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I have a Cat Problem (RWBY Comedy)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Muted

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Wasp detected.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    JBukharin likes this.
  2. Threadmarks: But we will part ways for now.

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 12: But we will part ways for now.

    ~Sid’s POV~

    Work was going smoothly that day at the Morning Sip, nothing much changing from the usual routine I was now accustomed too.

    Except that someone was now not here working as a waitress, nor I expected to see Yang passing by today with some of her team.

    I was fine, but still far from peachy as my mind couldn’t help but remember the grand topic that domineered from earlier that morning.

    While the rescue attempt had been successful and Blake hadn’t suffered any major injuries during this ordeal, I ended up spending the few hours of rest before ‘waking up’ to think about some of the clues I had ignored until now.

    With the pressing concern of a kidnapped Cat Faunus now dealt with, I was forced to face two distinct predicaments that certainly left a bitter and unnerving taste at the mere reminder.

    The kidnappers hadn’t been from the White Fang, yet they had the uniforms and had contacts with the branch there to release the girl back to the group sited there.

    Humans, there was no doubt those two weren’t Faunus and yet they had managed to avoid the disdain from the organization while also scoring some unknown favors with Vale Branch.

    Knowing how aggressive the Fang had turned in the last few years, it had been a miracle that I had found Tukson so quickly and that the man had been so inclined to offer me some support in exchange of some explosive ‘I quit’ letter to his former work.

    The man was no longer here in Vale, possibly having left the Kingdom altogether as his simple activity nearby the workplace had closed down without notice; the insignia left there detailing the selling of the building and the lack of books in the various shelves being more of a clear sign that he wasn’t there no longer.

    Still, despite the overall victory gained the day before, I ended up making steps towards a slightly unpleasant but much-needed decision to avoid any further issues with those mysterious stalkers.

    Blake had lashed out verbally at the mere request of returning back to Beacon, the Faunus actually snarling and close to hiss at me for even suggesting such a ‘horrible’ proposition to her.

    From a normal standpoint, it was clear that she was taken off-guard by the sudden demand that I had forwarded with little explanation, yet there was some solid reasoning behind this choice.

    Whoever had kidnapped here was still on the loose and… the two thugs weren’t the mastermind.

    They were too uncoordinated with each other to be actually the brain behind such a complicated hit-&-run and I wasn’t stupid enough to not consider the presence of a third, or even an entire group behind them.

    Someone that knew about me, enough to leave me right by the entrance of my workplace to give some sort of sign or… something like that;

    Someone that knew about Blake, enough to know that this guy, Adam, wanted to bring her back to the White Fang;

    Someone that… knew about Cinder.

    This last detail was worrying me to no end as my sister had been cautious with her actions in the last few years, careful as to not get noticed by our father’s contacts spread all across Remnant.

    To think that some group was onto us and knew so much about my life was… terrifying.

    I knew little of this spies and they knew too much about us, this was dangerous for numerous reasons and I was quick to tell Marcus to keep an eye around for himself and his family.

    If they had gone as far as to trace up the Tremaine family just for Blake, then Gods know how far they have gotten with those around us.

    So when I considered the overall predicament at hand and pondered over the chances of keeping an eye out for everything… I ended up developing a simple, quite-disgruntling but effective plan.

    Ozpin was mysterious, yes, and Blake had been adamant to not wanting to return to her team more as a mean to avoid dealing with Weiss, but if I had to pick between safety and discomfort, I think the choice would be clear as a cloudless sky.

    The initial attempts to convince the girl to leave the flat and return to Beacon failed miserably when the Belladonna started to shout and scream, almost showing the cat-like behavior in retaliating at any approach towards her.

    She didn’t want to go to Beacon, ‘not yet’ she would repeat so stubbornly and so lying, but in the end the escalation culminated with my own shouts.

    I was calm and I was understanding her explosive reaction to all of this, yet I couldn’t just stay put and let her walk me over this matter. Especially if the topic was about her well-being of all things.

    There was some hesitation from both sides, then some reconciliation of sort as the girl tried to make it clear that she would have been more attentive for any attempt and apologizing by saying it was her fault that what had happened last night… happened.

    A quick-paced, soft-spoken approach from the girl that was curbed by a loud sigh coming from me as I provided a swift logical answer to what drove me to go for this incredible request.

    There was surprise, there was silence and then there was quiet thinking from the Cat Faunus, the young woman thinking well about the motivations I was giving her.

    Some questions popped out here and there about how then the situation would change for us, like ‘would she be fired by her current work?’ or ‘was she allowed to visit once in a while when she could?’ to which I replied the best possible with how I knew things were going.

    It was best to keep the visits to a bare minimum and her job would have to be switched to a weekend-only days, which would entail a lesser wage but also shorter shifts.

    I was a little nervous about this last situation as I knew that Yang was surely going to continue frequenting the Morning Sip.

    Her interest to the place not a secret as proclaimed numerous times by the blonde, and that would mean having to find a ‘smart reason’ to have Blake joining in the job without seeming like she was Bianca.

    Speaking of ‘Bianca’, this topic was going to be another issue to face once people would start to ask about her departure and… Blake taking her role as some-sort of replacement.

    But just like it had been difficult before, I knew I could come up with some convincing lies to mask the entire development given the proper time and thought.

    I was once again subjected with some more refusals from Blake, the girl mentioning even going as far as to make use of her identity as ‘Bianca’ everywhere we went as to ‘fool’ those stalkers from believing she was still there.

    I didn’t even need to tell her it was dumb, the girl catching herself moments after this proposition had left her lips by saying it was stupid and she even quickly apologized about it.

    I didn’t blame her, my brain was still trying to make sense of space and time as it was still fairly early in the morning and we both got so little sleep that I was actually surprised that this serious conversation was holding so well in that moment.

    A few more pleas to stay, buying the girl some time to plan something that could actually work while also avoiding dealing with her problems and… I had enough.

    While I could see some legitimacy in her opposition, I could see some of her worst trait displaying in that very case and I couldn’t help but point it out.

    It was a problem that she couldn’t just run away from.

    Not this time, not again and… not without a true reason behind it.

    Her back was leaning to the silent but strong wall made by duty and need, one that was all in favor of giving her a mean to protect herself 24/7.

    Ozpin would still ask for details, but granting herself the sole responsibility for causing the deafening explosion of the night before would have been more than enough to give herself some alibi for the time being.

    Only behaving ‘well’ and not rebelliously would give her the chance of getting any suspect off her shoulders.

    The Cat Faunus was still hesitant in picking everything up and, once she had everything put inside a backpack I decided to ‘lend’ to her, the girl seemed to freeze by the entrance door, looking back as if waiting for something.

    A snort left my lips as I slowly made an attempt to initiate a hug- only to be glomped by an incredibly tense Belladonna, her head softly hitting my chest as she sighed.

    “I will visit later,” Blake said so resolutely and determinedly. “I want to watch again the trilogy of Ninja of Love.”

    I frowned at that. “But you buy the popcorn, I will not accept full responsibility in watching that trash.”

    This time it was her time to snort, leaning away from the embrace to show an annoyed look.

    “It’s not trash,” The girl said so genuinely. “You just need some more re-watching.”

    That sounded more like a brainwashing attempt than else, but I just nodded and waved at her as she took her leave, her frame disappearing while she walked away and I closed the door of the flat.

    In that brief moment of quiet, in that single instance of silence… I felt incredibly tired and…


    It took me about five minutes to finally shake off this strange sensation, my mind shifting its attention back to the next issue of the day and that was going to work.

    I was already late on my morning routine and my already sluggish body was having some trouble going to a pace faster than usual.

    After a gesture of inhuman willpower and determination, I managed to reach the bar just in time to begin my shift punctually.

    I had to explain some things to Marcus, like the warning over the ‘stalkers’ predicament and what had happened the night before during the pause, but I was granted some peace by the time the second half of the shift began.

    Clients poured in, the same quantity as usual, yet I was quickly noticing the sudden lack of my ‘colleague’ as my pacing had to return back to its pre-Blake pattern.

    Quite difficult considering I was still tired, but the owner was kind enough to help me around as a mean of not seeing me faint for real during the work hours.

    Yet, just as I expected to face a perfectly-normal day in that place, I ended up dealing with quite the unusual client, someone that I hadn’t seen ever come here before.

    Why was I so sure of this? Her appearance was just too unique for me to just forget so easily.

    She was a petite young woman, her long hair was divided in pink and light-brown with a white streak over the pink side; her eyes were heterochromatic, with one being a soft-chocolate brown and the other being a pale pink.

    The lady was wearing a white tail jacket with its interior and wide broad tail pink, under it a brown corset curved in the middle; she was also donning some black gloves, brown pants that ended in white boots with high heels.

    She was waiting patiently, yet the strange attention directed at the menu gaining my interest as I approached her.

    The young woman blinked and looked up, eyes showing some minor crave as she started to point at a specific spot in the menu, by the ice cream section.

    It was in that moment that I noticed how short she was, even shorter than Blake’s team-leader, Ruby, and the girl had to be… 15 or 16.

    Still, confused by the lack of vocal input, I merely glanced at the indicated spot and noticed the specific treat the client was alluding to.

    “A cup of… Neopolitan ice cream?” I asked quietly, the girl nodding swiftly as I signed down the order as I went to prepare the cup.

    While I was doing that, I noticed the young woman’s heterochromatic stare directed at me while I went through the usual process.

    It wasn’t nothing too intense, but I did feel quite unnerved by being looked at by someone I was so sure that wasn’t just a civilian.

    It was the small parasol folded by her side, something about its form just… feeling completely weird for such a simple and harmless thing.

    I decided to ignore it, my mind quick to remind me that there were hunters passing by once every few months and maybe this one was one of those.

    Maybe it was this whole idea that people were spying on me that was getting on my nerves, my paranoia needing some proper checking before I started to doubt everyone that just seemed ‘strange’ with their theme style and possible weaponry.

    I returned to the woman in question with her order, serving her little plastic cup and tiny spoon so that she could already begin eating.

    Just as I did so, I noticed that there was something already on the table, some coins that were equal to… how much the sweet treat costed.

    I blinked while I slowly went to pick the Lien, turning my attention to the girl as she seemed to be enjoying the first bite.

    She glanced at me momentarily to flash a happy smile before returning to her food, something that just left me… even more confused.

    Was she a mute? I couldn’t certainly ask her like that and at a time like this, it would have been far too awkward and rude.

    Instead of pressing more to satisfy my curiosity, I merely nodded at her and let a small smile appear on my own face. “You are welcome.”

    The young woman paused just a moment, surprised by the reply but not giving a full reaction out as I turned around and walked back to the counter.

    While I had expected this situation to defuse by the time she was done with her ice cream, so that my worries could be quietened by reality itself, one can imagine my little shock as the pink-brunette decided to spend the entire rest of the shift there.

    She slowly went through her treat, careful enough to not make it too slow but also not fast enough to appear like she had no other reasons to stay in there.

    In the end, she concluded by the time everyone was done and already gone and the bar was close to end its activity for the day.

    But what truly got me perplexed wasn’t this strange behavior.

    It was how she disappeared mere moments after walking outside the main entrance of the building, leaving no trace as I went to check as to where she was going.

    It was like I had offered some ice cream to a ghost.


    ~Blake’s POV~

    If there was something that was truly surprising her right now, it was the curious disposition of the hospital ward here at Beacon Academy.

    This was the first time Blake had come to visit the place, the first time she had been needing to go in there for some check-up.

    It was pretty big compared to a single hospital room, the massive place seemed to be ready to house the entirety of the student body with how many beds and medics deployed in this section of the campus.

    But if she had to be honest, the most surprising bit was how the conversation with Ozpin had gone and how she had been sent here of all possible outcomes from that weird discussion.

    She could remember taking the earliest airship that was meant to go to Beacon, pretty early considering that some third years students had long decided to live together by the capital and out of their assigned dorm-rooms.

    It was an optional choice available to all teams that had a full cast of adults, thus their decision was recognized as an absolute action that didn’t require any parent’s authorization.

    Quite efficient considering the cheaper prices and expenses for the single flaw of sharing the house with someone else.

    Something that Blake was now well-experienced with after spending two weeks with the young human that had taken her in as a flat-mate.

    Trials and tribulations had ensued and now she was back to the school that she had left not so long ago, her mind stormed by doubts and worries over the possible development for her.

    To avoid creating any major issues with the headmaster, the Cat Faunus had been quick to call Ozpin in advance as to address the situation.

    The man sounded surprised at first, confused even when she started to describe ‘what had happened in the last two weeks’, which was actually a little credible story born from Sid’s quipping over the important subject.

    Blake had been kidnapped by the White Fang when she spotted a child Faunus donning the White Fang uniform running away from the docks and she had given it chase.

    In the end, it all proved to be an ambush that got her captured and sent to their main headquarters in Vale… and then she proceeded to blow it up before escaping from the area.

    It was a plausible supposition for a former saboteur like the Belladonna to know how to mess with explosive bars and thus the man had been quick to incline to believe that the loud explosion had been perpetrated by her.

    She felt safer when Ozpin had told her that some more talks would be required before deciding over the matter and he was quick to point out that Ms. Goodwitch would have been waiting by the main heliport by the entrance to escort the girl to his office.

    The airship landed after half an hour and, just like promised, she was quick to spot the deputy headmistress waiting by the entrance of the heliport.

    The blonde looked partly-concerned, quite irritated and incredibly tired… almost like she was, which was an interesting feat considering that Blake just had two hours of sleep to get ready for this situation.

    School wasn’t in session just yet, but their pace was swift and silent as they both rushed to reach the main elevator that led to the peak of the tallest tower in the academy, where Ozpin’s office was sited.

    It was curious to see the usually stern teacher this calm, but maybe it wasn’t because of the tiredness. Maybe it was because, despite the massive mess she had ‘created’, the Belladonna was one of the quietest students in class with an undeniably good grades compared to many other hunters-in-training.

    There was no song by the elevator, the quiet ride giving her an ambivalent sense of nervousness and relaxation, to which the final ‘ding’ that dignified that they had reached the last floor culminated this duality with some slight panic.

    Ozpin was sitting by his holographic desk, the old man sparing her a glance as he nodded the two women to approach, gesturing at the Cat Faunus to take a seat by one of the two chairs in front of him.

    “Ms. Belladonna,” He addressed with a calm and quiet tone. “It’s good to see that you have survived your capture with just a noticeable drain to your Aura and no worrying injuries. How do you feel?”

    The Belladonna blinked and her stare fell to the steamy cup the headmaster was holding by the handle with his right hand.

    “C-Could I have a cup of coffee?” She asked as politely as her tiredness could allow. “I-I… I’ve caught just an hour or two of sleep yesterday and-”

    “Sure, there is no need to explain,” Ozpin said with a nod, standing out of his chair and slowly going for the lone coffee machine set on some furniture behind his chair.

    The preparation was quick and the steamy little cup of the bitter beverage was in her hold quite suddenly.

    It was instinctive as she lifted said cup and took just two sips from it, letting the liquid seep in her mind as she felt more energy coming from her body.

    She blinked and slowly nodded. “Thank you.”

    “You are welcome, Ms. Belladonna,” The headmaster replied. “But I think now we can focus a little more about the situation you have presented to me by your last call and...”

    Blake took another sip, expecting this to be a breeze compared to her worried scenarios-

    “How you have lied to us.” Ozpin finally proclaimed with an irritated voice, catching the Cat Faunus off-guard. Almost enough to spill out the coffee in her mouth.

    Gulping down the drink was much more difficult, the panic urging her to gulp quickly and uncaring of the heat coming from the still hot stuff.


    It was Ms. Goodwitch to reply to that, a tired look present even now as she addressed the situation.

    “While your whereabouts were a mystery to us all, we were able to discern where you were hiding by the second day you have gone missing,” The blonde stated calmly, if not irritated herself. “When Professor Port reported finding a young Cat Faunus that matched your description… working at one of the most frequented bars in Vale.”

    ...That was before she had been given her fake identity. It has to be.

    But how did she miss seeing someone as portly as the old professor that had found her?

    And while this was a good question, the one that best garnered her curiosity was a completely different one.

    “B-But if you knew where I was, then why didn’t you-”

    “Recover you back to safety at school?” Ozpin concluded for her, a hum forming by his throat as he pondered over the proper answer. “I can say it has to do with the peculiarity of the situation we found ourselves to deal with.”

    “At first we thought that the owner of the bar was somehow blackmailing you to work for him,” Ms. Goodwitch pressed on. “So we spent some time trying to check and see if this theory was correct or not. In the end, we understand that there was no manipulation from his part.”

    The girl’s eyes widened at that absurd supposition. Marcus Cobalt wasn’t, or at least didn’t behave, anything that she could consider untrustworthy and dangerous.

    A simple man with a modest activity to keep up with the expenses of the family behind him.

    So Blake nodded, quickly enough to confirm her decision. “H-he didn’t do such thing.”

    “Yet you still didn’t return back to Beacon, even though you weren’t restrained from doing so,” The headmaster commented impartially. “You could have given an effort to return here, yet you decided to stay back in Vale.”

    “For some curious reasons too,” The younger teacher commented as she went to open up an image on the holographic desk, the picture of someone familiar popping up to her sight.

    The Belladonna paled a little, her panic rising once again.

    “Sidur ‘Sid’ Tremaine,” Ozpin described. “Young man hailing from Mistral, his family is filled with unique individuals that warranted no little attention from the Kingdom and beyond. His father is a good friend of mine and… I did spare some words with him before addressing this issue.”

    W-What? What was he talking about?

    “Ms. Belladonna, this question might sound invasive or awkward to find an answer too, but I need a genuine reply to properly ascertain what I should do with this individual,” The old man warned carefully. “Did Mr. Tremaine tried to take advantage of you in any shape or form?”


    Ms. Goodwitch sighed. “Mr. Tremaine housed you until now, Ms. Belladonna. We have proof of it and the only thing we don’t know about is the reason behind such a predicament.”

    “You mean like… that kind of ‘taking advantage’? I-” Blake blinked with her eyes wide open, there was just so much wrong in that statement.

    Sid had barely touched her, the closest thing to contact being simple hugs she was guilty of having started herself.

    She blinked again and shook her head. “H-He didn’t do such thing,” The Belladonna finally answered. “A-Actually the situation is mostly my fault. I caused the issue.”

    “Elaborate please.”

    A nod left her head, still nervous as she had to explain the ‘awkward’ beginning of that odd relationship.

    “Mr. Tremaine had a… plant of cat nip in his house, the ventilation from within his flat pushing the scent of the plant outside and… I was incredibly drained from the battle by the docks,” The young woman stated, pausing momentarily as to fight back the little blush evolving from that memory. “W-When I entered inside, I ended up missing the scent and… I ended up too tired. There was a couch as I had entered the living room and-”

    “You invaded someone’s house, Ms. Belladonna,” Ms. Goodwitch finally showed her known sternness. “Someone that, I guess, was pretty much irritated by such invasion.”

    The girl gulped nervously. “H-He was. He wanted to call the police and… I might have cut his phone in the process and-”

    “Not only you entered inside private property but you also damaged more of said property?” The headmaster blinked, more impressed at the escalation than embarrassed by such behavior. “Please continue.”

    “I was initially ready to leave the flat but… I decided to return to it later that day, by nighttime-”

    “And you spent the night there.” The teacher sighed tiredly, her hand on her face as she tried to hold back the headache coming from such a tale.

    “He let you stay, didn’t he?” Ozpin asked curiously. “And maybe he wanted you to repay the damage you have created during such panicking moments.”

    The girl nodded, but the deputy headmistress jumped at this.

    “But still, to have you work at the same place he was… and just for a phone?” She looked skeptical and it was the old man that decided to press the issue.

    “Ms. Belladonna, how did you… enter the flat?”

    “I might have...” She gulped again, this time her stare was fixed away from both teachers. “Broken through a section of the ventilation by the roof… twice.”

    “Mr. Tremaine has to have been your luckiest bet, Ms. Belladonna,” Ozpin admitted suddenly, warranting a quick glare from his deputy. “But I still think what you have done will warrant some punishment. The story you have forwarded will be used to address the public and your team, but I expect you to never miss any appointment of your detention.”

    The Cat Faunus blinked and she slowly turned at Ms. Goodwitch. “Which is?”

    “Therapy sessions, Ms. Belladonna,” The headmaster replied instead, drawing the girl’s confused look. “I will be taking control of such duty onto myself, I wish to unfold this case myself as this goes beyond mere school teaching.”


    “You will find me free by the time normal lessons are over by Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” The man continued while he ignored the Faunus’ question.

    “And Glynda, please escort Ms. Belladonna to the infirmary,” He concluded while looking at the blonde. “I think she requires some rest and some check-up over her Aura levels.”

    There was no space for protests as Blake was escorted out of the office and right to the curiously-immense room that was assigned to take care of people that needed medical help.

    Sadly, said realm was overseen by a particularly-creepy individual.

    A young woman, a Fox Faunus with a penchant for needles.

    She looked like a normal person at first, but Tsune was by no mean normal, especially when she had been so stubborn in trying to administer some needles to the Cat Faunus for the sake of the ‘check-up’.

    It was a simple look at her Aura levels, not a transfusion, and so her stubborn attack was rejected with equally if not stronger determination.

    She wasn’t in the mood to deal with needles of all things, especially since her mind was having trouble understanding what she was supposed to do with Ozpin’s words.

    Therapy? For her of all people?

    Sure, the insane development that led to her strange relationship with Sid could be seen as concerning if not worrying to a fair degree, but Blake wasn’t in need of some therapist.

    Especially if said therapist was some cryptic headmaster that seemed to require some sessions more than she did with the way he seemed so weary and tired all the times, even though he was continuously drinking coffee and walking outside his office, away from the peculiar stack of paperwork piling by the holographic desk.

    Now that she was alone to her thoughts, Tsune having retreated to ‘play’ with some other poor student and with Ms. Goodwitch having to start her lessons, Blake couldn’t help but start to realize how difficult it was all going to be.

    With Ozpin knowing about what had really happened in the last two weeks, it sure was going to take a while to ‘rebuilt’ whatever sense of trust the man had over her to not put her under surveillance 24/7.

    And yet, despite being spared from continuing to deal with both teachers during this hopefully brief stay at the infirmary, Blake’s eyes ended up widening in immediate panic as she noticed three individuals approaching by the entrance.

    Ruby was leading the little group, a nervous look on her face as her silver eyes found the Cat Faunus.

    Next was Yang, the blonde blinking in surprise but seeming surprisingly relaxed compared to what she had expected her to be… but she still looked quite concerned herself.

    Finally, amber eyes locked onto light-blue ones and… Blake frowned.

    The Heiress of the SDC, which the Belladonna had thought to find enraged and ready to spark some new escalation with the newly-returned team-member.

    Weiss’ posture was slightly slouched, quite uneasy-looking as she kept quiet while following behind the brawler.

    The Schnee’s eyes… those were red and puffy. She had cried, gods know how long ago but it was evident to see some guilt plastered on expression.

    What happened to her?



    Ozpin knows… I mean, he has control over most of the cameras in Vale, I think he would know that Blake is lurking around and… why wouldn’t a teacher notice and report?

    Yet he didn’t take her back with aggressive diplomacy? There is a deep reason, something that will be expanded on those ‘therapy sessions’.

    Ozpin will not be Dumbledore, I think I’ve turned him in that far too much in my stories and… here comes a smart and somewhat reliable mentor. Will he screw things up with everyone else? Not that I plan him to, no.

    Also before someone screams ‘REEEE! You had someone screm at Waiss! You meanie dummy, delete, unwatch, unsub, REE!’, I can tell you all that no, no one actually addressed directly Weiss and pushed her to this current state.

    It was something… that comes from within.

    More will be given out next chapter… when I will pull a mystical and fun move. I think it’s about… chess. Nothing more, nothing else… but expect some more ‘trouble’ for Blake’s own life.

    Lastly… what if I wrote a Jojo SI that takes over… DIO-sama!?
  3. The Brotagonist

    The Brotagonist A Neo Outlook on Life

    Oct 2, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Well, I'm not terribly surprised by these developments. I figured it'd be her reconnection with RW(B)Y and subsequently dealing with the consequences of running away - twice, now. After all, she did do all that she did without so much as a text that she was fine and not to worry. Going by your AN, I'm surprised that her guilt is so prominent. I didn't really think either Ruby or Yang gave her the verbal beat-down as I was sure Yang would still be feeling mighty sore of Blake's abandonment of her friends and team. And Ruby is still very much a wall-flower at this point, so I couldn't imagine her butting heads with Weiss.

    I wonder if Neo is here by Cinder's orders or not... Is this an attempt at introducing him into the fold or just a means of keeping an eye out for him. It could also be Roman and or Neo simply making note of this individual that has Cinder's attention.

    I don't really know what you mean by that. Do you mean I'm in support of the Bumblebee ship? If so - Wrong. I don't ship any of RWBY within itself, period.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
    JBukharin likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: To mend our mistakes-

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 13: To mend our mistakes-

    ~Weiss’ POV~

    The last two weeks at Beacon Academy had been… fairly difficult for a certain white-haired young woman.

    Weiss was certainly not expecting so many issues to explode out from a simple morning spent ‘scouting’ for any possible competitors for the approaching tournament here in Vale.

    The incredible discovery that one of her teammates was a Faunus and had been part of the White Fang having given the young heiress no little concerns over the overall situation here at the school.

    She could remember the particularly-heated discussion, the clashing of two stern minds over something that was sore for both girls and… then she remembered the immense revelation from Blake.

    The Faunus wasn’t someone she had been much attached to and the Schnee wasn’t certainly going to deny such thing before reality.

    Both had been at odds since they have met each other, starting from the very first day at the Academy by how the Belladonna’s patronizing voice had taken a strong jab at the heiress while Weiss was chiding Ruby’s clumsy behavior.

    She should have expected, not truly, that the very intervention hadn’t been a casual-driven one, nor one out of pity directed the red-caped leader of the team, mostly because how in that very case the target of her careful lecture wasn’t the girl herself but the Schnee Family as a whole.

    Anger had sparked from the sudden discovery and the soon-to-follow disappearance of the Cat Faunus brought even more irritation to the Atlesian girl’s mind over the matter as it made the whole subject more aggravating.

    She didn’t hate Faunus, nor she supported her father’s cruel and cynical vision he had of the little group within humanity but Weiss would never deny the intense hatred she harbored for the White Fang as a whole.

    It wouldn’t be a lie to say that, despite having lived in a state of luxury and riches, her childhood had suffered immensely from the radicalization of the terrorist organization as Jacques Schnee wasn’t certainly someone that knew about ‘letting off his frustration’ only on poor fools working under him.

    Dinners would became literal battlefields with the man going as far as verbally lynching anyone that tried to bring him any more dissatisfaction for those days, his loud and stern tone bringing out quite the horrible individual to have nearby.

    Winter managed to dodge the worst of those moments by the second she was accepted in Atlas Academy, her big sister having long assured that her stay in that ‘house’ wasn’t something pleasant as a home should give to any of its inhabitants.

    Whitley was surprisingly smarter as he was quick to notice the higher-degree of positive attention and decided to merely become a shadow to Jacques instead of even considering trying to get a chance at life away from the gloomy prospect of a business-dominated life.

    Then there was mother… and she was not here.

    Memories of her early childhood did show a more-active Willow Schnee during those moments, the woman clashing more than eagerly against her husband for the sake of keeping some sanctity during dinners.

    A strong personality that slowly dwindled down to a husk by the time Weiss was ten, the daughter of Nicholas Schnee preferring to drown her own imprisonment experience in wine rather than try to give better chances to her children.

    And… there was grandfather.

    Nicholas Schnee was possibly the last element of staunch resistance against Jacques’ cold demeanor, the founder of the SDC doing his best to try and keep the former Gelé from shattering any resemblance of the growing family but…

    Then fate decided to bring another reason to hate the White Fang.

    Grandfather was a memorable figure from her first few years, even Winter used to muse back at the ‘pretty years’ experienced while the kind old man was alive and giving them attention and care.

    But despite the ever-cheerful behavior, it wasn’t difficult to spot some tired sighs leaving his lips once or twice in a while as he would give them some of his time to spend either playing around or having pleasant discussions.

    It all changed one day when they were all enjoying a little walk to the park.

    Mother had decided to stay back home to take care of Whitley, her brother still a toddler at the time, and Nicholas had been more than elated to take both her and Winter for a little walk around the natural site nearby the mansion.

    It was all going well, she could remember the laughs, the sun bathing her with its light and-


    It had been so sudden, so unexpected.

    A quick and blunt hit to the back of her head to maim her while the real target of the assassination attempt was killed away from her sight, the immediate attack bringing her to faint before she could understand what was going on.

    Weiss would then wake up a full day later, some bandages applied over her head as her mother continued to sob by the chair nearby her bed back home.

    Those tears would be the last time Willow Schnee would try to stand up against Jacques, her husband having been quite uncaring of the passing of his predecessor.

    Nicholas Schnee was killed by a ‘rogue’ group of the White Fang that had managed to infiltrate the group of guards keeping watch over them at the park, their surprising assault managing to quickly overwhelm the old founder of the SDC and, despite capturing all of them, the ‘bringer of the modern era’ wouldn’t survive to see what happened next.

    Atlas’ outrage at the ‘rebellious cell’ would be the final nail to the coffin of the older leadership of the Fang, the first leader having to step down in shame at the horrible crime perpetrated by his own creation.

    With the peaceful but mostly isolated man stepping down, Sienna Khan emerged to render the organization ‘capable of properly bring change to Remnant’.

    Violence increased, but so did Jacques’ bouts of anger back home and… with Winter having left to join the military and with Whitley well-aware of not doing anything ‘bad’ before their father when he was furious, Weiss found herself alone before the irritation of her authoritative parent.

    A grade a little less than perfect? A two-weeks detention away from any of her hobbies.

    A ‘bad tone’ used before her father? She would get a slap for being ‘cheeky’ and ‘rebellious.

    Things would only escalate from there, but then Weiss was given a way out in the form of enlisting to Beacon Academy.

    Time passed since the first day, some bumps along the way forced her to concede and surrender some of the harsher bits of her own cold exterior for the sake of ‘giving some efforts for the team’.

    Ruby proved to not be as problematic as she had initially thought her to be with the two years she had skipped by joining the Academy this early and her older sister was a teaser at best rather than an outright troublemaker within the school’s premises.

    It was Blake that turned out to be a… problem.

    Not a ‘problem’ in the sense of a pending issue that would cause her to make mistake or endanger the team… but someone that barely connected with the other three girls.

    Even Yang had to admit early on that she barely knew the Belladonna to say if she expected or not such a development, thus bringing endless questions to the already overworking mind of hers.

    Why did Blake join Beacon Academy?

    Why would Ozpin accept her to the school?

    Did the headmaster know about her past affiliations, and if so why did he still let her enlist to Beacon?

    The first week after the battles at the docks was one where Weiss’ confused anger would cause her to make some terrible bad choices.

    First, the Schnee ended missing some of the study sessions she herself had planned to have with Ruby, the Rose asking multiple time if she needed some time to think or even rest by the way the heiress would act out outside.

    It was kind of nice considering how latched the younger girl had been to her since the initiation test (if not before if she had to consider the clumsy meeting), but she had then scoffed at her concerns and kept going.

    Some tests did suffer with her lack of focus, her mind failing to concentrate and calm down as the frustration continued to pile up within her core.

    Finally, her sleeping schedule was ruined by frequently waking up during the night and rending her just a little bit of rest compared to the usual.

    She had been tired, unnerved and terribly difficult to get to talk to, especially when that situation at the bar occurred.

    It was the culmination of any other interactions with people, the waiter, albeit in the right with his duties for the activity, had been treated awfully out of ill-judgment than with impartial analysis.

    This very encounter proved also to be decisive as Yang decided to finally confront her over her attitude, her blunt questions quite difficult to deflect considering whom she was dealing with, but it didn’t turn into a nice discussion to have.

    Angry words were exchanged, some shallow insults thrown here and there… before the Xiao Long decided to bring out something she had not considered until now.

    What if Blake isn’t avoiding us? What she got caught by them?

    What if, she mused at that deafening throwback, what if Yang had been correct with this statement?

    In a rare instance of lucidity, Weiss finally decided to pause in her furious state to walk back on her step, right to the origin of this issue.

    Back to the questions, those little confusing bits that made the whole situation weird to consider.

    Why did Blake attack the Fang if… she was still part of them? Why did she fought with them against the criminals?

    From there theories stemmed sporadically and mercilessly within her mind, the heiress found her attention once more consumed by this pressing issue, this time her anger turning in worry about the subject.

    It was just a minor pulse at first, then the concern started to grow the wilder her thoughts over the matter would get.

    What if Blake had left the Fang because they had turned bad?

    What if she tried to save people but she was almost killed by this?

    What if Ozpin offered her shelter by letting her join Beacon?

    Another week passed, her grades continuing a little decline, this time softened by the much-accepted help offered by the rest of the team with her own homework.

    It was odd to see how the tables had turned, from a laborious girl that would drive the entire group to pick up the pace for school’s duties to someone unwilling to even turn a page from a thin book.

    Odd indeed.

    But not as odd as what ended up happening by the turn of the second week after the battle, the message sent by Ms. Goodwitch to their Scrolls notifying them of an important development about their missing teammate.

    Blake was back… and her return happened after the destruction of a suspected White Fang’s stronghold.

    It didn’t take much for the heiress to connect dots, her pace a little quicker than usual as she followed both Yang and Ruby to the hospital ward of the school and… there she was.

    The Cat Faunus wasn’t donning her signature bow, her animal feature in full display… with the various cuts and tears on her clothes. Those hadn’t been there back in the aftermath of the last time they had seen her

    The Belladonna didn’t look to have endured too much, but there were signs of injuries on her exposed arms, enough to dignify one of the worst scenarios possible with her capture.


    Tsune, the woman that was responsible for the ward, quickly notified the rest of the team of the situation, about how Weiss had been correct in the end.

    Blake had been captured while giving pursue to one of the younger members of the organization, two weeks spent in that warehouse, to be ‘brought back to reason’ with the ‘proper means’.

    It was ‘luck’ that had granted her the means to escape, to destroy the place before they could have tried to attempt anything worse than stealing shipments of Dust.

    The explosion had echoed across the capital, even those here at Beacon had heard it.

    Ruby and Yang were the more talkative, asking the right questions to the safely-returned member of the team, the Faunus slightly embarrassed by the attention but certainly not unhappy for the concern.

    Yet, despite the positive words coming from both girls, the Belladonna’s attention was taken by Weiss herself. Or rather by the reaction the Schnee was displaying in that very moment.

    Utter silence, the Atlesian girl’s face was set in a simple blank mask that kept inside whatever emotion was behind her external shell.

    She had to also look quite tired because of the visible bags below her eye.

    Half an hour passed, Ruby finally noticed that her partner was not taking part in the conversation, her silver eyes frowning in confusion at the lack of intervention from Weiss.

    But instead of calling out this strange behavior or even coax her to join in the discussion, the Rose reached for her sister, tugging at the blonde’s gauntlet.

    Yang turned with a surprised look at her younger sibling, only for Ruby to sigh. “Maybe we should… leave them alone.” The girl stated with a soft but determined voice.

    “But what if-” Lilac eyes widened when the team leader smiled widely.

    “I think they will do anything bad if they chat after… what happened in the last two weeks,” Ruby said calmly. “Plus, I think we should prepare something to help Blake with the current school’s homework.”

    The brawler huffed but nodded. “More homework- Fine, but you have to help with the math problems.”

    Just as the blonde stretched and prepared to go, Weiss noticed Ruby tensing up at this.

    “T-There are math problems for today?”

    The Schnee would have snort at that. It was just so adorable to see the little Rose panicking over something as simple as mere homework.

    The two siblings left the ward moments later, leaving Blake alone with the cause behind her leaving, behind her crescendo of problems and…

    This certainly isn’t the brightest idea Ruby could have had about this delicate case.

    She could have just avoided the talk, waited for better times and… yet the knot in her chest ignored her little need to leave that unpleasant and unbearable circumstance.

    The heiress gulped nervously but… she was ready to give her best.

    Her lips parted as the words formed on her tongue.

    “I’m sorry-” “I’m sorry-”


    ~Blake’s POV~

    Of all things that could have happened in that very moment, this development wasn’t something she had truly expected.

    Blake’s eyes widened in noticeable surprise as her apology was met with a genuine one coming from the Schnee, the fellow girl looking shocked herself by their mutual response, somewhat embarrassed by the curious impasse.

    Weiss was… a proud individual, someone that wouldn’t just consider apologizing with someone even if her fault was evident to the rest of the people… and yet she was apologizing...

    To her.

    Blake was the one that bolted, that left the group for the sake of avoiding the confrontation, to ‘help a child out of the White Fang’ and… she was the one in needs of apologies.

    Was this a joke? Maybe it was an attempt to-

    But to what end?

    It was just maddening. The situation was strange, if not awkward considering the strangely frail nature of the Atlesian’s girl current stance.

    She looked incredibly tense, quite nervous and-

    That wasn’t making any sense to the Belladonna, nor was how the already-odd reply was followed.

    “I-I didn’t mean to-” The Schnee resumed briefly, sighing tiredly and nodding. “P-Please talk.”

    ...She was stuttering. Weiss Schnee was stuttering.

    Her confusion increased and she blinked twice before addressing the unexpected predicament.

    “I’m sorry for… leaving so suddenly after the battle at the-”

    “I-It’s fine,” The heiress interjected quickly, an uneasy smile appearing on her face. “I-It’s not your fault if… if all of this happened.”

    Blake’s mind was forced to reboot before this insane development, her attention now fully fixed upon the behavior Weiss was displaying in that very moment and the reasons urging her to say things like this.

    It just didn’t make sense as the last time she had seen the heiress before returning to Beacon, the girl had been completely angry, terribly irritated by everything and everyone.

    But now? Now it was like she was looking at a shadow of what once was a bratty rich girl. Gone was the arrogance, the stern looks and the pompous posture of the young woman.

    Now the heiress looked incredibly little, as if she had reverted to a younger state of herself.

    “Weiss,” The Belladonna started slowly, still unsure how to deal with this situation. “Do you… think that my capture is your fault?”

    There was a brief moment of silence, the girl blinked surprised and then… blinked again.

    “I don’t think that, no,” Weiss assured with a nod, her smile deflating a little.

    Blake felt some relief at that, happy that this wasn’t what she had thought it to be-

    “I… know that it is my fault.”


    Her amber eyes widened. “Weiss, I decided to give chase after the battle. You didn’t have anything to do with-”

    “If I hadn’t been so vehement back during our last discussion,” The Schnee interrupted with a stronger tone. “This wouldn’t have happened. The battle, the chase and… the capture.”

    “You- You can’t be serious,” The Belladonna commented back, her surprise flooding her voice. “We both went too far-”

    “But I could have tried to-”

    Listen,” The Cat Faunus intervened quickly. “I understand that you are upset over it, but I’m fine. You don’t have more fault than I have.”

    “U-Upset? You think this- this is just me being ‘upset’, Blake?” Finally, something close to anger seemed to burst within her words. “You said you were lucky- you know that things could have surely gone worse if ‘luck’ hadn’t been there for you.”

    Things would have gone definitively much worse than… what happened with Sid’s intervention.

    It had been so close for Adam to go and do something she didn’t want, to be forced to… to go that far and-

    No, she didn’t need to think that now of all times. Not now that she was back at Beacon Academy.

    Her mind tried to calm down at that interesting thought, the dreadful content more than enough to dissuade her from persisting along this line.

    Sid had rescued her, they were both fine and she shouldn’t be lingering too much over that tiring night.

    Sadly, Weiss didn’t know about what had truly happened with that circumstance.

    Just like for Ruby and Yang, the heiress knew only that it’s been only the Faunus to accomplish her own escape with nothing else but… ‘luck’.


    “What if you had been hurt beyond mere torture?” The heiress interrupted again, seemingly lost in that cycle of eventualities. “What if you had been killed?”

    “It wouldn’t have been your fault-”

    “I would have been the one to survive from this mistake, as much as you make it appear equal to yours,” She continued while ignoring the Cat Faunus. “I would have had guilt, while you wouldn’t have had another chance at-”


    Blue eyes widened, the Schnee snapping out of her gloomy reverie as she noticed that she was already trembling, shivering as little tears were forming by the edges of her eyes.

    “I-I didn’t mean to bring-”

    “You didn’t, I know.”

    “B-But I-”

    “Weiss,” Blake finally said with a tired tone, her eyes softening as she sighed. “Can you please… come closer?”

    The request sounded odd even as it left her lips, yet the idea was the only thing that worked to avoid the predicament to escalate even more.

    The heiress blinked in minor surprise, but she did comply as she took two steps closer, just enough for the Belladonna’s arms to reach out and bring the girl close.

    Weiss was shocked by the sudden action, her head comfortably settled on the Faunus’ shoulder as the girl squeezed her close.

    Intimacy wasn’t certainly something the dark-haired girl was known for, but it wasn’t something that was completely awkward considering the extreme confidence behind the act.

    You are a brat,” Blake whispered furiously. “A spoiled brat that can’t just understand when it’s your fault and when it’s not.

    In that very moments, glimpses of how the Schnee would back before this very moment flashed all at once in her mind.

    The numerous times she would try to intervene in any study session, to arrogantly had her own ‘experience and knowledge’ to the matter while denying the help of others.

    Barking a lot before her peers, trying to appear strong, brave… acceptable.

    But that mask did fade just moments before Blake had left the docks, before she had decided to avoid the confrontation.

    It had been a little detail, a minuscule speck of time that she couldn’t remember at first but… now she could.

    Weiss’ face moments before giving a furious scowl, before giving a ‘proper’ reaction to the situation.

    There was shock, there was self-disappointment and… there was fear.

    Fear of having failed someone.

    “I-I- What?”

    You try to appear so mighty and perfect,” The Belladonna continued. “But I know that’s not true.

    “I’m not per-”

    Even trying, even denying your own attempts; You know that your father isn’t here, you don’t have to-

    “I still have a duty as a-”


    Blurting the word sounded so… apt for the predicament but Blake herself was aware that this wasn’t something born from her own perception of things.

    Instead of tackling the highly-emotional predicament with her miser experience over the topic, she had slowly but unconsciously slipped in the kind of personality she had been subjected to for the last two weeks.

    “I-I’m not a moron!” The heiress rebuked scandalized.

    “If you truly think you have a duty even though nobody is caring for your title,” The Cat Faunus stated with utter certainty. “Then yes, you are a moron.”

    Weiss huffed, her trembling starting to reduce. “O-Of course I’m not-”

    “Guilty of anything.”

    Blake felt in a roll, a strange emotion considering that she had little experience of winning a conversation of this kind.

    And the strange amusement rising from her chest as the Schnee was subjected to a ‘Sid treatment’? Was this how the young man felt when he controlled a discussion?

    What an addictive sensation.

    “Y-You are trying to make me angry-”

    “Or maybe I’m telling the truth,” The Cat Faunus continued mercilessly. “Let me ask you something, what if you were wrong?”

    “I’m not- what are you even talking about?!” Weiss exclaimed in shock, yet she didn’t even try to end the ongoing embrace. “Wrong? It’s logical for me to be-”

    “A silly girl that overthink over simple matters,” She said while squeezing her closer. “I’m here, I’m mostly fine and you are trying to hold back the fact you feel dumbly guilty about what had happened to me.”

    “I-It’s not true,” The heiress said slowly, her mouth settling on her shoulder while her arms started to wrap below Blake’s armpits and around her waist. “Y-You are the moron- and a dolt!”

    “I thought that was only… Ruby.”

    Weiss snorted at that. “Ruby wouldn’t do something as foolish as you did and-” The Schnee paused, tensing a little before sighing in defeat. “In retrospect, I could see her ‘plan’ something far worse than that-”

    “Then I’m not a dolt.”

    “You are still a dolt for- for bolting like a… moron,” The Atlesian girl shot back with a final huff.

    For some reason this exchange just sounded so… good.

    It was a lighter version of that little heated discussion they had before the Belladonna had left Beacon to find more about the White Fang, but instead of mean-spirited words it was all about childish comebacks and responses.

    Something that wasn’t meant to hurt but to be perceived as a playful tug of war.

    “And you are still hugging this moron,” Blake snapped back with a mirthful tone, gaining another snort from the Schnee.

    “Just because you are… warm and soft,” The white-haired girl muttered quietly, trying her best to cover the fact she had been crying until now.

    But the Belladonna had noticed by the time her shoulder registered something wet falling continuously right where the heiress’ head was settled.

    “I guess I am.”

    “T-This doesn’t mean anything else,” Weiss stuttered a little, embarrassed by the teasing edge on that comment. “You are just-”

    “Someone ‘warm and soft’.”

    “Y-Yes but-”

    The Cat Faunus snorted, interrupting the little exchange for a brief moment.

    “You should probably get something for your tears,” She admitted with a calm sigh. “You wouldn’t want to be seen by Ruby and Yang like this.”

    Surprisingly enough, the heiress merely sighed back.

    “And you should do something for your purring,” The girl threw back with a small smile forming on her lips while she moved out of the hug, her right sleeve over her eyes to give remove some of the tears on her face. “Wouldn’t want for Xiao Long to tease you to death with Cat puns.”

    That very comment brought the Belladonna out of her ‘Sid moment’ and back to her introverted self as her jaws dropped in shock at the comeback, her cheeks sporting a bright blush at that very detail.

    She was purring but… when did she started to do that?!

    Weiss giggled at the shocked expression. “Y-You might have some backbone, Belladonna,” She started with a somewhat happier tone. “But you are still a dolt.”

    Before Blake could reply to that comment, the heiress decided to pick some handkerchief by her sleeves and deal with the tears remaining, walking away from the infirmary with a smug smirk on her face.

    Alone in the infirmary, the Cat Faunus was left to finally consider what had just happened until now, her amber eyes widening more and more as the sudden escalation became clearer to her current state of mind.

    Her blush grew even more, her confusion intensifying as she thought how her mind had just decided to ‘switch’ with how Sid would usually deal with her.

    It was an odd reaction as she wasn’t much elated by how the young man would use logic and reason to beat her in mind-games or simple conversations, but for some reason she found the experience of being the one in control in a situation to be…

    Awfully delightful.

    It was like she was given freedom over how a situation should develop, if it should be a tame conclusion or a complicated one, positive or negative.

    Of course Sid would never know of this. If the human ever so come close to discover that she had made use of his own means of persuasion, she would never hear the end of his gloating.

    It was hard enough to endure his smugness when he would outmaneuver her in some conversation, Blake would surely be done for if he got this event as teasing material.

    Hopefully, he will never know about this. Just like he will never know that I did stole a milk can before leaving the flat.

    Just as a smile finally broke through her confused mask, her happiness deflated instantly as she caught sight of someone approaching her bed with a bright smile and… a dreadful amount of needles in her hands and… tail.

    How is she juggling so many of those with just her tail!?

    “Ms. Belladonna~!” Tsune declared giddily as she rushed towards her with the pointy ends of the horrible medical instruments of pain. “It’s time for your medications~!!”

    Blake didn’t hesitate with her next action as she jumped off her bed and, without looking back, bolted away from the threatening woman now giving chase to her.

    And while the Cat Faunus dealt with quite the predicament in the form of pure sadism incarnate, a certain white-haired girl couldn’t help but feel the need to smile.

    Ruby would be curious about why Weiss would be this cheerful that day, especially after spending some time talking with Blake, while Yang would tease about ‘the Ice Queen was finally melting’.

    Yet, despite the light-heart undertone of such comment, the heiress couldn’t help but blush at the thought of melting.

    She had been so close to Blake, her warm breath and her incredibly soft skin driving her to a state of calm she had experienced just a few times in her childhood.

    It was refreshing and… somewhat quite strange to think back about.

    As strange as the swift pace her heartbeat was going at those comments coming from the Xiao Long, the undertone missing as only a certain innuendo persisted.

    But that couldn’t be, couldn’t it?

    Then why was her heart beating so loudly?



    Either a virus or you have been caught by Blake’s undeniable charm.

    Let us admit that, given some backbone, the Belladonna can easily get Remnant as a whole as a harem.

    Still, pairings are inconsequential to the plot and before anyone throws grenades at me for pulling a Monochrome fluff scene, I do remind you that I will have Ladybug and Bumblebee scenes too.

    Why I don’t care for pairings? Well, let me ask just this question: why should I?
  5. The Brotagonist

    The Brotagonist A Neo Outlook on Life

    Oct 2, 2017
    Likes Received:

    Well there goes a majority of my interest in this. You're one of those "Tumblr Polyamorous" shippers, hmm? Blake's Harem - really? The worst aspect of the show that's been pushed so hard by the rabid shipper fans? smh

    Now, I remember why your username was so familiar. You're the "Diary of a Straight Dude" author, that had a RWBY SI being persecuted by the rampant lesbianism among team RWBY that was not received well because of how OOC and Blatant it was. You had them dating and fucking within the first couple weeks. I remember now.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    JBukharin likes this.
  6. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    You missed the "Still, pairings are inconsequential" and "Why I don’t care for pairings? Well, let me ask just this question: why should I?"

    And also the author of The Reluctant Hero, Stark Rebirth (Which is considered a rewrite of Diary of a Straight Dude BTW) and Fate Player Online. Oh, did I miss The Living Bot and Crawl Like a Work? I also remember you, but I also remember you liking Stark Rebirth so yeah, I guess this is the point where you can accuse me of something nonexisting about the story. Do go ahead, I'm here.

    EDIT: You also blatantly ignored the fact this story doesn't care for pairings as in 'There is no real true pairing here' just lots of comedical scene hence the Comedy denomination.
  7. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Muted

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Please don't.
  8. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Do you understand that I wad referring to it more on an Awkward/comedic perspective than true real pairings, right?
  9. Threadmarks: -And secure our bases

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    (Little AN: This story doesn’t have any pairing. Whatever resembles some romantic scenes here is born out of amusing, fluffy and ultimately comedic purposes. There is no Harem, there is no polyamory. If you can’t read this from a two lines-long AN at the end of last chapter, then it’s your fault, no longer mine. And now we start.)

    Chapter 14: -And secure our bases

    ~Sid’s POV~

    It would be a terrible understatement to say that I was nervous about what I had planned to accomplish today with the expected visit of a certain sibling.

    But my worries started way before the beginning of this day, specifically two days ago when I found myself dealing with my newest problem at the workplace.

    The frequent visiting of a certain pink-and-brown-haired ‘ghost’ that had started to be present around the bar ever since Blake had gone for Beacon had left me particularly guarded and incredibly careful of making my trips back home with haste and attention over any stalkers.

    Her mere presence leaving me in a strange state of nervousness around this young woman, the kind of psychological warfare that one either disliked and outright hated to face against on a daily basis and… it wasn’t all.

    Despite the odd presence of such a colorful individual, I had yet to see her do anything even so remotely dangerous for me or anyone here at the Morning Sip, and I wasn’t certainly going to risk sparking some troublesome predicament without proper evidence to back me up with such a complex situation.

    It didn’t certainly help that she would be keeping silent all the time while observing me while I went through my work, merely replying to queries and comments with gestures or by tapping if it was about treats she wanted to buy for that very day.

    I wouldn’t go as far as to call her innocuous with her mannerism, but I was still unsure how to tread with such a fascinating client that seemed to have established a fixation over my person; her giddy smile always directed at my tight composure while I addressed her directly, giving me nothing but displeasure over the matter.

    To make things a little easier for myself, I merely decided to switch her nickname from ‘Ghostie’ to ‘Neopolitan’, the little nickname born from her surprisingly-obsessive attachment to the specific flavor of ice cream.

    It was just… unhealthy how she would just consume so many scoops of the sweet treat on a daily basis, making me wonder if she had some kind of diabetic immunity after consuming so much ice cream in just a few days.

    After experiencing two full days of having this individual around doing nothing but creepily watching me doing the tasks required by my job, my mind was given some minor relief when I finally received a message from someone I had tried to get hold onto after the warehouse debacle.

    Cinder had been keeping quiet at the few messages I had sent her, asking, if not pleading, for her to spare some of her free time for a personal confrontation over what I had learned from this close encounter with the White Fang.

    I hadn’t forgotten how one of the two faux grunts had used some illusion-based Semblance to make me think that I was talking with my own sister, something that was as worrying as infuriating.

    Someone was aware of Cinder and those same people were surely going to try and capture the young woman for whatever purpose they might have about me and Blake.

    Thinking back about the Cat Faunus, I was presented once more to the simple fact that I was now left alone to enjoy my flat without any disturbance, but the lack of those disturbances were indeed leaving a certain coldness over my time spent there.

    Am I really missing her after just two days? Am I that much- Nah.

    Instead of lingering over my own pseudo-nostalgia over the lack of a certain black-haired annoyance, I found myself directing my thoughts back at the serious topic regarding both Blake and I.

    We were the prime targets of some dangerous group, but our family members were seemingly fair game for this unnamed organization, my perception of the entire predicament painting these unknown individuals as threatening with their knowledge they had over our lives.

    It was irritating to be aware of someone trying to do funny business with us all, enraging even that they might even be daring enough to try anything in broad daylight, but I was quite careful to not lose myself in that anger of mine as I knew that cold rationality was what I needed to survive this tight predicament.

    With so little clue of what I was supposed do against these hostile fellows, I wasn’t certainly going to leave myself exposed to more issues until I had properly made sure that Cindy had been warned over the matter.

    It was another slow day at the Morning Sip and I had been quite busy with a handful of clients when the doorbell rang again.

    The noise now long accustomed to my ears and thus I gave it little attention, almost missing the familiar woman with dark-hair, light-amber eyes and a pretty red dress entering the building and taking a seat by one of the unoccupied table.

    My eyes fixed on her smile just for a few moments, before I scurried over to Marcus by the counter, the man having just concluded confirming the payout of some clients, and I proceeded to ask him if I could get some moments to spare with my sister.

    He was surprised by the request, but ultimately he decided to allow me a few minutes to wrap up any sort of discussion I had planned to have with her.

    I was quick to pick the seat in front of Cinder’s, her smile widening as I returned it with one of my own.

    “Good morning, Cindy,” I greeted with a happy voice, getting a little amused twitch from the young woman’s lips.

    I could remember how the nickname had been one born from teasing in our early years back in Mistral, yet with the passing of time it gained quite the friendly connotation.

    Cindy was Cindy.

    “Sid, it’s good to see you so soon,” She replied kindly. “But I reckon that I was fairly surprised when you decided to ask so insistently about having a meeting here at your workplace.”

    Her eyes spared a quick look around the place, fascination and intrigue rising right in her orbs as she took in all the details of the place.

    “A pretty good job, I can assure you that,” I pointed out with a quiet hum. “I assume your workplace is as good, if not more than here.”

    “It could be better, but… I’m happy with what I’ve got now that I’m here in Vale,” Cinder commented with a careful voice. “But I think you didn’t certainly call me here to have some pleasant conversation, nor the owner allowed you to slack off without a serious reason.”

    I felt a little embarrassed at being called out so suddenly, but I gave a slow nod. “It’s complicated and… nerve-wracking.”

    “Then please, don’t restrain yourself from telling me about this,” Her tone shifted away from her previous kind one, to something sporting some genuine concern over the topic. “As your sister, I wish to know what kind of trouble might have gotten you this worried.”

    There was a pause, her lips forming a thin line on her face as she pondered over the predicament while I tried to come up with some proper means to explain the matter without making her panic.

    A difficult task considering how complicatedly easy to panic Cinder was over important topics as the one I had to bring up.

    Just as I prepared to speak once more, her voice ruptured the silence and preceded my intervention.

    “Is it perhaps that Cat Faunus, the one that you have had been living in your house?” She inquired with a tightening tone. “Did she do something to you or-”

    “Blake did nothing… except be subjected to a quite the crime I’ve resolved,” I interjected swiftly, unwilling to have misunderstandings going with my only sister and… I sighed. “Did you read about the warehouse’s explosion?”

    “The one that woke all the citizens in the Kingdom?” She asked sarcastically, drawing a huff out of me, then she continued. “I did hear of such a curious development and I guess you are somehow implicated to the conception of the loud explosion.”

    I flinched a little at the sudden assumption, remembering way too well how perceptive my sister was.

    The fact that I had addressed the ordeal that had me ‘solving’ a crime committed against Blake and the infamous discovery of mere days ago back to back had to have been enough for Cindy to build up some solid understanding of what I was going to tell her.

    At least the general outline of it all since there was still so much left to be described.

    “Something like that, yes-”

    “Was your friend implied to the warehouse? Maybe she was kidnapped?” Cinder pressed on with growing irritation. “You used to be this kind of a troublemaker, but I thought that habit had gone suppressed after you started to study under father’s-”

    “I-It’s not the real subject here-”

    “Forgive me, but I found the fact that my little brother has singlehandedly destroyed one of the strongholds the White Fang had in this region of Remnant only to save a friend that I’m not even sure of her trustfulness over your friendship, to be quite important for me to understand a bit more about.”

    Her calm chiding got me tense a little, my eyes a little wide open at the annoyed expression on her face.


    “If you thought of trying to keep me from getting worried about the circumstances that you were subjected to, I can assure you that the attempt has failed horribly,” She continued with a little scowl. “And Gods know what else you aren’t telling me about as this doesn’t seem to be worthy enough to be fully brought up to me.”

    I sighed. “Before the whole situation happened… one of the grunts that tried to kidnap Blake used her semblance on me,” I mentioned quietly, gaining an intrigued look from her as she gestured me to continue. “She… she had an illusion semblance and she turned herself into… you.”

    A few seconds passed, the young woman tensing just for a while at such revelation as her eyes seemed to show quite the surprise at such development.

    “Was there any difference over my appearance or was it the one I’ve right now?” She questioned with some doubts.

    “It was how you look like now, she got all details correct too and-”

    “This means that whoever these attackers are, they know about who I am to you and thus they used my figure to distract you,” Cinder elaborated with a serious voice, her expression hardening. “Did they hurt you or your friend? If you want, I will make a thorough search of whom might have done this, people that I’ve seen or met in the last few days-”

    “I don’t think it would be a good idea,” I blurted out with a quiet voice. “I don’t think that right now it’s best to expose ourselves to search for them.”

    She blinked. “And by ‘them’, I can feel that you aren’t referring to just those aggressors.”

    “Correct,” I answered quickly. “I’m fairly sure that they were too well-organized to be working without some mastermind or organization behind them. I think they are resourceful enough to know how to pair their men against us and… that is why I want you to know this.”

    She frowned and glanced at me with some irritation. “You think that I can’t defend myself, brother? I thought that you were aware that I’m not someone to underestimate when-”

    “I want you to not have to deal with any unexpected ambushes,” I replied with a stronger voice, catching her off-guard just in that very instance. “I know perfectly that you can kick anyone’s ass, but I wish that you were prepared if someone decided to plan an attack on you.”

    There was some silence, surprise reigning over Cinder’s face as she let my words sink in their mind, understanding the reasoning and the mindful approach I had given in that quick speech.

    If there was something that I knew so much about my sister was that she tended to be fairly easy to annoy when someone called her ‘weak’, taking it as a grand insult to be subjected to.

    And the consequences behind such a ‘crime’ were far too graphic to describe without some major explanation over each cases about it all.

    Albeit a calm and sweet girl, Cindy did always have her own berserk button.

    Peace and quiet concluded as she finally conceded a smile.

    “I guess you are only concerned about my well-being,” The young woman concluded. “Just like I’m worried about yours, little brother.”

    I returned the smile with one of mine and I chuckled. “I guess I was a little stern with my warning-”

    “But very careful to not make me appear as if I was weak before your eyes, you know that I’m-”

    “A strong, resourceful lady that know how to kick ass while chewing gums.”

    A pout appeared on her face. “You know, maybe I shouldn’t have let you watch that movie back when you asked me.”

    I chuckled again. “Maybe you shouldn’t have,” I commented giddily and… then I blinked. “Also, this was all I wanted to tell you and… I would like to offer you something.”

    “I’ve plenty of money to pay for any of those delicious-looking treats,” She hummed back with a certain opposition at my proposal. “But please, can you bring me a cappuccino with some… of the chocolate cookies here?”

    I glanced at the menu she was holding on her hands and I nodded. “I will see for your order to be swiftly delivered.”

    She giggled at that promise and I returned back to the corner to resume my tasks as the waiter of the place, wandering around to confirm other orders before rushing to get those all prepared and given to the various waiting clients.

    Cinder nodded and gave a soft thank you as I gave her the cookies and the beverage she had requested, but instead of quietly enjoying the meal, she looked distracted.

    The young woman’s eyes were carefully glancing away from her cup and her snacks, and right onto the now paler ‘Neopolitan’.

    It was a blank stare, no emotions leaving from her face as to give any clues as to why my sister had decided to direct her glance at the curious-looking client.

    Maybe it had been because she had noticed the attention I was receiving from the pink-and-brown-haired girl, concern erupting from the fixation the girl had over me and… yep, the creepy staring was now gone.

    Instead, I had to deal with the fact that my lovely and normally-calm sister seemed ready to jump on the table and maul the ice cream ‘addict’ I had been having some issues with in the last few days.

    I guess insanity never truly went away despite Blake having left his life for just a while.


    ~Cinder’s POV~


    Roman yelped as he was sent flying to the nearest wall, his body graciously impacting upon the concrete texture and producing some cracks as his aura did create some extra sturdiness to his entire self.

    It had taken her a while to appear calm when she first reached his hideout, to ignore any need to react accordingly at the stupid comments advanced by Torchwick about the loss they were suffering in the form of lacking manpower.

    Recruitment was an issue, but it wasn’t as terribly ill-controlled as the crime boss wanted it to appear before his boss’ eyes.

    Sadly, this little visit hadn’t been one of business and her spares about those of courtesy had drained right as she concluded the one she had with her brother.

    He got himself a job, he is a functional part of society. He has a stable life.

    Groaning in pain while slowly getting up from the floor, the man stopped when he saw that Cinder was already crouching right in front of him.

    “I gave you a simple order, Roman,” The woman muttered with a disdainful tone. “I asked to have a simple thug from Junior’s group to keep an eye on the target, to not have him subjected to any sort of unnerving situation.”

    He squirmed as her heel drove right onto his gloved right hand, almost piercing the flesh.

    “And you decided to send Neo after him, you incompetent worm!”

    To think that he would have sent his henchgirl, the young woman that had so eagerly tortured some ‘misguided’ White Fang grunts back when they had tried to steal some of the loot recovered from the battle at the docks.

    “I-I thought I was just doing you a big f-favor by having him guarded properly,” He wheezed, some of the smoke from his now-forgotten cigar almost choking him up. “This guy, you told m-me he was someone worth of keeping an eye onto.”

    Sid was more than worth of Roman’s guarding effort and the maniacal short girl that had been sent to keep a watch over him had been both a horrible decision but a good one in terms of quality.

    It had been an attempt to muster some compassion out of the dark-haired woman, yet Cinder had already dealt with the kind of person that Roman was.

    Manipulative and ratty, his main objective was survival until it was allowed with what he had around himself.

    The coward-like nature of his submission being as legitimate as aggravating in multiple occasions.

    “I did, but I never mentioned that he had to receive this much of a noticeable minder,” She pressed the heel a little more, getting another yelp of pain out of the suffering crime boss.

    “I-It wasn’t even my fucking idea to send her- She just heard about this mission set at a bar that sells ice cream and she p-pestered me to have it.”

    There was some silence after this confession, her pressure over his hand lessening as the dark-haired woman turned her attention at the ceiling of the warehouse, the object of her immense irritation quietly sitting by one of the metal beams used to keep the roof stable.

    “Is that true, Neo?” Her voice was calm, yet some of her annoyance seemed to influence its sternness.

    Despite the clearly unimpressed look on the older woman’s face, the girl smiled and gave a solid nod before dropping down back to ground level.

    “And pray tell, why did you set yourself in stalking him wherever he goes?

    The mute criminal seemed to think about it and… then proceeded to pick up a purely white sign and… words started to appear on it.

    He is nice.

    A perplexed look settled on Cinder’s face, a result born from the reply itself and the curious usage of the henchgirl’s semblance to provide some responses that required much more than mere gestures.

    “If you think he is ‘nice’, then it shouldn’t be a difficult idea to realize that leaving him alone would do well for your lifespan,” The half-maiden pointed out with a strong voice. “Or maybe you just prefer to be put at gunpoint to get things done with you?”

    Neo’s smile seemed to widen at the blatant threat, dignifying her lack of concern over any negative repercussions.

    The sign reappeared, spinning in the mute’s free hand and revealing some more words on it by the opposite side.

    I guess I can moderate myself a little around him.

    Cinder eased her mind a little at that concession, yet tension resumed when the sign spun again and revealed some more comments.

    But I wonder, why is someone nice like him stuck with someone this horrible?

    Indeed, how did he get stuck with someone that is hellbent in going against the world as a whole.

    The unpleasant thoughts over this sharp jab coming from the midget were quite difficult to ignore, yet the half-maiden managed through it and spoke against her ‘verbal’ opponent.

    “It’s not something that you should interest about,” The woman answered with a newer scowl. “But perhaps I should ask you why the sudden ‘fascination’ for a simple waiter.”

    Neo frowned at the comment, going for a quick walk around the proximity of the two bosses as to ponder over the solution to this dilemma and…

    She shrugged at her.

    Irritation surged even more within her chest at that blatant display of unwillingness to answer, her anger bubbling so achingly that she was half-tempted to skewer the little fool in that very moment.

    “I guess that you are indeed interested by him,” The half-maiden probed with dark amusement in her voice. “To be this much defensive over it.”

    The parasol-wielder merely huffed in silence at that, her eyes narrowing in a show of faux anger at that attempts.

    It was so infuriating to deal with such a complicated being, far more mysterious and difficult to crack compared to the girl’s boss.

    Roman was malleable as the man was perfectly aware of the destiny that awaited him at the first sign of treachery or failure.

    The crime boss had experienced for several years the unfairness of the ‘big fish, little fish’ mentality of the criminal underworld and his ascension to leader did nothing to wash away for those memories.

    But this ‘weak-looking’ girl was far more dangerous than any of the other ‘allies’ she had here in Vale, even more than Emerald and Mercury combined.

    And that was without taking under consideration the usefulness of her perception-altering semblance.

    Very flexible as an infiltrator and a close-encounter fighter, her experience and training proving to be far superior to any other criminal here in the kingdom.

    A pity that this useful pawn had the worst attitude to face in this kind of circumstances.

    “Considering that now you have been visiting the bar for three days now, removing you now will spark some unpleasant suspicions from the target.” Cinder had to ultimately admit in front of Neo, the cheeky-looking girl blinked with a smug smirk on her face while basking in the indirect praise. “And that is why you feel so confident that I wouldn’t try to do anything to you.”

    There was a moment or two of silence, the parasol swirling around while the henchgirl gave a quick nod over the supposition.

    “But there is a little flaw in this plan of yours,” The half-maiden proclaimed softly and with a hint of certainty, enough to draw a frown from the standing-still girl, her heterochromatic eyes widening as fire formed around the older woman’s left arm. “Accidents tend to happen and I would never allow one of my minions recover without my caring watch over them.

    A shiver went down the mute’s spine, but she managed to keep herself from outright show panic at that development, something that pleased Cinder a little.

    Both because it proved that the short woman still had some fiery spirit with her own tasks and… because the struggling just make things funnier for her.

    “So how about you start telling me why do you watch Sid Tremaine so intensively?” Cinder started to probe again, this time having the advantage to back her efforts up. “Why would his actions garner your-”


    Cinder’s eyes paused right on the sign, the sole word drawing multiple scenarios over what she was referring to.


    The sign spun one last time before disappearing away from her sign… yet she spotted the familiar words and she realized that it was a repetition.

    He is nice.

    “Are you afraid of being maimed if you give a truthful answer, Neo?” The half-maiden pressed on with some insistence. “Then I guess you are interested to him because of something else, something that-”

    Angers you.

    The sign made a return, again, and this time Cinder’s eyes narrowed at the impertinent girl.

    “I think I will soon have to punish you.”

    The girl disappeared, her figure shattering like glass before reappearing right where she had really been until now.

    Right onto that damn steel beam where she had been prior to her ‘descent’.

    “Do you think this is all a game for you to play and enjoy? To see how far my patience will go before I prove you that your usefulness isn’t essential?”

    But the mute didn’t answer at that challenge, merely looking down at her with a bored expression.

    Her heel finally moved away from Roman’s hand, the criminal leader rushing his unscathed hand onto the possibly-wounded one, nursing it close as he slowly got up from the floor with a suffering look on his face.

    “I-I understand that Neo got you pissed and all,” The crime boss started to speak carefully. “But while I can’t control her wandering, I can assure you that she will not try anything funny with the brat.”

    Her eyebrow lifted in curiosity. “And why are you so sure of this, Roman?”

    He sighed, calmly making his way back to the table he had been sitting until a few minutes ago, trying to find some more cigars.

    “If there is something I know of Neo, it’s that she doesn’t like to harm ‘nice’ people,” The man admitted with a pained smile. “If she repeats that he is nice, then he should be able to avoid any unpleasant bad end.”

    Very annoying that Torchwick was the only ‘translator’ of such a dangerous element in her plans and yet there was nothing to do about it.

    Neo was a thorn on her side, but one that had yet to display even for a moment something from her behavior that resembled any treacherous thoughts about her commitment to the half-maiden’s cause.

    “If you are so certain of it, I suppose you can bet your life on it,” Cinder mused quietly, the man pausing for a moment in surprise at that aggressive development. “I can see it as a good exchange for even a mere scratch being caused by Neo’s own initiative upon the target.”

    “Of course!” Roman exclaimed with a little grin on his face. “It isn’t like I’m already on a difficult spot with you trying to murder me for little mistakes-”

    “The ‘little mistake’ did force us to let go of Adam’s support,” The dark-haired woman interjected coldly. “We lost men to use as fodders, the Fang was brainwashed enough to be used as the backbone for our operations.”

    “And that is why you got us some interesting contacts from outside of Vale.”

    “Contacts that now would like some of the cake that was supposed to be only yours,” Cinder shot back coldly, causing the crime boss to grimace at this very issue for his part. “I wonder if it was worth to have the information about your last major theft to be leaked to some unpleasant ears.”

    Feline ones to that.

    “Meh, could have been ‘my life’,” He conceded with a heavy sigh. “Still, I don’t want to snoop around but why the boy is that important to get his own escort guard?”

    The question lied unanswered and Roman didn’t pester any longer as the half-maiden graced him with a strong glare.

    “I hope you endeavor with Junior have sparked any good opportunities, some minor thefts that can be done to not warrant the interest of the authorities while we recover from our recent loss.”

    “A few ones, I had them planned out to be completed in a week time,” The crime boss finally relaxed at the easier to understand topic. “But there could be more opportunities before the end of the time I’m giving you. Anything that could be alluring in getting some coin without getting the cops on our trails.”

    She nodded. “Good, then I don’t see any other reason to be lingering about. You better return back to work.”

    Roman nodded, his new cigar now lit on his lips as he alternated his stare between the retreating woman and the paperwork that still required his attention to be concluded.

    Neo didn’t glance at the boss, her eyes directed up at the ceiling as she lied onto the steel beam while trying to catch some rest.

    The next day was going to be a big one for her after all.

    But Cinder didn’t care at all at the lack of ‘goodbyes’ from the two, her mind directing its attention right on the next step of her infiltration.

    With the school uniform fitting her ‘perfectly’, her little efforts to find a wig that best conformed with her overall appearance had resulted in a shoulder-length dark-blue wig that had covered well enough her original dark-haired locks.

    With the Belladonna now studying once more at Beacon, having some extra precautions was just a good way to avoid more suspicion from Ozpin and his little group.

    It was a slow and steady process, one paved with carefully planned steps that were going to provide her with a complete victory over the mind of one of the most ancient souls in Remnant.



    AAAAAAHHHHHHHH! It’s been almost a month since last update and… I’m sorry!

    It wasn’t something born from personal desire, the reason behind so much time had passed since last update is more related to my schedule. (I think I have 16 stories up and running at the moment… goddamn.).

    Now, some quick comments before I get called a ‘Tumblr Polyamory’ writer (in the very story where pairings aren’t even a goddamn thing. You can try to call me that in Stark Rebirth but… I don’t even have Tumblr to begin with!?) [Also quick advertisement: I don’t consider the term a derogatory one as everyone is entitled to their own writing delights and… I’m not even much of a fun of RWBY’s pairings with how aggressive all sides are right now so… yeah, that’s it.]:

    1) No, I’m not pairing Neo with Sid. I’ve decided that her role will actually be a funnier one. It will be actually an apt role for her muteness and mysterious personality;

    2) Blake is not paired with anyone. I will throw some mad scenes of the ships but it will be all in a satirical light than a serious one; (The kitty ain’t getting any tuna tonight, instead she is sticking to some napping.)

    3) If you have managed to stick in there, then you are commended to be a good reader of mine and one of the few that actually do mind the fine lines instead of falling in fallacious arguments because they don’t want to read the ‘boring AN’. Here is a cookie, a ‘Imma Cool’ t-shirt and a pat on your back.

    Lastly. JoJo SI, Chibi Dio starting from Ep1 of Phantom Blood. Name? Absolute Divinity!
  10. Threadmarks: It's good to vent-

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 15: It’s good to vent-

    ~Blake’s POV~

    Her life has suddenly resumed some of its burdened pace, there was no doubt about it.

    Blake was aware that there was a non-negligible amount of people that would surely love to pester around one way or another.

    From morning up to the first pause from lessons, her mind was left in a state of peaceful remembrance as she was once again left to get accustomed back to the school life.

    The first obstacle had been the bathroom as the Belladonna was reminded of the fact she had to share that service with three more girls.

    Having lived just for a few weeks with Sid, a young man that would be swift with his morning routine, she couldn’t certainly ignore the sudden waiting time she would have to endure.

    Yet there wasn’t much of a choice and at least she was the third in line with Yang left for last turn-wise.

    The first lesson of the day was with Professor Port, something that wasn’t truly ideal to start a normal day with.

    It turned out to be as boring as the Cat Faunus could remember it to be back before the battle at the docks, but while her first impulse was to reach out for the little book she had decided to bring with herself, the Cat Faunus had instead opted to make an effort to listen to the actual lecture.

    Some of her fellow students would easily question her sanity at the horrid choice, yet the reasoning within her head was a logical and meaningful one.

    There was no hiding from the truth, Blake needed to improve her current fighting capacity.

    She could remember the rigorous training sessions she had to go through before becoming a White Fang operative, a mix of formal exercise left by some decent trainers within the organization and… some lessons that her mother had been so keen to tutor her about.

    Kali Belladonna had fought much more than her husband has, having trained at Beacon herself and having been one of the top Huntresses before retiring home as per her father’s order, at the time the Chieftain of Menagerie.

    With the extra preparation, rising up from the early ranks proved to be easier than she had thought it to be and she had so carefully started to try out to adapt some new means to keep up with her improvement.

    But then her free time started to tank the sudden increase of responsibilities with her higher roles, forcing her to train lesser and lesser.

    It didn’t help that by becoming Adam’s direct subordinate, she was also left with quite the overpowered companion to trust in any fighting.

    They were quick to find some synergy with their unique styles and from there the need of training had silently vanished from her mind.

    Maybe it was meant to be seen as ironic that it had been Adam’s indirect presence that had caused this desire to rekindle.

    But it was also fairly infuriating how she had been neutralized so quickly against the two thugs.

    Sid had managed to hold a steady ground, something admirable for someone that had just some knowledge and training from his parents, but that also highlighted how much Blake needed to restart some proper daily exercise.

    Her first step was returning her focus back on writing down notes about battle-hardened teachers.

    Albeit Port’s voice tended to get her to distract more than once, the narration he offered was actually useful for someone that most depended on natural instincts.

    If there was something that the old professor’s stories shared up to a fascinating degree, it was the importance for Huntsmen to never drop their guard when they weren’t in a place that could be considered a safe location where to ease up and rest.

    Not only during mission, but also everywhere that wasn’t their home or something even so relatively close to that.

    Scribbling down his accurate and surprisingly-morbid depictions of some of his precise strikes brought back to the Belladonna an interest in resuming her studies of Grimm Anatomy.

    Since she lacked considerable firepower, or at least something close to what her teammates had, Blake was left to rely upon her knowledge of the weakspots that were in Grimm’s bodies.

    Some were quick to notice because of the different shade, mostly reddish, over the beasts’ skin, yet not many first-year students knew about the ‘unseen’ flaws on the monsters’ bodies.

    It had been something that Adam had commented about a couple of years back, when one of their missions had been of clearing up a large area near to one of the bases in Mistral.

    He was methodical, almost eager to swiftly decimate the Grimm that they had been meant to kill and his tone, so suave and yet so tense, made it possible for her head to promptly remember it even now.

    Once Port was done with his lesson, it was time to face a lecture a little more practical than theoretical.

    Professor Goodwitch decided to give about five minutes to describe what was going to happen now that there was a growing number of students coming from the other schools for the Vytal tournament.

    The blonde started by citing how the classes would end up teaching the new arrivals too and how the lessons would take a wider approach to best keep up with the different curricula from the other schools.

    Once the woman was done with her speech, the sparring sessions were officially started and… Blake decided it was high time to get herself engaged with this new purpose at Beacon.

    But just as the Cat Faunus prepared to ask Yang if she wanted to train together in that session, her little attempt was killed as one voice coming from the other side of the benches reached her ears.

    “Teach, I want to fight that stray cat there.”

    The dark-haired girl tensed a little, her eyes scanning over whom had decided to address her in that racist term and… surprisingly enough it wasn’t Cardin.

    In fact, the orange-haired bully looked fairly annoyed by the loud request coming right beside him.

    It was one of the members from his team.

    The young man had light-brown hair combed to the left and… he looked scrawnier than the team leader.

    Was his name… Dove?

    “Mr. Bronzewing, I will not accept requests about fighting students that have been recently hospitalized and I will not tolerate any other remarks of that kind,” Ms. Goodwitch cooly replied, her eyes narrowing at the now squirming young man, but then her attention was taken by a hand that had been raised by the very Faunus.

    “Ms. Belladonna, I hope you aren’t going to-”

    “I think I can do this, Ms. Goodwitch,” Blake interjected politely, ignoring the concerned looks coming from her teammates.

    “You shouldn’t exert yourself this much,” Weiss said, surprising the Belladonna a little with her note of genuine worry. “You just recovered from what has happened to you and-”

    “I appreciate the concern,” The dark-haired girl interrupted quietly, giving a small smile. “I really do. But I wasn’t hurt that badly to need a day off from fighting.”

    The heiress looked a little uneasy about it all, but it was Yang that actually put her at ease.

    “If she has any problems, I will intervene myself,” The blonde said calmly as she turned to stare at Blake right up to her eyes with her lilac orbs. “And that is final.”

    A mere nod ceased the little tense situation, freeing Blake to go for what was supposed to be some simple sparring session.

    Disappointment has never been so quick to come to her mind.

    While she had expected for Dove to be slightly weaker than her, considering how long since she had last trained and that she had been slouching for some time now, Blake had thought that it could have ended up turning into something a little more… instructive.

    Her already-low expectations crumbled when the ‘battle’ began and… the young man proceeded to attack her with some wild swings of his swords.

    There was no logic, no planning, only swinging around in a stupid manner.

    It was somewhat annoying, if not rage-worthy as she would have expected a little more from the ‘standard Beacon student’.

    The Cat Faunus merely used her agility to carefully move through his attacks, press him to keep his footing unbalanced as she continued to stalk him around the arena.

    His confidence collapsed after two minutes of futile lashing out, his eyes widening by the moment as he realized that he wasn’t getting nowhere with his attacks.

    His team kept quiet during the fight, only Cardin was speaking to him and trying to give him some advice.

    But none of the leader’s words reached his mind as he continued to lose more of his ‘dominance’ over the fight and soon he was stolen of the control over his own stance.

    He tripped backwards, a panicked yelp cut shortly as Blake decided to intervene at this point as her boredom had reached far beyond what she was usually capable of bottle up.

    Gambol Shroud moved silently, the ribbon attached to the end of the katana was swiftly unfolded while she delivered a strong kick right onto the side of his face.

    Nothing dangerous, his own Aura had dropped just a little with her attack but the purpose behind this quick physical exchange far complex than it looked like.

    Dove didn’t notice the ribbon was now wrapped around his body, pressing his arms into his chest as it tightened under her hold.

    This time a yelp did leave his lips, but it was a pained one mixed with a groan.

    He dropped to the ground again, trying to struggle out to what was a Dust-reinforced ribbon.

    Some time passed as she loomed over him, her dull expression staring upon his nervous-angry look and… soon it was over.

    Ms. Goodwitch gave Blake some little praise as there was just so few things that she did, while the woman was more than earnest to chide the freed Dove about his lacking capacity in a normal fight, providing him with a list of what he was supposed to do if he wanted to improve.

    Some harsh training for sure, the means that he had to fight were so far close to what Jaune had back when he joined Beacon.

    Cardin was mostly silent, only answering when it was necessary as the teacher repeated the situation with him, giving him the burden to see his teammate shaped up in a proper huntsman.

    The bully gave her a brief glance, and surprisingly enough it lacked any malicious intent behind it.

    The oddity of this case vanished right as she found herself scooped up in a hug by Yang, soon followed by Ruby and… some shoulder-patting from Weiss.

    The rest of the lesson continued smoothly, with Blake still taking notes over the spars unfolding after her initial one.

    Lunch was the next stop and the Belladonna was ready to enjoy some good time in peace and- sadly, fate was a cruel mistress.

    The dark-haired young woman had thought that her team would have been the worst obstacle to face once she had returned to Beacon, yet a certain Monkey Faunus had proved her immensely wrong about this thought.

    Sun was over-joyed with her safety.

    Yes, the term was the closest adjective that happened to wrap up the sheer giddiness the blond had displayed as he had decided to come and see her when it was lunchtime.

    The Cafeteria, one of the few places that she had thought to be devoid of any annoyances, became the ‘battlefield’ for one of the most irritating predicaments she had to face in her entire life.

    And yes, that was also considering Adam’s creepy advances.

    With a wide smile plastered on his youthful face and the hopeful glint in his blue eyes, the young man decided to coat her in various tales about what the Cat Faunus had missed while she had been ‘kidnapped’.

    Stories that were farfetched in most part as they went far and long about the incredible hardship the student from Haven had to go through for the sake of trying to find her.

    The Belladonna was almost keen to snort in several occasions at some exaggerated bits over his main theme, one that saw him following some mysterious trail that was somehow connected to the warehouse where she had been taken into.

    Of course Sun had never come as close to the truth of things as he was so earnestly pointing out, his summary being quickly sniped down by her own team as she had been sitting beside Yang when this situation escalated.

    There was another young light-blue-haired man that introduced himself as Sun’s partner, but while he seemed to be in a friendly relationship with the overly-enthusiastic Monkey Faunus, he wasn’t holding back from intervening in some of the exaggerations.

    Neptune Vasilias ended up being quite capable in trying to restrain the eccentric tale-telling from his ‘brother-in-arm’, his efforts almost doubled by the rest of team RWBY.

    Weiss proved to be prone in dismantling with the driest tone the ‘outlandish’ remarks lingering in Sun’s tale.

    Yang was quick to playfully tease some of the sections that contained innuendos that she keenly exploited much to the fellow blond’s dismay.

    But the one that surprisingly got the young man to cease with his little rant was... Ruby.

    It had come out as a surprise, yet the naive girl was able to unbalance the already-shaky foundation which this ‘incredible’ story was starting to become the more the foreigner student continued to speak.

    Ultimately, it was Neptune that got him to tell the truth over his efforts and… it wasn’t as ‘limited’ as he made them appear.

    By the third day Blake had gone missing, the Monkey Faunus had gained some favors with one of the criminal informants in the capital, yet the man had proved to be unable to find out where she had gone.

    There was no clue, nor hint for any Cat Faunus that had ‘appeared’ in the underworld, thus denying any chance for Sun to even begin some serious investigations and…

    The girl knew that it would have been a shocker if he had.

    Since a large period of her ‘kidnapping’ was spent wandering in plain sight (with some alterations to her appearance, but still there for everyone to see her around), no criminals would have had any reason reported her presence as she was just one of the numerous civilians that walked in Vale.

    A simple dot in a sea of dots.

    Bianca had been a normal individual that spent most of her time around Sid Tremaine, a ‘human’ woman that was merely going with her life by working in a bar by Vale’s central district.

    In the end, both Sun and Neptune decided to walk away from the cafeteria with the intention of looking around some more about the school.

    It meant some brief peace before she was forced to deal with what was left for her to do today.

    Something that she herself wasn’t sure how to deal with.


    The office was surprisingly quiet as Blake took her seat by one of the chair in front of the main desk.

    Ozpin was mostly silent as he took a sip from his cup of coffee, a minuscule hum leaving his lips as he enjoyed the beverage in relative calm.

    He had already greeted her, and he had been quite welcoming by letting her know that Ms. Goodwitch wasn’t going to assist him in this session.

    Numerous were the thoughts rumbling within the Belladonna’s mind over what was supposed to happen now that she was there.

    She had plenty of time to contemplate what the headmaster had truly wanted to known from her by going through what he defined as ‘therapy sessions’.

    As much as the Cat Faunus was aware of, there wasn’t anything that seriously warranted a mental evaluation as she had received a standard one when she was first escorted back to the infirmary just two days ago.

    Nothing about the White Fang, nothing about her kidnapping-

    Yet Ozpin was sure that something about the last two weeks or so had escaped her attention and it was something important enough that had become reason to make this kind of… afternoon chats.

    In her opinion, there was no real reasons that warranted this predicament, and yet there was nothing that she could do about without ending up dealing with more troubles within the school.

    The old man’s attention didn’t seem to stem from something negligible and… surprisingly enough, she had to still understand why.

    Why would the headmaster be interested in what had happened in these last two weeks if she knew plenty enough that nothing wrong had been done?

    The silence lasted a little much more as her musings were left undisturbed, as much as the gray-haired man was finishing up the content in his dark-green mug.

    In the end it was Blake herself to spoke up, finding the curious state of quiet to be far too ‘noisy’ to face for too long.

    It was the inner pressure that had dictated for a response, something to get her to begin what was going to be quite the irritating circumstance.

    “H-Headmaster,” She addressed politely, drawing the man’s eyes on her as he gave her an inquiring look. “H-How exactly are you going to start this ‘therapy session’? Are you going to ask me questions or-”

    “Do you want me to ask questions, Ms. Belladonna?”

    The sudden interjection caused the girl to tense up in a moment of nervousness.

    Her eyes went wide and, a blink later, she frowned. “Wh-What?” Blake asked with a hint of uneasiness.

    What kind of game was the headmaster playing? Why was he dragging this situation so much? And why like ‘this’!?

    “Do you want to turn this in a test of sort, Ms. Belladonna? Where I act as a teacher, pushing you to give me precise answers about a topic you might or might not be aware of?” Ozpin asked with more details. “While I understand that you are frightened by the concept of someone unraveling the inner thoughts you have, I can assure you that I will not push you to do anything except be at ease with yourself.”

    A few seconds passed, his words sinking right deep in her mind as he settled his now-empty cup to the side.

    “I can also deduce you are unwilling to spare any major details about what has happened in the last few weeks, your stay at Mr. Tremaine’s home and...” The headmaster paused quietly, a little hum coming right out of his throat as he glanced up to the ceiling of the room. “Can you tell me about Menagerie?”

    Another unexpected query, yet this time the young woman recovered faster than before.

    “What do you want to-”

    “I’ve visited the place several times in the last couple of decades,” Ozpin interrupted with a sigh. “Yet all of those times was for diplomatic purposes, while I admit I would have loved to see the pearly beaches that the island is known for. Tell me, Ms. Belladonna, are the rumors about their pristine state true?”

    It was a strange topic to begin what was supposed to be a serious session about herself, but Blake didn’t certainly have a reason to truly complain if she was left alone about the real subjects of her discomfort.

    “They look… nice,” She replied quietly, her cat ears twitching in remembrance about her past. “At least, I remember them being quite lovely… until late hours.”

    “Aquatic Grimm are still a threat for those people wandering near the water near nighttime?” He asked with some surprise. “I thought that Mistral had offered some gunboats to solve this issue.”

    “There was some effort to try and eliminate the threat, but things went wrong when most of the guns broke down beyond repair two days after the acquisition,” The girl mumbled tiredly, thinking back at the scandalous development about the boats being left without defenses against the Grimm assembled against them.

    So many lives lost without an apparent reason…

    “Was it sabotage?” The headmaster pressed a little more, eyeing her with barely-veiled surprise.

    “There were some hints about that possibility,” Blake admitted with a blink. “But the Council of Mistral reneged any possibility of that, offering numerous documents over the proper maintenance of the boats during the years those were under their navy’s service.”

    “But it wouldn’t exclude for a willing sabotage, one that happened just before the transaction.”

    She felt her fists on her lap tightening into turning white at the remembrance as she kept sitting on her chair.

    “Yes,” The young woman replied dryly.

    Silence resumed from this very point and Blake almost felt glad of this little pause away from thinking about these uneasy memories.

    She had been incredibly young, almost nine, when her father had started to deal with the grievances coming from the relatives and the loved ones of those that had perished in that horrible incident.

    It had been one of the first issues that had driven Ghira Belladonna to leave the White Fang, as in that very instance a majority of the organization had requested a fiercer rebuttal about Mistral’s almost-mocking reply.

    Yet her father had been forced to sternly refused such a course of action, but his reasoning was nothing to truly be displeased about.

    While it would have been legitimate to clash against the kingdom, the fear of a naval retaliation was big enough to dissuade any violent reprisal.

    There were times where logic had to prevail over the sorrow, and this very circumstance had been one of the ones that her dad had to deal with as the chieftain of Menagerie.

    It wasn’t easy, it was never easy for someone to hold that much responsibility, and yet Ghira Belladonna had done that and much more.

    “Do you miss your home, Blake?”

    Her mind was brought back to reality and away from her memories, right to face Ozpin’s newest question and… the Cat Faunus blinked.

    “I do, sometimes,” She admitted quietly. “Just as every student here as Beacon Academy.”

    The man had a small smile lingering on his face, and it almost widened at her response.

    “Truly?” He inquired with some fascination. “Yet I’m sure you have never thought of calling to your parents and-”

    “They wouldn’t appreciate how things had gone for me,” Blake promptly interjected nervously. “They weren’t much keen when I decided to continue with my support for the Fang even when they formally left.”

    “But they would still love to hear some news about their daughter, wouldn’t they?”

    The Belladonna flinched at the pressure, but she gave a slow nod in return.

    “I guess they would.”

    There wasn’t truly a grand reason why she had yet to contact them, especially since the true threat of re-establishing contact with her parents had literally exploded when Sid had gotten that warehouse to blow up.

    With the White Fang here in Vale crippled from calling back to the main headquarters, Blake certainly didn’t have a serious motivation to not try to call either her mother or her father.

    The issue was… beyond logical and it was related to her own uneasiness over the matter.

    While they would surely love to hear from her, she didn’t feel ready to take that kind of step by herself.

    “I feel myself wondering how they would react if it wasn’t you to speak with them,” The headmaster resumed the conversation with a curious note. “What if it was someone from your team?”

    She blinked at the query, confused by its importance within the… everything that this discussion was supposed to represent!

    They had digressed far and away from what had happened mere weeks ago to talk about ‘pearly beaches’ and ‘talking with her parents’, things that weren’t truly essential for Ozpin to debate about.

    While it was fine to lose some time, it was also best to keep some buttons unpressed.

    Yet Blake pondered over his words, deciding to drag the time of her answer a little more as she thought about that eventuality.

    Yang would probably be the best candidate… until serious topics were to be brought up.

    The blonde was slowly making an effort to make up with the fact she had been ‘uncaring’ towards her about Blake’s own problems, promising to give more attention to her than before, but it wouldn’t be a lie to say that the process was slow and incredibly lacking of grand results so early on.

    Weiss would be quite calm and collected while explaining the situation to them, and would surely have been the best option she had if not for the fact that she was a Schnee.

    While her parents weren’t going to be prejudiced by such detail, the very notion that their daughter was in the same team as a Schnee would have put them on the edge and probably pushed them to pick some drastic choices.

    Drastic choices that wouldn’t be that much acceptable from her part.

    And lastly… Ruby.

    The young girl would surely endear both her parents.

    In the best of scenarios, they would try to make her part of some surrogate family to how much she look as innocent and ‘lovely’ to have around.

    Yet the worst circumstance would see that they would be brought to the fact that someone as young as the Rose was leading their child’s team and, albeit cute, that wouldn’t have been much professional within their own standards of Academy’s experiences.

    Promptly seeing her asked to leave Beacon Academy as quickly as possible.

    Blake frowned at the ceiling, actually surprised by the fact that none of her teammates could technically contact her parents without causing some unwanted developments out of this possible eventuality.

    Seriously, when did things turn so much complicated than a month ago?

    “I suppose it can be truly complicated considering also the recent situation,” Ozpin pointed out calmly, drawing her attention back to him. “But then again maybe there is something that you could do instead of delaying the inevitable as they will learn one way or another with the Vytal Festival.”

    ...Oh Gods, her team was going to compete before hundreds of thousands of spectators, among which would be her parents.

    They would learn at that point and there was no reason to deny the fact they would surely be the ones to call her.

    They would be worried, her father would surely mobilize the entire Menagerie’s guard to ‘pick her up and bring her back home’, while her mom would pester her about the adventures she might have had at Beacon Academy.

    The Belladonna gulped nervously at that possibility, yet her concerns were brought to a state of stillness as the headmaster continued.

    “What if… the one that informed them of your situation is someone that you know and trust well enough to say the right things?” He inquired with a curious voice. “What if it was someone that has a good background and good relationship with you, Ms. Belladonna?”

    There wasn’t much attention to hide about who the man was referencing about and… Blake was unsure about what to think about this newer option.

    Sid was sure quick to get angry, even quicker than Yang, but he was usually fairly nice and diplomatic when calm.

    The dark-haired young woman could easily see him having some trouble with her father since he was a young man and… since Blake had spent two weeks in his flat.

    Still, after the initial annoyance, Ghira Belladonna could probably end up accepting the truthfulness over the matter and, with proper caution, the human could get her story right to her parents without seeing them either go ballistic or extremely worried. Or both.

    Yet this situation would be… quite odd.

    She blinked at the fact that her mother would seriously tease her about this ‘fascinating period of time spent with Sid’, probably pressing her daughter to tell her about how things had gone by in that curious predicament.

    It would be embarrassing, but Blake could at least endure some of the teasing of that caliber.

    It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t even close to have the same drawbacks as the ones of having her teammates deal with this matter.

    “It could… work?”

    Her voice was soft, almost too difficult to hear herself, and yet the headmaster seemed to catch her reply without much of a trouble.

    In fact, his interested expression seemed to grow more intense as his smile widened even more.

    “Isn’t that peculiar that you find yourself at ease at having someone that you have known since a few weeks ago instead of anyone here at Beacon?”


    “While I can see some minor issues born from having one of your teammates to contact your parents, it wouldn’t be difficult for me to help you in making sure they don’t do anything incredibly… brazen with this revelation,” Ozpin started to explain with a cautious tone. “I think you would prefer best to have someone like Sid Tremaine to try his hand at this curious gamble. I wonder why.”

    Was this truly the case?

    Sure, she had thought about Ozpin trying his hand to keep the team from breaking apart… but that wasn’t truly the reason why she had been more interested in having Sid to make that call instead of the girls.

    It was all about making good impressions over her awkward case.

    She would still remain at Beacon, that was undeniable now, but their parents’ reaction would still be a tense one despite Ozpin’s reassurances.

    It would become difficult to mend with that kind of relationship and… maybe she wanted to also do something else about it.

    But what exactly? What did she want to do by having Sid known to her family?

    “I think this session… has concluded successfully, Ms. Belladonna,” Ozpin sighed quietly. “I think your new inner questions born from this enlightening conversation will do well as your very homework for this unique subject. You may take your leave now.”

    “T-That’s it?” She blurted out of shock, surprised that the headmaster wasn’t asking more from her.

    “We have plenty of time for tomorrow or maybe the day after that to discuss about this curious case of yours, but I think we made some progress with this first session,” He replied happily. “You did, in fact, recognize that something is indeed fascinating about your relationship with Mr. Tremaine.”

    The Cat Faunus briefly gawked at his words, uncertain about how to reply to those and… so she merely stood up, giving the man a silent nod as she proceeded to leave the office in utter quietness.

    Despite the ‘progress’ she had made there, Blake couldn’t help but feel that something was still missing.

    What was Ozpin talking about when he mentioned ‘something fascinating’ about her and Sid?



    It’s been a while…

    But I feel much more refreshed!

    I know, I know, people are surely awed at the fact I’m still alive as an author but… I had to transcend reality itself!

    For I, Bukharin, have written the first Dio Self Insert ever! Check out Absolute Divinity, and see how… I got some interesting omakes going among the chapters.

    I would also shamelessly plugin two new Fate stories with ‘Tale of Two Kings (Redux version for FFN)’ and ‘Fate/Last Heaven (Redux for FFN)’, and something about the Las Lindas circumstance with Learning: Affection!

    Now some little words over the chapter:
    1) No, I don’t plan to pair Cardin with Blake in her ‘growing (is it tho?) harem’, but I do plan to make something no fanfiction/story has ever done. Who’s up for a redemption arc? And a redemption with Arc?
    2) This is a 100% Blake chapter. Oh my, we are indeed transcending here to a level of writerhood beyond humane! (I can already feel the WRYY!)
  11. Threadmarks: -When someone listen.

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 16: -When someone listen.

    It was quite early in the morning when she decided to take a stroll around the city.

    Vale was still fast-asleep, and just a handful of people was wandering around at that hour, giving her plenty of time to ponder about today’s plans.

    She was quiet, her silence putting her in her bubble of indifference with those that walked around her, ignoring her peculiar appearance.

    Today was truly going to be a fun day, the young woman could already feel it in her blood.

    Neo was never much of a big-planner, especially when she wanted to spend time doing practical things instead of boring herself out with some doodling.

    It wasn’t like she wasn’t capable of taking some moments to do such a dull activity, it was more a lack of willingness to spend her time delving in paper and ink as the task was usually left to the pragmatic hands of her boss.

    Roman wasn’t good by all mean.

    He was respectful and somewhat accepting of her childish thinking of things, but he was someone that rightfully preferred to not dig too deep in her mind out of ‘fear of going mad’.

    Technically-speaking, the Criminal mastermind was correct that her mind would haul the sanest individual to the closest asylum as her memories were nothing but feverish nightmares compared to the usual hardships of the normal people here in Vale.

    It didn’t actually bother her. Quite the contrary.

    The lack of people as scarred as she was left the short criminal to a pleasant state of calm that just drowned her in complete amusement.

    The world was her oyster, her semblance granting her the chance of enjoying Remnant to the fullest while also giving her a sense of fiction and reality that strayed away from the common perspective.

    Illusions were easy to imagine, but difficult to properly understand.

    Some people can make them seem like they are easy to apply to reality, others required years of training and then there was Neo.

    A mere thought, a little glimpse from her mind represented in reality. She was sure that she could actually create any images she wanted to, but instead of being limited just in imagery and sound, it was the complete perception of people that was tricked by her ‘pranks’.

    A terribly-powerful semblance… left to be used by a giddy girl with no major ambitions and lots of ideas for her current present.

    Heck, even her past had disappeared after mere months of being set free, and the memories had been suppressed by unwillingness to let those anchor her down.

    Silence welcomed her inner request, and she was glad to accept the delightful calm and peace of the world around her while she twirled around at her unknown tune.

    But that was until she felt the need to shake the world for some entertainment.

    A mere spin, maybe a kick or two. That’s when things turned so amusing that even a noiseless giggle would leave her lips at the scenes she would get from minimal involvement over the order of things.

    It was so simple, yet so complicated and quite the gamble to pull through.

    It had been Roman that had given her a proper explanation.

    ‘Everything is a gamble. Going for a walk, hoping to not be mugged or to not step on some crap, and even your semblance can protect you from when life decides to be a mean bitch.’

    A fair thought over the ironically twisted world that housed them all.

    Roman tried to appear sane, but even the image he built over his ‘pragmatic criminal’ person was but a façade of his real self.

    She could remember meeting him the first time. He had been but just a lone thief trying to make successful heists without getting caught.

    The initial operations were all easy activities that were meant to draw rewards with little to no risk.

    He was tired even back then when he first began his career, but Neo could remember some oddly-endearing spark in his eyes.

    It had given her plenty of reasons to see where he wanted to go, where he was trying to walk into and…

    He hadn’t disappointed her despite the lack of sunshine and explosions.

    There was still ice cream for her to buy, her favorite delicacy keeping her satisfied in numerous situations.

    It was sweet and cold enough to keep her from burning names or claiming buildings- wait, she was switching things.

    She hummed silently, her mind budging away from her little deviation into this pleasant, but distracting topic and right into the real issue of her current lifestyle.

    Roman was acceptable in her book, Junior fell a little lower in her grading system of people that she knew she could poke around without seeing any retaliation…

    But then there is Cinder.

    Powerful, incredibly-clever, mysterious-

    What an infuriating bitch!

    Not only her semblance was strong enough to put some fear in Neo’s mind, despite the fact that the ice-cream addict was conscious of being capable of avoiding direct attacks thanks to her own abilities, but the fact she had managed to get a tight grasp over Roman made things…


    She wasn’t mad at her boss for bending at Cinder’s demands, knowing well enough that Roman was someone that knew how to play his cards in this kind of instances.

    It wasn’t the first time someone had managed to get him in this kind of predicament, but this time what truly got Neo worried was the fact that Cinder wasn’t planning a mere takeover of some gangs.

    Vale was her target, but even now the general lines behind her ‘planned attacks’ were still unknown to her.

    One can wonder what the dark-haired woman was planning to do with so much Dust, and one can wonder why she had to be blessed with such a good guy for a brother.

    It didn’t take Neo too much effort to discover the connection between the two, especially with how detailed Sid Tremaine’s profile was in the CCTV system.

    Born in Mistral in a family of warriors of different branches, he was the ‘youngest’ if she took under consideration the correlation between him and Cinder.

    He had some combat preparation, but never went to continue his studies in Haven as he preferred to keep a civilian route for his last school years.

    This bit was confusing for multiple reasons since the young man had an enviable certification that could have seen him become quite the influential hunter in Mistral.

    There was no comments about this information, driving Neo to fish for some more details to keep herself attentive to what was going to be a long mission.

    Not that the young woman minded the extended period of time spent away from the hideout, especially since she was supposed stay at a bar that offered well-made ice creams!

    Indeed, this assignment might lack the excitement of fighting her way through some pesky cops or backstabbing grunts, but it did offer her the chance of some relaxing time alone and without worries of getting attacked any time soon.

    The city was by now well-defended by the Council’s militiamen and Huntsmen, and no criminal in Vale would dare to try anything funny in broad daylight.

    She took the last corner that led right to where the modest-sized establishment was sited, a small smile perched on her face as she decided to skip the usual timing and get in earlier than normal.

    There was no client at the moment and both the owner and the lone waiter of the activity were standing near the counter.

    The young man’s eyes widened in surprise at her appearance, the state of shock making her almost preen at the detailed expression that she could now enjoy together with some sweet treat.

    Taking a seat by her usual chair, she waited for the worker to approach and offer her the menu.

    Neo already knew what was on it, but she would enjoy the moment she had to see him so closely and so expressively.

    This very scene was enough to dignify the curt depiction she had given back to Cinder.

    Sid Tremaine was nice, just not in the ‘kind’ denotation of the word.

    Many waiters had come to avoid approaching her in the places she used to visit in the past for some breakfast or after-lunch meal, fearful of how sickly sweet her posture would take and… how her eyes would glint mirthful deadliness once in a while.

    She was creepy, she knew this very well, but this wasn’t a flaw of her personality.

    It was a fun trait from her unique charisma!

    The young man finally offered her the plasticized paper with the list of the various possibilities that she could pick up for to day-

    “Again with the Neopolitan,” He muttered with a huff. “You sure have an obsession with that...”

    Was that so easy to spot on? Perhaps ordering just that flavor might get that kind of idea out, but there was no way in Hell that she would just surrender her little addiction without a brave and stubborn fight.

    She merely nodded with a bright smile, waiting for Sid to go through the small steps required for the preparation of a Neopolitan-filled cup.

    The order was served mere seconds later, the girl almost ready to dive in at the enticing treat, but she stopped momentarily to take hold of the waiter’s closest hand.

    Sid stopped, with his eyes going wide open as he tensed up under her grasp.

    It was as if a big sheep has been caught off-guard by the bite from a tiny wolf.

    Now, wasn’t that an image nicer that what was actually going on?

    In fact, Neo was almost tempted to squeeze a little more to see how resilient his wrist was… but then again she wasn’t meant to maim her little target.

    Also, the pleasure would be abysmal at best if she went through with this since he hadn’t shown anything that had warranted that little play.

    “Ms. Neo?”

    Oh? Now she was a ‘Miss’? What a novelty! Miss Neopolitan, professional illusionist and hearts-thief!

    Maybe she should put this in her business card instead of merely Neopolitan.

    But while her mind was eager to lose itself in the spiral of thoughts storming in her mind, the girl merely patted at the table while glancing at Sid, drawing a confused look from him.

    “You want me to-” He trailed a little bit as he followed her gesture. “Sit with you?”

    She blinked and then gave a quick nod.

    His frown deepened, but his hesitation seemed to be attached to the owner as the burly man was staring at the sight from the safety of the counter.

    ‘Yeah, as if that is safe enough from an attack from me~.’

    Giddy thoughts were concluded the moment the young man actually took a seat by the chair in front of her and… blinked.

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


    That was rude. Very, very rude!

    He knew well enough that she wasn’t capable of speaking and yet-

    “Really, what do you want?” He pressed on with some insistence, getting a silent huff out of Neo’s pouty lips.

    Pity swelled deeply as she failed to capitalize the teasing opportunity, merely drawing it within the walls of her head, but then she nodded and took out… one of her business card.

    Presenting it to the waiter, his frown seemed to increase even more at how ‘insignificant’ the gesture seemed to be.

    “Yes, I know that your name is Neopolitan, but why did you want to show me-”

    She flipped it, revealing some words she had written into it with her semblance.

    I will talk with you like this.

    “-This,” He concluded the pseudo-question with surprise at the development, his eyes widening again as he studied the card.

    “That was… your semblance, right?” He inquired calmly, which Neo replied with a nod. “That’s cool.”

    Truly a flatterer. Another reason to be surprised about his connection with that fire-bitch, but one that she didn’t mind to be subjected to.

    Not many had ‘rightfully’ complimented her incredible powers and she smiled.

    So, how are you doing?

    He blinked at the query and he hummed.

    “Pretty fine considering last few days,” Sid replied quietly. He tapped the table with his fingers for a while before speaking once again “What about you?”

    I’m doing more than fine. I mean, I’m getting some ice cream right now!

    The waiter snorted. “Seriously, you know that it’s not healthy?”

    She pouted again, this time taking her time to contemplate a proper response.

    Aren’t you technically the one selling me this? Shouldn’t you just… allow me to have my fun?

    “You can eat anything else. Heck, I think even another flavor would be a nice change of pace,” He shot back with a sigh. “i mean, it’s not like this is the only thing we offer here.”

    But it’s the best-made in my opinion. In fact, I think this my favorite!

    “Oh, thank you-” He paused a moment in his response, his soft features hardening in another frown. “Wait, you haven’t tried anything else other than that.”

    She let out another giggle, this one stretching a little longer than the last one.

    True, but I want that.

    To emphasize her demand, the girl took her mini-spoon and took a quick bite out of the cup.

    He sighed. “I guess you are hell-bent about it.”

    Damn right, I am!

    “But is there… something else you want to tell me?” Sid sobered up a little bit. “I understand you are just enjoying your time here, but I think you aren’t just here for ice cream.”

    Should she drop some hint?

    Maybe she could make a game out of it, something to keep herself amused even beyond this usual things.

    But what kind of game would it be and how should it be played?

    So many questions and so little ice-cream.

    Taking another bite out of her cup, she blinked and nodded.


    He groaned, close to facepalm at her purposely-infuriating comeback.

    “I feel like you are hiding something big but… I’m not sure what.”

    Her lips twitched in amusement at that comment and the card spun around again.

    I’m actually taller than I look like.

    “I fail to see it being true,” He retorted quickly, catching her off-guard for a brief moment. How could he just shot down her flimsy effort so easily and- “I mean, you look pretty cool right now and I think you being taller would… screw your style a little.”

    She blinked once, then twice… then thrice.

    It was a first for someone like Neo to be complimented in such a subtle but dastardly amusing way.

    Her hands reached for her belly as she let out a silent laugh.

    The reaction made the young man jumpy, at first seeming concerned as she did seem like she was in pain, but then he noticed the giddy grin on her face and the tears forming by her eyes.

    He crossed his arms close to his chest and huffed. “Now, what’s that reaction?”

    I’ve to be honest. This is the first time that someone pulled such a flawless flirt like that.

    Sid blinked, slightly confused by the comment he received back.

    “What are you talking about?”

    Aw, you didn’t even notice? Tell you what- Tomorrow morning, I will be there again to continue this pleasant conversation.

    “Wait, what?”

    How adorable, trying to stop her by taking hold of her hand… pity that this isn’t how life truly works.

    A longing sigh slipped in her mind as she moved through her semblance, out of the two men’s sights and right out of the building with a pretty smile plastered on her cute face.

    But not before leaving some money to pay for the ice cream and a little reward for Sid to discover~.


    ~Sid’s POV~

    Today was truly an interesting day, with Neo providing some information about herself, giving out details about what her personality was and… I was quite tired.

    The first thing I did as I returned back home from work was to literally stumble into the welcoming couch in the living room and shut my eyes for a couple of seconds.

    I tried to take a brief rest, just enough to lift my spirits long enough to go through making some dinner and get some real sleep by the bed.

    Yet the more I tried to ignore the lingering annoyance coming from some recent embarrassing instances, the more those appeared to stick around in my mind.

    When Neo had left without notice, she did so by putting some money on the table to pay for her order while also dropping a quick peck at my right cheek.

    The little lipstick mark had then been reason for mortification, irritating questions from other clients and much more.

    It all started when Marcus had exploded in chuckles at the sight of the pink a shade darker than my skin impressed on my face, enough to get some customer that had just arrived to notice what was wrong.

    This little spark was enough to bring up some neverending lines of comments about how ‘lucky’ I was and inquiries from those that had been curious about the identity of the cheek-kisser.

    Thankfully, the work-day didn’t stretch beyond the usual and I proceeded to reach the flat as quickly as I could.

    Yawning a little, I turned to the side and looked around the illuminated room.

    Everything was quiet… like yesterday and the day before.

    It was devoid of any strange noises, any signs of people being there and giving more company to the empty apartment.

    Goddammit, I’m missing Blake.

    I can’t believe this is a thing. This shouldn’t be a thing!

    While I can show some caring side towards the Cat Faunus, I had no reason to be missing her presence here now that she was gone back to Beacon.

    Sure, I had some fun when she was around but-

    The young woman was safe if she stayed there and the most important thing was her safety.

    After foiling her recent kidnapping, I was so sure of this that I had no reason to doubt the fact she had to stay there.

    Yet I was still dealing with the fact I was alone in that flat.

    This is supposed to be my home. The place where I’m supposed to be feeling the happiest and the calmest at.

    But it wasn’t the case, quite the contrary if I had to mention.

    I felt deprived of someone to talk to and could actually reply back. Blake was smart enough to make proper comments and snippets, to be antithesis and my supporter when certain circumstances were brought up.

    And now she was away from the city itself and up in Beacon Academy, possibly trying to fit back with the school’s life and messing around with the people there.

    I had left people back in Mistral. Heck, I had left my parents back there to start my own life away from that correlation and from Mistral’s general lifestyle.

    It had hurt for a while, and settling down had been quite difficult to achieve without dealing with some strong doubts of calling back home.

    I knew when both my parents were at home, when they would answer and how they would reply to my words.

    Support, love, and affection.

    Which didn’t exactly help with the way I was supposed to deal with Blake.

    The girl was sure something of a friend of mine, the reason leading her to crash into my place still hanging threateningly over the chances of confirming a true friendship as I was still unsure what to think of it all.

    Pure luck, or bad luck considering the damage she had caused on the flat, had made her stumble onto my life but she wasn’t left unscathed herself.

    Changes had happened from both sides, with me growing to accept the oddity that was Blake Belladonna, and the girl accepting that some orderly effort was necessary for her own sake.

    Time had passed, but it hadn’t been enough to concretely clarify the real nature of our wacky relationship.

    Love didn’t exceed into the romantic. I was missing her presence, but I wasn’t certainly fawning over her personality and physique.

    She was pretty decent for someone with her background for sure, but she just wasn’t my type.

    Friend? Possible. There was no reason to hide the fact that the various challenges we had to go through, the most significant one being her botched kidnapping, cemented the fact that there was something.

    A bond that was unique in its own rights, defying anything that I had experienced until now.

    It was less than brotherly, but so more intense than any friendship I had back in Mistral.

    The more I spent time pondering over this maddening topic, the more questions would come out of my thoughts.

    I groaned on the soft pillow of the couch, drowning my face more into its delicate texture, my mind fully delving deep into this immense dilemma.

    What was Blake to me? And why was I feeling this much upset over her being not here?

    But just as I headbutted the metaphysical problem until something could truly come out to answer this insanity, my brain had to reboot at the familiar sound of… my ringtone.

    I blinked, thinking back at the fact that I had gone to fix my Scroll just two days ago.

    I took the opportunity of free time to see it finally looked up and properly fixed, giving up some hundreds of Liens to see the device’s problems solved and restored back to a prime degree.

    Now it worked properly and it had been upgraded to have the latest update of the system.

    Taking it out from one of my pants’ pockets, I glanced at the display to see who was calling and… the number ID was an unknown one.

    The initial digits seemed to be from Vale, crushing instantly the chances of dealing with some Vacuo-based ‘harassers’.

    Feeling just a hint of curiosity at this unexpected call, I decided to check who it was, especially since Cinder had promised me that she would have called once she was free from her currently-tight schedule.

    I waited for a moment, but then the caller spoke.



    My entire body tensed and my brain fully woke up from the state of sleepiness it had been drowning into until now.

    With my eyes widening in surprise at realizing who it was, I decided to slowly reply.

    “Hello Blake,” I muttered quietly.

    There was a brief pause but then the Faunus resumed the call.

    Did I call you in a busy moment?” She inquired uneasily. “If you are at work, I can call-

    “Just got home a few moments ago,” I interrupted her before she could have continued down that line. “We can talk right now.”

    I could hear her sighing from the other side. “I know that it’s also late. But… we need to talk about a few things.

    I blinked at her sudden serious voice, quite perplexed at the swing up to something that sounded ominous.

    “Is everything alright at Beacon?”

    Yes, I- this is not only me, it’s about the me and you,” Blake replied with a sigh. “I’ve been waiting for some time but, I have to tell you that Ozpin knows what truly happened in the last two weeks.

    “Care to elaborate, please?”

    My brain burned fiercely at the little but powerful sentence she had delivered.

    The Headmaster of Beacon Academy was quite the important guy in Vale, not only as the principal of one of the most famous Huntsmen schools in Remnant but also for having an influential position in the Council.

    Ozpin was someone that wasn’t meant to be trifled with, even my father commenting that approaching him wasn’t something as easy as it was with normal people.

    There was just that weary tone in his posture, that saddening glimpse that made him stand out like a tragic character in a dreadful theatrical play.

    The worst thing was… he had the means to achieve the absurd task of knowing what is going on in the city while he is in his office.

    When I returned back here, I was taken to his office and… he told me that he knew about what had really happened in these two weeks,” The young woman continued to explain. “He said that despite that he will still support the little explanation we had planned out for this.

    ...But why?

    Why would he do something like this?

    “Did Ozpin tell you why didn’t he just order for you to return back at Beacon?” I finally asked and I waited for an answer about this heavy query.

    Blake stood quiet for some time, but then she spoke up with certain nervousness.

    H-He mentioned that he was interested by… what was happening,” The Faunus replied carefully. “I’m not sure myself what he found to be a good reason to wait and see but… he said that he was actually fine with-

    “Blake, did he do something to you? Anything you found suspicious?” I asked quickly, as I stood up from the couch and started to give a thorough look around the flat for any hidden microphones or cameras.

    Gods only know how screwed I truly was in that very moment and my brain wasn’t giving me the happiest of the prospects in the scenarios I might be dealing with.

    He didn’t do anything odd- You mean like trying to get more information or-

    “Anything that might have gotten you in the false presumption that he isn’t doing actually anything,” I pressed on with this interruption. “Did he ask anything odd? Worth of any concerns and-”

    H-He wants me to have therapy sessions,” The girl admitted suddenly. “I know that he isn’t doing anything strange here except asking me questions about what has been going in the last few weeks.

    “Therapy sessions?” I paused for a moment in my search, frowning a little at her world. “Why would you need that?”

    I don’t know,” She groaned a little at the questions. “But he wants me to talk about… nevermind.

    I sighed and glanced briefly at the Scroll. “Blake, if it’s important, I need to know since it’s also about me-”

    He wants me to talk about us,” The young woman admitted with a tired voice. “About what has happened in the last few weeks, how our relationship truly works and...

    She paused again, but this time she didn’t wait for me to press her on.

    I miss you.

    I tensed up a little at that comment, my eyes widened at the three words and I felt my breathing itching to repeat those words back.

    “B-But- why?”

    There was a sad sigh from the other side.

    He said that the instance was created by a ‘dual paradox’. Something that has to do with our backgrounds making strange stuff happens,” Blake explained once more. “I just concluded the first session and things seemed to be fine, so I don’t think there is some secret operations going on while we were discussing.”

    I blinked, ready continue the conversation when I was interrupted by the girl’s tired tone.

    I will be going soon to the cafeteria for dinner,” The Cat Faunus commented quietly. “And since I will be in the dormroom with my teammates once I’m done there, I will not be able to call you again.

    She took a long sigh and then continued.

    I want to tell you goodnight.

    My eyelids dropped a little and I smiled at her words.

    “Blake,” I finally piped in with a somewhat uneasy voice, still unsure how I’m going to word out what I had to say now.

    While I had been so reluctant to tell her back that I missed her, I wasn’t certainly going to skip returning the favor now.

    Yes, Sid?”

    “I want to tell you goodnight too and...” I blinked, doubtful if this was alright or not, if it was proper or not.

    Goddammit, since when I’m this indecisive!

    “I did find your absence to be… upsetting,” I shakily continued. “I will buy some movies by Saturday, so that we can have a marathon if you want-”


    I froze for a moment, eyes widening in surprise at that sudden reply.

    I-I mean, I’m glad that you… missed me,” She teased a little about that, my cheeks flaring in embarrassment in getting caught so early on. “And I suppose we can spend some time watching movies. Can you spare any of the titles you want to buy?

    I felt a twitchy smile creeping in at that, and then I started to list her the movie titles I had in mind to go and buy for that day.

    The conversation lasted for a couple more of minutes as Blake still had to conclude before entering the cafeteria and I… felt a little better about staying at the flat.

    Feeling energized by the call, I began preparing dinner, wondering within the safety of my mind what kind of stories the girl would have to tell me once she would visit by Saturday.

    And the worst part of this all? I was still smiling like a moron.

    I snorted in amusement.

    Goddammit… Blake.



    Nothing much to say but that I’m fine here! So here we go again!
    Lone Wolf 666, Dogsigh, Shudo and 8 others like this.
  12. Threadmarks: You can be Selfish-

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 17: You can be Selfish-

    ~Yang’s POV~

    If someone ended up asking Yang what is her favorite subject here at Beacon Academy, the girl would quickly supply with a swift reply.

    The blonde loved Combat Training, there was no doubt about it as nothing came even close to allow her to find just the nice setting to let out her pent-up stress.

    Only good sparring sessions against a resilient opponent offered her that opening, that access to the blissful world of simple brawling against each other, until one of the two contenders managed to gain victory over the other.

    In fact, one of the first things she decided to once she was done with the initiation test was to check on whom would be the ideal sparring partner to have for the rest of the year, something that got her to carefully study all of the big shots here at Beacon.

    A few candidates had popped up very quickly, and some proving to be actually some pushovers that were all appearance and no substance with their fighting prowess.

    Much to her immense chagrin, only a single individual turned out to be a worthy partner as she was the only one capable of matching up with her fighting style and Semblance.

    Pyrrha Nikos, the Invincible Girl for many and the ‘P-Money’ for Yang, was someone that had plenty of experience and training to equally fight against the blonde, if not win in certain cases.

    It was like a friendly rivalry, one that both just enjoyed within their own means of finding entertainment in brawls, and one where the Xiao Long knew that she would always gain a sense of satisfaction even when losing.

    The redhead was just so polite, never talking shit back when the heat got to the blonde’s head and got her to make some unpleasant comment that only her opponent could hear.

    It was a rare occurrence, but the fellow girl was easily capable of noticing these foul comments and would reply with even politer remarks.

    Normally, this would have gotten Yang to retaliate even harder, but the lack of joking mid-fight was more than enough to deprive her of the chances of accomplishing such plans.

    Instead of enjoying the mere trash-talking, the brawler thrived in the delightful exchange of blows that would eventually force her to tap in her Semblance.

    When she was in that state of raw anger, that furious moment within her mind… it was just oddly warm.

    The use of her powerful berserk state would usually left her in a trance, a couple of seconds where her mind would lose focus over everything and everyone but her main target, her opponent.

    It was a distinctive flaw, she had to admit, one that her father had chided her about more than once in the last few years.

    A mindless brute, a very strong one to that.

    But while her Semblance allowed her to have some edge over Pyrrha’s seemingly impenetrable defense, her control over speed and strength wavered to a point where the redhead would just switch to a more paced maneuvering so that she can beat the fellow student with quick strikes that dented at the blonde’s Aura.

    It was a classic moment in their usual school day, yet this time the Mistralian girl wasn’t going to be the one that Yang has to face in a spar.

    Lilac eyes showing a fair degree of uncertainty and discomfort, the young Xiao Long prepared for what was going to be a battle she herself was unsure of the possible results.

    Blake was quiet as she adjusted the ribbons by her dark-colored weapon, her golden eyes studying the state of the hybrid gun as the countdown began its count.

    Part of her had wanted to back away, just for the sake of not injuring her partner again after the ordeal she had to go through, even Weiss and Ruby mentioning that it was for the best for the two to not fight each other in this occasion.

    It was too soon, the blonde had thought instantly as Ms. Goodwitch had allowed this to happen, the brawler’s mind facing some conflicting thoughts over the matter as she knew that just a moment of her control slipping away would warrant some heavy damage on her partner.

    Yet it was also true that Blake had showed more than once that she had recovered fine from what had happened to her.

    It wasn’t only the previous day’s spar, nor the fact that she had paid much more attention to class compared to before…

    It had to do with the way she was actively taking notes of everything and everyone, the way she was making sure she had every single clue that could help to beat people and Grimm.

    It was a surprise for sure, but considering the situation she had to go through up until now, it was understandable that the Belladonna had to develop a sense of paranoia over those around her.

    It was barely perceivable by Yang, but the brawler could recognize the signs of an attentive individual over the world around her.

    And Blake… was just that. Her attention was now on the school, on learning… on improving over what could have been her mistakes.

    The sudden drive having stomped everyone in the team, but none actually went to try and understand what is going on with the cat-eared girl.

    It was so raw, so intense and… it made Yang felt antiquate with her training’s pace. And that wasn’t something she was even thinking as a joke.

    Training was something the young woman loved to do the most, to get stronger, faster, meaner, and perhaps even less hot-headed with proper stretching before and after her usual sessions.

    But now? Blake looked confident, or as confident the Cat Faunus had ever showed before, with her eyes sporting an amount of conviction and determination that forced the Xiao Long to reluctantly adopt a stronger guard over that stare.

    Her breathing slowed down, her eyes gaining more focus over her opponent and… the spar began.

    There was just a little bit surprise in her mind when her partner had decided to rush towards her, blade ready to lunge at the blonde… but her eyes had ultimately widened when her faster punch crashed on Blake and caused the close to disperse.

    Surprise that turned into shock when she felt pain emerging quickly by the side of her head.

    It was just a blink, the clone dispersing in dark particles like an after-image to make way to the real Blake as the girl was already moving her leg to connect right by the brawler’s head.

    The kick slammed right on its target with non-negligible power, and it served to remind Yang that she had never seen Blake make use of physical attacks before.

    Perhaps a stunning kick or punch here and there as the beginning of close quarters, to push away her foes before drawing her blade and use it against them…

    But more pain erupted in her head as the Belladonna followed up the first attack by slamming her right knee up to her chin.

    Groaning in a mix of surprise and pain, Yang finally recovered from her early stunned moments and tightened her fists as she rushed out a quick jab at her opponent.

    Blake noticed just in time, taking two steps back and letting the first counter find only air… only to be forced to further back away when the brawler gave a swifter pursuit.

    Annoyance riddled the Xiao Long’s mind, as her Semblance was already trying to take over so early on… but she didn’t feel the need of using it yet.

    It was just a second later in that rush that the young woman noticed a solid mistake, something she should have noticed way before making that sudden counter.

    The two kicks that drew first blood had more reasons than just distract her… no, it was much more complicated than she had initially thought.

    Her attention in delivering punches was sloppier than it was on a normal instance, unfocused even, and that made her activity easy to predict over her next few moves.

    The Faunus wasn’t keen to show hesitation over this little discovery, promptly switching her weapon to its gun form and taking aim at her legs.

    The pain was lessened by the Aura, but it was still there to put some duress over her steps and forcing the blonde to actually focus more on dodging the barrage of bullets trying to weaken her footing.

    There was no doubt about it, Blake had ditched her usually calmer approach and had adopted a more aggressive one to keep up with her.

    It was a surprise that she was enjoying, despite the beating she was getting in the mean time, as this meant that the Belladonna was no longer playing around.

    And that also showed that she could take some punishment instead of getting a soft-touch from her.

    Yang’s eyes flickered to red as she could feel some bits of her own Aura starting to reinforce her body, her Semblance starting to slowly diluting more energy in her system as she pressed on despite the lack of success.

    It wasn’t a full deployment, knowing full well that her partner had more hidden plans instead of some little tricks.

    Perhaps she should have taken a couple of steps back to properly evaluate the situation, but now her mind was hellbent to at least land something on her friend.

    Blake was her friend, yes, they both were friends… but they had never spoken honestly about this. Never once Yang had tried to formulate anything with the cat-eared girl mentioned as a friend and now she was facing her in the best of environment.

    There was no social basis, no standard, only fighting. It wasn’t mindless, it was primitive, it was simplified for the sake of making people understand despite any sort of barrier, from language to social, from silence to chaotic chatting.

    It was endearing, it was enticing… but it was also quite dishonest sometime as messages through blows can be mistaken.

    In fact, after having fought against many people, Yang couldn’t just catch on anything that Blake was ‘saying’.

    Only quietness coating both in that state of heated exchanges of hits. There was no secrets… except when the other individual is quite the silent one, just like Blake was being.

    Finally, the brawler snarled and proceed to rush even more at the Faunus, ready to even headbutt her all for the sake of a moment of pause away from the constant attacking from the bullets.

    Her Semblance continued with its steady take over, transforming more damage into new energy for her to use and forcing Yang to adopt a faster pace to keep up with the higher momentum.

    Yet the desire to land a hit on her partner seemed to go unanswered for sometime, with Blake more than happy to lead her around by using her own Semblance to deflect the blonde’s hit away from her while also sponging some of Ember Celica’s pellets from actually reaching the real target.

    It was so simple, and so familiar to what she had used against Dove Bronzewing, yet it was also unique as the Belladonna was passively damaging more her opponent, tipping her more with the Semblance as her hair turned into fiery blazes.

    “You are annoying me, kitty-cat,” Yang muttered in that state of pure fury, feeling even more incensed when she was met with a small smile.

    “Just annoyed, Yang?” Blake replied with a little playful tone. “Don’t lie. Dishonesty doesn’t suit you.”

    It doesn’t. But… what about you, partner?

    But the Xiao Long didn’t mention this, her attention intensively given to the brawl, and only the brawl… and for a moment she forgot about her opponent.

    It was a strange sensation to perceive in these circumstances, something that just offered her a sense of pleasant curiosity for what might happen at the next step.

    There was giddiness within the anger she was perceiving for the lack of progress, perhaps driven by the fact that it wasn’t just some complicated issue that was keeping her from actually winning but that this was just a lengthy delay.

    It was a surprise, she could already feel that the unexpected might be around the corner, just a couple of seconds after this was all done and…

    It happened.

    Her anger peaked at its zenith, a mane of golden fire replacing her locks as her red eyes fixedly remained at the dark-haired girl.

    It was now or never.

    A roar left her lips, her right feet pressing for one last time as she prepared to deliver the strongest punch she could muster at the time as this was meant to be her conclusive attack.

    It had to work, there was no hesitation-

    But then Blake stopped, her arms spread as the golden blur slammed her fist… through her.

    Shock filled Yang’s mind, killing whatever anger was left in her mind at the sight as she felt her world crumble before her.

    Just as she had initially feared, her anger had done the unthinkable… and beyond that.

    She was shaking, caught in that state of pale-faced horror as she glanced at the smug smile on Blake’s face and… the lack of blood.

    How odd-

    The clone exploded in silver mist, taking over her body as it soon melted down from its initial state right over her clothes.

    The blonde felt a sudden cold as she tensed up, her entire self drenched in cold water after it had melted a little from the Ice Dust mixed with the clone.

    Her panic turned into annoyance, but now that her aura was drained from that use of her Semblance, she fell on her knees, starting to shiver quite actively at the chilling ‘wake up call’.

    “It seems like you got an early shower,” The real Blake mused mirthfully as she started to approach her, with the voice of Ms. Goodwitch proclaiming her the victor in the background.

    “F-Fuck off,” Yang wanted to really feel angry at her partner, but the current state of her body, so drained and tired, prevented her to do so, instead she accepted the helping hand from the Faunus… only to ‘accidentally’ trip on her.

    Golden eyes widened as the Belladonna was forced to the floor, the water dripping from Yang’s clothes falling right onto hers and drenching her up too in that mix of simple water and sweat.

    “Goddammit Yang...” The dark-haired girl muttered, yet a smile twitched by her lips much to her self-disappointment.

    Yang giggled, at least she got a victory out of that nasty play.

    And now she really needed some real shower out of this...


    ~Blake’s POV~

    “That was quite an impressive strategy you’ve employed against your partner, Ms. Belladonna,” Ozpin praised while taking a sip from his coffee. “To think you would have actually moved to find a way to disrupt Ms. Xiao Long’s Semblance without putting yourself in notable danger.”

    Blake merely nodded at the flattering words, her distracted attention directed mostly at some of her own thoughts over the day.

    It had been quite a gamble to have a spar with Yang, especially since she herself had been doubtful over the final stage of her plan to counter the brawler.

    While using Dust in conjunction with her Cloning Semblance had been something she had already used quite a lot in the past, the real issue was created by the fact that she had to make a bet over the heat of Yang’s flaming aura.

    Ice require a certain amount of heat to melt… and water could easily evaporate without proper attention to the substance.

    The moment she had created that Ice Dust Clone, the Faunus had made a little prayer to see her plan come to fruition, to prove her once and for all that there was indeed some progress behind made by her renewed interest in improving her own body and mind to a better state of understanding.

    She needed time, there was no fretting over that, but Blake was eager to see some results already as she was willing to take even more attention right into training any areas that she still lacked about.

    Her Aura was slowly increasing, the process being a sluggish one as the difference between now and a couple of weeks ago was abysmal at best, but there was a high chance of ending up with a more acceptable level of energy to keep up with her Semblance much more than now.

    Using her clones to carefully change the trajectory of some of Yang’s movements had severely dented over her own reserves back during the brawl, thus making that final task of defusing the Xiao Long imperative to succeed about to actually win the match.

    It had been far closer than the blonde had made it appear, with her stamina too getting drained by dodging so many blows at once.

    At least it wasn’t Adam’s sword, she thought absently as she concluded her trail of thoughts with a mere sigh.

    “Is there anything you wish to talk about, sir?” Blake finally inquired back to the headmaster, causing the old man to hum and ponder over the question.

    “I suppose you’ve heard about the crash of the current stocks of coffee, right?” The man asked back with a sigh. “To think that they would attack so many brands at once.”

    “I’ve… heard of that… yes. But why-”

    “Do you know why it happened?” Ozpin pressed on with a certain degree of sadness, confusing the Belladonna for a while. “Why the price has floated to almost double the usual?”

    The girl blinked, contemplating over this little event with just some attention as she was still uncertain as to why coffee linked back to her situation.

    “It something related to some strikes happening at work, most of them being led by Faunus-”

    “That limited the production, delayed the accomplishment of some of the factories’ quotas, and urged many industrialists to increase the price of coffee to avoid a sudden rush to buy the currently limited product,” The headmaster commented quietly, concluding her explanation.

    “And… that is important?”

    The man snorted. “Of course it is important, Ms. Belladonna,” He muttered with a hint of annoyance. “Why, haven’t you thought about Ms. Tremaine’s job? What kind of strain it will warrant to the activity he is working for?”

    The young woman hummed calmly about it. “Probably nothing since the owner keeps reserves of everything, so he will probably just experience more clients during this time of the year.”

    There was some silence, then the man spoke once more.

    “So you mean to tell me that the Morning Sip will not increase the prices of its coffee?”

    … “Yes?”

    “Interesting,” Ozpin hummed happily. “Now that little thing is settled… let us move to the topic of that I was trying to press onto. Blake, do you believe in destiny?”

    Her eyes narrowed at that sudden question, but she merely shrugged at it.

    “I… I actually don’t,” The cat-eared girl admitted with a nod. “I can understand some things happening because of some logical reasoning, but destiny is a step absurd to even think as real.”

    The headmaster looked perplexed. “And why do you think so?”

    “I’ve met people that have tried to blame some ordained path for their decisions, for their own actions,” Blake started to explain with a hint of uneasiness, her first example being Adam and his musings over his ‘unavoidable’ turning. “It’s hypocritical, to blame successes and failures on some entity beyond our understanding, to make it seem like it isn’t our fault to make stuff happens.”

    “That’s honestly… one of the strongest arguments I’ve heard against this theory,” The old commented with an awed tone. “Still, I’ve to ask you a very simple, but quite unfair question.”

    The girl frowned again at this… but nodded slowly at his silent query.

    “What happens if you end up graduating from Beacon Academy?” Ozpin inquired calmly, yet pressing her with more details. “Hypothetically speaking, you and your team end up becoming Huntresses for Vale, you start doing missions with them within the Kingdom.”

    “What are you really trying to ask me, sir? I think we both know that the question is just-”

    “Too general?” The man interjected with a sigh. “I suppose I should be a little less restrained and offer you a clearer inquiry.”

    “Would you really want to become a huntress with your team, or do you wish to truly retire once you are done with Beacon Academy?”

    “I thought I’ve already answered that question,” Blake pointed out.

    “You did?” The headmaster shot back quietly. “From what I can recall, you were actually mentioning that you planned to retire after the end of this year.”

    “And the difference is-”

    “Two more years here at Beacon, more knowledge and more experience in the field,” Ozpin interjected without hesitation. “You will have more time there to improve with your abilities, and perhaps learn some more about the students of your current school year and beyond.”

    “So you are asking me what would happen if I keep lying to them and myself?” The Faunus asked back with a tense voice. “If I decide to just-”

    “Think about your decision instead of planning your next ‘escape’, Ms. Belladonna,” The man stressed out with some irritation, causing the cat-eared woman to flinch at the tone. “What I’m asking you is hypothetical, and yet you are already bringing up leaving Beacon the very moment Vytal is over.”

    “It would be dishonest of me to just keep this lie going. Despite them being so nice to me now that I’m back… it wouldn’t just work for what I feel about this situation.”

    “And what do you feel, Ms. Belladonna?” Ozpin pressed on even more, seemingly growing interested by her words. “What makes you unwilling to pursue a career as a huntress?”

    “I… I’m just-” The girl paused, her eyes closing down for a moment as she though how to best phrase her thoughts with words and… she sighed, eyes once more staring at the headmaster. “I’m tired of being selfless. I’m tired of not… just ditching everything and everyone, to just sleep and eat, perhaps even watch the TV and read a book during my free time.”

    “You make it seem like you’ve never experienced the peace of being an individual, without having to make happy someone-”

    “I’ve been born in a family that had one of the closest connection to the White Fang, I couldn’t just ignore the fact that it was ‘correct’ to do the ‘right thing’,” She replied with a little rant. “My only friends? All either indoctrinated within the Fang or dead by doing the ‘right thing’, their memory remembered just barely and if so used to press on this ideal. There isn’t never a moment of peace for me, never a moment that I can close my eye and not see the disappointment of those that wish more from me, that I’m actively ‘hiding’ my capacities and not doing my best to help people.”

    “I care for people, I really do,” The girl continued quietly, her tone drained by much of her early energy. “But I also want a time that I can dedicate to only myself. To be selfish and not have to make up for someone’s mistake or problem.”

    Silence ruled the room for a couple of minutes, with the Belladonna staring somberly at the table with half-closed eyes. She didn’t dare to stare up to Ozpin, knowing that her words might be easily misinterpreted so easily as of how she had exposed them.

    “And I assume that… Mr. Tremaine represent that state of selfishness that you aspire to,” The headmaster questioned calmly. “Despite the fact he himself is a hard-worker with barely time for himself.”

    “What?” Her throat was aching a little, her mind raptly listening to his words.

    “He is a waiter for a bar, the schedule is sometime so unforgiving that he can barely take a moment to do any of his favorite hobbies without having to deprive himself of something else,” The old man started to explain with a certain understanding tone. “He has to make sacrifices to make space for things he likes, or even more work. Then you entered his life, and that would entail another mouth that would require food, so that would mean even more work on himself.”

    “But I’ve worked there too,” She mentioned with a hint of nervousness. “I wasn’t leeching off from him or anything like that.”

    “Were you, Ms. Belladonna?” Ozpin asked sarcastically. “But why would you need to work if you want to be ‘selfish’?”

    “It’s not the same thing-”

    “It actually is,” The headmaster pressed on again. “In fact, the only difference between a waiter and a huntsman is that the huntsman know how to use a gun.”

    She frowned at that comment. “Sir, I don’t want to fight forever.”

    “And I don’t recall asking you to do that, Ms. Belladonna, nor I will ever ask you to do so,” The old man muttered while leaning back on his chair. “Being a huntsman is not a burden, but a duty. You would still have the freedom and time of making your own personal decisions. Missions aren’t something that would occupy you on a daily basis and… I know two examples of people that have actually managed well in turning their experience in new work for themselves, becoming teachers.”

    Perhaps some within Beacon’s staff? No, that would be easy to spot on but… then who was he referring to?

    “There is also the fact that once outside of Beacon Academy, you wouldn’t have any reason to share the same home with your team. While many do this… it’s not something that is done nowadays,” The man continued with a sigh. “In fact, your wage as a Huntress would also help Mr. Tremaine to lessen up the need of working as hard as he does.”

    “It sounds so easy,” Blake muttered quietly, only to be matched with a sigh from Ozpin.

    “And yet it isn’t,” The man admitted. “In fact, killing Grimm is sometimes difficult and… you would have to make some important choices during your line of work. Choices that could end up haunting if you don’t feel like you have chosen properly, and you might end up with more nightmares to face at night… but I think there is actually something you should also know that teachers sometime tend to miss to explain.”

    She blinked. “And… that is?”

    “You mentioned your desire to be selfish once in a while,” He muttered with a frown. “That kind of emotions… I want you to always keep it around even during missions.”

    “What- why?”

    “Because too many people die just for the sake of glory, or to try and make it through their jobs successfully.” His voice turned somber, his eyes turned to the table as he thought about something sad. “I’ve seen so many of my former students put in graves because they never detached the fantastic nature of the Hunter’s dream from reality, latching their existence to the idyllic, and getting scattered by the unforgiving winds of the darkness around us.”

    There was just something ominous from the words just uttered that Blake couldn’t just understand with what she knew. Something felt oddly familiar, yet she couldn’t help but fail to pinpoint the origin of this familiarity.

    The words were so deep and heavy, so sad and truthful, like a bitter pill no one can avoid to take.

    The world was already an ugly place, yet to see someone as hold and optimistic as Ozpin to appear this much… tired- It made the whole experience even worse than she wanted it to appear.

    It was beyond the Fang, it was beyond the Grimm… Ozpin’s current struggle sounded so… unfair.

    “So you wish for me to… be realistic. To never put too much of myself in doing the impossible if I know that I can’t do this?”

    He nodded. “That would be correct, Ms. Belladonna.”

    There was even more silence and… the headmaster finally sighed. “And I suppose this is a good point where to drop this conversation. Once again, I think we’re making progress and I hope you will pay some more thoughts over what you wish to do with your stay here at Beacon.”

    “Only thinking? I thought that you-”

    “I can never impose you to do anything like that, Ms. Belladonna,” Ozpin interjected one last time. “But I can advise you to ponder well over it, even with the help of Mr. Tremaine. In fact, I think he will offer quite the insight over the matter considering his own experiences.”


    “I understand, Headmaster,” Blake muttered, nodding quietly as she stood up from her chair and started to make her way back to her dorm-room, confused as to why Ozpin had completely stopped sipping from his coffee and… why he had looked so much older than he had looked just an hour earlier.

    But instead of musing mid-corridor, the Cat Faunus focused on reaching her bed, enjoy the best she could some rest lying there and… maybe Saturday will offer her the means to properly think about everything that is going on.

    And surely, Sid would offer some good perspective over the matter… while also dealing with her parents.



    Ozpin, the poor guy thinks he’s at fault for many deaths beyond his own control. Heck, I’ve even left a little Easter Egg for those looking thorough his dialogue about a very important one.

    But yes, Blake’s mindset has a little problem… and that is that she was never shown that you can find balance in both private life and line of duty. For her, the White Fang was both and when she reached Beacon Academy, she thought the Academy worked the same… only to find out it wasn’t like that.

    This discovery was made in Canon by the end of Volume 5 on her own… and in this story she had Ozpin’s insight over this issue, speeding up the process of understanding that hers is a flawed perception of the world.
  13. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

    Jul 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hmm... based on the dialogue I'd give a gander that Ozpin feel's responsible for Summer Rose's Death because she presumably had a similar mindset to Ruby and he didn't dissuade her from her idealization of what a Hunter was, which led to her continuing to fight in a battle that she had no way to win but her beliefs led to her staying anyway even though she had personal/selfish desires at home aka her family and friends.

    Otherwise, another good chapter, keep up the good work.
  14. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

    Nov 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Found this story.
    Love it to bits now.
    Very cute.
    Thought provoking too.
    Very nice.
    My shipping charts have been updated too.
    Very nice.
    JBukharin likes this.
  15. Threadmarks: -Only if you can be selfless too

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 18: -Only if you can be selfless too

    ~Sid’s POV~


    “Sid, you know that-”

    “Absolutely no,” I refused for the umpteenth time, arms crossed close to my chest as I stared sternly at Blake.

    It was early in the morning, my brain wasn’t truly fully awake and I was still trying to understand how exactly the Cat Faunus had managed to get here in the city so quickly.

    The helipads were supposed to open up in about an hour from now, and yet the dark-haired girl had somehow managed to show up even earlier than that by my doorstep.

    Surprise and relief were slowly subdued by the fact that I was instantly stormed with a myriad of words leaving from the Belladonna’s mouth, all directed to stuff that were legitimately shocking, but also quite… good.

    Ozpin had put her in therapy to deal with her lingering issues and… about me.

    Quite the extreme action, but considering her nature of bailing through lesser instance I could see some sense about this decision.

    Just some.

    What made it impossible for me to truly accept the headmaster’s intervention was that I had turned into a subject of interest for the man.

    Bad, really bad. Dad would seriously chide me if he ever learned up that I managed to get myself in this much trouble.

    It wasn’t that I was fearing any violent retaliation from the man, especially with Blake vouching quite vehemently that this wasn’t the case.

    After preparing some breakfast, I found myself dealing with the real problem that was soon going to become a reason to fear for my dear life.

    “I trust you to contact them without creating misunderstandings,” The Cat Faunus pressed on with some more force in her voice. “I understand it’s awkward for you to do this, but I can assure you that mom will not jump to conclusions so suddenly-”

    “But what about your father?” I interjected with a tense voice, her eyes widening just momentarily before moving away from looking at me. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

    “M-Mom will not create any problems.”

    Why is she ignoring that question!?

    “Still, I’m not doing that,” I refused once again. “If you want to call them, then do it yourself.”

    “You know well enough that I haven’t speak with them for years now,” She reasoned and I frowned.

    “I thought you did spare some rare calls,” I admitted with a surprised tone. “I mean, you never bothered to even check on how they were doing?”

    She paused, tensing up at being subjected to that very query.

    “It’s… you know it’s complicated.”

    “Or maybe it’s just silly,” I retorted with a sigh. “You know, I believe that mostly everything that is ‘complicated’ about your past has been either caused by some avoidable situations.”

    Blake frowned. “I’m not dumb.”

    … “I didn’t call you that-”

    “Yet! But you were thinking about saying that,” The Belladonna interjected with a fierce voice. “Every single time we end up talking about my past, you take shots at the fact that I made mistakes. But I’m trying to change from that.”

    “And I’m not trying to diminish the difficulty of that,” I had to admit quickly after. “I understand that you’re going through some recovery, but… you messed up a lot.”

    “When you say that I’m ‘dumb,’ your tone makes it seem like as if you’ve never made any dumb errors in the past,” She confessed. “It’s annoying- I understand that I messed up but-”

    “I did make mistakes,” I interrupted with a nervous tone, starting to see how this derailing was going to be problematic in the long run.

    I might have… been a jerk about this. I really didn’t want to make it sound as if I had been flawless since day one.

    But there was a difference that truly made my mistakes somewhat acceptable compared to hers.

    “I made some horrible stuff when I was a kid,” I started to explain with some uneasiness as I really wasn’t sure if it was right to mention this up in these circumstance. “As you know I’ve another older sibling.”

    “You mentioned him, yes,” The girl answered positively, her tone quietened by the interest of seeing where this topic was going. “But barely compared to your sister.”

    “And for good reasons too,” I said while giving a nod at her consideration. “While we’re in good terms now, there was a time just a couple of years ago where we would always compete against each other.”

    I blinked, remembering the various misadventures caused by the bets that Stacy was keen to prepare for us both show who was the best at random circumstances.

    Nothing overly-antagonistic, but we were quite fierce back then… enough to warrant some non-negligible accidents back home and at school.

    “Who was the quickest to rush back home after the end of the lessons, who was the first one to develop a semblance… who was the best of the two to prank people.”

    “You’re making it sound as if you’ve harmed people with that last one.”

    “Sid, you just… you are not the kind of person to-”

    “Right now? No,” I interrupted with a sigh. “But when I was just a child? I was a pest with little understanding over the whole ‘every actions creates consequences.’”

    “But hurting people?” Blake inquired with a surprised tone, almost skeptical about my words.

    “Not on purpose,” I added quickly. “I was a dumb kid, but not a malicious one about my pranks.”

    “But still you did something wrong,” The Cat Faunus pressed on. “So what just happened?”

    “That’s a tall question, especially with how many episodes of mess ups I can offer,” I had to point out with a snort. “But I guess I can offer you one of the worst predicaments I had to deal… and it is actually the story of how I unlocked my Semblance.”

    … “Was that so dangerous that-”

    “Yes,” I sighed and… I started to narrate. “I was eleven, and I had been training with my father for just a year… I think.”

    It was difficult remember precise dates, but I could still remember so vividly the happenings of that very day.

    “I could remember that both Stacy and I had been taken out to follow dad with one of his missions,” I muttered quietly. “It isn’t much odd for a veteran huntsman to bring his own children to see how a low-rank mission work. And this one was the first time we were going to see how it worked.”

    “You wanted to become a huntsman,” Blake reminded softly and I nodded.

    “I was still bent on that path, so I was as eager as Stacy back when we were picked for the task,” I confirmed happily. “I was so eager to see the place we were supposed to go and… that’s were the issue truly begin.”

    The dark-haired girl kept quiet as I took a moment to ponder well over my next words.

    “We weren’t told what exactly was the objective of this mission, and Stacy thought it was going to be just a scouting mission without any risk of finding Grimm along the way,” I hummed quietly, nervous as I delved in this bit of the tale. “So we decided to… prank dad. We had some sparring planned once this mission was done, so Stacy and I decided to sabotage just his portable shield.”

    “Did you find Grimm?”

    “Not truly,” I shook my head at that guess. “There were some bandits creating problems in the area and dad managed well against them without having to use his shield...”

    “And then?”

    ...And then the worst truly happened.

    I could remember standing far away from the battlefield, with Stacy keeping beside me as we both keep watching our father go through so easily against the ranks of bandits trying to hurt him.

    We had our own weapons ready, with Stacy haivng his own customized one while I was given a simple short sword.

    There was no reason for us to intervene there, especially after dad had said to not engage until something wrong happened.

    We thought this reality impossible, with the mere proof of such a silly notion being given by the way the experience huntsman was dealing with the thugs.

    But then… something did change.

    I felt nervous, at first without much of an explanation behind this reaction, and my body tensed up instinctively as I felt something off about the battle.

    My eyes focused more on dad, and I saw him starting to struggle as he was finally pushed back while trying to slam away the sudden strike from a dark-red blade.

    Dread settled on my chest as I stared at the one that was now finally giving trouble to the man.

    The figure had long dark hair, and her frame was covered by what looked to be a medium-grade red-colored armor that was meant to give her flexibility in moving with that kind of protection.

    Yet what truly made me pale back then, what truly gave me a taste of what facing the worst threat possible as a hunter… was her mask.

    It was a replica, even there in that situation I knew that this woman wasn’t a Grimm… but my mind showed doubt before truth as a red glow came from the eye-openings within that mask.

    “And then… Raven Branwen arrived.”

    Blake frowned. “Who?”

    “She is one of the most infamous bandits in Mistral,” I explained with a sigh. “She was once a huntress bu then went rogue and took over one of the various tribes there.”

    “And your father-”

    “Could have been able to repel her if he had been able to use the full potential of his portable shield. Perhaps.”

    But the shield had collapsed when he had tried to create some space to breath between himself and the enraged woman.

    Fear rouse from the quick shock of seeing his only mean to have some cover being broken so suddenly and without reason.

    I was stuck in fear, jaws dropping at the realization of what had just happened, but Stacy hadn’t stood quiet.

    He had bolted, his focus behind the scary woman that was coming close to damage our father and… he tried to offer some time for the man to recover.

    A futile effort as Raven merely swatted him away without much hesitation. Three mere years spent at Combat school weren’t going to just do enough for him.

    I knew it, I could feel that this was going to be a horrible disasters.

    And it had all been my fault.

    I saw the bandit lunge back at my brother, my heartbeat increasing as I felt my panic skyrocketing at the scene.

    And I…

    “Stacy tried to fend her off, but failed and as she prepared to attack him.”

    “You intervened,” Blake said with a somewhat convinced tone and I gave her a nod.

    “And I… intervened.”

    A moment I was merely running, then I could feel the rush and the wind pressing on my face as smoke formed below my feet and propelled my small frame towards the former huntress.

    Raven had noticed immediately that I was approaching, the trajectory of her sword moving in an effort to clash with the small blade I was preparing to hit her with.

    But while the two of us had expected for my flight to culminate with that interaction, we were surprised when my trajectory turned out to be just… off.

    I flew a little higher, my capacity of hitting hindered by this development, while the Branwen went forward and missed the attempt to bisect me.

    Instead of a clash of weapons, the two things that clashed were my head and her mask.

    Her footing was already unstable, and while the brunt of the damage was absorbed mostly by her aura, the power behind the impact was more than enough to push her several meters away… offering just the opportunity for my father to recover and use his semblance to move us out of that general section of the forest.

    Vines took hold of both me and Stacy… and the rest of the story was then told by me as I fell unconscious because of the concussion I suffered after that unexpected headbutt.

    Dad managed to get us all back to the nearby village, quickly rushing to see the two of us taken care by the local hospital while he contacted the Council to request more huntsmen to that part of Mistral.

    The request was approved, but the time required for the reinforcement to arrive proved to give more than enough time for Raven to make her hasty retreat.

    “You headbutted her?” Blake inquired, making me tense up at the fact that I had been muttering quietly about this while thinking about it.

    “Not willingly,” I flatly conceded, taking a moment to sigh. “Still, that issue risked to see my father killed, and it was all because my brother and I thought that it would’ve been funny to make his life more difficult.”

    “You couldn’t have known that-”

    “It could’ve been Grimm, it could’ve been more bandits. In the end, weapons are still essential to be all functional to a team of huntsmen,” I interjected sternly, my disappointment all directed to my past self. “No matter how much one can justify the behavior behind a ‘silly action’, there are consequences.”

    “And why this story makes it different than my own past?”

    “We never lied about our faults,” I started to reply, making her frown in confusion at this development. “We never shifted the blame elsewhere… and we never ran away from our punishments.”

    It was then that her eyes widened in realization. “You told him?”

    “I did, and so did Stacy,” I curtly replied.

    “But that wasn’t your fault,” The Belladonna tried to convince me, but that old story was fell stuck like that in my mind.

    “It was,” I pushed back with a nod. “And we both were punished for causing this many problems.”

    There was some silence, and the two of us were keeping quiet as I affirmed my determination over that very predicament.

    We were both thinking, pondering over what we were supposed to do now that the crux of the issue was finally brought up and… I sighed.

    “I’m sorry,” I stated with a quiet tone. “It’s early in the morning and… we shouldn’t be having this kind of discussions.”

    “Yeah… it’s quite early and I wouldn’t mind taking a break from serious topics,” Blake muttered with a nod. “I can see some of your logic, I really do… it’s just that it seems like I’m making so little progress and-”

    “You’re doing a lot right now,” I interjected with a frown adorning my face. “It seems nothing because this is actually not some 180 change you’re meant to do. You’re just growing out of that whole ‘running away’ gig.”

    “It’s not a gig,” She huffed. “It’s more of a meh answer to everything.”

    “Yet you still use it even though you’re aware about that,” I commented with a dry tone, making her sigh.

    “I’m working on it, you know that and… I was thinking about the fact I still want you to call my parents,” The faunus confessed much to my immense chagrin. “And I was thinking that… you can talk with mom and, if it’s dad answering the call I will talk with him.”

    I blinked in surprise at that proposal. “Why the sudden change of heart?”

    She merely shrugged, enjoying for a moment the softness of the couch. “I think I want to try that. I… want to try and not run away from my problems.”

    “That sounds like big progress to me,” I pointed out with a small smile, yet dark-haired beauty merely sighed.

    “I… I really want to watch some TV now,” The girl admitted softly, letting out a slow yawn. “Does this count as running away?”

    I snorted. “Don’t you dare,” I chided mirthfully, drawing a small smile on her face. “And… I suppose we can watch something until it’s lunchtime. Movie marathon?”

    Her smile widened at the offer, and she nodded as I turned on the TV with the first movie ready to begin.

    “Movie marathon.”


    This was going to end badly for me, I can already tell by the way Blake was staring at me as I finished inputting the last number to call her home.

    She looked curious, hesitant, incredibly nervous, but overall intrigued by what was going to happen now.

    Lunch had passed quickly, and I had decided to put a brief pause to the Movie marathon so that we could get this incredible burden done already.

    There was silence at first, the scroll trying to establish a connection with the other side of the call, and I felt my panic rising at the chances of ending up being received by her father.

    I had experienced plenty of times from how dad would react when some of Stacy’s classmates showed some interest over Cindy, and the reaction wasn’t pretty even for those that looked from afar.

    So I gulped nervously as the call finally commenced, praying silently that it was her mother and not-


    The voice was feminine, quite suave.

    “H-Hello, am I talking with Mrs. Belladonna?”

    “Yes, that’s… that’s me,” The woman replied slowly, sounding legitimately suspicious over the sudden call. “May I ask to whom I’m currently speaking to?”

    I nodded. “Sirud Tremaine, ma’am,” I replied quickly. “And the reason why I’m calling is that I’ve some information about your daughter.”

    Blake?” Her voice gained some sudden interest. “You know where she is?

    “Right now she is… sitting by the couch with me,” I answered bluntly, the young Belladonna’s eyes widening in shock at the sudden revelation. “She asked me to talk with you about her current disposition.”

    What are you doing?!” She whispered furiously, trying to understand why I was offering so little subtlety over this matter.

    Is that so? I suppose she has to be quite nervous over speaking through the Scroll,” The girl’s mother sighed patiently. “She was always the kind of child that would delegate some awkward situations through people she trust and… I guess that this is the case.

    “Mostly. I also think it has to do with the fact that explaining what had happened in the last month could create some massive misunderstandings without proper explanations.”

    I hope nothing horrible has truly happened then,” The woman muttered quietly and I sighed.

    “There were some big bumps, but everything is fine,” I mentioned just barely as I was unwilling to let out so quickly about what had happened in that warehouse. “She is doing great.”

    That’s good to hear,” Blake’s mother mused with some relief. “And I assume you’re the one that is currently housing my wayward daughter.

    “I was up until a couple of days ago,” I admitted, looking at young Faunus. “Right now she is studying at Beacon Academy, so she is staying there and-”

    Blake is in Vale?” The woman inquired swiftly. “And- So Tukson was correct about the whole warehouse situation.

    Oh- Wait what?

    “I-I don’t understand, ma’am-”

    One of the closest friends to our family mentioned having helped a ‘determined young man’ that was trying to save a Cat Faunus from one of the outposts of the White Fang,” The mother interrupted, her voice gaining a certain degree of amusement. “He also said something about having left you some explosives. I’ve heard that a warehouse did explode quite recently in the capital.

    “There is a good explanation for it all-”

    You saved my daughter, what else can I think from that?

    Many strange things.

    “I didn’t mean to-”

    Still, she has been staying at your home for a while, Sirud,” The woman pointed out with some curiosity. “And I feel compelled to ask in which conditions she had been living.

    “I offered her the guest room, but she would usually wound up sleeping by the couch,” I explained carefully. “I did ask her about why she does this and she said that it was comfier.”

    A mirthful chuckle reached out from the other side of the call.

    That’s my little Blake. By the way, can you please pass her?

    I blinked, glancing at the girl as she tensed up at this question and I hummed, nodding at her.

    “Since we’ve got mostly everything done, I suppose she can talk with you without having nothing to worry about.”

    “Thank you, Sirud and… please, do call me Kali,” She mentioned as I prepared to pass the device to her daughter.

    “Understood, ma- Kali.”

    A giggle arrived from that half-fail, but I had already passed the ‘ball’ to the Cat Faunus and I prepared to see what would come from that interaction.

    Initially, I thought that nothing strange would come from that discussion, knowing that I discussed most of the important things with the woman and that it was going to be only family-related topics from now on.

    Yet I failed to remember that a mother that speaks to her own child will always have ‘hidden’ questions that she would never demand the answers about from ‘strangers’.

    “H-Hello mom-”

    Sweetie, I hope you understand that you got both me and your father worried sick when you left Menagerie,” Kali interrupted with a sickly-sweet tone. “While I’m glad that you ended up leaving the Fang, I’ve to mention that I’m disappointed over the fact you’ve left home without saying anything.

    “I understand, mom-”

    It’s good to know that you’ve decided to join Beacon, I can still remember when I decided to stay there for two years,” The woman sighed happily. “Why, I remember some amusing adventures I had with some odd students there-

    “M-Mom, I understand that you and dad missed me and… I’m sorry.”

    Blake’s swift outburst caused the conversation to a brief pause.

    Sweetie, I’m glad that you did apologize about this,” Kali praised with a serious tone. “I guess that staying at Beacon and living temporarily with Sirud managed to offer you chance of thinking about your silly mistakes.

    “I’m trying to solve the problems I’ve missed up until now,” The daughter replied to this with a sigh. “I should’ve called sooner, and spared you and dad this kind of worry.”

    Another giggle from her mother. “I’m glad to hear that and… can I ask you why you are still staying with Sirud?

    ...Oh crap-

    “W-What do you mean, mom?”

    While I can see the need to have someone to help you with this situation, I think it would’ve been easier if it had been a member from your team.

    “Let’s just say that… I trust Sid to not make misunderstandings with this sensible situation,” She admitted, making me blink in surprise at the fact that she hadn’t asked to someone from her team.

    During lunch, Blake had been quick to mention how her relationship with the three other girls had slowly warmed up to a friendly terms, and how she had pursued a more active role at school.

    I reckon that some students at Huntsmen schools can be quite… quirky. I can only assume that your team is made by quite the cast.

    “They are good people but… I don’t feel they would solve this predicament as well as it is now,” The Cat Faunus answered truthfully. “I reckon it would be awkward to explain how things have unfolded up until now.”

    And yet you found ‘Sid’, and I’ve to ask- Actually, is he listening to us?

    “He’s listening, his scroll has been set to have high volume,” Her daughter replied quietly. “Do you need to ask him something or-”

    I just wanted to ask… you two are just friends, right?” The query was met with a blush from Blake and a sigh from me.

    “We’re just friends, Kali.”

    How close are you two?” She pressed on quite fascinated over the topic. “I feel like you two have to be fairly close after what happened with that ‘bump’ about the warehouse.

    “We… we care for each other?” Blake suggested, only to be met with a round of giggles from her mother.

    I see, that’s… that’s quite familiar. Yes, now I see what Tukson was referring about and…” The woman paused for a moment and then sighed. “Your dad right now is busy, but he should be done with his paperwork in an hour or two. I assume it will not be any trouble if I call back to this number.

    “If I avoid dealing with Mr. Belladonna, I will be more than happy to lend Blake my scroll for that conversation.”

    Kali chuckled. “I assume that my daughter has mentioned how overprotective my husband can get.

    “Indirectly, but yes,” I confirmed much to the mother’s amusement.

    Then I guess I will interrupt this conversation now so that my little girl can prepare to deal with her dad.” The nickname drew a full-face blush on Blake. “It’s been a pleasure making your acquaintance, ‘Sid’.”

    I sighed. “Likewise, Kali.”

    The call ended there and I felt the weight of the entire world return back to my mind and body.

    “So… do you know what she was referring about this Tukson?” I inquired slowly, looking at the frowning girl.

    “Tukson is a close friend to my family, and had been one of the first members of the White Fang,” She explained quietly. “I knew that he was planning to leave but… I didn’t expect things to take this kind of odd turn.”

    “I was actually talking about the situation over our closeness, the one your mother was mentioning in correlation to something that Tukson told her,” I hummed. “It just felt… oddly worrying.”

    Blake tensed up. “You think that… he might have told something to my parents about us? Maybe he misunderstood everything and-”

    “I think that your father would’ve been marching to find us instead of being back home to deal with the paperwork,” I interrupted with a sigh. “But perhaps there is some half-truth to that supposition.”

    “Should I be worried about talking to my father- I mean, if he makes some strange questions, I might have some troubles and-”

    “I will be there,” I said with a defeated voice, making her eyes widen in surprise… and a smile appear on her face. “But I will not intervene by doing more than that. I will not directly face your father about this.”

    She still smiled and I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve dug my own grave with that concession.

    Maybe I should’ve thought about this a little more instead of capitulating over the fact that it would’ve been a strenuous situation.

    We ended up watching two more movies, Try Hard and The Huntsman Rises, and, after a couple more of hours passed, I felt tensing up as I felt my scroll ringing by my pocket, notifying me that someone was calling me.

    I stared at the familiar number on the display, swiftly passing the device to Blake while also pausing the movie we were watching so that there was nothing distracting us from facing this last issue for today.


    Blake, is that you?” A manly voice thundered with a degree of surprise and anxiety that quickly brought up some concerns within my chest over how things were supposed to develop from there. “Kali told me that-

    “It’s me, dad,” Blake interrupted quickly. “And… it’s been a while.”

    It has, my child,” The man admitted with a quieter tone. “Your mother mentioned that you’ve left the White Fang and joined Beacon Academy. I hope Ozpin didn’t create you any unpleasant issues.

    “No,” The girl replied. “Actually, he gave me some help by keeping some of my secrets hidden to the rest of the school.”

    I’m glad to hear that. The man can be benevolent, but I still warn you to be wary of offering him too much of what you have, Blake.

    “I know and… I will be careful about it.”

    Good,” Her father confirmed with a pleased tone. “And now… let’s focus on something I wished to ask to… is Mr. Tremaine listening too?

    Oh Gods, no. Please no-

    “He is?” Blake blurted out nervously, making me stare harshly at her for messing me up like this.

    Then can he please explain to me why my daughter had to sleep on the couch?”

    There was an amount of calm in his voice that just unsettled me and… I sighed.

    “Sir, I think I explained to your wife that-”

    Ouch- Wai- Kali, why?!

    Before I had the chance of explaining, I paused as some exchange of words and more happened on the other side of the call.

    Dear, I think I’ve mentioned plenty of times that putting words that aren’t mine on my lips isn’t nice,” Kali chided her husband with an annoyed tone. “And please, don’t harass the poor young man like this.

    At least I had some mercy coming my way.

    I-I understand, Kali. Can you please leave my poor shoulders alone now?

    A giggle came through the device and I sighed while sharing an amused look with Blake.

    Okay… now that we’ve this situation ‘solved’, I think I can ask a little more about what happened with the warehouse situation,” The man resumed with a subdued tone. “From what Tukson told us, Mr. Tremaine was responsible for not only finding where Blake had been taken and… actually, how was my daughter kidnapped to begin with?

    “We were ambushed while we were returning from the place where Sid works,” Blake explained with some hesitation. “We were attacked by two individuals that were wearing standard White Fang uniforms… but we’re sure that they weren’t Faunus.”

    Is that so? You think that someone out from the group in Vale was working with the branch sited there?” Her father pressed up with some surprise.

    “They were far too experienced. Strong Aura, one had some refined Illusion-based semblance and one of them was acting too much about it that it just sounded fake,” I replied with a hum. “This is why we think that someone was trying to use the White Fang here in Vale to perpetrate some Dust-only thefts. Blake also saw Torchwick leading some of the members during one of the latest attempts.”

    That’s absurd but… I suppose you can confirm this, Blake.

    “I thought that they were only criminals wearing the uniforms, but there were just too many Faunus for it to be the case,” The girl admitted tensely. “The warehouse itself was filled with Atlas Military-grade equipment and various crates filled with Dust.”

    Sienna would’ve never condoned this much aggression,” The man mused with some confusion. “Perhaps it was an initiative taken by the leader of the Vale’s branch. Who was it?

    Blake blinked, tensing a little more at thinking about that. “It was Adam, dad.”

    Oh… this is quite… an unexpected development,” Mr. Belladonna admitted. “I hope you both managed to avoid getting too much hurt while leaving the warehouse.

    “Sid took care of Adam, he stunned him so that we could leave and-”

    “Blake, you helped me fighting against him,” I interrupted with a huff. “You were fighting him too.”


    Speaking about that, I would like to also understand why you had to… destroy the entire building, Mr. Tremaine,” The man pointed out with a dry tone. “Tukson told me that he had left you with some explosives but-

    “He left me with all of his explosives, sir,” I interjected with a frown. “Destroying the building was the least damage I could offer with so many bombs.”

    Now, that is something that we will have to ask to Tukson,” Kali mused with a hint of surprise. “Still, there is one last thing you wanted to ask our daughter, right Ghira?

    Ghira sighed nervously. “This question is actually still about Mr. Tremaine-

    “Sir, you can call me Sirud or Sid-”

    Mr. Tremaine,” He ignored my words as he started with his last inquiry. “I wish for you to honestly tell me what you feel about Blake.

    Are you kidding? I thought that his wife would have made sure that this topic wouldn’t have been brought up.

    “Dad, Sid and I are friends. Nothing else other than-”

    When our daughter was kidnapped, Tremaine, how did you feel?” Ghira pressed on with some insistence. “What kind of emotion fueled you, what made you take so many drastic decisions all at once?

    Blake looked annoyed at the fact that she was getting ignored too and she seemed ready to reprimand her father for prying so much over this topic.

    But before she had the chance of replying to that, I decided to speak up.

    “I was angry, sir,” I confessed with a sigh. “I was so infuriated at what had happened back then. Blake had been taken, I had been beaten, humiliated and left in the middle of the city.”

    The cat Faunus looked at me in surprise as I started to tell about this, but she continued to keep quiet as I wasn’t done.

    “This- I was also angry at the fact that this had happened without notice, that we weren’t ready to face an ambush and...”

    Were you worried about getting caught when you entered that warehouse?” Kali asked with a quiet voice and I nodded, despite the fact that they couldn’t see me.

    “I was, I don’t see a reason to deny that- but my priority was to get Blake out of there,” I replied with a nervous voice. “And waddling in my own fears would’ve done little to help me with that task.”

    And so you saved her,” Ghira hummed calmly, a hint of interest dripping from his words. “I suppose you both were glad that… this rescue happened as it did.


    “I… I expected Sid to arrive,” Blake finally answered with a tense tone, drawing my attention to her and… I blinked at the sight I was bestowed.

    Tears had grouped by the edges of her eyes as a twitchy smile was present on her face.

    “I was… I was glad when he came and… got me back here.”

    That’s enough,” The man concluded with a sigh. “I guess I was a little pushy over this questions, and I apologize for having brought up some unpleasant memories.

    We should finish this little conversation. I think we’ve got most of our questions dealt with and...” Kali took a moment before continuing. “Sid, once more, thank you for keeping an eye on our daughter.”

    “It was the right thing to do,” I muttered, my right arm reaching around Blake’s shoulders and bringing her closer. “And as I’ve said, I care for her.”

    She looked surprised at first… but then she leaned her head on my own shoulder.

    Hopefully, we will be able to have a better chance for some discussion when we will came to visit Vale,” Ghira mused quietly. “The Vytal Festival is around the corner, and I suppose we can visit for this occasion.

    Then we shouldn’t be wasting any time,” His wife added with a mirthful tone. “We should be preparing for-

    The call interrupted there, abruptly so, and there was a strangely heavy silence that took us both by surprise.

    I wasn’t in the mood of continuing the movie just yet, staring at the Cat Faunus as she was clinging a little at my arm, while trying to hide her expression away from me.

    “Blake,” I hummed quietly, trying to break into that dense quietness, my ears finally catching some sniffling coming from her. “Why?”

    “You… you had to risk your life to save mine,” She pointed out. “And it was all because of something from my past. One of the mistakes I’ve been running away from up until now.”

    “It wasn’t your fault-”

    “It was,” She gulped quietly. “I- I should push even more to train and-”

    “Stop,” I said sternly, pulling her closer and initiating a much-needed hug from. “You’re doing good steps, and by exaggerating you would just mess things up even worse.”

    She sighed on my chest. “I’m dumb.”

    “Nope,” I said with a sigh. “You’re Blake.”


    I snorted with some amusement. “Yep. And for now you should probably let everything out.”


    “‘Cause I’m offering you a rare hug,” I replied with a huff. “And you should be enjoying this considering it’s quite expensive.”

    At first it was a giggle that developed, but then it increased in its intensity, turning in a full-fledged laugh.

    I had a small smile on my face as I kept the hug going for some more time.


    I blinked. “Yes?”

    When… If I finish Beacon Academy…” She hesitated for a moment, her cat ears twitching nervously before my eyes. “Can I… come to live with you again?

    “As my flatmate?”

    I could feel her shuffling to look upward, and I found myself staring down at her eyes.


    I sighed.

    “Sure, why not.”

    In the end the movie marathon was interrupted quicker than planned so that Blake could get by the helipads in time to reach back Beacon.

    We decided that we would’ve continued it for Sunday after lunchtime, so that the Cat Faunus could have spared some time with her team without causing any suspicions.

    And boy, if only we had known how suspicious the girls were already by what had happened today...



    Sid used ‘Headbutt’ on Raven. It was super-effective!

    I wonder if she still remembers that after almost a decade has passed… probably yes.

    A quick explanation over some bits that might have caught some of my readers’ attention:

    Most of my RWBY fanfics follow a kind of ‘universe’ that has elements of the Coeurverse, but also some suggestion to the timeline of the fancomics produced by Tikoriko (Old Days in particular), in which Kali has gone to Beacon for some time, Willow frequented the school for a student exchange program with ‘Jimmy’, the future moms knew each other, and Raven is… actually chiller than in Canon? Wot?!
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  16. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Muted

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    A lot of the speech is without contractions. It makes the dialogue feel awkward and stilted.


    Well I guess that makes it just like the show ayyyyyyy~
  17. Threadmarks: There is an explanation to all of this!

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 19: There is an explanation to all of this!

    ~Blake’s POV~

    Sunday seemed to be a slight rehearse of what had happened Saturday, with just a twist to the early bits of the day.

    Instead of bolting to reach Vale without her team in the early morning, Blake had been forced to be a little less eager at the opportunity of spending some time away from the burdens here at Beacon Academy.

    Boredom proved to be a troublesome beast to tame while waiting for the rest of the girls to be prepared for their little trip to the city. Two hours had gone through just because of the lengthy bathroom routine that both Yang and Weiss seemed so attached to.

    And while the Belladonna could easily understand the need of the blonde to have high maintenance over her golden mane, the reasons behind the Schnee heiress’ constant need to keep a perfect appearance had eluded her tired mind.

    While sleep had come easily for her the night before, the fact that she had woken up so early had ended up leaving her in a somewhat drained state. It wasn’t terrible, but it could’ve been better.

    Once everyone was done with their little routines, Ruby took the lead in guiding her team through the halls of the school and right where the Bullheads directed at Vale city were. The hangar of the Academy was one of the few places that Blake had just seen and been around in a couple of occasions.

    Most of those connected to the fact that she had done something awkwardly bad. Or just horribly messy and worth of some disappointment by the staff here at Beacon.

    But now the situation was completely different as this little trip wasn’t going to end up in a disastrous and panic-worthy aftermath. No, the Cat Faunus had set up a clear plan to avoid any awkward circumstances that could lead to anything the opposite of normal and good.

    She had to appear calm in front to the other girls, to look as happy and ‘certain’ that there weren’t any other plans meant to happen for the rest of the day. Her team couldn’t learn, not like this- not this suddenly.

    Thus her face was devoid of any uneasy hints that could suggest that she wasn’t truly ‘glad’ that she was going to spend some time with her team members.

    Hopping inside the plane and taking a seat beside Yang’s, her attention was half-drawn by Weiss’ speech as she offered a very simple but quite bland schedule for their trip in Vale… up until lunch.

    The rest of the girls had decided to not stay beyond that time, leaving just Blake to happily enjoy some time alone with movies, popcorn, the couch and…

    Oh right, a certain friendly human.

    She almost snorted at the mere idea of being finally granted some space away from the never-ending troubles of being an active individual in a fighting-related sector of the world.

    Beacon Academy would usually offer some pauses, but nothing was capable of clearing her mind as much as being left to enjoy a nap by that comfortable couch… away from the responsibilities and the nagging.

    The flight wasn’t long and soon they were already walking on the streets of the city. Weiss had decided to take on command of their next few steps, starting from one of the few cafes that were open during the weekends.

    It wasn’t like the Morning Sip in terms of size, but the place was homely enough to relax a little while Ruby and her partner entertained the rest of the world with their unique style of bickering.

    Differently from the early time of their friendship, both the caped girl and the heiress had developed a display of understanding which was exemplified in some of the most amusing scenes available within the school.

    While Weiss would eagerly flex her knowledge over things that not many individuals knew about, Ruby would act like the compliant listener that would press for more details with a bubbly tone.

    And despite the Atlesian girl’s best intentions to be actually helpful, the simple amount of puppy-like attention would make her capacity to keep a straight face very difficult and very entertaining.

    From there, the heiress would then retaliate with some attempts to sound authoritative and stern, to chide the little Rose about her earnest tones.

    Which wouldn’t actually work and only end up getting even more adorable responses from a clueless Ruby.

    The entire exchange would provide no little reason to get distracted in that simple day, and the coffee she was able to get from one of the waitress helped up restoring some sanity to her poor brain.

    But while the little friendly quarrel persisted before her amused amber eyes, there was a little issue she had really hoped to not be dealing so soon in the morning.

    Lilac eyes flickered at her, an amused smile painting Yang’s face as the blonde finally decided to start a conversation with her.

    “This place is quite nice,” She commented curtly and quietly, yet her interested tone suggested that it wasn’t a sentence meant to be left without a respons.e

    Thus Blake let out a sigh and nodded. “It’s quite warm. Really rare to see one of these during weekends.”

    After going through a brief tenure as the only waitress for the Morning Sip, Blake had been able to study a little more how the ‘simple business’ truly worked like.

    The sector itself was terribly extensive compared to any other jobs that she had the opportunity to learn deeply about, and the competition could easily become antagonistic without some proper diplomacy.

    By looking at the slightly-strained expressions on the workers’ faces, the young woman could see how cumbersome working during weekends was.

    People were freer by Saturday and Sundays, and while this could be ideal to make huge gains from a few shifts, the amount of clients to serve could easily become troublesome to deal with, especially with a limited staff as the one of this cafe.

    “Do you remember the guy that I mentioned you? The one that I found while searching for you?” Yang continued with a strange tone, drawing the Cat Faunus’ attention on her at the mention of that very individual.

    Panic swelled a little at the sudden queries, but her mind soothed her worry before she could’ve done something terrible. There was no way that the brawler had discovered anything about her little escapade the day before. But what if she did?

    “Hm? Yes… what about him?”

    Calm and steady. Blake couldn’t afford to face something so dangerous to obliterate her little lie, but she would’ve to ride the wave to avoid getting hit by a golden-haired tsunami.

    “I’ve been thinking about this for a while now,” The blonde began talking once more, her lilac eyes flashing a worrying degree of seriousness over the matter. “And since I’ve been talking with him sometime now, I wanted to ask you what would you think if I tried to ask him out.”


    Her mind put a struggle to avoid any of the shock within her thoughts to actually appear within her current expression, but her brain was just frozen by this very affirmation.

    She had listened to her partner going through some statements regarding Sid, but nothing that could’ve suggested this kind of interest from her part.

    Plus, it was odd to consider someone like Yang actually thinking about trying her luck with someone as serious as the waiter.

    Sure, there was a correlation between the two over some temper issues, but that very detail shouldn’t actually be known to the brawler, and thus there was no actual logical reason for the girl to even think of going for that.

    “Wait, really?” Blake let out with a faux clueless tone painting her words. She didn’t need to sound overly-surprised, but some shock was expected by her partner considering the way her question was phrased.

    “I mean, I can see why it can sounds odd but- I had been thinking about this for a while now,” The blonde explained genuinely. “While I can give chase to hot studs forever, I think I… I actually want to put a limit to my little quirky self.”

    Now, that was oddly mature coming from the generally-unruly girl… but not truly impossible to see it happening. It just sounded so sudden and quite odd to listen to.

    “But why? You are almost sounding like you’re already planning to have a solid relationship or-”

    “That’s the plan.” A sigh from Yang’s lips interrupted the Faunus mid-sentence. “Let’s just say that while I can have some little fun, I think a proper relationship is the thing that needs to be legit in my life.”

    “Paint me surprised but, I really can’t see you going after a waiter of all people.”

    Blake almost flinched at her own words, knowing full well that it wasn’t just nice to label Sid just as that. He was a ‘little’ more than just a waiter.

    “A waiter that got some muscles underneath his shirt,” The brawler rebuked happily, a cheeky smile on her face. “You see, there was this time that he got sick and had collapsed over and when I went to help him up, I got a ‘glimpse’ of his frame. Those aren’t something you find in a normal waiter.”

    She was referring to the time when she had come close to find out that Bianca was Blake, the Belladonna tensing up at that very notion.

    Sure, Yang had been there to try and help up early on with Sid’s little act, but to think that she would notice this very detail in such a crass way? Now there was a good reason to be worried about the current knowledge her partner had about the young man.

    “So, how do you plan it? A date and then you’re a couple?”

    “What? No!” Yang looked scandalized over that very quick interrogation. “I mean, if the date goes well, I will try to have some more. I’m not in the mood of rushing things so suddenly. And I’m not even sure he’s the right one, I just think it might work as a serious relationship.”

    At least the brawler wasn’t trying to rush things up. That would’ve been a very awkward situation to bear through while also keeping what had happened in the previous few weeks a secret.

    It was hard enough to not make false steps with how inquisitive Yang was on a normal basis whenever Blake showed any attitude that wasn’t ‘usual of her’. Even considering the possibility of having to keep this secret while the blonde was dating her co-liar was enough to warrant some uneasiness at the possibility.

    “That sounds… nice?”

    “I was thinking about asking him tomorrow,” The girl continued without hesitation. “Which is why I would need a wingkitty for the occasion.”

    The Cat Faunus frowned at the nickname, but her eyes nonetheless widened as she realized why the blonde had been speaking to her of this very argument.

    For a brief moment, Blake could now see why Sid had been very adamant in her keeping an alerted state while talking about her teammates about anything related to him or his workplace.

    “Yang, I don’t think that-”

    “I will pay for you coffee, you will get a few hours out of the dorm and… I will buy a book?”

    The bribery was duly noted and partially rejected. There was this new book from the writer of Ninjas of Love that- No! She couldn’t. Not now that the situation required her to be incredibly serious about this bad development.

    “I can’t really-”

    “Or I will tell the girls that you’ve not been at the library,” The blonde continued, delivering a sudden threat at the young woman.

    Cat ears twitched at the ultimatum. “This is ridiculous. Of course I’ve been going to-”

    “Tukson has been closed for a while now. And I’ve been looking around for any other libraries where you might have been,” She interrupted again, her smile widening and yet her eyes sporting a suspicious look. “Still, it’s up to you to tell me what the heck you were doing yesterday… or maybe we can talk about tomorrow’s arrangements.”

    As if there was any choice to made here with how everything was settled in such a manner that nothing Blake could think of could work with the things Yang had brought up.

    She was at least glad that both girls on the other side of the table were still bickering with one another, distracted enough to not be hearing what kind of problematic supposition the brawler was bringing up against her.

    In the end, the Belladonna couldn’t do much but sigh at that dreadful imposition, one that was surely going to ‘irk’ Sid a little more than usual. And for good reasons she herself could see on the immediate circumstance.

    “So, will it be in the morning or in the afternoon?”

    Lilac eyes displayed some mirthfulness as blonde decided to finally expand more on her plans for Monday, dragging the reluctant dark-haired girl’s attention all on her as she detailed perfectly what kind of idea she had plotted up until.

    But while both partners were well-distracted in that very conversation, a certain caped girl had a minor frown appearing on her face while still investing most of her focus on Weiss.

    Ruby might have failed to listen to the whole discussion happening while she was dealing with the usual fun predicament with her partner, yet the young team leader had heard enough to actually understand that there was something worth of some investigation once this trip was concluded.

    If Blake didn’t go to the library, then where did she spend her time yesterday?


    The atmosphere within the flat was quite tense as Blake stared carefully at the human currently sitting beside her on the couch.

    She had just finished telling him about the situation that was going to happen with him and Yang tomorrow, deciding to ditch the need to keep secrecy of this matter with the kind of leverage that her partner had tried to use against her.

    The young man had been close to settle the DVD disc of the first movie inside the player when the Belladonna started to tell him about what had happened hours earlier, driving the waiter to a silent but surprisingly calm moment of stillness.

    This very situation persisted for some time, enough to drive some more worry within her mind that she was going to assist to a glorious (but incredibly unpleasant) situation with the human as he carefully went to lean back by the couch.

    “Uh- So Yang likes me?”

    “I think it’s more that she finds you a good candidate for a serious relationship,” Blake corrected with a hint of nervousness. “She mentioned that it was just an attempt. Nothing overly serious and-”

    “I guess I will see it for myself tomorrow,” Sid interrupted with a nod, drawing a frown out of the Cat Faunus over this strange and sudden dismissal.

    … “You’re not going to question the whole-”

    “I mean, it’s pretty much a surprise, but she did make some hints at that a while ago,” The human pointed out with a shrug. “Plus, it’s just a date.”

    “A date that could go well, and get you in a relationship with my own partner,” The Belladonna retorted with a tight tone. “Which would make things difficult for us to keep our friendship a secret.”

    The young man sighed, his left hand reaching the top of his head, settling by there for a while as he thought about the complex situation.

    “That sounds like a bad aftermath, but you’re forgetting that I can easily refuse a relationship,” He admitted with a sigh. “I don’t see a reason to be that much worried about this-”

    “You don’t understand. Yang will not stop just because you said no,” Blake interjected with a tense voice. “She will take it as a challenge for try some more and-”

    “She will start to investigate about-”

    “About you, then about me and finally discover everything,” The girl counter-interrupted without hesitation, her amber eyes narrowing in an annoyed look. “And don’t interrupt me.”

    The stern reprimand was met with a surprised look from the young man as more silence resumed from that very point of the situation.

    There wasn’t much to think too hard about. Now it was about time to ponder how they were supposed to make the date go in a way that would see Yang being the one to dismiss the chances of going through that kind of connection with the waiter.

    “But what if I actually let that one happen? What if you just end up meeting up with me and we decided to hit it off by having movie marathons together?” Sid inquired with a hint of curiosity. “We wouldn’t have any reason to worry about the secret being discovered… since there would be a ‘logical reason’ behind our friendship.”

    She opened her mouth, ready to advance some protest at this very scenario as this- This-

    But while the girl had wanted to oppose such a thought, her traitorous mind decided to wholeheartedly agree to what the young man had just pointed out.

    If Sid ended up together with Yang, then there would be a reason for him to know about Blake and… so all their problems would vanish without any complications.

    So, why was the Belladonna still so unwilling to even just consider this option? Why it felt so difficult to even accept such a change of things so radical and sudden?

    Just as she thought about it, having yet to offer a true response to his questions, her trail of thoughts were interrupted by the sudden noise of a doorbell ringing.

    It was the one from the flat and… nobody was supposed to come around at this hour from Sid’s confused frown.

    The young man merely graced her a nod as he quietly stood up from his seat on the couch and walked up to the front door, eyes sporting a certain amount of tension born from the unexpected development.

    He stood for a moment there, carefully looking through the peeping hole before going to unlock the door. From his disbelief, he hadn’t seen anyone beyond the barrier, and his guarded stance suggested that whoever could’ve been outside wasn’t anyone friendly.

    Some smoke started to form around his free hand, the young man preparing for any sudden fight while the door slowly started to open, enough to give space for him to peek on the other side… and blink in surprise as he yanked the entire door open.

    “Hello?” He greeted quietly, with some shock and panic dripping from his tone.

    “Wait, you?!”

    Blake tensed up, her eyes widening in sudden dread as she recognized the high-pitched voice almost too quickly.

    She gulped nervously, her attention on Sid intensifying as she hoped and prayed that her ears had just tricked her about this very situation.

    “Yes, me?”

    “But- But I was following up-”

    There was no doubt about it, the Belladonna could feel horror crawl up on her back as she prepared for the worst situation possible.

    “This is my flat, why are you here, Ruby?” The waiter finally confirmed her suspects, and Blake prepared to bolt out of that situation if the caped girl managed to break through the obstacle presented by the owner of the house.

    “I was- wait, no. I know what I’ve seen and- Where is Blake?!” The leader of team RWBY demanded sternly, showing a surprising amount of anger in that brief moment. “I saw her coming through here and-”

    “Well, she is not here,” Sid interrupted with a frown. “And you shouldn’t be screeching like that. People are actually sleeping at this hour.”

    “B-But it’s afternoon-”

    “And people can still end up working at unfair morning shifts,” The young man pressed on with some irritation. “So, why are you here?”

    “Blake. I saw her walking inside and- she is here.”

    “She is not,” He rebuked easily, only to deal with a huff from the young girl.

    “Then I’m going to call Yang!”

    Oh Gods, no!

    Blake could feel herself shivering at the ramifications of this unplanned visit. Ruby had seen her coming here… but why? And how?

    The Belladonna had been careful that she hadn’t been tailed. It had been one of the few things that she had to go through everytime she was outside of Beacon Academy, especially since she realized that there were people that still hunted her.

    So how did she miss the ‘red-caped girl shadowing her steps’?

    Truly an embarrassing note in that sea of dread.


    “She will help me find Blake- I know she’s here,” Ruby continued adamantly.

    The young man merely shrugged. “How about we make a bet?”


    “A… A bet?” The young girl parroted with a frown. “Wait, why should I-”

    “Considering the hostility you’re showing right now, I think you expect me to have kidnapped Blake or something worse,” He interrupted with a sigh. “If that’s the case, then you would easily beat me up since I can see you’ve brought your own weapon and I’m unarmed. But-”

    “But?” She pressed a little annoyed, almost childishly as Sid smiled at the rapt attention from the caped girl.

    “But if she is fine and she is here by her own free will, you will allow us to give an explanation… and I can also offer some cookies as an appeasing bribe.”

    There was some silence at that offer, and Blake genuinely hoped that she had really failed to listen up the kind of madness that the young man had just proposed to the scythe-wielding girl.

    There was no way that Ruby would’ve accepted such a bargain without-

    “Deal!” The team leader accepted eagerly, perhaps her resolve crumbling before the chance of getting some cookies anyway.

    Nevermind, then.

    Sid made way so that the shorter figure that was Ruby Rose had free access inside the flat and… Ruby stopped by the doorstep leading to the living room, with her silver eyes widening at the sight bestowed to her.

    “Blake- you...” There was so much betrayal, so much shock at the dreadful discovery that it wasn’t a kidnapping but-

    “You were having a movie marathon- about Spruce Willis’ amazing movies too!!”

    “You mean that you’re angry about-” The Cat Faunus tried to inquire, only to be interrupted by a groan from the incensed brunette.

    “How could you?! You know that I love his movies!” The younger girl continued with her contempt. “And I thought that you were in a dangerous situation- when you actually were being a selfish jerk by keeping this opportunity for yourself!”

    Blake actually flinched at the legitimate anger coming from Ruby, her cat ears going flat in sign of distress as she was subjected to this sudden and bizarre predicament.

    While she could’ve understood if the situation had been just about her getting kidnapped and this turning out to be wrong, Ruby seemed to actually be more furious about the fact that she hadn’t been invited to a movie marathon with action movies.

    But before the shorter huntress-in-training could have gone further than that, her attention was stolen by a large plate appearing before her sight with numerous cookies on it.

    Her already wide-open eyes turned comically even wider as she took the first cookie with her hands, munching happily on it.

    “That’s every cookie I managed to find in the house,” Sid commented with a calm hum. “And I suppose that you will listen to a truthful explanation about what is going on… right?”

    There was a lot going through Ruby’s mind in that very instant. While she could easily give a dry ‘nope’ and merely call Yang to screw them up about having failed to invite her to the movie marathon, she still found the sweet fragrance of the snacks before her eyes making her consider the merciful path over this confusing situation.

    “Okay,” She mumbled before taking her second and third cookie, taking a seat by the couch much to the Belladonna’s increasing shock over the strange route this situation was taking before her eyes.

    While she hadn’t known Ruby that much, Blake had thought that the girl was still someone capable of making ‘logical and normal choices’ about this crazy predicament.

    Calling Yang from the brunette’s standpoint would’ve been the smarted decision to make as to not complicate things even more than those needed to.

    And yet Ruby had sat down and she had quietly listened to their side of the story. The caped girl would still offer some questions, her curiosity flaring more than once with what turned out to be twenty minutes of intense explanations.

    The plate with the cookies turned lighter and lighter the more time passed, the voracious girl devouring the sweet treats while she continued to allow this very odd situation to continue to the very end.

    There were some awkward points that Blake herself was urged to answer on her own by Sid’s own insistence and Ruby’s fascination over the topics, some of those related as to why she had shied away from returning back to Beacon Academy and about her parents.

    Through some queries were unpleasant, the final results ended up being fairly lenient considering the messy circumstances that led them to this very aftermath.

    Ruby was disappointed with a couple of parts, but she seemed to keep a generally calm and respectful attitude over the full length of the explanation.

    “Wait, Ozpin knows about this?” The caped girl had inquired with some surprise. “I- But why would he just keep up this lie? Isn’t that bad?”

    “I think it’s connected to the fact that if Blake revealed the truth, it would fracture the team to a point of no return,” Sid had pointed out calmly, drawing a nod from the Cat Faunus. “Right now, both Yang and Weiss are relieved by Blake’s return- but if the truth was to come out so suddenly, and with them still recovering from the rollercoaster of emotions that came with the end of this ordeal, I think the results wouldn’t be pretty.”

    The little Rose huffed. “This is so complicated. I understand it- It’s just that… Ugh!”

    “We’re working on defuse this bomb, Ruby,” The young man continued with a tired sigh. “And that’s why I would ask from you to keep quiet about this.”

    “I would’ve to lie to Yang,” She pointed out with an uneasy tone. “I- I really don’t want to do that.”

    “Because she is your beloved sister and she is part of your family,” Sid reasoned with a nod, getting a surprised look out of Ruby. “I can relate to this because… I’m a young sibling too.”

    Her eyes widened with renewed interest. “You mean that you have big brothers… or sisters?”

    “A brother and a sister, both older than me,” He replied with a smile. “I care a lot about them.”

    “But they can be so pushy, right?” The young girl whined with a groan. “I mean, Yang has been telling me that I’m super-special for getting into Beacon this early on.”

    The young man nodded. “Oh, I can relate to that one too. In fact, there was a time when my father wanted to send me early to Haven since I trained with my Semblance to a decent degree- but I kind of diverted from there.”

    “And you’re a waiter-” She stopped there a frown replacing her surprised look. “Wait, you were going to become a Huntsman? Why didn’t you go through with it?”

    “I had some reasons that got me think away from it,” Sid answered with a shrug. “Still, I’m fine with what I got. I hope you’re happy with your school experience.”

    “It was difficult- my partner was a little bit annoyed that I’m the team leader but now things are fine.”

    “I’m glad to hear that and… I’m sure that you will help us to keep the situation from escalating any further with Blake’s bad luck streak,” He commented, drawing a frown out of the Cat-eared girl.

    “I don’t have bad luck-”

    “I think you have bad luck,” Ruby interrupted with a clear and truthful tone. “And… I will keep an eye on her if she does something stupid.”

    And now the situation was turning once more against her. Blake had yet to decide if it was worst to be told she had bad luck by Sid or by someone as young and honest like Ruby.

    Truly a dark day for her luc-

    No! I don’t have any bad luck! It’s all a stupid estimation!

    “Good to know, I can see why Blake consider you a good team leader.”

    The praise was met with a giddy look from the young Rose. “Really?” The girl glanced to the side, right to her teammate. “You think I’m that good?”

    Not that she had been praising her that much about it, only muttering about it rarely and sparsely while talking with Sid… but-


    She decided that it wasn’t just worth to ruin the moment.

    Ruby looked incredibly convinced of their genuineness and there was no reason from her part to try and screw things up.

    Just as the Belladonna had started to seriously hope that the situation was finally coming to its closure, her poor mind was gifted with one last predicament.

    “Can I please stay? I really want to see some Spruce Willis’ movies and- Wait, you have Try Hard 3: Try the Hardest?”

    …And while Sid conceded her a proper seat by the couch so that Ruby could’ve taken part to that Movie Marathon, Blake couldn’t help but sigh at the unfairness of this very development as she soon ended up getting to deal with some childish commentary from Ruby herself over the movies.

    Not the worst, but undoubtably not the best situation ever she could’ve drawn from that few hours away from responsibilities and other stuff connected to Beacon.




    sOMEBODI once asked if this was still a comedy. It is still a comedy.

    Yay for Ruby and her adorable, but partially-crazy self. Cookies for the Cookie monster!

    And… next time Cinder? Prepare for some funny interactions with Oneesama!
  18. Threadmarks: When there's a rainbow...

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 20: When there’s a rainbow...

    ~Cinder’s POV~

    The infiltration was finally complete.

    Cinder was glad with the situation. Not only Ozpin had failed to take notice that his enemies were currently hiding among his students, but the headmaster had also been distracted elsewhere to notice how some bits of Beacon’s database had been copied and downloaded in her trusty pen-drive.

    While it wasn’t part of her current plans, the acquisition of a full list of active Huntsmen and students within the school was going to prove important in the long run. The Queen would surely approve to have a defined list of her preys. Maybe the half-Maiden could finally request a little more ‘attention’ over the Grimm presence in the Emerald Forest, to increase the numbers needed for the invasion.

    Despite her best efforts to secure ‘smart’ grunts by hiring mercenary groups and criminal gangs within the city, the recruitment campaign was… disappointing. At least compared to how much manpower had been spared by Valean Branch of the White Fang.

    A massive pity, but a much-needed sacrifice to actually avoid any major attention from the Wizard. It’d been a surprise to notice how ‘smoother’ the operation to infiltrate the Academy had been now that the headmaster believed that the ‘worst was now over’.

    It made her almost chuckle. But her mood was dampened by the fact that she was now forced to wear a bright green long-haired wig to cover her dark locks. Since one of the students was now aware of her appearance, it was only for the best to adopt some changes to avoid getting recognized by the little naughty cat.

    Blake Belladonna. The name mattered little at first if not just for the nuisance factor caused by the bow-wearing girl’s closeness to her younger sibling, then Cinder learned some interesting details. Daughter of Ghira and Kali Belladonna, the girl was a precious pawn within the chessboard. One that actually would help in the eventuality that Menagerie tried to rally up any resistance against Salem.

    Which is why, against her utmost irritation over dealing with the Cat Faunus, the young woman had well thought about kidnapping the brat once the plan was in full swing. It would’ve been difficult since Sid seemed to have a ‘silly aversion’ to keep close to the girl. Truly an annoyance that would be eased up only when her job here was done.

    And hopefully things would break too much between her and her family. Cinder was still latching at the memories of her past, it wasn’t possible to sleep without thinking back about these times. She was slightly tired, but not truly interested by backing away from her plans. Especially when those would’ve ended with true World-Wide peace.

    It was a big ambition. One that would warrant some frowns from her family because of the toll imposed by her ideas. But she couldn’t just back away, the Half-Maiden just needed to… do it for the sake of good.

    But while her mind had been prepared to be labeled a monster by the large majority of the world, her core clenched at the mere thought that Sid and the others were going to join that group. The angry stare, the hurtful words, and the trust broken so suddenly and unexpectedly.

    As much as Cinder wanted to consider it poetic, the truth was far from melodious. It was chaotic, it was messy. She didn’t want to hurt her brother, not after what had happened in the past. Not after she had run away from home. It was frustrating, she repeated again within her mind, but it had to be done.

    Still, even though her main priority was to go through with her mission, Cinder wasn’t shy from actually focusing her attention elsewhere. There wasn’t much to do up until Atlas arrived with their envoys, and thus she was left to interest herself over a curious discussion Emerald had caught while wandering the walls.

    A discussion between a blonde girl and Blake Belladonna. A discussion about some concerning topics for an old sister like she was. A discussion that saw her going alone in Vale to keep an eye to a possible attempt at her little brother’s heart.

    Unacceptable. The database even reinforced the Half-Maiden’s perception of disdain over the efforts being displayed by Yang Xiao Long. Unruly, quite careless, and the prime example of an irresponsible young woman. All these details only burdened even more Cinder’s mind as she switched to her usual clothes for this occasion.

    Following the blonde up to Sid’s workplace allowed the young woman to contemplate how she was going to approach this situation. While in her mind ‘rushing in and kill the harlot’ sounded like a good idea, there were things she couldn’t just ignore because of her blood-thirst.

    The first thing was… Sid’s own presence there.

    If there was something that the dark-haired woman had learned from past experiences, it was that her foolish little brother was quick to anger at the thought of someone monitoring him. It had been when mother had wanted to know more about his first crush, and it had been when Stacy had gone as far as flirt with the few girls that actually showed interest in the young man.

    Cinder had always restrained herself from trying to act in broad daylight and in a manner that Sid would recognize her own ‘footprints’, and the results were interesting to say the least. The young man was angry, but devoid of any targets at the sudden rejections from those girls greedily aiming at his heart, and his lovable big sister would offer him hugs and a shoulder to cry upon.

    A massive win-win that… now couldn’t just be achieved in this specific case. The girl in question was a Huntress-in-training, and one that could push her well enough to tap in her Maiden powers thanks to her Semblance.

    A direct approach was quickly ditched, but her creative mind didn’t shy away from pondering some more about other solutions. It was by the time that the blonde entered the ‘Morning Sip’ that Cinder started to evaluate a convoluted plans to ruin the date.

    She didn’t have to actually ‘make a ruckus’ out of that hang out, and it would take only a couple of ‘adjustments’ through her own semblance to get a fiasco out of that attempt. The flawless plan that just waited to be properly elaborated as both Yang and Sid finally walked out of the pub a couple of hours later.

    It was the first time in a while that the dark-haired woman was forced to wait in her hiding spot to see some actions to happen, and she quickly regarded it as a training to her patience. Through patience she shall gain victory.

    And that success was right within the small cafe that the blonde had taken her brother into. Sid made a comment about the place, perhaps sweetening a lament over the stupid decision of spending a date by a place similar to the one he worked for. Quite silly, but not enough to get a scowl out of him.

    The brawler merely joked about it, sheepishly denying any major effort from her part. Stupid, but endearing. Cinder could see how the student was just playing with the fact that she was trying to restrain herself from going ‘too far’ with the planning.

    Oddly enough, she could see the useful in that approach for the occasion. It was just so… precise. It seemed like it had been gauged by someone that knew how Sid behaved with this kind of situations, and the young man just liked way too at ease.

    But… Yang wasn’t supposed to have spent that much time to know with Sid. And that was worrying to a newer level. In fact, instead of keeping away from interacting with the couple, Cinder decided to take a huge risk and actually move her current position away from her hiding hole.

    Entering the cafe through the flow of people entering and leaving covered her from getting spotted by the two. It also gave the dark-haired woman the chance of fishing a spot where to sit and watch the situation from a closer perspective.

    She couldn’t still hear what they were talking about properly, but the sight over their table was good enough for her. There were other tables between hers and theirs, but those served as barriers to keep herself from getting caught.

    From that post, the chances of her quickly intervening if the situation took a sudden and sharp turn south were high enough to soothe her concerns. Just enough to make contingencies over whatever was happening with these two. Did she miss something happening during the infiltration? Should she plan out something to keep track of her brother while she is busy?

    These thoughts kept her from focusing too hard on the theories behind Yang’s knowledge, and more into the current state of things. Distractions weren’t accepted, and her eyes were all fixed at the scene when-

    “S-Sorry, Miss,” A soft, nervous, but feminine tone asked shyly, causing her to glance to the side and right onto an unexpected individual standing close. “Is that seat occupied?”

    A blink, then two. But Cinder couldn’t just digest the fact that a familiar red-caped girl was standing there and looking at her with an uneasy look.

    Silver eyes. This element just confirmed her concerns as she finally grasped at the reality. Ruby Rose, the little girl that was the blonde’s young sister and team leader of Team RWBY, was standing there.

    Another blink. “It’s free.”

    The implications were massive, but Cinder wasn’t going to divert away a source of fresh info over this very situation, especially since her presence seemed to be tied to the date too. As the girl took the chair, and patiently hummed at the sight of her sister and the young man, a waiter finally arrived at the table.

    “Do you wish to order something?” A formal query, a standard from places like this. The half-Maiden nodded, while the young Rose was a little bit more hesitant to accept. Still, she ended up giving a quiet ‘yes’, leaving Cinder to pick her own order. The choice wasn’t difficult, and the dark-haired woman picked her usual favorite.

    “A glass of milk.”

    A little childish, but not something that the woman deemed outright silly. The sweet flavor of milk was just too good, especially if it was mixed with cookies. It reminded her of… the delicious meals prepared by her mother.

    Yet, as she turned to gauge the girl’s reaction at the order, surprise swelled within her chest at the happy look now replacing the previous nervousness in Ruby’s face.

    “I-I will take the same.”

    ...Oh? So the caped girl liked milk too? There weren’t any details related to favorite food and drinks among students within the database, so this came to Cinder like a fascinating development. One that she could exploit for some conversation.

    “It’s quite surprising to find someone else that prefers milk to coffee,” The half-Maiden commented quietly, gaining Ruby’s attention on her.

    The girl gave a shaky smile. “It’s- I just like milk. Plus I know it’s the best thing to grow up healthier and properly!”

    A strong response that was met with a nod. Cinder herself could remember when she’d been so sure of that detail herself. Then she grew up, and puberty bestowed with a body that she couldn’t exactly be embarrassed by. If only people could restrain themselves from staring.

    “It’s an interesting grasp over the matter. Have you found any success yet?”

    The inquiry was meant to be a simple question, but perhaps it was confused as a form of teasing by the little groan leaving Ruby’s lips.

    “Only my height. I’ve grown taller since last year- but I’m sure that I-I will achieve more.”

    She was determined. That was already a good headstart as far as the woman was concerned about her success… and that was odd. It shouldn’t be a concern to her. She shouldn’t be caring about this matter.

    Yet the more Cinder looked at the easygoing expression, the serenity that the younger girl had… she couldn’t help but see a mirror of her young self in her stead. Young, happy… naive. Painfully naive.

    Ultimately, the woman sighed. “And I suppose that you’re not here for some conversation with a stranger. Or else you wouldn’t have spent so much time staring at them.”

    Getting called out in these circumstances must have been dreadful. Yet the girl merely tensed, looking away like a child caught in some cheeky but naughty deed. A little blush, a moment of weakness. Just like she would behave when her mother had a stern glance directed at her after something unpleasant had happened because of her actions. But still a far cry from the shyness that Cinder was once caged by.

    “It’s- It’s complicated.”

    “I suppose,” The half-maiden rebuked softly. “But maybe you could start by introducing yourself.”

    The indirect query was matched with a quick nod from the young girl. “Ruby. Ruby Rose.”

    “Nice to meet you, Ruby,” The woman replied kindly, mustering up some of her past self to appear as close to a civilian as possible. “I’m Cinder Tremaine. You can start by explaining why are you spying on my little brother and his date?”

    Calm, suave, confident. She needed to embody these three elements within her speech pattern. Trust wasn’t difficult to gain, but it was hard to keep with people as young as Ruby. The young Rose herself looked shocked at the revelation combined to the question, yet, despite her pale-faced complex, the student offered a weak look of uneasiness before trying to answer.

    “Well- I mean, I’m surprised to- and-”

    Keyword was trying, as the mumbled mess just rendered difficult for Cinder to get a coherent explanation out of the embarrassed girl. Truly an annoying sight, but one forgivable with how ‘strong’ she had gone with her presentation. Maybe it was the result of her nerves finally showing at the presence of someone that was so familiar to her.

    She could still remember the first encounter with the scythe-wielding girl, the fierce and admirable standoff making it certain that despite her young age, Ruby was prepared to become a powerful huntress. Still, to see her so closely and so ‘privately’ was enough to give Cinder a different perception of the silver-eyed teen.

    Not a fierce enemy that she would’ve to eventually kill, but someone that surprisingly enough matched with her past self. And this wasn’t a good thing. Not at all. Especially since she would’ve to still kill her when the proper time will come.

    A saddening thought that couldn’t just be ignored considering that the topic was standing in front of her. Ruby was clueless about it, and perhaps thinking that Cinder was just contemplating over her mess of words. She looked nervous and awkward, the byproduct of a girl with few friendly connections and… without a mother.

    ...Why are things so fucking complicated!

    But there was no time to whine over the unfair situation. She didn’t have much of a choice… and the moment she will have to do what she has to was still far from happening. Cinder finally hummed, holding back all negative emotions and trying to make a genuine smile devoid of awkwardness.

    “Is that your sister?”

    A little nudge to unlock the situation. Ruby’s eyes widened a little more, but instead of asking how she had come to guess so easily, the girl merely nodded.

    “I-I was just… seeing if things were going alright,” The girl meekly admitted, her stare still directed at the table and away from Cinder’s own eyes. “I don’t want to annoy them. They seem to be having fun, plus everything looks fine there and… It’s just odd.”

    The woman blinked. “Odd?”

    “Yeah, it’s… kind of difficult to explain in simple words,” The young Rose continued with a nervous tone. “I know things are going fine, but I can’t help but expect things to do bad too. It’s a hunch, but I don’t really have anything to- to base it of to.”

    “Maybe you’re just concerned for your sister’s heart?” Cinder guessed, only for her little deduction to be dashed away with a shake of head. Slight irritation grew from that, but she didn’t display it on her face.

    “I know that Yang can handle this stuff. It’s… not the first time she has to deal with it,” The student explained. “But I also feel that she deserves to be happy and… I think Sid would be a good boyfriend material.”

    An intrigued look replaced her confused one, with the half-Maiden hiding away the fact she was seething at this very comment.

    “Truly? I don’t see how that could be,” The woman admitted with a restrained tone. It wouldn’t be convenient to spit poison early on. The girl would react badly, and mess up their current covers for the sake of protecting her older sibling. “I don’t wish to sound too much disrespectful, but I can assume by the way she is behaving right now to be quite the opposite of what Sid is.”

    Cinder expected a quick reply to that. Either to confirm or disagree with what she had just said. But much to her surprise, Ruby took a moment to think about those words. She contemplated about those and… finally she sighed.

    “I suppose that’s what it looks like… and I know that Yang can be overly-irritating with her puns, or how much she tries to tease me about my accomplishments,” Ruby started with a legitimately serious tone. It was a change from the previous voice, as the stammering and stuttering were gone. In their places was a steel-like resolution that made Cinder freeze up in fascination. “But I can also say that she is just trying to… be the funny one. To be the one that helps people cheer up, or even going as far to help them on a more direct way. When mom… died, she took care of me as much as she could, trying her best to hide away the fact that mom wasn’t coming back home.”

    “You don’t need to-”

    “I think I want to,” Ruby interjected with a sigh. Her eyes sporting a mix of sadness and determination. An odd mix for sure, but woman decided to still listen at her points. “In fact, I think I should’ve done this much before. I… I always try to sound mature, to be mature… to be an adult. I want to be an adult and yet I still rely on Yang. She doesn’t mind, or at least she tries to not show it. It’s… something that confuses me, but also angers me because I know I can help her myself.”

    “It’s the duty of a big brother or sister to help their younger siblings,” The half-maiden pleaded, for some reason feeling directly interested by the words coming from Ruby. While she wasn’t the Rose’s older sibling, the claim she was bringing forward was… quite familiar, but on an opposite scale.

    Sid had always been there. There was no occasion where he would just skip giving her attention, devotion, emotions, and genuine happiness. It was mesmerizing, but also addicting. He was there, and things were fine. But…

    But when was the last time she actually showed more interest in what he cared for? When was the last time he checked on his emotions rather than selfishly think that things would just be fine until they were together?

    There was no moderation, there was no reassurance. It would be wrong to say otherwise.

    “I think it’s nice to be cared like that,” Ruby rekindled the discussion with a small smile, drawing Cinder out of her own mind and back to reality as the caped girl addressed the matter once more. “To be spoiled, pampered. To know you can fall back and have someone to trust without hesitation. But I also think that everyone deserve to be happy. One can’t just live to make people happy, and then deprive themselves of their own happiness. It’s unfair. It’s wrong.”

    The dark-haired woman stared at the table. “It’s bad.”

    The comment was matched with a nod from the girl, the student unaware of the impact her speech was having on Cinder’s mind. The entire situation put a single but unmovable doubt that was halting the half-maiden’s thoughts of conquering her step-brother. It was strange to just accept this and… there wasn’t anything to do about it for now. With the situation forbidding her to not think thoroughly about this, Cinder decided to restrain herself from pondering about this up until she was left alone in a safer place.

    “This is why I wish for them to succeed,” Ruby concluded with a brighter smile. “I want them both to be happy.”

    “That’s… an interesting thought about the matter,” Cinder confessed quietly, glancing as both Yang and Sid seemed to have finished their meal, paying the waitress coming to their table… maybe they were going to continue elsewhere.

    There was a temptation to still follow them, but her mind was once more ensnared away as Ruby spoke again. Having grown accustomed with the older girl, the young Rose decided to inquire some more about their family

    “Sid mentioned that he was the youngest sibling, as in that there is you, his big sister, and his big brother,” The girl started with immense curiosity just barely held back by her mouth. “Can you tell me more about it?”

    A smile now adorned Cinder’s face. “Only if you give me some more about your sister.”

    And from a simple but awkward conversation, to something a little more complex and serious, two unlikely individuals shared a pleasant afternoon together among teasing stories and fond memories.


    ~Sid’s POV~

    This was perhaps the smoothest date I had in ages. And that was an achievement on itself.

    Yang looked to be positively elated by the entire situation, and I was actually finding her personality to be a little less pushy than usual. I was unsure if it was something born from Blake’s advices, or if this was a genuine attempt coming from the blonde alone. Nonetheless, I wasn’t having any issues with how things were developing between us.

    The visit at the cafe, albeit a little bit cliché and awkward because of the fact that I worked at a bar, seemed to be domineered by small jokes over this very element. I hadn’t put too much thought over the possibility of having to deal with an elaborated schedule, and for now things were being reasonably acceptable. If not better considering how the brawler’s humor worked without too many puns at once.

    Her jokes were fine as they were and she knew when to throw those in at the most opportune time without sounding overly-cheerful about the situation. She was giddy. I could see her almost vibrating as we made our way out of the cafe and into the nearby park. We took a moment to sit by some of the available benches before resuming our previous conversation.

    “But how much strong are you now?” The blonde quickly pressed on. “Sure, you got plenty of training in the past, but you’ve to admit that you’ve got to be rusty now.”

    I shrugged. “I didn’t have much practice, so I would suppose I’m not 100% as ready as I was before dropping my training. Is there any reason why that’s important?”

    “Lemme see...” She hummed sarcastically, listing up her reasons with her fingers. “I would have a permanent sparring partner; We can learn each other fighting styles; You can admire my hot bod; And I think you would want to admire my hot bod.”

    “You’ve a hot bod alright, no need to doubt that,” I commented calmly, my smile twitching at her amused giggle. “But I think you’re missed a point in your ‘enlightening listing’.”

    She frowned. “I did not.”

    “I believe you forgot the fact that I would’ve a lovely woman with a big heart to talk to before, during, and after the spars,” I pointed out with a genuine note of amusement, drawing a huff from the girl as her arms crossed below her bosom. “What? I’m telling the truth.”

    “I know,” Yang muttered with a small pout. “Doesn’t mean I can feel surprised by the smooth flirt you pulled there.”

    “Aw, is someone unprepared for some calibrated compliments?” I teased, only to recoil a little bit as she playfully punched my arm. “And ouch, that did sting a little.”

    “It’s not my fault you turned in a wimp,” She cheekily rebuked and I snorted. “What? I’m telling the truth.

    My eyes narrowed at her, a small scowl on my face. “I can easily say this ‘wimp’ can still beat you squarely in match.”

    “Bah, you’re tripping now,” The blonde giddily remarked. Then she tilted her head to the side, her lilac eyes regarding me with an interested look. “Are you betting on a match?”

    “A bet needs to have a wage. It’s like yo-”

    “I win, I get to do whatever I want to do to you. You get a shot at me if you win,” She quickly brought up with a smug tone. “Nothing too crazy, nor perverted.”

    I shrugged. “Sure.”

    “Then we can go there and see how much of a ‘professional’ you are.”

    I blinked at the large patch of short grass she was pointing at and I pondered about it. This was still a date, not just a friendly hang out. While I know that Yang is someone that likes to fight, it wasn’t no intention of mine to-

    Ya know what? Fuck it, we going in!

    I was feeling excited at the situation, plus I knew that the brawler was just craving for a quick fight to test each other abilities. And I wasn’t going to deny her the pleasure of checking me out… heh.

    Soon we were standing a couple of meters one away from the other. She was already taking her stance and I slowly took mine as we waited for something to start the match. There was a suave breeze cooling off my skin, giving me a state of peace that was just difficult to achieve in a normal situation.

    I felt electric, I could feel my muscle tensing in preparation for a match. Not one driven by panic, or need. But a fun game between two morons to see who was the greatest moron. Either by winning or losing, I was still unsure about that.

    It was nice to finally be granted the opportunity to spar again. We both heard a dog barking in the distance, and the noise proved to be what we were waiting for. Bolting towards each other, I studied the situation with a careful approach compared to Yang’s aggressive pace.

    There was moderation in her attacks, and her fist were focused and well-aimed, enough to paint me surprised a couple of time about how precise her hits were. Of course my speed gave me some edge, enabling me in countering and dodging her attacks. Some still reached through my guard, dignifying the pitiful state of my memories over my current stance. I was too sloppy with my movements and… I was really growing embarrassing about it the more the fight continued.

    The girl wasn’t picking up any speed, restraining herself to just probing, attacking, and outright rushing me with a brazen posture. She wasn’t by any mean holding back the power in her punches and kicks, mostly her punches. I was fighting a hardcore boxer that just seemed to have endless stamina. A boxer that had a pretty grin on her gorgeous face within her beautiful body.

    Dammit, I was getting too distracted- didn’t Blake say something about keeping out from reaching her hair?

    I pondered over trying to strike her face, just enough to make her back away from the active persecution onto my sore body, but I was worried over the ‘berserk button’ that the Belladonna had mentioned earlier that morning. Her Semblance was something correlated to heat, power boosted through suffering damage, and something that was defined as ‘everything she touches technically burns’.

    I was wary of it all, and so I tried to unbalance her footing with kicks. With her stance focusing on keeping most of her attention on her upper body, her legs were the least defended and active bits within the fight excluding the quick pacing. She seemed to realize almost too quickly about what I was trying to accomplish, but I noticed how there was little effort made to switch out of that stance and cover for that flaw.

    I didn’t hesitate in mustering up some serious kicks to try and weaken up her balance. There was some progress alright, but my defense against her continuous barrage of punches wasn’t doing well. We were both taking damage in that battle of attrition. I could see some white glowing spreads through our bodies as our auras manifested by how swift our strikes were on our mutual openings.

    Her grin widened at the heated exchange of blows, and I would be lying in saying that I wasn’t actually liking how intense this spar was being. No foul hit had been thrown yet, we were both respectfully holding back from being utterly murderous, and I was doing my utmost to not come anywhere close to that golden mane.

    Despite my best efforts to keep her from tapping in her Semblance early on, my hopes crumbled as I saw her hair glowing a little bit and her eyes switching to a strangely familiar blood red. I felt confused at the sight, feeling like I’d seen someone with this characteristic before, but now I couldn’t help but frown in confusion at the weird sense of familiarity I had over Yang’s current state.

    The girl seemed to ignore my confusion, rushing to land stronger hits on me and forcing me to employ my own Smoke to deal with the brutal rush of attacks. Her punches were quicker and stronger, but those had nothing that could manage to inflict damage through my ‘defense’. Her eyes widened a little as she realized that she wasn’t doing much with this, forcing her to back away and… throw a sweeping kick to keep me away. She severely misunderstood the situation I was in, and the brawler seemed to understand without any input other than me rushing behind her thanks to my augmented speed.

    A shocked look greeted me and I swiftly threw a steam-powered punch on her cheek. It was in that very moment that I introduced Yang’s face to the ground. Much to my surprise, the blonde recovered quickly and her speed picked up thanks to the damage inflicted.

    I was put in a difficult situation. A dilemma weighting over my head while the girl resumed with her charge. I finally started to land some destabilizing blows by her legs, with her lower body starting to tremble at the damage but not bend over the pressure. I was impressed by her resistance, but I could see that she was already starting to get winded because of this.

    I could technically overwhelm her right now by putting pressure on her upper body’s defense at the risk of reaching her hair, or I could just make a prayer and hope that she would tire out before I had to resort to that. But with more time passing and her determination hardly allowing her to falter even a single moment in her assault, I knew that I had to take a huge risk.

    And a huge risk I did take by rushing a powerful steam punch by her face. Her Aura tanked the attack perfectly and without leaving much of a small bruise by the cheek, but as soon as the first hit reached her and with Yang blinked in surprise at the sting going through her face, I decided to exploit the situation to land two more punches.

    Two strikes later, and she was having trouble with a small concussion I’d caused through that three-hit combo, and I decided for this instance to be my opportunity to end the match. I was feeling particularly tired, and I was sure as heck going to lose if I didn’t rush for victory. So I ran towards her and pushed her forward and towards the ground, a gasp left her lips as I succeeded in wrapping my arms around her waist.

    I counted on Yang’s surprise distracting long enough to pull that pounce-tackle properly, and I sure had high hopes for it to go through without any problem. I was proven to be the greater moron because of a sudden development that I thought only when I went through the first two steps of my three-steps to victory plan.

    There is a part of physical training in preparation school that just helps you understand how to counter this kind of situations. I’d completely forgotten about the anti-tackle protocol, but I remembered it quite easily when I saw the blonde’s arms quickly running down and then lift up suddenly, slamming my own ones away and then pulling me in a bear hug. I then braced for impact as she fiercely turned me around and used my chest as a landing mattress when we finally reached the floor.

    I groaned at the weight pressing me down, and her victorious giggles made me realize how my little anxiety had costed me a close victory. I glanced at the giddy girl as she continued to straddle me like a big pillow, her face leaning down with a smile.

    “Seems like someone bit the dust,” The blonde commented eagerly. “And you know what? I like how you’re right now.”

    “On the ground and defeated?”

    “Nope,” She popped the ‘p’ as she leaned a little more. “I was thinking that you’re just ready for me to take my reward. And I want some sugar~.”

    At first I was confused at her comment. My mind wasn’t just there with how crazy that fight had been and I was ready to inquire some more about it-


    But Yang wasn’t in the mood for more talks. I saw her lilac eyes closing up as she rushed for my lips. I tensed up a little bit at the sudden kiss, surprised when I was met with some tongue on her part. It wasn’t even a particularly long one, and I returned the favor almost instantly with how enticing the entire situation was.

    Moments passed, but soon she retracted away with a satisfied smirk. “And sugar I got!” The cheeky proclamation was met with a frown from me.

    “For a moment I really thought you just wanted normal sugar,” I confessed almost too quickly, causing her to snort and redden up at the amusing comment I forwarded. “I mean, we went through a fight and my brain isn’t just there.”

    “But it seems it’s now back after getting some honey,” The girl continued with her eagerness, staring down at my face with a degree of confidence that was all deserved after this fight. “By the way, how was it?”

    I blinked, a small smile appearing on my face at the query. “I might… need a little more testing.”

    “Really? Why didn’t you ask?”

    She leaned back down, stealing another kiss as this time we properly enjoy this through. No surprises, just shared happiness.

    Backing away, the brawler’s lilac eyes returned the question once more and I sighed.

    “You’re a marvelous kisser, m’lady.”

    “Flatterer. But yes, I know that I’m good,” The blonde admitted with a snort. “Yet I didn’t expect you to be this good. I thought you mentioned having no relationship before now.”

    “And I didn’t lie. Plus, I could swear you said something similar to that.”


    “No further comment?” I inquired, only to be met with some shuffling down below my chest as she carefully settled her head there, basking in the pleasant warmth coming from there. “Really?”

    “The wind is nice, plus I need a moment to recharge,” Yang said flatly, yet her small smile suggested satisfaction at the situation. “And I can see you need some rest too. It’s a nice day after all.”

    I snorted, but I didn’t mutter anything else after that as I focused on some rest. She was correct in saying that I was drained after that heated spar, but I didn’t fall asleep much to her inner surprise. Instead I just stared up at the sky and pondered well about this successful date. It would seem like I had scored a relationship. One that seemed fairly serious from the first step.

    But while I contemplated about the good spin at my current luck, a certain cat-eared Faunus stared at the sight with a small blush on her face, a notebook in her hands and some scribblings being done in the name of ‘good literature’. Who would’ve thought that Blake was planning to start a writing career…



    Sometimes in RWBY stories: Cinder takes Ruby as her apprentice;

    In this RWBY story: Ruby happily takes a clueless Cinder as her mentor.

    Expect some fun business between the two, especially with the kind of plans I’ve for Ruby. (No White Rose or Rubes/Cindy tho. Keeping it all platonic for now).

    You never know when the need to write strikes, and Blake got some inspiration out of the spar and the aftermath. Just not in the light-hearted manner it went through. What a pervert.
    Shudo, IncognitoTBD, Mukigen and 4 others like this.
  19. Threadmarks: ...Then you might find an empty pot.

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 21: ...Then you might find an empty pot.

    Blake’s nights in the last week had been fairly… strange.

    It wasn’t like she was experiencing much of an issue with her nightmares, or at least not as much as she usually did.

    Nor the girl was having troubles with her sessions with Ozpin. The headmaster was incredibly fair with his questions, but he would always bring up the interest he had over her friendship with Sid.

    It wasn’t nothing too pushy, or genuinely worrying from the way the elder would back away at the first sign of uneasiness on her face over the topic.

    The issue was more correlated to the recent developments. The dynamics of relationships between ‘study’ and ‘free time’ had mixed in a somewhat strange compound.

    Yang was dating Sid.

    The Belladonna had been there to see it happen. She knew what had happened there and she knew that the date had been successful. But the young man knew nothing of that, which prompted for a rather awkward discussion through Scroll.

    The blonde had respectfully kept that part a secret, and the Cat Faunus was glad that there was no proof tracing her back to her role in that date.

    The little story she had written about the two had scored some interesting milestones when she had posted it on some adult sites, but the entire situation just didn’t sit well with what happened from that point onward.

    Blake was happy for them. Ruby was on the same wavelength while a certain white-haired Schnee was less enthusiastic over this development. Especially when the girl was ‘obliged’ to finally apologize to Sid.

    Still, the black-haired girl really was happy for them. Heck, she was half-tempted to make a ship out of this novelty all to celebrate her recent earnings with the recent story and their happiness… if not for the fact that their new relationship had started to put a strain on the friendship she had for the waiter.

    It was odd to believe what was happening. She was incredibly sure that friendships were meant to taken minor damage from that kind of escalation, but what ended up unraveling in the last day proved her wrong.

    The Cat Faunus was still keeping in touch with Sid after her ‘therapy’ sessions, but the scope of those conversations started to slowly but surely turn into his new romantic tie with her partner.

    Yang here, Yang there. It wasn’t obsessive as it might sound at first listening, but the presence of the blonde in their discussions was difficult to ignore. Especially if Sid had taken the habit of inquiring about his girlfriend at the beginning of their private chats.

    Blake didn’t mind much about it at first. It was alright to be loving if both were taken about each other. It had sounded so sudden that they were sticking into each other’s faces so frequently, but it was fine.

    It had to be fine. She couldn’t just mess things up for them.

    But while the first few days were somewhat bearable… by day 5 something started to finally get in her nerves. It was something subtle at first, something that the girl couldn’t give a proper name to.

    There had been two other dates. Each being fairly simple, almost close to the first one in terms of simplicity, but without the final brawl at the end of those.

    And Blake had been ‘asked’ from Yang to be around and offer advice whenever possible.

    The issue about that ‘smart decision’ from the blonde? The brawler would hardly ask for anything. If else, she would rebuke any suggestions forwarded by the Belladonna.

    Confusion had swelled from that very behavior, but it wasn’t just clear to her why she felt like this was worse than it looked like at first glance.

    Enlightenment came through the most unexpected of situations.

    “So you say that Ms. Xiao Long doesn’t make use of your help… despite the fact that she wants you there to help?” Ozpin summarized with a skeptical and confused tone. “Forgive me, Ms. Belladonna. But paint me surprised about this strange circumstance.”

    The girl nodded. “I’m confused myself- I mean, I’m not experienced in love so I can’t truly say if it’s just me or- or if there’s more to it.”

    “Perhaps your suspicions aren’t that baseless as you think, Ms. Belladonna,” The headmaster commented with a slow voice. “I can’t say for sure if what you’re suggesting can be the subtle truth, or if you’re seeing beyond the reality of things. Sudden relationships of this kind can and will make people close to the couple rather hasty with their thinking and-”

    “I’m supportive of them,” She blurted quickly. “I know what you’re implying, but I want them both to be happy. If them being an item is the best path to that, then I don’t mind it.”

    “Hmm,” The old man leaned back on his chair, his eyes were fixed at Blake’s frame and… he looked fascinated at her face.

    What? Was there something there that was making this much of a distraction?

    She fought back the urge of searching for anything that could confirm this theory, ultimately holding back until the headmaster was resuming with his words.

    “Ms. Belladonna, while I’m not best experienced in this topic, I can forward you a way to see if Ms. Xiao Long is being honest or not with her commitment with Mr. Tremaine,” Ozpin muttered. “Sure, Mr. Tremaine isn’t a student of mine, but I hope you understand that romantic relationships are… complex things. They make people let out their hearts to their partners. Fragility becomes a variable that can shatter the strongest of individuals.”

    “One mistake and… that would become a mess,” She added, her lips twitching in a moment of nervousness at that very development. “But… I think I will still give it a try. I- I feel something is wrong with this.”

    He nodded. “I suppose I can’t dissuade you from trying a closer approach. Then I shall offer you this very notion that I learned through my past relationships.”

    Blake was slightly surprised when she was given a genuinely good key to begin a conversation with Yang. One that could seriously work if she voiced the words given by Ozpin in the correct tone.

    But before she could do anything over her suspicions, she knew that there was something else that needed to be addressed before walking into an eventual fallout with the brawler. She needed support… from an unlikely source.

    Hello Bla-

    “Sid, we need to talk.”

    Quick and… incredibly awkward. Maybe she should’ve been a little more mindful about her current anxiety.

    Emotions can and will ruin important moments like this. She needed to be serious about it, at least for Yang’s and Sid’s sakes.

    The waiter sighed. “Sounds important. What’s up?

    Now, how was she supposed to explain properly and without making any mistakes with her phrasing.

    ...Gods, why is this so complicated? Why am I dealing with this situation? Especially after that murderous fiasco with Adam.

    “You… How much do you trust me?” The cat-girl almost blurted out without thinking about it.

    Simple, incredibly worrying and, worst of it all, telling that something was wrong about this discussion.

    A lot? Do I need to offer some specific amount or-

    “I’m serious about it,” She curtly interrupted. “How much do you trust me about… your relationship with Yang?”

    There was some humming coming from the other side of the call. Blake couldn’t tell if it was something to be concerned about or not. Hopefully, things weren’t going to take a terrible turn already.

    She didn’t have any contingencies planned if the talk went south. She really didn’t need that.

    I mean, do you have something against it?” He asked back with a confused tone. “I thought you were happy about it, especially when- Actually, I found the smut you wrote about us. Is this about it? Because if it is, I can’t talk to you about it right now.

    She opened her mouth, ready to go ahead with her little speech when her brain was hit with that final bit.

    “O-Oh- I can assure you that I didn’t write anything about you and-” The Faunus paused mid-sentence, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Wait, how did you find it? I’m quite sure it wasn’t posted in a site one can easily access.”

    I...” There was a brief pause from the young man. “It’s- It’s complicated. How about you continue with that discussion you were talking about? If it’s not this, then surely it has to do with something away from that.

    Quite an interesting development. But one that will have to sadly wait for the situation was way too serious to be derailed any further from the main point.

    “I know that it might sound odd but… have you noticed something wrong about Yang… in the last two dates you two had?”The Belladonna asked with a hint of nervousness. “Just asking, of course.”

    You’re not just asking,” Sid rebuked with a sure voice. “But I’ve to admit that I saw that there was something quite strange about it.

    “Surely, you’ve seen that- Wait, you did?”

    He did? When and… why didn’t he investigate about it?

    Knowing the young man, he should’ve made some efforts to discern if something was off about his date.

    So why didn’t he do that? Why he kept quiet about it to her too?

    Yeah. And what’s with that surprised tone? You seriously thought I couldn’t see that something was off with her during the last two hang outs?” He inquired with renewed interest. “Nothing against Yang, but it seemed like she wasn’t really trying about it like the first time.

    “She wasn’t… trying? Can you be a little more specific about it or-”

    “It looked as if she wasn’t gambling on her attempts. It was all pretty moderate, way more moderate than I generally like and… it sounded almost shy.”

    Blake could remember how Yang had restrained herself from going far with her own initiatives. It was something that just screamed that the blonde was unsure about what she was truly doing in that situation.

    “You remember how I was supposed to give her help for that date?” The Faunus finally asked.

    I do- Wait, are you trying to say that she hasn’t asked help in the other ones-

    “I was there,” Blake quipped swiftly. “But she… didn’t ask for my help.”

    … “What?

    “I know it sounds strange, but… it’s the truth,” The Faunus continued, her stare diverting away from the device. “She asked to me there and offer some help but she didn’t want any of that when the dates started.”

    That sounds pretty stupid, but also incredibly not-Yang.

    She would’ve cracked a smile at that, but the situation couldn’t be lightened up with some silly amusement.

    “I thought the same and… that is why I want to ask you if...” She sighed. “If it would be fine for me to see if there are ulterior motivations that got her to behave like this.”

    I can tell from the way you worded it that you believe this is quite… worrisome. And I can see your point as I too think that something about this decision is plain strange. I really do,” The young man muttered lenghtily. “But I can’t help but say that it wouldn’t be right to ask her directly about it. While that theory sounds worth of some investigation, it can also be some silly attempt from Yang to try and succeed in a date without external help.

    “I just… what if you both get hurt with whatever is going on? What if the situation is much worse than that?”

    Then we should take a slow approach in finding the truth,” He replied with a calm tone. “I’m glad that you’re telling me this, Blake. I know it had to have been difficult to try and bring up this situation to me, but I really wouldn’t like if you went ahead and tried anything… too sudden. You know that acting before thinking in this kind of situation isn’t the best option you have.

    And she couldn’t exactly fault him for saying that. With the bad wagon still pending over her mind, Blake knew that she had plenty of reasons to not just dive into the issue and solve it through direct questioning.

    Which is why, instead of pressing on about it, the girl kept quiet.

    But I will not stop you if you wish to still try,” Sid added with an uneasy tone.

    “...What?” She blurted out suddenly, surprised by this new comment. “But- what if-”

    You asked me if I trust you, didn’t you?” The young man interrupted with a sigh. “And I know you’re not going to gung-ho the entire situation. I think, and I really hope this is the case, that you know the risks and can gauge if the situation is beyond intervention.

    “So I can try this-”

    But without my full support about it,” He reminded sternly. “I see your logic, I know you’re not going to mess things up because you’re aware of what might happen if you mess things up… but I still don’t like this. Not at all. And I’ve already told you why.

    “Still, I will give it a try,” The Belladonna rebuked quietly. “But- What if I’m wrong about it?”

    Then you face the consequences of your actions, Blake. I think we can both agree that Yang would’ve all the rights to be angry about it if you’re wrong and made this much of an issue about it,” The young man answered readily, but not as coldly as this sentence would demand much to the girl’s surprise and minor relief. “I can help you whenever it’s possible. I can help you with a talking buddy, maybe a sparring one to that, but I will not hold your hand if you’re going to take that kind of risks when dealing with other people. Especially if said risks might end up hurting someone we both care about.

    … “I suppose I will take that risk,” She pressed onward. “I know it sounds silly but- I know that this is important. And I will never forgive myself if I don’t act about it.”

    She expected to be denigrated at that point. Trusting her instincts wasn’t certainly something that Sid would’ve approved about. Way too many troubles had been caused by her gut-feelings.

    But, much to her surprise, the human merely snorted and chuckled.

    “I suppose there’s no stopping you about it. Then go ahead and try,” Sid stated with a slightly happy tone. “But don’t come here and cry that you make a big chaotic mess that needs some cleaning because I will not help you with that.”

    She sighed. “Then I will have to use your example and clean things up on my own.”

    Yes, she will be ready for any eventuality.

    She needed to.

    For Yang, for Sid and… for that strange squeeze within her chest at the idea of facing Yang about this.


    Things were set perfectly for what was going to be a thorough talk with Yang.

    Blake was ready to face the brawler by the dorm room, thinking that the girl had to have been stuck by the bathroom by the moment she had reached their team’s room… only to find out that the place was unoccupied.

    Ruby and Weiss were already sleeping soundly in their beds. But the blonde was nowhere in the room. Which was quite… strange.

    Confusion started to rise in her mind at the lack of her partner, but then… she decided to wander around.

    Clearly Yang wasn’t planning to sleep at the usual time for tonight. Which was fairly odd considering how devoted to her ‘beauty sleep’ the girl was.

    This should’ve been taken as a sign for Blake to not try and have any conversations with the girl in that moment. Maybe there was a reason why the blonde was being late for that night.

    Maybe she had forgotten to conclude some important homework and she was trying to get access to the library for the sake of getting it done already-

    No, that very scenario was… absurd on itself. If Yang risked to flunk a test, it was either Weiss that hounded her to get it done before the end of daylight, or she would happily let the bad grade come her way with a ‘proud smile’.

    The silly image was enough to make Blake snort in brief amusement as she finally walked out of the dorm room. At this time of the night, a large majority of people was already sleeping and… there were some teachers already patrolling the halls for any students sneaking around.

    The Cat Faunus wasn’t worried about getting caught. Especially since she had long refined her former stealth, making it once more a valuable assets either during fights… or in these situations.

    Wandering around the school, her frame disappeared easily in the shadows, rendering sight of her presence completely impossible for anyone without a source of light to use against her.

    Humming quietly, her little stroll took her all over the main classrooms which Yang could’ve gone to.

    Professor Port’s classroom looked to be empty as she stared by the doorstep, but there was a strange noise of something trying to get out of metallic restrictions. It wasn’t human, and the grunting just reminded her of a Boarbatusk.

    Another live specimen? The portly professor sure had a thing against Grimm. A little more than what other Hunters were known for, at least.

    Blake didn’t even try to see if the brawler had gone to Professor Oobleck’s classroom. The area was already hated by the blonde, and there was no reason from the girl to dare and visit it during nighttime.

    The classroom assigned to Professor Peach looked to be devoid of life. Only various glass jars filled with jam or other liquids correlated to the flora native to Vale.

    ...Maybe she could steal some of the sap for- No. Resist the- urge!

    She will think about doing it on a latter date, when things actually allow her to ‘borrow’ one of the jars for herself. She had a Yang to catch and… those blonde-maned creatures truly are of the elusive kind.

    Despite how loud and annoying she could get, her partner sure had kept quiet about the fact she was sneaking around Beacon.

    ...Why did she have to do this tonight?!

    Ignoring her urge to headbutt the brawler once she found her, Blake ventured inside the only place where Yang could’ve gone to.

    Professor Goodwitch’s classroom was one of the largest rooms here at the school. Considering that it was the union of two rooms, one meant for theoretical lessons and one for practical ones, the spaciousness of the area was explained by the dual purpose it had.

    Still, her suspicions proved correct when she heard the noise of someone punching around and… fighting against something?

    Curiosity killed the cat, but Belladonna easily reminded herself that she was a Cat Faunus… with Cat-like reactions once or twice in a while. Approaching the epicenter of the loudness brought Blake before the most interesting of scenes.

    Yang yelled, her entire face a bright red as she threw the umpteenth punch to nothing in particular in the air. The swinging move was sluggish, much slower than anything the blonde was normally capable of.

    It was testament of the fact that the girl had been training for some time now. Who knows how long she had been there… and who knows if she knew how late it is right now.

    But those questions were held back from being asked, with golden eyes staring silently and with a hint of curiousness at the fatigued state which her partner was right now.

    Wearing a sleeveless orange shirt that barely reached down her midriff and a pair of short pants that were reached just a little below her knees, Yang’s clothes were the ones that she would usually wear when busy at Beacon’s gym room.

    It was light compared to her usual clothes, and merely looking at her made Blake shiver in mental cold at how exposed she was at the chilling temperature. Aura can do so much for heat, and that much exposure was just begging to be bedridden with a fever.

    But why was she here and why was she training at this late hour? What got her to forsake sleep for… this foolish effort?!

    Instead of being granted an answer, the Faunus was given the chance to move closer as Yang took another right hook at the unfazed air and… promptly slipped and tripped to the ground. A soft thud dignified the end of her fall, but the lack of any attempt to get up revealed how much drained the blonde was.

    A step, then two. The cat-girl walked closer to the tired blonde, stopping just as the brawler managed to turn around and stare up at the ceiling and… at her.

    Lilac locked onto yellow. Panic surged in Yang’s mind and face, her body tensing up and trying to get off the floor. The latter reaction was a complete failure, with her muscles too stressed to genuinely stand up.

    There was some silence, but Blake couldn’t say if it was an awkward one or a confused one.

    “The weather is nice today, ain’t it?”

    Stupid question to start a conversation, but it could’ve been worse.

    “What are you doing?” The Cat Faunus inquired calmly. “It’s nighttime.”

    The blonde’s eyes widened a little bit at that comment, and it looked like the girl was realizing this just now.

    “Oh… so that’s why the lights went off.”

    “You...” Blake restrained herself from face-palming at the degree of airheadness she was witnessing. “Yang, we need to talk.”

    “Aren’t we already?” The brawler’s cheekiness was astonishing considering the current situation… but there wasn’t time to grow annoyed by it.

    The Belladonna sighed. “It’s important. And I think you know what I’m talking about.”

    … “Do I?”

    “Yes. In fact, I’m quite disappointed you’ve not told me before,” The Faunus continued. “I trusted you, Yang.”

    “L-Look, it’s- Can I at least be helped up? I really don’t want to be lying on the ground while we’re talking about this-”

    “Perhaps you shouldn’t have been training this much. Sadly, you’re stuck like this until you admit to the truth.”

    “C-Come on, Blakey- there’s no way you’re leaving your partner yanging. Am I right?” A nervous chuckle followed.

    Blake didn’t move at that, merely staring down at the blonde as she quickly sobered up.

    “You ain’t joking-”

    “Yang, I will tell the others if you don’t tell me the truth right now,” The dark-haired girl pressed on. “And at that point, things will be even more difficult for you.”

    “I mean, it wouldn’t,” Yang replied with a frown. “Ruby knows. I think Weiss knows too by the fact that she was close enough to hear about what happened.”

    ...What was she talking about?

    Maybe Blake did mess things up. Maybe this was something different than she planned to discover. But now that the situation was unraveling, there was no means to stop. And she was incredibly curious about what Yang was talking about.

    “What did you do?”

    Lilac eyes darted away from her feline ones.

    “Do… Do you remember when you couldn’t find Gambol Shroud about three days ago?”

    Of course the Faunus could. She remembered panicking so much when her weapon had disappeared from the dorm room.

    Ruby had been the first one to be interrogated, mostly because the short girl was the only one with a reason to take Blake’s weapon because of her unhealthy attachments to guns.

    Weiss was ignored as she herself was surprised by the happening, and Yang hadn’t been around when the odd situation had unfolding. ‘She is training’, Ruby had said back then.


    “I swear, I didn’t want to use it that way, but there was nothing else to do,” The blonde muttered. “There’s no plunger in the bathroom and-”

    “No! NO! Don’t continue-”

    “I’m sorry, but I had to use Gambol Shroud to unclog-”

    Don’t you dare finish that sentence!

    Maybe Sid was correct in saying she shouldn’t be headbutting into problems. If that was the kind of madness she was supposed to suffer through all for the sake of getting the truth out of the brawler, then maybe the thing wasn’t truly worth that much.


    A diversion was nice, Blake needed one. The Faunus had a reason to press on, and she didn’t hesitate in diverting the attention elsewhere.

    “I was talking about your relationship with that waiter- Sid?”

    Yang merely nodded, still recoiling from the embarrassing confession she had offered.

    “Okay, tell me the secret about that. The one you’re keeping from everyone else!”

    “Oh, so you’re not mad that I-”

    “I will administer a proper punishment once you tell me about this other subject,” Blake interrupted with a stern tone. “This one deserves more attention since you did something bad.”

    At first Yang was confused by the strange derail, but she seemed to realize that she wasn’t going to avoid this very issue. And thus she sighed.

    “I guess I can tell you since… I feel like I can trust you about it.”

    Was that it? Was she finally going to say the truth- confirm that Blake was correct all along?!

    Eagerness started to build up behind the Belladonna’s stern look as she prepared for the situation to go along the lines she had theorized.

    “I might have lied to you about why I went after him,” Yang muttered with a serious tone. “I mean, part of me feel like I should still give it a try, especially since he’s a good kisser, polite- but then again I think he’s aiming at someone else.”

    “What are you-”

    “Blake, have you ever noticed how much he looks at you all the time we visit the Morning Sip?” The blonde interjected quickly. “How he smiles so kindly and… how you smile back with the same warmth?”

    “Yang, that’s not-”

    “You never smile like that when we’re at Beacon,” The brawler continued without hesitation. “You know, I kind of feel awed by how you two connect. A simple stare, and bam- you’re both looking dumb.”

    There was much more than that ‘simple stare’. There was also the few weeks spent trying to make a strange situation work as normally as it could while also avoiding messing things up for both. It was an exercise that heightened their capacity to find common grounds against their common enemies.

    But there was no mean for Blake to rebuke that situation without blurting out the rest of the situation.

    It hadn’t passed long enough for her to genuinely show this much of a ‘legitimate’ bond with the young man… but then again it was difficult to not be honest around him. The strong trust they had for each other was proof of their genuine friendship.

    “Yang, this is-”

    “I’m kind of jealous,” The blonde spoke again, this time huffing. “He really seems like a fun guy. He’s a joker, and someone that can tank my puns without cursing my pretty name. He can throw good hooks and he doesn’t stare at much at my puppies.”

    “But there’s something I saw from the second date onward. Something that just made the entire effort of seeing what kind of guy he was, and if he meant well with his stares quite difficult. Painful even,” Yang finally paused for a moment, her lilac eyes lazily staring up at the ceiling. “He’s really good. I think pops used to call those ‘keepers’. The kind of guys you really want to have around your life until the very end.”

    “We’re not going to date,” Blake finally rebuked.

    “And why not? You both seem to hit it off without much of an issue. Plus, I heard he got a big flat you can just hole yourself into when you’re in Vale.”

    The Cat Faunus had to flinch at that ‘suggestion’. If only Yang knew how close she was to the truth with these words…

    “Yang, why did you do this? Why?”

    Blake had to know now. Something just felt so wrong about the twist things were taking.

    “You’re angry at me anyway, so why would it matter if you know my reasons or not?”

    “Because I know you’re smarter than this,” The Belladonna pressed a little more. “And I know you’re interested in him.”

    “He’s a good kisser. He will make you twirl with his jokes and...”

    “And you’re a moron,” Blake finally muttered, drawing Yang’s lilac eyes back at her. “You- I- We shouldn’t be lying about this. I know you’re better than this, Yang. I know that there’s more to it than you’re letting out.”

    “What if I’m just dumber than I look?” The brawler exclaimed in an annoyed tone. “I tend to punch all problems, may those be emotional or material by their mug. I’m not going to land a proper relationship like this, just… not when you’ve higher chances of dating him.”

    Blake sighed, finally starting to realize where the discussion was going and… she wasn’t liking nay of that.

    Seriously, why was love this complicated- and why everyone was trying to place both Blake and Sid together!

    Truly a dreadful situation… but one that had a particularly interesting solution to it. Right now Yang had no reason to turn angry if Blake decided to actually tell the truth about the relationship between her and Sid.

    Telling her now? She wasn’t sure it would’ve done well to them both.

    Tomorrow was Saturday and… maybe the Cat Faunus had a devious, stupid, and incredibly suicidal idea. Especially since it could easily end up with a certain young man getting furious and… getting mauled by an even angrier Yang.

    “Yang, I… I’m glad that you told me this,” The dark-haired girl started with a genuinely calm tone. “I know it’s… a big burden to not tell to anyone else but… I think I want to continue to talk about this tomorrow. I know a place where nobody can disturb us.”

    The blonde offered a slow nervous nod. “I guess we can talk about it in private.”

    “It’s quite private. Nobody will disturb us.”

    The brawler easily accepted the little offer, relief finally washing over her tired body and… Blake started to walk away from the room.

    Panic swelled within Yang’s chest, and her eyes widened in panic.

    “W-Wait, Blakey. You’re forgetting about-”

    “Oh, I’m not forgetting,” The Cat Faunus interjected with a hint of smug and vindictiveness. “But I just decided that the best way for you to pay for your heinous crime is to have a good rest here in this room.”

    “N-No, wait- I could freeze up and die here if-”

    “You got plenty of Aura left, and I know that you can still activate your Semblance to keep yourself warm.”

    Good reasons to keep her stuck in there, but the brawler hardly looked endeared by the prospect of sleeping in that cold floor. While her body was mostly fine in enduring that kind of unfair punishment, the same couldn’t be said for her hair.

    But while she was ready to whine even more about it, she soon found herself once again alone in that room.

    She closed her eyes, and she took a moment to breathe and think.

    Next time, I should use Myrtenaster for that kind of job.



    Next chapter will be utter madness. While I had kept a hint of seriousness with the chapters up until now, things are going to change now that Yang is going to be brought up to the situation… in the oddest of way possible.

    I can’t guarantee a peaceful explanation, but I can offer ya’ll an amusing insight over what Yang’s role in this story will be: The flat will have a new occupant/visitor.

    BTW, the ‘Unclog the Toilet with a weapon’ joke is a reference to ‘The Graveyard Shift’ drawn by Ari-6. I found it while lurking in Pinterest and I just loved the way it was delivered. Poor Weiss…
  20. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Muted

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    So, Yang seems to think that Blake and Sind are together-together because she doesn't know about their friendship. Not an unreasonable assumption to make.
    JBukharin likes this.
  21. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

    Nov 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Very interesting...
    I am now curious as to what happens next...
    Will it all blow up on their faces...
    Or will it be resolved without much incident...
    I am most curious!
    JBukharin likes this.
  22. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

    Nov 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    ...I want to see the resulting Yangcicle.
    JBukharin likes this.
  23. Threadmarks: I now have a Dragon Issue...

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 22: I now have a Dragon Issue...

    The flat was surprisingly silent despite the words that had just been uttered.

    I was incredibly tense as I tried so ‘reduce my presence’ by pressing onto the closest edge of the couch. Blake was following a similar pattern, but her act was more evident by the flat hears and legs lifted up near to her chest.

    In front of us was… a calm Yang.

    While in a normal circumstance the situation shouldn’t have warranted this much worry, the real problem was that the blonde had just listened to the full story behind the last few weeks, the truth about what happened after the battle at the docks.

    I was slightly irritated by the fact that Blake, in her grand wisdom and capacity to think, had seen telling the truth to her partner right in my home and right with me in the brawler’s proximity. While I was slightly happy that she had dived into the issue and tried to find a good solution to it, albeit without my consent, the thing was that I really couldn’t see the lucidity in having Yang aware of what had truly happened.

    Having seen the Xiao Long mutter with utter sadness and minor despair about her possible fault behind the Belladonna’s disappearance, I knew that this approach was meant to cause no little reaction out of her.

    And so I was bracing for a sudden pounce from the possibly angry blonde. It wouldn’t be unusual, and it wasn’t just because Blake had mentioned the moments of fury the brawler was known for, but the fact that I spent plenty of times around the girl to know myself that she wasn’t someone to piss off. Ever.

    But instead of looking for the sensible development to finally happen, I found myself staring at the most absurd move Yang could’ve ever dared to pull in that kind of instance.

    Lifting her right leg and crossing it above her other one, the blonde hummed thoughtfully as she scratched softly at her chin.

    “So you mean to tell me… that you weren’t kidnapped until the very end of your disappearance. All because you were sleeping here all the time?”

    “Not all the-”

    Yang huffed, her hands slamming calmly by her knees.

    “You’re both morons,” The brawler stated with a serious tone. “Morons I would like to punch for not only leaving me to sickly worry over this silly cat’s conditions, but because you literally held me from exploiting countless hours of teasing.”

    “Of all things you could be most irritated about, you decided to go after the teasing,” I mused with a frown. “And you’re not even looking that much angry. Why is that?”

    She sighed. “You know how things ended up like this, right?” The girl started to elaborate through the queries. “With me trying to ‘check’ if you were a good keeper or not?”

    I merely nodded, and I could see Blake from the edge of my sight starting to understand what I was referring to with my confused question.

    “Well, thing is that… while I should be pummeling both of you for making up this much shit, I’ve to admit that the aftermath isn’t a terrible thing,” The blonde continued, nodding to herself as she thought back at the various instances after her partner’s return. “Especially with Blakey starting to put more attention on school and… actually talking with the others.”

    “So you’re conflicted about what to say-”

    “Because I did wrong myself- and I don’t see the lie worth much of stirring trouble considering why you keep this from the others,” The blonde interjected, her lilac-eyed gaze offering a stern glare back to me, prompting me to keep quiet. “I’m still angry. But I can see why the headmaster would decide to stay silent about the matter and leave the lie persist.”

    “So you’re angry… but also not,” Blake commented blankly, highlighting how strange that explanation was.

    “Sounds like a complicated mess, but I can assure you that I still want retribution,” The blonde exclaimed loudly. “And I want… an individual favor each.”


    The grin, the amused glint in her eyes… I could tell that she was trying to get something incredibly complicated and dangerous. While Yang lacked the ‘means’ to get some big favor out of either me or Blake, she still had enough to make some substantial move that could either screw us both or actually ‘let us be’ with minimal damage.

    “The first favor is about you, Sid,” She mentioned with a strange smile on her lips. “I want a place to crash by in case I can’t make it to the dorms before curfew.”

    I frowned at that sudden demand, but then again it wasn’t one of the worst scenarios I had in mind. It would mean keeping an eye over this new secret for the time being while also having my fridge filled with enough food for three people instead of two.

    Which meant a newer pressure to my finances. Goddammit.

    “I can give you the guest room I tried to give Blake,” I proposed quietly. “And before you ask no, I did offer the guest room first and she just found the couch ‘comfier’ and-”

    “Is that true?” The brawler inquired suddenly. The Cat Faunus offered a nod, making way as Yang stood out of her chair and quickly sat down in the middle of the couch, between the Belladonna and me.

    “Holy shit, that’s some comfy fabric and pillows,” The girl muttered in unexpected surprise, her stare quickly returned to me. “How much did it cost?”

    Why the hell is everyone interested by my couch? Is this some curse I ended up inherited by buying this cheap thing?

    Like really, I could understand a single individual making it a proper reason to prefer it to a mattress, but I had tested thoroughly if the guest room’s bed was ‘lesser’ than the sofa, and I ended up learning that there was literally nothing much different from both sleeping spots.

    “It was a sale, I don’t really remember where did I-” I paused for a moment, realizing that the Belladonna’s eyes were glimmering with a strangely familiar glint. Was it… nervousness? It took me just a moment to understand why this derail existed and why Blake seemed so earnest to go through with ti. “Wait no, we can’t just digress on this. Not when-”

    “We should actually,” The dark-haired girl muttered a little too eagerly for my tastes. “In fact, you never told me where you brought it and-”

    “Blake, you can’t just delay the-”

    “Delay? What delay? I’m just studying how this fascinating piece of furniture ended up in your care,” The young woman persisted, forcibly ignoring my efforts to bring normality back in that conversation. “I mean, I could buy this for my room once I’m done with Beacon.”

    “Blakey, I will be honest with you,” Yang finally commented with a dry tone and look. “I might be interested in that trail of thoughts you got going, but I’m not forgetting that I’ve to cash in the favor you owe me.”

    The Belladonna’s cat ears twitched in minor irritation, and a grumpy look appeared on her face as she knew that her ploy had gone wasted like that. “Fine, what do you want from me?”

    “Oh, compared to Sid, yours is pretty tame… but also one I can’t budge away from,” The blonde started with a happy tone, her smile resurfacing. “From now on, I want you and I to have a serious partnership over our career as huntresses.”


    “Yeah, I didn’t catch the meaning myself,” I muttered with a frown.

    “Up until now we’ve been training as partners very sparsely. And that is something that Weiss has been nagging to me for days now,” Yang elaborated after letting out an annoyed huff at the combined confusion. “Since Vytal is around the corner, I thought about how important it would be for us both if we increased our chances of winning. Not only the prestige and all of that crap… I really want that improvement to our grades.”

    “Maybe you should just start studying seriously instead of grasping at glass,” Blake retorted hotly, only for Yang to wave at her with an unfazed look.

    “I think the chances of us winning the tournament are higher than me actually drowning myself in books,” The Xiao Long pointed out with a cheeky smile. “Plus, I’m already working on improving on that too. I know that winning Vytal wouldn’t stabilize everything.”

    “Would be quite annoying if you ended up unable to proceed to Year 2,” I commented back, and her cheekiness disappeared in an exasperated sigh.

    “I know right?” The blonde said while leaning her head on my shoulder. “By the way, I still retain cuddling rights despite us breaking up.”

    I frowned. “On which basis?”

    “That I’m cute, and I trust you to not abuse my hair while I’m like this,” She smugly admitted, her violet stare turning at Blake. “And I wouldn’t mind extending this trust to you, Blakey.”

    The Faunus snorted. “As if I would want to be cuddled.”

    I felt the need to intervene at that point, but Blake seemed to realize what she had just said, swiftly glancing at me and gesturing for me to keep quiet about ‘past interactions’.

    “I call bullshit,” Yang quickly interjected. “I believe the kitty-cat is just grumpy because she got yanked into more work.”

    “Could be,” I agreed much to the Belladonna’s growing irritation.

    “It’s not like that and-” She huffed. “Why are you two lovey-dovey? Didn’t you say that you were through?”

    “We are.”

    “But that doesn’t mean that we need to part away completely,” Yang pointed out. “In fact, we have the cuddles; then we got the fact that we can offer each other contacts about possible friends we could date and… cuddles. Cuddles are always the best part in this kind of breakup.”

    “It’s just… why?”

    ...Why what? She had this confused look I couldn’t just make sense about and why was she blushing- Oh.

    “Yang, stop lifting up my shirt,” I chided the girl, her hands subtly letting go of the half-lifted shirt.

    “Sorry, but I really needed to look at a pair of abs right now,” The blonde giggled. “Do you know how draining the last topic was?”

    “It just sounds so… strange. And wrong,” Blake argued back with a quieter tone, getting our attention back on her. “It’s not like I find it bad but-”

    “It’s just unusual for you to see two individuals break up and be like this, isn’t it?” I suggested, getting a nod from her. “Well, I think that’s what happens when you base your knowledge of relationships in Ninjas of Love.”

    “What does it have to do with you and Yang.”

    “Nothing,” The blonde promptly replied. “Which is why he is saying that it doesn’t work as good material for relationships.”

    She didn’t comment after this, merely staring right at the TV and… I sighed.

    “We could go ahead with our planned movie marathon,” I offered, getting a quick nod from Blake as the Belladonna stood up from her seat and walked towards the kitchen.

    “I’m getting the pop corn and chips.”

    Without Blake around, I was left alone with Yang, and, before I had a chance to rekindle a conversation, I felt her right hand rise up quietly right to my cheek.

    She started to pull, quite viciously I might say. I flinched a little at the hold, but my attention was fully on her as she let out a sigh.

    “While I might not be angry at Blake, I’m still miffed over the stunt you pulled about having ‘not seen her around’,” The Xiao Long quipped with quite the incensed tone. “And the worst bit? I know I can still trust you, and that you’re a good guy.”


    “I’m not going to make a scene, but I will tell you this because I care and you care,” The blonde huffed, finally letting go of my cheek. “Next time you pull a stunt like that… I will kick you. Really hard. And I don’t need to point where I will aim said kick.”

    I gulped nervously at the threat. “Understood.”

    Another sigh. “I don’t hate you by any mean. You’re nice and caring- but also terribly dumb in your own ways when you need to cover for someone,” The brawler hummed happily. “Which is why, once we got some time for ourselves I will see to have a legitimate spar with you. I will not pull my punches about it.”

    “Anything else?”

    Snorting, she carefully turned to me and her lilac eyes stared up at my own eyes.

    “You and Blake, did you two cuddle?”

    I tensed up a little at the unexpected question… but I nodded at her.

    Her interest was piqued by my silent answer. “Really?”

    “It was more of a hug actually-”

    “Was she nuzzling on your chest, while you had your arms pressing her onto it?”

    Kind of? It was quite difficult to remember how something like that went through. It’s been a while ago and I really don’t keep track of details about those moments. Still, I nodded at her with some uncertainty.

    “You cuddled. And I wasn’t there to record this from happening.”

    Yang sounded disappointed, and I frowned once more.

    “How is that something important?”

    “You know that Blake isn’t the kind of gal that accepts being too close to people on a physical level,” The young woman explained. “She doesn’t hug people. Period. And I can say that after having been her partner for a while now.”

    “But… she does with me.”

    “She does, and that leaves me more puzzled than angry,” The blonde continued. “I know you’re friends and all of that… but can I say it’s just plain odd that you two are so attached to each other.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “Are you jealous?”

    “Of the fact you’ve higher chances of scratching those adorable cat ears? Yes. Immensely so,” Yang admitted with a big grin. “But not aggravate me about it. I will destroy you if you dare me like that.”

    I chuckled. “Wouldn’t want to do that.”

    Her grin widened. “Damn right you are.”

    Blake returned shortly after, blissfully unaware of the conversation that had happened while she was by the kitchen. Still, she gave us a suspicious stare over why we both looked… giddier than before.

    Instead of asking, she merely sat down, offering the two bowls filled with snacks to us while she hold onto her own. I went to set the first movie of an action-filled trilogy that was just two years old now and… things proceeded smoothly.

    It was odd to say, but for some reason I felt like things felt incredibly calmer than I felt them being.

    I frowned at this, still keeping track of the movie as I pondered about it.

    Why I felt like something odd was happening… and it was somehow connected to me?


    Everything was a blurred. Almost nauseating to look at as he quietly woke up in that dark alley.

    A cough, then two. His lungs were burning a little bit, the result of what had been a furious exchange between him and the unexpected guard that had prevented him to truly strike.

    Adam was still dealing through the painful concussion preventing him to make complex thoughts, and his first issue was the lack of the mask that helped to hide his scarred self.

    Growling, he noticed a mix of white, brown and pink taking a couple of steps toward him.

    The girl was smiling, deviously so as she twirled around the thin blade that had been kept within her parasol.

    Silence was her reign, one that Adam had been caught off guard by as he tried to fight her off when she struck her first hit. His senses had yet to recover from the fight against both Blake and that puny human, and his fighting prowess was way too weakened to keep up a serious match with this watchdog.

    It didn’t help that he had lost his customized blade, leaving his capacity to fend off bladed strikes relatively null compared to before.


    The Bull Faunus frowned at the strange sign the girl was holding in front of him.


    She twirled it, and he realized that the words had changed in that simple action.

    Yes, me. The one that kicked your butt into submission.

    “Your gloating is futile, human. Once I break out from these restraints you-”

    Will perish at the mighty of the big, bad Faunus?

    Another growl left his lips. “You think this is all a joke? My people’ plight is-”


    A silent giggle followed the newest interruption, further spurning at Adam’s growing frustration. It was a torture similar to the one he had suffered so many years ago, the one that had left that bloody mark on his eye.

    There was none of the malicious commenting, or the racial slurs thrown his way in that moment of fragility, but the silent poking was already sending him in a frenzy. If it hadn’t been for the chains tying his hands at a reinforced pillar, then things would’ve gone way more differently than now.

    Still, he couldn’t exactly act upon the infuriating teasing… but he could do something to agitate his captor in making stupid moves.

    “I suppose you’re quite close to man, the one that stole my Blake,” He said, starting from a blunt but slow approach to the topic.

    Kind of. His workplace makes some delicious ice cream.

    He twitched at that comment. Surely, the woman wasn’t doing it just for-

    “But you’ve to be close to him to go through to this.”

    She shrugged, keeping ‘quiet’ for a while as she pondered about that comment.

    He’s nice, but I’m not doing it for that. At least, not as my priority. It’s a job.

    “Someone else hired you to protect him?”

    That meant that someone else was keeping an eye out for him. Could it be Beacon’s headmaster? No, it wasn’t his style to just employ dangerous assassins to guard people that hardly had any connection to his school.

    Yep. She’s a massive bitch, but I can dig this work. Ice cream and talking to a cutie? I see it a win-win.

    She? Why did this sudden detail brought him a sense of dread about the current and previous circumstances?

    And now that his sight was getting better, he could get a clearer look of the young woman. She was familiar. He had seen her somewhere else.

    But where-

    Let’s go, Neo. Can’t linger too much ‘to disgust’ pretty guy over there.”

    Torchwick, always the thorn on his side, was speaking to the same individual standing in front of him.

    Neo smiled down at him as realization finally struck. “You work for Torchwick- but why would you-”

    She didn’t need to ‘say’ anything, and the girl merely grinned as she enjoyed the horror building up in Adam’s features as he continued to think more over the matter.

    It was Cinder. The blasted woman had decided to take a hit at him by setting off this chain of events that ultimately led him to this state of utter weakness.

    Anger surfaced again, but not before he had the chance of asking one last question.

    “So, Cinder sent you to deal with me? Is she so much aggravated by my presence that the decided to cover for her pawn’s wellbeing?”

    Neo’s grin disappeared on that, and she stopped her sign with a single twirl.

    I mean, she is just protecting her younger brother. Kind of ‘caring’ from her part considering how much of a bastard she can be.



    “WHAT?!” His anger tried to keep up at the shocking news, but the surprise was just that much that it all melted away. “Cinder’s brother. He is- He is Cinder’s brother?!”


    “And he stole my Blake!”

    It’s more like your kitty girlfriend preferred a friend that didn’t try to hit on her, especially one as pushy as you sound like.

    “What are you talking about? She likes this- This act! This is an act,” Adam pressed on. “I know she likes this. Ilia- Someone we both knows told me it was something she likes!”

    And now it was the time for Neo to provide a confused look.

    I’m fairly sure she’s just a repressed dummy. And I can tell when someone has a knack in that kind of stuff.

    “Then you’re wrong!” He pointed out brazenly, only to pause as he saw her blade now aimed at his good eye.

    Now now… who said it was nice to tell a girl is wrong? Didn’t your mama tell you that it’s not nice to do that?

    “I’m pretty sure that you don’t enter well in the standards that makes a girl a ‘girl’.”

    His head was struck swiftly by the sheath portion of the parasol, sending him tumbling down on the cold ground. Soon he was lifted up by his shirt through it, and his eyes locked onto the young woman’s irritated look.

    That was rude. And sad. Mostly sad.

    “You seem angry, so it’s more than just sad,” Adam said defiantly, knowing that his time was now coming. “And why don’t you just go ahead and finish this. I don’t plan to entertain you- just kill me already.”

    A strange smile crept on her face as she pondered over his words.

    Kill you? Why now?

    “What? Aren’t you going to just dispose of me?”

    She huffed, shaking her head.

    Not now. Not when you gave me plenty of reasons to coax more answers from you- like how the hell did you, the leader of the White Fang in Vale, get tricked by some friend in being the ‘creepy moron’ with your crush.

    “B-Blake is more of a crush- and what do you mean tricked?!”

    She was still talking about it? Surely she had to have seen Blake be more open about the matter.

    Surely- Surely-

    I mean, did ‘Blakey’ offer you hints that she was into it?

    No. He held himself from actually answering, knowing that this was one of the things that just made his romantic efforts the more frustrating.

    The Bull Faunus had more than once told himself that it was just because he wasn’t giving out enough of this acting, that he wasn’t offering the most endearing performance for his love interest.

    Over-confidence, an aggressive way of doing things… being pushy. Ilia had mentioned this while highlighting characters from within Blake’s favorite book. And he trusted Ilia to have not lied to him.

    Despite the fact that a distraught Blake would always end up getting comforted by the Chameleon Faunus, always belittling or calling him names behind the safe walls of his love interest’s room.

    Why now that he thought about it, he could see where things had gone wrong? WHY NOW AND NOT BEFORE-


    “I’m an idiot.”

    Neo nodded happily, her blade retreating as she once more returned to watch his complete downfall.

    “And I’m not just saying I’m the ‘oops, I made a single mistake’ idiot. I really fucked things up with what I just did,” The young man muttered with wide eyes and shock taking over his body. “And I told her that I was going to kill civilians… despite the fact it was just a fake flex. Why would killing civilians help our cause?!”

    Silence resumed for a while, with Neo quietly looking around the empty warehouse and paying him little to no attention as he continued to wallow in his own shocking thoughts of revealed failure and idiocy.

    It was… It was all Ilia’s fault. If only he had stuck to the ‘nice, helpful, and trusting’ companion kind of person as he once was, perhaps he would’ve had a chance with the lovely Cat Faunus.

    But now it was all lost and… he was nothing.

    “Kill me.”

    Neo glanced back at him, her eyebrow arching in a curious manner.

    “Kill me. There’s nothing left to do for me now,” The Bull Faunus conceded weakly. “At this point… everything’s lost.”

    She blinked, tilting a little to look closer at the depressed young man.

    Her sign twirled again, and he stared hardly at the single word in it.


    “Of course. You just want to torture me more. Maybe even get some fun out of it and-”

    Nope and- Heck nope! As if I’m into that crazy stuff.

    “Then why!?” He exclaimed incensed. “I told you everything, you’re happy. What do you want from me now?”

    I want you to send a message- to be one, actually.

    … “What?”

    Stand up.

    The sign disappeared as she used her parasol to lift him by the chin up from his crouched form. He was confused when he felt that his chains were no longer attached to the column.

    “W-What are you doing?”

    I already said it. Now please follow.

    The request turned out to be something a little more of a demand that else as he was wacked softly on the back and pushed out of the warehouse.

    It was still daytime outside and people were wandering the streets of the capital. But none was paying attention at the squalid sight created by a tired Adam being led around by a smiling-looking Neo.

    The young woman was quiet thorough the trip, barely offering any signs that she was paying attention at the clueless questions coming out of his mouth. Frustration continued to grow within the young man at the lack of answers, but soon his irritation turned in dread as he recognized the building he was being led into.

    The complex of apartments… was the very one he had entered to try and infiltrate the man that took in Blake.

    Oh no, now he knew what was happening.

    So he tried to push back, to bat away the parasol so he could leave that place… only for Neo to tilt her sheathed weapon and wack him to press on, shoving him harder into the horrible situation that might happen anytime now.

    He gulped nervously, preparing for what was going to be quite the horrifying situation. He was standing in front of the door as Neo’s parasol reached for the door bell and gave it a solid poke.

    Panic swelled more and more, but soon the Bull Faunus was left alone to deal with whoever was going to open the door.

    Either Blake or the man. And both scenarios were going to end poorly for him.

    The door opened, and someone unfamiliar appeared in front of him.

    Wearing an orange shirt and a pair of tight jeans, the blonde regarded him with a quizzical look as her lilac eyes trailed down from his face right to his chest. Right where Neo had somehow left her sign resting to.

    There was a misunderstanding.
    I’m an idiot.
    Please don’t kill me.

    “Oh,” The girl commented with a nod, then turning her head to look inside.

    Blake, did you invite a stripper for that talk?”



    Goddammit Yang. Poor Adam- He’s just an idiot believing in Ilia’s good advices…

    Quick note: Neo’s reasoning behind this smug move stems from two factor, which are A) Cinder is gonna be pissed that someone that knows her true self is now in her brother’s hold; B) Chaos. Pure and simple chaos.

    Also, I might start ‘rewriting’ some of the early chapters (easing up on the details and offering more insight rather than complex depictions). First chapter will be ready by tomorrow.
  24. Threadmarks: Sugar-lovin' Killer Queen

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Mar 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 23: Sugar-lovin’ Killer Queen

    This just wasn’t what she wanted. This was far from what she had expected for today.

    But Blake perhaps should’ve expected things to go awry one way or another. Especially after she had dodged a serious bullet by letting Yang know about the truth.

    With the blonde actually coming to accept this situation after forcing some agreements on both the Cat Faunus and Sid, there hadn’t been any of that explosive inferno that she had expected to happen when the truth was unraveled.

    And because of that, destiny itself decided to barge in unannounced and fairly unforgiving as it dropped in an element of chaos itself.

    The sight of an uneasy Adam tied up with ropes of all kind to a chair in front of her was surprisingly bringing plenty of unpleasant thoughts over what was going to happen now that he was here.

    The first question that came to mind when this strange gift arrived at the doorstep was why, or rather who had decided to leave the former leader of the Vale Branch of the White Fang for them to deal on their own.

    The easiest solution would’ve been to just press the Bull Faunus to speak about the matter. And much to their surprise, Adam himself had sounded quite eager as to reveal the name of his assailant… only to stop in a cold sweat as Sid noticed that there was something else written on the paper.

    If this package decide to sing an unwanted tune, I will come and pay a visit to silence said package.

    The subtle threat was easy to spot within the message, but the very sentence was more than enough to draw the usually brazen redhead to a complete stop.

    Having removed his bandages covering his upper face, it was easy to see the dread spreading out from his blue eyes.

    The scar created by the mark impressed years ago by the SDC was long ignored by the two other occupants in the room, with Yang mostly fussing over the fact that this wasn’t a stripper.

    The brawler was quite inconsolable at the fact that she hadn’t been blessed with such an appeasing gift, almost whining over having not asked for one instead of the two favors.

    But crying over spoiled milk wasn’t Yang’s specialty, and the girl was subsequently poking some questions at the restricted Bull Prime.

    “So you mean to tell me that your semblance is based about taking damage and then turning it in firepower?”

    Adam nodded quietly.

    It was odd to see these two individuals share a simple discussion as if nothing was wrong with the situation itself. Maybe it had to do with Yang being reluctant in accepting that the guy tied to the chair and looking fairly frightened could be some devious and brutal leader to the White Fang.

    Or maybe it was more correlated to the fact that she had been giving him a mirthful look since they had him put by the living room.

    “I generally use my sword to synchronize with my Semblance. I can’t use it with my own body because of the Aura creating interference, so I generally have my weapon become the catalyst for my semblance.”

    A giggle left the brawler’s lips at that, and Blake could tell that it had to do with the ‘similar abilities’ both shared.

    “It’s kind of like mine then!” The blonde added with a small grin. “The more damage I take, the stronger I get as I use my Semblance.”

    The Bull Faunus blinked in minor surprise, completely taken by the conversation and ignoring the fact that both Blake and Sid were discussing about this absurd development.

    “They seem to be having fun talking with each other,” The young man pointed out with a curious look.

    “Yang could befriend anything that has a brain and a smile. Especially if it’s a man,” The dark-haired beauty remarked. “I would say she is restraining herself well enough after we told her what Adam has done.”

    He gave a quiet nod at this but then… he let out a perplexed blink.

    “What do we do with him?” The human inquired quietly at the Cat Faunus, getting a shocked look from her.

    “Call the cops and get him in jail?” The woman suggested rhetorically. “We can’t keep him in here.”

    The young man tensed at the affirmation, possibly highlighting how his view of the situation differed from Blake’s.

    “Oh, I’m against this myself as I really don’t want to house a potential terrorist with love issues,” Sid rebuked with a sigh. “But do consider the circumstances that brought him here. I think you can guess that there is only a group of people that could’ve done that.”

    A grimace appeared on Blake’s face as she thought well over what the young man was alluding to.

    What if this was all a ruse created by the ones that had kidnapped her back then? What if this was an effort to see the kind of reactions they would get at this sudden ‘offering’?

    The more she thought about it, the less pleased she was by the ramifications of said theory. It would deepen up the extent of their reaches, and render valid the worry shown by Sid over this topic from the very beginning.

    It was chilling to see how this could happen without a warning. And the idea that they were currently being monitored was enough to tap into Blake’s natural sense of paranoia and distrust over the world surrounding her.

    “We- you can’t keep him here.”

    “In a normal situation, I would agree with you… but I think it would be best if we keep him around to see what happens next,” The human rebuked grimly. “And before doing that, I think we should check if his reasoning about his attitude is legitimate or not.”

    She huffed. “You can’t believe what he said. While I know Ilia could get possessive, I don’t see her doing something as devious… and to stay close to me.”

    There was a moment of silence at this, with Sid offering a pause as Blake needed to think. She needed to think how someone she had trusted for long could’ve done something like that if this proved to be correct.

    Adam was known to lie in his words, but this very case saw him being undeniably genuine about it. Something about his voice just struck her as the truth and… that couldn’t just be.

    Ilia was violent, yes. She was rather attached to Blake, and the Cat Faunus was quite sure that Ilia had only had her as a friend.

    Her thoughts were dropped to silence when she felt a hand reaching for her shoulder. Giving her a soft squeeze, Sid showed a calm smile as he waited for her to look up at him.

    “I’m not going to accuse anyone you feel trusting like this,” He admitted with a hint of kindness. “I understand that it’s tough and… I can’t just relate with everything you have, so I will not throw any baseless accusations about it. But I wish to see if Adam said the truth or not, if we can trust him to behave well or not.”

    Blake sighed in defeat. Yet she couldn’t actually attempt to reach out Ilia. Not after so much time had passed and… because of the fact that she had bailed from the Fang.

    “I can’t call Ilia. She wouldn’t tell anything about this if it’s true- and I don’t want to ask her that so directly and-”

    Sid nodded. “I was thinking of asking your father to check for any of these conversations Adam had with her.”

    And that suggestion was easy to understand. Since her father was the Chieftain of Menagerie, it would be easy for him to check for any footage that could prove Adam’s alibi. While Menagerie didn’t have any surveillance system as the one here in Vale or in Mistral, it still had some cameras within the Chieftain Palace and other important buildings in the island.

    But still-

    “I can’t call my father for-”

    “Either that or you can call your mother,” The young man interjected dryly. “Last time I did you the favor of talking to them about the current situation, but I can’t just become your intermediary to speak with your parents.”

    Blake actually flinched at that comment. Last time she had promised that she would’ve taken it upon herself to speak with her own parents… but to think that the chance would come up so suddenly and so quickly just didn’t sit well with her.

    Maybe if there had been some more notice and… time to ponder how she was supposed to tackle the matter.

    But right now? She didn’t have that luxury.

    With a little scowl pending on her face, Blake slowly retrieved her Scroll and started to go through her contact list.

    The waiting time wasn’t even that long as Kali Belladonna picked up the call almost instantly.

    Hello? Blake dear, is that you?

    A quiet sigh. “Hi mom-”

    It’s so good to hear from you so soon, sweetie,” The woman said before offering a giggle. “I hope everything’s fine. Has been there any issues? Do you need something, hun?

    Her cat ears went flat at the prelude of what sounded to be a storm of questions. Yep, now Blake could remember why she had trouble calling her own mother.

    “Not truly, mom. I just needed to check something on Menagerie,” The younger Cat Faunus answered quickly. “Something that I know Dad should be able to check on.”

    Hmm? Is it important? A document or a certificate for Beacon, or-

    “Security footage,” She replied again curtly. “It’s about a couple of conversations that Adam had with Ilia.”

    Did something happen?” Her mother swiftly inquired, knowing that the strange request warranted plenty of worry and confusion. “Did Adam try to hurt you or kidnap you again?

    “No, it’s… it’s just that… what do I tell her?” Blake whispered the last bit to Sid, feeling uneasy at how she was supposed to tell her mother about what had just happened.

    The young man offered a quick sigh before taking the Scroll off the girl’s hands.

    “Ms. Belladonna-”

    Kali, and hello Sid,” The woman corrected and greeted with a cheerful tone. “I hope everything is fine wherever you two are.

    “Things are mostly well, Kali,” Sid replied swiftly, knowing that wasting too much time would create just unwanted misunderstandings. “It’s just that we ended up receiving a strange gift in the form of a tied up Adam Taurus and… he said some things that got us thinking about issues at Menagerie.”

    Care to elaborate, dear?

    Blake frowned at the way Sid was explaining all of this so bluntly and without looking even just for a moment nervous of explaining this situation to her mother.

    “Someone rung at the doorbell and we found him standing there with some ropes tying him up,” He continued calmly. “Blake and I think that it’s the same group that kidnapped her a while ago trying to play games at us and… Adam said some things that we just can’t confirm nor deny without checking on some security footage in Menagerie.”

    Is Adam still tied up?” The Belladonna matriarch inquired with a strange voice, getting a quick ‘yes’ from the young man. “Then, Sid, could you be a dear and take a photo of him right now?

    A smile twitched on the human’s face as he complied with the request. The dark-haired beauty was still confused as to what her mother needed with such a picture, but she still allowed this to happen.

    After a couple of quiet seconds, Kali hummed giddily. “It’s quite ironic how he ended up in such a situation, at the mercy of my lovely daughter and- can you tell me who is the young blonde near to him?

    “Oh, that’s Yang,” Sid replied with a nod. “She is Blake’s partner.”

    Yang? Can I talk to her for a moment about-

    “M-Mom,” Blake interjected with a nervous voice. “Dad. The footage.”

    Kali sighed at that, perhaps even shaking her head disappointingly at her daughter’s insistence.

    I will let him know about this once he’s back from a reunion with the head of the Bank. He should be back in an hour or so,” The fellow Cat Faunus responded. “So I don’t see any issues to not speak with the young woman.

    Panic exploded within Blake’s mind at that, knowing that disaster was now around the corner.

    But instead of being ‘smart’ about this apocalyptic scenario, Sid did the unthinkable and turned to glance at the blonde.

    “Yang, can you come here for a moment?”

    The brawler’s lilac eyes turned to glance curiously at the young man, ending the conversation she had entertained with their ‘prisoner’ and leading Adam to stare at them too.

    Blinking in surprise as she was offered the Scroll once she was close enough, Sid stood out of his seat by the couch to offer the seat to the girl. Yang accepted quietly the offer and brought the device by her ear.


    Blake felt the world growing colder the more she stood there doing nothing to stop this madness from completely unfold before her eyes and… she glared momentarily at the young man as he retreated to take Yang’s former seat by the lone chair in front of Adam’s.

    She should’ve spoke with her mother on her own. Now she could see that this was all a ploy to punish her for being too hesitant in talking with her own mother. The smug look on Sid’s face was enough to cement this thought as the truth in her mind.

    It was embarrassing already as it was after so much time had passed since she had a regular schedule to call both her parents, but now she was here to make damage control with what Yang was going to say now that she was speaking with Kali.

    Sighing, the Cat Faunus began correcting Yang’s giddy approach at her mother’s words, knowing that the blonde had plenty of reasons to further tease her by speaking with the older woman in front of her. Especially if the topics of the conversation were centered around Blake’s bad habits back before the battle at the Docks.

    She scowled, snarled, was close to a full mental collapse and… she groaned as she saw Sid actually entertaining a conversation with Adam while she was busy with Yang.

    This- This was going to be hell to go through!

    Goddammit Sid!


    ~Neo’s POV~

    Silently tip-toeing around the quiet room of the warehouse, Neo patiently waited for her boss to be done with the final calculations of the Vytal Heists.

    Roman was drowned in the paperwork. This wasn’t the first time she saw the man delving so deeply in the planning side of their work, but this was possibly a rare occasion since the paper was far less than the usual workload.

    Which translated in more free time that the crook got once he was done with this, and in Neo getting the opportunity of spending a break together with him. It’s been ages since she had the chance of having some time alone with Roman and… they both needed to chat about the recent developments.

    This very thought was more than enough to keep her quiet to not distract the already-tired crime boss. The man had to deal with the unfair times for his heists, especially with Cinder pressuring him to do more of those despite the legitimate concerns over the police finally finding them.

    But Cinder, being the massive bitch that Neo had learned to know and despise, decided to ignore Roman’s reluctance, preferring to offer another threat in case he failed to keep up with the schedule.

    It was unpleasant, but Neo herself knew that there wasn’t much to do about it. Roman couldn’t defend himself from Cinder, and the short young woman was unsure if her own Semblance would give her enough edge to kill the dark-haired hag.

    And that was if they ignored the two morons that brown-nosed to the bitch. Emerald would’ve been easy to dispatch, but Mercury would genuinely be an issue to put down. The young man, albeit cocky and somewhat stupider compared to his partner, still had a degree of battle analysis that rendered him a troublesome threat to kill.

    He was also aware of part of her Semblance’s scope, which meant that any prolonged fight would see him get the secrets of her ability unveiled and countered. And that was incredibly far from ideal for both of them.

    Still, despite the negative outlook over their near future, Neo was happy enough with the current state of things that she didn’t feel the need to gloom around and influence her boss. Not when he was already feeling down with the situation itself.

    But while she lingered around in the purest act of silence, her mere presence was enough to bring a distraction to the tired man. It wasn’t that he was finding her to be an issue, or something he didn’t need to look at from time to time.

    It was more of a… moment of utter tiredness. He had dealt with much worse than this, and yet the reason that got him to be reluctant to swiftly put an end to this paperwork was the unwillingness to think back at their current predicament.

    He sighed, allowing his right hand to remove the spent cigar off from his lips.

    “Neo,” Roman muttered quietly. His voice was just enough for the girl to pause in her aimless twirling and actually approach him.

    Another sigh, and then he gave her a serious look.

    This was going to be important. Neo could tell from the way he looked so active and drained at the same time.

    “You know that when Vytal turns towards its end, we will be dealing with a situation that might see us both dying,” He started crudely, drawing a surprised look from his henchman over the matter. “Which is why I want you to promise me that, when the time comes, you will abandon your position and leave Vale altogether.”


    Her mind short-circuited at this sudden order. It was so absurd- no, it was insane.

    She would never dare to abandon her position in no circumstances, and yet her boss was asking her to do this… why?

    A joke? Was this an attempt to a prank? Maybe Roman’s mind had been so stressed that he really needed a walk after all.

    A long one. One accompanied with a large amount of relaxing ice cream.

    So she stared tensely at him, hoping for him to deliver an affirmation that would confirm these last words to be wrong. That those were stupid, fake, and not worth to be ever thought about.

    But there was just silence and the crime boss was staring at her with an intense look. It was the same intense look from back then.

    She could remember it, the time when she had been so young and hungry. So desperate and so… hopeful.

    He had been there, holding out a cone with her favorite ice cream. She had been wearing a large shirt as her clothes, having long forsaken a normal life by becoming a street thief.

    When she stole from Roman… the man didn’t yell at her. He didn’t rush furiously and with the intentions of punishing her.

    He merely cornered her by a dead end and… crouched in front of her. His eyes were so intense, but instead of the tired scowl that he had now, she was blessed with a dazzling but kind smile.

    Look at you. A diamond in the rough,” He had said with so much interest and caution. She had been so nervous, so tense… and he had been so careful to not scare her with sudden actions. “I’ve this ice cream. I wanted to try it since some of my stupid goons said it was good but… you can keep it.

    It became her favorite Ice Cream flavor, from the very moment she took a lick at the delicious snack.

    From there, the downhill that had been her life changed in a complete rise to better days.

    New clothes, a proper room, her own food, her own toys and… her own good life.

    She was happy for some time… but then things changed when people started to rally against Roman.

    He had been softer than now. He had offered mercy and kindness to those that really needed it.

    Some of the hardliners in his original gang didn’t like it. They wanted a tougher boss and… a brief civil war ensued.

    Neither Roman nor Neo came close to harm during these hard times, but there was a major change in their lives.

    Frugality became a must to avoid being caught by the police’s investigations, Roman became colder the more old friends he was supposed to put down.

    Neo was idle at first, but soon started to refine her knowledge of fighting. She was silly with her early stances, but soon she acquired experience and wisdom thanks to the hardship.

    Life wasn’t as good as it had been back in the latter parts of her childhood, but it was still more than enough to leave her smiling by the end of the day.

    Or so that was until Cinder came around and put her boss in a troublesome position.

    Things didn’t improve from that point onward… but maybe with Sid now in her reach, Neo could make something fun happen.

    Something so fun that Cinder will be caught between her own tears if everything proceed as planned.

    “Neo, this isn’t a game,” Roman added with a sterner voice. “I don’t think I can get her off my ass before Vale starts to explode. But you can because she has nothing tying you to her.”

    The girl blinked in renewed surprise, but before the man could’ve said more she aimed the tip of her shut parasol at him. He snorted in brief amusement.

    “As flattering as it is that you care for scum like me, we both know that it will not work well for us if we stick together to the very end,” He reminded dryly. “If I die, you can still live. If you die because of me, I still end up dying.”

    She huffed, drawing her arms below her bosom as she sported the best annoyed look she could muster.

    Roman wasn’t impressed.

    “You’re stubborn, and I’m really glad that you stuck around long enough to see me rise and fall in quite the brilliant flair. But I didn’t pick you up from the streets so that you could one day met your demise the very day I did,” The crime boss added. “I didn’t take you as part of my family because I would’ve used you as a fine tool against my opponent. I remind you of the time I really didn’t want you to hold that blasted parasol.”

    Neo clenched Hush’s hilt tightly in her hands, flinching as she remembered how much time was spent trying to convince the man to let her fight too.

    It had taken so long and… now it wouldn’t matter much if he died like this.

    But he couldn’t die like this. Not when she had the chance to do something about it.

    The young woman knew she could and… she knew exactly what to do about it.

    Bringing up her trusty sign to make some conversation.

    But what if you don’t die?

    Roman blinked and… sighed. “Sounds like you got something. What is it?”

    Neo’s smile widened at his words, and she twirled her sign once.

    Sid Tremaine is the key to kill Cinder’s Plan altogether.

    Raising a curious eyebrow, the crime boss showed some interest at this sudden development.

    “The kid? You mentioned that it was her little brother. Do you plan to kidnap him or-”

    Oh no! I’m not risking myself against him.

    He blinked. “That’s quite a quick refusal. Any reasons?”

    Illusions work badly against smoke. Especially when one of his abilities render stealth actions futile against him.

    Roman tapped at the table. “Then what do you plan to do with the kid?”

    Her smile peaked in a mix of angelic and deviousness.

    We set Sid against Cinder… right when she can’t avoid the confrontation. And when her minions are busy elsewhere.

    “This doesn’t open much window of opportunity,” The boss mentioned with a sigh. “But I assume you got a little more than some flashy explanation.”

    She nodded, having thought about this matter for a long time now. Before Vytal truly begins, Teams in Beacon were going to make experience with their first missions as Hunters.

    By setting Blake Belladonna’s team in a mission close to where Mountain Glenn was, Cinder would be forced to dispatch both her attack dogs to hinder any lasting damage in her theater of operations… leaving the bitch alone for her brother to approach.

    It would be easy to force the young man to track down the woman, but it will be incredibly difficult to prepare him in a mood that wouldn’t leave much space to talk.

    Ambitious, difficult, different, and overall funny.

    The very moment everything will come to fruition, Neo would end up with an interesting fight to spectate while Roman made his own preparations to leave.

    “Would that really kill her?”

    Neo let out a grimace at that unpleasant question, as she knew that Sid wouldn’t have been able to put down her bitch of a sister. The guy was strong and his semblance was sublime against someone that manipulated fire, but the chances of him winning a struggle against Cinder were close to none.

    Nope. But that’s not what you would be worried about while you’re leaving for Mistral.

    Roman’s eyes widened in realization and an amused smile spread on his face. “You want their fight to be a distraction for me to bail?”

    She nodded happily, but she soon sobered up when she noticed her confused look.

    “And what about you? What do you think will happen when I leave?”

    Now, that was a question she was more than happy to answer to.

    I will stay behind, make plans and… kill a fire bitch.

    “I thought you didn’t want to risk your position,” The man reminded swiftly. “And I didn’t teach you to risk your life for any revenge. If you want to kill someone-”

    Let them die at the hand of someone else. But I will not be the one to strike at her dead.

    “At least I know that my lessons were wasted when you were younger,” He admitted with a sigh.

    She nodded, twirling around as she pondered about that idyllic sight.

    Cinder dying, Sid weeping and the short young woman staring from afar and preparing to comfort the poor young man.

    It would be tragic for him, but he would learn to find an ally in someone like Neo in due time. And maybe also offer her a space in that comfy flat.

    It’s been a while since she had her own warm room to occupy at her own leisure.

    She saw potential in him. Potential to become a helping hand, but also the potential of turning him in her personal ice cream maker.

    The chances were endless and all scenarios available struck her as the truest winner.

    Who care about love when you got an endless reserve of ice cream?!

    Neo wanted to giggle at the mere thought, but she was against showing Roman signs of some serious deviation.

    It wasn’t her fault Ice Cream had yet to turn her its back.

    Instead of portraying her inner giddiness, the young woman resumed with her twirling while Roman returned to what was left of his paperwork.

    Their conversation had taken quite some time from the planned schedule, and they didn’t need to waste further time in digressing in the past and in the future.

    The present was rich as it was with chaotic chances of screwing with their enemies, but they still needed time to recharge their batteries.

    And Neo braced for what was going to be the ride of her lifetime. The one where this gamble of hers can leave her the greatest of winners or the sorest of losers.

    Now it was only a matter of time and effort. And Ice Cream. Lots of it.



    SCP-ADAM TAURUS is now safely contained. But I can’t say the same for SCP-NEO as she twirls around her enemy and imposes her domination through pirouettes and silent giggling.

    The madness!

    Two little news before I leave:

    1) I started a snippet series called ‘The Unwanted Guest’. The story is set in the ‘Satellite City’ universe created by FENNAH/Sam Fennah. You can find more of the lore in the YT channel of the author and I think there will be a book coming soon;

    2) I thereby announce that I’m currently working on a book! Yes, I’m making a big step forward and I can only offer you the title and the inspiration: ‘ARMED: of Justice and War’ was inspired to as story I’ve written in Elementary School. While the inspiration sounds cringe-worthy and quite bland, I expanded the idea to include some of my current knowledge of writing and of a particular genre that has been barely explored. It will be a fun ride, I can assure you all.

    P.S. The Art is from dishwasher1910. This artist is just brilliant, especially with his pieces about RWBY 3.0 and Grimmverse RWBY.
  25. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Muted

    Sep 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Kind of disappointed there wasn't a meltdown from certain fans about Adam. Nice to see things finally beginning to turn against Cinder. It's just the start, but it's something.
  26. AldariSiradla

    AldariSiradla Spirit Boy, Police Girl

    Nov 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Interesting developments!
    I see our little Ice Cream indeed has an audacious plan.
    It just might work after all.
    Sid and Blake looking in to things...
    I think it might go well...
    *Murphy laughing at the background*
    Very nice.
    Things are moving along...