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Fear the Reaper

Chapter Text

I woke up to see my mom standing in the doorway. She beckoned me to follow her and walked away. Bleary and confused, I considered waking my sister up, but some sense of urgency stopped me. I knew if I didn't follow her right now, she would leave forever. I shot out of bed and sprinted after her, but all I saw was a glimpse of a white cloak disappearing around a corner. I followed, but by the time I turned she was again disappearing around the next corner. No matter how fast I ran, no matter how many times I activated my semblance, she was always slightly faster than me.

She led me down into the lower levels of Beacon before finally stopping in a furnace room. "Mom? What are you doing here?" I asked. My tone was soft because I was afraid anything louder would dispel her like a dream.

"Hold her." She said. But it was wrong, somehow. I had never heard my mother's voice, but some instinct inside me knew this wasn't it. I tried to move backwards, but strong arms suddenly grabbed me and forced me to my knees. I blinked, and my mother slowly walking towards me changed into that new exchange student.

"What's going on?" I yelled.

"Little Ruby, it'll be okay. Just relax and take a deep breath." She reached her hand out and touched my forehead, and I felt something crawling across my skin. I screamed as blinding pain shot out of my face, and then everything went black.


I felt the little pang in my heart, the one that let me know my Mistress needed me. I knew I needed to leave now, no matter how much I wanted to stay with my Mistress' newest gift. "I'm sorry, but play time is over for now. But don't worry, I'll be back as soon as possible! There's still so much fun for us to have!" I leaned over and gave the bound Mercury a kiss on the neck, followed by one last lick of the delicious blood seeping from one of the hundreds of cuts on his body. He tried to flinch back, but the chains held him in place.

"You were so silly to betray our Mistress, but aren't you at least glad it brought us so much closer together?" I giggled in delight at the sight of him. So much damage, but not broken yet. I was being very careful about that; the anticipation would make the moment so much more delicious. "I think I'll start cutting things off next. Why don't you make a list of your favorite body parts, and we'll go backwards off that?" I couldn't stop another giggle from coming out as I turned and blurred out the door. I didn't stop until I was kneeling at my Mistress' throne.

"I see you've been enjoying your new toy. I trust you've been making the consequences of his betrayal clear." My Mistress said. Her voice was the most angelic sound I've ever heard.

"Yes, Mistress."

"Excellent work." A wave of ecstasy rolled through me at her praise, and I had to make an effort to avoid moaning in pleasure. There was nothing more intoxicating than my Mistress' approval. "However, breaking Mercury fully will have to wait. I have another task for you. Our spies have finally tracked down the three remaining relics. They're being hidden away by your former teammates. I need you to track them down and bring them to me."

I felt my heart begin racing from excitement. My new toys were fun, but I did miss playing with my old team. The thought of Weiss or Blake whimpering at my feet was almost enough to drive me mad with anticipation.

"Of course, Mistress. Should I be quiet, or can I indulge myself?"

"The time for quiet is long past. Feel free to enjoy yourself." The joy I felt at those words was almost indescribable. This was going to be the greatest hunt of my entire life.

Welcome to Fear the Reaper, a nice dark story in time for Halloween. I've got three more chapters for release every week in October. I hope it'll entertain and/or terrify you.

Chapter Text

"She's following me again." I said into my scroll. I couldn't keep the panic from seeping through my voice, and I heard Yang give a disapproving sigh.

"Weiss, you need to calm down. She's not following you. She stopped following us years ago. You're doing it again." Part of me didn't want her to be right, but a bigger part of me did. It was much better than the alternative. The alternative was that the monster that took my partner was back for me.

Ruby's fall still haunted my dreams. The moment her eyes turned from silver to black, the insane laughter as she stabbed Crescent Rose into Professor Ozpin over and over again. Our entire team frozen in utter shock as she licked the blood off the blade, constantly shuddering in pleasure as some dark form pulsed under her skin. The black rose petals that fell to the floor as she disappeared.

After that she started following us. Always at a distance, always gone by the time we reached her. Piles of black rose petals littered the paths behind us. Until, one day, she stopped following us and turned to only following me. Or, at least, that's what I thought at the time. But Yang or Blake never saw her, and the petals were gone. Eventually I realized that nobody was there, that the stress of losing the woman I loved in such a terrible way was making me paranoid.

After everything that happened, there was no way I could stay in Vale. I returned home, joined the Atlas academy, and was fine until six months ago when General Ironwood handed me a lamp and told me to guard it with my life. Ever since then, I had been worried about what might come looking for it.

Now I was seeing her again. A dark figure in a red cloak wielding a massive scythe, hiding in the shadows all around me. Unless she wasn't, and the paranoia was driving me mad again. I called Yang to find out, but this conversation wasn't proving to be as helpful as I'd hoped.

"What if Salem found out I was hiding a relic? Who else would she send to get me?"

"How could she possibly know? The only people with the Relic locations are Ozpin, Ironwood, Qrow, you, me, and Blake. Do you really think any of us would ever tell Salem anything?" She asked.

"Of course not, but that doesn't mean she couldn't find out in other ways. There's no telling what she can do."

Yang's voice suddenly softened, and I could picture the familiar way her eyes lit up with compassion. "Do you want me to come stay with you?"

Yes, I desperately wanted her to be near me. But Yang guarded her own Relic, and we couldn't chance them being together. "No," I lied, "I'll be okay. I probably just need some more rest."

"That's a good idea. Take some time off. You'll feel better once you relax a little. I'll call you to check up in a few days." Yang hung up, and I felt a sudden chill come over my body as soon as her voice disappeared. Maybe I was being paranoid, but I didn't want to be outside anymore. I left my office and started walking to my apartment when I got the intense feeling that someone was watching me. I immediately started sprinting down the street. I weaved in and out of the people in my way, and I must have seemed like a lunatic to them. Which is fair, because it's entirely possible I was insane.

I didn't live that far from my office, and it didn't take me long to get home at my pace. I couldn't stand being in the enclosed space of the elevator, so I sprinted up the six flights of stairs to my floor instead. My apartment was the first one on the right, and I quickly opened it and finally walked into what I thought was safety.

I was wrong. The immaculate apartment I left this morning was now a nightmare. All of the furniture was smashed into pieces, and the walls were covered in scratches. I started hyperventilating as panic seized my entire being. I wanted to leave, now, but some sick fascination of mine drew me further into the apartment.

When I reached my living room I froze. Sitting on my couch, his throat cut wide open, was one of my neighbors. There was a snowflake carved into one of his cheeks and a rose carved into the other. On the wall, written in his blood, was a simple message in her handwriting. "I missed you, Weiss". When I read that any thought or reason utterly abandoned me. I ran out to my hall, punched a hole in the drywall, grabbed the safety deposit key for the Relic, and fled my apartment.

I took the stairs down three at a time to get out of there faster, but it wasn't enough. When I was halfway down, I heard her voice calling from above me. "Weiss!" I didn't dare look up. I flew down the rest of my stairs and burst out the apartment door, right into a pile of black and white rose petals. I barely managed to avoid slipping and started to run up the street before I brought up my head and stopped cold. She was standing in the shadows in front of me, red cloak billowing behind her and extended Crescent Rose in hand.

I couldn't stop the rising terror inside me from turning into a shriek as I reversed direction. She let me run for a few seconds before I felt her blur past me. She stopped about ten feet in front of me, and all I could do was turn to run down the alley beside my apartment. I heard her giggle behind me as I ran. The exit to the other street was covered in shadows, which is why I didn't see the massive steel containers blocking it until it was too late.

I knew then that there was nowhere I could run. I pulled out Myrtenaster and turned to see her slowly stalking towards me. Ruby was in the light for the first time, and I could finally fully see her outfit. Underneath her normal cloak, she was wearing some kind of utterly impractical black armor that covered almost nothing. I could see how much Ruby had grown up in certain areas since she left, and I couldn't stop a warm flush from running through me at the sight of her.

Ruby stopped and gave me a sly smile. "I've missed you, my love. So very, very much." She purred seductively. "Why don't you come here and give me a kiss?" I took a few steps towards her automatically before stopping myself. What was I doing? I knew she would kill me if I got near her. But wasn't a kiss with Ruby worth it? My mind filled with images of pushing her against the wall and kissing her, of ripping off her clothes and indulging in everything I ever wanted to do with her, of kneeling at her feet and waiting on her pleasure. My feet resumed moving. It would be so easy to go there, hand her the Relic-

A flutter of panic shot through me at that thought and shocked me out of my haze. I suddenly heard whispering around my head, as if the very air was talking. I summoned a glyph and shot out a pulse of freezing cold. Shrieks of pain came from all around me before small black forms clattered onto the ground. My head was suddenly clear of those horrible thoughts, and I felt utter disgust at what I had almost done.

Ruby sighed. "A pity. That way would have been so much more fun."

I took a deep breath and finally summoned the courage to speak. "You can't beat me. Leave now or I'll be forced to kill you."

She laughed, the same insane one that still haunted my dreams. "Oh, my silly little Snowflake, you can't fool me. I can taste your fear."

"I'm scared for you, Ruby. That you might make me kill you." I lied.

She giggled. "Aw, I knew you still cared. I'm going to have so much fun playing with you." She blurred forward, but I was ready for her. She bounced off a glyph, but she quickly recovered and leapt into the air over me, firing shots as she went. The first two hit me before I managed to roll out of the way and summoned a glyph to shoot shards of ice at her. Crescent Rose spun around and sliced them into pieces as Ruby rushed forward again. She slashed down at me, but I caught the blow on Myrtenaster. The force of it drove me to my knees; Ruby was much stronger than the last time we sparred. I pushed forward off the ground into her, briefly knocking her back, and used the opportunity to stab at her unprotected stomach.

There was a hard click as I felt Myrtenaster slide along whatever it hit without doing any damage. As Ruby quickly retreated a few steps to get out of my range, I looked down to see that her black armor had somehow extended to cover her entire body. I could have pressed forward but instead I stopped. I tried telling myself it was wariness over that new armor, but I knew that was a lie. Deep down, I still didn't want to hurt Ruby.

Ruby let out another peal of insane laughter when she noticed my gaze. She twirled in place like she was showing off her hot new outfit. "Do you like it? It's a gift from my Mistress. She couldn't let her favorite servant die from some silly stab wound." It writhed around as she spoke, and I focused all of my attention on it. This wasn't Ruby, it was a Grimm using Ruby's body. I might not be able to hurt my former partner, but I knew how to deal with Grimm.

I summoned a glyph at her feet to bind her in place before summoning glyphs all around her. I let out a cartridge of ice Dust, and a swarm of hailstones shot out of each glyph. Each one was tiny, but they were going fast enough to shatter glass. She collapsed under the barrage, and I saw small cracks start appearing all over that black armor. They quickly grew, and I knew in a few seconds her protection would break into pieces.

So did Ruby. She screamed, the sound as loud and terrible as if from some great beast. A shockwave of force radiated out around her, and my glyphs disappeared as it reached me and knocked me to the ground. I knew I needed to get up, but I was too disoriented to move. I managed to rise a little before I felt a warm hand wrap itself around my throat and pull me into the air. I looked into her eyes to see the black pools perfectly reflected my own terrified expression.

"Nice try, Weiss." Even after that entire struggle, her voice was sickeningly playful. She slowly skipped over to the wall before slamming me into it over and over again. Each hit sent pain shooting across my entire body, and it only took a few before my aura broke. Two hits later, each one accompanied by the horrific crunch of my bones breaking, and Ruby released me to slide down to the alley floor. She reached down and fished around in my pocket for a few seconds before grabbing the safety deposit key.

"There we go." She smiled at me from ear to ear. "Aren't you so happy we got to play together again?" She asked as she raised Crescent Rose above her.

"You don't need to do this, Ruby! You can fight off her control!" I pleaded. Her expression became confused, and then it changed to the slight grin I knew from the old Ruby.

"You're right, Weiss." The madness in her voice was replaced with a hopeful tone, and my heart soared at the sight. My partner, the woman I loved with all my heart, was back. "I don't need to hurt you." Crescent Rose suddenly swung down and stabbed me in the chest. I looked up to see the madness was back in Ruby's eyes. "I do, however, desperately want to hurt you."

She let out a childish giggle as she kneeled down and started stroking my hair. "Of course, I'm not going to kill you. I could never do that to my poor Snowflake. My friends here are going to take you to my Mistress, and she'll fix you right up. You'll see thing my way, and we'll get to serve our Mistress together. Doesn't that sound great?"

"No, please, don't." I managed to get out through the horrible pain.

"It'll be okay. This is so very much fun, I'm sure you'll love it. When you're nice and healed up, I left a toy in my room for you to enjoy. Make sure to lop off a few body parts for me. After all, a promise is a promise. Just be careful not to kill him; I want to do it together to celebrate our new relationship." She leaned forward and kissed me, and despite the agonizing pain, despite the terror, I couldn't help the pleasure it sent flowing through me. She stood up, giggled again, and blurred away.

With Ruby gone, I noticed for the first time the two large Grimm standing in front of me. They reached down and started dragging me away. Even if I was strong enough to try, I wouldn't have bothered resisting. Ruby's madness clearly blinded her to the fact that I would bleed out long before I could be taken anywhere. Then one of the Grimm reached down and put some dark creature over the wound. Tendrils reached into my body, and I could see a black ooze pumping into me. A second later every nerve in my body burned, and I screamed out in agony. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to pass out from the pain.

In the depths of my dreams, I heard a voice whispering. "Come child, I will save you." It was very soothing after the trauma of the few days, and I followed wherever the voice led me. After the past few horrific years all I wanted was to be saved.

Chapter Text

I carefully made my way through the woods, senses attuned to any potential threats. I hadn't seen it yet, but I knew it would be coming for me sooner or later. After Weiss and her Relic disappeared last month, I knew that somehow the Relic's locations had been discovered. That was fine with me. I was in my element in the forest; anything that was foolish enough to come here wouldn't live long enough to realize its mistake. Unlike Weiss, I was still perfectly capable of defending myself.

The thought made me feel a little guilty, but that didn't change the fact that it was true. I loved my former teammate, but she never should have been chosen to guard a Relic. Weiss had completely fallen apart after everything that happened. Because Weiss, like Yang, couldn't bring herself to accept the truth. The parasite had killed Ruby once it took control of her. There was nothing but a shell left by the time the Grimm murdered Ozpin. Neither one of them could look past that shell, but I didn't have the same problem. After Adam, I had practice losing friends to the monsters inside themselves.

Even after Weiss pulled herself together at Atlas, she never fully recovered. I told her, over and over again, to let someone else guard the Relic, but she always refused. Her Schnee pride got her killed, and there was nothing more I could do about it except mourn my lost friend and avenge her if the Grimm was foolish enough to come here.

I made my way through the forest and entered my cave. It wasn't much of a home, but it was hidden away and filled with nasty surprises for any unwanted visitors. Not the most comfortable place I've lived, but all I needed were a soft bed, a fireplace, and my pile of books anyway. I grabbed one of the books, laid down in bed, and read until I fell asleep.

I woke up to the sound of something crashing through the forest as it came straight towards me. I knew it was here for me, and it had clearly decided being subtle was pointless. I grabbed the Relic, slipped it into the small bag on my back, and walked out of the cave to meet the Grimm. As soon as I left I could see it skipping towards me. It stopped once it reached the beginning of the small clearing in front of my cave.

"You shouldn't have come here, Grimm." I called out.

"Ow, that hurts! I thought we were the bestest of friends." It said, its voice mocking.

"I was friends with Ruby."

"I am Ruby! New and improved, but still the same me."

"No, you aren't. You're the monster that's killed two of my friends. I'm going to kill you for that."

It started insanely giggling. "I'll prove you wrong soon enough Kitten, but if you want to play with me first feel free to come get me." I desperately wanted to advance and finally kill this thing, but it wouldn't be smart. I needed to draw it in to take advantage of my defenses. As I stayed immobile longer and longer, the giggle turned into a full throated laugh.

"What's the matter? Too scared to come face me?"

"I'm not afraid." I was wary of this monster, but only because I knew it was dangerous. I would never be afraid of it.

"Of course you are, you're just hiding it. But I'll taste its deliciousness before this is over, I promise." It gave an exaggerated sigh. "Fine. If you really won't come out to play, I'll end this now." It pulled her scythe out and fired a shot. I rolled out of the way, but it wasn't aiming at me. The round hit the top of the cave entrance and exploded with incredible force. The entire front collapsed, burying my home and all my defenses under a ton of rocks.

That wasn't ideal, but I could still beat it. I simply needed to be a little more careful. And stay far, far out of the path of those rounds. "Wow, these are so cool!" It yelled. The awe in its voice over a cool weapon made it sound like her, just for a second, and it hurt a little to hear that reminder of my dead friend. "Let's see what else they can do, shall we Kitten?" I crouched down, ready to dodge to either direction, but it turned her scythe away from me and started putting shots into the forest around us. The rounds exploded into the ground and set everything near them ablaze.

Suddenly fire was all around us, and instinctual panic made me react without any thought by sprinting towards the closest escape. I heard insane laughter pass by my ear and suddenly the Grimm was standing in front of me. Gambol Shroud slashed down at it but only sailed through an empty black cloud of petals as it disappeared. I kept running to safety, but after only a few more steps some danger instinct activated, and I leapt forward instead of stepping. As I jumped over the area, the pile of leaves underneath me collapsed and showed a pit filled with black spikes below.

When I saw that a little trickle of fear coursed its way through me. I never went out of my earshot of my home. Nothing should have been able to place a trap this close without me noticing. If the Grimm was that stealthy, it could have snuck up on me without announcing its presence. It purposely drew me out of my home, which meant it wanted me in this forest. Dodging around it while running from a fire into a forest potentially filled with traps.

Well, it was too late to worry about it now. It outmaneuvered me once, but I wouldn't let that stop me. As I kept running I watched for more traps and managed to get around two more of them before it struck again. I rolled under its slash, bringing Gambol Shroud up and scoring a hit on its arm on the way past. It disappeared into petals again, and I heard it shoot several shots into the ground behind us to spread the fire faster.

"I spent a lot of time on these traps, and it's no fun that you keep avoiding them." It said. Its tone was sickeningly amused, and it sent a shiver up my spine hearing that tone during a battle. I decided to deny it the satisfaction of a response and kept running. I saw a trip wire connecting two trees and leapt over it, but instead of clearing it I was slammed into the nearest tree as the Grimm came out of nowhere and hit me like a truck. It could easily have gotten a free hit me, but instead its hand came up and threw dust in my eyes. They started burning as the weight pushing me against the tree suddenly disappeared, and as I started running again I quickly rubbed my hands over my eyes to clear the dust. The burning stopped, but when I opened my eyes a hand of icy fear gripped my heart. For the first time in my entire life, the world was dark.

Not entirely dark. The pale moonlight shone through the leaves, and the fire behind me lit up portions of the forest, but that was all I could see. The shadows covering most of my vision were unknown pools of darkness. Whatever was in that dust, it took my night vision completely away.

"There's my Kitten's fear. I knew you couldn't hide it forever."

"What did you do to me?" I called out. I tried to keep the terror out of my voice, but I couldn't completely contain it. Because my enemy was out there, but for the first time this battle I didn't have a clue where it was hiding.

It giggled, insane and disturbing. "I simply made our game a little more fun. No more cheating, Blake. You should probably run now." It said as I sensed it appear behind me and swing her scythe down at my head. It sailed through a shadow clone as I sprinted away. As much as I didn't want to listen to that thing, running right now was my only safe bet. I wasn't that far from the edge of the forest, and if I could reach it then my vision would be vastly improved.

Without my sight, I could only rely on my danger sense to help me avoid attacks. I managed to dodge its first two attacks, but the first time I reached the next trap I couldn't react fast enough to avoid it. I'm not even sure what set it off; all I knew is that I was hit in the stomach by a branch with black spikes and went flying backwards. I felt my aura shatter as I smashed into the ground, but I leapt up fast enough to avoid the Grimm's attack. I twisted around it and managed to get three rapid hits on its back before it screamed in pain and burst into petals.

I sprinted away from the fire again, but I only got a few feet before the Grimm was on me again. Her scythe was collapsed into its sniper form, and the Grimm swung it at me like a bat. I tried to twist out of the way, but I wasn't fast enough to completely avoid it. It slammed into my right arm, and even though it hit at angle it was enough to break the bone. I ignored the pain shooting up my arm and slashed Gambol Shroud at it on the way past. I felt it sink into the Grimm's back and received another howl of its pain.

Instead of disappearing again, the Grimm blurred forward and was suddenly standing in my way. The scythe came swinging down at my leg, but instead of dodging I let it connect. As hideous pain radiated from my leg, Gambol Shroud came down and slashed straight through the Grimm's stomach. It collapsed, issuing a gurgling noise that it took me a few seconds to identify as an attempt at laughter before falling silent.

I felt such intense relief that I almost collapsed myself. After all these years, the monster that killed my friend was finally dead. Ruby could finally rest in peace. If it wasn't for the fire raging ever closer behind us, I might have stayed there longer, but right now I couldn't risk it. I debated dragging Ruby's body out of the forest but decided against it. I wasn't in great condition, and honestly letting fire purify whatever that thing had done to her body seemed like the best idea to me. I turned from her and kept running, trying to ignore the spike of pain that shot through my leg on each step. It didn't take me long to reach eyesight of the edge of the forest, and the sight of my goal so close made me increase my pace.

That was a mistake. I was so tired after the battle, so relieved after winning, that I forgot to watch for more traps. I only noticed it when I felt three spikes run through my foot as I stepped on something, and as a numbing sensation spread up my leg my run immediately slowed. My brain was yelling at me to sprint, but all I could manage was slowly inching forward. Every step felt like the most monumental effort of my entire life, and I realized something must have been that on those spikes before I fell to my knees.

I sat unmoving for a few minutes before I heard the sound of footsteps behind me, and utter panic overcame me. Despite the fact that I had left it dead on the ground, the Grimm was humming a gleeful tune under its breath as it slowly skipped towards me. I tried to crawl forward as fast as I could, but I only managed to get a few feet before dropping in utter exhaustion.

"My poor kitty cat." It said as it got closer. "Without her night vision, she couldn't tell a fatal wound from a silly little scratch." When the Grimm reached me, it rolled me over before kneeling and straddling me on the ground. I tried to push it off, but I wasn't strong enough to budge it an inch. Despair crept into me as I realized I was completely helpless to stop it. The Grimm started stroking my hair with its left hand as it smiled fondly down at me.

"That was so much fun, Kitten." I spat in its face, but its only reaction was to silently wipe it off as its hand moved up to scratching behind my ear.

"You know, there's something I've always wanted to do to you." The Grimm said before leaning down and giving a playful nibble on my right cat ear. Despite the situation, I couldn't stop myself from letting out quiet mewls of pleasure. Having anyone, even it, play with my ears simply felt too good.

My mewls quickly turned to screams of agony as the Grimm bit down hard and pulled upward. Pain like nothing I've ever felt burned down from my ear, and I watched in horror as it straightened up, a piece of my ear sitting between its teeth. The Grimm spat it out but licked the blood off its lips, black eyes awash in clear ecstasy the entire time.

"Mmmmhhh, you're delicious." The Grimm said. "We'll have to explore that more later. For now, it's nap time." Its hands wrapped around my throat and squeezed. As my vision started contracting, I heard the Grimm begin to whisper.

"Shhh. Rest now, Kitten. Let me save you." It repeated that, over and over, until my world went black.

Chapter Text

When I saw Ruby cresting the hill, my heart stopped for a few seconds. I wanted to sprint over there and wrap her in my arms. I wanted to burst into tears and cry into her shoulder. I wanted to cuff her over the head for being such an idiot. I wanted to apologize to her for failing to protect her.

Instead, I pressed a button and the hill exploded. I sprang forward and raced into the flames. They couldn't hurt me, and somehow I doubted the explosion was powerful enough to down Ruby. When I reached her through the flames, she was on knees. She looked dazed, but there was black armor covering her that seemed to have absorbed much of the blast. I immediately threw a right cross at her face, but Crescent Rose came up to block it.

"That wasn't very nice. Is that any way to greet your sister?" She asked. It hurt my heart to hear her voice. It was so similar to the voice I'd heard a thousand times whenever Ruby was happy but dialed up a hundred times. It was the voice of a madwoman having the time of her life.

"Hey Rubes. Hold still, okay? Trust me, this for your own good." I kicked at her, but she burst into petals and disappeared. The clouds of smoke billowing around me stopped me from seeing wherever she stopped. I clamped down on the brief panic I felt, closed my eyes, and listened for her.

"Trying to kill me is for my own good?" The voice came from somewhere to my right. "You've changed since I left." It was slowly circling around to my back. "I love it. This is going to be so exciting!" Right behind me, now. I fired shots in front of me to speed backwards and twisted in the air to hit her in the throat. She couldn't move quick enough avoid it, but it ended up hitting her in the chest and throwing her out into the smoke again. I had forgotten to account for the fact that Ruby had clearly grown quite a bit since she left.

"Ow!" She said, but she didn't sound hurt. She sounded excited. "I thought you wanted to talk. We both know it's the only reason you agreed to guard a Relic." Ruby knew me well. I had spent every second since she turned searching for her again. I had run every half-heard rumor or flimsy lead into the ground, but I was never fast enough to catch her before she disappeared. Years of chasing her only led to destroyed villages and mutilated bodies. When Qrow asked me to guard a Relic, I leapt at the chance. Not because I cared about gods or magic, but because I knew it would bring her here. Six months of preparation had led my sister right back to me, and I wasn't about to let anything stand in the way of what I needed to do.

"I wanted you here. Talking isn't necessary." The smoke was finally beginning to clear up, and I could see her outline slowly walking towards me.

"Mmmmhhhh. I bet you say that to a lot of girls." I laughed. I just couldn't help myself. Despite everything, I couldn't deny I found it a good joke. Not that I let it stop me. I loaded up one of my special rounds, fired it at her, closed my eyes, and leapt forward. I heard it explode a second later, and even with my eyes closed I saw the incredible flash of bright light. I opened them to see a completely disoriented Ruby flinching back, and my fist came down on her arm. My first follow-up got her in the stomach, but the second sailed through petals as she vanished again. She stopped about ten feet in front of me.

"Seems like you've gotten a new toy." Ruby said. I had, courtesy of Penny Polendina. As soon as she heard what happened to Ruby, she resolved to do everything in her power to help. I discounted it as well-meaning but useless until she showed up with a veritable arsenal of new weapons for me. Turns out that being the beloved daughter of Atlas' greatest inventor came with some incredible perks. Every one of her suggestions was carefully installed into Ember Celica. With these, there was no doubt that I could beat Ruby. Whether I was strong enough to do what was needed after I beat Ruby was still up in the air.

"That's okay." She continued. "My Mistress has given me plenty of new toys too." Black orbs appeared from behind her and raced towards me. I shot at them, and they exploded into a black goo once the shots hit them. I didn't have a clue what the goo was but judging from the way the grass seemed to be dissolving around it I didn't want it anywhere near me. I started retreating while shooting at the orbs. I got most of them, but three of them came too close for me to destroy. I leapt over them, firing as I passed through the air, and landed right in time to catch Crescent Rose's swipe on my gauntlets. She tried to pull back, but I grabbed onto it with both my hands and refused to let go. Even with all her changes, it seemed that she still wasn't stronger than me.

"Yang, let go!" She whined at me. I had heard her say it dozens of times over the years. Given her compete lack of unarmed combat skills, tearing her weapon away from her was an easy way to end a sparring match.

"You first." I said as I activated the electric Dust stored in the side of Ember Celica. Crescent Rose was a masterfully designed weapon, but Ruby hadn't thought to insulate it against such a strong surge of electricity. It arced from my gauntlet to her hands, and she reflexively flinched back and dropped the scythe. I fired two rounds at her, but she was already blurring to the side. I quickly collapsed Crescent Rose and slung it across my back.

"You can have this back later." I said. Her response was an insane laugh.

"Sorry sis, but that doesn't work as well these days." Her entire body shimmered, and the armor on her arm extended until it formed a sword. She broke it off and grabbed it in her hand.

"Neat trick." I said. "Still won't help you." I twisted my wrists and activated the other Dust stored in Ember Celica. My right hand suddenly froze, and intense pain raced up my arm. Penny hadn't been able to insulate my arm against the cold, but pain was a small price to pay for the advantage it gave me. My left hand burst into flames, but thankfully that only tickled. I rushed at her and caught her downward thrust on my right gauntlet. Everywhere it touched the black substance it froze, and a follow-up with my left shattered the sword into pieces. Her weapon's destruction clearly shocked her still for a second, and I used that to lay into her with my fists. Every right jab froze the black armor, and every left shattered everywhere around it. Before she could even move, the armor on her chest was gone, and my next hit broke her aura as ice appeared on her chest. She screamed in pain, and upon hearing it I instinctively stopped.

Ruby took the chance to somersault backwards out of my reach. Her eyes locked onto mine, and in those pools of blackness I saw fear. She turned and sprinted away into the forest, and I ran after her. Whatever happened, I couldn't let her get away. Not when I was this close. She was faster than me, but she was too weak to use her semblance again, and I had Ember Celica. I fired it behind me to pick up speed, and she didn't get far before I was close enough to grab her. I took one of the cuffs off my side, snapped it onto her wrist, and tossed the magnet onto the nearest tree. It activated as soon as it hit the trunk, and Ruby was jerked backwards as the magnet pulled the cuff onto the tree.

Ruby tried to pull away as I walked up to her, but the magnet was too strong to budge. I wasn't worried that she would succeed. Penny tested these things on me, and even with my fully loaded semblance I couldn't pull them apart. Ruby wasn't moving from that tree until I turned the magnet off.

When Ruby finally stopped and looked up at me, I expected anger or fear on her face. Instead she gave me a twisted smile. "What now, Yang? Are you going to kill me?" Even completely helpless, her tone was still amused. She sounded like she was asking if I wanted to go to the bakery with her, not like she was worried about me killing her. She clearly knew me too well.

"Of course not. I would never hurt you, Rubes. I need to apologize. I'm sorry for not being strong enough to save you at Beacon. And I'm sorry for being selfish now, but I can't leave you like this."

I was terrified of what I had to do next, but I wasn't about to let that stop me. There was only one way to truly save my sister. It was horrible, but Ruby was worth sacrificing myself. I held her arms in place and leaned against her forehead. I felt the parasite inside her head move to the center, burrowing its way out into me. It took me years, but I figured out where the parasite attacked her and guessed that it would prefer new prey to old. "Now you're finally free." I whispered.

Her only response was one of her mad giggles, and horror gripped my heart as I realized I'd just made a terrible mistake. "Oh, my silly little Yang." She said, her voice still clearly insane. "The body eventually becomes immune to the parasite. It stopped working months ago."

"Wha-what are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I loved what my parasitic friend did to me. The insecure little girl with the hero complex was replaced by the confident warrior who thrived in a world of pleasure. When I felt it beginning to fade, I went to my Mistress and begged her to give me new Grimm, ones that would keep me in this state forever. She happily obliged."

"No, you're lying! My sister would never do that!" By this point, my grip on her had vanished. I was backing up, hands clawing at my head to get this thing out before it was too late.

"Of course I did. And you will too, when your time comes. We'll serve our Mistress forever and ever beside our Snowflake and our Kitten. Team RWBY, reunited at last."

My vision was going blurry, and my head was pounding. "Yes. I would do anything for our Mistress." I said without thinking. The words shocked me for half a second before an intense surge of pleasure washed it away. Serving my Mistress was the greatest honor in the world. A part of my mind was screaming in agony, but it was getting quieter all the time. I knew soon it wouldn't matter, and the ecstasy was all I would have left.

Ruby smiled one of her goofy little smiles at me, and my heart leapt in joy. I had missed her so much, although I wasn't quite sure why I hadn't seen her in so long. The important thing now was that I would be with her forever. Ruby blurred into petals for a second, and the restraints fell off her. She held out her hand to me, and I grasped it firmly. "Let's go, my darling sister. Let's go to our destiny."

So it turns out I couldn't get a proper ending into this last chapter. I'll have an epilogue on Monday to wrap the story up right before Halloween.

Chapter Text

"You have done well, Ruby. Not only with the Relics, but with recruiting your old teammates. A perfect performance." The waves of pleasure that crashed through me at her praise took my breath away, but my Mistress waited for me to recover before continuing. She was always so kind to me. "They've all proven quite receptive to the healing process. I trust you're managing their training well?"

I giggled a little when I thought of my friends finally being with me. Yang was the easiest; my parasitic friend knew exactly what to do. She was still exploring herself, but she didn't need my help to do it. We had grabbed a few prisoners on the way out of Vale, and Yang was using them all night. I spent every night I wasn't with the rest of our team in her room so I could fall asleep to the soothing screams of her prisoners as she slowly broke every bone in their bodies. During the day she tried out some of the new gifts from our Mistress, and the laughter that echoed through the halls warmed my heart.

Weiss and Blake were a different story. I didn't give them the same parasite; those were difficult for my Mistress to make, and they were hardly necessary to save them. The parasite also worked so fast that it skipped them past most of the fun parts. I had the time now to do it right, and I knew they would thank me before it was over.

"Yes Mistress. I'm focusing all my attention on them. Soon they will kneel at your feet beside me." I couldn't wait for that day. The day we would finally achieve our destiny together.

"Excellent. Thanks to your recent successes, we have a lot of work ahead of us. I'll need skilled warriors by my side to do it. Your team will help save the world."

"Of course, Mistress. We won't fail you." My Mistress smiled down at me, and a warm glow spread through my entire being.

"I know you won't. But first, go get your friends ready."

"At once." I said before bowing and returning to my room. My teammates were chained to the ceiling, and one of my helpful Grimm tools floated behind them. Little tendrils snaked from it into their heads, and they were slowly pumping a black liquid into them. I knew it was replacing all their silly selfish thoughts and inhibitions with the joys of serving our Mistress.

Both of them were sleeping when I walked into the dungeon. The Grimm inside them required a lot of energy to spread, especially since it also needed to heal their wounds every day. If I left them alone their bodies would likely be finished already, but their minds required my attention to be shaped correctly. They were progressing at an exciting rate. Every week there were fewer nights where they begged to be let free and more nights where they begged me to keep going until morning. I knew that soon I would save them fully, and then the real fun will start. Then we'll switch off being in chains. I could barely wait for my teammates to tie me up and do everything to me.

I walked over to my Snowflake and kissed her awake, then did the same to my Kitten. "Hello, my loves. Are you feeling better today?" As I looked them over, I felt pride swell up inside me. They really were almost perfect. With a few more adjustments, Team RWBY will be the most dangerous force on Remnant.

"Ruby? What are you doing? Let me out!" Weiss pleaded. Blake remained silent with a glazed look in her eyes. It was clearly going to be one of those days. I felt myself start to shudder in anticipation. I couldn't wait for them to join me under our Mistress, but that didn't mean their screams of agony weren't thrilling to my core.

"I'm saving you." I said as I picked up my knife. "Now hold still. I don't want to cut too deeply." If I wasn't careful the cuts wouldn't heal for a few days, and I missed out on having a fresh canvas each time. I took the knife to her neck and slowly dragged it across her skin. Weiss flailed around as she screamed in agony, but the chains mostly held her in place. I worked my way down her neck, every scream increasing my excitement, until the screams of agony turned into moans of pleasure. I pulled the knife back and looked up to see her beautiful face twisted in ecstasy. I ran my finger over the blade, feeling the delightful sensation of it cutting deep into my skin and mixing our blood together before bringing my finger to her lips. She opened her mouth and greedily licked it all off.

"So delicious." She panted.

I let out a giggle. "Of course it is, Snowflake. It keeps our little friends nice and strong!"

"I need more. Please, Ruby, give me more. I'll do anything for it."

"I know you will, my love. And you'll have plenty later. The anticipation makes it so much sweeter." I left Weiss hanging and walked over to Blake. I slapped her across the face, and her eyes focused a little.

"Ruby?" Blake asked softly.

"What is it, Kitten?"

"Yang's here. I want... her... to..." she said slowly before trailing off. I waited for a few seconds, but Blake showed no sign of continuing on her own.

"Rescue you?" I guessed.

"...No... to hurt me." When I heard that, my heart almost exploded with joy. I leapt at her, pushing her back and kissing her deeply. I bit through her lower lip, and blood flowed from it and mixed between us. Pleasure coursed through me at the taste of it, at the taste of her. Once I had enough, I pulled back to see the incredible mix of ecstasy and desire swirling behind her eyes.

"If both of you behave yourselves tonight, I'll start bringing Yang down to play with us." I could barely contain my excitement. They were all so close. And, once they were done, we would play together forever.