Ruby was somewhere very different than what she was used to. She was resting in a bed, but it was not hers. She looked around at her surroundings, and they were not her dorm’s. She was dressed down, but she was not in her own pajamas. From what she could tell, the article of clothing that was on her person was a nightgown, a fairly flimsy one at that. The fabric brushed softly against her skin as she removed her body from the bed.
The last Ruby could remember was that she and her team were in the school library. Even though they were attending a school that bred Huntsmen and Huntresses, there were still essay assignments. Time that they could use to take down Grimm, and the professors wanted them to flip through old dusty books.
Yang was carrying an especially tall stack of books, until she deposited them carelessly onto their group table, agitating the dust. Both Weiss and Ruby started to cough from accidentally inhaling the fuming particles, Blake’s bow slightly twitched at the mistreatment of such important tomes.
After she recovered, Weiss skeptically picked out one book from the pile in particular. It was fairly old, leather bound, worn, and definitely not the subject they were suppose to be researching.
“Vytal’s Fairy Tales?” Ruby asked while Weiss simply had raised eyebrows. She handed the book to Ruby, who seemed instantly interested in the thick book.
“I just grabbed anything that looked heavy and ancient,” Yang shrugged.
“Half of these books aren’t even related to our topic!” Weiss couldn’t help but hiss at her teammate.
“Then just give them to me and I’ll make another round,” Yang confidently advised.
“It’ll take forever to gather enough information,” Weiss countered.
“You just don’t want to actually start,” Blake pointed out.
Yang gave her a wink and stuck out her tongue, “Guess you found me out! Since it’s already too late to fix my mistake, I might as well go back.”
“This time with books we need?” the snow haired teen reminded the blonde.
“Yes, princess,” Yang rolled her eyes.
“Can we keep this one please? It looks interesting,” Ruby said, jumping up and down in her seat. The book of fiction was raised up above her head, basking in the afternoon light that was seeping through the windows.
“Aren’t you a bit too old for children stories, sis?”
“I don’t mind,” Blake voiced her opinion.
The blonde shrugged, “Suit yourself,” she said before trodding off yet again with an armful of books.
“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” Weiss asked.
“I can handle it,” the blonde waved as she disappeared around a bookshelf’s corner.
“Ooh, ooh, can we read one while we wait?” Ruby eagerly asked.
“I don’t see why not,” Blake smiled in reply. Weiss was also interested, not that she would admit it. I mean, with that much work put into the binding of the book, it couldn’t be half bad, could it?
“That’s an awfully lot of stories packed in there,” Weiss commented, peering over her leader’s shoulders. They were skimming the table of contents, deciding on which story to read. Something interesting, as well as short so that they would actually be able to finish before the day is over.
“Wow, there’s even more than one volume of these!” Ruby whistled.
“That one looks interesting,” Blake was about to point at the story that captured her interest, when there was a shout from afar that caught their attention.
“You nimwit!” a male voice sounded. Hearing the commotion, the girls looked up, only to see a canister of dust hurtling towards them.
“Save the books!” Blake reacted immediately. She tried to gather as much in her arms as she could while Weiss pinched the bridge of her nose. Not again.
The canister, as expected, exploded on impact. Dust scattered across the entire surface of the table, covering several books in its glory. And to much of Weiss and Blake’s dismay, Ruby’s started to react to the powder that lingered in front of her nose.
“Ahh-,” she began.
“I mean it’s not red dust,” Weiss tried to reason.
“-aah-,” Ruby continued.
“So I mean, we’re not going to explode or anything, right?”
“-ah-.” The snow haired heiress found herself covering Ruby’s mouth. It seemed to calm Ruby’s sensitive nose down a bit. Weiss and Blake both sighed a breath of relief. Weiss slowly took her hand away.
“Right?” she asked her faunus friend one last time before the inevitable happened.
A blinding light followed afterwards. And then a blackout. And now this. Ruby found herself looking for Crescent Rose, only to realize that she didn’t have it with her. It was still in her locker, tucked safely away. The young teen groaned as she slumped back onto the bed, elbows resting on her knees, hands grasping at her hair. Her scroll had no signal, either. Typical.
A muffled sound alerted the RWBY leader to another prescence on the premises. There was no knock on the door, but Ruby instantly shifted into battle mode. Although she was weaponless, Ruby was still a formidable opponent. She was after all, stronger and faster than your average fifteen year old female. The door was opened to reveal a young woman, either in her late 20’s or early 30’s, that entered with a tray of a small water basin and two cotton towels.
“Oh, you’re awake, Red,” the woman greeted Ruby with genuine surprise. The girl in turn slowly lowered her stance back to normal. She looked harmless enough, so far.
“Red?” Ruby asked.
“Oh, you were wearing that red cloak of yours. We couldn’t just call you ‘that girl’ or ‘the unconscious one’,” the woman smiled as she walked over to Ruby’s bedside table. She dipped one of the towels into the basin, reaching out with her other arm as if she was waiting to be given something. The teen withdrew her arms even further away from the woman’s.
“I can wash myself,” Ruby stated, still on high guard.
“Fair enough, we are strangers.”
“Yes, you and I,” the woman replied.
“No. Earlier, what you said before. How ‘we’ couldn’t just call you that girl or whatever. Who’s we?”
“Oh!” the woman’s eyes lit up, as if she just figured out the meaning of life. “Me, my husband. The family next door, the baker down the lane...everyone in town, really.” Now Ruby, as of now, is simply dumbfounded. She’s confused. Weirded out. How could everyone in a town know about her?
“Okay, maybe not the whole town. The neighborhood basically. It’s not everyday that your husband stumbles across a young girl that’s alone and out in the woods in the middle of the night,” the woman continued to talk. Right now, it might as well be considered a ramble, “You were breathing, so we reckoned you weren’t dead. But you didn’t wake up for days. We had a doctor look at you, and he simply stated your body was just resting. That must have been one big...whatever you did out there to get your body in such a state.”
“Days? How many, specifically?” Ruby asked.
“Almost a week, actually. Six. Days, not weeks.” Six days? The essay was due three days ago!
“This can’t be happening,” the teen whispered under her breath. “I need to get back to Beacon soon. I’ll just take my leave now.” Ruby was about to turn and leave for the door when she noticed the sheer look of confusion on the woman’s face. “Beacon Academy?” Ruby tried once again to explain herself. Her only reply was the blank look the woman stared back at her with.
“...Are we still in Vale?”
“Vytal?” panic was starting to set into Ruby’s heart.
“Remnant?” Ruby tried one last time before the woman started to click her tongue.
“Oh you poor thing, you must have hit your head or something. Your mind is still a bit hazy,” the woman worryingly said. She guided Ruby to sit on the bed. Because of the pure panic and fear instilled into her body, Ruby obliged and allowed herself to be guided by the woman. “Now I can’t say if I ever heard of any of those countries, I think it’s best to stay rested until you remember where you are.”
“Hint, please?” Ruby asked meekly.
“Now that would be cheating, would it not?” the woman joked. But Ruby didn’t find it funny. Even if she was in a different region, country or continent, the woman who obviously spoke her language should have at least heard of one of those names! Remnant, especially.
Soon after, about twenty seconds or so later, Ruby’s lost face was enough to bring down the woman’s eagerness to let Ruby remember it by herself.
“You’ll be fine,” the woman tried to reassure Ruby, gripping the teen’s fingers tightly. “What’s your name, love?”
Ruby thought about it for quite a while. Could she trust them? Could she not?
“Red. Just call me Red.”
Weiss awoke in the most horrible way possible. Gasping for air, she found her hair and clothes soaking wet.
“Hey watch it!” she growled at the very rude prison guard that was standing on the other side of the bars. Wait a minute. Prison guard? Bars? She was about to run up to the guard when there was a chain that pulled her back, tripping her in the process. Both her hands were also bound to one another, allowing her for minimal options to cushion the landing. Definitely minor scraps will be present soon after.
“Guess the little witch is finally awake,” the guard sneered. What did he just call her?
“Only because you splashed water on her. That’s cruel,” another guard said. His voice sounded younger than the other one, but both were currently on Weiss’s blacklist. How dare they put her in such a vile location.
“We have a client. She fits the requirements. Now open.”
“Fine,” the other guard said. There was a jingle of keys and the sound of squeaking metal. Weiss felt herself being roughly pulled up. Much to her shock and surprise, her body felt incredibly weak.
“Convenient though, ain’t it. How this one was asleep all week. We didn’t have to give her food or anything. And now one of the richest in the city is going to buy her for a huge profit. You’re just the most wonderful money maker aren’t you?” the older guard cooed. He cupped Weiss’s chin to lift her eyes up to his. It took a while for her eyes to focus, but soon it did. And oh boy was that the first sight Weiss did not want to witness.
The man before her was mustached, covering practically half of his face. She was certain there were even bits of food stuck inside the bird’s nest. His smile was missing teeth here and there, those that were left were a gritty puss colored yellow. His breath smelled like rotten eggs, rotten meat, rotten milk - rotten everything. It didn’t take Weiss that much effort to not gag and throw up right then and there. It was not like she had anything left to throw up anyways.
“Now that all of the soot and grime got washed away, you’re a pretty face, aren’t you. You have an interesting scar there, but no one’s going to be looking at a slave’s face while they work. It’s a pity, how such this face will go to waste...” the guard breathed heavily near Weiss’s ear. If she had anything present in her stomach, it would have been on the floor by now. “Wouldn’t mind bedding a creature like you, what’d you say, girlie?”
Weiss scrunched her face in disgust. There was slight bile in her mouth and a lump in her throat.
“Stop it,” the younger guard replied. He handed the older one a long chain of some sort. Before Weiss could comprehend what the chain was meant to do, it was pulled forward - and so was she.
Great, now she was a dog. This ticked Weiss off. Like really ticked her off. She then bent her legs, lowering herself to the floor quickly.
“What the-” the older guard started, before Weiss had jumped over the head, and kneed him directly into his nose. In his surprise, the guard let go of the chain. Thinking quickly, Weiss took the chain - that would have become an hindrance - into her own hands, and tripped the other guard before she ran. The chains around her feet made it difficult to take large strides, but she made do. The weakness she felt before was momentarily gone, in its place was pure adrenaline.
As expected, the younger guard soon gave chase after her. It didn’t take long for him to call for backup, as soon Weiss found herself in the presence of two more guards - equally menacingly looking as the last ones. Not. She ducked below their swings as quickly as she could, which was pretty damn fast considering her current situation and condition. She decked one of them in the occipital lobe with the handcuffs that bound her. He was quick to fall down. She took her chain to wrap around the ankles of the other guard, tripping him, while he in returned fell upon the other one that had just caught up to them.
Weiss then ran. She passed over several other cells, each of its inhabitants called out for her help. For her own survival, she dashed past them, mentally blocking out their cries. She soon made it outside, but she attracted the attention of those around her. With blood still pumping violently through her body, she ran down the street as quick as she could, eventually stopping to take breath between one of the dark alleyways.
Blake remembered a flash of light, and then she felt the sun’s rays upon her skin. She slightly recalled being carried, and being taken care of. She remembered being fed and washed. But when her ribbon was removed, there was a gasp. She then felt herself being dragged from the bed, her head making contact with the wooden floors.
The raven haired girl tried to scream, stop. But the people dragging her could not hear her. She was then thrown onto the back of some sort of wagon, a whip and the whinny of horses, and she could feel the wagon moving. She faintly recalls the bumps on the road, every rock they ran over, every crack they sunk into. Her body was then roughly carried in the middle of somewhere. Her body felt cold, her lungs felt full. She couldn’t breath. She was drowning.
But then she felt air in her lungs once more and she coughed the rest of the intrusive water out from her body. The air around her was cold, so cold. Blake started to shiver. But then she felt nothing but warmth. She didn’t know how, but now she was dry. Warm and dry. She subconsciously hummed. There was a glimpse of a creature before her, but for some reason it didn’t alarm her. She felt safe. For the first time since that light, the faunus fell to a full sleep.
There was something tickling her face. Blake opened her golden eyes, only to be greeted with another pair of eyes. Actually, scratch that. She was greeted with three pair of eyes. Blake swallowed a scream that had threatened to jump out of her throat. But she recomposed herself as she realized that the beast in front of her was not harming her. The breast didn’t seem like a Grimm, not one that was documented anywhere in Remnant, at least. It affectionately licked her faunus ears, she automatically twitched them in reply, much to the beast’s - or was it beasts’? - amusement as it - they? - started to purr. It started to rub itself against her face, its velvety fur caressing her cheeks. Blake soon found that she too was purring. With a lick from each of the heads, the beast stood up. It was bipedal.
Blake was about to follow it, but before she could stand up, the beast shot out one of its paws and pinned her down. It huffed into her face before it turned around to walk into the only source of light that was emitting into the...cave. Cave. She was inside a goddamn cave, hibernating in it like a goddamn animal. But at least she still had clothes on, she looked at herself. Although it was Beacon’s uniform, it was better than her birthday suit.
The beast soon returned with another animal in its mouth - the middle’s mouth. It was small, but its tongue was hanging out and its body was limp. Dead. The animal was dead. The middle head lowered itself onto the floor to drop the dead animal softly in front on Blake. It was then that Blake realized just how hungry she was.
“I can’t eat it raw, I need to cook it,” Blake told the beast. Can it even understand her? She tried to stand up again, but the beast put one of its giant paws on her shoulder, this time gently pushing her down. The beast then turned around and began to dig a hole in the rock below it. It was strong enough to dig through rock like it was soft dirt. Wow.
With its left head, it breathed fire into the pit. Blake was about to comment on how there was nothing to catch fire, when the flames stayed there, dancing wildly and passionately inside the pit. Stable fire. Wow.
With its right paw claws, the beast skinned off the fur of the dead animal in fluid swipes. With its left paw claws, it cut the animal into strips. Its right head shot sharp sticks that penetrated the rock flooring below it. It can make both fire and arrow like projectiles from simply opening its mouth, Blake thought. Deadly. The breast then stuck the animal strips with the sticks in a way that it was cooking nicely by the flames of the fire.
“You know you could have just used sticks or twigs from outside, right?” Blake asked the beast. All three of its heads looked at her with a knowing smile. “Were you...were you showing off?”
The smiles grew wider. One of the heads lowered itself. She swore it was blushing. What a magnificent and beautiful creature, she thought to herself. She couldn’t help herself from thinking it, and she absolutely couldn’t help herself from saying out loud, “Wow.”
Yang returned to her team’s table to find it empty. She was so shocked that she let go of the books instantly. She probably expected Weiss to ditch her, possibly even Blake. But not Ruby! Her dear little sister wouldn’t have abandoned her so easily.
The blonde was angry. She had to find the RWB in team RWBY and teach them a lesson. She huffed to their dormitory, wondering if the girls had their running shoes on.