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One more kiss (for the rest of our lives)

Chapter Text

Good Morning

Warmth was probably the last thing Qrow associated with Atlas, right after compassion and decent coffee. However, he was quickly discovering that even the coldest places had warm hearths, if you knew where to look.
Bleary eyes glanced around the room. The blinds were shut, but from the bright blue numbers indicating 7:03 and the almost zero other light sources in the room, Qrow guess the storm from last night was still in full effect.
Rolling over, his arm brushed with something cold, and he jolted, before remembering his Atlesian girlfriends body ran strangely cold.
As soon as Qrow brushed Winter’s arm she moved, as through he had reminded her subconscious mind that he was in fact there. She shifted until she was pressed up against his side. Qrow sighed at the sudden cold presence at his side, before curling around her, wrapping the blankets tighter around both of them, and drifting back to sleep.

 

“Qrow, wake up,”
Qrow awoke to a sleepy voice and someone stabbing him in his stomach.
“Goddamn it, why are your nails so long?” He muttered, wiggling away from her.
“It’s eight thirty, wake up.” She said, trying to get out of bed.
“Nah,” Qrow said, reaching over grabbing her around the waste, pulling her back to him.
“Qrow,” She laughed softly, letting herself be pulled back into bed.
“Five more minutes.”
“It’s two hours after I normally wake up.”
“That’s because you’re a freak of nature. We got in at three this morning, and we drove through a goddamn snowstorm to get here. Let’s stay in bed.”
“I have to get to the gym,” She said as he hugged her close, nuzzling her neck. She giggled and turned her head, reaching up to hold his head as she met his lips in a sweet good morning kiss.
“Love you,” Qrow muttered against her lips.
“I love you too.” She whispered back, turning in his arms.
Qrow deepened the kiss, pulling the covers around them. Atlas didn't seem so cold anymore

Chapter Text

Goodnight kiss

“I hate Atlas,”
“You mentioned.”
“Why’s it always so cold?”
“The ice, probably,”
Qrow raised his eyebrow, looking down his companion. Winter’s head rested on his shoulder in the back of the cab, her eyes heavy with sleep, dark bags under her eyes. Qrow couldn’t remember the last time either of them had had a good night’s sleep, their last mission in Mistral had kept them busy ever minute for the last few weeks, not allowing for more than an hours rest here and there. Years’ experience had allowed Qrow to adjust quickly, but Winter didn’t have as much experience. She was a specialist; in and out, disarming the situation with as little conflict as possible. She was still adjusting to being a huntress again, and it took a toll. As soon as they had arrived on Atlesian soil she was falling asleep on his shoulder.
“Come on Queen, we’re here.” Qrow paid and slipped his hand into Winter, pushing the door open. Winter slipped out after him, grabbing their bags and heading inside the white stone building up to Winters apartment.
Qrow threw their things in the corner and helped her get out of her gear. Winter went to the bedroom while Qrow got out of his dirty clothes, knowing how much she hated his sweaty, post mission smell in her nice apartment.
He couldn’t help but smile as he noticed the dark blue duvet on the bed and the black pillow Winter was cuddling.
“Night Ice queen,” He said softly, climbing into bed beside her. The bed was nice and warm, a euphoric contrast to the weather outside. His blinking and his mind slowed until sleep was closing in from every angle, when he felt something soft brush against his lips.
“Goodnight,” Winter mumbled, shoving her face back into the soft pillow. Both drifted into sleep with smiles on their faces.

Chapter Text

The late-night sky was filled with stars but no moon. Qrow enjoyed the sight; he wouldn’t say he was a sentimental man, but stars were a rarity in Atlas as every inhabitable place was close together and filled with electrically generated light, like campers huddling around a flashlight for warmth.
But he wasn’t in the city. Instead he had bypassed the chance to get the hell out of there as soon as the meeting with Ozpins circle was over, and was by the coast in a private airfield, freezing his arse off for a minute long goodbye with his girlfriend.
“Qrow,”
He turned around to see Winter giving him a look.
“What are you doing?” Winter asked.
Qrow shrugged. “Just looking.”
“Well my flights about to leave,” she glanced over her shoulder at the airstrip. “The price of being inconspicuous.”
“I’m sure you’ll live Princess,”
“That’s queen to you,” She said, taking his hand, stepping close enough to kiss him. He wrapped his arms around her, the warmth in his chest spreading as he held her.
“I love you,” He said softly.
“I love you too. Don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
He kissed her again, hugging her close before they parted. Winter glanced back once before she boarded the plane, and Qrow stayed, watching until the airship was out of sight, fading in with the stars.

Chapter Text

“So… that didn’t go according to plan.” Qrow muttered.
“Are you talking to the mission or your proposal?” Winter asked weakly. Qrow shrugged the shoulder she wasn’t leaning on.
“Both, to be honest.”
The mission was supposed to be a simple extraction of a group of huntsmen caught in bandit country, either dead or too injured to fight through the dangerous territory. They were almost in the clear when all the grief and anger and testosterone male macho bullshit became too much, drawing the Grimm towards their location. If it hadn’t been for the extraction team arriving when they did, a lot more of them would have died.
The proposal was Qrow saying they should get married if they made it out alive as they paired up to take down a giant Nevermore.
“So…” He said, playing with her hair. “What do you think?”
Winter was silent for a so long Qrow wandered if she heard him, then she nodded. “Okay. ”
“Okay what?”
“Okay we should get married.”
“What, really?”
“Yes.”
Okay. So, we’re engaged.”
Winter raised an eyebrow. “Did you put any thought into this at all?”
“Honestly? I saw how well we were working together, and I just really wanted to marry you.”
Winter smiled softly. “I want to marry you too.”
“Lets get married then,” Qrow took one of the rings off his right ring finger, holding it out for Winter, whose smile only grew as she took it, slipping it over her gloved left ring finger.
“I can get you a real one when we get back.” Qrow offered.
“No, I like this one,”
Qrow smiled, lifting her head slightly with his finger so he could lean down and kiss her. Winter deepened the kiss, slipping her hand onto his messier than usual hair.
“I love you,” Qrow whispered between kisses.
“I love you too,”

Chapter Text

 

“Stop moving. Stop moving!”

“Qrow! Calm down.” Winter snapped.

“You have blood dripping down your face.” Qrow said his voice growing higher and higher in panic. Winter would have found it funny if her head didn’t feel like it was going to split open. Luckily Qrow’s incredible medical skill and cool bedside manner kept her in one piece.

“Okay give me the damn clothe,” Winter snapped, snatching the blood splattered rag from Qrow’s hand. “You’re freaking me out.”
“You’re freaking me out!” Qrow said, standing up and pacing as Winter used her sabre as a mirror to clean up what she could of the blood, revealing the wound from the swipe from the damn Beowulf. Qrow finished the Grimm off in a quick and badass manner, before freaking out like a little kid at all the bright red blood dripping from Winter’s white hair.

“I’m fine, I have a concussion at most.”

“At most? Oh God,” Qrow rubbed his eyes, sitting down opposite her. “Doesn’t that hurt?”
Winter stopped wiping her face, giving him an incredulous look.

“Sorry. Do you need a… needle or something?”
“Yes Qrow, if you could pull a needle out of your arse that would be great.”
“Don’t- sass me I’m panicking!”
Why are you panicking? I’ve had a lot of injuries a lot worse than this? I’ve literally been impaled.
“Well they have hospitals in Atlas, I don’t see any hospitals around here. We’re in the middle of fucking nowhere in Mistral. When does the extraction get here? They get here in an hour.” Qrow took a deep breath and sat down again. “Can I do anything?”
Winter looked up suddenly feeling bad for him.

“Qrow, I’m gonna be fine,”
“That’s a lot of blood.”
“Have you never seen a serious head wound before?”
“Not on someone alive.”

“Well it’s perfectly normal for them to bleed a lot.”
“Really?”
“Yes,” Winter wiped her hand and reached forward, taking his. “I’m fine. How long has it been since you had a partner?”

Qrow didn’t answer, and Winter felt guilty. “I… I’m sorry,” She apologised.

“Don’t worry about it. Your brain’s leaking out of your head after all.” He said, reaching up and brushing her hair behind her ear.
“It is not don’t be disgusting.” She smacked his hand away.

“It is I can see it,”
“Don’t be disgusting!” She repeated.

“Sorry. Is there anything I can do? Seriously?”

“Think you could kiss it better.”
“Don’t be disgusting.”
Winter smiled, smacking his cheek gently.

 

 

The extraction team, luckily for Qrow - and Winter – had a first aid kit and actual trained medical professional aboard. By the time they were back in the capital Winter was all patched up and the blood had been washed out of her hair by Qrow with a wet cloth.

“How do you feel?”  Qrow asked, Winter leaning against him, tucked under his arm.
“Like a Beowulf took a swipe at my head.” Winter answered. Qrow rolled his eyes, resting his chin on her head.

“No concussion?”
“No concussion,” Winter confirmed.

“Hey Winter?”
“Yes?” She asked, looking up at him.

Qrow leaned down and gently kissed her forehead.

“So, I don’t repulse you anymore?” She asked in mock seriousness.

“Not right now.”
She smacked his cheek again, turning to look out the window. Qrow spent the rest of the flight playing with her hair, holding her close, and thinking about how this woman just cracked her head open, used a torn jacket to clean it, using her sabre as a mirror, all the while keeping him calm.

This is the woman I’m going to marry.

Chapter Text

Qrow stared at his reflection in the mirror. The tiles under his feet were warm, which always surprised him more than if they had been cold. The huntsman jumped as the bedroom door opened, grabbing the nearest object and pretending to use it as Winter came in in her gym clothes.

“What are you doing?” She asked, unwrapping the bandages around her hands and throwing them in the wash bin.

“Just…” He looked down at what he was holding, “putting on some lip balm?” He frowned, “cookie dough heaven? Seriously?”
“It’s for… working out. Shut up,” Winter snatched it from him. “What are you doing in here?”
“I had something in my teeth.”
“Qrow,” She said, warning in her voice as she leaned against the sink beside him. “Why are you staring at yourself in my mirror? You hate my bathroom.”

“I told you I was looking for the cookie dough lipstick.”
“Lip balm.” She corrected briskly. “Tell me.”
“Have I told you I love you today.”
“I’m leaving,” She said, going to walk out.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Qrow said, taking her hand and pulling her back to the sink. “I… I was just… looking.”
Winter raised an eyebrow, straightening up.
Qrow sighed, pointing at his temple. “I’m going grey, okay?”

Winter nodded, biting her lip and looking down. “Mm hmm.”
“What?” Qrow asked, suspicious.

“Nothing.” Winter shook her head, coving her mouth with her hand.

“Are you laughing at me?”
“No!” She said, crossing her arms and fighting a losing battle with a smile.

“I hate you,” he said, going to walk out.

“No, no, no please, stay. I’m sorry.”
“You’re still smiling.”
“I’m not,” She blatantly lied, laughing.

“You are,”

“Why do you care?” She asked. “I mean, did you think it wouldn’t change?”
“I mean, I guess. I didn’t really think it would. Tai’s the same age, and he’s not going grey.”
“Well his hair is light blonde, Qrow. Yours is black. It’s harder to tell with him.”
“Glynda’s not going grey.”
“She dyes her hair Qrow, everyone knows this. What’s the real problem?”
Qrow looked at her, sighing, before reaching up and brushing her hair out of her eyes.

“Qrow,” She said softly, taking his hand, holding it against her face. “We spoke about this. You don’t have to be worried-”

“I’m not-I’m not worried.”
“What do you think it is going to happen now with a few grey hairs that hasn’t happened before?”
“It’s not just a few grey hairs. Or it won’t be.”
“Well if it makes you feel any better, I’m already all white, so-”

“You’re not taking this seriously.”

“Qrow, I do not care if your hair is going grey. I love you. We’re engaged. I’m not going to see your hair getting lighter and break off the engagement.” She reached up, kissing him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “I don’t like a lot of people, but I like you. I love you. No hair colour is going to change that -don’t test me on that- so stop worrying.” With that, she reached up and kissed his temples where the grey was most prominent.

“I love you too,” He hugged her. “Winter?”

“Yes?”
“Can I use your lip balm? I just want to see what it tastes like-”

“Die alone old man-” Winter cut herself off with a squeal as Qrow picked her up, carrying her into the shower, turning the cold water on the fully dressed couple.

Chapter Text

This was requested by galaxy-of-great-possibilities on tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

The town was a miserable, cold little place in the middle of Nowhere, Mistral, but Winter had never been so happy to see civilisation.

“Where are we?” She asked Qrow as they stepped inside the almost empty tavern.

“Crest. It’s safe, we can stop here for the night.”
“Thank the brothers.” Winter sighed, pulling down her hood. Qrow led them to a dimly lit table, kicking her chair out for her as he sat down.

“So romantic,” Winter said sarcastically, placing her coat on the spare chair and taking the seat.

“I’m too tired to be romantic,” He muttered, dropping his head on the table.

“Wake up,” She poked him. “You need to eat.”
“Nah,”
“Yes. You haven’t eaten all day. We still need to make it to the next village before we can get a lift to the capital. I’m not carrying you if you pass out.”
“You wouldn’t?” Qrow asked with fake sadness.

Winter smacked his arm and he clutched the sore limb.

“You know-”

“Qrow Branwen? Wow, it’s been a while,”

Winter was cut off by the arrival of a woman at their table. By her uniform Winter figured she worked at the small tavern. She was pretty, around Winter’s age with soft brown hair that fell below her shoulders, bright blue eyes and clear, olive skin.

“Uh, hi, Jess,” Qrow said, somewhat awkwardly.

“It’s been so long, how have you been?” she asked sweetly, putting her hand on Qrow’s shoulder.

“Fine. I uh, didn’t realise this was your place,”
“We changed the sign. What can I do for you tonight?” She asked, rather suggestively.

“Some food would be lovely,” Winter interrupted, trying to refrain from smacking her hand off her boyfriend.
Jess looked up at Winter for the first time, her eyes scanning over the Huntress.

“Well we usually close the kitchen this late at night but I’m sure we could scrounge something up just for you,” Jess smiled at Qrow, as though Winter hadn’t spoken. She winked, finally took her hand off Qrow and headed off behind the bar. Winter sat there, stewing in anger. Qrow sat beside her, bouncing his leg with anxiety. Winter reached over, and knuckle punched his shin in lieu of asking him to stop.

“Ow! What the hell Winter?”
Winter glared at the door, refusing to look at him. She heard him sigh.

“Are you mad at me?”
She didn’t answer.

“You’re mad at me.”
No response.

“You’re being ridiculous,”
Normally she’d had an earful for him, but unfortunately, he was right.

Jess came out with a plate of fries, pasta and steak. Enough for them to share but few enough for it to be clear she was catering to Qrow.

“You enjoy that sweetie, it’s on the house for keeping us all safe.” She winked against and sauntered off. Qrow picked up a few fries to start eating, but Winter snatched them from him, shoving them in her mouth. Qrow stared at her in surprise, before a smile grew on his face.

“Don’t smile I’m mad at you,” Winter said, picking at the food.

“I can’t believe you stole my food. My reward for keeping everyone safe.”
“Shut up.”
“You know you’re really cute when you’re angry.”
“That explains why you’re so good at pissing me off.”
Qrow leaned slightly closer. “I haven’t slept with her in over two years, if that’s what you’re angry about,”

Winter chewed her bottom lip. “Maybe.”
“Win, I don’t want to shock you, but there’s quite a few women around that I’ve slept with.”
Winter rolled her eyes.
“If it makes you feel any better you’re the only one from Atlas.”
Winter raised an eyebrow incredulously.

“Seriously. I swear all you girls run so cold.”
Winter scoffed, shaking her head.

“Hey,” He lifted her chin to look at him. “I love you.”
Winter looked him in the eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry.” She muttered. “I love you too.”
“And hey, free food.”

Winter smiled, shaking her head. They ate in peace, Qrow slinging his arm around her.

Jess came back to bus the table and Winter slipped her hand into Qrow’s, trying not to be annoyed by the woman’s mere presence.

“Anything else I can get you?” She asked Qrow suggestively. 

Winter felt something snap and grabbed Qrow’s collar, pulling him over to her in a deep kiss. Qrow made a small noise of surprise and slipped his hand into her hair.

“Just a room, please.” He smiled, before turning back and pulling Winter into another kiss. Jess walked off with a scowl, but neither noticed.

“You’re really cute when you’re jealous,” Qrow whispered against her lips.

“What am I when I’m not?” Winter asked.

“Fucking hot.”

Chapter Text

“Do you really need all this stuff?” Qrow asked, pulling a pair of white leather boots out of Winter’s bag. Winter smacked his hand and put them back.
“It’s a three-week mission. One of the conditions of me moving in with you was that you didn’t complain when I travelled to Atlas.”

“We both knew I was lying Winter.” He said, looking through her backpack.

“Stop messing up my things. Have you even packed your own bag?”
“Yes.”
“You cannot go on a mission with a spare pair of socks and a bottle of whiskey.”
“I have spare socks?”
Winter grabbed his bag from the end of the bed and threw it at him. “Pack, now.”
Qrow pushed himself off the bed and grabbed the bag, walking to his drawers to grab some spare clothes, basic emergency first aid kit and some food.

“Done,” He said, returning to his spot on the bed. Winter looked at his bag as she zipped up her duffle and backpack.

“Good. Honestly how have you survived this long on missions?”
“I turn into a bird, mostly.”
“Ah right, I forgot about your avian alter ego.” Winter said sarcastically. Birds don’t need to eat or rest.”
“Magic birds don’t.”
Winter rolled her eyes, “Lets go.”
Qrow picked his bag up again and followed Winter out to the car, throwing their things in the back and getting in, making the hour-long trip in forty-five minutes thanks to Winter’s driving.

“Ya know, People try not to drive like maniacs in Patch.”
“Well next time you can drive. Oh wait, you can’t because you had your licence revoked.”
“That was Tai’s fault,” He said quickly, grabbing his bag and walking off towards the airport.

Winter grinned, locking the car and running to catch up with him. She caught up with him and slipped her hand into his. Qrow relented with a smile, entwining their fingers as they walked.


“How long until your flight?”
“Twenty minutes,” Winter answered, checking the time on his watch. They sat, watching the other planes take off. “How long until yours?”
“Half an hour. Call me as soon as you land okay?”
“In Vale or Atlas?”
“Both.”
“Qrow.”
“Atlas.”
“I promise. Try not to die in Vacuo.”
“Deal.” He kissed her forehead.

They waited until Winter’s flight was called. Winter grabbed her pass and looked at Qrow. “Time to go,” She said softly.

“Yeah.” He answered sadly.

“I’ll see you in three weeks, I suppose.”
“I’ll head up to Atlas as soon as I’m done.”
Winter smiled, leaning over and kissing his sweetly. Qrow held her close, gently holding her head as he kissed her back. they pulled apart breathlessly, resting their foreheads together. Qrow ran his finger down the chain around her neck to the ring at the bottom.

“Three weeks.”
“Three weeks.” Winter agreed. “We’ve survived worse.”
“I don’t think I have.”

Winter smiled, then reluctantly said, “I have to go,” she gave him a quick kiss and stood, heading over to the line. Qrow sat there anxiously, watching her get to the front of the line. At the last second, Qrow shot up, catching Winters hand before she boarded.

“What-”

Winter was cut off as their lips crashed together in a deep kiss. They pulled apart gasping for air.

“For luck.” He smirked, kissing her again quickly. They pulled apart and he let her board, walking back over to his seat.

 

Three weeks he thought to himself You've survived worse

Chapter Text

In a small house in Patch, there was a calendar in the draw of a slightly messy desk. On that calendar, a blue line indicated the severity of the date. The 24th of March.

The air was still cold, so Winter got to have the window open. She’d been staring out the window at the full, broken moon when she felt Qrow move beside her. She rolled over, watching his breathing speed up as he started to toss and turn.

“Qrow,” She said sleepily, gently touching his shoulder, trying to wake him up as calmly as possible. Qrow flinched away from her and she sighed, getting out of bed and walking into the kitchen for two cold bottles of water and a damp cloth. She walked back in and sat on the bed beside him as his tossing and turning grew increasingly violent.
Winter tried to put the cold cloth on his forehead, but it did little more than mop up the sweat forming there. With a deep sigh Winter opened the first water bottle, splashing it on his face.

Qrow’s hand shot up, grabbing Winter’s wrist and making her drop the water bottle on the floor.

Winter inhaled sharply in surprise, trying not to react to the tight grip on her arm.


Qrow panted heavily, trying to catch his breath and take in his surroundings. A room. A dark room. The moon. It was cold. It wasn’t summer. It wasn’t summer. It… it wasn’t…. Summer…

“Winter?”
“Focus on your breathing,” She said calmly.

Qrow’s panic slowly subsided, and he quickly pulled his hand from Winter, who pulled her wrist to her chest.

“I… I’m sorry,” He said breathlessly, rubbing his face. It was only then he noticed the tears.

“Do you remember?” Winter asked softly, carefully taking his hand. Qrow took a shaky breath, and Winter reached for the second water bottle, handing it to him.

“Thanks,” He muttered, before drinking almost the whole thing. Winter waited patiently until he was ready to talk.

“It was me.” He muttered. “I killed her.”
“It wasn’t you,” she assured him. “You weren’t there, you couldn’t have known.”
“It was my fault,” he cried, dropping his head against her shoulder. Winter wrapped her arms around him, rubbing his back.
“She wouldn’t want you to blame yourself, Qrow,”
“It’s my fault. I’m bad luck.” He sobbed. “Yang and Ruby have to grow up without a mum because of me.”
“Hey, look at me,”
Qrow lifted his head enough for Winter to look him in the eye, wiping his tears away with her sleeve.

“This is not your fault. No one blames you. You know Summer wouldn’t blame you. You’re a good person, you’re a good person.”
“I lost her. I lost Raven, Tai was gone for years because I couldn’t protect her, I couldn’t find her.”

“She gave her life to protect people. She was a hero Qrow. You aren’t responsible for her choices.”

“It shouldn’t have been her. It should have been me.”
“You know that’s not what she would have wanted.”
Qrow hugged her tighter and Winter ran her hand through his hair, trying to calm him down. His tears subsided, and Winter laid down with him. He wrapped his arms around her, his face tucked under his chin, legs entwined.

“We’ll go with the girls tomorrow to visit her,” She promised, adjusting the blanket around him. Qrow nodded silently, gently playing with her hair. Winter pulled apart enough to kiss his forehead.

“I love you. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I love you too,” He said, muffled by her shirt.

 

 

 

The air the next morning was painfully cold, and for the first time Qrow was grateful. It was bracing, and the pain as the sharp wind hit him distracted him slightly from the intense pain in his chest. He was jolted out of his thoughts as a warm hand slipped into his. He wrapped his arm around Winter’s waist, kissing her forehead.

“I can’t believe it’s been so long,” Yang said, twisting the stem of the flowers she and ruby brought.

“Yeah.” Ruby agreed with her. “What do you think she would look like?”

“She’d look exactly like you will when you’re forty.” Qrow told her.

“I really look that much like her?”
“Spitting image,” Qrow confirmed. Ruby smiled, walking forward to put the roses on the grave. Yang went next, then Qrow, resting the white roses beside the red and yellow.

Qrow and Winter stepped back to give the girls a minute to talk to their mother, then Tai to talk to his soulmate. The girls and Tai left after Winter assured them she would stay with Qrow.

“Are you ready?” Winter asked. Qrow nodded, then headed over to the headstone commemorating the life of Summer Rose.

 

 

 

Weiss: how bad is it?

Winter: Bad. I think you should talk to Ruby and Yang. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

 

Winter slipped her scroll back into her coat pocket as Qrow walked back over, wiping the tears from his cheeks. Winter met him at the edge of the forest, cupping his hand in her face, gently stroking his cheek as she rested her forehead against his, pressing their lips together in a sweet but chaste kiss.

“Thank you,” He said as they broke the kiss.

“For what?”
“Everything.”
“Always,”
She kissed him again, deeper this time.
“Are you ready to go?” He asked.

“Start walking, there’s something I need to do first.”

Qrow frowned slightly in confusion, but nodded, kissing her cheek and heading down the path.

Winter mad her way towards the edge of the cliff, stopping a few steps from the flowers.

“Hello. I haven’t… been here in a while. I just wanted to say thank you, for everything you did for him. He’s a good man. I think you would be proud.” She stepped forward, taking a single pink rose from her coat and putting it down with the rest.

With that, Winter turned to catch up with her husband.

Chapter Text

Qrow was going to die. He was going to die, and his legacy wouldn’t be going out in an epic battle or saving lives.

No, he would die in one of Ironwoods goddamn meetings.

Just as he was started to regret not having a gun as his weapon, so he could shoot himself in the face, he felt his scroll vibrate in his pocket. Deciding if he should risk getting caught without his go-to excuse (‘it’s my boss’ didn’t work when everyone he reported to was already in the room) he decided he did not care and pulled it out, opening it to see a message from Winter.

Ice Queen: how’s the meeting?

Qrow: I can’t believe you remember me after all these years

Ice Queen: Dragging on then?

Qrow: What are you doing?

Ice Queen: just got back from shopping

She sent a picture, which Qrow immediately regretted opening in a work environment.

Qrow: Black looks really good on you. Especially when you’re not wearing a lot.

 

“Qrow, am I boring you?” Ironwood asked.

“Immensely,” he answered, not looking up from his phone.

Ironwood sighed and Glynda reached over, smacking him up the back of the head. Qrow glared at her, slipping his phone away and bullshitting his way through the rest of the meeting, shooting out of there the first chance he got, shifting into his bird form to sweep over the city to the hotel he was booked in, landing rather rockily in the side alley and sprinting upstairs to his and Winter’s room.

“Winter,” He called as he walked in, making sure to lock the door beside him, turning off his scroll and tossing it on the lounge.

“Yes?” She answered, walking into the room in shorts and a loose T-shirt. Qrow immediately stepped up to her, kissing her deeply. Winter kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He picked her up and pressed her against the wall as she wrapped her legs around his waist.

“You can’t send me stuff like that when I’m fantasising about electrocuting Ironwood.” He said, kissing down her neck.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” She muttered, pilling him into another deep, passionate kiss. Qrow opened the bedroom door, stepping inside with her, kicking the door shut behind them.

Chapter Text

Smoke drifting in the air from the black wreckages littering the battlefield. Robots, huntsmen and weapons lay in desolation. A single black bird glided above the horrific scene, his sharp eyes scanning every inch his red eyes could reach. As every minute passed, he felt himself grow more and more hopeless, until a bit of white and blue caught his attention, contrasting with the red and black around it.

He shifted as he landed, coming to a painful stop, but propelling himself forward to the limp form lying in the dirt.

“Shit, come on Ice Queen, please be okay,” He muttered to himself, brushing the blood-stained hair out of her face. Winter gasped in pain, her eyes fluttering open and Qrow found himself thanking the heavens the younger brother hadn’t taken her from him. He didn’t think he could live with the guilt.

“Qrow?” She muttered. She shifted in his arms, revealing the growing red spot on her side, and Qrow quickly tore off his cape, wrapping the wound.

“Stay with me Winter,” he begged, securing the wound. Once she was stable enough, he picked her up and began trekking back towards the base.

“What… what happened?” she groaned, resting her head on his shoulder.

“We won, believe it or not. Salem and her faction are gone; most the Grimm disappeared after Salem died.”
“Weiss…”
“She’s fine. She’s back with the others at the airfield.”
“How bad is it?”
“Pretty bad,” He admitted. We lost over half our guys.”
Winter sighed, relaxing against Qrow’s chest. She slept the rest of the walk back, with Qrow frequently checking that she was breathing. When they made it back, team RWBY ran up to them, Weiss at the front.

“Is she okay?” the girl asked, on the verge of breaking into tears.

“She’ll be fine, but we need a medic, now.”
“On it,” Ruby called, running off, before dragging over the blond kid.

“Ruby, what are you doing?” Jaune demanded, slightly panicked from suddenly appearing across the airfield from where he was.

“We need you to heal Weiss’ sister!”
“Oh, right, okay!” Jaune said, taking off his armour. Qrow sat Winter down, unwrapping his cape from around her waist to reveal the tear in Winter’s pale skin. He heard Weiss inhale and gag. Yang and Blake turned her away, trying to comfort her as Jaune started working on Winter’s wounds.

“What happened to her?” Jaune asked as the glow surrounded Winter’s body.

“Don’t know, I wasn’t there,” He muttered, internally cursing himself, “Looks like some kind of Grimm claw.”
“Ruby, can you go get a blanket and something to clean the wound?” Jaune asked, and Ruby was gone in a flash.
“How bad is it kid?” Qrow asked as Winter shook in his arms.

Jaune hesitated. “Honestly? I’ve healed a lot of wounds today. This one’s bad.”
“But you can heal her, right?”
“Yeah I should be able to-”

Should?
“Uncle Qrow, calm down,” Ruby said, appearing at his side and putting the supplies down, “He’s doing the best he can.”
Qrow exhaled sharply. “Sorry kid.”
“It’s fine, I’m getting used to it.” Jaune assured him. It had been a stressful aftermath for everyone.

The next few minutes passed agonisingly slowly, until finally Winter’s eyes shot open and she started gasping for breath.

“Is she okay?” Weiss asked, appearing beside Jaune with red eyes.

“Yeah, she’s gonna be fine,” Jaune reassured her. The wound closed and Qrow let out the breath he was holding.

“You oka-”

“Winter!” Weiss cried, throwing her arms around her sister, hugging her tightly. “I was so worried about you,”
“I’m fine, Weiss,” Winter promised, hugging Weiss back. “Thank you,” she said to Jaune.
“No problem,” Jaune said, scratching the back of his neck and looking away, a slight blush creeping up his neck and cheeks (he had a crush on Weiss okay, an almost topless Winter’s gonna blow his mind).

“You kids go find an airship, we’ve got to get her out of here.”
Ruby, Yang, Jaune and Blake ran off in separate directions to find a ship with extra seat, while Weiss stayed by her sister’s side.

“Weiss, could you please give us a minute,” Winter asked. Weiss frowned, then glared at Qrow, before walking off far enough to give them some privacy.

“Are you okay?” Is the first thing Winter asked Qrow.

“I’m fine,” He said, falling on his arse beside her. “Exhausted. What happened to you?”
“Last thing I remember is that damned Ursa. I lost my sword, I could barely stand… then you were there.”
Qrow leaned forward, pulling her into a deep kiss.

“What was that for?” She asked, leaning her forehead against his.

“Because we fucking won.”
Winter smiled softly and kissed him again. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

NinaVale requested a 'Kiss and Slap'

 

 

 

 

4, 8, 12

4, 8, 13

4, 8, 14

 

Four days, eight hours and fifteen minutes. He was four days, eight hours and fifteen minutes late. Winter’s foot bounced nervously under the table, her hood well over her face to hide her white hair and anxious face. The mission was in Mistral, and Schnee’s were hardly welcome in these more hostile areas. Her brown contacts were irritating her eyes and the green and black outfit she wore was uncomfortable.

The mission was to take out a nest of unspecified Grimm terrorising a village before they get too close. Winter didn’t want him going alone, but as the Grimm had not yet attacked anyone unprovoked, Qrow had deemed it same for him to investigate alone, before meeting with her to plan their next move on a specified date.

That date was Four days, eight hours, and seventeen minutes ago.

The clock struck midnight in the small tavern, and Winter sighed; she hadn’t slept almost the whole time she had been waiting She left her table to make her way upstairs to the room she had booked. Room 12, like they agreed on. She locked the door before changing out of her clothes into shorts and one of Qrow’s black singlets. She didn’t know how long she lay there, tossing and turning, before she fell asleep, tears soaking her pillow.

 

Winter woke up annoyed. Something had disturbed her sleep. She looked around the room, before identifying the source of the sound.
A bird at her window.

She jumped out of bed, rushing over to the window, unlocking the latch and pulling the glass open. The bird flew in, landing on her bed before transforming into a haggard and exhausted looking man.

“Qrow,” Winter said softly, taking a small step towards him.

“Hey Win,” He said, pushing himself to his feet. Winter took another step forward, until she could reach out and touch him. And she did.

She slapped him.
“Where the hell… have you been?” she asked, her voice shaking. She went to slap him again, but Qrow caught her hand.

“I’m sorry.” His voice was weak, his face lined with worry and age. Winter’s hand faltered, and she wrapped her arms around him, pent up tears spilling from her eyes as she collapsed against him.

“I’m sorry.” He repeated, over and over as he held her. “I lost them all. The Grimm had destroyed the town when I got there. I’m so sorry.”

“I thought I lost you,”

Qrow just hugged her tightly, pulling back just enough to see her face. He was happy to see her lack of contact lenses, her hair falling out of it’s bun and into her face. She looked like herself, and that was what he needed to see right now.

He kissed her. He kissed her softly and sweetly and again and again and again.

“I love you,” She whispered, as though someone would hear the Schnee confessing her love to the Huntsman  

“I love you too.” He choked out. “Stay with me?”
“I promise,”

He hugged her close, like she was the only lifeline he had, and they both went to bed, sleeping easier knowing the other was holding them.

Chapter Text

“Have you lost your damn mind?!”
“Can you please calm down.”
“No I can’t fucking calm down! What the hell is wrong with you?!”
“Shut up!” Winter snapped, clutching her head in her hands, sitting on the messy bed. Qrow breathed heavily, pacing back and forth on her side of the bed.

“How… how could you not tell me?”
“There wasn’t time.”
“Did you even try?”
“… I knew you would try to stop me.” She admitted softly.
“Damn right I would have. You could have been killed! Mountain Glen was abandoned for a reason Winter. Why would you take that job?”

“It was just extraction-”

“It didn’t end up just being extraction did it? You almost died.”
“It comes with the job Qrow. You can’t say you didn’t have any close calls in Vacuo.”
“That’s different. We said we’d talk about these kinds of jobs.”
“There wasn’t time,” She repeated firmly.

Qrow exhaled, rubbing his face. He walked over, sitting on the end of the bed.

“How could you not tell me?” He said softly.

“I’m sorry.” She apologised honestly. “I should have told you. I suppose having someone care where I am, is taking a while to set in.”

Qrow turned to look at her. Her abdomen was still covered in bandages, she had a scar above her left eyebrow that ran into her hairline, and her left eye was covered in bandaged. Her aura was at a low, even days later and she was still recovering.

“Well, you had better get used to it. And if Ironwood wants to send anyone else to on crazy suicide missions in some desperate attempt to gain points with Vale he can send his own goddamn army.” Qrow could feel himself getting closer and closer to the day he snapped and tried to kill the bastard. For all his talk of loyalty and teamwork he didn’t seem to have any reservations when it came to sending a woman he had known her entire life to her death.

‘Fine,” She sighed, touching her stomach with a grimace. She reached up, carefully pulling the tape holding the bindings to the right side of her face.

“Here, let me,” Qrow said, moving to sit beside her, carefully pulling off the tape.

“How bad is it?” Winter asked, blinking rapidly as her eye adjusted to the light.
“Some scarring. You’re lucky you weren’t closer to the explosion. How’s your sight?”
“Surprisingly clear.”

Qrow raised a hand, carefully brushing his thumb over her cheek.
“I truly am sorry, Qrow,” She apologised.

“I know. Just, promise you won’t do anything that reckless again.”

Winter raised an eyebrow incredulously, and Qrow gave a small smile. “Yeah, I suppose that’s asking a lot. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Please don’t try and get yourself killed again.”
“I promise to not actively try to get myself killed.”
“That’s all I ask.”
He kissed her. Their first kiss since he’d left for Vacuo a month ago, and it felt nice not to be angry or scared or frustrated, and just to hold her, to just not miss her anymore.

Everything had seemed so terrible it the moment, the paralysing thought of losing her, the helplessness of not being there to save her, but the euphoric rush of having her safe in his arms after it was all over jolted all other emotions out of his system. He figured he could manage the unease and turmoil, so long as she could give him the relief of an ‘Afterwards’.

Chapter Text

Something no one ever told Winter about becoming a Huntress was the emotional toll a mission could take on you, even a successful on. Undercover missions were particularly difficult for her; the act of pretending to be someone she wasn’t had riddled her childhood, and the just the thought made her uncomfortable, whoever she was supposed to be lingered in the back of her mind for days afterwards.

Luckily, being the daughter of one of the most well-known families in Atlas, undercover missions weren’t a frequency for her.

Unfortunately, that didn’t mean they were off the table, and occasionally there was a mission that called for her special skill set.

Her current mission, for example, required the fact she was tall and fast.

The brown contacts, black and green wig and uncomfortable tight emerald gown made her hate this girl even more. Winter gave a small kick to her unconscious body as she went to meet their mole in the foyer.

“You look wonderful,” Petyr said appraisingly, looking her up and down. Winter barely refrained from breaking the arm he offered her.

“What a creep,” Qrow said in her ear as he led her into the shady ballroom.

“Wait a minute. Are you jealous?” Winter asked, “of this creep?”

She received no reply.

Winter tried not to smile at the running commentary as she surveyed the room filled with some of the worst criminals Remnant had to offer.

“Come along my love, shall we dance?” Petyr asked, leading her to the dance floor.

“Of course,” She answered with a forced smile and a noticeable Vacuoan accent. The song was upbeat enough to keep them moving and give her a clear view of the targets, but slow enough that she had to threaten to break Petyr’s hand if he put it that low again.

“I have to say red really suits you.” Petyr commented, his eyes dropping to her crimson lips.

“You’re just begging to have your ass kicked you know that, don’t you?” Winter told him. He just smiled.

The door by a marble pillar in the back caught her eye. She felt better knowing Qrow had her back.

“Should we join them love?” Petyr asked in her ear.

“Lets,” Winter said, gripping his wrist and leading the way over to the door. She flashed a sweet smile at the men standing guard, and they opened it for her, letting her pass through.  

“Jade, my dear!” the man at the head of the table, a tall, stocky, dark skinned man in his fifties greeted Winter warmly, completely ignoring Petyr. “It’s so wonderful to see you again my dear.”

“Likewise, Chiron.”
“Please, join us,” He gestured to the poker table. Five other people were already seated, and Winter took a seat beside Chiron, opposite Qrow.

“This is my associate Jade Les. My dear Jade, this is Qrow Branwen, a member of Ozpin’s inner circle we’re excited to bring into the fold.”
Winter tried to look impressed whilst being annoyed. She had to go undercover and this dumbass used his real name? “A pleasure Mr Branwen.”
“Likewise,” Qrow grinned, winking at her. Petyr put his hand on her thigh and she almost broke it for real.

“So then,” Chiron said pleasantly, “Let’s get to business.”

“That could have been handled better.” Winter said as the EMT’s patched them up.

“I hate arms dealers,” Qrow muttered. He hissed in pain as the Faunus medic pressed too hard on his bullet wound.
“God that hurt.” Petyr moaned in pain from the ambulance beside them.

“Why are you complaining you weren’t even inside?” Qrow asked.

“It wasn’t the arms dealers,” Winter clarified. Qrow looked over at her, laughing. He reached over, carefully pulling her wig off.
“You’re amazing.” He said, leaning down to kiss her. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

“I missed you so much”

 

 

Winter but her hand on the doorknob, taking a moment to rest against the wooden door. Her back was killing her, and her hand was cramping, and she felt like death but she put every last bit of energy into turning the handle and pushing open the door, walking into the cold house, throwing her duffle onto the floor. It had been four months, four goddamn months, since Winter had been there, and on top of that, she was seven hours late. It was still dark outside.

 Kicking the door shut behind her, Winter mad her way upstairs to the bedroom, where she found three sleeping forms sprawled across her bed. With a tired smile, Winter stripped off her coat, gloves, boots and sword and sat on the edge of the bed.

Qrow lay diagonally across the messy bed, a pillow half under his head and the blanket over his left foot. A small figure was cuddled against his side, and a smaller one lay across his chest.

She leaned over, pressing a light kiss against Qrow’s lips. Almost immediately, Qrow’s bleary eyes blinked open, and he smiled wearily up at her.
“Hi love,”

“Hello,” She smiled back, blinking away tears of happiness.

Qrow shifted to sit up, pressing their son close to his chest so he wouldn’t wake up. It was an irrational worry – Wren could sleep through anything – but Qrow liked having the toddler so close.
“I missed you,” Qrow said, pulling her into a deeper kiss.
“I missed you too.” Winter said, hugging him, careful not to wake Wren. “I missed you so much,”
Wren started to fuss, and Qrow handed him over to his mother. Khione was still fast asleep on the other side of the bed, and Qrow carefully lifted her up into his arms so Winter could see her. The little girl shifted, yawned, and opened her eyes, glaring up at Qrow for disturbing her sleep, before noticing her mother.

“Mummy!” Khione squealed excitedly, suddenly wide awake, lunging into her mother’s arms. Winter was careful to avoid having her daughter crush her son.

“Hello darling.”
“I missed you so much mummy.”
“I missed you too darling.”
“Daddy said we could wait up for you but we all fell asleep.”
“I can see that,” Winter laughed softly, shifting a fussing Wren in her arms. The three-year-old yawned and whined and opened his eyes, looking up at his mother. The usually docile little boy immediately burst into squeals and chatter that could rival his sister, hugging Winter’s neck so tightly it hurt. Winter had to be careful not to hug back as tightly.
“I missed you so much,” She answered the ramblings. “I missed you all.”

 

Let me know what you think :)

Chapter Text

The mission was a simple In-and-out to remove the queen of a Lancer from a small settlement to a safe location to destroy with the explosives and specialists Winter had enlisted for this job. Winter suspected Ironwoods insisted upon having the job cleared up ASAP had less to do with innocent lives being harassed and taken and more to do with the fact the Grimm nest had taken up residence close to their military route.

Unfortunately, things went to hell.

Fortunately, an unexpected helping hand showed up.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was Qrow.

“What the hell were you doing here?” Winter demanded of her kinda-sorta-maybe-not-not boyfriend after all the commotion ad died down and they were docked by a lake.

“I guess I can’t stay away from you Ice Queen.” He said with a grin and a wink. Winter glared down at him as he emptied the water out of his boots, pretending her cheeks weren’t growing warm.

“That’s not funny. Why are you here?”
“There’s a swarm of Nevermore’s about five kilometres East of here.” Qrow said, standing up, pulling out his scroll to show her, “Surveillance revealed a military ship heading this way with twenty Lancer’s on their tail. Figured I should give them a hand, so you didn’t kill me if you found out I was here and didn’t help.”

Winter crossed her arms, shifting her feet slightly. “Oh. Well, thank you.”
Qrow slipped his scroll into his pocket, picking up his Scythe. “And you know,” He leaned forward, whispering in her ear, “I really can’t stay away from you.”

Winter definitely blushed that time, glancing around to make sure none of the others had seen them. Last thing she needed was an interrogation when she didn’t have any answers.

Qrow pressed a kiss to Winters soft cheek, giving her a wink. “See you around Winter,” He grinned, disappearing, the only trace of him left was a black feather and a slowly disappearing puddle of water in the dirt. And the feeling of his warm lips on the side of her face.

Chapter Text

 

Winter let out a squeal as Qrow wrapped his arms around her waist, picking her up and falling into the lake behind them.

“Qrow!” She cried as she broke through the water.

Qrow laughed, pushing himself back in the water as his angry girlfriend splashed him.

“What the hell was that?”
“You looked overheated,” Qrow offered weakly, spitting out water.

“You’re an idiot,” She shook her head, climbing out of the water. It was a cool night, so the odds of her clothes drying themselves anytime soon weren’t good, even in Vacuo. Qrow climbed out with her, and she pushed him back in. He laughed, lying in the shallow water, looking up at the sky.

“What’s so funny?” Winter asked, taking off her boots.

“You,”

Winter shook her head. “You make me so angry sometimes.” She muttered.

“You make me so happy,” Qrow replied, “all the time.”

“See!” Winter snapped. “I’m trying to be mad at you. Don’t say things like that.”
Qrow got up, walking over and sitting beside her, looking at her.

“What?” Winter asked, drying her loose hair.

“I love you.” Qrow said blankly, like he hadn’t just put everything they had at risk.

“What?” she asked lamely.

“You make me happy. I love you.”

Winter stared at him with her jaw slightly dropped.

“Now would be a really good time for you to say something.” Qrow said after a painfully long moment of silence.

“I… I love you too.” She said.
“Oh thank God. I mean, thank you. I-” he looked away, covering his face in his hands. Winter bit her lip, trying not to laugh. She reached over and took Qrow’s hand that wasn’t covering up his shame. He peaked at her through his fingers.

“You’re an idiot.” She said with a small smile, “And I love you too.”

Qrow smiled, slowly removing his hand from his face. Winter grinned, leaning forward, cupping his face and kissing him.

“I love you too.”

 

Thanks to everyone who commented! it means a lot. 

Chapter Text

“Have you had a bath?”
“Yes.”
“…Heat pack?”
“Yes.”

“Painkiller?”
“Yes, Qrow,”
“Uh….”

“Stop worrying, Qrow,” Winter said, pushing his scroll down on the bed. 
“No, you’re in pain there has to be something we haven’t tried.”

“It’s not that bad.”
“You were thrown against a street pole. You almost broke your back you’re lucky you’re still alive.” Qrow said, getting worked up.

“Okay, calm down. What else does the list say?” Winter asked, shuffling to sit right next to him in bed. Qrow pulled up the list of possible remedies on the website he had found. 

“I… Do you…. well… I could give you a massage? If you want?” Qrow offered, somewhat awkwardly. Winter tried not to smile and her boyfriends awkward approach and the absolute domesticity of the offer.

“Alright.”
“Really?” Qrow asked, surprised.

“Yes.”
“Okay.”
Winter tied up her hair, took off the t-shirt she had stolen from Qrow to sleep in, leaving her in her sports bra, moving to sit so Qrow could start. He was surprisingly good at working the stress and tension out of her muscles. The mix of pain, pleasure, and having him so close helped her relax.

“Does that feel better?” Qrow asked after a few minutes. 
“Mm,” Winter hummed in agreement. Qrow was careful not to press too hard on her scars, even ones long healed. Qrow could tell the minute Winter fell asleep; her breathing evened out, and her muscles relaxed even further. He pressed a kiss against her shoulder and laid back down on his side of the bed, pulling the blankets up over them. As he was about to fall asleep, he felt Winter roll over and curl up against him.

“Might have to keep you around,” She muttered, half asleep.

Qrow chuckled, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her forehead. “I’m glad you found a use for me.”
Winter didn’t answer, just snuggling closer into his chest.

Chapter Text

Qrow wrapped his arm arms around Winter, holding her close against his chest as she stared blankly off into space. 

“Are you gonna be okay?” He asked, running his fingers through her hair. Winter shrugged, and Qrow hugged her tighter. It had been Winter’s idea to make an attempt to reconcile with her mother after Weiss had informed them the Schnee matriarch had been sober for four months and had reached out to Weiss and Whitley. Even so, Qrow couldn’t help but feel guilty, remembering his encouragement and support that drove her to visit her estranged mother. 

The meeting had gone horribly right from the start, and had only gotten worse when Winter mentioned she was leaving the military and dating Qrow -another reason for Qrow to feel terrible - and ended with the two screaming at each other until Winter stormed out. Winter had called him sobbing on the way home and he had ditched the prep for his meeting with his bosses to meet her at her apartment.

Qrow’s scroll vibrated on the coffee table and he ignored it. he was due to meet Ozpin and Ironwood soon, and no doubt Glynda was trying to hunt him down. 

“Is that important?” Winter asked reluctantly. “I don’t want to be alone right now.” 
Qrow kissed the top of her head, gently stroking her back. “No, it’s not important,” he reached over, turning off his scroll. 

Chapter Text

“You’ve been Quiet,”

Qrow looked up at Winter, snapped out of his haze at her words. He hadn’t even realised he had been staring at her.

“What do you mean?”
“Mistral usually makes you chatty.”
“Does it?”

“Yes. You didn’t stop talking the whole time we were in town.”

“Didn’t I?”
“No. Are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” She shrugged. And he was. He felt absolutely fine. The couple sat in a field outside of the capital for a quiet moment together in the afternoon, a fleeting escape from the usually action-packed time they spent together, as though they were trying to jam in as many dates as they could in the small amount of downtime they had.

Winter turned back to her glyph and the small bird she had conjured up jumping around. Qrow went back to staring at her. He couldn’t believe she was his girlfriend. His proper girlfriend he got to kiss and go on dates with and, well… Love.

“Hey,” He said, sitting up.

Winter looked over at him and he kissed her. His hand slipping into her hair, stroking her cheek with his thumb. The kiss broke gently, resting their foreheads together.

“What was that for?” Winter asked softly.

“Because I can,” Qrow said, pressing another soft kiss to her lips before lying back down in the grass. Winter smiled, turning back to the glyphs, pretending she wasn’t blushing.

Chapter Text

“So how did you too meet?”

Qrow hated that stupid question. Why did everyone need to know their history? He wanted to tell everyone to mind their own business. Unfortunately, Ruby was the one asking, so he couldn’t avoid the question.

“Yeah, I don’t think I ever heard that story either,” Weiss added, handing Ruby her coffee, taking a seat beside Ruby. Whitley sat at the table doing his homework, but even he looked up at the question.

Qrow turned his attention to his newborn daughter, avoiding eye contact, refusing to acknowledge the question. Winter sat beside him on the lounge, smiling as she tucked her now short white hair behind her ear. Their first meeting was the only ‘Drunk Qrow’ story she enjoyed.

“Well,” Winter started, and sighed, resigning himself to his fate.

 

 

 

Eight years ago, Mistral

Qrow stumbled against the bar, blinking against the oncoming dizziness. Where was the goddamn liaison? If they didn’t get here soon he was gonna pass out.

Rain poured down outside but Qrow was one of only three occupants of the small tavern, which made the door banging open all the more noticeable. Qrow spun around, landing on his stool as he spotted the men who had walked in. Three tall men, two some kind of Faunus with noticeable horns protruding from their faces walked in, water dripping from their cloaks. Qrow turned back to the bar, grabbing his drink to down it, only to discover it was empty.

“Hey, top me up,” He called to the bartender, consciously trying to avoid slurring his words.

“Three beers!” called the human man as the trio reached the bar. The bartender grabbed the whiskey to refill Qrow order first, and the other man slapped his hand down on the bar.

“Hey. Sweetheart. Three beers.”
“Just a moment sir,” The young woman said, pouring Qrow’s drink.

“What’s a guy gotta do to get a goddamn drink?”

“Hey asshole, she’ll be there in a second.” Qrow snapped. The bartender looked between the two as the bar fell silent.

“Excuse me?”

“Just let it go Gabe,” the Faunus with dark gold hair said, putting a hand on his companion’s arm.

“No,” Gabe said, ripping his arm away. “What did you say?”
“I said, wait half a second and she’ll get you your fucking drink, asshole. What are you gonna do about it?”
Gabe took a swing which Qrow easily dodged, shoving him to the floor. He stumbled slightly, and got a bat to the face from the second Faunus for his troubles.

“Gabe lets get the fuck out of here,” The first Faunus said, grabbing the unconscious man from the floor and dragging him out of the tavern. The second Faunus kicked Qrow in the ribs before following his buddies out.

“Stay down.”
Qrow pushed himself to his knees, looking over at the only other customer in the bar, a young woman with black hair sitting at a table by the window. She was pretty, with bright green eyes Qrow could make out through his blurry vision, and black hair braided over her right shoulder. Her clothing was mostly covered by a dark blue coat, but he could see her sword and lovely figure anyway.

“Fight me you attractive stranger!” he slurred loudly. The girl raised an eyebrow, standing up. She walked over to Qrow and offered a hand.
“Let me help you back to your room.”
Qrow gave her a suspicious look but allowed her to pull him up and guide him upstairs to his room. Once inside Qrow collapsed onto his bed.

“Is this some kind of joke?” he heard her say. He sat up, only to fall back down as a sharp slap was delivered to his face. He looked up again, his vision suddenly clearer.

The girl was young, her pretty features now twisted in disgust.

“Who are you?” He asked, getting angry.

“General Ironwood sent me.” She said, walking over to close the blinds. Qrow watched as she removed her coat, then her hair.

“Um, what?”

White hair spilled from underneath the wig, and green eyes now shone a pale silvery blue.

“He sent me to extract you after you missed the transport. I was hoping you were just injured.”
“Thanks.” Qrow muttered. “What does Jimmy want?”
“The General wanted to make sure you were still alive.”
“I’m sure my safety was his first priority.”

“It’s not my business why he sent me here. I just need to do my job,”
“Wow he’s got you little toy soldiers trained well doesn’t he?”
Winter glared at him. “Stay down Branwen.”

Qrow grinned. “Yeah, you’ll figure out soon enough that advice doesn’t work on me.”
Winter scoffed as she tied up her hair, putting her wig back on. “As soon as you’re on the airship we’re done. I don’t work with idiots.”
“Thanks.” Qrow said, closing his eyes. He heard her walk over to the door and leave the room.

Winter stopped outside the door, taking a deep breath.

What an idiot

 

 

Ruby laughed at the story. Weiss shook her head, rolling her eyes but smiled nonetheless. Whitley was looking at them like they were crazy.

“Not exactly love at first sight then,” Weiss commented.

“Not exactly,” Winter agreed. “But it’ll be a good story for Khione one day.”
Qrow shared a smile with Winter.

Their story might not be one of ‘Love at first sight’. He saw what ‘Love at first sight’ did to Tai with Raven.  He didn’t believe in fairy tales, but he believed in Winter, and their daughter and their family. That was close enough for him.

 

 

“How did we go this long without telling anyone how we met?” Winter asked that night as they got ready for bed.

“Luck,” Qrow answered, wrapping Khione in her blankets, putting her down in the crib Weiss had bought for when they came over. Winter walked over, sitting on the bed beside Qrow.

“Are you mad at me?” She asked.

“No,” He grinned, wrapping his arm around her and kissing her. “I love you Jade.”
“Don’t call me that,” Winter rolled her eyes.

Qrow chuckled. “Kiss me you attractive stranger.”
Winter shook her head and kissed him. “Idiot.”

Chapter Text

When Qrow awoke, he awoke in darkness. The only source of light was a crack in the blinds, that happen to fall directly over his eyes.

“Fuck off,” he muttered, his voice raspy and broken. Shifting until he was out of the way of the line of light, raising a hand to rub his eyes. With clearer sight he looked around the room. He was in a bed, the blanket around his waist so he could see the bandaged wrapped around his chest. The memories were coming back

A fight, in the forest.

A nest of Grimm.

Winter.

Getting slashed across the chest by a Death Stalker stinger.

The wound ached, and he clutched his chest. Breathing heavily, he waited until the pain passed before going limp with relief.

He heard a sound to his left and turned his head. As his eyes finally adjusted to the darkness he could make out a figure in the chair beside his bed. Winter. She was fast asleep, curled up on the small, no doubt uncomfortable chair. What was she doing here?

“Win,” He was cut off by a sudden coughing fit. It stirred Winter from her sleep, and she awoke, looking over at him.

“Qrow, are you okay? How do you feel?” She asked, wiping her eyes. He heard her back crack as she moved and wandered how long she had been there.

“How long was I out?”
“It’s been almost a week.” She told him, grabbing a bottle of water and offering it to him. She helped him sit up and he took it, downing most of it.

“How do you feel? Do you need the doctor?”
Qrow shook his head no. “It actually doesn’t hurt that much.” He looked over at her. “What are you doing here? I thought Ironwood was sending a ship to extract you as soon as the mission was over.”
“I… missed that ship,” She said, brushing her messy hair back.

“Yeah? How did Jimmy feel about that?”

“I haven’t heard from him.”
Qrow looked over at her, frowning. “Seriously?”
Winter looked at him. “Qrow, you almost died.”

He was surprised to see the pain in her glassy eyes. Their breakup hadn’t exactly been civil; in fact, Qrow had spent most of the last six weeks in more pain that he had ever given another person to inflict upon him. The absence of someone in his life hadn’t hurt him like that since Summer died.

“Didn’t know you’d miss me so much,” He muttered sarcastically.

“Of course I would miss you, you idiot. I…” She pursed her lips, looking over at the crack in the blind. I haven’t forgotten about you yet. I can’t.”
Qrow blinked dumbly in surprise. Winter sighed, seeing his expression.

“I know my pride was a significant factor in our break up. And I’m sorry. It’s hard for me to trust people and that wasn’t fair on you.”
Qrow nodded slowly, taking in her words. “I forgive you. And I’m sorry too. I was an ass.”
“No you weren’t.”
“Yeah I was.”
“Yeah, you were,” Winter relented with a small smile. Qrow smiled back at her, reaching out to take her hand. Winter gave it to him, squeezing gently.
“I miss you,”

“I miss you too,” She replied softly. “I never thought this would hurt so much.”
“Me neither. So how do we stop it hurting?”
“Drinking hasn’t been working?” Winter paused, biting her lip. “I’m sorry, that was… bitchy.”
“I haven’t ben drinking.” Qrow admitted.
“Really?”
“Really. I uh, didn’t want to upset you. As stupid as it sounds.”
“It’s not stupid.” Winter assured him softly, rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand. “I’m glad you’re taking better care of yourself.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re a good influence on me.”
Winter gave him a smile, looking down at their hands.

“I don’t know if I can do this anymore,” She said, meeting his eye. She had tears in her own, her lip trembling. “Seeing you and… When the Death Stalker got you. I haven’t been that scared in years. You have a power over me, and I don’t know what to do.”
A tear fell, and he took his hand from her, reaching up to wipe it away.

“We should try it again.”
“What?”

“Us. We should try again. I want to be with you, and I’m willing to try however many times it takes to get it right.”
Winter considered the words for a long time, long enough that he started to worry.

“Do you really think it could be that easy?”
“I don’t see why not. It can’t be anymore painful than how we’re living now.”
Winter gave a short, breathy laugh. “Well you aren’t wrong.”

“So what do you say? Do you wanna go out with me?”
Winter smiled, truly smiled, and nodded. “Okay,”
Qrow grinned back at her, tugging her hand so she sat on the bed. He sat up enough to pull her forward gently into a kiss.

“Do you think we’ll last?” Winter asked him.

“Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s gonna be a hell of a time til we find out.”

Winter stroked his cheek, leaning in for a kiss that just about pulled the air out of his lungs.

His chest suddenly didn’t hurt so much as she was pressed against it.

Chapter Text

“We bet, and you lost so you have to do it.”
“No.”
“We had a deal. You now you would have made we keep my end of the bargain if you hadn’t failed so miserably.”
“I can’t hear you Winter,”
Winter rolled her eyes, ripping the pillow away from Qrow’s head. “Show me.”
“No.” He repeated, his voice muffled by the mattress he had his face pressed into.

“If you don’t I’m going to ask Tai and you know he will.”
Qrow lifted his head from the pillow – his hair messier than usual – to look at his triumphant fiancée. Winter had already showered and changed and stood at the side of the bed in her shorts and pyjama shirt she had stolen from Qrow.

“Give me my shirt back,”

“Show me.”
Qrow narrowed his eyes and pouted. “Fine.” He pushed himself up on the bed, walking over to the chest in the bottom of the wardrobe where he kept all the mementos and trinkets he didn’t want to see but couldn’t bear to lose. He put in the combination and opened the box.

The picture was on the top of the pile, having recently been put in there by Tai to ensure he held up his end of the bargain. He moved back to the bed and Winter climbed over from her side to side behind him. Qrow handed the picture to her over his shoulder, and dropped his head into his hands.

“Oh my God. Oh my god!” Winter fell down on the bed, laughing as she looked at the picture.

“It’s not funny Winter.”
“Are you kidding? This is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” She said, shaking with laughter. Qrow looked over at her and couldn’t help but smile a bit. He had never seen her laugh so hard. He felt somewhat proud at the reaction, even if he had had to sacrifice his dignity to evoke it.

The picture Winter held was of Qrow at seventeen, his face red with embarrassment and anger and annoyance. Summer could be seen off in the background, a pillow pressed to her face to supress her laughter. Qrow stood, wearing the beacon school uniform for the first time.

The girls school uniform, that is.

“How did they convince you to wear it?” Winter asked, looking up at him with tears in her eyes.

“Lies.”
Winter laughed again.

“They told me it was a kilt. I’d never seen a uniform before okay!” he exclaimed as Winter buried her face in the pillow to laugh at him. “You’re so mean to me.”

 

“I love you.” She said, lifting her head and smiling at him. Qrow tried to stay mad at her, but ended up smiling as well. She reached over and took his hand, “Thank you for sharing your terrible picture.”
“You’re welcome. Please don’t tell anyone.”
“I won’t, I promise,”

He laid down beside her, his head on the pillow beside her.

“I love you.”
“I love you too.”

He rolled to his side, leaning over and kissing her.

“You’re so beautiful when you laugh.”

Pink glowed on Winter’s cheeks as she rolled her eyes, looking away. Qrow leaned forward again, kissing her softly, again, and again, and again.

“So I guess I’ve learned my lesson not to make a bet against you,” he said softly, their noses almost touching.
“Smart boy.”

He wrapped his arms around her, cuddling her close.

“Qrow?”
“Yeah?”
“Can I frame the picture?”
“Don’t push your luck.”
Winter grinned, tucking her head under his chin. The picture lay on the edge of the bed. Winter made mental note to return it to Tai before Qrow had a chance to destroy it.

Chapter Text

The night had been amazing. After months of flirting and lovestruck glances when the other wasn’t looking Qrow had finally put everything on the line and asked Winter out on a proper date. Dinner had seemed a bit too… normal for them at first, but Summer quickly assured him it would be a perfect first date.

“You can end it quickly or drag it out and it’ll give you two a chance to talk properly,” Summer rationalised, straightening up his black dress shirt. “And don’t stress; it makes your semblance flare up. Tell her she looks nice. But don’t say ‘nice’ too much; use other words. Don’t stare at her. Start by talking about something you’re both comfortable with. Don’t go straight into the personal stuff.”
Qrow looked over at Tai for translation.

“Tell her she looks pretty and act like you do at School.”
 

Qrow did what he was told; telling her she looked beautiful in her blue dress with her white hair down over her shoulders. She was so pretty. They spoke about the more annoying kids in their classes and Qrow’s adventures in babysitting his niece. He found out she liked the James Bond films and travelling, the first book that made her cry was ‘When Marnie was there’ and she had wanted to be a teacher like her grandmother for as long as she could remember.

He filed those bit of information away, running over them in his head as he drove her home and walked her up to her apartment.

“I had a nice time tonight,” Winter said when they reached her door.

“Yeah, me too.” He agreed, scratching the back of his neck. Why didn’t Tai and Summer say something about the end of the night? What did he do now?

“Do, uh, you need a lift to school tomorrow?” He asked.

“If you don’t mind,” Winter agreed, both aware her car was perfectly fine, and it was just an excuse to spend time together.
“So…”
“So,’ Winter repeated, “can I ask you something?”

“Sure,”

“Why haven’t you kissed me yet?”

Something about the way she said it made him feel at ease, and he leaned forward, closing the distance between them. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she rested her hands on his chest as one kiss became two and three and four until they lost count, finally breaking apart for air.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” He said breathlessly, almost as though he was reassuring himself.
Winter nodded, “Goodnight Qrow,” She stepped inside her apartment. As soon as the door shut behind her Qrow broke out in a massive grin, sauntering back to his car. He couldn’t wait to see her again.

Chapter Text

“The way I feel when I’m with you… I’ve never felt that way before. I never thought  I would feel this way for someone.”
“How do you feel?”
“I… I love you,”
Qrow grinned, warmth spreading from his chest to the rest of his body. “I love you too.” His breath fogged in the cold Atlasian air. Winter looked up at him; the falling snowflakes landing in her hair, barely distinguishable from her hair, her eyes wide in surprise. 

“I love you,” He repeated, “and you’re really cute when you blush,”
“Shut up,” She shoved his chest, her rosy red cheeks growing darker in embarrassment. Qrow chuckled, stepping back to her and wrapping his arms around her. Winter hugged him back, resting her head on his chest. 

“I love you,” she said, her voice muffled into his chest. 

Qrow hugged her back. “Atlas is always so much warmer with you,” He said, resting his head on her hair, feeling the snowflakes melt against his cheek. “Like my personal hot water bottle.” 

He felt Winter laugh, then realized she was trembling. 

“Are you okay?” He asked. 

Winter shrugged slightly. “I didn’t- I didn’t know if you would say it back.” She admitted. 

“Of course I was going to say it back; because you make me feel exactly the same.”