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A Silver Lining

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“I had a really great time.”

“Me too. Like, really great.”

Ruby takes Weiss’ hand and brings her fingers to her lips. And Weiss feels like she’s floating, holding Ruby’s gaze.

“So I can see you again? You know, outside of class.” And Weiss almost swoons, hearing Ruby go from confident to nervous—nervous about her.

Weiss didn’t date a lot, and when she did, the men she ended up going out with were horribly and totally unjustifiably overconfident. Never nervous, never vulnerable, never…like this.

“Yes, you may.” Weiss corrects, smiling.

Ruby blushes, flashing a sheepish grin. “I promise I’ll work on my grammar between now and then.”

Weiss doesn’t know what comes over her when she says, “Good, and if you show improvement, maybe I’ll invite you up for coffee next time.”

“Up into your mansion?” Ruby clarifies, eyes bugging out of her head.

Weiss laughs at the innocence of it all. “Yes, my mansion.”

“I’ll make flash cards.”

Ruby winks and Weiss is floating again. She wants to invite her up right now.

But she’s not sure what that would be like.

Sure, Weiss has had sex. Plenty. Perhaps, more than enough of bad sex? But she’s never had…that...with a woman. So she tamps that impulse down, worrying her bottom lip.

“Weiss?” There go the nerves slipping into Ruby’s voice.

“Ruby?”

May I—“

“Please.”

“Okay,” Ruby breathes, pulling Weiss to her.

Ruby’s lips are soft and warm and gentle. The sweetness there makes Weiss shudder and push harder into Ruby’s chest – something that Weiss wishes she could give her full attention to, but Ruby’s tongue presses against Weiss’ bottom lip, asking, and Weiss gasps, wrapping her arms around Ruby’s neck as the kiss deepens.

Chills run down Weiss’ spine as Ruby’s hands slip from their place on Weiss’ hips to her ass, pulling her as close as she can.

But eventually they have to breathe, and when they break apart, Weiss opens her eyes to find Ruby smiling at her, so purely, so freely.

It’s exciting. It’s terrifying.

And again, Weiss wants to drag Ruby up to her room and find out what else this girl can make her feel.

But instead, she kisses Ruby on the cheek, and takes a step back with a demure smile.

“I’ll see you in class, Ruby. Text me when you get home.”

Ruby takes a step back and bows with a flourish. “Will do, my lady.”

They share one last smile before Weiss leaves Ruby to head inside. She floats up the stairs to her room, out of her dress, into her nightgown, and into bed.

The past few weeks replay in her mind as she lies there, thinking of the wonderful human who seemed to just appear out of nowhere.

*

The semester started six weeks ago.

It’s Weiss’ last semester before graduating, so her course load basically just consists of her thesis course and the last few gen eds she had been putting off.

She didn’t expect anything life changing to come from the first day of ENG 204 – Modern Poetry, but then Ruby sat down next her – and knocked Weiss’ pencil case to the ground.

Pens and pencils went everywhere, but Weiss didn’t even have the chance to be annoyed before Ruby was apologizing and retrieving all the utensils.

“Oh jeez, I am so sorry. Oh wow, these are expensive. I love a woman with good taste in writing utensils.”

A few minutes later, she popped back up and turned to give Weiss her pencils back – looking at her for the first time.

“Oh. Wow,” escaped her lips first, but she quickly recovered with a smile and held out her hand to Weiss. “Hi, I’m Ruby.”

Oh. Wow.

It was the only thought Weiss could form at first, the mild annoyance she felt just moments earlier now nowhere to be found.

It took a second for Weiss to even realize that she didn’t respond right away.

“Oh, I’m Weiss.”

She took Ruby’s hand and found herself hyperfocused on the feeling of this girl’s skin against hers and missing it when Ruby pulled away.

“Sorry about knocking over your…everything.” Ruby’s sheepish grin must have hypnotized Weiss then because if it were anyone else, she would have made them work for it, but, “Just watch where you’re going next time, or I might have to call you a dolt,” is what came out instead. Which was flirtatious and not at all actually threatening.

“Got it,” Ruby replied, deflating a little. She looked around for a second before reclaiming the seat next to Weiss.

Class started soon after that, and, try as she might, Weiss’ focus kept straying from the syllabus review and to the dark haired girl sitting next to her.

The class was fast paced, and there was already a test looming, waiting for them at the end of the third week.

It didn’t surprise Weiss that Ruby waited after class to ask her to be a study partner. What surprised her was that she was happy – no, excited – to accept.

They did get together to study about once a week, always meeting at the student run coffee shop, sitting at the same couch in the back, Ruby buying the first round of coffee, and Weiss getting the second.

After getting their test grades back – they both got As – Weiss was only a little caught off guard by Ruby suggesting they go out to celebrate their hard work.

Ruby Rose

Hey, there’s a new French restaurant down the street from my apartment doing a soft open on Thursday. Do you wanna maybe check it out?

Yknow as celebration for kicking that test’s ass

If you don’t want to, it’s cool

No pressure.

Nbd

Just throwing it out there

Weiss Schnee

That actually sounds fabulous.

Ruby Rose

!!!

Really?

Okay, then it’s a date.

Weiss stared at that last text far too long before her fingers do her thinking for her and reply It’s a date.

The whole drive there she was beating herself up for overdressing. Did she order a new dress and have it tailored for the occasion? Yes, she did. Did she also purchase new heels and a matching purse? Yes, she did.

Did she examine why she felt the need to get so dressed up for this dorky girl from this dumb poetry class? No, she did not.

Still, as the Lyft pulled up to the curb, she was worried that this was all too much. She was dressed like she wanted this to be a date, but what if it wasn’t? Even more worrisome, what if it was?

But the minute Weiss spotted Ruby – waving at her, decked out in a blazer, blouse, tie, fitted ankle cropped slacks, and black penny loafers – the inner turmoil vanished.

Weiss doesn’t even really remember the food.

What she does remember is Ruby taking her hand like it was nothing and leading her to the best table in the restaurant, pulling out her chair and saying, “You look beautiful.”

She remembers Ruby confessing that she knows nothing about wine and begging Weiss to pick out a good bottle from the wine list.

She remembers Ruby telling her about her sister, Yang, the film major turned stunt woman, and the fact that Ruby is majoring in public policy just so she can help people live their best lives.

She remembers Ruby legitimately asking to hear about Weiss’ interests and hobbies and really listening to her answers.

She remembers the time flying because before Weiss knew it, the check came and went and she realized that Ruby paid it. It was then that she realized this probably was an actual date.

And she was okay with it. Happy, actually.

When dinner ended, they walked arm and arm a couple blocks down to a whiskey bar Ruby knew. This time, Weiss paid for their Manhattans.

The conversation came easier than it ever had for Weiss before. So much so, that when Ruby insisted on walking the block over to her apartment building so that she could get her car and drive Weiss home, Weiss didn’t even fight it.

The only awkward moment of the night came when Ruby pulled up to the gate to the Schnee Estate and Ruby finally connected that Weiss was, in fact, Weiss Schnee of Schnee Company fame. But she just laughed it off and said, “Wow, Yang is right, sometimes things just go right over my head.”

The easiness of it all made Weiss thrum with warmth she had never quite felt before.

The Schnee Estate was admittedly ridiculously sprawling, but for the moment, Weiss was grateful that she only had to reveal her smaller personal residence to Ruby rather than the main house because she could see Ruby’s eyes bug out as her house came into view. She could only imagine what her reaction would be if she ever saw the main house.

Weiss almost said something – made some sort of apology for not being honest or forthcoming or something – but before she could Ruby had parked, gotten out of the car, and was opening her door for her.

“This way, my lady.”

When they reached her front door, Ruby took Weiss’ hand again and Weiss’ nerves began to fry.

“Weiss?”

“Yes, Ruby?”

“When I texted you about tonight, I said this was a date, and I want to make it clear to you…” Ruby’s voice wavered just a bit, “I meant it when I said this was a date.”

“Okay,” Wess is breathless.

“If that’s not—it’s hard because I’m terrible at knowing if a girl is like interested or just down to be friends so—if that’s not what you—“

“No, I do.” Weiss’ words came out quick, like she was afraid she’d lose her nerve if she went slow.

“Oh.” Ruby smiled. “Good!”

Weiss started to worry her lip and Ruby notices. Her face falls. “I feel a but coming on though.”

Weiss let out a small laugh. “But you should know…I’ve never…um…gone out with a woman before.”

Weiss braced herself for some kind of fallout but the only thing that happens is Ruby brings her hand to her lips and kisses it.

“So we’ll go slow. That’s okay.”

*

Weiss spent the next two weeks after that night in the clouds.

Between class with Ruby, their standing study date, and the constant texting, Weiss never stops floating.

Tonight had only been their second date – a walkthrough of the new Norse exhibit at the history museum and dinner at a hole in the wall sushi restaurant that Weiss swears was just a portal directly to Tokyo. (She would know. She’s vacationed in Japan several times.)

But as Weiss lies in bed going over the evening, she feels something beginning to settle deep within her, and that starts to bring her down from the clouds.

A tiny voice whispers in her ear.

If you aren’t careful, this is going to be permanent.

It shakes her to her core.

Are you sure? Because there’s no going back.

She rolls it around in her mind. Maybe it is a catch-22 that the two things Weiss has the most trouble processing in life are the concepts of change and permanence. But if Ruby became permanent, would that really be scary?

Father won’t stand for a lesbian.

Weiss knows it’s true. There’s hardly anything she could imagine worse than that for Father. Whitley would just revel in it all too, lapping up Father’s disdain for her.

It will kill Mother.

That thought keeps her up almost until dawn.

*

The next day, Weiss ignores all of Ruby’s texts.

She has one of the drivers take her shopping. She buys lingerie that makes her feel dirty and a dress that would make Father surely call her a slut. She takes those two feelings and tells herself that’s what power feels like.

She spends the rest of the daylight soaking in the tub and drinking rosé.

By the time the sun goes down, she’s convinced herself that she doesn’t remember who Ruby is, she puts on the new lingerie and dress, and has a driver take her to the club she knows Cardin and his boys frequent.

It’s a tacky place: cocktails are 14 dollars, the lights make everything look blue or purple, and there are plenty of dark corners to hide in. Weiss hates that the first thing she thinks when she arrives is that Ruby wouldn’t be caught dead here.

Before she can really dwell on it, she flags down the bartender and orders two specials, telling him to keep her tab open. She pounds back the first in a matter of minutes, and sips the other while scanning the crowd for anyone passable.

Sure enough, Cardin is on the dance floor, groping what is clearly a blackout drunk high school girl.

Better you than her the little voice says, and Weiss can’t find it in her to argue. She pounds back the rest of her drink, and makes a beeline for the dance floor.

“Why don’t you pick on someone your own size,” comes out of her mouth, unbidden. And suddenly, Weiss is grinding with Cardin.

He grabs her roughly by the hips, pulling her close to say into her ear, “Haven’t seen you in awhile, Princess.”

“Did you miss me?”

He grinds hard against her ass, and Weiss can feel him already. Her stomach feels hollow and her legs are full of sand.

“Can’t you tell?” He breathes heavily against her neck.

She turns to face him, ignoring every other part of her body except for that little voice.

This is normal. And you want to be normal.

She kisses him hard, and rakes her hands down his chest as he palms her ass. Nothing sparks.

Twenty minutes later, they are in Cardin’s apartment. They Ubered there and Weiss let Cardin shove his fingers into her panties on the way. She wasn’t wet, but he didn’t seem to care.

The door to his stupid penthouse studio is barely closed before he is unzipping her dress. Weiss wants to be mad – she is mad – but this is what she came for.

Her dress falls to the floor and Cardin’s hands stop for a moment. Weiss realizes he is admiring her lingerie; his eyes are raking over every part of her.

“Got all dressed up for me, huh?”

Weiss wants to shower, but instead she nods.

Cardin doesn’t waste time after that, and Weiss is grateful.

Soon, she’s face down in his bed – his sheets smell like they haven’t been changed in months – and he’s pushing himself inside. It hurts, but it always hurts, right? The pain helps numb her brain, and soon she can zone out.

Everything is quiet for a moment.

Except a new voice speaks.

It wouldn’t be like this with Ruby.

Weiss screams, but Cardin just takes it as encouragement, moaning with her, and panting hard. His fingers dig into her hips.

He finishes inside.

After a few minutes, he pulls out and collapses next to her. Her stomach hollows again. It’s over and nothing feels better.

In fact, everything feels worse.

“You can use my phone to call an Uber.”

How chivalrous.

Weiss showers when she gets home. When she gets in to bed she cries because now she knows.

No voices try to argue with her after that.

She has twenty-seven missed texts from Ruby.

*

Ruby Rose (11:14 PM)

Hey, I’m home safe and sound! Just letting you know!

Also I had an amazing time with you tonight.

I’ve never looked forward to Monday more in my life.

…You must be asleep. Guess that kiss really tuckered you out ;)

(that was terrible and I regret it)

Anyway goodnight beautiful

Ruby Rose (9:04 AM)

So do you actually live in like a textbook definition mansion?

Or are there specific parameters that have to be met for it to be considered a Real Mansion?

like…

All mansions must have two dumb waiters and/or three secret passages and/or rooms to be considered an authentic mansion.

or!!! better yet!!! do all mansions have ghosts????

IS YOUR HOUSE HAUNTED??????

Alright u must be busy. I’ll catch u later.

Ruby Rose (1:22 PM)

[Pic: A bowl of tonkotsu ramen with perfect ramen eggs and chasu under a blanket of garlic and green onion.]

Would u still kiss me after eating this y or y?

Unless…..

…are you a vampire Weiss Schnee?

You /are/ pretty pale and inhuman levels of gorgeous.

I’ll take your silence as a yes.

Ruby Rose (5:48 PM)

Hey, are you okay?

Normally I at least get a text that I’m an idiot by now

Ruby Rose (8:55 PM)

…can you at least let me know that you are alive?

Ruby Rose (10:37 PM)

Maybe I’m being paranoid and you are just busy today, but if I did or said something to upset you, please let me know.

I thought we had a lot of fun yesterday, but if you didn’t, that’s okay.

I like you a lot Weiss and, if anything, I don’t want to lose you as a friend if I did something really dumb.

I hope we talk tomorrow.

Goodnight Weiss

Weiss Schnee (6:25 AM)

Ruby, I’m sorry I worried you yesterday. No, you didn’t do anything wrong.

I just had some personal matters to attend to that occupied my mind most of the day.

Do you remember if we have a quiz Monday? It doesn’t say it in the syllabus.

Ruby Rose (10:18 AM)

Oh, I hope it was nothing bad?

But yes, there is a quiz over last week’s readings. Hurst moved it so we don’t have quiz the day after Easter.

Weiss Schnee (10:20 AM)

That’s right. Thanks, Ruby.

*

Monday comes and Weiss finds Ruby waiting for her outside of the classroom.

“Ruby, what are you—“

Ruby pulls Weiss around the corner to an empty classroom.

“Are we okay?”

“I told you, you didn’t do anything—“

“I know what you said. And I’m relieved about that, but are we okay?” Ruby’s hands pull at the fringe of her cardigan. “Are you okay?”

Weiss takes in the earnest concern and care in Ruby’s eyes. Again, she’s floating and this time she doesn’t fight what she wants.

She pulls Ruby into a soft kiss. Like a breath of fresh air after a weekend of haze.

When they break apart, Weiss takes Ruby’s face into her hands.

“I’m sorry I worried you. I won’t do it again.”

Ruby takes Weiss hands into her own.

“I don’t care that you worried me. Please just tell me you are okay?”

Weiss nods. “I’m okay. And we are great, just so you know.”

Finally, a smile breaks onto Ruby’s face and she let’s out a sigh. “Okay.” Ruby turns to leave leading Weiss by the hand after her. “Now we better hurry. We don’t want to miss the quiz.”

Weiss keeps hold of Ruby’s hand until the very last minute.

*

She spends most of her evenings with Ruby now. The only time she doesn’t is when Ruby has to work – she teaches guitar lessons at a local guitar shop – or when Weiss has a family obligation, like a dinner or a charity ball.

Even on those nights they either meet up for a late coffee afterwards or text in bed until one of them falls asleep.

And truly, Weiss has never felt lighter.

Well.

Except for the fact that she’s late and not just a few days. It had been a month.

Now, should she have noticed that the pesky, annoying, terrible part of being a girl with fully functioning reproductive organs just didn’t happen at any point last month? Yes! Except! In her defensive, Weiss was very distracted by…

Ruby. Texting Ruby, meeting Ruby for coffee, stealing kisses from Ruby right before they parted ways after class.

So as one might imagine, Weiss was pretty confused when her monthly Period Preparedness subscription box showed up at her door when she knew she had yet to open the last month’s package.

She logs into her account to see if there had been some sort of mistake, but everything looked to be in order, so, oh—

Flashes of Cardin’s rough lips on hers, the sounds of his grunts replay between her ears, the soreness that lingered the morning after.

Of course. Why did Weiss think she would come out of that unscathed?

She orders a pregnancy test from Amazon Prime Now and spins on her Peleton until it arrives.

She chugs two bottles of water and paces around her bathroom until her body relaxes enough to let her pee on the test.

Determined not to freak out, she sets the test on her vanity and jumps in the shower like everything is totally normal and she is not trying to waste time until she can check her pregnancy test.

She lathers, rinses, and repeats (and repeats and repeats and repeats one more time because she really doesn’t want to face what is outside of her shower stall), and dons her silk robe before dragging her feet to her vanity.

Blue letters in a soft sans serif font spelling out ‘pregnant’ are there to meet her.

Her abdomen feels hollow which is really just rude because there’s definitely something in there now.

“Fuck.”

She doesn’t remember moving to her bed, the next thing she remembers is falling back onto it.

Her hand finds her phone, navigating through her contacts to make a call.

One ring.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Voicemail: You’ve reached Winter Schnee. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message and I will return your call when I am able.

“Winter, call me as soon as you get this. I, um, really need to talk to you. Love you.”

She hangs up and sees that she has a missed text from Whitley.

Whitley

Father wanted me to remind you that attendance to this dinner is mandatory. Please arrive at 6.

Ah, yes, because that’s where Weiss’ priorities should be – not being late to the family dinner that Mother and Winter both refuse to attend.

She checks the time anyway. 5:04.

Weiss rolls over, screaming a muffled “EEEAAAUGH” into her pillow before getting up.

She puts on a simple dress. She blow-dries her hair. She puts on the earrings her father gifted her over Christmas.

All the while, her eyes keep lingering on those soft blue letters.

Finally, once she’s dressed, she swipes the test off of the vanity and right into the trash.

She takes her car over to the main house, and pulls in at precisely 5:45. Just as she’s about to turn off her car, her radio erupts with Winter’s ringtone.

She answers immediately. “Winter!”

“Weiss, what’s going on?” Her tone is all business, but Weiss can feel the worry in her voice. For the first time today, Weiss feels tears pricking at her eyes.

“Winter…I’m pregnant.”

The words weigh heavy on her chest the way truth only really does. She bites back a sob.

Winter is so quiet on the other line that Weiss checks that the she didn’t hang up.

“You’re sure,” comes through a moment later.

“Yes.”

“I didn’t know you were seeing anyone.”

Weiss sobs again, “I am, but…”

“It’s not theirs.” Winter connects. She’s quiet a beat, then, “You weren’t attacked were you?”

Weiss laughs bitterly. “No, just stupid.”

“Weiss,” Winter’s voice is softer now, “it’s an easy mistake.”

“Clearly,” Weiss spits, checking her eye make up in the vanity mirror.

“Have you thought about what you want to do?”

Before she can answer, there is a hard knocking on her window. Weiss flips up the vanity, and finds Whitley waving at her. His smile is saccharine but it doesn’t reach his eyes.

“Winter, I have to go.”

“I love you, Weiss.”

Her sister’s words cause her pause. Schnee’s aren’t ones for emotional declarations, but she can feel the honesty in Winter’s words.

“I love you too, Winter,”

She disconnects the call, and Whitley opens her door for her. When she steps out he says, “On time is late, Weiss. You know that.”

Weiss rolls her eyes, pushing past him. “Some of us have things to do outside of appeasing Father’s every whim.”

“Yes, getting Winter on the phone is a rarity.” Weiss freezes. “What was so important that it warranted a phone call?”

Weiss puts on her haughty tone as easily as a hat, resuming her path to the house. “I hardly think that’s any concern of yours.”

Dinner is served an hour later and Weiss prays for whoever caused the delay in the kitchen. The food, while the highest of quality, is somehow bland. Conversation is sparse except for Father’s monologuing his opinions about politics, business, and literally anything else he wants to talk to death.

Weiss learned long ago that it was pointless to actually discuss anything with him. She was here as an audience, nothing more.

They move to the parlor for after dinner coffee, and once everyone is served, Father dismisses the staff and directs his attention to Weiss.

“How are you, Weiss?”

The question catches Weiss off guard, but she recovers quickly. “Fine, Father. The semester is going well.”

“Well, that’s good to hear.” Father sets down his coffee and crosses his leg over his knee. “Because Whitley told me something else entirely.”

Naturally. Whitley heard everything, he relayed it all to Father, which explains why dinner was delayed. Weiss can certainly understand that the social clout of bringing news of her disgrace must have been absolutely irresistible for self-serving cretin that is her brother. She should have expected this. And yet—

“You just can’t help yourself, can you?” Weiss spits at her brother. He was sitting across from Father mirroring his position. “You have to hurt me whenever you can.”

“But you make it so easy, sister,” he replies easily.

“How dare—“

“Now, now!” Father holds up a hand. “Weiss don’t be angry at Whitley. Now that I know, it can easily be fixed.”

Weiss turns her attention back to Father. “What?”

“I made a call to Dr. Gallagher. He’s waiting upstairs for you, and you should be feeling back to normal by the end of the week.”

Weiss’ blood runs cold. “He’s waiting for me?”

Father stands up, closing the distance between him and Weiss.

“He already assured me that he will have doctor notes written so you won’t be penalized for missing class time,” he holds out his hand, “we shouldn’t keep him waiting much longer. After all, time is money.”

The realization that her father called a doctor to their family home and he is now waiting upstairs, probably in Weiss’ childhood bedroom, to administer an abortion, and her father’s main concern is over paying him hits Weiss like a freight train.

She slaps his hand away.

“I don’t think any of this is your concern, let alone your decision to make.” Her words come out firm and even and Weiss thanks whatever gods are out there for the strength.

She stands and turns to leave. Father grabs her wrist like vice.

“Weiss, you are not having this child.”

“Again, this is not your decision.”

“I will not house a whore!” He raises his hand, making to smack her.

“Are you going hit a pregnant woman, Father?” Weiss’ voice is low and deadly daring him.

His grip wavers long enough for her to pull free and step away from him.

“Fine,” he barks, just as she reaches the door. And for the briefest moment, Weiss thinks that maybe her Father has a heart after all—

“If you won’t take the help I’m giving you, then I want you off of the estate.”

—But he doesn’t.

“You have an hour.”

And with that, Father leaves the parlor with Whitley in tow. Her brother doesn’t even give her a parting glance.

She can’t stop shaking as she passes through her family home and to her car. She’s struggling to find her keys when she feels a hand on her shoulder.

“I’m leaving, Fa—oh, Klein.”

The kind eyed butler slowly pulls her into a hug, and when she feels his hand on her back, the sobs start coming and don’t stop.

“Come now, Miss Schnee. We’ve little time to waste.” His voice is gentle, but Weiss can feel him holding back the cracks.

She takes a steadying breath. “I suppose you’re right, Klein.”

Together, they make the short drive to her house, and Klein only drops her hand when they park.

Silently, he helps her pack as much of her belongings as could fit in her Italian luggage set. Klein had been with the family since before Weiss was born, so he knows almost as well as she does what must be packed and what could be replaced later.

Forty-five minutes later Klein is loading her bags into her car. Everything is almost packed when Weiss realizes, “I don’t think I can take this car.”

“Of course you can, Miss Schnee,”Klein assures her.

“But it’s not in my name. Father could report it stolen. It is in his—“

“The car is in your mother’s name, Miss Schnee,” Klein explains, closing the trunk. “You will be fine. Although, he will probably take this car of the insurance if you don’t return soon.”

Weiss sees the resignation in his eyes, but she still has to say, “I’m not coming back, Klein.”

He nods. “Please send word when you are safe.”

“I will.”

Klein helps her into her car, and suddenly it’s time to go.

There’s only one place Weiss thinks to go.

*

Truthfully, Weiss has never been inside Ruby’s apartment.

She knew the building address, but she was hoping that there would be a call box or something she could use to find her.

But there isn’t. There is, however, a pizza delivery man being buzzed in right when Weiss arrives at the front door with one of her suitcases. He’s kind enough to hold the door open for her.

It’s not like her plan was to follow him and then somehow magically find Ruby or anything.

Thankfully, she remembers Ruby mentioning that they had a top level apartment, so Weiss makes her way to the elevator and waits or it to arrive.

The pizza delivery man is waiting too.

Bing

“After you,” he gestures to the elevator.

“Oh, thank you,” Weiss responds getting inside, only feeling a little awkward.

Weiss was sure that they would part ways soon. Surely, statistically, this pizza is being delivered to some other – any other – floor than the top level.

But of course the odds are against Weiss tonight.

“Same floor, huh?”

“It looks that way,” Weiss replies politely.

He nods to her suitcase, “Just getting back from a trip?”

“No.”

Weiss pulls out her phone, partly to shoot a text to Ruby, but mostly to avoid further conversation.

Weiss Schnee

What is your apt #?

Ruby Rose

  1. Why?

The elevator settles.

Bing

The pizza delivery man gestures for her to go first, so she does, moving to the side and staring at her phone for a beat or two in the hopes of losing her unwanted escort.

After what she considers an adequate amount of time, Weiss puts her phone back in her purse, and heads down the long hall.

1600…1602…1604…

Weiss stops a few feet short of the next door. She watches as the pizza delivery man checks his receipt and then knocks on the door of Apartment 1606. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

He turns and smiles. “Oh, is this your pizza?”

Before Weiss can answer, Ruby answers the door.

“—getting it, Yang. Chill out!” She smiles at the delivery man, but when she sees he’s looking down the hall, she looks too. “Weiss?”

“Uh…”

“Oh, right,” Ruby hands the delivery man some cash, taking the pizza from him. “Keep the change.”

He nods his thanks, and nods to Weiss as he leaves. Weiss chews on the inside of her cheek to keep the tears from falling from her eyes.

 

“Weiss, what are you doing here?” Ruby’s brow knits as she appraises her – Weiss is sure the suitcase and the glassy eyes give her away. “Are you okay?”

“Um,” Weiss hates how her voice shakes and cracks, “Not really.”

Ruby looks Weiss over one more time before taking her suitcase and ushering Weiss inside.

*

Of all the ways Weiss imagined meeting Ruby’s sister Yang, sitting at her kitchen table sipping a glass of water while Ruby and Yang discuss her sudden appearance in not so hushed whispers in the living room was not one of them.

Also, Ruby had told her that she and her sister lived on the top floor, but she definitely did not specify that the top floor was the penthouse level. Weiss knew real estate, and for an apartment, this place did not come cheap.

Ruby and Yang return to the kitchen and Weiss tries her best to….look less intrusive, she supposes.

Yang opens a cabinet, retrieving plate for her and Ruby. “Weiss, have you eaten?” Her tone is kind, if a little uncomfortable.

“Yes, I’m fine, thank you.”

Yang puts three slices of pizza onto her plate and grabs a beer from the fridge. “Okay, well, if you change your mind, there’s plenty.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Weiss replies.

“Alright, later dudes. I’ve got Dr. Pimple Popper to watch.” She leaves with a too cool hair flip and peace sign.

Ruby sits down next to Weiss with her own plate of pizza and beer, eating as if everything is normal.

“Ruby—“

“Yeah?” she asks, opening her beer. “Oh, do you wanna beer?”

Weiss wants to say yes, even if she finds most beer repulsive, but she thinks about how she ended up here and thinks better of it.

“No, water is fine.” Weiss shifts in her seat. “It’s just I’m sure you have a lot of questions.”

Ruby eats for a few minutes before responding.

“Yes, I do. But we don’t have to talk about any of that tonight if you don’t want to.” She takes Weiss’ hand. “We can just go to my room and watch Chopped or Disney movies or something.”

“Really?”

“Of course,” Ruby smiles, “We have plenty of time to talk later.”

After Ruby finishes eating, Ruby leads Weiss back to her room, and after some deliberation, they settle on Chopped. Ruby gives Weiss some sweats to change into and when she comes back Ruby has made up a bed of blankets on the floor and is sitting on it.

“What are you doing?”

“Oh, I just figured you would take my bed.”

“What? No—“

“I didn’t think you would want the floor, but if you prefer—“

“No!” It comes out a little more forcefully than she planned. “It’s just…,” she rolls her eyes, feeling stupid. “Never mind.”

She takes her seat on Ruby’s bed, and again, this isn’t how she thought she would end up here for the first time either.

Ruby starts an episode only to pause it five minutes later. She stands up and turns to face Weiss, her face full of shock.

“What? What is it?” Weiss asks.

“Do you want to snuggle tonight, Weiss Schnee?!”

Weiss laughs. She tries to restrain it at first, but she can’t. “Bingo, Ruby Rose.”

“Well, why didn’t you just say so?” Ruby exclaims, not really needing an answer as she sits down next to Weiss and pulls her close. “Is that better?”

Weiss leans into Ruby’s chest and feels warm.

“Thank you, Ruby.”

Ruby kisses the top of her head and whispers, “Anything for my lady.”

*

Weiss doesn’t remember falling asleep, but when she wakes up in Ruby’s bed, she is alone.

She doesn’t have time to worry before she hears sounds of cooking coming from the kitchen.

She pads into the kitchen to find Ruby working on a pan of scrambled eggs. She’s so focused on her work that she doesn’t notice Weiss right away.

“Oh, good morning, Weiss! Did you sleep well?”

“Very well, thank you.” Weiss hates how formal she feels.

“Good. Eggs will be finished in just a second,” she gestures with the spatula to a French press and mug on the counter. “Help yourself to some coffee. There’s cream and sugar on the table, or whipped cream in the fridge.”

By the time Weiss fills her cup and returns to the table, Ruby is portioning out eggs on plates with buttered toast.

Ruby sets a plate down in front of her and then sits across from her.

“Thank you for breakfast.”

“It was no problem,” Ruby says with a smile as she stirs cream and sugar into her coffee.

“Where’s Yang?”

“She had an early call time.”

“Oh.”

They eat in silence for a few minutes, and Weiss is thankful for the time to mull over how she’s going to first tell Ruby that she sort of cheated on her and that she is also pregnant because of it.

Weiss is debating with herself if she really feels like she cheated on Ruby after their second date or if they weren’t really exclusive until after that when Ruby interrupts her thoughts.

“So, Weiss,” Ruby starts, worry clear on her face, “what happened last night?”

Okay, so this is it.

Weiss takes a deep breath.

“Promise you will let me finish before you ask any questions?”

Ruby’s answer is immediate and earnest.

“I promise.”

Weiss takes a minute, worrying her bottom lip as she figures out how to start.

“So remember how after our first date I told you I had never dated a woman before?”

Ruby nods.

“Well, after our second date – our first kiss – I kind of…freaked out.”

“I figured,” Ruby says, immediately throwing her hands to her mouth.

Weiss furrows her brow. “You did?”

Ruby brings her hands down softly. “I mean, you kinda ghosted me for the rest of the weekend. I figured it was a little bit of gay panic.”

Weiss smiles sadly. “Well, it was little bigger than ghosting you.”

Ruby frowns, but doesn’t ask questions, as she agreed.

“I, uh,” Weiss swallows. “I hooked up with my ex. Well, not quite an ex. We never were very exclusive. But…”

Weiss tries to stare a hole in the table. “I slept with him. I hated every minute of it. I knew it was a mistake, but I was so scared because I was feeling so much for you, and it had never been like that with Cardin...or with any boy.”

She blinks back her tears and bites her cheek, trying to keep going without totally breaking down. “But my family. They can’t have a gay daughter. So I slept with him to see if I could…fake it for them.”

“But you can’t,” Ruby connects, frowning. “Did you come out to them? Did they kick you out? Sorry.”

Weiss shakes her head. “It’s okay. They did kick me out, but…not because I came out to them.” Weiss lets out a rueful laugh. “No, that is yet to be revealed to them.”

“Then why…?”

Weiss blinks back more tears, trying and failing to keep it together until she’s said her piece. “These last two months have been so, so, good, Ruby. You make me feel like I’m floating when I’m with you, like I can do anything,” Weiss bites down on her cheek, willing the tears to stop. “But things were so good that I didn’t even realize…how late I was.”

“You mean…”

“I’m pregnant.”

When she sees the shock on Ruby’s face, the floodgates open. Ugly, whining sobs rip through her body. She holds herself tight and she comes apart. “God, I’m so sorry, Ruby.”

Moments later, Weiss feels Ruby wrapping her strong arms around her, bringing her close. “It’s okay, Weiss. I’ve got you.”

“But I cheated—“

“You panicked,” Ruby corrects. “It’s okay.” Ruby strokes her hair and kisses her temple. “I’ve got you.”

When they pull apart, Ruby wipes the tears from Weiss’ face with her sleeve. “You hear me, Weiss Schnee?”

Weiss nods, laughing and sobbing at the same time.

Ruby gets up and walks over to the counter. She pours out the rest of the coffee pot, and grabs notepad and pen before sitting back down.

“I guess we’ll need decaf coffee…and I guess I’m gonna be a dad.” And before Weiss can really react, Ruby confirms, “Because you aren’t going to do this alone.”

And for the first time in her life, Weiss knows it is true.