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Survival At Its Finest

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(Weiss’ P.O.V.)

“Guys! Guys! Do you remember that one time where Weissy here got attacked and bitten in the crotch by a giant turkey?!”

Yang, as per usual, had begun her round of mortifying, inappropriate (if not insensitive!) stories, which took place whenever she had her hands on alcohol. Her lack of common sense, more often than not, caused her to run her mouth, thus, the terrible puns and general failure at intelligent or funny humor that ensued.

Arguably by chance, I had fallen victim to her wits.

Thoroughly irked and aggravated, I snorted at how casually she mentioned one of my least dignifying moments.

“SHUT UP YOU BRUTE!” came my retort, unfortunately for me, falling on deaf ears, the uproar of her laugh along with Nora’s not helping me lessen the blush that had crept onto my cheeks.

“YAAANG-!” intervened Ruby, thankfully backing me up.

Blake was face palming and slightly shaking her head in resignation. No one escaped Yang’s stories and she knew it too.

What we were doing out there, late at night, consuming alcoholic beverages and having a barbecue dinner in the middle of a forest?
Honestly, I don’t know. I surely did not expect, nor want to be dragged along on this wild, teenage drinking fest. I signed up for a serious clearing mission with my team and JNPR, seen how we are to become full-fledged hunters and huntresses in a few weeks.
The ever so present ‘love bites’ belonging to mosquitoes – damn those beasts! – were also not contributing to brighten my sullen mood. If only Yang could reminisce less grotesque memories or change the topic at hand entirely…

“Awww, come on Rubes! You found it hilarious too at the time!”

“No sis. I only laughed until I found out that Weiss got SERIOUSLY hurt from it. Besides, she was only trying to keep us fed in a bad situation!”

Ruby crossed her arms and proceeded to put her best irate expression – one hell of a glare and pout, might I add – on display.

“What is this all about?” Asked a somewhat amused and purely curious Pyrrha Nikos.

“Ohhh. Let me tell you, this episode rewrote history and changed my view of our dearest Ice queen forever! Never knew she could swear like a sailor!”

The blonde oaf keenly attempted to pat my back but was instead greeted by my firm grip and a glower like no other. She had better not drag my name through the mud or I will find the means to MAKE IT UP TO HER.

Ever since our constant clashing, dating back to our first year at Beacon, I had grown more accustomed and tolerant of Yang’s ways, with the added bonus of knowing how to divert her from the destructive paths that would often follow her teasing. Well, that was, if I got the chance to steer the conversation away from the gutter, a rare occurrence at best…

“If you’re really going to recount what happened on that day, let me at least tell them the truth. You have a tendency to exaggerate facts and make things grosser than necessary.”

I turned my head towards the group. With my chin up, a straight back and the most serious tone I could muster to regain my composure, I began: “Yes, I got assaulted by a nasty, oversized and questionably clever bird, but let me give you some context.”

Taking a long breath, I closed my eyes for a moment to repress any leftover anger urging me to snap the brute’s neck in half.

“It happened during the first months of this school year, just before our end-of-the-semester survival training exam. Glynda and professor Port had boarded us on an airship to reach a remote island located in the great ocean between the kingdoms of Vale and Mistral. It was a piece of tropical wildlife where our scrolls wouldn’t have had any signal; our survival lesson was supposed to take place at said destination with the guidance of Dr. Oobleck, who would’ve been waiting for our arrival, but here’s the twist: we never made it to that specific cluster of sand and vegetation. Our airship was attacked and destroyed by an Alpha Sea Feilong *better known as Sea Dragon Grimm* halfway on our route. Instead of reaching our designated drop off point, after a long and futile fight, we crashed on another deserted Archipelago Dust knows where.”

Jaune raised his hand and interrupted my narration with a question that wasn’t completely unrelated or demented, for once.

“But how did the sea dragon get you? If I remember this right, it’s water bound, while the airship could have just flown away.”

“Good point Jaune, we went through the same, exact thought process, thinking that we could have evaded it by simply changing our altitude, but, guess what? Turns out that Alpha Feilongs have developed a new mutation. They can now convert some of their fins into air gliders and use them on strong wind gusts to fly, much alike Exocoetidae *those fish that jump out the water* and that isn’t even all of it: apparently, they’ve acquired *similarly to non-Grimm dragons* the ability to breathe fire. I will give you a moment to let you digest this piece of information and have you imagine what kind of unthinkable and unpredictable threats we were coupled with. Worst way EVER to make a new Grimm-related scientific discovery.”

The blonde boy gulped in fear at the mere thought of a massive Grimm dragon chasing him on any type of terrain.

Satisfied with his reaction, I went on with the tale, most of team JNPR, especially Nora, leaning in to listen more attentively, sheer interest and what, I guess, could be described as second hand thrills making the group more engrossed in my soon-to-be humiliation.

“The airship pilot had perished in the crash after being burnt alive; thankfully, I got away with a couple of scrapes and minor injuries, my glyphs offering me a relatively safe landing. Blake and Ruby had some first-degree burns but fared fine altogether. Yang… well. Yang is Yang. She is immune to fire, as it is her semblance once she’s provoked into berserker mode. She made sure to catch up with the sea serpent and leave some memorable dents in its scales and a few less fangs in its muzzle. Unfortunately, we didn’t actually make the kill. The damn creature retreated into deep waters after she scared it off. We did, however, utilize the dragon’s humongous canines to build ourselves a temporary shelter.”

Ruby bounced excitedly contributing to the story with her own details: “They were so big that Yang only measured half their length in height!”

“Whaaat? Nooo way!” Nora shook her head in disbelief.

“That sounds impossible… Are you sure you’re not making this up?” Questioned Pyrrha, incredulous at Ruby’s statement.

“It’s actually true.” I resumed. “And let me say, they looked so imposing even I got chills at the sight of them. I’m glad no one on our team got mauled in one go… In a similar fashion to Roman Torchwick. That would have been a pretty stupid death.”

The two teams nodded in agreement at the remembrance of the theatrical exit by the most wanted villain in Remnant.

“Either way, back to the story… We were building a small shelter because a storm seemed to be approaching and the trees in the nearby rain forest didn’t look like a good option to camp under. The last thing we wanted was to be knocked out cold by a falling coconut or giant tree branch… Moreover, I’m not sure if you’ve ever come across Grimm baboons before, but yes, we did find a handful of them when we first ventured into the thick jungle vegetation to look for food or anything that could come in handy. They were NOT easy to fight off. I got pelted in rocks and sticks from multiple sides and on more than one occasion. Both Ruby and I headed straight back to camp after gaining multiple bruises and killing some of those unrelenting, stupid beasts. It is important to note that the only inventory we had left consisted of our weapons, combat gear and kindling we had previously harvested from the rain forest. Bonfires are perhaps one of the few effective methods to be noticed and rescued from a forgotten piece of land such as the one we were on. We also tried to draw the letters for S.O.S. in bold, capital letters on the beach next to our makeshift hut, but with the storm coming, both efforts would have been washed away regardless.”

Yang yawned and butted into the conversation, interrupting my story telling to manifest her boredom.

“Are you going to get to the point anytime soon? I’d like to have some more fun tonight. I know you like the spotlight Weissy but I’m gonna fall asleep if you keep this up!”

“Ugh, fine! Just let me finish my part so that you can go on with whatever barbaric humiliation drinking game you had in mind! All you do is put other people down, I swear!”

“Hey! That’s not true! We are just pulling at each other’s leg a little. There is nothing wrong with that! Right Jaunie boiiiii?” She then went ahead to comradely ‘poke’ Jaune by ‘lightly’ jamming her elbow in his side; Jaune tumbled to the ground from the impact, the air knocked out of his lungs.

“Oof!”

I just looked at the scene, Pyrrha helping him back up and asking if he was okay, with a mildly annoyed expression. This happened far too often for me to care about Yang or the victim of her banter. That was, unless it was me or Ruby.

“As I was saying, we ended up practicing the survival skills we learnt from our classes with Port. After Yang took care of the fire and Blake finished water-proofing the hut, Ruby and I kept ourselves busy with the task of finding animals, fruits or any kind of viable source of nutrition to avoid death by starvation. Blake suggested fishing, but surprisingly, the shore was clear of any form of life other than empty shells and skeletons of various fish species, most probably another gift left behind by the Feilong we had encountered. We moved onto picking fruits.

“Heading too deep inside the rain forest was a no-no, given what we had previously been subjected to. The palm trees had some coconuts growing on them, but apparently, it wasn’t the right season, as nearly each and every one of them was not ripe enough yet and too small to attempt human consumption. This is where we switched to our last option: hunting and killing animals that lived in close proximity to our crash site.

“The team was still exhausted from the fight that got us shipwrecked, which, in turn, forced us to not rely on our semblances; beaten and with grumbling stomachs, we’d spent nearly all of our energy and needed to recover from our injuries. This is where, after what felt like an endless twenty-minute walk, we came across the infamous avian that doomed my reputation.”

“This is the part where it gets good!” Shouted Yang, finishing her sixth beer and grinning unceremoniously, her inebriated state not encouraging in the slightest.

“Tell them princess! I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone scream so loud!”

“Oh shut up you…! Uncouth…!”

I really did not want to continue, knowing how Yang would just parade me like a circus attraction. To my surprise, probably due to my utter frustration and helplessness, Ruby intervened with her own point of view. We were seated next to each other, our backs to the forest, so I was glad no one could spot her reassuringly holding my hand from behind.

“Alright! That’s enough! Sis, you know Weiss doesn’t want you making fun of her that much. As your team leader, I ask you to turn it down a notch. Could you do that for me, please?”

Yang frowned at Ruby pulling the team leader card, but she obliged, at least for the time being, and sat down with crossed arms, muttering something under her breath.

“Yeah. We came across this giant turkey! At first, I thought it was a Grimm, because I had never seen a turkey that big, not even at the Vale zoo! But then I realized that it didn’t exactly have the same colors, nor the typical Grimm façade that you’d normally see.

“We snuck up on it… or well, more like, tried to sneak up on it, armed solely with our weapons and combat strategies. Before we could even do so much as get close, it turned around and it stared at us with those dark, angry eyes. I thought for sure it was going to chase us at any moment, yet it just stood there, looking at us as if we were some sort of disgrace to Mother Nature herself.”

Taking advantage of the brief pause in Ruby’s side of the story, I worked up the courage to come forth with my own perspective.

“I was the first one to react. I wish I didn’t. I lunged forward, trying for a direct stab to its heart. Needless to say, Myrtenaster never made the hit. The darned fowl’s reaction time was too fast. We underestimated how swift an animal that size could be.

“Hitting empty air, I lost my balance for a second and if it weren’t for Ruby parrying that creature’s angry pecking with Crescent Rose, I think I would have lost more than just my dignity on that day. Possibly a good chunk of hair, given how it was frantically striking at head level.”

This time, Pyrrha was the one who stopped us with another question.

“How come that you didn’t just sniper it with the rifle part of your Scythe?”

I intervened in Ruby’s stead, beating myself up mentally for leaving out such an important detail.

“Oh, sorry Pyrrha, I’m not sure if mentioned this or not, but we had used all the ammo and Dust in our weapons on the Sea Dragon. We lost any spares in the shipwreck. I have to admit though; it was quite the sight, observing Yang trying to punch sticks and leaves to start a fire.”

“DAMN RIGHT IT WAS!!!” Yelled yang, pumping her mechanical fist in the air.

“… Either way, Ruby, go on please. I just want to get this over with.”

“…yeah, so… While I tried to protect Weiss from that thing, I was kinda put on my back foot. I retreated with each hit I took, until I was nearly hugging the cliff-side of a boulder on the far side of the shore. Weiss tried to throw in a few thrusts from the side, but this damn bird kept spraying sand everywhere on purpose with its hind limbs.”

“I challenge you to try and hit a moving target accurately while a cloud of sand hits you in the face and enters your eyes. With my left hand, I kept lunging for the stupid thing and with the right one, I tried to rub the granules of stinging dirt out of my vision. Perhaps due to tiredness, or maybe because this animal was spawned by the Mother of all Grimm herself as a joke, it kept evading most of our melee attacks. I was so desperate at this point, that I went for a grab of its feathery tail out of sheer panic, hoping that it would at least buy Ruby some time and save her from immediate harm… Surprisingly, it did.”

I involuntarily ran red up to the tip of my ears at the memory of how everything played out. Ruby shot me an empathetic glance and continued for me.

“It turned from me to Weiss in the blink of an eye. I couldn’t have foreseen what was going to happen. Before I could even say anything or swing Crescent Rose, the evil turkey shot its head forward and went for a bite on the lower end of things… Under normal circumstances, Weiss’ aura would have blocked the turkey’s actions by flaring up at each impact its beak made with her skin, absorbing the attempted pinching and blunt force trauma, but as you can tell, our condition was far from normal. Very poor at best. The struggle had lowered our aura even further and that’s when the earth-shattering scream that echoed throughout the entire island and sent a few flocks of parrots flying, prompted me to immediately react. I struck my baby’s blade right into the bird’s gut. A lot of blood splattered out, onto both Weiss, our surroundings and me. Before I could register what had happened, I just froze on the spot, dumbfounded at how I had not managed to accomplish a clean slice through the turkey. I normally would have cut through a Grimm that size no problem. That ginormous bird sure was something else… And yeah, when I snapped out of it, it dawned on me, Weiss was the one who let out that scream.

"<< Weiss! Are you hurt? Are you alright?! >> I asked, panicking for a second.

"When the cloud of sand settled and Weiss’ whimpering form on the ground came into view, I did a double take, before laughing at how impossible the scene I was witnessing looked. But before any of you scold me for it, I want to say this: I laughed at the situation, not at you, Weiss… I’m so sorry. I didn’t understand how bad it was until I noticed that you weren’t reproving me like you usually do.”

“Dolt.”

I was too wrapped up in dreading what was about to come, to add any sarcastic retorts, commentary or smart comebacks.

“So… I started worrying a lot since what I saw was that, the turkey had died still clutching its beak around… Weiss’ lower parts?”

“How the hell…?” Jaune was evidently beet red, trying to piece the whole thing together.

Nora and Yang just toppled over, laughing madly at the surreal recollection of events that was being supplied to their drunk selves, fueling their amusement with renewed banter and Pyrrha… Pyrrha just cringed.

I just wanted to die or generally dig my grave right then and there.

“Some animals, much like humans and Grimm, can die with their muscles stuck in a reflex clutch or clenched jaw. It is not uncommon, but quite the unfortunate coincidence that brought a lot of pain to Weiss in this case.” Explained Blake.

“Being the only one on the team with some botanical and alchemical knowledge, I do not want to get into how many hours it took to make an ointment that would diminish the swelling. Painkillers are something really hard to craft too. Doing it on the spot would have been impossible to begin with, so… as bad as it sounds, we had to let her suffer and medicate herself without our help for the rest of the night.”

Hiding underneath Ruby’s cloak, unable to look anyone in the eye, I just let Ruby take over the narrative.

“…And, well. After wiping all the grime and other sticky stuff off me, I scrambled over to Weiss in an attempt to help. The fact that I could not get a good grip around the dead turkey’s beak didn’t help, but Weiss looked so in pain that I just wanted to cry. I felt horrible for laughing and thought that all of this was my fault.”

I was so grateful to Ruby for leaving out the visual descriptions that Yang would have loved to provide. We could not pry that thing’s mouth off my crotch, no matter how hard we tried. I was wailing: no injury I had could compare in terms of pain. It was a nine out of ten on the scale and it was focused in the worst, most delicate area to operate ever. I could feel my lower lips turning purple already and did not think I could have ever saved any sensory feeling after this incident, if it weren’t for how swiftly Ruby got me back to our camp.

“I used my baby to sever the turkey’s head and leave its body behind, carefully lifted Weiss off the ground bridal style, and dashed back to our shelter with whatever energy I had left by activating my semblance, not caring at all that it was in the red. And yeah, I passed out for a minute or two from the exertion once we got there.”

Blake seemed more interested, now that her role came into play.

“Obviously, as soon as they made it back, I saw the gravity of Weiss’ state and had to intervene right away. I placed Weiss on a giant leaf and tried to keep her steady. She was a shaking, groaning mess, hyperventilating at any attempt I made to work my way around the offending object clutching her skin. I needed to assess the damage it had done. The fabric of her underwear was torn of course, the whole area surrounding her outer labia twisted, sore and blue due to how hard the bird had bitten down…”

“SHE GOT BLUE WAFFLES!!! Hahahah! Get it? Eh?! The princess got blue wafflesss! The princess got blue waffles!!!” Chanted Yang.

By now, Nora was rolling onto the floor, struggling to breathe and holding her belly from how hard she was laughing.

Ren had the same, unfazed expression as Blake. Jaune could not cope anymore and had to stand up and walk away to save himself from the copious amounts of second hand embarrassment. His partner just glared at the two laughing hyenas next to her. Ruby was staring at the floor, blushing as brightly as her namesake and braced herself for what she knew was about to happen.

“YANG, FUCK YOU!!! YOU’RE SUCH A CUNT!!! I SWEAR IF I COULD GET AWAY WITH MURDER I WOULD FUCKING SLIT YOUR THROAT RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!! AND BLAKE, FUCK YOU TOO!!! ALL OF YOUR UNNECESSARY NINJAS-OF-LOVE-LEVEL, DIRTY DESCRIPTIONS MAKE THIS SOUND LIKE… FILTH!!! THIS IS FILTH, YOUR HEAR ME?!! FILTH!!!”

Everyone’s head spun towards me. Blake’s cat ears had folded back, flattening against her head.

A surge of emotions from that memory, combined with the obscene, crude facts that were being fed to the harpies, had resulted in an outburst of cusses that I would have never dreamt of uttering in front of other people. My team witnessing it once, back then, had been enough… but now, it was simply too late to take it back.
Pyrrha was speechless and just gawked at me with her mouth agape.

Jaune’s response, from across the camp, was similar. “Wow. Just… wow.”

“HA!!! I told you she had a foul mouthhh, didn’t III! You didn’t wanna believvvv me *hick*!” came from the brawler.

Oh Yang… dear, lovely Yang. I think one day, someone might press a pillow on your face in your sleep, just a little too hard.

“Weiss… I know this is a triggering topic, but I need you to calm down. I’m merely describing this intricately for medical accuracy. Not to harass or humiliate you in any way…” The cat Faunus cautiously clarified.

“Alright, but do not dare to describe t-the shape or… ANYTHING RELATED to my p-private parts, alright? It’s completely unnecessary and uncalled for!”

“ISHH CALLED PUSSE-“ Yang’s words fell short, a punch to her exposed abdomen silencing her on the spot. Thank Oum for Ruby.

Blake slowly nodded and began to portray the removal procedure.

“It was hard enough to work in those conditions, without the right tools and with the beginning of a storm dropping off its first showers on us… Luckily, to worsen our already fabulous circumstances we had the gold star presence of Yang Xiao Long: the overly confident brawler and self-proclaimed ‘expert beak remover’ of the team, assisted by her gallant half-sister Ruby, who kept failing at simple tasks such as passing a tool, due to her uncontrolled panicking…” The raven-haired girl deadpanned.

“Wohooo!” Threw in Nora.

Ren had been the only individual in the whole gang to keep quiet and refrain from any kind of questioning or remark, sitting with crossed legs in a meditating yoga pose, as stoic as ever. On the other hand, perhaps, the “no comment” attitude was quite fittingly doing the job of voicing his opinion on the matter.

“You loveeeeeed the way I showed off to you, my kittehhh!”

Blake just shook her head and eyed the now empty glass bottle the brawler was holding. Yang had downed its contents in a few seconds, prior to Weiss snapping at her. It was vodka. 45% volume. How she was able to gulp all of the scathing beverage without flinching would always remain a mystery to her.

“Yeah. No. Not really. I’m being sarcastic because you did exactly the opposite of helping.”

“Awwwww come onnn! I washn’t all that bad!” Slurred the blonde, attempting to hug Blake a couple of times before finally giving up. The cat woman would always dodge the bear hugs the affectionate blonde tried to trap her in while being in this state. In no way, did she crave to end up like the Ursai she used the same move on during their hunts.

“Either way… It was quite obvious that Weiss would have suffered some serious nerve damage, should she not have been given immediate care. Her parts were not only bruised, but the blood flow had been cut off. The lack of a steady blood supply, as you know, can lead to tissue death if left untreated. The edges of skin around the beak’s clamping spot were slowly, but surely turning purple. I told Ruby to hold Weiss’ arms still and for Yang to do the same with her legs, so that I could get to work on the foreign body that was inflicting her immeasurable amounts of pain. The plan was to jolt it off in a single blow with Gambol Shroud, to render the whole ordeal as brief as possible, much like with a plaster: you rip it off, it stings and throbs for a couple of seconds and it’s over.

“Of course no one listened to what I had told them to do. It was jarring… Ruby was holding Weiss’ hand and trying to get her to look at her, whispering over and over that everything was going to be okay; Weiss was too unfocused to pay her any mind and Yang… Well, you know her. She thought she could do things better, quicker and smoother, so she ‘gently’ shoved me to the side and took over what could have been a contained incident of bad luck.

“Up until then, I had no idea that Weiss possessed the strength to land a decent left hook on Yang’s jaw, but that’s exactly what she did when our stubborn mistress of puns would not back down and yanked at the dead turkey’s head a little too harshly. She got sent flying for a good eight feet before landing with a distinct thud.”

“I Shwear, I had never sheen ICSSSE QUEEN so LIVID befure!! ‘Livid’, hahah, you get it guysshh!?! Nobody?? Reeellly?!”

A collective groan from the group and another flare of insults by no other than myself followed.

“Shut your mouth CRETIN! Every time you open that sewer, MORE SHIT SPEWS OUT!”

“Woah woah woah there Weissicle! You want a tasshte of my fishhhts tonight? Peoplesss love my jokes!”

“No, no we don’t. Sorry Yang.” Quipped Blake, in hopes to de-escalate the tension that had been brewing between us. It would not be the first time we brought our arguments to the next level.

I had already dueled the uncultured dipshit while she was intoxicated before, on several occasions even. Only a handful of times did I come out victorious, but on those rare times, I felt some kind of sick pleasure after having her under my heel. Don’t read too much into it though. By no means should this be interpreted as sexual or some sort of fetish. Simply put, it gave me the satisfaction of putting her in her place, which no one else seemed to be able to do these days.

“Back to the story… I think the last person Weiss wanted in between her legs that very moment… Oh, Dust. That sounds completely different from how I ran it over in my head. Weiss I’m sorry… I did not mean it-” Blake began flushing at her Freudian slip-up, searching for forgiveness in my gaze, only to find cold, chipping hatred in turn.

Ruby, bless her soul, reassuringly rubbed my back, as I believe the top of my head might have started fuming. The Bumblebee pair of our team was walking on very thin ice.
“… Okay. Nevermind that. What I was trying to say is: Yang should have left me in control.”

At that sentence, Yang let out her ‘cat calling’ signature whistle.

Nora was out of commission for the night. She had passed out due to laugh-induced hypoxia and would probably not wake up until the late morning of the following day. Ren and Pyrrha carried her to their tent, leaving Jaune (who had returned after all the commotion) sitting alone with the useless nut-jobs he now saw in team RWBY.

Meanwhile, Blake had started to lose her temper.

“Yang, I swear to the four Maidens, if you don’t stay quiet this very instant, I’m going to choke you with one of my spare bows! If we were a team of guys, like SSSN, I’d say you’ve jingled our balls long enough; however, since that’s not the case, I ask you to please stop probing for sensitive spots! No one wants that, so could you do us all a favor and get off of our collective asses, please?!”

“Hmmm getting off… asses… Heheheh. Jingle bawwwlls, jnnngle balls, jingle bawwlls rhoack! Jingle and swing‘em, get off (to) Bella-butttttt. Showing and blowing on asssss for funnn, and now… I bwetter ruuuuuuuuun!”

Blake bolted from the log she was sitting on and went chasing after Yang across the camp.

“NOT THIS TIME YANG! YOU’RE NOT GETTING AWAY AFTER WE CLEARLY STATED NO MORE BOOTY PHILOSOPHY SINGING AND RAMBLING!!!”

(Yang had specifically created a video to lode the existence of butts: Life Philosophy of Yang Xiao Long )

Yep, she did it. She blew Blake’s last fuse. Good luck to you now, brute. Karma is a bitc…

“What… Is going on?” Asked Pyrrha, once she reclaimed her seat next to Jaune in front of the fire.

I had been covering Ruby’s ears with my hands in an attempt to shield her from her half-sister’s equally mature and immature singing. Ruby needed to preserve some purity and integrity. She was and still is two years younger than anyone present.

“Let’s say that Yang went a little over board with poking fun. This is normal, so don’t worry about it.”

“I don’t know why she gets like that…” Mumbled a very irritated Ruby Rose, now sitting in my lap.

“Ruby, Yang is… Special. I think Raven might have slightly bashed her head in when she was small. Brain damage can shift one’s personality and behavior quite a lot, so, don’t let anything she says affect you negatively.”

“That might be the kindest thing you’ve said about her in a while.” replied the grumpy scythe wielder.

“It’s a rare event. The stars are aligned. Don’t expect it to happen again anytime soon… Sadly for Yang, I still haven’t forgiven her for what she put me through. She needs to learn. Not. To. Provoke. People. Taunting is only good in an actual fight, when you want your opponent to be distracted by their own anger during a one on one match. Taunting teammates will never end well.”

“Hmm… Where did Ren go by the way?” Ruby couldn’t spot him anywhere.

“He went to bed. I think he was pretty worn out from carrying most of our stuff on the four-hour walk it took to get here.”

“Understandably.” Poor Ren must already have a lot of patience to deal with Nora twenty four to seven. I can’t possibly imagine how tired he must have gotten when we finally arrived to the clearing.

“If you don’t mind me asking… How did the story end? How did you return to civilization and most importantly… heal from that nasty wound without contracting an infection?” The redheaded warrior was too intrigued to let go of the tales from my nightmares.

“Ugh… Alright. Let’s say that other than Blake and her herbal expertise, I owe the actual safe disposal of the offending item to Ruby.”

The girl in my lap graced me with a brief, warm smile and my heart was sent aflutter, the familiar sensation causing me to smile back and bask in the affection I felt for her, for we had gotten so much closer than that, by far.

“To make it short, I stumbled back onto my feet and chewed Yang’s head off. Not literally, of course, but in a similar fashion to what you’ve had the misfortune of witnessing not long ago. Blake insisted on stating I had never had foam forming at the corners of my mouth before… I believe she was actually terrified for Yang’s and her own life, a first that I’m not so keen to repeat.

“One might also argue that mine had been an overreaction… I beg to differ.”

Another brief, yet awkward pause elongated what I was trying to get at.

“Blake was considerate enough to leave out this detail, since it is my place to decide whether or not I want to share something so… personal, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be best to fill you in on it anyway, for the sake of putting an end to this farce.

“Whilst trying to pull at the beak of that thing, she re-positioned her hands twice or more to see if she could get better leverage. This involuntarily caused her to slip a finger or two… Yeah. I don’t need to say where.”

“Yeah you absolutely don’t need to. I mean. W-we get the picture!” added a very uncomfortable Jaune.

“Oum, Weiss I’m so sorry this happened to you. I will try to get Nora to apologize for laughing at you for this… No matter the circumstances, I can only imagine how wrong that must have felt. It just goes past one’s personal boundaries.”

“Thank you for understanding Pyrrha, Jaune. I have not forgiven Yang regardless of how much she apologized after wise, mainly due to how she decided to cope: she tried to rationalize it by making fun of the whole event, every. Single. Time. I know we all have our ways to deal, but certainly, this is one of the least desirable methods.”

Ruby locked her arms around me in a light squeeze. Her embrace managed to diminish the mix of revolt and displeasure I recalled as my friendship with Yang went flying out of the window possibly for good.

Speaking of the devil, finally out of breath, Yang tripped and fell to the floor like a potato, Blake catching up right behind her.

“Gotcha. Now, off to bed!”

The cat Faunus began dragging the drunken joker to her sleeping bag by the feet.

This issued a series of protests from the blonde.

“I want the reshhht of mah shtory time!!!”

“Enough is enough! I’m not here to tend to all your whims Yang! You picked the wrong person to sort out your mommy issues! Now, crawl into that sleeping back or I will make you…!”

“BUUUTTT!”

I don’t know why but for some reason I expected a pair of butt cheeks to magically appear in front of me at that horrible pun.

“Yang, listen to Blake. You’re wasted (thought to myself: wasted space!). Get to your tent or get bent!”

“Love you too Weisshhhicleeee!”

The whole commotion prevented the others from hearing a faint, protective hiss in response to Yang’s undesired drunk affection. It was my dolt. She had grown very intolerant of Yang’s antics after the island happened.

“Anyway, once Yang stormed away to save herself from my wrath, weariness and resignation seized me. With dried tears on my cheeks, a throbbing headache *and throbbing pain down low*, I used my last strength to crawl back on top of the leaf to rest. I had been seeing double, and Ruby approached me carefully with what I assumed was a piece of metal scrap. I later figured out that she had damaged her precious weapon, Crescent Rose, with a stone, to try to craft a primitive tool out of it.

“I looked at her pleadingly, thinking it would hurt, but she somehow managed to lodge the makeshift crowbar in between the two halves of the beak and crack it open.”

Taking a moment to observe the sky, I could spot the first signs of the night coming to a close. The shattered moon had already advanced past mid-sky.

“I will tell you the rest of it *how we got off the island* tomorrow. I think it’s quite late… You two should get some shut-eye. Your watch is the closest to dawn.”

“Yeah, you’re right. We were about to do just that… Right, Jaune?” Questioned the redhead, waiting for her boyfriend’s answer.

Jaune yawned and nodded in agreement.

“We’ll be off then. You two keep an eye on the camp.”

“Will do. Goodnight!” Ruby, still in my lap, had lied down and gotten too comfy to move or say anything properly, so she just mumbled in her half-sleep instead.

I smiled again, remembering fondly how silly we were, not to have figured it out sooner.

The untold part of the story saw Ruby getting mortifyingly flustered at how I let out a sigh that sounded more lewd than intended, following the successfully accomplished operation.

Blake had left the antiseptic ointment finely wrapped in a dried out coconut shell in front of the hut, fearing she might befall hefty consequences for letting Yang ‘work her magic’ on me. Yes. You guessed it. She ran. I would have much rather lynched Yang than her though.

So we were left alone. Together.

I could see the concern in Ruby’s pretty eyes, her shade of embarrassment ever-present.

<< Does it hurt a lot? >> I recall her saying.

<< Yes… Yes, it does… >>

And that’s when my favorite moment took place. The part I’d never admit to anyone, not on my deathbed, not ever.

<< Do you want me to kiss it better? >>

I was speechless.

Then the realization of what she had just said hit her.

<< FORGETITIMDUMBGOONIGHTWEISS! >>

She rolled over on her leaf, facing away, hoping to escape the endless shame brought on by her foot in the mouth disease… via pretending to sleep in the middle of a daytime storm.

<< W-Well if you insist… >>

I had no idea where that had come from back then.

<< SAY WHAT?! >>

<< WHAT? >> We said in unison.

<< I MEAN. When mom was still alive, she’d always kiss my boo-booes away whenever I’d get hurt so… It just came out as an automatic response. I would never… I’m not Yang jeez! >>

I knew Ruby didn’t have an ounce of ill will when she said what she said. It is hard to believe how different the two half-sisters were from each other. I occasionally caught myself wondering if they could not be related at all.

<< Ruby, it’s okay. I know you didn’t mean anything bad… On the other hand, I don’t know why I blurted out that concession as a reply… It must be all the physical and mental stress… >>

<< I wish I could make your pain go away, or at least take it on me. >>

I snorted.

<< You wouldn’t want that, trust me… But thank you, seriously. For everything. I appreciate the thought and… if it weren’t for you, I probably would have had to amputate parts of me that I surely didn’t want gone, today. Please don’t feel at fault for this. You couldn’t have predicted it. >>

Ruby visibly relaxed and shifted back to her original position, staring at me with a soft smile tugging at her lips. How was anyone legally allowed to look this cute? Ah. That’s when I began to suspect there was something more to our friendship than simple appreciation for one another.

I was getting lost in those pools of silver, when I suddenly spoke without thinking too much.

<< Would you mind hugging me? I’m feeling a bit cold >>

Her smile grew wider and without too much hesitation, she scooched over, draping her red, rose scented cloak over us, probably to restore some of my decency, other than to fulfill my request. While hugging, we indulged in each other’s warmth.

I wanted that moment to last forever. The pain I was experiencing was very dulled out compared to before. It wasn’t just due to the object of harm’s absence, though.

<< Ruby… >>

<< Hmm? >>

<< You’re the best partner I could have ever asked for. I’m sorry for treating you so poorly before and after initiation. I was an insufferable, arrogant brat that wouldn’t hear anyone out. I think you changed me for the better. Your cheerfulness, trust in people and drive to do the right thing have taught me to be more open, comprehensive and respectful. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without you. >>

Ruby squeezed me softly and told me that it was alright, that deep down, she knew the reason I acted like that was to keep people at arm’s length because I had been hurt. Only people that hurt inside, walked around with spikes and icy walls to protect themselves from potential threats. Ruby had breached my personal sphere many times, as partners and friends, it was hard not to… She was just afraid I’d never get accustomed to our new situation and living in close quarters. This is why at some point she had stopped being nice and snapped. Thank Oum for Port giving me a piece of his mind… Undoing years of Jacques Schnee and high society judgmental mentality was one thing… The hardest part was coming to terms with the fact that I had a problem, or better, I was the problem. I promised myself to never be intentionally mean to Ruby again after that. If I had to entrust my life to one person, it would be her. No one else.

And then it dawned on me. I loved Ruby. Not just as friends, or partners. I loved her in that way.

Her scent was so sweetly intoxicating. We had fallen asleep cuddled into each other’s arms and none of us found that weird or bothering.

Back to the present, I was lovingly brushing some of her messy hair behind her ear.

“Ruby, we still have an hour on our watch before we can sleep. Don’t drift off on me just yet.”

“Hmmm but you’re so comfyyyyy!”

Checking that no one was eavesdropping or awake for a leak, I leaned in and planted a soft kiss on Ruby’s lips. She returned it eagerly, waking up from her nap and pressing for more. Why her kisses were so addicting, was beyond me.

Not in a thousand years, if someone had told me on day one of Beacon that I’d fall for this marvelous, sweet, clumsy dolt, would I have believed them.

“Want to do more in our tent…?” I whispered in her ear alluringly.

“Yes. I’ve been pent up for a while. Do you mind?”

“If I had minded, I wouldn’t have asked in the first place, dolt.”

I could recognize that pervy smirk of hers miles away. It meant ‘I want you, now, bad’. Hopefully, I’d be able to keep my voice down.

Yes, the ‘Ruby being pure’ is a front we put up so that no one finds out about our relationship. Ruby is seventeen now. We’ve gone past the birds and bees talk, wayyy past that.
The reason I’m trying to keep the relationship low key is because I am not sure how Yang would react (with all her protective big sister thing going) and because I still have to confront father about it. It’s a big step for us and I’ve already made plans to come out once I graduate from Beacon.

Perhaps it was a bit irresponsible to leave our watch to attend to… classified activities. Nevertheless, we had cleared out every den of Grimm in a five-mile radius. I highly doubt that anything bigger than a bird would make its appearance. They didn’t send out two of Beacon’s top teams for nothing…

Ruby zipped our tent open. Thank Oum, the advanced military designs they were based off provided each teammate with a room of privacy for two, divided by a single, central séparé.

We slipped into the empty one, undressed and got down to business. It wouldn’t take long anyway, since it had been a few months.

The night went by uneventfully and once we woke Ren and Blake for the next round of watch, we couldn’t stay up much longer. Slumber took us to blissful dreams.

We had to reach our extraction point tomorrow. Another long walk ahead of us.