate with a crazed look in her wild golden eyes desperately attempting to alter the course of her blade’s pathway to avoid cleaving her in half and committing cold-blooded murder.

The ensuing earth-shattering crash of dozens of innocent desks and chairs meeting their violent demise by virtue of having the misfortune of standing in Gambol Shroud’s way reverberated like a series of deafening explosions. The cracks and fissures on the floor from the brutal force of Gambol Shroud only contributed to the immense roar and chaos of the situation.

The absolute silence and utter stillness following all that pandemonium was at once eerie and unnerving.

Blake whipped her head to where Weiss had been standing only a moment ago, her heart hammering so ferociously it hurt. She found herself hardly able to breathe as her eyes darted back and forth, frantically searching for any sign of the heiress.

“Weiss! Weiss! Where are yo –“

“Oh, pipe down!” A supremely irritated voice interrupted Blake’s pleading.

Blake spun around and there she was. The heiress was slowly getting to her feet a few meters away from where she previously stood, casually brushing debris from her uniform. She had a cut on her right cheek, the blood stark red against her pale face. She had clearly leapt out of the way before Blake was able to maneuver Gambol Shroud literally a mere couple of inches away from where Weiss had stood.

Without thinking, Blake ran full tilt towards Weiss, Gambol Shroud swinging at her side. She was so incredibly relieved she did not stop for even a second to think how that looked to the heiress.

“Stop!” Weiss commanded, her tone so imperious and her voice so cold that Blake immediately halted in her tracks. Weiss’ azure eyes had hardened to frozen blue ice as she held Myrtenaster’s razor sharp point only a hair’s breadth away from Blake’s throat.

“Just.What.Do.You.Think.You’re.Doing?” Weiss enunciated each word with utmost force, the intensity in her eyes frightening in its ferocity. Her message was crystal clear. The heiress was not to be trifled with.

And yet…yet…

Blake stood there shivering, her tortured eyes for once betraying her thoughts and emotions that were obviously battling savagely within her. Her heart would not stop pounding violently and she felt excruciatingly sick to her stomach. The only thing blasting through her mind over and over again was that she could have killed someone. And not just anyone. Her own teammate. She did almost kill her. Disgust and hatred for herself threatened to overwhelm her.

Never one to show any emotion or indeed, even acknowledging her own feelings, it was a testament to how monumentally distressed Blake was that she simply acted against her character.

Despite risking being impaled by Myrtenaster, Blake relinquished Gambol Shroud as if it burnt her hand and closed her distance to the heiress.

Scared and confused, Weiss immediately took a half step backwards before Blake reached out and grabbed her, her arms clutching her tightly as she held Weiss as close as she possibly could. In spite of the fortress Blake’s arms have suddenly become, the hug was gentle and unexpectedly intimate. Weiss could feel the trembling in Blake’s body and the thundering beats of her heart.

Like Blake, Weiss was not attuned to her own feelings having been taught from a very young age that to feel was to be weak. Worse still, the heiress had so little experience with any form of affection that she literally did not know how to react.

It was obvious that Blake was very upset and when someone was in such misery, the obvious course of action was to comfort them and try to make them feel better. But how?

For all her intelligence and quick mind, Weiss was at a complete loss and feeling more panicked by the second. This helplessness was alien to Weiss who often relied on her superior intellect and supreme confidence to help her find a resolution to any problem and it galled her that the one thing she could not figure out how to handle was a…hug.

And so….Weiss slowly lifted her right arm from Blake’s clutches and awkwardly patted Blake’s back while feeling like the world’s biggest idiot. Truth be told, she did not know what to expect. Would Blake let go of her? Would she perhaps start insulting her pathetic attempt in patting? Perhaps there was some sort of measurements and grades one can be judged in how well they pat someone’s back? Ohgods, what if she starts crying?

The thought was so terrifying Weiss felt her entire body seize up in fear and she fervently wished that she had been struck down by Gambol Shroud instead. At least the epitaph on her gravestone would not read “Here lies Weiss Schnee, killed by a hug”.

Weiss’ sudden quivering and her increasingly cold skin finally permeated through to Blake’s mind and she felt the fog inside her lifting before cruelly dumping her back to reality.

Slowly, Blake reluctantly dropped her arms to her side and haltingly, raised her head only to look into terrified blue eyes.

I caused that terror. Blake thought sadly as they stared at each other intently. Blake did not bother to hide the shame and despair shining in her own eyes.

“Weiss…I…I don’t really know what to say…or…or what I could say…nothing I say is…,” Blake’s voice shook so hard she could hardly speak. Heartsick, she cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m…I’m so sorry...what I did was unforgiveable.”

Unsure how the heiress would respond or what would happen to her now that she had tried to murder a fellow student, Blake flinched as she heard Weiss speak.

“You know…I do believe Gambol Shroud has a seriously unhealthy obsession with me and I really wish you both would stop trying to murder me so often….perhaps limit it to once a month?”

Weiss’ tone was composed, her voice soft. Whatever Blake was expecting, it was certainly not that. She could not be completely sure but…was Weiss attempting to make a joke? The thought blew her mind and gave her a paralysing headache.

“Weiss…I –“

“Miss Schnee! Miss Belladonna! You have got to be kidding me!”

Glynda Goodwitch stood at the doorway, her eyes blazing with murder as she directed one of her trademark death glares at Weiss and Blake.

The smashed half door hanging by a few splinters of wood chose that very moment to breathe its last and crashed violently onto the floor as Blake and Weiss looked on in abject horror.

Chapter Text

It went without saying that Glynda Goodwitch was by far, Weiss Schnee’s favourite professor. Intellectually brilliant and prodigiously powerful, Glynda Goodwitch commanded respect without even trying. Her prowess and talent as a Huntress was on a complete different spectrum and she was deservedly renowned throughout the whole of Remnant. Her reputation preceded her even as far as Atlas and Weiss grew up idolizing her.

So for Weiss to hear Professor Goodwitch slipped into such informal language so unlike the Professor’s customary rigid form of speech led her to the obvious conclusion that she and Blake would be severely reprimanded. If they were lucky, perhaps they would be presented as sacrificial offerings to the Grimm. Which would totally be a very acceptable alternative to the heiress who would gladly choose to be a Grimm’s dinner rather than having to bear the weight of Professor’s Goodwitch’s disappointment.

“ – and how many times exactly have you two caused catastrophic destruction to school property? Even our incredibly extensive repair budget has already been critically depleted and it’s only been 3 weeks since the start of the school year!”

Weiss and Blake bravely bore the onslaught of Professor Goodwitch’s displeasure but after three hours of listening to the ridiculously long and detailed list of all their offenses and transgressions, both girls were ready for the floor to just open up and swallow them whole although there was a very good possibility that even hell itself would spit them back up.

“I just don’t understand. From your first day, I had earmarked you both as probably the best First Year talent alongside Miss Nikos and I’ve rarely been wrong about this in all my years at Beacon. I had such high hopes and expectations for you both to succeed and go on to do great things…,” Professor Goodwitch’s words trailed off as she sighed in exasperation.

Weiss would have preferred Professor Goodwitch to yell and scream at them. At least she understood anger and fury very well and knew how to deal with that. But such deep-seated disappointment was a bitter pill to swallow.

Weiss had disappointed her Father her entire life. No matter how hard she worked or what it cost her to live up to his impossible standards, he was never satisfied and would never spare her even a single thought when imparting in great detail all her faults and flaws and his abysmal disappointment in his failure of a daughter.

“Professor, I am – “

“No, Miss Schnee. I think it’s best if we leave it at that. You and Miss Belladonna have a choice. Continue on the path of destruction you have embarked on or choose to nurture your talent and tremendous potential. I shall leave you both to determine your own course. You are dismissed.”

Weiss and Blake left Professor Goodwitch’s office utterly miserable and dejected. The walk back to their room was silent and somber, each girl so lost in their own thoughts that neither noticed they had arrived at their room.

Before Blake could swipe her keycard, the door was ripped open with such force it was nearly torn off its hinges. A feeling of déjà vu at seeing a door precariously swinging on its hinges caused Weiss and Blake to recoil in alarm.

“Blakey! Ice Queen!”

“Hey! I resent that, you brutish – uggghhh – oooof!“ was all Weiss managed before she was bodily lifted and then somehow slammed down to find her face intimately acquainted with the gleaming floorboards of their room.

“Ow, ow, ow!”

“Get off me, you dunce!”

Sprawled in a massive tangle of arms and legs, Weiss furiously pushed a urgh, foot away from her face as someone’s hand smacked her head and she grunted in pain as an elbow connected with her ribcage. How did she end up at the bottom of the pile anyway?

“I’m up, I’m up! You can stop caressing my rump, Princess!”

Weiss glared at Yang, a light blush colouring her cheeks.

“You crass buffoon! I was not caress-…I mean, touching your…your…ru…argh, your anything! I was only trying to push you out of my way, you dolt!”

“Thou doth protest too much, milady!”

“YANG! I will murder you in your sleep!”

“After you’ve had your wicked way with my awesome rump?”

Weiss instantly went into meltdown mode, steam practically hissing out of her ears and she gritted her teeth in anger as her furious eyes promised Yang a whole world of pain and slow, slow death.

“Hey Weiss, here…,” Blake interrupted and held her hand out to the heiress who turned to look at Blake in shock as she stared at her hand in sheer confusion. “I…I…uh…,” Blake coughed awkwardly as Yang and Ruby looked on with comically huge round eyes and open mouths.

Just as Blake was about to withdraw her hand, her face a mask once more and her eyes carefully blank, Weiss reached out and grasped the proffered hand, grunting softly as Blake pulled her off the floor.

Tiny…and soft…but calloused. Blake forgot sometimes how small the heiress really was given her larger than life personality, not to mention her enormous temper and her seemingly unlimited capacity for anger. She was however, genuinely surprised by how calloused Weiss’ hand was considering her wealthy and privileged upbringing.

Myrtenaster obviously. Satisfied with her deduction, Blake nodded absent-mindedly to herself and ceased running her thumb gently across the heiress’ palm.

“Ummm…you…you can let go of my hand now, Blake,” Weiss whispered weakly, her face as red as the inside collar of her bolero as she felt her heart thudding rapidly.

“I…,” Blake looked down as if in surprise at their joined hands and promptly went into a violent coughing fit as her eyes widened in embarrassment and she quickly let go of the heiress as if Weiss’ hand burnt her even as they both hastily backed away from each other.

What the hell was that? Weiss furiously cursed her pale skin as she felt her entire face flamed bright red with a combination of anger and mortification.

“I’m wounded, Princess! Am I not the love of your life? How could you break my heart so callously and move on so quickly to my dear, dear friend Blakey?” Yang clutched her heart dramatically as she sunk to the floor on one knee.

“I’m going to kill you, you lout!” Weiss screeched, instantly activating a glyph while brandishing Myrtenaster as she glared at Yang with murderous intent.

“Get in line, Weiss!” Blake growled as she menacingly unsheathed Gambol Shroud.

“Ladies, ladies, there is plenty of this to go around! There’s no need to fight for – oooof! Baby sis? What are yooooooooo –“

Stunned at the abrupt turn of events and the unexpected disappearance of their would-be victim, Weiss and Blake stared wordlessly at a truly colossal amount of rose petals swirling and fluttering gently all around their room, the sudden silence marred only by the obnoxious cackling filtering faintly through the open window.

Weiss groaned in frustration as she gave up and collapsed onto her bed, squeezing her eyes shut tightly even as she tried to drown out the unbearably loud thoughts in her head.

How in Remnant did the day end up like this?

Hearing a loud thud on the opposite side of the room, Weiss reluctantly cracked open one eye to see Blake resignedly slumped on her own bed, her arms clutching her pillow tightly as she seemingly screamed, albeit silently into the pillow.

Whilst she had hated Blake from almost the very first moment they had met and Blake had most definitely returned the same intense hatred for her, Weiss could not help but feel a certain kinship to Blake Belladonna right at this very moment in time.

“Good night, Blake,” the heiress murmured softly under her breath as she watched Blake tiredly raised her arm to send a small wave of acknowledgement, her usually sharp mind too exhausted and overloaded to wonder how Blake could have heard her from across all that way.

Chapter Text

“Weiss! No! No! Please don’t leave! Weiss!” Blake screamed in anguish, pure unadulterated pain lancing her every word. “Don’t die…please don’t die…Weiss!” Blake begged, her voice cracking and her whole body trembling in shock.

Tears streamed down her face even as she gripped the heiress closer to her, her mind refusing to accept what her eyes witnessed. Blake felt an irrational and desperate anger threatening to break through her grief.

Even in death, Weiss Schnee looked resplendent, her regal features lending her a noble countenance that held dominion even over death. Blake clung to Weiss tightly, unable to let go of the heiress and vowed she would rip apart anyone that dared to tear them asunder.

“Open your eyes, Weiss….please...please open your eyes!” Blake felt her heart clench in agony as though it had been impaled by indescribable pain even as she struggled to draw air to her lungs. All she wanted was to look into the heiress’ azure eyes one more time and to hear the heiress furiously screeching at her as she stomped angrily towards Blake and threatened to set the SDC’s army of lawyers on her.

Blake wept brokenly as she clutched Weiss to her chest, watching in horror through tear-stained eyes as Weiss’ blood seeped onto her clothes as the heiress laid in her arms, forevermore perfect in death as she had sought to be in life.

“Blake! Blake! Wake up, Blake! Ouch!” Weiss gingerly rubbed her head as she successfully dodged Blake’s swinging arms just in time but banged her head against the bottom of Yang’s bed as she threw herself out of the way from Blake’s arms.

Blake had given her a hell of a fright as she was brutally jolted out of her sleep by Blake screaming out of her lungs. She had jumped up instantly, her heart pounding like crazy, wondering what on Remnant was happening now. The anguish and pain in Blake’s voice turned the heiress’ blood ice cold and it frightened her enough to immediately run over to her teammate’s bed as her sleep-addled brain struggled to catch up and make sense of Blake’s tormented screams.

Even in her sleep-deprived state, Weiss winced as she heard the raw pain and excruciating agony pouring out in distressing waves from Blake as she attempted to wake her up from slumber.

Weiss’s mind snapped to full attention and the last vestiges of sleep fled and vanished as she realised what Blake was yelling. Why is Blake screaming my name?

She immediately redoubled her effort and urgently shook Blake with as much force as she dared to wake Blake up from what was clearly a gruesome nightmare.

As if from far away, Blake heard the hauntingly familiar voice calling out to her insistently. She knew that voice…imperious tone…haughty disdain…high class Atlesian accent…irritatingly loud and annoyingly arrogant…Weiss! The moment Blake’s brain made the connection, her eyes snapped open as she suddenly sprang up so quickly she nearly gave herself whiplash.

Weiss shrieked in terror as she fell off Blake’s bed. Angrily, the heiress stood up, rubbing her back and her head even as she glared daggers at Blake.

“What in Remnant’s hell is going on here!?” Weiss snapped furiously.

Blake’s amber eyes seemed to glow in the dark even as they lit up in relief as her eyes frantically drank in the sight of Weiss Schnee, alive and livid. Without thinking, Blake reached out and grabbed Weiss before enveloping her in a hug, clinging desperately to the heiress as she muttered apologies over and over again.

For the second time that day, Weiss found herself trapped in a hug while trying to push down the panic and utter helplessness she felt from not knowing how to react to the hug. Why is Blake always hugging her anyway? Aren’t they enemies? Has Blake lost her mind? She made a mental note to visit the library tomorrow to read up everything she possibly could about hugs and specifically, how to deal with one. Weiss hated being caught off guard. She reminded herself to also look up books to double check if patting one’s back was an acceptable form of comfort as her right hand hovered uncertainly over Blake’s back.

Weiss may not be Blake’s biggest fan, but she was intimately acquainted with fear and misery and she felt her heart softened as she saw how genuinely upset Blake was. Very slowly, she lifted her arms and put both her hands gently on Blake’s shoulders as she separated them slightly so she could look at Blake’s face.

Weiss froze instantly. Oh no…no, no, no!

“Blake…uh, I…you…ummm…” Brilliant, Weiss. Excellent comforting line! She sighed in resignation. It's going to be a long day at the library tomorrow.

Nervous and feeling supremely unsure, Weiss very gently wiped away the tears from Blake’s eyes, her thumb softly brushing the corner of Blake’s eyes with care. The haunted look in Blake’s golden eyes bothered her.

Blake closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh as she felt Weiss’ hand on her face. Frazzled and exhausted from the hellish day and compounded by her all too realistic nightmare, Blake felt at once furious and confused. Angrily, her eyes snapped open as she slowly backed away from the heiress until she felt her bed against the back of her legs.

Blake was never one to show her true feelings or emotions and yet twice now, she had let her guard down and exposed her vulnerability openly to Weiss Schnee of all people. She hated Weiss Schnee and her ilk. They were the worst kind of people society had to offer: bigoted, arrogant, power-hungry racists who would be nothing without their wealth and influence.

But Weiss Schnee…if Blake were completely honest with herself, she could grudgingly admit that the heiress intrigued her. Oh, she knew all about Weiss Schnee even before coming to Beacon. Who in Remnant did not know of Weiss Schnee, heiress to the largest and wealthiest corporation in the world?

Perhaps it wasn’t fair but Blake’s mind was already made up as to what kind of person Weiss was long before they even met and her judgment of the heiress was further vindicated by their hostile first meeting and the subsequent antagonistic weeks of being classmates and living together as teammates.

Weiss was everything Blake hated – entitled, haughty and sheltered. She detested hearing Weiss blindly defending the SDC when she was so obviously ignorant of the barbaric manner they operated their business and she loathed that Weiss was so proud of her heritage and bloodline.

But that’s not all that she is and you know it. That bloody insistent voice in the corner of Blake’s mind smugly argued. Blake may be reserved and taciturn by nature but that made her astute and extremely observant to her surroundings. She could reluctantly admit that there were things about Weiss Schnee that surprised her.

Yes, the heiress was extremely confident in her combat skills but Blake had seen firsthand for herself how hard the heiress pushed herself in training with her glyphs and Myrtenaster. She remembered how angry Weiss was when she was beaten by both Yang and Ruby in their first team combat class but instead of complaining like the spoiled brat Blake thought she was, Weiss had woken up at the crack of dawn every day after that to train and fight in one of the training rooms. It was hard not to admire that kind of dedication and perseverance.

The fact that Weiss was at the top of all their classes except Combat was not an accident. True, the heiress was extraordinarily intelligent but she took no chances and worked harder than anyone Blake knew. Weiss was always at least two weeks ahead in all their reading and finished her assignments in record time each day, every day. She was the first one up and the last one to turn in for the night. Blake had never known anyone as obsessed with homework or loved learning as much as Weiss did.

Most surprising of all perhaps was that while Weiss liked to project an air of coldness and aloofness and indeed, she was often sarcastic and came across as disdainful and heartless, Blake had witnessed more than once that there was more to the heiress than meets the eye. Blake knew for example, that Weiss was kind.

On a weekend trip to Vale two weeks ago, Blake had been reading inside her favourite bookstore when she heard something that sent chills down her spine. She looked out the window to see a urgh, four-legged terrible monster scampering away and whining piteously from the next door café when the owner smacked the dog with a broom. Furious, Blake stormed out of the bookstore towards the café.

“Touch that dog one more time and you’ll suffer my wrath!” Ice blue eyes bore a hole into the man who stood frozen, rooted to the ground by one of Weiss’ glyphs. Deliberately slowly, Weiss strolled towards the man who trembled with fear as his eyes widened in recognition. Weiss stood directly in front of him, her face deceptively calm although her blazing blue eyes gave away her fury.

“Mi…Miss...Sch…Schnee….I…I…,” he stammered. Weiss stared at him without saying a word. The man gulped and hung his head.

Weiss leaned in until their faces were only a few inches apart, the man flinching in terror.

“If you ever hurt anyone or any animal again...,” Weiss never raised her voice but there was steel in her tone. Weiss may be tiny but she radiated power and authority in the way she carried herself and she made no effort to cloak her Aura as the ground started to freeze. Weiss flicked her wrist and the glyph disappeared, the man tripping over himself in his haste to retreat. Weiss closed her eyes in an effort to calm down when suddenly, Blake heard a most curious sound, something she had never heard before.

The dog had leapt onto Weiss, as if giving her a hug for saving him and started licking the heiress everywhere and Weiss laughed. She bent down and stroked the dog’s ears as he wagged his tail excitedly. He barked, leapt into Weiss’ arms and she laughed again.

Blake was struck by the transformation on Weiss’ face as happiness took over. So utterly different from the scowls and grumpiness and perpetual anger that were so often the masks the heiress chose to wear for the world to see. Blake slipped away into an alley as she watched Weiss walked into a butcher's with the dog by her side.

Okay, okay, so what if the Ice Queen isn’t the world’s most terrible person? She’s still a Schnee! Blake shook her head hard. Wonderful, so she’s arguing with herself inside her head now. She was seriously starting to fear for her own sanity.

“Blake? Are you…alright?” Weiss asked gently, her ice blue eyes soft as she gazed at Blake.

“I…I’m fine, Weiss. Uh, thank you for…,” Blake gestured vaguely around the room.

“Oh! You…you’re welcome…I uh, I…,” Weiss hesitated as she bit her lip before her eyes focused and she calmly looked straight into Blake’s eyes. “What were you dreaming about?”

Blake swallowed hard. And just like that, she was sucked back into her nightmare – Weiss’ dead body in her arms as she wept and Weiss’ blood everywhere…because she…she…she murdered Weiss…in cold blood…ohgods, what had she done?

“Blake!” Weiss’ voice was sharp even as she gently shook Blake out of her reverie.

“Weiss…Weiss…I…I killed you! I’m a monster! I…I…I’m so sorry!”

Startled by the self-hatred and vehemence in Blake’s declaration, Weiss unconsciously took a step backwards. What was Blake talking about? Was she confessing to an assassination attempt? It wouldn’t be the first time someone had tried to assassinate Weiss.

But then, one look at Blake and the way she trembled and the pain and guilt in her voice and the loathing and shame in her eyes all pointed to a very different conclusion. Weiss was an excellent judge of character and had an uncanny ability to read people accurately and her mind quickly analysed the events of the day.

Her mind made up, she strode without hesitation towards Blake who watched her with a myriad of emotions shining through her amber eyes and Weiss felt her heart tightened - her ignorance be damned - and Weiss hugged Blake hard. Blake collapsed into Weiss’ arms and –

The door suddenly slammed open violently with a tremendous bang, causing the pair to fall onto Blake’s bed in a panic as Ruby and Yang rushed inside, Crescent Rose fully extended in its scythe form with Nora right behind them swinging Magnhild menacingly as they all looked frantically around the room with the rest of team JNPR drawing out their weapons.

“Is it ninjas? Assassins? Super villains?”

Dead silence as everyone stood stock-still and their eyes adjusted to the darkness as they stared red-faced at the scene right before their shocked eyes.

“Uhhhh…Blakey? Princess?”

Weiss froze on top of Blake, her legs straddling her teammate whose arms were still around her waist from their hug as they both struggled to move away from each other.

Mortified and furious, Weiss opened her mouth to yell when she saw Yang slapped her hand across Ruby’s eyes as she started catcalling and waggling her eyebrows suggestively at the pair.

“Princess, you surprised me! I’ve always had you pegged as a Pillow Queen!”

“YANG XIAO LONG!” Blushing uncontrollably at Yang’s implication, Weiss summoned a glyph even as everyone hastily stumbled backwards to leave the room with Pyrrha profusely apologising for the interruption.

“We were not doing anything of that sort!” Weiss protested, her hands gripping Blake’s blanket in agitation.

“That explains all the screaming!” Yang shouted as Weiss hurled a glyph to slam the door shut and she groaned in exasperation.

“Always knew you were a screamer, Princess!”

Would today ever end?

Chapter Text

“Soooooo Princess…how was your night of passion with Blakey? Enquiring minds want to know! Details, Ice Queen, details!”

Blake choked on her jasmine tea and began coughing violently, all traces of her fatigue dissipating as her amber eyes glared daggers at Yang who pointedly chose to ignore her in favour of wrapping an arm around Weiss whose face had turned an impressive shade of red even as everyone else at the table cowered and ducked at the first tell-tale sign of a Weiss Schnee meltdown.

Weiss angrily shrugged off Yang’s arm and shot to her feet, her ice blue eyes terrifyingly cold as she fixed her gaze on Yang, fury emanating in waves from the heiress.

“Yang Xiao Long! Truly you are the scourge of humanity! You’re a menace…a plague…a…a blight to all of civilization!” Weiss slammed her metal food tray so forcefully against the table it splintered into pieces, causing her yoghurt to splash onto Jaune as her coffee spattered all over her from its broken mug and everyone held their breath as they watched the shiny red apple rolling merrily along the table until it came to a stop…right in front of Blake. Her amber eyes snapped towards ice blue and they locked gaze.

The entire food hall was silent except for the continuous drip of Weiss’ spilled coffee. No one dared to breathe or move.

“That bad huh?” Yang stage-whispered loud enough for the whole room to hear as Ruby frantically tried to shush her sister.

Trembling with rage, Weiss speared Yang with another Schnee death glare and without another word, stormed off. Ruby groaned and banged her head against the table. It was just way too early for this.

“What!?” Yang protested as Blake scowled and stood, vigorously wiping tea stains from her uniform to no avail. Sighing, she gave up and grumpily muttered something about changing before she too left the food hall.

“You know, Sis? I was hoping we would have some peace since Weiss and Blake seemed to be fighting less but…,” Ruby sighed heavily.

“Awwww, Baby Sis! Don’t worry, now that Blakey and Ice Queen are in lurrrrrve, they’ll totally achieve world peace in no time!” Yang affectionately ruffled her sister’s hair as she continued to devour her gigantic stack of pancakes.

******

Blake could feel a blush staining her cheeks as she began her slow trek back towards her dorm room. She just could not understand what was going on with her the last couple of days. Why can’t she stop thinking about Weiss Schnee? Okay, that one was easy. Accidentally or not, she had almost killed her and Blake was a good person with a conscience so it made sense that her guilt and moral compass would repeatedly direct her thoughts to the heiress.

What Blake couldn’t figure out was why she kept breaking into cold sweat or why her heart rate would speed up like a runaway train every time she so much as looked at Weiss. And why the hell can’t she stop thinking about the heiress’ striking ice blue eyes? No, ice blue doesn’t quite do them justice…cobalt then? Cerulean maybe? No…azure, definitely azure, she decided. Really, Blake? Arguing with yourself about her eye colour now? What is happening to me?

Blake shut the dorm room door and immediately looked up at the clock. 10 minutes before her first lecture. Damn it, Yang! She groused as she decided there wasn’t enough time to change in the bathroom and hurriedly stripped off her blazer and shirt, dumping the stained clothing on her bed as she rummaged in her wardrobe for a fresh blazer and shirt.

Deep in thought, she had barely shrugged into the new shirt when the bathroom door suddenly burst open with no warning and Blake let out an undignified shriek as she was caught off-guard even as her amber eyes stared wide-eyed at Weiss Schnee’s toned stomach and her…her…

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Blake!!! What in Remnant are you doing in here!!” Weiss screeched, her open shirt flapping at her sides as she stumbled backwards and hit the floor hard just as she saw Blake raising her arm to shield her eyes as she too tripped over her own feet and crashed in front of the wardrobe. They both scrambled to their feet at once, Weiss sprinting back towards the bathroom and attempting to open…the…damn…door! And Blake desperately rattling the wardrobe knob to within an inch of its life, all in vain. Both doors remained stubbornly close. The silence was deafening as both girls slowly turned around to face each other, faces identically crimson as they both held on to the front of their shirts as if their lives depended on it.

“So…sorry, Weiss! I didn’t realise someone else was in the room!” Blake wheezed, her heart pounding so thunderously she could barely hear her own high-pitched apology.

“I…I…,” Weiss stammered, her eyes immediately drawn towards Blake’s skin peeking out from her shirt even as she swallowed hard and tried her damnedest to stop staring. Like what you saw? What!? It’s the stress of the situation! I’m under duress! Weiss defended herself to her annoying pompous mind. Sure, sure. Oh, shut up!

Before they could say anything else, their heads snapped towards the door as they heard Yang’s distinctive heavy footfalls and her cheerful whistling. Matching looks of utmost horror etched onto their faces, they both raced towards the door, the terror at the literal hell and endless teasing they would have to endure from Yang spurring them on…so close…so close…almost there…

The door banged open just as Blake and Weiss skidded to a halt, their momentum so great Blake crashed into Weiss’ back and they both went down in a tangle of limbs, Weiss’ head ending on Blake’s chest as she squeezed her eyes shut, wishing death would come and claim her right this very instant.

A brief silence before Yang snorted and started laughing at the sight that greeted her, huge booming guffaws that rattled the door frame as Blake slowly sat up, one arm around Weiss as the heiress obstinately kept her eyes closed.

“It’s…it’s not what it looks like, Yang!” Blake growled in indignation.

Yang laughed harder, her entire body shaking with mirth as she wiped tears from her eyes. Casually, she whipped out her scroll just as Weiss bravely opened her eyes.

Snap! Snap!

“Yang Xiao Long, don’t you dare!”

Yang glanced at her handiwork and gave her teammates her best shit-eating grin.

“Well ladies, I came to apologise but I can see that was unnecessary. As they say, improvement comes with practice!” She winked salaciously at the dumbfounded pair. “And oh, nice touch coordinating your…lingerie…I like the monochromatic theme!” Her obnoxious laughter echoed throughout the corridor as Yang sauntered off.

“Please just kill me,” Weiss muttered.

“No, let’s kill her!” Blake proposed.

******

“Of course you would defend the SDC! Why should it matter that they’re nothing but a gang of bloodthirsty, vicious, money-hungry, Faunus-abusing cowards operating under the guise of a corporation!” Blake’s amber eyes glowed with anger, her fists clenched tight as she bared her teeth in a snarl.

“Where is your evidence of this so-called mistreatment of the Faunus? The SDC employs Remnant’s biggest Faunus workforce. Without us, all those Faunus you’re so terribly fond of would have no jobs and starve!” Weiss furiously countered, her rage so great it was a struggle to contain her temper.

“Evidence!? Are you really that ignorant? Or are you just turning a blind eye because it’s your family raining hell on Faunus everywhere? Don’t be so naïve! Are the thousands of tortured dead Faunus bodies not proof enough!?”

“How dare you! Don’t bring my family into this! Who do you think you –“

“What? Hit a bit too close to home? Do you have any idea the kind of torment you Schnees unleash on the Faunus in the mines? How many senseless deaths you have caused because of your barbaric practices!?”

“Enough! I am sick and tired of listening to your lies and slander, Blake! Who made you the defender of the Faunus, huh? Why are you so interested in those murderers and terrorists? You dare call the SDC abusers? What about all the assassinations and cold-blooded murders the Faunus committed over and over again? Huh? They revel and celebrate each time they kill an innocent person! Why don’t you defend that, you idiot!”

“The White Fang is not the Faunus! Get that right, Heiress!”

“Stop defending murderers and animals, Blake!”

“They are not animals! That’s the problem right there with humans! All the Faunus ever wanted was equal rights and to be treated just like any person!”

As they shouted each terrible accusation, Weiss and Blake unconsciously gravitated towards each other until they stood merely inches apart, both trembling with the effort it took not to accidentally unleash their Auras.

Up close, Blake could see how upset the heiress really was. Blake knew Weiss had exceptional self-control and was unrivalled in her ability to mask her true emotions at all times, not to mention her complete mastery in schooling her facial expressions to mirror whatever she chose to portray to the world.

And so Blake was stunned to witness the depth of the anguish and the profound sadness that lurked beneath the heiress’ azure eyes. She looked shattered. This was the face of someone who had known unspeakable pain. Involuntarily, Blake sucked in her breath with a soft hiss but that was enough to snap the heiress out of her momentary lapse of focus as she carefully rearranged her expression into one of impassivity and cool detachment, her armor firmly locked into place once more. It was fleeting, but Blake knew what she saw and she felt her stomach lurched, suddenly feeling sick and she bit her lip so savagely she tasted blood.

Weiss knew better than to ever let her guard down and reveal what she really felt. She berated herself viciously for her mistake and it was a mistake because she knew Blake saw her pain, no, her weakness. She had no defense for this. None! She had been trained since childhood to never show any weakness or vulnerability. Even now, her Father’s lessons hammered mercilessly into her mind where she stood until she felt near tears at the memories of the relentless tirades her Father drilled into her.

Furious with herself for her lack of discipline and her error in exposing her emotions in public and suddenly feeling exhausted to her bones, Weiss held her head high as she confidently walked towards Professor Goodwitch at the front of the classroom. Noting the utter silence, Weiss subtly glanced around and wished she hadn’t. Everyone knew about the countless assassinations and murders of the Schnee family members. One by one, each death had been plastered all over the news and papers for all to see. Her Schnee pride could not bear to see the pity, the shock and the occasional self-satisfied looks on her classmates’ faces. Weiss mouthed a silent apology as she walked past Velvet Scarlatina, her rabbit ears drooping as she gave Weiss a sympathetic nod.

“Professor Goodwitch, I apologise for my…lack of restraint in today’s debate. I assure you that I meant no disrespect and my opinions are entirely my own and are in no way a reflection of my family’s or the SDC’s thoughts in this matter,” Weiss’ voice was strong and polished with not even the slightest hint of emotion in it. “I also hate to impose Professor, but may I please be excused for the rest of today?” she asked quietly, lifting her chin to look directly into Professor Goodwitch’s eyes. It took everything Weiss had not to flinch at the understanding and empathy reflecting in her favourite Professor’s eyes.

“You may be excused, Miss Schnee,” she said softly.

Weiss took her time walking out of the classroom, her face serene and expressionless and her gait dignified and self-assured as if she had not just allowed her enemy to witness her heartbreak.

Watching that small lonely figure walking out of the classroom broke something inside Blake and she unknowingly began to run down the classroom, determined to chase after the heiress.

“Miss Belladonna! Where do you -,” Professor Goodwitch began sternly as Blake threw her an apologetic look as her long legs carried her out of the classroom.

“You take Weiss and I’ll take Blake?” For once, Yang’s face was serious, her lilac eyes sombre and solemn.

Ruby shook her head. “No, I’ll take Blake and you take Weiss. Okay? Trust me, Sis.”

“Always, Baby Sis.”

Outside the classroom, the sisters parted ways; Ruby activating her semblance as a flurry of roses swirled gently in the corridor as Yang glanced at her scroll, wondering if she should start with the library or their dorm room.

Chapter Text

“Blake! Wait up!” With her semblance activated, Ruby effortlessly caught up with her much taller teammate in just the blink of an eye.

Blake instinctively halted at the sound of her leader’s voice. Although Ruby was younger and has not had as much life experience as the rest of their classmates, she had quickly won Blake’s admiration and respect with her exceptional combat skills, her brilliant tactical mind and more importantly, with who she was as a person. Ruby had a pure heart and a clearly defined sense of right and wrong and she was a kind and compassionate soul who never hesitated to help even strangers and expected nothing in return. Her bravery and goodness were truly something to aspire to.

Blake was not someone who made friends easily given her reserved nature and preference for solitude but she had connected almost immediately with Ruby over their shared love of literature and a mutual fondness for cookies and cakes. On any other given day, Blake would have been perfectly happy to give Ruby her undivided attention and all the time in the world but her guilt and anxiety over causing Weiss pain made her impatient to catch up to the heiress. She had absolutely no idea what she would say or do but all her instincts were screaming at her to not just let Weiss go like this.

“Ruby, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time right now. Can this wait until later?” Blake’s voice trembled with agitation, her amber eyes clouded with turbulence. She looked as if she would either shatter or bolt at the slightest touch.

Sensing Blake’s tempestuous mood, Ruby made sure to make direct eye contact and very slowly reached out to gently grasp Blake’s wrist. Blake tensed, her entire body stiff with pent-up emotions and distress.

“Let go, Ruby,” Blake warned quietly, her eyes seething with anger now.

“Blake…do you trust me?”

“What? Yes, of course, but what –“

“Then stop. Please don’t go after Weiss…she just needs time to calm down and to think so if you try to speak to her now, she’s only going to get mad and yell. A lot! Loudly! And you two would fight again and she would go, what did Yang call it? Super Schnee-nic and kaboom! And then everyone’s unhappy and angry and –“

“Ruby, stop! I…I...don’t know what I’m going to do but I can’t just let this go! I really hurt her this time…,” Blake pleaded, her anger vanishing as she felt a wave of despair crashing over her.

“Trust me, Blake…Weiss gets angry at me all the time and she yells a lot but she always calms down so if you give her a bit of time, you can speak to her later…okay?”

Blake sighed heavily, the more rational part of her acknowledging the truth in Ruby’s advice but at the same time, she just could not shake the feeling that Weiss should not be alone by herself right now.

As if reading her mind, Ruby offered Blake a sheepish grin. “Besides Blake, Weiss isn’t alone…Yang’s with her!”

Aghast, Blake was stunned speechless for a few precious seconds as her eyes widened in horror at the catastrophic picture forming in her mind. In the state Weiss was currently in and with Yang being Yang, it wasn’t too far by any stretch of the imagination to predict that there was a very distinct possibility that there might not be a Beacon Academy left standing by the time Weiss Schnee was done leveling her rage at her blonde teammate.

“Don’t worry, Blake, Yang’s got this,” Ruby nodded sagely, her voice full of conviction in her absolute confidence and trust in her big sister’s diplomatic skills in handling the furious and wound up heiress.

******

Brows furrowed, Yang absent-mindedly slammed their poor abused dorm room door shut as she quickly texted her sister.

“Weiss isn’t in the room. Off to the library now. Is Blake okay?”

Whistling softly, Yang carefully mulled things over in her head. While it may not be readily apparent to anyone looking at her, Yang was seriously worried about the Ice Queen. Yang Xiao Long was many things, but a fool was definitely not something anyone can ever accuse her of being. No matter what people thought, she was far from being a dumb blonde airhead even if her sunny disposition and exuberant nature blinded most people to the truth.

She jogged faster at the thought of Weiss alone and in pain, her fists clenching as a spike of anxiety stabbed at her heart. In so many ways, Weiss Schnee was literally the polar opposite of Blake Belladonna but they were also a lot alike although you would have to dig a little deeper to see the similarities. Really, they were like day and night but at the same time, they were also two sides of the same coin.

They were both very complex and complicated people burdened with a clearly traumatic past and they were completely hopeless at deciphering and communicating their feelings, not to mention how ridiculously terrible they both were with people compounded no doubt by how socially inept and awkward they were. But what struck her the most was that Weiss and Blake were unequivocally damaged individuals and it hurt her to think what sort of atrocious experience they had to endure to the point they had both built iron fortresses and walls around their hearts.

They may only have been a team for a short while, but Yang had already grown to care deeply for both of them and woe betide anyone foolish enough to hurt either of them now that Yang was in their lives. She would gladly punch and grind any moron to dust with her bare hands if anyone was stupid enough to dare cause either of them any pain. Her temper flared and her lilac eyes shifted to red as she thought about Weiss’ Father.

It was hard enough trying to get Blake to talk about herself and her past but it was a lot worse with Weiss. Unlike the rest of her team, Weiss did not have the privilege of living her life in private. One day soon after Team RWBY was formed, Yang had looked Weiss up on her scroll. Of course she knew about Weiss Schnee but had never given her much thought before Beacon.

She read countless articles that day which were clearly nothing more than sanctioned PR exercises with how little depth they had bothered to delve all in favour of praising the heiress for her beauty, poise and sophistication and excellent taste in fashion and how she would one day run the Schnee empire with grace and charm.

Not one single mention of Weiss’ extraordinary intelligence and sharp wit or her indomitable spirit and larger than life personality or her masterful skills with Myrtenaster and her glyphs or even what an honourable and kind person she was. They made her sound like a brainless pretty doll without any depth or substance. It made Yang’s blood boil.

And that was before she saw videos of interviews and public speeches with Jacques Schnee and his heiress in attendance. There was just something about the way Jacques treated Weiss that caused alarm bells to ring. Oh, he was subtle and very careful but Yang noticed the way he would yank Weiss’ arm or the way his hand tightened and dug onto Weiss’ shoulder and the strained smile on Weiss’ face that did not quite reach her eyes as her Father stood behind her, hand under her elbow twisting. Furious, Yang had accidentally snapped her scroll in half watching that video. They’ve all known each other for a couple of months now but Weiss flat out refused to talk about her life in Atlas before Beacon. And while they did not know much about Blake either, they knew even less about the heiress. Ironic really, considering you’d have to live under a rock not to know who Weiss Schnee was.

Finally, Yang arrived at the library. Urgh, the place gave her goosebumps. She never understood why Weiss and Blake loved spending so much of their time in the library. Voluntarily! Anti-social reclusive nerds…she thought fondly. Anxious to find Weiss, she began searching the library starting with the lowest floor. Her stress level was at an all time high as she ran up to the top floor and there was still no sign of the heiress anywhere. Where the hell are you Princess? Think, Yang!

The answer came to her a moment later and she face-palmed. Of course! She raced towards the south end of the top floor and found what she was looking for: a row of private quiet reading rooms with soundproof walls and floor to ceiling glass windows. Quickly, Yang walked by each private room, feeling more frustrated and worried as each empty room blurred by until she came to the very last room and there she was.

Weiss sat on a leather back chair, her back ramrod straight with two towering piles of books stacked on the desk, a look of intense concentration on her face as she read. Yang was relieved to see that she looked like her usual self – cool, detached and with a slight scowl on her face as she sat with the correct posture even though she was completely alone. For all intents and purposes, she looked like a queen on her throne, the books her devoted loyal subjects and Yang grinned as she thought of her opening gambit to lead her conversation with the heiress. Her smile slid off her face and her heart sank as she took a closer look and saw that the heiress trembled ever so often and that her hands shook slightly as she turned the pages of the book. Worse still were her eyes…those ice blue eyes were dull and empty, completely devoid of the familiar sparkle of life and brightness that glowed with intelligence and fire. This called for a change in tactic and Yang thought for a moment how best to approach the heiress.

Yang knocked gently before immediately turning the knob to open the door, not giving Weiss any time to deny her entry. Startled, the heiress stood up, her hand gripping Myrtenaster tightly as she stared in confusion at Yang.

Slowly, Yang raised both her arms in front of her. “Hey Princess…it’s just me.”

“Yang…what…what are you doing here?” Her voice was soft. Up close, Yang could see the tell-tale red tinge in her swollen ice blue eyes. Heartsick, Yang strode towards Weiss and lifted her up in a gigantic bear hug, careful not to squeeze too hard. To hell with the two hour long “personal boundary, this is my space, and this is yours” lecture Weiss had insisted on imparting upon Yang and Ruby in their first week as teammates under pain of death should either sister dared cross the line she had imposed. Weiss hated physical contact of any kind and the sisters had zero understanding of the concept of boundaries and were as free with their hugs and physical affection with their two reluctant teammates as they were with each other. The heiress felt tiny and vulnerable in Yang’s arms.

“Yang Xiao Long! Put me down this very instant, you brute!” Her anger was only half-hearted, the command lacked her usual bite. Yang held her in her arms just for a few moments longer before she gently relinquished the heiress. They were both silent as they stared at each other. Clearing her throat, Yang grabbed a seat next to Weiss’ chair as the heiress sat back down in hers.

“Weiss…are you…alright?”

The heiress immediately scoffed. “Why won’t I be alright? I’m perfectly fine!”

“Well…it was a really intense debate and you looked…upset when you left so I thought –“

“I said I’m fine, Yang!” There it was. The sharp icy tone and that terrible cold anger beneath her words, dangerous and deadly like icebergs. Yang looked stricken, as if Weiss had just hit her and the heiress immediately felt guilty for snapping at the blonde. Weiss had never been good with apologies but she swallowed her pride this once as she could not bear to look at Yang’s sad puppy dog eyes.

“I…apologise for my outburst…it hasn’t been a good day, Yang. Thank you for coming over but I’d like to be alone. Please, can you leave?”

“No can do, Princess! You’re stuck with me whether you want to or not!” Yang declared cheerily, a goofy grin on her face as she bravely nudged the heiress in her ribs.

“Wha- ouch! You gigantic lout! What do you think you’re doing, you dolt!?”

“Well, Princess…if you have to ask, you’re in for a big surprise!” Yang wiggled her eyebrows and winked at the heiress.

Weiss had always had very strong self-preservation instincts and she immediately leapt to her feet, hand searching for Myrtenaster in vain as Yang approached her, a predatory gleam in her twinkling eyes.

“Yang Xiao Long, I’m warning you! Whatever you think you are –“

Weiss never got the chance to finish her threat as Yang swept her off her feet and threw her over her shoulder even as Weiss screeched in fury before Yang lightly threw the heiress onto the couch and immediately descended upon her and started mercilessly tickling the heiress. Cornered and with no way to escape, Weiss succumbed into helpless giggles and laughter as Yang refused to let up and continued her tickling assault on the heiress.

What began as delicate, almost ladylike giggles soon cascaded into raucous laughter before Weiss somehow managed even in her captured state, to turn the tables on Yang as she started tickling the blonde whose boisterous guffaws and rowdy laughter made Weiss grinned until they both lay on their backs giggling and laughing with abandon. Oh, if only the press could see her now: Weiss Schnee, Atlesian aristocrat and heiress to the largest corporation on Remnant, laughing her behind off like some common drunkard on a Friday night.

Yang’s joyful laughter abruptly stopped as she saw tears slowly streaming down Weiss’ face. She bolted up immediately, unsure what to do as Weiss cried completely silently. It was painful to witness the plethora of emotions exploding from the usual mask of indifference the heiress wore but Yang’s blood ran cold at the eerie silence that accompanied the heiress’ tears. Not knowing what to do, she simply gathered Weiss into her arms and wrapped her strong arms around her friend.

Later, Weiss explained that her Father hated the sound of her crying as a child and that she was severely punished firstly for showing weakness by making the poor choice to cry and then punished again when she made noises as she cried. When Yang asked how she was punished, Weiss remained stubbornly silent and refused to say. Yang had never wanted to beat anyone up as much as she wanted to pummel the hell out of Jacques Schnee.

“Hey Weiss?”

“Hmmm?”

“I don’t want you to worry okay? This stays between us and I will never tell anyone about it. And...Weiss? I do not, even for a second think any less of you because you cried.”

Weiss gifted Yang with one of her rare genuine smiles, her ice blue eyes soft and dazzling even as she blushed with embarrassment at the thought of someone having witnessed her crying.

“Thank you, Yang,” Weiss said quietly.

“Now come on, Princess…let’s go get some Weiss-cream!”

Weiss groaned at the pun as Yang pulled her up from the couch. She automatically checked her appearance to make sure she looked absolutely perfect, not a single hair out of place, eyes bright and no longer tear-stained and a slight disdainful look on her face as she lifted her head high.

“By the way, Princess…why on earth were you reading a stack of books about hugs?”

Chapter Text

Where are you, Weiss?

Blake stared out the window moodily at the shattered moon, her brows furrowed in anxiety as her hands gripped the window sill tightly. Did Yang find you? Are you okay?

Ruby watched Blake worriedly from her top bunk bed, subdued and quiet for once. Blake had been on edge ever since she managed to persuade her not to chase after Weiss. They had been back in their room for over two hours now and Blake had spent almost all that time pacing relentlessly back and forth, her eyes glued to the door as she brooded in silence.

They both tensed when they heard a familiar click as the lock to the front door was released. Ruby glanced at Blake who had gone deathly pale, her body trembling and her amber eyes staring intently at the door. Ruby breathed a sigh of relief as she caught sight of the familiar ivory hair as Weiss walked into the room with Yang directly behind her

“Weiss!” Ruby jumped down from her bed with ease and bounced energetically towards Weiss…who was not paying even the slightest bit of attention to her as she immediately locked gaze with Blake. Neither of them moved and just like that, the tension in the room intensified so quickly Ruby wasn’t sure if even Crescent Rose could cleave through it. Ruby swallowed hard, her silver eyes swiveling between her teammates as if she were watching a tennis match.

“Come on, baby sis, let’s go say hello to team JNPR,” Yang suggested brightly, her lilac eyes carefully on Weiss even as she put a hand on Blake’s shoulder, her silent question evident. When neither Weiss nor Blake protested, Yang gently grabbed Ruby’s hand and led her out of their room, closing the door softly for once.

As soon as the sisters left the room, Weiss felt as if time suddenly began moving again and everything came roaring back into life…the gentle breeze through the window, the sounds of insects chittering outside, the bright beam shining through the window from the shattered moon, the thunderous pounding of her heart. Still, she felt completely frozen and unable to move as if she were rooted to the spot by one of her glyphs.

Blake could hardly breathe. She stood ramrod straight, her muscles tensed and she honestly did not know if she would run away as she so often did in the past. Her amber eyes bore directly into Weiss’ azure eyes and she was surprised not to see any trace of anger or hatred blazing from the heiress particularly after her role in precipitating one of the worst fights they ever had to date. Her eyes narrowed as she caught the faint redness in Weiss’ eyes. She felt stricken as she realised the implication of that and a sudden fury stabbed at her heart at the thought of the proud heiress crying made more poignant by the rumour that the heiress had iron control over her tear ducts. Somehow, the image of Weiss alone and in tears clawed at her heart and riddled her with guilt more than if Weiss were screaming at her.

“Weiss…,” she whispered softly, her voice cracking as she finally averted her eyes from the heiress. Unsure what to say, Blake hung her head and grimaced as she tried desperately to find the words to tell Weiss how sorry she was for hurting her. When none came, she shook her head in frustration. Really Blake? Even with all the books you’ve read and you can’t find anything to say? Well, genius, how about something from the Ninjas of Love series? I’m sure it would be totally appropriate in this case…Blake could feel a hysterical panic bubbling up even as her sarcastic mind automatically ran through some of the cheesier lines from the Ninjas of Love books and she bit her lip hard, terrified she would actually start reciting those very lines to Weiss as she imagined the heiress’ reaction. Oh, oh! Do the one comparing her beauty to the constellations and her eyes to sparkling diamonds. Wait, what? Beauty? Blake swung her eyes back to look at the heiress, her mind on the verge of connecting her scattered thoughts…

Weiss frowned as she watched Blake’s facial expression morphing rapidly from fear, sadness, anger, confusion to what looked like a combination between hysteria and possibly embarrassment judging by how red Blake had gone even as her amber eyes shone with panic as she shook her head hard and immediately bit down on her lip the moment she looked like she was about to finally say something. What on earth is going on with her?

Weiss felt her breath catch in her throat as Blake suddenly pinned her amber eyes on her and stared directly into her ice blue eyes as she gazed at the heiress with a ferocious intensity that caused Weiss’ heart to hammer rapidly. Utterly confused and unsure what in Remnant was happening, Weiss nevertheless found she could not tear her gaze away from Blake’s golden eyes even as she felt a blush coloring her face at Blake’s intense stare. As if she could pierce through all my armour and see right through to my very soul. Weiss groaned in despair. Oh, come on! All the best private tutors lien could hire and that is the extent of your vocabulary Weiss? This isn’t my fault! Blame it on Blake’s terrible taste in books…those damn Ninjas of Love nonsense….

It was Blake’s turn to look at the heiress in confusion as Weiss let out a truly heartfelt groan of utter gloom as Weiss gritted her teeth and shook her head, looking for all the world as if she were trying to banish whatever horrifying thoughts that dared to invade and take residence in her head.

“Umm…Weiss…are you…okay?” Blake asked hesitantly.

“My soul is just fine!” Weiss snapped irritably before her ice blue eyes widened in alarm and she slapped a hand across her mouth, her face turning as red as Ruby’s cape.

“Uh…of course it is?” Blake readily agreed. “I mean, I’m sure your soul…” No, Blake, don’t say it! I forbid it! “ – sparkles like diamonds!” Blake instantly felt herself dying from embarrassment as her soul sought to flee from her body.

They locked gaze again, both completely mortified and with identical crimson faces even as the corner of Weiss’ lips lifted and curved into a small smile as Blake felt her lips attempting a grin in spite of how big of a fool she had just made of herself. They lasted about three seconds before Weiss burst out laughing, her high clear laugh tinkling gently in the night as Blake laughed along helplessly with her. She really does have a beautiful laugh…admit it, Blake…that’s not the only beautiful thing about her.

Blake sank down to the floor, her back pressed firmly against her bed frame and Weiss gracefully sat down beside her. Now that their laughter had subsided and the tension from earlier had dissipated, Weiss suddenly felt shy, a feeling she was certainly not accustomed to. Blake glanced at the heiress sitting only a scant few inches beside her, completely tongue-tied and unsure where to begin. Cat got your tongue? Her inner voice bitterly teased and the thought immediately sobered her up.

“Weiss?” Blake looked at the heiress, her palms starting to sweat as her heart rate accelerated at the soft look Weiss was giving her. For once, the heiress was not putting on an indifferent or vacuous mask…she looked serious and attentive, her azure eyes shining brightly. Like diamonds, Blake conceded. “I’m…I’m really terrible at this kind of thing…and usually I wouldn’t even try because of how awful I am at it…but this time, it’s really important…I mean, I want…no, I need you to understand so I’ll do my best but I’m…,” Blake paused, frowning in agitation as her amber eyes darkened in frustration at all the words crowding in her mind and then she froze. Stunned, her eyes could only stare at Weiss’ hand gently clasping her own.

“It’s alright, Blake. I…I’m not very good at expressing myself either or…or at communicating really,” Weiss admitted softly, her cheeks reddening slightly. Blake could see how hard it was for the heiress to confess that she was not perfect at something. From the first day they met, Blake had immediately noticed the pressure and expectations Weiss put on herself to be absolutely the best in everything and that she refused to accept anything less than perfection when it came to herself. It was an impossible standard to live up to indefinitely and Blake had often wondered what drove the heiress to that sort of unattainable standard although the heiress certainly gave it her best shot thanks to her innate stubbornness and competitive nature.

Blake gently squeezed Weiss’ hand, grateful for her kindness and her considerate words. Weiss gave her a shy smile, her azure eyes crinkling as she squeezed Blake’s hand back. Blake’s heart pounded even harder and her heart rate raced…gods, why the hell was she so damn nervous over an apology? Her smug inner voice snorted derisively at her.

“Weiss…I just…I just want to say I’m really sorry about today…the debate…the things I said about your family…and…and everything…I’m so sorry for hurting you…I didn’t want to cause you pain and I’m sorry I did.” Blake willed Weiss to believe her, to understand the sincerity of her apology even as her heart clenched tightly at the memory of Weiss’ deep anguish and sorrow from earlier.

Blake waited with bated breath as she sat completely still, her amber eyes on the heiress beside her. Weiss’ face clouded over and her eyes glinted with pain even as she automatically tried to mask her heartbreak in the same instant but Blake saw it. That one tiny moment when Weiss allowed herself to feel, to acknowledge her loss.

“I’m sorry, Weiss,” Blake whispered. For so many reasons…

Blake leaned across and closed the already minuscule gap between them and she hugged the heiress tightly. Weiss’ head fit perfectly in the crook of her shoulder and when she did not protest, Blake drew her in and held her as close as she could. Even sitting down, Weiss felt tiny in her arms.

Weiss Schnee was not accustomed to any sort of affection or indeed any form of gentleness or softness. Her Father ruled her life and the entire Schnee household with an iron fist and with military precision. Emotions and feelings had absolutely no place in the Schnee household and it had been drilled into Weiss from childhood that she must never give in to her feelings or emotions. Logic and cold calculations trump everything and she must never let her heart rule over her head. Ruthlessness, strategy and perfection dictate her life and everything she did. She was the Schnee heiress and there would never be any room for imperfection or weaknesses. Any hint of such…errors must be immediately stamped out and forever eradicated. Mistakes will never be tolerated or forgiven and therefore she must be perfect in everything every single time.

Weiss had not felt this tired in a very long time. The soul-crushing loneliness and unfathomable anguish of reliving painful memories she wished she could erase had caused her to feel exhausted to her bones so just this once, she would like to just rest. Even if it was in the arms of her enemy although really, does she honestly still consider Blake an enemy? Surely an enemy’s arms would not feel so safe or warm and surely an enemy would not smell so good as she breathe in Blake’s scent.

Blake’s hug felt like a godsend and Weiss’ lips quirked up in a small grin as she successfully hugged Blake back without feeling panicked or helpless. Pleased with her foresight to read some authoritative books on hugging, Weiss’ grin widened as she realised she had absolutely conquered hugging once and for all and all it took was some in-depth research and reading. Knowledge is power. Happily albeit tiredly, she started reciting in her mind how to give a hug.

Step one…position your arms to draw your torsos together and wrap your arms around them. Step two…lean your head onto the crook of their shoulder. Step three…tighten your arms around them and hold. Step four…ensure your chests and stomachs are touching. Remember that this romantic hug is a wonderfully warm and intimate position that emphasizes immense closeness to your paramour and remember, causing your hugging partner to pass out from lack of oxygen is not considered romantic in most circles…wait, what!!??

Weiss’ eyes immediately snapped open as she panicked and commenced struggling in Blake’s arms. In her haste to get away, she accidentally smacked both Blake’s eyes with her flailing arms before kneeding her twice in her stomach and almost trampling all over her head although her feet must have at least kicked Blake’s head judging by the unraveling bow. Blake half-crouched, clutching her stomach and groaned in pain as Weiss finally leapt to her feet before stumbling and falling right on top of Blake.

Ohmygod! Those were the instructions for the “romantic hug”! Weiss’ whole face flamed red as she hastily pushed herself away from Blake.

“Blake! I’m so sorry! Here, please let me help,” Weiss pleaded, her voice immediately contrite as she very gently pulled Blake to her feet, wincing at the moans of pain from her teammate. “Here’s your bed…please sit down, Blake.”

Blake sat gingerly on the bed, half blind and her stomach in agony. Her vision was completely bleary and she blinked a few times in quick succession to no avail. Her eyes really hurt and she could not seem to focus properly as she saw more than one Weiss. Finally, she rubbed her eyes, closed them for a few moments and reopened them to see the heiress standing right in front of her, still as a statue. Something felt off and the hairs on Blake’s neck stood on end and she was immediately alert as her eyes focused on the girl in front of her.

Weiss was frozen where she stood. She literally could not move, could not breathe even as her eyes stared uncomprehendingly at the top of Blake’s head. The bow Blake always wore must have loosened and fallen during their struggle and in its place sitting atop Blake’s head were two cat ears which twitched as Blake once again locked her amber eyes with Weiss’ ice blue eyes.

Chapter Text

It has often been speculated that a Weiss Schnee death glare could stop a fully-grown Nevermore in its track and give it pause to fully consider if it should make the much wiser choice of escaping in the opposite direction or to make the inadvisable poor life-ending decision of going up against the heiress.

The ice-cold glare Weiss speared at Blake Belladonna made her wish she had wings so she could immediately hightail the hell away from the furious heiress. In fact, Blake subtly glanced at the slightly open window and wondered if she would be quick enough to throw up a shadow clone to distract Weiss whilst she sneaked away and ran. Yeah, Blake, you’re all about making great life choices! Always running when things get bad! Even her inner voice sounded tired and bitter in its admonition.

“Don’t you even think about it!” Weiss snapped angrily and strode to slam the window shut, cutting off Blake’s only escape route as her amber eyes stared in dismay at the brightly glowing Schnee glyph spinning against their front door.

Blake swung her eyes back to where the heiress was standing, her body tensed and ready for fight or flight. Amber eyes flinched away at the animosity, rage and betrayal blazing from Weiss’ terrifyingly cold azure eyes. The heiress stood rooted to her spot in front of the window, her entire body taut and her left hand clenching Myrtenaster in a death grip. Gone was the softness and intimacy they had shared only a few moments ago. There was absolutely nothing gentle or tender about the heiress now. In its place was the armored Weiss Schnee, her face carefully impassive and inscrutable making it impossible for Blake to guess what she was thinking or feeling. Only her eyes gave her away and Blake suspected that was only because the heiress allowed it.

The last few months of being teammates and living together combined with her own astute observations of Weiss had at least taught Blake to detect the fine nuance of attempting to decipher the heiress’ thoughts and actions and while she admitted it was at most, an imprecise and minuscule advantage owing to Weiss’ complete mastery in keeping her emotions hidden, Blake could use all the help she could get at the moment.

“Just what the hell are you playing at Blake? Is this some sick twisted joke? Or are you really a murderer come to assassinate me after all?” Weiss’ rage was evident in her razor sharp tone and in the hatred smoldering in her eyes although she did not completely succeed in masking the betrayal and hurt lurking behind those furious azure eyes.

Even now, Blake could not help but admire the iron self-control the heiress possessed. A part of her had to be afraid of Blake considering she did not have the advantage of knowing who Blake really was or her reason for being at Beacon but the heiress refused to display even a single iota of fear.

“Start talking, Blake,” Weiss snarled as she savagely pinned her ice blue eyes on her…teammate? Almost friend? Hugging buddy? She snorted mockingly, furious at herself. Just what the hell was Blake to her? She bit down hard on her lip because it really didn’t matter. Blake was obviously not who she pretended to be all this time. She was at best, a liar and an enemy and at worst, a murderer and a terrorist. This! This is what happens when you let your guard down, you idiot! Why the hell did you open yourself to that…that…argh! You pathetic, stupid fool! To feel is to be weak! SO STOP FEELING AND STOP BEING WEAK!

“Weiss…please…your lip…,” Blake did not even realise she had moved until she suddenly found herself standing in front of the heiress as she lifted her right thumb towards Weiss’ mouth when the heiress grabbed her hand and they both froze at the contact.

“I…I’m sorry, Weiss…your…your lip’s bleeding,” Blake whispered as her eyes automatically wandered to the heiress’ mouth. This close to Weiss, she could breathe in her scent…and the feel of the heiress’ hand on her own was completely clouding her mind and preventing her from thinking clearly. Like...like Weiss could just plunge Myrtenaster right into her heart right now and skewer her and she would not have seen that coming. She should not have been so careless and presented herself on a silver platter by waltzing right into the heiress’ line of fire. What were you thinking? Why the hell are you not leaping away from Weiss? Her pulse raced and her heart pounded so thunderously surely the heiress could hear it. What is the matter with me!?

Weiss shot another icy death glare at Blake who promptly decided then and there that she would indeed corroborate the persistent rumour that Weiss’ death glare could most definitely stop a horde of Grimm in their tracks. Perhaps Ruby could even devise a way to use that glare as a weapon during combat.

“No! You don’t get to do this, Blake! You don’t get to pretend you care!”

“Prete…I wasn’t pretending! I do care!”

“Oh please, spare me the indignation and offended look!”

“What, you can read minds now? I said, I wasn’t pretending!”

“Stop acting Blake! And stop lying! Please just stop!”

“For Dust's sake Weiss, I am not pretending anything!”

“Are you serious!? Hmmm, let me think…here, look at yourself! Forgot to mention something?”

“I…I…yes, I’m a Faunus! The damn ears are real! Happy now!?”

They both gasped, desperately trying to draw in air after the angry exchange. Weiss furiously snatched her hand away from Blake before taking a step backwards. She did not even bother trying to conceal her emotions now, the hurt and betrayal plain as day on her face for all to see. The pain blazing in Weiss’ azure eyes stabbed Blake in her heart and she felt sick to her stomach.

“Weiss…”

“Stop! Don’t come any closer!”

“Weiss, please listen, I – “

“You know…despite his best efforts, I could never quite agree with my Father on most of the things he said…but…but...he was right about you Faunus! You lie, cheat and steal!” Azure eyes burned with fury as Blake flinched at the vicious vehemence of Weiss’ accusation. That however, succeeded in snapping Blake out of her…whatever ridiculous trance she was in when Weiss held her hand earlier.

“Oh yes, of course the Schnee heiress thinks we’re all liars, cheaters and thieves! Ironic considering the inhumane ways your precious SDC treats the Faunus just to save a few lien and we’re the thieves!?”

“You understand nothing, Blake! Don’t speak about what you don’t know!”

“You’re wrong, Princess, I know more than you think! The White Fang - ”

“Do not talk to me about the White Fang! Do you really want to know why I despise them so much? Why I don’t particularly trust the Faunus? It’s because they’ve been at war with my family for years! War, as in actual bloodshed. My Grandfather’s company has had a target painted across its back for as long as I can remember and ever since I was a child, I’ve watched family and friends disappear…board members executed…an entire train cart full of Dust stolen.” Weiss’ voice became impossibly soft and vulnerable, her azure eyes hazy and all but lost in her painful memories. “And every day, my Father would come home furious…and that made for a very…difficult childhood!” Weiss absently rubbed the scar across her left eye. “Did you know I used to have three Uncles, four Aunts and sixteen cousins? Today, all that is left of the Schnees are my Grandfather, my parents, my siblings and myself.” Weiss’ voice stopped shaking and her tone hardened, her eyes flashing with pain, sadness and mostly anger. “So stop defending the White Fang! They’re nothing but liars, thieves and murderers!”

“Well maybe we were just tired of being pushed around!” Blake shouted, her own eyes blazing with rage now. It took her a few seconds to realise what she had just yelled out and she started backing away from Weiss as the heiress’ azure eyes darkened to a stormy blue-gray, hardening to blue ice.

“What did you just say?” Weiss’ voice was tight but controlled, her gaze never wavering as she coldly advanced towards Blake. Weiss halted a couple of steps away from Blake as she glared at her trembling teammate. “Are you telling me not only are you a Faunus but also White Fang? The White Fang, Blake!?”

Blake glared back defiantly at the heiress. No more hiding. No more running!

“Yes, Weiss! I’m a Faunus and I was in the White Fang but not anymore! I left them when they became violent and lost sight of justice and equality and became terrorists and murderers!”

“Stop lying, Blake! You’ve been found out and there’s nowhere left for you to hide!”

“I am not lying! For once, can’t you just listen rather than let your Schnee pride get in the way!?”

“Leave my Schnee pride out of this! I mean, how is that even a thing!?”

“Weiss! I am not a terrorist or a murderer! I left the White Fang before things got that bad….I…I just couldn’t anymore and I…I refuse to trade violence for more violence!”

“Why are you really at Beacon, Blake? Are you here to assassinate me?” Weiss’ tone was calm but her stance was battle-ready and her eyes sharp and alert. Despite that, Blake had never seen the heiress looking so hurt in all the time they had known each other and it gnawed at her incessantly to know she was once again the source of the heiress’ pain.

“No, Weiss…I won’t hurt you…I…you…we’re teammates and…and…I…I think I…,” Blake swallowed hard, unable to finish her sentence as her eyes blurred with unshed tears. Weiss really believed she was there to harm her and the fact that Weiss thought that of her really hurt and made her heart ache. Her mind made up, she slowly raised both arms, her right hand reaching behind her to grab Gambol Shroud. Weiss’ azure eyes gleamed only with sadness and resignation now even as the fingers on her right hand flicked out to ready a glyph to defend herself and fight. She spared Blake a quick glance full of bewilderment as Blake threw Gambol Shroud clear across the room.

“What are you doing?” Weiss’ voice was sharp. “I won’t fight someone who isn’t armed, Blake. Pick up Gambol Shroud!”

“No.”

“What do you mean no?” She glowered at Blake suspiciously. “Is this some kind of White Fa – …uh, Faunus trick?”

“No trick, Princess.” Blake rolled her eyes at the heiress who immediately scowled back, her cheeks flushing.

“Then pick up your blade and defend yourself!”

“I said, no.”

Weiss glared at Blake angrily, her eyebrows furrowed in intense concentration as she bit her lip and her mind raced through a myriad of possibilities to try and decipher what trick Blake was angling at. Weiss could feel the beginning of a vicious headache and she impatiently pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration.

“For the last time, Blake, pick up your weapon!”

“I won’t, so stop ordering me around!”

“Stop being so stubborn!”

Blake sputtered in indignation. “I’m the stubborn one?”

Weiss growled in annoyance. “Ugh! You irritating…vexing…Faunus hiding…ingrate!”

“Faunus hiding? Really?” Blake smirked, fighting the urge to grin out of respect for the gravity of the situation but she couldn’t help it. Weiss Schnee was adorable when she was annoyed and trying not to self-combust.

“Oh no you don’t! Don’t do that! Don’t smile at me!”

“You are going to explode if you go any redder, Princess,” Blake teased, her amber eyes dancing with mirth.

“Blake! This isn’t funny! You hid the fact that you’re a Faunus from your teammates, from everyone for months and you’re…were…a member of the White Fang! How do you think you’re going to get away with all this?”

Well, that sobered her up immediately. Something tickled the back of her mind though and she quickly ran through what the heiress said.

“Were? So you do believe me, Weiss? That I’m not with the White Fang anymore?” Hope was such a dangerous and immensely fragile thing. Blake slowly walked towards the heiress, her amber eyes intense as she kept eye contact with Weiss who stood unmoving as she lifted her head high and stared right back at Blake. Her azure eyes had softened although there was definitely still fire in there even as the fury from earlier seemed to have abated somewhat.

Blake stood right in front of the heiress whose eyes were immediately drawn towards Blake’s cat ears. Weiss said nothing as she watched the cat ears flicked and twitched with every little sound. She looked intently at Blake who stood with both arms loosely by her sides, Gambol Shroud on the other side of the room. Her mind raced furiously as she considered facts and memories and analysed every interaction, every altercation and fight and she argued and debated with herself over the events and flashbacks from the last couple of weeks when things shifted and tilted from them hating and despising each other to a gradual...what? What were they now? If she were completely honest with herself, Weiss could admit she no longer hated Blake, nor did she consider her an enemy anymore. They seemed to have somewhat miraculously found a tentative and delicate balance even though they still get into bitter rows and explosive arguments but that seemed inevitable given their vastly different opinions and views on various contentious subjects. The situation seemed even more fragile now when you add their literal opposing upbringing and background. Schnees and Faunus and White Fang. How in Remnant were they supposed to get around that?

“You know…so much made sense now,” Weiss said quietly. “I never understood before why you were so adamant in defending the Faunus or why you detested my family and the SDC so much when it didn’t concern you in any discernible way…in hindsight, I should have figured it out…no wonder you hate me so much,” Weiss’ voice cracked softly as she averted her eyes from Blake.

“No, Weiss! I don’t hate you. Hey, look at me…please,” Blake gently clasped one of Weiss’ hands as the heiress shyly looked back at her, her azure eyes brimming with doubt and hope in equal measure. “I know it isn’t fair of me, but you’re right…I did hate you in the beginning…but that was only because I didn’t really know you and I judged you for your family name rather than who you really are.”

“But Blake…it doesn’t change that I am a Schnee. I will always be a Schnee,” Weiss whispered scathingly, the burden of carrying that name, of being the Schnee heiress trembled agonizingly out of her in that simple irrefutable truth.

“No one can choose which family to be bornt to but we all have the power to choose our own path and become who we want to be.”

“Unless you’re a Schnee,” Weiss smiled bitterly. “From the moment I was born, my life, my path, everything has been dictated for me. My life has never been my own to live and I will never be free to make my own choice or to be who I want to be.”

“I don’t know what to say, Weiss…but I can say this much…you are absolutely not who I thought you would be and there is most definitely a lot more to you than just being the Schnee heiress,” Blake declared firmly.

“Oh? I’m not who you thought I would be? How about you, huh?” Weiss raised her eyes playfully in the direction of Blake’s cat ears which flicked down shyly.

“Hey! You may not just be the Schnee heiress but there’s plenty of Schnee-ness about you!” Blake grinned mischievously.

“Schnee-ness!? What, pray tell is that?”

“Where to begin? For starters, how about that imperious Atlesian accent?”

“I’ve been told I sound very dignified!”

“What about your daily incessant bossiness about completing our homework?”

“Every assignment counts towards our grades!”

“And what about your multi-million lien Princess ball gown?”

“It’s a combat skirt!”

Weiss glared at Blake in outrage. Blake smirked at her cheekily and Weiss felt her pulse race. What is it about Blake that made her feel she as if she no longer had any control of herself? Weiss sighed heavily.

“Blake…you know we can’t just keep this a secret. Ruby and Yang deserve to know the truth.”

“I know, Weiss. I will tell them when they come back.”

Weiss hesitated. She really loathed having to ask considering they’ve just came to this tentative truce…but this was far bigger than just the two of them. “Blake? I do believe you when you said you’ve left the White Fang…but to be honest, they don’t strike me as the type of organization one can just walk away from…are you…are you in any danger?” Weiss asked carefully.

Blake’s silence was all the answer Weiss needed. Distressed, exhausted and emotionally drained, Weiss decided they could figure all this out tomorrow. Right now, Blake needed her and if she were honest, she needed Blake too so she closed the gap between them and hugged Blake tightly. She felt Blake collapsed into her arms as she held her close. Another romantic hug so soon, Weiss? Oh, shut up!

Chapter Text

“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.