"And you promise to write every week?"
"Of course, dad." Yang hugged her father.
Ruby removed the cigarette from her mouth, yawning loudly from where she leaned against a wall, one black-clad leg bent with the boot put against the rough stone. Taiyang sent her a stern glace over Yang's shoulder.
He released his daughter, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I know as the younger one this should be the other way around." He sighed. "But watch your sister for me and try to keep her out of trouble."
Yang turned her head, glimpsing shily at Ruby who just raised her eyebrows at her baby sister, taking another puff.
Yang's head shot back towards her father, her neatly done hair bun whipping back and forth. "I-I'll try."
"That's my girl." Taiyang patted her head and went in for another hug, which Yang happily accepted.
Making retching noises, Ruby pushed herself off the wall and went to leave the airfield where they would soon board their flight towards Beacon Academy.
Ruby turned her head back towards Taiyang.
"If I so much as catch a hint that you sabotaged your sister in any way, I'll call Ozpin, and you'll be home faster than you can draw Crescent Rose!"
Ruby rolled her eyes, resuming her walk away from the two blondes. "Tough luck, dad," she called over her shoulder. As if Ozpin would risk losing his silver-eyed warrior...
Of course, Taiyang didn't know that she knew about that. All thanks to her mom. Speaking of which...
A red portal formed in the empty alley she had retreated to.
"Mom, you came!" Ruby briefly engulfed Raven in a hug. The tickling of a blade against her throat alerted her of the knife positioned there.
"You let your guard down," her mom reprimanded her.
"Same for you." Ruby nodded towards her own knife, pressed against Raven's throat.
Chuckling, they both sheathed their weapons and went for a hug. A real one this time with Ruby standing slightly taller than her mom. Over the years, this had become their ritual every time they visited each other. Of course, neither would ever hurt the other, but her mom was insistent she never let her guard down and used this as a regular reminder.
"I wasn't sure you would come."
"Of course, I would," Raven immediately reassured. "You may not be my biological daughter, but you have Branwen blood in you, and... and..."
Ruby blew some smoke into her mom's face, laughing at her irate facial expression. "Going somewhere with this, mom?"
Raven snatched the cigarette out of her mouth, throwing and stomping it out on the ground. "Don't interrupt me, you brat." She punched Ruby's bare shoulder, regaining a laugh in return.
"What I'm trying to say is... You know I view you as my own daughter and... and..." She looked to the side. "I'm... I'm proud of you."
"Sheesh mom, is this the part where I break down in tears?" Ruby wiped her eyes with her forearm.
"Failing the Signal Academy final exam twice is nothing to be proud of!" They both turned towards Yang, who stood at the entrance of the alley, likely having hidden behind the corner the whole time. How someone could be so naive, Ruby had no idea. As if there were people who really failed that joke of an exam.
"Hey, you little brat!" Ruby screamed. "Watch how you talk to mom!"
"She's not my mom!" Yang pointed an accusatory finger at Raven. "And you...you're not my sister!"
Ruby was about to show her sister her place when Raven started to laugh out loud. "I'm glad you finally grew a backbone!" She spread her arms. "Give your mother a goodbye hug?"
Yang ducked her head, fleeing around the corner she had entered.
"She's such a baby," Ruby said with a fond smile on her face while Raven continued to chuckle and shake her head.
"So. This is goodbye." Raven began to check Ruby's equipment. Making sure the belt across her chest containing her assortment of knives was all set, Crescent Rose on her back all secured.
"Jeez, mom, stop making a fuss. This isn't like you."
"I know." She sighed. "I don't know, I'm just..." Her gaze went to Ruby's bare, toned stomach. "Make sure you eat enough, all right?"
"Mooom. I'm 19, you don't have to worry about me..."
"I know, I know... It's just–"
"Ozpin." Ruby hit the nail right on the head considering Raven's flinch.
She nodded. "Just... just be careful, okay?"
Ruby encircled her mom in a tight hug. "Don't worry about me. I'll keep a close eye on Yang as well. The only way Ozpin will get his bloody fingers on her is over my dead body!"
Raven held her close. "Thank you, my little rose."
"Mom." Her voice coming out choked, she had to blink back tears. Her mother hadn't called her that way since she was little. "I love you." She broke out of the hug.
Raven ruffled her wild hair, giving her a rare loving smile. Ruby relished every moment, not getting the chance to see this side of her mom very often. Normally it was just training and talk about strength or the tribe.
Raven turned away and drew her sword. "Oh, and one last thing."
"Huh?" Ruby watched as her mom created another portal. Out of it jumped none other than Vernal.
"Ruuubyy!" Her best friend charged at her, tackling them to the ground. They started to wrestle, trading blows while they rolled around the pavement, laughing all the while.
They came to a halt at the exit of the alley, the sound of cars and people reaching their ears. Vernal had her hands on Ruby's throat, choking her. "You didn't think you could just leave without saying goodbye, did you?!"
Grinning, Ruby broke her hold and flipped them around, pinning Vernal's arms over her head. "Shut up, bitch." She pressed a harsh kiss against her friend's lips.
Vernal bit down on Ruby's lips, making her withdraw. "Who are you calling bitch, bitch?"
They glared at each other for a moment, menacing expressions on their faces, before they broke out laughing.
Calming down and sitting up against a nearby house wall, they realized that they had come to a standstill on the sidewalk of a more crowded street, people giving them strange looks, keeping their distance.
"What are you looking at, blondie?!" Vernal snapped at an insecure looking boy clad in white armor pieces, a sword on his hip. He yelped, making a stumbling retreat.
Ruby laughed, elbowing Vernal in the rips. "Hey! For all you know he could be my partner tomorrow."
Her friend laid her hands on her heart, adopting a hurtful expression. "Just the first day, and you're already planning to replace me."
Ruby put an arm around Vernal's shoulders, getting her into a headlock, drawing her head into her lap. "Shut up. As if these kids could hold a candle to you, no matter how big a bitch you may be."
Laughing, Vernal nodded towards a white-haired girl clad in a white dress, a dust-rapier on her waist, that was walking by them with her head held high, not sparing them a single glance. "What about her? She's got a nice ass."
"Hey!" The girl spun around, smoothing down her skirt and robbing Vernal of her view. "How dare you, you... you little punk!"
They must look like some street rats with how they were situated on the ground. Their revealing outfits and tattoos didn't help that image either.
"Who're you calling punk, bitch?" Vernal broke out of Ruby's hold, shooting up and going face to face with the stranger. "Wanna say that to my face, bitch?"
"Huh." The white-haired girl's eyes flicked to her rapier but in the end, she just resorted to throwing her hair over her shoulder, crossing her arms. "I got no time for this nonsense. I have a flight to catch."
Vernal burst out laughing. "Oh, I like her. What do you think, Ruby?"
"Eh." She shrugged. "Too small for my taste." For demonstration, Ruby palmed her own sizable, though not overly large, breasts, grinning at the stunning expression of the stranger.
"What?!" the girl shouted, indignant. "As if I would mingle with the likes of you!" With that she turned around, walking away with her primly gait.
"See you at Beacon!" Ruby called after her, drawing immense enjoyment when her strides quickened and she nearly stumbled to the ground.
Vernal extended a hand towards Ruby, grinning. "1000 Lien you won't manage to get into her knickers by the end of the semester."
"Heh, you're gonna regret making that bet." She clasped the proffered hand and let her friend help her up.
"Vernal," Raven called out from around the corner of the alley they had come from. "Time to go."
Ruby briefly hugged her childhood friend. "Don't have too much fun without me."
"You bet, bitch." Vernal gave her a peck on the lips and turned around, walking towards Raven.
Ruby shared a meaningful look with her mom before she sliced open another portal, and they vanished into thin air.
Sighing, Ruby let herself fall against a nearby house wall. She pulled out a cigarette and lighted it, drawing some comfort from the familiar taste.
"Time to find Yang," she mumbled to herself, blowing smoke into the air.
Ruby stared out of the airship's window, spotting Signal Academy in the distance. A smile spread across her face, remembering all the mischief she had caused during her time there. The perks of having Taiyang and Qrow teaching there, not to mention the meddling headmaster that couldn't risk missing out on his silver-eyed warrior...
She angrily blew out some smoke through her nostrils.
Ozpin. She would not make the same mistakes Summer had. Trusting the headmaster would only result in certain death. There was no winning against Salem...
Ruby balled her hands to fists. If he lay even a single finger onto Yang, she'd personally cut it off. She was confident, she could beat Ozpin, wizard or not. According to her mom, Oz wasn't at his strongest anymore. And with the training she had received from the adults in her life, Ruby was confident she could beat the headmaster in a fair fight.
Or not so fair. She grinning, thinking of all the dirty tricks she had picked up over the years visiting the tribe.
Ruby flicked her smoke away, not even bothering to stomp it out. Turning her back to the window, she inspected the other new attendants. There was the blonde boy from before, her sister, and also the white-haired bitch. The pair of the hammer-wielding girl and the boy with the pink eyes and pink strand of hair didn't look too impressive.
The black-haired girl with the bow? A faunus?
Ruby let out an appreciative whistle, eying the bootie of the fit redhead. She looked strong and her weapons interesting. Ruby wouldn't mind taking a closer look at her... didn't she know her from somewhere?
A groan brought her attention back to the blonde who held a mouth before his face, stumbling right in Ruby's direction, bumping into her. "Sorry, sorry."
"Hey, blondie!" Ruby grabbed him by the collar, slightly lifting him off the ground. "Watch where you're going." She let him drop to the ground.
"Sorry." He looked up, his eyes widening in recognition. His already pale face turned ashen as he continued to mumble excuses, stumbling off the ground, getting away from her as fast as possible.
Ruby laughed, wondering how a wimp like him had made it into Beacon.
Yang made her way over to her. "That wasn't very nice."
"Eh." She shrugged. "He's an idiot, better keep your distance from him."
"His name is Jaune and he's very nice," Yang snapped, crossing her arms, looking away.
"Aww, already making friends." She put a hand on her sister's head, ruffling up her neat hair. "I'm so proud you finally jumped over your shadow!"
Yang squirmed against her hand, trying to throw it off. "Stop it! You're embarrassing me!"
Laughing, Ruby freed Yang's hair from the bun, making her sister squeak in panic, covering her head with her arms.
"I told you to stop doing that," Yang whined, hiding behind Ruby while she redid her hairdo with practiced hands.
"And I told you that you have to open up more. And your hair and clothing are the first steps in doing so." Ruby inspected her sister's horrible, baggy, brown trousers. Admittedly, they offered good mobility and some protection, and, as Ruby was wearing trousers herself—although black was a far better color!—she couldn't really fault Yang for it. No, the real crime was the top part of her outfit. Ember Celica, covering Yang's entire forearms and shimmering in its beautiful black and yellow colors which Ruby had painted herself, looked sexy as hell...but everything else? Not so much. The brown jacked Yang was wearing wasn't too bad in and of itself, but the fact that the sleeves extended to just shy of her elbows, hiding her well-toned arms was simply unacceptable. And the most unforgivable sin: The jacked was closed—zipped and buttoned up completely—neither showing any skin on the bottom or top. At least her ample bosom was still quite discernable through the jacket... "I know I'd certainly appreciate it."
"You're sick! You shouldn't look at your sister like that!"
"Ah! So now I'm your sister again?" Using her Semblance, Ruby sped around Yang and undid her hair bun again.
"Argh!" Yang's eyes flickered red, her hands in desperate motions to tame her wild, shoulder-length hair again. "Yes, ok, I didn't mean it before. Can you stop now?"
Ruby looked down into her little sister's reddened face, tapping a finger to her chin. "Hmmm... I still say we do something about your horrendous clothing. Then maybe you'll get your new blonde friend to notice you. What was his name again? Jaune?"
Her face reddening further, Yang looked to the ground. "I–It's not like that. A–and, anyway, I never said he was my friend."
"But you said he was nice, and you know his name. Soooo?"
Yang's embarrassment only increased. "I overheard him talk to some other guy," she mumbled, barely audible.
"Awww, this is so you. Don't worry, since I already know him—well sort of—I'll make you two acquainted." She grabbed her sister's arm and dragged her along, ignoring her wild protests.
A rattling went through the airship, signaling their arrival.
"Welcome to Beacon Academy."
Ruby didn't even think about letting Yang go yet, continuing their search for Jaune while the other students exited the airship.
"Huh, guess I really did a number on him. Must have been one of the first to leave after the landing," Ruby said after a while.
They were the last ones to make it out of the aircraft, exiting into the, by this point, almost empty airfield.
"Wowwww," Yang stopped moving, admiring the tall building of the academy in the distance. "The view from Vale got nothing on this."
"Sorry sis, your boy hunt will have to wait for now," Ruby called over her shoulder, waving, not at all impressed by the architecture and continuing on her way...
...running straight into the luggage of someone.
Ruby easily steadied herself while the white suitcases landed all over the place.
"What are you doing!?" An annoying voice sounded ahead. Ruby was about to apologize when she noticed it belonged to the uptight, white-haired girl from before. "You! You're that punk from the streets!"
"Yep! That's me," Ruby said, grinning and palming her breasts as she had done before.
"Ah, the nerve!" She was getting red in her face. "Do you have any idea of the damage you could've caused?"
Ruby just watched with an amused expression as the girl went into a tirade about her family and the application and safety measures of Dust, going so far as to pull out a vial and shaking it animatedly while she continued to rant.
"So? What do you have to say for yourself?!"
Ruby ignored her, taking her time to pull out a cigarette, lighting it with her Zippo.
"What, what are you doing?" Her voice sounded slightly less self-assured.
"Listen, bitch!" Ruby stepped right in front of the heiress, making sure to straighten to her full height, towering over her. "I don't know what the fuck you think you're doing here, but maybe you should have done some more research about what it means to be a Huntress. Certainly not bringing an assload of Dust with you that will only get in the way. So how about you fuck off to your daddy and cry before you cause an explosion or something." She fixated the smaller girl with a predatory grin.
"What!? How dare you! Youuuu–"
Ruby gave her a little shove, letting her fall into the Dust the girl had sprayed all over the ground. Turning around, she flicked her smoke over her shoulder.
A bang sounded, followed by the heatwave washing over Ruby's back.
"Unbelievable! You'll pay for that, you filthy punk!"
Ruby just laughed, flipping her the bird over her shoulder.
Oh, this had been fun. Fuck Vernal and fuck their bet, she'd have the fun of her life tormenting the Schnee bitch. At least then she'd have something to look forward to for her time here at Beacon...