When Ozpin first met Ruby Rose, the first thing he noticed about her was her silver eyes.
The progeny of Summer Rose and Taiyang Xiao Long. He should have known right away when he saw her silver eyes. Part of him couldn’t help but be drawn to her over and over again.
Time paused for what felt like an eternity to him in that single moment.
Ozpin turned to the officer who stood at the back of the room.
“Excuse me.” Ozpin raised his hand to catch the officer’s attention.
The officer, turned to him and Ozpin smiled politely, “Do you have any cookies somewhere here perchance?”
The office leveled a flat look at him opening his mouth and shutting it a few times.
Ozpin waited patiently as the man eyed him, went to say something, and thought better of it. The silence stretched out comfortably for him and uncomfortably for the officer. He finally raked a hand through his thinning black hair and eyed Ozpin, “I’ll go check with reception.”
After the officer left, his eyes returned back to Ruby Rose.
She wasn’t anything like he would have imagined her to be-
And yet everything she should be.
She looked like her mother more than Taiyang, which made sense. Silver eyed warriors had strong bloodlines, and not even the immovable Taiyang’s genes could overcome biology.
Ozpin watched through a screen that was setup to record conversations inside the room.
At the moment Ms. Rose looked very much like a small puppy who had been reprimanded by its owner for chewing up an expensive shoe.
Glynda paced around the small room slow and deliberately, “I hope you realize that your actions tonight will not be taken lightly young lady.”
Glynda had to recognize her as well.
The recognition came out in her aggressive pacing and clipped words. Ozpin smiled and shook his head. How many hundred years had it been since he had met someone like Glynda who could match his calm with steel and balance him out?
People had come and gone through Ozma’s lives constantly, and most never left a mark of themselves when they left.
As he had become Ozpin time seemed to slow around him and make him take notice of others.
He was still trying to figure that out why.
“You put yourself and others in great danger.” Glynda continued to move herself around the small interrogation room, hands tucked behind her back. Ruby didn’t look up at her, lips turned into a frown as she stared at the table top.
My gods. She looks just like her mother.
Ozpin had been on the receiving end of that same look when team STRQ had ended reprimanded. To see such a look again made his lips turn up just a little at the edges.
Finally Ruby looked up at Glynda her hands curled into fists on the table, “They started it!”
Glynda paused on the other side of the table from Ms. Rose, “If it were up to me, you’d be sent home with a pat on the back...And a slap on the wrist!”
Ruby had all at once looked heartened by Glynda and then rocketed back in her chair with a yelp as Glynda hit the table with her riding crop. Ozpin shook his head and pressed a hand to his mouth to hide the smile at the posturing.
Ozpin cleared his throat and turned to the officer who offered him a plate of cookies.
“Ah, right on time.” Ozpin accepted the plate.
“Thank you.” He added.
Glynda flicked her eyes up at the camera in the top corner of the room, eyes unamused, “But, there is someone here who would like to meet you.”
Ozpin shifted the cookies to his right hand, and grabbed his cup of coffee in his left and walked right into the office where Ms. Rose was sitting at the interrogation table. “Ruby Rose.”
The name came off his tongue before he could stop himself, and he had to pause for a second.
He had seen the silver eyes in the camera, but seeing them in person was striking. He leaned over the table as he studied them and he breathed out softly, “You...have silver eyes.”
It wasn’t something he could just discount. Her fighting, her lineage, and her personality were drawing him in. He studied her until she shifted in her seat, and tried to break the tension herself, “U-um…?”
Let time move forward.
He stood back up and brusquely continued on as Glynda stood at his side. She was playing back the footage from the dust store as he continued to talk tipping his head at the video, “So, Where did you learn to do this?”
Of course he knew where she had learned to do that.
Her features smoothed out into something more sure, “Signal Academy.”
She looked more sure, but her voice answered his question with a question in turn. She looked up at him as if trying to see if he was trying to trick her in some way. Glynda shut her eyes and held her breath before letting it out.
Ozpin felt a tick of amusement at his second in command. She was trying not to show herself to be more amused about the situation than she was appearing.
Ruby was very amusing.
He had to do this the right way.
He couldn’t let anything get in the way of his goal so he hardened his voice, raised an eyebrow and stared her down, “They taught you to use one of the most dangerous weapons ever designed?”
Before he was even done, she was speaking again, “Well one teacher in particular.”
Her lips curled up into a small smile.
Her honesty was refreshing, so he placed the cookies down in front of her in silent offering. Her eyes went from him to the plate of chocolate chip cookies. The weight of her eyes was much more than he had first thought because when she finally looked down he felt lighter than when she had been looking straight at him.
That weight was neither something he wanted to think about or acknowledge however.
Ruby’s eyes flicked up at him cautiously, and then down at the plate again as she hesitantly reached out and grabbed a cookie. Ozpin watched her look up at him again after she ate the first cookie, and then down as she started to grab the cookies shoving them into her mouth.
She was just a child after all, and the sweet taste was a good way to disarm her and get more answers.
“It’s just that I’ve only seen one other scythe-wielder of that skill before. A dusty old crow.”
If Qrow had heard himself referred to as dusty and old he might have had a few words to say about that.
“MM! Thash muh unkul!” Ruby spoke around the cookies she inhaled.
She realized belatedly that she was being rude and wiped her sleeve over her mouth, “Sorry, that’s my uncle Qrow. He’s a teacher at Signal. I was complete garbage before he took me under his wing. Now I’m like whoooo cha!”
Ozpin couldn’t help the smile that brushed onto his features as he listened. He took a sip of the thin lukewarm coffee he had been offered by the police. “So I’ve noticed.”
He sat the cup down and placed both hands on the table, “And what is an adorable girl such as yourself doing at a school designed to train warriors?”
He had said it without even thinking. The word had just slipped out of his mouth and sent a shock of embarrassment up his spine.
Glynda sent him a sharp look, but Ruby didn’t seem to notice the slip up. She placed her hands in her lap and sat up straighter as she looked at him again. The weight of her eyes settled back on him making it harder for him to keep eye contact.
“Well...I want to be a huntress.”
He sat down and pressed his fingers together, “You want to slay monsters?”
She didn’t hesitate as she nodded, “Yeah.”
“I only have two more years of training left at Signal, and then I’m going to apply to Beacon. See, my sister’s starting there this year and she’s trying to become a huntress. I’m trying to become a huntress because I want to help people. My parents always taught us to help others so I thought, well might as well make a career out of it.”
She was still nervous, and that nervousness was cute. Ozpin bit the inside of his cheek and forced himself to keep his attention on her. Words like, adorable and cute had no place within him.
“The police are alright, but Huntsmen and Huntresses are just so much more romantic and exciting and you know?!” She finished her hands clenched in front of her with a big smile on her face.
Her enthusiasm for such a dangerous job was appreciated.
Glynda stared at her from beside him with her arms crossed over her chest and a frown on her face. He already knew what she was thinking. All that power was wrapped up into a teenager that hadn’t even begun to see her true potential.
He had to agree.
If not given a proper outlet Ms. Rose would be trouble in the wrong hands.
Perhaps he could--
“Do you know who I am?” He finally asked, threading his fingers together.
She smiled easily at him, “You’re professor Ozpin. You’re the headmaster of Beacon.”
He gave her a small smirk and leaned forward, “Hello.”
She leaned over the table for the first time since she had been scared by Glynda to the back of her seat, “Nice to meet you.”
A tremble ran through his body, one he hadn’t felt in a long time.
He tamped down on it and pushed it deep.
The sensation of being interested in anyone was not welcome. He couldn’t afford to do anything with it now or again. He had learned what would happen to the people around him if he showed open interest.
He pressed his arms into the cold metal tabletop to ground himself, “You want to come to my school?”
“More than anything.”
She wanted this badly. He could see it in her posture and in the way she bore her eyes into him in a silent plea. Part of him knew it was ridiculous to answer the plea positively, but he wanted to anyway.
He looked up to Glynda and she immediately made an annoyed noise in the back of her throat and turned away.
Ozpin read it for what it was: reluctant agreement.
Glynda wanted to get her hands on Ms. Rose as much as he did, and the only way they could insure they would get her was to take a chance and pull her from Signal early.
He didn’t even have to think it over, he turned back to her and shrugged, “Well okay.”
Ruby’s eyes widened and her smile grew. “Really?!”
Ruby bolted out of her seat and practically flew over the table pressing herself into his side. Her arms wrapped around him and she squeezed, hard. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Her arms around him stunned Ozpin for a moment. He tensed and was just about to push her back a bit when she dislodged on her own and pumped her fist into the air, “Wait until I tell my friends at Signal that I’ll go to Beacon in two years.”
She is definitely something else.
“Ms. Rose, I didn’t mean that you would come in two years. I’m extending the invitation effective immediately..”
The squeal she let out was inhuman.
A warmth settled pleasantly into him at her continued enthusiasm.
“I need to go tell Yang and my dad! Um, is there any way I could maybe leave now?” Ruby asked as she smoothed out her skirt and looked up to Ozpin through her eye lashes.
He gave another silent look to Glynda who sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, “Come with me. We will go talk to them together.”
“Yay! Thank you.” Ruby was out the door before Glynda could even properly follow.
She paused in the doorway and looked back at him, “I hope you know what your doing.”
“Don’t I always?”
Satisfied for now, the blonde nodded and turned to follow out their newest student. Ozpin let his shoulders relax and his fingers circle along the rim of the coffee cup. The liquid inside had already gone cold.
Glynda’s words echoed in his head.
I hope you know what you’re doing.
Ozpin’s lips pressed together in a line. He sunk against the metal chair back and shut his eyes. He could still feel the press of Ruby against his side, and the firm circle of her arms around him.
He looked back towards the door and sighed.
I hope I do too.