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Running With the Wolves

Chapter Text

Oscar Pine noticed them when it was just three weeks into the start of the new school year. Even just as a freshman, he would have to be blind to have not noticed them in the hallways before then. So, he concluded they must be new.

The first was a tall man with shaggy blonde hair and a tattoo on his right deltoid muscle. He looked odd with the cargo shorts and chocolate colored, short sleeve button down but still managed to look ten times cooler then Oscar could ever dream. His tanned skin looked healthy and his head looked back and forth, scanning the hallway for something.

The next was a taller woman who looked like she shouldn't even be in high school anymore with her leather jacket, long blonde hair, and piercing violet eyes. The sunglasses perched on the top of her head held her bangs back as she picked at her fingernails with a look of boredom on her face.

However, the youngest was who really took his breath away. Deep chestnut hair with faded red lowlights on the tips, she was significantly paler than her companions, but still maintained a healthy glow. Her eyes shined silver and scanned the halls with a nervous shifting every few seconds. She was significantly shorter than the other two but still likely an inch or two taller than Oscar himself.

Subconsciously, Oscar looked down at himself. A stained white t-shirt from too many mishaps on his aunt's farm and baggy jeans that had to be held up with bright orange suspenders. Something he had been reminded of again as the obvious high school bully snapped them as he passed. "Loser," the brunette smirked at Oscar as he passed.

Oscar didn't say anything. How could he? The guy had a foot on him and would probably eat Oscar if he dared to challenge him. So instead, he stayed silent and watched as the three stunning strangers began to walk to the office.

...

"This place is total bullshit!" Ruby didn't say anything as Yang threw open the door to their new house in anger.

"Yang," their father, Taiyang, lectured as he closed the door behind Ruby who had followed Yang inside a few seconds earlier. "Watch the language."

"What are you going to do?" Yang taunted, a sneer twisting her face into an unpleasant expression. "Ground me? Make us move again?"

"If you learned how to control that temper of yours then maybe we wouldn't have had to move." It was a new voice that spoke and Yang and Ruby whipped their heads around to watch as their uncle and alpha Qrow descended from the staircase.

"It wasn't even like I turned on the assholes!" Yang tried to defend herself from the lanky male, though judging by his face he wasn't impressed with the effort.

"And yet you still managed to completely shatter their kneecaps and snap their arms like twigs," Qrow commented while shaking his head in disappointment. "That is something an eighteen-year-old woman should not be capable of in a matter of seconds with her bare hands and no recorded combat experience."

Yang could only snarl in response.

"Yang," Ruby spoke softly to her sister for the first time since getting home. "Maybe this will be a good thing?"

Ruby's attempt to comfort her sister fell on deaf ears though as Yang instead marched past Qrow, making sure to shoulder check him on the way, and fled upstairs. The stomping of her feet followed by what Ruby could only assume was Yang's bedroom door slamming. Then silence. Qrow sighed and shook his head again before turning his attention to Tai and Ruby. "So, how was the visit to get registered?"

"Well," Tai started, answering for Ruby. "I'm registered to teach history there luckily. Turns out one of their regular teachers quit instead of coming back after maternity leave so I have the job since their desperate for a fill in. Ruby and Yang will be starting their first day tomorrow."

Qrow nodded in approval and Tai walked past him and headed upstairs to likely talk to Yang and hopefully calm her down. Or get into a screaming match with her again like they had in the car. Ruby stayed though, her head still tucked down low.

"What's wrong kid?" Qrow asked gently as he placed a hand on the smaller girl's shoulder.

"I'm just... nervous about going to a new school again." The confession was no surprise to Qrow after what Ruby went through at her last school. The one they had been at just at the start before Yang snapped and they quickly had to pack up and move.

"I know," Qrow comforted while ruffling Ruby's hair. "I know it's hard for you to make friends since you're scared of letting something slip. And having your sister as your best friend isn't always easy. But it will get easier I promise. We just can't let non-pack members in. It's too dangerous. For us and them."

Ruby could only nod in response, but she still seemed a little down. Qrow rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at his sulking niece. "How about we go for a run, check out the area," Qrow suggested and Ruby looked at him with wide eyes.

"Really?" She asked a smile spreading across her body as she began to bounce on her toes. "But I thought you said we couldn't until you figured out the hunting patterns around the area."

There was the sound of gibberish screaming upstairs which caused the two downstairs to wince. "I don't know about you," Qrow stated as he looked down at Ruby. "But I don't want to be in the house while the two of them are going at it."

Ruby nodded quickly in agreement before they bolted out the door. Their clothes, in an unexplainable mist, vanished as they suddenly became a giant black and petite rusty red wolf. They ran and the forest melted into a blur of emerald and olive. The rich scent of dirt filled their noses as they sprinted as far as they dared go into their private woods.

Ruby lived for these runs. They could only run every so often. Otherwise, they risked getting caught by hunters. However, she lacked the stamina her uncle did and had to slow down for a drink. She whined for Qrow to go ahead before trotting down to the fresh scent of water. The small creek trickled, not thirty feet from where they had been running and she began to lap up the water.

Unfortunately, in the thrill of the run, she had completely forgotten to check her surroundings before letting herself be so exposed. There was a nervous snap of a twig, signaling someone moving. Ruby's large eyes quickly shot up, ears perked up and alert. Standing there was a scrawny boy with vivid hazel eyes and deeply tanned skin. His chestnut hair was a mess with a few stray leaves caught in it.

"Easy," the male said as he crouched down and extended his palm for her to sniff. "I won't hurt you."

Her head cocked to the side out of confusion. Wasn't he scared of her? Though, she did suppose they were in an area where wolves weren't exactly commonplace. Maybe he hadn't seen one before and just thought she was a dog? Cautiously, she sniffed at his hand. He smelled like the earth and evergreen pines.

After she finished sniffing him, he carefully pets the top of her head. She let him. He smiled at her before picking up a stick. "Any chance you want to play fetch?"

She let out a low growl in response. She hated the taste of bark in her mouth. Yang had told her she had to play fetch with her once, after putting the stick in her mouth Ruby had spit it out and turned back to human to chase down her sister.

"Worth a shot," the boy laughed before letting the stick drop down. "Got a family near here?"

She let out a whine in response and he smiled. "It's getting dark you better get home."

She barked in agreement before taking off to catch up with her uncle. She was relieved that she was able to get away without making them move yet again. However, she still couldn't shake the sad smile the boy had on his face.

Chapter Text

Yang Xiao-Long has always considered herself a thrill seeker. When she was a kid she used to turn into a wolf and go hunting for the biggest game she dared. By the time she was sixteen, she could take down a bear with ease. However, with this new move, it felt like her father was trying to declaw her and turn her into a house pet. It was irrational. She knew why they had to move. Hell, she was the main reason they had to move. But she still didn't understand why everyone felt the need to treat her like what she did was wrong. She protected Ruby. That was all that mattered.

And now, she was walking an overcrowded hallway with a bunch of kids who had probably never left their hometown in their lives because of it. Yang could only groan as she popped her chewing gum. It was going to be a long school year. But Ruby could probably make it work so as long as she was happy, Yang was too.

"Excuse me?" Yang ignored the voice that was trying to speak to her. Probably some preppy chic that wanted to be her friend and show her around the school then gossip behind her back when the chic's boyfriend found Yang more attractive.

"Excuse me?" The voice called again but this time it was accompanied with a hand on Yang's arm. Yang's immediate instinct was to swing around and deck the girl. She stopped though. They had just moved there. She couldn't do that to Ruby- make her move again.

"What?" Yang asked as she glared at the shorter female that had caught her arm. The girl was cute by Yang's standards but a little too type A for her taste in personality. Her long white hair was tied back in a side ponytail. Her sky blue eyes almost melted into her pasty skin. She had a faint scar over one eye, and for a moment Yang was curious how she got it. But then had a strong urge to not care again as the girl began tapping her kitten heels and crossing her arms over her blue, sweater vest. Seriously, it was summer still? Who wore sweater vests?

"Your gum," the girl stated with an unfaltering gaze. "It's against school policy to chew it in school. Spit it out."

Yang rolled her eyes and spit out the chewy candy. "There are you happy?"

The girl gave a curt nod before continuing, "while you're top could stand to be a little less tight and longer I'm willing to let it slide since you're new here."

"You're so generous," Yang spoke with sarcasm dripping from her voice. Apparently, this girl didn't get it because she smiled like she wanted to give herself a pat on the back.

"I know," she spoke with a bit more chip in her voice. Yang could gag.

"Look bitch," Yang spoke in a quick and curt manner. "I don't know who the fuck you think you are. But if the office is willing to let me side then you should probably back the fuck off on the rules."

The girl looked like Yang had just spit in her face and then killed her cat after throwing a bucket of pigs blood all over her. "Why, how dare you! Do you know who you are speaking to?"

"Obviously not since I just said I didn't." This wasn't good. Yang was trying to keep her cool but she could feel the anger pooling in her belly and build up like a kettle about to whistle.

"Weiss, don't you have some freshmen to torment?" The new voice was enough to snap both girls out of their pre-catfight. Weiss looked back over her shoulder at the new female that had spoken, a pout firmly on her lips.

"But if I don't correct this now, it's only going to come back and bite us later." She paused to glare at Yang, "we need to nip trouble in the butt before it gets out of hand."

"I'll take care of her, you go find a freshman to bully into homecoming committee." There was a tinkling laugh in the girl's more quiet voice but Yang couldn't let herself focus on the stranger yet as she was still cautious of the girl, Weiss, that was standing before her.

"Fine," was all Weiss said before turning on her heel and clicking off down the opposite direction of the hallway as the one she had previously been heading down. Now was when Yang finally let her vision focus on the speaker and hell was she glad she did. This girl was much more Yang's type then Ice Princess. Her long black hair pooled around her like ink on the page of her pale skin. Golden colored eyes glittered in amusement as she walked closer to where Yang was standing. There was a cute satin bow on top of her head, but it didn't fit the rest of her more edgy clothing style. It also helped she was easily a D cup and had an ass for days but, as Qrow always said, it was the personality that mattered until you finally got them in bed.

"Sorry about Weiss," the dark-haired beauty said, now close enough that Yang could see the hints of lavender eye shadow she was wearing. "She's under a lot of stress right now. I promise she is normally laid back than that."

"Why does she think she needs to bark orders like that?" Yang asked, eyes briefly looking to see where Weiss had disappeared to before back to the beauty.

"She's the student body president," the girl said with a shrug. "She just takes the job a little too seriously sometimes is all."

"I guess you could say that if you feel like understating it." They both laughed. "So can I get your name gorgeous?"

The girl laughed again. "Blake," she said simply and Yang was glad to have a name and a face.

"Names Yang."

"Well Yang," Blake spoke with a small smile. "What class do you have next? I don't mind showing you. As the vice-president, it's kind of my job."

"That would be great, I'm totally lost." She was lying. She knew exactly where her next class was. "I have English with miss Goodwitch."

"What a coincidence, so do I."

Ok, maybe moving to a new school wasn't so bad.

...

When Oscar walked into his Sophmore Level Biology he thought he might have walked into the wrong room at first. Sitting, in the only empty seat behind him, was the girl with the pretty silver eyes. She looked nervous, all stiff-backed and darting eyes. When her eyes landed on him he gave a small awkward smile. The smile she gave back was just as awkward but it was enough to make his heart flutter a bit.

'Don't even think about it,' he thought to himself as he walked over to his seat that happened to be right in front of hers. 'She is way out of your league.'

She tripped lightly while walking over to him, but he didn't laugh. Instead, he just smiles at her as her face and neck turned the same color as the eyelet lace sundress she was wearing over a black t-shirt. There were a few snickers from others in the classroom and she quickly shuffled over to her seat, head ducked down low so as not to make eye contact with others. He wanted to say something to comfort her or find a way to make her laugh. His hazel eyes began to dart around his area to find something, anything to cheer her up.

However, he was too late and the bell rang- signaling Ozpin to start the biology class.

...

Yang was a little irritated that Blake was across the room from her, and at the front of the class while she was stuck in the back. But she didn't mind too much. At least she could stare and not creep the dark-haired beauty out.

"What are you doing?" It took Yang a second to realize that the question was directed at her. She turned to her right and saw a girl with her hair slicked back into a ponytail with freckles covering her entire body. Her eyes were a blue color that reminded her of dirty dishwater.

"Appreciating art," was Yang's response before her violet eyes flickered back to Blake. She was giggling at something a blonde and tanned beefcake with the first three buttons of his shirt undone and a gold medallion around his neck.

"Don't even try it, Blake is so straight it actually kind of hurts." This girl's nosy attitude was starting to piss Yang off and caused her to clench her fist. But with a deep breath, she calmed down fairly quickly.

"So is spaghetti till it's wet," Yang shot back and the sunkissed girl rolled her eyes.

"Don't say I didn't warn you," was all she responded as the teacher called class to order.

"Alright, settle down. I know it's a Friday but the school day isn't over yet," the blonde milf snapped at the class and a few of the boys made a mad dash for their seat and sat at attention. Other's had a look of terror and went to their seats with more caution.

"Now, before class begins I want you to all get into groups of three and discuss what you thought of the chapters last night-" she paused and her green eyes looked like acid. "And I mean the chapters. Any side discussions will be met with severe punishment."

The class all acknowledged her in unison and began to scatter to find their friends. Yang was already getting up to try and get Blake in her group but she had already been snatched up by blonde beefcake and a guy with blue hair and a side buzz that screamed 'too cool for school'. She laughed and they pushed their desks together to begin talking about the book.

Yang grumbled a little bit and leaned back into her seat with her legs crossed. There was a chuckle next to her and she turned to glare at Ponytail. "What?"

"You always act like a child throwing a tantrum?"

Yang was starting to get really sick of this girl.

"Hey, let's work together!" It was a new voice that spoke up and startled both Yang and Ponytail. The girl had a ginger pixy cut and dressed like a ten-year-old who's only life ambition was to be a princess.

"Sure Nora," Ponytail answered with a small smile. "Don't know about grumpy pants over there."

Yang growled again. Instead of answering with words though she just slid her desk next to Ponytails and pixy cut giggled before turning a desk to join them. "So I'm Nora," the pixy cut girl introduced herself with a bright smile that went well with her pale complexion and big blue eyes. "And the emo in the closet is Ilia."

"Hey," Ponytail, or Ilia, protested to Nora. Yang couldn't help but laugh as Ilia glared at her. Ilia's blush looked almost red against her skin and could almost be considered cute if her personality wasn't such a pain.

"Names Yang," Yang extended her hand to shake with Nora.

"So have you two heard about the rager Scarlet is throwing tonight?" Nora asked with her eyes going wide. She was almost bouncing in her seat she was so excited.

"No," Ilia said simply as she pulled out the book they were supposed to be discussing.

"Well he's having on and Ren and I were going to get a group of our friends together. I figured you, Blake, and Sun would want to come. Since you three are childhood friends and all." Yang's mouth fell open a little bit at the news that beauty Blake was friends with stick-in-the-mud Ilia.

"I'm sure Sun and Neptune will want to go together. I might get her to go if I can convince Weiss to go."

"And how are you going to get Ice Princess to go?" Nora retorted; the two of them ignoring Yang's shock at the recent news of Ilia and Blake's friendship.

"Simple, tell her Neptune is going to be there."

"Classic."

"Are we just going to ignore the fact that, that," Yang paused to point at Ilia and then pointed to Blake to finish. "is friends with her?"

"Yes, just like we will ignore you being a dumbass," Ilia restored opening her book to the appropriate page. "Now as far as the book goes, I think Darcy was a total dick to Elizabeth then he met her. I mean, come on, you don't tell her a girl is ugly on the first encounter."

Yang stayed quiet during most of the conversation about the book. But the wheels in the head were turning about how she was going to go to a party and bag Bellabooty and stick it to Ilia's face.

Chapter Text

Oscar was waiting at the end of the long driveway to his aunt's farm when Jaune finally pulled up in his rusty old pick up truck. The engine was just as loud as Oscar remembered, and was the reason why he waited for Jaune at the end of the lane and not at the house. The noisy rumble would be sure to wake his aunt up even if she was a heavy sleeper.

"Ready to get hammered?" Nora had asked the question, yelling from the bed of the truck with her childhood friend, Lie Ren, smiling softly behind her.

"Nora," he started with his voice being just loud enough to be heard over the engine. "I doubt there will be anything stronger than beer or wine at this party."

"There will be if Scarlet has anything to say about it!" Nora was practically screaming in her giddy voice and Oscar just rolled his eyes as he got into the bed with the two friends who swore they weren't 'together together'.

"Just remember no pictures," was all Pyrrah said from the front passenger side of the truck. The window hatch between the cabin and the bed being open for her to chat with their friends more easily.

"Don't worry," Jaune comforted his friend with a hand to her knee. "No one is going to let the star of the volleyball and track team get a twenty percent. Especially since everyone likes you."

Oscar couldn't help but note the blush that crept over the red head's face as she looked at Jaune though thick dark lashes. He also wasn't going to be the one that told his dense friend from childhood that she was smitten with him.

"Well, let's head out. I want to get there so I can talk to Weiss before she completely ignores me."

And that was exactly why.

"Don't you think you should give up on that already?" Oscar asked as he leaned against the cabin. "Didn't she shoot you down about thirty times already?"

Jaune shrugged, completely missing the dark look of envy and sadness that washed over Pyrrah's face. "She just needs to realize she needs a good guy and not a model from GQ magazine is all."

"Wait you actually read a fashion magazine and not just comic books?"

"Shut up Nora!"

They all laughed and the tension that had been in the truck melted away as they began to joke and take bets on who would get wasted first. Ren was the sober driver for the night after Jaune drove them to the party, so he stayed relatively quiet most of the ride. Though that didn't stop him from rolling his eyes and giving Nora the occasional soft, affectionate look.

Oscar didn't know if he would like high school parties or not. He was always so socially awkward that he didn't think he would. But watching the laughter after he took up the offer from Jaune to go to the party after hearing a rumor the new girls would likely make an appearance, he wasn't regretting his decision. Even if the silver eyed girl whose name he had yet to learn didn't make an appearance. He would still treasure these memories.

...

"Yang this is crazy," Ruby hissed to her older sister as she watched the blonde begin to scale down the tree that scraped against the window.

"Come on Ruby, we're never going to make friends if we don't put our selves out there," Yang fired back as she seated herself on one of the lower branches to talk to her sister.

"A party with underage drinking is hardly what I would call putting myself out there," Ruby growled again as Yang shrugged and finally dropped to the ground with a low thump.

"Please Ruby, I need my wingman for tonight," Yang began to whine and Ruby could already feel her willpower turning to jelly. She hated when Yang did this. She knew she couldn't say no to her when she did this.

"Fine, but if dad and Uncle Qrow find out-" Ruby was cut off by Yang rolling her eyes.

"Yeah, yeah, I'll take the blame. Now hurry up, it's going to take us a while to find the place."

Ruby huffed one more time before making her way down to the ground quicker and quieter then Yang had been. It was amazing the grace she could produce when she wasn't a nervous wreck. Not that the idea of going to a party didn't put her on edge, but knowing she could cling to Yang most of the night helped. Yang was already a wolf when Ruby finally dropped to the ground; luxurious shaggy blonde fur and violet eyes standing stark against the moonless night.

"You are lucky I love you," Ruby complained to the wolf who only wagged her tail in response. Ruby was careful to not let a slight smile slip through. Yang knowing Ruby was happy at her sister's excitement would only encourage Yang's reckless behavior. Without another thought for fear it would change her mind, Ruby turned as well.

Ruby was still smaller compared to her sister as they began to run off to the woods, but Ruby was faster then Yang. Despite the dark, Ruby led almost a whole ten feet ahead of Yang. They might not have known where to go, but as wolves, the direction of pounding music and the smell of booze was a pretty good direction to be headed in. They had run across roads and through the forest with ease until they came to a house in a clearing. It clearly belonged to money, with the large garage and creative architecture.

Just as Yang had been the first to turn into a wolf, she was the first to turn human again as well. Only now did Ruby finally notice what her sister was wearing as she herself transformed back into a human. "Yang," Ruby started with her silver eyes narrowing on Yang's apparel. "I think you forgot to put on clothes."

Yang was in a nude crop top that just barely was a few shades darker than her skin tone and at first, glance looked like she wasn't wearing any shirt at all. Her shorts were dangerously close to the curve of her ass and her calf boots made the creamy skin of her tights and knees exposed along with most of the rest of her skin.

"Actually, I am wearing clothes," Yang started with a mischievous look in her eyes. "But the goal is not to be by the end of the night."

"You are disgusting you know that?" Ruby asked as she trudged after her sister, her eyes noting what everyone around them was wearing outside and suddenly feeling overdressed in her black skinny jeans and a graphic t-shirt with a red cardigan.

"Relax Ruby," Yang said as she grabbed her sisters shoulders to give them a light squeeze. "Everything is going to be OK. You won't ever really live if you keep living in fear of everyone around you."

Ruby had relaxed at her sister's words of comfort. Yang was right. She was never going to make friends or get close to anyone if she kept being scared that they would find out her secret. She would be ok. Ruby wanted to thank her sister for the advice only to find her gone and leaving Ruby now standing inside a house alone filled with drunk teenagers.

This was not ok.

...

Ilia had to admit when she had let it slip to Weiss at lunch that Neptune was going to be at the party, she hadn't expected the heiress to go all out. Everything on Weiss screamed "new". From her hair that was freshly curled to her heels that Ilia had never once seen in the Schnee's shoe rack. Everything was either just bought that afternoon before the party or had been collecting dust and never worn. Hell Weiss was even wearing make-up, something she rarely did unless she was going to be seeing Neptune.

"So, is what under the wrapping paper new too?" Ilia teased as she gave her friend a once over. The dress was innocent enough, a little shorter then Weiss normally wore, but still nice. The blue color had faint silver sparkles that danced under the dim lighting Scarlet had to light up the house. Weiss had turned as red as the host's hair color, from her face all the way down her arms.

"Ilia, it is entirely inappropriate to ask that question in public," Weiss chastised as she shifted uncomfortably and her eyes scanned the room for any prying ears.

"So I'll take that as a yes." Ilia could only laugh as Weiss sneered at her. Ilia herself had not dressed to impress anyone. Instead, she just wore jeans and a rainbow checkered shirt. To make her friend feel less awkward though she did have her hair down but had slicked back the top half since it irritated her to no end when her hair was in her face. Weiss earlier had mentioned that she should wear her hair down more often and Ilia had only shrugged in response.

There wasn't really anyone at school that interested her. Or was really into girls like Ilia was. Most people knew that she was into girls and left her alone over it, but no one else shared the same taste that also shared Ilia's parts. So, Ilia just kind of resided herself to playing wingman for her friends and to tell herself that she would find someone in college.

She had seen Sun, Neptune, and Blake enter before Weiss noticed the three of them. Sun, with his aversion to shirts, wore an open button down to show off his abs and capris. Neptune dressed much classier though. A blue dress shirt and black vest with matching dark pants but no tie- choosing instead to leave the first few buttons open. Weiss would like that. Ilia had peeked over at her friend to see that Weiss had indeed spotted them.

"Close your mouth or you will catch flies," Ilia teased and patted her friend's cheek. Weiss simply huffed and straightened up, trying to seem busy as the group walked over.

"What does a guy have to do to get a drink around here," Sun whined which earned him a light slap on the arm from Blake even though she was smiling. Blake looked good and for a moment a twinge of Ilia's childhood crush on the raven resurfaced. She wore a tight black tank top with a purple plaid shirt around her waist, covering most of her dark washed jean shorts. Her eyes were still lined with violet, but Ilia didn't feel as strongly as she once had when that crush had nearly torn them apart. Back when Adam was Blake's life and they were just freshmen. Before he did everything to hurt her.

"You look good Schnee." It was Neptune's words that pulled Ilia out of her memories. Her dishwater blue eyes darting over to watch her friend. Weiss had swallowed hard, but unless you were watching her as intently as Ilia then it wasn't noticeable.

"You don't look so bad yourself." It was a cheap effort to cover up her speechlessness, but Ilia knew he wasn't any better. His hands wringing and twisting the skin around his fingers; probably to try and cover up sweaty hands.

"Care to grab a drink with me?" It was known since the fiasco that was Junior prom that Neptune didn't dance. So this was his way of saying he wanted to hang out with Weiss more. Not that Weiss ever caught on to that.

"I would love to," she said with a soft smile and followed him into the kitchen. Ilia giving her friend a thumbs up as she left.

"You know," Blake started as she stared after where Weiss and Neptune disappeared into the growing crowd. "I never would have thought you two would get along."

"Neither did I, but we somehow do," Ilia agreed as she began to nurse her own drink of cheap, warm beer.

"Who's drive out of you two?" Blake asked with wide golden eyes full of concern.

"Neither of us," Ilia answered before going into further details. "Klein, her butler, knows where we are and is going to take us home when we're done. He knew we would sneak out anyway and wanted us to be safe. So he offered."

"She's lucky to have someone looking out for her like that," Sun noted before taking a deep drink of the beer he had managed to find in the few minutes their attention was diverted. Ilia ignored the hit of jealousy. She was used to it. She was alone, at least in the terms of family. Even if she was living with Blake's family now. It wasn't the same as her own family that was long gone.

"Yeah she is," was all Ilia answered before her eyes began to drift again. Big mistake.

"Excuse me," Ilia answered sharply as she rose to her feet eyes locked on a blonde that was searching in the distance. "I think I just found a pest."

Sun looked and Blake but Blake could only shrug in return as she watched Ilia march off to confront the blonde that Blake vaguely recognized as Yang.

...

"What the hell are you doing here dressed like that?" Yang hadn't expected the accusatory question. Especially from someone just a little taller than her chest.

"Uh, partying, duh." Was all Yang said before trying to push past Ilia and look for Blake.

"I don't know what kind of parties you went to at your old school but if you do that here you are going to get slut-shamed," Ilia fired back without missing a beat.

"Let them try, I don't care what they say." Yang's eyes shot a glare of violet and fire at Ilia and the blonde could feel a small sense of gratification at the catch in the smaller female's breath. "Now, do me a favor and point me in the direction of your booty-licious friend."

"Not with that attitude I won't," Ilia quipped back. Her eyes looked so unimpressed by Yang that the blonde almost felt miffed.

"If you won't help I'll just find her myself," was all Yang said before pushing past the brunette- making sure to shoulder check her on the way. Though, Yang did note that she looked better with her hair down.

...

Ruby found herself pushed into a corner as far away from people as she could. She did finally spot Yang in the distance though, chatting with a dark haired girl and a blonde boy that reminded Ruby of a surfer.

Well, at least her sister was having fun. Ruby gave a soft smile. Yang had a lot more friends when they moved and so Ruby knew it was hard on her. Even harder when none of them wanted to talk to her anymore after the incident.

Ruby still blamed herself partially, even if Yang told her she had nothing to be sorry for. But Ruby couldn't help it if she had maybe been a little more outspoken or stood up for herself maybe the bully would have left her alone and Yang wouldn't have finally snapped.

"Hi." The greeting was enough to startle the young wolf out of her mental pity party. She vaguely recognized the boy. He was the one that sat behind her in her biology class if Ruby remembered right.

"Hi," Ruby said back with a small smile.

Silence.

"Um, you have silver eyes." Ruby blinked at the sudden statement from the classmate of hers and noticed when his face started to twist in panic and his hands began to move as he talked. "I mean, it's just an observation. You don't see it too much around here. And the conversation was a little awkward and I really wanted to talk to you but I didn't quite know how and... um... I'm just making myself seem creepier aren't I?"

Ruby laughed, for the first time that night she actually laughed.

"It's OK," Ruby reassured him as she finished her giggling fit. Glad to see he hadn't run away at her sudden outburst. "My name is Ruby."

She extended her hand to him and he eagerly took it, shaking it a little too long for what was probably socially acceptable.

"Oscar," he introduced himself with a small smile. A gleam lit up his hazel eyes and Ruby suddenly remembered him. But not the shy boy that had been in her classroom. She remembered the sad boy she had found in the woods on her first run at the new place.

"So Oscar," Ruby continued as she began to shift her weight back and forth from the balls of her feet to her heels. "What are you doing here?"

He rubbed the back of his neck and averted his gaze before saying,"a friend wanted some back up while asking a girl out but she shot him down. So now I'm just kind of here till he and his other friends finish getting wasted."

Something felt off about the answer but not enough for Ruby to push it. "What about you?"

"My sister said something about making friends, but ran off the second we got here." Ruby made a note to get Yang hell for it the next time she saw her sister. "I don't really do parties so I'm just kind of chilling till she's done doing... whatever she's doing."

"So... any chance you want to be socially awkward with me?" He asked and his smile showed just how awkward he probably was about this whole situation as well. He was a few inches shorter then he so she guessed he was still only a freshman on top of being socially awkward. She remembered that feeling and gave a small smile in return.

"Sure," Ruby answered.

Chapter Text

Ruby knew it was late. But she wasn't really paying all that much attention to her phone. She was too busy laughing with Oscar at the people around them. Oscar would point at people and give them names and Ruby and him would take turns making up what they were saying.

"Hi my name is Neptune and I'm a bad boy with a crippling fear of water," Oscar said in a ridiculously cool guy accent.

"My name is Weiss Schnee and I am a rich girl who thinks you are super cute," Ruby added as she mimicked Weiss' speech pattern. The two had giggled at the back and forth conversation between the two until Neptune was making out with her against the wall. Then the two younger teen tried to look everywhere but where Weiss was shoving her tongue down his throat. Both were drunk and fumbling with their clothes as they disappeared down the dark hall.

Ruby and Oscar both looked at each other once the pair were finally out of sight before they both burst out laughing. Neither one of them had been drinking but they were so high on endorphins they might as well have been. Ruby couldn't remember the last time she laughed this hard with someone that wasn't her family. They had exchanged questions back and forth with each other.

From what Ruby has learned so far about Oscar Pine was that he was an only child. His father had run out on him and his mother when he was a kid and a few years later she died in a car accident. Since then he had been living with his Aunt on her farm just a few miles away. He wasn't sad about the situation, like Ruby, he couldn't really remember his family. Ruby had shared her sentiment of losing her mother at a young age as well. Then the topic had changed to who was apparently a godparent of Oscar's of sorts. Or rather, he had suddenly moved to town when Oscar was ten and he grew close to Oscar's family rather quickly.

Ruby then noted how close she was closer to her uncle than her own father, even though she wasn't biologically related to her uncle at all. When Oscar noted that Ruby and Yang didn't really look alike, Ruby told him how they were only half-sisters. They just grew closer and closer as the night went. Maybe because they were roughly the same age or because neither of them had any intention to drink. But it was still nice.

"So, how do you think Yang is doing over there?" Oscar jerked his chin in a pointed matter to where Yang was now leaning heavily on Blake who was doing her best to support Yang while also not spilling the wine cooler that Yang had shoved into her hand nearly an hour ago. Blake was on her third now.

"I think Yang is being Yang," Ruby noted. To be honest, she hadn't thought much of Yang's social life. Mostly cause the people her sister hung out with tended to be loud and not Ruby's type of crowd at all.

"Hey, Oscar we need to leave." Both teens were started by the quieter voice. Ruby's silver eyes ran up and down the sight of the male that had spoken. He was Asian with long raven hair and soft magenta eyes and a matching highlight in his hair. Ruby was quick to connect his appearance with the description Oscar had given her earlier of his sober driver.

"What's up Ren?" Oscar asked the question even though Ruby knew there was no way he missed the taller blonde male that was slumped over Ren's shoulder.

"Jaune saw Weiss and Neptune go into a room together and found where the hard liquor was being served," Ren explained as Jaune mumbled something intelligible.

"What about Nora and Pyrrah?" Oscar asked his hazel eyes filling with concern for his other friends.

"Pyrrah didn't end up drinking, and since Sun and Neptune lost their sober driver she agreed to drive them and Nora home in Neptune's car. Blake is going to hitch a ride with Ilia and Weiss since her and Ilia live at the same place anyway."

"Sorry," Ruby said suddenly as she eyed where her sister was. She tried to ignore the puzzled look on Ren's face but he didn't question her sudden apology.

"Besides," Ren began to continue as he tried to keep balance as Jaune clung to him and claimed repeatedly that Ren was the only one that would ever love him. "I'm scared if I don't get Jaune home now he's just going to make a bigger ass of himself then he already did in the kitchen."

"What happened in the kitchen," Oscar asked with wide eyes.

"You don't want to know." Ren then lets his eyes drift to Ruby again with a soft smile. "I'll let you say goodbye to your new friend. We'll be in the truck. Don't keep us waiting OK."

And with that Ren did his best to drag Jaune out of the house leaving Ruby and Oscar alone again. Oscar turned to Ruby with a sheepish smile and she gave him an apologetic glance. "I guess I have to go," Oscar stated.

"Yeah," Ruby agreed with an equally apologetic look. "See you Monday?"

Oscar let a wide smile grace his face and a deep red blush colored his tanned skin, making his freckles pop even more. "Yeah, see you Monday."

And with that Ruby was alone. She quickly let out a sigh as soon as he was gone, though it was more of a huff as she shifted her gaze to her troublemaking sister. It was time she dragged the bombshell home.

...

Ilia knew she was going to regret the amount she drank tomorrow. At some point, she had stopped sipping beer and instead just started to drink straight up vodka from her cup. At the time it had been to drown out Yang's shitty pickup lines to Blake. Ilia could see Blake trying to pretend she didn't notice but also see that she genuinely wanted to get to know Yang better since she knew how to make the raven hair girl laugh and blush.

After about the fifth joke both Ilia and Sun had exchanged a look and went to the kitchen to grab the bottle of UV blue vodka. That was about two hours ago and over half the bottle was gone between the two of them. Now that all of them were definitely drunk it was definitely something to watch. Especially since it turned out both Sun and Yang were clingy drunks and both were trying to hang on Blake for support who could only giggle in response.

Ilia should have known better than to drink because now not only did she lack a filter, she also couldn't keep her eyes above chest level. The more she drank the easier it was to ignore Yang's antics and focus on her assets instead. Ilia would be lying if she said she wouldn't give anything to have her face buried between Yang's boobs. Or better yet, Yang's head between her legs so Yang could stop talking. But then again, knowing Yang, she would find a way to keep talking.

"Enough," a new voice finally called out. Ilia had to turn her head slowly to look at the new girl since she couldn't feel her face and had a horrible case of vertigo. "Yang we are going home."

"Ruuuuuuuuubyyyyyyyy," Yang moaned as the blonde unlatched from Blake and shifted to cling to 'Ruby' instead. The poor girl was half a foot shorter and looked like she was having trouble standing with the blonde's weight.

"Guys, guys, guess what," Yang said in a loud whisper and a wide smile. "This is my baby sister Ruby. I love her very much."

"We can fucking see that," Ilia drawled. She knew she would regret saying shit like this in the morning but right now she didn't care. However, Yang was too far gone to care what Ilia said and instead she nuzzled her head into Ruby's hair.

"I am so sorry," was what Ruby finally said her wide silver eyes looking horrified at her sister's behavior. "I'm going to take her home now."

"Noooooooooo," Yang protested but didn't move from where she was clinging to Ruby. "I want to stay with Blakey."

Ruby's eyes shifted to look at Blake and smiled softly. "I'm guessing you are Blake." Blake nodded in response as she still tried to stay balanced with Sun hanging on her. "I'm sorry about my sister. She's normally not this clingy I promise."

"Liar," Yang giggled and Ruby rolled her eyes.

"Have a good night." And then Ruby was dragging Yang out of the house, leaving Ilia alone with her thoughts. Honestly, they seemed a little too weird for even her standards.

"Any idea where Weiss is? I think it's time the three of us headed home."

...

By the time Pyrrah managed to round up Nora, Sun, and Neptune the party was already down to its last stragglers that Scarlet was desperately trying to shoo out of the house so he could call a twenty-four-hour cleaning crew to come. Halling all three of them into a car by herself was even harder. Both Sun and Nora were whining because their better halves had already left while Neptune was so out of it in his own world. Pyrrah would have to remind herself in the morning to ask Weiss what she did to him to get his so stupefied.

Though, even though Pyrrah was a little jealous of the heiress, she had to admit she had skill. Maybe if she just talked to Weiss she could figure out how the hell to get Jaune to see her as more then just a friend who helps him study. The roads were dark and a light fog had rolled in. She was squinting her green eyes to try and better see the roads but it was still hard when Nora kept trying to grab onto her arm in a hug.

"Nora," Pyrrah pleaded with her intoxicated friend for the third time on the drive. "Please stop grabbing my arm."

She finally got Nora to let go with a sigh as the strawberry blonde passed out with a loud snore the same way the boys had. Pyrrah once again focused on the road again, only to slam on her breaks as hard as she out and jerked the steering wheel off the road in a knee-jerk reaction.

A blonde wolf had gone running across the road.

The car tumbled off the steep path and hit head first into a tree. Everyone was wearing seatbelts thank god, but the hair bags went off and Pyrrah's vision was already begging to blur.

"Oh my god are they dead?"

"Ruby, go get help!"

"Alright, just make sure they aren't dead."

"NO, no, no, no, no, please be ok."

Pyrrah couldn't recognize the voices as she began to feel a warm and sticky substance run down from her hairline to her face. Then everything went black.

...

Qrow had known his nieces had snuck out minutes after they left. He had been on a run and caught their scent, tracing it to the party where they were. Qrow had known if Tai Yang had found them he would have dragged them out by his wolf teeth if he had to. Qrow however, felt to such parental tug. He knew the girls were stressed about the move and he was just glad they managed to find some friends to hang out with.

What he hadn't expected for when he waited up to give them a lecture was Ruby bolting in the door, already back to being human. She was a mess of bumbling words, hardly anything was making sense. Never the less, he followed Ruby to where she led him and...

he smelled the blood before he saw it.

It was thick and coppery, laced with the smell of leaking oil and gasoline. Luckily he could hear four pulses. All four of the teenagers he could see in the car were still alive for now.

"Please," Ruby begged as she looked at him with her eyes that reminded Qrow so much of Summer. "We have to save them."

"Ruby, Yang," He started with a sad groan. "They aren't our concern. It wasn't your fault this happened. They were drinking and drove off the side of the road."

"But that isn't true," Yang cried out. He could tell she had been drinking by the hysteria in her voice. "I ran across the road and they saw me. The driver panicked and swerved."

"Still you don't know-"

"Yes I do," Ruby interrupted now also being on the verge of tears. "Pyrrah was sober."

Qrow let out a low groan. He knew he wasn't going to win against his nieces, but he also knew that they didn't understand what they were asking of him. "The odds of them surviving the bite are almost as low as them surviving an ambulance ride."

"But at least we will know we tried everything we could." Yang protested back and both girls were holding each other close. It reminded him of so long ago when Raven and Summer had begged him to save Tai.

Maybe it was nostalgia, or maybe it was the thought of his precious nieces not being alone anymore. But he changed, and in turn, sauntered over to each of the bodies to bite them.

The groans of pain were the sound proof that the bites had happened as they disappeared with the licks Qrow used to seal the wounds. How inconvenient that licking only healed wounds inflicted by wolf claws and bites, not other bodily injuries. When he rose to his feet as a man again he pulled out his phone and dialed for an ambulance, reporting the accident.

"Head home, girls," he said and it was now the order of the alpha. They nodded and quickly left. Leaving Qrow to deal with the mess. He sighed again once the girls were gone and looked at the kids he claimed to have found.

"I hope we made the right choice."

Chapter Text

Jaune hadn't even opened his eyes yet and he could already feel the nerves pinching from a headache and feel his stomach rolling. He really should have stopped drinking when Ren told him too but he didn't, like an idiot he didn't. Didn't help he was being shaken awake instead of waking up naturally.

"Jaune, get up. Jaune..." The voice trailed off only for him to get a rough slap to the fight. "Wake up Jaune!"

"I'm up," Jaune groaned while rubbing his now tender cheek. "The fuck is wrong Ren?"

"It's Nora," Ren said as he left Jaune's bedside and was already tearing through his large cedar chest to throw a change of clothes at the blonde.

"What about her?" Jaune asked as he was still groggy and sitting upright. "If she didn't come home last night you can always ask Pyrrah. I'm sure she just spent the night there."

"No, she isn't at Pyrrah's," Ren replied with his back turned while Jaune got dressed. Jaune never knew Ren to be this frantic so he dared not question his friend. "I just got a call from the hospital. Nora and Pyrrah along with a few other guys in our class were in an accident."

Jaune could feel every muscle in his body tense and his blood turns to ice.

"Let's go," was all Jaune replied as he threw on a hoodie for the early morning chill and they hurried to Jaune's truck to head to the hospital.

...

Ilia was already eating her breakfast by the time Blake woke up. The two of them had been dropped off by Kline and climbed up a tree to the second-floor balcony of Blake's room. Judging by how calmly Blake's parents were going about their business Ilia would guess they had no idea what had transpired the night before. That was perfectly fine for Ilia. The last thing she needed was a lecture from Ghira and personal questions from Kali.

Blake came down a few minutes later. She was smiling and in a good mood despite the fact that Ilia could swear there was a faint hint of green in her cheeks. Ilia had been pretty back when she woke up and was faining a cold this morning. She had been nibbling on some strawberry jam toast when Blake came down and took a seat next to her on the kitchen island.

"It is way too early for you to be this happy," Ilia teased as she took another tentative bite of her toast and a small sip of water.

"It is never too early to be happy," Blake giggled back as she smiled at the stack of pancakes Kali set in front of her. "Dad what are you still doing here? Shouldn't you be at the office already?"

Ghira worked for a non-profit organization that supported environmental awareness, but most of their money actually came from the book he wrote about the various species of animals that were poached around the world and solutions to stop said poaching.

"I was just heading out, I wanted to see my three girls before I went off." Ghira was the closest thing Ilia had to a father, and it always warmed her heart when he expressed how much he thought of her as a daughter. He kissed all of their foreheads before taking off to work in his tiny electric car. It never failed to make Ilia laugh as she saw the hulk of a man get into the shoebox car.

Once he was gone Kali let out a wicked smile. "So," she asked as she sat at the kitchen island with Ilia and Blake. "How was the party last night?"

Blake choked on a bite of pancake and Ilia just looked down in embarrassment. The two of them knew better than deny it. Kali never confronted them about something they did unless she already knew the answer and confirmed her evidence.

"How did you find out?" Blake managed to spit out after her near-death experience by a pancake.

"Oh please, you went out looking way too nice be staying in and studying, you weren't in your room when I checked, and I heard you two come home," Kali admitted before taking another sip of her coffee. "Just be glad your father sleeps like the dead."

"You don't plan on telling Ghira?" Ilia asked with wide eyes.

"No, I see no reason to. You girls were responsible and didn't drive yourselves, I see no reason to punish occasional mischief as long as it is just occasional." Ilia and Blake really loved having Kali as a guardian.

Just as this thought crossed their mind though, Blake's phone went off with a few short vibrations that reverberated loudly against the marble of the countertop. Blake took a little peak as the notification before dropping her fork. Before Ilia or Kali could even ask what was wrong Blake shot off like a rocket up the stairs to get dressed. Ilia followed quickly after but wasn't able to ask as Blake ran into her room. All Ilia could do was get dressed quickly and hope to cut her off before she left the house. Luckily Kali was ahead of her knowing the hung-over teen wasn't going to be able to pass her friend up.

"What is going on?" Kali asked in her mom voice that was impossible to ignore. Her arm was stretched to block the door from her daughter's immediate escape.

"Sun," Blake managed to choke out. "He was in an accident last night, along with Neptune, Pyrrah, and Nora."

"Alright," Kali said letting her arm fall again. "I'll drive. Let's go both of you, chop chop."

Yeah, they really loved having Kali as a guardian.

...

The one to text Blake had been Weiss. She was always the first to find out about any kind of accidents. It helped that her sister was one of the big shot detectives in town and always texted her when something involving a student went down so she could do damage control as the student body president.

The text she had received that morning though after taking some anti-acids to settle her stomach that morning, was enough to make her feel sick all over again. Four of her close friends had been in a car accident just a mile away from where the party had been. All rushed to the hospital via ambulance.

Weiss had never made Kline drive her anywhere so fast in her life. She had been sending out texts to her friends about the accident when they finally arrived at the hospital. Weiss leaped out of the car before Kline could even fully stop. She marched right through the sliding doors of the main entrance and up to the hospital's large reception desk. "I'm looking for the room numbers for Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrah Nikos, Sun Wukong, and Neptune Vasillias."

"One moment please," the receptionist said as she began clicking away at her keyboard. Weiss could feel her foot beginning to tap as she waited anxiously for the news. "Alright just down the hall and up the elevator to the third floor, rooms 316 and 312."

"Thank you," Weiss said with a curt nod before walking at a brisk pace to the elevator. The ride up was just as agonizing as the car ride had been as she exited and began following the signs to the room.

She stopped though at the sound of a familiar voice. She would recognize Winter's voice anywhere. No one spoke was as much precision as he sister did.

"Sir, if you would just answer my questions then this would be done already," Winter argued with someone that Weiss couldn't see.

"And I told you I would answer your questions at the station later this afternoon, I'm tired and I'm sure my family is worried about where I am." The voice belonged to a man with a husk to it that made Weiss nervous just at the sound of his voice.

"Sir, failure to cooperate will warrant detainment for resisting an officer... though I doubt you're a stranger to a jail cell."

"Careful Ice Queen flattery will get you nowhere."

"It wasn't a compliment."

"And I choose to see the glass as half full. Look all I know is I was up late reading and then I heard a crash. It's pretty quiet in the country, I went out to investigate and I saw the accident. I called the ambulance and road with to answer as many questions as I could."

"The accident was nearly a mile from your house so I doubt that for some reason."

"Does it matter? I was drinking as well, I don't remember all the details lady. Now can I go?" There was a low growl that Weiss guessed came from Winter.

"Very well, I'll be sure to call if I have any further questions."

"Yeah, you do that Ice Queen."

"That's Detective Winter Schnee to you!"

"Yeah, yeah," the man trailed off and for the first time, Weiss saw him as he rounded the corner. He was lanky and tall. His hair was dark and peppered with hints of grey. He had a heavy five o'clock shadow that had grown in and his eyes were a piercing ruby color. Her heartbeat quickened for some reason and Weiss felt her take a step back to press her back against a wall. Everything about him screamed dangerous to her.

Once he was at the elevator Weiss scampered to her sister, who was still standing in the spot she had been talking to the man, glaring at the direction he disappeared. Winter loosened up a bit though when she saw her baby sister and let a small smile grace her pale lips.

"Hello Weiss," Winter greeted and Weiss just shook her head.

"Who was that?"

"No one of your concern, why don't you go check on your friends." Weiss could tell that the conversation was over so she went to go check.

...

Qrow almost laughed at the joke that was patient-doctor confidentiality at the hospital. All it took was a broom closet and an eager nurse to learn everything he needed to about the teens he had bitten.

Nora Valkyrie was an orphan at the age of five along with her, at the time, foster brother Ren. the two had been inseparable from then on. Even going so far as to fight to be put in the same foster houses. Currently, they were staying with the Arc family in the country. Qrow had to admit getting her to distance herself from the boy would prove a challenge but if he managed to convince her that it was for his own good he guessed she wouldn't fight it too much.

Sun Wukong was the laid back kind of guy that everyone liked. His parents were always away on business and he had a few scrapes with the cops for shoplifting. Nothing too bad and nothing he didn't pay for if he was caught. Nothing too notable here.

Neptune Vasillias, favorite to be homecoming king. His mother died in a boating accident when he was a child and gave him a crippling fear of water. His father has buried himself in alcohol and work to bury the pain. Qrow could relate to that. But again, he wouldn't be an issue.

Pyrrah Nikos would be the worst to get under control. She was the town sweetheart and the star of the volleyball and track teams. Beloved by all, an honors student, and most likely to be famous someday as an Olympic athlete. Getting a girl like that to disconnect from society would be a pain, but he won't have much of a choice.

Maybe all of the kids would get lucky and die from the change.

He didn't have too much time to entertain the idea though as Tai pulled up in his jeep and Qrow pushed off from the outside of the building just as a dark haired girl and her ponytailed friend ran inside.

"Everything was taken care of?" Tai asked as he entered the jeep and shut the door.

"Yeah," Qrow responded. "Everything is taken care of."

Chapter Text

"Honestly the whole thing was crazy!" Nora exclaimed to her group for the fifth time the following Monday. "Discharged from the hospital after only two days, plus we didn't register any alcohol in our systems!"

"Yeah," Pyrrha said with a faint voice. "It really is some kind of miracle."

"And you two are sure you're OK?" Oscar asked from his place just behind Jaune. He had been cautiously eyeing them since the whole incident happened, though that might have just been because Jaune had forgotten to call and tell Oscar what had happened to the poor boy didn't find out until the grapevine around the school was posting about it.

Pyrrha shouldn't have been surprised by the attention her friends were giving them. Actually, she was pretty sure she should be relieved. Ilia, Weiss, and Blake were practically jumping through hoops for Neptune and Sun. Though, she wasn't sure the boys minded it from the white and black-haired females. Ilia was just kind of an added bonus to the group.

"Hey it's Ruby, I'll see you guys around," Oscar suddenly piped up before taking off to join the short haired girl that just walked into the school with her blonde sister. She looked a little startled to see him so chipper, her eyes as large a dinner plated when he approached her so casually. However, she smiled none-the-less.

The blonde, who Pyrrha remembered was named Yang, had already wandered over to Blake's group of friends—casually throwing her arm around Blake's shoulders and ignoring the obvious glare Ilia was sending her way. Even with the two sisters attention being otherwise occupied she couldn't help but feel like they were watching her. The feeling only intensifying after Oscar returned to the group with Ruby in tow.

"Guys," he started with a goofy grin on his face. "This is Ruby Rose, my new friend. Ruby this is Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren."

"Hey guys," Ruby greeted with a smile but something was missing behind her eyes. Almost as if she was analyzing more then just saying hello. "I heard about the accident, are you two OK?"

"Right as rain," Nora chirped which made Ren roll his eyes.

"That's a relief." Just as the words escaped Ruby's lips the bell rang causing the group to jump in surprise.

"I have to get to class or Goodwitch is going to kill me," Nora complained before running off and leaving the group in the dust. Ren simply waved goodbye before following after since he had history class with Dr. Ooblock first.

"I guess that means its time for PE," Jaune said to Pyrrha and she smiled lightly at him. He hated PE with Mr. Port—the ex-military man knew how to work his students.

"Good luck," Oscar sympathized with a clap on his friend's shoulders before he turned to head to his own freshmen English class and Ruby went where ever it was that she went to class first.

"So," Jaune started as the two of them headed in the direction of the gym. "Are you feeling up for running a mile and getting your shoes absolutely soaked through?"

"Sounds like fun," Pyrrha joked back as they walked and talked together. This is why Pyrrha liked Jaune, and as more than a friend. He didn't treat her like one of the guys and he didn't act as if she was untouchable either. To Jaune, she was Pyrrha, his best friend. He didn't see her as the school super start or anything like that. It was soothing in a way.

He stayed in her thoughts the whole time she got dressed for gym class and even when she was talking with him on their way out to the starting line of the grassy field they ran their mile on since they weren't allowed to use the real track, she just daydreamed about him sweeping her off her feet.

Of course, there was the involuntary eye roll every time he began to talk about Weiss, but she would let it slide. She told herself that if that was who made him happy then she would let him go, no matter how much she really didn't want to.

The whistle blew and she ran. She was faster than the other students, which was expected as she was the star of the track team for distance. The landscape of the town blurred around her and the wind played in her long scarlet hair, whipping around in a dangerous fashion. Pyrrha lost herself in the world around her as she ran, nothing really making sense as she ran up and down the hills of the make-shift track field.

"Four minutes and twenty-three seconds! A new personal best Ms. Nikkos." Wait, what? Pyrrha stuttered to a stop so fast that she almost threw her body off balance to ate dirt and an early lunch. The time should have elated her, it was her goal to get under five minutes on her distance that year but just the day before she was still running a solid five-minutes and sixteen seconds.

To make things even more confusing, she didn't even feel winded. There were no stitches in her sides or acing in her legs. She felt like she had just finished a mild warm-up. She just stood there while the other students filed in a minute by minute. Jaune didn't finish until minute 8 with his cheeks pink and his shirt clinging to his body that was drenched in sweat from the summer heat.

"Damn Pyrrha, I thought you were going to fly for a second," Jaune joked in between heavy breaths.

"Yeah," Pyrrha agreed still in awe at what had just happened.

A week after the accident, no one was talking about it anymore. The notability died down really after the second day, but that didn't stop Neptune and Sun from trying to milk the accident for all it was worth despite their clean bills of health.

So much so, that during their own physical education classes they were hanging out in their school libraries, much to the librarian's displeasure. They didn't do much in there that would necessarily be troublesome. They stayed seated and chatted quietly, though they never had school work. It was the principal of the situation that bothered the elderly woman more than anything.

"If you two are just going to sit in the library, how about helping up with making the banners for homecoming," Weiss had chided them as she and Blake had come into the library—likely filling up their free time having their own independent study classes for their more advanced subjects.

"You do realize homecoming, is like, three weeks away right?" Sun shop back only to earn him one of the ice princesses' famous glares.

"Cut him some slack Weiss," Neptune pleaded with her. He was purposely using the lopsided grin he knew she couldn't say no to. "He was in a car accident."

"An accident he walked away from without a scratch," Weiss retorted though her posture showed that she was going to let the subject slide. "Anyway, are you going to help or not?"

"Sure," Sun agreed as he got up from his table. He swore he could see the library sigh in relief at the news of them leaving the library. "Sounds like fun."

He could see Blake duck her head down and push some of her raven hair behind her ear and it was enough to make him grin. He had fallen hard and fast for the girl when he first met her. She was aloof at first, but slowly they had warmed up to each other enough that he would consider them friends, though he really wanted them to be something more.

"Anyway, we only have a half hour to get everything started so we should get going if we want to finish anything," Blake interjected with a clearing of her throat.

"Yes ma'am," Sun agreed and the two troublesome boys followed in step behind the two top members of the student council.

Once in the band room, they set to quick work. They sketched out the spirit saying and the corny plays on words. It was fun, even if it was just side banter between Weiss and Sun for the most part while Neptune and Blake did their best not to mess up the parts they were working on while laughing at the two others bickering.

They quickly cleaned up five minutes before it was going to be the start of their next class. The two girls did their best to put things away as quickly as possible. They had been working in the choir room and that meant quickly stashing the large banners above filing cabinets filled with sheet music.

"You too could help you know," Blake chided as she stretched up on her toes and used a rack for support to move a large box of music and place the banner she was moving a more accessible area.

"But you two seem to have it covered," Sun teased which only made Blake roll her eyes in response.

That is until the shelf tipped over form Blake and Weiss using it to reach the higher shelves. Both Sun and Neptune had acted without thinking. Before Sun knew it, he saw Neptune had dragged Weiss completely out of the small storage area before the shelf even leaned over enough to hit the wall and spilling its content.

Blake had been higher up and he didn't register that he had picked her up and used his own back to brace the shelf until she was squirming in his arms to be free.

"Jesus Sun," she half cried and half screamed. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," He said as he ignored the acing of something poking into his back. But he couldn't really figure out any of what was going on. He shouldn't have been able to catch that shelf and be holding it as casually as he was. Neptune shouldn't have been able to grab Weiss and take her out of the room that quickly.

Just what the hell had happened to them? Sun wasn't quite sure. Just when exactly had he started to feel stronger, and everything became sharper. When did smells start practically jump out as if they were vibrant colors?

He didn't know what was happening and he didn't like it. Before he knew it he put the shelf back up and went peeling out of the room, under the lame excuse he was going to head to the nurse's office. Well, it was only partially an excuse. He did go to the nurse's office and lay down, but it wasn't because he was feeling bad. If anything, he was feeling better then he ever had.

And for some reason, that made his stomach roll more than anything else that could have happened, illness or otherwise.

Nora wasn't really one to shy away from eating. Ren made her a huge mountain of pancakes every morning after all. What was weird for her, was getting nothing but protein on her plate at dinner. It had been a week and a half since the accident and since then, she was turning her nose up at pancakes and asking for bacon instead. She insisted on meat for every meal and even wanted meat lover's pizza for when she and Ren did order out instead of her usual Hawaiian pizza.

"Taste buds do change frequently," was the only thing Ren told her as he shrugged though his eyes held the same level of concern that Nora felt.

To make matters worse, she couldn't concentrate in any of her classes. Every little noise and movement sent her on pins and needles to start running around or hiding or something, anything but staying dead still like class wanted her to do. It was no secret to anyone that knew Nora that she was ADHD and had bad ADHD at that. However, it still shouldn't have been this bad.

Just what exactly was happening to her body that she was losing control?

Chapter Text

Weiss sat calmly in front of her vanity mirror in her bedroom. Her long silvery white hair fell in a waterfall to her waist as she ran her silver comb through it. She could see in the reflection of the mirror a full and bright moon. It was enough to make her icy blue eyes narrow.

               A know came to her door and Weiss turned her attention to the heavy mahogany door. “Enter,” she called out as she set the heavy silver comb down on her vanity’s desk.

               “Hello Weiss,” Klein, her servant, said when he opened up the door with his eyes a pretty topaz. “Miss Winter is wondering if you would… join her on patrol tonight. She says that something tells her tonight will be interesting.”

               Weiss tightened her hands into fists. There was a time when she would have jumped at the chance to go with her sister. To keep the city safe. But now she was grown, and she wanted a life that was better then she one her sister was following. A better way than hunting something that may or may not even actually be there.

               “Tell her I have a test on Monday and have no interest in wasting the night going on a wild goose chase,” Weiss replied and she could feel her heart constrict in her chest. It pained her to be as cruel as she was being but she had more things to be concerned about. “But I will gladly talk to her about what she finds at Sunday morning brunch.”

               “As you wish,” Klein replied with a sorrowful look in his eyes. He also knew that Weiss would have loved to be out with her sister. However, she now had different responsibilities. “Your father would also like for you to perform at the next charity gala.”

               Weiss swallowed hard and nodded in response before Klein shut the door behind him when he left. Yes, she had different responsibilities then hunting what wicked things ran into the night. She was the heiress to her father’s company. Now, she shall wait for his orders—like the good dog she was.

               Sun laid in bed tossing and turning, everything about him felt hot almost as if he was scorching. He threw his covers off of his bed and tossed and turned in his boxers. He got up to open up the sliding door to his balcony and hoped the cool summer breeze would make him more comfortable but it didn’t it was still unbearably hot.

               That was until it felt like he was being ripped apart from the inside out. He screamed loud, not caring who woke up. He doubted anyone would care, no one cared what went on at Wukong’s home. Never did, never would.

               He crumpled to the ground, seething in agony.  His bones felt as if they were shifting and twisting. They felt as if they were snapping and breaking. He cried out again as his body shifted but this time it was not his voice that came out but gathered the pained cry of a wild animal. He could see his vision changing growing darker until suddenly everything felt as if it was as bright as midafternoon.

               All at once, the pain lessened and he looked up at the pale moonlight. What was his name again? What was he so worried about? He rose to his feet, all four of them and licked at a blonde furred paw that shined golden like the sun.

               Cautiously he sniffed at the air. There was a smell nearby that seemed familiar and he had a feeling it was nearby. It smelled like midnight jasmine and blackberries. There was another smell that seemed close that made him feel fondness. That one smelled like sweat and cologne in a way that made his nose twitch and sneezes.

               However, as curious as he was about the scents he was hungry. That fire in his belly drove him madder then knowing the source of these familiar smells. Leaning back on his hind legs he launched himself from his ledge and landed on the soft dirt, wet with early morning dew. Once his footing was sure he took off into the woods.

               Everything seemed to be colored in scent. Most of the wild trees filled his nose with the scent of pine as he ran into a straight line being drawn to something warm. Something that smelled like meat. It wasn’t long till he found the source of the smell. A young doe who grazed on the grass.

               Sun pushed himself low to the ground and watched his prey with blue eyes that shifted with every movement of the doe. Beautiful she was, but his hunger was stronger and with that, he lunged.

               Unfortunately, before he could reach his prey something else had launched as well, it was blue just as the summer sea and it crashed into Sun before he would figure out exactly what was happening. The doe was startled by the sudden commotion and ran off into the distance.

               Sun didn’t care though, he was now furious at whoever challenged him for his prey. Suddenly he was off the fellow creature and snarled, the hair on his neck standing on end and his tail pushy. The blue wolf was the same. It was thinner and leaner.

               “Weaker,” was what his instincts screamed at him as he lunged. They tumbled around in the underbrush for a long time. That is until Sun sunk his teeth into the leg of the other wolf. The blue wolf cried out with a high-pitched yelp. Sun moved quickly his jaws wrapping tightly around the other wolf’s throat.

               He stopped though before he could sink his teeth into the other wolf’s throat. It was the scent again. Like sweat and cologne. Suddenly he stopped and released the other wolf’s neck. It made no move to fight back against Sun. Instead, it moved to its injured leg and began licking the wound. Seemed familiar enough. Sun nuzzled the blue wolf to help it stand which it did with a small limp. The two sniffed and licked at each other’s wounds, bonding over the exchange in power.

               When there was a snap of twigs that caused both the wolves heads to snap up—ears pointed and alert. They watched as a wolf as yellow as the sun appeared from the underbrush. The She-Wolf’s eyes glowed violet under the moonlight. However, her smell was much too foreign for him. She smelled like motor oil and lavender.

               Sun growled at her along with his new pack mate. However, The she-wolf did not bristle not back down, instead, she turned her back and ran. And, just as nature would command it, Sun pursued.

               When he finally caught up, his back mate behind him, he had followed her into a clearing. In the clearing were a number of wolves, the scents overflowing and overpowering. Cinnamon, whiskey, pancakes, roses, motor oil, and finally a faint smell of sunflowers. All of it was enough to make Sun take a few paces back.

               The wolves around the clearing were laid down, their heads down but ears alert. The yellow wolf laid down between a pale-yellow wolf and a reddish black wolf, ears perked up in the same position as the crimson wolf next to that wolf and the ginger wolf after that. The only wolf that stood tall was a lean black one, with eyes a shade of ruby red that it was impossible to miss.

               Everything about the aura the larger, lean wolf put off was enough to cause Sun to growl in response. With enough force apparently, it invoked a bark and snarl from the wolf. It sauntered over to where Sun was without so much of a twinge of fear.

               Instead, the wolf stood, almost nose to nose with Sun. He snarled and suddenly Sun felt a weight weigh on his shoulders as if he was being crushed by the wolf himself. He peaked a blue eye around and saw that his pack mate had already fallen to the ground in the position of submission the other wolves were in.

               Sun didn’t hold back much longer. He almost fell to the ground in submission and with this, the older wolf purred in content. He sniffed at Sun before he began to lick him in acceptance. Sun got a large whiff of his new Alpha’s smell. He stunk like a bar—all booze and smoke that clung to his fur from paws to his greying tail and muzzle.

               The wolf sat in the center of the now formed circle. The Alpha’s head fell back and began to howl at the full moon and one by one all the other wolves raised their heads to join in the song of the night, even Sun. Suddenly he felt as if there was a comradery between the other wolves and the Alpha.

               He felt as if they were one. They were whole. They were a pack.

               “What the hell is that?” Ilia asked from where she was sleeping on the floor of Blake’s room after a late-night gossiping with her friend and adopted sister.

               “I don’t know, dogs? Go to sleep?” Blake grumbled back.

               When the morning sun hit Nora’s eyes she woke outside of a grand cottage. She was in her normal sleep attire but she had no clue where or why she was where she was. And with who she was? As she whipped her head around she saw that she wasn’t the only one in this area. No, Pyrrha, Sun, Neptune, Yang, Ruby, and two adult males she didn’t know were also in the clearing in front of the house.

               Suddenly there was a rush of memories, the forest, a wolf, howling at the moon. It was, even more, to make her stomach turn when she realized that she was one of those wolves she had seen in the clearings.

               “Uh what happened last night,” Neptune groaned as he sat up and Nora didn’t have the heart to tell him. She was sure that his memories would return shortly.

               “I suppose this is the part where I do my job and explain what the hell happened,” A man with unkempt dark hair and a rumpled dress shirt and pants. “Come on inside, Tai will make you breakfast and I’ll explain what shit happened last night after.”

               That seemed to be enough for them as they all began to pile in the house, begging for answers.

Chapter Text

Ruby never was a fan of awkward silence, and with everyone sitting there—stewing in their irritation and confusion—it was only sending her nerves through the roof. She tried to stay as out of the way as possible, opting to stick by Yang and sitting on the floor in front of her sister where she sat on the couch. Taiyang was in the kitchen making a buffet for breakfast and Qrow was pouring himself a drink.

               The new wolves were balls of energy. Not one of them sat still, instead, they wandered around the large living room and looking curiously at their surroundings. Yang seemed bored of everything though, likely since she still managed to keep her spot as next in line for Alpha after Qrow, though that was always going to happen just from lineage. Raven was born a wolf, an Alpha at that, so Yang—another blood wolf—would be the next in line after Qrow, even before her own father who was currently the second in command.

               Ruby had lost some pack ranking with the new members of the pack coming in. The only wolf she managed to outrank was Neptune. Part of that really stung, but Ruby didn’t mind too much. Before that night she had been the lowest on the totem pole. Now she could at least tell someone what to do.

               “Well, I suppose I better start talking before you brats manage to break something,” Qrow finally spoke—loud enough to shock Ruby out of her own little wonderland. No one responded to Qrow’s outburst, instead just watching him as he flopped onto a leather recliner with a drink of whiskey in hand.

               “As you can all tell,” Qrow started with a pause to take a sip of his newly made drink. Ruby could tell is must have been some of his good stuff because Qrow let out a low groan as he relaxed in his seat. “You are now werewolves. No, this changing at the full moon thing will not be normal though you will find changing easier around that time. The first change is just so intense that you end up changing anyway. Honestly, I’m surprised none of you died in the process. Must be since you are all fairly healthy with good hearts. I knew a few people back in my tribe that when their first change came around their hearts gave out.”

               “Are you going to actually explain what happened or tell us what we actually need to know?” It was Pyrrha that had spoken up and Ruby flinched a little at her tone. She hadn’t ever heard the red-haired amazon so angry before.

               “I’m getting there sweet-heart,” Qrow snapped back. There was a hint of alpha pressure in his voice that made Ruby shiver. She knew he didn’t like to use it but when he did it was eerie in the amount of authority it contained. He stopped though to take a sip of his whiskey again and Pyrrha shot her head down. Even if she was above Sun, Ruby, and Neptune she still was below Qrow. The further you were behind an alpha the harder it was to resist the commands.

               “After the little party you had a few weeks ago, you ended up in a car crash. You remember that much right?” They all nodded in response. How could they forget the freak accident they managed to recover from so easily? “Well, according to my nieces the reason you crashed was that Yang ran across the road and startled the driver into crashing into the tree.”

               “That was you?” Nora’s sudden outburst was enough to make Qrow glare but relieved some of the tension in the room with her child-like disbelief and wonder.

               “Yeah, even though I burn of alcohol faster then a human would, I was still a little tipsy and wasn’t paying attention to if there was a car coming or not,” Yang admitted sheepishly as she rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment.

               “You are a very pretty wolf,” Nora commented with a big smile, which was contagious to everyone else in the room.

               “Thank you,” Yang replied with an equally contagious smile.

               “Am I going to get to finish, or are you two going to keep giggling like school girls?” Qrow interrupted them and Ruby could feel there was some kind of sarcastic comment Yang wanted to say but the situation was too serious to ignore the piercing glare that Qrow was giving her.

               “Anyway,” Qrow continued after another sip of the drink in his hand. The ice was beginning to clink now since it was lower on liquid content. “After the accident, you were in pretty bad shape, so they called me out there—”

               “With a psychic mind link like in Twilight?” Neptune blurted out suddenly, getting way too into the conversation all of a sudden. They, after the realization of what he just said he ducked his head down in embarrassment. “Not that I read those books or anything.”

               “No, Ruby ran and got me, you dumb ass,” Qrow deadpanned. He shot a look at Yang and Ruby as if to ask them where they made these kinds of friends. The two girls could only shrug. “Anyway, after I got there I wanted to leave you four to die. Well, geez don’t look so shocked. You crashed, wasn’t any skin off of my back. But Yang and Ruby insisted it was there fault and I turned you…. Honestly, death would have been a mercy.”

               There was more awkward silence but even Ruby wasn’t quite sure what to say at her uncle’s blunt telling’s. She couldn’t imagine they hadn’t suspected that being a wolf would be easy, but still.

               “Being a wolf is lonely. Outside of the pack, no one should know. If the wrong people found out it would result in death or even worse. Because of being wolves Ruby and Yang were never able to make truly close friends.” Ruby flinched a bit at her Uncles true words. She didn’t like how it made her sound but still. “Your strength and speed have likely naturally increased due to the change and as such, you shouldn’t participate in extracurriculars.”

               Qrow must have been able to see Pyrrha about to protest because he added, “unless you want to accidentally hurt someone or expose yourself.” The red-heads mouth snapped shut before any sound could come out.

               “I have a question though,” Sun said with no wavering fear in his voice. He was the only one that seemed unfazed by all the new rules Qrow was telling them. Either because he had nothing to lose or the more likely scenario, he had no intention of following them without a direct order telling him otherwise. “You told us how we became wolves but what about you guys? How did you end up in this mess?”

               Ruby could feel Yang tensing up behind her. Yang was always sensitive to the topic of their family and their origins. However, Ruby couldn’t deny the fact that they deserved an answer as well. As a pack, they were going to be expected to trust each other and keep each other safe. If that trust wasn’t there they would split apart and a civil war between packs wasn’t something they could afford in such a big back.

               It was already detrimental enough when it happened to their family shortly after Yang was born and even before Ruby was thought of.

               Qrow must have agreed with Ruby’s train of thought because he placed his drink of a coffee table nearby and began to tell the story.

               “Long ago, back when I was about your age, my sister and I were part of a Romani caravan of cars that would travel the country called the Branwen’s. There was old magic in the group and well, my sister, Raven, and I, were some of the kids born to be wolves. Out of our generations, we were the only two to survive. The older wolves had all been killed, either by those who thought it was a curse or by other packs we came across. My sister and I left the caravan for a long time and ventured out on our own, and we found a town to settle in when we were around your age.” He paused for a moment and his eyes got a little misty as if he was remembering a fond memory. “My sister, even though she was older and should have been the alpha, wanted nothing to do with the title so it naturally went to me. Only alphas can turn other’s so keep that in mind for later in the story. The first member we ever added to our pack was a girl named Summer Rose. She had been in the forest and got caught in a bear trap that had been laid to catch my sister and me. I felt so guilty that I turned her. Later that winter, Tai was found freezing to death. He had been flirting with my sister for a very long time and she had developed a soft spot for the bumbling idiot. So, Summer and she begged me to turn him and I did. Good thing too, I don’t think I could live with all this estrogen otherwise.”

               “That’s not what you said at the time,” Tai shouted from where he was in the kitchen with a laugh. Qrow joined him, though there was a hint of sadness in both of their laughter.

               “No, I suppose it wasn’t,” Qrow admitted before reaching for his glass and finishing off the rest of the contents. “For a time, we were happy—the four of us. Raven and Tai even officially got together with Summer following along like a lost puppy. I just watched from a distance. However, something changed in Raven and to this day I’m still not sure what it was. After Yang was born she suddenly fought me to gain independence from the pack, claiming she wanted to go back to the caravan. It broke Tai’s heart but he still had Summer. Two years later, Ruby was born. Then one day, Summer went on a run and never came back. We still aren’t sure to this day what happened to her, just that she’s gone.”

               They could all tell it was getting harder and harder for Qrow to tell the story so no one said a word.

               “Anyway, Yang and Ruby first turned when they were eight years old and it’s just been the four of us ever since.”

               “So why did you move here?” It was an innocent enough question that Nora asked but it was enough to get a bit of a laugh out of Yang.

               “I broke a guy’s arm, got expelled for it and we didn’t want to risk exposure,” Yang explained in a tone that seemed way to proud for the actions that were committed.

               “I like you,” Nora said suddenly and all the teenagers laughed. Even Qrow let out a small smile in response to the ginger’s outburst.

               “Hey breakfast it ready, come get it,” Tai said from where he was in the kitchen and all the kids went running into the room with various comments about how hungry they were. As they entered, Tai exited with food for him and Qrow. He handed a plate of eggs and bacon to the greying man that he took with a grateful smile.

               “You didn’t tell them everything,” Tai noted as he shoveled some food into his mouth.

               “What they don’t know can’t hurt them,” Qrow replied and the two of them left it at that. They both knew there were darker things in this world than those mentioned to the teens, but for now, they were just teens. They didn’t need to know about all the monsters in the closet just yet. And if Qrow and Tai had anything to say about it, they never would have to deal with those monsters in the closet.

               “Ozpin called,” Tai said and it was enough to make Qrow stiffen. “Their moving again.”

               “Then,” Qrow started as he set his half-eaten plate down, having just lost his appetite. “We will just have to make them stop moving.”

Chapter Text

Oscar was tired all day at school, so much so that he had even fallen asleep in a few of his classes much to his chagrin. He wasn’t able to sleep at all over the weekend as he kept having nightmares. They weren’t very vivid, at least not enough that he could clearly remember what happened in those dreams but he did remember that he was in a forest and he saw hulking wolves fighting and ripping each other to shreds. Even now, just thinking about it was enough to send shivers down his mind as the thought drudged back the sound of their howls in his dreams.

               “Oscar, are you even listening?” The sound of Jaune’s voice was enough to stop him from almost planting his face into his cheesy potatoes.

               “Yes,” Oscar said sheepishly. He honestly had no clue what they were talking about. Judging by the look of disgust on Jaune’s face, he knew Oscar was lying as well.

               “We were talking about dates to homecoming and taking bets on homecoming king and queen.” The urgency in Jaune’s voice about the topic made Oscar question his priorities. Oscar had forgotten about the dance, to begin with, he was more focused on midterms for the first semester than how he was going to be standing around awkwardly at a punch bowl while he watched half of the student body get wasted and the other half as high as a kite. At least that is what Oscar had seen about dances in movies and read about in books. He wasn’t really sure what they were really like though.

               Oscar wouldn’t lie though, the idea of maybe dancing with Ruby like in all of those cheesy romance films that Jaune’s sisters had made him watch over the years was enough to maybe talk Oscar into going. But, judging from Ruby’s disdain for parties, he didn’t think she would end up going to the dance anyway.

               “I still say Weiss has a good chance at being homecoming queen.” The interjection from Ren was enough to yank Oscar from the pleasant fantasy and stop himself from almost dumping his milk into his green beans.

               “Don’t get me wrong Weiss is definitely amazing,” Jaune commented getting a little stupid grin on his face. “But that doesn’t change the fact that Pyrrha is the star of the volleyball team. Student body president always gets beaten out by the star athlete.”

               “Maybe, but Pyrrha doesn’t exactly socialize much with the others in school outside of us. Weiss does at least talk to everyone.” Ren countered and Oscar rolled his eyes a little. A popularity contest wasn’t exactly an idea he was fond of.

               “Oh, and Sun defiantly socializes with everyone,” Jaune countered with a pout. “If their names aren’t Sage, Scarlet, Neptune, Blake, or Ilia he doesn’t really talk to them.”

               “Yes, but would you vote for Neptune?”

               “No, he’s a lady’s man and always flirting with all the girls and not leaving any for the rest of us.”

               “My point exactly,” Ren stated as he shoved a bite of food in his mouth. Oscar couldn’t help but let out a chuckle at the bickering.

               “What’s so funny? Got a problem with our reasons?” Jaune sounded way too defensive for such a mundane topic. Oscar guessed that Weiss had already turned him down, again, for the fourth year in a row. How Pyrrha managed to not strangle him or move on was beyond Oscar.

               “No, it’s just entertaining.”

               “Fine then who do you think will be homecoming king and queen?”

               “Well if I had to choose from our senior class…” Oscar paused and let his eyes scan the cafeteria, observing all of those around him. “Then my money is on Yang Xiao Long and Cardin Winchester.”

               Jaune actually spits his milk out all over Ren’s face.

               “Why those two?” Jaune said as he was coughing and Ren was whipping the milk off his face with a napkin.

               “Yang has a very fun and bright personality. She might not get the vote of the popular kids but she is well liked by the people who make up a majority of the school, plus she’s still newer which makes her shiny—something that stands out in a smaller town like ours. Cardin because he’s a bully and everyone would be too scared not to vote for him with the way he’s campaigning.”

               Oscar knew they couldn’t argue with him on that. Cardin had a weird obsession with being homecoming king, and he was still pissed at losing out to Sun as Prom king their Junior year.

               “He makes a good point,” Ren noted and Jaune pouted.

               “Where are the girls anyway?” Oscar asked as he attempted to find where Pyrrha and Nora were.

               “Nora mentioned something about them having lunch outside for a change,” Ren commented as he took another bite of his food a little more forcefully this time. “I offered for us to join them but they said they were going to be talking about homecoming stuff with some others.”

               “Bummer,” was all Oscar managed to say before they began talking about dates and how Ren should just ask Nora out already instead of waiting on her to make the first move since they knew they were going to the dance together like they did every year.

               “Every year it’s like Clockwork! When is he going to realize I’m not interested?” Ilia was listening to Weiss complain as she ate her orange and wondered when Weiss was going to realize that they didn’t care. It was weird enough that Weiss was sitting with them and not hold up in the art room working on some fundraiser for the school or homework in the library. Ilia didn’t mind Weiss, she was actually fun when she wasn’t complaining about everything. However, she just wasn’t in the mood to entertain Blake’s friend.

               “I don’t know when you finally ask Neptune to the dance instead of flying solo?” Blake teased as she took a bite of her tuna salad from home with a smirk on her face.

               “I’ll do that when you finally ask Sun,” Weiss stammered and she blushed but Blake just smiled wider in response.

               “I’ll have you know on Friday after school Sun asked me to homecoming and we're going together,” Blake defended herself, almost purring with satisfaction.

               “But still as friends,” Ilia added which was enough to make her friends fragile confidence crumble.

               “Only cause I asked to go as friends,” Blake mumbled as she began to focus more on eating her food again.

               “What about you Ilia? Any girl caught your eyes?” Weiss asked the question but it was enough to make Ilia roll her eyes in response. She could see Yang walking outside with her younger sister in tow but didn’t pay too much mind to it.

               “No, I’m going to fly solo, like I have every year,” Ilia stated as she popped a slice of orange into her mouth.

               “You’re lucky, guys are a complicated mess,” Weiss whined as she let her head fall to the table dramatically.

               “Not really, I find girls to be just as much of a mess,” Ilia defended as she could see outside where Yang and Ruby were seated under a tree and throwing what looked like grapes into each other’s mouths.

               “Where are Sun and Neptune anyway, don’t they usually eat with you two?” Weiss asked as she took a sip of some coffee she had packed in a thermos for lunch.

               “They said they were going to eat outside with some other friends today,” Blake stated with a shrug, having not given it much thought.

               “Weird,” was all Ilia said before she finished off the rest of her orange.

               “Guys, I know Qrow gave you homecoming to still be social since it’s a new moon that night but you still shouldn’t go crazy,” Ruby tried to warn only to be completely ignored by everyone around her.

               “Come on Ruby, I know you want to go with Oscar,” Yang teased as she and Nora continued to throw food at each other.

               “That isn’t true,” Ruby protested and prayed she wasn’t blushing. “He’s just a good friend is all.”

               “Sure, he is,” Yang teased as she drew out the syllables even after she was hit with a grape from Nora that she missed.

               “What about you guys, who are you going with?” Ruby interjected hoping to pull the focus off of herself even if it was just for a bit.

               “Well, Ren and I always go together… not like together together, but still together.” Nora explained which got a few looks of confusion from everyone. Pyrrha just chuckled in response.

               “It’s just what they do,” Pyrrha explained with a smile at her friend’s antics. “I just planned to wait and see who asked me.”

               “I already got Blake to say yes,” Sun stated with a triumphant smile.

               “Careful, or I’ll steal your date,” Yang laughed but something in her eyes told Sun that she wasn’t joking.

               “I’m going to fly solo, can’t let one lady hold me down you know,” Neptune said as he looked at his nails, attempting to sound smooth.

               “He can’t dance so he doesn’t want to embarrass himself, especially in front of Weiss,” Sun explained to which Neptune began to sputter out protests. Ruby found herself giggling along with everyone else but turned her head around to see something strange.

               Ozpin, one of her favorite teachers since moving here, was looking right at them. And not in the monitoring the outside like teachers did sometimes way, no he was only looking at them. He calmly sipped his coffee and nodded to Ruby. It was unsettling.

               She nodded back and went back to the conversations with her friends. Something told her that there was something going on that was bigger then any of them had anticipated.

Chapter Text

The night of the dance wasn’t something Pyrrha had been looking forward to, as the dances never were. She loved going, don’t get her wrong. She loved hanging out with her friends but never once had she actually gone to the dance with a date. This made the event turn into more of a shrugging moment more then a moment she would remember as a highlight of her high school career.

               This is how she ended up sitting on some stairs outside of the gym with Ilia and Weiss, the other two girls just a miserable even if they wouldn’t admit it. Pyrrha felt sorrier for Ilia then she did Weiss. Weiss had plenty of people who would dance with her, Jaune included, but she chose not to since lately, her eyes had only been for Neptune.

               Ilia didn’t have many options though. As one of, if not only, the open lesbian in the school she wasn’t exactly popular with most people, especially the other girls. Pyrrha even remembered in middle school when she came out and most of the girls freaked out claiming she was starting making the gym teacher stand in the locker room with them because she made them uncomfortable. Of course, there were a few boys that thought she was just being coy but that normally ended up in broken noses.

               Pyrrha began to watch others as they exited the dark gym to take photos with their friends. She saw Blake and Sun come, Blake in a pretty black and purple high waisted dress with a tulle skirt and Sun in a basic black button up with a purple tie and some dress pants. Ilia got up to take a picture with them and Neptune, she was in a holographic 2-piece, halter top dress with a flowy skirt while Neptune wore a blue dress shirt and grey vest with matching pants and tie. They looked like they were having fun and Ilia disappeared into the gym with them.

               It wasn’t until Jaune showed up that Weiss got up and headed into the gym, her dress a pretty white with baby-blue lace and simple in design. Pyrrha could feel her heart break a little at his fore-loran look at the heiress’ departure. Jaune cleaned up nice in his golden dress shirt and pants, though he didn’t wear a tie. Oscar was beside him in a forest green shirt and dress pants, but the younger boy was quick to take off when he saw Ruby enter the room with her sister, muttering something about lady stilts.

               Jaune smiled and waved when he saw Pyrrha by the stairs. She waved back and behind Jaune to where Ren and Nora entered the school. Nora looked just like princess peach in her sweet-heart baby-pink dress. She even added a matching bow in her hair for effect. Pyrrha was quick to get up and straighten out her simple scarlet number before headed over to the group for a photo together.

               Sure, she might not have a date, but she would still find a way to enjoy the night with her friends, even if she would have to keep her temper in check all night.

               …

               Ruby should have known Yang would take the first opportunity to leave her alone with Oscar. Or maybe find the first chance to ditch her and find Blake. Ruby wasn’t sure which but either way her sister was really putting her between a rock and a hard place. Now, Oscar and Ruby were standing next to each other with a cup of punch in their hands, not saying a word.

               Ruby took not of him, noticing how well he cleaned up. His hair wasn’t slicked back like some of the guys there, but he had definitely gelled the sides in place to keep it from being in his face all night. Though Ruby had to fight hard to not snicker at the fact in her heels she stood at least a half-foot taller than the freshmen.

               “So, dancing,” Oscar said breaking the silence.

               “Yeah,” Ruby agreed not really knowing what to say as she took a sip of the punch. She was surprised it wasn’t spiked yet. Probably because Ms. Goodwitch had been put in charge of monitoring the punch bowl and she scared away any deviant behavior.

               “I was wondering,” Oscar started and Ruby watched as he played with a stray lock of his hair—trying his best to not look her in the eyes. “Would you maybe like to dance… with me?”

               Ruby didn’t know why she was shocked at the proposition. It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen the possibility of being asked to dance coming, she just wasn’t expecting it from Oscar. Never the less she found herself smiling at the idea of dancing with a friend.

               “Sure,” she chirped and took his outstretched hand. Ruby couldn’t deny how warm his hand felt in her own or the way her face heated up at the prospect of being near him. Instead, she tried to focus on the two of them bouncing to the upbeat music and swaying together, an arm's length apart, when the music finally slowed to a crawl.

               “Geez, Yang didn’t waste any time asking you to dance,” Sun teased as Blake finally wandered her way back over to where he was.

               “No, she really didn’t,” Blake laughed with a small smile on her face. “She’s a bit much sometimes but her heart is in the right place. I’m glad I made friends with her.”

               “I am too,” Sun admitted and he wasn’t lying. Yang had a way of pulling Blake out of her shell that had taken Sun years to accomplish. However, Sun wasn’t about to lose Blake to her. Yang and Blake may have had chemistry but Sun and Blake had history and a past that went deeper than most. Carefully, he took her hand in his and took note of how her face was red—but if it was from dancing with Yang or his contact with her he didn’t know. “Any chance I can get a dance with the fair maid as well?”

               “I would love to,” Blake said with a soft smile and Sun was quick to yank her back out onto the floor again.

               “Ren,” Nora started after she hesitated to remover her hands from her long-time friend’s shoulders. “What exactly are we?”

               Ren knew without needing her clarification about what she was asking about. He had known her since they were children and he hoped to know her until the day he died. He took on of her hands in his own to reassure her. Like a small child, she gripped the hand tightly as if she was afraid he would evaporate in front of him.

               “We are whatever you want to be Nora,” Ren reassured her. “Always.”

               “What if I said I wanted to be together-together?” The question didn’t catch Ren entirely off guard. The two of them had been through so much together and who knew if they would still be together when graduation came around.

               “Then I would say I’m honored,” Ren said as he leaned forward and placed a peck on her forehead. The smile that was on her face was enough to make his own gaze soften. He couldn’t ever imagine feeling this way about anyone else ever, what they had was stronger then any other bond Ren could have ever felt with anyone else and he never wanted to lose it.

               “Then from this day forward we are together-together,” Nora exclaimed as she quickly threw her arms around him and Ren could only smile in response.

               “Anything for you,” was all Ren said before relaxing into her touch.

               “Hey, Weiss.” The heiress jumped at the sudden sound of her name from where she was fidgeting with the various decorations around the gym. She quickly turned and was a little shocked to see Neptune standing there.

               “Oh, hey,” Weiss replied as she did her best to not look hurt. She had asked him to the dance but he had turned her down. It wasn’t like she hadn’t expected it. She knew what everyone said about her. The ice queen with a stick up her ass. A cool and relaxed guy like Neptune wouldn’t be interested in her.

               “Do you mind if I help you with what you’re doing?” Neptune rubbing the back of his neck now and Weiss couldn’t help but blink in shock.

               “Don’t you have a date waiting for you?” Weiss asked hoping he wouldn’t see the hope in her eyes.

               “No, I was flying solo tonight. Dances aren’t really my thing.” The sudden honest wasn’t something that Weiss had been expecting. She wasn’t expecting him to do a total one-eighty from his previous excitement he had been showing all week leading up to the dance.

               “What made you come then?” Weiss asked out of genuine curiosity now. She wouldn’t even be there if she wasn’t expected to go, being the student council president and all.

               “What if I said because I hoped to talk to you some more and get to know you better?” Neptune asked, taking a step closer to where she was and making her breath hitch in her throat.

               “I would like that too.” Her words came out breathless as she stared into his deep blue eyes and felt a rush of heat in her cheeks.

               “Good, then what do you say we find somewhere quiet to sit and talk?”

               “I would be delighted.”

               Pyrrha was standing alone still when Jaune came over to her. He seemed slightly confused as he approached her with two glasses of punch in his hands.

               “What’s wrong?” Jaune asked as he leaned on the wall next to her. “I would have thought for sure you would have been on the floor dancing with your date already?”

               “Don’t have a date,” Pyrrha stated simply. “No one asked.”

               “No way,” Jaune stated with a serious expression. “There is no way anyone didn’t ask you to the dance. You are THE Pyrrha Nikos, the school idol. How do you not have a date for the dance?”

               “Because of that exact mentality,” Pyrrha snapped doing her best to keep her whole body from shaking. “Everyone thinks I’m something special. That I’m untouchable. They forget I’m just another person like everyone else. I thought you saw me that way at least.”

               Pyrrha could feel her heart breaking all around her. Before anything could happen, she turned form Jaune and left the gym. She remembered when she used to make fun of people who acted overly dramatic at school dances, but she just supposed now that it happened to be the time when people broke. The red-haired girl found herself in the girl’s bathroom and on the floor crying.

               Yang sniffed the air cautiously. Despite the overwhelming smell of sweat and hormones in the gym, she could still distinctly smell the members of her pack all around the gym. So, when Pyrrha ran off all of a sudden with a very stressed scent radiating off of her body Yang was quick to react. She wasn’t the only one to react either. Yang could see Ruby giving Oscar an excuse to be back in a bit, Nora give Ren a peck on the cheek before taking off, Sun telling Blake he needed to go to the restroom, and Neptune promising Weiss he would be back with drinks.

               Pack instincts were strong, even despite the newer status of the pack. It didn’t change how quick everyone was to react or how they all converged on the girl’s restroom where the scent was the strongest. Sun and Neptune stayed close but didn’t go in and left the rest of the work to Yang, Ruby, and Nora.

               “Pyrrha? Are you here?” Nora called out as Yang locked the door behind them. The last thing they needed was people walking in an listening in on their conversation.

               “I’m fine,” Pyrrha responded from her position in the handy-capped stall as she whipped furiously at the make-up on her face in an attempt to stop the mascara from running. “Just a little overwhelmed was all.”

               “A little is an understatement,” Yang said as she crossed her arms. “You reeked like pre-change.”

               “I’m sorry,” she apologized quickly as she got up to look in the mirror to fix her make up while Nora hugged her from behind. “I’ll do better next time.”

               “You are fine,” Ruby reassured. “It’s natural to have a few close calls. Tensions tend to run high especially here.”

               “Pretty sure Qrow had never been to a school dance,” Yang joked as she joined in to comfort Pyrrha. “Otherwise he never would have let any of us come tonight.”

               Pyrrha gave a weak smile in response and Yang motioned with her hand and Ruby was quick to respond. Ruby placed some tubes of make-up in Yang’s waiting hands.

               “Now, let's see if we can’t make you a knock out again.”

               As the girls worked to fix Pyrrha up there was a knock on the door.

               “Be out in a minute,” Yang called out as she finished up the last touch up’s of Pyrrha’s make up.

               “Might want to speed it up,” Sun called through the door. “Pyrrha is going to want to see this.”

               They all looked to Pyrrha and she only shrugged in response before they got up to unlock the door and see what all the commotion was about. They could hear laughter coming from the gym and the wolves were all quick to enter the gym and figure out what the commotion was all about. Until they saw it. Jaune stood there, in a dress that looked like it was hastily thrown on from the drama department’s wardrobe.

               Pyrrha was the first to bust up laughing as he stood in full display for her to see, a hand outstretched to her with a smile on his face.

               “What on earth?” She asked as she whipped away tears again, this time from laughing so hard.

               “Well, I couldn’t figure out any other way to make you laugh and this seemed like a sure-fire way,” Jaune admitted as he rubbed the back of his head in chagrin.

               “You, are unbelievable,” Pyrrha admitted, ignoring the stares from everyone around them.

               “I have also decided I’m your date for the night,” Jaune admitted as he extended a hand to her. “So how about a dance?”

               Pyrrha would be lying if she said she didn’t like the more assertive nature of Jaune for the night. It felt comforting a safer then what she was used to.

               “I would be delighted,” she admitted and took his hand as he whisked her away onto the dance floor. Neither of them cares about the stares and laughter they were getting. This was their moment and they were going to enjoy it or be damned.

               …

               “So, you just going to stand by the punch bowl all night?” Ilia hadn’t expected anyone to try and talk to her that night. She wasn’t exactly giving off a friendly vibe from where she was standing, though that apparently didn’t deter a Yang Xiao-Long from trying to speak to her.

               “Yes, I am,” Ilia replied simply as she took a sip from her punch—suddenly a little upset that Goodwitch was in charge of the punch bowl. Some Vodka fruit punch sounded like just what the doctor ordered for the brand of head-ache the brunette was beginning to feel.

               “Sounds boring,” Yang commented as she got herself a cup of punch.

               “Actually, it’s quite relaxing,” Ilia countered but before she could come up with a clap-back for the line she was working on telling Yang there was the uncomfortable sound of white-noise that filled the gym for a second followed by someone tapping on a microphone.

               “Good evening everyone,” the DJ, that Ilia vaguely recognized as Flynt Coalwater—a former student—announced to the whole gym. “It’s that time of the night. The time we announce our King and Queen for the night!”

               There was a round of applause and Ilia rolled her eyes. She never was one for a ceremony.

               “The votes you submitted tonight have been tallied, and I’m proud to announce our Homecoming Queen is…” he paused to pay a drumming sound effect. “Yang Xiao-Long!”  

               Ilia shouldn’t have been surprised it was the blonde. She was already rising quickly in popularity and seemed well acclimated to a spotlight. Ilia found herself watching the blond as she wandered up to the front of the gym to have a cheap plastic crown placed on her head.

               “And your homecoming King is… Ilia Amitola?”

               Honestly, Ilia should have seen something like this coming after turning Cardin down three times. She could see him and his friends laughing hysterically from where they were standing at the back of the gym. However, Ilia wasn’t going to let them get to her. It wasn’t her first bought with ignorant idiots and she was sure it wasn’t going to be her last.

               She marched her way up to where Yang was standing and snatched the cheap crown up and placed it on top of her head. There were a few questioning whispers in the crowd but no one spoke out against them.

               “Well,” Flynt started after clearing his throat. “It’s time for the courts first dance, so let's get this started.”

               The song was something slow but still too fast for anything like a proper ballroom dance. Ilia found herself holding Yang by the waist while Yang had her arms wrapped around her neck a smug smile on her face. Even though they were both wearing pumps, Yang was still a few inches taller much to Ilia’s irritation.

               “Having fun?” Ilia asked though her voice was more accusing then questioning.

               “Actually yes,” Yang admitted with a too bright smile. “Because I actually get to see you try and let loose.”

               “Who said I was letting loose?” Ilia asked as she cocked an eyebrow and felt herself having to fight off a smirk.

               “You’re dancing, aren’t you?” Yang asked before twirling. “I consider that a win.”

               “Well then,” Ilia started as she pulled the blonde close. She could feel a need to challenge rising in her chest. Truly no one could get her a wound up as Yang Xiao-Long and at this moment, she didn’t care. Because she wanted sweet satisfaction by rubbing how little this bothered her in Cardin’s face. “Let’s give them a show.”

               And Ilia suddenly yanked Yang’s head down into a heated kiss. It wasn’t long, but it was obvious enough that the entire gym had mixed reactions between gasping, clapping, and hissing.

               Just as Ilia predicted Yang didn’t fight her, and when Ilia let her up Yang pretended to fan herself with a laugh.

               “My my,” Yang sighed as she pretended to be weak in the knees. “Aren’t you just a ladies Woman?”

               “We all have our charms,” Ilia said but this time she wasn’t able to fight off the smile that graced her lips causing Yang to smile as well.

              

Chapter Text

Oscar was not a fan of Mondays on a regular basis. Monday meant the start of a new school weak and that weekend homework that had been forgotten was due. Monday after Homecoming? It managed to be even worse by making you overly exhausted on top of forgetting homework at the start of the new week. Oscar had spent all morning trying to complete the Cell Organelle chart for Ozpin’s class before the hour started. He had meant to complete the assignment on Sunday, however, he found himself wandering the woods instead to avoid his aunt and her prying questions about the dance.

               Recently, he had started to see a rather large dog wandering around the woods. The first time he saw the wolf had been after a hard day at school. It was his first day when the bullying started, and he was having a hard time that day. Jaune was stuck in his own head and so he didn’t really have anyone to talk to. Everyone in his grade thought he was weird and couldn’t understand half of the world out of his mouth. As a result, he was an easy target for Cardin.

               The bully had made his status in Oscar’s life very clear and the poor kid would have a miserable freshmen year of high school. That day had been particularly had. He had been locked in his locker until the janitor had finally heard him and let him out of the locker. Oscar hated to admit he was crying, but he didn’t want to go home right away. Instead, he found himself in the woods as he nursed his wounded pride.

               The dog had been large with a reddish black coat. Oscar wasn’t sure the breed but it seemed friendly enough. They stayed with him the whole time he was in the woods. Since then whenever Oscar was in the woods he kept an eye out for the stray. Sometimes he saw them in the distance, but they didn’t come over. That weekend he didn’t see the dog at all and while it was a little disappointing (He had bought treats for them) he shrugged and when home at night, only to completely forget about his homework.

               The lead to Oscar’s current predicament as he now glared at the last little organelle on the sheet that he couldn’t figure out. It was mocking him as if reminding him that if he was looking at his textbook at home he would have this all figured out already.

               “What’cha doing Oscar?”

               “Nothing Ruby just trying to figure out this last question,” Oscar answered before suddenly his lungs forgot how to inflate with air. His head shot up as he looked at Ruby, her silver eyes wide and excited. “RUBY! You’re talking to me!”

               “Uh yeah,” Ruby said with a giggled as she sat backward in her chair. “We are friends after all.”

               Friends? Friends? Oscar felt giddy and bouncy in his seat at the words. Did she see him as a friend? He wasn’t just some kid in her class? However, a little part of his brain that wanted to ruin the mood reminded him that it meant she probably didn’t see him as anything more but he pushed that part back. He would take what he could get.

               “Also, that’s the mitochondria.”

               Ok, maybe he still shouldn’t procrastinate on his homework that much.

               …

               Ruby sat in biology class that day bored out of her mind. The weekend had been fun sure, but she was too busy worrying about her new packmates to be focused on how the weekend went exactly. She was particularly worried about how they would manage to keep their instincts in check. Pyrrha, in particular, had started to show some pretty irregular emotional reasonings. Nora was pretty easy, don’t touch Ren and she was perfectly happy. Pyrrha was different. She had decided on someone to protect who didn’t necessarily want to be theirs.

               Ruby had remembered uncle Qrow explaining the urge to find someone to protect, but she never had really paid attention. Romance or anything was never her top priority. Her family was all she needed for forever. And, currently, it was still the same.

               “Now class, remember I want you all to have partnered for the science fair at the end of the semester,” Ozpin said as his eyes scanned around the room of younger high school students. His eyes paused on Ruby. Or Oscar, she really couldn’t tell. “And I expect to be impressed by your class. So be vigilant and choose wisely.”

               Just as he finished the bell rang for the day and Ruby shot up from her seat to try and get her stuff together quickly. She hated history, but if she was even a few seconds late Oobleck was going to give her a third late-slip and that would mean a detention. She really didn’t need to explain to her father why she got a detention.

               “Headed to history?” Oscar asked, trailing quickly behind Ruby as she was walking out the door of the classroom.

               “Yeah, you have PE with Port next right?”

               “Yeah, but it’s on my way so I was wondering if you wanted to be my partner for the science fair?”

               “Sure,” Ruby didn’t even bat an eyelash when Oscar asked the question. She kind of assumed it would happen since they really only talked to each other in the class. Oscar lit up like the fourth of July though when she agreed. It was so cute she had to fight off the urge to squeal.

               “Then if it’s alright with you, can we exchange numbers?”

               “Yeah, find me during lunch and I’ll give it to you,” Ruby said with a smile. She almost couldn’t believe they didn’t have each other’s numbers already.

               “Cool,” Oscar said and they finally reached their split-off point. “I’ll see you at lunch then.”

               “See you,” Ruby said and she walked down the hall with a little bit more of a skip in her step then she previously had.

               Ozpin sat in his classroom during his lunch break as usual but today he was particularly troubled. His coffee, usually gone by now, sat untouched on its coaster while his fingers laced together in front of his face and he eyed the screen in front of him. The outline of the woman on the screen was troubling enough, but the company of three other’s youths was enough to make his stomach turn.

               “Everything alright Ozpin?” Ozpin peaked up through his bangs at Glynda Goodwitch who stood in his doorway with worried eyes.

               “We need to get Ironwood on the phone,” Ozpin stated as he looked out the window. He could see Ruby Rose and Oscar Pine, eating lunch with a few friends—the two texting each other while talking to the others. “Qrow’s pack isn’t going to be enough anymore.”

               And Oscar isn’t ready yet.